Ex-rugby player who killed pensioner after performing sex acts for drink jailed

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An ex-rugby player has been jailed for life for killing a pensioner in a brutal attack after he exchanged “sexual favours for drink.”

Tom Carney, 29, went to the home of David Phillips, 76, to perform sex acts in return for alcohol.

But he returned to launch a brutal attack on the pensioner – and smashed through his front door with a concrete garden ornament.

A court heard a neighbour watched through a window in horror as Carney repeatedly stamped and jumped on his victim’s head

Mr Phillips was left for dead on the floor with 27 rib fractures and the left side of his face “flattened” by the blows.

Prosecutor Patrick Harrington QC said: “Tomas Carney deliberately inflicted the most vicious, sustained, and brutal attack on his victim, and by so doing – in a controlled manner and fuelled by anger – chose to end another person’s life.”

Swansea Crown Court heard Carney had previously been a talented sportsman and played for Ospreys youth rugby player.

He visited the home of Mr Phillips in Cimla, Neath, South Wales, on Valentine’s Day 2019.

The court heard Carney agreed to go to the flat to perform sexual favours in return for booze.

Mr Harrington told the jury: “The fact is Tomas Carney has thrown his life away. Thrown away a career as a rugby player where he could have achieved great things.

“He has the discomfort of knowing he is one of those “might-have-beens.'”

Pathologist Richard Jones said he visited the scene the following day and saw Mr Phillips with a “grossly distorted” skull.

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

Carney claimed Mr Phillips was his sponsor at Alcoholics Anonymous and had offered to help him after a relapse.

He said Mr Phillips “abused his trust” by drugging and raping him.

Carney, of Morriston, Swansea, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

But a jury rejected this and convicted him of murder.

Judge Paul Thomas QC jailed Carney for life with a minimum of 15 years and ten days.

Police video footage shows murderer Tom Carney in the minutes and hours after he brutally killed pensioner David Phillips.

Carney was found hiding in a garden near the murder scene shortly after he killed the 76-year-old.

The first officer to deal with him, South Wales Police PC Donald Beare, told the murder trial Carney looked “very frightened” and “looked in shock”.

Carney initially gave a false name to police – claiming to be called Jeremy – and told officers someone had tried to rape him.

After it was confirmed Mr Phillips had died of his injuries the defendant was arrested and taken to Swansea Central police station where he turned his aggression on officers.

He refused to leave the police van until he had been given a cigarette then launched a tirade of abuse directed at officers threatening to “smack” them and “f***ing strangle you to death”.

He then began shouting: “I got fing raped earlier and you are fing standing up for him”, adding: “He was trying to rape me” and “I am straight as f***”.

He screamed at officers: “I stamped on his head!”

Once inside the station Carney urinated in a holding cell before spitting in the face of an officer – that assault was the start of a violent struggle which saw the alarm sounded in the custody suite and further officers rushing to help colleagues.