On 11th December 2013 Wesley Williams was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Yvonne Walsh (his former partner) and her seven month old son Harrison earlier this year. It seems that Mr Williams started a relationship with Ms Walsh ‘months’ before they died.
The motivation for the murders are unclear, but the news reports said “Problems between the pair began when Ms Walsh rejected Williams’ proposal of marriage“. It seems that both died due to ‘pressure to the neck‘ of the victims.
Mr Williams had pleaded guilty to both murders last week. Whilst this was not the first time the case has been in Court, it was probably the ‘earliest opportunity’ for the purposes of getting credit for the plea of guilty.
We have a factsheet on how a Judge should approach the setting of a tariff. In this case the starting point would have been 30 years because of the murder of two people.
From this the Judge would have weighed the aggravating and mitigating features before deciding on the final tariff. Here, as the credit would appear to be 5 years (the maximum for murder), the starting point would have been an increase of 4 years over the starting point.
Without knowing the sentencing remarks, we don’t know what the reasons for this are, but it will probably relate to the vulnerability of the victims.
One point which we do not know is whether Mr Williams has any previous convictions, or whether there is any suggestion that he is a perpetrator of domestic violence. That may come out in the next few days and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, that may tell us about whether ‘Clare’s Law’ would have made any difference in this tragic case.