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Ammanford

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.

“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.

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“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.

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.

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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.

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

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“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

For support from Goleudy victim and witness service, click here

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Ammanford

Police appeal after cyclist dies in Garnant accident

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Dyfed Powys Police have issued an appeal after a cyclist died in a single vehicle road traffic collision on Friday (6 May).

The accident took place around 8.45pm outside the Discovery Book Shop on Cwmamman Road in Garnant, Ammanford.

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A spokesperson for Dyfed Powys Police said: “Sadly the 58 year-old male rider of the pedal cycle sustained serious injuries and passed away in hospital.

“We are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen the pedal cycle at the relevant time, or who may have dashcam footage if they travelled along this stretch of road at the time, to get in touch.

“Also local residents and business owners are asked to contact Police if they have any CCTV footage covering the location.”

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Ammanford

Plans to close GP surgery in Tycroes revealed

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Margaret Street Practice has applied to Hywel Dda Health board to close its branch surgery in Tycroes.

The surgery in Tycroes has been closed since February 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the building served as a ‘red site’ for the Amman Gwendraeth GP cluster.

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Prior to the pandemic, the branch was used mainly for blood tests at the phlebotomy clinic.

Since its temporary closure, patients of Tycroes have used Margaret Street Practice, around two miles away in Ammanford.

There is a regular bus route between the two Surgeries.

In a statement, the health board said: “Margaret Street Practice, Hywel Dda University Health Board and the Community Health Council are working together to engage with patients of both surgeries to gain an understanding of how a proposed closure would affect patients.

“A period of engagement commences on Monday 9 May and runs until Friday 24 June.

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“Should Tycroes close, the potential benefits for patients include more available appointments for all patients at the Margaret Street Practice, as staff would not be covering two sites, and earlier and later appointments could be offered from Margaret Street.

“Patients would still be able to use the Tycroes Pharmacy and the Practice would continue to send all requested prescriptions to the pharmacy.”

Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care, Community and Long Term Care for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “We are committed to listening to and engaging with local populations around the proposal to relocate Primary Care services from Tycroes Surgery to Margaret Street and we would therefore like to invite patients to get involved in the engagement process.

“We are committed to working closely with the Practice and the Community Health Council throughout this process and will keep patients informed of the results of this engagement exercise.”

Vice Chair of Hywel Dda Community Health Council, Dr Barbara Wilson said: “GP services are so important to the communities they serve. When the health board comes to make its decision about the future of Tycroes branch surgery, it’s crucial that the public have their say.

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“Whether people support this proposal or oppose it, the CHC will be ensuring that those views are heard and understood by the health board.”

The consultation is available online, on paper forms at Margaret Street Surgery, by calling 0300 303 8322, option 4, by emailing Hyweldda.Engagement@wales.nhs.uk or by writing to Tracey Huggins, Head of GMS Services, Primary Care Team, Felinfoel Community Resource Centre, Felinfoel, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA14 8BE

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