A mum was held hostage at gunpoint overnight by her ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ ex in a terrifying eight hour ordeal.
Rhianon Bragg was controlled and abused by Gareth Wyn Jones for five years but it took being kidnapped at gunpoint for him to be charged, the Daily Post reports.
Jones ambushed Ms Bragg as she returned to her rural farmhouse in Wales and kept her against her will in a barn, threatening to kill her and leave her four children motherless.
Ms Bragg had ended her relationship with the twisted attacker in April 2019, but the 57-year-old refused to accept it was over.
He stalked her, sent messages and would turn up at her home to try and speak with her.
He’d watch her from the road, or lie in wait for her at her home, which she shares with her children and her mother.
When she called the police in May that year, Jones was arrested for harassment and menacing behaviour.
But the CPS decided no further action should be taken and Jones’ campaign continued, while also using threatening and menacing behaviour towards one of her children.
Terrified Ms Bragg had CCTV installed at her home to gather evidence against him, and on the night of the ambush in August 2019 he was filmed pointing a gun at her chest in chilling footage.
Ms Bragg said: “As I got out of the car, he suddenly jumped out and bang, right in front of me, in his camouflage trousers and jacket and his black leather shooting gloves, he had the barrel of the gun in my chest.
“It was a gun I recognised because I’d used it myself in the past to shoot clay pigeons. It took three cartridges, it was a semi-automatic with a very, very fine trigger.
“I screamed in shock, and I remember him laughing. The look in his eyes was furious. I asked him to put the gun down and he said no.
“I knew straight away there was nothing I could do, I was completely out of control..
“He’s bigger and stronger than me, and I knew I couldn’t outrun what comes out the barrel of a gun.
“One minute he was threatening to kill me, other times he said he was going to kill me before killing himself.
“I was constantly thinking what I would have to do and say to just get through the next minute.”
Five hours into the ordeal, her captor left the barn and forced Ms Bragg to drive to his home.
“He was very Jekyll and Hyde, but I’d learnt to modify my behaviour,” she said, “You don’t ever want to get the wrong answer, which is impossible at times.
“As I was getting in the car, he turned around and told me in Welsh that he loved me.
“I said something like I didn’t know what love was anymore, and that was it, his face changed and I thought, I’ve got to do something – so I stepped forward and put my arms around him.
“I didn’t want to hug him, I was doing it because I had to do something otherwise I’d have been in a lot of trouble.
“And that was when I felt the shotgun belt he was wearing under his jacket.”
The following morning, Ms Bragg managed to convince Jones to allow her to go to a doctor’s appointment.
Finally, alone in the GP’s room, Ms Bragg was able to tell someone what was happening and the police were called, the surgery was locked down and Jones was arrested in the car park.
Jones admitted charges of stalking, false imprisonment, making a threat to kill and a shotgun charge and was jailed for four-and-a-half years- with an extended licence period of five years, formally making it a nine and a half year sentence.
He was also made the subject of a 10 year restraining order, preventing him from contacting Ms Bragg or going within 800 metres of her home.
The shotguns and other firearms seized at his home were also ordered to be forfeited and destroyed.
But she fears that is not enough to keep her and her family safe following his release.
“I’m living with a countdown and in fear of his release because he is an incredibly dangerous character,” Ms Bragg said.
“If he’s allowed back into the village, I think it will show there is a complete lack of understanding on the effects of stalking and the victims needs.
“It’s so wrong, I feel as though I’m on a timer until he gets out.
“As a victim, I feel the onus is on you while the perpetrator is protected.”
Feeling ”let down by the authorities” she added on more than one occasion, complaints to the police before the incident were never followed up, including that Jones had previously “boasted about always having something to hand” when talking about tackling intruders.
It wasn’t until a few days after the incident that a search was carried out at his home and an illegal sawn-off shotgun was found in his airing cupboard.
Jones was handed a separate sentence for the offence in March this year.
But Ms Bragg says had the complaints initially been followed up, she could have been spared the trauma of being ambushed had he been in jail for that offence.
She added: “I fear next time it could be one of my children – or his next victim.
“What makes me really cross is there is a chance for something to be done about it, but nothing will happen until it’s too late for somebody.
“I just feel totally unprotected by the system.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Offenders released on licence are closely monitored and can be returned to prison if they breach strict conditions on where they can travel and who they can contact.”
North Wales Police did not wish to comment.