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Bradley Manning jailed for 35 years

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35 YEARS’ imprisonment faces former Tasker Milward pupil Bradley Manning, following his conviction of offences related to the provision of confidential military and diplomatic material to the Wikileaks website. He has also been dishonourably discharged from the US Army.

Passing the sentence Judge Colonel Denise Lind said that credit would be given to Manning for the three and a half years for the time spent on remand awaiting trial and remitted a further period of 112 days due to the harsh conditions in which he had originally been kept.

Prosecutors had sought a significantly longer sentence for Manning, who was cleared of offences that could potentially have led to the death penalty being passed on him.

Speaking after sentencing, Manning’s lawyer David Coombs said that he would be asking US President Barack Obama for a pardon for his client. ‘The time to end Brad’s suffering is now.’ Mr Coombs told the press after the hearing.

According to his lawyer Pte Manning said ‘The decisions I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world we live in,’

Reading his client’s statement Mr Coombs went on, ‘When I chose to disclose classified information… I did so out of love for our country and a sense of duty for others. If you deny my request for a pardon I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society.’

The sentence came after ten weeks of hearings and legal argument. Following his conviction, the Court had heard of Manning’s troubled psychiatric history. Expert witness Captain David Moulton USN testified that Pte Manning felt abandoned by friends and family and that his personal relationship was ‘in a rough patch’.

According to evidence presented by the defence, Private Manning’s military supervisors ignored warning signs about his mental condition, including an incident when he tried to grab a gun during a counselling session.

Defence attorney David Coombs argued in Court that his client’s erratic behaviour in the period leading up to the leak of the documents was evidence that Private Manning was unfit for overseas service in Iraq.

Mr Coombs said that his client would be eligible for release in about seven years’ time.

Bradley Manning’s sentence will be subject to automatic review and may be reduced as part of that process.

It is thought Private Manning will serve his time at Fort Leavenworth, a military installation in Kansas.

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Police investigating asylum seeker protests for possible breach of coronavirus rules

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE says it is investigating the recent protests by service users at the Asylum Accommodation Centre, Penally.

The initial protest Wednesday night (Jan 13) saw around thirty asylum seekers from Penally camp march into Tenby, eventually heading out of the town around 10.30 pm.

On Thursday afternoon they were back in Tenby again, but this time in slightly larger numbers chanting: “Freedom! Not Prison!”

Superintendent Anthony Evans, Divisional Commander for Pembrokeshire, said: “While we will always work to facilitate peaceful protest, we are in very challenging times, and each and every one of us is being directed to comply with laws put in place to protect public health.

“We are in regular contact with management and service users at the Penally Asylum Accommodation Centre, and have built positive relationships with them and the local community.

“Together with others who are working with the individuals at the centre, we have engaged and encouraged compliance with the regulations to ensure social distancing.

“Following this week’s protests on foot, police have visited the Asylum Accommodation Centre and further engaged with service users. Welsh Government coronavirus regulations have been
reinforced and we are gathering evidence to enable enforcement where appropriate.

“Everyone is asked to do what we should do, not what we believe we can do, in order to minimise travel and contact with those outside our households.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn issued the following statement: “The situation at the Penally Asylum Accommodation Centre is complex and sensitive, and I would like to reassure the local communities of Penally and Tenby, that I am regularly being updated by Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Officers of developments in and around the Centre.

“I’m aware that police were in attendance during protests that have taken place this week, and I was pleased to hear that the protests were peaceful with no disorder reported.

“These are extremely difficult times for all of us. I have seen first-hand the difficult circumstances encountered by individuals that are residing at the centre and I have met with the

Chief Inspector of Asylum and Immigration who gave me assurances about an independent inspection that will take place in the near future.

“However, now is not the time to be gathering to hold protests, and I can understand the frustrations of the local communities when observing such activities.

“Officers will and have been acting accordingly when Covid-19 regulations are breached, and I’m reassured that the Force have been liaising with the site management team to educate them of the Force’s four E principles’ approach – engage, explain, encourage and enforce.

“I am also pushing for additional funding from the Home Office to support local resources that have been put under pressure as a result of the decision to utilise the camp as an asylum centre.

“In the meantime, we remain in regular contact with local partners and service providers, monitoring all situations around the facility.”

MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire and Wales’ Secretary of State, Simon Hart said “I agree with local residents that this appears to make a mockery of Covid rules which people have worked so hard to observe.

“I have asked the Home Office and Police and Crime Commissioner (for Dyfed-Powys police) for an urgent explanation as to how they plan ensure that Covid rules are properly and evenly applied.”

