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Smokies farmer ‘has no assets’

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A LLANDYSUL farmer with a string of convictions for food hygiene offences will have to pay nothing concerning the money made from his illegal business dealing in ‘smokies’.

Carmelo Gale pocketed large sums of money from his filthy ‘slaughterhouse’ in which he butchered then blow-torched sheep carcasses to make the illegal meat.

However, the authorities’ attempts to get at the proceeds of his criminal activities have come up with nothing.

In 2017, Gale received a suspended prison sentence of eight months’ jail.


Found in the back of Carmelo Gale’s van

“Smokies” are made when carcasses of animals (usually sheep or goats) are gutted, shorn, and hung before being scorched or “smoked” with a blowtorch.

Smokies have been illegal across the European Union since 1987.

Gale’s original arrest and conviction followed an incident in which his van was stopped by Police near Swansea in 2017. When the unrefrigerated vehicle was inspected, 11 blackened sheep carcasses were found inside, together with bags of other animal parts.

In a subsequent search of Gale’s farm in Llandysul, officers found evidence of Gale’s illegal slaughter operation and the production of smokies.

Gale has previous convictions for 14 offences. All bar one relate to illegal meat production.

At the 2017 sentencing hearing, the Court was told that Gale believed that smokies should be legalised and there was no harm in their production in unsanitary and unregulated slaughterhouses such as his own.

Following that conviction, Gale’s business affairs were probed by authorities seeking to recover the proceeds of crime from him.


Gale hung torched corpses outside

He appeared before Swansea Crown Court as the Court determined an application about the recovery effort.

The Court was told that although Gale had made more than £100,000 from his crimes, he has no realisable assets in his name against which recovery can be made.

A payment by Gale of £30,000 towards prosecution costs was, his barrister told the Court, the product of a family whip-round.

Gale has twelve months to make the payment.

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Aberystwyth man sent to prison

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A 50-YEAR-OLD man from Ceredigion appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Monday (Sept 16) to face a charge of being intoxicated in a public place, whilst he was prohibited from doing so.

Malcolm Roy Edwards of Queens Road, Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to being drunk in public in Llanrystud when he was prohibited from doing so after being made subject to a criminal behaviour order by Aberystwyth magistrates on October 12, 2017.

He also admitted breaching that order by committing this offence on September 11 this year.

Magistrates sent Edwards to prison for 18 weeks, as they felt the offence was serious having been aggravated by the offence being committed whilst on a community order.

He must also pay £122 victim surcharge, and the community order was revoked.

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Ceredigion Day Centre meet the Dream Team

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On Monday 9 September, the Dream Team visited staff and service users at, Canolfan Meugan Community Support Base for adults with learning disabilities and older people, to showcase the ‘My charter’. The Learning Disabilities ‘My Charter’ West Wales was written by people who have learning disabilities in West Wales.

The Dream Team is made up of the people who wrote the Charter. The Charter says that people who have learning disabilities want to have more chances in life, more choice and to be listened to. It also says that people who have learning disabilities want to be treated as adults, to be given dignity and respect and that their information is kept private.

Organisations, businesses and individuals are encouraged to show their support by signing up to the My Charter.

Go to www.ldcharter.com for more information on ‘My Charter’.

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AM and MP help ease complicated bus pass application process

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Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP have offered to help constituents who need to renew their Bus Passes, after raising concerns about the change in the renewal process.

As the current Concessionary Travel Passes run out at the end of the year, Transport For Wales have asked pass holders to reapply online, however Elin Jones and Ben Lake have raised concerns that the process is over complicated and that applying online rather than via a paper form will exclude many.

Initially, if applicants wanted a paper form, TfW said that applicants had to call a helpline and were warned the process would take a long time. So, as thousands went onto the website, it crashed under the weight of demand.

However, with the website expected to be back up and running soon, Elin Jones and Ben Lake have offered to help constituents reapply.

Elin Jones said:

“Bus pass users have been told that their current passes will be accepted for travel until 31 December 2019, however after that they will need to have the new pass.

“The application process has been muddled by urging people to reapply online. We know that many over 60s and disabled people may not have internet access or may be unfamiliar with its use.

“To simplify the process, I am offering the support of my office to try and help constituents with the process of reapplying for their bus pass, and Ben Lake MP is doing the same.

“If constituents would like to collect a paper form, or if they require assistance applying on paper or online, then they are welcome to contact us and we would be glad to assist, either by arranging a visit to either of our offices, or by sending forms to you.”

Ben Lake added:

“We know how vital access to buses are to many older and vulnerable people in Ceredigion, and I hope that we will be able to help as many people as possible to keep this access.”

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