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Man murdered partner by causing horrific internal injuries with broom handle

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A killer murdered his partner by causing horrific internal injuries with a broom handle before leaving her in his flat as he called the police from a phone box. When he spoke to the 999 operator, he said: "I just woke up and my missus is dead."

Carl Silcox, 45, murdered Adell Cowan, 43, at his home in Caerphilly on October 18, 2020, after inserting the broom handle into her anus, causing catastrophic injuries which caused her death. The broom was later found at the scene was was covered with Ms Cowan's blood and excrement and a trace of the defendant's semen was also found.

A trial at Cardiff Crown Court previously heard Silcox told the emergency services he had discovered Ms Cowan lying in the bedroom "cold and dead". As well as her internal injuries, she had suffered facial injuries to her face.

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The defendant, Commercial Street, Aberbargoed, claimed the deceased's injuries had been caused by a gang of youths, but changed his story and claimed Ms Cowan worked as a prostitute and her injuries had been caused by a client. But on Friday, a jury dismissed Silcox's claims and convicted him of Ms Cowan's murder.

Opening the case, prosecutor Gordon Cole KC said: "In this case, the Crown say Carl Silcox unlawfully killed Adell Cowan."

He told the court Ms Cowan suffered from alcoholism and lived a "chaotic lifestyle". She was in a relationship with Silcox at the time of her death, with both living in Dol Yr Eos, in Mornington Meadows.

Adell Cowan, who was murdered by Carl Silcox (Image: Family handout / South Wales Police)

This old photo of Adell Cowan was released by police at the time of her death

At around 12.10am on October 18, 2020, Silcox called the police from a phone and told the operator: "I just woke up and my missus is dead. I am Carl Silcox, I have just come to the phonebox now, I have lost my mobile phone."

The defendant was crying and upset, but refused to return to the address and give Ms Cowan CPR. He said: "She's dead mate, she's cold as ice, I don't know whether she choked on her spit or whatever, there's a lot of coughing on the bed. Earlier on in the day I got beat up, she went to see those people and got back. We had a drink and I told her she got to get up and realised she was cold and dead."

Upon arriving at the address, it was clear to the emergency services Ms Cowan had been dead for a number of hours. She was found to have injuries to her face, including bruising and swelling, and to her ribs.

A post mortem was carried out which resulted in severe internal injuries being discovered, namely a 2.8cm by 1.4cm tear to the rectum which continued to cause a four-and-a-half centimetre tear to the peritoneal lining. Ms Cowan had also sustained a laceration to her spleen and the lining of her pelvis.

Mr Cole said: "The death of Adell Cowan was in a state of trauma and alcohol. The death was described as having occurred in close association with the event of forceful anal penetration and rectal perforation by that wooden broom handle."

Following the guilty verdict, the Recorder of Cardiff, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke thanked the jury for the "care and attention" they had shown in the case. She also thanked Ms Cowan's family and friends for the way they conducted themselves during the trial. Defence barrister John Benson KC asked for sentencing to be adjourned for a pre sentence report to be prepared.

Addressing Silcox, Judge Lloyd-Clarke said: "You have been convicted of murder, the sentence must be one of life imprisonment. I must determine the minimum term before you can apply to the parole board for release." Sentencing will take place on July 7.


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