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Haverfordwest: Computer shops’ drugs factory link



Drugs link: Pembs PC in Haverfordwest

Drugs link: Pembs PC in Haverfordwest

A PEMBROKESHIRE businessman made courtroom drama after admitting to drugs offences at the last minute despite previously denying charges against him.

44-year-old Alistair Kevin Firth, who previously owned computer shops in Haverfordwest and Pembroke, and his co-accused, Daniel Cobbinah, were charged earlier this year with possession of drugs with intent to supply. The pair appeared at Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday (10th) to face a trial however they dramatically changed their pleas as the case was about to start.

At earlier hearings, former ‘Pembs PC’ owner Mr Firth of The Green, Tenby, and Mr Cobbinah both denied their guilt. They were charged in January and appeared for the first time in Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on February 18.

The charges were laid after the PC specialists were found to be manufacturing and selling a homemade drug called ‘Diet Coke’ which is a dangerous mixture of dental anaesthetic Benzocaine and a psycho-stimulant chemical called Ethylphenidate, known as ‘Eph’. Although illegal in Jersey since 2009, it has only recently become controlled in mainland UK, but selling it mixed with Benzocaine as a synthetic  ‘cocaine’ is classed as a controlled drug.


Firth and Cobbinah had also been selling and distributing the drug from the Pembs PC computer store in Market Street, Haverfordwest. According to a former employee the pair had been using a flyer distribution company operated from the premises, trading as ‘Pembrokeshire Flyer’, as a front to facilitate the enterprise. They had also hidden drugs inside computer cases.

The source close to the company told us: “I know that some of the staff were paid or partly paid, or given bonuses in drugs. This included staff working in the shop as well as distributors working for Pembrokeshire Flyer.”

A former employee told The Herald: “I was given the drug all the time. I snorted loads of it sometimes instead of wages. But I had to leave to get a job that paid real cash. You can’t buy food with drugs.”

Tragic: Anthony Gammer

Tragic: Anthony Gammer

In August 2013 The Herald reported that Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed a number of people had been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into the circumstances leading up to the death of two young men in Milford Haven the previous month. One of those men, Anthony Gammer, 27, was employed by Firth at the time of his death. He had been taken on by the company as a flyer distributor shortly before he passed away, and died at home after taking a cocktail of drugs, with Firth’s Pembs PC van parked on his drive.

Pembrokeshire Coroner’s Court ruled earlier this year that Mr Gammer had died from “central nervous system compression” after consuming a lethal mixture of cannabis, dihydrocodeine, ketamine and diazepam.

At the time of Mr Gammer’s untimely passing, we reported that some of those who were arrested in connection with the death were being investigated for the suspected manufacturing and supplying of drugs. At the time the police told The Herald: “We can confirm we are investigating the circumstances into two deaths in Milford Haven on July 26, 2013 and July 30, 2013.”

The Herald is not linking the death of Anthony Gammer directly to the drug-manufacturing operation at Pembs PC – however, we are able to report that days before his death, Mr Gammer told a Herald reporter that he had been given drugs by Mr Firth whilst he was working for him. This information was also confirmed by another member of staff working for Mr Firth at the time.


Pill press: Drugs making equipment was found by police

Pill press: Drugs making equipment was found by police

The Herald learned on August 1 last year that police went to the location of an industrial pill making machine, which had been brought to a local engineering firm for repair. The Herald understands that police acted on information from a source close to Mr Firth’s operation, as the duo were making and selling ‘Diet Coke’ in both its white powdered form and as pills.

There is no indication or suggestion that the engineering firm knew the device’s true purpose at any stage. Speaking exclusively to this newspaper, the owner of the company, whose identity we are protecting, said: “We had been dropped the machine by a gentleman wanting it to be repaired; we had not started looking at it yet, as we had not received any payment. Next thing, the police turned up and seized it.”


In 2012 drug-pusher Firth was jailed for 20 months along with local Brian Davies, 67, after their cannabis factory was discovered above the Spinnaker chip shop in Upper Frog Street, Tenby. Another man, Mark Millard, then aged 36 and of Letterston, was given a suspended jail sentence for acting as ‘gardener’ for the illegal operation.

The three admitted their involvement in the production of 166 cannabis plants between December 1, 2010, and April 14, 2011. Mr Firth also admitted possessing 22 20gram bags of cannabis found at his home.

Judge Keith Thomas said he was satisfied that Firth had supplied some of the equipment used in the cannabis operation. At the time, the court heard that two rooms at the Spinnaker had been converted into a cannabis factory and the plants could have yielded six kilos of the drug. Sitting at Swansea Crown Court. the judge ruled that Firth had personally made £21,912 from the operation. He was released from prison at the start of 2013, but was manufacturing synthetic cocaine ‘Diet Coke’ within months of his release.

Staff bonuses: Employees received 'white powder' from Firth

Staff bonuses: Employees received ‘white powder’ from Firth

It is understood that Mr Firth now operates a second hand car dealership. Following his last minute plea to admitting possessing drugs with intent to supply, both he and Mr Cobbinah – who admitted the same –were bailed, and are due to reappear for sentencing on January 16.

