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Brothers sent to prison after sustained attack

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Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 13.40.17TWO brothers were sent to prison on Wednesday (Feb 3) after assaulting a female by beating.

Elliot Jack Lewis, aged 20 and Nyle Shaun Lewis, aged 24 of Stranraer Road in Pennar Pembroke Dock, appeared at the court for a trial after pleading not guilty to the charge.

However, they pleaded guilty ten minutes before the trial was due to start.

Vaughan Pritchard-Jones of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “The complainant was in an on and off relationship with Nyle, and had moved in together in September 2015. The incident occurred two months later.

“The victim had an affair, and Nyle didn’t want to let her forget that. She had attended a party with him on November 28, and had drank a lot of alcohol. She left at midnight, walked home alone and went to bed.

“The next thing she remembered was that Nyle was in her bedroom pulling the covers off her. She said his face was red and screwed up, and he was shouting and angry. He said ‘You’ve messaged him again. I’ve been through your phone’.”

The court heard how Nyle took the phone into the bathroom with him, locking the door behind him. He proceeded to read out messages that had been sent between the complainant and the person she had been having an affair with, and demanded he give her back her phone.

Mr Pritchard-Jones continued: “The next thing she remembers is Nyle taking his temper out on things. He ripped a 40” TV from a wall bracket and threw it on the floor. This made her feel scared. He continued to swipe items from shelves and smash her belongings, including a birthday flute she received for her 21st birthday.

“The complainant also owns a 5ft driftwood tree, which she cannot lift by herself. The court heard how Nyle managed to pick this up and throw it down the stairs. She says these are typical actions when he gets angry.”

Mr Pritchard-Jones said: “The next distinct and vivid memory she has, is of Nyle pulling her hair with such force that it felt like her scalp was on fire. He pulled her down the stairs by her hair on hands and knees. She was stumbling down the stairs, and she pleaded with him saying ‘let me go’ but he wouldn’t. She remembered he kept calling her a liar.”

Nyle’s younger brother, Elliot arrived, and refused to leave when told to get out. Nyle claimed that the only reason they had got back together was because she wanted his money to buy Christmas presents, and that he had paid for most of the items in the house.

“Elliot grabbed the hood of her hooded top and dragged her out of the house,” said Mr Pritchard-Jones, “and pulled her so hard that she was struggling to breathe. She tried to scream but couldn’t, and was worried she was going to pass out.

“She then tried to pull the neck of her hooded top down, but could only manage to get a few fingers in between.”

He continued: “She could hear Nyle shouting leave it, and Elliot pulled her outside and ran back in the house. She says she thought ‘This is my house, and I’m not going to be locked out of my own house’.

“She went to the back door and then to the front. Nyle saw her, grabbed her hair and pulled her back in, and the argument continued.”

A neighbour who heard the ongoing argument attended the property, and tried to get the Lewis brothers to leave. They didn’t listen, and proceeded to go upstairs with the complainant.

Nyle began questioning her about the messages he had seen on her phone, when Elliot pushed her on the bed. The court heard how she went into the fetal position as Elliot straddled over her, with his legs either side, and repeatedly punched her.

“She can’t remember how many times he hit her,” said Mr Pritchard-Jones, “but she managed to deflect some of the blows, which resulted in injuries on her arms. She doesn’t know why he stopped, but he got off.”

After the incident, the complainant felt extremely angry, and attempted to retaliate. Nyle stopped her from advancing, and grabbed her by the wrists, therefore she headbutted him twice.

Her neighbour persuaded them to leave and took them away in her car. Mr Pritchard-Jones said: “The aggravating features are the level of injuries, it’s the top end of the common assault, and it’s two men versus one woman.

“She was drunk, and wasn’t in a position to defend herself.” Photographs of her injuries were shown to the court, which showed her to have two black eyes, and multiple cuts, grazes and bruises scattered around her body.

Defending Nyle, Matthew Greenish of Red Kite Law said: “Nyle had come back because his medication was there, and Elliot attended. Nyle accepts he took his frustrations out on the property, and a scuffle broke out.

“Incidents have taken place, and Nyle grabbed her to stop her hitting Elliot, and she headbutted him twice. It takes two to tango, or in this case, three. Nobody is innocent and nobody has the blame on their door.

