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Father must stay out of trouble be jailed, says judge



A FATHER who attacked his then-girlfriend in a violent outburst has been sentenced to a suspended prison term, with the warning that any further trouble will result in jail time.

Christopher Bendall, 33, of Great Eastern Terrace, Neyland, must remain law-abiding for the next 18 months or serve a 12-month prison sentence for two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The incident occurred in the early hours of 6 August 2022, when Bendall returned home after a night out. His then-girlfriend, who had also been out separately, entered his unlocked home at approximately 4.20am. Upon waking Bendall, she questioned him about messages from another woman found on his phone. The confrontation escalated from a verbal dispute to a physical altercation.

Bendall threw a footstool and the victim’s mobile phone at her, both of which missed. He then pushed her to the floor, dragged her by her hair, slapped her face, and dragged her into the hallway. The victim managed to escape by grabbing Bendall by his testicles, causing him to release her grip. She fled the property, taking Bendall’s mobile phone with her.

Following the assault, Bendall called 999, accusing the woman of attacking him. Police initially arrested her but released her after noticing her injuries, which included carpet burns, bruises, and redness. Bendall was then arrested.

The court heard that this was not the first assault. In May, Bendall had thrown his mobile phone at the woman, breaking her finger.

Bendall initially denied the charges but later pleaded guilty to the two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Three other charges, including controlling or coercive behaviour, assault by beating, and strangulation, were dropped, and not guilty verdicts were formally entered for these counts.

In her victim impact statement, the woman revealed that she had been seeing a counsellor and was on anxiety medication following the assaults. She expressed that she still struggled to feel normal and feared going out alone.

Bendall’s defence highlighted that he was a father of three, a successful solar electrician, and previously of clean character. They noted that he was a good father, very involved with his children, and had well-paid employment. It was also stated that he had abstained from alcohol and had no further incidents since August 2022.

Judge Mr Recorder D Elias KC took into account Bendall’s plea, a pre-sentence report, and two character references. He acknowledged the psychological harm caused to the victim and described the injuries from the second assault as ‘nasty.’

Bendall was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. Additionally, he was ordered to attend a Building Better Relationships course, undertake ten days of rehabilitation activity, and complete 150 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £1,500 in court costs and a £156 victim surcharge within six months.

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Fines imposed on gardener after Trading Standards investigation



A LANDSCAPE gardener has been fined after complaints led to a Pembrokeshire County Council Trading Standards investigation.

Complaints were made by customers of Timothy Lovell of Under the Hills, Haverfordwest, after he had carried out work at their homes.

It was established that Lovell had carried out work without providing essential paperwork, including his business address and cancellation rights, which is required under Consumer Protection form Unfair Trading Regulations.

Lovell appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Thursday May 23 and pleaded guilty to two charges.

Lovell was fined £300 for each offence and also ordered to pay £250 costs plus £240 victim surcharge.

Jeff Beynon, Public Protection Manager at Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “We are pleased with the guilty pleas and the level of fines imposed by Magistrates.

“We hope this case will be a reminder that essential paperwork must be provided when work is agreed.”

Anyone wishing to complain about work that has been carried out at their homes should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 (English) or 0808 223 1144 (Cymraeg). This information will then be shared with Trading Standards.

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Fraudster ordered to repay just £16,700 after victims lost £620,000



A MAN described by a judge as the most “fundamentally dishonest” individual he had ever encountered has been ordered to repay only £16,700 after defrauding his victims of more than £620,000.

Darryl Evans, aged 62, was sentenced to eight years in prison in January after being convicted of 26 charges of fraud and one charge of theft. The convictions followed an almost three-week trial in December, during which the jury deliberated for less than three hours before returning guilty verdicts on all 27 charges.

Evans, of Green Court Crescent in Tenby, deceived his victims into handing over large sums of money between 2013 and 2020. Described by one victim as operating a “Ponzi scheme,” Evans persuaded friends and acquaintances to invest substantial amounts, claiming he would place their funds in lucrative schemes. In reality, Evans was unemployed and using the money to finance his own lifestyle.

The theft charge stemmed from Evans appointing himself as the executor of a will and transferring money into his personal account, where it swiftly vanished.

Sentencing Evans, Judge Paul Thomas KC remarked: “In over 40 years in these criminal courts, I do not remember ever dealing with someone as fundamentally dishonest as you. Over several years, you cynically, ruthlessly, and dishonestly took in excess of half a million pounds. Many of these people considered you to be their friend. You knew many of them could not afford to lose the money you were taking from them.”

Evans recently returned to Swansea Crown Court for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, where prosecutor Robin Rouch revealed that Evans had benefitted to the sum of £629,926.17 from his offences. However, only £16,736.11 of Evans’ assets could be seized to repay his victims.

Mr Rouch explained that the available money had been deposited in a Co-op bank account set up by Evans and could be directly traced to the estate of the person for whom he had acted as an executor. Unfortunately, none of the other victims’ money could be traced to this account.

Judge Thomas inquired if Evans owned any property that could be sold to compensate the other victims. Mr Rouch responded that extensive enquiries had been made, but nothing of value was found.

Judge Thomas ruled that the available funds would be split between the two beneficiaries of the estate. He emphasised, “The money will be paid. There’s nothing you can do to either facilitate it or thwart it. The money will be taken from your account. It will be done without your involvement.” He added, “It’s unfortunate for other investors who have lost rather more.”

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Dock woman sentenced for jumping on police officer



A COURT has heard how a serving police officer was jumped on by a 50-year-old Dock woman, resulting in what medics believe was concussion.

PC Taran Brace was escorting Karen Rees into a police van following a street altercation in Pembroke Dock on July 27, 2023.

“The defendant was placed in handcuffs and as the officers were trying to put her in the van, she jumped backwards, into the left side of his face,” Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson told Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“As a result, the officer was taken to Withybush suffering from a bad headache.  His face was very red and swollen around the eye and doctors believed he’d suffered a concussion.”

Video footage of the altercation was shown to the court, during which Rees sat  in the dock with her head bowed.

Rees, of Kavanah Court, Pembroke Dock, pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Brace causing him actual bodily harm.  She was legally represented by Tom Lloyd.

“She’d been drinking that day, she went out for a walk but youths in the street started shouting at her,” he said.  “That upset her, so she too, started shouting.”

Mr Lloyd said that Rees was unable to remember what happened inside the police van.

“But her head went back and made contact with the police officer,” he said.

Rees was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, during which she must carry out 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.  She was fined £120 and ordered to pay a £114 surcharge and £85 costs.  She was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to PC Brace.

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