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Crime

Drink-driver ‘crying out for support’, court hears

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A WOMAN described by her solicitor as having ‘reached rock bottom’ has appeared before magistrates after driving through Haverfordwest when she was more than three times over the drink-drive limit.

“This is a lady who’s crying out for support,” said Donna Owen’s solicitor, Mr David James, when she appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates this week.

“My client has had an alcohol problem over a lengthy period of time and is harming herself by her excessive drinking.”

Owen, 39, of Portfield Avenue, Haverfordwest was stopped by officers as she drove her Vauxhall Corsa along the A406 at Johnston just before midnight on May 15.

“Police were aware that she was acting suspiciously as she’d applied her brakes harshly when she realised there was a police car behind her,” explained Crown Prosecutor Abigail Jackson. 

 “When the officers spoke to her, she appeared to be upset and admitted that she’d been drinking earlier that day.”

Subsequent breathalyser tests revealed that Donna Owen had 124 mcg of alcohol in her system.  The legal threshold limit is 35.

Her solicitor, David James, said his client drinks up to two bottles of strong wine, each with an alcohol content of between 14% and 14.5%, on a daily basis.  Mr James explained that her drinking stems from a series of abusive relationships as well as being prevented from seeing her young children by her former partner.

“This is causing her to drink every day, and in so many ways, my client has reached rock bottom,” he said.  “She is crying out for support.”

Mr James’ mitigation was endorsed by probation officer Julie Norman who had been asked to comment on the case as a result of Donna Owen’s high alcohol reading.

Magistrates were told that Owen was disqualified from driving in 2016 for a previous drink-driving charge; as a result, her sentencing this week crossed the custody threshold.

“She seriously needs support with her alcohol and her emotional welfare issues,” said Ms Norman.  “I’m confident that the probation service can assist her and there are some realistic prospects of her rehabilitation.”

Owen was sentenced to a 12 month community order during which she must carry out 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.  These will include working with the Dyfed Drugs and Alcohol Service and any other agency identified by the probation service.  She was disqualified from driving for three years.

She was fined £120 and must also pay a £114 court surcharge and £85 costs.

Crime

Welsh Snooker star Michael White jailed for assaulting partner

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A WELSH snooker star has been jailed after assaulting his then-partner. Michael White, 33, of Penshannel, Neath Abbey, assaulted the woman, causing actual bodily harm, on two separate occasions. The first incident occurred on February 12, 2022, and the second on December 10, 2022.

White pleaded guilty to the charges. A further charge of intentional strangulation on December 10 was directed to lie on file. White, whose snooker world ranking peaked at 15 in 2016, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

He received a total jail term of 36 months – 19 months for the first incident and a consecutive 17 months for the second. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association has announced that White has been removed from the world ranking list and the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

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Crime

Man admits to threatening woman with deactivated firearms

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A WHITLAND man has admitted to threatening a woman with deactivated copies of an AK-47 and an M16 assault rifle.

Craig Woodworth, 39, appeared at Swansea Crown Court charged with two offences. It was alleged that Woodworth, previously of St David’s Avenue, threatened a woman with a deactivated copy of a Kalashnikov AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle and a deactivated M16-A1 semi-automatic assault rifle in Carmarthen on February 18 last year.

The prosecution alleged that Woodworth’s behaviour caused the woman to believe unlawful violence would be used against her.

He was also charged with sending communications conveying a threatening message, relating to a video, on that same date. Woodworth, now of Tarvin Road in Chester, pleaded guilty to using the firearms to make the threats but denied sending a threatening message.

Prosecutor Dean Pulling said these pleas were acceptable, as the threatening message “was the mechanism of the threat” in the charge Woodworth had admitted.

“The defendant is realistic about his position,” said defence counsel David Singh.

Judge Geraint Walters ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared. “This case plainly passes the custody threshold,” Judge Walters said.

The defendant was granted bail and will return to court on August 7.

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Crime

Crime Commissioner Llywelyn launches of public consultation

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Dafydd Llywelyn has formally announced the launch of a public consultation for his updated Police and Crime Plan for 2025-2029. This consultation seeks to engage the community in shaping the future of local policing, reaffirming his commitment to creating safer communities and enhancing public trust in the police and criminal justice system across Mid and West Wales. 

One of the key roles of a Police and Crime Commissioner is to produce a Police and Crime Plan which sets out the direction for policing for the next four years. This is a legal document that the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) must produce under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. The Police and Crime Plan is a blueprint for local policing, developed through extensive public consultation, research, and assessments of local needs and resources. 

“Our communities’ safety and trust in our policing are paramount,” commented PCC Llywelyn. “This consultation is a crucial step in developing our updated Police and Crime Plan. By listening to the voices of our community through surveys and focus groups, we ensure that our strategy aligns with their needs and concerns. 

“My overarching vision for the next four years is to improve public trust and confidence in the policing service, making Dyfed-Powys a safe place to live, learn, work, and travel. To achieve this, I would like to focus on three key areas: supporting safer communities and preventing harm, supporting victims, and preventing victimisation, and delivering justice. 

“Every action taken by the police and justice services is geared towards providing the best support for victims. Preventing harm and addressing issues at their root is crucial. Through effective collaboration with public sector partners and leveraging specialised knowledge from our commissioned services, we aim to deliver a justice system that truly serves and protects the public. 

“Victims’ needs must be central to all our efforts and Your feedback is vital in shaping our policing priorities. By participating in the Police and Crime Plan Consultation, you have the opportunity to influence critical policing decisions, ensuring that Dyfed-Powys Police can continue to safeguard its communities with the highest standard of service available. 

“I am honoured to continue serving as your Police and Crime Commissioner. Together, we will build a safer, more resilient Dyfed-Powys.” 

The survey and its results will guide the PCC in identifying priority areas and proposing actions to address them in his Police and Crime Plan. To complete the survey, visit:

https://forms.office.com/e/JdTZThwawF?origin=lprLink
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