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‘Christmas spree’ shoplifter jailed…

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Shoplifters: Shae Cadwallader and Alicia Stokes.

Shoplifters: Shae Cadwallader and Alicia Stokes.

A 20-YEAR-OLD shoplifter from Haverfordwest was jailed by Magistrates on Tuesday (Jan 6). Alicia Stokes, of Fleming Crescent admitted four counts of shop lifting in a pre-Christmas spree, in which she stole items of clothing and household items from her local branches of Pound Stretcher, Peacocks, Morrisons and The Factory Shop.

However, these thefts put her in breach of a Crown Court community order, and the bench felt that prison was the only option. The chair of the bench said: “The record you have is absolutely appalling. We feel that we really need to protect the public. “We will send you to prison for sixteen weeks.” However, Stokes started to argue from behind the glass, which separated her from the court room. She said: “I don’t think you should send me to prison.

I’ve been really compliant with my probation officer and my solicitor told me that I wouldn’t be going to prison today.” Friends and supporters, including her boyfriend, Shae Cadwallader shouted from the gallery as she was taken down: “I love you babe.” Stokes’ defence solicitor, Mark Layton felt that there was one last chance to get his client out of the cells. He immediately, and hastily, drew up an appeal against the sentence, and ten minutes later she was brought back upstairs while this application was heard. Mr Layton said: “I can only make this application if I feel the sentence imposed has been mantifestively excessive.

“She has largely complied with the court order – I don’t know what a Crown Court judge would do. “The judge may say that Stokes has broken the order, but I would like her to be released on bail. She could report daily to Haverfordwest Police Station and could be ordered not to enter the shopping areas of Haverfordwest.” In response to the application for bail, prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard-Jones said: “I simply refer you to the record, she’s committed offence after offence. Also these offences were committed when subject to a Crown Court community order.

“The defendant has a history of committing offences on bail, therefore I would say bail is not appropriate.” Without hesitation, the chairman of the bench ruled out the application for bail, saying: “We are satisfied – the sentence is correct for the level of crime and therefore we are not granting bail.’

…but boyfriend spared prison

A SUSPENDED prison sentence was imposed on the boyfriend of Alicia Stokes, who went on a shopping spree to fund his legal high addiction at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (Jan 6). Shae Cadwallader, of Fleming Crescent, Haverfordwest, stole items with the intention to sell some on in order to buy a legal high known as Pyschlone Herbal Incense. Cadwallader was charged with four shoplifting offences and whilst he was in court, told the probation service that he was also in court at a later date for stealing this legal high and that was brought forward. He pleaded guilty to stealing a £38 bottle of aftershave from Wilkos on November 8, 2014, and admitted to stealing £477.50 worth of items from Debenhams, £69.49 worth of items from Boots and £24 worth of items from TK Maxx on December 17, 2014.

Cadwallader also pleaded guilty to stealing a legal high to the value of £30 from the All Sorts store in Haverfordwest on September 17, 2014. As part of the suspended sentence he was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and a thinking skills programme. The Magistrates also ordered compensation of £38 to be paid to Wilkos and £30 to All Sorts.He was also told to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £85 court costs. Prosecuting, Ellie Morgan said: “On November 8, a security guard was monitoring CCTV and this person noticed a couple acting suspiciously. “The male has selected the item from the shelf and put it in his pocket. No attempt was made to pay for the item.

The police were called and later when they spoke to him, he told them he had already sold the bottle on for £20. “On December 17 at 6.45pm police were dealing with an incident of shoplifting for another person when Cadwallader passed by holding a large carrier bag. “There were a large number of perfume bottles in it and he said he been given them by his mother to wrap up as Christmas presents. “That story turned out not to be true and he was arrested for theft. Officers also attended at the Debenhams, TK Maxx and Boots stores to inform them of the missing items. “At the third interview he finally accepted taking the items from the stores but doesn’t remember going into TK Maxx.

“He is sorry for what he has done”. The Magistrates asked for a report to be prepared but after he was let out Cadwallader returned home to pack a bag as he was worried he might be sent to prison. Probation Officer Julie Norman added: “I have raised with him the concerns about failing to attend on previous orders but he tells me that was when he was younger and he didn’t take responsibility for himself. “He has developed an issue with legal highs and because he can’t fund them has resorted to shoplifting to sell items in order to get money for the legal highs. He is concerned about it and he would benefit from assistance.

“He tells me he is willing to comply with a community order”. Ms Morgan produced the evidence for the theft of the legal high. She said: “On September 17, he went into the All Sorts shop in Quay Street to ask for the legal high. The assistant put it down on the counter and whilst his back was turned, Cadwallader picked it up and ran out of the store. The police were contacted and after his arrest he admitted the offence in his interview.” The Magistrates felt that this was a ‘planned spree to fund a habit’ and therefore issued a 12 week custodial sentence which will be suspended for 12 months. As part of the sentence he was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and a thinking skills programme. The Magistrates also ordered compensation of £38 to be paid to Wilkos and £30 to All Sorts, and was also told to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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Education

Delight as foundation phase learners return to class

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PEMBROKESHIRE Headteachers have reported very positive returns to school for Foundation Phase Learners.

All Foundation Phase Learners returned to schools on Monday, March 1st and attendance has been reported at almost 90% since.

