Priti Patel orders review into ‘appalling case’ where killer husband got five years

The Home Secretary has ordered a review into the “appalling case” of a woman who was killed by her husband during the first lockdown following criticism that his five-year sentence was too lenient.

Priti Patel has ordered Torfaen council to conduct a domestic homicide review into the death of Ruth Williams, according to Victoria Atkins, the safeguarding minister.

The 67-year-old was strangled by Anthony Williams, 70, at their home in Cwmbran, South Wales, on March 28 last year.

He was cleared of murder, having already pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility and was sentenced to five years in jail.

Ms Atkins said: “This was an appalling case. Having personally reviewed this case, the Home Secretary is not satisfied with the conclusions reached by Torfaen council’s public service board. That is why she has written to the board to instruct it to establish a domestic homicide review.”

The case was cited by the victims’ commissioner and domestic abuse commissioner for England and Wales on Sunday as they warned “a culture of misogyny throughout the criminal justice system” is potentially seeing men get away with more lenient sentences.

Dame Vera Baird QC and Nicole Jacobs are calling for an independent review for every domestic homicide.

They fear that men receive more lenient sentences and compared Williams’s sentence to the case of Sally Challen, 65, jailed for life in 2011 for bludgeoning her husband Richard to death.

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