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Dyfed Powys Police

Suspended sentence for drunk man who attacked two female police officers after they drove him home

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A man who carried out a violent attack on two police officers who went to his aid has been given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

In the early hours of 3 May, Dyfed-Powys Police were called by ambulance, after their crew had seen Matthew James, aged 36, of Elm Grove, Pembroke, in dark clothing, stumbling along the B4318 between Gumfreston to Tenby.

PC Morgans and PC Knight attended and, concerned for his safety, gave him a lift home.

Although intoxicated, James was compliant. However, when they arrived at his home address, James became aggressive and abusive towards the two female officers.

Despite the efforts of the officers to calm the situation, James’s behaviour escalated to violence, with him punching the officers who had driven him the 12 miles home to safety.

The attack has had a profound effect on his victims.

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Both were physically injured, with PC Morgans suffering a black eye and swelling to her head, which has left her with scarring. PC Knight also suffered swelling to her face.

However, the psychological impact on both officers, is something they say will take time to recover from.

In a victim impact statement, PC Knight, said: “I am in the early stages of my career and I have never had to worry about my safety and definitely didn’t think I would have had to think twice about it when in my uniform. 

“I trusted that by giving James a lift home that night that he would just be thankful and leave.

“Even when he was threating to assault me and my colleague, I still did not think he would carry such a violent and unprovoked attack.

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“He does not understand or realise the impact the whole situation has had on me in my personal and work life.

“After this is over, he will move on easily but unfortunately for me it will take time.  

“I am still a human underneath this uniform, I still have feelings, emotions and a family to go home to.”

PC Morgans said she replays the incident over in her head, still wondering who and why it went so wrong.

She added: “Nothing has changed, my face still has the injury, my mind still replays the incident. 

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“It isn’t just the effects of the night. It is the physical and emotional impact that it has had for all these days, weeks and months. 

“It’s the getting up on rest days to phone the doctors and wait for the return call.  Visits to the surgery, the hospital, appointments with opticians.  My days off have been consumed with it. 

“Then there is everyone asking me what happened and why.  I still can’t answer that one.”

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After a rise in such assaults, Dyfed-Powys Police has linked with Wales’ emergency services to launch the year-long ‘Work With Us, Not Against Us’ campaign.

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It came after more than 4,240 assaults were committed against emergency workers, including police, fire and ambulance crews, in the period April 2019 – November 2020, representing a monthly average increase from 202 in 2019 to 222 in 2020, or 10%.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police, Emma Ackland, said: “Assaults on police officers continues to increase and this is completely unacceptable. No officer should expect to come under any sort of attack when doing their best to serve the public and potentially save lives. It is vitally important that sentences given reflect the harm and upset caused to these victims – professionals doing their work.”

James was sentenced at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on 1 September, when he was also

ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work and was given a four-month 8pm to 8am curfew.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of £625 to PC Morgans and £500 to PC Knight, as well as £85 costs.

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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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