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Sunday, April 5, 2009

UK- Vigilante neighbour jailed for 10 years for killing police officer who faced child porn charges

3-3-2009 United Kingdom:

A vigilante who stabbed to death a former policeman awaiting trial on child porn charges has been jailed for ten years.

Daniel Williams, 30, was found guilty of manslaughter for stabbing Geoffrey Harries 20 times in a late-night confrontation in June.

Williams admitted going clad in a black balaclava and dark military-style clothing to slash the tyres of 49-year-old Mr Harries's car on the night in question.

The defence team had argued that he stabbed the former Dyfed Powys policeman in self-defence when he was attacked by Mr Harries, having forgotten he was holding the 7in
blade combat knife.
The jury at Swansea Crown Court cleared Williams of murder on Friday.

The verdict of guilty of manslaughter came yesterday after a total of more than 25 hours of deliberation.

As it was read out, the victim's widow Elizabeth broke down in court and was comforted by relatives.

Jailing Williams today, High Court judge Justice Flaux told him: 'If you carry a knife on the streets you must expect severe punishment if that knife is used to cause the death of someone.'

Mr Harries had moved to the Dythel Park Estate in Trimsaran, West Wales, to live in the home of his elderly mother.

Residents on the estate were aware that he was awaiting trial accused of possessing more than 2,000 pornographic images of children on his computer.

A petition had been circulated by residents opposed to him living on the estate where Williams also lived, the trial heard.

Hours before the stabbing, a drunken Williams shouted insults at the police as he left a local pub to which they had been called on a separate matter.

The jury heard that he had referred to Mr Harries as a 'paedo' and warned one officer: 'He's one of your lot. If you are not going to do something about it, I will.'

The officer in question was called away to a road accident but returned to the area later and saw Williams calmly walking home.

When approached about the earlier outburst, Williams claimed he had just been 'stupid' in front of friends.

But within hours he was involved in a confrontation with Mr Harries in the street after the former police officer's wife spotted Williams outside, close to their car.

Williams insisted throughout the trial that he had been pursued by Mr Harries and attacked by him as he tried to flee the scene.

Paul Thomas QC, prosecuting, described Williams during his summing-up as a 'self-appointed vigilante'.

He told the jury it was 'nonsense' for Williams to suggest he could inflict 20 stab wounds without realising he was holding a knife.

He also pointed out that the fatal wound had been through Mr Harries' back and into one of his lungs. ..Source.. by Daily Mail Reporter

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