Cathays murder: Madog Rowlands sentenced to life

image copyrightSouth Wales Police
image captionMadog Rowlands was sentenced to life and will spend at least 16 years in jail

A "sullen and self-obsessed manipulator" who murdered his fiancée then wrapped her body in clingfilm has been sentenced to life.

Madog Rowlands, of Wrexham, strangled Lauren Griffiths, 21, at their flat in Cathays, Cardiff, in April 2019.

Jurors heard Rowlands, 23, later had drugs and pizza delivered there before phoning 999 over a day later.

At Cardiff Crown Court Judge Daniel Williams jailed him for a minimum of 16 years.

image captionRowlands had been previously arrested for a similar attack on Lauren

Judge Daniel Williams said Rowlands had "contemplated" killing Lauren for more than a year.

Ms Griffiths, from Oswestry, Shropshire, was described as happy, bubbly and popular in court.

In contrast, her fiancé was described as self-absorbed and remorseless.

Rowlands strangled Ms Griffiths to death, wrapped her body in tape and clingfilm and then ordered drugs and takeaway pizza to be delivered to their Glynrhondda Street flat.

The court heard the couple were due to marry a month after he killed her, and had planned a Pagan ceremony.

image captionPolice were called to Glynrhondda Street on 30 April 2019

Ms Griffiths was said to be excited to be marrying Rowlands in a ceremony at Stonehenge, in line with his beliefs.

After killing his fiancée, Rowlands sent a text message to his drug dealer placing a "big order" for cannabis and ecstasy.

He withdrew cash from Ms Griffiths' bank accounts, ordered drugs, takeaways from Subway and Dominos and tried to set up a Netflix account on his phone.

'Killed by mistake'

His trial heard Rowlands waited more than a day before calling 999 with the aid of what the court heard was a script.

Rowlands lied to police, saying he killed Ms Griffiths "by mistake". He claimed to be defending himself and then lost consciousness.

The court heard he had attacked Ms Griffiths in exactly the same way the year before, admitting to police he had tried to strangle her after she had broken his laptop.

Jurors were told Ms Griffiths did not want to attend court after the attack, instead she wanted her fiancé "to get help".

image copyrightFamily photo
image captionLauren Griffiths was found dead at the flat she shared with Madog Rowlands in Cardiff on 30 April 2019

The court was read victim statements from Ms Griffiths' parents, Alison Turner and Jason Griffiths.

Mrs Turner said: "As a family we have lost a precious daughter and sister."

She said Lauren "had plans for the future that have sadly been lost forever".

She added: "All we have left is our precious memories of someone we loved dearly."

'Helpless to save her'

Mr Griffiths said his life had "changed forever" since their daughter's death.

"Knowing your child has died is horrific enough but to know someone else has taken their life takes things to another level."

He said he had "heard things no parent should ever hear about their child".

He added: "Since Lauren died, I started to have nightmares and trouble sleeping. The nightmares always ended the same, with Lauren's passing and me helpless to save her."

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