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Betty Guy ‘murdered by her daughter and grandson’

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BETTY GUY was murdered by her own daughter and grandson, a jury heard today (Jan 9).

Penelope John fed her crushed transquilisers and alcohol and Barry Rogers smothered her with a pillow, it was alleged.

John, aged 50, of Union Terrace, St Dogmaels, and Rogers, 32, of High Street, Fishguard, deny murdering 84 year old Mrs Guy on November 7, 2011, at her home in Hillcroft, Johnston, near Haverfordwest.

Paul Lewis QC, prosecuting at Swansea Crown Court, said at first Mrs Guy’s death was put down to natural causes and her body was cremated soon afterwards.

But in the following years, he alleged, Rogers made a series of confessions to women he later had relationships with.

And police tape recorded more confessions after they secretly bugged John’s home and heard both of them discussing what they had done.

They included, said Mr Lewis, Rogers telling his mother: “But I did it. No honestly you have got nothing to worry about, it’s me that’s the one that’s done the act.”

Later they became concerned about whether Rogers had spoken about John putting tablets into Mrs Guy’s whiskey on a mobile telephone or put it in a text.

Rogers could be heard saying, softly, to John: “Are you starting to crack? Keep our story the same.”

John was taped saying: “No, I can’t remember. Did I text you when I said I crushed the diazepam up and I crushed zopiclone and put it in her….

“No, I would not have text that to you Barry. On reflection, I would have told you on the telephone.”

Rogers allegedly replied, “On the phone, yeah. I’m sure we spoke on the phone about it.”

Another recording caught Rogers, referring again to mobile telephones, saying to John: “But it’s f***ing technology like, a slip of a word here or there and we are in deep s**t like, we’re in jail for life.”

Mr Lewis said the prosecution case was that both Rogers and John had decided to end Mrs Guy’s life.

At 2.48am on November 7 John dialled 999 and said her mother had died. She said she had been suffering from stomach and bowel cancer, both of which were untrue.

She also said Rogers was in the house.

Because Mrs Guy was to be cremated her body was examined by two doctors. Dr Roger Burns noted small pinpoint bruising on the left side of her face.

No postmortem was carried out and the cremation went ahead at Narberth.

Rogers developed a relationship with Sandra Adams, who had been a junior school pupil in Haverfordwest with him many years before.

In November, 2015, Miss Adams went to the police to say Rogers had told her that he had smothered his grandmother with a pillow and an investigation began.

Detectives traced his estranged wife, Lisa Watkins, and another woman he had had a relationship with, Rhianne Morris.

Mr Lewis said they discovered that Rogers had also confessed to them.

The defendants were arrested on October 5, 2016.

While they were being interviewed bugs were placed at John’s home and on their release Rogers was granted bail on the condition he stayed with his mother.

“Almost as soon as they got in they began to talk,” said Mr Lewis.

When Rogers was re-interviewed and told about the tape recordings, he claimed to have made the statements ‘to take the p**s out of you pigs’.

Rogers, a former soldier, told police he knew the house had been bugged because he had bought a bug detector on EBay the day after he and his mother had been released on bail.

But, said Mr Lewis, the incriminating conversations had been recorded in the early hours of the morning or their release and ‘well before Barry Rogers could possibly have bought any bug detector’.

Mr Lewis said Rhianne Morris had told them that in 2010 she had moved in with Rogers, then living at 6 Rhydyfelin, Cardigan. Later, they moved to Frome in Somerset.

Late on November 6, 2011, Rogers received a telephone call from his mother and he could be heard saying: “It’s time, is it?”

Rogers then drove to Johnston and telephoned Miss Morris in the early hours of the following day to say ‘his Nan had gone’.

He allegedly told Miss Morris that John had given Mrs Guy ‘a load of tablets and a bottle of whiskey’.

Their relationship deteriorated and during a heated argument Rogers allegedly said to Miss Morris: “You want to be careful, or I’ll do to you want I did to her.”

Rogers allegedly picked up a pillow and held it to his face, saying to Miss Morris: “I’ll do it while you’re sleeping and you won’t know.”

Both John and Rogers deny having any involvement in Mrs Guy’s death.

t was now too late for anyone to prove medically how Betty Guy died, the jury heard.

Her body was cremated four days after her death.

