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Five year prison sentence for Burry Port cannabis dealer

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drugA BURRY PORT drug dealer was one of two men sentenced to a total of more than 14 years in jail for importing £1.5m of cannabis from South Africa into Avonmouth.

Despite hatching an elaborate plan to import 650kgs of cannabis – concealed in crates containing furniture – which was being imported from South Africa, the organised crime group from Swansea, were thwarted by Zephyr, the south west regional organised crime unit, working in partnership with the National Crime Agency and UK Border Force.

Karl Richter-John, 43, formerly of Spain, now Rhondda Street, Mount Pleasant, Swansea has been jailed for nine years. He will also be subject to Serious Crime Prevention Order when he is released from prison, which places various restrictions on the use of mobile phones and computers.

And Malcolm John (aged 52 years), of Penybryn Avenue, Burry Port, was sentenced to five years and four months.

The court previously heard that on 1 October 2013 a shipment of seven creates – believed to contain furniture being imported from South Africa – was  given a routine inspection by UKBF.

They discovered 650kgs of cannabis in three of the crates, which triggered an investigation to discover the UK recipient of the intended cargo and those involved in the ambitious plan.

As the lorry was destined to deliver the load to a storage yard in Avonmouth, near Bristol, Zephyr was notified and launched the investigation.

Detectives assumed the role of delivery drivers and called the intended recipient to advise the cargo was on route.

One of the defendants – Malcolm John – agreed to take receipt of the cargo at the storage yard. The owner of the yard knew nothing of the illegal cargo that had been arranged by John. When the lorry arrived at the yard the cargo Malcolm John took receipt of the crates which were placed into two shipping containers rented from the storage yard.

Malcolm John returned to his home address in the Burry Port area of Swansea. He contacted Karl Richter-John – believed to be the ringleader of the operation – who was living in Spain and was later extradited to the UK.

Malcolm John was later arrested from his home address and a search of a lock-up unit in Heol-y-Gars Road in Swansea undertaken, where a 20-tonne press and packaging material – used in drug trafficking operations – was discovered.

At the end of the trial, HH Judge Roach commended the Zephyr officers on the quality of their investigation.

DI Austin Goss of Zephyr said: “We are extremely pleased with the sentences handed out today which deliver a clear message to those involved in the illegal activity of drug dealing that it will not be tolerated.

“We remain committed to dismantle, disrupt and destroy organised crime and illegal drug activity in the South West region. This was complex multi-agency operation which will have a significant impact for the local community in South Wales and the South West region.

“This operation has been a team effort with Zephyr officers and staff, working closely with colleagues in the National Crime Agency and UK Border Agency.

“The sentences should send out a clear warning to those involved in drug activity that they will be hunted down and put before the courts.

“We will now begin the process under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seek a confiscation order from the courts to ensure that any benefits of the crime are removed from the offenders,” DI Goss added.

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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…

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Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.
Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks

Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

3,000
The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

£166m
Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

138,000
The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.
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7-year-old Mattie from Pembrey takes on home Pen y Fan-tastic challenge for Action for Children

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Plucky Mattie Denman will climb the equivalent of Pen y Fan in the drive at her family home in Pembrey on Friday 22nd May to raise funds for Action for Children.

Mattie (7), has always wanted to climb the highest mountain in South Wales and is unable to currently because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As the family exercise at home every day, she decided she wanted to do the 6-mile equivalent journey there while she waits for the chance to do it for real.  Mattie chose Action for Children as her mother, Sian, works for the charity in Carmarthenshire.

Mattie said: ‘My Mammy works for Action for Children and I want to help as well because lots of families need help.  My older brother and sister help Action for Children, so I asked Mammy if I could do something. We exercise everyday walking up and down the drive and I have always wanted to climb Pen y Fan, but we have never done it.

‘Mammy said I could pretend I am walking it and people will give money to the charity. I said brilliant, that is what I am going to do and I am super excited to do it. I will use mammy’s step counter and I hope I can help children that need support especially because it is so hard for some families because of coronavirus.’

Proud mum and family support practitioner for Action for Children, Sian, added: ‘Mattie has a lovely heart and really wanted to do something and I’m very proud she chose Pen y Fan as her home challenge.  Action for Children has been going the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic continuing to support vulnerable families through phone and video sessions as well as food and help with the basics from our Emergency Appeal Fund. 

‘It is a tremendously challenging time for our families and every bit of money will directly help those in our communities who need it most.  I hope as many people as possible will donate to Mattie’s brilliant fundraising effort, it’ll make it even more special when we finally get to climb Pen y Fan for real.’

If you want to support Mattie’s Pen y Fan challenge please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattiesclimb

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Housebuilder launches Coronavirus move in package

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A South Wales housebuilder has launched new incentives which mean homes are ‘ready to move into’ during the Covid-19 crisis – without the need for tradespeople or delivery people.

People in Wales are allowed to move into new build houses during the lockdown – and many people have successfully done so.

However, the limitations of social distancing can add extra stress when it comes to having things like dishwashers, washing machines and turf installed in the new property.

That’s why Persimmon Homes West Wales has launched a new incentive package which gives purchasers the chance to buy a house with white goods and flooring already in place.

Sharon Bouhali, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “Our sales advisors have done a terrific job in talking with customers and guiding them through the buying process remotely, without the need of face-to-face meetings.

“It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve risen to it – and Persimmon has sold more than 120 properties in South Wales during the lockdown period. We have customers moving into their new homes every week.

“But, understandably, some people are cautious about having too many tradespeople and contractors enter their home, even if they are doing their utmost to abide by social distancing rules.

“That’s why we have launched these new packages which mean people can turn the key, unpack and get on with enjoying their new home.”

The package includes carpets and vinyl throughout, turf in the back garden, sliding wardrobes, integrated fridge freezer, integrated washer/dryer, integrated dishwasher and £500 discount towards removal fees.

The deal is on offer at Glas Y Felin in Bridgend, Parc Yr Onnen in Carmarthen, The Bridles in Llanelli, Peterson Park in Pontyclun, Parc Brynderi in Llanelli and Allt Y Celyn in Rhos.

Persimmon’s marketing suites in Wales remain closed for the time being. Visit www.persimmonhomes.com or call 01792 229800 for details of homes available.

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