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Covid-19: Pembroke Dock man stranded in Italy ‘indefinitely’

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Left to right) Quinn, Rhys and Will

A PEMBROKESHIRE man who has been quarantined in Italy for more than a month after testing positive for coronavirus, is still no closer to being able to go home.

Rhys James of Pembroke Dock, who had been teaching English in Italy, has been hauled up in a secure isolation facility by Italian officials since he tested positive for the virus on August 17.

Speaking to The Herald, Rhys told us he originally went to Italy alone on July 5, starting in Milan and working across the north of the country.

Along the way, Rhys, 23 met two fellow Brit’s – who were also on placement, Will Castle, 22 and Quinn Pazesny, 20.

On August 16, both Rhys and Quinn began to display symptoms of the virus and as the trio had been staying together, all three were tested for coronavirus.

All three men provided a positive swab test, despite Will still to this day not having any symptoms.

Rhys told us that they were initially all taken into hospital and told they would be able to return to their flats and isolate together.

All men are travelling to isolation centres together, but must isolate seperately on their arrival

He claimed an hour later, guidance was different and another representative said all three would be taken to a hospital facility where they must isolate separately.

Hospital staff travelled to the men’s dwellings and packed up their belongings and sent them to the facility.

Rhys told us how all of their belongings were mixed up, which he says defeats the object of keeping them all separate.

The trio are currently on their third isolation facility, where they travel together, but then must isolate in separate rooms when they arrive.

Medical advice in the UK, currently says those that test positive for the virus have to quarantine for 10 days, then they are no longer considered infectious and they no longer need to isolate.

This science is backed by The World Health Organisation.

Current regulations in Italy stipulate that you must provide two separate negative Covid-19 swab tests at least 24 hours apart, before you can leave quarantine.

Despite none of the trio displaying any coronavirus symptoms since August 21, they continue to provide positive swab test results, a method that can detect dead cells for months after.

Originally they kept their spirits high by facetiming, but at some locations due to lack of WIFI that isn’t always possible.

Typical meal provided by the facility

With no family to rely on or unable to order food from outside, the men are forced to rely on the hospitality of Italian quarantine centres for their daily meals.

With two out of the three men having food intolerance’s, this has caused them a great deal of discomfort.

Rhys told us that they have been in contact with The British Embassy, who have been able to assist them in their dietary needs and obtaining bigger portions.

The Foreign Office have cited to many media sources that they are in contact with the men, a claim Rhys disputes, saying no contact has been made with them from any representatives for the office.

Speaking on the quarantine, Rhys said: “I do understand why they are being so careful after the way they were hit with coronavirus at the beginning.

“But we are approaching nearly six weeks of isolation now and the only answer they keep giving us to keep us upheld here is that ‘it’s the science’.”

“We have had no update whatsoever, if we had an end date or somebody was doing something to help it would be fine. At the moment we are constantly stressed.”

The men are hauled up indefinitely

Rhys told us how the measure inflicted on them seem as though prison would be a better option for them, he added “At least you can go outside into the yard, we can only open our door slightly to pick up our food and that’s it.”

Rhys’ family have been trying to get into contact with Simon Hart MP for South Pembrokeshire, they have been told that they have been discussing the case, Rhys said.

Rhys told us how they are tested each Monday, all three men tested positive when they were tested on September 14.

They were last tested on Monday (Sept 21), they are still awaiting the results of the swabs.

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Police Tasered teenager in Hakin following car theft

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A SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD boy who resisted arrest after stealing a vehicle and driving it around Glebelands in Hakin in the middle of the night had to be Tasered, police have said.

The Herald understands that police were called after the teenager took a white car at 3am and started doing loops around the estate. Police units moved in blocking off side roads to keep the vehicle within a confined area, and finally he was arrested and taken into custody.

Some residents in the street who had been woken up by the incident contacted this newspaper.
The boy was not hurt.

A witness said: “The police wanted him detained but he was having none of it, chopsing the police. Next minute they fired and he fell straight to the floor like a log, but not before he had been chased through someone’s garden.”

“He was acting extremely aggressively and I think the police had no option.”

A spokesperson for Dyfed Powys Police told The Pembrokeshire Herald in a prepared statement: A 17-year-old male was arrested in Glebelands in Hakin on suspicion of aggravated taking a vehicle without owner’s consent, driving without a licence and driving without insurance, at around 3.35am on Friday, 16 October.

The male resisted arrest and was Tasered to prevent him causing any injury to himself or members of the public.

He did not require any medical attention.

He has been charged to appear at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on November 6.

