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Man jailed for life over murder of his love rival.

Byline: Robin Turner Reporter robin.turner@walesonline.co.uk

AROOFER who murdered his love rival by pushing him down a flight of stairs, breaking his neck and back, has been jailed for life.

Kevin Syms, 53, of Nicholls Avenue, Porthcawl, was told by sentencing judge Mr Justice Wyn Williams yesterday that what he did was a result of a "spontaneous eruption of violence".

He was jailed with a recommendation he serve a minimum 14 years before he can seek parole.

Swansea Crown Court heard Syms had been with his former girlfriend, Joanne Parkhouse-Thomas, for a year last December when she spent the night drinking in Porthcawl with popular taxi driver Nicholas Tame, 46, of North Cornelly.

They took a taxi back to her home, but stopped to pick up Syms, who was having a meal with his elderly mother, and when the three arrived at Parkhouse-Thomas' home they continued drinking.

In the early hours of Sunday, December 7, a tired Syms went upstairs to sleep in his girlfriend's bed, but later she and Mr Tame came up, demanding that he leave.

During the brief trial at which Syms had denied murder, he agreed with Patrick Harrington, QC, prosecuting, the implication was the two of them wanted him to leave the house so they could have sex.

Asked how he felt, Syms said: "A little bit grumpy, I suppose, a bit sad that she wanted another bloke."

Under cross-examination from Patrick Harrington, QC, prosecuting, Syms agreed that when police asked him how he felt, he had used the words "grumpy and nasty".

Mr Harrington put it to Syms: "You were well fed up, weren't you?" He replied: "Oh, yes." Parkhouse-Thomas, 42, of Monks Close, Pyle, was sentenced to 18 months in jail after admitting perverting the course of justice by giving a false account to police about what happened on the night Mr Tame died.

The judge said she had tried to minimise what had happened and attempted to cover up the fact Mr Tame had been pushed down a full flight of stairs and that he had been hit over the head while helpless.

She had been charged jointly with Syms of murdering Mr Tame, but the charge against her was dropped the day before the trial began.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Tame's sister, Samantha Lloyd, said: "Nick was the youngest of four children and had a wonderful daughter. He was a lovely, placid man. December 7 last year was the darkest day of our lives."

Ms Lloyd said he was "a gentleman" and she said she had asked him to end his relationship with Parkhouse-Thomas, but he replied: "I love her."

Peter Rouch, defending Syms, who he described as intellectually impaired, said: "If he had never met Joanne Parkhouse-Thomas he would no doubt still be working, attending his mother's house every day and causing no problems."

CAPTION(S):

Kevin Syms, left, murdered Nicholas Tame, and Syms' former <Bgirlfriend Joanne Parkhouse-Thomas

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 17, 2015
Words:493
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