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Aberystwyth: ‘Money troubles’ caused law student carried out frauds

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Swansea Crown Court

Swansea Crown Court

A FORMER Aberystwyth law student who carried out a series of frauds after getting into debt has today received a suspended prison sentence.

Caroline Murichu, who cheated colleagues working at the university’s Varsity pub and a customer,was told it would be better to keep her out of jail and working so she could repay the stolen money.

Murichu, aged 22, who now lives with her parents in Sussex, admitted six offences of fraud and two of theft.

Ian Ibrahim, prosecuting, told Swansea crown court that she used several different methods to defraud her victims.

She told a friend, Michael Bates, that she had trouble with her bank card and asked if she could transfer £350 into his account and withdraw it in cash.

After he had given Murichu the money he discovered it had come from Quick Quid, a payday loan firm, and that Quick Quid were now taking regular repayments from his account.

Leanne Taylor, aged 23, found that Wonga had transferred £400 into her account. After investigations were made she found that there had been three other attempts to obtain loans in her name.

One of them provided police with an ex-mail address that led to Murichu. After her arrest she was searched and found to have a bank card in the name of Sophie Parr, who had visited the Varsity and paid by card.

Megan Wiggins, who worked at the pub, agreed to go on a holiday organised by Murichu, who promptly overcharged her by £152.

Another bar worker, Ruth Kitchen, discovered that two payments had been made from her account to Holiday Hypermarket just days before Murichu had jetted off to Greece.

Murichu’s barrister, Angela Ricciardi, said she had owed £26,000 in student loans as well as other debts.

Murichu now made £1,300 a month working in an insurance company’s call centre and could repay the stolen money, which totalled £878.

The judge, Mr Recorder Petts, said Murichu had tricked friends and colleagues and had now brought shame on herself and her family.

Murichu, now of 34 Cherry Lane, Crawley, west Sussex, was jailed for 24 weeks, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work for the community.

She was also ordered to complete 10 sessions of a thinking skills course and to repay in full the £878 at the rate of £250 a month.

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Police call for vigilance to report illegal raves

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is asking farmers and local landowners to be on the alert over the next few months for warning signs of any illegal gatherings planned for their land over the summer.

Gatherings – such as illegal raves – can cause considerable anxiety to the community and if they are not dealt with swiftly, they are difficult to stop or otherwise control, due often to the sheer numbers of persons involved and the safety aspects surrounding breaking up such an event.

Superintendent Robyn Mason said: “There is little doubt that these type of events are very well planned, organised and that local knowledge is important in drawing down the main group to a particular ‘vulnerable’ field, or area of land which has been targeted previously as a suitable venue.

“Farmers, landowners and local communities are encouraged to report any suspicious activity immediately to the Police; this may be an unusual numbers of vehicles, especially camper vans, vans or trucks in the locality, illegal trespassers who may be doing ‘recce’ of sites in advance of the event.

“I can assure local communities that Police will take the appropriate action to deter illegal gatherings and deal robustly with any criminal offences discovered or disclosed.”  

Members of the public are also urged to be vigilant of persons who approach landowners or enquiring for land, in the guise of hiring for apparently acceptable activities such as gymkhanas and scouts/guides events.

Please contact Police on 101 with reports on any suspicious activity.

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Wheelchair-bound man jailed for child sex offences

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A CHILD sex offender from Ystrad Meurig has been jailed despite being wheelchair-bound.

Dean Harper, aged 61, had distributed child pornography and tried to entice a 10-year-old girl into sexually abusing herself and sending him photographs.

Harper, of Sisial y Pin, Ffair Rhos, admitted downloading 317 indecent images of children in the most serious category A, 400 in category B and 500 in C.

He also admitted sending images in all three categories to a third party, all on a single day in October, 2016.

Harper also admitted attempting to incite the girl into sexual activity knowing that she was only 10-years-old.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that the distribution of the images alerted the police who raided Harper’s home and removed computer equipment.

An examination of his internet activity revealed he had made contact with a girl via social media and swapped messages with her.

The judge, Mr Recorder Peter Griffiths told Harper his offending was serious and a jail sentence was inevitable despite his disability.

Harper was jailed for a total of two years and ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for 10 years.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order which will restrict his contact with young people and his internet activity after his release from prison.

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Royals set to visit Ceredigion during summer visit

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AS PART of their annual summer visit to Wales, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting Ceredigion next month.

From July 2-6, Charles and Camilla will tour the country, undertaking over 20 engagements across the country.

On July 3, The Prince of Wales will visit Dà Mhìle Distillery, Llandysul, the first organic distillery in the UK approved by the Soil Association, where he was previously gifted the thousandth bottle to be produced by Dà Mhìle.

The Prince of Wales will also visit St. Gwenog’s Church, Llanwenog, and view their unique carvings created by Joseph Reubens, a Belgian World War One refugee. His Royal Highness will also meet members of their local community.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s fourteenth annual Summer visit to Wales will feature celebrations to mark the 70th Anniversary of The National Health Service and the marking the 150th anniversary of the Heart of Wales railway line amongst other events.

A Clarence House spokesperson said: “The Prince and The Duchess are really looking forward to their annual summer visit to Wales where they will be celebrating key anniversaries for the National Health Service, the Heart of Wales railway line and the 90th anniversary of Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisation. Their Royal Highnesses relish the opportunity to meet members of the community who are making a difference to Welsh life.”

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