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Pembroke Dock: Bladen guilty of rape and sexual assault on five young girls

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swanseaA PEMBROKE DOCK man could receive a life sentence after a jury convicted him of multiple offences of rape and sexual assault on five young girls today (Oct 28).

Stephen Bladen, aged 55, had claimed the accusations against him had been made up.

But a jury at Swansea crown court took just four hours to find him guilty of all 30 charges against him.

Judge Keith Thomas said he would sentence Bladen after a probation officer had prepared a report addressing the question of just how dangerous Bladen was.

Bladen, lately of Sycamore Street and once of School Gardens, Pembroke Dock, was further remanded in custody meanwhile.

Awaiting sentence: Stephen Bladen

Awaiting sentence: Stephen Bladen, 55

Bladan’s offending began in the mid 1980s and continued until this year.

He raped an eight year old girl after threatening to kill her favourite bunny rabbit to get her not to struggle.

Bladen, a self employed painter and decorator, raped another girl after promising to give her sweets—and, afterwards, didn’t even bother.

One of his victims was just four or five when he stripped her naked and masturbated over her.

The offending came to light when one of his victims decided she could not remain quite any longer. She contacted other females—by then grown women—and told them that she was about to contact the police and told them what had happened to her.

Four other victims came forward with similar accounts of abuse at the hands of Bladen.

One of them told police she had seen “weird” pornography on Bladen’s computer, featuring people being chased and having their private parts cut off.

Despite Bladen’s denials an investigation led by DC Oliver James, stationed at Tenby, uncovered pornographic images of children on a computer and a hard drive.

Bladen continued to deny doing anything wrong, and tried to frame a friend for downloading the images from the internet.

But more police work showed that Bladen had used the computer to make calls via the Skype system to his wife both before and after the images had been downloaded, proving that the machine had been in his possession at the relevant time.

Bladen will be sentenced in mid December.

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Fishguard RNLI launch to attend injured fisherman 13 miles offshore

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FISHGUARD’s RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched early on Monday (Jan 17), with a full volunteer crew, to rendezvous with an Irish scalloper fishing boat which had an injured crew member aboard. The 14-metre fishing boat ‘ Golden Fleece’ had requested assistance by making radio contact with HM Coastguard. 

The lifeboat launched at 7.30am in calm conditions and headed to the fishing boat positioned approximately 13 miles north of Cemaes Head. Once on location the injured fisherman, who had suffered a significant finger injury, was transferred to the lifeboat. No further medical assistance was necessary from the lifeboat crew but he was kept under observation during the return journey to Fishguard where he was transferred to an awaiting ambulance upon arrival at 8.30am.   

 

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Brains’ £100 million sell-off plan includes local pubs in Pembrokeshire

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SA BRAINs is close to completing a £100m deal which will see the sale of 100 Wales pubs, including Pembrokeshire locals, it has been reported.

It is reported that Wales most prominent brewers will sell the freeholds to 100 of it’s pubs to a consortium.

Brains currently has a portfolio of 200 pubs across Wales and the South West.

Sources within the pub industry said that the transaction could be signed in the next few days.

The deal is to be made with Song Capital and Cerberus Capital Management, the former owner of Admiral Taverns.

The deal, which is thought to be around the £100m mark, is expected to be used by the Brains’ family shareholders to pay down debt.

The hospitality sector has been hit severely by the Coronavirus pandemic, being forced to close for long periods at a time and then reopening with strict restrictions.

In 2020, Brains struck a deal with Marston’s to operate 141 of its pubs, under the Welsh brewers brand, following financial pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Six Pembrokeshire pubs are earmarked to be included in the transaction; The Ferry Inn, St Dogmaels, Crown Inn, Tenby, Grove Hotel, Narberth, Waterman’s Arms, Pembroke, Harbour Inn, Solva and The Galleon, Broad Haven.

The sale will see the Brains pub estate as a family-owned brewer with a small residual pub portfolio.

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St Clears’ McDonald’s opening delayed for a week

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McDonald's sign

THE OPENING of the new 100-seater McDonald’s in St Clears has been delayed by a week. 

The restaurant, which will be built along the main approach road to Pembrokeshire, aimed to open its doors on Wednesday, January 19. 

However, the company has confirmed that the opening has been postponed until Wednesday, January 26. 

The new McDonald’s will join Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock McDonald’s as the only members of the company located west of Carmarthen. 

It hoped to provide over 80 full and part time jobs due to being open around the clock. They hosted a recruitment day in December 2021. 

The original applications had previously stated that the McDonald’s would be open 24 hours a day. A premises licence application is currently being made to the County Council for the “provision of late-night refreshments” which, if accepted, would allow the restaurant to be open 24 hours a day.

It will open on the opposite side of the road to Travelodge and Starbucks, which replaced the Little Chef restaurant in 2017.

The restaurant was initially going to include a separate building which would have accommodated a Costa Coffee. However, it will now host a Greggs. 

Alongside this, planning permission has been granted separately for a petrol station with six electric charging points.

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