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Former Cllr prosecuted for working door without a licence

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  • Paul Haywood Dowson was sentenced on Tuesday 12 September at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court.

ON TUESDAY 12 September Paul Haywood Dowson was sentenced for working illegally as a door supervisor at a licensed premises in South Wales. He received a 12-month Community Rehabilitation Order with 10 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR), a fine of £500, and a Victim Surcharge of £114.00 contribution to prosecution costs of £2,587.50

Dowson worked as a security operative at a licensed premises in Tenby between November 2021 and June 2022. Dyfed Powys Police officers and a licensing officer observed him working as a door supervisor at the premises on 30 April 2022, 29 May 2022 and 04 June 2022.

On each occasion Paul Dowson was observed carrying out the duties of a door supervisor at the door of the premises. He was dressed predominantly in black, displaying an armband licence card holder and a coat bearing the text ‘security’ displayed on it. When he was seen on 29 May 2022, police officers spoke to him, and he confirmed to them that he was working at the premises.

He had held two previous door supervisor licences, but his last licence had expired on 18 March 2022. Paul Dowson continued working at the premises until the Designated Premises Supervisor became aware that he was no longer licensed in June 2022. His employment was subsequently terminated.

Paul Dowson was formally interviewed on 29 October 2022 by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). He agreed that he was standing outside of the door of the premises as described by the police officers but maintained that he was not engaged as a door supervisor at the premises.

He suggested that he was working at the premises in a non-designated role only, in relation to CCTV installations, but this claim was refuted by the premises management.

The bench stated at the sentencing:

“This matter was a significant issue as a door supervisor is a person with (responsibility for) the well-being, regulation, and control of members of the public, you knew you did not have a valid licence but carried on over a sustained period until stopped. That shows a disregard for the law and for those you were meant to be protecting.”

Mark Chapman, one of the SIA’s Criminal Investigations Managers said: “Paul Dowson’s case is an example of what happens when individuals choose to work when not licensed to do so. Dowson continued to work without a licence, putting the security of the venue’s patrons and staff at risk. As a result, he now has a conviction with substantial costs to pay.

“I’d like to acknowledge the contribution made to the investigation by our law enforcement partner, Dyfed Powys Police. They were exemplary in supporting the SIA to bring this case to court. This and other similar cases in the region have further strengthened the regulated security industry by ensuring that those providing security to the public are licensed to do so”.

The Courtroom Proceedings and Its Implications

In a courtroom saga that has captivated many locals, Dowson faced a challenging legal battle, further complicated by his personal struggles with ADHD.

Early on in the proceedings, Dowson posed a pointed question to PC Lewis, the licensing officer. He questioned why PC Lewis didn’t act upon witnessing an alleged offence right in front of him. When met with hesitation from PC Lewis, the magistrate swiftly intervened, marking Dowson’s line of questioning as irrelevant.

Throughout the trial, Dowson employed rigorous cross-examinations in an effort to challenge the credibility of the witnesses. Nonetheless, he encountered a series of setbacks. The chair of the bench repeatedly deemed his queries as ‘irrelevant,’ disrupting the flow of Dowson’s defence strategy.

The testimonies of PC Cranmer and PC Priestley brought additional complexity. Both officers recalled encounters with Dowson but offered contrasting narratives. PC Cranmer recounted her evening patrol on the 29th of April, during which she and PC Priestley allegedly spotted Dowson outside the 5 Arches pub. According to her, Dowson was clad in a black jacket and a pink security armband, a description that became a focal point in her testimony.

Despite Dowson’s attempts to pinpoint inconsistencies in the officers’ accounts, his cross-examinations were frequently cut short by the chair of the bench. These interruptions, combined with Dowson’s declared ADHD – a condition known to affect focus and impulsivity – seemed to hamper his ability to mount a robust defence.

The magistrates declared Dowson guilty: The emphasis was placed on the potential public safety threats associated with Dowson’s alleged actions. The verdict seemed to underscore the severity of the offence, with the chair indicating potential sentencing at the higher tariff range.

The subsequent sentencing hearing proved to be equally challenging for Dowson. A report, presented by Julie Norman from the probation service, shed light on Dowson’s health. Detailing his cardiac, pulmonary, and ADHD diagnoses, the report argued for leniency, given his health concerns and the challenges posed by ADHD in comprehending legal proceedings.

Ultimately, the court ruled in favour of a 12-month probation for Dowson. However, the financial penalties were substantial: a total sum of £3,201.50, which includes a fine, a victim surcharge, and costs to the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Given Dowson’s current reliance on universal credit due to his health challenges, the court mandated monthly payments of £200.

In a post-verdict revelation to The Herald, Dowson unveiled intriguing findings from an FOI request to the SIA. The data, covering prosecutions and sentences from 2017-2021, revealed that for offences similar to Dowson’s, no past sentence had exceeded a low-end fine. This stark contrast to Dowson’s own penalties prompts questions about the trial’s fairness and potential inconsistencies in the legal system’s approach.

The trial, with its intricate web of testimonies, personal challenges, and legal nuances, paints a vivid portrait of the complexities inherent in the British judicial process, especially when a local court is dealing with a local controversial figure.

