Died April 2013
Joanna Hall was attacked and stabbed repeatedly on 16th March 2013 at her home in Cresswell Street,Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales. She died 20 days later in Morriston Hospital in Swansea.
Steven Daniel Williams, her boyfriend, is charged with her murder and is currently on trial in January 2014. He denies the charges.
The court heard Ms Hall was stabbed more than 40 times. It is alleged she managed to regain consciousness to name Williams as her attacker as she lay dying in hospital.
It is alleged Williams waited for 5 hours for Joanna Hall to die before calling 999 and told her “will you just die”.
The jury heard a recording of his 999 call describing how Ms Hall had been stabbed and was “dying”. It is alleged that Williams posed as a grieving boyfriend and claimed a knifeman had broken in while he was out. But the jury heard Ms Hall came around and managed to name Williams as her killer before slipping into back into unconsciousness.
The court heard Williams arguing aggressively with the emergency operator and swearing during the recorded telephone call from the house. A male voice was heard to say: “Someone’s been stabbed. Her intestines are hanging out.” He then swore and said she was dying. The jury was told that the operator struggled to get an address from the defendant who had to ask the dying woman for details. In the background a woman’s voice could be heard crying or calling out. The prosecution explained that the voice was Ms Hall’s.
Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting told the jury that Ms Hall was awake when the air ambulance arrived and was able to give an account of what happened and named her attacker. She told the court: “She then became unconscious and died some days later leaving many questions unanswered. The one person who can answer these questions has chosen not to.”
Elwen Evans told the jury Ms Hall was repeatedly slashed and stabbed all over her body, with some of the injuries causing internal damage. She told the jury “It was obvious her condition was very serious indeed – she had suffered substantial blood loss.”
The court heard Ms Hall told the police: “He started shouting at me and went into the kitchen and came back with a knife. I asked him what he was going to do with it and he said: ‘Watch me’. He stabbed me in the back and the knife got stuck but he managed to get it out and carried on stabbing me. I thought I was going to die.”
The court heard from Detective Constable Richard Davies, from Dyfed-Powys Police, who took a statement from Ms Hall from her hospital bed.He read from her statement: “Last night Steve turned up drunk on whisky and he got a knife and he stabbed me. It was Steve Williams.” She added “ I begged him to call an ambulance. He stayed all night. I was in so much pain.”
Ms Hall allegedly also told her sister Georgina Marwick at her bedside: “He turned up at my flat after drinking whisky, there was argument and he flipped. He tried to rip a radiator off a wall and then began stabbing me. He then sat with me smoking a cigarette and said: ‘Will you just die.”
Ms Marwick told the jury: “Jo didn’t want to tell the police because she was scared. She said that he’d threatened if she told anyone, he’d come and finish her off or get someone else to do it.” Ms Marwick said she told her sister to tell the police everything that happened, adding “She said she had asked him [Steven Williams] to phone for help, but he refused saying ‘you have a choice, take your life, or I’ll take it for you’.” She told the court her sister had said that Williams had sat with her all night, smoking cigarettes. Ms Marwick alleged she remembered “struggling to take a deep breath. He said ‘will you just die?'”. She alleged he told Ms Hall he was going to the shops and said sarcastically, ‘don’t run off anywhere’.
The jury heard that there were marks on the sink which Ms Evans said were blood which matched Williams’ DNA, and suggested that initially Ms Hall had been able to fend him off during the attack. They also heard there was damage to plasterwork by a radiator on the landing in the flat.
CCTV footage showed Williams walking from Ms Hall’s flat to Sainsbury’s and buying a bottle of whisky. The jury was told that a blood test showed Williams had a high level of alcohol in his blood and that Ms Evans said he had a history of alcohol use.
Note: This report is drawn from reports on the BBC.