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Tributes pour in for Derek

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DerekRoberts

ONE of Pembrokeshire’s most popular football figures lost his fight against cancer on Sunday night.

Sixty-year-old Derek Roberts passed away at Withybush Hospital where he had worked as an employee for most of his working life.

Many tributes have already been placed on Twitter and Facebook as the sad news spread amongst the community.

Derek played for Haverfordwest County Youth in the team that beat Carew to lift the Wiltshire Cup in 1970. Derek also made his debut in the early 1970s playing as a defender for Haverfordwest County in the old Welsh League Division One. He later played for the highly successful Merlins Bridge team who won Pembrokeshire Football League division one two years on the trot in 1979 and ’80, and the same team won the Senior Cup three times from 1978 to 1980, and achieved the double two years running.

Following his retirement from football he took up many coaching and managerial positions with teams such as Merlins Bridge, Camrose and Haverfordwest County.

He also gained an ‘a licence’ as a football coach with good friend Michael Ellis, and had spells as an academy coach with Cardiff City and Swansea City.

Earlier this year Derek underwent a successful liver transplant in a hospital in Birmingham.

Following his recuperation this summer he felt a lot better and set up his own football coaching school for children at the Bridge Meadow called the ‘Soccer Blast Coaching For Kids.’ All the money raised from these sessions was handed to Birmingham Royal Infirmary and Wales Air Ambulance.

In August, Derek was thrown a surprise 60th birthday at the Haverfordwest County clubhouse where many family and friends celebrated.

Haverfordwest County chairman Rob Summons said: “Derek was a fantastic and genuine man who was a great friend to me. I will miss him greatly but will treasure the memories of all the good times we had together. He was one of the bravest people I have ever known.”Former Bluebirds manager and friend Michael Ellis said: “It is such sad news that Derek has passed away.“I can’t believe it’s happened so quickly. Life is hard to take when someone so special is taken so early in life.”

Pembrokeshire League secretary Brian Hawkins said: “The Pembrokeshire Football League would like to pass on our sincere condolences to the family. Our thoughts are with them during this sad time. He spent a lot of time coaching in Pembrokeshire and will be sorely missed.”

The funeral will take place next Monday, December 11 at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth at 3.15pm, and after the service the wake will be at Haverfordwest Golf Club.

There will be no flowers and all donations are for the Liver Transplant Foundation in Birmingham. All cheques made payable to Mr Rob Summons, 19 West Street, Rosemarket, SA71 1JH.

Chris O’Sullivan, Haverfordwest County

The Man was a true Gentleman, a proper mans man, always had class about him no matter what he said or did.! This world at times is very unfair, takes all the good ones.! Was an absolute pleasure to play my football in an around the same football club as him for so long, great coach and an absolute great man.. RIP Mr Derek Roberts you will be missed greatly xxx

Adam Raymond, Formerly Haverfordwest County

Absolutely stunned and devastated to hear the news about a true Pembrokeshire football great. My first county coach and the man who gave me so many opportunities in the game. An absolute gentleman and somebody who I could always rely on for advice and guidance. Rest in Peace Derek Rocco Roberts x

Jason Rice Merlins Bridge

The Pembs football community has sadly lost a great man I’m DEREK ROBERTS, it was Derek that gave me baptism of fire debut in Pembs footie as a 17 yr old way back in 1990 down in S’Foot, I came on for last 10 mins for the Merlins Bridge for legend Tony Jones who got injured (shock)! ,Derek simply said Ricey I know your keen but just enjoy it, show us what u got but don’t do anything silly, next thing I get nut megged so I just turn around and before the bastard crosses it, bang i take him down… yellow card! Fair play mind Derek after game put his hand on my shoulder and said, well done Ricey, good tackle but next time tuck your balls away and close your legs, even only last year we still laughed about that. brilliant advice by a brilliant coach which I’ve never forgotten.RIP Derek.

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Vulnerable man targeted by rogue trader

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A ROGUE trader has been ordered to pay almost £2,000 by a court after carrying out shocking DIY work for a vulnerable Jameston man.

Pembrokeshire Trading Standards prosecuted 20-year-old Douggie James Whitbread who traded as Wales and West Property Solution.

Haverfordwest Magistrates were told on Friday (Oct 23) that a joint investigation with Dyfed-Powys Police discovered that Whitbread of 8 Coldwell Terrace, Pembroke, first approached the 66-year-old victim in the summer of 2019.

After agreeing to cut the man’s grass, Whitbread made regular accompanied visits looking for other jobs and pressurising the pensioner to have them done.

The victim did not know him as Douggie Whitbread as the defendant gave a false name.

Whitbread offered to fit new floor lino in the toilet and small adjoining passageway of the victim’s home, saying he would do a good job. Instead, the court heard, he and a fellow worker spent less than an hour and charged £300.

