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Notorious Dublin drug gang member Peter ‘Fatso’ Mitchell jailed for 10 years after Swansea cocaine arrest

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A notorious member of a Dublin drug gang is facing 10 years in jail after being caught by South Wales Police with three kilos of cocaine wrapped in nappies in the back of the car he was driving in the Morriston area of Swansea.

Peter ‘Fatso’ Mitchell was once part of notorious drug baron John Gilligan’s gang who fled Ireland to Spain following the murder of crime reporter Veronica Guerin in 1996.

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Mitchell was one of four men arrested as part of the South Wales Police operation who have been sentenced to a total of 34 years and 10 months for conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Peter Mitchell, aged 51, from Bradford was sentenced to 10 years. James Gallagher, aged 36, from Fforestfach, Swansea, was sentenced to 10 years. Nathan Webber, aged 28, from Ynystawe, Swansea was sentenced to 10 years. Terrence Mills, aged 60, from Garston in Liverpool was sentenced to four years and 10 months.

South Wales Police say that on 7 July 2020 Mitchell was stopped whilst driving from Bradford to South Wales. Located on the rear seats of the car, in a package of nappies, was 3 kilos of Cocaine, with a wholesale value of between £109,500 to £133,500.

The drugs found by police wrapped in nappies (Image: South Wales Police)

The investigation linked Mitchell to 3 events in May 2020 where approximately 7 kilos of Cocaine were supplied to James Gallagher and in return at least £254,000 was handed to Mitchell.

When arrested Gallagher’s home address was searched and in his attic a suitcase was located which contained £100,590. Police say that Gallagher was working in partnership with Nathan Webber.

The investigation identified that Webber would source cocaine from a supplier in Liverpool and that he and Gallagher would try and get the best price from their independent suppliers and share the saving for their respective drug dealing operations.

On 8th June 2020, Terrence Mills was driving a white van in the Morriston area of Swansea. Mills was seen in an exchange with Webber in which Webber placed a black Hype rucksack into the van.

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A short time later this vehicle was stopped and located inside was the black Hype rucksack which contained £152,505.

The investigation linked Webber and Mills to a further 4 events between 31st March and 11th May 2020, where approximately 6 kilos of Cocaine and at least £277,000 were exchanged.

Each time Webber was the recipient of the cocaine and Mills was acting as courier.

When arrested Webber’s home address was searched and located in various amounts was a total of £25,365.

South Wales Police Detective Inspector Russ Jenkins said: “‘Organised Crime Groups over a number of years have utilised encrypted devices to enable their offending. They have been brazen and believed the use of such devices ensured they were beyond the reach of the law.

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“Our investigators have worked tirelessly, and continue to utilise all opportunities available, to investigate these offences and successfully prosecute those involved.

“The Organised Crime Groups have a significant impact upon our communities and the continued success of these operations provides reassurance and confidence to the communities of South Wales”.

(Lead image: South Wales Police)

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Art

Hospital’s key workers put in the picture by grateful pupils

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If a picture is worth a thousand words then they are all thank yous when it comes to this painting gifted to the staff of Morriston Hospital.

The stunning artwork was created by talented Bishop Vaughan Catholic School sixth former Emily Paradice-Ruan in a bid to thank key workers for the role they played during the heights of the pandemic.

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Bishop Vaughan Catholic School sixth-former Emily Paradice-Ruan (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

The thoughtful gesture is particularly relevant as the Morriston-based school operated as a childcare facility for key workers during lockdowns with many of those who passed through its gates having parents who worked in the hospital.

Emily, who has depicted the various roles carried out by NHS staff in her painting, enlisted the help of dozens of primary school pupils by getting them to leave their fingerprints in a large rainbow which makes up the background.

Emma Pole, head teacher at Bishop Vaughan, said: “We have very close links to the hospital due to the fact a number of our children have parents working there. We knew what they were going through and we wanted to present it and to say thank you.

“It’s intended to reflect the many roles which the health care sector were fulfilling during the pandemic and the fact that they were putting their lives on the line for us every day. They were certainly experiencing tougher and bleaker times than any of us could ever have imagined.”

Mrs Pole explained that the artist, who was very keen for the hospital to have the painting, had ensured as many pupils as possible had a hand in the work.

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“As a school we were closed during lockdown but open as an emergency childcare setting, welcoming the children of those key workers each day.

“Those children contributed to the picture. The painting was something that Emily did in her own time and she came into school to do it in that childcare phase, with the children.

