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Motorist jailed after blaming his 105mph speed on unsuspecting pensioner

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A MOTORIST who tried to blame his motorway speeds of 105mph and 92mph on an unsuspecting pensioner has been jailed.

Harald Plumb, aged 61, of Brynmead, Bryn, Llanelli, was clocked doing 105mph on the M4 westbound between junction 48 and Pont Abraham roundabout at around 12.45pm on 26 March 2020.

At around 1.30pm, his Mercedes was clocked at 92mph going the opposite way.

A notice of intended prosecution was sent to him on 30 March, 2020, to which he replied to name a 70-year-old man from Swansea, on 3 April, 2020.

In response to the Central Ticket Office contacting the 70-year-old, he sent a letter back saying that he did not know the vehicle or who was using his details.

The matter was passed on to PC John Whiles from the GO SAFE road crime enquiry team as it appeared the defendant had falsely nominated the man to avoid prosecution, thus perverting the course of public justice.

In his initial interview, Plumb was challenged on the fact the 70-year-old denied knowledge of him and access to his vehicle.

The defendant continued to lie and claimed the man was test driving his car that day having advertised it for sale.

PC Whiles then looked at interrogating telecommunication activity of the defendant’s phone on the day of the speeding offence.

This revealed that the defendant’s mobile phone was transmitting a signal close to the original speeding offences’ location.

Further statements from the 70-year-old and his wife were taken, along with them providing permission to interrogate their mobile phones for the relevant time of the offence.

This line of enquiry isolated both the man and his wife’s mobile phones to their home address in Swansea, eliminating him as a suspect.

Plumb was further interviewed on this evidence and again maintained his position that he had the car out on test drive that day to the 70-year-old and he had left his mobile phone in the car.

The case was put before the CPS who duly charged Plumb with perverting the course of public justice.

At Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday, 29 September, 2021, a guilty plea was entered due to the overwhelming evidence, despite initially pleading not guilty.

Judge Paul Thomas QC was unprepared to consider a pre-sentence report as the actions of the defendant proved to be of high culpability, and an Offence against public justice.

Sentencing Plumb, Judge Thomas, criticised him for telling what he described as ”stark, cynical lies”.
Judge Thomas said: “It strikes at the very heart of justice and undermines everything. The public need to know what happens to people who act like you did.”
Plumb was jailed for six months and disqualified from driving for 15 months.

Prosecuting QC Dean Pulling described the officer’s investigation as dogged and determined.

Judge Thomas reiterated to the court the diligent and hard work of the officer and instructed the prosecutor to notify PC Whiles’ senior officers of this recognition.
Speaking after the hearing, Regional Go Safe Co-Ordinator, PS Ian Price, said: “PC Whiles ought to be commended for his consistent and determined investigation skills he has demonstrated.

“This case is one of six convictions he has secured in the past four months for the offence of perverting the course of public justice.

“His work is helping to reinforce the message that attempting to pervert the course of justice will not work and you will be found out and prosecuted.

“In this case, it has cost a man his liberty. It just isn’t worth it.”

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Health

Those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster should get jabbed by end of June

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ALL those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster are being urged to take up their offer of the vaccine before the end of next month.

A deadline of 30 June has been introduced to ensure all those eligible for the spring booster will have a long-enough interval between this and the autumn 2022 booster, if they are also eligible.

An announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about which groups will be eligible for the autumn booster is due to be published shortly.

The JCVI has advised that people over-75, older care home residents and all those aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed are eligible for the spring booster.

Those who are 75 on or before 30 June, can get their booster at any point up to the deadline.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is important we continue our very high take up levels of the vaccine to help protect us against the risk of serious illness from Covid-19. I would urge everyone who is offered a spring booster vaccination takes up the invitation.”

If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a Covid infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June as part of this campaign if they have to postpone their appointment.

All those eligible for spring boosters will be invited by their health board or GP.

It is not too late for anyone who needs a primary dose (first, second or third) to be vaccinated.

Please check for local arrangements.

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Health

Young people in Wales being failed when moving from child to adult mental health services

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MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES are failing young people when they move from child to adult services, says a mental health charity.

Mind Cymru is calling for Welsh Government to make urgent changes to improve the system.

Nia Evans, Children and Young People Manager at Mind Cymru, said: “Young people have told us that their needs, thoughts, and feelings about moving to adult services are often unheard, or ignored.

“Welsh Government must support Local Health Boards to make sure this doesn’t happen, change the way services are run and make sure our young people are being heard and properly cared for.”

Mind Cymru has published a report, in ate the result of interviews with young people about their experiences of moving from Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – (SCAMHS) to AMHS.

They highlighted five key areas where services are failing young people:
– Poor information offered to young people, particularly on their rights
– Inconsistent use and follow through of care and treatment plans
– High thresholds for SCAMHS and AMHS referrals to be accepted
– Feeling abandoned / cut off from SCAMHS
– Age still dominates decision making process for moving from SCAMHS to AMHS

Nia Evans said: “Any one of these issues could make the process of moving from children’s services to adult services difficult for our young people. But often, more than one is happening at any one time.”

“Our young people have a right to care and support from a mental health system that has been put in place to help them recover. Action must be taken immediately to make sure support systems are robust and doing the job they were designed to do.”

Mind Cymru is asking people to email their Member of the Senedd (MS) and amplify the voices of these young people whose experiences are often unheard, and use the #SortTheSwitch hashtag on social media.

The full report is available here, including what a good move from SCAMHS to AMHS would look like for young people, and where the current system could improve.

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Business

Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre

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LESS than two months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p a litre cut on the average price of fuel – diesel prices have reached a record high price of 180.29p a litre.
The previous high of 179.90p was recorded on March 23rd 2022 – the day of the Spring Statement from Sunak.

In recent weeks, the UK government has tried to move away from its reliance on importing Russian oil, following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Worryingly for drivers of petrol cars, the price per litre is fast approaching the record levels of 167.3p per litre set on March 22nd.

This latest price rise adds another challenge to UK households, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across the country.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Sadly, despite the Chancellor’s 5p a litre duty cut the average price of a litre of diesel has hit a new record high at 180.29p.”

“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel.”

“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”

“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps. Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”

“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”

“The average price of petrol is also on the rise having gone up nearly 3p a litre since the start of the month to 166.65p which means it’s less than a penny away from the all-time high of 167.30p set on 22 March.”

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