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Mother and son guilty: Barry Rogers and Penny John convicted of murder

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BARRY ROGERS and his mother Penny John were convicted this afternoon of murdering 84 year Betty Guy at her home in Johnston.

They were told immediately that at the sentencing hearing on Thursday morning they will receive life sentences.
 
The only question to be decided, said the judge, was the minimum number of years they must spend in jail before being allowed to apply for parole.
 
Rogers, aged 33, held his head in his hands and wept after the jury forewoman announced the unanimous verdicts.
 
John, aged 50, sat stoney faced and showed no emotion.
 
John was remanded in custody until the sentencing hearing. Rogers has been in custody throughout the trial at Swansea crown court.
 
The judge, Mr Justice Lewis, praised the jury for carrying out their duty “magnificently” and described the case as having been emotional and complex.
 
He said he would study sentences passed by other judges for mercy killings before deciding on the minimum terms.
 
He will also listen to pleas of mitigation by the couple’s barristers.
 
Rogers and John killed Mrs Guy–his grandmother and her mother–because she was too old and suffered from ill health.
 
John mixed sedatives–including her own sleeping tablets–with whiskey and gave the mixture to her mother in the early hours of November 7, 2011.
 
That failed to kill her and Rogers, a former soldier, “finished her off” by placing a pillow over her face.
 
At first her death was believed to have been from natural causes and Mrs Guy’s body was cremated at Narberth just four days later.
 
But Rogers could not keep his mouth shut and over the coming years told various women, including his one time wife, that he and his mother had killed her.
 
After they had been arrested detectives devised a clever plan to trap them.
 
Although they were living at different addresses police agreed to grant them bail as long as they both stayed at John’s home in Maes Dre, Union Terrace, St Dogmaels.
 
Officers drove them to the address to make sure they abided by the bail conditions.
 
By then a listening device had been placed in the property–and as soon as they walked through the door they began talking about what they had done.
 
It was five years after they had killed Mrs Guy and neither could remember if they had swapped mobile telephone text messages that the police might be able to retrieve.
 
Rogers became worried his mother was “starting to crack” and urged her to stick to their story that Mrs Guy had died from old age.
 
But the jury saw through it.

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Pembroke: Attacker who laughed while raping his victim jailed

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A LAUGHING rapist from Pembroke who urinated on his victim has been jailed for 12 years.

Michael McNamara, aged 32, hit the teenager and knocked her onto a bed before ripping off her jogging bottoms and knickers.

“He raped her… while laughing at her,” said John Hipkin, prosecuting, “and in a final degradation he urinated over her.”

Shortly afterwards she told friends what had happened but did not want to go to the police.

McNamara had been due to go on trial at Swansea Crown Court accused of a number of offences.

But at the last moment he admitted raping the girl and also sexually assaulting a second woman years later.

McNamara lived in the Pembroke area at the time but since June, 2017, has been on no fixed address because he has been in prison awaiting trial.

Mr Hipkin said the second attack was on a woman who had passed out after taking the horse tranquilliser ketamine.

She woke on a bed to find she was naked and that McNamara, also naked, was lying on top of her.

She managed to push him away.

McNamara’s barrister, Frank Phillips, said he had abused drugs over a number of years.

Judge Paul Thomas said it was significant that both victims had been much younger than McNamara and that he appeared to want to taunt and belittle them.

And he noted that he had been fined and cautioned when he was younger for exposure and indecent assault.

Judge Thomas warned McNamara that he was on his way to being defined by a court as a dangerous offender as defined by law.

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New hedgerows introduced at Bluestone to help wildlife

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NEWLY connected hedgerows will provide better pathways for wildlife across Bluestone National Park Resort.

It comes after Bluestone teamed up with Keep Wales Tidy as part of the Long Forest project.

The project was developed by the environmental charity in partnership with the Woodland Trust, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

The idea is to plant 100,000 trees and improve around 120,000m of hedgerow across Wales.

Although Bluestone has planted over 37,000 trees in the last 10 years, the Long Forest project identified an area where it could better connect and improve and extend its hedgerows.

Planting 500 plants containing a mix of Hawthorn, Hazel, Field Maple, Crab Apple, Holly and Dog Rose over a 100 metre gap will connect up roughly 1500 metres of hedgerow from Black Pool Farm all the way up to Bluestone’s Arrivals Centre.

Bluestone Sustainability Manager Ged Davies, said: “I’m grateful to the help from Keep Wales Tidy. Hedgerows are not just important habitats in their own rights, supporting birds, mammals and insects, but also help wildlife move across the resort. The mix of plants will provide a range of flowers,  berries and shelter as they grow.”

Mari Williams from Keep Wales Tidy said: “The wildlife corridors that have been created will help local bat colonies which use the hedges for navigation, foraging and protection from predators. They also create habitat opportunities for important wildlife species.”

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Welsh Secretary emphasises importance of City Deal to Pembrokeshire’s future

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Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns: Meeting with Port of Milford Haven's CEO Alec Don and Wavetricity's CEO Simon Gillett

WELSH SECRETARY Alun Cairns has visited some of Pembrokeshire’s leading marine renewable tech firms to underline his support for the sector and highlight the importance of the UK Government’s City Deal to future economic growth in the region.

The Secretary of State was joined by Alec Don, Chief Executive of the Port of Milford Haven which is leading the £76m Pembroke Dock Marine project.

The project was successful in its bid for the UK Government’s City Deal funding as it seeks to create a world-leading centre for the development and testing of wave and tidal energy devices here in Pembrokeshire.

The development will also extend beyond renewables creating facilities that have application for multiple blue economy industries.

Mr Cairns caught up with the progress of Marine Power System’s WaveSub and Bombora’s mWave, just two of the innovative devices being developed in Pembrokeshire which are hoped to generate clean, low cost electricity.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “The UK Government’s Swansea Bay Region City Deal investment offers Pembrokeshire the chance to make a large, once in a generation investment in its own economic future. As one of the UK’s leading energy ports the Milford Haven Waterway already boasts excellent infrastructure and an outstanding supply chain, with talented companies serving domestic and international clients in shipbuilding, oil and gas.

“We want this region to be in the best position possible to compete with other port-centred regions across Europe, and to be a destination of choice for the fast-growing marine renewable energy industry. The City Deal funding, alongside investment from the Port of Milford Haven and others will play a vital role in helping to attract that industry to Welsh shores.

“Pembrokeshire is undoubtedly a wonderful place to live. Through the City Deal, the UK Government wants to make sure there are more opportunities for school leavers to benefit from local career opportunities, and to work in rewarding, skilled industries. The marine renewables industry clearly has the potential to provide those jobs of the future.”

Chief Executive of the Port of Milford Haven, Alec Don said: “We are grateful for the support of the UK Government in this project. Pembroke Dock Marine has the potential to fundamentally reshape Pembrokeshire’s future, and public funding is a critical part of achieving our united goals.”

“Combined with private investment, City Deal Funding will be a rare boost in a region that is heavily reliant on so few, typically seasonal, industries as well as the nationally important fuel industry. We believe the City Deal will help create new opportunities that will secure existing jobs and create new rewarding employment for the people of Pembrokeshire.”

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