Wales

'Bullying' man made partner 'poison' laxative drinks

A "bullying" bodybuilder who tried to "poison" his partner with laxatives as a way of controlling her has been given a 26-week suspended jail term.

Paul Anthony Williams, of Rhyl, Denbighshire, admitted at Mold Crown Court twice attempting to administer a noxious substance with intent.

He had previously been jailed for three months for harassing Laurie Williams, 29, the mother of his daughter.

Judge Niclas Parry told him: "You were prepared to see her suffer."

The court heard that the couple's relationship over two years had deteriorated due to Williams' obsessive controlling behaviour.

During a reconciliation in December last year, when Williams was staying at her home, he twice tried to dissolve over-the-counter tablets containing Senna, a stimulant laxative, in hot drinks for her.

Caroline Harris, prosecuting, said: "In giving her laxatives in this way, the inference is that the defendant was intending to cause his partner the annoyance of an upset stomach as a further means of controlling her."

The jury heard that after waking up from a drunken sleep, Williams offered to make his partner a cup of hot chocolate.

After it boiled over in the microwave, Ms Williams took the cup and threw the contents in the sink.

Ms Harris said: "As she did so, she saw three partly dissolved brown tablets, each about the size of a five pence piece."

Williams claimed it was just chocolate residue, the court heard.

He made Ms Williams a cup of tea the next morning before going to buy milk.

Forensic analysis

Ms Williams noticed something around the rim of a cup and again threw the contents in the sink.

The same brownish tablets were at the bottom of the cup, the court heard.

He denied everything when later confronted.

Police forensic analysis later showed it contained a residue of Senna, excessive use of which would lead to diarrhoea and an excessive loss of fluids, the court heard.

Judge Parry said: "You were bodybuilding, you were taking steroids, you were acting like the big man.

"At the same time you were bullying the vulnerable mother of your young child.

"You effectively attempted to poison her. You were prepared to see her suffer a miserable and debilitating illness, in order to control her movements."

'Sinister'

Williams had pleaded guilty but not until the 11th hour, the court heard.

"This was a deliberate course of conduct - and administering a poison is a sinister and worrying development," the judge said.

"Fortunately for you, the effects although miserable did not require medical attention and they were not long lasting."

The judge said he had decided on "a more constructive sentence" given that Williams was in employment.

The 26-week prison sentence was suspended for 18 months, and he was ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay Ms Williams £750 compensation, and £1,500 prosecution costs.