Woman ‘may have been killed with lava lamp cable’

Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption Lana Owen, from Trealaw in Rhondda Cynon Taff, died in December

A man who died from a terminal illness while awaiting trial for murdering his ex partner may have used a lava lamp cable to kill her, an inquest heard.

Philip Andrews, 51, was arrested in December 2018 over the death of Lana Owen, from Trealaw, near Tonypandy, in Rhondda Cynon Taff.

Ms Owen, 46, had been in a relationship with Mr Andrews since the mid 2000s, the Pontypridd inquest heard on Monday.

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Coroner Graeme Hughes recorded a conclusion of unlawful killing.

The inquest was told Ms Owen told Mr Andrews she was leaving him for someone else four days before he killed her.

On the day she died, Mr Andrews made a 999 call and said: “My partner’s dead, I strangled her.”

He also sent a Facebook message to her new boyfriend Robert Morris saying: “You won’t see Lana again she’s dead”, and confessed the crime to police “without any emotion whatsoever”.

Mr Morris said he tried to persuade Ms Owen not to go and talk to Mr Andrews on the day she died, but she “didn’t want to be horrible to him” and so he took her home that morning.

Ms Owen’s son Corey Hill told the inquest he had never been aware of any violence before his mother died.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Philip Andrews lived with Lana Owen in Miskin Road, Trealaw

He said Ms Owen’s death had come as a “massive shock” and that Mr Andrews had “taken her in and changed her life around”.

Mr Hill told the coroner he had received a series of text messages from his younger sister Casey, one of which said that his mother had asked Mr Andrews to move out as she had begun a relationship with a new man.

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Mr Hill then received a “hysterical” call from his sister saying their mother had died.

The inquest heard Ms Owen had a background of drug use and was using the heroin substitute methadone at the time.

Pathologist Richard Jones said Ms Owen’s body was found on her kitchen floor and she had a ligature mark on her neck from a “sustained application of forceful pressure”, likely to have been from someone behind her.

The inquest was told the only object in the house fitting the marks on Ms Owen’s skin was the lava lamp cable.

A hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on 2 April this year was cancelled after the death of Mr Andrews was confirmed.

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