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Judgement reserved on Herald ​editor

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Barrister Matthew Paul: Pictured with Herald editor Thomas Sinclair​

THE EDITOR of The Ceredigion Herald appeared in court today (Apr 20) charged with breaching a statutory reporting restriction.

Thomas Hutton Sinclair, the 37-year-old editor of the Herald titles, was on trial for allegedly identifying the complainant in a sexual offence case.

Appearing in Llanelli Magistrates’ Court, Mr Sinclair maintained his not guilty plea.

Prosecuting, Emma Myles told the court that the allegation related to an article published in the Ceredigion Herald in 2016.

“The court will be aware that under the provision of the 1992 sexual offences act the complainant has a right to anonymity,” Ms Myles said.

“It is the Crown’s submission that this falls foul of the wording of this act.”

All written statements were accepted by the defence, and the case hinged on whether the article in question breached the Act in question or not.

The court heard from the record of a police interview with Herald deputy editor Jon Coles, in which he stated that he had received the court report in question from a Herald court reporter, and changed the tense from present to past, as well as fixing some errors.

Describing M​r​ Sinclair as ‘a hands-on editor’, he added that Mr Sinclair had the final word over what was published. Mr Coles stated that in this instance he had not been instructed to check whether the content complied with the law, though on some occasions he carried out this task when asked.

In an informal interview last year, Mr Sinclair told police that he had held the role of editor since 2013, although his training was in law not journalism.

He added that as a total of around 1,200 articles were published over the four titles each week, it was ‘impossible’ to edit all of them, and some of this work was referred to the deputy editor. In this case he had not seen the article until it was brought to his attention by the police.

When asked his opinion on whether the article breached reporting restrictions, Mr Sinclair replied that it ‘sailed close to the wind’ but would not allow members of the public in general to identify the complainant.

He pointed out that the defendant in the original case had ‘a common surname’ and that The Herald had not reproduced his address.

When asked if he would have changed anything had he edited the article himself, Mr Sinclair suggested that he may have taken out details of the defendant’s occupation.

However, he maintained that ‘any member of the general public would not be able to piece together who the complainant is’.

He also noted that the reporter who wrote the article had just been coming to the end of a probationary period at the time, and that his staff had already been booked onto a media law course.

Summing up, Ms Myles said that it was the Crown’s submission that by publishing this article, Mr Sinclair had breached legislation specifically aimed at that type of case.

“I respectfully submit that the legislation must be stringently applied,” she added, stating that details of the relationship between the complainant and the defendant in the original case which were published breached the legislation.

Representing Mr Sinclair, Matthew Paul set out the information revealed in the article – the name, age and former occupation of the convicted party, along with the date of conviction and a familial relationship which had existed at some point between him and the complainant. However, he noted that the date of the offence and the defendant’s address had not been included, and no indication had been given as to the age of the complainant.

His argument was that in this case there was nothing in the article which would allow any member of the public not closely connected with the convicted party or the complainant to make any identification.

Mr Paul stressed that for a conviction, it had to be demonstrated that there was a real, rather than a hypothetical risk of identification.

Referring to the case of the Attorney General vs Greater Manchester Newspaper Group he noted that it had been found that the risk of identification was not based on relative statistical probability but ‘a real risk’.

“The Crown has to establish more than a hypothetical, but a material risk,” he added.

Mr Paul noted that the Crown appeared to be of the position that placing the complainant in a ‘pool of potential victims’ was the same as identifying them.

“Identifying, in my submission, must mean only one thing; it must lead to one person.”

Mr Paul added that the familial relationship mentioned could apply to more than one person, and that there was nothing in the report which suggested whether it was an historical or recent offence.

He suggested that the most the article could lead to, if read by someone familiar with the convicted party and/ or complainant, would be to place them in a ‘small pool’ of potential people.

He also noted that this small risk of identification was made even smaller by the Ceredigion Herald’s circulation figures at this time, which amounted to a relatively small percentage of the county buying a copy, and the fact that the story was not placed online.