“The use of excessive force was to get his tablets. He accepts in hindsight he should have dealt with it differently. He is a pleasant young man.”

Michael Kelleher, defending Elliot, said: “The photographs are extremely serious, and when Elliot saw them he gasped. Incidents like this happen quickly and you don’t see the consequence until after. However, there’s nothing more than bruises.

“The lady’s version of events is difficult to read, as she couldn’t remember bits because of intoxication. Elliot was going in to restrain her so Nyle could get his medication.”

After hearing this, Mr Pritchard- Jones exclaimed: “To say they were going to get his medication is nonsensical and ludicrous.”

The victim’s statement was read to the court, where she described how she is fearful to be in her own home, and has been staying at a different address since the incident.

She explained that she was embarrassed to go into work and knew that people were looking at her and feeling sorry for her. She said that her world had been turned upside down, and said: “I have never seen Nyle with so much hate. I didn’t deserve to be assaulted.”

After listening carefully to all the evidence, Magistrates sent both men into immediate custody for 23 weeks. They must also pay £400 compensation each to the victim, and £80 victim surcharge each.

A restraining order was also put in place.

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Primary school teacher would ‘moan’ as he touched female pupils, court hears

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher would “moan” while he touched his female pupils in a sexual way, a witness said in Swansea Crown Court.

In total, 11 former pupils, who were all under 13, have come forward and accused James Oulton, 34, of sexually assaulting them.

Oulton denies all the charges – saying the case was a “witch-hunt” and that he had behaved appropriately all times.

One of the pupils, who was in year four at the time, opened day four of the trial by giving evidence via a video link.

The girl told the court: “He would put his arm around by back and backside.”

Under cross examination Chris Clee QC, for the defence, asked the witness: “Did you tell the police that you were touched in an inappropriate way?”

The witness answered: “Yes, teachers should not be touching in that way.”

James Oulton

Asked if what he was doing wrong, the witness replied:

“Yes, very wrong”

In cross examination letters and cards were produced, made the witness whilst in school, where she had said Mr. James Oulton was “the best teacher in the whole world.”

One of the cards said: “You’ve made my life complete”.

Another card said: “Thank you for being so nice, and thanks for everything that you’ve done for me.”

The witness added: “Despite what he did do, he was a good teacher.  

“He used to buy us treats.

“He was nice caring and a sweet and fun teacher – but not what he was doing.

Referring to the cards, she said: “I would definitely not be saying that stuff now.”

Explaining how she told her parents the witness said: “Once I realised that [x] was in his class, I asked her ‘did he do this stuff to you?’

“She said yes.

“I realised more and more it was wrong and it was time to grow up now, and to speak.

“As soon as I found out that this was happening to [x] I stood up and told my parents.

Asked if she had seen inappropriate behaviour happening to anybody else the witness answered: “He did it to most of the girls in the class, but he had his favourites.

Asked if she had spoken to other girls about the touching, the witness said: “Yes, I was just curious was it just me, or was it normal?”

“Teachers should most definitely not be doing that to students.

“Doing what?”, the witness was asked, “You said in your police interview that he would pull you off your chair and make you sit on his lap, is that true?”

“Yes,” was the reply.

“Did you try and stop him?” she was asked.

“Yes, I tried to push him off sometimes and said, ‘get off its weird’, but I didn’t want to make a scene.

“He would make me sit on his lap whilst he was marking my work.”

When asked by the defence barrister how she was sat on her teacher’s lap, and if it was under a desk, the witness answered: “No, not under the desk, as both of our legs wouldn’t fit under.”

The witness also said that when she was sat on the defendant’s knee he would make “a low grunting noise.”

Asked if she had spoken others about this case, the girl said: “Police told my mum and dad that there were very many people involved in the case.

“I thought it was just me and [x] that was going to be at court, I only recently discovered that others had come out.”

A second female pupil was also giving evidence via video link. She was 9-years-old at the time of the alleged offending.

Firstly, a pre-recorded interview was played in court in which the witness said: “My teacher, Mr. Oulton always put his hand up my leg like that and up my t-shirt.”

