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‘My daughter was raped, murdered and burned beyond recognition in Qatar’



IN A letter to the Wales World Cup team, the mother of a young lady who was raped and killed in Qatar begged them to remember her daughter.

In October 2013, while out with friends, Lauren Patterson, an English teacher at a primary school in Doha, was attacked by a guy by the name of Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah Al-Jabr. Outside of the city, the 24 year old’s body was discovered in the desert. Initially given the death penalty, Al-Jabr’s punishment was later reduced to merely 10 years in prison. In the upcoming year, his release is anticipated.

Every player of the Wales and England teams for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar has received a letter from Lauren’s mother Alison, of Haverfordwest. The World Cup is scheduled to begin on Sunday. Alison, who has fought tenaciously for a harsher punishment, is requesting that participants form a L with their fingers to honour Lauren.

“I want all the players to think about Lauren when they run onto the pitch,” said the 57-year-old retired teaching assistant. “If just one of them made an L-shape after scoring a goal or winning a match it would honour Lauren and mean so much.”

Although Lauren was born and raised in Kent, her late father Stuart, a native of Cardiff, gave her some Welsh ancestry. Her mother wrote letters to the coaches of Wales and England, as well as to each member of the teams, 

Al-Jabr’s accomplice Mohammed Hasan Abdulaziz  was previously freed after serving a three-year prison sentence for helping the killer “burn the body of Lauren Patterson and erasing evidence.” Alison claimed that her daughter was “raped, stabbed several times, then carried out into the desert where she was burned beyond recognition, so badly dental records were needed to identify as only 7kg of Lauren remained” in her letters to the squads.

She added: “I have never given up on getting justice for my daughter Lauren. I have travelled to Qatar over 30 times for court hearings all held in Arabic with no translator on most occasions, being forced to stand at the side of the murderer of my daughter. This highlights their total insensitivity. Qatar has a beautiful façade but underneath it is far from beautiful… The human rights of workers, especially in the construction of the infrastructure for the World Cup, has been appalling.”

The letters congratulated the players on their selection and told them that “any gesture you think would be appropriate to question this nation’s history on human rights or to highlight my daughter’s case and the many others would be greatly appreciated”.

Kevin Crotty, the stepfather of Alison and Lauren, 61, used their life savings to fly to each court hearing in Qatar. Al-Jabr’s sentence was reduced to 10 years in 2018 following years of legal fighting and appeals. He is scheduled to be released in less than a year after 

“We didn’t want him to be put to death but we did expect him to receive a similar sentence to what he would get in the UK — perhaps 25 or 30 years,” she said. “But we are told he could be released soon after serving just 10 years in what is more of a villa than a jail. He’s allowed to have a mobile phone, he’s got flat-screen TVs and can play video games. It’s no punishment for what he did to Lauren.

“He can get a job, get married and have a normal life, all things that he took away from my daughter… Qatar has never fully acknowledged the seriousness of what happened to my daughter. There has been no apology, no recognition of the terrible thing that happened to her and the ordeal we are still going through years later.”

Alison added that a Qatari court made an order around eight months ago that Al-Jabr pay her £200,000 in compensation, but she has been told by her lawyer that payment may take years because of the appeal process. The figure would barely cover her legal bills and flights to Doha.

On three occasions Alison has written to the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, pleading for help but her letters have been ignored. She has previously criticised former England captain David Beckham for accepting a reported £150million to promote the World Cup in Qatar.


Five people have been charged with conspiracy to supply cannabis and cocaine



FIVE people have appeared in court charged with conspiracy to supply cannabis and cocaine in Carmarthenshire.

On Wednesday, October 27, 2021 officers from Dyfed-Powys Police executed a warrant at a farm in Capel Dewi, Carmarthenshire, where they found firearms and large quantities of cannabis, cocaine and cash.

Stephen Paul Leyson, aged 54, of Capel Dewi, Carmarthen, was this week charged with possession of a firearm and conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs, while Lynne Ann Leyson, aged 51, and Samson Paul Leyson, aged 22, both of Capel Dewi, were charged with conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.

Andrew Leslie Jenkins, aged 50, of North Hill Road, Mount Pleasant, Swansea, was charged with conspiracy to supply class B drugs and Ritchie John Coleman, aged 32, of Vetch Close, Pembroke, was charged with supplying class B drugs and cannabis production.

All five appeared before Llanelli Magistrates Court yesterday, with Stephen Leyson, Jenkins and Coleman remanded into custody.

