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Killer driver gets two years

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Roger Bevan: Victim of ‘dangerous and immature’ driver

Roger Bevan: Victim of ‘dangerous and immature’ driver

A LAMPETER man has been sentenced to two years imprisonment for his role in a fatal road traffic collision that left a union official dead.

Having initially pleaded not guilty to causing the death of UNISON organiser Roger Bevan, Jack Leon Isaac Weston, of Tir Bach, Cilcennin later changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced for the crime on Monday (Oct 10) by Judge Phillip Harries-Jenkins at Swansea Crown Court.

The court heard how Weston lost control of his Honda Civic Type R motor vehicle on the B4337 between Cross Inn and Lampeter after pulling out to overtake two slow moving vehicles on a bend.

Prosecution barrister Ian Wright told the court that the foolhardy manoeuvre forced another vehicle approaching in the opposite direction to brake. However, when Weston tried to cut back in, he lost control and ploughed into Mr Bevan’s VW.

Mr Bevan was trapped in his vehicle and died at the scene.

VICTIM’S FATHER HITS OUT

In a statement made following the sentencing of Jack Weston, the victim’s father, 81-year-old Ken Bevan, said: “I would like to thank all the witnesses that came forward and the thoroughness of the Dyfed- Powys Police investigation.

“I’m also grateful for the support of the Crown Prosecution Service. Undoubtedly, it was their professional actions that led to Jack Weston changing his plea to ‘guilty’, allowing this case to be concluded without the need for a full trial.

“No sentence will bring Roger back. But I don’t see how a two year prison sentence can be seen either as an adequate punishment or a deterrent that will stop others from driving their cars in such a completely selfish, reckless and dangerous manner, like Jack Weston did when he caused the death of my son last year.

“I have lost the closest and dearest person to me but found some comfort in the comradeship and love of Roger’s friends and colleagues, and in our work for the Roger Bevan Memorial Fund.”

Roger Bevan was a UNISON Area Organiser based in Swansea and long-time activist with NUPE and then UNISON, before becoming an Area Organiser in June 2008.

UNION ORGANISER ‘WAS PASSIONATE ACTIVIST’

The 50-year-old organised and represented public sector workers in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. He dealt with UNISON members in local government, health and further and higher education.

He is particularly remembered as the face of UNISON for student nurses as he was responsible for recruiting, into UNISON, hundreds of students training for this key health service profession.

As well as being a talented trade union activist, Roger was a passionate political activist with a particular interest in international solidarity, in particular with Cuba and, more generally, Latin America.

Dominic MacAskill, UNISON co-worker and a close friend of Roger Bevan, commented: “The conclusion of this criminal case allows us to now start to look forward and focus on securing Roger’s positive and inspirational legacy; through the work of his Memorial Fund which Ken and friends established to support the causes that were close to Roger’s heart: socialism; internationalism and anti-racism. Our dear comrade and friend will live on, in

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Aberystwyth: Driver on drugs hits lorry and causes ‘road chaos’

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A DRIVER high on drugs caused 15 miles of chaos as he approached Aberystwyth on the A44.

Brian Pitts hit an oncoming lorry and road signs as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

A car passenger filmed him because she was sure a serious accident was about to happen.

Pitts, aged 57, of Delmont Close, Tipton, west Midlands, admitted dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drugs he had taken.

Dean Pulling, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that on June 16 last year Pitts had been driving his Rover MGZR, towing a trailer full of wooden fencing posts, towards Aberystwyth from his home.

Richard Brooks followed the car through Llangurig and became so concerned he telephoned the police while his wife Victoria filmed Pitts on her mobile.

The Rover collided with a 13 tonne lorry driven by Andrew Paxton but failed to stop.

Pitts failed to take a roundabout and hit road signs and an embankment but still carried on.

During the 15 miles, said Mr Pulling, oncoming traffic had to swerve off the carriageway to avoid a collision.

Several motorists telephoned the police to report what they were witnessing, he added.

Pitts came to a stop in the middle of the road and another motorist snatched the keys out of the ignition–and noticed that Pitts had been driving with a dog on his lap.

Mr Pulling said police officers could tell there was something wrong with Pitts, but an alcohol text showed he was below the limit.

“He was clearly unfit,” said Mr Pulling, although it was still unclear what drugs he had taken.

Pitts was taken to Aberystwyth police station and then to Bronglais hospital, where he appeared to recover after treatment. But he soon deteriorated and had to be taken back to the hospital.

Pitts developed pneumonia and had to be kept in for nine days.

His barrister, Tom Scapens, said when Pitts had been shown the mobile telephone footage he felt physically sick.

Judge T Mervyn Hughes jailed Pitts for 10 months and banned him from driving for four years.

He told him, “If you had not been stopped I am quite sure you would have caused serious injury if not death.”

Pitts was told to pass an extended driving test before getting his licence back.

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Motion to support the reduction of plastic use in Ceredigion approved

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In a Full Council meeting on 22 February 2018, the Council unanimously supported a motion to reduce the use of plastic and to support plastic reduction initiatives in Ceredigion.

The motion was proposed by Councillor Mark Strong and was seconded by Councillor Gethin Davies. The motion calls on Ceredigion County Council to support the various ‘Plastic Free’ campaigns throughout the county by reducing single-use plastics within Council facilities and offices and to promote the use of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics at all Council supported events.

Councillor Mark Strong said, “I’m delighted that the Council unanimously supported the motion. This is an important step for the Council but we must carry on to reduce plastic use. Everyone has a responsibility to reduce the environmental damage caused by plastic. Carrying out small acts such as buying milk from your local milkman supports the local economy but in turn also supports our environment by using reusable glass bottles.”

The motion also calls on the Council to encourage local businesses, organisations, schools and communities to move away from single-use plastics and use sustainable alternatives as well as to support beach cleans and other events which aim to raise awareness of the issues of single-use plastics under the “Plastic Free”, Caru Ceredigion, Tidy Towns or any similar initiative.

The motion was amended in the meeting to include the establishment of a Members’ Task and Finish group to support measures to reduce the Council’s use of plastic and to support initiatives in the county that reduce plastic use.

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Richards-Keegan cleared of sending underage girl nude pictures

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A BOW STREET man has been cleared of charges that he sent an underage girl photographs of his penis.

Paul Robert Morgan Richards-Keegan, aged 21, had denied two allegations of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Richards-Keegan, of Tregerddan, said the only messages he sent her via the internet were in response to approaches from her and did not include photographs of his private parts.

Catherine Richards, prosecuting, had told a jury at Swansea Crown Court that the 14-year-old girl had shared messages with Richards-Keegan via Snapchat.

At one stage police issued to him a child abduction notice, which he signed, instructing him not to contact the girl

In 2016 she told her mother that he was again sending her unwanted photographs of his penis attached to messages.

Richards-Keegan was arrested, and told police he had obeyed the order apart from messages he had sent after being contacted by the complainant.

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