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Narberth: Suspended sentence for attacking Ivy Bush landlady

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Suspended sentence: Olly Torkington

Suspended sentence: Olly Torkington

A SAUNDERSFOOT  man was warned on Tuesday (Dec 8) to “bring a toothbrush” if he appeared at Swansea crown court again.

Oliver George Torkington, aged 29, breached a suspended prison sentence and a driving ban and was at risk of an immediate jail sentence.

Judge Peter Heywood was told that Torkington, of Flat B, 2 Parkwood Court, Brewery Terrace, had received a suspended prison sentence on April 30 for attacking the landlady of the Ivy Bush pub in Narberth.

He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work for the community.

On August 27 he was caught driving along the A40 at Llanddewi Velfrey despite having been banned. He was also uninsured.

The court heard that put him in breach of the April 30 sentence.

Torkington’s barrister, David Williams, said he had been under some confusion about the ban and had not knowingly ignored it.

He said Torkington had a responsible job making £39,000 a year, and was in a position to pay a substantial financial penalty.

Torkington admitted the offence.

Judge Peter Heywood said he did not doubt that Torkington had fully understood the terms of the suspended sentence and of the driving ban.

Claims of confusion “do not cut any ice, this was a deliberate disregard of a court order,” he added.

Torkington, he added, could have no complaint if he now sent him to jail.

But he had a good job and there had been no repeat of violence while in drink.

Torkington was fined £500 for driving while disqualified and £100 for having no insurance, and ordered to pay £240 in court costs.

The prison sentence was suspended for a further three months and 40 more hours were added to the unpaid work requirement.

And Judge Heywood warned Torkington, “If you breach the order again you had better bring a toothbrush with you because you will be going into custody.”

Writing on Facebook just after coming out of court Torkington showed he was relieved not to be inside for Christmas. He wrote: “So happy to be here spending Christmas with the people who matter and having a clear and focused head ready to rock the end of December and go into the New Year focused, driven and determined to bust my balls, earn money and live happily ever after. Thanks to everyone who’s shown support and extra special thank you to my nearest and dearest and for those who were there today!”

In 2007 Torkington also escaped jail. He smashed a beer glass in another man’s face escaped an immediate jail sentence after appearing in front of Swansea Crown Court.

A CCTV camera inside the Dragon Inn, Narberth, filmed Oliver George Torkington, then 22, as he suddenly lunged at Simon Evans, hitting him with the glass, thumping him in the face and biting him on the arm.

Torkington was pulled off by others in the pub.

But, said Gerald Neave, prosecuting, even then Torkington struggled to continue with the attack.

Mr Neave said there had been bad blood between the two men, who bumped into each other on September 8, 2006.

Mr Evans needed hospital treatment for cuts to his face, bruising and a bite mark.

At the time Torkington had admitted unlawful wounding.

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Reminder from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to pre-book for attractions

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MEMBERS of the public are being reminded to pre-book their entry tickets before visiting two popular National Park Authority-run attractions.

To allow for social distancing on site, both Carew Castle and Tidal Mill and Castell Henllys Iron Age Village have been operating a pre-booking system since last summer.

Those wishing to visit should book their tickets online before arriving at the site. This applies to Annual Pass holders and others who qualify for free entry, such as wheelchair users and accompanying carers.

Carew Castle is open to pre-booked visitors between 10am and 4pm (Tidal Mill 11.30am – 5pm), while those wishing to visit Castell Henllys will be asked to book either a morning slot (10am-1pm) or an afternoon slot (2pm-5pm) before visiting the site.

Daisy Hughes, Visitor Services Manager at Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, said: “Over the past 12 months, we have made some changes to the site and how we operate to ensure that we keep you, our staff and our local community safe.

“All areas of the Castle and Tidal Mill are open, including the Walled Garden and play area. Nest Tearoom, which has plenty of outdoor undercover seating, will be serving light lunches and homemade cakes along with hot and cold drinks throughout the day, and the Castle and Mill Shops remain open – although face coverings must be worn and only card/contactless payments are currently being accepted.

“With the exception of Nest Tearoom, pre-booking is essential, though, and we’re asking all visitors to make sure they book their entry tickets in advance, in order to avoid any delays or disappointment when they arrive on site.”

Entry tickets for both Carew Castle and Castell Henllys can be purchased by visiting www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/events

A dynamic programme of events suitable for all the family will be running at both sites throughout the summer months. Visit the above website for more information and to book tickets.