The Pembrokeshire Herald has been informed by Swansea Crown Court that at the time the pair were charged the drugs found were as yet unclassified by the government. Therefore they were charged with possession with intent to supply a class A drug. However, the drug has now been classified by the authorities. Therefore, on Firth’s and Cobbinah’s criminal records the crime will now recorded as possession with intent to supply a controlled class B drug.

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Suffolk man to be sentenced after stabbing victim in the back in knife attack



GARY GRANT, a 51-year-old resident of Briarwood Road in Lowestoft, Suffolk, will soon face sentencing after a vicious knife attack that left his victim with multiple stab wounds. Grant appeared in court on Wednesday (May 24) and entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. However, he did admit to the lesser charge of unlawful wounding.

The prosecution was granted time to determine whether they would proceed to trial on the wounding with intent charge or proceed directly to sentencing for the unlawful wounding offense. Ultimately, it was decided that Grant’s guilty pleas were acceptable.

During the proceedings, Magdalena Biglou, Grant’s defense attorney, requested a pre-sentence report to be prepared. Biglou argued that the incident was a result of emotional distress and grief experienced by Grant following the death of a family member.

In response to the request, Judge Paul Thomas granted the application but issued a stern warning, stating, “No-one should go away thinking that a non-custodial sentence will be passed.”

Grant was released on bail by Judge Thomas, and his sentencing has been scheduled for July 21.

The case was initially brought before Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court but was subsequently transferred to Swansea Crown Court. Earlier this week, concerns were raised regarding Grant’s fitness to stand trial, but these concerns were ultimately dismissed.

As the sentencing date approaches, the court will carefully consider the circumstances of the case and the severity of the charges against Grant. Justice will be sought for the victim, who suffered significant harm as a result of the knife attack.

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Fenton Vets raises concerns as Guinea Pigs abandoned in Burton and Johnston



FENTON VETS in Haverfordwest has sounded the alarm after discovering a total of 14 abandoned guinea pigs, sparking concerns for their well-being in the current warm weather conditions. The local authorities have now been involved in the investigation.

The veterinary clinic expressed extreme worry about the potential risks these innocent animals face as they are left exposed to the scorching temperatures.

Urging the public to assist in this matter, the firm implored individuals to contact the police or Greenacres if they come across any more guinea pigs.

Furthermore, if anyone suspects that the guinea pigs might be unwell, they are encouraged to reach out to the veterinary clinic directly.

In an update provided on social media at 3pm on Saturday (May 27), it was revealed that the police have now become actively involved in the case.

The distressing situation unfolded with the discovery of two female guinea pigs, found confined in a box in a lay-by in Johnston.

As the investigation progressed, Fenton Vets announced at 12:30 pm that four additional guinea pigs were in their care, while another two were discovered boxed up in Burton.

It has also come to light that there are three more guinea pigs in Johnston, currently being looked after by a local family.

To ensure the safety and well-being of these abandoned animals, Fenton Vets has notified the RSPCA, local veterinary services, and Greenacres, seeking their assistance. The plea from the veterinary clinic is for individuals to remain vigilant and report any suspicious boxes they may come across, emphasizing the importance of not ignoring such signs of potential animal cruelty.

The Facebook post generated a significant response, with users expressing their empathy and concern. One user, Kat Cullen, commented, “Poor babies. I’ll give them a home. This breaks my heart!” Meanwhile, Mandy Feneck voiced her anger at the heartlessness of those responsible for the abandonment, stating, “How cruel some people can be… There is no need for this to happen… They could have been brought to an animal rescue… This makes me so mad… The people who did this are so bloody heartless.”

Mandy also expressed gratitude to Fenton Vets for their compassionate care.

It is important to note that the guinea pigs found in this case are not currently available for adoption. Nevertheless, the veterinary clinic expressed appreciation for the overwhelming support and concern from the community.

As investigations continue, Fenton Vets and concerned individuals hope that justice will be served, and that the guinea pigs will be provided with the care and attention they deserve, free from harm and neglect.

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Pembroke Dock man found guilty of beating woman



LAYON NOLAN, 27, a resident of Ashleigh House in Pembroke Dock, has been found guilty at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court of assault by beating.

The incident occurred on 14th July 2022 at Pembroke Dock.

Nolan had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges but was convicted on 22nd May 2023.

The conviction, which is contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, involved Layton Nolan physically attacking a female, who we have decided not to name.

The court heard evidence presented by the prosecution, led by Ann Griffiths, while Layton Nolan was represented by solicitor Amelia Pike. The magistrates overseeing the case were Mr. J Ross, Dr. R Talbot-English, and Mrs. M Smith.

Following the conviction, Layton Nolan was remanded on conditional bail.

To ensure the integrity of the legal process and prevent interference with witnesses or obstruction of justice, Layton Nolan has been subjected to bail conditions.

He is prohibited from contacting any prosecution witnesses, including the victim. Moreover, he is not allowed to enter Bush Street, Pembroke Dock.

Layton Nolan must reside and sleep each night at Ashleigh House, Victoria Road, Pembroke Dock, SA9 1TJ.

The next hearing is for sentencing and is scheduled for 7th of June 2023

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