A TERMINALLY-ILL woman was ‘devastated’ after finding out that a man she befriended had stolen £500 which she had been saving to pay for heating oil, magistrates in Llanelli heard on Thursday (Aug 3).
The court heard that 40-year-old Christopher James, of Kidwelly, had taken the woman’s cash card without her consent, and withdrawn the maximum of £250 on two occasions over two days while she thought that the card had been lost.
James pleaded guilty to two charges of theft.
Prosecuting, Lisa Jones described the offences as a clear breach of trust. She explained that the complainant had become aware that her bank card was being used after she contacted the bank when she thought she had lost her card. She found out that the card had been used at the cashpoint of Kidwelly Co-op.
Police checked the CCTV, and told the complainant that the money had been taken by a man who had previously accompanied her to the cash machine when she checked her balance.
She identified James, who she said she had known for around a year. She explained that she was suffering from terminal cancer, and James drove her to medical appointments as well as taking her shopping.
In a statement to the police, she described James as a friend, and said she ‘couldn’t believe’ that he would do this to her. She said that she no longer felt comfortable using cashpoints, and explained that she had intended to spend the money on buying heating oil – something James knew.
In an interview, James initially denied the thefts, and said that he knew the complainant’s PIN number because he had taken money out for her before.
The court heard that he had a previous conviction for burglary in 2005.
Magistrates adjourned sentencing to allow the probation service to write an all-options report.
Appeal for information about burglaries
DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a number of burglaries that occurred during the afternoon and evening of Sunday, October 8, in the Llanelli and Five Roads areas.
Sometime between 1pm and 8:30pm there was a burglary to a cottage on the main road through Five Roads; the intruder searched the property but no items were stolen. Sometime between 5:15pm and 7:30pm a similar incident happened at Trinity Road, Llanelli.
An attempted burglary to a property at Heol Hen, Five Roads, happened between 8:50pm and 9:30pm on the same evening. It appears someone has attempted entry by forcing the window with a tool.
Police are treating the three incidents as linked.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Dyfed-Powys Police by calling 101, or speaking to a local officer by visiting Llanelli Police Station. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number: 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.
Storm Ophelia warnings issued
WINDS of up to 80mph are expected to batter Carmarthenshire and cause ‘significant impact’ as Storm Ophelia hits later today (Oct 16).
The Met Office has warned that there could be a danger to life due to flying debris in the high wind.
There could also be disruption to travel as roads could be flooded and fallen trees could cause obstruction.
The Cleddau Bridge may also close high-sided or all vehicles.
Those living by the coast have been told to stay away from the water to avoid risk of being blown or swept into the sea.
1,200 soldiers are on standby across the UK to respond to any significant incidents caused by the storm.
Police support Hate Crime Awareness Week
DYFED-POWYS POLICE will show its support and commitment to the National Hate Crime Awareness Week by raising awareness within communities as to what a hate crime or incident is.
Additionally, they will be encouraging members of the public to ‘Make Hate History’ and to report hate crime as ‘reporting works’.
Chief inspector Rhiannon Ivens said “Hate crimes and incidents have a significant impact on victims and can cause serious distress, confusion and fear. By their very nature they are hostile and prejudice, targeting a person or people merely due to their disability, religion or belief, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation or transgender identity. We have to unite to stop this – together.
“By reporting these crimes and incidents when they occur, our residents and communities are joining us in the fight against crime, supporting us to investigate, identify offenders and bring them to justice and to stop this from happening to someone else.
“I want to encourage anyone who is a victim of hate crime to report it to us at Dyfed-Powys Police so we can investigate and offer as much support as possible. We also need to know where it is happening so we can understand the extent of hate crime in the area and be better equipped to diffuse community tension before it can escalate.
“We all share the responsibility to stop hate crime. Challenging perceptions and attitudes and encouraging others to ‘think for themselves’ is something we must all do consistently to drive out Hate and positively influence our environment.
“Whether you are a victim or a witness to hate crime, adult or child, please report it to us, we want to hear from you and stop this – together.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said “Hate crime can destroy lives, instil fear and can break down the fabric of our communities and neighbourhoods. Hate crime affects all communities and if not tackled can lead to the isolation and victimisation of individuals and vulnerable groups along with the polarisation of communities.
“I would like to see everyone challenging the underlying attitudes and behaviours in society that lead to hate crime being committed.”
During the week, officers will be out and about in the community and speaking to the public to raise awareness of hate crime.
Victims are encouraged not to suffer in silence but to report hate crime by speaking to Neighbourhood Policing teams or via the 101 non-emergency number or 999 during an emergency.
Victims can also report electronically on the True Vision reporting system – www.report-it.org.uk
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