South East Wales

Raymond O'Connell jailed for burns murder of Lynne Braund

Raymond O'Connell Image copyright South Wales Police

A 62-year-old man has been jailed for murder after admitting setting his girlfriend alight in an argument.

Raymond O'Connell squirted lighter fluid on Lynne Braund, 54, at a house in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, in August.

She suffered 20% burns and died of organ failure 10 days later.

Cardiff Crown Court heard that he squirted the fluid on to Ms Braund's chest and stomach and left the house as she screamed and tried to douse the flames.

He was sentenced to life and ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years.

O'Connell had been convicted and imprisoned three times for violence towards Ms Braund.

In 2012, he was jailed for four years and given an indefinite restraining order after choking her and punching her in the face.

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Media captionDistrict Crown Prosecutor Janine Davies said the murder resulted in a "tragic waste of life"

The court heard Ms Braund had visited O'Connell in prison and their relationship resumed in the final two years of her life.

They had a domestic argument on 4 August and O'Connell squirted lighter fluid on to Ms Braund as he knew she was afraid of fire because her child died in a house fire in 1990.

She rolled on the ground to try to douse the flames but O'Connell offered no help and later told police he thought Ms Braund would put the flames out herself.

Judge Eleri Rees said Ms Braund was a small and vulnerable woman who "must have suffered horribly " before being put in a medically induced coma at Swansea's Morriston Hospital, where she later died.

Judge Rees called it an evil attack and said that Ms Braund's son Kyle had been left devastated by his mother's death.

"Lynne Braund's murder was a tragic and senseless waste of life," said the district crown prosecutor in Wales, Janine Davies.

"She was killed in the most callous and brutal way."

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