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Jail for Monkton man who assaulted and spat at police officer

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A MONKTON man with a lengthy criminal record has been jailed for assaulting an emergency worker and spitting at him twice following a hearing at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (Apr 27).

McAuley Dennis Richard Breen, 25, of Colley Court was jailed for 18 weeks, the magistrates saying that the seriousness of the offences, the defendant’s previous convictions as well as his failure to comply with court orders left them little choice.

The court heard that on Sunday (Apr 25) he was found to be in possession of cannabis, which was seized and ordered to be destroyed. The next day, in Haverfordwest, the court was told, the defendant assaulted PC Paul Boorman which included spitting on him twice.

Breen has been in trouble several times before, most famously six years ago, he threatened to rape a police officer’s wife and “eat his babies”.

At just 18 years of age he committed his first adult offence. A court heard that on August 4, 2014, police attended Upper Frog Street in Tenby, after door staff at the Prince of Wales nightclub reported a group of people acting aggressively. Breen was part of the group. The defendant was restrained, and was shouting some alarming things, the CPS said. “He said ‘I’m going to eat your babies; I’m going to kill you and I’m going to rape your wife.”

A woman who was present at the scene described the defendant as a “disgusting animal”. Breen spat at PC Doble and attempted to bite him on the leg. When PC Doble attempted to handcuff him, Breen dug his fingernails in to the back of the officer’s hand, causing a small cut. For that offence Magistrates sentenced Breen to a 12-month Community Order with supervision, to include 160 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to PC Doble and costs totalling £145.

In 2018 a fracas on the streets of Pembroke cost Breen £200.

He pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with the intention of causing fear of, or provoking violence, when he appeared before magistrates in March of that year.

The court heard that police arrived in Main Street, Pembroke, at 3am on February 4 to find around 20 people in the street, which some involved in fights and confrontations.

Breen, then 21, made threatening comments as he and another man were separated by police office from where they scuffled on the ground.

His solicitor at the time, Mike Kelleher, said his client was making attempts to change his life, had given up cannabis and was in the process of gaining catering qualifications.

On this occasion, Magistrates fined Breen £80 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 surcharge.

In 2019, Class A drugs were found on Breen’s person. He pleaded guilty to possession of 4.4 grams of MDMA when he appeared at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Magistrates fined Breen £120 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 surcharge.

In May 2019 Breen was back in court. He admitted failing to comply with supervision requirements following release from a period of detention and was sentenced Breen to 14 days in prison.

The court heard that Breen, 23, had missed three appointments with the probation service and failed to keep in contact with his supervising officer.

Julie Norman of the probation service said a warrant had been issued for Breen’s arrest after he failed to stay in contact after February 7. She added that he had a previous conviction for failing to comply with a court order.

Breen was released from prison on October 18 after serving a sentence for possession of a bladed article.

By October 2019, Breen, now 23, was back in court again. He had been found guilty in his absence of dishonestly making off without paying a £27.80 fare, after taking a taxi from Haverfordwest to Pembroke on December 27 the previous year. But he missed his trial because he believed he had already admitted leaving a taxi without paying.

Mike Kelleher, defending, said: “Mr Breen had been out in Haverfordwest and was the worse for wear. He had a taxi back to Pembroke and argued with the driver over the fare.

“He went into the garage, came out and there was another argument. He left the scene but there was no doubt who he was.”

“It’s an offence without any great planning. It was spur of the moment stuff while he was intoxicated.

Mr Kelleher added that Breen had not appeared at his trial as he was “firmly of the view that he had already been dealt with for this matter”, and thought the hearing was on a different date.

“He thought that he had already pleaded guilty.”

“He was not denying that this had happened and accepted that he was at fault for it.”

Whist fining him, chairman of the bench said: “I hope you get a job and I hope that this is the last time we see you in court.”

But it was not to be, he is now in prison.

News

Milford Haven: Concerns over council refuse collection staff using drugs on duty

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL have confirmed that they are conducting an ongoing internal investigation.

The probe is relating to “illegal drug use by on-duty refuge collection crews” operating from the Thornton Refuge Depot in Milford Haven.

