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Jury out in ex-cop child sex trial

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Former police officer John Caffrey leaving Swansea Crown Court

Former police officer John Caffrey leaving Swansea Crown Court

A JURY has retired to decide the future of a former Haverfordwest police officer accused of historical child sex offences.

John Caffrey, aged 71, is charged with multiple offences dating back more than 30 years.

Caffrey, of Castle View, Simpson Cross, has denied all the allegation against him.

During a week long trial at Swansea crown court the prosecution alleged that he once ordered her to strip naked and used a belt to tie her to a door before photographing her.

It was also claimed that, following a road traffic accident, colleagues loaned him pornographic films which had been seized during operations to help speed his recovery.

The complainant, now a woman, said he made her watch one of them.

Caffrey, once a champion motor cyclist, told the jury that none of the incidents complained of had taken place.

He agreed he had taken photographs of her but said they had not been indecent and he had not been motivated by sexual gratification.

Caffrey said he believed the woman was interested in obtaining compensation.

The jury retired to consider verdicts this afternoon but had not reached any by 4.15pm and Judge Peter Heywood sent them home for the night.

They will resume their deliberations today (Tuesday).

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Business

First drive-thru Starbucks in Pembrokeshire approved

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PEMBROKESHIRE is to get its first drive-thru Starbucks coffee shop after a scheme was backed by county planners today, May 21.

An application – expected to create 20 jobs – by Magic Bean Company Ltd to site an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station and drive through Starbucks coffee shop on land adjoining Days Garage, Fishguard Road, Haverfordwest, was recommended for conditional approval when it came before the May meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee.

A report for planners said: “There are two principal elements to the proposed development. The provision of an EV charging station with eight charging points and a drive through coffee shop, which will provide 20 full time jobs.

“A further 13 parking spaces are provided to serve the development, including two spaces for people with disabilities. The coffee shop will be situated at the western end of the site opposite the proposed EV charging station, which is centrally located within the site. “

It added: “The coffee shop building will be single storey with a ‘tower’ feature in the west elevation where the customer collection point will be located beneath a timber finished pergola.”

The report said the proposal represented a more effective use of the application site than its current car parking use.

10 representations from members of the public raised concerns about the proposal, issues including: no need for additional coffee shops locally, adverse impact on existing small local coffee shops and that the planning authority should not be supporting “multinational businesses,” and littering and highway issues.

While Starbucks was not mentioned in the planning documents, Magic Bean Company Ltd, on its website, says: “Established in 2014, The Magic Bean Company opened our first store and became the first licensee to open a Starbucks Drive Thru.

“Since then, we have gone on to become Starbuck’s only national growth partner covering England and Wales, developing our green electric vehicle Starbucks platform.”

Speaking at the May 21 meeting, Magic Bean Company Ltd agent Matthew Gray said the drive-thru coffee shop would be a Starbucks, adding: “The application is driven by the requirement for Days to diversify, following a slowing of vehicle sales across the UK.”

He added: “It’s pretty well reported that car sales are slow in the UK in the past few years, this is an opportunity to boost the viability of their [Days’] own operation.”

He said the eight EV charging units would be provided by Ionity, one of Europe’s largest charging providers, with a need for more such facilities in west Wales.

After Cllr Alistair Cameron raised concerns from members of the public about potential littering, Mr Gray said Starbucks had a standard approach to litter management, with staff maintaining the area, and coffee outlets having a lower level of litter than some other drive-thrus.

Concerns were raised by Councillor John Cole on highways grounds, fearing the combination of the drive-thru and a nearby school, along with the nearby annual County Show, could create “havoc” with parents stopping off for a coffee.

Following an approval call by Cllr Brian Hall, members unanimously backed the application.

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Lifeboat crew rescues stranded yacht following gearbox and engine failure

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THE ANGLE RNLI lifeboat crew sprang into action after two yachts were stranded due to gearbox and engine issues.

At 6:47 am on Monday, May 13, the crew responded to a Pan-Pan call – a distress signal indicating a serious issue that is not immediately life-threatening – from a yacht experiencing gearbox failure just north of Thorn Island.

Concerns arose that the disabled yacht might drift into the shipping channel, prompting the swift launch of Angle’s lifeboat. Upon arrival, the crew conversed with the yacht’s skipper and subsequently towed the vessel to safety. The yacht was secured at Milford Marina, and the lifeboat was back at the station and ready for further service by 9:00 am.

