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Pair guilty of ‘sordid’ insurance scam

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BMW_X5_II_20090913_rearA WOMAN from south Pembrokeshire and a man from Carmarthenshire admitted an attempt to defraud the Tesco Car Insurance Company at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Helen Jane Arthur, 43, of Ridgeway, Saundersfoot, and Paul Biella, 26, of College Square, Llanelli, stood in the dock together as they both entered guilty pleas to fraud by false representation, contrary to the Fraud Act 1996.
CPS Prosecutor Gerald Neave told the court that the co-defendants had “met by chance” at the Cross Roads service station in Kilgetty.
Gerald Neave explained: “Arthur had pulled into the garage in her BMW X5. As she was buying petrol, co-defendant Biella noticed the for sale sign in the car window. He offered Arthur £4,000 for the car, but she felt this was not enough and they could not agree a price.”
He added: “Several weeks later when times were hard, a friend suggested to Arthur that she should accept the offer and she searched through her mobile phone to find his number and then eventually got into contact with him.”
Mr. Neave continued: “However, on contacting the co-defendant rather than offering the £4,000 he said that if Arthur paid him £500 he would arrange for the car to be ‘stolen’ and she could claim for the loss of the car against her Tesco car insurance policy.”
“They agreed on this plan of action, and Biella affixed new number plates to the car and collected it from Saundersfoot” Mr. Neave told the court: “At 4.15pm on June 28, Arthur called the police and reported her vehicle stolen. PC Jones attended and took a report. Although Arthur claimed to be in possession of the spare keys, she could not produce them to the police. Police number plate recognition cameras revealed no trace of the car,” he said.
Mr Neave added: “However police were alerted to another vehicle with a different registration mark leaving Pembrokeshire and heading towards Llanelli. When they checked the details they found that the co-defendant Biella was an insured driver. A search of this Llanelli home revealed documents including a service manual for Arthur’s car. He was then arrested and eventually admitted the offences in interview.”
Arthur also admitted to police that she was part of the scam.
Defending, Michael Kelleher said: “Arthur is a lady of clean character hitherto, she has entered a timely guilty plea. She has never been involved with any dishonesty before, and wonders how she got involved in this sordid scam. She has had several family problems. She had bought the BMW X5 and a horse with inheritance money; she wanted a strong car for a horse box.”
Mr. Kelleher said things went wrong when she had various difficulties with her children, which The Herald cannot report as the court has placed us under reporting restrictions.
“The result of these problems was that she needed to sell this vehicle,” Mr Kelleher said.
He added: “It is still Arthur’s position that she was not the prime mover, however we have to accept that this could not have happened had she not agreed to report the vehicle stolen. So they are both in this together.”
Mr Kelleher told the court that he had three character references for Arthur which showed her to be a hard-working parent holding down a part time job at a supermarket.
“The vehicle was returned and Tesco did not pay out. The only person who lost out here was Arthur for paying half of the £500 which her co-defendant had asked for,” he said.
Before retiring for lunch the chairman of the bench said that he was considering all sentencing options from a community sentence to custody.
Following the adjournment, Probation Service Officer, Mrs Norman explained to the court that Biella wasn’t sure what he was going to do with the car, and hadn’t thought that far ahead.
Mrs Norman told the court: “Biella has been suffering from anxiety and depression but is actively looking for work in order to get his life back on track.”
When asked by the probation officer where he would have got the money from when he originally offered £4,000, he said he would have got the money from his parents.
The court was told by probation that it was money issues had prompted this behaviour from Biella.
On sentencing Biella, magistrates said: ”We seriously considered your situation because you’ve got a criminal record already. It was almost a split decision whether or not we should send you to prison.”
For his part in the plot he was given an 18 month community order and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also fined £145.
On sentencing Arthur, magistrates said: “We have decided to sentence you to a community order. We have reduced your sentence from 16 to 12 months, because of your guilty plea.”
Arthur was also ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and fined £145.
The chairman of the bench said to the pair: “If we see you in court again you are likely to go to prison”.

Entertainment

Blue Lagoon to open to the public for one day only as charity fundraiser

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A POPULAR leisure venue will be open to locals this summer with the aim of raising thousands of pounds for local charities.

The Blue Lagoon at Bluestone National Park Resort will throw its doors open to the public on August 27.

Six hundred tickets will be available for the local community to enjoy the tropical water park.

All ticket sales go to local charitable causes, with 75 per cent of funds going to a local charitable organisation and 25 per cent through the Bluestone Foundation.

On Tuesday, August 27, Paul Sartori Hospice at Home and Team Cruising Free will benefit from the fundraising created through ticket sales.

Paul Sartori provides end of life care and support at home for Pembrokeshire patients. Team Cruising Free will row the Atlantic in 2025, raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Paul Sartori.

