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Cop speaks out after missing man threatened him

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A POLICE officer who found a high risk missing person, only to be threatened with a knife, has spoken out to highlight the dangers he and his colleagues face.

Dyfed-Powys Police PC Mark Thomas was fortunate not to be injured during the incident, but says he should never have been subjected to the threat of harm by the person he was trying to help.

The Roads Policing Unit officer was on duty on November 16 when he was tasked to help look for Jack Griffiths, who had had been reported missing a short time earlier and was believed to be walking along the A48 near Cross Hands.

As PC Thomas pulled into a car park, he noticed a man matching the 18-year-old’s description, and called over to check if he was ok.

Fearing for Griffiths’s safety being so close to the dual carriageway, the officer approached to check if he was ok. But he couldn’t have anticipated what would happen next.

“As I was within reaching distance, he started running and withdrew something from his clothes, “PC Thomas said. “I didn’t immediately realise that it was a silver kitchen knife.

“As I got closer, he turned towards me and swung the knife at me in a slashing motion across my chest. I would say this was inches away.

“I pushed him to the floor to try and stop him, and he fell to the ground, swinging the knife at me again – this time slashing across my shins.”

Concerned he had been injured, PC Thomas stopped, and his colleague PC Leighton Webb continued the chase.

Griffiths made off over a fence, and due to the risk PC Thomas believed might have been posed to other members of the public, he deployed his taser.

He was arrested by PC Webb, who waded into a river to reach him.

Fortunately, PC Thomas sustained minor injuries during the incident, and was able to remain on duty – but he is aware just how different the outcome could have been.

“Now I have had time to start to process this incident I can’t quite believe what happened,” he said “I’m thankful that the knife Griffiths used to assault me wasn’t sharper, or he could have seriously injured my legs and chest.

“I dread to think what some of the potential consequences of this incident could have been.”

Griffiths was charged with threatening a person with a blade/sharply pointed article in a public place, and was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. He must complete a rehabilitation requirement of 20 days, pay costs of £85, a victim surcharge of £128 and compensation of £200.

Following sentencing, PC Thomas spoke out to highlight the risks police officers face in carrying out their day-to-day duties.

“Although I am a police officer, I do not go to work to be threatened, or to fear for my safety at the hands of someone with a weapon,” he said.

“I attended the call to try and help, and this was how he repaid me.”

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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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