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Police and Crime

‘Charming’ criminal gained women’s trust online and stole from their homes

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A romance criminal has been jailed after winning the trust of women he met on dating sites and stealing from their homes.

Following an investigation by Dyfed-Powys Police, Oliver Anthony Alexander was found to have charmed his way into moving in with women a short time after starting relationships with them, before betraying their trust and leaving them feeling guilty and naïve.

Alexander – who was discovered to have a number of aliases – was jailed on Thursday, July 22, just days after the offences were reported to police.

Sergeant Craig Morgan said: “This was a very unusual case, and one unlike typical reports of romance fraud where victims never actually meet offenders in person.

“Rather than asking his victims to send money to a bank account, Alexander was actually charming his way into their homes through a series of lies, and taking the first opportunity he could to steal from them.”

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Officers were made aware of the crimes on Saturday, July 17 when a woman reported a theft from her home. She explained that she had met 44-year-old Alexander online, and after letting him stay at her Powys home for a week, he left with a TV, and a gold wedding ring and suit belonging to her late father.

Later that day, a second woman arrived at Ystradgynlais police station, reporting that she too had allowed Alexander to move into her home but had become suspicious of his behaviour. She asked officers to attend and help get him to leave.

Sgt Morgan said: “Two officers visited the woman’s home and arrested Alexander on suspicion of theft. His car was searched, and found to contain the stolen suit and TV, as well as numerous contact details for women and love letters.

“An iPad was also found, which we discovered belonged to a woman from the South Wales Police area. She was contacted and told us she had met Alexander two months ago and had taken him in.”

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Enquiries established that Alexander had changed his name by deed poll from Oliver Alexander Davenport to Oliver Anthony Alexander, and that his original name was Joshua Jamie McKenna. McKenna was discovered to have a vast offending history, including a conviction for a sexually aggravated assault.

Thanks to the swift work of officers in interviewing victims and gathering evidence, Alexander, from Preston, was charged with two counts of theft the day after his arrest.

He admitted the offences at Merthyr Magistrates’ Court, and was sentenced to 12 months in prison – six months for each offence. He was also handed restraining orders against the two victims lasting two years.

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“Alexander, as he is now known, is clearly a prolific offender who preys on vulnerable women by telling them a series of lies to make out he is someone he’s not,” Sgt Morgan said.

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“He has crossed police borders to commit offences and charmed his victims who trusted that they were in genuine relationships with him.

“I would like to thank the victims for their honestly and strength in reporting these offences, and hope the sentence offers some comfort.”

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Port Talbot

Police launch appeal to find missing disabled woman

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South Wales Police have launched an appeal to find missing Waunarlwydd woman, Kelly Randell.

45 year-old Kelly was last seen in Port Talbot on Tuesday 3 May.

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A wheelchair user with one leg, Kelly is described as being around 5ft of medium build with brown hair which is tied up – possibly in a bun.

She was last seen wearing black jeans and a black coat.

She has links to both Swansea and Port Talbot.

South Wales Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen Kelly, or who has information which will help them to find her, to contact them online or by calling 101 quoting occurrence number 2200149152.

(Lead image: Family photo / South Wales Police)

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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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