It has been a busy year for the courts in Wales.

Here are some of the worst crimes that ended up before the courts in the past year, including 24 convicted killers.

They include the four men locked up for the murder of a man attacked in a Cardiff street just hours before his 21st birthday and the neighbour who brutally murdered a convicted child killer using a screwdriver when his past was discovered.

Three men were also jailed for life for the "brazen, vicious and brutal" murder of a young father-to-be.

Here are the crimes and the criminals convicted and jailed for them.

Daniel Roberts, Christopher Griffiths, Awez Jamshaid and Saif Shahzad

Malaciah Thomas' killers. Clockwise from top left: Daniel Roberts, Christopher Griffiths, Saif Shahzad, Awez Jamshaid
Clockwise from top left: Daniel Roberts, Christopher Griffiths, Saif Shahzad, Awez Jamshaid

The four were sentenced for their parts in the murder of  20-year-old Malaciah Thomas, who died in a “ferocious” early hours knife attack on a street in Cardiff. It was just hours before his 21st birthday.

A post-mortem examination found 13 stab wounds across Mr Thomas’ back, right arm, buttock, thigh, face and trunk.

Terrifying CCTV footage showed the movements of four killers on the night of the murder.

Roberts admitted murder during the trial while Griffiths and Jamshaid were both convicted of murder by a jury. Shahzad was acquitted of murder but found guilty of an alternative charge of manslaughter.

Ieuan Harley

Ieuan Harley was sentenced to life for the murder of David Gaut
Ieuan Harley was sentenced to life for the murder of David Gaut

He was jailed for life for the brutal murder of child killer David Gaut, who was stabbed 26 times with a screwdriver after neighbours discovered the truth about his past.

The 23-year-old, who does not have a fixed address, killed Mr Gaut after learning the ex-convict had served more than 32 years behind bars for murdering a child.

Mr Justice Clive Lewis sentenced Harley to life with a minimum term of 24 years.

Darran Evesham and David Osborne

Darran Evesham and David Osborne
Darran Evesham and David Osborne

The pair were jailed alongside Harley for covering up the murder of child killer David Gaut.

They were both sentenced for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in relation to the murder.

Dwayne Edgar, Jake Whelan and Robert Lainsbury

(Left to right) Dwayne Edgar, Jake Whelan and Robert Lainsbury

The three were jailed for life for the "brazen, vicious and brutal" murder of a young father-to-be.

Lynford Brewster, 29, was stabbed to death in broad daylight on a Cardiff street when his killers left him in a pool of blood on the ground.

The three were convicted of his murder after a retrial, caused when a lying detective wrecked their original convictions, and have each been jailed for life.

Lynford's mother described how she still had nightmares and called for automatic custodial sentences for anyone caught with a knife.

Colin Payne

The cowardly martial arts expert who brutally murdered a charity worker following a pub row then tried to throw away the CCTV that showed the fatal attack was jailed for life in December.

Payne was unanimously convicted by a jury of murdering Mark Bloomfield following a three-day trial at Swansea Crown Court. You can recap the entire trial as it happened here .

The 61-year-old had admitted the manslaughter of charity worker Mark Bloomfield, who died two days after the assault near the Full Moon pub in High Street on July 18 this year.

A judge ordered Payne spend at least 15 years of his life sentence behind bars for the "cowardly" killing.

Steve Baxter

The killer who stabbed his next-door neighbour through the heart before spending a month on the run was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The 52-year-old was convicted of murdering granddad Simon Clark at Grove Caravan Park in Pendine, Carmarthenshire, on September 27 last year.

Murder victim Simon Clark
Murder victim Simon Clark

Baxter's trial at Swansea Crown Court heard how he stabbed his 54-year-old neighbour in the chest with a deep, fatal wound that penetrated his heart.

John Garner

The "cowardly" killer cried as a judge locked him up for savagely murdering his partner using a hammer.

Garner, 51, battered his partner Teresa Garner to death at the home they shared after he found a text message she had sent to a former boyfriend.

An emotional statement was read to Mold Crown Court on behalf of one of his victim's three children, paying tribute to a "lovely mum" who is missed "every day".

Jason Farrell

Jason Shaun Farrell

The family of a young woman brutally murdered in a knife attack by her partner described her as a "bubbly person" and her "mother's angel" after he was found guilty of her brutal murder.

The bloodied body of 22-year-old Sammy-Lee Lodwig was found in a basement flat in Swansea in April 23 this year.

Sammy-Lee Lodwig
Sammy-Lee Lodwig

She had been gagged and repeatedly slashed and stabbed to the face, neck, and chest by her partner Jason Shaun Farrell.

He was jailed for life with a minimum of 26 years for the brutal murder.

James Jones, John Phillips and Harvey Huchet

James Jones, John Phillips, and Harvey Huchet were convicted of killing Anthony Winter

They were jailed for their part in the "horrific and cruel" killing of young dad Anthony Winter.

