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Ammanford

Drink-driver jailed for causing death of colleague by dangerous driving

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A drink-driver who caused the death of a colleague when he crashed his car following a Christmas party has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Meirion Emerson Roberts aged 26, of Heol Las, Ammanford, has today been sentenced at Swansea Crown Court, following his conviction on 24 February for causing the death of Lewis Morgan, aged 20, by dangerous driving.

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Both Roberts and Lewis had attended their work’s Christmas party during the afternoon of Friday, 4th December 2020, and had left the Cottage Inn, near Llandeilo at around 6pm.

Lewis had arranged a lift home with his brother, while Roberts decided to drive his Vauxhall Corsa after consuming at least five or six pints of cider.

He later drove to Lewis’s home in Carmarthen, where he consumed more alcohol before going for a drive with Lewis in the passenger seat.

Snapchat footage shown to the court during the trial showed Roberts speeding throughout the journey, reaching speeds of 100mph whilst drinking alcohol at the wheel on the A48 between Carmarthen and Cross Hands.

While driving through the village of Blaenau, towards Ammanford, Roberts lost control of his car and collided with a lamppost, completely severing it at the base, before going on to collide with a garden wall, completely destroying it.

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Tragically, Lewis sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene.

Roberts had argued during his trial that his driving had only amounted to careless driving, however, the jury returned an unanimous guilty verdict and convicted him of causing death by dangerous driving.

Roberts, who was also injured in the collision, provided a specimen of blood at around 2.15am the next day, more than five hours after the crash, which gave a reading of 54 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood, with the legal limit being 80.

However, Dr Rhys Williams, an expert in alcohol analysis, told the trial Roberts would have been over the limit at the time of the crash, with a reading no lower than 101 milligrammes.

Sentencing Roberts, His Honour Judge Christopher Vosper QC told him that despite having consumed alcohol he did not attempt to moderate his driving, instead choosing to drive at excess speed, which ultimately caused him to lose control of his vehicle, resulting in the death of his work colleague Lewis Morgan.

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Lewis’s family, in their victim impact statement, said: “Not only have we gone through the trauma of losing Lewis but the ordeal of a full trial has been heart-breaking.

“Our suffering has been extended, prolonged.

“This has been incredibly difficult.”

His sister described Lewis as “the brightest, the most beautiful of us all and he never left the house without the biggest smile on his face”.

HHJ Vosper QC sentenced Roberts to seven and a half years imprisonment and disqualified him from driving for 6 years and 9 months, with the requirement to pass an extended test before he has his licence returned.

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Sgt Sara John, from Dyfed Powys Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “As always, our thoughts are with Lewis’s family at this difficult time.

“No sentence passed by the court could adequately reflect the grief inflicted on them by Meirion Roberts.

“His arrogant decision to drive his vehicle whilst drunk has taken Lewis away from them forever, something that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

“Drink-driving is never acceptable and is something that we see time and time again destroying lives.

“This case has sadly proved that getting behind the wheel of your car whilst drunk has devastating consequences.”

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(Lead image: Dyfed Powys Police)

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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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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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Ammanford

Plans to close GP surgery in Tycroes revealed

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Margaret Street Practice has applied to Hywel Dda Health board to close its branch surgery in Tycroes.

The surgery in Tycroes has been closed since February 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the building served as a ‘red site’ for the Amman Gwendraeth GP cluster.

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Prior to the pandemic, the branch was used mainly for blood tests at the phlebotomy clinic.

Since its temporary closure, patients of Tycroes have used Margaret Street Practice, around two miles away in Ammanford.

There is a regular bus route between the two Surgeries.

In a statement, the health board said: “Margaret Street Practice, Hywel Dda University Health Board and the Community Health Council are working together to engage with patients of both surgeries to gain an understanding of how a proposed closure would affect patients.

“A period of engagement commences on Monday 9 May and runs until Friday 24 June.

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“Should Tycroes close, the potential benefits for patients include more available appointments for all patients at the Margaret Street Practice, as staff would not be covering two sites, and earlier and later appointments could be offered from Margaret Street.

“Patients would still be able to use the Tycroes Pharmacy and the Practice would continue to send all requested prescriptions to the pharmacy.”

Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care, Community and Long Term Care for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “We are committed to listening to and engaging with local populations around the proposal to relocate Primary Care services from Tycroes Surgery to Margaret Street and we would therefore like to invite patients to get involved in the engagement process.

“We are committed to working closely with the Practice and the Community Health Council throughout this process and will keep patients informed of the results of this engagement exercise.”

Vice Chair of Hywel Dda Community Health Council, Dr Barbara Wilson said: “GP services are so important to the communities they serve. When the health board comes to make its decision about the future of Tycroes branch surgery, it’s crucial that the public have their say.

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“Whether people support this proposal or oppose it, the CHC will be ensuring that those views are heard and understood by the health board.”

The consultation is available online, on paper forms at Margaret Street Surgery, by calling 0300 303 8322, option 4, by emailing Hyweldda.Engagement@wales.nhs.uk or by writing to Tracey Huggins, Head of GMS Services, Primary Care Team, Felinfoel Community Resource Centre, Felinfoel, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA14 8BE

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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