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Pembroke: Tragic death for ‘happy and joyful’ young carer

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luke-dowerA FINAL hearing into the death of local teenager, Luke Barzewicz-Dower was held at Milford Haven Town Hall yesterday (Sept 28). A pupil at Bush Hill Comprehensive School, Pembroke, Luke, 15, was confirmed to have tragically taken his own life on May 16, earlier this year.

Described by friends as ‘happy and joyful,’ it was found that Luke, a young carer for his mother, had been suffering from mental health issues following the death of his grandmother in October 2015.

Found to have been self–harming during this period, Luke had attended several appointments with the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Speaking at the hearing was one of Luke’s closest friends, who had ‘known him since Year Seven’ of secondary school.

“He was my best friend,” the Pembroke School pupil said.

Earlier on in the hearing, it was confirmed that Luke, on the morning leading up to his death, had asked his friend: “When I die will you update my status [on Facebook] to ‘chilling with the Devil’?”

Although Luke then gave his friend the login details to his Facebook, he didn’t take him seriously as Luke later said he was just ‘messing around.’ His friend instead chose to delete the account.

Learning Coach, Helen Griffiths had been among the first to find Luke’s body. She had been teaching in a classroom when she heard ‘screaming in the corridors’, after which she was led to Luke’s body by one of the pupils who had found him.

Having been told to get him down by ambulance services on the phone, she said: “I tried to lift him but realised it wasn’t going to happen.

“We kept trying and trying and trying,” she said.

Despite Luke’s body having been found in a wooded area behind the school premises, knowledge of his death spread quickly amongst staff.

Next to arrive at the scene, Assistant Head Teacher, Mr David Ellis said: “Mr John [another teacher] ran over to Luke and lifted him while I climbed the tree to undo the knot.”

Mr Ellis had been actively involved in the efforts to try and save Luke, participating in CPR until paramedics arrived.

A suicide note was also found, which was confirmed by DC Jason Thomas to be have been written by Luke.

Speaking at the hearing, he later added that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

A statement by one of the pupil’s who found Luke said: “I ran off and collapsed, crying profusely. I couldn’t breath.”

She added: “He used to carry around a thin rope and a knife; the rope was tied in a noose.”

Conducting the hearing, Assistant Coroner, Paul Bennett said in his concluding statements: “It seemed clear that Luke had set out on a course of action that ended in his life being taken.”

Mr Bennett gave reference to the note that Luke had left, along with his request to a friend that his Facebook status be updated in the event of his death. He also added that Luke had expressed ‘suicidal intent’ in the past, and that the death of his grandmother had clearly had ‘a significant effect on his mental wellbeing’.

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Police forensics investigation underway at Castle Lake car park, Haverfordwest

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SPECIALIST officers from Dyfed-Powys Police are conducting a forensics investigation following an earlier incident at a Haverfordwest car park.

Scenes of crime officers have been deployed at Castle Lake car park, with the car park currently sealed off by officers.

The investigation involves a silver Peugeot, with officers focussing on the vehicle, located near the entrance to the car park.

The Herald has contacted the police for more a statement.

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Man, 22, charged with murder of John William Bell in Cardigan

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A CARDIGAN man has been charged with murder after a man’s death in Ceredigion.

John Bell, 37, and also from the town, was found on the road to Cardigan Bridge in the early hours of Wednesday.

Dyfed-Powys Police said 22-year-old Ashley Keegan, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with his murder.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm that Ashley Keegan, aged 22, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with the murder of John William Bell.

Victim: John Bell

“Keegan will appear at Swansea magistrates court on Saturday 24th July 2021.

“John’s family continue to be supported by specialist officers and the investigation is grateful for the support of the community whilst enquiries were conducted.”

This is the second major incident in the same area this month.

Another man was charged with making threats with a knife, he is again from Golwg y Castell.

Dyfed-Powys Police said they received a number of calls reporting a man brandishing a knife towards another man in Maesyfelin, Cardigan, at around 4.20pm on Wednesday (July 14).

Several police units swiftly made their way to the area, but the suspect had fled.

Dean Thomas, aged 25, was quickly located at his home in Golwg y Castell, where he was arrested on suspicion of affray and taken to custody.

Mobile phone footage was gathered from people at the scene, and statements were taken from witnesses.

Cardigan Inspector Owen Williams said: “Thanks to the swift attendance of officers, there were a number of people present who were able to provide evidence to assist with our enquiries.
“Thomas also made a significant statement linking himself with the incident, and was charged within hours of being arrested.

“I hope the speed with which we carried out enquiries into this incident reassures people living in Maesyfelin, who were naturally very concerned by what had happened.”

Thomas was charged with threatening a person with a blade or sharply pointed article in a public place and appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, July 15 where he admitted the offence.

He will be sentenced on July 29 at Swansea Crown Court.

In relation to the murder, anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101 and quoting Op Reedham. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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‘Plan ahead this summer’, says Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council

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THE FOLLOWING is a message from the Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Cllr David Simpson:

Hello everyone, I hope you are well and enjoying this lovely weather.

My key message this week is about planning ahead.

This week we have experienced very hot and sunny days and beaches have been full and everyone is enjoying the outdoors.

We are experiencing a high volume of visitors to the county which can at times add additional pressures on our services.

This week, for example, we have seen high demand for car parking spaces, beach clean ups, litter picking and toilet cleaning.

Due to the high footfall please consider where you are going and what you will do when you are there. Some coastal car parks on nice sunny days are filing by mid-morning.

We all also need to be patient when out and about. We are all working together to move forward after the lockdowns, businesses still have to work differently and some are struggling with staff shortages, so please be patient.

As many of us will be staying local for our time off why not consider doing a ‘not visited yet list’.

Consider places in Pembrokeshire you have not explored but would like to – make this the year you go to those places you have always wanted to go to but not had a chance.

Our front line teams are working hard to support our communities and ensure we deliver key services. I would ask for your support to help us to keep Pembrokeshire open and welcoming to all.

I’m aware of issues reported to us regarding litter being left on beaches and grass verges. Leaving litter behind is not acceptable – we have adequate litter bins out and about. Please help us keep Pembrokeshire clean.

Another issue being reported to us is fires being lit in the countryside and beauty spots while people eat and drink in the warm weather.

It goes without saying how dangerous a fire could be given the exceptionally dry weather we have had recently.

If you are thinking about lighting a fire while you are out I would just appeal to you to please think again. The potential consequences are just not worth it.

As you will know, this week we have had an Amber weather warning for heat, so just a gentle reminder to take care when out and about and please take care of your pets.

Our furry friends need extra attention in the heat. Please do not leave dogs unattended in cars and remember the walkways will be hot on their feet.

I’d like to finish this week by thanking everyone involved in our education teams and wish them all a well-deserved summer break.

I hope all our children enjoy the summer – the weather is definitely helping!

Stay safe everyone.

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