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Life sentence for depraved father after sexually abusing daughter

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A PAEDOPHILE described by a Crown Court judge as having ‘psychopathic tendencies’ and a ‘devious, wicked, and flawed personality’ has been jailed for life after pleading guilty to 16 counts of rape and sexual assault in a catalogue of abuse directed against his own daughter.

The child’s mother, who suffers from what the court was told was ‘battered person syndrome’, received a ten year sentence for her part in years of abuse.

CHILD MIGHT NEVER RECOVER

The Court heard that the man had effectively groomed his wife, whom he met when she was 16, and controlled access to medication she required for a mental health condition. The woman, now in her 20s, was ordered to be detained in a psychiatric hospital for treatment.

On sentencing the pair at Swansea Crown Court, HHJ Geraint Walters QC ordered that the father, in his 50s, go to prison for a minimum of twelve years and was only to be released if and when it was determined that he did not pose a risk to children. Judge Walters observed it was possible that might never happen.

To protect their victim/daughter, the Court has ordered a blanket ban on reporting the parents’ names and the name of the west Wales town in which they perpetrated their appalling crimes.

HHJ Walters said that it was hard to see how their daughter could ever recover from the depravity inflicted upon her.

During her eight years in west Wales, the child never went to school, played outside, saw a cat or a dog or had a friend.

‘HOME SCHOOLING’ CONCEALED ABUSE

The husband’s ‘home-schooling’ of his daughter was only camouflage for effectively keeping her as a sex slave, said the Judge: “Not exactly locking her in a cellar but not far from it.”

There were padlocks on all the doors and the curtains were always kept closed.

The girl was never allowed out and, consequently, had never played with friends, or gone swimming. She had never seen Christmas lights and had no concept of a celebration.

Prosecuting Council Robin Rouch told the Court that the ‘tightly controlled home environment’ was created by the father to ‘systematically and regularly abuse’ his daughter without being discovered.

The cycle of abuse only ended when the wife left the husband and reported him to the police.

When police raided the couple’s home they found evidence of systematic, long-term child abuse inflicted on the daughter by both parents. Their investigation also revealed that the father had also abused a daughter of a previous marriage.

A spokesperson for NSPCC Cymru said: “The prolonged abuse – physical, sexual and emotional – suffered by this young victim is appalling and deeply disturbing.

“The role a parent is to protect and support their child, but the couple in this case simply saw in their daughter an opportunity to inflict repeated sexual attacks.”

CALL FOR HOME SCHOOLED REGISTER

The case has reignited calls for home-schooled children to be registered by local authorities and for more active monitoring of the welfare of those children who received education outside traditional schooling.

Mid and West Wales AM Helen Mary Jones said: “The vast majority of home-schooling is a good choice made by good parents, but we know there is a small minority where things go wrong and I believe we should have those children registered – we should know they’re being home-schooled.

“I also think an annual medical check – it’s quite common when children are in primary school, they may see the school dentist or the school nurse – as a precaution, it would be really useful.”

The case has drawn comparisons with the case of Dylan Seabridge, who was effectively invisible to social and health services and who died of scurvy whilst being ‘home-schooled’ in 2011.

Dylan Seabridge – who lived in a remote Pembrokeshire community with his parents and older sibling – died of scurvy in December 2011 aged eight-years-old.

Criminal proceedings against Dylan’s parents in relation to their son’s death were halted over concerns about his mother’s mental health.

There were no allegations of sexual abuse in the Seabridge case.

GOVERNMENT TOO SLOW TO ACT

An independent report into the death of Dylan Seabridge written by Gladys Rhodes White OBE, a national expert in safeguarding and child protection, recommended that the Welsh Government change the law so that the details of all elective home educated children are kept on a register and that they are seen and spoken to and their wishes recorded on an annual basis.

At present there is no such requirement and the law does not state any general requirement for parents to inform the education directorate if their child or children were never on a school roll.

Home education’s supporters say that registration would be an unwarranted intrusion into families’ lives. In addition they claim that there is no evidence to support a contention that home-schooled children are at a greater risk of neglect than those attending a state school. There is also a distinction between those children who are home-schooled and those who are ‘kept at home’ for other reasons.

Children’s Commissioner for Wales Sally Holland disagrees: “I’ve been calling for the government to act in a stronger way, so have all the directors of education in Wales, all the directors of social services and the government’s own independent safeguarding board.

“For me the pace of change has been too slow and hasn’t been strong enough to ensure every child gets the right to an education to be safe and to have their say.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “Earlier this year the education secretary announced plans to consult on regulations that will require local authorities to establish a database to identify children not on a school register.
“We are also reviewing and updating national protection procedures to examine how social services and education practitioners can work together and share information to ensure children who are home-schooled get the support they need.”

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Angle Lifeboat tasked to disabled yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head

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Image Credit - RNLI Penny Harris

ANGLE LIFEBOAT and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

Angle Lifeboat and her crew saw out April when they were tasked on 30th of April to a yacht 22miles from St Ann’s head.

The lifeboat was launched at 10:43pm to a 26ft yacht that had reported smoke coming from their engine compartment. The casualty vessel was 22 miles south west of St Ann’s with two crew onboard.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 11:46pm. The on scene assessment was carried out and both crew were safe and well but the vessel would need to be towed to Milford Haven. The tow was set up and the casualty vessel was under tow at 11:56pm.

The conditions were perfect for the slow tow back which saw a beautiful moon rising and the early glow of dawn.

Lifeboat arrived at Milford and swapped the casualty vessel to an alongside tow to take it alongside in to the lock at Milford Marina where the casualty was safely tied up at 04:49am.

The lifeboat rehoused at 05:15am where she got her well deserved washdown and the crew headed home to get some sleep.

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Meet the Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor

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A NEW Pembrokeshire business is proving to be an inspiration for young people after its recent launch.

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor is the brainchild of Ewan Griffiths, who turned his dream into reality thanks to the advice and support of Cam Nesa.

The project aims to reduce the number of young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

Before signing up to Cam Nesa, Ewan was out of work and struggling for direction, and anxiety was preventing him from maximising his potential.

Throughout his journey with Cam Nesa, Ewan worked closely with youth worker Donna Wright to devise a plan that provided support and guidance to improve his confidence and self-esteem, and provide mechanisms for coping with anxiety.

In addition, the project provided Ewan with opportunities to gain qualifications and obtain information that would help him with starting his own business.

Ewan’s message to other young people is simple, “If you find yourself struggling, there is help.”

“Cam Nesa supported me in all aspects of my plan, and working with Donna was fantastic.”

“I would definitely encourage others to reach out for support.”

Donna Wright, who supported Ewan throughout his Cam Nesa journey, said that the launch of his new business is a great source of pride for Cam Nesa and Pembrokeshire Youth Service.

“Ewan has come on leaps and bounds, and it was his engagement and determination that has made his outcome with Cam Nesa so successful and inspiring”, she said.

“Congratulations Ewan on your achievements, and we all wish you good luck with your new business.”

The Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor provides repairs and servicing for mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, and most agricultural engines, with the mobile service providing collection and returns.

For more information, search ‘Pembrokeshire Mower Doctor’ on Facebook.

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Milford Haven: Mount estate death not being treated as suspicious say police

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POLICE have confirmed that following a welfare visit to a property in Mount Estate, they discovered a male occupant, in his 30’s, in need of medical help.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff he sadly passed away on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a property at the Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Friday 30th April 2021, following a report of concern for the welfare of the occupier.

“A male was taken to hospital where he died on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

“The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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