The standard of the work was shocking and showed Whitbread’s inept ability. Jagged edges and numerous gaps were left where it had not been fitted correctly, exposing the existing floor underneath.

Despite there being enough lino on the two metre by two metre roll, Whitbread told the victim he needed more to finish the job.

A few weeks later the victim was approached by Whitbread at a bus stop near his home. He said he would return the next day to finish the work and that he wanted another £300.

The victim informed a neighbour and Pembrokeshire County Council’s Trading Standards team and when Whitbread returned he was arrested by police.

Whitbread was also questioned about another incident involving hedge-cutting for an elderly lady and admitted taking away the waste as advertised on his business flyer. However, he did not hold a Waste Carrier Licence at the time.

Whitbread admitted four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. These were: carrying out work not fit for purpose; trading without professional diligence; omitting to give required information for doorstep contracts and advertising and conducting waste removal services when not licensed.

A £200 fine was imposed for each offence together with £1,000 costs plus a £110 victim surcharge. A compensation order for £300 was also awarded to the victim and a restraining order imposed prohibiting Whitbread from approaching the pensioner indefinitely.

“I am appalled by the standard of work and how this vulnerable gentleman has been hounded and taken advantage of” said Sandra McSparron, Lead Trading Standards Officer. She added that the incidents had left the victim anxious and unwell.

The County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Cris Tomos, said: “This court case sends a clear warning to rogue traders that targeting the elderly and vulnerable for financial gain will not be tolerated. We will pursue and prosecute all those who commit such despicable crimes.”

Councillor Tomos also said the case showed the great community spirit of Jameston residents looking out for one another and was a fine example of successful partnership work between the police and Trading Standards.

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Drug driver arrested in Milford Haven after driving through stop sign and into roadworks

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A DRUG driver who drove through a stretch of roadworks on the wrong side of the road, before hitting a parked car and trying to hide from police has appeared in court.

Christopher John Brown led Dyfed-Powys Police officers on a pursuit through Milford Haven on Friday afternoon (October 23), putting pedestrians and other road users at risk.

Pembrokeshire Roads Policing Unit have thanked people for their help in tracing the 31-year-old, of Meyler Crescent, after the manner of his driving became so dangerous they could no longer follow him.

A Roads Policing Officer had attempted to stop Brown at around 1pm when he was seen driving out of The Mount estate at speed.

However, he failed to stop when requested and sped away in his BMW.

As police followed, Brown drove on the wrong side of the road, overtook a number of cars waiting at roadworks, and drove through a stop sign, forcing an off duty officer to take evasive action as the defendant drove towards him.

Police deemed the danger level too high to continue the pursuit when Brown drove through a coned area of roadworks where there were a number of people working.

At this point, members of the public pointed out to officers which direction he had driven in.

Brown went on to collide with a parked car, before getting out of his vehicle and attempting to hide behind another. He was found by a PC, who arrested him on suspicion of dangerous driving and administered a drug wipe.

A Pembrokeshire RPU spokesman said: “This was a highly dangerous incident, during which Brown put a number of people’s lives at risk.

“Driving through a stop sign and into a coned area of roadworks was simply beyond comprehension, and could have had a tragic outcome.

“As we decided to end the pursuit, we were assisted by a number of people, and the team would like to thank members of the public in Milford Haven for their help in tracing Brown.

“Your support is greatly appreciated.”

Brown was charged with dangerous driving, driving with no insurance, driving while disqualified, failing to stop when requested by police, and possession of cannabis.

His vehicle, which had no insurance, tax or mot, was also seized.

He was remanded to appear in front of the next available court, and admitted all five offences at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, October 24. He also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of driving whilst unfit through drugs, which was laid on at court.

He will be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on November 16.

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Five arrested in connection with large cannabis grow in Whitland

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FIVE people have been arrested in connection with the discovery of a large amount of cannabis in Carmarthenshire.

Dyfed-Powys Police carried out a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act at an address in Whitland, on the morning of Friday, October 23.

Officers found a significant number of mature cannabis plants, with a sophisticated hydroponics set-up, numerous bags of cannabis bud, and cannabis resin.

Police seized electronic devices, several thousands of pounds in cash and silver bars, as well as vehicles under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Five people – a 58-year-old woman and four men aged 28, 30, 60 and 61 – were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the production of cannabis, and possession with intent to supply.

They have been bailed with conditions pending further enquiries.

Detective Inspector Rhys Jones said: “This is an example of excellent collaborative work between a number of different departments in the force, which has taken a significant amount of drugs off the streets.

“As our investigation into this cannabis cultivation continues, we ask anyone with information that could help enquiries to please get in touch.

“We urge anyone with information about suspicious or unusual activity in rural areas report it to us, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously.”

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