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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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News

Pembrokeshire airport lease expected to be completed by end of year

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HAVERFORDWEST’S council-run airport, which had a circa £119,000 deficit last year, is expected to be leased out by the end of the year following “reasonably complex” negotiations, councillors heard.

Back in May, members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet supported the leasing of Withybush Airport as part of plans to make the facility cost-neutral to the authority.

Last year, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, members heard the financial position at the council-supported Haverfordwest/Withybush airport deteriorated in 2022/23, with an out-turn position for 2022/23 of £238,000.

That loss has been reduced to an expected £119,000 for 2023/24 “following an extensive review of the operations of the airport”.

At the July 18 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s full council, a series of submitted questions on the airport were heard.

Merlins Bridge councillor John Cole asked: “With the council leasing out the Haverfordwest airport, can members be assured that the lease is at comparable rent with similar airport facilities, and the airport being offloaded purely as a cost savings measure?”

He also asked a second related question: “Are current users protected and assured that their tenancy and rents currently payable to the authority are taken into consideration?”

Responding, Deputy Leader Cllr Paul Miller said the proposed letting was considered to be “best letting,” with restricted private documents detailing the figures available to all members.

On the second question, he said existing tenants had been involved throughout the process, and once the new overall lease was in place tenants would be protected through legislation.

However, he stressed the new leaseholder would be able to change conditions in the future and the council would “not dictate terms” in the future.

A further question was asked by Saundersfoot South councillor Chris Williams: “On a recent services meeting back in 2023, we had a productive meeting at Withybush Airport to look at the impact regarding costs to PCC and to consider options with regards to its future operation.

“Can you please clarify if the airport is still owned and operated by Pembrokeshire County Council and if so at what cost since April 1, 2024?”

Cllr Miller said the airport was still currently owned by the council following the Cabinet decision, with “reasonably complex” negotiations ongoing, complicated by land ownership issues and the need to obtain the civil aviation licence.

“Hopefully by the end of the calendar year we will have completed that transaction,” Cllr Miller said, adding that £25,000 had been spent since April 1.

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Farming

FUW sets out its key priorities at the Royal Welsh Show

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THE Farmers’ Union of Wales has set out its robust asks of the UK and Welsh Governments despite the challenges presented by navigating through a constantly changing political landscape.

Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show this week, FUW President Ian Rickman reiterated the fact that the Union’s stance remains constant and relentless in an ever changing political arena.

“Welsh farming is at an important crossroads which will determine our future for decades to come. Whilst our direction of travel depends heavily on the development of devolved agricultural policies, we must not forget how decisions made by the newly elected UK Government will effectively determine the degree of funding the Welsh Government has available to support agriculture and rural development.

“This, in turn, will have an impact upon the extent to which Welsh food producers can be expected to compete against producers in other UK nations and across the globe on various levels.

“Despite these challenges, our focus as a Union is to keep-on lobbying governments relentlessly for the best possible outcomes for our members, Welsh agriculture and our rural communities.

“The recent Senedd Cabinet reshuffle and UK General Election certainly brought about considerable change to the political landscape in Wales, not least the appointment of Huw Irranca-Davies MS as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and a new UK Labour Government holding a majority at Westminster.

“However, turmoil in Cardiff persists as Vaughan Gething’s resignation leaves the door wide open for yet another reshuffle within a matter of a few months.

At a UK level, the FUW is calling for a fair, multiannual funding settlement of £450 million per year in EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) legacy funding for agriculture and rural development in Wales.

“The role of this support in underpinning food production, environmental protection and rural communities in Wales cannot be underestimated.

“We also need to see a far more robust approach to future trade deals with other countries and trading blocs if we are to protect Welsh farmers and UK food security. Food imports and exports must be subject to the same customs and adherence to similar standards if we are to provide a level playing field for both UK and EU producers.”

The FUW is calling for incentives and support for farmers to invest in on-farm renewable energy production that benefits local communities. Food production should be recognised as a national asset and the use of productive agricultural land to meet tree planting and other environmental targets should be halted.

Procurement policies must prioritise public sector support for Welsh and British businesses, recognising the range of benefits such properly designed policies can deliver for society. The newly elected UK Labour Government must also protect and promote the UK’s high animal health and welfare standards and bring in a law that ensures that all dogs should be kept on a lead in fields near or adjacent to livestock.

