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Milford Haven: Homeless man back in prison after cannabis arrest

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A HOMELESS man, who had become a recognisable character on the streets of Milford Haven, dressed in his trademark army gear, was arrested on Tuesday night (May 8), for possession of cannabis.

Police were seen speaking to the Big Issue seller on Hamilton Terrace at around 6pm.

The 39-year-old, who calls himself ‘Craig Jones’ or ‘CJ’, wore a day-to-day outfit which included a helmet, stab vest, combat fatigues, and field boots. However, subsequent to his arrest his true identity been confirmed as Charles James McBride.

The PATCH charity volunteer had been squatting in the crazy golf cabin at the top of the Rath until recently, when he was evicted and the structure secured by owner Pembrokeshire County Council.

In the short time that he had been in the Milford Haven area he was known by a large number of locals, including the mayor, a county councillor, the editor of this newspaper, and had found himself a girlfriend on the Mount Estate.

But what no one knew was that behind his new name was a hidden past.

Ipswich Crown Court heard in February 2014 how Charles McBride bound and gagged his girlfriend, 27-year-old Melissa Cousins, and then kept her prisoner for five hours, as he believed she was possessed by demons.

The pair, who had been living in a World War 2 bunker near Lowestoft, had been in a relationship for two years prior to the incident.

McBride, the court heard, threatened to break her arms if she didn’t comply. She was ‘scared and frightened and crying’ as he tied her hands together with shoelaces, and then tied her legs together with tape and string.

With Cousins tied up, he then zipped her in her sleeping bag and recited extracts from the Bible.

McBride was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having a severe mixed personality disorder, and that he genuinely believe she had been possessed by demons.

He said: “It didn’t entitle him to act in that way but his genuine belief was that he was acting in her best interests.”

Ms Cousins later withdrew her statement to police.

McBride was jailed for six years, with an extended licence of five years.

PATCH Charity manager Tracy Olin said she was both shocked and heartbroken to hear about CJ’s past and that he had was in Swansea Prison.

McBride was seen regularly outside Tesco selling copies of The Big Issue, as well as being a regular volunteer at PATCH.

He had been helping by giving out balloons at the recent Herald family fun day, and was seemingly well liked in the town.

Following that, the owner of a disused building had given him a roof over his head, but he had been struggling for money after his Big Issue vendor licence had been revoked, following an argument with Tesco management.

Herald editor Tom Sinclair said: “It is obvious that mental health issues were the reason behind the original offence. It is a shame that in mental health awareness week CJ is back in jail for having some cannabis on him. It is my understanding that he smoked this to keep his condition under control but he will now be in prison for at least six months.”

“I had allowed CJ to keep warm by staying at the Working Men’s Club which I am currently renovating”

McBride will be in court in Haverfordwest on May 29.

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Have your say on the council’s Gambling Policy

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PEOPLE living in Pembrokeshire are being asked for their views on proposed changes to the County Council’s Gambling Policy.

The policy explains how Pembrokeshire County Council handles the licensing of premises and issuing of permits for gambling.

The policy is currently under review and the County Council is keen to find out what local people think about issues such as the prevention of crime and disorder, and protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Sarah Johns, the Authority’s Public Protection Manager (Public Health, Housing and Licensing), explained: “The review will give people the chance to make their views known about our policy and how we deal with gambling matters.

“We are carrying out an extensive consultation, asking a wide range of people and groups for their views including the Police and the licensed trade. All views will be considered carefully and will help shape our policy for the next few years.

“We urge people who have an opinion on this to get in touch and let us know what they think.”

Councillor Pat Davies, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regulatory Services said: “This is an opportunity for businesses and residents of Pembrokeshire to respond and be part of influencing policy that will ultimately affect their communities. Please use this consultation to have your say.”

The gambling policy can be viewed on the Council’s website: www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/licensing

Alternatively, contact the Licensing Team on 01437 764551 to view the policy at County Hall, Haverfordwest.

Comments must be received by 5pm on Friday, September 28.

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RSPCA ask public to not return unwell dolphins to sea

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THE RSPCA has issued a warning about how to respond to finding unwell or beached cetaceans, after two dolphins were inappropriately returned to the sea by members of the public in west Wales in recent weeks.

Officers say ‘well-meaning’ beach-walkers have sought to help beached dolphins by moving them back into the water, but that this is the ‘wrong thing to do for the animals, and their welfare’.

Last Sunday (Aug 5), a dead striped dolphin was found on Coppet Hall beach in the Saundersfoot area.