But, said Paul Lewis QC, the prosecution would still show that she was suffocated as the result of an agreement between the two defendants.

After police had become suspicious about how she had died a Home Office forensic pathologist, Dr Deryck James, had reviewed her medical history and the notes made by the two doctors who had examined her body before she had been cremated.

Dr James concluded that although she had suffered ill health she had not any terminal illness.

Dr James said he noted that bruising had been visible on Mrs Guy’s face.

“In his opinion where a person is found dead, is face up and has not been the subject of any resuscitation attempts, then such petechiae (bruising) warrant further investigation because they raise the question of there having been pressure applied to the face or neck and thus the possibility of suffocation.

“However, such petechiae do not point inexorably to there having been an obstruction to Mrs Guy’s breathing and, from a medical standpoint, Dr James cannot now rule out that Mrs Guy suffered a natural death.

“The medical evidence cannot therefore provide any certainty as to how Mrs Guy died.”

He told the jury, “You will have to decide upon all the evidence that you hear.

“Did she die of natural causes as the defendants contend or, as we allege, was she suffocated as the result of an agreement reached between the two defendants.

“We submit, however, that she did not die from natural causes and that the defendants did not tell the truth in interview.

“Instead, they lied to try and conceal the arrangement they had made and the steps that they took to end Mrs Guy’s life.”

The trial continues and is expected to last for three weeks.

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Primary school teacher would ‘moan’ as he touched female pupils, court hears

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher would “moan” while he touched his female pupils in a sexual way, a witness said in Swansea Crown Court.

In total, 11 former pupils, who were all under 13, have come forward and accused James Oulton, 34, of sexually assaulting them.

Oulton denies all the charges – saying the case was a “witch-hunt” and that he had behaved appropriately all times.

One of the pupils, who was in year four at the time, opened day four of the trial by giving evidence via a video link.

The girl told the court: “He would put his arm around by back and backside.”

Under cross examination Chris Clee QC, for the defence, asked the witness: “Did you tell the police that you were touched in an inappropriate way?”

The witness answered: “Yes, teachers should not be touching in that way.”

James Oulton

Asked if what he was doing wrong, the witness replied:

“Yes, very wrong”

In cross examination letters and cards were produced, made the witness whilst in school, where she had said Mr. James Oulton was “the best teacher in the whole world.”

One of the cards said: “You’ve made my life complete”.

Another card said: “Thank you for being so nice, and thanks for everything that you’ve done for me.”

The witness added: “Despite what he did do, he was a good teacher.  

“He used to buy us treats.

“He was nice caring and a sweet and fun teacher – but not what he was doing.

Referring to the cards, she said: “I would definitely not be saying that stuff now.”

Explaining how she told her parents the witness said: “Once I realised that [x] was in his class, I asked her ‘did he do this stuff to you?’

“She said yes.

“I realised more and more it was wrong and it was time to grow up now, and to speak.

“As soon as I found out that this was happening to [x] I stood up and told my parents.

Asked if she had seen inappropriate behaviour happening to anybody else the witness answered: “He did it to most of the girls in the class, but he had his favourites.

Asked if she had spoken to other girls about the touching, the witness said: “Yes, I was just curious was it just me, or was it normal?”

“Teachers should most definitely not be doing that to students.

“Doing what?”, the witness was asked, “You said in your police interview that he would pull you off your chair and make you sit on his lap, is that true?”

“Yes,” was the reply.

“Did you try and stop him?” she was asked.

“Yes, I tried to push him off sometimes and said, ‘get off its weird’, but I didn’t want to make a scene.

“He would make me sit on his lap whilst he was marking my work.”

When asked by the defence barrister how she was sat on her teacher’s lap, and if it was under a desk, the witness answered: “No, not under the desk, as both of our legs wouldn’t fit under.”

The witness also said that when she was sat on the defendant’s knee he would make “a low grunting noise.”

Asked if she had spoken others about this case, the girl said: “Police told my mum and dad that there were very many people involved in the case.

“I thought it was just me and [x] that was going to be at court, I only recently discovered that others had come out.”

A second female pupil was also giving evidence via video link. She was 9-years-old at the time of the alleged offending.

Firstly, a pre-recorded interview was played in court in which the witness said: “My teacher, Mr. Oulton always put his hand up my leg like that and up my t-shirt.”

