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Abuse victim calls for Caldey monk’s remains to be removed from island

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Father Thaddeus Kotik: One of his victim's wants his body removed from the island

A WOMAN who was abused by Father Thaddeus Kotik on Caldey Island in the 1970s and 1980s has said she wants his remains to be removed from the island and for an inquiry to be held.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous and spoke to the BBC under the pseudonym Charlotte, said that the she was threatened by Kotik as a child.

She told the BBC: “I still think that the island itself is one of the most beautiful places on earth, I just feel sad that it’s inhabited by a monastery.

“I feel sad for the island that it’s had to harbour revolting creatures. I have nothing against the physical island, it’s a piece of nature and it’s absolutely beautiful but I think that Father Thaddeus needs to be removed.

“That’s just the first step. The abbey should be thinking about that themselves. They need to get with the programme and start realising that this is a very, very serious issue.

“It changes how you grow up. It changes how you see the world and most importantly, it changes how you see your place in the world.

“It’s very important for me to not just have my story told. I don’t want anybody to say to me ‘oh you poor thing, oh that’s really sad, that must have been really hard’.

“I want the whole world to say this is an outrage, and it’s happening and why is it still happening?

“We are destroyed souls and we are left to do our own healing. And it’s an epidemic. There are thousands and thousands and thousands of people like me.”

Angela Burns AM has also called for an inquiry into the abuse. She said: “I think they’re burying their heads in the sand. They know it’s awful and they’re hoping that if they just keep up a wall of silence it doesn’t impact on them.

“I think they need to be really clear about their motivations. Are they protecting their faith or are they protecting the body of the church? If it’s just about protecting the body of the church they should be ashamed of themselves.”

Charlotte visited Caldey Island until the age of 11 and was one of six women to receive compensation for the abuse.

The Abbot of Caldey Island, Daniel van Santvoort, said that any allegations of abuse should be sent to the police of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. He added that he would co-operate fully with any investigations.

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Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

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THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap.

Sam Kurtz will take over the seat from the outgoing Angela Burns who held a majority of 3,400 at the last election.

This time, the gap was just 936 to Labour’s Hassan Riaz who picked up 10,304 votes.

Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell picked up 6,615 votes.

The turnout in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was slightly up to 52.12% from 51.2% in 2016.

However, with a larger electorate thanks to votes for 16/17-year-olds, the number of votes cast went up by almost 3,000.

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Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

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PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency.

He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895 votes for Labour’s Jackie Jones.

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos gained just over 6,000 votes and there were also 1,239 for Reform UK candidate Alan Dennison.

There were over 3000 more votes cast in 2016, down largely in part to the fact that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in this election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received more votes than before while the gap to Labour closed to just 1,400.

After being elected, Paul Davies said he would continue to ‘fight for Pembrokeshire’ and thanked those who had been involved in his campaign.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed

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THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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