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Two and a half years for haymaker punch

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A LOCAL “hard man” who put a promising young man in a permanent vegetative state with a “haymaker” of a punch has been jailed toady for two and a half years.

The man who helped him escape from the scene was sentenced to unpaid work after the judge took into account he had already spent two months in prison on remand.

Judge Paul Thomas said at Swansea crown court that the case was a tragedy for all concerned, not least for Rory Rogers and those who loved him.

“His life, his family’s life, his girlfriend’s life, have been shattered. It is a desperately sad case.

“What began as a petty drunken row ended with a young man’s future devastated,” he added.

touloseJames Robert Toulouse, aged 24. of Bonville Close, Saundersfoot, had admitted causing Mr Rogers grievous bodily harm. He had denied causing him gbh with intent and after a trial a jury found him not guilty of the more serious charge.

Jason McReynolds, 20, of Ridgeway Close, Saundersfoot, was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice by telephoning his then girlfriend and arranging for Toulouse to be driven away from the area as police searched for him.

The jury heard how trouble began after Mr Rogers’ friend, Luke Wallis, told Toulouse in the Deck bar that if he was hard enough he could hit him in the face as hard as he wanted to, which he did.

Mr Rogers and Toulouse exchanged words and as Mr Rogers left the pub Toulouse ran at him and punched him to his head, knocking him unconscious.

Toulouse said he had acted in self defence and had not kicked Mr Rogers, as the prosecution had alleged.

Today, Judge Thomas said he believed that Toulouse had kicked Mr Rogers, and not just once.

Jim Davis, prosecuting, said Mr Rogers remained unconscious. “His condition has not improved and none is expected,” added Mr Davis.

Mr Davis said his family had chosen, understandably, not to attend the sentencing hearing of Toulouse and McReynolds.

Nicola Powell, for Toulouse, said everyone involved had been touched by the tragedy. Toulouse, she said, was extremely sorry for his actions.

Miss Powell said Toulouse maintained that he had not kicked Mr Rogers after knocking him unconscious. Judge Thomas said he took a contrary view.

Carina Hughes, for McReynolds, said the two months he had spent in jail had had a great impact on him.

Judge Thomas said it was another case of drunken young men arguing in a public place and then resorting to violence. Tragedy, he said, can occur.

Toulouse, he added, had been looking for trouble that night, but he had to take into account that Mr Rogers was also prepared to fight in a grassy area opposite the Deck bar.

He said he noted that Toulouse had walked away from the scene “boasting and celebrating” but he also accepted that at that stage he would not have been aware of the damage he had caused.

“Unlike Rory Rogers, you still have a future ahead of you. When you come out you can start your life again. Tragically, that is not available to him.

“You wanted to portray yourself as a local hard man. But afterwards you took the cowardly decision to get away from the scene.”

Judge Thomas said he had to be faithful to the decision of the jury. He jailed Toulouse for two and a half years and ordered him to pay a government surcharge of £120.

Judge Thomas said he did not accept “for one moment” that McReynolds had not realised that Toulouse had done serious harm when he arranged for him to flee Saundersfoot.

McReynolds, he added, had lied to the police and to the jury.

McReynolds was sentenced to an “intensive alternative to custody” programme involving 200 hours of unpaid work for the community, supervision, and his attendance on various courses.

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Community

Haverfordwest Youth Club hosts successful open evening

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Credit - Haverfordwest Youth Club

HAVERFORDWEST Youth Club posted to their Facebook page to thank those who attended their open evening last night (June 30). 

They celebrated Youth Work Week by sharing their amazing new facility in Haverfordwest with the local community. 

Haverfordwest Youth Club

The open evening was located at the new venue at The Picton Centre. They had a range of activities including VR goggles, face painting and jewellery making.

Haverfordwest Youth Club wrote: “A special thank you to Haverfordwest Town Council, Sian – Haverfordwest Morrison’s Community Champion and Martin Jones from Ogi for supporting the evening. Also, to our members Sara, Amelia, Sureya, Pippa and Lily for volunteering their time to help on the evening”.

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Milford Haven’s “To The Sea” carnival returns this weekend

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To The Sea is this year's theme

THE CARNIVAL returns to Milford Haven this Saturday (July 2), after a two year break. With a variety of events, rides and food, it is expected to be fun for all the family. 

This year’s theme is “To The Sea”. Milford Haven Round Table have organised an Under The Sea Parade which will form part of the procession.

This year’s procession will take on an exciting new route, ending at the new and exciting  Carnival Arena on Milford Waterfront. 

It will leave Waterloo Square at 1pm, and travel across Hakin Bridge and up Hamilton Terrace. The carnival will then proceed down Charles Street and Dartmouth Street before arriving at the Carnival Arena. 

Map of the procession (Credit – Milford Haven Round Table)

Acrobats, an animal club, live music, street food stalls, and an amazing “fly board” act on the water are among the fun activities and events planned for the Carnival Arena.

Entry to the arena is £1 for adults and 50p for children. The festivities are expected to begin at 1:30pm. 

Andrew Holmes Fun Fairs will be providing a range of rides and stalls at the Arena, such as the Sizzler, the Can Can, the Terminator and a Circus Funhouse. A superslide and games stalls will also be available. 

Rides and stalls will not accept cash on Carnival Day, but will instead be accepting tokens which are available from the grey token box at the entrance of the arena. 

Each token costs £1. It is advised to pay for tokens with cash. Although card is accepted to purchase tokens, due to the location of the Carnival Arena the signal may be a problem so the card readers may not work as planned. 

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Deputy chief whip made ‘massive misjudgements’, says cabinet minister

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A PEMBROKESHIRE MP has said that Tory deputy chief whip Chris Pincher appears to have made “massive misjudgements”.

Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales, told GB News: “…my first reaction with all of this is always one of sadness rather than anger because so many people are affected by this.

“Clearly massive misjudgements appear on the face of it to have been made and and I think our first priority, rather than turning this into a sort of part of political discussion, with which it sounded almost dangerously like it was about to be, that we look after the interests of people who have been adversely affected by this.

“They must be and will remain our absolute first priority so that anybody in Parliament for any party who feels that they have ended up in one of the very unfortunate positions has an independent grievance procedure they can go to.

“They can expect to be heard, as I say, anonymously, and independently and I, that for me seems to be the priority that we should be addressing, rather than so try to use this as an opportunity to say notch up a couple of political goals that seems sort of sounds and feels to me a bit unedifying, in a very difficult situation.”

Speaking during an interview on Breakfast with Stephen Dixon and Anne Diamond, he was asked what he could say that will restore people’s faith in MPs.

Mr Hart said: “Me standing here alone, I probably, there isn’t a sentence or a word that I can use which is instantly going to change all of this and suddenly make everybody feel better about it.”

He added: “There isn’t a workplace in the land, which could say with absolute certainty that these sorts of things never happened.

“We want to minimise the risk and above all, we want to make people, we will make people proud to work here, people love working in this place, it is fantastic that most MPs do a really good job and take their standards incredibly seriously as do most of the staff who work here too.

“So yes, there are some really sad and unfortunate, very stark examples of where this goes wrong.

“Nine times out of 10 it doesn’t go wrong but when it does, I hope that there are measures in place…it’s still in its infancy. I hope it protects people’s interests as well, best we can.

“Nobody likes hearing these things. I mean, I’d much rather come on here and talk about other stuff but we have to confront these things when they come off.”

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