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Family brawl results in court case

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A 46-YEAR-OLD woman from Pembroke Dock was found guilty of assault following a trial at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Monday (Feb 11).

Nadine Billington of Imble Street, had been accused of assaulting her ex-partner’s sister in June last year following an argument.

Prosecutor, Sian Vaughan, told the court: “The complaint was made on August 13. There is a history of family dynamics but we will try to stay away from that.”

Ms Vaughan explained there had been issue taken with the complainant after she bought a colouring book, crayons and chocolate for Billington’s son. She was also accused of smashing the complainant’s phone.

The complainant, Nicola Algeri, gave her evidence via video link to the magistrates.

She said: “My mum and myself were in the kitchen. My father was in the living room watching football. Nadine came in through the front door and I had a colouring book and crayons with me. I’d been downtown so I thought I’d bring them.

“She came into the kitchen and I said ‘there’s a colouring book and crayons there’, and she said ‘you might as well take them home with you’.

“She takes the crayons off me and slams them on top of the book. She threw the book first and it just missed my face, and then she threw the crayons at me but they didn’t hit me. It was quite a big book.

“She comes toward me and grabbed me by the throat, and she put her fingers down my throat. She had four fingers in my mouth. There was no need. It felt like she was going to strangle me. She was horrible and vicious.

“She cut my lip as well and scratched my arm. I wasn’t saying anything, I didn’t do anything, I didn’t provoke her. She just went off on one.

“She was just abusing me and being mouthy. My mother tried to split us up, and then my father came in and managed to get her out of the house.”

It was put to Nicola Algeri, that in her statement that she made on August 13, she claims that the colouring book hit her on the head but caused no injury.

Nicola claimed she could not remember.

When speaking of the assault, Nicola said: “She prised my mouth open and she had her bloody fingers down my throat.”

When asked why she didn’t bit down, she said: “I didn’t do nothing. I was scared.”

The court was shown a photograph of a bruise on Nicola’s arm following the incident, however there were no photographs of her mouth or her ‘cut lip’.

When asked why she didn’t take a photo of her lip, she said ‘no comment’, then later said she ‘didn’t have a camera to take a photo’.

Nicola’s mother, Ellen Algeri, took to the witness stand following her daughter’s cross-examination to give her account of what happened.

Mrs Algeri told the court that she saw a chocolate bar being thrown across the room and ‘hitting Nicola on the head’, however when she was pressed further, she said she couldn’t be sure it was a chocolate bar that was thrown, and she wasn’t entirely sure whether whatever was thrown did actually hit Nicola.

She also admitted she did not see Billington put her fingers inside Nicola’s mouth.

Albino Algeri, Nicola’s father, was next to speak to the magistrates. He said: “Nadine was trying to do as much damage as she could.”

When asked why he thought Billington would have her fingers down Nicola’s throat, he said: “That’s what I’d like to know! Why did she have her fingers down my daughter’s throat?”

He told the court that Nicola Algeri was crying following the incident, however was the only one to mention this during their evidence.

Finally, it was Nadine Billington’s turn to speak. She told the court that as she was leaving, Nicola Algeri said she had bought a gift for her son.

Billington suggested leaving the gift there, and said Nicola ‘became verbally aggressive’.

She said: “I chucked the book and crayons toward the bin. Nicola started shouting at me because she thought I threw it at her but I didn’t, I threw it diagonally. I threw it because she was being verbally aggressive.

“Nicola came around the table towards me so I pushed her away toward the sink. She looked very angry and aggressive. I thought she was going to hit me. I told her I had enough of the way she was talking to me and she was screaming and shouting, calling me names like slag and slut.

“Ellen Algeri followed me out and said that Nicola wasn’t right in the head and to ignore her. I didn’t strangle her, I just pushed her toward her neck away from me. I didn’t pull at her mouth, and I didn’t touch her phone. I didn’t even see it in her hand.”

After a short time deliberating, the magistrates at Haverfordwest Law Court felt there was a case to answer, and found Billington guilty of common assault.

Billington was handed a 12-month conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £600 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service and £20 victim surcharge.

Health

Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

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THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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Joinery learner through to Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year Finals

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PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE joinery learner, Conor Ratcliff has made it through to the final ten in this year’s Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year competition.

Now in its seventh year, the competition celebrates the next generation of tradespeople as they start out on their career. With over 2,500 nominations, Conor was shortlisted to the top 30 where he had to deliver a video presentation to industry-leading judges and trade body representatives. Judged on professionalism, creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and knowledge of their trade, Conor impressed the judges and is now in the final 10.  

Simon Jackson, Screwfix Customer and Digital director, commented: “Every year we are amazed by the outstanding quality of entrants and, this year, we are on the lookout for apprentices who go above and beyond to succeed within their chosen trade.

“We’ve seen how this career-boosting accolade and £10,000 prize bundle helps kickstart an apprentice’s career. I’d like to wish everyone through to this stage the best of luck!”

The prize package includes everything a future tradesperson may need to start up their own business including £5,000 of tools, a £3,000 training budget and £2,000 worth of technology. The college where they study will also receive £2,000.

Conor is thrilled to have made it through to the finals and commented: “I am extremely honoured to have made it is this far in the competition and I am very excited for the final event. It would be an amazing opportunity for me, if I won this competition.

“I hope it encourages more people to consider an apprenticeship in a trade, the Carpentry and Joinery department have been incredibly supportive during my studies.”

The Final is due to take place imminently where the judges will conduct an online interview with the ten finalists before selecting and announcing their overall winner.

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Warrant without bail issued for Milford Haven man who failed to attend court

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A WARRANT without bail has been issued for a Milford Haven man who failed to appear in court yesterday.

Gareth James Mann, 45, of Bunkers Hill was stopped in his VW Golf on October 31, 2020 in Milford Haven.

Mann is accused of driving without a licence, insurance, under the influence of cocaine and whilst in possession of an ounce of cannabis.

Police are now instructed to find Mann, arrest him and bring him before the courts.

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