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Man wielded metre-long scythe on street

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​SWANSEA CROWN COURT heard how a Llanelli man took a scythe out on to the street to confront people that knocked on his front door.

The incident was said to take place at midday on October 10 at Glanmor Road, Llanelli, as the defendant Anthony Randall, claimed one of the people who had knocked had grabbed him by the throat.

Randall, 47, then pushed him away, and retrieved a metre-long scythe from his house before returning to the street. Prosecutor Hannah George explained that the defendant’s account was the only available evidence for this initial incident, as there was neither CCTV footage nor witness statements.

A neighbour did however then witness Randall, 47, brandishing the scythe, saying that he had proceeded to threaten men across the road that he would kill them. The incident prompted an armed police response on the street, though the defendant was not present when they arrived.

Randall had driven to the shops after the confrontation, and had been alerted by a friend of the police presence. Randall returned to Glanmor Road soon after, and told the police who he was. The police proceeded to search his home, finding two cannabis plants in an upstairs bedroom.

A police interview saw Randall insist that he had no intention of hurting anyone, but concede that people could have been shocked by his use of a scythe. The defendant had pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon, a public order offence, and producing cannabis.

Randall had 40 prior convictions for 125 offences, including 22 for drugs matters, as well as for possession of an offensive weapon and public order offences. It was suggested that the incident may have something to do with money the defendant had paid to a sex worker, for which he did not receive the expected service in return.

Defence Solicitor Ian Ibrahim stressed that Randall had handed himself over to the police, and given that his friend had alerted him to the police presence at his house, he could have easily stayed away.

Judge Paul Thomas QC said that it remained a mystery as to how the scythe incident was instigated, but that the threat to the public was obvious. He continued to say that the defendant had shown disregard for the law by continuing to grow cannabis plants despite prior drug offences.

Randall was jailed for a total of 16 weeks.

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Llanelli ‘Banksy’: Mayor covers graffiti rat in protective plastic

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LLANELLI Mayor David Darkin believes graffiti found on charity shop wall could potentially be a Banksy.

The piece has been covered with protective plastic by the council while they determine the authenticity of the piece.

David Darkin, Mayor of Llanelli told this newspaper: “I was approached by a local artist Roz Moreton, who believes the artwork is a Banksy in an attempt to preserve the piece.

Roz who studied art in Bristol and lived in London has said she has been exposed to numerous Banksy works including his rats on Westminster Bridge, and spotted the ‘rat’ straight away.

Darkin added “She first spotted the graffiti around ten years ago, but she kept her findings to herself so that she could go back and visit the work.

“It was only after the recent news of the incident in Swansea, where part of a suspected piece of Banksy artwork was stolen, that she decided to approach me to ask for help to protect the piece”.

The art dealer who bought Banksy’s ‘Season’s Greetings’ which appeared on a garage in Port Talbot in December, has met with the mayor in Neath to view images of the artwork.

John Bradner, Essex based gallery owner, paid six figures for the Port Talbot addition, is planning on visiting the site to see the piece for himself.

Mr Darkin added “After showing John Bradner the images he is fairly confident that the piece is Banksy’s work, the fact it was spotted ten years ago ties in with ‘Banksy’s rats’ which was his theme at the time when they appeared across industrial towns.

“Mr Bradner called me yesterday and asked if there was anything else I can do to preserve the piece until he comes to view it in a few weeks to check its authenticity.”

Speaking on the piece Councillor John Jenkins said “Fingers crossed it is a Banksy, but worst-case scenario it isn’t and is still a talking point and people still come and see him.”

Speaking to Mr Darkin he said no attempts have been made yet to contact Banksy to confirm the piece as far as he is aware.

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36 charges relating to chemicals and components for making bombs

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A 33-YEAR-OLD male  is facing 36 charges relating to chemicals and components which can be used to make bombs.

He was remanded in custody at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday (Feb 15)

The man, from Port Talbot, was arrested in October 2017 in an operation between counter terrorism officers, South Wales Fire and Rescue and The Welsh Ambulance Service.

Detective Superintendent James Hall said no known links to terrorist offences or groups were found. The man will appear in court again at a date to be fixed.

He has also been charged with possessing a taser and manufacturing and possessing class A drugs.

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University makes formal criminal complaint

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A FORMAL criminal complaint has been by made by Swansea University, as part of the ongoing investigation into the issues surrounding the recent suspension of four members of staff.

South Wales Police said: “Dyfed-Powys Police and South Wales Police can confirm that they have received a complaint which is currently subject of consideration by both forces.”

Last November, the university’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Richard B Davies, Dean of the School of Management Prof Marc Clement, as well as two other members of staff, who have not been named, were suspended.

Prof Davies has been suspended for alleged gross negligence whilst Prof Clement was suspended for alleged gross misconduct. Both individuals have denied any wrongdoing. Registrar Andrew Rhodes confirmed at the time that this action was taken after an internal investigation.

In a statement, the university said: “Swansea University has been in regular dialogue with the authorities since November 2018 based on the findings of our initial investigation. A formal criminal complaint has been made and the matter is with South Wales Police and Dyfed Powys Police. We will of course continue to co-operate fully with them. Our processes, which are being carried out by an independent investigating manager, are ongoing.”

The investigation has looked into the academics’ involvement in both the £200m Life Science and Wellbeing Village project in Llanelli, and a £600m plan for a private medical university and hospital in Kuwait.

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