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​​Carl lands TV role as evil ‘Gay Slayer’​



A HAVERFORDWEST man who has, over the last five years, worked as extra in TV programmes – such as ‘​Casualty​’​ and ​’​Stella​’​ – has just landed his first lead role in a television docudrama about the ‘Gay Slayer’ serial killer Colin Ireland.

As he coolly told police that he had murdered five gay men – because he had taken the decision to be a serial killer one New Year’s Eve – Colin Ireland​ gave what he thought was a credible explanation for his campaign of brutality.

The former soldier became known as the ‘Gay Slayer’, reportedly posing as a homosexual to be taken to each of his victims’ homes, where he tortured and murdered them in the summer of 1993.

He also chillingly stayed with several of the bodies over night, possibly taking enjoyment in reliving the violence he had inflicted.

CBS Reality’s ‘​Voice of a Serial Killer​’​ programme, broadcast for the first time this week, focused on the case of the ‘​Gay Slayer​’​.

Carl Sykes, 38​, who was brought up on Baring Gould Way, and attended Tasker Milward School, now lives in Risca, Newport, told The Herald that he ​’honestly did not want to be an actor’.

“I never have”, he said.

Known back in the day by his school friends as a gentle giant, he is perhaps the last person people who know him in Pembrokeshire would expect to see on the screen portraying an evil murderer.

But the lead role – which he seems to have landed very much by accident – really challenged him, he said.

Carl went on to say: “I love being a supporting artist, and this role was suggested to me by my agent but I wasn’t aware at the time how involved it would be. It was fun to do but quite demanding, especially the lip-syncing with Ireland’s police interview.

“But I’m happy to step back and carry on being that guy you might recognise wandering around in ‘​Casualty​’​ from time to time!”

hen asked what he found most challenging about playing the role of the serial killer he said: “Listening to the recordings of Ireland’s police interviews.

“He is so cold and calculating – he actually read books on serial killers beforehand to see how he could kill and get away with it, whilst at the same time​,​ he tried to put the blame on his victims​.​

“At one point he says that if one of his victims hadn’t approached him, he’d have probably just gone home and nothing bad would have happened.

Dr David Holmes, a psychologist, tells the Voice of a Serial Killer programme: “He decided one New Year to make a resolution – I am going to be be a serial killer, that’s my new career, and set about it.

“It’s fairly complex as to whether Ireland was gay himself, which he protests he isn’t, and this was some kind of smokescreen ​… his way of engaging gay men then clearing his conscience.”

Dr Donna Youngs, directors of the International Centre for Investigative Psychology, said Ireland may have been picking up on the ‘vulnerabilities’ of gay men in the 1990s, who felt they had to be covert, and exploited it.

She said he was obsessed with being in control in the way he carried out the murders as well as throughout his police interviews.

She said: “He is proud, he thinks he has managed to achieve dominance and a freedom of expression of what he wanted to do to people in a way that very few others have the nerve to follow through on. He is proud, that’s why we get all the details we do in his confession.”

After confessing to all five murders, Ireland was given a whole-life tariff in 1993.

He died at the age of 57 from natural causes in the healthcare centre of Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire in 2012.


Tragedy above Milford Haven takeaway



DYFED POWYS POLICE has confirmed that a 20-year-old male passed away in Milford Haven last Saturday, April 17.

Police were called to the USA Fried Chicken store on Charles Street at around 1:30pm but have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

A Herald reporter was at the scene and witnessed a number of police cars and an ambulance while plain-clothed officers were also seen.

HM Coroner has been informed.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson added: “We were called to Charles Street in Milford Haven on Saturday 17 April at approximately 1.34pm to reports of a medical emergency. We attended the scene with one emergency ambulance where we assisted colleagues from the police.”

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Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’



THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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Joinery learner through to Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year Finals



PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE joinery learner, Conor Ratcliff has made it through to the final ten in this year’s Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year competition.

Now in its seventh year, the competition celebrates the next generation of tradespeople as they start out on their career. With over 2,500 nominations, Conor was shortlisted to the top 30 where he had to deliver a video presentation to industry-leading judges and trade body representatives. Judged on professionalism, creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and knowledge of their trade, Conor impressed the judges and is now in the final 10.  

Simon Jackson, Screwfix Customer and Digital director, commented: “Every year we are amazed by the outstanding quality of entrants and, this year, we are on the lookout for apprentices who go above and beyond to succeed within their chosen trade.

“We’ve seen how this career-boosting accolade and £10,000 prize bundle helps kickstart an apprentice’s career. I’d like to wish everyone through to this stage the best of luck!”

The prize package includes everything a future tradesperson may need to start up their own business including £5,000 of tools, a £3,000 training budget and £2,000 worth of technology. The college where they study will also receive £2,000.

Conor is thrilled to have made it through to the finals and commented: “I am extremely honoured to have made it this far in the competition and I am very excited for the final event. It would be an amazing opportunity for me, if I won this competition.

“I hope it encourages more people to consider an apprenticeship in a trade, the Carpentry and Joinery department have been incredibly supportive during my studies.”

The Final is due to take place imminently where the judges will conduct an online interview with the ten finalists before selecting and announcing their overall winner.

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