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Samurai attacker jailed for four years

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swordA MASKED man armed with a samurai sword who put six people through a “petrifying ordeal” has been jailed today for four years and eight months.

Kyle Poole, aged 26, admitted kidnapping Luke Jones and his girlfriend Hannah Wright, and causing affray at the home of Carwyn Jones.

Parick Griffiths, prosecuting, told Swansea crown court how Poole, from Stockport near Manchester, had visited his aunt, Michaela Jones, in Cardigan and had been told that Carwyn Jones, then her boyfriend, had been involved in a minor act of violence.

Poole decided to take revenge and drove to Mr Jones’ home, Hafod Llwyd Farm, at Llechryd.

He used a scarf as a mask and put on a pair of latex gloves before bursting into a caravan in the grounds of the farmhouse and “scaring the daylight” out of Mr Jones and Miss Wright.

Poole punched Mr Jones to his eye and demanded to know where he could find Carwyn Jones.

Poole then placed two large kitchen knives in his left hand and a three foot long samurai sword in his right hand and marched the couple to the farmhouse.

He burst into the living room where Carwyn Jones was watching television with his three children, aged between seven and 14.

“It is not difficult to imagine the terror they would have felt,” said Mr Griffiths.

Poole told Carwyn Jones he was going to “slice him up” and lunged at him with the knives and the sword. Mr Jones grabbed the blade of the sword but Poole “kept on coming” and cut his hand and his cheek.

Carwyn Jones managed to push him away and all six victims fled in different directions.

Carwyn and Luke Jones locked themselves in the caravan, three minors who were also present ran out onto a road, and Miss Wright spent twenty minutes hiding behind a wall “scared out of her wits” that Poole would find her.

A motorist rescued the children and telephoned the police.

Poole was seen to drive away from the farm in a Vauxhall car, which he crashed into a fence and abandoned. He was arrested later in Cardigan.

Poole maintained he had intended to frighten Carwyn Jones but not to harm him.

Judge Keith Thomas said when people armed themselves with knives then serious injury can follow.

He said Poole had been “masked and armed to the teeth” and had put his victims through a petrifying experience.

Judge Thomas said he regarded the kidnaps and the violence at the farmhouse as separate incidents.

He jailed Poole for 32 months for the kidnaps, with an additional 24 months for the affray.

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Concern over misuse of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard

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PEMBROKESHIRE residents are being asked not to wear the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower as proof of exemption from wearing a face covering, unless they have a genuine need.

The call comes following concern that the lanyards, commonly used as a discreet way of helping the wearer inform staff, colleagues and health professionals that they need additional support, help or time, are being used to avoid wearing a face covering during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jessica Hatchett, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Access Officer, said “Any fraudulent use of the Sunflower reduces its effectiveness for those who genuinely need it, as not all disabilities are obvious.

“I would like to remind those who need the lanyard to get it from a legitimate source, and not pay higher prices for copies that promote incorrect use.

“Even if you are exempt from wearing a face covering, you may not need the lanyard.”

A spokesman for the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower said: “We in no way condone the misuse of our Sunflower lanyard, and find it distressing it might be used for this purpose.

“We do not ask for proof of the wearer’s disability, as some are yet to be diagnosed, or have conditions that are difficult to diagnose.

“The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is designed to discreetly indicate that the wearer or someone with them has a hidden disability – if that is not you, then please desist from wearing our Sunflower lanyard.”

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a global scheme, with an increasing number of businesses and organisations in the UK, including supermarkets, train and bus stations, leisure facilities and the NHS, now recognising the lanyard.

Face coverings remain a legal requirement in all indoor public places in Wales, including public transport and taxis, and where takeaway food and drink is sold.

This applies to everyone aged 11 and over, unless an exception applies. Children under 11 do not have to wear a face covering.

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Pembrokeshire residents aged 75 to 79 years to receive their first COVID vaccine

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LETTERS will arrive in the coming days inviting Pembrokeshire residents aged 75 to 79 years to receive their first COVID vaccine at a mass vaccination centre, Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) has announced.

The letter will provide an appointment time at one of the following mass vaccination centres: Haverfordwest – Pembrokeshire Archives, Prendergast; and Tenby – Tenby Leisure Centre.

These mass vaccination centres will provide a safe environment, space to maintain social distancing while allowing more people to be vaccinated as efficiently and as quickly as possible.

It is vital that you make every effort to attend your appointment.

You will need to delay your vaccination if you have had a positive coronavirus test within 28 days of this appointment or if you are unwell with a fever, have a new continuous cough or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

Please let us know if you cannot attend or need to delay your appointment as soon as possible by calling the number provided in your appointment letter. This will mean we can give your appointment to someone else and save NHS resources.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Until now we have been using our mass vaccination centres to vaccinate our front-line staff in health, social care and care homes. With over 85% of front-line health workers having had their first dose, and seeing rapid progress with care home staff and social care staff, we are now moving onto the next phase of our delivery plan.

“The opening of our mass vaccination centres to the public will allow us to offer more people a vaccine as soon as supplies are available to us. If you have received an invitation it is because you are in a priority group and at greater risk of complications if you catch COVID-19.

“Vaccines are safe, effective and save lives and the COVID vaccine offers our community hope. By receiving your vaccine, you will continue to play your small but incredibly important part in protecting yourself, the most vulnerable in our communities and our local NHS. Thank you.”

When you attend your appointment please bring with you:

Your appointment letter

Some ID such as your passport, driving license or utility bill in your name
A face mask (if you don’t have one, you will be given one)
People aged 80 years and over will continue to be invited by their GP practice to receive the vaccine, all of which have now received a supply of vaccines. The health board has also commissioned GP practices to vaccinate housebound patients and residents in our care homes.

Hywel Dda UHB is working to offer a vaccine to everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 by mid-February. People over 70 years of age and everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable as part of priority group 4 will be invited next to receive a vaccine. The health board will provide further information at the earliest opportunity.

Please do not attend any vaccination venue without an appointment and do not contact your GP, pharmacy or health board to ask when you will be invited. People are being invited to receive the vaccine in order of priority and we thank you for your patience.

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A4076 reopens following accident where everyone ‘miraculously walked away’

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THERE was a road traffic accident in icy and snowy conditions on the A4076 Dredgemans Hill on Sunday afternoon.

Emergency services were called to the scene at around 1.30pm to an accident involving a number of vehicles.

A number of readers sent photos in to the Herald.

The road re-opened at 3pm after a brief closure.

A witness said: “It was a miracle but we have all walked away from this.”

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