A MAN ‘now understands the implications of drink driving’ and is said to have learnt a ‘valuable lesson’ after committing four offences.
Benjamin Paul Callow, 29, of Pencarreg in Llanybydder, appeared before Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Oct 18) and pleaded guilty to four charges. He admitted two charges of failing to stop after a road accident, whereby damage was caused to a wall and a telegraph pole, causing the VW Golf vehicle to be left in a dangerous position, and failing to provide specimen for analysis.
Prosecutor Helen Tench said that,just after 10pm on July 9, police officers received a report regarding a vehicle parked within the Black Lion pub in Lampeter, which reversed into a wall causing damage.
A member of staff at the pub heard a loud bang outside the property and when they went to investigate, they found the defendant, who had been consuming alcohol in the pub, in the driver’s seat,.
The staff member asked Callow to return to the premise to provide his details, but the defendant drove away from the scene.
At 11.20pm, police received another report regarding a single road collision whereby a car was turned on to its side after colliding with a telegraph pole which snapped in half.
When officers checked the vehicle, they smelled alcohol and noticed inflated airbags and samples of blood.
On July 10, Callow was eventually located and was seen to be wearing casual clothes and no shoes. His eyes appeared to be glazed and officers noted his slurred speech.
An ambulance arrived at the scene to escort the defendant to hospital for treatment.
At approximately 3am on July 10, Callow refused to provide a specimen of blood for analysis at the hospital, and officers attended the Black Lion pub to view the CCTV footage.
On August 22, the defendant was interviewed; he confirmed he was the driver of the VW Golf vehicle and admitted that he made no effort to report the road accidents.
Defending, Alison Mathias explained that Callow was very embarrassed and remorseful for his actions.
She said the offences had ‘shocked him’ into addressing his ways and he did not wish to put forward any excuses for his behaviour.
Ms Mathias stated the vehicle had turned onto its side and the defendant’s head injuries ‘may have affected his judgement’ when he walked away from the road accident, adding that the offences had been a ‘very valuable lesson’ and an ‘unfortunate incident’.
Delivering a pre-sentence report, Probation Officer Julian Davies explained Callow went to Lampeter after work on July 9 and had a pint of alcohol at the Black Lion pub. When he crashed into the car park wall, the defendant ‘panicked’ and drove away from the scene.
Mr Davies said Callow went to buy more alcohol some time later and crashed the vehicle again, but could not remember the incident.
Mr Davies concluded by saying the defendant is disappointed with his actions and now understood the implications of drink driving.
Magistrates imposed a 12-month community order with 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a punitive element of 150 hours of unpaid work.
He received a 24-month driving disqualification and his licence was endorsed. He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a surcharge of £85.
Restaurant owner fined over £3000 for ‘significant rodent infestation’
THE FORMER proprietor of a restaurant which had a ‘significant rodent infestation’ pleaded guilty to ten food hygiene offences at Aberystwyth Justice Centre on Monday (Jun 18).
Mr Rysul Asad of Gloster Row, Cardigan, and the former proprietor of Gulshan, Chancery Lane, Cardigan, has appeared before Magistrates.
Four offences related to the presence of a significant rodent infestation at the restaurant, which was under Mr Asad’s control at the time. A further five offences related to the poor standards of cleaning found during the investigation.
Emergency action was taken by Ceredigion County Council Environmental Health Officers in September 2017 following the discovery of an active rodent infestation at the premises, and resulted in the immediate closure of the food business.
Rodent activity, including the presence of droppings, entry points and gnawing, was discovered within food preparation and food storage areas of the premises. Furthermore, Officers also discovered dirty equipment and very poor standards of cleaning.
Rodents carry a number of dangerous microorganisms and pose a significant risk to human health. These can include Salmonellosis, Escherichia coli (E.coli), Hantavirus and Weil’s disease.
The presence of rodents within a food premises can transmit these diseases via contaminated surfaces, equipment and the food itself, to such an extent that it is regarded as an imminent risk to health.
