'Devoted' husband accused of killing wife of 44 years

Anthony Williams appeared in court charged with killing wife Ruth at their home in South Wales where they had been self isolating for the past week (Wales News Service)

A "devoted" husband has been charged with murdering his wife of 44 years.

Retired engineer Anthony Williams, 69, appeared in court on Monday, charged with killing wife Ruth, 67, at their home in South Wales.

Mrs Williams, a grandmother, was taken to hospital with head and neck injuries on Saturday but was later pronounced dead.

Neighbours said the retired shop worker had offered to help them with shopping as the British government imposed restrictions on movement – but that she and her husband had then decided to self-isolate because of their age.

Neighbours said the couple had lived in their £170,000 semi-detached home in Brynglas, Cwmbran, for around 20 years.

The semi-detached house in South Wales where Ruth Williams was found with head and neck injuries. (Wales News Service)

Retired Williams appeared at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court for a two-minute hearing in which he spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

He was remanded in custody by Judge Stephen Harmes and is due to appear before Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday.

The couple’s daughter Emma, 40, was said to be "shocked and heartbroken”.

Neighbour Janice Allan, 73, said: "Ruth knows I live on my own and she gave me her telephone number if I needed help.

"That's the sort of person she was – always really nice and chatty.

"Tony had worked in engineering but went part-time before retiring. Ruth worked as Asda before she retired a couple of years ago.

"They kept themselves to themselves, especially now, and Tony was quieter. But they seemed devoted.

Cardiff Magistrates' Court. (Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

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"The police came to knock on my door to ask where I had been on the day. But I was inside like everyone else, of course. It has been very busy here with police ever since – that is worrying in itself at this time, to see so many people around."

Local councillor Ron Burnett said: "It's a huge shock to everybody. We just can't get our heads around it.

"I know them personally and so I find it all very upsetting – my condolences go out to the family.

"They were a well known family. Ruth worked in Asda for many, many years and I'm sure this will come as a big shock to everybody."

A spokeswoman for Gwent Police said: "Gwent Police received a call to an address in Brynglas, Cwmbran at around 6.50am on Saturday 28 March.

"67-year-old Ruth Williams was found unconscious and unresponsive at the premises. She was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport where she sadly died.

"A 69-year-old man was arrested, he's since been charged with murder."