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Pair guilty of ‘sordid’ insurance scam

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BMW_X5_II_20090913_rearA WOMAN from south Pembrokeshire and a man from Carmarthenshire admitted an attempt to defraud the Tesco Car Insurance Company at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Helen Jane Arthur, 43, of Ridgeway, Saundersfoot, and Paul Biella, 26, of College Square, Llanelli, stood in the dock together as they both entered guilty pleas to fraud by false representation, contrary to the Fraud Act 1996.
CPS Prosecutor Gerald Neave told the court that the co-defendants had “met by chance” at the Cross Roads service station in Kilgetty.
Gerald Neave explained: “Arthur had pulled into the garage in her BMW X5. As she was buying petrol, co-defendant Biella noticed the for sale sign in the car window. He offered Arthur £4,000 for the car, but she felt this was not enough and they could not agree a price.”
He added: “Several weeks later when times were hard, a friend suggested to Arthur that she should accept the offer and she searched through her mobile phone to find his number and then eventually got into contact with him.”
Mr. Neave continued: “However, on contacting the co-defendant rather than offering the £4,000 he said that if Arthur paid him £500 he would arrange for the car to be ‘stolen’ and she could claim for the loss of the car against her Tesco car insurance policy.”
“They agreed on this plan of action, and Biella affixed new number plates to the car and collected it from Saundersfoot” Mr. Neave told the court: “At 4.15pm on June 28, Arthur called the police and reported her vehicle stolen. PC Jones attended and took a report. Although Arthur claimed to be in possession of the spare keys, she could not produce them to the police. Police number plate recognition cameras revealed no trace of the car,” he said.
Mr Neave added: “However police were alerted to another vehicle with a different registration mark leaving Pembrokeshire and heading towards Llanelli. When they checked the details they found that the co-defendant Biella was an insured driver. A search of this Llanelli home revealed documents including a service manual for Arthur’s car. He was then arrested and eventually admitted the offences in interview.”
Arthur also admitted to police that she was part of the scam.
Defending, Michael Kelleher said: “Arthur is a lady of clean character hitherto, she has entered a timely guilty plea. She has never been involved with any dishonesty before, and wonders how she got involved in this sordid scam. She has had several family problems. She had bought the BMW X5 and a horse with inheritance money; she wanted a strong car for a horse box.”
Mr. Kelleher said things went wrong when she had various difficulties with her children, which The Herald cannot report as the court has placed us under reporting restrictions.
“The result of these problems was that she needed to sell this vehicle,” Mr Kelleher said.
He added: “It is still Arthur’s position that she was not the prime mover, however we have to accept that this could not have happened had she not agreed to report the vehicle stolen. So they are both in this together.”
Mr Kelleher told the court that he had three character references for Arthur which showed her to be a hard-working parent holding down a part time job at a supermarket.
“The vehicle was returned and Tesco did not pay out. The only person who lost out here was Arthur for paying half of the £500 which her co-defendant had asked for,” he said.
Before retiring for lunch the chairman of the bench said that he was considering all sentencing options from a community sentence to custody.
Following the adjournment, Probation Service Officer, Mrs Norman explained to the court that Biella wasn’t sure what he was going to do with the car, and hadn’t thought that far ahead.
Mrs Norman told the court: “Biella has been suffering from anxiety and depression but is actively looking for work in order to get his life back on track.”
When asked by the probation officer where he would have got the money from when he originally offered £4,000, he said he would have got the money from his parents.
The court was told by probation that it was money issues had prompted this behaviour from Biella.
On sentencing Biella, magistrates said: ”We seriously considered your situation because you’ve got a criminal record already. It was almost a split decision whether or not we should send you to prison.”
For his part in the plot he was given an 18 month community order and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also fined £145.
On sentencing Arthur, magistrates said: “We have decided to sentence you to a community order. We have reduced your sentence from 16 to 12 months, because of your guilty plea.”
Arthur was also ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and fined £145.
The chairman of the bench said to the pair: “If we see you in court again you are likely to go to prison”.

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Angle Lifeboat tasked to disabled yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head

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Image Credit - RNLI Penny Harris

ANGLE LIFEBOAT and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

Angle Lifeboat and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

The lifeboat was launched at 10:43pm to a 26ft yacht that had reported smoke coming from their engine compartment. The casualty vessel was 22 miles south west of St Ann’s with two crew onboard.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 11:46pm. The on scene assessment was carried out and both crew were safe and well but the vessel would need to be towed to Milford Haven. The tow was set up and the casualty vessel was under tow at 11:56pm.

The conditions were perfect for the slow tow back which saw a beautiful moon rising and the early glow of dawn.

Lifeboat arrived at Milford and swapped the casualty vessel to an alongside tow to take it alongside in to the lock at Milford Marina where the casualty was safely tied up at 04:49am.

The lifeboat rehoused at 05:15am where she got her well deserved washdown and the crew headed home to get some sleep.

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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor

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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

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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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