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Police and Crime

Life in prison for Mayhill man who brutally murdered partner after subjecting her to years of domestic violence

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Jonathan Campbell, 37, from Mayhill, Swansea, was sentenced to life in prison at Swansea Crown Court on Monday (17 May) for the murder of Helen Bannister. He will serve a minimum of 18 years in prison.

Campbell, pleaded guilty to murder at Swansea Crown Court claiming he had “snapped” after accusing his partner of “cheating” on him.

The court heard Campbell had a history of violence, with three previous domestic abuse charges, including one against Ms Bannister in 2017.

Campbell was arrested by Police on 1 December last year after Ms Bannister was found at her home in Waun Wen “lying on her back on the sofa, unconscious and unresponsive” with significant injuries.

Police were told by Campbell that he had head-butted her twice, and then stripped her taking her to the bath to bring her round. Ms Banister never regained conciousness.

After carrying out the attack, Campbell called the emergency services, then left the property before they arrived to go drinking in Swansea City Centre with another woman.

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During a post-mortum, Ms Banister’s injuries in addition to the devastating brain injuries included a nasal fracture and fractured eye socket, two black eyes, multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung.

Helen Bannister (Image: South Wales Police)

After sentencing, Detective Inspector David Butt of South Wales Police’s Major Crime Investigations Team, said: “I welcome the sentence and am pleased that Jonathan Campbell is now serving a significant sentence for taking the life of his partner.

“Jonathan Campbell and Helen were in a relationship for six years, during which he subjected her to years of terror. No person should have to suffer this kind of abuse.

“I hope the sentence handed down to him today will provide a degree of comfort to Helen’s family, though I recognise that no amount of time in prison could ever properly compensate them for such a dreadful loss.

“I would like to thank Helen’s family and friends, especially her daughters Stacey and Sarah for their support, as well as the community of Waun Wen, Swansea. The help given to the investigation team has ensured this successful prosecution and conviction.

“South Wales Police is committed to tackling domestic abuse and I would strongly urge anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse to report it to police. We recognise that not all victims of domestic abuse suffer physical injury. They suffer from the threat and fear of injury, daily intimidation and having their life monitored and controlled.”

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Helen Bannister’s family issued a statement following Campbell’s conviction: “Our mother was murdered by her partner Johnathan Campbell on 1st December 2020.

“We will remember this day for the rest of our lives as it is the day that shattered our worlds.

“We have lost our Mum and she will now not be a part of our, and our families, lives as we all grow up together and she will miss so many milestones.

“Our Mum was young at heart, full of life and loved music. She was very much loved and will be missed by all her family and friends, especially by us, her grandchildren, mother, sister and brother.

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“Our lives have fallen apart. We are lost without her. Campbell has stolen our future with our mother.

“Her grandchildren will not have the opportunity to spend time with her as they grow older. They have lost her whilst they are at such young ages and it is so upsetting to know that they may not remember her.

“Our whole lives have changed and been destroyed. It feels like a horrible nightmare and doesn’t feel real.  What has happened will affect us for the rest of our lives.

“The sentence given to Campbell will never be enough and will not bring our mother back.”

(Lead image: South Wales Police)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Four men fined £6,000 for ‘barbaric’ illegal foul hook fishing

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Four men caught using a barbaric and illegal fishing method by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) enforcement officers during patrols of the River Loughor, near Llanelli, have been fined a total of £6,000.

They each appeared before Llanelli Magistrates Court on 16 and 17 June and pleaded guilty to the offence of foul hooking – also known as snatching – which is prohibited under Section 1 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

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They were fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £10,300 to NRW for investigation costs.

The men were caught by NRW fisheries enforcement officers who were undertaking riverbank patrols of the River Loughor in summer 2021, working to address and prevent the use of foul hook fishing.

Each fish caught using the foul hooking method had been snagged on its tail, back or flank. All fishing equipment and illegally caught fish were seized by NRW and later confiscated by the court.

Alun Thomas, Senior Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “Foul hook fishing is barbaric, unethical and illegal. This method of fishing is not only indiscriminate on what species or size fish that are killed, but also inflicts untold damage to unseen numbers of fish which are likely to die of their injuries soon after. This is often made worse by using deliberately tampered fishing lures.

