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Father found dead after being ‘refused a hospital bed’

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24 HOURS after being refused a hospital bed for severe mental health problems, a dedicated father was found dead in Carmarthen.

Matthew Salisbury, aged 34, reported to Glangwili Hospital after experiencing suicidal thoughts. It was his wish to be detained under the Mental Health Act, but he was told he must wait several weeks for a referral to a psychiatrist, claimed his distraught wife Tara Salisbury.

Matthew also leaves behind a two-year-old daughter Alysia, along with two step-children, Jessica and Abigail, aged 11 and 7. An investigation into his death has been launched by the Hywel Dda University Health Board.

According to Tara, from Crymych, Matthew ‘went to the hospital as a final attempt to seek the help he desperately needed, which for someone in his state is extremely difficult’.

Tragically, Tara believes that if he had been detained immediately, Matthew would ‘still be alive’.

Tara said: “What he got was a sympathetic ear, and the same referral to a psychiatrist he would have received from a GP.”

Matthew first sought help for depression in October 2018.

Tara added: “He was given medication and then two or three months ago the dosage was upped. He was also due to see a psychiatrist, but he took a pretty bad turn and wasn’t able to see them.”

After repeatedly threatening to take his own life, Matthew visited Glangwili Hospital on the evening of Saturday May 25. Tara was present with him.

She continued: “A doctor told us that if it ever got to the stage where he threatened to take his own life, we should go to A&E. So that’s what we did.”

“The Mental Health Act 1983 states that if a person is a danger to themselves they should be admitted – even if this is against the person’s will – to protect them from harming themselves.”

However, after arriving at A&E, Matthew was told there was no bed for him.

“I was absolutely gobsmacked” claimed Tara, “He kept on saying that if he wasn’t admitted he was going to kill himself, yet the best they could do was offer him a warm cup of tea, a nice smile and send him on his way.”

Although Tara tried desperately to convince Matthew to change his mind, he ‘wanted to be dead right there and then’.

She added: “He’d done what everybody had told him to do and still hadn’t been given any help.

“He got up on the Sunday morning, said goodbye to everyone and left. I hoped that when he left he would just have a think and not go through with it. But when he didn’t return I called all his friends and family.”

Matthew was found deceased in his car on the early hours of Monday morning, near Carmarthen.

Tara said: “He was a loving father and my best friend.”

On behalf of the Hywel Dda University Health Board, Joe Teape, director of operations, said: “I would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Mr Salisbury’s family following this tragic incident, and in line with our serious incident protocols I can confirm that we have launched a clinical review into the circumstances surrounding his death. The health board will contact the family and invite them to meet with us as part of this process.”

In 2018, 360 people took their own lives in Wales, 278 of whom were men. Anyone seeking help can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org.

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Milford Haven: Man arrested by armed police in Larch Road

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POLICE have arrested a man following a large-scale police operation in Milford Haven.

Several police units were seen searching for a suspect at around 5pm this afternoon (Jun 26).

A police van and several police cars were seen speeding towards the marina and Havens Head Business Park, sirens blaring – but the vehicles turned around when the suspect was not found.

At around 7.30pm police descended on Larch Road, in the Mount Estate and police entered a top floor flat.

Following a period of negotiations, a man was led into a waiting police vehicle.

While the drama was unfolding, dozens of residents of the street were watching from their window, from the street and others were watching from parked cars.

Police kept people back as the detainee was led to the riot van.

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Larch Road: Specialist Officers await man to be brought down from top floor flat (Pic: T Sinclair / Herald)

Mount arrest: A man is led into a police van by armed police (Pic: T Sinclair / Herald)

Large police presence: Armed police units deployed at scene (Pic: T Sinclair / Herald)

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Praise for innovative Pembrokeshire eco scheme

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AN AMBITIOUS project which aims to help communities in Pembrokeshire to become more sustainable has been recognised with an Innovation award.

The Pembrokeshire Eco Champions project was presented with the accolade in Pure West Radio’s ‘Greatest Show Awards’.

Mark Bond, project co-ordinator, said the initiatives delivered by the scheme so far had engaged a real cross-section of local people in some ‘very important conversations linked to the environment’.

“The very nature of our Welsh Government Leader funding (administered by Arwain Sir Benfro) is to encourage innovative and creative ways to engage communities in eco activity, with a major emphasis on waste and recycling,” he said.

“The project has a number of outcomes to deliver but what I inherited was essentially a blank canvas and a great deal of freedom to achieve those outcomes.

“I’ve been allowed to try new and often unusual approaches to reach out to people, so to be recognised for our ‘innovative’ approach is extremely heartening. I’m very proud of my project and very excited about what’s to come.”

The Eco Champions Project is a partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council and PLANED, funded by the Local Action Group (LAG) for Pembrokeshire, Arwain Sir Benfro.

As part of the project, a recruitment drive has been launched for aspiring or active Eco Champions willing to help their local community become more environmentally aware.

Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said it was an exciting initiative.

“The aim is to build and support a network of enthusiastic people who are eager to encourage others to become involved in local waste and recycling initiatives, as well as providing environmental information, organising events and celebrating good practice,” he said.

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Sniffer dog’s presented award by local MP

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IMAGINE a sniffer dog, so good at its job, that a £25K bounty is put on its head! Scamp, a diligent springer spaniel who recovered over £6 million worth of illegal tobacco products in the last 5 years, has been named the Institutes Hero in the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Hero Awards 2019.

Described as a ‘modern-day Eliot Ness’, the seven-year-old owned by specialist detection dog company B.W.Y Canine ltd, has been involved in countless trading standards raids throughout the years. Most recently, his work with trading standards caused such disruption to one organised criminal gang that he had a £25K bounty placed on his head, with his handler Stuart Phillips receiving death threats.

During a recent project between several local authorities, Scamp and B.W.Y Canine helped trading standards seize nearly 430,000 cigarettes and 189kg of hand-rolling tobacco, with a total street value of approximately £137,000. The CTSI Hero Awards celebrate those who make outstanding contributions towards consumer protection in our communities. Scamp and B.W.Y Canine received the award at the CTSI Hero Awards 2019 ceremony at One Great George Street, London, on Tuesday.

After presenting the award to Scamp and Stuart Phillips, Stephen Crabb MP commented: “I was thrilled to present this award to Scamp for the important and diligent detection work he has carried out. Stuart and the whole team at B.W.Y. Canine should be immensely proud of Scamp and what he has done. This goes to show the outstanding work being done by B.W.Y Canine and I look forward to catching up with them in Clunderwen soon.”

Chief Executive at CTSI, Leon Livermore, said: “CTSI received a landslide of nominations for the outstanding work Scamp and B.W.Y Canine have done with trading standards services up and down the country. To keep providing such a service in the face of great personal risk is admirable, and Stuart from B.W.Y Canine, and of course Scamp, deserve our thanks.”

Stuart Phillips from B.W.Y Canine, said: “To be nominated for this award by so many trading standards teams is a great honour, but for Scamp to actually win and be awarded the Institute Hero Award is fantastic news for our small Pembrokeshire based company. The work that Scamp does is of huge importance to tackle the illegal tobacco trade and we both thoroughly enjoy working with trading standards around the UK. Scamp is special dog, with an amazing nose and great work ethic – for him to have his work recognised is superb, he is a true hero.” Scamp and B.W.Y Canine were presented with the award by local MP, Stephen Crabb, and Robert Wright, CTSI College of Fellows, Sponsors of the CTSI Hero Awards.

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