Ex-rugby player, 29, who stamped pensioner, 76, to death jailed for life for murder 

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Ex-rugby player, 29, who stamped pensioner, 76, to death jailed for life for murder 

Ex-rugby player Tom Carney, 29, (pictured) has been jailed for life for the murder of pensioner David Phillips, 76An ex-rugby player who kil

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Ex-rugby player Tom Carney, 29, (pictured) has been jailed for life for the murder of pensioner David Phillips, 76

Ex-rugby player Tom Carney, 29, (pictured) has been jailed for life for the murder of pensioner David Phillips, 76

An ex-rugby player who killed a pensioner by stamping on him after performing a sex act on him for a bottle of vodka has been jailed for life.

At Swansea Crown Court, former Ospreys youth player Tom Carney, 29, was ordered to spend at least 15 years and 10 days behind bars for the murder of David Phillips, 76, on Valentine’s Day in 2019.

Mr Phillips’ body was discovered in his home in the Cimla area of Neath on February 14, 2019, and he had suffered injuries to his head and chest.

Carney killed the pensioner by repeatedly stamping on his head in a ‘violent rage’ having earlier gone to the older man’s flat to perform sexual favours in return for alcohol. 

He denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

During the sentencing hearing Judge Paul Thomas QC told Carney he had been ‘effectively prostituting yourself’ for alcohol. 

But he said after getting his ‘reward’ in the form of a bottle of vodka Carney felt ‘great self-disgust’ which turned to ‘rage against Mr Phillips’. 

That led to Carney kicking his way back into the flat and launching a ‘savage, relentless, and merciless attack’ up his victim.

Carney (pictured) killed Phillips by repeatedly stamping on his head in a 'violent rage' having earlier gone to the older man's flat to perform sexual favours in return for alcohol

Carney (pictured) killed Phillips by repeatedly stamping on his head in a ‘violent rage’ having earlier gone to the older man’s flat to perform sexual favours in return for alcohol

Mr Phillips' body was discovered in his home in the Cimla area of Neath on February 14, 2019, and he had suffered injuries to his head and chest. Carney (pictured arriving at court) denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility

Mr Phillips’ body was discovered in his home in the Cimla area of Neath on February 14, 2019, and he had suffered injuries to his head and chest. Carney (pictured arriving at court) denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility

The judge rejected any notion that Carney did not intend to kill Mr Phillips, saying he not only wanted to kill him but to make him suffer. 

He said the attack was one of ‘brutality and ferocity’ which saw the ‘destruction’ of Mr Phillips’ face, an attack on his genitals, and the use of weapons – not just shod feet but a heavy stereo and a stool.

The court had previously heard from pathologist Richard Jones that Mr Phillips had a ‘grossly distorted’ skull.

The judge rejected any notion that Carney did not intend to kill Mr Phillips, saying he not only wanted to kill him but to make him suffer

 The judge rejected any notion that Carney did not intend to kill Mr Phillips, saying he not only wanted to kill him but to make him suffer

CT scans showed there had been a ‘shattering of the facial bones’ which would have caused ‘uncontrollable bleeding into the airways.’

Mr Phillips also suffered a fracture to the spine, 27 rib fractures and bruising to the genitals and pelvis area.

The judge said the only sentence for the offence of murder was one of life and balancing the mitigating and aggravating factors he ordered that Carney must serve a minimum of 15 years and 10 days before he can apply for parole.

He told the defendant: ‘That does not mean you will be released at that point – that will be a decision for the Parole Board to make. You may not be released for many years after that, if at all, if you are still considered a risk.’ 

After the hearing South Wales detective inspector Stuart Prendiville, of the major crime investigation team, said: ‘Mr Phillips, a 76-year-old pensioner, was beaten to death in his home. Carney was known to the victim and had attended his address as a guest that day.

‘However, having left the address, Carney returned and forced entry by kicking and destroying the front door of the property. He then set about a vicious and sustained attack on Mr Phillips.

‘We appreciate the previous history of the victim may cause some strong feelings but the sentence imposed today reflects the viciousness and severity of the attack on him.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank the witnesses in this case, some of whom who witnessed the most horrendous violence imaginable. I would also like to thank the local community in Cimla for their assistance during this investigation.’

After the hearing the first picture of victim Mr Phillips (pictured) was released in a CCTV clip showing him shopping in a supermarket hours before he was murdered

After the hearing the first picture of victim Mr Phillips (pictured) was released in a CCTV clip showing him shopping in a supermarket hours before he was murdered

Judge Paul Thomas QC raised his concerns about the way David Phillips was able to exploit his role as a sponsor with Alcohol Anonymous to get access to Carney with the pair having met an AA meeting in Neath.

The judge said he intends to write to the charity to raise issues around vetting and safeguarding.

After the sentence, Emma Myles of the CPS said: ‘Tom Carney admitted he was responsible for the death of David Phillips but denied any intention to kill him or cause serious harm.

‘However, the evidence of this shockingly violent attack suggested otherwise.

‘We are grateful to the witnesses who came forward and gave evidence in this case, allowing the CPS to deliver justice for Mr Phillips.’

After the hearing the first picture of victim Mr Phillips was released in a CCTV clip showing him shopping in a supermarket hours before he was murdered.

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