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£1.3m payout slashed

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Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 11.11.53“COWSHED CINDERELLA”, Eirian Davies, who won £1.3 million against her aging parents last year, has had the payout slashed to just £500,000 by the Court of Appeal.

The 47-year-old sued her mum and dad, claiming they promised her she would ultimately step into their shoes and take over the family’s thriving dairy farm.

Miss Davies spent a large part of 25 years milking the cows on Henllan Farm, Whitland, Dyfed, and tending its herd of pedigree Holstein cows.

She said she missed out on going to Young Farmers’ Club dances with her two sisters as a teenager because she had to “stay at home with a muck fork”.

Her parents, Tegwyn and Mary Davies, now in their 70s, denied they had treated her unfairly but were ordered to pay her £1.3 million by a judge.

Today, however, three senior judges in London ruled that was far too generous – and slashed Miss Davies’ award to £500,000. And Lords Justice Lewison, sitting with Lords Justice Patten and Underhill, gave her 12 months to leave the farm where she grew up.

After the court heard the farm had been “in lockdown” due to a TB outbreak, her parents were given time to come up with the cash they now owe their daughter.

A judge ruled two years ago that Miss Davies was due a stake in the 182-acre farm as fair recompense for the the years of lowpaid toil she put in.

She had told the court: “They always told me that the farm would be left to me.

“Even on my birthday, when the other girls were having things, they would say – ‘you will have the damn lot one day, it will all be yours’,” she said.

Her father would regularly warn her “not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg” if she complained about her meagre wages, she added.

She claimed she could have ‘made a better life elsewhere’, but her parents insisted that she earned a fair income, also receiving free ‘bed and board’ and other benefits.

Describing her as ‘a self-employed herdswoman’, they argued she would have done no better financially had she worked away from the farm. In 2009, Miss Davies, who had a passionate interest in pedigree milking cows, was shown her parents’ draft will, which left the lion’s share of the farm to her. However, the couple later made changes to their bequests and proposed placing the farm in trust for the benefit of all three of their daughters equally.

The family feud finally hit court after an “altercation” in the milking parlour in 2012 and Mr and Mrs Davies tried, but failed, to evict their daughter from Henllan Farmhouse.

The Court of Appeal upheld her right to a stake in the farm and, in February last year, Judge Milwyn Jarman QC awarded her £1.3 million.

Attacking the decision, her parents’ QC, Simon Fancourt, said the payout was “hugely disproportionate”.

It was, argued the barrister, wrongly based on an assumption that Miss Davies legitimately expected to “inherit the whole lot” on her parents’ death.

Describing the dispute as “bitter” today, Lord Justice Lewison agreed that the award was over the top and cut it to £500,000.

The legal costs of the case are bound to come to a high, six-figure, sum, further depleting the family fortune.

Mr and Mrs Davies will have to pay the costs of earlier hearings, but their daughter must cover those run up in her parents’ successful appeal.

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Tragedy above Milford Haven takeaway

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DYFED POWYS POLICE has confirmed that a 20-year-old male passed away in Milford Haven last Saturday, April 17.

Police were called to the USA Fried Chicken store on Charles Street at around 1:30pm but have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

A Herald reporter was at the scene and witnessed a number of police cars and an ambulance while plain-clothed officers were also seen.

HM Coroner has been informed.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson added: “We were called to Charles Street in Milford Haven on Saturday 17 April at approximately 1.34pm to reports of a medical emergency. We attended the scene with one emergency ambulance where we assisted colleagues from the police.”

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Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

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THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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Joinery learner through to Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year Finals

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PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE joinery learner, Conor Ratcliff has made it through to the final ten in this year’s Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year competition.

Now in its seventh year, the competition celebrates the next generation of tradespeople as they start out on their career. With over 2,500 nominations, Conor was shortlisted to the top 30 where he had to deliver a video presentation to industry-leading judges and trade body representatives. Judged on professionalism, creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and knowledge of their trade, Conor impressed the judges and is now in the final 10.  

Simon Jackson, Screwfix Customer and Digital director, commented: “Every year we are amazed by the outstanding quality of entrants and, this year, we are on the lookout for apprentices who go above and beyond to succeed within their chosen trade.

“We’ve seen how this career-boosting accolade and £10,000 prize bundle helps kickstart an apprentice’s career. I’d like to wish everyone through to this stage the best of luck!”

The prize package includes everything a future tradesperson may need to start up their own business including £5,000 of tools, a £3,000 training budget and £2,000 worth of technology. The college where they study will also receive £2,000.

Conor is thrilled to have made it through to the finals and commented: “I am extremely honoured to have made it this far in the competition and I am very excited for the final event. It would be an amazing opportunity for me, if I won this competition.

“I hope it encourages more people to consider an apprenticeship in a trade, the Carpentry and Joinery department have been incredibly supportive during my studies.”

The Final is due to take place imminently where the judges will conduct an online interview with the ten finalists before selecting and announcing their overall winner.

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