Argoed hostel killing: inquest records unlawful killing verdict following horror attack

Mentally ill Matthew Williams savagely killed Cerys Yemm then died after being tasered by police.

'Cannibal killer' Matthew Williams (left) mutilated Cery Yemm's face during shocking attack

An inquest has recorded a verdict of unlawful killing following an attack at a hostel in Wales where a man was seen apparently "eating a woman's face" before being tasered by police and dying soon afterwards. Mentally ill Matthew Williams, 34, who had left prison two weeks earlier, attacked and killed Cerys Marie Yemm, 22, at a hostel in Argoed on 6 November 2014.

The inquest heard Yemm, a former girlfriend of Williams' prison acquaintance, met the mephedrone and amphetamine user two weeks earlier. On the night of the attack they went back to the Sirhowy Arms Hotel where Williams was staying following his release. Other residents heard screaming and the hostel owner opened the door to find Williams "biting" the victim's face.

Yemm's cause of death was recorded as "sharp force trauma to the face and neck." She had a total of 89 injuries to her face and body.


Police tasered Williams four times as they tried to arrest him. he did not need help immediately but his breathing deteriorated and he died in the back of the ambulance. His cause of death was given as cardiac arrest caused by a combination of amphetamines, the attack on Yemm, being tasered and his undiagnosed relapsed schizophrenia.

Gwent Coroner David Bowen advised jurors that unlawful killing was the only verdict possible in the case of Yemm. In the case of Williams, the jury was advised to return a narrative finding. Under a narrative finding, the circumstances of the death is set out in a detailed manner based on evidence heard.

Williams's mother said she had tried to get treatment for her son, who complained of hearing voices. However police and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board said he had refused all offers of help.

Following the verdict the Williams family said outside court that Matthew had been troubled and had issues with mental health and drugs. The family also said the claims of cannibalism weren't correct, though the inquest found he had bitten her stomach in the attack, carried out with a broken cereal bowl.

In a statement the family said: "We hope that this case will highlight the need for better mental healthcare care and lead to the effective sharing of information between state agencies and that another family will not have to go through what the families touched by this inquest have had to endure."

The Yemm family said they wanted the hostel demolished as it had become an "unbearable reminder" of their daughter's killing. In a statement published by Wales Online the Yemm family said: ""We want to pay tribute to our beautiful daughter Cerys, who was kind, caring, and could always see the best in people."

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