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Life sentence for depraved father after sexually abusing daughter

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A PAEDOPHILE described by a Crown Court judge as having ‘psychopathic tendencies’ and a ‘devious, wicked, and flawed personality’ has been jailed for life after pleading guilty to 16 counts of rape and sexual assault in a catalogue of abuse directed against his own daughter.

The child’s mother, who suffers from what the court was told was ‘battered person syndrome’, received a ten year sentence for her part in years of abuse.

CHILD MIGHT NEVER RECOVER

The Court heard that the man had effectively groomed his wife, whom he met when she was 16, and controlled access to medication she required for a mental health condition. The woman, now in her 20s, was ordered to be detained in a psychiatric hospital for treatment.

On sentencing the pair at Swansea Crown Court, HHJ Geraint Walters QC ordered that the father, in his 50s, go to prison for a minimum of twelve years and was only to be released if and when it was determined that he did not pose a risk to children. Judge Walters observed it was possible that might never happen.

To protect their victim/daughter, the Court has ordered a blanket ban on reporting the parents’ names and the name of the west Wales town in which they perpetrated their appalling crimes.

HHJ Walters said that it was hard to see how their daughter could ever recover from the depravity inflicted upon her.

During her eight years in west Wales, the child never went to school, played outside, saw a cat or a dog or had a friend.

‘HOME SCHOOLING’ CONCEALED ABUSE

The husband’s ‘home-schooling’ of his daughter was only camouflage for effectively keeping her as a sex slave, said the Judge: “Not exactly locking her in a cellar but not far from it.”

There were padlocks on all the doors and the curtains were always kept closed.

The girl was never allowed out and, consequently, had never played with friends, or gone swimming. She had never seen Christmas lights and had no concept of a celebration.

Prosecuting Council Robin Rouch told the Court that the ‘tightly controlled home environment’ was created by the father to ‘systematically and regularly abuse’ his daughter without being discovered.

The cycle of abuse only ended when the wife left the husband and reported him to the police.

When police raided the couple’s home they found evidence of systematic, long-term child abuse inflicted on the daughter by both parents. Their investigation also revealed that the father had also abused a daughter of a previous marriage.

A spokesperson for NSPCC Cymru said: “The prolonged abuse – physical, sexual and emotional – suffered by this young victim is appalling and deeply disturbing.

“The role a parent is to protect and support their child, but the couple in this case simply saw in their daughter an opportunity to inflict repeated sexual attacks.”

CALL FOR HOME SCHOOLED REGISTER

The case has reignited calls for home-schooled children to be registered by local authorities and for more active monitoring of the welfare of those children who received education outside traditional schooling.

Mid and West Wales AM Helen Mary Jones said: “The vast majority of home-schooling is a good choice made by good parents, but we know there is a small minority where things go wrong and I believe we should have those children registered – we should know they’re being home-schooled.

“I also think an annual medical check – it’s quite common when children are in primary school, they may see the school dentist or the school nurse – as a precaution, it would be really useful.”

The case has drawn comparisons with the case of Dylan Seabridge, who was effectively invisible to social and health services and who died of scurvy whilst being ‘home-schooled’ in 2011.

Dylan Seabridge – who lived in a remote Pembrokeshire community with his parents and older sibling – died of scurvy in December 2011 aged eight-years-old.

Criminal proceedings against Dylan’s parents in relation to their son’s death were halted over concerns about his mother’s mental health.

There were no allegations of sexual abuse in the Seabridge case.

GOVERNMENT TOO SLOW TO ACT

An independent report into the death of Dylan Seabridge written by Gladys Rhodes White OBE, a national expert in safeguarding and child protection, recommended that the Welsh Government change the law so that the details of all elective home educated children are kept on a register and that they are seen and spoken to and their wishes recorded on an annual basis.

At present there is no such requirement and the law does not state any general requirement for parents to inform the education directorate if their child or children were never on a school roll.

Home education’s supporters say that registration would be an unwarranted intrusion into families’ lives. In addition they claim that there is no evidence to support a contention that home-schooled children are at a greater risk of neglect than those attending a state school. There is also a distinction between those children who are home-schooled and those who are ‘kept at home’ for other reasons.

Children’s Commissioner for Wales Sally Holland disagrees: “I’ve been calling for the government to act in a stronger way, so have all the directors of education in Wales, all the directors of social services and the government’s own independent safeguarding board.

