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‘Spray may have been a contributing factor’

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Sunken Gardens: Where Mr Hunt was arrested

THE USE of a PAVA spray by police ‘may have been a contributing factor’ into the death of a man, a jury has said.

Darran Hunt, aged 36, died on February 8, 2015, when he was under arrest for alleged use of drugs at Sunken Gardens in Llanelli.

Mr Hunt then ran away and is seen on CCTV putting something into his mouth, and at some point after he swallowed the bag whilst being restrained by police.

Another officer also used a PAVA spray on Mr Hunt and he is then seen to fall to the floor on his knees.

After he started choking, officers attempted to get the bag out of Mr Hunt’s throat, which they did, before trying to revive him but sadly he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest into his death was held at Milford Haven Town Hall, beginning on Monday, January 30, and lasted until Friday, (Feb 3).

A jury recorded that Mr Hunt swallowed a ‘significantly sized package’ and that the use of PAVA spray ‘may have been a contributing factor’ in his death.

It was also mentioned that there was a delay in the Ambulance Service taking the call from the police service, with the call being answered on the second attempt after a 49-second wait.

Medical personnel were able to remove the 8cm by 5.5cm by 2.5cm package and attempted to revive Mr Hunt.

The family added that they wanted to thank those involved for trying to revive Mr Hunt.

During the inquest, the court heard from Mr Hunt’s mother, Kathryn, who said that her son was being ‘hounded by the police’.

They also heard from Dr Jason Payne-James, an independent expert forensic physician, who said that it was not clear when the packet became lodged in Mr Hunt’s mouth. However, he confirmed that the use of PAVA spray could cause you to inhale or even gulp air, which may force a foreign object to be pushed back and block the airways.

South Wales police officer, Jonathan James told the court: “There was no training in place for the officers to know what to do when they were dealing with Mr Hunt’s situation.” This was later disputed.

Acting on behalf of the family, Mr Tom Stoate asked the coroner on Friday whether or not a report to prevent future deaths could be carried out.

The coroner was also asked to write to the National Police Chief Council and or the College of Policing to ask for clarity on the guidance and questioned whether training was needed for the use of spray when somebody has something in their mouths.

The coroner concluded the inquest and will make his recommendations at a later date.

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Llanelli: Stop notice issued for school planning application

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A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a new 480-spaced school in Llanelli has been issued a stop notice by the Welsh Government.
Carmarthenshire County Council is proposing to build a new £9.1m school on Llanerch Fields in Llanelli and were looking to determine the planning application in the coming weeks. Welsh Government will now decide whether to call in the application or not.
The new school would accommodate 420 primary and 60 nursery pupils, set over two floors with larger classrooms with integrated IT facilities, a multi-purpose hall and specialist provision for pupils with additional learning needs.
Over recent years there has been much debate in the area on the choice of site for the new school with campaigners arguing that they support a new school, but object against Llanerch fields being built upon. Last year an attempt to get the land designated as a village green was turned down.
In 2017, Ysgol Dewi Sant as the first Welsh medium primary school to be provided by a local authority celebrated its 70th birthday.
Councillor Rob James, local member for Lliedi, stated “From day one I have raised concerns that the Council’s site choice and planning process opened the Council up to the possibility of the Welsh Government calling in the planning application. It is clear that these concerns were not misplaced and there is now a really chance that it will be. 

“As a local Councillor, a school governor and a parent, I am passionate about the need for a new school for the pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant and it is important that local pupils get the benefits of a 21st century school.
“I will now be working with Council Officers to ensure that contingency plans are prepared in case the Welsh Government state that the planning application does not comply with national planning policy.
“I will also work with parents, pupils, residents and interested parties are able to engage with the Welsh Government during this process.”

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Third annual Burry Port Raft Race is eagerly awaited

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THE THIRD ANNUAL BURRY PORT RAFT RACE, organised by Burry Port couple, Craig and Isabel Goodman, will be held on Saturday (July 27).

The event which is held in Burry Port Harbour, raises much needed funds for both Burry Port RNLI and a children’s football academy and primary school the couple support in The Gambia.

The day launches at 12pm with stands, food stalls and children’s inflatable games and rides and these will be available until 5pm. You’ll also have a chance to meet the crews, who’ll be busy putting the final touches to their rafts.

Rafts launch at 3pm, followed by a presentation ceremony, including prizes for first raft over the line, first raft to sink and best dressed raft.

Craig said: ” A huge thank you goes to all our sponsors, including overall sponsor Dawsons, along with continued sponsorship from Celtic Couriers, Parker Plant Hire, Burns Pet Nutrition, Burry Port Co-Op, Llanelli Star, LBS Builders Merchants, Burry Port Marina, First Choice Flooring and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council.

For any further information about the event, please contact 07825 842981.

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Compensation offered after FSCS declares Llanelli firm in default

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CONSUMERS could get back money they have lost as a result of their dealings with a failed regulated firm in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. The firm is Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited formerly Assura Protect, Room 1, 7 Meadows Bridge, Parc Menter, Cross Hands, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA14 6RA.

The firm was declared in default in June 2019 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

FSCS is the UK’s statutory compensation scheme that protects customers of authorised financial services firms that carry out certain regulated activities. A declaration of default means FSCS is satisfied a firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it. This paves the way for customers of that firm to make a claim for compensation with FSCS.

Alex Kuczynski, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at FSCS, said: “FSCS steps in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust. This vital service, which is free to consumers, protects deposits, insurance, investments, home finance and debt management. We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with this firm to get in touch, as we may be able to help you.”

Since it began in 2001, FSCS has helped more than 4.5m people, paying out more than £26bn in compensation.

If you wish to make a claim with FSCS against Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited, you may be able to do so using FSCS’s online claims service at https://claims.fscs.org.uk Or you can contact its Customer Services Team on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100

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