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Vulnerable man targeted by rogue trader

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A ROGUE trader has been ordered to pay almost £2,000 by a court after carrying out shocking DIY work for a vulnerable Jameston man.

Pembrokeshire Trading Standards prosecuted 20-year-old Douggie James Whitbread who traded as Wales and West Property Solution.

Haverfordwest Magistrates were told on Friday (Oct 23) that a joint investigation with Dyfed-Powys Police discovered that Whitbread of 8 Coldwell Terrace, Pembroke, first approached the 66-year-old victim in the summer of 2019.

After agreeing to cut the man’s grass, Whitbread made regular accompanied visits looking for other jobs and pressurising the pensioner to have them done.

The victim did not know him as Douggie Whitbread as the defendant gave a false name.

Whitbread offered to fit new floor lino in the toilet and small adjoining passageway of the victim’s home, saying he would do a good job. Instead, the court heard, he and a fellow worker spent less than an hour and charged £300.

The standard of the work was shocking and showed Whitbread’s inept ability. Jagged edges and numerous gaps were left where it had not been fitted correctly, exposing the existing floor underneath.

Despite there being enough lino on the two metre by two metre roll, Whitbread told the victim he needed more to finish the job.

A few weeks later the victim was approached by Whitbread at a bus stop near his home. He said he would return the next day to finish the work and that he wanted another £300.

The victim informed a neighbour and Pembrokeshire County Council’s Trading Standards team and when Whitbread returned he was arrested by police.

Whitbread was also questioned about another incident involving hedge-cutting for an elderly lady and admitted taking away the waste as advertised on his business flyer. However, he did not hold a Waste Carrier Licence at the time.

Whitbread admitted four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. These were: carrying out work not fit for purpose; trading without professional diligence; omitting to give required information for doorstep contracts and advertising and conducting waste removal services when not licensed.

A £200 fine was imposed for each offence together with £1,000 costs plus a £110 victim surcharge. A compensation order for £300 was also awarded to the victim and a restraining order imposed prohibiting Whitbread from approaching the pensioner indefinitely.

“I am appalled by the standard of work and how this vulnerable gentleman has been hounded and taken advantage of” said Sandra McSparron, Lead Trading Standards Officer. She added that the incidents had left the victim anxious and unwell.

The County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Cris Tomos, said: “This court case sends a clear warning to rogue traders that targeting the elderly and vulnerable for financial gain will not be tolerated. We will pursue and prosecute all those who commit such despicable crimes.”

Councillor Tomos also said the case showed the great community spirit of Jameston residents looking out for one another and was a fine example of successful partnership work between the police and Trading Standards.

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Drug driver arrested in Milford Haven after driving through stop sign and into roadworks

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A DRUG driver who drove through a stretch of roadworks on the wrong side of the road, before hitting a parked car and trying to hide from police has appeared in court.

Christopher John Brown led Dyfed-Powys Police officers on a pursuit through Milford Haven on Friday afternoon (October 23), putting pedestrians and other road users at risk.

Pembrokeshire Roads Policing Unit have thanked people for their help in tracing the 31-year-old, of Meyler Crescent, after the manner of his driving became so dangerous they could no longer follow him.

A Roads Policing Officer had attempted to stop Brown at around 1pm when he was seen driving out of The Mount estate at speed.

However, he failed to stop when requested and sped away in his BMW.

As police followed, Brown drove on the wrong side of the road, overtook a number of cars waiting at roadworks, and drove through a stop sign, forcing an off duty officer to take evasive action as the defendant drove towards him.

Police deemed the danger level too high to continue the pursuit when Brown drove through a coned area of roadworks where there were a number of people working.

At this point, members of the public pointed out to officers which direction he had driven in.

Brown went on to collide with a parked car, before getting out of his vehicle and attempting to hide behind another. He was found by a PC, who arrested him on suspicion of dangerous driving and administered a drug wipe.

A Pembrokeshire RPU spokesman said: “This was a highly dangerous incident, during which Brown put a number of people’s lives at risk.

“Driving through a stop sign and into a coned area of roadworks was simply beyond comprehension, and could have had a tragic outcome.

“As we decided to end the pursuit, we were assisted by a number of people, and the team would like to thank members of the public in Milford Haven for their help in tracing Brown.

“Your support is greatly appreciated.”

Brown was charged with dangerous driving, driving with no insurance, driving while disqualified, failing to stop when requested by police, and possession of cannabis.

His vehicle, which had no insurance, tax or mot, was also seized.

He was remanded to appear in front of the next available court, and admitted all five offences at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, October 24. He also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of driving whilst unfit through drugs, which was laid on at court.

He will be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on November 16.

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