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Community in protest after bail granted in toddler neglect case

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THE CASE of a 2-year-old who died in hospital on Tuesday (Jul 21) has touched the hearts of everyone in the county. However, the police decision to bail the two people arrested in connection with the case, has sparked anger and protest.

On Tuesday night, at Haverfordwest police station a small group of around twenty protestors gathered to vent their anger that the arrestees had not been remanded into custody. Hastily arranged on social media, the mood was quiet and sombre, but the talk among the crowd was about where the couple had been bailed to, and how best to interact with senior police officers in order to vent their frustrations.

Later that evening, police vehicles arrived at The Silverdale Lodge in Johnston, responding to members of the public turning up claiming that the suspects were inside.

A resident at The Silverdale Lodge told The Herald on the telephone: “None of the residents or security were aware that [one of the accused] had been bailed to the Lodge. A few people turned up suggesting that they were there – and quickly afterwards police units arrived and took a woman into police protection.”

As this was all happening a vigil was held at Princess Royal Way, Haverfordwest where residents of the street, both adults and children, lit candles and placed flowers and teddies in front of a large banner saying “Justice for Lola”.

The gatherings passed without incident.

A police spokesperson told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Officers were called to an address in Haverfordwest on the morning of Friday, 17 July 2020.

“The child tragically passed away in hospital on July 21.

“Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.

“The family are supported by specialist trained officers.

“Two people have been arrested on suspicion of assault and neglect, and the investigation is ongoing.

“Anyone with any information is asked to contact police at Pembrokeshire CID.”

Speaking on Wednesday, Superintendent Ross Evans said: “Pembrokeshire is a close-knit community, and we understand that the death of a child will be a cause for grief.

“However we would appeal to the public to refrain from any actions that could impact the ongoing investigation, including comments shared online and on social media.

“Officers will be more visible in the local area over the coming days as enquiries continue, and any concerns can be addressed through them.”

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COVID-19 tests being encouraged for wider range of symptoms

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PEOPLE living in Pembrokeshire are being encouraged to have a free COVID-19 test if they have a wider range of symptoms.

Previously, only those with either a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss/change of taste and smell, were advised to seek a test. The health board is now also encouraging people to have a test if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Flu-like symptoms, including myalgia (muscle ache or pain); excessive tiredness; persistent headache; runny nose or blocked nose; persistent sneezing; sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Generally feeling unwell and a history of being in contact with a known COVID-19 case
  • Any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test

The change aims to find hidden COVID-19 cases in our communities and drive down the numbers of onward transmissions.

Identifying infections, which could otherwise go undetected, is particularly important as new variants of the virus emerge. The more tests carried out, the easier it will be to spot early clusters of cases and possible virus mutations. This will help with easing restrictions in the future.

The new testing regime will initially run for at least 28 days and will then be reviewed. Swansea Bay University Health Board is also expanding its offer of testing in this way.

Alison Shakeshaft, Director of Therapies and Health Science at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “Overall, we are seeing a positive picture across the three counties and there has been a steady fall in the number of COVID-19 cases.

“Also, the demand for tests has come down considerably since the end of 2020, so we have capacity to expand the offer of testing to those with a wider range of symptoms.

“We know the wider group of symptoms do occur in COVID-19 but are not reported as often as the ‘classic three’ symptoms. With the very low rates of flu circulating at the moment, it is more likely that wider flu-like symptoms are due to COVID-19.

“Our aim is to find as many COVID-19 cases as possible so we can prevent the virus being passed on to others. We want to do everything we can to help bring the pandemic to a close as fast as possible and help restrictions to be lifted.”

If you have any of the symptoms outlined above, please stay at home and get a test by booking online via the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ringing 119.

As these are national contacts, you may automatically be asked about the ‘classic three’ symptoms. However, to book your test simply choose either one of these options: “You have been asked to take a test by your local council” or “You are part of a government pilot project”.

Once you have had your test, you must continue to self-isolate until you receive your result, which will usually be within 24 hours of the test. If your result is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date your symptoms started. You will also be contacted by the local Tracing Team.

If your result is negative, you can end your self-isolation, when you feel well enough to do so.

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Dale Morgan charged with murder of Judith Rhead, police confirm

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DYFED POWYS POLICE have charged a man in connection with the alleged murder of 68 year old Judith Rhead who was found dead in her home in Market Street, Pembroke Dock on Saturday (Feb 20).

Dale Morgan, 43, will appear at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court today by video link.

Dale Morgan, in court today

A spokesman for the force said: “Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm that Dale Morgan, aged 43, has been charged with the murder of Judith Rhead, aged 68, who was found in a property in Market Street, Pembroke Dock.

“He is due to appear before Llanelli Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday, 25 February).”

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Judith Rhead murder investigation – Detectives given more time to question suspect

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POLICE have been given more time to question a 43-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder.

The man has been in police custody since Saturday night, after being arrested over the death 68-year-old Judith Rhead.

She was found in a residential property in Market Street.

The police now have until Thursday afternoon (Feb 25) to question the suspect.

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