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Crime

Leonard Sykes acquitted of ‘zombie knife’ attack charges

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LEONARD SYKES, accused of attacking a man with a ‘zombie knife’, has been acquitted of all charges. The 28-year-old from Under the Hills, Merlin’s Bridge, faced serious accusations, including causing grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of a bladed article, and making threats to kill.

The prosecution had alleged that on 11th March, Sykes had called the complainant and “offered him out for a fight”. It was claimed that Sykes arrived at the scene in Pembroke Dock with two other men and attacked the complainant with a large machete – described as a ‘zombie-type’ knife.

According to the prosecution, the complainant managed to fend off the attack, forcing Sykes to leave the scene. They further alleged that Sykes made a threatening comment about returning to “finish the job”.

In April, Sykes pleaded not guilty, citing self-defence. He contended that the complainant was the one who had been armed with a knife. Sykes had been remanded in custody pending his trial scheduled for 9th July.

However, in a turn of events, when Sykes returned to Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on 3rd June, prosecutor Nic Strobl offered no evidence to support the charges. Consequently, Judge Paul Thomas KC formally entered not guilty verdicts for each of the accusations, resulting in Sykes’ acquittal.

The courtroom drama concluded with Sykes walking free, his ordeal over, as the charges of grievous bodily harm, possession of a bladed article, and making threats to kill were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Crime

Man sentenced for disturbing domestic abuse against his mother

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IN a harrowing case heard at Swansea Crown Court, Silviu Grigore, 35, has been sentenced for a series of disturbing offences against his 66-year-old mother, including threats to kill, assault, and extreme inappropriate behaviour.

The court heard that Grigore, who is unemployed, had made his mother’s life unbearable, subjecting her to relentless verbal abuse, demands for money, and physical threats. This sustained pattern of abuse culminated in an incident on May 17th, where Grigore’s actions escalated to a terrifying degree.

Grigore, originally from Romania, moved to the UK with his mother in 2021, settling in Llanybydder. Despite their shared history, his behaviour towards her became increasingly hostile. The court was told that Grigore frequently shouted and swore at his mother, calling her derogatory names, spitting at her, and blaming her for his unemployment.

One particularly shocking aspect of the case was revealed when it was stated that Grigore had exposed himself to his mother on multiple occasions. On one such occasion, he inserted a plastic bottle into his rectum in her presence, a deeply distressing experience for the victim.

The events of May 17th began when Grigore’s mother returned from work and went to bed, only for Grigore to burst into her room, making accusations and demanding money for alcohol. Despite her attempts to escape, the abuse continued later that evening after they bought a pizza together. Grigore’s behaviour became increasingly erratic and aggressive after consuming beer.

The court heard that he shouted, screamed, and spat at his mother, making repeated threats to kill her. In fear for her life, she sought refuge in a garden shed but was eventually persuaded to come back inside. Grigore then physically assaulted her, grabbing her clothing and shaking her while continuing his threats.

Terrified, his mother fled to a nearby supermarket and contacted the police. Although Grigore initially denied the offences, he changed his plea to guilty when the case reached the crown court.

During the sentencing, the court heard of the profound impact on the victim. She described feeling low, frightened, and unable to find peace, suffering from loss of sleep, stress, and isolation from friends and family.

In his defence, it was noted that Grigore had faced significant challenges in his early life, including the loss of his father at a young age, which forced him into an adult role prematurely. His defence argued that his emotional and educational development had been stunted as a result. Additionally, Grigore’s actions were attributed to a ‘clear lapse’ in his mental health, exacerbated by alcohol abuse, for which he expressed remorse.

Grigore’s criminal record includes eight previous convictions for 12 offences, including battery, and he was under a court order at the time of the May 17th offences.

Judge Mr Recorder G Bull KC condemned the aggravated nature of the offences, noting their occurrence in a domestic setting, the history of abuse, and the breach of a community order. Grigore was sentenced to 15 months in prison for the threats to kill, with a concurrent four-month sentence for the assault. He will serve half of this time in prison and the remainder on licence.

Additionally, a five-year restraining order was imposed, prohibiting Grigore from contacting his mother in any manner.

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Crime

Thai woman accused of killing son in appears in court

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A THAI woman accused of killing her seven-year-old son has made a court appearance.

Papaipit Linse, 43, of Upper Market Street, Haverfordwest, is charged with the murder of her son, Louis Linse, on Wednesday, January 10.

In February, it was determined that Linse was not fit to enter a plea, resulting in her transfer to a secure mental health unit. However, defence counsel Dyfed Thomas previously informed the court that it was “highly likely Ms Linse would regain fitness to plead”.

The case was revisited at Swansea Crown Court on July 17, where Linse spoke only to confirm her name.

John Hipkin KC, representing Linse, requested that the defendant not be required to enter her plea at this time. “The issue in the case is entirely psychiatric-based,” he stated.

Mr Hipkin highlighted that an initial psychiatric report suggested the possibility of a special verdict by reason of insanity, as well as diminished responsibility. The court was informed that further psychiatric reports are to be prepared for both the defence and prosecution.

Linse was ordered to return to court on September 23.

Dyfed-Powys Police and paramedics were called to the Upper Market Street address shortly before 10.45am on Wednesday, January 10. The police later confirmed they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the seven-year-old child.

HM Coroner for Pembrokeshire, Paul Bennett, opened the inquest into Louis Linse’s death on January 19. The inquest was adjourned pending the outcome of the police investigation.

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Crime

Police investigate early hours hit and run in Haverfordwest

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POLICE in Haverfordwest are investigating a road traffic collision which occurred at about 2.00am in the morning on Wednesday (Jul 17).

A vehicle collided with two pedestrians on Barn Street, the Pembrokeshire Herald understands.

One man was taken to hospital, with the police stating that his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

The vehicle, described as a white van, possibly a Ford Transit, allegedly left the scene

Enquiries are now ongoing to urgently trace the vehicle, and to find out who was driving it.

The police have asked that anyone who witnessed the collision, or anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation, is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police.

You can report any information you may have online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20240717-024

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

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