Man guilty of murdering woman who mistook his Welsh home for B&B

A man with anger issues has been found guilty of the murder of a confused 71-year-old woman who mistook his Welsh seaside home for a B&B and got into his bed.

When David Redfern, 46, found Margaret Barnes in his room in July last year, he dragged her downstairs by her ankles and kicked and stamped on her, Caernarfon crown court heard.

Barnes, from Birmingham, who was described by her family as a much-loved wife, mother and grandmother, had been due to stay at a B&B on Marine Parade in Barmouth, north-west Wales, where Redfern lived.

After a night out, she mistakenly went into Redfern’s house, walked straight up to his bedroom and fell asleep, the court heard.

Michael Jones KC, prosecuting, described it as a “mistake that ultimately cost her her life”.

Opening what he called a “bizarre” case, Jones said Redfern was a 21st (133kg), 6ft 1in “bully” with anger issues who launched an “utterly gratuitous” attack on the 5ft 5in Barnes, causing the sort of internal damage seen after road crashes.

After the attack, Redfern refused to call an ambulance and hurled insults at his victim as she lay dying outside his five-storey townhouse.

In police bodycam footage shown in court, Redfern said: “I threw her out the bedroom, dragged her down the stairs by her ankles and threw her out the door. You do not expect to find someone else in your bed. I just wanted to get this strange woman out of the house.”

In CCTV footage, he was heard telling his partner, Nicola Learoyd-Lewis: “I didn’t mean to kill her.” She replied: “You could have just escorted her out. It’s an old lady.”

Questioned in court by his barrister, Mark Cotter KC, Redfern claimed he found Barnes in his bed drinking and smoking, her false teeth on a bedside table. He said: “She was sitting up with pillows propped up. She had a bottle of gin. She had a glass in her hand. The room stank of smoke.”

Redfern said there was a black travel case open on the floor and clothes strewn around the room. He said he asked “Who the hell are you?” and he claimed she told him it was her room.

Redfern claimed Barnes became aggressive and lunged at his partner after the police were called. He claimed there was accidental contact during the confrontation but denied murder.

After the verdict, Barnes’s family said: “As a family it has been the hardest time of our lives. It has been especially difficult for Margaret’s husband, who had been her partner for 56 years. We now have some sort of closure on what has happened; however, no length of sentence will ever fill the void that Margaret has left behind.”

Redfern has been told he will be jailed for life, and on Friday he will learn from the judge Mr Justice Bourne what minimum term he will serve.