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Murder victim was stabbed 40 times

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Joanna Elizabeth HallA TENBY woman allegedly murdered will blame her boyfriend from beyond the grave, a jury heard on Wednesday.

Joanna Elizabeth Hall, aged 30, survived for 19 days after she was stabbed 40 times at her home in Cresswell Street in the centre of the town.

Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting at Swansea crown court, said Miss Hall was conscious enough to tell medics and relatives she had been attacked by Steven Daniel Williams, also 30.

She was even well enough, for a while, to make a formal police statement repeating the allegation. The jury at Swansea crown court has also heard how armed police had to threaten Williams after responding to a 999 call. Williams has denied stabbing Miss Hall 40 times and then allegedly waiting all night before calling for help. By then it was too late and Miss Hall died on April 4, 2013, 19 days after being attacked.

The jury heard today what happened when Williams, of Newell Hill, 25 Marsh Road, Tenby, finally dialled 999.

He told the emergency operator “It must have happened a couple of hours ago.”

When police arrived they noticed Williams was standing in the road outside Miss Hall’s home and did not call them over and show them where to go.

Armed police approached him and noticed he was bleeding from a wound to his left ear.

“He was incoherent and unhelpful,” added Miss Evans. “He became agitated. Officers restrained him and put the red dot of a taser on him.”

Williams told police initially that he had gone out “for five minutes to get some fags.”

When he returned Miss Hall had been stabbed “and her intestines were hanging out.”

Williams was arrested and taken to Haverfordwest police station. During the journey he was volatile, “smiling one moment, angry the next.”

On his arrest for attempted murder, Williams told police they could “**** shove it up your arses.”

He also said, “My solicitor will sort it out and the arresting officers will be out of a job.”

Miss Evans said back at Cresswell Street the armed officers found Miss Hall lying in the lounge wrapped in a blood soaked duvet taken from a bedroom.

She was flown by air ambulance to Swansea’s Morriston Hospital. In the helicopter a medic asked her if her “fellow” had stabbed her and she replied, yes. Miss Hall said she had been stabbed while lying on the floor. Williams had apologised but then stabbed her again.

Meanwhile, at Haverfordwest police station, officers asked Williams about the injury to his ear. He said he had injured himself skateboarding two days earlier.

“He was lying. There was fresh blood in the sink (at Miss Hall’s flat). The injuries were inflicted by Joanna while she was able to try to defend herself,” added Miss Evans.

Earlier, the jury was told Williams may have sat alongside his fatally injured victim “all night” before dialling 999.

Williams, said Miss Evans, was to claim to police that a stranger must have entered Miss Hall’s two bedroom flat while he was out for 10 minutes buying cigarettes. But, Miss Evans told the jury, CCTV cameras showed that no-one entered the street during that time.

In her opening address, Miss Evans said of the living only Williams, known as Sparrow, knew what happened inside Miss Hall’s flat on March 16, “and he isn’t saying.”

But before Miss Hall died she gave accounts to several people and even made a witness statement. She told her sister, Georgina Marwick, from her death bed at Swansea’s Morriston hospital, that Williams had turned up at her flat “drunk on whisky.”

According to Mrs Marwick, Miss Hall told her, “He flipped. He tried to rip a radiator off the wall. He stabbed me. I asked him to ring for help and he said ‘no’

“He said I would have to take my own life or he would do it for me.

“If I told anyone he would come back and finish me off

“He said he did not want to kill me but he did not want to go back into prison. He sat with me all night.

“He said, ‘will you just die.’ In the morning he went to a shop and told me not to run off.”

Williams is also alleged to have said to Miss Hall, “Aren’t you dead yet?”

In a witness statement to police, Miss Hall said Williams walked from the kitchen to the lounge holding a knife. She asked him what he was going to do with it and he replied, “Watch me.”

Miss Evans said although Williams would not say what happened the prosecution had been able to build a clear picture by putting together footage from the “surprisingly” high number of CCTV cameras in Tenby town centre and mobile telephone traffic.

