Coronavirus: Man accused of killing wife of 44 years in UK's 'first self-isolation murder'

Married couple were self-isolating in South Wales home

Maya Oppenheim
Women's Correspondent
@mayaoppenheim
Tuesday 31 March 2020 15:51
Anthony Williams, who is 69, appeared in court in Cardiff charged with murdering his wife of 44 years Ruth Williams at their home in South Wales
Anthony Williams, who is 69, appeared in court in Cardiff charged with murdering his wife of 44 years Ruth Williams at their home in South Wales

A man has been accused of the first murder to take place under the government’s new lockdown measures after his wife was found dead at their home.

Strict social isolation measures — introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus — have urged people to remain at home and avoid contact with anyone who does not live in their house.

Anthony Williams, 69, appeared in court in Cardiff charged with murdering his wife of 44 years Ruth Williams at their home in South Wales on Saturday.

Gwent Police said they were called to the couple’s semi-detached home in Brynglas, Cwmbran, where the pair had been self-isolating together, at around 6.50am on Saturday.

Ms Williams, 67, was found unconscious and transported to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport where she was pronounced dead.

Local councillor Ron Burnett said: “It's a huge shock to everybody. We just can't get our heads around it.

“I know them personally and so I find it all very upsetting — I don't want to talk about it but my condolences go out to the family.

“They were a well known family. Ruth worked in Asda for many, many years and I'm sure this will come as a big shock to everybody.”

A statement from Gwent Police said: “Ruth Williams was found unconscious and unresponsive at the premises. She was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport where she sadly died.

“A 69-year-old man, from the Cwmbran area, was arrested and has since been charged with murder."

The police warned the family have requested people “respect their privacy to grieve in peace at this difficult time".

Mr Williams, who previously worked as an engineer, appeared before Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on Monday but he only talked to confirm his name, address and date of birth. He was remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear before Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday.​