Lynne and Samson Leyson were granted bail with conditions.

They are next due to appear at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, January 5, 2023.

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Town council to help elderly with online banking as last bank in Tenby set to close



LOCALS in Tenby have been left reeling at this week’s news that the town’s HSBC branch is set to close next year.

The closure, announced on Thursday (Nov 30) will leave Tenby without any of the UK banks.

In recent years, Lloyds, NatWest and Santander have all left the town. Barclays has also just shut its doors for the last time, with the nearest branches being in Haverfordwest or Carmarthen.

The move comes as part of the latest round of closure, which will see 114 branches of the bank closed across the UK.

It follows 69 HSBC branches closing earlier this year and 82 HSBC branches closing last year.

Other HSBC branches closing in Wales include Abergavenny, Chepstow, Port Talbot, Pontypool, Brecon and a branch in Cardiff – Rhyd y Penau.

HSBC says its customer numbers have fallen rapidly since the pandemic and that some of the branches that are being shut now serve less than 250 customers a week.

Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s managing director of UK distribution, said: “People are changing the way they bank and footfall in many branches is at an all-time low, with no signs of it returning.

“Banking remotely is becoming the norm for the vast majority of us.

“Not only can we do it anywhere at any time of day or night, many more things can be done at the customers’ convenience and don’t rely on a branch visit.

Speaking to The Herald by telephone on Wednesday evening (Nov 30), Mayor of Tenby, Cllr. Sam Skyrme Blackhall said: “This is really bad for the town of Tenby, and it’s just very, very said. This is a case of where are banks going?

“We have always looked after our banks here in Tenby, and it feels like no one is looking after us. Its as if no one in the banks cares anymore.”

Pointing out the number of retired people living in the area, she said: “We have a lot of elderly people in town who do not use online banking, and depend on the branch being open.

“I am talking to the Post Office and other people with the aim of looking to the hub system, which is happening in other towns where they are also loosing their banks.

“Its very sad that we will losing another cash point. How is a busy town expected to function without a bank or cash points. Where do people go for money?

Asked if she thought it was possible that the branch would be saved, as Tenby HSBC was one of the few banks without a confirmed closure date, Cllr. Sam Skyrme Blackhall seemed to think that the decision had been firmly made. She said: “They have to give six months notice, so we could be looking at May or June 2023 for the closure.

“I don’t think the branch could be saved.

“Barclays officially finished the other week.

“Banks don’t care about residents and people don’t matter [to them] during these very worrying times.”

Town council is planning to offer struggling Tenby residents help with online banking from their offices, creating a kind of drop-in-service, The Herald has been told.

Like in any time of difficulty the people of Tenby will rally together as they always do, but no matter what is done in the face of the closure of the last bank in the historic town, nothing will fully replace traditional face-to-face banking services.

Tenby Mayor Cllr. Sam Skyrme Blackhall: These are sad times for Tenby
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Park Authority sponsorship boost for Boxing Day Swim’s belated half century



PEMBROKSEHIRE Coast National Park Authority says that it is delighted to be one of the main sponsors of this year’s Tenby Boxing Day Swim.

The popular event will mark its belated 50th anniversary this year, after Covid-19 enforced cancellations of the event in 2020 and 2021.

Chair of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Di Clements said: “The Authority is delighted to be helping this well-supported community event celebrate its half-century landmark, especially as the National Park celebrates its own notable 70-year milestone this year.

“We hope this support will help raise much needed funds for a range of local causes, recognise the efforts of the brave participants and link to the Authority’s wider winter of well-being support programme, helping communities across the Park to stay well this winter.”

Chairman of the Tenby Sea Swimming Association, Chris Osborne added: “The swim’s stunning location on Tenby’s North Beach calls for continuing collaboration between community events organisers, like Tenby Sea Swimming Association, and environmental custodians such as the Park Authority.

“These joint anniversaries, and this generous sponsorship for which we are very grateful, are a choice way of celebrating this partnership.”

The 2022 Tenby Boxing Day Swim is raising money for the Tenby Memory Café, the Dai Rees Foundation, Tenby RNLI and the Paul Sartori Foundation.

Swimmers are asked to register online and make a small donation to help cover the cost of organising the event, which will ensure more of the sponsorship money raised goes to the chosen good causes.

For further information, visit, or follow Tenby Boxing Day Swim on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


Caption: National Park Authority Chair, Cllr Di Clements with Tenby Sea Swimming Association Chairman, Chris Osborne.

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