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Carmarthenshire

Llandysul man prosecuted by Council over ‘horrific’ case of horse neglect

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A Llandysul man with a life-time ban from keeping horses has been convicted of horse neglect so bad that a long-standing vet described it as the most horrific case he had ever seen.

David Robert Davies, of Maes Dilen, Pentrecwrt, admitted leaving two ponies to suffer so badly that they had to be euthanised to end their pain.

The case was brought before Llanelli Magistrates by Carmarthenshire County Council whose animal welfare officer found the ponies being kept in the dark in waist-high soiled bedding with their hooves so badly deformed that the vet said it was the worst he’d seen in over 40 years of practice.

During their investigation, the council found that Davies had previous convictions for similar animal welfare offences which meant he had been banned from keeping horses for life.

Despite not owning the ponies he admitted he was aware of their condition and should not have let them suffer.

He was sentenced to 12-weeks custody, suspended for 24 months, and was handed a 12-month community order with 250 hours unpaid work and rehabilitation. He was also ordered to pay costs of £6,367 and a victim surcharge of £122.

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The case came to light in February, 2020, when a council animal welfare officer carried out an unannounced inspection of sheep kept by Davies at fields he rents in Drefach Felindre.

Whilst waiting for him to arrive she noticed a shed covered with wood pallets and tarpaulin – and on peering through a hole could see two ponies standing in their own faeces.

Accompanied by a vet from the Animal Plant and Health Agency, she entered the shed to find the cob-type ponies in soiled bedding with their coats matted in dried faeces, their hooves badly overgrown and tails so short it appeared they may have eaten their own out of boredom.

The ponies had nothing to eat – one had no water and the other had faeces in his water bucket.

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They were kept in the dark, unable to look out of the shed and were only able to touch eachother over a wooden barrier that separated them.

When the defendant arrived and was challenged about the condition of the ponies he said they were not his – at first saying they belonged to the owner of the field and then, when this was denied, saying they belonged to his step-daughter with whom he has no contact.

He did agree however to arrange urgent attention for the ponies, muck out the shed and give them food and clean water.

Over the following days the animal health officer made numerous attempts to contact Davies’s step-daughter but to no avail, and re-visited the ponies when the owner of the field agreed to state they had been abandoned on his land.

It was only when they were brought out into the daylight that their true condition became evident – a vet called to attend to them said the deformity of all four hooves of the black pony were the worst case of neglect he had ever seen in 40 years of practice.

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A vet said the deformity of all four hooves were the worst case of neglect he had ever seen in 40 years of practice.
(Image: Carmarthenshire Council)

The second black and white pony also had badly neglected feet and walked with muscular tremors suggesting he’d had little or no exercise for a considerable time.

Both were taken away for treatment but just days later had to be euthanised, the vet saying he believed they had been suffering for at least 12 months.

The investigation that followed revealed that Davies was disqualified from owning, keeping or participating in the keeping of horses for life following a prosecution by the RSPCA in 2015.

During interview he maintained that the ponies were owned by his estranged step-daughter, although he accepted that he never saw her at the property or with the ponies.

He said they had been in the shed since around October 2019, but didn’t know who had put them there. Although he would occasionally throw hay and food in for them, he said he had never seen anyone actually feeding them or tending to them.

The landowner, also interviewed, said he was unaware that the ponies were in the shed on his property.

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Davies’s step-daughter was eventually tracked down but denied any knowledge of the ponies in the shed.

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Appearing at Llanelli Magistrates Court on August 13, Davies pleaded guilty to two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to two horses and breaching a disqualification order in respect of horses.

He admitted that whilst he didn’t own them, he had knowledge of their suffering and failed to get them veterinary help, blaming his declining health, acting as his partner’s sole-carer and home-educating their two children.

Following the conviction, Cllr Philip Hughes, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “If it were not for the actions of our animal health officer, who acted on a hunch to check the shed, these ponies may still be suffering today. This is an awful, and entirely avoidable, case of shocking neglect.”

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(Lead images: Carmarthenshire Council)

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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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