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Cardigan: Blackmailer jailed, but she still has the money

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A CLEANER from Cardigan has been jailed for 18 months today for blackmailing an 85 year old man by threatening to report him to the police for made up sex offences.

But an unrepentant Linda Mary Thomas, aged 62, still has the £10,000 she got out of the pensioner.

Thomas, of Briscwm Cottages, came unstuck when she demanded a second £10,000 and “caring bank staff” persuaded him to tell them the what was going on.

Judge Geraint Walters said that there was a suspicion that Thomas had been told that the police were on their way and that she hid the original £10,000.

But Swansea Crown Court heard today (Jul 31) that the police had not given up and there was a Proceeds of Crime investigation underway to try and locate it or force Thomas to repay it.

Thomas had denied blackmail but was convicted after a trial.

The jury heard how the man was in the habit of giving her a peck on the cheek from time to time.

Thomas took advantage of that and told him she would claim that he had touched her breasts unless he gave her £10,000.

Her victim gave her £8,000 but she complained it was not enough and he withdrew a further £2,000.

By then staff at the town’s Lloyds bank had become worried about why he was withdrawing such large amounts of cash.
Thomas then threatened to complain that he had tried to rape her unless he handed over a further £10,000.

The court heard that he was so worried and embarrassed that he went to the bank again, but this time staff managed to persuade him to explain what was happening.

Staff then called in social services who contacted the police.

Judge Walters said if the staff had not shown such a caring attitude the entire £20,000 would have disappeared and the offending “would have forever remained a secret.”

Dean Pulling, the barrister representing Thomas, said she still maintained her innocence and therefore had nothing to say about the missing £10,000.

The court heard that Thomas had a previous conviction for shoplifting and seven years ago was convicted of a benefits fraud.

Judge Walters said that because Thomas continued to deny her guilt there had not been an offer to repay the £10,000.

Her threats, he added, involved “complete and utter lies” but her victim had been a proud and vulnerable man who still suffered the effects of her wrong doing.

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New Quay RNLI crew members pass out as ILB helms

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NEW QUAY RNLI crew members Huw Williams and Dylan Price recently passed out as inshore lifeboat helms.

They were put through their paces by an RNLI Assessor on Monday (Aug 13) with a written exam ashore and a practical assessment afloat on the D class inshore lifeboat.

Roger Couch, Lifeboat Operation Manager of New Quay RNLI said: “As well as responding to emergencies our volunteer crew members spend a lot of time training in order to maintain their knowledge and skills.

“Both crew members have worked very hard over the past 12 months to complete all the training units needed and have now passed the final stage.

“Our lifeboats are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round and having seven qualified helms for our inshore lifeboat provides us with additional flexibility.”

Huw Williams added:“Dylan and I would like to thank all the crew here at New Quay lifeboat station for their help over the last 12 months. We could not have done it without their support.”

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Schools succeed in A-Level results

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A-LEVEL examination results published yesterday(16 August) by the WJEC indicate that high standards are being achieved in Ceredigion schools.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet member with responsibility for Learning Services said: “Our sincere congratulations are extended to Ceredigion sixth form students who, once again have excelled in their A Levels. Thank you to all school staff, Governors and parents who have supported our young people to fulfil their potential.

“Their successes are a testament to our pupils’ efforts and hard work, in addition to the quality of education provided by teachers in Ceredigion. We are proud of the well-deserved achievements of our young people and wish them well in the future.”

Nearly 27% of Ceredigion entries achieved A* – A grades and 77% of entries achieved A*- C grades. A pass rate of 98% was achieved by Ceredigion students.

  Ceredigion Wales

 

Grade A* – A 26.8% 26.3%
Grade A* – B 56.7% n/a
Grade A* – C 77.1% n/a
Grade A* – E 97.8% 97.4%

Compared with last year, 6% more of Ceredigion entries achieved A*-A grades. The number of entries that have achieved A*-A, and A*-E in Ceredigion is higher than the Welsh average.

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Man assaulted nurses while being restrained

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A PRE-SENTENCE report will be prepared on a Ceredigion man who assaulted two nurses and destroyed an extractor fan.

Lewis Hill, aged 24, of Brynhoffnant, appeared before Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday (Aug 14) to plead guilty to the three charges.

Prosecuting, Mr Vaughan Pritchard-Jones told the Court: “At 11pm in the evening on January 30, the defendant was on the roof of Bronglais Hospital threatening to jump off. Police and medical personnel attended and were able to talk him down.

“He was taken to the Cwm Seren ward in St Davids Park, Carmarthen, where they arrived at 1:03am the following morning. During the course of being assessed he became aggressive and had to be restrained by staff. He kicked out at the first nurse and was then put on the floor.

“Whilst on the floor he was throwing his head back and forth and the staff nurse, who was concerned for him, tried to hold his head but he continued to throw his head and because of the force he was using he trapped her finger onto the floor.

“The charge did originally read as common assault but the nurse went to get her finger x-rayed which revealed the fracture.

“After that incident he got free and he started damaging an extractor fan which he completely destroyed.
“I am not sure why the case has taken so long to come here but at the time of the offence he was on a suspended prison sentence, the period for which has now elapsed.”

Defending, Mrs Katie Hanson added: “He is extremely sorry for his actions on that night. He was on the roof of Bronglais Hospital trying to commit suicide. There are serious mental health issues but he accepts he was struggling on the floor but he did not intentionally hurt anyone and he apologises for his actions.”

Magistrates ordered that a pre-sentence report be prepared and Hill was released on unconditional bail and must return to court on Wednesday, August 29 for sentencing.

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