A mum-of-four who was held at gunpoint by her stalker ex-boyfriend has slammed his upcoming release from jail in February – despite a parole panel finding he would not be safe in the community.
Gareth Wyn Jones, 59, is serving a four-and-a-half year jail term for holding Rhianon Bragg hostage overnight after she ended their relationship in 2019, stalking her and making threats to kill.
The parole board found it would not be safe to release him and he had never accepted culpability for his crimes – but despite this he is still due for automatic release in February.
The former mechanic will spend five years on licence when he is released from prison, meaning he will be jailed again if he commits further crimes.
Ms Bragg, 51, from Snowdownia, north Wales, is still living in fear: ‘I cannot conceive how anything other than a completely blinkered, unjoined up, broken justice system, would release an offender that it had just classed as too high risk to release.
‘It’s mind-blowing, absolute madness – what will they say to his next victims? It’s not like they’re pretending he won’t reoffend.
‘We’re hoping for a workable, sustainably funded Victims Bill. I think there’s no hope of that, when the system can’t even contain known offenders. We are just guinea pigs.’
A summary of the parole board panel’s decision on Jones said that he had held ‘traditional beliefs around gender roles in relationships and evidenced jealousy and a sense of entitlement’, while struggling to manage conflict.
It found that he saw asking for help as a sign of weakness, and noted there were emotional and mental health difficulties in this case.
A release plan where Jones would live in designated accommodation with strict limits on his contacts, movements and activities was not deemed ‘robust’ enough.
The panel said: ‘After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented in the dossier, the panel was not satisfied that release at this point would be safe for the protection of the public.’
Ms Bragg said while she’s relieved the parole board recognise how unsafe Jones is, she feels she’s not been listened to.
She said: ‘I have always said that he was mentally unwell and that he wouldn’t think he had done anything wrong. I don’t think that’s really been taken into account, at least now that’s been stated.
‘The night he held me hostage and was threatening to murder me, he even said that I had made his life harder because I hadn’t started a new relationship. He tried to use jealousy as an excuse, when there had never been anyone else to be jealous of.’
Despite Ms Bragg reporting Jones to the police a number of times, and his previous three arrests, no further action was taken and Jones’ previously confiscated firearms were returned.
Prosecutors later admitted they could have charged Jones three months earlier with harassment and spared Ms Bragg her gunpoint ordeal.
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