“Emily carefully formulated it so she painted key workers and those in different careers in the foreground with a rainbow in the back, as the symbol of the pandemic, and within it are the fingerprints of the key workers’ children.”

The painting was presented to the hospital by the school’s head girl and boy, Lauren Powell and Lloyd Thomas, as Emily is away at university.

Lloyd, as aged 17, said: “It’s quite special given everything that’s happened over the last couple of years. We are tremendously thankful for our key workers here at Morriston Hospital.

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“This repays only a fraction of our gratitude for all the work they do here, we’d like to do a lot more. We just hope that this picture is a nice symbol of saying thank you.”

Carol Doggett (left), Interim Director of Nursing at Morriston Hospital accepts the painting from staff and pupils of Bishop Vaughan School outside Morriston Hospital. (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

While 16-year-old Lauren added: “We just wanted to thank everyone for the incredible effort made by the Morriston team during the pandemic.

“I’m really grateful that we could show how thankful we are for all the key workers who risked their families and themselves during the pandemic. They are all just so amazing.

“I’m really glad I was able to see their reaction to the painting. I’m glad they liked it.

“I think it’s really special that the key workers’ children have their fingerprints in there because it shows how everyone was affected, and how we can all group together in times of need.”

The painting will be hung in the hospital’s main corridor, alongside a plaque noting the artist and school, so it is visible to all visitors.

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Carol Doggett, Interim Director of Nursing at Morriston Hospital, said: “It’s an honour to accept this artwork on behalf of all the staff here.

“It truly recognises the journey we have been on over the last two years. I think it will go a long way towards helping us look at that and reflect on that journey, and consider how we move forward.

“The children have really captured the emotional response from the public during the times that we have had the waves of Covid that we have experienced and managed.

“Removing the wrapping off the package was very emotional. We didn’t know what to expect and were so pleasantly surprised.”

Lead image: Bishop Vaughan pupils Lloyd Thomas and Lauren Powell with the painting donated to Morriston Hospital. (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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Morriston

Port Talbot man named as victim in fatal Cwmrhydyceirw motorcycle crash

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The rider of a motorcycle who died in a road traffic collision close to Morriston Hospital in Cwmrhydyceirw has been named as Syed Asim Ali Shah, 26, from Port Talbot.

The accident took place at around 7.25pm on Tuesday 3 May and involving a white Kawasaki ZX900 and a black Audi A3.

Mr Shah, who was known to family and friends as “Asim” died at the scene of the accident when he was riding his motorcycle.

His friends and family paid tribute to him, describing him as a “truly unique character” and a “gentle giant” who was strong willed and determined.

“He was always happy and cheerful regardless of any situation” his family said in a tribute released by South Wales Police.

“He was an infectious individual, and you’d never forget him after meeting him.

“Asim was the kindest most loving individual anyone would meet, he was caring, funny and the life of the party. He would have a way with people to always make them laugh and smile.

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“He leaves behind his darling partner Ocean and their one-year-old daughter Iyla. Asim loved both so dearly.

“He leaves behind his loving parents Nigar and Qadim Shah and his auntie, Parveen. His amazing brothers Munawar, Afaq, Aamir and Azan, his sister-in-law Fareah and lifelong friend Kawsar Hussain.

“He will be sorely missed by not only his family but his huge loving friendship group and the whole community of Port Talbot Mosque. He will be truly missed, and we pray for strength to get through this horrific time.”

South Wales Police is continuing to appeal appeal for witnesses to the Heol Maes Eglwys collision.

The road was closed for several hours whilst investigation work was carried out.

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Officers want to speak to any witnesses to the collision, anyone who may have dash camera footage of the incident or who witnessed the manner of driving of any of the vehicles prior to the collision.

(Lead image: Family photo / South Wales Police)

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Morriston

Motorcyclist dies in Morriston crash

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South Wales Police are appealing for witnesses after a fatal road traffic accident in Cwmrhydyceirw yesterday evening (Tuesday 3 May).

The incident involving a white Kawasaki ZX900 and a black Audi A3 took place at around 7.25pm on Heol Maes Eglwys close to Morriston Hospital.

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A spokesperson for South Wales Police said: “Despite the best efforts of attending emergency services the 26 year old male rider of the motorcycle died at scene.

“The road was closed for a number of hours whilst investigation work was carried out.

“We would like to speak with any witnesses to the collision, any person who may have dash camera footage of the incident or anyone who witnessed the manner of driving of any of the vehicles prior to the collision.

“Please could witnesses contact the Roads Policing unit on 101 quoting occurrence 2200146630.”

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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