Terrie-Ann Jones's boyfriend gets life for Cimla murder

media captionJohn Lewis tells police he has stabbed his girlfriend

A man who stabbed his girlfriend 26 times before going to the pub has been given a life sentence for her murder.

John Lewis, 55, left mother-of-two Terrie-Ann Jones, 33, in a pool of blood after the attack in her home in Cimla, Neath Port Talbot, on 5 January.

He then took money from her purse and changed his clothes before going to the pub, Swansea Crown Court was told.

Lewis, who had claimed he was acting in self-defence, must serve a minimum of 19 years.

He had pleaded not guilty to murder but was convicted by a jury.

In a statement released after the verdict Ms Jones's family said: "Everyone that knew her loved her and we cannot tell you how much we are missing her.

"Her passing has forever changed the lives of her daughter and little boy, who at nine years old doesn't understand why his mummy isn't here to play with him any more."

image source, Family photo
image captionTerrie-Ann Jones was left in a pool of blood in her home in Cimla

They also called for victims of domestic abuse to speak out: "If what happened to Tan can help to prevent further deaths or violence then our Tan's death won't have been in vain," the statement said.

Prosecutor Mike Jones QC had told the court the pair had been arguing about their relationship when Lewis attacked Ms Jones in the kitchen.

He said: "Lewis claimed that when he went to the house to collect his belongings it was he who had been attacked by Ms Jones with a knife and he defended himself."

The court heard Ms Jones's injuries included an 8cm (3in) deep stab wound to her heart, 13 to her neck, three to her collarbone, and two to her chest, with additional wounds to both hands, typical of defence injuries.

Lewis told police Ms Jones was injured when he tried to get the knife off her.

He claimed when he left the house she said to him: "I love you, I'm sorry."

Lewis said he had been walking around "in a daze" after the killing but CCTV played in court showed him drinking in Schooners pub in Briton Ferry.

media captionExtracts of the 999 call where John Lewis confesses to killing his girlfriend

He later called police. In a 999 call played to the jury, Lewis said: "I've killed somebody. My girlfriend."

When police found Ms Jones there was blood on her handbag and inside her purse.

Det Sgt Jason Kingdom of South Wales Police said Ms Jones's family had shown "immense strength and dignity" throughout the investigation and trial.

He said Ms Jones had died in a "brutal and needless attack which rocked the community" and Lewis had been "utterly remorseless and arrogant".

Huw Rogers of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "John Paul Lewis carried out an extremely violent, deliberate attack.

"Our thanks go to the witnesses in the case for their co-operation in bringing Lewis to justice, and to Terrie-Ann's family and friends for their support.

"Whilst the conclusion of the case is never able to change events, we hope it will help them to move forward."

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