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Blaenporth: German motorist admits causing death by dangerous driving

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The Blaenporth Straight on the A478

The Blaenporth Straight on the A478

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.

Tragic road accident: Nicola Owen

Tragic road accident: Nicola Owen

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.

Nicola Owen and John Charles Owen married in 2007

Nicola Owen and John Charles Owen married in 2007

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.”

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Lecture considers the future of war

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INTERNATIONALLY renowned war scholar and military conflict expert, Professor Christopher Coker delivered this year’s Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture on Thursday (Nov 16).

Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is a prolific author on all aspects of war. He is a former NATO Fellow, a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, US, Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo.

In his lecture entitled ‘Still ‘The Human Thing’? Thucydides, Waltz & the Future of War”, Professor Coker discussed war as a feature of what we call ‘human nature’ or ‘humanity’ in general, while focusing on urgent contemporary issues such as possible changes in the nature of war by the blurring of the distinction between humans and machines.

He also considered how, as Artificial Intelligence becomes ever more a fact of life, the traditional functions and forms of war could change, discussing such questions as: will we still need war and will war still need us?

Talking ahead of the the event, Professor Ken Booth of Aberystwyth University said: “Chris Coker is a very imaginative, interesting, and controversial thinker. Intellectually ambitious, he always addresses the biggest questions. The titles of some of his most recent books attest to this: Future War, Can War be Eliminated?, Warrior Geeks: how 21st Century Technology is Changing the Way We Fight and Think about War, The Improbable War: China, the US, and the Logic of Great Power Conflict and Men at War: what Fiction tells us about Conflict. We can be sure of a fascinating and challenging lecture about a supremely important area of human behaviour.”

The Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture brings distinguished scholars to Aberystwyth to talk about issues that were central to the concerns of the late Ken Waltz, the leading theorist of international relations over many decades.
Hosted by the David Davies Memorial Institute and the Department of International Politics, this year’s lecture was held in the Main Hall in the International Politics Building on the Penglais Campus.

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Youth Service invited to international training event

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TWO Youth Workers from Ceredigion Youth Service have been selected to represent the UK on a week’s training opportunity in Horažd’ovice in the Czech Republic.

‘The danger of a Single Story’ is a training course funded by Erasmus+, that combines stories, media, global education and active citizenship to empower trainers, educators and youth workers with the tools to educate young people on issues such as cyberbullying, hate speech, and online harassment.

Elen James, Head of Youth Engagement and Continuing Education​,​ said​:​ “We are extremely proud of both Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton, 270 people had applied, for 24 places, 2 were allocated for the UK and both places have been assigned to Ceredigion Youth Service staff.

“This is an excellent training opportunity for them, which will inform them and encourage them to reflect on the evolution of media and the consequences that it has on the formation of stereotypes and prejudices. We wish them all the best in Prague!​”​

Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton will join 22 other Youth Workers from Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. The week will be hosted at the PROUD Environmental Centre approximately 120km from Prague, from ​Sunday (Nov 19) for a week.

Rebeca Davies, School Based Youth Worker said​:​ “I’m really looking forward to visiting Prague, and meeting other Youth Workers from across the World. It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn new tools and techniques to encourage and empower young people back here in Ceredigion.”

Guto Crompton, School Based Youth Worker ​added​:​ “I’m looking forward to learning more about different Youth Work methods and approaches. I’m also eager to develop a greater awareness around education, active citizenship and democracy.”

Cabinet member for Learning Services, Children and Young People’s Partnership, Councillor Catrin Miles, ​commented: “As a Council, we are very proud of the hard work of our Youth Service to the young people of the county. This will be a very important and worthwhile opportunity for Rebeca and Guto to represent Ceredigion and Wales and we wish them all the best at the event.”

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Pot Noodles bought with theft proceeds

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ON WEDNESDAY (Nov 15), Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court heard that a 23-year-old man stole an HDMI cable from a store and sold it for a tenner to buy ten Pot Noodles.

Joel Alexander Owens, of Portland Street in Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to stealing alcohol to the value of £24.96 belonging to his hometown’s B&M Bargains on June 29. He also admitted stealing an HDMI cable to the value of £14 belonging to Tesco in Aberystwyth on September 24.

Prosecuting, Helen Tench said a staff member at B&M was notified by a member of the public about a male who left the store without paying for items.

CCTV footage was checked, which showed Owens select a number of alcoholic items and leaving the store without making any payments.

Police officers later viewed the footage and identified the defendant.

On October 14, a member of staff at Tesco was informed of the incident at B&M. The Tesco CCTV footage was viewed as a result and the defendant was seen removing an HDMI cable from its box on September 24 and leaving without paying.

Ms Tench said Owens was interviewed on October 19, where he admitted committing the offences in his personal statement.

The defendant also admitted he sold the HDMI cable for £10 in order to buy ten Pot Noodles.

Defending, Katy Hanson said Owens pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and admitted to stealing beer and cider from B&M.

Probation officer Julian Davies stated that the defendant was currently serving a 12-month community order for two previous offences of theft and a breach of a conditional discharge.

Aberystwyth magistrates revoked Owens community order and imposed a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a four-week curfew.

Owens was told to pay prosecution costs of £85, compensation of £14 to Tesco and compensation of £24.96 to B&M Bargains.

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