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Sister took blame for drink driver A 44-YEAR-OLD man from

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A 44-YEAR-OLD man from Carmarthenshire was tried for driving while under the influence of alcohol at Haverfordwest BreathyliserMagistrates’ Court on February 11. Jason Lloyd had pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing, and had said that it was in fact her sister, who was sober, who had been in the driving seat.

The prosecutor, Leslie Harbon, outlined the details of the offence. Jason Lloyd was said to have been driving a black Volvo between Tenby and St. Clears after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in his breath (5.5 micrograms in 100ml of breath) exceeded the prescribed limit. The police received information that Lloyd had been drink driving, so they went to a Travelodge in St. Clears, where the client was, to speak with the defendant, who smelt of alcohol. According to two officer reports, and a sergeants report, Lloyd had admitted that he had been the driver several times. On the way to the station he had said: “If I get done for drink driving I’ll lose my job” and “I put my hands up, ‘cause I have done it. I had seven pints earlier on, then coke all night.” When Lloyd was interviewed, he gave a completely no comment interview.

For the defence, solicitor Mike Kelleher, while examining the defendant, emphasised the story from Lloyd’s point of view. He had been in Tenby with a group of friends, but the night turned sour. He was told that his best friend was trying it on with his wife, so there were arguments and everyone went home apart from Lloyd, his sister, and the partner of his best friend, Nicola. The three decided to go home as well. According to Lloyd, his sister drove because she had not been drinking due to a recent gall bladder operation. Lloyd said that when they were in the car, he received a phone call from his friend stating that the police were looking for him in regards to a separate charge. They stopped at the Travelodge in St. Clears. Nicola was hysterical and walk to the foyer of the hotel and Lloyd and his sister had an argument, and according to Lloyd, she walked off and he was left with the car in the car park. When the police officer arrived, Lloyd said that he knew he was going to be arrested anyway so he said that he had driven the car in order to protect Nicola and his sister from being arrested too. When asked about the comments he had made about being the driver on several occasions, he said he could not remember as his memory was not one hundred percent. There was no CCTV at the hotel.

The prosecutor covered many of the same questions as Kelleher but focussed on the fact that Lloyd said he could not remember making comments to the police, but he was sure that he had not driven the car. Harbon asked how he could know for sure that he had not driven, and he replied: “I saw my sister sitting at the side of me.”

Kelleher closed the examination by asking if Jason remembered who drove, to which he replied yes, and then asked if it was him who had been driving, and the defendant replied no.

Lloyd’s sister came into court as a witness and was warned that anything that she said in the court, as she had sworn on oath, had to be true or she would be prosecuted for perjury. Kelleher asked her if she understood the consequences of lying, and she said she did. He asked if she was there to lie for her brother, which, according to her, she was not. Lloyd’s sister told the same story Lloyd had.

Harbon asked if the siblings had spoken about coming to court, to which Lloyd’s sister replied yes. Although, she stated that they had not spoken about it at length when asked by the prosecutor. Harbon stated that she would have had every chance to get the story straight with her brother. The sister spoke about how she could not believe or understand why Lloyd had said that he had driven when it was his sister who had. Harbon responded by saying that she knew a lot about the case for someone who had not spoken at length about it. Harbon then closed her examination by asking if she and her brother were close, to which she replied yes. Then the prosecutor asked if she would do anything for her brother; she said she would, but also stated that she was not lying now.

The Magistrate asked where the key was when she had left, and she said that she had left it with Lloyd.

After some deliberation, the Magistrates returned to court and found Lloyd guilty of his offence. The Magistrate accepted the police’s accounts over the siblings’. Lloyd was fined £1,040 and he will have to pay £80 per month. He was disqualified from driving for 15 months, but will be able to reduce that by 5% by taking part in a drink driving rehabilitation course.

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Education

Delight as foundation phase learners return to class

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PEMBROKESHIRE Headteachers have reported very positive returns to school for Foundation Phase Learners.

All Foundation Phase Learners returned to schools on Monday, March 1st and attendance has been reported at almost 90% since.

The Council’s Director for Education, Steven Richards-Downes, said: “A wide range of council services have worked together to ensure that Foundation Phase pupils have been able to return
safely to school.

“I am particularly grateful to all school staff and families for ensure that learning is now available for our youngest learners face to face.”

Headteachers remarked how schools have filled with smiles and laughter following the safe and phased return of Foundation Phase learners.

Cora O’Brien, Headteacher at Waldo Williams School in Haverfordwest emphasised how quickly learners have settled back in to a routine.

“It has been an absolute joy to hear their laughter in the playground and to observe their love of learning face to face once again. I thank everybody in the Waldo Williams School
community for working so hard to ensure that the transition went smoothly.”

