Secret Bugging Device Catches Man Confessing To Killing Girlfriend In ‘Post-Sex Argument’


An amateur boxer was caught confessing to killing his girlfriend after suspicious police secretly bugged his home.

James Tobin, then 21, had slapped his girlfriend Kellie Gillard, 25, in a ‘post-sex arugment’ and she fell out of bed and fatally hit her head.

Tobin initially told police she had died from a drug overdose, and then changed his story to say she had fallen and hit her head.

Suspicious detectives put a secret recording device in his home and they heard him confess to his father to the killing.

At Tobin’s trial in January last year prosecutor Vincent Coughlin said the couple had a row after having sex on April 24 2015 – Kellie kicked Tobin, who responded by slapping her.

“He concedes that in a short exchange of violence, after he had been kicked in the head, he must have delivered a number of forceful blows with an open hand.”

Miss Gillard was put on a life-support machine before her organs could be donated – the court heard this helped save the lives of six others .

Now in a new ITV show, South Wales Police have shown for the first time how they ended up catching the killer.

After a pathologist found bruising on Kellie’s body, a further examination was carried out.

It showed bruising behind her ears which police said was consisted with an assault.

“As far as the evidence was showing, the account was showing the James Tobin account wasn’t accurate,” Detective Chief inspector Gareth Morgan told Crime Files showing on ITV Wales tonight.

A week after Kellie’s death, Tobin was arrested again on suspicion of murder.

But he told police it was all an accident and that Kellie had fallen from the bed.

In a police interview, Tobin said: “She got giddy or light-headed and just fell over and banged her head.”

Tobin added she may have banged her head on a “radiator” or “drawers”, with bruising caused by them having sex.

There was just one problem. When police went to investigate his room where it happened, he had taken his furniture with him.

“In the days subsequent to Kellie’s death, he had vacated this room and gone to live elsewhere,” Detective Constable Richie Rees said.

“He had taken his furniture with him. It was important for us to locate that furniture and place it back at the scene to compare it to the original photographs, so we were able to put it back in situ as it was and take the necessary measurements.

“James Tobin’s account was that during the evening of Kellie’s death, she had stood on the bed and then fallen and then he suggests hit her head on something.

“So it was important for us to test that evidence to see if that was in fact feasible.

“It was highly unlikely Kellie’s injuries had been caused by a fall.”

There wasn’t enough evidence to charge Tobin, and he was released on bail.

Police needed more evidence to prove he had killed Kellie.

But after detectives discovered that Tobin had a past of controlling behaviour and domestic violence
with both Kellie and previous partners, they decided to install a secret listening device into Tobin’s home.

On there was one conversation that sounded like a confession by Tobin.

“I said she’s chopsing so I just put her to sleep like,” Tobin told his father.

‘Chopsing’ is a Welsh slang term for arguing or saying disrespectful things to someone.

His father replied: “That’s between you and me butt. No one else will ever know that. You ‘sparked her’ was your words.

“She was going to die right, she was an accident waiting to happen. It’s unfortunate, it’s you it happened with.

But she always thought she was clever.”

“That’s a local term,” Detective Rees told presenter of the ITV show. Andrea Byrne, as they watched the footage.

“To spark somebody effectively means to punch them and knock them out.

“James Tobin, as I’m sure you’re aware, was a trained boxer.”

But police also found another confession.

When Tobin was first arrested, he called his dad from his cell. That call was recorded by police.

“I decked her,” Tobin said. “Oh G, I actually killed her. I killed her, I gave her the best punch.”

“This was the golden nugget, the moment where the investigation team had a collective sigh and looked at each other around the room, thinking ‘this is it’,” Detective Chief Inspector Morgan said.

“I think James Tobin thought he got away with it. And that’s what’s unique about this case.

“He probably would have got away with it if we hadn’t gone to such lengths and used all the tools available to us.

“If we hadn’t had such a committed investigation team, I think the likelihood is he would have walked away.”

Tobin pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Swansea Crown Court and was jailed for 12-and-a-half years in prison, with a four-year extended licence.

Charges against Mark Tobin for perverting the course of justice were dropped.

Three years on, Kellie’s family are still upset he won’t take responsibility for her death.

“He spun this massive web of lies and he thought it was OK to do that,” her sister Sadie Broad said.

“He put us through absolute hell and back.

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