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Crime

More than £700 worth of vapes stolen from store

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE are appealing for witnesses following a burglary at a store in St David’s, where vapes to the value of more than £700 were taken.

At approximately 2am on Thursday, September 1, a window in the front doors of CK’s store was smashed through by two males.

Once inside, the males took a number of vapes worth approximately £720.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. 

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. 

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org. Quote reference: DPP/6886/01/09/2022/02/C.

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Crime

Solva couple fined nearly £5,000 for unlicensed hydroelectric power scheme

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A COUPLE from Pembrokeshire, Carl Platel and Helen Platel, have been ordered to pay a combined total of almost £5,000 after diverting water from rivers to operate their unlicensed hydroelectric turbine. The Platel couple set up the hydroelectric generation scheme on their land near Bridgend, extracting water from three sources at Gilfach Orfydd and the Cwm Dimbath.

Prosecutor Jon Tarrant revealed in court that one of the water sources was aided by a homemade weir constructed from stone and waterproof tarpaulin, which raised the water level to facilitate extraction. However, such activities require a license from Natural Resources Wales (NRW), costing £375, to protect the environment and ensure the safety and viability of the hydropower scheme.

The defendants’ scheme came to the attention of NRW in 2009, leading to a warning issued in August of that year. Despite this, in 2016, an application for a license was submitted. When NRW visited the site again and discovered the turbine operating, the defendants were reminded that it should not be in operation until the application was approved. Ultimately, the application was withdrawn in August 2016.

Subsequent visits by NRW in 2017 confirmed that the turbine was still operational. During the following three visits, spanning from 2017 to August 2018, the turbine remained unused. At that time, NRW informed the defendants that they would not face legal action for the historical breaches but warned that future operation without the relevant license would result in prosecution.

In 2020, NRW visited the farm once more. Although access to the building was not possible, the audible operation of the turbine indicated that it was still active. When NRW returned on October 22 of the same year, the turbine was found to be operational once again.

Prosecutor Jon Tarrant emphasized the importance of regulating such activities, stating, “There are reasons why this is a regulated activity. The parties were aware of the requirement for a license from the outset. It’s not accepted that this was in operation for purely altruistic reasons. There was a benefit.”

While it was agreed by both parties that no environmental damage had occurred, defense lawyer Christian Jowett argued that the defendants had not financially benefited from the hydropower scheme except for the £375 license fee. Jowett highlighted that the defendants had pleaded guilty to the offenses in September 2021 at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court, but the proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) had caused significant costs and stress over the past 18 months, amounting to £61,000 in legal fees.

Jowett acknowledged the history of warnings and stated that the couple’s motivation was centered around sustainable generation. He read a statement from Mr. Platel expressing deep regret and acknowledging that their passion for the scheme had blinded them to the necessity of obtaining a license.

One of the hydroelectric power schemes is now fully licensed, while the other is awaiting approval of its license, Mr. Jowett informed the court.

During the POCA proceedings, NRW initially sought a benefit figure of £102,000 but later reduced it to £90,000, including the cost of the license fee.

For the offense of abstracting water without a license between September 10, 2019, and October 22, 2020, the defendants were each fined £200. No additional penalty was imposed for causing or permitting the obstruction or impediment of inland waters without the required license during the same period.

Recorder Richard Kember ordered each defendant to pay £2,250 in costs, in addition to a £32 surcharge.

The case serves as a reminder of the importance of adhering to licensing requirements and regulations surrounding sustainable energy projects, ensuring the protection of the environment and the safety of such initiatives.

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Crime

Pembrokeshire radio presenter sent to prison for inciting racial hatred

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A PEMBROKESHIRE man found guilty of 10 counts of inciting racial hatred has today, May 15, been sent to prison.

James Barnaby Allchurch, 51, denied 15 counts of distributing a recording stirring up racial hatred.

Following a trial at Swansea Crown Court, a jury found him guilty of 10 counts and not guilty of five.

Allchurch uploaded podcasts his website called Radio Aryan, which has since been changed to Radio Albion.

The content contained racial and anti-semitic content.

During sentencing, His Honor Judge Huw Rees said: “You were responsible for the creation of a number of audio files containing racist and anti-semetic views which were open to the public.

“During the trial and the playing of the podcasts, it was apparent that they were insulting and abusive and that your sole purpose was to stir up racial hatred.

“The content was vile, listening to them was a disturbing experience.

“It beggars belief that someone would want to speak these words at all let alone distribute them.

“Your offending amounts to a stain on humanity and to our fellow human beings.”

Judge Rees warned Allchurch he was originally looking at a sentence of three years and six months per count, but took into consideration the mitigating circumstance of health conditions and lack of previous experience of custody.

For each of the counts, Allchurch was sentenced to two years, six months.

The sentences will run concurrently.

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Crime

Two youths arrested following incident at Morrisons in Haverfordwest

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POLICE in Haverfordwest are investigating an incident which occurred at Morrisons Store in Haverfordwest at about 7.30pm Wednesday (May 10)

One youth has been arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage and one youth has been arrested on suspicion of assault and going equipped for theft.

They currently remain in police custody.

One person sustained what are believed to be minor injuries which did not require hospital treatment.

The police have asked that anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who may have information which could help the investigation is asked to contact police.

Police would also like to speak to anyone who may have filmed the incident at the store on their mobile phone.

PC Reece Wale said “We understand that a man in his 40s and driving a Volkswagen Passat may have filmed the incident on his mobile phone. We would be grateful if he could contact the police as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20230510-414. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111.

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