Vicky Hart-Griffiths, Headteacher of Ysgol Hafan y Mor in Tenby, said: “It has been wonderful to welcome all our Foundation Phase learners back to school. They are thriving, being amongst
friends and back to a school routine.  

“All the pupils have spoken about how happy they are to have returned and it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome them back and we can’t wait until we have all our pupils back in school.

“The school feels alive again and there’s a positive buzz and laughter once again echoing throughout the school.”

Gareth Lewis, Headteacher at Broad Haven CP School said children had returned “with real enthusiasm, and have been very keen to meet up with their friends.”

Mr Lewis added: “Our parents have been very supportive and positive about the return, and those with older children are very much looking forward to a wider return to schooling.”

Mr Richards-Downes said plans were now turning to more learners returning to schools in the near future.

“We are looking to the next phases of the re-opening of schools on the 15th of March as long as the government guidelines allow.”

Further details will be released in due course.

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Pembrokeshire County Council: This week’s Leader’s coronavirus update

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further coronavirus update for Friday, 5th March as follows:

‘Welcome everyone to my weekly update.

“It is with rather a heavy heart that I tell you that it’s almost 12 months since my first statement on the coronavirus pandemic.

“On 9th March 2020, I addressed our Cabinet meeting with the following words:

“Further to the news yesterday that two people in Pembrokeshire had tested as positive for the Covid 19 virus, I am sure you will join me in wishing them both a speedy and full recovery.

“I can reassure you that our services will continue as usual, and all our employees can continue to attend to their work, appointments, schools and services as they normally would.

“We should all help protect ourselves and our communities by following Public Health Wales advice, particularly around washing hands and using a tissue for symptoms associated with cold and flu and then safely disposing of it.

“I am grateful to the co-operation and hard work of all of our staff and we will provide further updates and information when we have them.

“In the meantime I can confirm that detailed planning arrangements, both internally, with partner agencies and through the Dyfed Powys Local Resilience Forum, are well underway to ensure that the Council and Pembrokeshire are as well placed as possible for whatever challenges we may face. Thank you.”

“I am sure you will join me while I take a moment now to remember all those people in Pembrokeshire and further afield, who, very sadly, passed away since I made that announcement.

“I continue to be incredibly grateful, as I’m sure you are, to everyone who is helping to beat this pandemic, working so very hard now for over a year.

“We are fortunate now to be in a position where the vaccine programme is protecting older members of our community and starting to roll out among one of the biggest groups – the over 65s and those with underlying health conditions.

“This time next week (12th March) the Welsh Government will have notified us of their plans for the next three weeks.

“In the meantime, we remain in Alert Level 4 and the stay at home message continues to be more important than ever as we reach the threshold of better times.

“I wish you all a good weekend and thank you once again to the vast majority of wonderful Pembrokeshire residents who are doing the right thing and waiting patiently at home for restrictions to lift.

“We do really appreciate your efforts and determination to help bring this pandemic to an end.”

 

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Sergeant Hillier ‘died doing the job he loved’, says his heartbroken father

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THE ARMY SERGEANT who died after being injured in a live firing exercise, has been named locally.

The incident occurred at Castlemartin Training Area, and led to the death of Sgt Gavin Hillier, who was in the Welsh Guards.

In a post on social media, his father wrote: “Absolutely devastated to be writing this post, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

“At 3.45am this morning I received a phone call that will forever change my life. My eldest son Gavin Mark Hillier was in a fatal accident yesterday in the army (the job he loved).

“Sleep tight & rest in peace son. I’m so proud of you. Goodnight and god bless, love your heartbroken dad.”

An Army spokesperson said: “It is with great sadness we can confirm the death of a soldier on March 4.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.

“The circumstances surrounding this death are being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

It is understood that Sergeant Hillier, who served as part of the Welsh Guards’ motor transport platoon, was due to be deployed to Iraq and had previously been awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct medal by Prince Charles, the regiment’s Colonel in Chief, in 2019.

The tragic incident is the latest in a number of accidents at Castlemartin.

In 2017, The Herald reported that two soldiers died in a tank explosion, which a coroner ruled was due to a design flaw.

The following year, an Army captain was jailed in July 2018 after a 21-year-old soldier was killed by a stray bullet during an exercise at the range in 2012.

An investigation has been launched into the death of a soldier at Castlemartin RAC Range following a military exercise.

Police were called to the site at just before 10.45pm on March 4.

Sadly, a man was pronounced dead shortly after. Our thoughts are with his family, who have been informed of the incident and are being supported by specialist officers.

An investigation is underway led by Dyfed-Powys Police. Officers are liaising with the Health and Safety Executive and MoD.

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