The Herald understands that following suspicions being raised, drug testing was carried out on refuse crews on Monday (May 10) – all before they left their depot.

This newspaper has been told that a number staff, which includes bin lorry drivers, tested positive for drug use, and that the council called in the police.

That information was passed to The Herald by someone who we have confirmed to be a member of staff working at Pembrokeshire County Council, who did not want to be named.

After a request for a statement, a spokesperson for the council has stressed that none of their vehicles were involved, suggesting that, on the day in question, positive tests were arrived at before any bin lorries had left the depot.

As part of the multi-agency operation the police were called and attended Thornton Refuse Depot, but did not make any arrests, and said they had little involvement in the operation.

Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there is an ongoing internal workplace investigation and can clarify that there was no police involvement on the day in question – no Pembrokeshire County Council vehicles were involved.

“We are not in a position to comment any further at this time.”

Dyfed Powys Police told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “At the request of Pembrokeshire County Council, officers attended Thornton Refuse Depot to provide [them with] support on the morning of Monday, May 10.

“Officers attended; however they were not utilised.”

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News

Council’s Planning Committee approves ambitious dockyard plans

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’s Planning Committee this morning (Tuesday, May 18) approved an application for the construction of a new marine engineering project at Pembroke Dock’s Royal Dockyard.
The plans, vociferously opposed by local heritage groups, passed unanimously.

The matter will now go to the Welsh Government, which has reserved its position on the scheme’s approval.
Committee members expressed the view that the balance between heritage and economic development were balanced, with strong views expressed on either side. They decided the balance of the application favoured economic development subject to conditions regarding aspects of the site’s preservation and its ability to be restored in the future.

The Committee members who attended a site visit on Wednesday, May 12, said it was the most informative and best site visit they had this council term. Visiting the site gave them a clearer idea about what was planned and the scale of the project, which would not have been gained from a paper exercise.

While the approval of the scheme was unanimous, one element of the reserved matters caused some members concern: the height and size of the proposed massive new sheds which would be built at a later phase of the project.
Cllr David Pugh, seconded by Cllr Steve Alderman, moved an amendment which would approve the project and delegate reserved matters to officers apart from the sheds’ construction, which would return to the Committee for detailed approval.

Cllr Tony Wilcox and Cllr Mark Carter emphasised the need for certainty regarding the project’s development, a position supported by Cllr David Howlett, Cllrs Pugh, Alderman and Cllr Stephen Joseph said that little delay would be caused to the scheme by bringing the sheds’ development back to the Committee. They noted the significant intrusion of the sheds into the landscape for miles around.

Planning Officer Mike Simmons advised that the project would proceed in five phases and that the applicant, Milford Haven Port Authority, was keen to proceed with the first phase as soon as possible. The first phase would be the infilling of the docks and pool, removing a caisson gate and preserving it, before the building of new slipways.
The Port Authority already accepted the sheds would only be built if there was commercial demand for them.
The amendment proposed by Cllr Pugh passed by six votes to five with two abstentions.

It means before the sheds are built, the Committee will decide the detailed application relating to them.

All other aspects of the development will be decided by officers.

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Business

Further Covid-19 business support packages to become available soon

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PEMBROKESHIRE businesses that remain affected by Covid-19 restrictions can check their eligibility for a new package of support from the Welsh Government.

This latest support package will help those businesses eligible to meet ongoing costs through to the end of June as they prepare for re-opening and more normal trading conditions.

Businesses that stand to benefit include:

  • nightclubs and late entertainment venues
  • events and conference venues not covered by the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF)
  • hospitality and leisure businesses, including restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • supply chain business, which have been materially impacted by restrictions

An eligibility checker has opened on the Business Wales website so businesses can find out how much support they are likely to be entitled to and how to apply.

See more information and check your business’ eligibility at: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/

Funding will be calculated based on the size of the business and the type of restrictions they are under.

Businesses will be able submit applications to the Welsh Government from 24th May 2021 for grants of up to £25,000 and by the end of the month to Pembrokeshire County Council for smaller fixed Discretionary Grants.

To keep up to date and see the future application process for the Discretionary Grants please see: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

The above link will be be updated with the latest information.  

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