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Crime

Pembrokeshire lifeguard admits drink-driving through town centre

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A PEMBROKESHIRE lifeguard has found himself before magistrates after being caught driving through Haverfordwest town centre when he was over twice the legal drink-drive limit.

Police officers observed Ben Macdougall drive his BMW 1 Series along Quay Street, Haverfordwest at around 1.30am on January 21.

“Police decided to stop him as a result of the standard of his driving,” Crown Prosecutor Sian Vaughan told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“There were passengers in the vehicle and initially he didn’t stop. He was obstructive to begin with, but was then compliant.”

MS Vaughan said that when Macdougall was taken to a police custody suite, he provided breath samples which gave the lowest reading of 72 mcg of alcohol. The legal limit is 35.

Macdougall, of Ivy Park, Burton, pleaded guilty to a charge of drink-driving. He was legally represented in court by Mr Michael Kelleher who presented District Judge Mark Layton with a character reference which he described as ‘a glowing picture’ of his client.

“He’s just finished a plumbing course in Pembrokeshire college and is now looking for an apprenticeship, although he’s still working part time as a lifeguard,” he said. “But his job prospects are going to be far more difficult now, after losing his licence.

“This is the first time he’s been stopped by police and it was a terrible mistake on his part.”

After considering the mitigation, District Judge Mark Layton disqualified Macdougall from driving for 19 months. He was find £200 and ordered to pay £100 costs and a £50 court surcharge.

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Crime

Suspended sentence for distribution and possession of child abuse images

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IN a controversial decision at Swansea Crown Court, 20-year-old Euwyn Draper of Goat Street, Haverfordwest, has been spared prison time despite admitting to possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

The court heard that Draper pleaded guilty to charges involving 74 Category A images — the most severe — along with 102 Category B and 385 Category C images. These were amassed and shared over a period last year, with specific distributions occurring on November 4, 2022.

Prosecutor Sian Cutter detailed that the investigation began with a raid at Draper’s residence on December 21, 2022. Although Draper was not present, and initial searches of his devices at his home returned no results, subsequent actions led to his arrest at his workplace. Upon confronting law enforcement, Draper immediately acknowledged his awareness of the reasons for their presence, lamenting, “I know why you’re here. I don’t do it anymore. I’m sorry.”

Further examination of his phone revealed not only the indecent images but also concerning internet searches and conversations indicating a focus on children. Notably, Draper had sent one image of each category to a contact named “Ralph” via WhatsApp.

Despite these admissions, Draper, who has no prior convictions, denied a sexual interest in children during his interview.

Representing Draper, defence lawyer Dan Griffiths stressed the defendant’s recognition of the gravity of his offences and highlighted his client’s age and immaturity at the time of the offences. The court also considered the prolonged period since the arrest to the trial, a span of 16 months.

Judge Geraint Walters addressed the court, underscoring the public’s disdain for such crimes and the harsh reality behind the images. “These are real children, they are not actors,” Judge Walters emphasized, condemning the market that drives such exploitative material.

Ultimately, Draper received a suspended sentence of 12 months for distribution and six months, concurrent, for making the images. Over the next two years, he must complete the Horizon programme and 30 days of rehabilitation activities. Additionally, Draper will be registered as a sex offender and is subject to a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Judge Walters concluded with a stern admonition for Draper to commit to rehabilitation and to move past this “dark phase” in his life, marking a pivotal moment for the young defendant and the community’s ongoing battle against such digital crimes.

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Crime

Police appeal after girl, 15, assaulted at Lydstep Point to Point

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DYFED-POWYS-POLICE says it is investigating an assault which occurred at Lydstep Point to Point event near to the announcers stand, between 4.30-4.45pm on Monday, April 1, 2024.

The victim, a 15-year-old girl, was allegedly assaulted by two other females, one believed to be in her late teens and the other in her late thirties. The young victim sustained facial injuries.

Police are now appealing for anyone who attended the event that may have information that could help them with their investigation to contact PC 772 Boyt either through a direct message on social media, online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected] or by calling 101.

Quote reference: 24*310890

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Crime

West Wales gardener guilty of deliberate crash into taxi

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FOLLOWING an incident which took place on North Road, Cardigan, a local gardener, Charlotte Finley, has been found guilty of reversing her car deliberately into a parked taxi, causing significant damage and narrowly avoiding injuring the taxi driver.

The event occurred at 10.30 pm on June 4 last year, leaving the local community in disbelief.

Captured by CCTV outside a nearby shop, the footage reveals Finley, 37, from St Dogmaels, reversing not once, but three times into the taxi.

The final manoeuvre, executed with alarming speed and apparent intent, came perilously close to hitting the taxi driver, who had just exited his vehicle. The damage inflicted on the taxi is estimated at £500.

The confrontation escalated when the taxi owner approached Finley, only to be met with the assertion, “you are not in the taxi rank,” before she executed her final, forceful reverse. Witnesses and CCTV footage corroborated the sequence of events that unfolded on the quiet street.

Presented before Swansea Crown Court this Wednesday, Finley pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving and criminal damage. Her barrister, Jonathan Tarrant, highlighted Finley’s isolated social circumstances and pressures as mitigating factors, insisting that alcohol was not a contributing factor.

Despite having ten previous convictions, including criminal damage and two instances of drink-driving, Finley received a sentence that reflected her immediate admission of guilt.

His Honour Judge Geraint Walters sentenced her to eight months in prison for the dangerous driving charge and two months for criminal damage, both suspended for two years. In addition to being disqualified from driving for a year, Finley must also retake her driving test, pay a £114 victim surcharge, complete 150 hours of unpaid work, and undergo 20 days of rehabilitation activities.

Judge Walters, addressing Finley, emphasized the gravity of her actions and the potential consequences of violating the court’s orders, stating, “If you breach the order you will end up serving the sentence.”

This case serves as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of reckless behaviour on our roads and the judiciary’s commitment to upholding public safety.

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