Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

£23,500 ‘disappeared’

Published

on

screen-shot-2016-12-28-at-12-17-56A FORMER racing driver, who was made bankrupt over an insurance payout she received following an accident, appeared before Magistrates in Haverfordwest on Tuesday (Dec 13), charged with concealing more than £20,000 from creditors.

Sarah Louise Johnston, 37, of Heol Preseli, Fishguard, pleaded guilty to a charge of concealing £23,500 from the sale of a house after an unsatisfied judgement of £49,376 was obtained against her by the National Autograss Sports Association (NASA).

The court heard that Johnston was previously an autograss racer, and a member of NASA, who, as part of this membership, had an insurance policy.

In 2010, she was involved in an accident which resulted in her right hand being crushed. As a result, she was given an interim insurance payment of £5,000.

At a medical examination, she told the doctor that she was unable to compete as a driver as a result of this injury, even with a modified vehicle, and, as a result of this and the examination, the prognosis was made that a ny stiffness and loss of strength and mobility in her dominant hand was likely to be permanent.

As a result of this, Johnston received a further £45,000 insurance payout. However, it subsequently came to light that she had been racing in 2012. The doctor who examined her then said that if he had known this, he would not have described the injury as permanent.

After she was sued by NASA for the recovery of the money, Johnston was declared bankrupt.

It then emerged that, in 2014, she received £30,000 following the sale of a house, which she transferred through different bank accounts until it ‘disappeared’.

In February of this year, Johnston was invited to attend an interview with the investigating officer, but responded saying that she had nothing to say, and didn’t understand what was happening. The officer replied that he would be happy to explain this over the phone, but received no further communication, and Johnston was charged with the offence.

Johnston’s solicitor Mike Kelleher described the case as ‘very complicated’. He pointed out that NASA must have been aware that she was driving in 2012, given that they had issued her with a licence to do this.

However, the court heard that Johnston had been involved in a subsequent crash which had left her with ‘far more severe injuries’, including serious damage to her spine and arm. Following this, she had been in a wheelchair for 12 months and had spent five months in a spinal injury rehabilitation unit.

Mr Kelleher explained that when she was allowed home, her current house was ‘unsuitable for her needs’. Alternative accommodation was found, but it was largely unfurnished, so when Johnston received the money from the sale of a property connected to a previous relationship, she viewed it as a ‘Godsend’, and spent it on adapting and furnishing the new house.

Regarding the initial judgement, Mr Kelleher remarked that considering the extent of Johnston’s disabilities, it was ‘perhaps not surprising that she didn’t turn up’.

“She has pleaded guilty for putting her head in the sand and not dealing with these problems,” he added.

“She was not dishonest – she was simply desperate – and she needed this money to make her life liveable.”

Magistrates told Johnston that, while the offence passed the custody threshold, they were willing to suspend the 26-week sentence for a year. She was also ordered to pay £2,900 in prosecution costs and a surcharge of £80.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Primary school teacher described as ‘touchy-feely’ on day two of trial

Published

on

A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher, accused of sexually assaulting his pupils was “very touchy-feely”, Swansea Crown Court heard on the second day of his trial.

James Oulton, 34, of Haverfordwest would put his hands around students’ waists and touch their bottoms, an ex-female pupil said in a video interview played to Swansea Crown Court.

The defendant denies 30 charges of sexual assault at a primary school in Haverfordwest. The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

On the opening day of the trial, court heard that Oulton said the case was a “witch-hunt” and that he always behaved appropriately with children.

On Tuesday, the jury watched the video interview with one of Oulton’s former pupils, who said he was a “friendly person, very chatty and sociable and quite outgoing and wanted to know everything that was going on.”

She added: “Mr Oulton often wanted to know a lot of details on what we had done over the weekend, where we had been, and also who they had been with.”

“At the time I just thought he was trying to be really friendly but now when I look back at it now, it does seem odd.”

The witness also described the defendant as a “very touchy-feely teacher”.

She added: “If he was marking your work or if you approached him to ask him a question, he would put his hands around your waist or around your bum”.

“If he was standing by his desk, he would, like, motion to his knee, so he wouldn’t ask you directly to sit on his lap but he would tap his knee.”

Swansea Crown Court heard that the witness eventually came forward and told her parents parents after she heard them speaking about Mr Oulton being suspended from his job.

“Did you feel under pressure to say something had happened to you?” asked Mr Clee.

The witness answered “No”

Oulton, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, previously told the court he had behaved appropriately.

He also believed letters were sent by Pembrokeshire County Council to parents which encouraged “deliberately false evidence” and collusion between pupils.

The trial continues.

Continue Reading

News

‘We don’t want it’: councillors object to HGV tanker park plans

Published

on

PEMBROKE DOCK town councillors have objected strongly to plans to build a HGV tanker park in the town.

