South West Wales

Port Talbot boxer James Tobin jailed for killing girlfriend

James Tobin and Kellie Gillard Image copyright South Wales Police

An amateur boxer who killed his girlfriend was caught after police bugged his house and heard him confess.

James Tobin, 21, has been jailed for 12-and-a-half years after admitting the manslaughter of Kellie Gillard, 25.

Swansea Crown Court heard Tobin, of Port Talbot, slapped Miss Gillard, causing her to fall out of bed and hit her head on 24 April 2015.

Detectives caught him after the secret recording device heard him admit to his father he had killed her.

Miss Gillard died from a ruptured artery in hospital but Tobin denied being to blame for her fall in the bedroom at his home.

The court heard police installed the bug which heard him tell his father he "put her to sleep".

Prosecutor Vincent Coughlin said: "Officers recorded a conversation between Tobin and his father in which he said his partner had been 'chopsy' to him and so he had 'put her to sleep'.

"The device also picked up on his father saying: 'You sparked her?' Tobin replied: 'Yes'."

Image copyright Nigel Davies/Geograph

Mr Coughlin said the couple had a row after having sex - Miss Gillard kicked Tobin, who responded by slapping her.

"He concedes that in a short exchange of violence, after he had been kicked in the head, he must have delivered a number of forceful blows with an open hand."

Miss Gillard was put on a life-support machine before her organs could be donated - the court heard this helped save the lives of six others.

Her mother Tracey Gillard, 54, said: "She didn't stand a chance with James Tobin. I am no longer capable of smiling, let alone laughing, all my happiness is gone."

Mrs Gillard received The Order of St John UK Award for Organ Donation in memory of her daughter after allowing her organs to be transplanted.

Tobin said in a statement: "I cannot blame anyone else for what happened that night or how I conducted myself after it.

"I cannot begin to tell you, and more importantly Kellie's family, how sorry I am."

Judge Keith Thomas said: "You are a trained boxer and have previous convictions for violence. You pose a significant danger to the public of serious personal injury."

Tobin was also ordered to serve an extended licence period of four years after being released for prison.

Related Topics

More on this story