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Crime

Trial opens for man charged with historic sexual offences

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SWANSEA CROWN COURT heard harrowing testimony as the trial of Kevin Offland, 45, opened this week.

The mother of one of his alleged victims has recounted the immediate and dramatic change in her daughter’s behaviour following an alleged rape at the tender age of 11.

Offland, currently a resident of Nichols Road, Great Yarmouth, is accused of a series of grave sexual offences spanning over two decades.

Offland faces a list of eighteen charges, including three counts of rape, the rape of a child under 13, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, alongside thirteen further allegations of sexual activity with a child.

These offences are reported to have occurred across Pembrokeshire and Shrewsbury areas, painting a distressing pattern of abuse that has left communities shaken.

The defendant has entered a plea of not guilty to all charges laid against him.

During the court proceedings on Wednesday, the mother of one victim delivered a poignant account of her daughter’s ordeal. She revealed to the jury that her daughter confided in her about the assault in December 2018, stating, “She told me that Kevin Offland had raped her when she was 11 years old. She was crying, like she didn’t want to tell me.” The mother described a stark transformation in her child’s demeanour post-incident, noting a shift from a “happy” and “really calm” state to one of turmoil and distress, a change she initially attributed to teenage angst.

In a cross-examination, Nicola Powell, defending, queried the consistency of the mother’s statements to the police, highlighting an evolution in the account from uncertainty to a definitive allegation of rape. The witness firmly responded, affirming her daughter’s allegation against Offland.

The jury was also presented with the police interview of the complainant, where she disclosed her reluctance to come forward sooner due to fear and disbelief, poignantly stating, “I was just a little kid. Who would have believed me over this man?”

The defence suggested a possible motive of collusion against Offland among the complainants, a claim swiftly refuted by the victim, who clarified their collective pursuit was not of vengeance but justice.

The court learned of Offland’s relocation to Wales around 2011, with allegations against him dating back to 1998. The prosecution alleges Offland’s predatory actions began when he was 19, with his first reported rape occurring in February 1998 against an 18-year-old. Further accusations include the rape of a second victim between 2000 and 2003, the 11-year-old girl between 2008 and 2009, and additional charges of rape and sexual abuse against other young victims through to 2022.

The trial continues.

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Crime

Dock newsagent worker ‘had sexual images of children as young as four’

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A FORMER employee of a local newsagent in Pembroke Dock has been brought before the court, facing severe allegations involving the possession of indecent images of children and engaging in inappropriate conversations with a minor. Daniel Byrne-Crowley, 28, vehemently denies the accusations levelled against him, which include three counts of making indecent images of children and one count of sexual communication with a child.

Prosecutors allege that Byrne-Crowley possessed images depicting children as young as four being sexually abused. Among the evidence presented, one image was categorised as Category A, the most severe, alongside 11 Category B images and 10 Category C images. The disturbing content is said to have been accumulated between August 2012 and September 2020, with the defendant also accused of engaging in sexually explicit conversations with a 10-year-old during a period stretching from June 2019 to September 2020.

The court heard from Prosecutor Helen Randall that a raid on Byrne-Crowley’s residence on Bush Street in Pembroke Dock on 28 October 2020 led to the seizure of two mobile phones, a MacBook computer, and an iPad. Examination of these devices revealed 23 child abuse images, one of which was inaccessible. Disturbingly, the images included scenes of a boy aged between four and six being sexually abused by an adult, and a video of three naked boys, aged between 10 and 14, in sexually explicit acts.

Further investigations uncovered conversations that Byrne-Crowley had with other adults discussing indecent images, masturbation, and oral sex. Randall highlighted one particularly alarming admission by Byrne-Crowley where he recounted working at a children’s summer camp in America, observing children naked and teaching them to masturbate.

During police interviews, Byrne-Crowley claimed ignorance of how the images appeared on his devices but admitted to conversing with the child, seeing no wrongdoing in his actions. The prosecution argues that Byrne-Crowley deliberately sought out these images, with Randall stating, “The prosecution say it could only be him and it is obvious from his conversations with others that it was him.” The trial continues.

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Crime

‘High risk’ offender discovered by police in Pembrokeshire

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A ‘HIGH RISK’ offender who failed to attend probation appointments in Cardiff following his release from prison has been discovered by police officers in Pembrokeshire.

Curtis Card was released from custody earlier this month following a 37-week custodial sentence imposed by the courts in August 2023 after he was convicted of spitting into a paramedic’s face in Cwmbran.

“He was being supervised by my colleagues in Cathays, Cardiff, but he hasn’t been keeping his appointments,” probation officer Julie Norman informed Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“His whereabouts were unknown, so an arrest warrant was issued.

“The defendant is high risk but he’s been based here in Pembrokeshire.”

Card pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching his post sentence supervision order.  He was legally represented in court by Mr Liam Francis.

“He’s being extremely realistic about today’s hearing,” he said.

“He had attended his appointments when he was first released but there were issues with his accommodation, the lay-out of the address and the people who were living with him in the shared accommodation.

“He has had previous issues with drugs, and he didn’t feel it was appropriate for him to be living there as it was having a toll on his mental health.

“This is why he’s been in the Pembrokeshire area, but he knows that he has to comply with probation.”

Card was sentenced to seven days in custody.

“He hopes to use those seven days to reset himself, which will result in a different outcome when he is released,” added Mr Francis.

Card was ordered to pay £60 court costs.

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Crime

Ironman outing leads to ‘moment of madness’, court hears

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A TENBY Ironman outing had dire consequences for a Llanteg resident after he threw a full can of alcohol at his ex-partner’s back.

Kevin Lewis, 44, experienced what his solicitor this week described as ‘a moment of madness’ when his ex-partner stated she was going to spend the evening with her new partner.

“My client accepts that his actions were totally unacceptable,” solicitor Liam Francis told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“It was a moment of madness with the realisation that their relationship had truly come to an end.  He’d drunk too much alcohol and things got out of control.”

 The incident took place on Sunday, September 3, when Lewis and his ex-partner Samanatha Smith took their seven-year old child to the Ironman event in Tenby in an effort to retain what the probation service described as ‘a civil relationship’ for their child.

“They’d a room booked at thePremier Inn but their plans changed,” outlined Crown Prosecutor, Abigail Jackson.

“The complainant called her new partner and then walked up to the defendant and told him that she was going to stay with him [the new partner].

“She turned around and then she felt a can of alcohol hit her in the back.”

“My back was soaking,” stated Samantha Smith in a victim impact statement read out to the court.

“He then called me a s*** mum, a bitch and a c***.  I tried to persuade our daughter to come with me but he pushed me into the road.

“This has made me feel like a piece of s***.  It downgraded me and embarrassed me and this is not a good role model for our daughter to witness.”

Meanwhile the probation report stated that Lewis had consumed between nine and ten cans of alcohol during the day.

“He felt frustrated at the sudden change of plans, when his ex-partner said she was going to stay with her new partner,” commented the probation officer.  “He felt this was rubbing his nose in things, and making a mockery of it.

“He’s remorseful of his actions and is aware of the distress it’s caused his ex-partner and his daughter.”

This was endorsed by Lewis’ solicitor, Liam Francis.

“He drank too much alcohol and things got out of control but he now wants to put this incident behind him.”

Lewis, of Brookview, Llanteg, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order during which he must carry out 20 rehabilitation requirement days.  He was also ordered to pay a total of £545.

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