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Crime

‘Outstanding’ rating awarded to Carmarthenshire Youth Justice Team

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HM Inspectorate of Probation have rated Carmarthenshire County Council’s Youth Justice Team (YJT) as ‘Outstanding’ in their newly published inspection of youth offending services in Carmarthenshire, published on Monday, 18 March 2024.

The inspection is part of HM Inspectorate of Probation’s (IOP) programme of youth justice team (YJT) inspections and have inspected and rated Carmarthenshire YJT across three broad areas: the arrangements for organisational delivery of the service, the quality of work done with children sentenced by the courts, and the quality of out-of-court disposal work.

Overall, Carmarthenshire YJT was rated as ‘Outstanding’. The IOP also inspected the quality of resettlement policy and provision, which was separately rated as ‘Outstanding’.

The inspection acknowledged that staff know and understand their children and families well, and found high-quality work being delivered. A high level of care and dedication to the staff, children, and victims accessing the service, which extends from senior leaders to operational staff was also identified.

The inspection found that the YJT has invested in its staff, offering a comprehensive training package and regular opportunities for development and progression. It is reported that staff are motivated, passionate, and their hard work is routinely acknowledged and rewarded. The management board is invested in the YJT; has continually advocated for the service and proactively supported it in achieving the best outcomes for children, families, and victims.

The report noted that the YJT is highly respected within the partnership. Strong, vibrant and consistent leadership has enabled the service to operationalise its vision and strategy effectively. It found that there is a commitment to meeting the protected characteristics of those children the service works with. Whilst some elements of this are still in the early stages, they are showing promise.

Provision for Welsh speakers is well established. There are mature and cohesive partnership arrangements which enable children and families to access a range of services. These includes speech, language, and communication therapy, wraparound education support, and specialist intervention for children involved in sexually harmful behaviour. Partnership provision has also secured seconded staff from police and probation based within the YJT.

The IOP accredited the reparation provision as impressive; pointing to the work that the service has done with the community to identify and deliver meaningful and impactful projects. Children have been able to develop skills as well as engaging in restorative justice.

The findings of the IOP saw that the YJT proactively seeks opportunities to learn and improve the services it provides from the wider sector. This includes work with police partners in adopting and localising an approach for care-experienced children to avoid unnecessary criminalisation and contact with the justice system.

Finally, the inspection concluded that there is a robust quality assurance framework which has driven high-quality practice and casework. Management oversight is effective and evidenced in strong results from the post-court, out-of-court and resettlement inspection case samples.

Director of Community Services for Carmarthenshire County Council, Jake Morgan and Director of Education and Children’s Services, Gareth Morgans said: “We are incredibly proud of each and every member of our Youth Justice Team and grateful for their incredibly important work, which they conduct to very highest standards.

“Carmarthenshire Youth Justice Team are leaders in their sector and play an integral role within the local authority’s wellbeing objective of enabling our children and young people to have the best possible start in life.”

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Crime

Man found not guilty of stalking beauty salon owner

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FRANK JANIUREK, 43, of Heol Glyndwr in Fishguard, has been acquitted of stalking the owner of a beauty salon after a trial at Swansea Crown Court. The jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict following approximately two-and-a-half hours of deliberations.

Janiurek was accused of causing serious alarm or distress to the woman between 25 March and 10 July 2022. The prosecution claimed that after receiving a facial treatment at the salon on 8 March 2022, Janiurek began sending numerous emails and making frequent calls to the salon, often repeating questions that had already been answered. He was also alleged to have walked past the salon daily and liked one of the complainant’s Instagram pictures using an account under a false name. Additionally, it was claimed that he stared at the complainant for an extended period while she was out in Cardigan celebrating her birthday.

Caitlin Brazel, prosecuting, argued that these actions constituted stalking, causing serious alarm or distress. However, Janiurek pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Matthew Murphy, defending Janiurek, contended that the complainant had not directly communicated her discomfort to the defendant until 1 June. Murphy stated, “She doesn’t tell him anything about his behaviour and the effect it’s having on her before June 1.” He argued that if the complainant felt uncomfortable, she should have been more direct in her communication.

Murphy also highlighted that the complainant’s actions, such as signing off emails with ‘All the best’ and stating she had an injured arm and was not taking on new clients, did not clearly indicate that she wanted the contact to end. He noted that Janiurek, who is neurodivergent and has Asperger’s syndrome, was primarily engaging with the business, not the complainant personally. Murphy emphasised that all of Janiurek’s messages were related to beauty treatments, except for one occasion when he inquired about the complainant’s injured arm.

Regarding the Instagram picture, Murphy pointed out that it was posted on the business’s account, not the complainant’s personal account.

Recorder David Elias KC, who presided over the trial, thanked the jury for their careful consideration of the case. Following the not guilty verdict, Janiurek was allowed to leave the dock, having been acquitted of all charges.

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Crime

Cannabis factory with over 800 plants found in west Wales drugs bust

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POLICE in Carmarthenshire made a major drugs bust this week when they found over 800 cannabis plants in what was supposed to be a vacant property.

A 26-year old man was arrested and has now been remanded into custody.

The police are appealing for information and have released photographs of the illicit cannabis production facility.

A police spokesperson told The Herald on Friday (May 24): “Dyfed Powys Police executed a warrant at the Mountain Gate, Tycroes, Ammanford on Tuesday May 21.

“The vacant property was found to have a large hydroponic set up inside, with approx. 800 cannabis plants seized by officers.

“One man, Beni Mirashi age 26, was arrested and was charged with being concerned in the production of cannabis.

“He appeared at Llanelli Magistrates Court on 23 May and was remanded to next appear at Swansea Crown Court on June 24.”

Police asked that if anyone has any information that may support officers in their investigation, they are asked to contact us either through a direct message on social media, online at: 
https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101

Quoting reference: 24*459007

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Crime

Girl to stand trial for stabbing teachers and teenager

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A GIRL accused of stabbing two teachers and a teenager will face trial later this year.

The now 14-year-old, who cannot be named due to her age, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder. The victims, teachers Fiona Elias and Liz Hopkin, along with a teenage student, were injured in the incident at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman on Wednesday, 24 April.

All three victims received treatment for knife wounds and were discharged from hospital shortly afterwards.

In addition to the attempted murder charges, the girl was charged with possession of a bladed article on school premises. She was remanded to youth detention accommodation after appearing at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 26 April.

The defendant spoke only to confirm her name and was not asked to enter any pleas at Swansea Crown Court on 24 May.

Judge Geraint Walters ordered the defendant to appear in court again on 12 August, with a three-week trial scheduled to begin on 30 September.

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