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Drug dealer escapes jail ‘by a whisker’

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Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 14.22.58MAGISTRATES told a former part-time scaffolder that ‘drug dealing is a very serious crime‘, and that he was ‘a whisker‘ from going to prison, at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Aug 3).

Jorden Patrick Davis Allen, 18, of London House in Borth, pleaded guilty to three offences of threatening and abusive behaviour on July 5 at Borth, with intent to cause unlawful violence.

He also pleaded guilty to both possessing, with intent to supply, 22.5 g of controlled cannabis and possessing 0.08g of psilocin, a controlled Class A drug, on December 5 , 2015. Due to the psilocin being a small amount, Magistrates withdrew the offence.

Prosecutor Ellie Morgan told the court that the defendant used cannabis for several years as self-medication, but with no intent to sell.

With regards to the drug offences, at 0.30am, officers were on patrol around the Aberystwyth Castle grounds and saw a group of people hanging around. The officers said they could smell a strong scent of cannabis and when they opened up a rucksack, they discovered 13g of herbal cannabis. When the officers asked who it belonged to, Allen admitted that it was his. As a result, his phone was also ceased as they conducted a search.

Ms Morgan added that the herbal cannabis was sent for forensic investigation and officers discovered a further 9.91g in plastic wraps, which was later confirmed that the street value was approximately £91.90 for the for the smaller amount and £133.10 for the larger amount.

Allen’s text messages were also analysed and officers found 52 contacts on his phone, with written confirmation in the text messages that needed no explanation.

PC Rogers, one of the officers who regularly analyses text messages, stated that it the messages suggest that the defendant clearly had built up a trust with his contacts. The messages would involve a reply in the defendant saying if he had any drugs for sale, and that he takes pride in what he sells by charging £10 for 1g and £20 for 2g.

PC Roger’s also added that it is impossible to say how much money the defendant has made to date on the selling of drugs.

With regards to the threatening behaviour offence s on July 5, Allen got into an argument which was provoked by the complainant kicking Allen’s flat door.

She said that an officer and his wife were walking along the High Street in Borth at 1.15pm where they heard a male voice and a female screaming, which was getting louder, and called the police.

A vehicle pulled over on the kerb outside and the defendant was spotted appearing from his property three or four times wearing blue boxer shorts and getting agitated.

While the complainant was trying to calm the defendant down, the officer’s wife heard the female continue to scream at the defendant, saw the complainant try to enter the property with full force and saw the defendant come back out again from the property.

Ms Morgan added that in a statement, the complainant said that he had parked his car at Borth for about 20 minutes while he went to visit his mother when he heard the female scream. As he recognised the voice, he went to the property and the defendant shouted threats at him.

Concerned with the doors being locked, the complainant kicked the door twice and headed up two flights of stairs when he saw the female lying on the ground. The defendant made further threats towards the complainant when he thought it was wise to leave and proceeded to call the police from outside the building.

As he heard the complainant talking to the police on the phone, the defendant raced out of his property with an aerosol in his hand and the female saw him squirt at the complainant while he tried to calm him down. As a third party tried to calm them both down, the defendant sprayed the aerosol at the other person.

The complainant told the police that the defendant was trying to get him to fight and when he told them the defendant had a gun, the defendant dropped his shorts to prove he had no gun and the complainant made his disgust clear.

Ms Morgan added that the there was no physical confrontation, but that it was concerning for the complainant. The complainant only got involved as he thought the female was in danger and that the police found no gun, which the complainant believed to be true at the time.

Defending, Iestyn Davies told the court that the incident was something like a ‘schoolyard fight‘.

With regards to the drug offences, Mr Davies said that there is no way of telling that the 52 contacts are separate people as it is common for people to change their numbers or have two phones. The defendant has previously said that his current medication for his ADHD does not agree with him and that, due to his age, peer pressure and immaturity has played a part in selling drugs. He is also very sorry and upset to be attending court.

Mr Davies added that it is street dealing at the basic level, with Allen admitting that he does not remember what he said when he made the threats but did remember being in the flat. The police searched the property twice with dogs and found no gun or spray.

Probation Officer Julian Davies told the court as part of a character report that Allen was able to fund the cannabis by selling it to others and even though he knew it was illegal, he did not think he would get caught with a little amount.

Even though there was history with the complainant, he knew onlookers would see and feels ashamed of the incident.

Mr Davies added that Allen has eight convictions from nine previous offences, a referral order from 2013, a possession of cannabis offence from 2013 and 2014, and is considered to be a medium risk of harm. Even though he tends to smoke cannabis to help him sleep, Allen has accepted that he cannot use cannabis for this reason for the rest of his life.

