THE VICTIM of a knifepoint robbery has spoken out about the impact the incident has had on his life as Dyfed-Powys Police takes part in a national knife amnesty aiming to get weapons off the streets.
The 24-year-old was approached by a man he didn’t know while walking his dog in Carmarthen on July 20 this year. A knife was held to his chest, and he was forced to hand over the money in his wallet.
His attacker, Teifion Lewis, of Llammas Street, Carmarthen, was arrested and charged with robbery within four days, and was sentenced to 40 months in prison.
Looking back at the incident, the victim, who has asked to remain anonymous, said: “At first, I didn’t realise he had a knife on him. I just assumed he was another man who was out partying, given he was young and it was late on a Friday night.
“Even when he was right in front of me with his hand on my chest, I assumed he must have had too much to drink and just stumbled into me. Once I saw he was brandishing a knife, though, that changed everything. It was at that moment that I realised I was in far more danger than I’d first thought.
“I suppose the only real thing that was going through my mind at the time was to talk to him, do as he says, and get out of there as soon as possible without becoming hysterical. I just had to keep as calm as possible for the time he was blocking my route.”
He explained that it was only when Lewis had taken his money and walked away, that he realised what could have happened had things gone wrong.
“I thought about how easily he could have stabbed me and I’d have been left out in an empty street, cold and alone, bleeding to death, without even a mobile phone on me to call my friends and family to tell them I love them,” he said.
“I’ve never given much thought as to what my inevitable death will be like, but I’d never have thought it could have ended that way.”
The victim had walked his dog every night for two years – using this particular route for seven months – with no issue. Since being robbed, he has become wary of going out at night and hasn’t been able to walk down the lane where he was stopped without suffering flashbacks.
“It’s not necessarily the whole event that comes back to me, but different parts, such as when he started to sob to me about his home life, or when he apologised for ‘having to mug me’,” he said.
“By far, what’s stuck with me the most are the words said to me as I was being mugged. The words ‘I want your money, I don’t want your life’ have been repeating in my mind every day since then, without failure.”
On September 2, at Swansea Crown Court, Teifion Lewis was sentenced for robbery and possessing a knife in a public place. The victim read out a statement directly addressing Lewis, urging him to get his life back on track and forgiving him for what he did.
“You asked me that night to forget that the robbery had ever happened,” he read. “My assumption is because you were fearful as for what might subsequently happen to you. I’m afraid though, that the image of a knife being flicked towards my chest, and the phrase ‘I want your money, I don’t want your life’ is something I will never be able to erase from my mind, no matter how much I wish for it to go.
“I want you, however, to improve. I want you to use your punishment as your wake-up call, and as a doorway to improving both your future and the future of those who you are close to. There is help available for you, even in prison, and even when it seems all hope is lost. If I can get my life back on track after my autism diagnosis, so can you.
“You’re young, you’re able bodied, and you still have time. Use it wisely. I can’t forget what you did, but just this once I will forgive you.”
The victim has spoken out about his experience as Dyfed-Powys Police takes part in Operation Sceptre – a national week of action aimed at cracking down on the illegal possession of knives. A knife amnesty is taking place during the week (Sept 18-24), with people able to bin their knives at specific locations across the force no questions asked.
The 24-year-old has backed the operation, and the chance to get knives out of our communities.
“I’d prefer it if these people who carry knives with them be honest about who they are and why they have them on their person,” he said. “But it’s much more important that it’s an opportunity to get these weapons off the street.
“If the ability to do this anonymously is what gives these people the confidence to rid themselves of their weapons, then so be it.”
Pigs seized after been found in appalling conditions
A TYCROES farmer who had his 27 pigs seized after they were found neglected and living in appalling conditions has been ordered to pay £12k.
Adrian Alexander of The Old Stable Yard, Heol Troeon Bach, admitted a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals, including piglets and sows, and one for not meeting their needs at Llanelli Magistrates Court.
In a case led by Carmarthenshire Council, the court heard that the 51-year-old did not provide enough food, water and dry bedding for the pigs despite being advised by Carmarthenshire Council’s animal health officers on a number of occasions.
Living conditions of the pigs were up to their bellies in deep slurry which prevented them from exhibiting normal behaviour. The majority of them were grossly underweight.