A day earlier, on Sunday, the lifeboat crew received a call from the coastguard regarding a yacht with engine failure south of Skokholm Island. The lifeboat was promptly launched and reached the scene within approximately 20 minutes.

After assessing the situation, it was determined that the best course of action was to tow the 12-metre yacht back to Milford Marina. Once the yacht was safely docked, the lifeboat crew returned to base, preparing the vessel for future missions by 11:00 am.

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Crime

Suspended sentence for Llandeilo man who neglected five horses and foxhound

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A WEST WALES man has been handed a suspended sentence after he was found to have neglected five horses and a foxhound.

Gregory Edward Baker, 43, of Rhydcymerau, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court for a two-day trial on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 April, and faced five offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

They were that he caused unnecessary suffering to five equines by failing to adequately investigate or address the causes of their poor or underweight bodily conditions along with skin diseases namely rain scald, mud fever and lice infestation, and also did not meet their needs.

He also caused further unnecessary suffering to one of these equines – a chestnut mare – relating to her lameness of her left foreleg and unnecessary suffering to a foxhound by failing to provide prompt or effective professional veterinary care and attention for his paraphimosis (unretracted penis) with associated ulceration and fracture.

Following a two-day trial Baker was found guilty for all offences and on Thursday 16 May he was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment which has been suspended for 24 months. 

This included a 20 week sentence for the first offence, 20 weeks for the second offence, 12 weeks for the third offence, eight weeks for the fourth offence and 12 weeks for the fifth offence – which will all run concurrently. 

He was also ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months. One of the horses – which had been placed in another person’s care – was also transferred to the care of the RSPCA. 

In a witness statement, provided to the court, RSPCA Inspector Neill Manley said he attended the location with RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer (ARO) Rohan Barker on 19 April 2023.

As permission was not granted by the owner to access the land, police were called along with a vet. Inspector Manley and ARO Barker inspected a large number of horses and dogs at the location with serious concern raised for five horses and one foxhound. 

Firstly they saw the chestnut mare who was in the top field and was lame on the front leg.

He said she was “in very poor body condition with her ribs, spine and hip bones prominent and her coat covered in mud and patchy in places” which  looked like rain scald.

In the lower field which was steeply sloping there was a grey/cream colt with a dark mane and tail and was in “very poor body condition with a muddy and unkempt winter coat”. 

He said: “Even through the winter coat you could see her ribs, spine and hip bones protruding. The field was overgrown in patches with bramble and in one bramble patch was  the decomposing carcass of a horse.”

Another horse – a grey gelding with a rug on was also “in very poor body condition with its rib hip and spine bones clearly visible”.

Whilst another horse, a grey/palomino yearling colt, was found to be in very poor body condition and a black Shetland pony mare was found to be in very poor body condition.

Inspector Manley said the pony “was quite weak and unsteady on its feet” and when they along with the vet caught her the pony collapsed and needed help to get back on her feet.

At the dog kennels there were a number of female hounds – and advice was given to the owner about one of them who was lame on her front leg to get the dog checked by a vet.

A male hound was found with a prolapsed penis. Inspector Manley said: “He was a white entire male in reasonable body condition, but had what appeared to me to be a prolapsed penis that looked infected and misshapen.”

In a witness statement – provided to the court – by the vet who examined the foxhound, they said that there were two ulcers on the penis and the “smell of the area was of rotting flesh”. Suggested options were partial penile amputation and castrate, urethrostomy or for the dog to be put to sleep. The vet added the owner “elected for the dog to be put to sleep”.

Two of the horses were transferred to a family member but sadly one of these – the chestnut mare who was found to be severely lame – was put to sleep on advice from an independent vet on welfare grounds to prevent further suffering.

In a witness statement – provided to the court – by the vet who examined and monitored the horses they said the mare had a “discharging abscess on her left fore”, she had a body score of two out of five, rain scald and lice and was heavy in foal. Treatment was given but sadly she lost her foal and failed to improve.

The vet added: “I radiographed her left fore food and sadly but unsurprisingly found a sequestrum (infected fragment of bone) and osteomyelitis (bone infection). Enthanasia was recommend on humane grounds as there was a hopeless prognosis of successful treatment.”

The other three horses – who were placed in the care of the RSPCA – were taken to a boarding establishment.

The vet added: “All three ponies had put on a considerable amount of weight in just under a month – this was only attributable to the provision of appropriate nutrition.”

Inspector Manley also issued the owner an improvement notice advising him of the improvements that needed to be made. In mitigation the court heard that there has been no criticism since with any of the animals in his care and a disqualification order was not imposed.

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