Husband strangled wife during nightmare

A grief-stricken husband unwittingly strangled his wife during a violent nightmare, an inquest heard yesterday. Brian Thomas, 60, believed he was wrestling an intruder, but awoke to discover he was alone with the dead body of wife Christine, 57, next to him in the bed they shared during a holiday in Aberporth, west Wales, in July 2008.

The inquest heard that Mr Thomas suffered from a long-standing sleep disorder and occasionally had "night terrors".

Detective Inspector Richard Evans told the inquest that Mr Thomas had admitted applying an arm lock to his wife's neck. He was discovered outside the camper van in a "deeply distraught" state after reporting the killing himself.

The father-of-two went on trial at Swansea Crown Court last year, but within days the case against him collapsed as the prosecution decided no further evidence would be put forward and he was freed.

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