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Two arrested for distraction thefts




A ROMANIAN national who conned three different Pembrokeshire businesses out of £200 each using a “sophisticated” sleight of hand technique was jailed for 40 weeks yesterday (Nov 22).

Baron Rostas, 27, who gave an address in Rotherham, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft from a shop, all of which took place on November 17, at Ultracomida in Narberth, Monkton Post Office, and The Best One in Charles Street, Milford Haven.

Bobi Anghel, 18, pleaded not guilty to the same charges, along with charges of driving without a valid licence and insurance.

Prosecuting, Abul Hussein said that Rostas had gone into various premises and purchased items. He had then produced a large quantity of £20 notes, and asked for them to be changed in to £10 notes. He then discreetly pocketed a quantity of the cash, before telling the cashier that he had changed his mind and swapping the money back.

“He has confused the cashier, and distracted them, so they don’t realise that he has taken the money,” Mr Hussein added.

The theft of £200 in each case was not noticed until the till were cashed up at the end of the day.

The court was shown CCTV footage of one of the incidents, which indicated Rostas palming money to one side, and concealing a number of notes in his left hand.

Defending, Mark Layton said that Rostas was willing to pay compensation of £600.

Describing his previous offending as “limited”, Mr Layton said that Rostas, who has previously been convicted for a similar matter, was employed as a car washer in Rotherham.

It had been claimed that he had travelled to the Pembrokeshire area to purchase a car, only to find that it had a serious defect when he arrived, but this was not verified.

“These were thoroughly unpleasant offences, but the defendant could only have obtained a limited amount through the deception,” Mr Layton added.

Speaking through an interpreter, Rostas told the court that he was “extremely sorry” for his behaviour, and assured magistrates that there would be no repetition.

Magistrates told Rostas that the offences were so serious that only a custodial sentence was appropriate.
“These were planned, professional and sophisticated offences, which cause significant harm to small businesses,” they added.

In addition to the 40 week custodial sentence, Rostas was ordered to pay compensation of £600, costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £140.

Anghel will be tried at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on December 19. He was released on conditional bail until then.

Inspector Aled Davies said: “We are very pleased with the sentence handed out to Rostas. It was obvious that these two passing offenders were intent on committing crime and offences during their travels and I am pleased to say that their crime spree came to an abrupt halt in Pembrokeshire.

“Travelling criminals such as these are greedy, dishonest and do not care who they target. Their sole purpose in committing such crimes is to steal money for their own personal benefit. It was a pleasure to be part of the team who eventually arrested and detained these two offenders.”

This week (Nov 21-25) Dyfed-Powys Police are working with partners across the UK to stop criminals using the road networks both within and coming from outside the UK as part of Operation Trivium. Officers will be stopping vehicles and checking drivers’ details with the purpose of dealing a major blow to mobile criminality.

Inspector Davies continued: “Travelling criminals cause distress, annoyance and loss to their victims. Our role is to protect and safeguard the communities that we police. My message to all mobile criminals would be to stay away from Dyfed-Powys – we will always take positive action against travelling criminals and if caught they will be taken to court and prosecuted.

“I would like to take this opportunity to warn people in the Dyfed-Powys community to be wary of money changing scams. Always be vigilant and suspicious of these types of offenders, whose sole purpose is to confuse, using sleight of hand trickery to steal your money.

“If you believe that someone is attempting to commit such offences, do not engage or interact with them and report the incident at your earliest opportunity by calling 101.”

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Sensational music event thrills the crowds at Scolton Manor



AN UNFORGETTABLE evening of live jazz, classical, rock, and film score music captivated hundreds of attendees at the enchanting ‘Music at the Manor’ event. Presented by the esteemed Pembrokeshire Music Service, this musical extravaganza took place amidst the picturesque grounds of Scolton Manor, offering young talents from across the county a chance to showcase their skills in a relaxed setting. For many of these budding musicians, it marked their debut performance in front of a live audience.

The event witnessed outstanding displays of talent from a myriad of ensembles, including the County Brass Band, Training Orchestra (featuring the Second Steps group), Concert Band, Rock and Pop bands, Rock Strings, Symphonic Wind Band, Pembrokeshire’s Community Choir, and the esteemed Cleddau Chamber Orchestra.

Among the delighted attendees was Patricia Mawuli Porter OBE, who attended the event alongside her family. She described the evening as “a wonderful demonstration of community, music, family, caring, and just what an amazing part of the world we live in.” Mawuli Porter OBE was particularly impressed with the diversity of performances, ranging from youth bands belting out energetic renditions of songs like ‘Teenage dirtbag’ to the majestic classical and movie-themed scores, which added depth and variety to the musical tapestry.

“We can only applaud the team at Pembrokeshire Music Service for putting on the most incredible community event and look forward to next year’s event with great anticipation!” Mawuli Porter OBE exclaimed with enthusiasm.

Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, expressed his gratitude to the Pembrokeshire Music Service team for organizing such an excellent evening of entertainment. “It was a lovely concert, and so good to see it full of local people enjoying themselves,” he commended. “Credit must go to the brilliant participants, be they playing an instrument or singing songs, they were excellent.”

Vivienne Ward from the Newport Music Society also offered her congratulations to all the performers, acknowledging the impressive talent pool in Pembrokeshire. “What impressive young musicians there are in Pembrokeshire, and what a wonderful variety of different bands/orchestras are available for the young to choose from; they are indeed lucky,” she praised.

The event drew overwhelming praise from parents in attendance, with one parent raving, “The standard was exceptional, and a wonderful evening was had by one and all. Well done, everyone! A massive thanks to everyone involved, and much appreciation to Pembrokeshire Music Service – we are so lucky to have you!”

Philippa Roberts, the head of the Music Service, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to all those involved in making ‘Music at the Manor’ a resounding success. “A huge thank you from the team at Pembrokeshire Music Service to everyone who contributed to making Music at the Manor a wonderful community event,” Roberts said. “Working in partnership with Valero, the Friends of Pembrokeshire Young Musicians, and Scolton Manor, I am grateful to everyone who helped and supported the performers to provide a special evening of live music.”

With its remarkable performances and celebration of musical diversity, ‘Music at the Manor’ proved to be an extraordinary showcase of Pembrokeshire’s vibrant musical talent. As the echoes of this magnificent event fade away, anticipation for next year’s edition continues to build, promising an even more spectacular musical spectacle for all to enjoy.

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Police confirm body found in search for Huw



POLICE said than a frantic search for Haverfordwest man Huw Phillips, 56, has been called off after the body of a man was discovered in the local area.

Police said that Huw’s family have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers, after the body was found on Saturday afternoon (Jun 3). 

Huw’s son Kenes Phillips took to Facebook to share the sad news. He bravely said: “Thank you everyone for sharing, showing your love, helping with the search and just doing whatever you could to offer the slightest bit of help.

“But unfortunately, my father was found dead.”

Huw’s good friend Mark Llewhellin paid tribute. He said: “Huw was born of the 4th July. He was kind, sensitive, a good laugh and one of my very best friends.
“I was lucky to have had him as a close friend.
“See you on the other side my friend, but not yet, not yet.”

The police posted on Facebook at 4pm on Saturday saying: “Thank you for sharing our appeal earlier to find Huw, missing from Haverfordwest.

“Sadly, a body has been found during the search, and therefore we are no longer appealing for information.
“Officers are supporting Huw’s family and our thoughts are with them all.”

Earlier on Saturday, the police found Huw’s abandoned car in Clay Lane, Haverfordwest.

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Ironman Wales in Tenby becomes second UK event of 2023 to sell out



THE HIGHLY anticipated Ironman Wales event in Tenby has captured the attention of athletes, becoming the second race in the UK this year to sell out well before the season kicks off.

Scheduled for Sunday, September 3, Ironman Wales has now joined the Ironman 70.3 Swansea event as another sold-out competition in the country.

The popularity of the Tenby event should come as no surprise, as it was the only race to feature in the top 10 globally in eight out of nine categories in the Ironman Athletes’ Choice Awards. This prestigious recognition is based on votes cast by triathletes from around the world.

The captivating swim start at Tenby’s North Beach, the picturesque bike ride passing by stunning beaches and castles, and the exhilarating finish line on streets filled with cheering spectators have made Ironman Wales internationally renowned.

Sam Brawn, the regional director for UK & Ireland at The Ironman Group, expressed his delight, saying, “Ironman Wales continues to attract a tremendous following from our athletes year after year. Whether they are returning participants or newcomers eager to conquer this iconic course, the event remains immensely popular.”

“We take great pride in the fact that the race has been acknowledged as one of the finest events in the global Ironman Series. It secured a spot in the top 10 across multiple categories in the Global Ironman Athletes’ Choice Awards, including a second-place ranking in both the ‘Will Recommend To A Friend’ and ‘Overall Host City’ categories.”

For those who were unable to secure a spot in Tenby, Mr. Brawn highlighted Ironman Cork as an exciting alternative. The inaugural event in Cork, Ireland, took place last year and will return on Sunday, July 2.

“It’s also thrilling to witness the growing popularity of new races, such as the festival weekend in Cork, Ireland, which has gained traction after just one year,” he added.

The official UK and Ireland race season will commence in just over a week with Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire on June 11. The organizers eagerly anticipate an exhilarating few months of racing, regardless of the weather conditions that the British summer may bring.

Athletes looking to complete their race calendar for 2023 can find the full schedule of events at

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