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Milford Haven: Gambling addict jailed for stealing £20k from elderly mother

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swanseaA GAMBLING addict from Milford Haven who stole more than £20,000 from his elderly mother and even sold her jewellery was jailed for 14 months on Friday (Mar 27).

Richard Keith Lightfoot, aged 53, of Fettle Court, Victoria Road, admitted two offences of fraud and one of theft.

Gwilym Roberts-Harry, prosecuting, told Swansea crown court that Lightfoot had been the carer for his 84 year old mother Rosina.

Despite her giving him money from time to time he began to use her bank account to write cheques to himself, and hid her statements under his bed mattress to stop her from finding out.

He got away with £13,950, and an additional £8,021 by using her debit card to gamble, order Chinese takeaways and to buy mobile telephones and clothes.

Lightfoot also used her bank details to order £2,370 worth of clothing from a catalogue firm.

Mr Roberts-Harry said Lightfoot also stole gold rings and chains belonging to his mother and sold them for cash.

He said the offending came to light after his sister, Sally Jones, became suspicious when Lightfoot insisted his mother cash in a life insurance policy to pay for some storm damage to her home, instead of using money she should have had in her bank account.

It was also discovered that Lightfoot had made entries on his Facebook page such as, “At mummy’s pension again,” and “mummy’s purse is getting another hiding.”

The judge, Mr Recorder Paul Hopkins, said he found the entries “extremely concerning” and suggested that Lightfoot was relishing in what he was doing to his mother’s finances.

Lightfoot’s barrister, David Williams, said most of the money had gone on gambling, to which he had been addicted for 30 years.

He was now so determined to end the habit he had placed photographs of himself behind the counters of Milford’s three betting shops and had instructed staff not serve him.

He had also sort help from a local charity and had been allocated a support worker.

Mr Williams said on being arrested, Lightfoot had told police, “I feel sick at betraying my mother’s trust.”

Mr Williams said his mother had declined to make a victim impact statement and had made it clear she did not want her son to be sent to prison.

But Mr Recorder Hopkins told Lightfoot, “You had been in a position of considerable trust as her carer. She was giving you money while you were conducting a sustained course of dishonesty towards her.

“It was despicable, appalling. A message needs to go out that the courts will not tolerate behaviour of this type towards other family members.

“Your mother deserved protection,” he added.

Mr Roberts-Harry said a Proceeds of Crime investigation was underway to see if Lightfoot could repay any of the stolen money, although the prospects seemed to be “unrealistic” as he now survived on Jobseeker’s allowance.

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Health

Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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Tenby’s famous walrus ‘Wally’ has been spotted again

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TENBY’S most famous marine animal has been spotted again after fears she had been scared away.

Wally was spotted on Friday evening by the seaside town’s Lifeboat station.

Thought to be a two-year-old male, the walrus’s return comes after it was feared she had been disturbed by people flocking to catch a glimpse of her and “getting too close”

The animal has attracted hundreds of people to the seaside town now that the travel restrictions with Wales have been lifted to coincide with the Easter school holidays.

Wally was last seen on Monday, but  members of the public were warned it was in the animal’s “best interests” to be “left alone” as much as possible and they were urged to “avoid the temptation to get near and disturb” her.

A joint statement was issued by the RSPCA, Tenby harbour master Chris Salisbury, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Tenby lifeboat coxswain Phil John, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and CSIP Marine Environmental Rescue said that they were concerned to hear that people had tried to get close by using personal watercraft or paddle and surfboards.

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Police plan to deter badly behaved youths from gathering in Tenby

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POLICE in Tenby responded to community concerns over antisocial behaviour and groups of between 15-20 youths gathering and clashing over the Easter bank holiday weekend. They moved the youths on, seized alcohol from them and stopped matters escalating when there were clashes between the groups. And they have a clear message ahead of this weekend – there will be extra police patrols and presence in Tenby, including on the trains, so this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers used powers under the Antisocial Behaviour Act to disperse groups of youngsters meeting to drink alcohol in and around Tenby, many of whom had travelled by train to the area to meet up.

Based on these scenes from last weekend, plans are in place as part of a joint operation with Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers and British Transport Police, to address and prevent any further gatherings.

A Section 34 Order is in place covering Tenby, which allows officers to move people out of the area and prevent them from returning for up to 48 hours.

Sergeant Stuart Wheeler said: “Following last weekend we had some concern from the community of Tenby, due to antisocial behaviour related to the groups of youths from Pembroke, Pembroke Dock and Tenby, and subsequently those groups clashing. Alcohol consumption by these youngsters was a factor.

“Proactive action was taken, and we are keen to avoid a repeat of this behaviour this weekend, and have therefore put plans in place. Additional resources have been allocated, which will allow us to respond quickly and prevent matters from escalating.

“Tenby Neighbourhood Policing Team and response officers, will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the area, covering areas known to be popular with youngsters. Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers will be assisting us in ensuring youngsters can’t buy alcohol in the area by visiting shops and reminding them of the laws around selling alcohol, and if they bring it with them it will be seized. And our colleagues in British Transport Police will be patrolling the train network to prevent problematic groups getting to Tenby by train.”

Police are also appealing to parents and carers to know where their children are, and what they are doing.

Sergeant Wheeler added: “We would like to appeal directly to parents to be aware of where their children are, and prevent them from gathering in large groups. This type of behaviour is distressing for people living and working in Tenby, and we are urging you to be accountable for your children’s actions.

“We understand that the past few months have been difficult, and that children want to see their friends, but remember that only 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors still. Please do your best to ensure they are adhering to regulations that are in place for all our safety.”

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