Bride who crawled out of grave after being buried alive by lover dies after 6yrs

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A bride-to-be who crawled out of a shallow grave after being buried alive when her fiance tried to kill her has tragically died at the age of just 40.

Stacey Gwilliam, then 34, was attacked and buried under branches by lover Keith Hughes when she dumped him and he said "if I can't have you, no one can" as the pair walked on a coastal path in Wales.

Painter and decorator Hughes, 39, tried to "snap her neck" and then hide her body under bushes as he fled the beauty spot.

Stacey died at her family home in Townhill, Swansea, in November last year after suffering ill health.

Police arrested burly Hughes after he crashed her car but he told them: "You'll never find her." But 5ft 2in Stacey survived by using her nails to claw out of the grave to help bring Hughes to justice.

An inquest heard she had to walk with a stick and was left with difficulty eating and speaking.

She suffered from breathing difficulties – and tragically died from pneumonia and combined drug toxicity.

Stacey survived for six years after the brutal attack in 2015, which occured as she walked on the coastal path between Bracelet Bay and Langland Bay in Swansea.

In a dramatic victim statement to the court, Stacey told how she nearly died and spent nearly three weeks in a coma after saying she wanted to end their relationship.

She said: "The simple truth is what he told me that day: 'If I can't have you no-one can'."

"He knew the relationship was over and knew I would not go back to him. He took me down there that day to kill me, and he nearly succeeded.

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"I will never ever forget what he did to me that day and what he did to me throughout our relationship and now I have to live with that for the rest of my life.

"I only hope he does to."

Stacey told Swansea Crown Court she was struggling with the injuries from Hughes strangling her and burying her alive.

She said: "From the moment I came around from the coma I have been in pain and reminded of this incident every waking minute.

"When I woke I could not speak, or eat and was very weak as I has contracted pneumonia whilst in the coma and an abscess on my lung.

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"These were from being exposed to the elements whilst lying unconscious in the bushes on that coastal path.

"The effects of these I am still suffering with now and my chest is very weak."

She saw him jailed for life with a minimum of eight years before he is eligible for parole – with Judge Paul Thomas said he was a "severe risk".

But she died at her family home in Townhill, Swansea, in November last year after suffering ill health.

Paramedics were called and the family were advised to perform CPR. Police say they were no suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.

The Swansea hearing was adjourned for a full inquest on September 22.

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