Philip Andrews sent a chilling message to Lana Owen’s secret lover after killing her at her home in Tonypandy, Wales
A jealous boyfriend strangled his long-term partner to death after finding out she was having an affair, an inquest heard.
Philip Andrews killed mum Lana Owen, 46, in her home in Tonypandy, Wales, and then confessed to ‘strangling’ her in a phone call to police.
Officers found the 51-year-old standing near her body and drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whisky in December, Wales Online reports.
An inquest at Pontypridd Coroners’ Court on Monday heard Ms Owen had been seeing another man, Robert Morris, for a number of weeks before her death.
After killing Ms Owen on December 19 Andrews messaged Mr Morris through her Facebook account saying: “You won’t be seeing Lana again, she’s dead.”
Andrews, who had been with Ms Owen for around 17 years, was taken into custody but died in hospital from natural causes before a trial at Cardiff Crown Court could begin.
The inquest heard South Wales Police detectives were unable to find exactly what was used as a ligature but it was “possible” a cord of a lava lamp may have been used.
The cord was the only object found at the house which fitted with the marks found on Ms Owen’s neck, the inquest heard.
Green marks were also found on Ms Owen’s face and green paint was discovered on the cord but tests carried out to see if it was the same substance were inconclusive.
On the day of the incident Mr Morris dropped off Ms Owen near her home in Miskin Road at around 11.20am and she walked the rest of the way.
Ms Owen’s daughter Casey Knowlton was asleep in the property when she was later woken by the sound of a “loud noise”.
A statement read to the court said: “I could hear screaming and shouting coming from the living room/kitchen. I would describe her screaming like an argument taking place.
“I was aware of the argument for about five minutes. I then heard a loud bang and then everything went quiet.”
After falling back to sleep Ms Knowlton was woken at around 12.50pm by a female police officer who was inside the house. Andrews was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder.
During police interviews Andrews replied no comment to most questions but spoke on one occasion when asked if he had any remorse for what he did.
Andrews replied: “What do you want me to do? Start bawling my eyes out in front of you? I feel sick as a f***ing pig.”
He was accused of killing Ms Owen and was due to face a crown court trial and at a pre-trial hearing it was heard there was no dispute over the facts of the case.
But Andrews died from a terminal illness while in custody – before Lana’s family were able to get justice.
The inquest heard that on March 16 this year police were informed that Andrews had died in hospital after being diagnosed with cancer. Criminal proceedings were later concluded.
In a statement by Mr Morris read to the inquest he described himself as her “boyfriend” and had been in a relationship with Ms Owen for around six weeks.
The pair had known each other since around August 2018 and after a period of being friends Mr Morris said they became “closer”.
Mr Morris said Ms Owen was planning to marry Andrews in a black wedding dress and felt she “owed” him for helping her “turn her life around”.
Mr Morris said: “She had tried to tell him that their relationship was over but he just was not listening. She felt it was over because it had gone stale and she did not have feelings for him.”
Ms Owen had spent the night with Mr Morris on the day before she died and they had planned to meet each other later on December 19.
After Ms Owen died Andrews contacted his father and son telling them he had killed her. The inquest heard he called his father Michael Andrews and said: “Dad, I’ve killed Lana.”
Andrews also rang his son Matt and told him “I’ve killed Lana” before adding: “I’m stood over her and looking at her”.
The defendant called the emergency services and when police arrived he was found in the kitchen.
In a statement read to the inquest PC Adam Bruton said Andrews was “pacing in small steps” when they arrived at the scene. He said: “He had a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in his hand and he took a sip of it.”
When in custody at Merthyr Tydfil police station Andrews was assessed to see if he was mentally fit to be interviewed.
During the examination Andrews said: “When I did what I did my mind was clear. I found out last Friday my partner was having an affair.”
Ms Owen had been in a relationship with Andrews since the mid-2000s but her son Cory Hill said he discovered shortly before her death that she had been seeing another man. He added that he had never witnessed any signs of issues between his mother and Andrews.
Mr Hill said: “I will say that before this incident I would describe their relationship as excellent.
“I never witnessed any domestic incidents between them and this is why what happened has come as a massive shock. He had helped turn her life around.”
The inquest heard Ms Owen had a background of drug use and was using the heroin substitute methadone at the time of her death.
On the day of the incident Mr Hill received a phone call from his “hysterical” sister Casey who said his mother had died.
Pathologist Dr Richard Jones, who attended the scene to find Ms Owen’s body in the kitchen, told the court ligature wounds were found on her neck.
He told the inquest they were unable to find the ligature but it could have been “something thin like a cord or a cable” and it was likely done by somebody behind her.
He added the marks may have been caused by her jumper, which was high on her neck, stating that the case was “quite complicated in some senses”.