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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 19:34 GMT 20:34 UK
Guilty of mother and baby murder
Andrew Roberts
Andrew Roberts strangled both his girlfriend and child
A man has been given to life sentences for a "depraved and brutal destruction" of his own family - his girlfriend and their baby daughter.

At Swansea Crown Court on Friday, Andrew Roberts pleaded guilty to killing Louise L'Homme and their 10-month-old daughter Tia Roberts.

Their bodies were found under an upturned bed at their terraced house in Tylorstown, Rhondda, in February. Both had been strangled.

The court heard how a relative had made the discovery when after breaking into the house after Roberts, a heroin addict, went on the run.

Before he disappeared, Roberts had covered the bodies with aftershave to mask the smell and left them in a bedroom while he lied to relatives who had come to the house out of concern for Louise.

Prosecuting, Peter Griffiths QC told the court Roberts had become "obsessive and jealous" after the couple got back together when he was released from prison for burglary.

We just can't get over it at all. Drugs had nothing to do with it really. He was never any good.
Jeff Llewellyn, Louise's uncle

Roberts' barrister John Charles Rees said that his client was "befuddled by drugs".

"No words can express the remorse, shame, disgust, horror and guilt he feels about what he did," he said.

"How he wishes he could turn back the clock - he has to live with himself every minute of every day."

Mr Justice Pitchford told him the murders were a "depraved and brutal destruction" of his family".

"That you may have done so while under the influence of a cocktail of drugs is no excuse," he said.

Speaking after the sentencing, Louise's uncle Jeff Llewellyn said the family was "coping by taking it day by day".

Louise L'Homme and her daughter Tia Roberts
Louise L'Homme and daughter Tia Roberts were found under an upturned bed

He added: "We just can't get over it at all. Drugs had nothing to do with it really. He was never any good."

There were angry scenes at the court during the trial as men rushed from the public gallery to shout at Roberts as he was led to the cells.

Ms L'Homme also had a five-year-old daughter who was out with her grandmother at the time of the killings.

As well as laying floral tributes outside the house, neighbours and friends also set up a trust fund to help Ms L'Homme's surviving daughter.

Roberts was arrested three days after the murder but was hospitalised under police guard until he was fit to be questioned.

Superintendent Martyn Lloyd-Evans of South Wales police said the officers were "no nearer knowing why he did what he did".

"This was an horrendous offence which robbed the family of a beautiful daughter and a granddaughter," he said.




SEE ALSO:
Double murder - man charged
26 Feb 03  |  Wales
Boyfriend denies double murder
31 Jul 03  |  Wales


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