Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 14:50 UK

Life for killer who filmed victim

Murder victim Anthony Rees (photo courtesy of Media Wales)
Anthony Rees was beaten to death in his home in Pontypridd

One of two killers who filmed their dying victim on a mobile phone has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Anthony Rees, 40, was beaten to death in his flat in Glyncoch, Pontypridd, by Anthony Fitzgerald, 22, and David Bloomer, 18, in February.

Fitzgerald was sentenced after admitting murder and will serve a minimum of 13-and-a-half years.

Bloomer, who denied murder but admitted manslaughter at Cardiff Crown Court, is due to be sentenced next month.

At an earlier hearing, the court was told that Mr Rees was beaten to death by his young killers in his own home at Glyncoch in February.

He suffered extensive injuries to his face caused by repeated blows, his jaw was broken into three pieces, he had been bleeding into his airways and lungs and had to be identified by his fingerprints.

The court heard Fitzgerald later showed mobile phone pictures of Mr Rees as he lay dying to friends in a proud "boast" about the murder.

Anthony Fitzgerald

I gashed his head, broke both his jaws, I punched and punched him and I kicked him

What killer Anthony Fitzgerald told his girlfriend's mother

Fitzgerald was interviewed by police and told them Mr Rees "looked like something from a horror movie."

Prosecutor Peter Rouch said: "Retaining the photos as trophies and showing them to others shows that Fitzgerald was proud of his handiwork.

"The phone could have been used to call for help and assistance - instead it was used to take photos."

The court heard how Mr Rees was at home alone when Fitzgerald and David Bloomer called at his house.

Fitzgerald had been friends with Mr Rees but he turned on him after things were said about his girlfriend.

"Mr Rees was killed by a multiplicity of blows - his jaw was broken in three places and there was bleeding into his lungs," he said.

"The following day Fitzgerald showed photos of Mr Rees dying to his girlfriend's mother Sharon Cole.

"As he did so he said: "I gashed his head, broke both his jaws, I punched and punched him and I kicked him.

"Mrs Cole said he seemed proud of what he'd done."

Mr Rees's body was discovered by police who broke into his home to investigate an alleged theft carried out by Fitzgerald.

Sentencing Fitzgerald, Judge Mr Justice McKinnon told him: "You attacked Mr Rees and rendered him unconscious - then carried on banging his head against the floor until you killed him.

"You boasted about what you had done to a number of people.

"The retaining of trophy photographs clearly indicates your pride in your violent handiwork. It was a vicious attack."

On hearing the sentence, there were shouts from the public gallery that he should have been "hanged".

Bloomer, of Glyncoch, Pontypridd, had admitted manslaughter and will be sentenced next week.


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