“Right from the start you are dealing with a low-level risk, made even smaller by the fact that the date of the offence was not mentioned,” he added.

“Overall, you are looking at whether this report would lead members of the public to identify the complainant – it is my submission that it would not.”

District Judge David Parsons reserved judgement until May 12 at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court.

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CERED wins Careers Wales Valued Partners Award

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CERED staff were presented with a Silver Award Certificate, based on the work the Menter is doing to help students prepare for their future careers, at a special awards ceremony in Cardiff on 14 November.

The Valued Partners Award, which is organised by Careers Wales, recognises the support CERED provides to schools and young people to help them better understand the world of work and more specifically the importance and value of Welsh in the workplace.

Non Davies, CERED Manager said, “CERED is delighted to be recognized as a Valued Partner. The work that Rhodri Francis and the rest of the staff have done delivering Welsh in the Workplace sessions is extremely important to ensure that our young people understand the value of the Welsh language. The information presented often changes young people’s attitudes towards the Welsh language and positively influences their decisions when considering their future.”

Careers Wales creates links between education and employers by bringing schools and businesses together to inform, inspire and engage young people in their future careers.

Launched in 2018, the Business Education Exchange now offers schools the opportunity to engage with over 13,500 employers across Wales through a host of different activities.

As a Valued Partner, CERED has worked with Careers Wales for a number of years now delivering a ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ session to Year 9 pupils as part of ‘Your Choice, Your Future’ days. These career days are held at every Secondary School in Ceredigion on an annual basis.

More than 50 companies from all over Wales attended the awards ceremony in Cardiff, with BBC Radio Wales presenter Jason Mohammed at the helm.

Nikki Lawrence, Chief Executive of Careers Wales, said, “The Valued Partners Award scheme is vital to the work that Careers Wales does, and we really appreciate the support we receive from all our Valued Partners. Ultimately, we would love for employers to contribute to the national curriculum to ensure that the skills students develop will be useful for evolving workplaces.”

“Without our Valuable Partners, we would not have been able to reach so many students so early in the process, for which we are very grateful.”

For more information on how to work with Careers Wales to help raise young people’s awareness and spark their interest in the world of work, email employerengagement@careerswales.co.uk

CERED yn ennill Gwobr Partneriaid Gwerthfawr Gyrfa Cymru

Cyflwynwyd Tystysgrif Gwobr Arian i staff CERED ar sail y gwaith mae’r Fenter yn ei wneud yn helpu myfyrwyr i baratoi ar gyfer eu gyrfaoedd.

Mae Gwobr Partneriaid Gwerthfawr, sy’n rhoddedig gan gwmni Gyrfa Cymru, yn cydnabod y cymorth mae CERED yn ei roi i ysgolion a phobl ifanc i’w helpu i ddeall y byd gwaith yn well ac yn fwy penodol pwysigrwydd a gwerth y Gymraeg yn y gweithle. Cyflwynwyd y wobr mewn seremoni wobrwyo arbennig yng Nghaerdydd ar 14 Tachwedd.

Dywedodd Non Davies, Rheolwr CERED, “Mae CERED yn bles iawn o gael ei gydnabod fel Partner Gwerthfawr. Mae’r gwaith mae Rhodri Francis a gweddill y staff wedi ei wneud yn cyflwyno sesiynau Cymraeg yn y Gweithle yn hynod bwysig i sicrhau bod ein pobl ifanc yn deall gwerth y Gymraeg. Yn aml mae’r wybodaeth a gyflwynir yn newid agweddau pobl ifanc at y Gymraeg ac yn dylanwadu yn bositif ar eu penderfyniadau wrth ystyried eu dyfodol.”

Mae Gyrfa Cymru yn creu cysylltiadau rhwng addysg a chyflogwyr trwy ddod ag ysgolion a busnesau ynghyd i hysbysu, ysbrydoli a thanio diddordeb pobl ifanc yn eu gyrfaoedd yn y dyfodol.

