Killer who stabbed loving dad in heart after raiding his home is found hanged

A thug who fatally stabbed a young father after burgling his home has died.

Wyndham Thomas was jailed for life in 1998 for murdering 23-year-old Christopher Williams, in Nantyffyllon, Maesteg, Wales, the year before.

The taxi driver had found Thomas and two others in is property, where his pregnant partner and three-year-old daughter were asleep, after returning home.

After bravely giving chase he was stabbed in the heart a few hundred yards up the road, reports Wales Online .

On Friday the Ministry of Justice confirmed that HMP Nottingham prisoner Thomas had died in hospital on November 6 last year aged 41.

He was found hanging by a ligature in a shower block at the prison, according to the BBC .

On July 30, 1997, the South Wales Echo broke the news of Mr Williams' killing under the headline 'Murder in a quiet street' after police confirmed they had found a body near Maesteg.

An enormous manhunt followed to track down the young dad's killers.

The South Wales Echo reported a 40-strong squad of officers descended on the small town with one of Mr Williams' family members saying they were "absolutely devastated".

On August 1 Acting Detective Superintendent Martyn Lloyd-Evans thanked the public for their help in providing information in the hunt for Mr Williams’ killers.

At that stage in the investigation Mr Lloyd-Evans said two men were being questioned in custody while police continued to hunt for a third man in connection with the crime.

After arresting a third man on suspicion of murder police left it to the 11th hour before charging the trio.

The Echo reported on August 3, 1997, that police had a deadline of just a few hours before deciding to try the men for murder or else let them go free.

When Wyndham Thomas, Alan Naylor and Christopher Chislett first appeared at Bridgend Magistrates’ Court in December 1997 charged with the murder of Mr Williams police had to be drafted into the courtroom to protect them from furious members of his family.

Angry scenes ensued with a line of police drafted in to block the defendants from the public gallery, where devastated and furious friends and family of the deceased had packed the rows.

At Mr Williams   ’ funeral dozens of mourners had to listen to the service on loudspeakers outside the church due to the vast numbers who wanted to pay their respects.

On December 16 that year in Cardiff Crown Court all three men entered not guilty pleas.

The case was then adjourned for trial in Swansea in March where the men were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Naylor, then 27, Thomas, then 21, and Chislett, then 18, were each found guilty of the murder and aggravated burglary.

Sentencing them Mr Justice Maurice Kay said a "decent and brave young man" had been killed.

Even though Thomas was locked up behind bars he still continued to cause pain to the family.

In 2010 Thomas absconded from HMP Prescoed and turned up outside the house of his wife in Caerphilly.

In 2011 Newport Crown Court heard Claire Thomas married Thomas while he was serving his life sentence. And, her killer husband arrived on her doorstep, she hid him.

Thomas admitted hiding her convicted murderer husband in a storage cupboard before police caught up with him – because she wanted to have a baby.

At the time Judge Eleri Rees handed her a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and placed her under a four-week curfew for harbouring Thomas.

The court heard she was a 40-year-old woman so desperate to have children that she had sent a letter to the Justice Secretary asking for IVF treatment before her husband absconded.

Speaking to the Echo in 2011, Mr Williams' dad Alan expressed his anger when hearing the news.

Speaking of his son Mr Williams said: “Chris was engaged when he was killed and he didn’t have a chance.

“Wyndham Thomas has been married since he has been put away for murder. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

“Everything has been made for Wyndham Thomas and not for myself and Chris and our family.

“It puts a sick feeling in my stomach.”

Mr Williams criticised Gwent Police at the time for not informing him of Thomas’ escape when it happened.

“The first we knew was when Chris’ photo came up on the television news,” he said.

“It was the first time my wife had seen Chris’ face for 14 years because she can’t bear to look at it.

“Suddenly it came up in the media, showing where it happened, showing Chris’ face, the family home, which I’ve sold because I could never want to go back in there.

“My wife broke down in tears, the kids had to come home from school.”

A Gwent Police spokeswoman said at the time that national guidelines had been followed and the family was contacted within 24 hours.

Despite being locked up again Thomas' violent streak did not end.

Later, in 2018, Thomas "goaded" prison officers at a jail in Norfolk to enter his cell before launching a violent attack on staff.

The murderer bit, punched and kicked prison officers at Wayland Prison, near Thetford.

Norwich Magistrates' Court heard he had been returned to his cell when he became violent and started “smashing” pieces of furniture.

Paul Roach, prosecuting, said Thomas made repeated threats to prison workers and “goaded staff to enter the cell and said he would hurt them”.

At one point during the 15 minute incident the defendant even threatened to hurt himself.

“Considerable violence was meted out” by Thomas who bit, punched and kicked prison officers, said Mr Roach.

One of the officers was punched twice to the head, another received a bite to his arm while another had to retreat after being punched in the head during the incident on August 28 2017.

In victim impact statements read out on behalf of the injured officers they described how they “feared for their safety”.

Thomas, then of HMP Stocken in Leicestershire, appeared in court and admitted three counts of assaulting an officer in the execution of their duty.

Representing himself Thomas said he had “nothing” to say about the incident and had subsequently been “transferred out”.

He told the court he was waiting for an appeal in relation to his life sentence.

Magistrates sentenced him to a total of 16 weeks in custody which ran concurrently with his life sentence.

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