At 5.20pm on March 15 Williams was at Tenby Cottage Hospital telling a nurse he thought he had “caught” something from having sex with a girl. The nurse could not diagnose him there and then and advised him to contact Care on Call.

That service tried to contact Williams at 8.50pm via Miss Hall’s Iphone but by then Williams had left her flat.

There followed a string of text messages from Miss Hall to Williams.

One read, “Cheers Steve. You just love breaking my heart don’t you, eh?”At 8.43pm she wrote, “Can’t believe I let myself fall for you.”

Two minutes later she wrote:  “Don’t know why you keep coming back here. You have made it quite clear that you don’t want to be here.”At 9.01pm Williams was filmed buy a bottle of whisky at the Fiveways Garage. A police officer who knew him thought he was already drunk.

At 9.06pm Miss Hall telephoned a friend, Sean Dodd, and told him she had argued with Williams after he claimed to have “caught something” from her.

At 9.24pm, Miss Hall wrote to Williams saying: “You love making me cry, don’t you.”

In her last text message, sent at 11.15pm, Miss Hall told Williams there was something she needed to tell him and asked him to call around the next day.

“But he went back that night,” said Miss Evans.

Gabriel Roberts, who lived in the flat below Miss Hall’s, arrived home about 1.30am. She told police a man and a woman upstairs were arguing so loudly she put in earplugs to help her get to sleep.

By 3.07am Williams was using Miss Hall’s telephone to call a friend, Stephen Camp, and, said Miss Evans, it seemed the attack followed soon afterwards. Williams made repeated attempts to contact Mr Camp, but he was asleep. He finally got through at 7.24am and asked him to come to Cresswell Street. Mr Camp arrived at 8.05am. He saw Miss Hall on the floor and heard her whisper, “help me.”

Mr Camp said he panicked and told Williams to call the police. He was filmed leaving the flat at 8.09am

“So does he call 999?” asked Miss Evans. “No.”

But 10 minutes later he did make the call.

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Police urge visitors to stay safe and respect Wales as travel ban is lifted

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POLICE are urging visitors to say safe and respect Wales as they get set to welcome visitors this weekend.

Dyfed-Powys Police has issued a message to people preparing to travel to mid and west Wales after the requirement to stay local was lifted on Monday (Jul 6), asking them to be safe, sensible and respectful.

With people now able to travel around Wales and to cross the border into the country, coupled with a fine weather forecast, police are expecting visitors to arrive in droves to enjoy the Dyfed-Powys area.

Temporary Chief Inspector Andy Reed said: “We are very lucky to police beautiful areas across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, which attract thousands of visitors every week over the summer months.

“With restrictions having been in place since March, we understand that people are now keen to venture further afield and enjoy the beaches, mountains and countryside they’ve missed, and are anticipating a busy weekend ahead.

“Our officers look forward to welcoming you, and will be here if you need any help, but we ask that you help us by being respectful of the areas you visit, and by planning your journey before you set off.”

For anyone travelling to areas they are not familiar with, police are recommending that they plan their route in advance, check traffic updates regularly online and by listening to local radio stations, and be prepared to turn around or reroute if necessary.

T/CI Reed said: “Many of the areas that are popular with tourists aren’t served by main roads, but by B roads that can become backlogged very quickly.

“Nobody wants to spend hours stuck in traffic when they could be enjoying a day out, and there are ways to avoid this.

“If you’re heading to the beach in Pembrokeshire, for example, don’t set your sights on one place. Make a list of beaches you could visit, and be prepared to change your plans if you hit traffic off the main road.

“If you’re planning a hike in the Brecon Beacons, take a look at a few different walking routes – there are plenty of options besides Pen y Fan, which frequently gets overrun on sunny weekends and can cause problems on the roads with high volumes of traffic and parked cars.”