The Bluestone Foundation, the charitable arm of Bluestone National Park Resort has generated funding totalling £17,500 for west Wales communities from its latest round of events and funding.

It has supported local groups with more than £250,000 since it was launched in 2010.

The Bluestone Foundation offers two avenues of support: the community events and the community fund. The community events at the Blue Lagoon raise funds and awareness for local charities.

This year, the foundation has already hosted events for Get the Boys a Lift and VC Gallery. As well as the August event, there will also be an event in October for Sammy Sized Gap, a local charity supporting young people with mental health issues.

“We are thrilled to see the positive impact our community events have on local organisations,” said Marten Lewis at the Bluestone Foundation. “The Blue Lagoon provides a unique and enjoyable setting for fundraising, and we are grateful for the community’s support.”

The community fund, which runs in three rounds this year, provides financial assistance to projects focused on economic, social, and environmental initiatives. The foundation recently allocated approximately £7,500 to three projects in its first round of funding and is currently reviewing applications for its second round which closes in July. A third round of funding will close on 17 October.

Among those to have benefited in the first round are the South Ridgeway Community Association in Manorbier to help develop a community garden and allotments; The Tenby Project, to support weekly sessions with a trained nutritionist on healthy eating for adults with learning difficulties; and Transition Bro Gwaun in Fishguard, to host community energy engagement events.

Tickets for the August event can be purchased at Eventbrite For more information about the Bluestone Foundation and its initiatives, visit www.pavs.org.uk/apply-for-funds.

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Entertainment

Broad Haven’s Music Festival set to rock village

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GET ready for an electrifying day of music and fun as the Havens Events Crew proudly presents the highly anticipated Broad Haven Music Festival. Scheduled for Saturday, July 20, from 3 PM to 11:30 PM, this event promises a vibrant mix of live bands, local talent, and a delightful BBQ, making it an unmissable occasion for music lovers and families alike.

The festival, at Broad Haven School Field, will feature an impressive lineup of performers. Attendees can look forward to the acoustic melodies of Cadence Acoustic, the energetic rhythms of Coastal Horizon, and the dynamic performances by Loose Change. These local bands are set to deliver a variety of genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

In addition to the musical performances, the festival will offer a range of delicious BBQ options, perfect for enjoying a summer evening outdoors. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a visitor, the Broad Haven Music Festival is an ideal opportunity to experience the local culture, connect with the community, and enjoy high-quality entertainment.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase at the Broad Haven Post Office and Lobster and Môr. Early acquisition is recommended to secure a spot at this popular event.

It promises to be a memorable day filled with music, food, and community spirit. The Broad Haven Music Festival is more than just a concert; it’s a celebration of local talent and a testament to the vibrant culture of our town. Don’t miss out on this fantastic event!

For more information, visit the Havens Events Crew’s official website or follow their social media pages for updates and announcements.


Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, July 20
  • Time: 3 PM – 11:30 PM
  • Location: Broad Haven School Field
  • Performers: Cadence Acoustic, Coastal Horizon, Loose Change
  • Tickets Available At: Broad Haven Post Office, Lobster and Môr

Be sure to mark your calendars and get your tickets soon – we look forward to seeing you there!

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News

England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions

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ENGLAND’S Euro 2024 semi-final victory over the Netherlands garnered a peak audience of 20.3 million on ITV, cementing its status as the most-watched television programme of the year. Broadcasters are now hopeful that Sunday night’s final against Spain will attract over 30 million viewers, surpassing the numbers that tuned in for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The overnight viewing figures, provided by ratings agency Digital-i, do not account for the millions who streamed the match on ITVX or watched in public venues. The coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, with the channels alternating first choices for matches in each round. ITV executives celebrated Jordan Pickford’s crucial penalty save against Switzerland, which secured another high-profile England match and delivered a substantial advertising boost to the channel.

Both the BBC and ITV will broadcast the final, with approximately a fifth of viewers typically opting for ITV over the BBC. Euro 2024 has demonstrated the enduring appeal of live sports broadcasting, which continues to draw massive audiences, particularly when the events are free to watch. Even matches not involving home nations have attracted significant viewership, with the Spain v France semi-final on BBC One peaking at 11 million viewers.

The Euros are part of the UK’s “crown jewel” sporting events, which include the football World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, all mandated by law to be shown on free-to-air channels. In contrast, other sports have opted for the higher revenue available from pay TV channels, resulting in substantially lower audiences for international matches. The England and Wales cricket board successfully lobbied in the 2000s to keep England test matches off the free-to-air list. Consequently, Jimmy Anderson’s farewell match against the West Indies at Lords, broadcast behind a paywall on Sky, attracted a peak audience of only about 700,000 viewers.

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