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Possession of knife sentencing

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A man who showed a driver an eight inch kitchen knife and demanded a lift across Llanelli minutes after stealing 200 cigarettes and tobacco from a shop has been jailed.

Patrick Duffy, aged 26, made a driver fear he would be hurt if he did not comply when he got into his car on the morning of February 22.

He was sentenced to 52 weeks in prison after admitting to theft, affray and possessing a weapon in public, and was jailed just two days after the offences.

Llanelli sergeant Craig Roderick said: “This was a particularly worrying incident for the victim, who genuinely feared his safety was at risk.

“Thanks to swift and diligent enquiries carried out by the officer in case, the offender was quickly arrested and brought to justice within two days.”

Duffy had gone into the Premier Store in Llwynhendy and asked the cashier for a number of boxes of cigarettes and tobacco. When items worth £116 were placed on the counter, he grabbed them and ran from the shop without paying.

Down the road, he flagged down a passing car and asked for a lift to the Morfa area of Llanelli. Despite the driver saying he could only take him as far as Asda, Duffy opened the car door and got in.

When the driver repeated that he was only going to Asda, Duffy revealed a knife with an eight inch serrated blade, and said ‘take me to Morfa’.

While there was no direct threat made, the driver said he clearly felt that he had no choice but to take him where he wanted, and feared he might be hurt if he did not comply.

As the car passed Trostre, Duffy asked the driver to pull over for him to get out, but wanted him to stay until he returned.

The motorist immediately drove off, and could see Duffy running after him. He noticed that he no longer had the knife in his hand.

On seeing a passing police van, he flashed his lights to alert them and reported what had happened.

The knife was later found under the passenger seat of his car.

Sgt Roderick said: “The victim told officers that while he was driving, Duffy had shown him a tattoo of the word Beefy on his arm. It was established through enquiries that this is Duffy’s nickname, and the fact the victim recalled this led officers to identify the suspect.

“CCTV footage from Premier Store gave further confirmation to officers that Duffy had stolen a significant amount of cigarettes and tobacco from the shop.

“He was arrested in Loughor, and despite making no comment in his interview there was sufficient evidence to charge him with theft. 

“Taking a victim-focussed approach, officers diligently pursued all avenues available and CPS later authorised further charges for affray and possession of an offensive weapon.

“This is a clear example of excellent initiative being used in terms of using every second available to the team to gain justice for the victim.”

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Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach

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THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.

Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.

The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.

Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.

The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.

The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.

In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.

If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.

With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.

If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.

If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.

The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.

Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.

The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.

During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.

They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.

A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.

“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”

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Family tribute to Carole Patricia Fowler

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Carole was a teacher for 30 years at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Llanelli. She loved children and they loved her. 

As one of her past colleagues said: “I know she made such a difference to every child she taught.” She was very popular with staff and well respected and loved by parents. She was dedicated and conscientious, always 100% for the children. She led the music there and was always popular with her guitar accompaniments for services and concerts. 

Likewise, she was a valued member of the choir at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Gendros, Swansea, where she would often accompany hymns with her guitar and gave guitar lessons to the children in the church’s Saturday Music Club. She was also a keen member of Côr Persain, Ammanford. 

She was talented, loved and in demand. A convicted and devout Catholic all her life, through good and bad.

Carole was an avid and very gifted crocheter and was always crocheting or knitting something for someone. She had been spending her time recently, during the Covid crisis, crocheting NHS teddies in scrubs and rainbows, with many given to practising nurses. Carole had recently started learning to make bobbin lace. She was also capable of some very decent sewing, too. 

She was also learning Welsh, doing ‘pilates’ and was considering taking up yoga lessons as well.

She was a busy lady! As one of her work colleagues said of her: “She was wise, strong, beautiful, generous, devout and feisty. And I loved her for all those qualities.”

Above all, she was an immeasurably loved Mam, daughter, sister and a doting Mamgu and so much loved by her fiancé. Having been together for 14 years, they would have been married last July 20th had covid allowed! 

Her premature passing at 61 is tragic and she is already sorely, painfully missed. She leaves behind a huge chasm in so many hearts that cannot be filled.

“Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, may perpetual light shine about her, may she rest in peace.”

If anyone witnessed the collision or may have been travelling on the M4 at the relevant time, please contact the Serious Collision Unit quoting police reference DPP-20210113-317

Police can be contacted either online at: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Tip off leads to pensioner’s drug stash

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A BRIEFCASE full of drugs has been recovered during a raid in Swansea suburb.
Police acting on information provided by a member of the public executed a warrant in Gorseinon and recovered a large quantity of cannabis.
A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of the class B drug, with intent to supply.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “At around 5.40pm on Wednesday, January 6, following an intelligence led operation, a 68 year-old man from Gorseinon was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
“He was taken to Swansea central police station for questioning. He has been released under investigation”.

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