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.”
Welsh Conservatives pay tribute to murdered MP, Sir David Amess
THE WELSH CONSERVATIVES have released a statement following the murder of serving Member of Parliament, Sir David Amess on Friday (Oct 15).
Paul Davies MS said: “We are horrified by the death of Sir David Amess.
“Sir David was a much-respected and well-liked MP who cared deeply about serving his constituents, something he had done with distinction for nearly four decades.
“One of the longest-serving Members of Parliament, his contribution to public life was vast and he will be sorely missed by those in Southend and in the Conservative Party.
“Sadly, this shocking and abhorrent incident once again highlights the dangers that public servants can face, all of whom should be able to conduct such duties helping those they represent in safety.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends. May he rest in peace.”
The MP for Southend West was stabbed at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, in Essex. He was there for one of his regular Friday meetings with his constituents.
Just 15 minutes before the attack, the 69-year-old was standing on the church steps, chatting and laughing with locals.
At around 12:05 PM, Sir David walked into the church alongside two female members of his staff to meet some more constituents.
Local councillor John Lamb said that it was then that the attacker emerged from a small group of waiting constituents and attacked Sir David, stabbing him several times.
“I’m told that when he went in for his surgery there were people waiting to see him, and one of them literally got a knife out and just began stabbing him,” Mr Lamb said.
Police arrived at the scene in Eastwood Road North within minutes where they found the MP with multiple injuries and arrested a man.
“We knew it must be very serious because the paramedics had been working on Sir David for over two and a half hours and they hadn’t got him on the way to hospital,” Mr Lamb told the PA news agency.
At 14:13 an air ambulance arrived at a nearby sports ground to move him to hospital. However, members of his team began to fear the worst as paramedics remained at the scene.
Shortly before 15:00, Essex Police said Sir David had died.
At a press conference later Chief Constable BJ Harrington said officers and paramedics had worked extremely hard to save the MP.
Questions are now being raised about security arrangements for politicians working in their constituencies.
Family of property developers sentenced for fifteen counts of fraud
Four property developers were sentenced on Friday (October 15) at Swansea Crown Court to two years imprisonment suspended for 12 months each for multiple counts of mortgage and investment fraud worth over £1m.
Audrey Osborne, 65, and her sons Gary Moore, 43, Clayton Moore, 46 and Ian Moore, 44 pleaded guilty to fifteen counts of fraud, including conspiracy to commit fraud, obtaining money transfers by deception and fraud, following an investigation by South Wales Police Economic Unit.
Osborne ran a mortgage brokerage business, Credence Finance Limited operating all over Wales. This company was used as a vehicle to submit multiple false declarations of income in support of mortgage applications.
In addition to the mortgage frauds, the family secured a number of investors in Dreamscape Homes, including family friends, employees and Credence customers. The investors provided amounts of around £25k, some re-mortgaging their own homes to do so. They received Share Certificates in return. None of the investors received a return as the land was never developed.
John Sheehan of the CPS said: “Between them, Audrey Osborne and her sons committed 15 offences of dishonesty, misleading mortgage providers and betraying the trust placed in them by friends, employees and customers. They did so for their own personal benefit and only admitted their wrongdoing late in the proceedings.
“The CPS will now pursue confiscation proceedings against them to ensure they have not benefitted from their criminal conduct and, if possible, to compensate the victims.”
The CPS is committed to working alongside the government and law enforcement to provide a multi-agency response to combat all types of fraud.
Specialist Fraud Prosecutors work to seek justice in a variety of cases including those that cause the greatest harm to the public, particularly involving vulnerable victims.
The prosecution of the case was led by the CPS Specialist Fraud Division, a dedicated CPS team playing a leading role in the fight against serious and complex economic crime and the financial exploitation of the public, using specialist legal expertise to deliver justice.
The full sentences imposed at Swansea Crown Court are as follows:
Audrey Osborne was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
Gary Moore was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
Clayton Moore sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
Ian Moore was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
Parents’ tribute to ‘perfect baby girl’ following fatal collision in Llanelli
THE PARENTS of a six-month-old baby killed in a collision in Llanelli on Friday (8 October) have paid tribute to their “perfect baby girl” who they say was “a gift from God”.
Eva Maria Nichifor died following a collision involving a blue 3 series BMW and a blue Vauxhall Vectra at the Heol Goffa crossroads in Llanelli at around 9pm.
Eva Maria’s parents Florin and Carmen, who originate from Romania, but now live in Llanelli, have issued the below tribute in English and Romanian.
“We are distraught by our loss. Eva Maria, only six months old, will be missed by us all.
“She was our miracle, our perfect baby girl, a gift from God. She will always be in our hearts.
“We would like to thank everyone for their support at this horrific time. It has meant so much to the whole family.
“We would now like time to grieve and would ask to be given privacy in which to do so.”
Suntem foarte supărați pentru pierderea noastră. Eva Maria, avea doar 6 luni si cu toții ii vom simți lipsa.
Ea a fost minunea noastră, un copil perfect și un dar dat de Dumnezeu. Va fi in inimile noastre pentru totdeauna.
Va mulțumim tuturor pentru susținerea voastră in aceste vremuri dificile, înseamnă foarte mult pentru noi.
Am vrea acum puțin timp sa ne adunam in liniște alături de familia noastră.
A woman has been charged with causing Eva Maria’s death by dangerous driving.
Lucy Dyer, aged 23, of Heulwen Terrace, Llanelli, was remanded in custody following the court hearing at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Monday (11 October).
She is due to appear before Swansea Crown Court on Friday, 12 November. She was also charged with drink-driving.
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