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Father found dead after being ‘refused a hospital bed’

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24 HOURS after being refused a hospital bed for severe mental health problems, a dedicated father was found dead in Carmarthen.

Matthew Salisbury, aged 34, reported to Glangwili Hospital after experiencing suicidal thoughts. It was his wish to be detained under the Mental Health Act, but he was told he must wait several weeks for a referral to a psychiatrist, claimed his distraught wife Tara Salisbury.

Matthew also leaves behind a two-year-old daughter Alysia, along with two step-children, Jessica and Abigail, aged 11 and 7. An investigation into his death has been launched by the Hywel Dda University Health Board.

According to Tara, from Crymych, Matthew ‘went to the hospital as a final attempt to seek the help he desperately needed, which for someone in his state is extremely difficult’.

Tragically, Tara believes that if he had been detained immediately, Matthew would ‘still be alive’.

Tara said: “What he got was a sympathetic ear, and the same referral to a psychiatrist he would have received from a GP.”

Matthew first sought help for depression in October 2018.

Tara added: “He was given medication and then two or three months ago the dosage was upped. He was also due to see a psychiatrist, but he took a pretty bad turn and wasn’t able to see them.”

After repeatedly threatening to take his own life, Matthew visited Glangwili Hospital on the evening of Saturday May 25. Tara was present with him.

She continued: “A doctor told us that if it ever got to the stage where he threatened to take his own life, we should go to A&E. So that’s what we did.”

“The Mental Health Act 1983 states that if a person is a danger to themselves they should be admitted – even if this is against the person’s will – to protect them from harming themselves.”

However, after arriving at A&E, Matthew was told there was no bed for him.

“I was absolutely gobsmacked” claimed Tara, “He kept on saying that if he wasn’t admitted he was going to kill himself, yet the best they could do was offer him a warm cup of tea, a nice smile and send him on his way.”

Although Tara tried desperately to convince Matthew to change his mind, he ‘wanted to be dead right there and then’.

She added: “He’d done what everybody had told him to do and still hadn’t been given any help.

“He got up on the Sunday morning, said goodbye to everyone and left. I hoped that when he left he would just have a think and not go through with it. But when he didn’t return I called all his friends and family.”

Matthew was found deceased in his car on the early hours of Monday morning, near Carmarthen.

Tara said: “He was a loving father and my best friend.”

On behalf of the Hywel Dda University Health Board, Joe Teape, director of operations, said: “I would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Mr Salisbury’s family following this tragic incident, and in line with our serious incident protocols I can confirm that we have launched a clinical review into the circumstances surrounding his death. The health board will contact the family and invite them to meet with us as part of this process.”

In 2018, 360 people took their own lives in Wales, 278 of whom were men. Anyone seeking help can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org.

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Primary school teacher described as ‘touchy-feely’ on day two of trial

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher, accused of sexually assaulting his pupils was “very touchy-feely”, Swansea Crown Court heard on the second day of his trial.

James Oulton, 34, of Haverfordwest would put his hands around students’ waists and touch their bottoms, an ex-female pupil said in a video interview played to Swansea Crown Court.

The defendant denies 30 charges of sexual assault at a primary school in Haverfordwest. The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

On the opening day of the trial, court heard that Oulton said the case was a “witch-hunt” and that he always behaved appropriately with children.

On Tuesday, the jury watched the video interview with one of Oulton’s former pupils, who said he was a “friendly person, very chatty and sociable and quite outgoing and wanted to know everything that was going on.”

She added: “Mr Oulton often wanted to know a lot of details on what we had done over the weekend, where we had been, and also who they had been with.”

“At the time I just thought he was trying to be really friendly but now when I look back at it now, it does seem odd.”

The witness also described the defendant as a “very touchy-feely teacher”.

She added: “If he was marking your work or if you approached him to ask him a question, he would put his hands around your waist or around your bum”.

“If he was standing by his desk, he would, like, motion to his knee, so he wouldn’t ask you directly to sit on his lap but he would tap his knee.”

Swansea Crown Court heard that the witness eventually came forward and told her parents parents after she heard them speaking about Mr Oulton being suspended from his job.

“Did you feel under pressure to say something had happened to you?” asked Mr Clee.

The witness answered “No”

Oulton, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, previously told the court he had behaved appropriately.

He also believed letters were sent by Pembrokeshire County Council to parents which encouraged “deliberately false evidence” and collusion between pupils.

The trial continues.

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‘We don’t want it’: councillors object to HGV tanker park plans

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PEMBROKE DOCK town councillors have objected strongly to plans to build a HGV tanker park in the town.

The tanker park would be located on the south-western side of Criterion Way, behind the ASDA petrol station.

However, at a meeting of the town council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday, April 13, councillors were in agreement that it would create more problems for the town.

Councillor Jonathan George said: “I’ve noted the public input on this and they don’t seem very happy about where it’s going to be put.

“It is close to a small park area and I don’t think it’s suitable to put this here. I won’t be supporting this.”

Cllr George Manning added: “There are many aspects of this which are totally inappropriate for Pembroke Dock. There are many other sites available but they haven’t looked at any of them.

“This does not do anything for the Future Generations act and it will bring more disruption to the town.

“This does not bring about any improvements to the existing transport infrastructure. There are lots of things about this, we don’t want it. I don’t think they have looked into it in enough detail.”

Cllr Gordon Goff said that the impact it would have on the public and wildlife would be ‘astronomical’.

He went on to say he was not happy with one of the statements in the application and said they ‘don’t want to be blackmailed’.

One of the documents submitted with the application states that if the development was not approved it would mean that the applicants, Certas, ‘will either have to find a different site’ or ‘will have to cease operating in the area’.

Cllr Terry Judkins said that the Port Authority wanted to ‘use Pembroke Dock as a dumping ground’ and added that he could not support it.

Cllr Maureen Colgan added that she was ‘totally against’ the application and said that the area should be kept for leisure and be developed as an area where people can sit and enjoy themselves.

The application is due to be decided by Pembrokeshire County Council at a later date.

Cllr Paul Dowson has already called in the application for it to be debated by the County Council’s Planning Committee.

In his request he states that it is too near habitation, it is within the Pembroke Dock conservation area and that children have been using the area near the bandstand as play area for over 20 years.

The area had also previously been the subject of an application for a marina and other leisure facilities but that investment was written off in 2017.

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Trial of Haverfordwest primary school teacher starts at Swansea Crown Court

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A HAVERFORDWEST primary school teacher who is accused of sexually abusing eleven children thinks he is a victim of a witch hunt by the police, a jury has heard.

But at Swansea Crown Court on Monday (Apr 12), the Clare Wilks for the prosecution said that the defendant had “abused the trust of parents and staff” by sexually touching children in his care.

James Oulton, denies 30 charges of sexual assault against the eleven children who were aged eight or nine years old at the time.

The alleged offences took place between 2012 and 2018.

The jury heard how the pupils, now aged between 11 and 17, claimed he touched them sexually.

But the court was also told that Mr Oulton claimed he received cards at the end of term, and he believed letters sent by Pembrokeshire council to parents encouraged false complaints and collusion between pupils.

Oulton, 34, of Richmond Crescent, Haverfordwest, told the court he had behaved appropriately.

The jury heard how the alleged abuse occurred while Mr Oulton was working at a primary school in Haverfordwest.

Clare Wilks, prosecuting, said some of the children alleged that they had been assaulted on a daily basis, while others had had given statements to say it only happened the one time.

The trial continues.

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