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Salvage Hunters: New series is filming in Pembrokeshire, and they need help

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SALVAGE HUNTERS, the well-loved and most watched Quest TV and Discovery Network show, is on the hunt for locations to film at in the Pembrokeshire and the wider South West Wales area to feature in the upcoming series.

We follow decorative antiques expert Drew Pritchard as he travels around various locations in the UK and abroad on his quest to find and buy unusual objects with an interesting history.

Drew really visits everywhere – beautiful estates, old family businesses, barns and attic’s stuffed full of unwanted things, museums, factories, collectors and iconic religious sites buying all sorts along the way – from gorgeous country house furniture and railwayana to 6ft 1980s disco balls and anything in-between.

Now in its sixteenth series and airing to over half a million people in the UK and millions more worldwide, this is a great opportunity for you to promote your business or home to a broad audience, sell a few items that perhaps you no longer need, make some money and celebrate the history and heritage of the UK.

If you think you fit the bill or know somebody that might then please do not hesitate to reach out and speak with a member of our team.

Call us on 0203 179 0092 or alternatively send us an email to – salvagehunters@curvemedia.com

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Haverfordwest and Cardigan high streets listed as among the ten worst in Britain

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TWO west Wales high streets have been listed in a UK wide report detailing Britain’s worst high streets.

In the highly respected report Cardigan High Street has been listed as the 4th worst in Britain, whilst Haverfordwest has come 8th.

The Harper Dennis Hobbs rankings, which come out every two years, in sadly listed six Welsh High Streets in the worst 10 category.

Some retail centres have performed well since 2019 but most Welsh towns have fallen down the list.

Overall the performance in Wales was poor with a major drop in the average position of Welsh high streets on the UK list.

More shops in Haverfordwest’s town centre have closed since the coronavirus hit (Pic: File image)

The average rank was 797 – the worst of any nation and region in the UK, showing the huge challenge Welsh Government has to revive town centres. Six of the bottom ten UK high streets were in Wales.

Normally Harper Dennis Hobbs releases the full ranking but when the firm published its 2021 report in February, it only made the top 50 best-performing locations publicly available. Now, a copy of the full list shared with i lays bare the shopping centres and high streets that have fared worst over the past year.

Top of the worst list is Girvan in South Ayrshire.

Girvan is home to around 6,500 people and has suffered the same difficulties as many cities and towns across the UK when it comes to its high street’s declining appeal – but it is the area’s “very weak retail offer” and the large number of empty shops that helped seal its place at the bottom of the league table.

Haverfordwest in 2014. can you spot any differences to now?

“Girvan along with Haverfordwest and Cardigan all scored poorly due to a very weak retail offer [and] the towns have a relatively high vacancy rate,” said Andy Metherell, head of retail consultancy at Harper Dennis Hobbs.

Andy Metherell, head of retail consultancy at HDH, explained: “Our analysis is unique as we use variables that both consumers and retailers consider when assessing shopping locations to rank the top 1,000 retail centres in Great Britain. This Vitality Ranking looks very different from previous years as the ‘retail health’ of high streets across the country has seen contrasting fortunes since the start of the pandemic.

“The most vital retail centres currently provide services that are essential to people’s lives, such as grocers and pharmacies. These essential retailers have been able to trade throughout the strictest lockdowns, and consumers have not been willing or able to travel far to visit these stores. Shopping patterns have therefore changed significantly since the start of the pandemic, and consumers’ local high streets are benefitting at the expense of major destinations.”

Turning empty retail spaces in the town into homes or offices could help rejuvenate the area and bring “demand to the doors” of shops that survive, Mr Metherell said.

Cardigan High Street before Covid-19 (Pic Stay In Wales)

Top 10 best high streets 2021

  1. Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
  2. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
  3. Tenterden, Kent
  4. Wimbledon Village, south-west London
  5. Marlborough, Wiltshire
  6. Sevenoaks, Kent
  7. Kingston upon Thames, Greater London
  8. Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
  9. Harpenden, Hertfordshire
  10. Ilkley, Bradford

Top 10 worst high streets 2021

  1. Girvan, South Ayrshire
  2. Bristol – Baldwin Street
  3. Chepstow, Monmouthshire
  4. Cardigan, Ceredigion
  5. Southsea, Portsmouth
  6. Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf
  7. Ammanford, Carmarthenshire
  8. Haverfordwest, Permbrokeshire
  9. Canning Town, east London
  10. Newtown, Powys

(Source: Harper Dennis Hobbs)

Cardigan High Street pictured in the early 2000’s before Currys left town (Pic Geograph)
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