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Fraudster booked £44k worth of holidays

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AN UNEMPLOYED man booked holidays worth £44,000 after noting passwords used by travel agent staff, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Adam Griffiths, of Penlan, would visit Tui and Burgess Travel branches in Swansea, where staff thought he was a time waster because he would spent so much time talking to them about exotic holidays without booking.

Yet Prosecutor Carina Hughes told the court that he was, in fact, noting the passwords they used.

Griffiths, 28, would then access the travel agency systems online, booking luxurious holidays he could not normally afford. He would then take photos and post them on social media in an effort to impress people.

Judge Geraint Walters described Griffiths as a ‘Walter Mitty character’ – a reference to the eponymous character in the James Thurber novel ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’, who spends his life daydreaming.

The name ‘Walter Mitty’ has since become a term to denote an ineffectual person who spends more time in heroic daydreams than paying attention to the real world, or more seriously, one who intentionally attempts to mislead or convince others that he is something that he is not.

Swansea Crown Court went on to hear that Griffiths claimed to have worked for a private military contractor, said he was involved in counter-terrorism with links to Scotland Yard, and had fought so-called Islamic State.

He also had prior convictions for impersonating police officers. Griffiths had booked holidays to the seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, flying first class, and hiring a private yacht for a day, in order to take photos that he could impress people with. There was also an instance where he had taken a friend to the Seychelles on what was thought to be an all-inclusive holiday, before discovering it was only bed and breakfast and that the pair could not afford meals.

His barrister Andrew Evans said Griffiths was actually unemployed and lived in a council house, but was desperate to be admired.

Griffiths defrauded Tui of £39,466 and Burgess Travel of £4,700, yet the court heard that he could afford to repay just £1.

Griffiths pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud and was jailed for two and a half years at Swansea Crown Court.

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Three men arrested over charity box and cafe thefts

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THREE men are being questioned by police in connection with a burglary in Llanelli this weekend.

A cash register containing around £1,500, a charity collection box, and approximately £1,000 worth of stock were stolen from Marzano’s Café Bar in Cowell Street in the early hours of Sunday, February 16.

Today (Tuesday) three men aged 35, 39 and 27 were arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Chief Inspector Chris Neve said property searches were also being conducted in the Llanelli area as part of the investigation.

“I would like to reassure the community of Llanelli that we take incidents like this extremely seriously,” said Chief Inspector Neve.

“I would also like to thank everyone who has come forward with information so far.”

Café owner Andrew Marzano said: “I am extremely grateful to Dyfed-Powys Police for their efforts since we reported the incident to them. 

“I am also extremely grateful and humbled to the local community as we have had hundreds of messages of support from far and wide.”

Anyone with further information that could help police should contact 101, quoting reference DPP/0005/17/02/2020/01/C.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired you can also text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Dyfed-Powys Police appeal following Llanelli road traffic collision

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Dyfed-Powys Police is appealing for information following a road traffic collision which occurred at approximately 12.15am, this morning, Tuesday 18th February, 2020.

A black Audi A4 estate and a pedestrian were involved in the collision on Station Rd, Llanelli. The pedestrian was taken to hospital with what are described as serious injuries.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, anyone who has information regarding the collision or information relating to the occupant of the vehicle is urged to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit quoting reference DP-20200218-006.

Police can be contacted by phoning 101, online at http://bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, or by email. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”

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Lee Waters AM meets with prize winning students

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LOCAL Member of the Senedd Lee Waters visited Coleg Sir Gar to meet with prize winning students on Friday.

Three students from the college have won prestigious medals in the UK leg of the World Skills championship. WorldSkills UK Live is the UK national final for vocational skills competitions and brings together apprentices and young people from across the four nations to compete to world class standards in their chosen fields.

Llanelli’s Kieran Davies won a gold medal in the IT Support Technician category. Anwen Evans won a bronze in the health and social care category after being judged for how well she dealt with a patient with autism in a mock flat, and Lewis Hall won a Gold for woodworking.

Lee Waters MS said:“I was very impressed by the achievements of these award winning Coleg Sir Gar students beating off stiff competition from across the UK to win medals at the UK leg of the world-wide WorldSkills championship.

“It’s huge credit to them and their tutors for these real achievements.”

Pictured are Kieran Davies (wearing Red), Lewis Hall (wearing chequered shirt), Anwen Evans, Lee Waters MS and Andrew Cornish of Coleg Sir Gar

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