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St John Lloyd pupil tragically passes away

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POLICE have confirmed that a pupil of St John Lloyd School has tragically passed away this afternoon (Sept 12).

The family of the child have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious and stress that parents have no need to worry about their children at the school.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police is in attendance at St John Lloyd School in Llanelli after concerns were raised for the wellbeing of a pupil.

“Tragically, we can confirm that the child has passed away in hospital. His family has been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

“The incident is not being treated as suspicious and there is no need for other parents to be concerned for the welfare of their children.

“Our thoughts are with the family and the school at this sad time.

“St John Lloyd is working with the local authority, the diocese and Dyfed-Powys Police in order to ensure pupils and staff are supported.”

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jeremy Hywel

    September 13, 2018 at 7:06 am

    A personal reflection…

    SUICIDE DOESN’T KILL PEOPLE. SADNESS DOES.

    Earlier this week was World Suicide Prevention Day and probably passed with minimal awareness by most of us and most never even paid a glimpsing thought to the subject of suicide or even the more painful subject of child suicide.

    The tragedy of the saddest of news from St. John Lloyd School has sadly brought this unthinkable topic to front of mind.

    And the rise in child suicides is worrying. In the last 12 months, the number of children and teenagers who are taking their own lives has hit its highest rate in 14 years with more than four suicides a week. This summer has seen child suicides in London rise 107% in the last three years, four times the national rate. In many places around the world, suicide is the leading non-natural cause of death for children. All these statistics are growing.

    An unthinkable topic. A needless waste of young lives.

    The lives of children and young people these days have changed versus previous generations.
    The number of likes on Instagram and how many followers on social media define popularity. Traditional classroom arguments amongst a small pupil group traditionally may have cooled off overnight but today is fuelled by exponential public sharing and shaming via social media channels.
    Students’ academic life and college chances are determined by numbers, various scores and ranks. In the early 1960s, only 4% of school leavers went to university, rising to around 14% by the end of the 1970s. Nowadays, more than 40% of young people start undergraduate degrees – but it comes at a cost. Today’s students leave with debts of £40,000 and upwards to pay back over their working lives.

    When the current generation of parents was young, we had few worries about social media, cyber bullying, student loans, drug/alcohol abuse or violence in schools.

    All this adds pressures and painful strain on our young people. The very recent NHS state of health in England shows that mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, along with substance abuse, now account for a third of all ill health.

    What can we do about it? On the macro level, the greater awareness of the problem and solutions must be driven. On a local and personal level, we can help as individuals. Don’t assume it’s a problem which won’t impact us. Today, a local family in our community, friends in our own schools, wake up to a nightmare which will never go away – the heart breaking tragedy of a teen suicide. And with suicides come the ever-circling vultures of guilt, blame, shame and the insanity of the words ‘what if…’.

    When suicidal thoughts are so common to all generations, how come society is so blind to the 6,600+ people who died of suicide in the UK alone each year? That’s twice the number of victims of the tragedy of the 9-11 Twin Towers?

    So, what can we do? Appreciate the added pressures facing our youngster in today’s society. Shame and spotlight the social media trolls and bullies. Extend a friendly hand to those who are lonely or disconnected. Speak up about those being bullied or experiencing abuse. Show support and care to those living with mental illness. Embrace those facing bereavement. Be a friend to those having low self-worth.

    Don’t cross the street to avoid these individuals nor turn a blind eye in the school corridors.

    No one, especially a child or a teen, should face the feeling of no hope or no purpose to life when life can be so beautiful. There are far, far better things ahead than what we leave behind.

    Jeremy Hywel

  2. Anna Ernsting

    September 13, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Well said. I am disappointed the report says that parents at the school need not be concerned. The parents should be very concerned that bullying is taking place at their children’s school.I hope all steps are taken to identify the children concerned and their parents to ensure this is NEVER allowed to happen again. RIP Bradley. Thoughts are with ALL his family at this sad time.

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Victim speaks out about the impact knifepoint robbery

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Teifion Lewis: Robbed the man at knifepoint

THE VICTIM of a knifepoint robbery has spoken out about the impact the incident has had on his life as Dyfed-Powys Police takes part in a national knife amnesty aiming to get weapons off the streets.

The 24-year-old was approached by a man he didn’t know while walking his dog in Carmarthen on July 20 this year. A knife was held to his chest, and he was forced to hand over the money in his wallet.

