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Yerbeston man cleared of beating taxi driver, and refusing to pay

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taxiTHE TRIAL of Lawrence James Goldsworthy from Yerbeston started with him wanting to revoke his early guilty pleas on Wednesday (Feb 11).

The 25-year-old told the court: “I believe that I am not guilty. I didn’t tell my solicitors how I was provoked.” He added: “I can give you a name of someone in prison that revoked his plea.”

The clerk to the justices told Goldsworthy that he had no power to re-open the cases, and the trial would go ahead.

The hearing at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court began by dealing with charges one and two out of five: The allegation that the defendant assaulted Stuart Jones and running off from a taxi without payment.

After solicitor for the defence Mike Kelleher heard that his client wanted to change his plea, told the court: “I don’t think I can continue to act for him. But if he wants to change his plea, clearly our instructions were that they were guilty pleas. I’m in an awkward position so I’m going to stand down.”

Even though Goldsworthy made an application for adjournment, Magistrates decided that the trial would continue. He then had to represent himself and cross examine the witness.

Prosecuting, Leslie Harbon told the court: “At 3am Goldsworthy was in Tenby looking for a taxi home. He was outside the Prince of Wales and asked Stuart Jones, the taxi driver, how much it would be to Preseli. They agreed on £25 and Goldsworthy jumped into the taxi. He then allegedly took out a £5 note and some change and asked if he could go and collect the money from his house. Upon arriving at his house, he told Jones that he was going to open the iron steel gate to his house. However, he jumped over the gate and began running down the lane. Jones followed in his taxi and was met by Goldsworthy who began attacking Jones and proceeded to smash his rear window.”

Jones was called down to the witness stand where he was examined by both the prosecutor and Goldsworthy.

Jones tells the court that they agreed on an amount, and upon reaching the gate and seeing Goldsworthy’s behaviour sat in the minibus thinking what he was doing. He drove down the lane and was faced with Goldsworthy and his vulgar language: “You’re on private property. I’m not f***ing paying you.”

Goldsworthy then pushed Jones with two hands on his chest. Jones told the court: “He tried to hit me but no punches actually hit me. As soon as he pushed me I got into the car.”

Goldsworthy then took the stand and began to cross examine Jones: “Did you threaten me on the way? Did you not call me a gypsy and say that my son was a gypsy? You were threatening to beat me up, and when I got out of the taxi I told you that I didn’t want you to come down the lane. How did you enter the property? You forcefully entered through the steel gate which was off its hinges. Did you force your way into the property with aggression?”

Jones answered; “No, I wouldn’t call it aggression.”

Jones denied touching Goldsworthy and told the court: “I didn’t touch you. I couldn’t understand what you were doing and next minute you’re running for leather down the road.”

Goldsworthy asked Jones: “You pursued me and that is why I picked up a stone because you were driving at 50 miles an hour down the lane trying to mow me down. You never gave me a chance to pay.”

After a brief period of adjournment, the Magistrates returned they told the court that there was no case to answer, clearing Goldsworthy of the two charges.

The defendants other three charges were adjourned March 4 in order for the probation services to prepare a report, he was released on the condition that he fully comply with the probation service. These charges were damaging Stewart Jones’ vehicle, running away from another taxi without paying and assaulting another officer.

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Education

Styling their way to the top

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(Left to right) Level 2 - Festival theme - work by Holly Mathias and Celebration of Colour - Level 2 and 3 – work by Leah Rees

FOUR hairdressing learners: Holly Mathias, Jenna Kilgallon, Helaina Thomas and Leah Rees, recently earned themselves a place in the next stage of the Concept Hair Magazine Learner of the Year Competition.

The candidates were invited into the College to show their fully presented entries as evidence and then submitted them remotely to the Concept Hair Magazine judges in December.

The categories for the competition were: Festival Hair, Red Carpet, Old School Barbershop, Celebration of Colour and Safari.

