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Former police inspector subjected partner to a ‘sustained and bloody attack’



A former police inspector subjected his partner to a sustained and bloody attack, repeatedly punching and kicking her before arming himself with a knife and striking her with it.

A drunk Paul Bonning was “frothing at the mouth” and screaming and shouting at the woman before dragging her off the sofa and assaulting her following a night out together.

The 54-year-old then told the bleeding woman not to go to bed as he did not want her blood on his white sheets, and warned her not to report the assault to the police as he knew people “high up” in the force.

Swansea Crown Court heard that prior to the attack Bonning had served 30 years with the Met Police in London and with Dyfed-Powys Police.

Ian Wright, prosecuting, said on the evening of Sunday, July 1, 2018 Bonning and his then partner had been out for the night before going back to the defendant’s home in Pembroke.

He said the defendant continued drinking alcohol as the couple sat on the sofa talking, with the former inspector consuming beer, wine, gin, and whisky.

However, Bonning suddenly lost his temper following a comment the woman made about taking a woman back to his address, and he began shouting and screaming at his partner.

The court heard the victim described how the defendant “lost it” and was “frothing at the mouth” before dragging her off the sofa and repeatedly kicking and punching her to the body.

Mr Wright said Bonning then retrieved a black-handled knife from the kitchen and brandished it at his partner and as the woman tried to leave the room he struck her on the back of the head, it is thought with the handle of the weapon.

The court heard the head wound began bleeding profusely, and Bonning told her she needed to go to hospital – but he then went to bed, telling her not to join him as he did not want blood on on his white sheets.

The following morning the defendant went to work – at the time he was working as an Asda delivery driver – and told his partner to lie to doctors about the injury, and say she had hurt herself by falling over.

After talking to a friend the victim went to Haverfordwest’s Withybush Hospital where she did what Bonning had told her to, and told staff she had been involved in an accident. However, when medics questioned her and saw the extent of the bruising on her body they suspected there had been a domestic violence incident and contacted police.

The court heard the woman suffered a 10cm cut to the top of her head along with bruising to the upper arms – bruising which “had the appearance of finger marks” – and bruises and tenderness to her back and shoulder.

Bonning gave a “no comment” interview to police, the woman did not make a complaint of an assault, and no further action was taken.

Mr Wright said following the attack the pair met on a local beach with Bonning telling the woman not to go to the police, telling her she was a bad liar, and adding “the police will suck it out of you – that is what they do”.

The prosecutor said Bonning was subsequently served with a domestic violence protection notice but once that expired the couple stayed in touch and, though there was no further physical violence in the relationship, the defendant was verbally abusive. The relationship finally ended in January 2019, and later that year the victim went to the police to report the earlier assault.

The court heard the woman told officers that Bonning had said he “knew people high up in the police force” and she had been concerned about the consequences of reporting an assault by a former officer, was worried nobody would believe her. She also said she felt the defendant had “emotionally blackmailed” her into saying nothing.

In a victim impact statement read to the court the woman said while the physical scars had healed, the emotional ones had not. She said she had felt too ashamed about what happened to ask her family for help, relives the attack every day, and has been left feeling “vulnerable, betrayed and worthless”.

Bonning, of East Back, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, had previously pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. He has no previous convictions.

Dean Pulling, for Bonning, said prior to the assault the defendant had 30 years “distinguished service” as a police officer in the Met and then Dyfed-Powys Police.

He said his client was, to use his own words, “almost burnt out” by the time he retired from policing, was suffering with stress and depression and potentially from post-traumatic stress disorder, and for the first time in his life had been drinking to excess.

The barrister said a pre-sentence report concluded Bonning posed a low risk of re-offending, and said beyond punishment a term of immediate custody would serve little or no benefit.

Recorder Ifan Wyn Lloyd Jones told the defendant domestic violence was a serious problem in society, and one which the courts took seriously.

He told Bonning he had subjected his partner to a sustained attack, and said a woman had suffered injury at his hands.

The recorder said the defendant had thrown away his good character but that he was satisfied Bonning was now remorseful for his actions, and that there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation in in his case.

Giving the defendant credit for his guilty plea the recorder sentenced him to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to complete a rehabilitation course and a building better relationships course. The recorder also ordered Bonning to pay his victim £2,000 in compensation, and to pay £720 towards prosecution costs.

