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Crime

Drunken motorist sentenced for being in charge of Audi A4

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A 54-YEAR-OLD motorist has appeared before magistrates after staggering drunkenly into his Audi A4 before placing the keys in the ignition and turning on music.

The motorist was observed by police officers just before 1am on April 27 as he approached his Audion the B4585 at Manorbier.

“The man was seen staggering towards the officers before getting into the Audi,” Crown Prosecutor Linda Baker told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“They then heard music coming from inside the vehicle. As they approached, they saw Shaun Lees sitting in the driver’s seat with the key in the ignition. When they spoke to him his speech was slurred.”

A roadside breath test was carried out which proved positive, giving a reading of 80 mcg. The legal limit is 35.

Lees, of Dewing Avenue, Manorbier, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a motor vehicle when he was above the legal alcohol limit.

He was represented in court by Mr Michael Kelleher.

“My client’s intention was to get something out of the car and then walk home, as he only lives around half a mile away,” he said.

“He didn’t start the car, and he wasn’t aware that a policeman was watching him.”

Mr Kelleher told the court that the defendant has been employed as a civil servant for the past 21 years.

“This offence was a big mistake, but my client never intended to drive the vehicle that night,” he said.

Lees was fined £266 and ordered to pay a £106 surcharge and £85 costs. His licence was endorsed with ten penalty points.

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Crime

Suspended sentence for Llandeilo man who neglected five horses and foxhound

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A WEST WALES man has been handed a suspended sentence after he was found to have neglected five horses and a foxhound.

Gregory Edward Baker, 43, of Rhydcymerau, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court for a two-day trial on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 April, and faced five offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

They were that he caused unnecessary suffering to five equines by failing to adequately investigate or address the causes of their poor or underweight bodily conditions along with skin diseases namely rain scald, mud fever and lice infestation, and also did not meet their needs.

He also caused further unnecessary suffering to one of these equines – a chestnut mare – relating to her lameness of her left foreleg and unnecessary suffering to a foxhound by failing to provide prompt or effective professional veterinary care and attention for his paraphimosis (unretracted penis) with associated ulceration and fracture.

Following a two-day trial Baker was found guilty for all offences and on Thursday 16 May he was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment which has been suspended for 24 months. 

This included a 20 week sentence for the first offence, 20 weeks for the second offence, 12 weeks for the third offence, eight weeks for the fourth offence and 12 weeks for the fifth offence – which will all run concurrently. 

He was also ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months. One of the horses – which had been placed in another person’s care – was also transferred to the care of the RSPCA. 

In a witness statement, provided to the court, RSPCA Inspector Neill Manley said he attended the location with RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer (ARO) Rohan Barker on 19 April 2023.

As permission was not granted by the owner to access the land, police were called along with a vet. Inspector Manley and ARO Barker inspected a large number of horses and dogs at the location with serious concern raised for five horses and one foxhound. 

Firstly they saw the chestnut mare who was in the top field and was lame on the front leg.

He said she was “in very poor body condition with her ribs, spine and hip bones prominent and her coat covered in mud and patchy in places” which  looked like rain scald.

In the lower field which was steeply sloping there was a grey/cream colt with a dark mane and tail and was in “very poor body condition with a muddy and unkempt winter coat”. 

He said: “Even through the winter coat you could see her ribs, spine and hip bones protruding. The field was overgrown in patches with bramble and in one bramble patch was  the decomposing carcass of a horse.”

Another horse – a grey gelding with a rug on was also “in very poor body condition with its rib hip and spine bones clearly visible”.

Whilst another horse, a grey/palomino yearling colt, was found to be in very poor body condition and a black Shetland pony mare was found to be in very poor body condition.

Inspector Manley said the pony “was quite weak and unsteady on its feet” and when they along with the vet caught her the pony collapsed and needed help to get back on her feet.

At the dog kennels there were a number of female hounds – and advice was given to the owner about one of them who was lame on her front leg to get the dog checked by a vet.

A male hound was found with a prolapsed penis. Inspector Manley said: “He was a white entire male in reasonable body condition, but had what appeared to me to be a prolapsed penis that looked infected and misshapen.”

