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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.

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The attack has had a profound effect on his victims.

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.

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“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.

“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.

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

“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.

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.

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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

Llanelli man jailed after assaulting three female officers during arrest

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Three female officers carrying out their duties suffered injuries in an unprovoked attack at the hands of the man they were trying to arrest.

Officers had executed a warrant at the home of John Steven Knight, in Stafford Street, Llanelli, for an unrelated matter. Because the 37-year-old was not home, PC Jaye Blanco-Martin, DC Eleri Owen and colleague who does not want to be named, attended his work in Ammanford.

As officers spoke with Knight he was initially calm and compliant. But then he tried to unlock his phone.

The DC who is not being named said: “In fear that Knight was attempting to delete evidence and frustrate a police investigation I took hold of his left arm to try and seize the phone. 

“Knight’s personality and attitude towards the officers changed instantly.

“He moved his phone to his other hand and immediately started to fight us.  He was pulling away clearly trying to escape.

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“Out of nowhere I felt a sudden push from Knight using his full body weight and as a direct result of this blow and I fell to the ground and hit my head. I immediately felt pain and discomfort to my head and it started throbbing.” 

In the struggle, all three officers ended up on the floor having been shoved and thrown into furniture, walls and a door frame.

Despite Knight’s efforts, the officers were able to arrest him, although they were left with the marks to show they had been in a struggle.

One officer suffered a suspected head injury that required a CT scan, while all three suffered cuts and bruising to various parts of their bodies.

The officer added: “I was incredibly worried for mine and my colleagues’ safety.  Knight was a well built and over 6ft and had the strength to take three officers to the ground with him.”

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Knight appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on September 29, the day after his arrest, on September 28, when he was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Following the terrifying ordeal DC Owen said: “During the whole incident I was afraid not just for my safety but also my colleagues.

“That it was only three females with a male who was around 6ft 2ins resisting and assaulting officers made me feel vulnerable.

“I will never forget this, it will be something that stays with me throughout my career. I did not expect to go to work that day to be assaulted. I was just carrying out my duties.”

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.”

(Lead image: Dyfed Powys Police)

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Carmarthenshire

Parents pay tribute to 6 month old girl killed in Llanelli horror drunk driver crash

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The parents of a six-month-old baby killed in a collision in Llanelli on Friday (8 October) have paid tribute to their “perfect baby girl” who they say was “a gift from God”.

Eva Maria Nichifor died following a collision involving a blue 3 series BMW and a blue Vauxhall Vectra at the Heol Goffa crossroads in Llanelli at around 9pm.

Eva Maria’s parents Florin and Carmen, who originate from Romania, but now live in Llanelli, issued a tribute in English and Romanian.

“We are distraught by our loss. Eva Maria, only six months old, will be missed by us all.

“She was our miracle, our perfect baby girl, a gift from God. She will always be in our hearts.

“We would like to thank everyone for their support at this horrific time. It has meant so much to the whole family.

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“We would now like time to grieve and would ask to be given privacy in which to do so.”

Suntem foarte supărați pentru pierderea noastră. Eva Maria, avea doar 6 luni si cu toții ii vom simți lipsa.

Ea a fost minunea noastră, un copil perfect și un dar dat de Dumnezeu. Va fi in inimile noastre pentru totdeauna.

“Va mulțumim tuturor pentru susținerea voastră in aceste vremuri dificile, înseamnă foarte mult pentru noi.

“Am vrea acum puțin timp sa ne adunam in liniște alături de familia noastră.

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A woman has been charged with causing Eva Maria’s death by dangerous driving.

Lucy Dyer, aged 23, of Heulwen Terrace, Llanelli, was remanded in custody following the court hearing at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Monday (11 October). 

She is due appear before Swansea Crown Court on Friday, 12 November.  She was also charged with drink-driving.

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Carmarthenshire

Body found in search for missing man at a Carmarthenshire forest

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A body has been found in the search for a missing man at forestry in the Llandovery area

Dyfed Powys Police issued an appeal after a man, named only by police as Geraint, was reported missing on Sunday (10 October).

Geraint’s car was discovered at Rhandirmwyn Forestry near Llandovery.

A search of the area took place on Sunday, and resumed again on Monday (11 October).

Tragically, police later issued a statement confirming that a body had been found.

Dyfed Powys Police confirmed that the man’s family have been informed.

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(Lead image: Dyfed Powys Police)

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