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Tenby man guilty of murder

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victim joanna hallTENBY man Steven Williams was found guilty of the murder of Joanna Hall at Swansea Crown Court yesterday (Thursday).

The jury reached a majority verdict of 10 to 2 after eight hours of deliberation.

After they argued at barmaid Miss Hall’s flat in Cresswell Court in the early hours of March 16 last year, Williams “flipped” and used a stainless steel kitchen knife to stab her repeatedly leaving her bleeding profusely from 40 injuries including deep slash and stab wounds.

Joanna died three weeks later as a result of her injuries.

Swansea Crown Court heard how Steven Williams, 31, said “will you just die?” after attacking Joanna Hall at her flat in Tenby, March 16, last year.

Williams, an alcoholic, claimed throughout his trial that an unknown knifeman must have broken into the property in the morning while he briefly went to the shops to buy whisky. But Ms Hall was awake when the air ambulance arrived and was able to say what had happened, naming her attacker. Williams denied that he had been in a relationship with Ms Hall but she revealed it to her sister, Georgina Marwick, in hospital.

When asked who had stabbed her, she replied: “Someone I know. I’ve been seeing him and his name is Steven Williams.”

Mrs Marwick had told the court: “He got a knife and he stabbed her. Jo didn’t want to tell the police because she was scared.

“She said that he’d threatened if she told anyone, he’d come and finish her off or get someone else to do it.

“She said she had asked him (Williams) to phone for help, but he refused saying ‘you have a choice, take your life, or I’ll take it for you’.”

The court had heard how Mr Williams had said that he “didn’t want to have to do this, but I’m going to have to kill you now. I’m not going back to prison”.

Mrs Marwick said her sister had told her that Williams had sat with her all night, just smoking cigarettes.

“She remembers struggling to take a deep breath. He said ‘will you just die?’” she said.

Williams claimed in his defence he went to Ms Hall’s flat very early on March 16, drinking whisky on the way, because he thought she had been self-harming.

At about 7.30am he went to Sainsbury’s and left Ms Hall stroking her pet dog on the sofa, the court was told. When he returned a short time later, he found her injured, he claimed. But jurors heard from a neighbour that there was a noisy argument in Ms Hall’s flat from around 1.30am.

Williams claimed the argument lasted for up to 10 minutes and was sparked when Ms Hall tried to kiss him – but had not mentioned it until giving evidence as he “did not think that it was relevant”.

Steven Williams will be sentenced by the Judge, The Honourable Mrs Justice Nicola Davies DBE today (February 7).

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New Eco Feature For Haverfordwest

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Plans have been submitted for a ‘living green wall’ to be planted in the centre of Haverfordwest in a bid to enhance local biodiversity and wildlife.

The green wall would be situated alongside the river opposite Glan-yr-Afon, the town’s library and cultural centre, and planted with 25 species of native plants including ferns, grasses, flowers and wild herbs including basil, sage and clary.

As well as providing an important habitat for pollinators, the wall would also be an attractive natural feature in its own right, says Sara Morris, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Development Plans and Conservation Manager.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to re-introduce nature in the heart of Haverfordwest,” she said. “As with all planting, it will take some time for the plants to grow and flourish but given time it will look very attractive.”

The maintenance of the wall, which is scheduled for installation towards the end of October, would be carried out by a team of volunteers. New benches made from Welsh slate would also be installed to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy spending time in the area.

The green wall is part of the Cleddau Reaches partnership project which forms one of the priorities in the Haverfordwest Regeneration framework.

The Cleddau Reaches partners are Pembrokeshire County Council, the Bridge Meadow Trust, Haverfordwest Town Council, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Haverfordwest Kayak Club.

Pembrokeshire College and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority have also supported the project.

The aim is to improve and enhance the rights of way network in and around Haverfordwest and in particular, around the Western Cleddau, through several different inter-linked schemes.

Grant funding of approximately £250,000 has been provided by the NRW, Haverfordwest Town Council and the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, says the project’s focus on the river follows recognition that for too long, it has been an under-utilised resource despite being one of the town’s key natural assets.

“The Cleddau Reaches project brings together many ideas which the community has put forward over the last 20 years,” he said.

“As well as boosting biodiversity, the project forms part of the wider package of investments we are bringing forward to support Haverfordwest Town Centre.

“This administration is determined to revive the fortunes of the County Town, transforming Haverfordwest Town Centre from a traditional retail centre that’s being left behind into a vibrant leisure destination where residents and visitors alike want to spend their time.”

Some of the work currently taking place as part of the Cleddau Reaches project includes new riverbank paths near the Bridge Meadow with plans to create a new footbridge connecting to the Old Mill Grounds.

Other plans include creating habitats for sand-martins, otters and lampreys upriver, creating a trail linking up with the Town Council’s Priory Saltings project, and installing five interpretation boards along the route describing the flora, fauna and history of the local area.

The green wall planning application is currently registered with Pembrokeshire County Council for determination.

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Homes in Pembrokeshire can get free boilers and insulation

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PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD is teaming up with Blackburn based company Euro Insulation, who are working on a Pembrokeshire County Council backed energy scheme called the ECO: Help to Heat programme.

The scheme intends to utilise government funding for the reduction of fuel poverty within the county.

The council says that it has worked for many years to improve homes locally, and is keen for as many households to sign up as possible.

The local authority is working with ECO energy installers.

Funding is only available for private owner occupiers and private rented tenants. Qualification of flexible eligibility in Pembrokeshire will be determined by certain criteria.

Grants are available to a range of households including those with someone aged over 60, with a child under 5, and homes with children in primary or secondary school, or with a pregnant mother.

The Pembrokeshire Herald is letting as many homeowners know as possible about the scheme and has a call centre open to take queries on behalf of Euro Insulation who will be doing the work.

The aim is to reduce C02 emissions and make homes more energy efficient in Wales.

They are with the Welsh Assembly Government to show homeowners how they can get a brand-new boiler, internal wall insulation and room-in-roof insulation

The funding is only available until December.

To be considered for a FREE boiler or INSULATION call our call centre on 01437 70 70 70

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Fishguard: Armed police presence at Fishguard port

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ARMED officers from Dyfed-Powys Police were on scene at the port in Fishguard this morning (Sept 18).

Border Force and the RNLI were involved in the operation, which reportedly involved a vessel being escorted into the harbour.

Details of the incident are still unfolding, and the police have been contacted for a statement.

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