Rebecca Press
Rebecca Press and Cardiff Crown Court Image: Wiki Commons and Gwent Police

Woman sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for murdering her mother’s best friend

A WOMAN who murdered her mother’s best friend and neighbour has been sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison after she changed her plea to guilty on the fifth day of her trial.

Rebecca Press, 32, from Caerphilly, stabbed Marc Ash on July 17, 2021, following a row in her mother’s home. She had gone there to stay following a split from her boyfriend Ashley Allen who she believed had been unfaithful, Prosecutor Jonathan Rees KC told the court.

The Recorder of Cardiff, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke, told the court that the defendant went into the kitchen, opened the contents of a kitchen drawer onto the floor, took a knife and delivered a “single blow” to Mr Ash with the “full length of the blade”.

When arrested, Press denied the claims and “feigned ignorance”, according to Mr Rees, instead suggesting she had reacted in self defence against an aggressive Mr Ash.

Following her arrest, substances including alcohol, bromazolam and etizolam, amphetamine, MDMA and THC were found in her system.

Mr Rees told the court that Press attended New Tredegar Rugby Club and the Dynevor Arms with Mr Ash following an afternoon of drinking with her mother in their communal garden.

During the afternoon, the defendant revealed to her mother that she had taken four Valiums which her mother warned her against because of her reaction to mixing the two.

Press then wanted to go to the pub with her family but they did not want to go and Mr Ash reluctantly accompanied her.

Mr Rees told the Crown Court that it was at the Dynevor Arms where the defendant became “angry and aggressive” after becoming trapped in a toilet cubicle due to a faulty lock. Because of this behaviour, Mr Ash returned alone to the home of Press’ mother to watch a film.

Press returned home later that evening and a row ensued between herself, her mother and her brother who had entered the house against the mother’s wishes.

Mr Ash called the police and explained it was “kicking off” before trying to calm Press down.

Mr Rees told the court that following the attack the defendant then searched for her phone and left a voicemail to her ex-boyfriend Mr Allen saying: “It’s really bad. It’s really ****ing bad. I’ve just stabbed someone and killed them.”

The defendant’s barrister John Hipkin KC told the court that Press had “deliberately withheld her guilty plea” whilst waiting for the witness statements of her mother and brother.

The Judge sentenced Press to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 20 years.

The court heard victim impact statements from Mr Ash’s parents and daughter who described him as a “quiet, gentle, loving, generous person” and said they were “heartbroken and miss every hair on his head”.

Mr Ash’s daughter said that she will “live with the fact I no longer have a father for the rest of my life”.