Cathays murder: Madog Rowlands guilty of killing fiancée

Media caption,
The moment Madog Rowlands was arrested at their Cardiff flat

A man has been found guilty of murdering his fiancée, and then wrapping her body in clingfilm at their home.

Madog Rowlands, 23, from Wrexham, had denied murdering Lauren Griffiths, 21, in their flat on Glynrhondda Street in Cathays, Cardiff in 2019.

But a jury at Newport Crown Court found him guilty of the offence.

Jurors heard he strangled Ms Griffiths in their flat last April but waited more than a day before phoning 999.

During this time, the defendant ordered drugs and takeaway pizza to their flat, prosecutors said.

They also detailed how he had been arrested for a similar attack on Ms Griffiths, from Oswestry, a year earlier, and that the couple had planned to marry in a Pagan ceremony.

Image caption,
Rowlands had been previously arrested for a similar attack on Lauren

Jurors were played a recording of a 999 call recording where Mr Rowlands told the operator: "I've killed my fiancée by mistake."

Crying on the phone, he could be heard saying: "I killed Lauren by accident, we got into a fight...

"I've taken a lot of LSD and MDMA."

Prosecutor Michael Jones said Mr Rowlands "deliberately strangled" Ms Griffiths "with his bare hands around her throat".

The court heard at "various times" after Ms Griffiths's death he "went to buy items from a shop" and "partially wrapped her body in clingfilm, Sellotape and bin liners".

Image caption,
Police were called to Glynrhondda Street on 30 April 2019

He then took cash from his and Ms Griffith's bank accounts, ordered and arranged for the delivery of drugs, ordered takeaways from Subway and Dominos and tried to set up a Netflix account on his mobile phone, Mr Jones added.

Rowlands' defence had been he had killed his fiancée in "lawful self defence".

The court was told Ms Griffiths suffered from involuntary dissociative episodes, which manifested in three different personalities, one characterised as "depressive, angry and negative".

Image source, Family photo
Image caption,
Lauren Griffiths was found dead at the flat she shared with Madog Rowlands in Cardiff on 30 April 2019

Defence barrister Caroline Rees said Rowlands "had to grab her throat to release her grip on his throat", and said this was an "instinctive reaction".

Rowlands will remain in custody and be sentenced on 8 January.

'Much-loved daughter'

Following the verdict, Det Insp Stuart Wales said: "Lauren was a much-loved daughter and sister who had a bright and promising future.

"Her family have shown tremendous patience and dignity during this long and heart-breaking ordeal.

"We hope they can now begin to recover and rebuild their lives."

He added that "at no time" did Rowlands "show any meaningful concern for Lauren's welfare or dignity".

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