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Letterston: Construction firm boss sentenced following tragic trench death

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trenchFOLLOWING the tragic incident in June 2012 where employee and father of five children Glyndwr Richards died after a drainage ditch collapsed, the firm’s owner has been jailed for six months.
The construction company which is owned by William Ryan Evans was working on a Pembrokeshire housing Association housing estate in Letterston, Pembrokeshire when a recently excavated trench Glyndwr was in collapsed.
Swansea Crown Court heard that when the trench collapsed a colleague on site made desperate attempts to save the 54-year-old, digging at the soil that covered Mr Richards with his bare hands, but he could not be saved.
The court heard that Mr Richards died from traumatic asphyxia caused by being crushed by the weight of the soil.
Evans, aged 54, of Blaenwaun Twr, Trelech, Carmarthenshire, pleaded guilty to breaching his duty of care to an employee on Monday (Apr 11) when in the dock.
The court heard a clerk of works for the housing association who had visited the site the week before the death had raised concerns with Evans about the lack of supports for the sides of the trenches being dug.
Similar concerns had also been raised by one of Evans’ employees.
On June 26 Mr Richards had gone into the trench in question to remove a clod of soil which had fallen and was blocking the newly laid drainage pipe when, without warning, the side of the trench collapsed on him.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service sent two fire crews from Haverfordwest and Fishguard to the scene, as well as specialists from the fire service’s urban search and rescue team based in Earlswood near Briton Ferry. Paramedics also rushed to the scene, but nothing could be done.
The court heard Evans was an experienced contractor with no previous convictions.
Judge Peter Heywood said the dangers of trench collapse were well-known in the construction industry, and Evans had chosen to ignore specific warnings given to him about the Letterston earth-works, this was described by the judge as ‘wilful blindness’.
Evans was jailed for six months.
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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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Judith Rhead murder: Police appeal to public for information

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE can confirm it is appealing for information after the death of a 68-year-old woman from Pembroke Dock.

Judith Rhead’s body was discovered in a property in Market Street on Saturday, February 20.

Dale Morgan, aged 43, has been charged with her murder and was remanded into custody on Thursday (Feb 25).

Morgan is due to appear at Swansea Crown Court tomorrow, police have confirmed.

A spokesman said: “The force has set up an online portal where the public can share any information they feel might help investigators with their enquiries.

“Specifically, police would like to hear from anyone who saw or spoke to Judith between November 2020 and February 2021.”

Detectives said that they would also like to speak to anyone who has information about Dale Morgan’s movements on February 19 or 20, or who believes they have other information that could assist the investigation.

To share information to the police via the portal, please click here.

Alternatively, you can also contact the force by calling the non-emergency number, 101.

 

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