Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Ex-Pc's killer 'like a vigilante'

Daniel Williams
Daniel Williams told jurors he acted in self defence

A "self appointed vigilante" has been jailed for 10 years for killing a former policeman who had been charged with possessing child pornography.

Daniel Williams, 30, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Geoffrey Harries, 49, after stabbing him 20 times outside his Carmarthenshire home.

He claimed self-defence at Swansea Crown Court after being attacked.

But the judge said he could expect "severe punishment" if carrying a knife on the streets resulted in a death.

Williams lived seven doors away from his victim in Trimsaran in June 2008.

He was cleared of murdering Mr Harries on Friday at Swansea Crown Court, claiming he acted in self-defence.

Williams, who had denied murdering Mr Harries, had told the jury he believed the former policeman was going to kill him.

He said he had been trying to leave the scene in Dythel Park after using a 7in combat knife to puncture a tyre on Mr Harries's car.

He said the ex-policeman ran after him and attacked him. His defence in court was that he struck out in self defence without realising he was still holding the knife.

Sentencing Williams, Mr Justice Flaux said: "If you carry a knife on the streets you must expect severe punishment if that knife is used to cause the death of someone."

He added: "You set yourself up as some sort of self-proclaimed vigilante."

He went on to say that it was clear from the evidence that "some form of verbal altercation" had also taken place between him and Mr Harries in the street.

Justice Flaux told the court that he had read a "deeply affecting" victim impact statement written by Elizabeth Harries, the widow of the former policeman.

He also told Williams that, in passing sentence, he had to have in mind "the devastating effect that your action has had on the family of Mr Harries".

Indecent images

Williams told the jury Mr Harries 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's 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.

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

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