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Ammanford man jailed for “emotionally assaulting” partner by posing as a stalker

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A MAN who convinced his girlfriend she was being stalked has been jailed thanks to a “dogged and protracted” police investigation.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers were able to prove that Rhodri Harries was behind a relentless series of messages sent to his ex-partner in an attempt to test her fidelity.

Harries who has now been jailed, was described in court as showing “bizarre and wicked” behaviour in making his girlfriend believe she had a stalker while pretending to support her through the police investigation.

Investigating officers were praised in court for their work in identifying Harries as a suspect and building a strong case against him.

Temporary Detective Inspector Matthew Briggs said: “This was a very unusual case, which began in August 2019 when the victim reported she had been receiving messages from a social media account she believed to be fake.

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“The matter escalated as the victim received 118 calls and 84 messages over a short period of time, including information which led her to believe the person was following her.

“This had a massive impact on the victim, who was so fearful that she began to sleep with weapons nearby.”

Police resources were immediately dedicated to the enquiry, with safety and security advice given to the victim.

Harries became a suspect when a message contained a reference to something the victim had said when he was in the room.

Police focussed their enquiries on the 35-year-old, identifying him as the person buying top-up credits for the mobile phone used to send the messages, and tracing the location of the phone using cell site analysis, which matched his movements.

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He was arrested on suspicion of stalking after turning up at the victim’s address unexpectedly while she was providing a statement to police officers.

The following day, a mobile phone was found hidden under a carpet near the victim’s garden. This was examined and found to belong to the suspect.

Harries, of Maesywerin, Ammanford, was charged with controlling and coercive behaviour against his now ex-partner, and appeared at Swansea Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, December 4.

He was jailed for 12 months, and given an indefinite restraining order.

T/DI said: “In court, Harries’s behaviour was described as “bizarre and wicked”, and just as severe as a serious assault. The recorder added that he saw it as a form of emotional violence.

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“Domestic abuse can come in all forms, and emotional control is just one type of behaviour these offenders use against their victims.

“Harries has left his victim feeling anxious, paranoid and in constant fear of danger, and there is no doubt that her life has been profoundly impacted. The escalation in his behaviour was deeply concerning and a potentially more serious incident has been avoided thanks to the thorough investigation and support of the victim.

“I would like to commend the victim for coming forward to report the matter, and for the strength she has shown throughout the investigation.”

Dyfed-Powys Police has dedicated resources to investigate domestic abuse, and to support victims.

For more information on where to access advice on reporting domestic abuse, or what support is available, click here

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For support from Goleudy victim and witness service, click here


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Ammanford

Ashmole & Co Partner is top 20 fundraiser ahead of running next month’s London Marathon

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Running way beyond her fundraising target for the London Marathon is Carmarthenshire Ashmole & Co Partner, Laura Craddock. She has raised almost £18,000 (£8,000 more than her original target).

Laura is running the London Marathon on Sunday, 3 October, to help raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and local fundraising.

Laura was originally meant to run the London Marathon in April 2020. She had done her longest training run of 20 miles just days before the Prime Minister announced we were heading into a national lockdown and the Marathon had to be cancelled.

Laura’s younger brother, Leighton, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2010 at the age of 23. He underwent 15 months of gruelling treatment including a stem cell transplant, which he received on the Teenage Cancer Trust ward in Cardiff Hospital. Nine years on and he has made a full recovery.

Laura and Leighton have been named in the top 20 fundraisers for next month’s marathon. Laura said, “The ‘run-up’ to this marathon has taken a long time thanks to Covid-19 but I’m pleased that the event will be going ahead next month and we’re both fit and ready for it. Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us get beyond our target of £10,000. To be the number 16 fundraiser in the top 20 for the event is an achievement in itself.

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“My family will always be indebted to the Teenage Cancer Trust for the life saving treatment my brother received. I would have been the last person you would say that could run the London marathon a few years ago and now I’ve trained for two!”

If you are able to make a donation to help Laura you can donate directly at the Ammanford Ashmole & Co office or donate via the Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Laura-Craddock1

Ashmole & Co Chartered and Certified Accountants have been established since 1897 and are one of the largest accountancies and auditing practices in Wales, operating from thirteen offices throughout South and West Wales including Swansea, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Abergavenny, Ammanford, Llandovery and Newcastle Emlyn.

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Ammanford

One Show presenter Alex Jones gives birth to baby daughter

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BBC presenter Alex Jones, originally from Ammanford, has given birth to her third child.

Announcing the birth on Instagram, Alex said the baby was “tiny but perfectly formed we are all beyond happy and besotted by her, especially Ted and Kit”.

She added: “Watching them with their brand new little sister is just the best and we can’t believe how lucky we are to have the 3 of them and to be a family of 5.

“It still doesn’t feel real!!! Thank you to everyone at the Queen Charlotte hospital for all your support again, especially super midwife Audrey.”

The baby, who’s name has not been revealed yet, was born on Saturday afternoon (21 August).

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Welsh speaking Alex has presented BBC’s flagship One Show since 2010.

(Lead image: BBC)

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Ammanford

Solar panels tackle climate change at Cwmgors Rugby Club

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Cwmgors kicked off the first game of the season by unveiling their new solar panels on the club house. The club are hoping the solar panels can provide an energy boost to the season.

The 30kW system cost £27,928 and was installed free of charge by Egni Co-op with funds from its Share Offer which has raised £4.49m to date.

Dorian Jones from the Club said: “We’re delighted to be one of the first rugby clubs in Wales to install solar and play our part in tackling climate change. We’ve all seen the news of wildfires in different part of Europe. Our club works with a lot of young people and we want to play our part on building a future fit for them.”

There are panels on the front and rear of the building which faces east – west. This means the roof gets the sun in the morning on the rear and on the front in the afternoon. The panels will reduce the club’s electrical consumption from the grid and their carbon emissions by 7,700 kg/year . It’s estimated the club will save £2,400 /year which helps the financial stability of the club as all sports venues are recovering from Covid.

Feasibility and development costs for the project were funded by the Rural Development Programme, the Welsh Government Energy Service and Sustainable Communities Wales.

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Dan McCallum, co-director of Egni Co-op said: “Cwmgors is the birthplace of the greatest rugby player of all time, Gareth Edwards, and it’s great that his home club is leading the way in reducing our carbon emissions.

“Egni Co-op has now raised £4.49m from Community Shares and is fast approaching its target of £4.6m. We want as many people to join us. Anyone can invest from £50 to play their part in tackling climate change. Please visit www.egni.coop for more info.

“We’re delighted that we’ve recently been able to pay our Members the 4% annual interest on their investment as per our Share Offer Document. Those Members include 44 schools where we’ve got solar panels. Egni Co-op is now the largest rooftop solar co-op in the UK which is a fantastic achievement for Wales.

“Other sports venues such as Merthyr Town Football Club have also installed solar with Egni and you can see a short film about it by double Bafta Cymru winner, Mike Harrison below.”

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