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Woman fears further violence as assaulter sentenced for ‘brutal attacks’

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IN A HARROWING court hearing this week, a woman expressed her terror of experiencing further violence from a man who was recently convicted of assaulting her on two occasions.

Reading out a victim impact statement at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court, the woman disclosed, “The abuse I’ve suffered has really affected me.

“I’m scared to go out of the house because of him, and I’m petrified of further violence from him.

“But I know that it will come.”

Jeremiah Jones, a resident of Montgomery Close, Monkton, Pembroke, has been sentenced to a community order by Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court after being found guilty of assault and harassment charges.

Jones, 42, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating.

On August 18, 2022, he assaulted a woman known to him, causing physical harm.

Just two days later, on August 20, he committed the same offence against her.

Crown Prosecutor Sian Vaughan highlighted the severity of the incidents, stating that he forcefully slapped the victim’s face, followed by punching and pushing her thigh, resulting in visible bruising.

In addition to the assault charges, Jones was also charged with engaging in controlling and coercive behavior in an intimate relationship.

Between March 1, 2022, and August 20, 2022, he continuously monitored the victim’s movements, drove past her workplace, and exhibited behavior that had a serious detrimental effect on her emotional well-being.

During the court proceedings, Tom Lloyd, Jones’ legal representative, shed light on the circumstances surrounding the offences. Jones had consumed an excessive amount of alcohol, approximately eight pints of lager, after a day of work, leading to a heated argument about the victim’s friendship with another woman.

Lloyd emphasised that Jones had lost everything as a result of his actions.

Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court handed down a 12-month community order, involving 100 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation requirement days for Jones.

Additionally, he was ordered to pay £200 in compensation to the victim, along with £150 in costs and a £114 victim surcharge. Magistrates also imposed a two-year restraining order, prohibiting any form of direct or indirect contact with the victim, except through authorised third parties such as solicitors or social services representatives when seeking access to their children.

In a separate charge of harassment without violence, Jones pleaded guilty to pursuing a course of conduct amounting to the harassment of the same woman known to him.

The incidents involved monitoring her movements, following her, driving past her workplace, and pestering her via social media. The court took into account

Jones’ guilty plea and incorporated the charges into the community order, which courts say aim to rehabilitate the offender while ensuring the safety and protection of the victim.

Health

New X-ray equipment plan at Tenby Cottage Hospital revealed

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X-RAY services at Tenby Cottage Hospital are to receive a major boost thanks to an investment of £625,000 in brand new equipment which is being installed at the Hywel Dda Health Board-run site over the next few weeks.

The equipment, funded by Welsh Government, will allow the unit not only to provide the highest quality images but will also mean patients with reduced mobility or advanced clinical needs can be more easily accommodated.

However, in order to install the new equipment, x-ray services will be temporarily unavailable in Tenby Cottage Hospital until Friday, 19April 2024.

Over the next few weeks, imaging for GP patients will be provided on an appointment only basis at South Pembrokeshire Hospital in Pembroke Dock between 9-5pm.

Patients attending the Minor Injuries walk-in centre can still attend Tenby Cottage Hospital but may be sent to Withybush if an x-ray is required. Alternatively, patients can choose to attend Withybush Emergency Department directly.

John Evans, Pembrokeshire County Director for Hywel Dda said: “We are delighted that Tenby Cottage Hospital will be receiving brand new and up to date x-ray equipment thanks to this investment from Welsh Government.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused over the short period of time while the equipment is being installed but look forward to providing an improved level of care for Tenby community patients into the future.”

Patients needing further help or information should contact the radiology departments at Withybush Hospital on 01437 773385 or South Pembrokeshire Hospital on 01437 774018.

The health board is reminding people not to attend busy A&E departments unless they have a critical, life-threatening emergency and asking people to choose their healthcare services very carefully, so that only people with urgent or emergency care needs are being seen in A&E. 

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Farming

Police warn of disruption to traffic as farmers protests take place

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FARMERS protests are taking place in Aberystwyth and Carmarthen today (Feb 22.)

The police took to Facebook on Thursday morning saying: “We are aware of potential disruption to traffic in Carmarthen and Aberystwyth town centres from midday today.

“The traffic network in and out of the towns may also be affected.

“If you are planning on travelling in those areas today, please consider changing your route or journey time to avoid delays.

“We will update when we have further information.”

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Health

NHS facing unprecedented winter pressures amid record demand

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THE NHS in Wales has been facing significant challenges this winter, with an exceptionally high number of emergency calls and delays that have put immense pressure on its staff and resources, according to the latest activity and performance statistics.

In January, the ambulance service received 5,009 red (life-threatening) calls, accounting for 13.9% of all calls. Despite a slight decrease from December, with an average of 162 life-threatening calls per day, this figure remains the third highest on record. The response times for these urgent calls have also been under scrutiny, with 48.8% of red calls receiving an emergency response within eight minutes, marking the second highest achievement for this metric. The average response time for these calls was 8 minutes and 11 seconds.

The performance data also revealed that approximately 27,000 hours were lost due to handover delays at hospitals, highlighting the systemic pressures faced by the health service. Despite these challenges, nearly all health boards came close to meeting the target for 97% of patient pathways waiting less than two years by 2024, missing it by a mere 0.03%.

Nesta Lloyd-Jones, Assistant Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, commented on the impact of the winter pressures and the exceptional demand on NHS services. “The monumental efforts of our staff have led to some improvements, such as a decrease in the number of people waiting the longest for treatment in December. However, the progress is threatened by the junior doctor strike action in January and February, which has led to a significant number of planned care procedures being postponed.”

Lloyd-Jones stressed the need for comprehensive planning and significant investment in NHS infrastructure and social care to ensure the health service can continue to improve and meet the demands placed upon it. “Good planning alone is not enough. Without significant capital investment and a whole-nation approach to health and wellbeing, alongside substantial changes to social care funding and provision, the progress of NHS leaders will be limited.”

The Welsh NHS Confederation, which represents the seven local health boards, three NHS trusts, and other health organisations in Wales, has been vocal about the challenges faced by the NHS and the need for strategic investment and support to navigate through these difficult times.

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