Following recommendation, Magistrates imposed a 12 month community order on Allen, which include 24 rehabilitation activity days, 20 thinking skills sessions, and 120 hours of unpaid work.

Allen was also recommended to see his GP regarding better medication and was ordered to pay £205 in court costs.

Magistrates also issued an order for the destruction of the drugs.

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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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Social media used to groom children young as six

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CHILDREN as young as six in Wales have been targeted across an array of online platforms in the first year following the introduction of anti-grooming laws.

A law of Sexual Communication with a Child came into effect in England and Wales on April 3, 2017, after an NSPCC campaign, and in the first year a total of 3,171 crimes were recorded by police forces – amounting to nine grooming offences per day.

A total of 274 offences were recorded across the four Welsh police forces in the same period.

More than half of the offences in Wales were logged by South Wales Police (158) with 53 in North Wales and 44 in the Gwent force area.

Dyfed-Powys Police supplied data for the period between October 2017 and April 2018 when 19 offences were recorded.

In Wales, grooming offences were recorded on 23 different platforms, with Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat comprising the top three most-commonly used with more than 120 taking place using those platforms alone.

Ninety-one crimes were reported in Wales against boys and girls aged between 12 and 15, while 56 offences were recorded against children aged 11 and under. The youngest victim recorded was just six years old.

Following the NSPCC’s #WildWestWeb campaign, the UK Government’s digital secretary Matt Hancock announced that laws will be brought in to regulate social networks, to keep children safe and prevent harms such as grooming.

The charity is now campaigning to ensure those laws are sufficiently robust to prevent grooming and to truly keep children safe.

It is calling on Government Create mandatory safety rules that social networks are legally required to follow; Establish an independent regulator to enforce safety laws and fine non-compliant sites; Require social media sites to publish annual safety reports; Force platforms to develop technology to detect grooming using algorithms.

It comes ahead of the charity’s annual flagship conference How Safe Are Our Children? which begins on Wednesday June 20 in London and has the theme Growing Up Online.

Contact offences such as rape and sexual assault were among those recorded in connection with grooming offences.

Mared Parry, from North Wales, was sent sexual messages from men 10 years older than her on Facebook when she was aged just 14.

Mared, who has waived her right to anonymity, was groomed to send semi-naked pictures to them.

She said: “At the beginning it was messages like ‘Hey, how are you?’ But as the weeks went on, they started sending messages that were more and more sexual. It was so subtle; that’s why it is so easy for an online chat to slip into being so wrong.

“If I didn’t reply or speak the way they wanted me to, then they would say: ‘You’re just too immature for me’. They were so manipulative, but you don’t even notice it.

“Looking back at it now, it’s scary to think that I sent semi-naked pictures to older guys. It could have gone a lot further.”

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: “These numbers are far higher than we had predicted, and every single sexual message from an adult to a child can have a huge impact for years to come.

“Social networks have been self-regulated for a decade and it’s absolutely clear that children have been harmed as a result.

“I urge digital secretary Matt Hancock to follow through on his promise and introduce safety rules backed up in law and enforced by an independent regulator with fining powers.

“Social networks must be forced to design extra protections for children into their platforms, including algorithms to detect grooming to prevent abuse from escalating.”

In Wales, NSPCC Cymru has called for the Welsh Government to co-ordinate and progress efforts to keep children as safe in their online worlds as they are offline.

Last year, Welsh Government announced plans to produce a children and young persons’ online safety action plan.

The NSPCC hopes it will deliver practical help and support for schools, parents and others in Wales involved in child protection online when it is published.

How Safe Are Our Children? takes place at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, in Westminster, London on June 20-21.

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Grant money available to improve play areas in Ceredigion

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CEREDIGION COUNTY COUNCIL has been awarded £100,800 from the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities Development Fund to finance capital works in four play areas across Ceredigion.

On June 19, the Council’s Cabinet authorised the project’s commencement.

The four play areas are Ponterwyd Play Area, Llanon Tennis Courts, Llanddewi Brefi Play Area and Cardigan Skate Park. The money will improve playing and leisure opportunities in these areas.

The full cost of the work is estimated to be £126,000, with the grant contributing 80% of the cost and the town and community councils will provide the remaining 20%.

The Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Catrin Miles, said, “Quality and safe playing opportunities are important to the county’s children as well as for their parents. I’m delighted that the Cabinet could authorise such a project and I’m sure the play areas will be well used after being improved.”

The project may start from July 18, 2018 and must end by April 30, 2019.

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