Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Man guilty of ex-Pc manslaughter

Daniel Williams, on CCTV footage in Trimsaran before the killing
Daniel Williams, on CCTV footage in Trimsaran before the killing

A neighbour has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a former policeman who had been awaiting trial accused of possessing child pornography.

Geoffrey Harries, 49, was stabbed 20 times outside his home in Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire, in June.

Daniel Williams, 30, who lived seven doors away, was cleared of murder on Friday at Swansea Crown Court and claimed he acted in self-defence.

Mr Harries' family said despite the outcome there were "no winners".

Williams, who had denied murdering Mr Harries, will be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Tuesday morning.

He had told the jury he believed Mr Harries was going to kill him.

He said he had been trying to leave the scene in Dythel Park after using a seven-inch combat knife to puncture a tyre on Mr Harries' car when the ex-policeman ran after him and attacked him.

All we can do now is to slowly rebuild our lives
Statement from Geoffrey Harries' family

His defence team argued he struck out in self defence without realising he was still holding the knife.

Williams, who lived seven doors away from Mr Harries, told the jury his neighbour had hit him, pinned him to the ground and had his forearm on his throat.

He said he then tried to hit Mr Harries but had no intention of doing anything to him.

After Mr Harries jumped off him, Williams told the jury he sprinted away.

The court heard Williams had previously slashed a tyre on Harries' car and poured brake fluid over the bonnet.

The prosecution claimed that Williams was angry after hearing that the former Pc was awaiting trial accused of having 2,082 indecent images of children.

Mr Harries and his wife had moved from Pembrey to live with his mother in Dythel Park, but the trial heard neighbours were unhappy about his presence.

'Constant support'

In a statement, Mr Harries' family said that despite the outcome there were "no winners and nothing can bring back a loving son and husband".

They added the justice system had proved its worth but to get to that point "two families have had their lives torn apart".

"All we can do now is to slowly rebuild our lives," said the family.

"We wish to take this opportunity to thank all of our wonderful family and friends for their love, strength and constant support throughout this horrible ordeal.

The family also thanked the court, jury and the prosecution barrister.

"The investigation team of Dyfed Powys Police have devoted extensive resources and hours into pulling this case together and no words are sufficient to express our appreciation for all that they have done," they said.

"Whatever is now ahead of us, we can and will face it as a family and request that the media permit us the privacy to do so with dignity."

The jury reached a majority verdict of 10-2 on the manslaughter charge on Monday.



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