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Nine years for robber who left victim like ‘Elephant Man’

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A MONKTON man “mercilessly” attacked his victim until he looked like the Elephant Man, a judge heard on Tuesday (Apr 3).

Daniel Watts, aged 22, burst into the home of Kevin Blackburn and repeatedly punched him, kicked him and stamped on his head while he was on the floor.

Then he rifled through his pockets and stole his benefits money.

Watts, of Colley Court, admitted robbery and was jailed for nine years.

Graham Watson, aged 46, of Howells Close, Monkton, admitted burgling Mr Blackburn’s home and stealing prescribed drugs. He was jailed for 18 months.

Kane Watson, 18, of Commercial Row, Pembroke Dock, denied robbery. His plea was accepted by the prosecution and he was released.

Carina Hughes, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court how Watts and Graham Watson went to Mr Blackburn’s home at 5am on November 22 last year.

Mr Blackburn let in Mr Watson but Watts was hiding behind him and also got inside.

“He would not have opened the door if he had known that Watts was there,” said Miss Hughes.

Watts immediately punched him to the floor and stamped on his face until he lost consciousness. Mr Blackburn said later he thought he was going to die.

Meanwhile, Watson went through Mr Blackburn’s flat looking for drugs.

Miss Hughes said it was accepted that Watson had not taken part in the violence but he must have left the property knowing there was “a half dead” man lying on the floor.

Mr Blackburn managed to crawl out of his flat and neighbours called for an ambulance.

Watts was arrested later the same day and at first denied being at the flat.

Miss Hughes said six days after the attack Watts telephoned a friend and bragged about what he had done, boasting he had left Mr Blackburn looking like the Elephant Man.

The court heard that Watts had been homeless at the time and taking drugs on a daily basis.

Jugge Geraint Walters said he noted that Watts had been on licence from prison for an earlier burglary.

“It is hard to imagine a more frenzied attack.

“Having looked at the photographs of Mr Blackburn’s injuries Elephant Man was a fairly accurate description.

“People who look like that have usually been photographed on a mortuary table.”

Judge Walters said any half decent person would not have left Mr Blackburn for dead, as Watson had done.

Dyfed-Powys Police Detective Constable Chris Hickey said: “Following excellent initial work with the victim, and continued support through some very difficult times, this investigation has resulted in a very positive result.

“At court, the judge commented that it was ‘hard to imagine a more frenzied attack’ and that ‘it was more luck than judgement’ that the victim was not more seriously injured. He had given serious consideration to classifying Watts as a dangerous person.

“From start to finish this was a professional investigation that really highlights the positive effect that good victim and witness support can produce.

“We will not tolerate violent crime in our communities, and having Daniel Watts off the streets of Pembrokeshire for a number of years is a marvellous result.”

Watts and Watson were arrested within hours of the report being made to police.

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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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