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Pembroke couple took son on heroin deal

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A COUPLE who took their young son on a Heroin deal have been sentenced.

Anthony Davies and Keira Watts were stopped while returning to Pembroke from a drug deal in Swansea, with their young son in the back of the car.

The court heard Davies and Watts were arrested after police stopped a Vauxhall on the A477, heading westward between St Clears and Red Roses on the evening of September 26, 2019.

Davies was driving, with Watts the front passenger and the couple’s toddler in the back of the car.

Appearing at Swansea Crown Court, the judge said their actions had illustrated just how “low” those addicted to drugs are willing to stoop.

Prosecuting, Craig Jones, told the court that police believed Watts may have drugs hidden internally, she was taken to Withybush General Hospital, Haverfordwest for observation.

The 33-year-old later produced a package of heroin – cut with paracetamol and caffeine – from an intimate place.

The stash was worth around £3,100 the court heard.

A mobile phone was seized from the car, which showed text messages linking 39-year-old Davies to the supply of drugs.

The pair, both of Colley Court, Monkton, Pembroke, had previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply before appearing in the Dock – Watts on the basis that she was not involved with dealing and intended to give the drugs to Davies.

Davies had previous convictions for both possession of drugs and dishonesty matters, and Watts had previous driving offences on her record, the court heard.

Representing Davies, James Horton said his client was well aware he would not be leaving the court through the same door he entered.

Making reference to Davies as a hardworking family man, he added that the man standing in the dock was a ‘completely different person’ to the man that was stopped by police that day.

For Watts, Dyfed Thomas, told how the mum-of-three was very sorry for her actions and that the pair had been in the grip of a cruel addiction to heroin at the time of offending.

Adding that he was instructed that Watts was now free of the drug.

Judge Huw Rees, said on the day in question, both Davies and Watts had travelled to Swansea to buy drugs, and the fact that they had their young child in the car with them shows just how low class-A addiction makes you stoop.

He told Davies and Watts that they had “abrogated your responsibility as parents”.

Giving credit to the couple for their early guilty pleas, Davies was sentenced to three years in prison, serving half the three year sentence in custody, before serving the remaining sentence on licence in the community.

He sentenced Watts to two year imprisonment, suspended for 18 months with rehabilitation and unpaid work requirement.

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Education Minister announces ‘back to school’ plans for September

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DECISION backed with £29 million to recruit, recover and raise standards

The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has today confirmed that all pupils will be able to return to school in September.

“plan to open in September with 100% of pupils physically present on school sites, subject to a continuing, steady decline in the presence of COVID-19 in the community.”

The Minister announced that:

  • Schools will return to full capacity, with only limited social distancing within
    contact groups.
  • At full operations, a contact group should consist of around 30 children. Some direct or indirect mixing between children in different contact groups will also be unavoidable, such as on transport, receiving specialist teaching or due to staffing constraints.
  • Social distancing for adults should remain in line with regulations and guidance.
    Schools will be required to minimise the risk of transmission by taking other mitigating measures using the hierarchy of risk controls.
  • Every school should continue to be “Covid Protected” – having carried out risk assessments and mitigated them with a combination of controls such as hand and surface hygiene, one-way systems and so forth.
  • If early warning information shows a local incident or outbreak then nearby schools should implement appropriate restriction measures.
  • Each school will be provided with a supply of home testing kits.

The Minister confirmed that the autumn term will start on 1 st  September and schools that can accommodate all pupils from the start of the term should do so.

The Minister outlined plans just hours after confirming the Welsh Government would make £29m available to ‘recruit, recover and raise standards’ in Welsh schools in response to the impact still felt from the pandemic.

Commenting on the additional funding announced, the Minister added: “We will recruit, recover and continue to raise standards.”

It is thought that there will be around 800 newly qualified teachers in September and around 800 supply staff currently working within Wales.

“With this funding, we will recruit the equivalent of 600 extra teachers and 300 teaching assistants throughout the next school year.

“We will target extra support at Years 11, 12 and 13, as well as disadvantaged and vulnerable learners of all ages.

“The support package, provided at a school level, could include extra coaching support, personalised learning programmes and additional time and resources for exam year pupils.

“We must never lower our expectations for any of our young people, no matter their background.

“Together, we will continue to raise standards for all, reduce the attainment gap and ensure we have a system that is a source of pride and public confidence.”

Councillor Ian Roberts, WLGA Spokesperson for Education, said: “Since schools closed at the start of the crisis, many children and young people have felt anxious about loss of learning and not being able to see their friends.

The Minister’s plan today will enable schools to safely reopen classrooms from September. Local authorities will work closely with their schools to make sure that necessary arrangements are in place to abide by Welsh Government guidance.

“Our schools have been hit by severe disruption during this pandemic, and we welcome the £29m pledged by the Minister for targeted support to minimise the effects of the past few months on pupils.

We will continue to work together in partnership the safest and best possible learning experiences for our children and young people, especially in such challenging circumstances.”

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Latest ‘Life in Lockdown’ winner

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'Life in Lockdown' winner Jo Campbell

AN atmospheric black and white print of a padlocked gate and an inviting grassy area beyond is the latest winner in round five of the ‘Life in Lockdown’ photography competition.

The photograph was taken by Jo Campbell of Milford Haven who entitled it ‘Locked Out Lockdown’.

Submitting her portfolio, Jo observed: “These represent my lockdown and I hope people see theirs in these too.”

Jo was a runner-up in the last round.

Runner-up Albany Milton

The competition invites young people between the ages of 16 and 25 to submit pictures of life under the Covid-19 restrictions and is run by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Youth Outreach team.

The two runners-up were Albany Milton from Ludchurch – which showed her having a socially distanced catch-up with her gran – and Ethan Sky from Wiston who captured a peaceful countryside scene.

Ethan Sky also runner-up

Guest judge was youth worker, Fiona John.

For an application form contact either Chris Barrie at chris.barrie@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or phone 07717 345935 or Mel Lear at melissa.lear@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or 07818 012254.

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Self-employed urged to apply for grant if they’ve lost income due to Covid-19

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APPROXIMATELY 2,400 self-employed people in Pembrokeshire whose business has lost income due to coronavirus have not yet claimed a government grant worth 80% of their trading profits – and they have less than two weeks to submit their application.

The grant is available via the HMRC Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 26 March.

Although the scheme has recently been extended, the claim for the first grant must be made on or before July 13.

All those who are eligible in Pembrokeshire are urged to apply for the grant before the deadline if they haven’t done so already.

Under the scheme, the self-employed can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months. To be eligible, self-employed trading profits must be less than £50,000 and more than half of the person’s income must come from self-employment.

HMRC figures estimate there are 8,100 potentially eligible people in Pembrokeshire and some 5,700 claims have been made giving a take-up rate of 70%. This is below the Welsh average of 73% but in line with the UK average. The total value of claims made is £14.3m.

The Preseli Pembrokeshire parliamentary constituency has an estimated 5,300 people who are potentially eligible. Of these, 3,600 have made claims, a take-up rate of 68%.

The take-up rate in the part of the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituency that lies in Pembrokeshire is 75% (2,100 claims from 2,800 eligible people).

Self-employed people should also be aware that the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme is now being extended.

Eligible people are able to claim a second and final grant in August 2020. Their eligibility will be worked out in the same way as the first grant.

If they make a claim for the second grant they will have to confirm their business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020.

For more information on the HMRC Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

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