Community

Police launch urgent search for missing 16-year-old in west Wales

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POLICE are actively searching for a missing 16-year-old boy, known only as Kobi, who has not been seen since last week. The teenager has connections across various towns in west Wales, including Llandeilo, Carmarthen, and Cardigan.

Kobi, described as tall with shaved black hair featuring a purple tint, was last spotted in Llanelli. Authorities have urged the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings of the boy immediately.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police issued a public appeal, stating: “Can you help find Kobi, who has been reported missing? Kobi is 16 years old, and described as tall with shaved black hair which has a purple tint.”

Anyone with information on Kobi’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Dyfed-Powys Police without delay, as concerns for his welfare continue to grow.

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Community

Feedback wanted on regional transport vision

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VIEWS are wanted on the future of transport in South West Wales.

Covering Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea, a case for change that’s been developed for a regional transport plan is now open for public feedback until Monday August 26.

The case for change shows how the plan is essential to support the ongoing economic development of the region, while recognising its diverse communities and varying transport needs.

Aims of the plan include improving walking and cycling routes to local services, as well as achieving a shift away from private car usage to more sustainable forms of transport. Affordability will be at the centre of the plan to ensure access to transport is available to all.

Comments on the case for change will help inform a draft regional transport plan that will also be consulted on when it’s ready for feedback.  

Swansea Bay and West Wales Metro plans for an integrated bus and rail network will continue to be developed alongside the regional transport plan’s delivery in future. 

The rail metro elements are projected to add over a million journeys to the rail network, helping move more people out of cars and onto public transport than any other scheme in Wales.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader and Chairman of the Corporate Joint Committee (CJC) for South West Wales, said: “Adding to an outstanding tourism offer, South West Wales is undergoing a time of unprecedented investment, thanks to developments like the Celtic Freeport and £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal.
“These schemes – in combination with many others – will help create thousands of jobs for local people and attract even more investment to South West Wales in future, but we’ve also identified that our current transport network needs significant improvement to keep pace with these developments, while also better meeting the needs of local people in all the region’s communities – both urban and rural.
“The case for change – which also highlights the importance of affordability, climate change considerations and low-carbon transport – is intended as a guide to help inform the emerging regional transport plan.”
Cllr Darren Price, Carmarthenshire Council’s Leader and Chairman of the CJC’s transport sub-group, said: “The transport network is at the heart or our region. It takes us to work, education, healthcare and leisure and social activities both throughout South West Wales and further afield.
“It affects everyone, which is why we’re opening up our case for change for the regional transport plan for public feedback.
“With the population of the region also expected to increase in the coming decades, we need a transport system that accommodates existing and future developments in a way that supports sustainable travel choices, economic activity and social inclusion across the region.”
Head to www.cjcsouthwest.wales/consultation for more information and the opportunity to give feedback.
Email [email protected] if you have any queries.
Paper copies of the feedback form and consultation materials are available at:
Carmarthenshire: Ammanford Customer Services Hwb on Quay Street, Carmarthen Customer Services Hwb on St Catherine’s Walk or Llanelli Customer Services Hwb on Stepney Street.
Neath Port Talbot: Neath Civic Centre, Port Talbot Civic Centre or The Quays on Brunel Way in Baglan Energy Park.
Pembrokeshire: County Hall in Haverfordwest.
Swansea: The Civic Centre on Oystermouth Road.

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Community

Freshwater West named The Times newspaper Beach of the Year

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FRESHWATER WEST has been named Wales’s Beach of the Year, according to the annual best beaches guide by The Times and Sunday Times. The comprehensive guide, now in its 16th edition, lists the top 50 beaches in the UK and will be available in print on 21st July.

Chris Haslam, the award-winning chief travel writer for The Times and Sunday Times, described Freshwater West as “a wilderness of dunes, sand and rocks that draws surfers from across the world to ride its winter waves.” Haslam has personally inspected all 50 beaches on the list over the past eight weeks.

The guide evaluates the stunning beauty of the UK coastline using a meticulous 11-point checklist. This includes water quality, cleanliness, accessibility, parking facilities, lifeguard presence, hygiene standards at restrooms and showers, and dog-friendliness. For 2024, only beaches rated as “excellent” for water quality by national environment agencies have been included, and the guide exclusively covers mainland beaches.

Here are the best beaches in Wales according to the guide:

  • Wales’s Beach of the Year: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
  • Llanddwyn, Anglesey
  • Porth Iago, Gwynedd
  • Penbryn, Ceredigion
  • Mwnt, Ceredigion
  • Manorbier, Pembrokeshire
  • Pendine Sands, Pembrokeshire
  • Mewslade, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Oxwich, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Monknash, Vale of Glamorgan

Chris Haslam reflected on his travels, saying, “My Jack Russell, Dave T Dog, and I have journeyed 5,583 miles and explored 543 beaches. The 50 beaches that made our list are graced with outstanding natural beauty, superb infrastructure, and a clear sense of pride from those who live, work, and play there. I’m still in awe of the beauty of the UK coast. From Kynance to Caithness, and Brancaster to Benone, the beaches of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are the most magnificent on earth.”

For more details, visit The Times and Sunday Times Best UK Beaches.

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