A drunk who sneaked into a house, went to sleep in a double bed and killed a pensioner after being woken up by her husband has been jailed for 13 years.
Keiran Wathan, 24, wrestled a hammer from homeowner Wayne Morgan and repeatedly hit him over the head before stabbing him and his wife Sheila, 71.
He later boasted to have enjoyed the attack, telling a witness: “I can’t believe I killed someone but I actually enjoyed it.”
Prosecutor Elwen Evans QC told Swansea Crown Court that Wathan, who was drunk and also may have taken drugs, had sneaked into the house in Morriston, Swansea, after discovering the front door unlocked.
The incident unfolded shortly after midnight on March 12 this year when Mrs Morgan retired for the night and found him asleep in her bed.
She alerted her husband, who came upstairs with a small hammer and dragged Wathan out of the bed and took him downstairs into the dining room where he pinned him to a sofa to await the police.
Wathan, who was armed with a knife, wrestled the hammer from Mr Morgan and hit him repeatedly with it. He then stabbed Mrs Morgan in her forearm.
“While the injuries inflicted on Mr Morgan were really serious, he did not die,” Miss Evans said.
“The injuries inflicted on Mrs Morgan appeared less serious. Tragically and as a direct consequence of that injury to the arm, rare and serious complications set in and led directly to Mrs Morgan’s death.
“She died from necrotising fasciitis, sometimes referred to as the flesh eating bug, a virus that developed from the knife wound.”
Miss Evans said it was not known why Wathan picked that house, as he did not steal anything, and could have been trying other doors.
He had told the couple: “I am homeless and I only wanted a bed for the night.”
Before Mrs Morgan died, she told police: “The male was wild and had a stare in his eyes and hit Wayne at least a dozen times. I thought he was going to kill Wayne, there was blood everywhere.”
She also told her husband of her concern for the defendant, saying: “I hope that guy is OK because he seemed very troubled.”
After fleeing the house in Caermawr Road, Wathan told passers-by: “I just killed someone. I hit him multiple times. I can’t believe I just done this.”
He added: “I can’t believe I killed someone but I actually enjoyed it.”
Wathan, of Gnoll Road, Godre’rgraig, Neath Port Talbot, had originally been charged with Mrs Morgan’s murder but on the day of trial he admitted manslaughter.
He also pleaded guilty to wounding Mr Morgan with intent to resist arrest and possession of a knife.
Christopher Quinlan QC, defending, apologised to Mrs Morgan’s family on behalf of his client and said he had written a letter to the court expressing his remorse.
“I am really sorry for all the pain I have caused. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. I deserve to be punished,” he wrote.
“I feel so terrible, if I was not in that house Sheila Morgan would be here and Wayne Morgan would have his wife and her kids would have their mother.”
Judge Sir Wyn Williams imposed an extended sentence upon Wathan - jailing him for 13 years and passing an extended five-year period on licence.
He said Mr Morgan had the “absolute right” to detain Wathan and await the arrival of the police.
“At that point in time you had a choice. You could have sat still and waited for the police arriving and accepted your fate,” the judge said.
“You didn’t do that. You began a struggle with Mr Morgan in which you wrestled the hammer from him.
“There came a point you were armed with a hammer and a knife and in my judgment engaged in a sustained attack upon Mr Morgan.
“Perhaps not surprisingly, Mrs Morgan tried to assist her husband and during the course of trying to assist she was stabbed with the knife.
“I accept it was a reckless act and that you didn’t deliberately stab Mrs Morgan. It was, however, the start of a terrible chain of events.
“She died and you are totally responsible for her death by your reckless actions.”
Speaking after the case, Detective Inspector Peter Collins said: “This was a tragic incident and the circumstances have brought great sadness and shock to the local community.
“Knife crime is unacceptable. The case shows the devastating effect the criminal use of a knife can have on an individual and their family.”