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Former Herald shareholder jailed for nine years

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A FORMER share holder in The Pembrokeshire Herald has been sent to prison for nine years for being in possession of over a kilogram of cocaine and cutting agents, along with over £30,000 in cash and valuable assets.

Erfan Felix Al-Talal, who owned £50,000 of shares in Herald Newspapers plc until December last year was arrested and charged with possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply, and money laundering.

On Monday (Sept 24) Al-Talal appeared at Swansea Crown Court where he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years imprisonment.

Detective constable Andrew Dabinette from Tarian said: “Such was the strength of the evidence gathered as the result of this warrant Al-Talal had no option but to enter a guilty plea.

“We will continue to target those people who cause the most harm to the communities within our regions.

“We will relentlessly pursue offenders, using a range of skills, to ensure that the people who wish to blight our communities with harmful controlled drugs are brought before the courts.”

In a statement, a spokesman for The Herald said: “Felix Al Talal was one of several shareholders who put in money to start the Pembrokeshire Herald in 2013.

“His shareholding was 50%, until company reorganisation on 1 January 2016 when it was reduced to 33%

“Felix Al Talal sold his shares in December 2017 and is no longer associated with the company.

“His investment has long since been repaid to him.

“Mr Al Talal then set up a double glazing firm called J&F Double Glazing (Factory) Limited.

“That firm is located at Unit 4a Players Industrial Estate, Clydach, Swansea, United Kingdom, SA6 5BQ.

“There is no link to The Herald.

Editor of The Pembrokeshire Herald, Thomas Sinclair said “I met Mr Al Talal for the first time in March 2013. He was introduced as a potential investor by a third party. Following several meetings he agreed to invest into the newspaper. He was very professional at all times, and there was nothing to suggest that something like this could happen in the future.

“As a shareholder he had no influence on editorial content of the newspaper, but did make visits to the Milford Haven office on a handful of occasions.”

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Milford Haven School to lose sixth form due to falling pupil numbers

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COUNCILLORS have today backed a recommendation to publish a Statutory Notice to remove the sixth form of Milford Haven School.

The move followed the governing body of Milford Haven School requesting the Council to consult on the removal of the sixth form due to declining pupil numbers, reduced curriculum options and provision not meeting the needs of learners.

The governing body described the move as ‘one of the most difficult decisions we have ever undertaken.’

In October last year Pembrokeshire County Council agreed for the Director for Children and Schools to undertake statutory consultation on the proposal to remove the sixth form.

County Councillors today considered the report following the period of consultation which showed an overwhelming show of support for maintaining the sixth form.

In total, 168 responses were received.

The report stated that the sixth form has played a significant role as part of the local community.

However, on the basis of the significant decline in sixth form population at the school over the last 10 years, it is clear that the support received as part of the consultation is not reflected in the actual numbers choosing to stay in the sixth form.

Analysis of learner numbers in the sixth form over the last 10 years shows a steady decline in numbers, equivalent to a 77% reduction, with just 46 learners as of January 2020.

Education watchdog Estyn said: “The proposal to close the sixth form at Milford Haven School and for pupils to attend other provision instead appears to be a reasonable way forward. It is Estyn’s view that this proposal is likely to at least maintain the current standards of education and provision in the area.”

By 30 votes to 22, Councillors backed the recommendation that the Director for Children and Schools be authorised to publish a Statutory Notice to effect a regulated alteration to Milford Haven School in order to remove its sixth form.

This will be followed a 28 day objection period. If objections are received an Objection report will be prepared.

As the proposal is one to remove sixth form provision it requires approval by Welsh Ministers.

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Death on Freemens Way

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A 56-YEAR-OLD man has died following an incident on Freemens Way, Haverfordwest, on Wednesday night (Jul 15).

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “A 56-year-old man has died following an incident at Freemens Way, Haverfordwest, last night.

“He was taken to hospital with severe injuries, but sadly passed away.

“His family has been informed and is being supported by local officers.

“An investigation is ongoing but the circumstances are not believed to be suspicious.

“HM coroner has been informed.”

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Two arrested for shouting racist comments at BLM protest

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TWO teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of shouting racist comments at Black Lives Matter protestors, at the latest event in Haverfordwest on Wednesday night (Jul 15).
Commenting on the incident, Superintendent of Pembrokeshire division, Ross Evans said: “On Wednesday evening (July 15) a peaceful protest took place on Picton Fields, Haverfordwest, as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The demonstration, which was attended by around 70 people, was overseen by local officers as part of appropriate plans in place to allow for peaceful protest.

“Sadly, officers present observed a man and a boy shouting a number of racist comments towards those attending the demonstration, and promptly arrested both, one aged 19 and the other 14, on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences.

“The comments understandably caused a great deal of upset and distress to those from the demonstration who heard them.

“The two men arrested have been taken to Haverfordwest custody, where they remain currently. Anyone who witnessed the incident and has any information is asked to contact police by emailing us at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or call 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311908.”

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