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‘Bad Saundersfoot Santa’ and his ‘naughty elf’ land up in court

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A FATHER and son, dressed as Santa and his elf, have ended up on the Christmas naughty list after collecting cash on the streets without a charity permit.

Clifford and Luke Evans, have been ordered to pay over £1,500 after admitting collecting the money for mental health charity, MIND, without a street collections licence and without the charity’s knowledge.

Llanelli magistrates heard that in December 2017 the pair were approached by a council licensing officer in Ammanford Town Centre whilst collecting money in sealed containers displaying the charity logo, an expired charity number and marked with the words ‘Mind for better mental health’.

The officer asked Evans (senior), of Pennant Avenue in Saundersfoot, who was dressed as Father Christmas, if he had a street licence but he claimed he was collecting ‘as a surprise’ for the charity. The 50-year-old then claimed he didn’t think he needed a permit even though he had been issued with a warning letter 12 months earlier for a similar incident. Street Collection Permits need to be produced on request.

When the officer approached his son who dressed as an elf, and carrying a similar blue and white collection box, the 25-year-old, from Kingsmoor Common, Begelly in Kilgetty, said he didn’t need a permit because he was collecting for his father.

Both were escorted by police and a licensing officer to Evans’ (senior) car. In the boot they found another fancy dress costume and an open bucket of cash, along with a spare ‘MIND’ collection box. The buckets, containing £99.65, were seized after the licensing officer contacted the charity who confirmed it was unaware of a collection taking place.

The pair were also caught on CCTV dressed in the same costumes collecting money two days earlier in Merlin’s Walk in Carmarthen Town Centre despite denying they had collected elsewhere.

In mitigation the pair’s solicitor claimed they pair had intended giving the money to the charity and that Clifford Evans had collected for various charities for around 10 years, having previously sky dived for Help for Heroes. The solicitor also claimed that whilst Clifford Evans had been warned previously by the council, he was illiterate and did not understand the requirements. In addition he said the case had had a detrimental impact on Evans’ (senior) life and business.

The father and son were each fined £400 and both must pay £544.11 costs and £30 victim surcharge. The court also ordered that the £99.65 be paid to MIND.

The council’s executive board member for public protection, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “It is against the law to collect money from people on the streets without the proper permit. This is something Clifford Evans had previously been made aware of but despite this he continued to collect with his son, having no proof that the money was actually going to the charity. We are very happy to assist anyone who wishes to collect for a charity to ensure they are doing so within the law.”

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Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

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THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap.

Sam Kurtz will take over the seat from the outgoing Angela Burns who held a majority of 3,400 at the last election.

This time, the gap was just 936 to Labour’s Hassan Riaz who picked up 10,304 votes.

Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell picked up 6,615 votes.

The turnout in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was slightly up to 52.12% from 51.2% in 2016.

However, with a larger electorate thanks to votes for 16/17-year-olds, the number of votes cast went up by almost 3,000.

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Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

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PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency.

He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895 votes for Labour’s Jackie Jones.

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos gained just over 6,000 votes and there were also 1,239 for Reform UK candidate Alan Dennison.

There were over 3000 more votes cast in 2016, down largely in part to the fact that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in this election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received more votes than before while the gap to Labour closed to just 1,400.

After being elected, Paul Davies said he would continue to ‘fight for Pembrokeshire’ and thanked those who had been involved in his campaign.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed

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THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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