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Burns victim remanded in custody following flat fire

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DESPITE needing specialist medical care, a Pembroke Dock woman was remanded to prison by Haverfordwest Magistrates on Tuesday (Jan 16).

Hayley James suffered significant and ‘life-threatening’ burns in a blaze she is alleged to have started in her flat in Commercial Row, Pembroke Dock.

James is charged with arson with intent to endanger life regarding the fire, which began at around 6.30am on December 2.

No pleas were entered by the defendant The Crown alleged the accused put not only herself but the occupants of other flats at significant risk of harm.

As she had now been discharged from hospital after weeks of treatment, the Prosecution submitted that James should be remanded in custody.

Responding to prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard-Jones’ request that his client be remanded to prison, defence solicitor Mark Layton pointed out that his client had only recently been discharged following intensive treatment, which had included a tracheotomy: “On her most recent ward, she was given a great deal of flexibility. Her partner, the gentleman at the back of the court, has been visiting her.

“She has been allowed freedom to go out and have a cigarette she can’t walk so far as she suffered significant burn injuries.”

After pointing out that his client’s mobility was severely restricted and she was unable to get about without a stick or wheelchair, Mr Layton continued: “Miss James has suffered significant injuries in this incident. Putting her in prison is not going to be of assistance to her.”

Mr Layton suggested a range of bail conditions and pointed out that his client was not subject to strict supervision of the ward, while she was an inpatient: “My client was arrested on discharge from the ward, prior to that she was not treated with the normal degree of supervision.”

Mr Layton told the court: “The care she needs is simply not available in a prison environment. We would like to think that is the case, but I would suggest very strongly is that the care you will receive at liberty, would be better than the case you would get at liberty. When you have serious burns you need a level of care, I do not think that level of care would be available.

“I would suggest that in those circumstances that the interest of justice can be properly served with the imposition of bail conditions. The concerns the Crown and court will then be properly met.”

After retiring to consider their decision, the Chairman of the Bench told James of the Magistrates decision to remand her to prison.

Expressing sympathy for her condition, he reflected on the seriousness of the charges faced and told the accused: “We are remanding you in custody for your own protection after these dreadful events.”

James is to appear at Swansea Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on February 13, at 10am.

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Drop-in session plan for Fishguard and Goodwick surgeries

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A PUBLIC drop-in session is being held in Fishguard next week to gather the views of local residents around plans to amalgamate Goodwick Surgery with Fishguard Surgery towards the end of this year.

The event will be held on Tuesday 27 February at Fishguard Town Hall from 2.30pm-7pm.

Goodwick Surgery has been managed by Hywel Dda University Health Board since April 2015. The Practice has used regular GP locums to cover the Surgery for the past 18 months and despite extensive efforts the Health Board has not been successful in attracting new GPs. Goodwick is one of a number of smaller practices in North Pembrokeshire struggling with the challenges of GP recruitment in order to deliver sustainable services.

In recent months the Health Board has been in detailed discussions with nearby Fishguard Surgery as to how the two practices could collaborate to secure future services for patients in the area. The Health Board is working with local groups and the Community Health Council to communicate all changes to the patients.

Prior to the amalgamation, patients of both Practices should continue to access services as normal. There is no need to move registration – this will be done automatically at the time and more details will be shared with patients over the coming months.

Plans are at an advanced stage with Welsh Government for the extensive refurbishment of the existing Fishguard Health Centre later this year to enable delivery of high quality services to the increased practice population. Community staff, including the District Nurse team and Health Visitors, will be located in the refurbished building, allowing better integration and working with the GP Practice. Fishguard Surgery will remain open during the refurbishment works and disruption will be minimised to enable full services to be maintained for patients.

It is anticipated that the larger, more resilient Practice will be better able to recruit additional clinical staff, including GPs, to reduce the dependence on locums. Staff currently working at Goodwick Surgery will have the option to transfer to Fishguard Health Centre as part of the larger team.

Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care at Hywel Dda, said: ““As a Health Board we are committed to listening to and engaging with local populations around our proposals to strengthen our Primary Care services in the Goodwick and Fishguard area and we would therefore like to invite residents to come along and get involved in the conversation.”

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Haverfordwest: Police want to catch Labour Club gate tamperers

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating criminal damage at Haverfordwest Labour Social Club. Police told The Herald that sometime between 11am and 1pm on Wednesday, 17 January 2017, two men super-glued the padlock to the gate, and fitted an extra chain and padlock. The staff had to cut the chains and padlock with an angle grinder to gain entry to the club.

A police spokesperson added: “One of the men is described as aged in his 60s, with short, grey hair and moustache, reddened face, and wearing a dark coloured coat.

“He has a distinctive mark on the side of his nose.

“The second man is described as being younger and wearing a dark coloured parka type jacket with the hood up, loose fitting blue jeans, light coloured shoes and carrying a blue backpack.

The police have asked that anyone with information is asked to report it to PC 424 Dan Morris at Haverfordwest Police Station by calling 101. If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Pembroke: Appeal after glass attack at the Old Cross Saws Inn

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THE POLICE are appealing for witnesses following an assault at The Old Cross Saws public house, Pembroke, on Saturday, 10 February.

It is alleged a man attacked a male with a broken glass, in the beer garden. As a result, the police said, the victim required stitches to his jaw.

A spokesperson from Dyfed-Powys Police told The Herald: “A 25-year-old man from the Pembroke Dock area was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm on February 10, he has since been released under investigation pending further police enquiries.”

“Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has any information, is urged to contact DC 920 Phil Jones at Pembroke Dock Police Station, by calling 101.

“Alternatively, anonymously contact Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”

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