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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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Former Chequers nightclub to reopen

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AN APPLICATION for a new premises licence for the former Chequers night club succeeded at a meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Licensing sub-committee on Thursday (Aug 22).

The former nightclub closed its doors for the last time in 2003, when it ran as a private members’ club, having had an application for a full on-licence rejected.

After failing in an attempt to close the club on that occasion, Pembrokeshire County Council became the only local authority in Wales to classify mobile homes as permanent residences in an effort to shut down the club once and for all.

The new applicant, Mrs Carmen Clemas applied for a new premises licence in respect of the club, which will be renamed the Queen of Clubs.

The Committee heard objections to the licence from local residents and heard representations from both the Police and Fire Service which pointed out that the building would need significant remedial works to it before it could re-open.

While Penally Community Council objected on the basis of events and problems at the premises almost twenty years ago, neither the Police nor Fire Service had an objection to the Club’s re-opening in principle.

Both emergency services emphasised that, even though they had no objections, they had concerns that had to be addressed.

The Committee granted the application, refusing permission for licensable activities at the Club on Sundays, apart from Sundays before Bank Holidays, and imposing strict noise control measures.

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St Davids RNLI to feature in new series of a popular TV documentary

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THE volunteer lifeboat crew of St Davids RNLI will be taking to the small screen next week as they will feature twice in the first episode of the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Now in its fourth season the documentary series, which showcases the lifesaving work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), will be aired on BBC Two on Tuesdays at 8 pm, as well as being available on the BBC iPlayer following the broadcast. The new 10-part series features real rescues carried out by the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards around the UK and Ireland – including St Davids RNLI.

Each programme gives a unique insight into the lives and work of the charity’s lifesavers who are needed more than ever before, rescuing thousands of people and saving hundreds of lives around our coastline and on inland waterways every year. The new series features more dramatic real-life rescue footage, accompanied by emotive testimonials from the volunteer crews, lifeguards and the people they rescue and their families.

This forthcoming episode, on 27 August, sees St Davids RNLI launch to a crashed plane in one shout, and tow a yacht stranded in a shipping lane in another. These shouts are shown alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around our coasts.

Judd Kohler, Station Mechanic at St Davids Lifeboat Station, said: “The first episode of Saving Lives at Sea shows two very different shouts that St Davids RNLI responded to. The programme is a great chance for RNLI supporters to catch a glimpse of the work that their kind donations go towards. We want to say a huge thank you to supporters of the RNLI, who help us to save lives at sea.”

Filming took place over the past year, with lifeboat crews and lifeguards carrying special cameras and welcoming film-makers into their day-to-day life. Rescues from the RNLI’s archives are also revisited, and we get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the thousands of men and women who give up their time to save lives.

Last year alone, RNLI lifeboat crews around the UK and Ireland rescued 9,412 people, saving 211 lives, while the charity’s lifeguards aided 32,207 people and saved 118 lives on some of the UK’s busiest beaches.

Saving Lives at Sea begins on Tuesday 27 August at 8 pm on BBC Two, and will continue throughout August, September and October.

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Pembrokeshire schools celebrate GCSE results

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PEMBROKESHIRE’S schools are celebrating students’ success in this year’s GCSE exams.

 

“On behalf of staff and governors at Milford Haven School, I would like to congratulate all Year 11 pupils on their GCSE results, reflecting the efforts and commitment they have shown over the last two years and also thank their parents/carers for their support and cooperation,” said the Head Teacher, Ceri-Ann Morris.

 

“We are pleased with a number of individual successes, in particular, our top performers include, Izzy-May Solomon (10A*, 3A’s and B), Megan Owens (12A* and A), Megan Clarke (8A* and 4A’s), Finlay Ryder, Gareth Maclachlan, Evan Price, Molly Griffiths, Elanor Evans, Beth Lewis and Lucie Mathias.

 

The school is pleased to say that all pupils left school with qualifications which will help support them to follow the path of their choice, whether that be into the sixth form, college, apprenticeships or employment.

 

We wish you all good luck in your future careers.”

Among those receiving their results was Joseph Jenkins, a 14-year-old Year 9 student, who achieved a Distinction in Advanced Mathematics.

At Ysgol Y Preseli 100% of pupils achieved qualifications equivalent to 5A*-G; 91% 5A*-C and 37% achieved at least 5A*-A grades.

Across the core subjects, the pupils achieved the following results at A*-C – Welsh 86%; English 91%; Mathematics 82%; Science 84%.

The Head Teacher, Mr Michael Davies, commenting on the results stated: “We are very proud of all the young people who have worked tirelessly to achieve these results. I would also like to thank the staff for their willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that all pupils fulfil their potential at Ysgol y Preseli.”

Amongst the top performers were: Seren Allen – 13 A*, 1 A; Nuala Camplin – 8 A*, 4 A, 2B; Cerys Chadwick – 14 A*; Annest Davies – 6 A*, 4 A, 1B; Thomas Elliott – 9 A*, 4 A, 1 B; Gethin Greenhalgh – 9 A*, 5 A; Cara James – 5 A*, 8 A; Casey Lambert- 7 A*, 7 A; Alexander Larsen – 10 A*, 4 A; Tom Palfrey – 9 A*, 3 A, 1 B; Kate Thomas – 5 A*, 5 A, 3 B; David Varney – 7 A*, 4 A, 3 B
Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has congratulated GCSE students on their results, as overall performance across Wales has improved.

This summer’s results mark the end of the significant GCSE reform journey undertaken in Wales. The last seven of reformed GCSE subjects are awarded this year including History, Computer Science and Welsh Second Language.

Speaking during her visit to King Henry VIII School in Abergavenny, Kirsty Williams said: “Today we have seen an improvement in overall performance across Wales. I would like to congratulate all learners receiving their results today and to thank the teachers who have worked so hard to deliver these new qualifications.

“Last year we saw a dramatic increase of 50% in entries for science GCSEs. I am pleased to see that entries and results are continuing on the upward trend, with more pupils gaining A*-C and more achieving the very top grades in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

“This increase in learners being entered means more young people are accessing qualifications that lead to greater opportunities for further science study and careers, paving the way for the future scientists of Wales.”

Following the publication of yesterday’s GCSE and Welsh Baccalaureate results David Evans, Wales Secretary of the National Education Union said: “We congratulate all students who have collected their GCSE and Welsh Baccalaureate results from today and wish them all the very best for the future. It is particularly pleasing to note that overall GCSE performance in Wales has improved by 1.2% especially given the fact that all examinations have been subject to reform in recent years. This progress is a testament to the time and effort put into their studies by pupils across Wales and the unstinting dedication of education professionals in our schools.”

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