“For me the pace of change has been too slow and hasn’t been strong enough to ensure every child gets the right to an education to be safe and to have their say.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “Earlier this year the education secretary announced plans to consult on regulations that will require local authorities to establish a database to identify children not on a school register.
“We are also reviewing and updating national protection procedures to examine how social services and education practitioners can work together and share information to ensure children who are home-schooled get the support they need.”

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16 monochrome TV licences still in Pembrokeshire

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NEW figures released by TV Licensing show that after more than 50 years of colour transmissions, 16 black and white TV Licences are still in force in Pembrokeshire.

More than 300 households in Wales are still watching television via black and white TV sets, rather than enjoying critically acclaimed shows like The Bodyguard, McMafia and Killing Eve, in full colour.

Despite an increase in the use of smart televisions, as well as tablets and smart-phones to access TV content, a surprising number of Welsh households are spurning 21st Century technology in favour of nostalgic monochrome TV sets.

According to this year’s figures, Cardiff leads the way with 43 black and white licences, followed by Carmarthenshire with 28 monochrome licences and Monmouthshire with 23 monochrome licences.

The number of black and white licences issued each year has, however, steadily been declining. In 2000 there were 212,000 black and white TV Licences in force, but by 2003 that number had shrunk to 93,000. By 2015, the number had dipped below 10,000.

Fay Jones, a spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “Over half of the UK’s TVs now connect to the internet, so it’s interesting that more than 300 households in Wales still choose to watch their favourite shows on a black and white telly.

“Whether you watch EastEnders, Strictly or Question Time in black and white on a 50-year-old TV set or in colour on a tablet, you need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record programmes as they are broadcast. You also need to be covered by a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer, on any device.”

Find when one is needed at: www.tvlicensing.co.uk/info

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Neyland: Mother issues warning after boy ‘grabbed by hooded man’

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THE MOTHER of a boy who was grabbed by a ‘hooded man’ in the street on Tuesday evening (Nov 13) in Neyland has warned other parents to be vigilant.

Sarah Hibbert said that her son was grabbed by a man at approximately 8:05pm, but thankfully managed to get away.

Posting a warning on Facebook, Sarah said: “Just feel I should make people in Neyland aware.. my son was on his way home tonight at about 8:05 and got grabbed from behind by a man with a hood up in Riga Avenue.

“He managed to shove him off and run home, he’s not hurt but he was pretty shaken.

“The police have been informed. I don’t want to spook everyone but this is a scary incident and I feel people should be aware.”

After being shared over 400 times, she added that police are now involved and taking the incident seriously.

She added: “The police are taking it seriously and have said that there will be extra patrols in the area.”

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Police received a report of a suspicious incident which occurred at approximately 8pm on Tuesday 13th November 2018 in Riga Avenue, Neyland.

“A boy in his mid-teens reported that a man had taken hold of his arm from behind. The boy ran off. Nothing was said and the boy was not injured.

“The man is described at approximately 6ft tall, average build and wearing a dark coloured coat with the hood up.

“Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact Milford Haven Police by phoning 101.”

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50,000 homes to have different bin collections over Christmas

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PEMBROKESHIRE households are being urged to sign up for Pembrokeshire County Council’s free notification service as the countdown to Christmas begins

The message comes after it was revealed almost 50,000 homes will be affected by changes planned for this year’s Christmas waste collections.

Households and businesses serviced by Pembrokeshire County Council’s waste collections scheduled for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays will be affected as the new arrangements take place.

Monday collections remain unchanged.

With no waste or recycling collections scheduled for Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day, collections will be pushed back for two days in Christmas week and one day the following week, resulting in some collections taking place on Saturdays and Sundays.

‘Notify’ sends an E-mail or SMS text message to service users the day before their next collection is due telling them what bins to put out on the kerbside.

Over 4,000 text messages have already been sent out to registered users.

Cabinet Member for Environment and Welsh Language, Councillor Cris Tomos says the service is invaluable for householders, particularly over the festive season.

“With around 80% of us having waste collections on days we are not used to over the Christmas period, this service helps householders avoid confusion.

“With no waste collections scheduled for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day we are collecting a day or two later than normal.

“Rescheduling collections in this way results in an increase of just one or two days between collections whereas the previous system could result in longer periods without a collection for some.

“The new method means we will collect two days later than normal following Christmas and Boxing Day and one day later than normal following New Year’s Day.

“This is a better system for Householders and service users who register for ‘Notify’ will avoid any confusion given the service tells them when their next collection is and what bins will be collected and I encourage all householders to sign up.

For more information and to sign up for weekly waste reminders visit www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/notify

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