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Jailed for murder, the model prisoner released only to kill again; CRIME FILES: ARTHUR PHILIP WYNNE.

Byline: ERYL CRUMP Arts and Heritage Correspondent

ARTHUR Philip Wynne was described by prison warders and probation officers as "a model prisoner" Whilst serving his time for the murder of Edith Williams, an elderly woman he suffocated with cushions at Bangor in April 1967, he studied for an Open University degree and helped other prisoners.

But two months after being released he strangled Eirlys Roberts, a 23-year-old waitress from Old Colwyn.

One of Eirlys Roberts favourite haunts was Llandudno's Happy Valley, a short distance from the pier, and whenever she had time off from work at the Howard Hotel she would go along and enjoy the shows in the open-air theatre.

Ironically it was where she met her death.

A German tourist found her body near Elephant's Cave in September 15, 1979. She had been strangled.

The body was partly hidden in bushes. There was no evidence of a struggle nor of sexual assault and an attempt had been made to conceal the body with some plastic bags and branches.

Police sealed of the area and used metal detectors to search the area for any clues. Uniformed officers started checking the 200 hotels in the resort asking staff if they had known the dead woman.

She had last been seen alive in a Llandudno pub on September 9 soon after she had visited her parents in Old Colwyn.

Her killer, Arthur Phillip Wynne, then aged 56, was found asleep by a policeman in woods at Menai Bridge, the day before Eirlys' body was found.

He was taken by ambulance to hospital in Bangor and treated for alcoholic poisoning and exposure. Doctors said he had drunk a near-lethal dose of alcohol.

Arrested and later charged in connection with the woman's death Wynne pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Chester Crown Court in March 1980.

The court heard he had killed for the second time just two months after being released from prison.

Wynne had met Eirlys after his release and regularly bought her drinks and treated her to meals in cafes and fish and chip shops.

On the night of her death they had met in a Llandudno pub and later they decided to go to Happy Valley.

"I bought her drinks as usual and by closing time we were pretty pickled," he told detectives.

During the evening Wynne told her his money had run out and an argument developed. It emerged in the two months since his release from prison he had spent more than PS750 of his savings, most of it on drink.

"She hit me a few times and I lost control. I held her by the throat, to frighten her. I didn't want to lose her," Wynne said.

But detectives interviewed Wynne six times before he admitted killing Eirlys Roberts.

He had already been sent to prison for five years at Caernarfon Assizes in 1958 for raping a 57-year-old woman.

On June 21, 1967, also at Caernarfon, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of 84-year-old spinster Edith Williams in Bangor.

Wynne had broken into the woman's home and attacked her before suffocating her with cushions.

His behaviour during imprisonment for both earlier offences was described as "exemplary".

Police look Llandudno's A probation officer's report told how he had helped in the rehabilitation of several long term prisoners held at Wakefield Prison.

While in jail the man who left school at 14 with no educational qualification graduated in sociology at the Open University.

He also gained GCE A-level passes in economics and the British Constitution and several O-levels and an OND in Business Studies and a Pitman's course in the principles of accountancy.

Pi o scMas Wynne had spent his childhood in Menai Bridge and after leaving school had worked as an errand boy and later a waiter.

wel From 1943 to 1946 he served as a steward in the evidence in Happy Valley Royal Navy receiving the Burma Star and the Atlantic Star.

Later he joined the RAF until he was discharged in 1955 because he was medically unfit.

The remainder of his working life was spent doing casual hotel work, mainly in North Wales.

Jailing him for life the judge, Mr Justice Caulfield, said: "If any good can come from your horrible trilogy of crime it is surely this: that alcoholic addiction be shown by this case not only to create illness, but, also to be a creator of shocking crime."

After the hearing it emerged a probation officer had asked the Home Office to revoke Wynne's licence the day before Eirlys' body was found because of concerns he was homeless and drinking excessively.

The request was refused because at the time Wynne was not suspected of any crime and was being treated in hospital and was not at large.


Police look for evidence in Llandudno's Happy Valley
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 2, 2016
Next Article:SCHOOL'S OUT.

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