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Dyfed Powys Police

Families pay tribute to three paddleboarders who died in River Cleddau incident

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The families of the three people who died following an incident on the River Cleddau in Haverfordwest on Saturday have paid tribute to their loved ones.

Dyfed Powys Police have named the three people who died in the paddleboarding incident as Morgan Rogers, 24, from Cefin Coed, Merthyr Tydfil; Nicola Wheatley, 40, from Pontardulais, Swansea and Paul O’Dwyer, 42, from Sandfields, Port Talbot.

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The family of Morgan Rogers said:“Morgan was a beautiful, kind and loving soul, beloved by all who have been touched by her warm smile and her caring personality.

“Morgan was never happier than when she was in the outdoors doing what she loved and spending time with her family. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends and all those she has known along the way. Morgan will always be in our hearts and our memories. We will miss her dearly.”

Morgan was the best that she could be. She will be sadly missed by her mother, father, Rhys, Harry, Holly and Katy”.

Nicola Wheatley’s family said: “We are devastated by our loss. Nicola was a loving mother, daughter, daughter-in-law and wife.   

“Nicola was a beautiful, caring, considerate and funny person. She was amazing in every way.

“She has left a void in our lives that will never be filled.  

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

Nicola’s colleagues said: “Nikki began her employment with Cardiff And Vale UHB in July 2006 as a Specialist in Poisons Information with the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS), Cardiff, having begun her toxicology career with Guys and St Thomas’s, London.  

“A highly experienced member of the 24/7 telephone enquiry team, Nikki provided advice to healthcare professionals managing poisoned patients. She will be remembered for her calm, friendly and totally professional manner – even when faced with the most difficult of cases.  

“Nikki was an enthusiastic, dedicated and an incredibly capable colleague. She was our ‘go to’ person for organising projects and campaigns. Recently, she successfully oversaw a complex and challenging project developing safety sheets for our pharmacy colleagues at the St Mary’s unit. Nikki is also remembered as a gifted and dedicated scientist, who made significant contributions to the field of toxicology and presented her work at an international level.  

“Through her lovely personality, Nikki made many friends during her time in public service and will be sorely missed by her friends and colleagues at the NPIS. Nikki leaves her young family, husband and extended family. Our thoughts are with them at this terrible time.”

The family of Paul O’Dwyer said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Paul O’Dwyer aged 42, who gave his life to save others. 

“He was a devoted husband, father, son and brother. He devoted his life to contributing to society in his many adventures in raising money for different causes.

“Paul was a water baby. His passion for the water started with Aberavon lifeguards from an early age.

“His sporting prowess extended to many different sports. He was an army surfing champion, British Army 7 aside rugby team member, Aberavon Green stars rugby player, ski instructor and completed multiple times in British and Welsh 3 peak events.

“His tick list also included the London Marathon, running a 100 mile race, numerous triathlons including Ironman Wales and recently Stand Up Paddle boarding 100 miles in 21 hours to raise money for heart screening in Port Talbot. Paul also helped to set up a charity Sa1ute to support veterans.

“We as a family are truly thankful for the kind messages sent to us in our time of great sadness.”

A woman remains in a critical condition in hospital.

A further five people were rescued without injury.

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Police are continuing with their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

(All images: Dyfed Powys Police)

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Carmarthenshire

Driver jailed for head-on crash that caused life-changing injuries

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A driver who caused a head-on collision with a car being driven by a pregnant woman told police officers at the scene he had drunk 13 cans of strong lager the night before.

Rhodri Rees, aged 36, of Llandysul, admitted his drinking had gone into the early hours before he got behind the wheel and caused the crash on the A476 in Llannon, near Llanelli, by overtaking another car on a bend at around 7.40am on December 11, 2020.

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The severe impact meant both drivers were trapped in their cars and had to be cut free by firefighters.

Thankfully the baby was unharmed in the collision, however, its mother suffered serious, life-changing injuries. She had a number of operations to repair the damage and was unable to walk for a year and still suffers the effects of the accident today.

Dyfed-Powys Police Sgt Nicholas Brookes said: “When Rees was spoken to by our officers at the scene he told them he had drunk 13 cans of Stella Artois and that he had gone to bed after midnight.

“He failed a breath test at the scene and was arrested on suspicion of drink driving before being allowed to go to hospital for treatment.”

The following day he was interviewed at Carmarthen Police Station where he told officers he had consumed eight or nine cans of Foster’s before going to bed around 2am, before getting up at around 6.45am and setting off.

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A sample of blood was taken just before 1pm on December 11 showed Rees had 39mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood – the legal limit being 80. A blood alcohol expert had calculated that at the time of the collision the level of alcohol would have been no less than 113mg and more likely 129mg.

PS Brookes added: “This was a serious case that could have been so much worse.

“Rees admitted drinking a considerable amount of alcohol and getting little sleep before getting behind the wheel. He was lucky no-one was killed.

“I would like to commend the officer in the case, PC Benjamin Stevenson, who conducted a thorough and meticulous investigation for the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.”

On Tuesday, 17th May, Rees appeared before Swansea Crown Court, having pleaded guilty at a previous hearing, and was sentenced to 18-months in prison.

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He was also disqualified from driving for three years and 9 months, with a requirement for an extended test to regain his license.

(Lead image: Geograph)

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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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