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Suspended sentence for rogue doorstep trader

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swanseaA DOORSTEP trader, who ‘bullied and intimidated his victims’ while offering replacement guttering and roofing services has been given a suspended sentence for breaching the terms of an Enforcement Order.

The sentence was issued to David John Hanford, director of One Call Repair Ltd, by Swansea County Court on Friday (9th January).

The action was brought by Pembrokeshire County Council Public Protection’s Trading Standards Section under the Enterprise Act 2002.

Hanford, currently residing in Swansea, was issued with the enforcement order in December 2012.

It was issued for continually breaching consumer protection legislation including failing to issue cancellation notices, failing to honour refunds, conducting substandard work and making false claims of association with local authorities.

At the time he was based in Pembrokeshire but operating across South Wales.

Hanford did not attend the hearing and sent a letter to the Court requesting an adjournment. The matter went ahead in his absence before his Honour Judge Vosper, who heard evidence of numerous complaints against Mr Hanford and his business.

The Judge heard that many of the complainants were elderly and reported feeling bullied and intimidated by David John Hanford’s behaviour.

He usually presented himself as ‘John’ an employee of the business and inferred that ‘David’ was the owner. He masqueraded between the two, to mislead consumers and avoid liability.

Some consumers were persuaded to have work which was not necessary. Typically work commenced following payment of a deposit. Existing guttering or roof tiles would be removed, prior to demands for more money to buy materials.  If consumers refused to pay by a specified period they were threatened with “walking off the job and court action”.

Even when money was paid Mr Hanford was usually never seen again to complete the work. Any work he did was to a very poor standard.

Evidence was also presented that one consumer was left with all the roof tiles removed from the rear of her property.

Another was pressurised to rent his caravan to Hanford’s family, only to have Hanford later demand a refund of the money paid.  The complainant was taken to the post office by Hanford to withdraw the money.

Other traders also lost money for non payment of goods or services.

Judge Vosper was satisfied that the Enforcement Order had been breached several times by Hanford. If evidence is received of a new breach after January 9, Hanford will receive a six month custodial sentence.

Cllr Huw George, Cabinet Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services, said he welcomed the Judge’s decision.

He urged members of the public to be wary of businesses cold calling.

“While some doorstep sellers are perfectly legitimate and offer honest and reliable customer service, there are salespeople who take advantage of people through pressurised selling,” he said.

“It’s vital that homeowners take the time to consider their decisions carefully, with the support of family and friends.”

Anyone wishing to report a complaint should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 4 04 05 06 / 0345 4 04 05 05 (Welsh speaker).

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Cardigan man accused of murder in court

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John Williams Bell was found murdered in Cardigan

A CARDIGAN man who is accused of stabbing a man to death has appeared in court today (Jul 28).

Ashley Keegan, 22, of Golwyg y Castell, Cardigan, appeared before court via video link where he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

Swansea crown court heard how Keegan is accused of stabbing 37-year-old John Williams Bell seven times in the back.

Mr Bell’s body was discovered in the early hours of Wednesday Morning, July 21, on the road to Cardigan Bridge.

The court set a provisional trial date for January 3, 2022.

Keegan will remain remanded into custody until the trial.

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Park Authority Committee tours successful carbon reduction projects

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MEMBERS of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) Committee made a tour of local projects recently that have benefitted from SDF funding.

Since 2000, over 200 projects have been supported by the Fund. Over the past year, the Fund has changed its focus to support community-led projects that mitigate the climate emergency by contributing to a reduction in carbon.

Coppicewood College, which promotes and supports sustainable woodland management, was one of the successful applicants visited by Committee Members. After entering into talks with the West and South Wales Wildlife Trust and securing a new home in Pengelli Forest on a 25-year lease, an application was made for SDF funding to build a workshop using sustainable building methods. Both the College and the Wildlife Trust will benefit from this new partnership, as the College now has a brand new home in a prestigious SSSI woodland and the Trust will be able to have a programme of woodland management tailored to the needs of local wildlife.

SDF Committee Members also paid a visit to Clynfyw Care Farm, where funding has been used to pay for equipment, set-up costs and training in a new vermicomposting (worm composting) project. This creates a sustainable and high quality compost, which can be used to improve soil conditions organically for local vegetable produce growers, while sequestering carbon during the process.

Bwlch-y-groes village hall also formed part of the itinerary for Members, who were shown where the SDF-funded photovoltaic panels and electric vehicle charging point, which are set to complement the new building, will be positioned.

The tour came to an end with a talk from the Cwm Arian Renewable Energy Project, which has received an SDF cash injection to help with the Pembrokeshire Energy Efficiency Programme (PEEP) – a project that aims to engage with communities across North Pembrokeshire in order to understand behaviours in energy reduction.

Jessica Morgan, Funding and Grants Officer for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust, said: “It’s been hugely rewarding to see so many innovative climate solutions coming to fruition as a result of SDF grants.

“We are now inviting applications for the next round of funding. If you are part of a community-led group or organisation based in or around the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and have a project that would help reduce carbon and/or respond to climate change, please consider applying.”

Projects can include:

·       Installing renewable energy generation facilities, such as solar panels, to a community building

·       Transport initiatives that promote reduced carbon emissions

·       The installation of community facilities that minimise waste, such as water fountains

·       Any other community-based carbon reduction initiatives.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 10 September

Further information on how to apply and an application form can be found at www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/sustainable-development-fund/.

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Firefighters respond to industrial unit fire at Rope Walk, Hakin, Milford Haven

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EMERGENCY SERVICES are responding to a fire at an industrial unit off the Rope Walk in Hakin, Milford Haven this morning (Tuesday, July 27).

The fire broke out just after 10am. Witnesses at the scene told our reporter that they beleived the fire was linked to welding work which going on a the time on the premises.

Three fire applicances are engaged with fighting the fire.

Another person close to the scene said: “Black smoke could be seen from quite a distance, and there were popping sounds and small bangs coming from inside the warehouse as the fire took hold.”

No injuries have been reported.

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