When examined by a vet some of the animals were given a body score of 2 and a sow given 1 – Body score 1 being visually thin with hips and backbone very prominent and no fat cover.
Others were found shivering, covered in muck and had difficulty moving around.
Although some improvements had been made following advice from council officers, it wasn’t enough to end the animals’ suffering and they were seized.
Alexander also admitted two charges of breaching Animal By-Products by failing to ensure that no animal or bird had access and burning a dead piglet in a disused bath tub.
He was banned from keeping pigs for three years and given an 18-Month Community Order. He must complete 25 day of rehabilitation activities, do 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £12k court costs. An £85 victim surcharge must also be paid.
The council’s executive board member responsible for animal health welfare, Philip Hughes said: “This was a shocking case of neglect, with the owner not even providing his animals with their very basic needs – food, water and dry bedding – and the living conditions were totally unacceptable. He was warned on a number of occasions and whilst some improvements were carried out, it was not enough and the pigs were seized. Had they not been removed from the farm then the suffering would have continued.”
Llanelli: Police appeal for information over town centre assault in April
POLICE are appealing for witnesses to an assault, which took place in Llanelli town centre.
A 36-year-old man made a report to police after sustaining serious injuries during the early hours of April 28.
The victim cannot recall the incident, and reported waking up near the Hungry Horse restaurant.
He sustained fractures to his head, a bleed on the brain, and multiple broken bones during the injury.
These injuries are not believed to be life-threatening or life-changing.
CCTV enquiries show there could have been witnesses to the assault, and officers investigating are keen to speak to them as they might have vital information. Officers would like to speak to a female with dark hair, who was wearing dark jeans and a yellow jacket, in particular.
Anyone who was in the East Gate area, or in Market Street, between 2am and 4.30am on April 28 is asked to contact Dyfed-Powys Police by calling 101. Please quote crime reference DPP/0906/28/04/2019/02/C.
A 20-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of assault, and has been released on bail while enquiries continue.
Life saving medical kit for police on the roads
POLICE officers have been given equipment that improves the chance of survival for those injured in a serious crash, as part of Dyfed-Powys Police’s effort to reduce the number of people who die on the roads.
The medical kits are being given to roads policing officers, who are often the first at the scene of a serious crash. They are described as the best available to deal with the type of bleeding they encounter at road traffic collisions, and also in the case of knife and glass wounds, and are the same as those issued to ambulance crews.
Sergeant Owen Dillon, of Brecon Roads Policing Unit, worked with the Welsh Ambulance Service to trial the kit, which he has called ‘simple to use, but effective’.
He said: “We work really hard to reduce the number of collisions on the roads, but unfortunately they do still happen, and people can become seriously injured.”
“It only takes a few minutes for someone to bleed to death, so it’s vital that police officers – who are often first at scene – can deal quickly with any bleeding while waiting for paramedics.”
The equipment has been bought with funding of around £1,000 from the Police and Crime Commissioner. Traffic officers in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys will keep the equipment in their patrol cars.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, added: “Keeping people safe is a top priority for me and this investment will equip officers with the best medical kit possible to deal with immediate life threatening injuries. I am committed to ensuring Dyfed-Powys plays an active role in keeping road users safe.”
Police officers are already trained to use tourniquets and bandages, and the Roads Policing Units who work as part of Op Darwen – the force’s campaign to reduce casualties on the roads – are being given the additional training they need to use this equipment.
Figures show that in 2018, 67 motorcyclists were either killed or seriously injured on roads in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, and men were eight times more likely to be affected than women.
The Welsh Ambulance Service is committed to working in partnership with other emergency services to save lives.
Carl Powell, Clinical Support Officer for the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “It is vital that Roads Policing Officers, who are often the first on scene and confronted with serious and life threatening injuries, are supported in preserving life with equipment that is effective in dealing with major bleeding.
“The trauma packs are a proven lifesaving asset and need minimal educational input to be used.”
As part of the Op Darwen, the force is urging motorcyclists to ride safely, and reminding drivers to be vigilant to motorbikes and other powered two-wheelers.
The campaign will run until October, when statistics say the roads are busiest. Roads Policing Units are working across the Dyfed-Powys Police area using a combination of education, engagement and enforcement, to reduce the number of casualties on the roads.
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