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Pembrokeshire County Council Leader’s coronavirus update (Jan 15)

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further coronavirus update for Friday, January 15, as follows:

‘Welcome to my weekly update, I hope you are all well and staying safe

‘This week I want to reach out and thank everyone that has been adhering to the guidance to stay at home and exercise from your house.

‘I really do appreciate that these restrictions are affecting our lives but they are in place for a reason – to protect everyone one of us and to protect our NHS.

‘I’m aware of so many people that have not seen their family for months.

‘The vast majority of people are following the rules and it is important that is recognised.

‘The sacrifices we are all making is hard but necessary, so thank you for being considerate and staying safe

‘We are now all aware of how quickly the virus is spreading and the new strain is impacting far more on our lives than last year – so we all need to take extra care and look after ourselves.

‘Every day we all have to make a decision. Every day we have to decide whether our journeys are essential and necessary.

‘I want to remind everyone that it is not permitted to drive to an area to exercise – exercise should be done from home.

‘We are aware that some ‘hot spots’ are seeing high volume of people.

‘Remember, these locations will be there when we get out of lockdown for you to enjoy – now is not the time to visit.

‘If you need to go out, plan your journey to minimise the interaction with others to stop the spread of the virus.

‘The vaccine roll out is a leap forward, however, this will take time and we need to keep doing what is right for our families and communities.

‘Please keep up to date with our news and updates by visiting our website https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/resident or following us on Twitter and Facebook – our social media messages and articles will keep you updated.

‘I’m very pleased to see that more people are now linked up with the Authority through My Account and connecting with us through our social media sites – thank you.

‘On a personal note I want to conclude this week by saying a huge thank you to those of you who are working together to reduce the spread of the virus.

‘However, there are some people that are still not following the guidance. To those people I would say: Please ask yourselves some simple questions

Am I doing the right things?
Am I helping to fight this virus?
Can I do more to stop the virus spreading?

Remember
Stay at home
Work from home if you can
Wash Your Hands regularly
Wear a mask when required

‘If you have Covid symptoms then you need to be tested. Call 119 to arrange a test or go to https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

‘Please everyone – stay safe, look after yourselves and stay home.’

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Flo Evans: Was Cooper responsible?

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‘THE PEMBROKESHIRE MURDERS’ has brought the crimes of local man, John Cooper, back to the forefront of our minds.
A notorious and brutal man, his crime spree, which could have started as early as 1961, would go on to leave 4 people dead, 30 homes burgled and 2 serious sexual assaults.

But now many local people worry that Cooper, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2011, may have been responsible for more.

This weeks ‘The Pembrokeshire Herald’ printed edition takes an in-depth look at 2 mysterious deaths in Llangolman, but there’s another death far closer to Cooper’s former stomping ground that the family believe could be connected to ‘The Bullseye Killer’.

At the time of her death in 1989, the same year that the Dixon’s met their grisly demise on the coastal path near Little Haven, frail 77 year old Flo Evans lived in Jordanston, a stones throw from Cooper’s house and well within his patch, in fact Mrs. Evans was mentioned by Cooper during police interviews.
It was later revealed that both John and Pat would visit Flo and John would do odd-jobs around her home.
Flo, it’s believed, liked the couple so much that she tried to help them secure land nearby for a small-holding.

Days after telling her friends that she was unable to find her house keys, Flo Evans was found dead in her bathtub, fully clothed.

Mrs. Evans death was, at the time, believed to be the result of her slipping and banging her head before falling into the bath and drowning.
Flo’s family never believed that version of events, talking to The Sun, Flo’s great-niece Rena Murphy said: “Aunt Flo was very set in her ways, she did things in a particular fashion.
“But the way she was found fully clothed in a cold bath and with no money in the house . . . we knew it was suspicious.”

Flo’s niece, Jean, said “Cooper knew my aunt. He visited her regularly and would have known there was always money in her handbag and more hidden upstairs.
“He lived across the fields from her and that fits with the way he approached his other victims.

“We could never understand why Aunt Flo was found dead in the bath with all her clothes on.
“She always lit a fire in the kitchen to heat the water before taking a bath and that fire wasn’t lit.”
“Money was missing, she didn’t have her false teeth in, the TV wasn’t switched off properly and the front door was open.”
Jean went on: “Hopefully, the police will now reopen the case. It would give us some closure.”

Rena finished by saying: “Even if they never charge him, we will still have the satisfaction of knowing he is locked up for good.”

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