The 32-year-old was knifed through an artery and left to die in a pool of blood in woodland near Cardiff – a location a judge had been "carefully chosen".

In the aftermath of the savage and senseless killing, teenager James Jones, who inflicted the fatal knife wound, was said to have been “bouncing around” and “laughing”.

Anthony Winter

Teenagers Jones and Hutchet, both drug dealers, were recruited by drug boss John Phillips and were part of a grimy underworld where scores could be settled by serious violence.

Jones admitted murder while Phillips and Huchet were both cleared of murder by a jury but convicted of manslaughter.

Matthew Jones

The father "lost control" of his temper and shook his 15-week-old baby son to death.

The 26-year-old left his son Cody Rhys Williams-Jones with a litany of injuries likened to a “high-speed car crash”. The infant suffered multiple bleeds to the eyes – of which there were too many to count – and "catastrophic head injuries".

Jones, a hospital electrical engineer, made a frantic 999 call after his son became unresponsive.

When asked by the operator what happened his demeanour appeared to change and he replied calmly: "What it is, I don't know how it happened but he kind of like dropped and landed on the bed but, like, flipped." He then adds tearfully: "He f***ing pushed himself off me again."

Jones was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

Joshua Jolly

The sex predator and married soldier was jailed for sexually assaulting three women in “terrifying” attacks as they walked alone on dark streets in Cardiff in the early hours of the morning. 

The serviceman, who served in Afghanistan, targeted the lone victims and used violence to assault them, leaving each woman suffering from profound psychological effects.

The court heard that he ran up behind his victims and took them by surprise in attacks described as "every woman’s worst nightmare".

He has recently been granted leave to appeal the length of his 22-year extended sentence.

Kane Burns

He was jailed for killing his victim with a 2ft-long ninja sword before burning his body and burying it in a shallow grave in a Cardiff woodland.

He fractured Mohamed Megherbi’s skull with the weapon and then went to buy matches, fuel, and a shovel in a bid to cover up the evidence of his crime.

Mohamed Megherbi

Police found a rusty machete and an axe in Burns' Cardiff flat.

Speaking at Cardiff Crown Court prosecutor Michael Jones QC said the steps the defendant took to conceal the body were “extreme”.

Ashley Evans

Ashley Evans was at the wheel of his new car despite being disqualified from driving
Ashley Evans was at the wheel of his new car despite being disqualified from driving

The “cowardly” and “inhuman” driver ran over a six-year-old girl who had fallen off a scooter then fled from the scene in Cardiff before the police arrived.

Evans, 28, who had six previous convictions for driving while disqualified, dragged the child along under his new Vauxhall Astra.

Michalina Eslinger, six, was badly injured
Michalina Eslinger, six, was badly injured

Michalina Eslinger was pinned under the vehicle and medics warned her life was in danger following the crash, which was caught on camera in horrific footage which her family have agreed to release. We have edited the clip to remove the moment of the impact.

She was left with injuries to her pelvis, both thigh bones, her right lower leg, her collar bone, and horrible facial burns in the hit-and-run.

Her dad Krzysztof, who saw banned driver Ashley Evans speed away from the scene, said: "She has been so brave. We are so lucky she is here with us."

Hemin Salimpirik and Kuchar Rahim

Hemin Salimpirik and Kuchar Rahim, who both have children, 'carried on regardless' despite the fact it was 'obvious' their victim was not consenting
Hemin Salimpirik and Kuchar Rahim, who both have children, 'carried on regardless' despite the fact it was 'obvious' their victim was not consenting

The pair were locked up for their part in the horrific gang rape of a woman who had been drugged at a house in Abertridwr, Caerphilly.

The victim was forced to relive her horrific ordeal in court after two men charged with rape denied the offence.

In November last year the victim, who has lifelong anonymity and cannot be named, went to Salimpirik's house in Caerphilly for sex.

However when she arrived she found half a dozen men in the property smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol.

Some of the males in the house had apparently travelled down to Wales from the Bolton area.

The woman was given a drink spiked with a sedative and "at least" four of the men had sex with her even though she was clearly in no state to give consent.

The pair tried to get their rape convictions, which saw them jailed for a total of 32 years, quashed at the Court of Appeal in November but that was rejected.

Sarah Morris

The mum was sentenced to three years in prison for manslaughter after her baby daughter drowned when she was left unattended in the bath.

Jurors had heard Rosie was 13 months old and in the bath with her twin when she was left alone for “prolonged periods” and she drowned at Morris’ then home in Greenfield, Flintshire .

The court heard Morris was on the phone to her then partner Sarah Swindles for almost 50 minutes while toddler Rosie was in the bath.

Damion Harris

The arsonist was jailed for 16 years after setting fire to a hotel in Aberystwyth in a blaze that killed a guest.