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Buckingham palace announces Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements



PRINCE PHILIP’S royal ceremonial funeral will take place April 17 at Windsor Castle — a slimmed-down service amid the COVID-19 pandemic that will be entirely closed to the public.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, took part in planning his funeral and its focus on family was in accordance with his wishes. The 99-year-old duke, who died Friday, also took part in designing the modified Land Rover that will carry his coffin.

“Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth,” a palace spokesman said Saturday while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson who stepped away from royal duties last year and now lives in California, will attend the service along with other members of the royal family. His wife, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, has been advised by her doctor not to attend.

Palace officials said the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with the British government’s COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals to 30. They declined to say whether the royal family would be required to wear masks.

The palace appealed to the public not to gather in Windsor, and for those who wished to pay their respects to Philips to stay at home instead.

“While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the royal family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects,″ the palace spokesman said. “The family’s wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.”

The announcement comes after military teams across the U.K. and on ships at sea fired 41-gun salutes Saturday to mark the death of Philip, honouring the former naval officer and husband of Queen Elizabeth II whom they considered one of their own.

Batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast — the capitals of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom — as well as other cities around the U.K. and the Mediterranean outpost of Gibraltar fired the volleys at one-minute intervals beginning at midday. Ships including the HMS Montrose, a frigate patrolling the Persian Gulf, offered their own salutes.

“The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the Armed Forces as a whole,” Gen. Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said in a statement. “A life well-lived. His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty.”

Members of the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries headed by the monarch, were also invited to honour Philip. The Australian Defence Force began its salute at 5 p.m. local time outside Parliament House in Canberra, and New Zealand planned to offer its own tribute on Sunday.

Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and once had a promising military career. In 1941, he was honoured for his service during the battle of Cape Mattapan off the coast of Greece, when his control of searchlights aboard the HMS Valiant allowed the battleship to pinpoint enemy vessels in the dark. Philip rose to the rank of commander before he retired from active duty.

Two years after the war ended, Philip married Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. Philip’s naval career came to an abrupt end when King George VI died in 1952 and his wife became queen.

At the queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and settled into a life supporting the monarch. The couple had four children — Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Before he retired from official duties in 2017, the prince carried out more than 22,000 solo public engagements and supported over 780 organizations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people.

Members of the public continued to honour Philip’s life of service on Saturday, leaving flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle despite appeals from authorities and the royal family to refrain from gathering.

“I think everyone would like to pay their respects,” Maureen Field, 67, said outside Windsor Castle. “Because of the virus, a lot of people have to stay away. He didn’t want a big funeral. He wanted a very private time with his family to say their goodbyes. So, we’ve all got to respect that.”

Mike Williams, 50, travelled from his home in Surrey, southwest of London, to Buckingham Palace to honour the prince.

“He’s a massive loss to the country and to the world, I think, so we wanted to come and pay respects,” Williams said. “I don’t know what it achieves, but it just felt like the right thing to do.”

(Associated Press, London – by James Brooks and Tom Rayner)

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Police: RNLI ‘most likely saved man’s life’ following tombstoning incident



POLICE have issued an urgent warning following a tombstoning incident Tenby on Saturday evening (Apr 10).

A multi-agency operation was launched just after 6pm following reports of a man in difficulty after jumping from cliffs into the sea.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys police told The Herald: “We were called to the beach opposite St Catherine’s Island at around 6.15pm today, where a man had got into difficulty after jumping off the cliff into the water.

“On the arrival of officers, RNLI were at the scene and were administering CPR to the 23-year-old who was unconscious and not breathing.

“Fortunately, he regained consciousness shortly after and was taken to hospital for assessment.

Inspector Gavin Howells added: “This incident highlights the serious danger posed by tombstoning or cliff jumping, and the potentially life-threatening consequences.

“We urge people not to take part in this sort of activity anywhere along our coastline, and not to put themselves or the emergency services at risk for a thrill.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the RNLI for their swift response to this incident, and for their actions which most likely saved this man’s life.”

RNLI Tenby posted on Facebook the following: “The Georgina Taylor was launched after person seen in difficulty in water

“Tenby’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at around 6.25pm on Saturday, following a report of somebody in difficulty in the sea off Castle Beach.

“The volunteer crew were quickly on scene and immediately saw the casualty, who had been pulled from the water and was on the rocks.

“The casualty was taken from the rocks and into the lifeboat, where Casualty Care was administered whilst the helmsman made best speed to the harbour.

“As the lifeboat was entering the harbour, an ambulance was arriving at the slipway.

“The crew then assisted the ambulance personnel in getting the casualty onto the stretcher and into the ambulance, before re-housing the lifeboat.

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin



POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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