A SON who “mercilessly” murdered his 76-year-old father after a “trivial” argument over internet broadband speed has been jailed for life.

Stephen Gallagher, 55, called 999 and told an emergency services operator he had stabbed Thomas Gallagher to death at the Cwmbran home they shared.

Prosecutor Mark Wyeth, QC, said the defendant went to his bedroom and armed himself with lock knife which had a 6-inch blade after they rowed in the lounge.

Swansea Crown Court heard how his father was murdered after sustaining around 12 stab wounds to his upper body, including his chest and neck.


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South Wales Argus:

Thomas Gallagher

Judge Paul Thomas QC told the defendant: “You killed him that morning after he had asked you to leave and you had argued about broadband speed.

"You purposely went up to your bedroom and you took the lock knife and brought it into the lounge.

I wanted to finish him and I said to him, ‘Die!'

"You had one intention and one intention only and that was to stab your father to death.


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“You attacked your elderly father repeatedly and you did it with savagery and without any semblance of mercy towards him.

“The most chilling aspect of your butchery is that you told the police that after you started to stab him, he called out in pain and appealed for you to stop.

“You showed him not one scintilla of mercy. You said to the police, ‘I wanted to finish him off.'"

South Wales Argus:

Gwent Police’s Detective Constable Elaine Newbury read a family statement outside the court after sentence was passed

Mr Wyeth said: “Shortly after 10am, the defendant called 999 and told the operator he had killed his father.

“He said he had stabbed his father to death at their home address in Kidwelly Road.

Losing Thomas has been a devastating tragedy. He was the beat of a big hearted family

“The defendant said his father was dead in the lounge. He said his father had asked him to leave.”

When he was interviewed by detectives following his arrest, Mr Wyeth said Stephen Gallagher told them: “My father irritates me when he ignores me during an argument.

South Wales Argus:

Police officers at the scene of the murder last September. Picture: Wales News Service

“I went upstairs and got the knife. I grabbed his phone and smashed it on the coffee table and I proceeded with the attack.

“I held the knife with my right hand and thrust it into him about nine or 10 times.


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“I wanted to finish him and I said to him, ‘Die!’”

He pleaded guilty to murdering his father in Kidwelly Road, Llanyrafon, on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.

Paul Lewis QC, representing Stephen Gallagher, said: “His best mitigation is that he admitted what he had done straight away on the telephone and at his first arraignment.”

He added: “He’s always admitted the stabbing. Why he did that is difficult to fathom.

“There was no previous violence between father and son. The defendant had not taken alcohol or drugs.”

Mr Lewis said his client could be suffering from “abnormalities of mental function” and "traits of narcistic personality disorder and autism”.

The defendant was jailed for 13 years and four months.

Outside the court, Detective Constable Elaine Newbury read a statement on behalf of Thomas Gallagher's family: “Losing Thomas has been a devastating tragedy.

"He was the beat of a big hearted family and he has left a hole in our lives that will never be repaired.

"All of our happy memories will be kept forever in our hearts.

“We accept the sentence that has been handed to Stephen Gallagher but this will never compensate for the immense loss.

“We would ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”