“NRW’s Fisheries Enforcement Officers and police take these incidents seriously, as do the courts. Hopefully, the small minority of anglers considering using illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines issued by the courts.”

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Romuald Krzysztof Biernacki of Dwyfor, Llanelli, was caught using the foul hooking method on 4 July 2021. He had illegally caught four mullets and six flounder fish.

Biernacki was fined £1,500 and made to pay part of NRW’s investigation costs of £2,500.

Hung Van Tran, travelled from his Gibson Road home in Handsworth, Birmingham, to fish on river Loughor on 25 August 2021. NRW fisheries enforcement officers discovered he had illegally caught four mullet fish using the foul hook method.

Hung Van Tran was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay part of NRW’s investigation costs of £1,800.

Duc Duy Tran of Brithweynydd, Tonypandy, and Tan Van Tran of Pentrebane Street, Caerphilly, were caught during another river patrol carried out by NRW fisheries enforcement officers accompanied by Dyfed-Powys Police’s Wildlife Crime Officer on 6 September 2021.

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Duc Duy Tran had illegally caught 14 mullet fish and was fined £1,500. He must also pay £3,000 to NRW for investigation costs.

Tan Van Tran had illegally caught four mullet fish. He was fined £1,500, plus £3,000 to NRW for investigation costs.

Alun Thomas added: “We would like to thank Dyfed-Powys Police, the local community and law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities. I urge them to continue to report such activity and we will investigate.

“We would encourage anyone going fishing to familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations before going.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape of Ammanford woman on victim’s phone jailed for 10 years

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A man who filmed himself raping a woman on his victim’s phone has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

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

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Hassan, who was midway through his trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing, changed his plea to guilty after the jury was shown the video of the attack.

He was back before Swansea Crown Court today and was sentenced to 10 years in prison .

Senior Investigating Officer DI Melanie Havard said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation and trial.

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

“We appreciate this is not easy for anyone to do but the victim has expressed her gratitude to the officer in the case for her support and empathy throughout this process.

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“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.”

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

You can report it to Dyfed-Powys Police online, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101.

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South Wales Police

Twelve men arrested in cannabis raids in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot

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A dozen men were arrested following a series of pre-planned raids at addresses in Neath and Swansea on Wednesday (15 June) in a police operation aimed at dismantling an organised crime group involved in the production and supply of cannabis in south Wales.

Police officers from Tarian the Regional Organised Crime Unit for southern Wales, supported by officers from South Wales Police executed a number of warrants at properties across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

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The men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to produce cannabis.

Detective Inspector Gareth Grant from Tarian said: “This was a jointly co-ordinated approach to tackling serious and organised crime in the region between Tarian Regional Organised Crime Unit with support from our partners in South Wales Police.

“Tarian ROCU focusses its assets on the most serious organised crime that occurs both across the southern Wales region and nationally.

“The safeguarding of our communities will always be our priority. Officers have worked tirelessly to ensure this investigation has reached this stage and as a result these individuals have been charged with large scale drug offences.

“The success of this investigation demonstrates that we will relentlessly pursue those involved in large scale criminality to ensure effective justice is sought against such individuals and that they are brought to justice.”

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All 12 men were all taken to Queens Road police station, Bridgend, where they were questioned.

A substantial amount of evidence was recovered and all 12 will appear before Cardiff Magistrates Court on Friday June 17th charged with conspiracy to produce class B drugs – cannabis.

They are:

  • Aurel Gjoshi, 27, from Godre’r Graig, Neath.
  • Mario Vishi, 37, from Sandfields, Port Talbot.
  • Christopher Mace, 40, from Swansea.
  • Deomald Sallufi, 27, from Swansea.
  • Cornel Macoviciuc, 32, from Swansea.
  • Vilson Tufa, 30, from Swansea.
  • Ardjan Sherifi, 33, from Swansea.
  • Admjerim Balla, 23, from Swansea.
  • Florian Balla , 28, from Pontardawe.
  • Zorba Ardit, 25, From Swansea.
  • Edi Toska, 27, from Swansea.
  • Sadik Selemi, 27, from Newport.
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