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Fatal car crash caused by 100mph Snapchat challenge

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Swansea Crown Court

A DRIVER returning home from a holiday in Fishguard caused a fatal crash near Aberystwyth when he tried to reach 100 mph to create film footage for Snapchat.

Ricafort Gamboa raced along country roads while friends inside his car filmed him on their mobile telephones.

As he approached 100mph, his Citroen C3 left the road and smashed into a cottage, demolishing a 16 inch thick stone wall.

His friend, 18-year-old Ernest Pideli, was killed, and two other passengers were injured.

Gamboa, aged 25, admitted causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving and was jailed for four years.

Paul Hobson, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court the group had been returning to Manchester after a holiday at a caravan site in Fishguard.

Gamboa’s friends could be heard on mobile ‘phones recovered from the crashed car encouraging him to drive faster and he began taking corners on the wrong side of the road.

Gamboa was recorded saying: “I am going fast. I will go faster.”

But as he raced downhill into a series of corners he said ‘oh s**t’ as the car fishtailed, mounted a bank and then swerved across the road and into a cottage by the side of the A487 at Chancery a few miles south of Aberystwyth.

Mr Pideli died four days later from head and neck injuries.

Gamboa, a Philippinno with British status, told a police officer at the scene he had been doing ‘more than 90’ and explained later that his friends had wanted him to reach 100 mph so they could take photographs for Snapchat.

He said in a police interview: “I take full responsibility for what happened. My stupid decision to drive so fast was the cause of the collision.

“I deserve to be punished. I am deeply sorry for what happened.”.

The court heard that Mr Pideli had been a talented footballer and had an ambition of returning to his native Philippines and playing for the national team.

Gamboa’s barrister, Charles Row, said he was so remorseful that he was genuine when he said he wished he had died and not his friend.

Mr Row said at one point police had considered charging his friends for their encouragement of him to drive faster just so they could film him and the speedometer.

Judge Keith Thomas told Gamboa, who wept as he was being sentenced, that he had used the road as a racetrack.

“You drove at breakneck speed saying you were trying to reach one hundred miles an hour.

“And you ignored signs telling you to slow down and that there were bends ahead.

“Your friend was only eighteen and had his whole life in front of him. You have caused incalculable loss to his family,” he added.

Gamboa, a Domino pizza restaurant shift manager, of Johnson Fold Avenue, Bolton, was banned from driving for five years after his eventual release from prison.

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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 and what we can do when we work together.”

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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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