Man jailed for 25 years for hammer attack on pregnant girlfriend
Simon Morris tried to murder Nerys Price while she slept at their home in north Wales
Nerys Price and her former boyfriend Simon Morris, who was convicted of attempting to murder her. Photograph: North Wales Police/PA
A "wicked and callous" father-to-be was jailed for 25 years today for trying to murder his heavily pregnant girlfriend, hoping to benefit from her will and start a new life with another woman.
Simon Morris, 37, attacked Nerys Price, 35, with a hammer while she slept in bed at their home in Prestatyn, north Wales, in August last year.
Morris, who denied attempted murder and attempted child destruction, hit his partner in the head and covered up his crime to look like a burglary gone wrong.
Morris, a council highways officer, had previously persuaded Price that they should change their wills, making him her sole beneficiary. He stood to inherit several hundred thousand pounds on her death, Mold crown court heard.
Following the attack Price was taken to hospital, where she was treated for a fractured skull and later gave birth by emergency Caesarean section to a daughter, Freya, now 14 months.
Standing in the dock, Morris wiped away tears as Judge Merfyn Hughes QC told him he had committed a "shocking" crime.
"It was a wicked and callous attempt to rid yourself of a partner who was willing to have your child and who had done nothing but give you love and affection," the judge said.
Morris was jailed for 25 years for the attempted murder of Price and a further 25 years, to be served concurrently, for the attempted destruction of his daughter.
He looked to the floor, shaking his head, as he was sent down.
In her victim impact statement, which was read to the court, Price spoke of her devastation at Morris's betrayal.
She said she had considered herself fortunate to be expecting his child and they had planned the baby together. She loved being pregnant and she loved "Bob" - the couple's pet name for their unborn baby.
"Now, when I see other pregnant women I feel cheated because my memories of that time are tainted because of Simon Morris's deceit. I believed I had a loving and doting partner and bright future. I loved and trusted Simon implicitly and I had no doubts about the relationship."
She added: "I still can't believe he was responsible for all this and I feel totally stupid. I feel angry that someone I loved so implicitly could do this to me and our unborn child.
"I worry for Freya's future. How do I explain what her father did and tried to do?
I worry that she will be bullied at school and that she will be an only child. I worry that one day she will want to meet him and he will tell her all sorts of lies and she will blame me."
The trial heard that Morris, a former nightclub bouncer who is 6ft 6in and 15 stone, hit Price twice in the head with the sharp end of a bricklayer's hammer when she was 38 weeks pregnant.
She told the jury that she asked Morris to call the police but eventually had to do it herself.
When she was released from hospital, Price stayed at her father's house and started to have doubts about Morris's "peculiar behaviour", the court heard. He was arrested eight days after the attack.
Patrick Harrington QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Morris attacked Ms Price for "two of the oldest motives known to us all".
He said the defendant planned to build a new life with another woman, Kate Christian, a mother of two he had met in a bar several months before.
Harrington said Morris planned to pay for it all with the cash he stood to inherit on the death of Price. The money would largely have come from her pension.
After the sentencing, Price said: "I am relieved that this horrific ordeal is finally over. Clearly, justice has been done today.
"I can finally start to rebuild my life whilst ensuring that my daughter is secure, happy and surrounded by those who love her."
She paid tribute to "my gorgeous bonny daughter who has made this nightmare bearable".Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Whos Killing Families?.