Drunk 31-year-old Harris was venting his frustration after a woman at a nightclub had spurned him. He set fire to a cupboard full of linen, engulfing the Belgrave House Hotel in flames. The ensuing inferno killed one man and caused £5m of damage.

He was given a 16-year custodial sentence and five years on licence at Swansea Crown Court.

Judge Paul Thomas said Harris had entered the hotel for a "malicious purpose".

"You set not one but two separate fires," he told Harris. "Having set those fires you then deliberately removed a fire extinguisher. That, Mr Harris, was a wicked thing to do."

Justin Ravenhill

Justin Ravenhill has been deemed to be a dangerous offender

The 42-year-old was jailed for killing his cousin after punching him in the face "a number of times".

His attack on Andre Irwin caused him to fall to the floor and hit his head on an uneven piece of kerb.

The victim’s mother – the defendant’s aunt – told a court she “always thought Justin would kill someone but not for a minute did I think it would be my son”.

Ravenhill was handed a 10-year extended sentence comprising six years in custody and four years on licence after admitting manslaughter.

Jake Waterhouse

Jake Waterhouse cried in the dock as he was jailed over the death of Anna Evans
Jake Waterhouse cried in the dock as he was jailed over the death of Anna Evans

He was jailed for eight years and four months after a woman died when he drove his car into tents at a Welsh campsite.

The 27-year-old pleaded guilty at Mold Crown Court to causing the death by dangerous driving of Anna Roselyn Evans, 46, who died in hospital nine days after the incident at the Rhyd y Galen site near Bethel in Caernarfon.

Her husband, who had been woken by an “almighty bang”, was cut free from the tent but could not find his wife.

He said: “Later he saw her legs sticking out from underneath the car, which was nearby. He felt helpless.” The court heard five people lifted the car up to free Mrs Evans, who was unresponsive.

Joseph Berry

Joseph Berry, 39, was jailed for three years and six months after causing the death of his wife in a crash

The husband left his wife to die in the passenger seat of their car after fleeing the scene of a head-on crash.

The 39-year-old left the mother of his five children, Theresa Maguire, in the passenger seat of the car he crashed and ran away from the scene. She later died in hospital.

Berry was jailed for three years and six months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving while disqualified and uninsured.

Adam Taylor

The former soldier in a van mowed down two people outside a nightclub while four times over the drink-driving limit.

One of his victims suffered a bleed on the brain and is in the process of having a feeding tube inserted into his stomach.

The other victim has been has been left seriously injured and told he may have a permanent limp and suffer from arthritis after they were hit by the car outside the Banc nightclub Pentre, near Treorchy.

Before he drove into the two men, friends Luke Matthews and Ben Nicholas, he had been seen intoxicated and “stumbling all over the place” in the club.

The 31-year-old was jailed for two years and eight months for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Anthony Carling

Anthony Carling attacked a woman as she walked her pets in Cardiff's Waterloo Gardens
Anthony Carling attacked a woman as she walked her pets in Cardiff's Waterloo Gardens

The sex predator was locked up nearly 30 years after brutally raping a woman who was out walking her dog in a Cardiff park.

The 64-year-old was finally caught thanks to advances in DNA testing.

Read about the investigation and how he was finally caught here.

Andrew Jones

Andrew Tudor Jones (left) was sentenced to four years for the manslaughter of his partner Frederic Pallade at the house they shared
Andrew Tudor Jones (left) was sentenced to four years for the manslaughter of his partner Frederic Pallade at the house they shared

Jones was sentenced to four years behind bars for the manslaughter of his partner Frederic Pallade at the Clydach house they shared.

He shoved the Frenchman with such force he fell from the elevated front garden of the property, suffering "catastrophic" head injuries.

Lewis Richards

Lewis Richards attacked a pizza delivery driver with a 10-inch knife for just £25

The knife-wielding robber attacked a driver who was delivering pizza.

His victim said he felt sure he was going to die after being attacked with a 10in blade in the pitch black in a dead-end street in Caerau in Cardiff.

Even after emptying all his pockets of loose change Richards demanded more and threatened to kill the terrified driver. With no more money to give him Richards started swiping the knife towards Abdul Iqbal, stabbing him twice in the ribs and slashing at his face, lips, and hands.

Ben Wilson and Benjamin Fitzsimons

Ben Wilson, left, and Benjamin Fitzsimons
Ben Wilson, left, and Benjamin Fitzsimons

The two gamekeepers involved in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old in the car park of a pub were jailed.

Peter Colwell died when a shotgun was fired as he sat in a vehicle parked at the Ship Inn in Llanbedrog near Pwllheli.

The judge at sentencing said it was "an accident that could have so easily been avoided".

Wilson, who owned the shotgun, was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter by a jury and jailed for seven years. Fitzsimons, who was cleared of the same charge, was jailed for two years after being found guilty of possessing a loaded shotgun in public.