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CPS given time to reconsider ‘unfair and oppressive’ court proceedings

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Thomas Sinclair (right) and Matthew Paul (left) at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court (pic. Alan Evans)

THE EDITOR of The Pembrokeshire Herald has been in court today (Sep 8) charged with naming a youth defendant in court proceedings.

Thomas Sinclair, 37, of Hamilton Terrace, Milford Haven, appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court this morning to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

His barrister, Matthew Paul, successfully argued that Sinclair should not have to make a plea at the hearing, because he raised the point that the Milford Haven Port Authority, the organisation who prosecuted the youth, had also breached the same act of Parliament by releasing a press release which allows the identity of that defendant to be easily discovered.

Matthew Paul told the court that The Port of Milford Haven were effectively acting as the Crown when they secured a conviction against a young fisherman who crashed his boat in 2015.

That prosecuting authority, he said, put a press release on their website which clearly stated the defendant’s place of work.

This is a breach of the same Act of Parliament, albeit a different section, which Mr Sinclair is charged with.

Mr Sinclair accepts that he has no defence to the charge, but in these circumstances, it would be both “unfair and oppressive” to prosecute him.

District Judge, Simon Morgan, told Sinclair: “As a journalist you should know proceedings in the youth court are subject of the 1933 Act.

“Even if this youth had appeared in the adult court, an order prohibiting publication of his identity would have been issued automatically, and as a matter of course due to his age.

“Any journalist not present at the hearing could have contacted the court to check what court orders were in place in relation to the youth who had appeared.”

District Judge Morgan accepted that the CPS should be given time to consider whether the prosecution against Sinclair was in the public interest, in light of the fact they had chosen not to prosecute the Port of Milford Haven.

Barrister Matthew Paul told the court that this is a case where the youth in question was only a few months away from his 18th birthday, had already gained notoriety in both local and national press, and as the captain of a fishing vessel he was in a unique position of responsibility, in charge of both the vessel and lives of the crew.

During the hearing the solicitor representing another client passed his smartphone to Mr Paul. Mr Paul held up the phone and pointed out to the judge that the identity of the youth concerned was there for all to see on the Daily Mail website, at that moment in time, as well as in other national newspapers.

Simply Googling the name of the vessel which, was until recently, on the Port Authority website would have revealed the name of the defendant.

Mr Paul requested 14 days adjournment, but when questioned by the judge the CPS prosecutor requested more time. The judge granted adjournment for 28 days and the case will continue on October 10.

Speaking after the case, Tom Sinclair said: “I do not want to see The Port of Milford Haven prosecuted, what I want is for the CPS to come to their senses and drop this case.”

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Health

Proposed locations for new hospital site to be reviewed

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HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD (UHB) will this week undertake a review of potential sites as part of the ongoing process to identify a suitable location for a new hospital.

Eleven sites will be assessed on Friday 22 October, including those identified by members of the public during the six-week engagement exercise, which took place earlier this year.

This stage of the process is intended to lead to the creation of a shortlist of sites. This will be subject to further detailed appraisal with significant public and wider stakeholder involvement. The final decision about the chosen site will be made by the health board, in agreement with Welsh Government.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “The building of a new hospital is a major long-term project, which is why we place great emphasis on being open and transparent about the process involved.

“The process we are following includes developing a programme business case to support our strategy for community and hospital-based health and care. As part of the process to apply for funding from the Welsh Government, we will submit the programme business case, and then individual outline business cases, then the final business cases for the new infrastructure we will need. The health board will therefore engage with the public on a regular basis between now and the submission of the final business cases to ensure your views are fully considered.

“I understand and recognise there are passionate feelings about a new hospital, but we strongly believe a new facility is essential for urgent and planned care in the south of the Hywel Dda area. It will provide trauma care and be the main emergency department for the south of our area.

“I can also reassure the public that we have no plans or intention to close either Glangwili or Withybush hospitals. We will engage further on how these hospitals could work alongside the proposed new hospital.”

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Unprecedented demand on health and social care services in local area

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Joint statement by Hywel Dda University Health Board, the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Pembrokeshire County Council, Carmarthenshire County Council and Ceredigion County Council

The urgent statement we have asked to publish is as follows:

THERE is currently an unprecedented demand on health and social care services across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, which is leading to significant delays in care provision. Put simply, the difficulty in discharging medically-fit patients from hospital – many of whom have complex personal circumstances and needs – is leading to significant bed shortages, and consequently, lengthy ambulance waits at the ‘front door’ of A&E departments, which mean that paramedics are unable to respond to other 999 calls in the community.Social care and Health teams are doing everything possible to support people who are well enough to leave hospital but need ongoing care. Priority is being given to the most vulnerable, and alternative health and care packages are being offered as a short-term measure. More carers and health staff are also being recruited to support people in need.

If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is well enough to go home, but is waiting to be discharged with homecare and community health support, you may be able to help them to get home more quickly if you and your family are in a position to support them at home. If your relative is waiting for a formal package of care, you may be able to offer support and care on a short term, temporary arrangement or you might want to consider whether your loved one could be supported in a temporary residential or nursing care setting. If you feel that this is an option that you could consider, please speak to the ward manager or your social worker to explore further.

Spending as little time in hospital is better for patients and means that NHS beds can be freed up for others with urgent care needs. Supporting older patients to get home from hospital efficiently is an important part of their recovery and it also protects them from negative consequences of hospital admission, such as hospital acquired infection, falls and a loss of independence.  You can find out more about the hospital discharge process and guidance here: Inpatient information – Hywel Dda University Health Board (nhs.wales)

Your support not only helps your loved one, but it is a huge support to the NHS and social care services as well.

Thank you.

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News

Child taken to hospital following collision with car outside school

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AN EARLY morning collision outside Ysgol Harri Tudor school, Pembroke, has seen a child taken to hospital.

The collision happened between a child and a car on Pembroke Road, Pembroke, at approximately 9am this morning.

A secondary school pupil has been taken to hospital via ambulance for what is said to be minor injuries.

Police and ambulance service were on the scene and were helped by school staff to manage the incident.

A police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a road traffic collision involving a car and a secondary school pupil this morning, 21st October 2021. The collision occurred on Pembroke Road, Pembroke at approximately 9:00am.

“The Ambulance Service also attended and escorted the teenage boy to hospital with what are believed to be minor injuries.”

A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there has been an incident outside Ysgol Harri Tudur in Pembroke this morning where a pupil came into contact with a car. 

“The police and ambulance have been on the scene and were assisted by school staff. We are not able to release any further details at present.”

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