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Carmarthenshire

Digital examinations proved driver was dealing cocaine

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Liam Foster-Richards (Image: Dyfed Powys Police)

A man has been jailed for possessing cocaine with intent to supply thanks to digital investigations and expert police knowledge.

Liam Foster-Richards, of Dryslwyn in Carmarthenshire, was sentenced to three-and-a-half-years after being found with cocaine worth more than £6,000 in November 2019.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers had stop searched the 26-year-old after the BMW he was driving was seen travelling to the South Wales Police area with a quick turnaround back to Carmarthenshire.

Inspector Kerry Scoberg said: “The suspect’s car was located in Carmarthen town, and when stopped he made a significant comment that officers would find drugs on his person.

“A search led to 55.93g of what was discovered to be high purity cocaine – a class A substance – being recovered, and the driver was arrested.”

Foster-Richards was interviewed and admitted possession of class A drugs, but denied that he was involved in supplying illegal substances.

As part of the investigation, a mobile phone that had been found in his car was examined by a digital forensic investigator. A number of deleted text messages were found spanning the four months leading up to Foster-Richards’ arrest, containing incriminating details.

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“These messages suggested Foster-Richards was actively involved in the supply of controlled drugs,” Insp Scoberg said.

“There were a number of conversations about the cost and quantity of substances, as well as arrangements for bank transfers to be made.

“This was added to the file of evidence compiled to prove this was an offence of possession with intent to supply, not simply possession of cocaine.”

Following forensic examination, the cocaine was established to have a street value in the region of £6,170. Expert advice was submitted by the Serious and Organised Crime Team, who evidenced that this quantity was significantly more than could be argued was for personal use.

Foster-Richards was charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs, which he admitted at Swansea Crown Court. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Monday, April 26.

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Suspended sentences were also activated for previous offences of affray and taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, to be served concurrently.

Insp Scoberg said: “This was an excellent investigation with contributions from a number of departments leading to a significant sentence for an active drug dealer.

“Thanks to diligent work in examining the defendant’s mobile phone in detail, and expert knowledge from our CID team, we were able to prove the quantity of cocaine was not for personal use, and have disrupted the supply of illegal substances in the Carmarthenshire and wider areas.”


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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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Carmarthenshire

Women’s Tour of Britain returns to Carmarthenshire

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The countdown is on before the world’s top women riders will race through Carmarthenshire as part of the Women’s Tour of Britain.

Some 108 cyclists will race through the County to the finishing line on top of the Black Mountain between Llangadog and Brynamman as part of the stage five event on Friday, June 10.

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The route will be starting from Pembrey Country Park at 10.45am and riders competing for the title will go through Pinged, Carway, Pontyberem, Horeb, Llansawel, and Llangadog.

A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route which will come into action at 10.45am until 1.50pm.

Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.

The event will be broadcast on ITV4 and across Europe with a helicopter camera crew following the race.

The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6, and coincides with the final day of a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The race will culminate with a prestigious finale six days later on Saturday, June 11.

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Pembrey Country Park previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters said: “We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host this top cycling event. Previous years have brought an immediate economic boost to the tourism sector as well as providing a great deal of positive media coverage.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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