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Remand prisoner released on bail

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SwanseaA PEMBROKE man has been released from Swansea Prison on bail following a hearing at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning.

Gavin Skates, 35, of Upper Lamphey Road, appeared by video link from Swansea Prison, and pleaded guilty to damaging his cell at Haverfordwest Police station on November 2, but not guilty to three other charges of obstructing police, failing to provide a urine specimen to police and criminal damage at Melastone Cottage, Hundleton.

Skates had also entered a not guilty plea to assaulting his partner by beating at an earlier hearing on November 4.

The CPS prosecutor told the court: “Skates was having an argument with his partner at home. She was packing his clothes and throwing them towards the door when swearing and a struggle broke out.

“The defendant then shoved his partner and she flew across the room. According to an independent witness, there was an excessive amount of force used. Skates’ partner called the police who attended the property, arrested, and then granted the defendant bail on the condition that he did not return to the area. However, the next day, the police were called again to find the defendant at the property.

“He was hammering the door, which had become damaged with gouges out of it.”

“Later police recovered a hatchet in the defendant’s door. He was intoxicated, under the influence of drugs. The officers attending found damage to a window at the property. The defendant’s girlfriend had again contacted the police as she was concerned of the effect of the banging and commotion on the two young children in the house aged five and 18 months.”

Defending Jonathan Webb told the court: “My client has four charges against him, but his partner no longer supports the prosecution case. She has contacted the police, through a third party, and made a statement withdrawing her complaint. She wants to be reunited with the defendant and the children to become one family unit once again. She misses him terribly so do the children.”

Mr Webb continued: “I believe that the charge of obstructing the police and the charge of failing to give a sample of urine relate to the same incident, when my client accidentally dropped the sample into the toilet. He did give a second sample. I am sure that a good CPS prosecutor in the fullness of time will drop one of these two charges.

“To keep my client remanded in custody is unfair. The Crown’s case at its highest is a push to the shoulder, and failure to supply a urine sample, he concluded.

Magistrates agreed with Mr Webb and granted his client bail with conditions. Skates was released from Swansea Prison on the proviso that he stays and sleeps at his grandmother’s house in Newport, Gwent, and he does not enter the county of Pembrokeshire. He must report to the Newport police station at 12 noon every day.

His case has been adjourned for trial on December 23.

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42 new officers for Dyfed Powys Police in the first wave of police recruitment

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DYFED Powys Police has a recruitment target of 42 new officers in the first wave of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to increase officer numbers across the UK.

The Home Office on Wednesday (Oct 9) confirmed the officer recruitment targets for every police force in England and Wales for the first year of the unprecedented drive to increase their ranks by 20,000 over the next three years.

Stephen Crabb, Preseli Pembrokeshire MP has said that this is ‘a strong start’ to helping Dyfed Powys tackle new forms of crime and keep West Wales as one of the safest parts of the country.

Following the Home Office announcement, Stephen Crabb said: “Forty-two additional police officers for Dyfed Powys Police is a strong start to strengthening frontline policing and making people feel safer.

I praised the good work local officers do in tackling County Lines drug gang in Parliament earlier this year and asked that additional resources be provided to help them stamp out this and other terrible crimes. I’m pleased the Prime Minister listened and is delivered on his pledge to increase officers numbers.”

Strengthening police numbers is a priority for the government, which is providing £750 million to support forces to recruit up to 6,000 additional officers onto our streets by the end of 2020-21, the first stage in this new uplift. This is thanks to the additional funding announced by the Chancellor in the Spending Review.

Every single police force in England and Wales will be able to recruit additional officers this year to help keep all of our communities safer.

All officers recruited as part of the 20,000 uplifts will be added to those hired to fill existing vacancies. They are also on top of the extra officers already being recruited because of the £1 billion increase in police funding for 2019-20, which includes money from council tax and for serious violence.

Government funding for recruitment in 2020-21 will cover all associated costs, including training and kit.

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Anti-Slavery campaigner receives medal

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A Pembrokeshire woman who has committed herself to combating modern slavery has been presented with the British Empire Medal.

Dr Anne Kelly of Saundersfoot was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June.

A Swansea University lecturer, she sits on the Dyfed Powys anti-slavery forum that meets in Carmarthen. Much of her work is done
through the Soroptimist International organisation.

Through her personal commitment, she is contributing to more victims of slavery being identified, recovered and supported as well as
bringing their perpetrators to justice.

It is partly through her determination and constant lobbying of MPs that the Modern Slavery Act became law in March 2015.

Dr Kelly was presented with the British Empire Medal by the Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, in a ceremony at County
Hall on Friday (Oct 11).

Dr Kelly was accompanied by family members.

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A letter and petition in support

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PUPILS from Milford Haven school were outside County Hall on Thursday (Oct 10) handing out letters to Councillors as they entered the main building to attend a meeting which had Milford Haven School on the agenda.

A PLEA TO DECISION MAKERS

Stevie Joseph, 14, who wrote the three-page letter said that it contained the reasons why she felt that the sixth form should stay open.
“The college is just not the same for some of us”, she said, “we need the pastoral care and support that a sixth form gives us”.

“The decline in pupil numbers is something we have noticed but Milford now has one of the biggest primary schools in Wales so its stupid to close the sixth form…. The numbers are going to go up. We should not close it now and then wait to see that improvement.”

Stevie’s classmate Rebecca said: “I would like to be in an environment where I know people. I have known these teachers for many years, and it will be weird [if I go to college and] they will not be there.”

PETITION AGAINST CLOSURE

A petition to Pembrokeshire County Council has been started on Change.org.

At the time of going to press around 500 people had signed.

Organiser Jenny did not give her last name but wrote on the page: “Milford Haven School may have to close the doors to their current sixth form department.

“The residents of Milford Haven hold the sixth form very close to their hearts as a lot of them attended themselves.

“As a community, we are all deeply saddened to hear this could be coming to an end. In previous years, this sixth form was thriving.

“As a collective, hundreds of thousands have been raised for Children in Need as well as other good causes and charities.

“Sixth form has provided pupils with vast amounts of opportunities and helped them to mature into respectable young adults. It has given students the chance to further their education in subjects they are extremely passionate about. In some instances, Milford Haven Sixth form has provided options that wouldn’t be offered anywhere else in the county.

“As it stands, if our sixth form was to close down, all pupils in year 11 and younger would have to attend either Pembrokeshire college or one of the last remaining sixth forms in the county which is Haverfordwest High which would be the closest in distance to attend.
“But in college you lose the family and community connection you have when you become part of the sixth form family.”

To sign the petition online click the link on the Pembrokeshire Herald Facebook page.

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