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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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Major changes to waste and recycling services in Pembrokeshire

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THE FIRST of three major changes to waste and recycling services in Pembrokeshire is due to be rolled out soon, among which will be a new initiative where householders will be asked to demonstrate that their black bag waste does not contain any recyclable items.

The aim is to encourage more people to recycle as the County Council faces punitive fines if Welsh Government recycling targets are not met.

Two further significant changes to the Council’s waste service will take place later this year – the introduction of a free fortnightly Absorbent Hygiene Products collection (on request) starting in August and more changes to the kerbside collection services from October.

“We anticipate that before making the journey to their local centre, many householders will have already ensured that their general bin bag is free of any recyclable material,” explained Councillor Cris Tomos, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment.

“If recyclable items are in the general waste bags then householders will be asked to remove them and simply place them in the recycling containers.’

“We are determined to improve to ensure that we hit our targets. If we fail, the Council will be heavily fined and it would be unacceptable to have to divert much needed cash from essential services.

“Every one of us has a duty to recycle. It is a hot topic at the moment, especially with the concern being shown by environmentalists like David Attenborough over the amount of plastic in our oceans.

“We therefore anticipate that householders will show support for this initiative and recycle responsibly in their own homes.”

Later this month, staff at the county’s six waste and recycling centres will be handing out leaflets and speaking with householders and businesses explaining how the new bag-sorting scheme will operate.

The Council’s communications team will also be sharing information and guidance via their social media channels and the County Council website.

Explaining why the bag-sorting scheme has to work, the Council’s Head of Environmental Services and Public Protection, Richard Brown, said: “We need to increase the amount that we recycle in Pembrokeshire to meet Welsh Government’s targets.

“We currently recycle 60% of our waste but we need to recycle 64% by next year and 70 per cent by 2024 – 2025. If we miss these targets, Welsh Government will fine Pembrokeshire £140,000 for every one per cent we miss the target by.

“These changes will help ensure Pembrokeshire becomes more recycling focused and meets the targets, while also improving our environment. Wales is at the forefront of recycling on global scale and we are just a part of the story.

“We want to assure householders that, far from being a reduction in service, this is an initiative that will help everyone to dispose of the same amount of waste but in a better way.

“Our operatives will offer on-site support to anyone who is unsure about the process but our message is that these changes are not unique to Pembrokeshire.”

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Head to a lifeguarded beach this Easter Bank Holiday say Lifeboats

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WITH sun and warm temperatures predicted over the next few days, many people are likely to head to the coast to enjoy the Easter bank holiday. Although the air temperature may be warm, the waters around our coasts will still be very cold. The RNLI is urging people to stay safe and to head to a lifeguarded beach.

Although it is early in the year, RNLI lifeguards are patrolling a variety of beaches around the UK and will be on hand to offer safety advice.

The charity is encouraging anyone visiting the coast to head to a lifeguarded beach and to swim between the red and yellow flags, which is the area most closely monitored by the lifeguards. Lifeguarded beaches provide much greater safety for general beach users, swimmers and water sports enthusiasts.

In warm weather, a dip in the sea can seem very inviting, but our waters are still very cold at this time of year. Sudden immersion in cold water puts people at risk of suffering cold water shock, which triggers the instinctive but life-threatening reaction to gasp uncontrollably and swim hard, which can quickly lead to drowning.

Brian Robson, Community Safety Manager for the RNLI, says: “While we are all looking forward to some spring-like weather, we’d like to remind people that the conditions around the coast can change quickly and still be challenging, and should you go in the water intentionally or unintentionally, the sea is extremely cold at this time of year, making cold water shock a real danger. If you find yourself suffering from the effects of cold water shock, fight your instincts to thrash about or try to swim – instead, relax and float on your back until the effects have passed and you can swim to safety.

“We want people to enjoy the coastline and therefore urge people to respect the water and take extra care when visiting the coast, by taking some basic precautions. Plan your activity – check the weather and tide conditions before going to sea, and make sure your equipment is all in working order.

“Carry a means of calling for help should something go wrong, know your capabilities and make sure you wear the necessary safety equipment for your chosen activity. To find out how you can stay safe while enjoying your water activity, visit rnli.org/safety.

The RNLI is also advising people to enjoy the sun safely by making sure they apply sunscreen generously, with at least a factor 15, spend time in the shade when the sun is at its strongest between 11am-3pm and by wearing protective kit such as a shirt, sunglasses or a cap.

To find your nearest lifeguarded beach, please visit: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

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Haverfordwest: ‘Serious facial injuries’ after Castle Square attack

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POLICE are asking the public for help following a horrific attack in Haverfordwest last month which left a young man with serious facial injuries.

The incident took place in the early hours of March 17 on Castle Square

A police spokesperson said: “Police are appealing for witnesses to a serious assault on a male which occured in the early hours of the 17th March 2019 on Castle Square, Haverfordwest.

“The Victim who is a 20-year-old male received serious facial injuries.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact PC 445 GOSLING on 101 or contact anonymously crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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