Man accused of killing girlfriend from Oswestry had strangled her before, court hears

The trial of a man alleged to have murdered his fiancée at their flat has heard a 999 call made after the defendant allegedly previously tried to strangle his partner.

Lauren Griffiths
Lauren Griffiths

Madog Rowlands, 23, from Coed Efa in New Broughton, Wrexham, denies murdering Lauren Griffiths, 21, from Oswestry, at Glynrhondda Street in Cathays, Cardiff.

Her body was discovered at around 6.30pm on April 30 last year.

Jurors have been told she had in fact been dead for a day when she was found – but Rowlands had not dialled 999 for 24 hours.

Instead he had partially wrapped her body, ordered takeaway food and tried to set up a Netflix account, a court heard.

Today, on the fourth day of the trial, witness statements from friends of the couple were read to the court while jurors were also shown CCTV footage and played the audio of a 999 call made on March 7, 2018.

On that occasion Rowlands was arrested after allegedly trying to kill Ms Griffiths by strangling her.

During the call, made by a friend, Ms Griffiths said: “He screamed at me ‘Do you want to die?’. He kept saying he wanted to kill himself.

“He went back into the kitchen then I ran out of our back door. I managed to get free by moving sideways so he couldn’t strangle me and just ran.

“I heard him rattling through the cutlery drawer but I ran away because I thought he was going to hurt me.”

Jurors were also shown footage of the defendant being questioned by police outside the couple’s flat after that incident.

He told officers: “I tried to kill myself and I tried to kill my partner. I strangled her after she broke my laptop.

“She kicked me in the genitals and then I snapped. She kicked me and I tried to strangle her. I let go before it happened.

“I didn’t want to kill her, I just went mad. It’s never happened before ever in my life.”

The final piece of footage shown to the jury was of Ms Griffiths speaking to police on March 7, 2018.


She said: “Madog wants to kill himself. We’re in a pretty bad situation in terms of finance.

“He spent all of his money because he felt suicidal so we can’t afford our rent any more. He wants to kill himself, we can’t afford rent and he doesn’t want to live.

“We split up because he wasn’t the best of people, bad stuff went down. I went back with him and said to him: ‘If you want to kill yourself I want to be with you for as long as I can’.

“I said to him: ‘So you don’t want me to be here’. He did a lot of bad stuff to do with his computer and I broke it, which was stupid, and he grabbed me by the throat, pushed me into the bedroom and said: ‘Do you want to die?’.

“I heard him going through the cutlery drawer and ran through the garden.”

The officer speaking to Ms Griffiths raised concerns that she and Rowlands had entered into a suicide pact.

Ms Griffiths said: “It wasn’t a suicide pact. He wanted for him to die so desperately, and he’s kind of a big deal to me, he said he wanted to kill me before he died.

“He said he wanted to physically choke me out until I died. He said he wanted to choke me out and blow up the flat.

“I didn’t really want to do it but we’re going through a tough time, the house is in a state and we’ve got no money and I said: ‘Yeah I would kill myself as well at this point’.

“I went to my friends’ house and they made me feel like I didn’t want to any more.

“I got Madog out, we thought it might help him but he acted really weird and didn’t want to hang out with us.

“He wanted to go home and kill himself. He let me come with him because he wanted me to die with him. I don’t want to die.”

The court also heard evidence from a psychiatrist who had assessed Ms Griffiths in 2016, who said she had been in abusive relationships previously. During the session, Ms Griffiths described Rowlands as “supportive”.

The court also heard an account from a friend who said Ms Griffiths and Rowlands had been making plans to marry at Cardiff City Hall in June 2019, with another ceremony to follow at Stonehenge as the pair were both pagans.

Rowlands denies murder and the trial continues.

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