The Council’s Director for Education, Steven Richards-Downes, said: “A wide range of council services have worked together to ensure that Foundation Phase pupils have been able to return
safely to school.

“I am particularly grateful to all school staff and families for ensure that learning is now available for our youngest learners face to face.”

Headteachers remarked how schools have filled with smiles and laughter following the safe and phased return of Foundation Phase learners.

Cora O’Brien, Headteacher at Waldo Williams School in Haverfordwest emphasised how quickly learners have settled back in to a routine.

“It has been an absolute joy to hear their laughter in the playground and to observe their love of learning face to face once again. I thank everybody in the Waldo Williams School
community for working so hard to ensure that the transition went smoothly.”

Vicky Hart-Griffiths, Headteacher of Ysgol Hafan y Mor in Tenby, said: “It has been wonderful to welcome all our Foundation Phase learners back to school. They are thriving, being amongst
friends and back to a school routine.  

“All the pupils have spoken about how happy they are to have returned and it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome them back and we can’t wait until we have all our pupils back in school.

“The school feels alive again and there’s a positive buzz and laughter once again echoing throughout the school.”

Gareth Lewis, Headteacher at Broad Haven CP School said children had returned “with real enthusiasm, and have been very keen to meet up with their friends.”

Mr Lewis added: “Our parents have been very supportive and positive about the return, and those with older children are very much looking forward to a wider return to schooling.”

Mr Richards-Downes said plans were now turning to more learners returning to schools in the near future.

“We are looking to the next phases of the re-opening of schools on the 15th of March as long as the government guidelines allow.”

Further details will be released in due course.

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Pembrokeshire County Council: This week’s Leader’s coronavirus update

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further coronavirus update for Friday, 5th March as follows:

‘Welcome everyone to my weekly update.

“It is with rather a heavy heart that I tell you that it’s almost 12 months since my first statement on the coronavirus pandemic.

“On 9th March 2020, I addressed our Cabinet meeting with the following words:

“Further to the news yesterday that two people in Pembrokeshire had tested as positive for the Covid 19 virus, I am sure you will join me in wishing them both a speedy and full recovery.

“I can reassure you that our services will continue as usual, and all our employees can continue to attend to their work, appointments, schools and services as they normally would.

“We should all help protect ourselves and our communities by following Public Health Wales advice, particularly around washing hands and using a tissue for symptoms associated with cold and flu and then safely disposing of it.

“I am grateful to the co-operation and hard work of all of our staff and we will provide further updates and information when we have them.

“In the meantime I can confirm that detailed planning arrangements, both internally, with partner agencies and through the Dyfed Powys Local Resilience Forum, are well underway to ensure that the Council and Pembrokeshire are as well placed as possible for whatever challenges we may face. Thank you.”

“I am sure you will join me while I take a moment now to remember all those people in Pembrokeshire and further afield, who, very sadly, passed away since I made that announcement.

“I continue to be incredibly grateful, as I’m sure you are, to everyone who is helping to beat this pandemic, working so very hard now for over a year.

“We are fortunate now to be in a position where the vaccine programme is protecting older members of our community and starting to roll out among one of the biggest groups – the over 65s and those with underlying health conditions.

“This time next week (12th March) the Welsh Government will have notified us of their plans for the next three weeks.

“In the meantime, we remain in Alert Level 4 and the stay at home message continues to be more important than ever as we reach the threshold of better times.

“I wish you all a good weekend and thank you once again to the vast majority of wonderful Pembrokeshire residents who are doing the right thing and waiting patiently at home for restrictions to lift.

“We do really appreciate your efforts and determination to help bring this pandemic to an end.”

 

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Sergeant Hillier ‘died doing the job he loved’, says his heartbroken father

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THE ARMY SERGEANT who died after being injured in a live firing exercise, has been named locally.

The incident occurred at Castlemartin Training Area, and led to the death of Sgt Gavin Hillier, who was in the Welsh Guards.

In a post on social media, his father wrote: “Absolutely devastated to be writing this post, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

“At 3.45am this morning I received a phone call that will forever change my life. My eldest son Gavin Mark Hillier was in a fatal accident yesterday in the army (the job he loved).

“Sleep tight & rest in peace son. I’m so proud of you. Goodnight and god bless, love your heartbroken dad.”

An Army spokesperson said: “It is with great sadness we can confirm the death of a soldier on March 4.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.

“The circumstances surrounding this death are being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

It is understood that Sergeant Hillier, who served as part of the Welsh Guards’ motor transport platoon, was due to be deployed to Iraq and had previously been awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct medal by Prince Charles, the regiment’s Colonel in Chief, in 2019.

The tragic incident is the latest in a number of accidents at Castlemartin.

In 2017, The Herald reported that two soldiers died in a tank explosion, which a coroner ruled was due to a design flaw.

The following year, an Army captain was jailed in July 2018 after a 21-year-old soldier was killed by a stray bullet during an exercise at the range in 2012.

An investigation has been launched into the death of a soldier at Castlemartin RAC Range following a military exercise.

Police were called to the site at just before 10.45pm on March 4.

Sadly, a man was pronounced dead shortly after. Our thoughts are with his family, who have been informed of the incident and are being supported by specialist officers.

An investigation is underway led by Dyfed-Powys Police. Officers are liaising with the Health and Safety Executive and MoD.

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