A TENBY woman allegedly murdered will blame her boyfriend from beyond the grave, a jury heard on Wednesday.
Joanna Elizabeth Hall, aged 30, survived for 19 days after she was stabbed 40 times at her home in Cresswell Street in the centre of the town.
Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting at Swansea crown court, said Miss Hall was conscious enough to tell medics and relatives she had been attacked by Steven Daniel Williams, also 30.
She was even well enough, for a while, to make a formal police statement repeating the allegation. The jury at Swansea crown court has also heard how armed police had to threaten Williams after responding to a 999 call. Williams has denied stabbing Miss Hall 40 times and then allegedly waiting all night before calling for help. By then it was too late and Miss Hall died on April 4, 2013, 19 days after being attacked.
The jury heard today what happened when Williams, of Newell Hill, 25 Marsh Road, Tenby, finally dialled 999.
He told the emergency operator “It must have happened a couple of hours ago.”
When police arrived they noticed Williams was standing in the road outside Miss Hall’s home and did not call them over and show them where to go.
Armed police approached him and noticed he was bleeding from a wound to his left ear.
“He was incoherent and unhelpful,” added Miss Evans. “He became agitated. Officers restrained him and put the red dot of a taser on him.”
Williams told police initially that he had gone out “for five minutes to get some fags.”
When he returned Miss Hall had been stabbed “and her intestines were hanging out.”
Williams was arrested and taken to Haverfordwest police station. During the journey he was volatile, “smiling one moment, angry the next.”
On his arrest for attempted murder, Williams told police they could “**** shove it up your arses.”
He also said, “My solicitor will sort it out and the arresting officers will be out of a job.”
Miss Evans said back at Cresswell Street the armed officers found Miss Hall lying in the lounge wrapped in a blood soaked duvet taken from a bedroom.
She was flown by air ambulance to Swansea’s Morriston Hospital. In the helicopter a medic asked her if her “fellow” had stabbed her and she replied, yes. Miss Hall said she had been stabbed while lying on the floor. Williams had apologised but then stabbed her again.
Meanwhile, at Haverfordwest police station, officers asked Williams about the injury to his ear. He said he had injured himself skateboarding two days earlier.
“He was lying. There was fresh blood in the sink (at Miss Hall’s flat). The injuries were inflicted by Joanna while she was able to try to defend herself,” added Miss Evans.
Earlier, the jury was told Williams may have sat alongside his fatally injured victim “all night” before dialling 999.
Williams, said Miss Evans, was to claim to police that a stranger must have entered Miss Hall’s two bedroom flat while he was out for 10 minutes buying cigarettes. But, Miss Evans told the jury, CCTV cameras showed that no-one entered the street during that time.
In her opening address, Miss Evans said of the living only Williams, known as Sparrow, knew what happened inside Miss Hall’s flat on March 16, “and he isn’t saying.”
But before Miss Hall died she gave accounts to several people and even made a witness statement. She told her sister, Georgina Marwick, from her death bed at Swansea’s Morriston hospital, that Williams had turned up at her flat “drunk on whisky.”
According to Mrs Marwick, Miss Hall told her, “He flipped. He tried to rip a radiator off the wall. He stabbed me. I asked him to ring for help and he said ‘no’
“He said I would have to take my own life or he would do it for me.
“If I told anyone he would come back and finish me off
“He said he did not want to kill me but he did not want to go back into prison. He sat with me all night.
“He said, ‘will you just die.’ In the morning he went to a shop and told me not to run off.”
Williams is also alleged to have said to Miss Hall, “Aren’t you dead yet?”
In a witness statement to police, Miss Hall said Williams walked from the kitchen to the lounge holding a knife. She asked him what he was going to do with it and he replied, “Watch me.”
Miss Evans said although Williams would not say what happened the prosecution had been able to build a clear picture by putting together footage from the “surprisingly” high number of CCTV cameras in Tenby town centre and mobile telephone traffic.
At 5.20pm on March 15 Williams was at Tenby Cottage Hospital telling a nurse he thought he had “caught” something from having sex with a girl. The nurse could not diagnose him there and then and advised him to contact Care on Call.
That service tried to contact Williams at 8.50pm via Miss Hall’s Iphone but by then Williams had left her flat.
There followed a string of text messages from Miss Hall to Williams.
One read, “Cheers Steve. You just love breaking my heart don’t you, eh?”At 8.43pm she wrote, “Can’t believe I let myself fall for you.”
Two minutes later she wrote: “Don’t know why you keep coming back here. You have made it quite clear that you don’t want to be here.”At 9.01pm Williams was filmed buy a bottle of whisky at the Fiveways Garage. A police officer who knew him thought he was already drunk.
At 9.06pm Miss Hall telephoned a friend, Sean Dodd, and told him she had argued with Williams after he claimed to have “caught something” from her.
At 9.24pm, Miss Hall wrote to Williams saying: “You love making me cry, don’t you.”
In her last text message, sent at 11.15pm, Miss Hall told Williams there was something she needed to tell him and asked him to call around the next day.
“But he went back that night,” said Miss Evans.
Gabriel Roberts, who lived in the flat below Miss Hall’s, arrived home about 1.30am. She told police a man and a woman upstairs were arguing so loudly she put in earplugs to help her get to sleep.
By 3.07am Williams was using Miss Hall’s telephone to call a friend, Stephen Camp, and, said Miss Evans, it seemed the attack followed soon afterwards. Williams made repeated attempts to contact Mr Camp, but he was asleep. He finally got through at 7.24am and asked him to come to Cresswell Street. Mr Camp arrived at 8.05am. He saw Miss Hall on the floor and heard her whisper, “help me.”
Mr Camp said he panicked and told Williams to call the police. He was filmed leaving the flat at 8.09am
“So does he call 999?” asked Miss Evans. “No.”
But 10 minutes later he did make the call.