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Victim speaks out about sexual abuse

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devil on the doorsterpCARMARTHENSHIRE girl Annabelle Forest was just seven years old when she was inducted into a twisted sex cult by her own mother; an experience she writes about it in The Devil on the Door Step: My Escape from a Satanic Sex Cult. Annabelle, who now has two children and a husband, says: “When I look at my daughter and feel my heart swell, it defies all my understanding that there are people like my own mother in this world – a woman capable of harming her own flesh and blood in the way she harmed me.”

At the age of seven, Annabelle was woken up at night to watch her mother, Jacqueline Marling perform a sex act on a man named Colin Batley, and was told “I will have you when your periods start.” Batley was the leader of their church and ‘ruled the cult with an iron will’, with his warped ideology based on Aleister Crowley’s Book of Law. He would control Annabelle and her mother’s lives, not letting them do things such as take photographs, or let their grandparents stay the night because it was ‘against the Church rules.’ He even told her that she could not look him directly in the eyes or she would go directly to the Abyss, where she would endure a lifetime of suffering.

If she forgot, she would be shouted at by him saying: “Can you see the devil in there? He can see you.” At the age of eleven, Batley raped her after she came in from playing on a bouncy castle with her friends, saying: “I told you I’d have you.” He manipulated and tricked her into thinking she had to go through a series of ‘tests’ in which she had to do as she was told.

Once he had finished with her, he’d say: “The Gods are pleased with you” or: “You passed this test.” He called himself ‘Prince Priest’, saying she was the chosen one. He told her of ‘The ways of the Scarlet woman’, who would be the wife of Prince Priest and bring glory of the stars into the hearts of man. Three years later, at the age of 14, she was forced to perform a sex act of Batley with her mother and forced to have sex with a boy the same age as her who had learning difficulties, which her mother filmed for Batley.

The events led her to attempting to take her own life, where she says: “Dying felt like the answer.” She took 24 paracetamol tablets and went to sleep, but it did not work. Batley told her that she lived because the Gods were protecting her. At 18 years of age, Annabelle fell pregnant with Batley’s child conceived through rape, which he denied was him and tried to make her abort.

Annabelle’s mother told her: “You want to try keeping your legs crossed a bit more.” However, Batley later changed his mind and told her she would be a murderer if she rejected a child from the Gods. After having her baby, Emily in February 2008, she was forced into prostitution in Bristol by Batley and her mother, and was told: “Your name up here is Camilla”, and had to text Batley after every person she’d ‘had’, and later being told she should become an ‘all-round whore where she should offer a wider range of services.

Annabelle managed to escape and managed to run to the police, where she revealed she had been forced to sleep with over 1,800 men. In March 2011, former Tesco security worker, Colin Batley of Kidwelly, was jailed indefinitely after a judge described him as dangerous and condemned his role as ‘ruler of a sick little kingdom’, with her mother, Jacqueline Marling being jailed in 2011 for a minimum of 12 years. Annabelle describes in detail what happened to her through her story, which proves how her strength and courage helped her to heal and find justice, and has said that if her book makes one person think or saves one person’s life, it has been worth it.

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Further coronavirus restriction relaxations brought forward

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FURTHER changes to the coronavirus restrictions have been announced by the First Minister Mark Drakeford today.

The Welsh Government has confirmed further relaxations will be brought forward from 17 May to 3 May – including the resumption of indoor supervised activities for children, indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults, such as exercise classes, and the re-opening of community centres.

This means Wales will have completed the move to Alert Level 3 by Monday 3 May.

From Saturday 24 April, the rule of 6 will allow for up to six people from six households to meet outdoors, not including children under 11 years of age or carers from those households.

The Welsh Government has also confirmed the relaxations that will take place on Monday 26 April. Outdoor attractions, including outdoor swimming pools, funfairs and theme parks, will be allowed to reopen, while outdoor hospitality can also resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people will be able to take place and weddings receptions can begin again outdoors for up to 30 people.

Wales has the lowest coronavirus rates of the UK nations.  The successful vaccine programme continues with a higher proportion of people vaccinated in Wales than other nations of the UK for both first and second doses.

Changes from Monday 3 May:

  • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities being able to reopen;
  • People will also again be able to form extended households with one other household.

Relaxations planned for 17 May will be brought forward to the 3 May, including:

  • The resumption of indoor supervised activities for children;
  • Indoor organised activities for up to 15 adults (such as exercise classes and swimming lessons);
  • And the re-opening of community centres.

The First Minister said:

“The sacrifices we have made continue to show results. By us all working together and sticking to the rules, combined with our vaccination programme, mean we continue to make progress. Rates of the virus continue to fall and the public health situation is improving. 

“Due to these efforts we are able confirm more easing of the restrictions from 26 April and for early May we are again able to bring forward some of our plans. However, this progress is dependent on all of us continuing to work together to keep Wales safe.

“At the last three-week review, I set out a forward-look of how the restrictions could continue to be lifted in the weeks ahead, if the public health situation remains stable.

“It will be for the incoming Welsh Government to confirm these arrangements at the next three-week review, which will be held on May 13 – a week after the election. It is my assessment that the hospitality sector – bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes – will be able to open indoors from May 17, together with all other tourist accommodation, indoor entertainment and attractions.”

Further possible easements are subject to the public health situation remaining favourable.

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Tragedy above Milford Haven takeaway

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DYFED POWYS POLICE has confirmed that a 20-year-old male passed away in Milford Haven last Saturday, April 17.

Police were called to the USA Fried Chicken store on Charles Street at around 1:30pm but have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

A Herald reporter was at the scene and witnessed a number of police cars and an ambulance while plain-clothed officers were also seen.

HM Coroner has been informed.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson added: “We were called to Charles Street in Milford Haven on Saturday 17 April at approximately 1.34pm to reports of a medical emergency. We attended the scene with one emergency ambulance where we assisted colleagues from the police.”

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Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

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THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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