• Family of victim say they have a 'life sentence until they die'
  • Andrew Saunders jailed for life for murdering Matalan workers Zoe Morgan and Lee Simmons
  • Judge says: "Only one intention in the carrying out attacks and that was to kill"
  • Killer "deserves to spend the majority of his life in prison where he will hopefully have time to reflect on the gravity of his offences" - police

UPDATE: 12.20pm

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Mark O’Shea, said: “We should all remember the two young lives brutally taken by Saunders in the most cowardly of murders.

“He is a cold calculating killer who planned this crime over a number of weeks.

“He brutally killed those two wonderful young people out of an immature jealousy that cannot be explained or understood by any right thinking person. He has offered no mitigation and displayed no remorse. He is a truly despicable man.

“He deserves to spend the majority of his life in prison where he will hopefully have time to reflect on the gravity of his offences.”

UPDATE: 11.50am

The family of victim Lee Simmons said they had been left "devastated by this horrific and unprovoked crime".

They said: "Lee had met the love of his life in Zoe, he could not have been happier. He was the most gentle and caring young man who gave his all to everybody; you could not have wished to meet a more kind and thoughtful person."

They thanked friends and work colleagues for sharing "heart-warming reminiscences" of Lee. These had "provided great comfort in our darkest hours" they said.

They added: "It is beyond our understanding as to why Andrew Saunders carried out such an evil, calculated act; no explanation he will ever give can provide a justifiable excuse. His actions have ensured that a life sentence has been imposed upon us."

UPDATE: 11.36am

Statement on behalf of the family of Zoe Morgan:

As a family words will never be able to express how we feel inside. We are all totally heartbroken and will miss our beautiful intelligent girl for the rest of our lives. We have had a life sentence put on us by this horrible individual.

Zoe and her partner Lee could have had a bright and happy future together and will miss out on so much. What right did Andrew Saunders have to take this away from us?

Our lives have changed forever and things will never be the same again.

Every day we wake up and remember Zoe is not here and the terrible feeling you get, you cannot explain. No matter how long this evil individual gets in prison, it will make no difference to the life sentence that we have until we die.

We also look at our two sons, grand daughter and extended family and think of the loss they have suffered. We feel terrible for not being able to keep their sister Zoe here for them. They too have a life sentence.

I hope that every day Saunders is thinking about what he has done to us and what he has done to our beautiful daughter. We will think of Zoe for the rest of our lives. We would like to thank everyone for the support we have been given, especially South Wales Police.

UPDATE: 11.27am

The Judge, Mrs Justice Davies, gave this statement:

There can only have been one intention in the carrying out of these attacks and that was an intention to kill. From the outset you admitted your responsibility for these killings. You told your mother, the Police in interview, your psychiatrist.

You pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity in Court. I give full credit for your guilty pleas. As to mitigation, from the first you have expressed remorse. You have never been in trouble with the police.

My findings as to your emotional distress at the time of the killing and your inability to adequately manage it by reason of your age are mitigating factors.

Having taken account of the aggravating and mitigating factors the starting point for the minimum term of custody which you must serve is 28 years. The maximum credit which can be given for your pleas of guilty is one-sixth. This reduces the minimum term to 23 years and four months.

Credit will be given for 151 days in custody. If the number of days spent in remand is incorrect it can be corrected administratively.

It is most important that you and everyone concerned with this case should understand what this in fact means. The minimum term is not a fixed term after which you will automatically be released but the minimum time that you will spend in custody before your case can be considered by the Parole Board.

It will be for the Parole Board to say, at that time, whether or not you will be released: and if they do not you will remain in custody. If and when you are released you will still be subject to licence; and this will remain the case for the rest of your life. If for any reason your licence were to be revoked, you would be recalled to custody to continue to serve your life sentence in custody.

UPDATE: 11.04am
Tues 28 Feb

Andrew Saunders, 21, has been jailed at Cardiff Crown Court for life with a minimum term of 23 years for murdering Matalan workers Zoe Morgan and Lee Simmons in September last year.

South Wales Argus:

(Andrew Saunders pictured outside Cardiff Crown Court on his way to a previous hearing. Picture: Matthew Horwood)

UPDATE: 12.50pm
Mon 27 Feb

A HOTEL worker from Newport is facing up to 30 years in prison for the brutal murder of a young couple.

Andrew Saunders, 21, of Castleton, searched online for "how to knife someone’s neck" before killing his former girlfriend, Zoe Morgan, and her new partner Lee Simmons in Cardiff on September 28, last year. 

Cardiff Crown Court heard Saunders repeatedly stabbed Mr Simmons outside Matalan in Queen Street, before chasing Ms Morgan down the street to stab her with a second knife which he pulled from his rucksack.

Saunders was in a state of "emotional turmoil" after breaking up with Ms Morgan, the court heard.

He sent her a series of abusive messages on Facebook, and when she told him to stop he searched the internet for how to stab someone.

Winston Roddick, defending, said Saunders was a man of previous good character who had suffered a "heart-breaking" relationship breakdown.

He described Saunders as "an adolescent who could not manage."

Saunders, a former pupil at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic High School in Newport, was arrested at his £1 million farmhouse home 25 minutes after the double tragedy.

Shocked friends described him as the "quietest kid in school", "a gentle giant", and "the nicest guy."

One former rugby teammate said at the time of the attacks: "God knows what really happened. I played rugby with him and we all know he was a quiet one, sweetest guy you'd meet."

Another former schoolmate said: "He was the quietest kid in the class.  This is a shock to us all."

Saunders will be sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court tomorrow.


A NEWPORT man is to be sentenced today for murdering a couple on a Cardiff shopping street.

Andrew Saunders, 21, of Castleton, pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court in December to murdering Zoe Morgan and Lee Simmons.

They were found dead on Queen Street outside the store where they worked in September last year.

The couple, who had been going out with each other for less than four months, were attacked as they left the Matalan store after an overnight shift.