Stacey Gwilliam: Bride-to-be who clawed way out of shallow grave has died aged 40

A bride-to-be who who crawled out of a shallow grave after being buried alive by her bodybuilder fiancé seven years ago has tragically died at the age of just 40.

Stacey Gwilliam, then 34, was attacked and buried under branches by lover Keith Hughes in a row as the pair walked on Caswell Bay, a coastal path on the Gower Peninsula, south Wales, just days after he proposed in in July 2015.

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

Blog Post Ad

Police arrested burly 14 stone 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.

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.

An inquest into her death heard she had to walk with a stick and was left with difficulty eating, breathing and speaking – and tragically died from pneumonia and combined drug toxicity.

Stacey survived for six years after the brutal attack, and in a dramatic victim statement to the court during Hughes’ trial in 2015, she spoke of how she nearly died and spent nearly three weeks in a coma after saying she wanted to end their relationship.

Stacey Gwilliam (pictured), then 34, who crawled out of a shallow grave after being buried alive by her bodybuilder fiancé in Swansea seven years ago, has tragically died aged 40

She saw her jailed him for life with a minimum of eight years before he is eligible for parole – with Judge Paul Thomas adding that he was a ‘severe risk’.

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

‘The simple truth is what he told me that day: “If I can’t have you no-one can”,’ she said in her statement.

‘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.

‘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 survived for six years after the brutal attack, and in a dramatic victim statement to the court, she spoke of how she nearly died and spent nearly three weeks in a coma after saying she wanted to end their relationship (pictured)

Painter and decorator Keith Hughes, 39, tried to ‘snap her neck’ and then hide her body under bushes as he fled the beauty spot. Police arrested burly 14 stone Hughes after he crashed her car but he told them: ‘You’ll never find her’

‘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.

‘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.’

A year after the attack, Ms Gwilliam appeared on Good Morning Britain where she described regaining consciousness after being buried, and the moment she realised she was trapped underneath the pile of dirt and foliage on a beach after the attack in July 2015.

Although Hughes was sentenced to life in prison, he will be eligible to apply for parole in 2024 – and Ms Gwilliam told of her fear for the possibility of his release.

She said she could hear her ‘heart beating’ and ‘the sound of the sea in the background’, telling hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: ‘I came round and there were branches and shrubs put on top of me.

‘I could hear my heart beating and I could hear the sound of the sea in the background.

‘It was like everything was in slow motion. All I could see were blurs of green and brown.

She saw her jailed him for life with a minimum of eight years before he is eligible for parole – with Judge Paul Thomas adding that he was a ‘severe risk’. Stacey told Swansea Crown Court she was struggling with the injuries from Hughes strangling and burying her alive

‘I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move. It was like I was paralysed. It was awful really. Trying to get your head together to work out what was going on around you.

‘I tried to get up, but couldn’t. I had to use my nails to get out of where I was. That was all I could do. I tried to push but I didn’t have the upper strength.’

When she eventually managed to pull herself to safety, Ms Gwilym said she collapsed outside a nearby golf club where the alarm was raised.

She was taken to hospital and put in an induced coma for 26 days to recover.

Speaking about Hughes’ release, she told the ITV show in July 2016: ‘I feel frightened. But I’m going to be in a stronger place because I’ve got a lot of support.

‘I do have hope for the future and it’s down to the support of family, friends.

‘If it wasn’t for them I couldn’t have done this alone, but they’ve all been there for me.’

The Swansea hearing into Stacey’s death was adjourned for a full inquest on September 22.

Woman tells Susanna Reid how her fiance buried her alive

Read More: DailyMail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.