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Lampeter businessman cleared of £148,000 theft from own company



AT SWANSEA CROWN COURT this week (Feb 9), Andrew Ling, 39, from Cysgod-Y-Coed, Cwmann, Lampeter, has been acquitted of allegations that he stole nearly £150,000 from Perpetual V2G Systems Ltd, a pioneering company he founded.

Mr. Ling faced charges of siphoning off £148,517.78 between March 30, 2016, and June 12, 2018, but steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.

Perpetual V2G Systems Ltd is at the forefront of developing cutting-edge technology for 3.5t home delivery vehicles, which traditionally had to keep their engines running during deliveries to maintain refrigeration systems. This innovation allows for the engine to be turned off, significantly saving fuel costs and reducing carbon emissions. The company’s achievements had already positioned it for international recognition, with plans to pitch its patented carbon reduction systems to major stakeholders in the United States, signaling a massive opportunity for expansion and investment.

The prosecution, led by Jim Davis, contended that Ling illicitly transferred funds from the company’s current account to its reserves and subsequently into his personal account. Despite these accusations, Ling maintained his innocence throughout the investigation and trial, asserting he only took what was rightfully owed to him.

After deliberating for approximately three hours and 40 minutes, the jury reached a unanimous decision, finding Ling not guilty of theft by an employee. Recorder Owen-Casey, addressing Ling, declared, “The jury has found you not guilty. You are now free to go,” marking the end of a week-long trial.

The case shed light on the financial strains and personal sacrifices Ling endured while establishing Perpetual V2G Systems Ltd in 2013, including taking out personal loans to finance the company. Evidence presented in court highlighted Ling’s relentless dedication to his venture, working tirelessly to secure a patent in 2015 and launching the company into operation. Despite not drawing a salary until 2016, Ling believed the company owed him around £195,000 in total for his contributions.

Defence counsel Dyfed Thomas argued that Ling’s invoicing against the company for work he had completed was deemed lawful by an accountant, emphasising the transparency of the company’s accountancy software. The defence also countered claims that Ling was motivated by grievances over his lack of recognition within the company, suggesting instead that disputes over investment terms and subsequent boardroom conflicts led to his leaving the firm, and the dilution of his shares.

The trial revealed underlying tensions within the company, particularly concerning the terms of a second round of investment from Finance Wales, which precipitated a heated exchange between Ling and other board members. This confrontation ultimately led to scrutiny of Ling’s director’s loan account and his removal from the company he had worked so hard to build, a company on the brink of international expansion and innovation in the green technology sector.

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



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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‘High risk’ offender discovered by police in Pembrokeshire



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



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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