Over the past three months, Dyfed-Powys Police has implemented Operation Dovecote – an engagement, encouragement, education and enforcement approach to ensuring people adhered to the restrictions. With the ease in regulations, officers across the force will take a different approach this weekend – engaging with visitors, clamping down on antisocial behaviour and working with partner agencies to ensure places are left as they were found.

T/CI said: “Our officers will be out and about across the force, making sure everyone is staying safe and respectful. With that in mind, we ask that you be mindful of people who live in the areas you are visiting by acting responsibly – we will not tolerate antisocial or illegal behaviour that will impact on them or other tourists.

“Please park considerately, leave gates and property as you find them, be careful with barbecues and don’t light fires, keep dogs under control, and check what facilities will be open before you start your journey.

“We will be working closely with partners to protect beaches, countryside and waterways – you can help us by making sure you take all your rubbish and belongings with you, and leaving no trace of your visit.”

If you need to report an incident while visiting the Dyfed-Powys area, you can use one of the following options: Online: bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, Email: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or Call 101

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Always call 999 in an emergency

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Former teacher to stand trial accused of Pembroke Castle Novichok hoax

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A FORMER teacher accused of carrying out a Novichok hoax at a Pembroke Castle following the Salisbury poisonings has appeared in court.

John ap Evans, 66, from Pembroke, is accused of putting bottles of a hoax noxious substance in Pembroke Castle five times during July 2018.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard two bottles labelled “Novichok” were placed in Wogan’s Cavern at the castle.

He denied the charges on Wednesday, telling Westminster Magistrates’ Court that he wanted to appear at crown court to “explain to the judge what happened”.

The discovery of the bottles caused fear and the castle was evacuated, the court heard.

More were placed later in the month before police set up a covert camera.

Evans, who gave his address as Northgate Street, Pembroke, represented himself.

He was released on unconditional bail until his trial at the Old Bailey on July 24.

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Call to be respectful in the countryside

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WITH further reductions of lockdown restrictions expected over coming weeks, those planning to get out and enjoy Pembrokeshire are being asked to be respectful to the countryside.

Pembrokeshire has some of the most stunning countryside and coastline in Wales and is easily explored by the Coastal Path or the network of inland paths that crisscross the county.

At this time of year it is particularly beautiful. The hedgerows and coastal slopes are bursting with flowers and birds and wildlife are in abundance.

However, the countryside is also a busy, working place. Crops are growing and livestock are out in the fields.

You may see Pembrokeshire potatoes being harvested along with silage and hay being made ready for winter.

Please be aware when using Rights of Way in the countryside that you are crossing private land.

Whilst most of the paths are open some may still have advisory signs on them. There will be good reasons for this and we request that you respect landowners’ privacy and business.

During normal times routes are normally unrestricted, but at present there are some routes that aren’t available.

Therefore please follow and observe any signs you may come across.

Please be courteous and take particular care where the route passes through the curtilage of private residences or through working farm yards.

Be considerate and try to use an alternative waymarked route where possible.

The countryside is a working environment and visitors need to be aware of the following:

• Follow any diversion signs provided by landowner.

• Keep a safe distance from other people and use wide areas to pass each other safely.

• Respect landowners as they may be self-isolating or have vulnerable people living with them.

• Ensure dogs are kept on a short lead, but beware of livestock as they may chase your dog.

• Do not let your dog come into contact with other dogs or livestock.

• Clean up after your dog – do not leave dog fouling bags behind, please take your bags home with you.

• Keep to the line of the path, do not allow your dog to run free through crops or chase livestock.

• Ensure gates are not left open allowing livestock to escape

• Respect the property and business you are passing through.

• Keep away from livestock and watch out for farm machinery.

• As part of good personal hygiene always wash your hands after visiting the countryside, take your litter and any used masks or gloves home with you so you can dispose of them safely.

Please respect and look after each other and safely enjoy beautiful Pembrokeshire.

Rights of Way issues can be reported to either Pembrokeshire County Council or the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

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