A murderer who bludgeoned a hairdresser to death was found dead at a mental health clinic where he was serving his sentence.
Adrian Vivian Jones, 28, died on February 18, 2018, at Caswell Clinic, Glanrhyd Hospital, in Bridgend after he was found lying in bed and unresponsive by a staff member.
CPR was commenced and attempts were made to use a defibrillator but Jones was later pronounced dead.
Eleven years before his death Jones, then 16, murdered 24-year-old Kelly Hyde after attacking her with a heavy barbell while she was walking her dog along a path in Pantyffynnon, near Ammanford, on September 28, 2007.
Her body was found three days later lying face down in a river at the bottom of an embankment. Jones was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 12 years after being convicted of murder at Swansea Crown Court in 2008.
An inquest hearing at Pontypridd Coroners’ Court on Thursday heard from Diane Jones, the deceased’s mother, who said her son was due to visit her on day release on the day of his death.
She described how Jones suffered from bullying as a child, his exclusion from school, and how he witnessed his father assaulting his mother at their home in Ammanford.
The court heard he began abusing cannabis at a young age and moved onto cocaine, which affected his mental health.
Ms Jones said: “I remember he was agitated and telling me he wasn’t right and wanted to see a doctor. He said he felt like he was going to kill someone because of the way he was feeling.”
Following his arrest for Ms Hyde’s murder Ms Jones said her son seemed “calm” and was a “different person”.
She added: “When I was in court I just remember looking at him and thinking it wasn’t him. I don’t know who he had become but he wasn’t my son, he wasn’t the same person. He was there in body but not in mind.”
The witness said she was later told her son had tried to hang himself in prison.
Following his sentencing Jones was later transferred from custody to Ashworth Hospital because of a deterioration in his mental health and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
In 2016 he was transferred to Caswell Clinic in order to receive treatment for a number of physical and mental health issues he had developed.
One of these conditions was sleep apnoea – a disorder which causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep – and he was required to wear a mask connected to a CPAP machine to assist his breathing during the night. Ms Jones said after he had received treatment she “felt like Adrian had come back”.
She added: “He was accepting of his actions and looking at ways to redeem himself. He would talk about what he had done and how to get himself better and he began to speak about a future life.”
As painful as these proceedings are for those who have lost a loved one the lessons that can be learned from inquests can go a long way to saving others’ lives.
The press has a legal right to attend inquests and has a responsibility to report on them as part of their duty to uphold the principle of open justice.
It’s a journalist’s duty to make sure the public understands the reasons why someone has died and to make sure their deaths are not kept secret. An inquest report can also clear up any rumours or suspicion surrounding a person’s death.
But, most importantly of all, an inquest report can draw attention to circumstances which may stop further deaths from happening.
Should journalists shy away from attending inquests then an entire arm of the judicial system is not held to account.
Inquests can often prompt a wider discussion on serious issues, the most recent of these being mental health and suicide.
Editors actively ask and encourage reporters to speak to the family and friends of a person who is the subject of an inquest. Their contributions help us create a clearer picture of the person who died and also provides the opportunity to pay tribute to their loved one.
Often families do not wish to speak to the press and of course that decision has to be respected. However, as has been seen by many powerful media campaigns, the input of a person’s family and friends can make all the difference in helping to save others.
Without the attendance of the press at inquests questions will remain unanswered and lives will be lost.
At around 6.20am February 18, 2018, senior nurse Charis Jones heard Jones loudly snoring from his bedroom and went to check up on him. She looked through a privacy glass window and could see him asleep in bed sat upright with his chin on his chest but without his mask on.
Ms Jones checked on the patient and briefly woke him and put his mask on before laying him on his back. She said he fell back to sleep and seemed to be breathing soundly. She said during further checks he seemed to be breathing normally.
She said: “He was groggy as I had just woken him up. He acknowledged me but he didn’t actually speak to us.”
At around 10.10am on February 18 ward manager Sharon Rees was making her way to check on a patient who was based opposite Jones’ room when she heard beeping coming from the CPAP machine in the room.
Giving evidence via video link Ms Rees said: “I made my way over to Adrian’s room and there was no response. I lifted the observation curtain and I could see Adrian on his back and his mask was still on his face and he appeared to be sleeping.
“I called his name and decided to enter the room. I made my way to Adrian and looking at him I could see no signs of life. There was no reaction to my calling, he looked pale, and there was no rising or falling in his chest to show he was breathing.
“I moved the mask and there was no response from him. I felt for a pulse in his neck and couldn’t feel one or on his wrist. He felt colder than I would have normally expected and I formed the opinion Adrian was in serious trouble.”
An ambulance was called and staff members began performing chest compressions on Jones. When they attempted to use a defibrillator on him the machine said: “Do not shock”.
CPR was continued with but at 10.30am the decision was made to stop treatment and Jones was declared dead at 10.30am.
A post-mortem examination was carried out by pathologist Maurizio Brotto who gave an official cause of death as 1a. respiratory failure and 1b. pulmonary embolism combined with sleep apnoea.
An underlying condition of deep vein thrombosis was also noted and significant conditions that also related to death included severe obesity, hypertension, and asthma.
Dr Brotto said a toxicology report revealed a number of prescription drugs were found in Jones’ system at the time of his death with the only drug found which he did not have a prescription for being alprazolam.
Information also came to light that Jones had been hiding drugs inside a drum kit in his room and when the kit was dismantled tablets were discovered inside.
However it was considered the drugs found in Jones’ system played no part in causing his death and were not relevant to the coroner’s investigation.
The court heard Jones was entitled to escorted day release and had been to Porthcawl the day before his death to watch a rugby match.
As well as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia Jones also experienced depression and anxiety and in 2018 he had taken an overdose of fat burner pills. He later told staff he had done this because he was in a low mood and “ashamed of what he had done to his victim”.
Zain Noor, a psychiatrist who treated Jones, said his patient also wished to move away from Wales and wanted a “fresh start” in England.
At the time of his death there were no concerns about Jones’ mental health and he was said to be complying well with treatment and with his medication.
In her conclusion senior coroner Sarah Richards expressed her sadness at Jones’ death, saying he “had a future ahead of him” and was “clearly on the right track”. She recorded a conclusion that Jones had died from natural causes.
To get the latest news from WalesOnline sent straight to your email inbox click here .