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Opportunist theft case goes to trial

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3crownsA HAVERFORDWEST man appeared in front of local magistrates on Tuesday to face a charge of burglary as a trespasser, and stealing a handbag containing £770, cigarettes and a purse. 

David Prime, aged 34, of City Road, pleaded guilty to the theft, but not guilty of burglary as a trespasser. Prosecutor, Vaughan Pritchard- Jones said: “A lady had left her handbag on the front bar in the Lower Three Crowns, in Haverfordwest. Prime went in and stole the handbag, and the law says he was trespassing as the pub was not yet open to the public.” Defending, James Subbiani said: “Prime says the doors were open. He was walking down the road, popped his head in through the door to see what was going on, saw the handbag and stole it. This is a very narrow issue.” Magistrates accepted jurisdiction and adjourned the case for trial under a skeleton argument on August 22. Prime was released on unconditional bail.

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First Minister quits after less than four months in job

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FIRST MINISTER Vaughan Gething has announced his resignation.

Gething did not offer any apologies for the events of the past few months or for his campaign donations.

He expressed that he had hoped for “rebuilding and renewal” under his leadership over the summer.

“I recognise now that this is not possible,” he stated.

He described this period as the most challenging time “for me and my family”.

“A growing assertion that some kind of wrongdoing has taken place has been pernicious, politically motivated and patently untrue,” he declared.

“In 11 years as a minister, I have never made a decision for personal gain. I have never misused or abused my ministerial responsibilities.

“My integrity matters. I have not compromised it.

“I regret that the burden of proof is no longer an important commodity in the language of our politics. I do hope that can change.

“To those in Wales who look like me – many of whom I know feel personally bruised and worried by this moment, I know that our country can be better. I know that cannot happen without us.”

He added that he would discuss a timetable for the election of a new leader.

THE FULL STATEMENT

Here is Vaughan Gething’s statement in full: “I have this morning taken the difficult decision to begin the process of stepping down as leader of the Welsh Labour Party and, as a result, First Minister.

“Having been elected as leader of my party in March, I had hoped that over the summer a period of reflection, rebuilding and renewal could take place under my leadership. I recognise now that this is not possible.

“It has been the honour of my life to do this job even for a few short months. To see the dedication to public service from our civil service, and the dedication to civility from the Welsh public.

“To see the election of a new government in Westminster, and the fresh hope that brings to Wales. I have always pursued my political career to serve Wales.

“And being able to show underrepresented communities that there is a place for them, for us, is an honour and privilege that will never diminish.

“It’s what drew me into public service. Before becoming an MS I fought employment cases for people who’d been mistreated at work.

“I wanted to give power those without a voice.

“That has always been my motivation. I also campaigned to help create the Senedd, clocking up 30 years of work to support Wales’ devolution journey.

“This has been the most difficult time, for me, and my family. A growing assertion that some kind of wrongdoing has taken place has been pernicious, politically motivated and patently untrue.

“In 11 years as a Minister, I have never ever made a decision for personal gain. I have never ever misused or abused my ministerial responsibilities. My integrity matters. I have not compromised it.

“I regret that the burden of proof is no longer an important commodity in the language of our politics. I do hope that can change.

“I will now discuss a timetable for the election of new leader of my party. Finally, I want to say thank you to those who have reached out to support me, my team and my family in recent weeks. It has meant the world to all of us.

“To those in Wales who look like me – many of whom I know feel personally bruised and worried by this moment, I know that our country can be better. I know that cannot happen without us.

“There will – and there must be – a government that looks like the country it serves.

“Thank you.”

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News

LIVE – Welsh Government ministers quit and call for First Minister to go

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FOUR senior ministers of the Welsh Government have dramatically tendered their resignations in a bold protest against the leadership of First Minister Vaughan Gething.

Among those stepping down are Jeremy Miles, a prominent contender for leadership, along with Julie James, Mick Antoniw, and Lesley Griffiths.

The resignations come amidst mounting discontent within the Welsh Government, culminating in a sharp call for change at the top. Jeremy Miles, who recently held the position of Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy, and Welsh Language, expressed profound disappointment in a statement on social media earlier today. He lamented the recent tumultuous months, including a challenging no-confidence vote, describing them as “incredibly painful.”

Cabinet Secretary Julie James, responsible for Housing, Local Government, and Planning, became the third minister to resign this morning, adding weight to the growing dissent. Meanwhile, Mick Antoniw, the Counsel General, announced his departure with a sense of regret, stating, “With great sadness I am resigning from the Welsh Government.”

The wave of resignations underscores deep-seated concerns over the direction of leadership under Vaughan Gething, prompting urgent calls for his resignation. The ministers have been unequivocal in their stance that Mr. Gething “must leave office,” setting the stage for a potentially tumultuous period in Welsh politics.

