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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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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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Business

Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence

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GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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Appeal from Fire and Rescue Service to install working smoke alarms

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AT 01:17am this morning, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, crews from Milford Haven were called to a property fire in the Hakin area of Milford Haven.

The fire was confined to a pan on a stove in the kitchen area and extinguished by firefighters using two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera.

Crews also ventilated the property and fitted smoke alarms within the property.

The Fire Service left the incident at 02:00am.

Watch Manager Alun Griffiths, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “This fire was the result of cooking left unattended. It is so important to remove all pots and pans from a heat source when you are called away from the cooker.

“Thankfully, the occupiers of the property managed to exit the property before our firefighters arrived, but it could have ended very differently as there were no smoke alarms fitted in the property.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of installing working smoke alarms in your homes and testing them regularly. In the dreadful event of a fire, they can alert you to the danger sooner and could mean the difference between life and death.

“As a Fire and Rescue Service, we provide Home Fire Safety advice which is free of charge. We also offer Safe and Well Visits which you can arrange by phoning us on 0800 169 1234 or by visiting the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website.”

For further Home Fire Safety advice or to talk about the possibility of a Safe and Well Visit by Fire and Rescue Service personnel, please phone us on 0800 169 1234.​​​ Alternatively please complete an online Request a Safe and Well Visit​ form on the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website: https://www.mawwfire.gov.uk/eng/your-safety/in-your-home/

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