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Jail for meat cleaver wielding takeaway chef

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cleaverA TAKEAWAY worker who wielded a meat cleaver at a civil enforcement officer was sent to custody for 24 weeks on Tuesday. Zhi Hua Zhao, aged 56, of Newcastle Emlyn, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of using threatening and abusive words at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on July 29. However at his trial on Tuesday, Magistrates found him guilty.

Prosecuting, Vaughan Pritchard Jones said: “On the date in question, Nicholas James, a civil enforcement officer, had gone to the Red Cow restaurant in Adpar to collect a fine that Mr Zhao owed. Mr James identified himself but at first there was some confusion on Zhao’s part and he told Mr James that the person he was looking for was not in the restaurant and told him to come back on another day.

He was in fact the man he was looking for and he was trying to avoid making the payment. He made it clear that that he wasn’t going to leave until he had the money and Zhao became more agitated. He turned the lights off and went to close the door. Mr James turned them back on again but Zhao turned the lights off again and locked the door. Zhao shouted at him to get out, Mr James replied ‘How can I get out when you’ve locked the door’? He became more agitated and Zhao then disappeared into the kitchen area.

He came back holding a meat cleaver. He was holding it parallel to the ground but he then raised his arm so the blade was pointing upwards. He then said ‘this will make you leave’ and he continued to tell the man to leave. At that stage the enforcement offi cer said he would call 999 and the defendant seemed to calm down. Some customers then entered the store but as a result of hearing him on the phone to the police they left.

Mr James has then gone to leave the restaurant but at this point Zhao pushed him out of the door. He spoke to the gentleman again with a colleague a few days later and payment was made. There were no problems at the second attempt.” Defending, Mike Kelleher said: “It is strange that the bailiff would not have cards in another language to help someone understand why he was there.

He produced paperwork that came from Northampton, if you had a penalty from a Carmarthen court it would seem a bit strange to see a letter from Northampton. Mr Zhao can also not read English. This could have been sorted out in a better way. I have explained to you how he reacted, he couldn’t understand what was going on, he may not have known of the powers that a bailiff possesses. It is not a threatening move to turn the lights off and it is our case that he locked the door but then unlocked it straight away.

This was an unfortunate incident, he was confused and the whole situation has been blown out of proportion simply because Mr Zhao did not understand.” The Magistrates deliberated and after some time they found that Mr James was an honest, straightforward and credible witness. They added that the case was found proven beyond reasonable doubt and found Zhao guilty. On sentencing the Magistrates heard how Zhao has a previous conviction for a very similar offence. The Chairman of the bench said: “We feel that the only appropriate sentence in this case is an immediate custodial sentence. We have taken into account the seriousness of the offence and Mr Zhao’s antecedent history and send you into custody for a period of 24 weeks.”

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Crime Commissioner continues to secure funding for organisations that support victims of domestic and sexual violence

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THE POLICE and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys Police is again making the offer for organisations that support victims of domestic and sexual abuse to bid for additional funds.

Funding was made available last year, in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on organisations supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence.

It was part of a £76 million package of support made available by the UK Government.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “Thanks to this additional funding, we can ensure that victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Dyfed-Powys can access specialist services for support, at a time when they are needed the most.

“Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in domestic violence during the pandemic and victims need help now more than ever and I am grateful for the work of all the service providers across the Force area that help these men, women and families who are most in need.

“I want to reassure anyone who is in an abusive situation or relationship that you do not need to suffer in silence, and I urge anyone to report abuse to the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

“This funding is open both to providers whom I currently commission and those that I do not currently fund. However, unlike the extraordinary Covid-19 funding provided in 2020/21, organisations do not need to be a registered charity, a charitable incorporated organisation, or a social enterprise to be eligible for this funding. They must, however, provide support services which have the purpose of helping victims of sexual violence or domestic abuse cope with the impacts of crime and, as far as possible, recover from the harm they have experienced. We would also encourage applications from small specialist organisations that support groups with protected characteristics.

“If you wish to submit a request for this funding, further guidance is available on my website, and can be requested via the office e-mail address.”

Closing date for submissions is close of play on Friday, March 12, 2021.

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Covid alert level lowered for whole of UK

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THE COVID alert level for all four nations of the United Kingdom has been lowered to alert level 4.

The decision comes following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in light of the most recent data.

In recent weeks, the R-rate and the number of covid cases has been on the decline.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton said: “Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the four UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 5 to level 4 in all four nations.

“The health services across the four nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital, however thanks to the efforts of public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.

“We should be under no illusions – transmission rates, hospital pressures and deaths are still very high. In time, the vaccines will have a major impact and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they receive the offer. However for the time being it is really important that we all – vaccinated or not – remain vigilant and continue to follow the guidelines.

“We know how difficult the situation has been and remains to be for healthcare workers, we thank them for their immense effort, skill and professionalism throughout the pandemic.”

Under the Welsh Government’s Alert level 4 restrictions, schools and colleges, places of worship, community centres, playgrounds and public parks are among those that can be opened.

Theatres, entertainment venues, leisure facilities and outdoor visitors attractions are among the places that must remain close while the country is in Alert Level 4.

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Postmaster and politicians welcome Goodwick cash machine U-turn

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GOODWICK post office will now be keeping its ATM, after a U-turn by Post Office Ltd.

The machine was due to be removed within months with the post master, Jon Moverley saying that it would be a disaster for the village.

If the ATM had been removed, there would have been just two 24-hour ATMs serving the whole of Fishguard and Goodwick in the short term and three when the Co-op renovations are completed.

Both politicians and local residents then got behind the campaign to keep the ATM

Pembrokeshire politicians Paul Davies and Stephen Crabb have welcomed the news that Goodwick post office is now set to keep its ATM facility. Following representations made by both politicians to the Post Office, it’s now been confirmed that Goodwick Post Office will be included in the rollout of ATM machines across the post office network.

Mr Davies said “This is really welcome news. I’m pleased that the Post Office has listened to the representations made by the local community and decided to retain the ATM at Goodwick post office. The facility is so important for local people and businesses and it’s great that that’s been recognised and the Post Office has committed to keeping it.”

Following the Post Office’s decision to invest in Goodwick’s ATM rather than remove it, Stephen Crabb MP, who campaigned for the ATM to stay, commented: “It’s great news that the Post Office has overturned its own decision and will be keeping an ATM machine in Goodwick.

“Access to cash continues to be incredibly important for a number of people and businesses and I’m pleased to have played my part in working with John from the Post Office in Goodwick, Paul Davies MS and the wider community to highlight the ATMs importance to the area. It shows what can be achieved when we work together.”

The postmaster described the news as ‘brilliant’. Mr Moverley thanked supporters.

He said “Many thanks to all of you who have used the machine and complained to POL about the removal. We were also supported by our MP, MS and mayor, the National Federation of Sub-postmasters and our Chamber of Trade.

“Everyone did their bit, and it says an enormous amount about the strength of the community.

“We are delighted that locals and so many other people have come together to save this essential facility in the village.”

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