His attacker, Teifion Lewis, of Llammas Street, Carmarthen, was arrested and charged with robbery within four days, and was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

Looking back at the incident, the victim, who has asked to remain anonymous, said: “At first, I didn’t realise he had a knife on him. I just assumed he was another man who was out partying, given he was young and it was late on a Friday night.

“Even when he was right in front of me with his hand on my chest, I assumed he must have had too much to drink and just stumbled into me. Once I saw he was brandishing a knife, though, that changed everything. It was at that moment that I realised I was in far more danger than I’d first thought.

“I suppose the only real thing that was going through my mind at the time was to talk to him, do as he says, and get out of there as soon as possible without becoming hysterical. I just had to keep as calm as possible for the time he was blocking my route.”

He explained that it was only when Lewis had taken his money and walked away, that he realised what could have happened had things gone wrong.

“I thought about how easily he could have stabbed me and I’d have been left out in an empty street, cold and alone, bleeding to death, without even a mobile phone on me to call my friends and family to tell them I love them,” he said.

“I’ve never given much thought as to what my inevitable death will be like, but I’d never have thought it could have ended that way.”

The victim had walked his dog every night for two years – using this particular route for seven months – with no issue. Since being robbed, he has become wary of going out at night and hasn’t been able to walk down the lane where he was stopped without suffering flashbacks.

“It’s not necessarily the whole event that comes back to me, but different parts, such as when he started to sob to me about his home life, or when he apologised for ‘having to mug me’,” he said.

“By far, what’s stuck with me the most are the words said to me as I was being mugged. The words ‘I want your money, I don’t want your life’ have been repeating in my mind every day since then, without failure.”

On September 2, at Swansea Crown Court, Teifion Lewis was sentenced for robbery and possessing a knife in a public place. The victim read out a statement directly addressing Lewis, urging him to get his life back on track and forgiving him for what he did.

“You asked me that night to forget that the robbery had ever happened,” he read. “My assumption is because you were fearful as for what might subsequently happen to you. I’m afraid though, that the image of a knife being flicked towards my chest, and the phrase ‘I want your money, I don’t want your life’ is something I will never be able to erase from my mind, no matter how much I wish for it to go.

“I want you, however, to improve. I want you to use your punishment as your wake-up call, and as a doorway to improving both your future and the future of those who you are close to. There is help available for you, even in prison, and even when it seems all hope is lost. If I can get my life back on track after my autism diagnosis, so can you.

“You’re young, you’re able bodied, and you still have time. Use it wisely. I can’t forget what you did, but just this once I will forgive you.”

The victim has spoken out about his experience as Dyfed-Powys Police takes part in Operation Sceptre – a national week of action aimed at cracking down on the illegal possession of knives. A knife amnesty is taking place during the week (Sept 18-24), with people able to bin their knives at specific locations across the force no questions asked.

The 24-year-old has backed the operation, and the chance to get knives out of our communities.

“I’d prefer it if these people who carry knives with them be honest about who they are and why they have them on their person,” he said. “But it’s much more important that it’s an opportunity to get these weapons off the street.

“If the ability to do this anonymously is what gives these people the confidence to rid themselves of their weapons, then so be it.”

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Jailed for spate of car fires

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AN ARSONIST hid behind a tree so he could watch cars and vans going up in flames.

Benn Gary Davies, aged 26, set fires at three locations in Llanelli and was jailed for three years after admitting three offences of arson.

Brian Simpson, prosecuting, told Swansea crown court how fires broke out in three different places in the early hours of July 6 this year.

They all involved cars and vans.

The duty manager at the Premier Inn, Llanelli, saw in horror that four vehicles in the car park were on fire.

When he went to investigate he noticed Davies hiding behind a tree and apparently watching the flames take hold.

In all, said Mr Simpson, Davies caused £25,000 worth of damage.

The court heard that Davies had a previous conviction for arson.

His barrister, James Hartson, said he had drunk an enormous quantity of alcohol.

Judge Peter Heywood told Davies, of Bynea, Llanelli, he had an underlying problem with alcohol.

“You have a bad record for damaging property and a conviction for arson.

“Arson is always viewed seriously by the courts.

“Cars can explode. Indeed, one of the vans concerned was used to transport calor gas,” he added.

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Sports photographer found after four months

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE have confirmed that a sports photographer has been found, having been missing for four months.

Gareth Davies, 45, was last seen on May 14 at Llanelli train station having visited family in the town.

Mr Davies was described as having professional links across the UK and France, and was living and working in Versailles, France at the time.

He was due to return there, but concerns were raised when he did not arrive.

Yet, last Friday (Sept 14) Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed that he was found in the UK safe and well.

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