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Armed police swoop on Swansea train station in manhunt

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SWANSEA TRAIN STATION was evacuated by armed police today (Oct 5) in a hunt for murder suspect Steve Baxter, in connection with the murder of Simon Clark at Grove Caravan Park, Pendine, on Thursday (Sept 27).

Passengers were rushed off the trains and the station was closed.

A large crowd of commuters gathered outside the station as officers carefully searched the station and trains for the murder suspect.

A spokesperson for Arriva Trains Wales said: “There will be some service disruption as there were no trains moving in or out of the station during the incident.

“We’d like to thank customers for their patience and understanding during this incident.

“We work closely with the British Transport Police to keep all passengers safe when using the rail network.”

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “The police presence at Swansea Train Station is linked to the search for Steve Baxter, who is wanted on suspicion of the murder of Simon Clark, which happened on Thursday, September 27 in Pendine.

“Firearms teams searched the area and the station was evacuated as a precaution.

“The suspect was not in the station and it has now reopened.”

Four people have been charged in the investigation so far.

Jeffrey Stephen Ward, aged 40, from Pendine, has been charged with murder.

Linda Mary Rowley, aged 52, from Pendine, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder).

Kirston Macklin, aged 52, from Newport, Gwent, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder).

Julie Louise Harris, aged 46, from Tonypandy, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder).

Detective Superintendent Huw Davies said: “I would like to thank the public for their support and patience while we carry out this investigation. Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the victim, Simon Clark.

“We are continuing with the search for Steve Baxter, who is wanted on suspicion of murder. We know he was in the Bridgend area last Friday and we are aware that he has connections in the West Wales, South Wales and South West England areas. He is considered dangerous so I urge anyone who sees him or knows where he is not to approach him – call 999.”

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact police on 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number: 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Police officer was assaulted on Christmas Day

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A 25-YEAR-OLD woman from Haverfordwest appeared before the town’s magistrates on Tuesday (Jan 15) to face a charge of assault by beating against a police officer.

Tiffany Rowlands, of West Court, pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Gareth Potter on Christmas Day.

Prosecutor, Sian Vaughan said: “The officer was at the defendant’s property searching the childrens’ bedrooms.

“Rowlands pushed the officer to the chest, and after she calmed down apologised following the incident.”

Defence solicitor, Mark Layton, said: “There’s no record of any injury. They were upstairs, the lights were off so it was dark, and she realises it was wholly inappropriate.”

Magistrates fined Rowlands £40 for the offence and ordered her to pay £85 prosecution costs and £30 victim surcharge.

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Milford Haven: Booms to be removed following oil spill

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BOOMS installed earlier this month to contain an oil spill in the Milford Haven waterway will be removed tomorrow (Jan 17).

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and partner agencies have continued to survey the affected areas since the incident on 3 January and are satisfied that they have contained as much oil as possible.

Where oil has been found on local beaches, Valero’s clean up team have removed it under advice of NRW officers.

The investigation into how this incident, and the previous oil spill in December 2018, happened is ongoing.

Following further assessments and an inspection of the affected fuel pipelines, Valero now believe that no more than 500 litres of oil was released during the incident on 3 January – significantly less than originally feared.

But the pipelines will remain closed after NRW took action last week to suspend their use. NRW will not allow Valero to reopen the pipelines until it is satisfied they can operate without causing further damage to the local environment.

Andrea Winterton, Operations Manager from Natural Resources Wales, said: “Following a swift response from everyone involved, much of the pollution has been contained and cleaned up quickly, reducing the impact it could have had on wildlife and the environment.

“Along with our partners, we will continue to monitor the situation and will respond to any further reports of oil washing ashore in the coming weeks.

“Valero continue to support our efforts and cooperate with our enquiries into how the incidents happened. Our investigation also continues as we consider what further action we need to take to stop this happening again.”

NRW is asking people who live in the area to report any signs of pollution to their 24/7 incident hotline on 03000 65 3000.

The multi-agency response to this incident has involved the following organisations: NRW, Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Milford Haven Port Authority, Marine and Coastguard Agency, Public Health Wales, Food Standards Agency.

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Fishguard: Sex offender caught trying to flee to Ireland

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A sex offender from Bow Street near Aberystwyth who tried to move to Ireland without telling anyone has been jailed.

Dennis Bull, aged 67, was caught trying to drive a van onto the Fishguard–Rosslare ferry with his belongings in the back ready for a new life in the Republic.

Bull, of Nirmit, admitted failing to comply with the conditions of registration as a sex offender and was jailed for 16 months.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court it was the third time he had breached the order, imposed at Caernarfon crown court in February, 2016, for possessing indecent images of children.

That conviction was on top of earlier offending in New Zealand that included indecent exposure, outraging public decency and gross indecency with a child.

Mr Thomas said Bull had been jailed for 16 months in 2016 and ordered to register with the police. The restrictions imposed included a requirement to tell the police if he intended to change address.

On November 13 last year police at Fishguard harbour became aware of a Ford Mondeo registered to Bull.

A few minutes later Bull was arrested as he attempted to drive a van onto the Stenna ferry, which was loaded with household items.

Bull told the police he had made arrangements to move to Ireland “lock, stock and barrel” because he understood the monitoring of sex offenders was less strict.

In particular, said Mr Thomas, Bull did not like prospective employers being told about his convictions.

Judge Geraint Walters told Bull, “This was a planned and determined attempt to avoid detection. It was only the eagle eyes of the authorities that brought you to book.

“Your record is troubling and you present a risk of committing more offences of a sexual nature.

 “You are defiant of court orders that are there to protect others and it is truly disturbing that you are so keen to breach them.”

Bull was warned that the 2016 order remained in place for a further seven years.

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