Cafodd y Gyfnewidfa Addysg Busnes ei lansio yn 2018, ac erbyn hyn mae’n cynnig cyfle i ysgolion ddod i gysylltiad â dros 13,500 o gyflogwyr ledled Cymru trwy gyfrwng llu o wahanol weithgareddau.

Fel Partner Gwerthfawr, mae CERED wedi gweithio gyda Gyrfa Cymru ers nifer o flynyddoedd bellach gan gyflwyno sesiwn ‘Cymraeg yn y Gweithle’ i ddisgyblion Blwyddyn 9 fel rhan o ddiwrnodau ‘Eich Dewis, Eich Dyfodol’. Caiff y diwrnodau gyrfa hyn eu cynnal ym mhob Ysgol Uwchradd yng Ngheredigion yn flynyddol.

Roedd dros 50 o gwmnïau o bob cwr o Gymru yn bresennol yn y seremoni wobrwyo yng Nghaerdydd, a Jason Mohammed, cyflwynydd BBC Radio Wales, oedd wrth y llyw.

Meddai Nikki Lawrence, Prif Weithredwr Gyrfa Cymru, “Mae cynllun Gwobrau Partneriaid Gwerthfawr yn hollbwysig i’r gwaith mae Gyrfa Cymru yn ei wneud, ac rydym wir yn gwerthfawrogi’r gefnogaeth a gawn gan bob un o’n Partneriaid Gwerthfawr. Yn y pen draw, byddem wrth ein bodd pe bai cyflogwyr yn cyfrannu at y cwricwlwm cenedlaethol er mwyn sicrhau y bydd y sgiliau mae myfyrwyr yn eu datblygu yn ddefnyddiol i weithleoedd sy’n esblygu.”

“Heb ein Partneriaid Gwerthfawr, ni fyddai modd i ni gyrraedd cynifer o fyfyrwyr mor gynnar yn y broses, ac rydym yn ddiolchgar iawn iddynt am hynny.”

I gael mwy o wybodaeth am sut i weithio gyda Gyrfa Cymru i helpu i godi ymwybyddiaeth pobl ifanc a thanio eu diddordeb yn y byd gwaith, e-bostiwch employerengagement@careerswales.co.uk

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Spate of overnight burglaries in Clarach, Bow Street and Ponterwyd

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POLICE are investigating a spate of burglaries overnight in Clarach, Bow Street and Ponterwyd.

A number of burglaries have been reported, with entry forced to businesses and CCTV cameras damaged or removed.

In Bow Street, entry was forced into an agricultural merchants, where items were taken; and CCTV was removed from a business.

Two vehicles – a VW Passat – registration plate CU16 OAL – and an Audi – registration YT09 TWL – were also reported stolen from a garage in the village.

A VW Crafter – registration plate GM16OTP, along with tools and equipment were stolen from a business in Ponterwyd.

Four businesses at Nantallan Business Park were targeted:

Bikes and steamers were reported stolen from one, a generator and two boxes containing LED lighting from another, a Mitsubishi L200 flatbed truck taken from the third, and tools stolen from a fourth.

Police are treating the incidents as linked, and would like to speak to anyone with information or who witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the Clarach and Bow Street areas.

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Police confirm Ellie Bryan, 18, died in collision

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE can confirm the woman who tragically died following a collision at Commins Coch was Ellie Bryan, from Aberystwyth.
The 18-year-old was a passenger in a Vauxhall Astra which was involved in a collision at around 10pm on Saturday, November 16.
Her family has released the following statement: “We are distraught by our loss of Ellie. She will be missed by us all.
“Ellie was a loving daughter, sister and granddaughter.
“We would like to thank everyone for their support at this devastating time.
“We would appreciate having time to grieve in privacy.”
Police continue to appeal for witnesses or anyone with information about the collision to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit.
You can report information online at: http://bit.ly/dppReportOnline, by email at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20191116-353.

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