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Man jailed for assaulting police officers, threatening train staff and trespassing on the railway

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Aggressive man who threatened Transport for Wales staff, trespassed on the railway and assaulted police officers has been jailed, following a British Transport Police investigation.

Dafydd Sidaway-Jones, 18, and of Clos Sant Paul, Llanelli, pleaded guilty to trespass on the railway, two counts of assault by beating of an emergency worker and a section 4a public order offence. On 26 February at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court, he was handed a 22-week sentence in a young offender’s institution and ordered to pay £50 compensation.

On Monday 24 February at around 8pm, Sidaway-Jones became aggressive towards a Transport for Wales train conductor and driver at Pembrey and Burry Port railway station after being asked to leave the train when he refused to pay the fare. He threw punches towards the two members of staff, kicked the train doors when he was ejected from the train and also crossed the railway line several times.

Dyfed Powys Police officers were at the scene and detained Sidaway-Jones on the platform. On arrest, he then assaulted the two officers.

BTP Sergeant Ben Randall-Webb said: “This was an aggressive act of violence towards several innocent people simply trying to do their job. Staff have every right to go to work without the fear of violence and we will not tolerate this type of behaviour on the railway.

“I am pleased to see the judge hand Sidaway-Jones this sentence and we will do everything we can to investigate offenders like this and bring them to justice.”

Transport for Wales Security Manager, Simon Turton, said: “Our colleagues and customers expect to carry out their duties and complete their journeys safely, and we do not tolerate incidents of this nature.

“This started as a fare evasion, but escalated quickly into very aggressive behaviour against our colleagues and then the police, while the individual also put himself in severe danger by running on the tracks.

“We work closely with our partners in the British Transport Police to help them investigate offences and we are also looking to develop closer working with them and Dyfed Powys Police to keep the rail network safe in Carmarthenshire.”

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Llanelli bus depot to close after 100 years

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THE LLANELLI HERALD understands that the Llanelli Bus Depot at Inkermans Street will be closing its gates for good. 

The Bus Depot has served the local community for approximately 100 years, Drivers will now be sent to work from depots in Carmarthen, Swansea and Tycroes. 

All services will remain in the the town, this newspaper can confirm, and our reporter was told that there will not be any redundancies. 

One bus driver told us that he and he co-workers were “not completely happy”, but the unnamed source added “At least we still have jobs to go to.” 

Further updates are expected on this developing story.

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Drakeford to make decision on ‘fire-break’ lockdown in Wales by Monday

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WALES is facing a national lockdown lasting at least two weeks in plans described as a “fire-break” by the first minister.

He said a decision was likely to be made on Monday, while talks continue with health officials, scientific advisors and councils over the weekend.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” he said.

Responding to the speculation First Minister, Mark Drakeford, is set to announce a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in Wales, Welsh Conservative health spokesperson, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “I implore the First Minister to think again before heading down this path.

“The decision to lockdown Wales once again will have devastating consequences – from an economic and public health perspective – and should be the last resort.

“Only yesterday, the former director of communicable diseases at Public Health Wales, Dr Roland Salmon, said a circuit-breaker is likely to fail and the Welsh Labour Government should listen carefully to his warning.

“Earlier this week, Welsh Conservatives called for the urgent resumption of shielding in Wales with a substantial package of support to ensure the financial, physical and mental well-being of those most at risk is protected.

“This should be the immediate action taken by ministers along with prioritising PPE and testing in the problem areas in Wales such as hospitals, care home, universities and meat factories.

“It’s not too late for the Labour Government to reconsider and choose a different approach in Wales.”

Mr Drakeford warned that 2,500 people were now being infected with coronavirus every day in Wales, with critical care units in hospitals full.

“A successful fire-break would re-set the virus at a lower level,” he added.

Together with a new national set of rules for the whole of Wales after the fire-break period we would have slowed the virus down enough to get us through to Christmas.”
Plaid Cymru has been calling on Mr Drakeford to introduce the circuit-breaker without delay, while Labour at Westminster says a similar approach should be adopted in England.

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Former Police officer sexually assaulted two young girls on Welsh train

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A FORMER West Mercia Police officer who sexually assaulted two young girls on board a train has been sentenced, following a British Transport Police (BTP) investigation.

Leighton Phillips, 34, and of Forest road, Shropshire, was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault at Swansea Crown Court on 18 September.

Today (15 October) Phillips was handed a two-year community order, ordered to attend 20 rehabilitation activity days, and was made subject to an electronically tagged curfew between 10pm and 7am for three months. He will also be subject to notification on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

On 1 February at around 5pm, Phillips was travelling from Cardiff to Shrewsbury after the Wales V Italy Six Nations match. A 14-year-old girl was standing in the aisle of the carriage near to where Phillips was sitting. She noticed Phillips was staring at her, before he then went on to start stroking her thigh.

The court heard how Phillips then went on to touch the thigh a second victim, an 11-year-old girl, who pushed his hand away when she noticed.

Distressed and upset, the two girls moved down the aisle to get away from Phillips, however, he continued to stare at them. Before the two girls alighted at Abergavenny station, a passenger challenged Phillips about the incident, to which he denied and replied, “I’m a police officer.”

The incident was reported to BTP and Phillips was met by officers at Shrewsbury station and arrested.

BTP Detective Inspector Paul Stanley said: “Tackling all forms of unwanted sexual behaviour on the railway is a priority for us – we take every report seriously and will thoroughly investigate all offences.

“I would like to commend the bravery of the victims and the support of the family in reporting the incident to police, and I hope that this conviction will encourage other victims of sexual offences to come forward and report incidents to us.

The officer in the case, Detective Constable Nicholas Donovan carried out a thorough and comprehensive investigation. I hope this serves as a strong reminder that sexual offenders will not be tolerated on the railway.

“We encourage anyone who experiences any issues on the railway to report it to us using our discreet 61016 text service.”

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