MALPAS ROAD SHOOTING: Why was he free to shoot me?
SHOOTING victim Rachel Williams wants to know why her gunman husband was granted bail after assaulting her days before shooting her and killing himself.
The mother-of-two, who was shot in the left leg by Darren Williams at the Carol Ann Hair Salon on August 19, believes the tragedy could have been avoided if he been remanded in custody.
Mrs Williams, 39, says she feels let down by the justice system, which should have protected her, when Mr Williams was granted bail despite objections by the Crown Prosecution Service.
The CPS felt Williams, who appeared at Caerphilly Magistrates Court on August 12 charged with assaulting his wife by beating her on July 9, would cause physical or mental harm to another or cause a person to be in fear of such harm if he was bailed.
But magistrates freed him, ahead of a trial set for October 24, on the understanding he would comply with several conditions.
These included having to adhere to a 6pm to 6am daily curfew, he was also banned from contacting prosecution witnesses, including his 16-year-old son Jack, and was not allowed within three-miles of the house the couple previously shared in Brynglas Drive.
He was also made to sleep each night at an address in Cwmbran.
Days later on August 18 the conditions were varied and he was once again allowed to contact his son, but no other prosecution witnesses,while the ban on entering any premises within a three-mile area of Brynglas Drive was relaxed to include only the street.
Mrs Williams, who described her 18-year relationship with the former night club doorman as "volatile" said she felt let down and "gutted" by the decision.
She said: "I was absolutely distraught. He had already made threats to kill so I wasn't very confident that he could now walk past the shop, come up to the top of the hill and look down to the drive. They gave him freedom, I was gutted."
The couple had been separated on and off for the past couple of years and despite Mr Williams being violent towards her on several occasions, she found it difficult to leave him.
She said: "When you live with someone with mental health problems they do what they do to you and make you feel sorry for them.
"After he did what he did to me, be it try to strangle me or rag my hair, he would immediately say sorry.
"When you've got a 6ft 7ins, 22 stone man crying like a baby it's hard."
But despite his actions leading up to and including the shooting, Mrs Williams feels he was not solely to blame and more should have been done to help him.
The hairdresser feels health professionals failed to address the mental health problems Mr Williams had battled for 18 years, for 11 of which he took daily doses of antidepressants and diazepam.
She also believes he should have sectioned for his own safety following his three earlier suicide attempts.
He had also been on a waiting list to see a counsellor for the past year, and had only started seeing one through Gwent charity Kaleidoscope after Mrs Williams took matters into her own hands.
She said: "Darren wasn't himself for the last couple of weeks.
"I am angry, thinking it might not have come to this had the professionals looked at this. For 18 years he had mental health history, why didn't they do something about it, why didn't they section him?"
"I have got a permanent reminder of what he's done but I am sorry that my son has lost his father because of let down in the system.
"I am really sad for that, he wasn't all bad, it's sad that it's come to this."
Mrs Williams was in danger of losing her left leg following the incident after the gun shot wound she suffered shattered the lower part of her limb.
She is currently recovering at Swansea's Morriston Hospital after undergoing an eight-hour operation.
Surgeons rebuilt her shin bone, replaced her knee joint and tendons and moved muscle from her calf to support her knee.
She also had a skin graft and will be left with a permanent scar, which stretches from her knee to her ankle, Yesterday we reported how Mrs Williams tried to wrestle the gun from her attacker when he entered the hair salon on Malpas Road.
He shot her, told her he loved her and aimed the double barrelled gun at her again but the cartridge rebounded around the room injuring shop owner Carol Ann McSheedy and 92-year-old customer Connie Evans.
Mr Williams fled the scene and was found hanged in woodland in the city five hours later.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is currently investigating Mr Williams' death and are looking into the contact Gwent Police had with him before he died.