Welsh village rocked by ‘cannibal’ murders

Police outside the Sirhowy Arms Hotel in Argoed, Blackwood, south Wales, where a man and a woman died after police were called to deal with reports of an assault. Picture: PA
Police outside the Sirhowy Arms Hotel in Argoed, Blackwood, south Wales, where a man and a woman died after police were called to deal with reports of an assault. Picture: PA
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THE horrified family of a man who died after being Tasered by police over the cannibalistic killing of a woman he had met just hours earlier have apologised to his victim’s distraught relatives.

Matthew Williams, 34, died in custody soon after police fired a 50,000-volt Taser while arresting him following a deadly ­attack on 22-year-old sales assistant Cerys Marie Yemm.

Williams was arrested after a security guard burst into his room and found him apparently feasting on his victim’s face soon after he had been spotted taking her to his room.

Friends said they had met on a night out only hours earlier.

Officers confirmed Miss Yemm died from her injuries at Sirhowy Arms Hotel, a homeless hostel in Argoed, Blackwood, South Wales, on Thursday.

The area remained taped off while forensic teams investigated yesterday.

Police have refused to comment on the specifics of the incident, but sources confirmed the victim suffered extensive facial injuries. Officers are treating her death as murder but are not thought to be looking for anyone in connection with the crime.

Her family, and officers who attended the incident, are being supported by specialist police.

Her mother Paula, 49, brother Caven, 25, and other relations were too upset to talk to reporters. Sister Shannon said: “We just need to be left alone to grieve.”

Miss Yemm was described as a fun-loving young woman who had been at a Halloween party with friends just days before the fatal attack.


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It is believed she met Williams through mutual acquaintances.

Friends of Miss Yemm as well as people who lived near the hostel expressed their shock at her murder.

Gareth Griffiths, a resident of Argoed, said: “We hear on the news that it has been cannibalism.

“Nobody wants to hear that, it must be a horrific way to die, it’s horrible, it’s unbearable.”

A friend of Miss Yemm, who did not want to be named, said: “I feel stunned, shocked and sick to my stomach. It’s horrific. She was a lovely person. She didn’t deserve to die like that.”

William’s own family were also still trying to come to terms with news of his sickening crime.

They said they were “devastated by the death of an innocent young lady”. In statement, they added: “Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with the victim her family and friends. Words cannot express our grief.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) watchdog has now also launched its own probe following Williams’ death.

Gwent Police said while under arrest Williams became unresponsive and officers and paramedics administered first aid but he was pronounced dead.

Yesterday, a police spokesman said: “The murder investigation is continuing today, officers and crime scene investigators remain at the scene. To confirm: we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the ­incident.

“We are co-operating fully with the IPCC, which is independently investigating the death of the man. At this time our thoughts are with the families of the deceased following this extremely tragic incident.

“Our officers who attended the incident are being fully supported by our force ­occupational health department.”

Chief Inspector Paul Staniforth added: “The post-mortem for Cerys will start today [Friday], but will take some time. Speculation about what happened at the scene and the cause of death is unhelpful and very upsetting for the family of the deceased.”

A former girlfriend of Williams yesterday revealed she was still under court protection from him, two years after their relationship ended.

Emma Thomas, 38, who claimed she dated Williams for ten years, said: “I’m in shock, I can’t believe it has happened.

“We were together for ten years and broke up about two-and-a-half years ago.

“At the end of the day I hope that the girl’s family gets justice for this. My heart goes out to that poor girl and her family, it’s just awful. Me and my family are thinking of them.”

The hotel was a local pub before becoming a B&B, used by Caerphilly Council as a temporary homeless shelter.


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