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.”
Lottery win for local neighbours
Two people in Ferryside are celebrating today after winning £1,000 each thanks to their lucky postcode.
The neighbours netted the windfall when SA17 5YP was announced as a Daily Prize winner with People’s Postcode Lottery on Wednesday 8th April 2020.
People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt sent her well-wishes to the winners. She said: “Congratulations to our winners! What a great surprise for them, I hope they enjoy their winnings.”
A minimum of 32% of ticket sales goes directly to charities and players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £500 million to date for thousands of good causes in Britain and beyond.
This draw was promoted by Maggie’s which has received over £16.1 million in funding from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Maggie’s runs a network of cancer support centres across the country. These centres bring people together to help combat the isolation and distress that often accompanies a cancer diagnosis.
Many good causes close to the winners have also benefitted from players’ support, and local charities can next apply for funding in August.
Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages
Scarlets community clubs have been working together to help deliver vital food packages across the region.
Volunteers from grassroots clubs and WRU girls hubs across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire have been helping take the food packages to vulnerable members of society who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The clubs have teamed up with the Scarlets Community Foundation — the charity arm of the Scarlets — and Carmarthen-based food wholesaler Castell Howell, while Scarlets players Osian Knott, Kieran Hardy, Ryan Conbeer and Jac Morgan have also lent their hand to the operation.
More than 300 packages were due to be delivered on Monday and Tuesday (April 6 & April 7), with the initiative highlighting that even without any action on the field, rugby clubs remain at the heart of their community.
Scarlets Community Foundation manager Caroline Newman said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received from local clubs, the number of people prepared to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our communities has been touching.
“People’s reasons for requesting packs have often been heart-wrenching and it really has made us appreciate what we have.
“The foundation has worked closely with Castell Howell to make sure the packages are ready to go to those whose need is greatest, managing to turn things around pretty quickly and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen, our funder, Castell Howell, all the clubs, our helpline volunteer and the foundation members.
“Great teamwork which has made me proud to be part of the fantastic community that rugby creates.”
Here are the rugby clubs and WRU girls rugby hubs taking part in the initiative
Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Amman Utd, Ammanford, Burry Port, Betws, Bynea, Cardigan, Cefneithin, Felinfoel, Fishguard & Goodwick, Furnace Utd, Haverfordwest, Kidwelly, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanelli Wanderers, Llangennech, Llangwm, Merched Mynydd Mawr, Milford Haven, Narberth, New Dock Stars, Newcastle Emlyn, Neyland, Penybanc, Pontyates, St Clears, Stradey Sospans, Tenby Utd, Tumble, Tycroes, Whitland, Yr Hendy.
Six year sentence for Llanelli assault
A MAN who left a father-of-six with multiple bleeds on the brain after an unprovoked assault in Llanelli has been jailed for six years.
Connor Scott Jones, aged 21, of Y Fan, caused such serious injuries to Paul Williams on April 29, 2019, that the victim’s wife feared he had been stabbed when he returned from a night out.
Unable to recall what had happened, Mr Williams could only tell police he had woken up in a bush near a chapel and stumbled home. He was unaware that he had been assaulted, leaving police with no description of a suspect to look for, or precise area for forensic enquiries.
Using the tiny pieces of information Mr Williams could provide, the investigation team focussed enquiries on the East Gate area of Llanelli, believing he was describing the former Zion Chapel as near where he regained consciousness.
Officers trawled CCTV footage from several cameras in this area in an attempt to identify potential suspects or witnesses to the incident.
T/Detective Inspector Vicky Oliver, of Dyfed-Powys Police said: “Officers carried out the painstaking task of viewing videos covering a timeframe of five hours, and were successful.
“The incident was captured by a camera in Stepney Place and showed a horrific assault on the victim, who was punched once and fell to the ground while his attacker walked away.
“Determined to cause further injury, the defendant – later identified as Connor Jones – returned to the victim to punch him and stamp on his head.
“He then returned to assault the victim for a third time – kicking him to the head as he laid on the ground.
“The trauma caused to the victim was both physical and mental, and he could not bring himself to view this footage for fear of setting back his recovery.”
Jones was identified from the footage and was arrested. He was later charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm, and admitted the offence at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, March 20 where he was jailed for six years.
Mr Williams, who spoke out as part of Dyfed-Powys Police’s Just Walk Away campaign, focussing on the rise of alcohol-fuelled violence, faces the prospect of a long road to full recovery.
Ten months on, he is still living with the effects of the violent assault. He is unable to work or socialise as he used to, and has lost precious bonding experiences with his baby boy.
Speaking after sentencing, he said: “I’m not recovering very well. I have to have further MRI scans, I’ve been referred to a memory loss specialist as I’m forgetting a lot of things, and also a speech specialist because of the injuries I suffered.
“I’ve had a constant headache that has stayed with me since the assault, and I still can’t smell or taste – this has had a horrible effect on me, as I haven’t been able to smell my son who was born in November. I absolutely hate this.”
In the months before the assault, Mr Williams was working hard on setting up a business as a landscape gardener, which he hoped would support his wife and children. Now, however, he is unable to work.
“It’s had a massive impact on my job as I’m not able to do anything that I’ve done in the past like heavy lifting or heavy work,” he said.
“It’s affected my social life as I still haven’t been out to town as I get flashbacks, and I’ve had to give up the gym, which I used to love for body building.
“I’m no longer allowed to do the things I loved doing before all this happened.”