She added: “If he calls you over and he pulls you onto his lap, if you don’t, he pulls your chair over and makes you.”

“How would he make you?” the QC asked.

“He would grab your arm, push you, and then pull you in”, she replied.

When asked if this was a one off, the witness said that the defendant “did it every day.”

“How would you be sat on his lap?”, she was asked.

“He would have one arm on my stomach, then the other arm would be rubbing my leg.”

“He would swap arms and then put one arm up my t-shirt.”

When asked to clarify if it was under her t-shirt the girl explained: “Yes it was under my t-shirt rubbing his hands up and down.”

The witness added: “If I tried to get up for work, he would just grab my arm.”

“He would make a funny sound like a hissing airplane.”

“We had a helper in the class, and when he came in, he would stop, and then I could go and sit down.”

The trial continues.

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New trees planted to help town

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SEVERAL new trees have been planted on Riverside Avenue in Neyland.

They were planted by Grandiflora, courtesy of the Town Council which recently pledged to plant more trees in the town in an attempt to help the environment.

As well as helping the environment, the trees will prevent vehicles from being parked on the grass verges on Riverside Avenue, which had been severely churned up over the winter and looked unsightly.

The Town Council will be working with Pembrokeshire County Council regarding parking issues in Neyland.

The trees will be tended and watered over the summer period to ensure they reach their maximum potential and enhance the area for residents and visitors alike.

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Golden goodbye report likely to be critical

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A REPORT by Audit Wales into the departure of former CEO Ian Westley is very likely to contain criticism of senior council officers.

In November 2020, Mr Westley left Pembrokeshire County Council with a £95,000 pay-out, something which has been criticised by a number of councillors.

In a document before the Audit and Governance Committee on Tuesday (April 13), it says that termination payments to Chief Officers are routinely examined by Audit Wales but in the case of Mr Westley, the audit team was unable to locate a recorded decision to enter into the settlement agreement which led to a termination payment being made to the Chief Executive.

An Audit Office spokesperson said: “This appeared unusual and therefore the audit team decided to undertake an early examination of the process that resulted in the payment being made.”

No complaints were raised, by councillors or any other body, with Audit Wales but the number of concerns and questions being raised at following council meetings prompted them to commence an audit.

Audit Wales state: “Our audit fieldwork is substantially complete. However due to the complex nature of some of the issues involved we considered it necessary to take some external legal
advice. We are currently considering that advice. 

“In the near future we will draft a document setting out our provisional findings and conclusions. 

“Once this document is ready we will commence a clearance process to confirm factual accuracy. 

“If the document contains criticism of identifiable individuals, in the first instance we will provide those individuals with any extracts of the document that pertain to them. Once
we have confirmed the factual accuracy with individuals, we will send the full draft document to the Council’s Chief Executive to identify any remaining factual inaccuracies. 

“We will only issue the finalised document once the clearance process has been completed. #

“We are unable to provide a definitive timetable for reporting because it will depend on the responses we receive within the clearance process.”

Only a handful of senior officers were involved in the procedure surrounding Ian Westley’s departure.

The inference which can be safely drawn from Audit Wales’ report to the Audit Committee is that some of its content will be critical either of councillors, senior officers, or both.

The process of asking those named to respond is known as Maxwellisation, a legal practice that allows persons who are to be criticised in an official report to respond prior to publication.

The report highlights the exceptional nature of the case at Pembrokeshire County Council and demonstrates the sensitivity of the issues raised.

If senior officers are sharply criticised or found to have failed in their duty to their employer, they will almost certainly have to go.

The council’s interim Chief Executive will read the document after maxwellisation.

It is also likely that the council’s newly appointed Chief Executive, Will Bramble, will have a chance to see it.

The Audit Wales spokesperson added: “We are unable to provide a definitive timetable for reporting because it will depend on the responses we receive within the clearance process. We are unable to respond to queries about our emerging findings whilst the audit is progressing, and until we have finalised our conclusions.”

In January, Cllr Jamie Adams had called for the council to commence an internal investigation into Mr Westley’s departure but that was deferred to allow for the Audit Wales review to be completed.

Cllr Adams said that the decision of payment should have been a ‘democratic decision’ and has asked why that wasn’t the case.

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