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Dyfed Powys Police

Welsh Government and police forces unite to protect victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence this Christmas

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Domestic abuse and sexual violence will not go away over this festive period the Welsh Government and the four Police forces in Wales warn.

Times of crisis can result in an increase in incidents of domestic violence, and Christmas and the holiday period may be a time of dread, fear and isolation for victims of violence and abuse.

While Covid-19 and restrictions have not caused domestic abuse to happen, evidence shows that being shut behind closed doors with abusers, 24 hours a day, has made things worse, and increased the risk to victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, today asked friends and neighbours to look out for signs of domestic abuse, and encouraged victims and survivors to seek help and escape from their homes if necessary.

Jane Hutt said: “Now, more than ever, I urge communities, friends, neighbours, postal workers and delivery drivers across Wales to look out for others in the community, and to act as the eyes and ears for victims of abuse who need help. Please look behind the Christmas lights and present deliveries, and if you see fear in the eyes the other side of the door, you can help by calling 999 in an emergency, or the Live Fear Free helpline. You could be saving a life.

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“Specialist services remain open and are available to help victims of violence or abuse throughout the Christmas period, and during the period of restrictions which will follow. Perpetrator services, which work to prevent incidents of domestic abuse from happening, also remain open and will continue to provide support.

“You will not be in trouble if you need to leave your home to seek help at any time, and specialist services are open and operating, refuges will take referrals, and support is available to help you.

“I want to emphasise this – if you are in danger or need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse, you should do so – you will not be in trouble. You can travel wherever necessary, and specialist services can help find you suitable emergency accommodation and support.

“Police forces right across Wales are responding to domestic abuse and sexual violence callouts. If is not safe for victims to speak, police will respond to a silent 999 call – dial 999, followed by 55 when the operator answers to indicate that you can’t talk, but need help.

“The Live Fear Free helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day, including Christmas and the New Year, for support and advice. Home shouldn’t be a place of fear. Support is available. You are not alone.”

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Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Alun Michael, said: “We know that incidents of domestic violence and abuse increase at times when families and couples spend more time together at home.

“So, while many of us are looking forward to the opportunity to form a ‘Christmas bubble’ with loved ones, even if we can only catch up virtually, for others the festive period means spending even more time with a partner or family member who causes them harm.

“We want you to know that the Police and Welsh Government are united in tackling the problem vigorously, even during the holiday period and even during the Pandemic.”

South Wales Police Chief Constable, Jeremy Vaughan, said: “If you are hurting your partner, child or another family member, I urge you to get help to change your behaviour because we will not tolerate domestic violence and abuse.

“Protecting vulnerable people is our number one priority, and despite the challenges the coronavirus crisis has presented, I want to reassure our communities that we are still responding to incidents, we are still arresting abusers, and we are still charging abusers.

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“We know it can be difficult to talk about what is happening behind closed doors, however if you can take that first step and contact the police or the Live Fear Free service, we will work with you to keep you safe.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “Sadly we know that Christmas can be a time of fear for many.

“This year we are particularly concerned as we know that cases of rape, sexual violence and domestic abuse have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“If you are experiencing abuse, or suspect someone you know is being abused, then please don’t suffer in silence; help is available. I would urge you to call the Live Fear Free helpline, and always call 999 in an emergency.”


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Carmarthenshire

Parents pay tribute to 6 month old girl killed in Llanelli horror drunk driver crash

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The parents of a six-month-old baby killed in a collision in Llanelli on Friday (8 October) have paid tribute to their “perfect baby girl” who they say was “a gift from God”.

Eva Maria Nichifor died following a collision involving a blue 3 series BMW and a blue Vauxhall Vectra at the Heol Goffa crossroads in Llanelli at around 9pm.

Eva Maria’s parents Florin and Carmen, who originate from Romania, but now live in Llanelli, issued a tribute in English and Romanian.

“We are distraught by our loss. Eva Maria, only six months old, will be missed by us all.

“She was our miracle, our perfect baby girl, a gift from God. She will always be in our hearts.

“We would like to thank everyone for their support at this horrific time. It has meant so much to the whole family.

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“We would now like time to grieve and would ask to be given privacy in which to do so.”

Suntem foarte supărați pentru pierderea noastră. Eva Maria, avea doar 6 luni si cu toții ii vom simți lipsa.

Ea a fost minunea noastră, un copil perfect și un dar dat de Dumnezeu. Va fi in inimile noastre pentru totdeauna.

“Va mulțumim tuturor pentru susținerea voastră in aceste vremuri dificile, înseamnă foarte mult pentru noi.

“Am vrea acum puțin timp sa ne adunam in liniște alături de familia noastră.

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A woman has been charged with causing Eva Maria’s death by dangerous driving.

Lucy Dyer, aged 23, of Heulwen Terrace, Llanelli, was remanded in custody following the court hearing at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Monday (11 October). 

She is due appear before Swansea Crown Court on Friday, 12 November.  She was also charged with drink-driving.

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Carmarthenshire

Body found in search for missing man at a Carmarthenshire forest

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A body has been found in the search for a missing man at forestry in the Llandovery area

Dyfed Powys Police issued an appeal after a man, named only by police as Geraint, was reported missing on Sunday (10 October).

Geraint’s car was discovered at Rhandirmwyn Forestry near Llandovery.

A search of the area took place on Sunday, and resumed again on Monday (11 October).

Tragically, police later issued a statement confirming that a body had been found.

Dyfed Powys Police confirmed that the man’s family have been informed.

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(Lead image: Dyfed Powys Police)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Neyland man sentenced to 30 years for rape and abuse of young children

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A man has been sentenced to 30 years – 22 years in prison with an eight-year extended period on licence – for the sexual abuse and rape of children following an intensive investigation by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Jason James, aged 48, formerly of St Clements Road, Neyland, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court today after being found guilty following trial of sexual activity with a child, assault by penetration, three counts of rape of a child under 13 and two counts of sexual assault of a child under 13.

The charges involved four children, who were supported through the investigation by specialist officers from Dyfed-Powys Police.

Investigating officer DC Kieran Griffiths said: “James was initially arrested for breach of his Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) in May 2019, this had come about following a report of him having unsupervised access with children.

“We would like to thank those individuals and their families that came forward at that time.”

As the investigation into these matters progressed, the level of depravity James had forced on innocent children in horrific attacks was uncovered.

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James admitted four counts of breaching his SOPO ahead of the trial but denied all other charges.

A further two counts of breaching his SOPO, which was imposed on him more than a decade ago, were added before he was sentenced today. They dated to 2019 and involved a further two children.

DC Griffiths said he was pleased James had been given a lengthy sentence, which he hoped would bring some closure to the victims.

“It is good to get this result for the victims and their families, who have shown a great deal of courage and dignity throughout the investigation and court process,” he said.

“James is a manipulative man. He tried to avoid going to court but was deemed fit to stand trial on two occasions.

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“He then refused to attend court when his trial came around, showing complete disregard for his victims and the ordeals he had put them through.

“This investigation has been a huge undertaking for officers and staff in various departments at Dyfed-Powys Police, so I’m pleased their hard work has paid off.

“Hopefully the sentence handed down to James today will help all the victims and families to move on with their lives.

“As this case shows, we will always take reports of this kind seriously and treat victims sensitively, providing specialist support throughout the investigation and court proceedings.”

DI Phil Kite added: “James is a dangerous sexual predator and the sentencing reflects the gravity of his offending and the impact it has had on the victims.”

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He will remain on the Sexual Offender’s Register indefinitely.

(Lead image: Dyfed Powys Police)

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