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Family vow to fight for the truth over tragic Michaela’s death

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THE FAMILY of an ‘inspirational’ young woman who died in Tenby last year have said they will continue to fight for the truth about how she died. The promise came on the same day that the HM Coroner, Mark Layton has today (Nov 23) criticised police record keeping following her tragic death, and said he would use his powers to send a report to the chief of police, so training issues could be identified and rectified.

Recording an open verdict into her death – just before Christmas 2016 – Mr Layton today said: “I conclude that the decision to treat Miss Haines’ death as non-suspicious was the correct one.- there is no evidence of there being any third party involvement. The toxicologist has explained that GHB is found in the post mortem blood of almost all individuals.

“I conclude that Michaela Marie Haines had gone alone to the block of flats where her former partner lived in the early hours of December 23 and she used the scarf she was wearing as a ligature to suspend herself from the banister.

“However, I do not find beyond reasonable doubt, which is the standard of proof that I must apply, that she intended to take her own life. 

“No note of intention was left, and she knew that her former partner would be returning to his flat. My view is that this was a cry for help. It follows that I do not record a conclusion of suicide.”

A prepared statement was read by a solicitor on behalf of the family. The lawyer said: “We are concerned and disappointed that the coroner chose to dismiss our repeated requests to adjourn the inquest until further important evidence was obtained or considered.

“Notwithstanding our disappointment we believe that this inquest has highlighted a number of failings in the manner in which Michaela’s sudden death was investigated by the police. 

“This will be the subject of further litigation against Dyfed-Powys Police – and as such – we do not feel that it is appropriate to comment further on our particular concerns at this stage.

“We agree that based on the evidence before him, and the stage at which this inquest was heard, the only decision that the coroner could have arrived at was an open conclusion. 

“As a family we will continue to fight to find out how Michaela came to her death.”

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Tragedy above Milford Haven takeaway

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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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Health

Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

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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

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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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