Family’s anger at ‘vile’ killers of Newport man
THE FAMILY of a Newport man beaten and strangled by two sex workers in his flat described one of his killers as "vile" and "an evil monster."
Richard Carslake, 48, was left naked and bound in his home by Terrence Cook, 41, and Tyler Phillips, 20.
One of Mr Carslake's sisters, Jeanette Jones, 56, said of Cook: "He's a vile person and I'm so glad he's off the streets."
Her husband Gareth, 57, added: "He's an evil monster. If they wanted anything, he would have given it to them because he deplored violence."
Mrs Jones described her brother as "a loving, caring person who was always smiling" who would do anything for anyone.
She added: "He was a lovely person and I miss him dreadfully."
Around 80 people came from as far afield as Brighton to be at his funeral.
Mrs Jones also described the heartbreak of burying two of her brothers and her mother within three months of one another.
Mr Carslake's brother David, 59, died on March 25, just six days before he was killed, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2010.
Mrs Jones rang her brother to tell him the news and the family went down to Cornwall for the funeral on April 4, unaware their other brother had been left dead in his flat.
Mr Carslake had not been able to go to his brother's funeral as he had lost his job, just paid a deposit on his flat and a month's rent up front and was struggling financially.
They came back to Wales on April 5 and the following evening, two police officers knocked on the door of Mr and Mrs Jones to tell them Mr Carslake had been found dead in unexplained circumstances.
On July 9, Elsie Carslake, 78, died. She had been suffering with vascular dementia, caused by problems with the blood supply to the brain. Her funeral was held on July 16, five weeks after Mr Carslake's.
Mr Jones said news about Mr Carslake's death had a knock on effect on her and she stopped eating and drinking properly and "gave up,"
Mrs Jones said: "It was absolutely dreadful, they didn't just rob us of a brother, in a way they speeded my mum's death up."
Mrs Carslake and her son David are buried in St Teilo's Church, Abergavenny. Mr Carslake is buried in Brithdir cemetery.
Victim was taken into care as a child
Mr Carslake was born in Caerphilly Miners' Hospital and was taken into care at a young age before going to Castle Hill School in Chepstow.
He had two brothers and five sisters; David, 59, Arthur, 42, Jeanette Jones, 56, Margaret Williams, 44, and Patricia Harwood, 50.
Mrs Jones said when he turned 16, he became self sufficient and worked in catering throughout his adult life, both as a kitchen porter and a waiter.
He moved around Wales and the South of England, following work when it became available, and lived in Cardiff, Risca, Newport, Bristol and Brighton.
He only moved to Jeddo Street from Risca nine days before he was killed and had left his furniture in a lock up until he could move it down, which is why he was sleeping on an airbed.
Mr Jones said his brother-in-law was into gadgets, music and films and had a particular fondness for old Western movies. He used to visit his sister every few weeks and the two would regularly speak on the telephone.
Mr Carslake had five nephews and three nieces.
The family thanked their Victim Support officer, David Taylor, who they described as "a lovely, supportive gentleman."
Pain of court case
MR Carslake's family sat through the two-and-a-half day trial of issue this week, hearing in great detail about how he was killed.
Mrs Jones said the family wanted to be there "to show Richard had a caring family and a family they've robbed of a lovely brother."
She said she hoped Cook would not be released from his indeterminate sentence for "a very long time" but doesn’t think the sentences were long enough.
Mrs Jones said: "I honestly think the whole British law system needs to be changed to give justice for the victims. We are grateful to the police for getting the people involved in the death of my brother. Seeing someone locked up does help but, no matter what sentence they gave out, it would not have been justice for my brother but it does give us closure."
Man was beaten and strangled Cook, of Clytha Square, Newport, was a pimp and Phillips, of Samsons Avenue, Varteg, was one of his rent boys when they approached Mr Carslake in Newport gay bar Flaunt on March 30, 2011.
They propositioned him and went back to his flat in Jeddo Street, Pill, before Mr Carslake was tied up with his consent. Phillips blindfolded him with a T-shirt before he was beaten and strangled.
Mr Carslake suffered 18 injuries to his upper body before the pair left him naked, either unconscious or dead, and tied to a fire surround.
They stole £80, his Acer laptop and a selection of DVDs.
Both pleaded guilty to manslaughter and robbery - but pointed the finger of blame at each other for Mr Carslake's killing.
Mr Justice Wyn Williams said he could not say with conviction which of them strangled Mr Carslake, but it was much more probable than not that it was Cook.
Cook, who has previous convictions for sex offences against young boys in Belgium, was deemed a dangerous offender and given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum tariff of five years. He will not be released until it is deemed he poses no threat to the public.
Phillips was sentenced to seven years in a young offenders' institution.
Mr Jones said: "He had broken up with his long term partner, he had lost his job and he was quite lonely. He wasn't streetwise, he was friendly and thought other people were."
Investigation involved cross-border co-operation
The senior investigating officer in the case of Richard Carslake, 48, Detective Chief Inspector Ian Roberts, said: "Richard Carslake put his trust in two men who befriended him, this led to him becoming a victim of robbery and a violent assault which resulted in his tragic and untimely death."
"The investigation that ensued was a complicated undertaking, which was hampered by Cook fleeing to Belgium. However, the investigation team were determined to see justice done, and working with colleagues in Belgium, Cook was tracked down and arrested in Antwerp.
"I must pay tribute to the work of investigation team who were focussed, professional and determined to see a positive outcome. I would also pay tribute to members of the public who came forward to provide information and assistance to the investigation.
"Our heartfelt sympathy remains with Richard's family. They miss him and have been deeply affected by his death. I hope the conclusion of the case today provides them with some small measure of comfort."
Lover pays tribute to dead man
Richard Carslake's partner Gabriel Williams, who originally raised the alarm when he went missing, said: "Richard was a very kind caring man and was helping me go through my male to female transition.
"He's still my boyfriend to this day now and it will never change. He was my first love and we would have been married by now as we had plans but it never went ahead.
"Our marriage was planned for September 3 as that was the day we first met in Cardiff at Gay Pride.
"I still haven't got over him to this day, and the sentence for Tyler Phillips and Terrance Cook is not long enough. I'm not treating this as manslaughter, I am sorry but it's murder.
"He moved to Pill from Risca as he lost his job. Eleven days after he moved I find out he's dead.
"I would just like to say thank you to the CID and others that helped me out with this case, you done all you could. I'm in tears already now.