The unique styles allowed the learners to show off their creative hair styling skills from plaits to updos, to bold colour creations.

Charlotte Jones, Hairdressing lecturer was over the moon with the learners’ success; “We were all so impressed with the creativity, dedication and enthusiasm of all the students who took part in the competition. Also, the students who supported the entries during the day and the models who gave up their time to be involved. They should all be very proud of what they have achieved. The results were amazing!”

The students worked to COVID regulations ensuring all the correct PPE and procedures were followed.

Finalist, Holly Mathias entered three categories which included; Styling Level 2 – Festival Theme, Hair Up Level 2 – Red Carpet and Avant Garde – Safari.

Holly shared her experience; “Taking part in the Concept Hair competition, has really boosted my confidence and proved that hard work really does pay off. The support from the staff at Pembrokeshire College is outstanding. I would recommend everyone to take part in this competition as not only is it an amazing experience, but it really allows you to think outside the box and be as creative as you can! I would 100% take part in this competition again.”

Holly plans to go into full-time employment when she completes her course and hopes to one day work on cruise ships or even own her own salon.

The next stage involves the candidates submitting photographic entries on the 12th March where six will be shortlisted for the national finals which is set to take place virtually in April.

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Community

Environmental projects supported by Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund

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PROJECTS involving worm composting, community planting and solar panels were just some of the projects that recently received support from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund.

More than £140,000 was awarded to eight projects at the committee’s January meeting with the next deadline for applications set for 12 noon on 23 March.

Clynfyw Care Farm was successful with an application for a vermicomposting project, which will create a quality rich sustainable compost that can be used to improve soil conditions organically. This will support local vegetable producers and sequestrate carbon in the process.

The Newport Area Environment Group will receive funding to lead a community planting project promoting decarbonisation through biodiversity.

Cwm Arian Renewable Energy secured financial support to research a Pembrokeshire-wide Energy Efficiency program, with the aim of reducing energy use and tackling fuel poverty by increasing and normalising the uptake of low carbon life choices.

Funding for photovoltaic (PV) panels was agreed for projects submitted by Herbrandston Sports and Recreation Association, South Ridgeway Community Association, Neuadd Gymuned Bwlchygroes Community Hall, Ramsey Island Nature resort and Visitor Centre, and Crymych Rugby club, who all received funding to help harness solar energy.

Directors from Clynfyw Care Farm said: “Thanks to funding from SDF, this worm composting project will be a useful tool for engaging with people, reducing CO2 and teaching a simple sustainable process with important stages in a safe, supported environment. Once established, vermicompost will be available for purchase in local outlets, providing an environmentally-friendly alternative for local growers.”

Applications for funding are encouraged from not for profit groups, including village halls, community councils and environmental groups in the county who have a project that will contribute towards a reduction in carbon and help respond to the climate emergency.

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News

Council: Despite a rise Pembrokeshire still has lowest council tax in Wales

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCILLORS have voted to back a recommendation of a 3.75 percent increase in Council Tax for the coming year.

The increase equates to an extra 82p per week for Band D properties.

Pembrokeshire will still have the lowest Council Tax in Wales with Pembrokeshire Band D Council Tax payers paying £214.11, or £4.11 per week, less than the average across the country.

Cllr Bob Kilmister, the Cabinet Member for Finance, said the increase had been reduced from a proposed 5 per cent to 3.75 per cent to reduce the impact on Council Tax payers.

Introducing the budget to members, Cllr Kilmister said to go for a figure below 3.75 per cent would inevitably lead to much higher rises in future years.

Falling below 3.75 per cent would also lead to cuts in Council services, Cllr Kilmister said.

He added: “A reduction in services and staff numbers will affect the poorest in our communities the most. I believe we have a duty to these people.”

Councillors also voted for Council house rents to be increased by 1.5% for the coming year plus increases of up to 50p per week where properties are not at target rent levels.

The votes were taken at the full meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council held on Thursday, March 4.

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