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Armed man blackmailed hotel owner




16-31A LLANELLI hotel owner was blackmailed by an armed man who threatened to make allegations against him.

Andrew Deakin, aged 32, had a gun tucked into the back of his trousers when he forced Paul Francis to count out £300 inside the Half Way hotel in Llanelli.

His brother George Deakin, 40, was outside the hotel as back up and armed with a baseball bat.

Andrew Deakin, of Corner House, Port Talbot Road, Port Talbot, admitted blackmail and was jailed for two and a half years by a judge at Swansea Crown Court last Friday (May 27).

George Deakin, of Dinas Road, Baglan, admitted possessing an offensive weapon and was jailed for 12 months.

Stephen Rees, prosecuting, said Andrew Deakin had been a pupil at Ffynone House School, Swansea, when Mr Francis had been an assistant teacher there.

Years later their paths crossed again.

By then Mr Francis had taken over the Half Way hotel and the pair decided to extract money from him.

Mr Rees said police were able to trace text messages sent by the brothers.

Andrew Deakin to George Deakin, “I feel sick and on top on top of the moon at the same time. We are going to take him for every penny he’s got. He’s inherited the biggest pub in Llanelli from his parents. This is going to be awesome.”

GD to AD:”I have three guns and a baseball bat.”

AD to GD, “I’ll message him to pick me up.”

Mr Rees said Mr Francis was ordered to drive to a cash point while Andrew Deakin sat in the back holding an imitation firearm. George Deakin followed in a silver Mercedes.

Once there Mr Francis realised he had not taken his debit card and Andrew Deakin told him to drive to the Half Way Hotel “and made various threats during the journey.”

Andrew Deakin told him, “Things could get more sinister if there isn’t money at the hotel.”

Once there Deakin tucked the gun into the back of his trousers and walked Mr Francis into the hotel, where Mr Francis handed over £300.

Meanwhile, said Mr Rees, George Deakin had emerged from the Mercedes holding the baseball bat.

Andrew Deakin seemed to signal to him that there would be no need for violence as he had got some money, but as they left the hotel they warned Mr Francis, “We will be back. Keep your mouth shut.”

The following day, Andrew Deakin sent Mr Francis a message reading, “Are you sorting it out or do we have to come up there?”

Mr Francis contacted the police and the brothers were arrested.

Andrew Deakin said the £300 had been a “pay off” and not the result of blackmailing. He said he armed himself with a gun for self protection.

George Deakin, once a professional jockey and later a chef, said he had followed his brother to the hotel to ensure his safety.

Brian Richardson, the barrister representing Andrew Deakin, said it had always been his case that he had a complaint about Mr Francis dating back to his time at Ffynone House.

James Hartson, for George Deakin, said he had acted as an enforcer “in this very foolish enterprise.”

The judge, Mr Recorder Nicholas Gareth Jones, told the brothers, “This was not a spur of the moment incident. You set him up.”

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Police appeal after river death in Ystradgynlais




DYFED-POWYS POLICE is appealing for witnesses following the death of a man in Ystradgynlais.

At around 10am this morning (16 January 2020), a man aged in his 60s was seen entering the River Tawe near Gorsedd Park.

He was rescued from the water near Trebanos Rugby Club, but despite the best efforts of paramedics, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin and HM Coroner have been informed.

His death is not being treated as suspicious, or linked to the adverse weather.

Our thanks go out to all who assisted in the response to this tragic incident, in very difficult weather conditions.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police in Ystradgynlais online by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Use reference: DP-20200216-217

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New Body Cameras for Transport for Wales Staff




Last year alone, saw over 350 reported accounts of physical or verbal abuse against staff on trains in Wales and whilst this is a small number in terms of the overall passenger journeys, TfW are keen to further reduce this number as any incident should not be tolerated.

Antisocial figures in Wales show an improving trend in comparison with the rest of the UK and TfW has previously committed to providing CCTV at every station across the Wales and Borders network and already introduced additional security staff.

This trial is another step forward in reducing this type of behaviour and is being delivered in partnership with the British Transport Police.

The trial will include four different type of cameras, and after a review period, one company will be selected to supplying 300 across the network.

Ken Skates, Welsh Government Transport and North Wales Minister, said:

“Everyone has the right to work or travel on our network without the fear of abuse or threats. The rail staff there to help us are no different to our family and friends. They are working hard to get us from A to B, often in difficult circumstances.

“We must stamp out anti-social behaviour and do everything we can to support staff to do their jobs and let passengers make their journeys in a safe and pleasant environment.”

Daniel Hopkin, a frequent rail passenger on the Neath to Cardiff line added:

“It’s great that Transport for Wales are fitting their staff with cameras. I regularly travel between Neath and Cardiff on the train and I think that any improvements in safety will benefit customers.

“The railway station can be really hectic and the fact that staff will have body cameras should act as a deterrent to some of the occasional bad behaviour. Transport for Wales seem to be considering different ways to improve things for the customer and I find that encouraging as a passenger.”

Marc Clancy, Transport for Wales Conductor said:

“We have to deal with a range of people daily and most of our customers are grateful and polite. We work extremely hard to give our customers the best possible experience when using our services, however at times staff and passengers do experience occasional antisocial behaviour and abuse.

“The introduction of these cameras should act as a deterrent to antisocial behaviour, support assault prosecutions and boost public confidence in safety.

“They will provide our front-line staff with more confidence when dealing with difficult situations and abusive customers.”

BTP Superintendent Andrew Morgan, said:

“The safety of passengers and our rail industry colleagues is our absolute priority and we do everything we can to protect them.

“We fully support the introduction of body worn cameras for Transport for Wales’ frontline staff – we know from experience that body worn video is a fantastic piece of kit that helps us in securing convictions against those who target staff with unnecessary violence or abuse.

“We hope the introduction will deter anti-social behaviour and provide reassurance to rail staff as well as passengers.
Fortunately, these types of incidents are few and far between, however if anyone has any concerns while travelling, they can text us on 61016.”

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Police appeal following fatal road traffic collision




“Dyfed-Powys Police is appealing for witnesses to a single vehicle road traffic collision which occurred on an unclassified road eastbound between Afon Dulais and Pantygwyn, Capel Dewi around 3pm on Saturday 8th February 2020.

Sadly the 50-year-old female driver passed away at the scene.

The vehicle involved was a 64 plate Grey Nissan NV200 Acenta.

If anyone has any information on this incident please contact Carmarthenshire serious collision investigation unit on the 101 number quoting reference 185 for the 08th February

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