She added: “If he calls you over and he pulls you onto his lap, if you don’t, he pulls your chair over and makes you.”

“How would he make you?” the QC asked.

“He would grab your arm, push you, and then pull you in”, she replied.

When asked if this was a one off, the witness said that the defendant “did it every day.”

“How would you be sat on his lap?”, she was asked.

“He would have one arm on my stomach, then the other arm would be rubbing my leg.”

“He would swap arms and then put one arm up my t-shirt.”

When asked to clarify if it was under her t-shirt the girl explained: “Yes it was under my t-shirt rubbing his hands up and down.”

The witness added: “If I tried to get up for work, he would just grab my arm.”

“He would make a funny sound like a hissing airplane.”

“We had a helper in the class, and when he came in, he would stop, and then I could go and sit down.”

The trial continues.

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New trees planted to help town

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SEVERAL new trees have been planted on Riverside Avenue in Neyland.

They were planted by Grandiflora, courtesy of the Town Council which recently pledged to plant more trees in the town in an attempt to help the environment.

As well as helping the environment, the trees will prevent vehicles from being parked on the grass verges on Riverside Avenue, which had been severely churned up over the winter and looked unsightly.

The Town Council will be working with Pembrokeshire County Council regarding parking issues in Neyland.

The trees will be tended and watered over the summer period to ensure they reach their maximum potential and enhance the area for residents and visitors alike.

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Golden goodbye report likely to be critical

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A REPORT by Audit Wales into the departure of former CEO Ian Westley is very likely to contain criticism of senior council officers.

In November 2020, Mr Westley left Pembrokeshire County Council with a £95,000 pay-out, something which has been criticised by a number of councillors.

In a document before the Audit and Governance Committee on Tuesday (April 13), it says that termination payments to Chief Officers are routinely examined by Audit Wales but in the case of Mr Westley, the audit team was unable to locate a recorded decision to enter into the settlement agreement which led to a termination payment being made to the Chief Executive.

An Audit Office spokesperson said: “This appeared unusual and therefore the audit team decided to undertake an early examination of the process that resulted in the payment being made.”

No complaints were raised, by councillors or any other body, with Audit Wales but the number of concerns and questions being raised at following council meetings prompted them to commence an audit.

Audit Wales state: “Our audit fieldwork is substantially complete. However due to the complex nature of some of the issues involved we considered it necessary to take some external legal
advice. We are currently considering that advice. 

“In the near future we will draft a document setting out our provisional findings and conclusions. 

“Once this document is ready we will commence a clearance process to confirm factual accuracy. 

“If the document contains criticism of identifiable individuals, in the first instance we will provide those individuals with any extracts of the document that pertain to them. Once
we have confirmed the factual accuracy with individuals, we will send the full draft document to the Council’s Chief Executive to identify any remaining factual inaccuracies. 

“We will only issue the finalised document once the clearance process has been completed. #

“We are unable to provide a definitive timetable for reporting because it will depend on the responses we receive within the clearance process.”

Only a handful of senior officers were involved in the procedure surrounding Ian Westley’s departure.

The inference which can be safely drawn from Audit Wales’ report to the Audit Committee is that some of its content will be critical either of councillors, senior officers, or both.

The process of asking those named to respond is known as Maxwellisation, a legal practice that allows persons who are to be criticised in an official report to respond prior to publication.

The report highlights the exceptional nature of the case at Pembrokeshire County Council and demonstrates the sensitivity of the issues raised.

If senior officers are sharply criticised or found to have failed in their duty to their employer, they will almost certainly have to go.

The council’s interim Chief Executive will read the document after maxwellisation.

It is also likely that the council’s newly appointed Chief Executive, Will Bramble, will have a chance to see it.

The Audit Wales spokesperson added: “We are unable to provide a definitive timetable for reporting because it will depend on the responses we receive within the clearance process. We are unable to respond to queries about our emerging findings whilst the audit is progressing, and until we have finalised our conclusions.”

In January, Cllr Jamie Adams had called for the council to commence an internal investigation into Mr Westley’s departure but that was deferred to allow for the Audit Wales review to be completed.

Cllr Adams said that the decision of payment should have been a ‘democratic decision’ and has asked why that wasn’t the case.

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