The RSPCA had previously responded to calls in the local area about the troubled striped dolphin – who had been beaching on a member of the public’s property. Unfortunately, in seeking to help the dolphin, members of the public refloated the unwell, thin and emaciated dolphin.

An RSPCA officer inspected photos of the dolphin and could ‘clearly see’ that the dolphin was suffering and should not have been returned to the wild in this way.


In a separate incident, the RSPCA was alerted after a washed-up, skinny dolphin was found on a Newgale beach last Tuesday (Aug 7). The animal welfare charity arrived to find a dolphin in poor bodily condition, which had recently died. Unfortunately, well-meaning members of the public had tried on several occasions to return the dolphin to the water.

RSPCA Cymru say dolphins tend to beach for a reason – often because they have major welfare complications, or even because they are dying. A summer plea has been issued urging anyone who finds a beached cetaceans to contact the RSPCA immediately, and not seek to refloat the animal.

Ellie West, RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO), said: “In many ways, it is a source of great pride that people across West Wales love wild animals and want to help.

“But returning a beached cetacean to the sea can be hugely counter-productive. People are obviously well-meaning in doing this – but usually it is the wrong thing to do for the animals, and their welfare.

“We were called out recently to help a striped dolphin, but this was returned to the water by members of the public.

“However, pictures of the poor thing – emaciated and thin – showed how this wasn’t the right thing by the animal. Later, we were alerted that the poor dolphin’s fate had been sealed – found dead in Saundersfoot.

“Similarly, in Newgale, we attended an incident where a very unwell dolphin had died. However, members of the public had spent some while trying to return the body to the sea – clearly kind-hearted, but sadly doing the wrong thing.”

RSPCA is also warning of the zoonotic risks of handling creatures like the dolphins found at Saundersfoot and Newgale.  

The charity works with the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) – in part funded by Welsh Government – which investigates whale, dolphin, porpoise, marine turtle and basking sharks stranded across the UK’s coastline.  Post-mortems to these animals can help establish a cause of death, and provide important insights into the health of populations living in the sea in a specific area.

ACO West added: “If anyone sees a beached cetacean, they should ring the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999, and provide as much information as possible about the location of the animal, and their condition. We can then do whatever we can to help – or at least alleviate the animal’s suffering as quickly as possible.

“It is a very distressing fact that often these animals are found on land with severe welfare problems, or have moved there to die. Returning them to the sea is not helping them however well-intentioned someone may be.

“There’s also substantial zoonotic disease risk of handling the animals in this way. This could be serious for human health.

“We work closely with CSIP, who do very important work in deciphering the cause of death for many cetaceans and other marine mammals. This work is vital – and where a beached, emaciated, troubled marine mammal sadly has to be put to sleep, we will often work with them so the cause of death can be established, and knowledge help support the wider population in the future.”

If you wish to help RSPCA Cymru, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.

 

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Woman thanks strangers for helping her during County Show incident

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A WOMAN who, along with her husband, was knocked down at the County Show on Wednesday (Aug 15) when a horse broke loose and went on a ‘rampage’ has thanked those who came to her aid.

Eight people were injured in the incident and five were hospitalised, including a 12-year-old boy and an 83-year-old man.

Jane Armitage, who was visiting Pembrokeshire with her husband and three dogs, posted a message on Facebook thanking those who helped her, her husband, and her pets.

She said: “My husband was one of those injured today at Pembrokeshire Show. He was knocked down by the horse and is now in hospital; I was also knocked down, but I got up!

“The reason for this post is to thank those people who I will probably never meet again. The local store owner who came straight out to ask if I was okay when my husband was on the ground; the paramedics who did such a wonderful job and looked after him so well; but most importantly in this post, at least, is those dog lovers at the show.

Air ambulance: Landing at the County Show

“When I fell, I was holding three labradors. Ellie the senior Labrador stayed close to me, but the two younger ones, black and yellow labradors, ran. I don’t know the name of the lady who caught Lottie, a black Labrador, near the cattle rings, also the lovely lady judge who picked up Dolly, a yellow labrador, and carried her to me, she was too scared to walk.

“I don’t know your names but I just wanted to say a huge thank you. Your kindness will never be forgotten.

“I also want to thank the couple who came to the paramedic’s area and offered to hold the dogs for me so I could go in and be with my husband.”

Despite being involved in the freak accident, Jane

“They waited with our three stressed dogs, calmed them and I can’t thank you enough for your kindness at such a difficult time. We look forward to coming to the show again next year.”

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