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Closing arguments at Swansea Crown Court in James Oulton case



THE CLOSING arguments in the trial of a Haverfordwest primary school teacher accused of sexually assaulting 11 children have been heard at Swansea Crown Court today (Apr 30).

In her closing statement, the prosecuting barrister, Clare Wilks told the jury that they must consider the evidence concerning James Oulton, 34, fairly and remain unemotional.

Ms Wilks described the defendant as “an extremely popular teacher at the school who had ample opportunity to act.”

She told the court how his actions were “deliberate and subtle”, and that James Oulton had “perfected his technique so not to get caught.”

But Defending, QC Chris Clee told the jury that it would be easy to think the “weight of numbers must mean he is guilty” but asked the jury to also consider the numbers of students Oulton has taught throughout his career – 673 pupils.

Chris Clee QC said the 11 children who have made allegations against him amount to just 1.7% of the children he had taught.

He reminded the jury how the burden to prove guilt lies with the prosecution and it is not down to the defendant to prove his innocence.

Mr Clee added that Oulton was cautioned at the start of each interview, and despite the prosecution accusing the defendant of “setting up his defence” and accusing him of “getting more savvy as the interviews went on”, he had no obligation to answer any of the questions put to him in the initial interviews.

He added: “He chose to answer every question and give evidence in this court, he didn’t have to do neither.”

Oulton’s barrister told the jury that DC Evans, the investigating officer in the case, held the view that his client’s primary reason to teach was “to get closer to children, especially girls.”

He told the court how Oulton volunteered all passwords to electronic devices that the police seized.

He said that if the prosecution is right in this case, that the fact Oulton was able to carry out these events in broad daylight without being caught was a stroke of “extraordinary luck”.

Turning to the credibility of the prosecution witnesses, he told the court how ten of the eleven victims had “positive feelings towards James Oulton.”

Responding to the prosecution case that Oulton kept the cards and letters from the children as “some form of insurance or trophy” – he added, it was a “straightforward common sense it was evidence of affection the children felt for James Oulton.”

Clee branded another witness a “bully” saying there was clear collusion between them – as another witness went along with her as she was “scared of her” and said that it “snowballed from there”.

He added: “It is inconsistent, unreliable and not worthy of belief.”

Tackling the accusation made by one of the witnesses that Oulton had a cupboard in his classroom which contained alcohol and party invites for the children, he said these allegations were “entering into the realms of fantasy”.

QC Clee also accused DC Evans of cajoling the witnesses during their interviews, with a police officer asking one child: “Is there anything else? I feel like you’re holding back?”

Speaking of the six defence witnesses who gave evidence in support of Oulton, he said: “They were prepared to come to court and give evidence in support of him.

“By giving evidence that tells you the allegations are not true.”

However, the adult witnesses were not willing to be named in the media, and the defence applied for a press gagging order saying that they would be reluctant to attend court to support Oulton otherwise. The order was granted.

The case will continue Tuesday, May 4.

It is expected that there will be a verdict in the case next week.


Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor



A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police



POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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Polling station changes in Pembrokeshire



POLLING STATIONS in Pembrokeshire are open today (May 6) but a small number may have changed from the last time you voted.

In Neyland, the polling station will be at the new Community Hub building on John Street.

St Katherine’s Church Hall will be the new host for the station in Milford Haven, having previously been held at the Murray Suite in the town hall.

A polling station will be placed at the leisure centre in Haverfordwest while one at Trecwn has been moved to the Gate, Scleddau.

Voters in the county will be electing for the Preseli Pembrokeshire and the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituencies.

People will also be able to select five MSs to represent the Mid and West Wales Region.

The candidate with the most votes will win the constituency but the ballot for the region will be decided by a different process.

People will be elected according to their share of the vote, using a mathematical process, and gives parties who may have won fewer or no constituencies a better chance of winning regional ones.

It will also be a big day for 16 and 17 year olds as they will be able to vote in Welsh elections for the first time.

The ballots will be counted on Friday (May 7) with results expected to come in from the afternoon.

Polling stations opened at 7am and will close at 10pm.

All those who vote will be required to stick to Covid-19 safety measures including wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Clean pencils will be available but voters can bring their own pen or pencil.

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