A GERMAN motorist who pulled out into the path of a Blaenporth woman, killing her and her dog, has today received a suspended prison sentence.
Haki Celik, aged 37, admitted causing the death of Nicola Owen by driving without due care and attention.
Mrs Owen, 42, of Bowls Road, Blaenporth, near Cardigan, had been returning from Aberporth beach on February 19, 2015, after walking her collie pup Floss.
Her Peugeot car collided with Celik’s Skoda Yeti as he pulled out of a side road on the A487 between Blaenporth and Tanygroes.
Celik later told police he had been disturbed by a car behind him and had not paid sufficient attention to traffic using the main road. He said he did not see Mrs Owen’s car until it was only five metres away.
Swansea Crown Court heard today that Mrs Owen, who worked in catering but had once worked at Cardigan post office, was trapped in the wreckage for three hours before she could be cut free.
During that time her husband, John Charles Owen, was able to make it to the scene and to speak to his wife, who was still conscious although badly injured.
She was taken to hospital suffering from chest and other injuries and was put into an induced coma. But she died two weeks later from multiple organ failure.
Her pet dog Floss also died from injuries sustained in the accident.
Georgina Buckley, prosecuting, said witnesses saw Celik’s car “slowly” move out from a junction into the path of Mrs Owen’s oncoming car.
Celik had been working at a local farm at the time.
He was sentenced to three years in jail sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Celik was also banned from driving for 12 months.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Owen said, “I’ve been devastated at the loss of Nicola, I miss her terribly and coming home every evening to an empty house is very difficult.
“The accident happened around one and a half miles from our home and I go past the scene every day and every time I’m reminded of what happened.
“She was only forty two and had so much ahead of her. Her death was unnecessary and should not have happened. Questions about it are always on my mind and I often stop at the spot trying to make sense of what happened. My life has been completely turned around.”
Judge Paul Thomas said what happened was not a momentary lapse as Mrs Owen’s car had been visible for many seconds before the collision.
But, he said, Celik appeared genuinely remorseful. “I have seen many of these type of cases and it’s an understandable human emotion to think of oneself and the ramifications for yourself after an accident but the defendant’s approach has been remarkably different.
“He has expressed his remorse and condolences and the first thing he said to police was to say how sorry he was for the predicament of the other driver.
“From his family background and good references, it seems he will carry the guilt of this incident for many years to come.”
He added, “What happened on that February day in Cardigan was an utter tragedy, the loss of a valued life, her husband, family and friends being left bereft by the cutting short of a well loved and much valued lady.”
Police call for vigilance to report illegal raves
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.
Wheelchair-bound man jailed for child sex offences
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.
Royals set to visit Ceredigion during summer visit
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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