“Despite the uncertainty in Cardiff, we call on the Welsh Government to build strong relations with the newly elected UK Labour Government to ensure that Welsh agriculture receives the attention it deserves. EU CAP legacy funding allocated for Welsh agriculture and rural development must be protected for this purpose and such funding should continue to be co-funded using national funds.

“The ongoing process of negotiating a revised Sustainable Farming Scheme that provides stability for our food producing family farms must also continue if the scheme is to be implemented in 2026. It is crucial that the scheme considers economic, social and environmental sustainability on equal footings and is accessible and achievable for all active farmers in Wales.

“We also want to see the adoption of practical and innovative technological solutions as a central part of the Control of Agricultural Pollution ‘NVZ’ Regulations review. The process must be based on robust data and evidence while seeking to address water quality issues through innovation rather than regulation.”

Mr Rickman added that the Welsh Government has to, now more than ever before, adopt a scientific and holistic approach to bovine TB eradication in Wales by working with the Technical Advisory Group in investigating the effectiveness of current testing regimes and methods for addressing disease transmission by wildlife.

“Finally, moves towards net zero must be sustainable and based on robust science in such a way that actions carried out in response to short-term targets are not reversed. Reducing our carbon footprint must be manageable and realistic, and must not compromise production or the economic viability of farming businesses.

“The coming days are a celebration of Welsh agriculture and the farmers who continue to produce high quality food and protect the environment against a constant backdrop of political uncertainty and challenge.”

Mr Rickman said that the impacts of such uncertainty across the UK and some fundamental policy questions would be the focus of the FUW’s seminars being held over the coming days, as panels of professionals tackle a diverse range of areas of concern for Welsh farming.

“As always, in addition to these events, our staff and Presidential Team will be meeting officials and stakeholders in order to highlight FUW’s farming members’ good news stories and industry concerns. Rest assured, despite navigating a constantly changing political landscape, our constant and relentless stance remains; to represent the interests of Welsh farmers,” concluded Mr Rickman.

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Health

Health Board to make decision about the future of St David’s GP Surgery

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THE FUTURE of Primary Care provision for patients registered with St David’s GP Surgery in Pembrokeshire will be discussed by Hywel Dda University Health Board at a meeting on Thursday, 25 July 2024.

An engagement exercise was undertaken to gather patient and local stakeholder views on the future of GP services following the decision of the one GP who runs the Surgery to resign his General Medical Services Contract, which takes effect from 31 October 2024.

The engagement with patients and stakeholders included a drop-in event St David’s City Hall in June. This event was well-attended and gave people an opportunity to discuss their concerns in person with the Health Board and Llais, the patient’s voice organisation for Wales.

Patients and members of the local community were also able to share their views via a questionnaire which was available at the engagement event, and also from the Surgery, the local Pharmacy, online, or by contacting the Health Board by phone or e-mail.

Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care, Community and Long-Term Care, at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to feed back their views to us. The Health Board is committed to listening to and engaging with our local populations and we would like to thank patients and stakeholders for their involvement in the process so far.

“We would like to reassure patients that we are working to find a sustainable solution from the limited options available so that services can be delivered as locally as possible for patients from the 1 November.

The main themes picked up during the engagement period include concerns about the impact on the community of St David’s if the Surgery were to close, continuity of care and also travel to another GP surgery, especially with regard to public transport.

“People at the drop-in event were provided with information about the frequency of public transport and other transport support available in the community,” said Ms Paterson.

“There was also much appreciation expressed for Dr Stephen Riley and his team and for the care that they have provided over the years. We very much appreciate the continuing support given by the Community to the team at St David’s Surgery throughout this challenging period.”

On Thursday, 25 July, the Board will consider the feedback received.

Ms Paterson continued: “We understand local people will want to know what the future of their GP services will look like, and we will be writing to all patients to inform them of the outcome once a decision is made by the Board.”

To read the Board papers and watch the meeting on the day, please visit: Board Agenda and Papers 25 July 2024 – Hywel Dda University Health Board (nhs.wales)

An update, following the Board’s formal decision on Thursday, July 25 will be shared with patients and stakeholders.

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