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Shopkeeper tells of armed robbery horror

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robbery horrorTHE owner of Bargain Booze in Pembroke Dock which was raided by armed robbers last Sunday has been left traumatised by the incident.

In an exclusive interview with The Herald, co-owner of the off-licence in Dimond Street, Narender Sreeram spoke about the incident: “I was at the counter and these two young lads came in with ‘hoodies’ on. They went straight to the rear of the store near the beer, where they were discussing what to take. One took 20 cans of Strongbow, and went straight to the door without paying for it, and the other took 10 cans of Budweiser.

“I tried to stop him but he ran for the door. I followed to stop him and that is when he turned and pulled a knife. I stepped back to save my life and returned to the shop shaking.

“I then followed them with my mobile to get more evidence. It was a three-inch knife. I didn’t expect that for a couple of beer cans. I went back to the shop and called the police who later arrested them. I’m mentally stressed, very scared and having nightmares. It is dangerous, but we have put too much money into this shop to close it down. It also affects our business as people are scared to come to the shop.”

On how Narender felt the police were supporting him, he said: “They are still investigating my statements and trying to sort it out. We have a Neighbourhood Watch but nobody is coming here to help us. We were broken into before, but people are scared. It isn’t safe for us or the community.

“The police could add more security, maybe some more efficient street cameras. There should be actions towards criminals so they would think twice before doing it again. There are not enough police around really. They help us as much as possible but we need more support.”

Local shop owners and workers are alarmed about the incident. A bookmaker’s assistant manager, who wished to remain anonymous, said:

“This is very worrying for people who work around here, especially as it happened in broad daylight. It is also shocking that a knife was pulled out to steal something as cheap as alcohol.”

A clothes shop manager said they thought the off licence was being targeted by local criminals who thought it was a ‘soft touch’.

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News

Search for Luke, 19, reported missing in the Pembroke Dock area, continuing

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FOLLOWING on from the major multi-agency search which was taking place in the same area on Saturday (Apr 13), HM Coastguard teams are currently conducting further searches around The Cleddau Bridge.

Police said: ” The search for 19-year-old Luke, reported missing in the Pembroke Dock area, is continuing this afternoon. Luke is described as a white male, 5’2 inches tall, of slim build, with dark brown hair.

“He was last seen wearing a long white jacket, black trousers with a white stripe and black trainers with a white stripe.

A number of enquiries are being undertaken which include a search in the Hobbs Point area.

“The public can expect to see an increase in police presence in the area while the search is ongoing.

Do you have information that might help us find Luke? Please, let Dyfed-Powys Police know:

💬 | Direct message us on social media

🖥️ | https://bit.ly/DPPmissingperson

📧 | [email protected]

📞 | 101

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: DP-20240414-012

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Community

Pembrokeshire’s ‘Pure West Radio’ celebrates sixth birthday

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THERE ain’t no birthday like a Pure West birthday! 

Pure West Radio – Pembrokeshire’s multi-award-winning radio station is celebrating its sixth birthday this month – and is ready to move up a gear when it starts broadcasting on DAB later this summer. 

Pure West, which now has a staff of 12, and a team of over 90 volunteers bringing news, sport, entertainment and information to the airwaves of Pembrokeshire, celebrated its sixth anniversary on April 4 – and decided to share its celebrations with its loyal listeners – giving no fewer than 1,100 of them free tickets to some top local events. 

For the Pure West Team the birthday was marked with a staff party at Seven Spice in Haverfordwest – but for listeners the treats were more varied. 

Pure West Radio joined forces with Ocky White Travel – itself celebrating a 60th anniversary – to give away a cruise holiday to one lucky winner. On April 3 nurse Ffion Thomas, from Johnston, was announced as the winner of the seven-day P&O cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. She is taking her mum along with her as a 60th birthday treat when the Iona sets sail from Southampton on May 18. 

And the giveaways didn’t stop there… Mark Edwards kindly shared 100 free tickets for a celebratory Silent Disco at Eddie Rocks, in Haverfordwest, that were snapped up within an hour – so a hundred more were released; Pure West Radio also teamed up with Hangar 5, also in Haverfordwest, and offered two one-hour free bounces for listeners, but again demand far outweighed expectations, so another hour’s bounce was provided. 

In addition, Pure West Radio joined forces with The Palace Cinema, in Haverfordwest, for a free showing of Shrek – the Movie – but, yet again, a second showing had to be booked to accommodate all those who wanted tickets. 

And sports fans haven’t been left out of the party – Haverfordwest County AFC, media partners of Pure West, have supplied 100 free tickets for the Bluebrids final home game of the season against Colwyn Bay to the broadcaster’s listeners. 

“Our birthday celebrations were immense,” said Toby Ellis, Station Manager, “We gave away 1,100 free tickets to local events to make sure our dedicated listeners and followers were able to join in the party… putting a smile on the faces of more than a thousand Pembrokeshire people. 

“And while the birthday celebrations are winding down – Pure West Radio – the only radio station based in Pembrokeshire – is gearing up for the next phase in our story. 

“The licence for DAB broadcasting is in place – and we hope to go live within the next few months. 

“We’ve expanded our staff and are currently looking for a full-time show producer – so anyone interested should email [email protected] to find out more, and we have some new sponsors – Ocky White Travel is now the official sponsor of Pure West’s daytime show and Folly Farm sponsors the breakfast show. 

“And we’ve teamed up with yet more Pembrokeshire businesses who are taking advantage of our huge reach to spread their message across the county. 

“There really is something for everyone on Pure West Radio – tune in via app, smart speaker and check out our website for the latest going on in Pembrokeshire, he added.” 

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Crime

Suspended sentence for distribution and possession of child abuse images

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IN a controversial decision at Swansea Crown Court, 20-year-old Euwyn Draper of Goat Street, Haverfordwest, has been spared prison time despite admitting to possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

The court heard that Draper pleaded guilty to charges involving 74 Category A images — the most severe — along with 102 Category B and 385 Category C images. These were amassed and shared over a period last year, with specific distributions occurring on November 4, 2022.

Prosecutor Sian Cutter detailed that the investigation began with a raid at Draper’s residence on December 21, 2022. Although Draper was not present, and initial searches of his devices at his home returned no results, subsequent actions led to his arrest at his workplace. Upon confronting law enforcement, Draper immediately acknowledged his awareness of the reasons for their presence, lamenting, “I know why you’re here. I don’t do it anymore. I’m sorry.”

Further examination of his phone revealed not only the indecent images but also concerning internet searches and conversations indicating a focus on children. Notably, Draper had sent one image of each category to a contact named “Ralph” via WhatsApp.

Despite these admissions, Draper, who has no prior convictions, denied a sexual interest in children during his interview.

Representing Draper, defence lawyer Dan Griffiths stressed the defendant’s recognition of the gravity of his offences and highlighted his client’s age and immaturity at the time of the offences. The court also considered the prolonged period since the arrest to the trial, a span of 16 months.

Judge Geraint Walters addressed the court, underscoring the public’s disdain for such crimes and the harsh reality behind the images. “These are real children, they are not actors,” Judge Walters emphasized, condemning the market that drives such exploitative material.

Ultimately, Draper received a suspended sentence of 12 months for distribution and six months, concurrent, for making the images. Over the next two years, he must complete the Horizon programme and 30 days of rehabilitation activities. Additionally, Draper will be registered as a sex offender and is subject to a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Judge Walters concluded with a stern admonition for Draper to commit to rehabilitation and to move past this “dark phase” in his life, marking a pivotal moment for the young defendant and the community’s ongoing battle against such digital crimes.

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