A TEENAGE driver killed a man just 12 weeks after passing her driving test, a judge heard today (Oct 12).
Hanna Lewis, now 18, lost control on a sweeping bend and her red Audi ploughed head-on into a Rover driven by Bryan Smithers.
Mr Smithers, who was still working as an accountant at the age of 79, died at the scene from multiple injuries.
Lewis’ friend and front seat passenger, Bronwen Tinney, suffered serious back injuries and will need further treatment more than a year after the accident.
Lewis, of Dolau Gwynon, Llandovery, admitted causing death by careless driving. She was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for three years.
She must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Georgina Buckley, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court how Mr Smithers had been on his way home from Carmarthen Bridge Club, where he was the treasurer, at 10.15pm on August 29 last year.
Lewis went into the left hand bend, on the B4312 between Llangain and Llansteffan, at 55mph and lost control. Her car ended up on the wrong side of the road.
Immediately after the collision Lewis, then a 17-year-old schoolgirl, tried to save Mr Smithers.
The collision had been heard by Paul Norman, a retired nurse who lived nearby, who raced to the scene. But it was already too late to help Mr Smithers.
But, with the help of two passers-by, he continued to try and revive Mr Smithers until an ambulance arrived.
Miss Buckley said Lewis was tested for alcohol and drugs and the results were negative.
After her arrest, Lewis told police she had swerved to the right to try and avoid a collision.
During a second interview, the conclusions of a road traffic investigator were put to her and she refused to answer any more questions.
In a victim impact statement Mr Smithers’ widow, Margaret, said they had been together for 45 years.
“I have lost my best friend and my carer,” she added.
Mr Smithers had been an accountant all his working life and had run a successful business.
Nicholas Gedge, the barrister representing Lewis, said she had been an inexperienced driver who was not used to the road or at driving in the dark.
She was now at university, he added.
“She cannot say or do anything that would mitigate the loss to Mr Smithers’ family,” he added.
Judge Keith Thomas said human life could not be measured by a court sentence.
“You were inexperienced at driving and at driving at night.
“It has had a devastating effect on Mr Smithers’ family. He was a large part of their lives and the life of the community.
“The consequences have been catastrophic.”
Police appeal following assault in Llys Glan Y Mor
POLICE in Llanelli are investigating an assault which occurred in the vicinity of St Davids Close and Llys Glan Y Mor, Llanelli sometime between 9.00pm on Saturday 10th April and 1.30am on Sunday 11th April 2021.
A 45-year-old male was taken to hospital with facial injuries.
Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.
They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.
Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police either online at: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference DPP/0006/11/04/2021/01/C.
Police trace burglar who left trail of oil leading to his home
A MAN was charged with burglary after leaving a trail of oil from a stolen generator leading police from a victim’s home to his own.
Dyfed-Powys Police officers were able to quickly trace Dominic William Oliver after he went on an overnight burglary spree in Burry Port in March.
The force received reports of two garage burglaries and a theft from a car overnight on Monday, March 8, with a generator, fishing rods, and two bags containing passports among the stolen items.
The combined value of the items taken was estimated to be around £800.
Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “An officer attended the victims’ homes, and was made aware of a trail of oil, which was believed to have come from the stolen generator.
“She followed it along several streets – one of which was where Oliver had stolen two bags from a car – and discovered that it ended outside a property on Dandorlan Road.
“Oliver agreed to a voluntary search being carried out, and as officers entered the property they immediately noticed a rucksack with a distinctive pattern that had been described by one of the victims.”
The search was completed, with further items suspected to have been stolen recovered from the address, and the 31-year-old was arrested on suspicion of burglary within six hours of the incidents being reported.
While being conveyed to police custody, Oliver made a significant comment linking him to the theft of the generator.
He was charged with two counts of burglary and one theft, and appeared at Swansea Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, April 30.
He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months, must complete a rehabilitation requirement, and must remain at his home address between 8pm and 6am for three months.
Sgt Davies said: “This was an excellent response, which resulted in the swift arrest and charge of Oliver, and the recovery and return of stolen property to the victims the same day the offences were reported to us.
“This has no doubt had a positive impact on the residents of Burry Port, who have commented positively on how the matter was investigated.
“Community engagement, patrols and a crime prevention leaflet drop was carried out following the investigation to offer reassurance and advice.”
Further coronavirus restriction relaxations brought forward
FURTHER changes to the coronavirus restrictions have been announced by the First Minister Mark Drakeford today.
The Welsh Government has confirmed further relaxations will be brought forward from 17 May to 3 May – including the resumption of indoor supervised activities for children, indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults, such as exercise classes, and the re-opening of community centres.
This means Wales will have completed the move to Alert Level 3 by Monday 3 May.
From Saturday 24 April, the rule of 6 will allow for up to six people from six households to meet outdoors, not including children under 11 years of age or carers from those households.
The Welsh Government has also confirmed the relaxations that will take place on Monday 26 April. Outdoor attractions, including outdoor swimming pools, funfairs and theme parks, will be allowed to reopen, while outdoor hospitality can also resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants.
Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people will be able to take place and weddings receptions can begin again outdoors for up to 30 people.
Wales has the lowest coronavirus rates of the UK nations. The successful vaccine programme continues with a higher proportion of people vaccinated in Wales than other nations of the UK for both first and second doses.
Changes from Monday 3 May:
- Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities being able to reopen;
- People will also again be able to form extended households with one other household.
Relaxations planned for 17 May will be brought forward to the 3 May, including:
- The resumption of indoor supervised activities for children;
- Indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults (such as exercise classes and swimming lessons);
- And the re-opening of community centres.
The First Minister said:
“The sacrifices we have made continue to show results. By us all working together and sticking to the rules, combined with our vaccination programme, mean we continue to make progress. Rates of the virus continue to fall and the public health situation is improving.
“Due to these efforts we are able confirm more easing of the restrictions from 26 April and for early May we are again able to bring forward some of our plans. However, this progress is dependent on all of us continuing to work together to keep Wales safe.
“At the last three-week review, I set out a forward-look of how the restrictions could continue to be lifted in the weeks ahead, if the public health situation remains stable.
“It will be for the incoming Welsh Government to confirm these arrangements at the next three-week review, which will be held on May 13 – a week after the election. It is my assessment that the hospitality sector – bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes – will be able to open indoors from May 17, together with all other tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions.”
Further possible easements are subject to the public health situation remaining favourable.