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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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Milford Haven: Three residents win in Postcode Lottery

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THREE people in Milford Haven got a lovely surprise this morning (Jan 22) after waking up to the good news that their bank accounts will be boosted by £1,000 each, all thanks to their lucky postcode.

The Roebuck Close neighbours landed the lolly when SA73 1AS was announced as a Daily Prize winner with People’s Postcode Lottery.

People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt sent her congratulations and said: “What a terrific Tuesday for our players in Milford Haven who have picked up a prize today! I hope they treat themselves to something special with the windfall.”

A minimum of 32% of ticket sales goes directly to charities and players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised £382 million to date for 5,500 good causes across Great Britain and internationally.

Many good causes local to the winners have benefitted from the money raised, and the next opportunity to apply for funding will be on the 6th of February.

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Two men arrested following discovery of illegal slaughterhouse

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TWO men were arrested on Monday (Jan 21) after a multi-agency response to an illegal slaughterhouse in west Wales.

Police say that live animals were found living amongst carcasses.

As the investigation is ongoing, police have refused to comment where exactly the site of the illegal slaughterhouse was discovered.

Warning: Shocking image below.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police’s Rural Crime Team said: “Rural Crime team attended a call with multi-agencies to a report of an illegal slaughterhouse in West Wales.

“Live animals found amongst carcasses.

“Two males were arrested and enquiries are ongoing.

“At this early stage of the investigation we are not prepared to release further information.”

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Llangwm: Solicitor jailed for six years for £1m fraud

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A PEMBROKESHIRE solicitor who overcharged clients by almost £1m has been jailed this week for six years.

Edgar Stephen Thomas, aged 58, charged one client at the rate of £20,000 a week without doing any work at all.

Another was charged at £12,000 a week and went on to lose a total of £100,000.

Thomas, of Stephen’s Green, Deerland Road, Llangwm, admitted 23 offences of fraud and theft, which stopped only when his firm of Steve Thomas and Co was closed down by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

Jim Davis, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that Thomas got away with the frauds by deducting monies from the estates of deceased people without telling the beneficiaries.

“He grossly overcharged and then deducted the payments directly from the estates of deceased people,” he said.

“He helped himself without telling them what he was doing.”

The overcharging began in 2005 when he was asked to handle the estate of Richard James Rogers. He charged the estate £41,800 plus VAT but internal documents showed that as the work decreased his bills increased.

Thomas agreed overcharging that estate by £12,000.

Thomas went on to plunder many more accounts.

The most outrageous example, said Mr Davies, related to the estate of Audrey Williams, who died in 2013.

Thomas charged £127,250 plus VAT, sometimes raising–but not posting–two invoices a day. He agreed he had overcharged by £100,000.

Mr Davis said Thomas’ offending did not stop there. His firm was hired by Vaughan’s Radio, an electrical store in Haverfordwest, to handle the purchase of a business in Aberystwyth.

Thomas simply kept for himself £50,000 of the purchase price.

Mr Davis said Thomas had worked for Eaton Evans in Haverfordwest, rising to becoming a partner, before leaving to form his own firm in 2005.

His accounts had to be audited and as a result the SRA were alerted to fears that he was overcharging.

A detailed forensic examination of his accounts was carried out and the fears were confirmed, along with the discovery of a shortfall in his client’s accounts of £144,326.

There was then an administrative error at the SRA and the initial report was not acted upon until June 2014, when a second financial investigation revealed more fraud and he was later struck off.

In February 2015 Thomas was declared bankrupt.

Mr Davis said the SRA had reimbursed those who had lost because of Thomas’ fraudulent behaviour, but there remained the question of costs and whether he could be made to repay any of the money. An investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act is underway.

Thomas’ barrister, Ian Ibrahim, said his client was now broke and all the money had gone on keeping his business afloat.

“His fall from a high place has been dramatic. His remorse is complete and utterly without qualification.

“He has lost everything and knows that he will go to jail today.”

Judge Keith Thomas said those who worked in the legal profession had to demonstrate the highest level of integrity because the public put trust in them, sometimes at the most stressful times of their life.

“Your victims have described your behaviour as disgusting and despicable.

“You were struck off in 2016 and have had to wait a long time for the process to be complete, but that is partly because you were not willing to admit the extent of your offending,” he added.

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