Cabinet Member for Public Protection Services Councillor Gareth Lloyd said: “Food hygiene inspections, and Food Hygiene Ratings shown on the doors of the majority of food businesses in Ceredigion, gives reassurance to the public who live, work and visit the county that the food they eat is safe and has been prepared hygienically. However, on rare occasions the Council must take action to protect public health and the reputation of our excellent hospitality industry who work hard to maintain standards.”
Mr Asad also pleaded guilty to a further offence of failing to register his new food business, namely Shatun Sharha Limited trading as Shampan the Boat Restaurant and Takeaway, River Teifi, Quay Street, Lower Mwldan, Cardigan, for which he is now the proprietor. Mr Asad failed to notify the Commercial Services Team at Ceredigion County Council of this change following his departure from Gulshan in November 2017.
Councillor Lloyd added: “Cases like this underline the importance of the work of our food and safety team and the value of our inspection programme. The food safety team works hard with local businesses to meet and maintain legal food hygiene standards to ensure the best hygiene safety in our county.”
The Magistrates imposed a total financial penalty of £3,107 on Mr Asad for the offences. This included Council costs and victim surcharge.
3,000 Welsh landlords still unregistered
JANET FINCH-SAUNDERS AM has called on the Welsh Government to urgently work to improve landlord registration under Rent Smart Wales, as estimates released indicate around 3,000 remain unregistered.
Ms Finch-Saunders said: “Rent Smart Wales estimates that still 3,000 landlords are unregistered here in Wales.
“Whilst that makes up a small percentage of our total landlords, it is most concerning for those living in properties leased to them by those who have not yet registered.
“The Welsh Government has confirmed that a landlord who is not registered with Rent Smart Wales is unable to serve a valid Section 21 eviction notice – so where unregistered landlords do indicate that they want tenants to vacate a property, this is not recognised by local housing associations, which can cause stress to tenants who may not be aware of their full rights under the law.
“By focusing on ensuring that all landlords are properly registered, the Welsh Government can alleviate such concerns, and I will be urging the Cabinet Secretary to act to ensure all landlords are abiding by this legislation in full.”
The Minister for Housing and Regeneration told Ms Finch-Saunders that the latest figures released by Rent Smart Wales show that 90,812 landlords are now registered. Rent Smart Wales’ latest estimate for the number of unregistered landlords is approximately 3,000.
This is based on the dwelling stock estimates recently published by StatsWales, and an estimation of the average number of properties owned by each landlord.
Public urged to enjoy dolphin sightings at a distance
WITH summer on the way, bringing visitors enjoying Ceredigion’s wildlife rich coastline, the Council is urging members of the public to enjoy coastal activities without disturbing Cardigan Bay’s special wildlife and habitats. The call comes after individuals recently approached and swam with dolphins in Cardigan Bay.
The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct asks water users to stay 100 metres away from dolphins and porpoises encountered at sea, and to keep a distance of 50 metres from seals and nesting sea birds.
In no circumstances should the public attempt to feed, swim with or touch the dolphins. These are wild animals. Dolphins are large and powerful and can grow up to four metres long. As well as causing significant disturbance to the animals and pushing them off important feeding sites, close contact can also result in exposure to diseases to both humans and animals.
Repeated disturbance could cause the dolphins to leave important feeding sites to search for quieter areas.
Disruption to feeding, resting and nursing behaviour could have a long-term impact on the health and wellbeing of individual dolphins and populations.
The Cabinet member responsible for Economy and Regeneration, Councillor Rhodri Evans said: “Cardigan Bay’s wildlife is a great asset to the economy of our coastal communities and is also important in its own right. It is because of this that we ask residents and visitors to enjoy dolphin, and other wildlife sightings at a safe distance. Although the temptation to have a close-up view is understandable, we can’t risk disturbing Cardigan Bay’s wildlife and possibly driving them away. It’s the last thing anyone wants.”
The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct was established by Ceredigion County Council over twenty years ago, in response to local community concerns that the bottlenose dolphins that use these waters to feed, socialise and breed were experiencing greater pressures from disturbance by those enjoying recreational water-based activities.
The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct can be found online on http://www.cardiganbaysac.org.uk/?page_id=583
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