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Special Police recognition for Ammanford man severely injured after an unprovoked attack

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An Ammanford man who was left severely injured after an unprovoked attack in his home town has received special recognition for his commitment to preventing alcohol-fuelled violence.

Paul Pugh was presented with the Dyfed-Powys Police Special Recognition Award during a virtual conversation with outgoing Chief Constable Mark Collins QPM.

Praising Paul’s years of campaigning, Mr Collins said: “Paul’s strength and determination in his pursuit to help others and prevent alcohol-fuelled violence is truly heroic.”

In 2007, Paul was left in a coma for two months and hospitalised for 13 months following an unprovoked attack in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire.

Left with severe brain injuries, doctors told him he would never walk or talk again. Four men were jailed for the attack.

With a little help, Paul can now walk again, and for the past six years has promoted #PaulsPledge, a campaign against alcohol-fuelled violence.

He has shared his story with hundreds of schools, colleges, universities, youth clubs and sports associations throughout Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Powys and beyond, raising awareness of the dangers and consequences of alcohol and violence to thousands of young people and adults.

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On receiving the award, football-loving Paul said, “It is an honour and privilege accepting a Special Recognition Award from Chief Constable Collins of Dyfed Powys Police”.

Ammanford PCSO, Dayton Hughes, commented, “It is amazing to work with Paul. He has taken such a negative experience and made it his mission to alter perspectives and bring about positive change.”

He continued, “After the presentations, Paul is like a superstar to the crowd- everybody wants to shake his hand!”

Since the start of the pandemic, Paul’s work out in the community has been put on hold, but in January 2020, before the outbreak, Paul was able to attend the House of Lords where he received the Community Alcohol Partnership Chairman’s Award.

Back in 2017, on the tenth anniversary of the attack, Paul received a Commendation from the then newly appointed Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable, Mark Collins, at Paul’s beloved Cwmamman Football Club, of which he was team Captain at the time of the attack. 

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This was the first Commendation presented by Chief Constable Collins, and so there is a charming symmetry that Paul’s Special Recognition is one of the last awards presented by Chief Constable Collins, ahead his retirement later this month.

 “It has been a privilege for me, as Chief Constable, to present Paul with not only a Commendation, back in 2017, but also with this Special Recognition award. He is an unstoppable force and so very deserving of his achievements.”

You can follow Paul’s work on Twitter @paulspledge


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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

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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.”

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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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