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Dyfed Powys Police

Former director of Cardigan Castle, Jac Owen Davies, sentenced to 21 months in prison suspended for two years, for fraud and theft

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The former director of Cardigan Castle has been sentenced to 21 months in prison suspended for two years, after stealing and defrauding the restoration project out of more than £40,000.

Jac Owen Davies, of Dol Dintir in Cardigan, admitted two counts of fraud and two counts of theft from The Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust over two years.

The 34-year-old gained £40,624.02 from the castle between December 2017 and August 2019.

Suspicions were raised by the trust in the summer of 2019, when contact was made with Dyfed-Powys Police to report that £6,024.79 had been stolen from the safe.

Inspector Owen Williams said: “We were told that the money should have been banked in three separate amounts, and should have been banked at the time, but it is believed it was put in the safe.

“The director of the castle, Jac Davies was responsible for the banking of this cash, but did not bring the missing money to the trustees’ attention.

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“This report sparked an in depth fraud investigation which spanned 12 months and resulted in the discovery that far more money had gone missing from the trust’s accounts.”

Cardigan Castle (Image: Crown Copyright / Visit Wales)

In August 2019 Davies was voluntary interviewed at Cardigan Police Station, during which he denied taking the money. He offered several possible scenarios which could have led to the funds going missing, including an envelope being taken out with the rubbish, or an “opportunist” thief gaining access to his office.

The force’s Economic Crime Team was tasked with investigating accounts linked to the castle – and to look into claims that the suspect had merged the trust’s credit card with his own account.

Officers also searched Davies’s home prior to a second interview, uncovering cheques made out to the castle.

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Insp Williams said: “This time, following three months of enquiries, Davies admitted fraudulently gaining funds from the trust.

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“He claimed he had ‘fallen on hard times’ and used the trust’s credit card for personal use, making withdrawals and transactions totalling over £28,000 and altering paperwork to cover up his actions.

“However, due to further allegations being made by the trust, officers continued with their investigations to ensure all potential offences had been looked into before any charges were brought.”

Based on evidence acquired by the team, the CPS authorised two charges of fraud and two of theft against Davies in March 2021, which he admitted at court.

He was sentenced to 21 months in prison suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation course, at Swansea Crown Court on June 3.

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Insp Williams said: “This was a very complex enquiry which saw officers from a number of teams working over the course of a year to bring Jac Davies to justice.

“Offences such as these can often be seen as a victimless crimes, however it is recognised that they cause emotional as well as financial harm to those involved. I can reassure the public that we will take the necessary action to bring offenders to justice.”

(Lead image: Cardigan Castle)


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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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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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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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