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Carmarthenshire

Llandeilo man who bred his dogs without a licence ends up in court

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A Llandeilo man who made nearly £34,000 out of dog breeding without a licence has been brought before the court in a prosecution led by Carmarthenshire County Council.

Matthew Thomas, of Green View, New Inn, admitted to Llanelli magistrates that he had been dog breeding without a licence despite being told not to on a number of occasions when he appeared recently.

The court heard that the 38-year-old had first contacted the council for advice about dog breeding and obtaining a licence back in 2018.

In a telephone call the following year animal health officers again advised that under the Dog Breeding Regulations only two litters of puppies within a 12-month period was allowed if no breeding licence is in place. Thomas disclosed he had three litters at his premises and was issued with a warning.

The same month, whilst Thomas claimed he was carrying out the necessary requirements to obtain a breeding licence, he telephoned the council to inform them he had an accidental litter. He was warned that he needed to stop breeding and was told to separate dogs from bitches in season.

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In February last year Thomas contacted the council again and asked if he could breed a further two litters as he was short of money and was again informed he couldn’t due to him being unlicensed and that all new applications were on hold due to Covid-19 visiting restrictions. In July 2020 Thomas was sent a letter giving him four weeks to apply for a licence.

An application was received in August of last year but no licence was granted as it was incomplete. A check of advertising sites showed that Thomas had listed four litters of whippets within a 13-month period.

Thomas admitted breeding over the number of permitted litters but claimed it was due to him being dyslexic and not understanding the wording of the regulations. He stated that he wished to work with the council to become licensed and was trying to be open and transparent.

He was fined £500, ordered to pay £1,208 costs and £50 victim surcharge.

When questioned by the court about where the money he made had gone, Thomas claimed it had been put back into his premises.

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The council’s executive board member for public protection and trading standards, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “Mr Thomas was given advice over and over again about dog breeding regulations and he totally ignored them and made a lot of money by doing so.

“Licences are there for a reason and in this case it’s to ensure that dogs are not overbred, are properly being cared for and are socialised.

“Let this serve as a warning to anyone thinking of breeding dogs without a licence, we will take action and we won’t hesitate to.”

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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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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