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Crime

Man sentenced for trashing Pembrokeshire hotel

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A HAVERFORDWEST man has appeared before magistrates after trashing the Windsor Hotel in Johnston, after booking a room before going on a drunken rampage.

Haverfordwest magistrates were told that on January 22, a booking was made by two males for a room at the Windsor Hotel. One of the males was the defendant, Michael Harper, of Freemans View, Merlins Bridge.

Crown Prosecutor Sian Vaughan informed the magistrates that when the men first arrived, there didn’t appear to be anything amiss.

But a short while later the owner, Ms Katherine Spurling, was alerted by ‘a lot of banging and crashing’ coming from the stairs.

“One male [Harper] came running towards me from the other side of the bar,” said Ms Spurling in a police witness statement.

“I tried to avoid him but he picked up a wooden chair and smashed it against the window. He then fell backwards over the chair but picked up another one and started banging the window again.

“I was terrified and I was screaming so much. I’ve run a hotel for over 20 years but have never experienced anything like this.

“I want the defendant to realise just how frightening this was for me and my partner. I thought they would be respectful guests, but they totally abused that.

“I’m now highly fearful that they’ll come back and take revenge.”

Ms Vaughan added that the criminal damage included curtains, blinds, a freestanding lamp and some walls. As a result, three bedrooms are currently unable to be let.

“I’ve worked hard all my life, but what happened has tipped me over the edge,” concluded Ms Spurling’s witness statement.

Harper, 22, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage at the Windsor Hotel, Church Road, Johnston; of going equipped for a theft with a stanley knife, pliers, a screwdriver, gloves and balaclava and common assault against Katherine Spurling.

He was legally represented by Mr Ross Williams.

“My client has no recollection of the incident as a result of his level of intoxication,” he said. “He now wishes to move forward with his life.”

After considering a detailed probation report, magistrates sentenced Harper to a 12 month community order during which he must carry out 20 rehabilitation requirement days and 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was ordered to pay £3,000 compensation for the damage caused to the Windsor Hotel in addition to £85 costs and a £114 court surcharge. Magistrates also imposed a destruction order on all the items retrieved in relation to going equipped for a theft,

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Crime

Recycling company brought before Judge after JCB crushes employee

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A PEMBROKESHIRE-BASED recycling company has been brought before a district judge after an employee was seriously injured by a JCB loading shovel.

TBS Recycling and Skip Hire appeared before Judge Mark Layton at Haverfordwest magistrates court earlier this week when company director, Steven Thomas, pleaded guilty to failing to discharge general health, safety and welfare duties to an employee.

The incident occurred on March 31, 2021, at the TBS recycling and skip hire unit which is situated at the Waterston Industrial Estate, between Neyland and Milford Haven.

“An employee of the company was working on the site when he spotted something caught in the wheel of a four-ton JCB,” commented a lawyer for the Health and Safety Executive.

“He went to clear it and the person who was in the [JCB] driving seat knew he was doing it. But he was distracted and believed the other employee had left. So he lowered the shovel, but it crushed him.”

As a result, the employee sustained crushed ribs and damage to his lungs and breathing.

“But he’s since made a good recovery,” said the Health and Safety Executive lawyer.

Steven Thomas, of Cross Farm, Walwyns Castle Road, Ties Cross, will be sentenced by Judge Layton when he sits at Llanelli Magistrates Court on June 6.

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Crime

Pembrokeshire car salesman caught driving on cocaine

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A PEMBROKESHIRE car salesman has appeared before a District Judge after being caught driving a cream BMW through Kilgetty after taking cocaine.

Fraser Finlay was stopped by police officers on the night of October 3, 2023, as he drove the vehicle along Clayford Road in Wooden.

The officers’ suspicions had been aroused when the trade insurance which covered his vehicle failed to show up on their system.

A roadside breath test was carried out which proved positive and Finlay, 25, was conveyed to a police custody suite where further blood tests were carried out for analysis.

These showed he had 20ug/L of cocaine in his system; the legal threshold limit is 10. He was also found to have 800 ug/L of the cocaine derivative benzoylecgonine in his system; the legal limit is 50.

“This conviction means that my client is most likely to see an end to his job,” his solicitor, David Williams, informed District Judge Mark Layton sitting at Haverfordwest magistrates court earlier this week.

“This is because he works as a car salesman.”

Finlay was disqualified from driving for 17 months. He was fined £450 and ordered to pay a £180 court surcharge and £85 costs.

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Crime

Tenby man admits defecating on floor of mother’s property

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A COURT has heard how a Tenby mother feared for her safety after her son threatened to kill her before defecating on the floor outside her bathroom.

Daniel Preston, 37, arrived at Rhian Thomas’ property on the evening of March 26.

“He was heavily intoxicated and told his mother to f* off and called her a c*,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“A few hours later she was in her bedroom and he tried to enter, kicking the door saying “I will f kill you.”

At this point Preston’s mother began fearing for her safety.

“She became scared and called the police, but the defendant then came into her bedroom and tried to grab her,” continued Ms Jackson. “She screamed at him to stop but he tried to grab the phone off her.

“During her phone call to the officers, the police advised her to find a safe place so she went downstairs to the bathroom and locked the door. “

But Preston tried to gain access to the bathroom by repeatedly kicking the door.

“I thought it was going to break,” Rhian Thomas, told the police during her interview.

Ms Jackson said the defendant then proceeded to defecate on the floor outside the bathroom, before smearing the faeces onto the bathroom door.

“This has left me scared,” Ms Thomas said in a victim impact statement that was read out to the court.

“I can’t live like this anymore. When he comes home he takes over everything, and I’m scared that he will blame me and attack me when he’s released [from custody].”

When police officers arrived at the property they discovered Preston slumped on the floor.

“He then became aggressive and abusive and was making threats to harm himself,” said Ms Jackson. “They officers tried to restrain him but he began shouting and reached out with his right hand, attempting to strike one of the officers [Pc Barry] with his open hand which she managed to block.”

Preston pleaded guilty to the common assault of an emergency worker, the common assault of Rhian Thimas and causing criminal damage to his mother’s property by defecating on the floor. He appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates via a video link from Swansea prison where he has been remanded in custody since the offences were committed last month.

“You have caused your mother a great deal of fear,” commented District Judge Mark Layton when imposing sentence.

Preston was sentenced to eight weeks in custody by District Judge Mark Layton, half of which will be served in prison, the remainder on a post-sentence supervision.

A two-year restraining order was imposed preventing him from having any contact with his mother, not entering her property and not going within 100 metres of her address. He was ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £154 surcharge.

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