UPDATE: 11:45 –

FIRST MINISTER Vaughan Gething has announced his resignation.

Gething did not offer any apologies for the events of the past few months or for his campaign donations.

He expressed that he had hoped for “rebuilding and renewal” under his leadership over the summer.

“I recognise now that this is not possible,” he stated.

He described this period as the most challenging time “for me and my family”.

“A growing assertion that some kind of wrongdoing has taken place has been pernicious, politically motivated and patently untrue,” he declared.

“In 11 years as a minister, I have never made a decision for personal gain. I have never misused or abused my ministerial responsibilities.

“My integrity matters. I have not compromised it.

“I regret that the burden of proof is no longer an important commodity in the language of our politics. I do hope that can change.

“To those in Wales who look like me – many of whom I know feel personally bruised and worried by this moment, I know that our country can be better. I know that cannot happen without us.”

He added that he would discuss a timetable for the election of a new leader.

UPDATE: 11:15 –

Adrian Masters, ITV Wales’ Political Editor has said on X, formerly Twitter, that Vaughan Gething is to step down as First Minister and Welsh Labour Leader today.

UPDATE: 10:34 –

Andrew RT Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, has also said Mr Gething should quit. He told Herald.Wales: “Vaughan Gething’s time as First Minister is rightly coming to an end. But Labour cannot fool the people of Wales.

“These Ministers, like Jeremy Miles, sat in his cabinet, they stood by his side, and they are culpable for the breakdown of governance in Wales. Wales will remember.”

UPDATE: 10:23 –

Here are some of the resignation letters which were shared on X, formerly Twitter, this morning:

THIS PAGE IS UPDATING: As the situation continues to unfold, stay updated with our live coverage by refreshing this page for the latest details.

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RSPCA reveal 160 animal cruelty reports in Pembrokeshire

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THE LATEST figures from RSPCA Cymru reveal a troubling increase in animal cruelty cases, with 160 incidents reported in Pembrokeshire alone this year. This alarming statistic is part of a broader surge in cruelty reports across Wales, where 3,059 cases have been recorded from January to June 2024.

Pembrokeshire’s figures contribute to a national concern, as RSPCA Cymru braces for a busy summer following a 2% rise in cruelty reports across England and Wales. Last year, intentional harm and beatings of animals rose sharply during the summer months, and this year seems poised to follow the same distressing trend.

The cruelty figures in Pembrokeshire place it among the top counties in Wales for reported abuse. Rhondda Cynon Taf leads with 266 reports, followed by Cardiff with 255, Swansea with 237, Carmarthenshire with 189, and Caerphilly with 186.

Karen Colman, head of the RSPCA welfare oversight team, highlighted the concerning rise in cruelty reports: “Sadly, animal cruelty reports are on the rise this year – and across Wales, we’ve seen more than 3,000 animal cruelty reports already this year.”

One particularly disturbing case in Pembrokeshire involved a hedgehog found with an air gun injury in Haverfordwest. Ginny Batt, who runs the Pembrokeshire Hogspital, responded to a call about the injured animal. The hedgehog, wandering during the day, was found with a pellet wound near its neck and shoulder. Despite efforts to save it, the animal had to be euthanised due to the severity of its injuries.

Batt said, “The pellet missed his head and caught the shoulder. There was no bone injury, but the impact had dislocated his shoulder.”

In response to the rising cruelty cases, the RSPCA has launched its ‘No Animal Deserves Cruelty’ summer appeal. The charity is seeking public support to fund rescue operations and care for abused animals during the peak summer period.

“Summer is a really challenging time for us – and we’re braced for another busy season on the frontline, but we cannot do this alone,” added Colman.

The RSPCA is also advocating for tighter controls and better education regarding air guns. The organisation calls for mandatory basic safety training for anyone purchasing an air gun to prevent wildlife from being targeted.

Among the many animals rescued from cruelty, Loki’s story stands out. The puppy was found covered in bruises and fractures, but after being rescued and rehabilitated by the RSPCA, he now lives happily in a new home. RSPCA Inspector Zoe Ballard, who rescued Loki, recently reunited with the transformed dog, expressing her joy: “Seeing him today, there is a twinkle in his eye. So different from that little puppy I met that first day.”

As the RSPCA marks its 200th anniversary, it underscores the ongoing need for vigilance and support to combat animal cruelty. The charity’s summer appeal aims to raise the necessary funds to rescue and rehabilitate animals facing abuse.

For more information on the RSPCA’s No Animal Deserves Cruelty Appeal, visit the charity’s website.

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