The tanker park would be located on the south-western side of Criterion Way, behind the ASDA petrol station.

However, at a meeting of the town council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday, April 13, councillors were in agreement that it would create more problems for the town.

Councillor Jonathan George said: “I’ve noted the public input on this and they don’t seem very happy about where it’s going to be put.

“It is close to a small park area and I don’t think it’s suitable to put this here. I won’t be supporting this.”

Cllr George Manning added: “There are many aspects of this which are totally inappropriate for Pembroke Dock. There are many other sites available but they haven’t looked at any of them.

“This does not do anything for the Future Generations act and it will bring more disruption to the town.

“This does not bring about any improvements to the existing transport infrastructure. There are lots of things about this, we don’t want it. I don’t think they have looked into it in enough detail.”

Cllr Gordon Goff said that the impact it would have on the public and wildlife would be ‘astronomical’.

He went on to say he was not happy with one of the statements in the application and said they ‘don’t want to be blackmailed’.

One of the documents submitted with the application states that if the development was not approved it would mean that the applicants, Certas, ‘will either have to find a different site’ or ‘will have to cease operating in the area’.

Cllr Terry Judkins said that the Port Authority wanted to ‘use Pembroke Dock as a dumping ground’ and added that he could not support it.

Cllr Maureen Colgan added that she was ‘totally against’ the application and said that the area should be kept for leisure and be developed as an area where people can sit and enjoy themselves.

The application is due to be decided by Pembrokeshire County Council at a later date.

Cllr Paul Dowson has already called in the application for it to be debated by the County Council’s Planning Committee.

In his request he states that it is too near habitation, it is within the Pembroke Dock conservation area and that children have been using the area near the bandstand as play area for over 20 years.

The area had also previously been the subject of an application for a marina and other leisure facilities but that investment was written off in 2017.

Continue Reading

News

Trial of Haverfordwest primary school teacher starts at Swansea Crown Court

Published

on

A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher who is accused of sexually abusing eleven children thinks he is a victim of a witch hunt by the police, a jury has heard.

But at Swansea Crown Court on Monday (Apr 12), the Clare Wilks for the prosecution said that the defendant had “abused the trust of parents and staff” by sexually touching children in his care.

James Oulton, denies 30 charges of sexual assault against the eleven children who were aged eight or nine years old at the time.

The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

The jury heard how the pupils, now aged between 11 and 17, claimed he touched them sexually.

But the court was also told that Mr Oulton claimed he received cards at the end of term, and he believed letters sent by Pembrokeshire council to parents encouraged false complaints and collusion between pupils.

Oulton, 34, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, told the court he had behaved appropriately.

The jury heard how the alleged abuse occurred while Mr Oulton was working at a primary school in Haverfordwest.

Clare Wilks, prosecuting, said some of the children alleged that they had been assaulted on a daily basis, while others had had given statements to say it only happened the one time.

The trial continues.

Continue Reading
News1 day ago

Primary school teacher described as ‘touchy-feely’ on day two of trial

A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher, accused of sexually assaulting his pupils was “very touchy-feely”, Swansea Crown Court heard on the...

Entertainment1 day ago

BAFTA winner Sir Anthony Hopkins visits St. Davids

CELEBRATING his BAFTA win, Sir Anthony Hopkins has been vaccinated and returned to his native country of Wales where he...

News2 days ago

Trial of Haverfordwest primary school teacher starts at Swansea Crown Court

A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher who is accused of sexually abusing eleven children thinks he is a victim of a...

News2 days ago

Kill the Bill protest to take place in Haverfordwest on Saturday

INDIVIDUALS and activists from local groups, including Extinction Rebellion Pembrokeshire, Stand Up to Racism West Wales, Pembrokeshire People’s Assembly and...

News2 days ago

Everything you need to know about the current coronavirus restrictions in Wales

THE GOVERNMENT guidelines in Wales are changing today (Apr 12). There are major changes coming into force today across the...

Health2 days ago

New Covid vaccine arrives first in West Wales

THE FIRST person in the UK to receive the Moderna vaccine against Covid-19 got their jab at 8:30 in the...

News2 days ago

Ten years in prison for Milford Haven taxi driver who raped passenger

ANTHONY MARCUS JONES, 43, a taxi driver from Hawthorn Path, Mount Estate, Milford Haven has been sentenced to ten years...

News4 days ago

Police: RNLI ‘most likely saved man’s life’ following tombstoning incident

POLICE have issued an urgent warning following a tombstoning incident Tenby on Saturday evening (Apr 10). A multi-agency operation was...

News5 days ago

Police plan to deter badly behaved youths from gathering in Tenby

POLICE in Tenby responded to community concerns over antisocial behaviour and groups of between 15-20 youths gathering and clashing over...

News5 days ago

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged 99

The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s ‘strength and stay’ for 73 years, has died aged 99. Prince Philip’s health had...

Popular This Week