In a witness statement – provided to the court – by the vet who examined the foxhound, they said that there were two ulcers on the penis and the “smell of the area was of rotting flesh”. Suggested options were partial penile amputation and castrate, urethrostomy or for the dog to be put to sleep. The vet added the owner “elected for the dog to be put to sleep”.

Two of the horses were transferred to a family member but sadly one of these – the chestnut mare who was found to be severely lame – was put to sleep on advice from an independent vet on welfare grounds to prevent further suffering.

In a witness statement – provided to the court – by the vet who examined and monitored the horses they said the mare had a “discharging abscess on her left fore”, she had a body score of two out of five, rain scald and lice and was heavy in foal. Treatment was given but sadly she lost her foal and failed to improve.

The vet added: “I radiographed her left fore food and sadly but unsurprisingly found a sequestrum (infected fragment of bone) and osteomyelitis (bone infection). Enthanasia was recommend on humane grounds as there was a hopeless prognosis of successful treatment.”

The other three horses – who were placed in the care of the RSPCA – were taken to a boarding establishment.

The vet added: “All three ponies had put on a considerable amount of weight in just under a month – this was only attributable to the provision of appropriate nutrition.”

Inspector Manley also issued the owner an improvement notice advising him of the improvements that needed to be made. In mitigation the court heard that there has been no criticism since with any of the animals in his care and a disqualification order was not imposed.

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Crime

Identity fraud led to wrongful speeding conviction

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AT Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Monday (May 19), Isobel Bowen, aged 57, from Panteg Road, Solva, had a speeding offence quashed after presenting a statutory declaration.

Bowen had been convicted by Willesden Magistrates’ Court on 13 February 2023 for exceeding a 30 mph speed limit.

However, during her hearing, Bowen claimed she was a victim of identity fraud, stating that the car involved in the offence was not hers.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) investigated and found numerous inconsistencies within the case, leading to the withdrawal of the offence.

Bowen’s declaration was made under section 14 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, and the magistrates granted it due to the compelling evidence of fraud.

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Crime

Christmas Eve visit results in criminal conviction for Fishguard man

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A CHRISTMAS EVE visit resulted in a court conviction this week after Luke Harvey wrecked an onslaught of criminal damage to his ex-partner’s bedroom.

Harvey was seen standing at the top of a flight of stairs that lead to his partner’s home in Gwelfor, Fishguard on Christmas Eve 2023.

“His partner knew he wasn’t allowed there and asked him to leave,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“But Luke Harvey replied, ‘Why?  It’s Christmas’.  He was in an aggressive mood and he began shouting abuse.”

Ms Jackson said that Harvey, 20, then walked into his partner’s bedroom.

“She heard banging from inside and at this point she texted an individual asking them to call the police,” said Ms Jackson.

Harvey then left the property and proceeded to drive off in Ms Delaeny’s blue Ford Focus.  This was despite the fact that he did not hold a driving licence.

Police officers eventually discovered Harvey driving the vehicle along Heol Caradog in Fishguard.  Police body-worn footage was shown to the court during which Harvey could be heard apologising profusely to the officers and saying repeatedly, ‘I haven’t done anything wrong.

Towards the end of the footage, one of the officers could be heard shouting ‘Spray the car’.

“The court can make of that comment what they will,” said his solicitor, Mr Tom Lloyd.

“It’s clear to see that as soon as Luke engaged with the officers, he was in a state of panic and seemed distressed.

“You can hear him clearly apologising and he was in fear of what he’d done.”

Mr Lloyd said his client suffers from Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

“This will explain why my client acted on impulse that day,” he said.  

Harvey, of Allt y Carne, Goodwick, pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, using a vehicle without third party insurance, obstructing a police officer in execution of their duty and causing criminal damage to a property.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order during which he must carry out 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.  He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £500 compensation to Ms Delaney.  No compensation was awarded to the police officer.

“We were aware of the comment made by the police officer [on the video footage], so there will be no separate compensation to him,” commented presiding magistrates Mary Smith.

Harvey was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £114 court surcharge. 

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