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Two men jailed for ‘terrifying’ creeper burglaries in West Wales

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TWO men have been sentenced to four years in prison for three creeper burglaries, including two at the homes of elderly female clients of a care agency where one of them worked.

Allyn Freeman, aged 33, of Bryn Wyre, Aberystwyth, and Daniel Bloomer, aged 23, of Heol Elynnydd, Devils Bridge, were sentenced after pleading guilty to all charges at Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday, December 2.

Following a protracted investigation by Dyfed-Powys Police, which involved extensive crime scene investigation work, as well as ANPR and digital enquiries such as mobile phone detection and CCTV, they admitted their parts in a series of dwelling creeper burglaries in the Aberystwyth area during 2018.

Police Sergeant Steven Jones said the burglaries had been terrifying for their victims.

“These creeper burglaries happened as the victims, all elderly women, slept,” he said. “Two disturbed Freeman and Bloomer, which must have been a terrifying ordeal.

“We’re pleased that our case was strong enough to make Freeman and Bloomer admit what they had done so justice could be handed down to them.”

During the early hours of Saturday, 10th February 2018, they entered the home of an elderly lady as she slept in the Cwmrheidol area of Aberystwyth.
She woke to find items were out of place in her home and found her bank cards and £70 in cash were missing from her purse and her mobile phone had been stolen.

Then 12 days later, on Thursday, 22nd February 2018, Freeman and Bloomer entered the home of another elderly lady in the Llanfarian area of Aberystwyth. The victim, who received support from the care agency where Bloomer worked, had been on a list of planned visits for him.

At approximately 5.30am, the victim was in bed when she saw a light flashing in her room and a person walking in wearing a black coat with a hood covering their face.

During the burglary, the victim’s handbag, which contained a number of items, including £100 to £200 in cash, a small gold-coloured cross pin and two cheque books, was stolen.

The following day, Friday, 23rd February 2018, another elderly woman, who had received support from the same agency, was burgled in the Penglais Hill area of Aberystwyth.
She was asleep when she was woken by a noise downstairs at approximately 4.30am.

She got out of bed and moved towards the bedroom door when she saw a torch light shine up the stairs and she believes that somebody took hold of her walking stick, which she was holding in front of her.
A male voice then asked her “where’s your handbag” before running away. It is not thought that anything was taken in this incident.

All victims were offered the help of burglary support officers at the force.

Freeman and Bloomer also admitted a burglary at Ysgol Mynach, Devils Bridge, on Saturday, 10th February 2018.

For conspiracy to commit dwelling burglary they were both sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, with a further year, to run concurrently, for conspiracy to commit commercial burglary, and a further month imprisonment, to run concurrently for conspiracy to steal.

Bloomer was also sentenced to serve an additional 6 months imprisonment, to run consecutively, for conspiring to pervert the course of justice after trying to persuade Freeman to provide an account to police that would exonerate Bloomer for the offences, and offered him financial reward to do so.

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Restrictions ease further with caution, says County Council

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WITH restrictions easing further, both residents and visitors are reminded to enjoy Ceredigion safely and responsibly.

Wales will move into alert level 2 on Monday, 17 May, Welsh Government has announced.

The changes to the coronavirus restrictions, which will come into force from Monday 17 May include:

·         Indoor hospitality can re-open – 6 people from up to 6 households (not including children under 11) can book

·         All holiday accommodation can re-open fully

·         Entertainment venues, including cinemas, indoor-play centres and areas, amusement arcades, and theatres can re-open. Cinemas, theatres concert halls and sports grounds can sell food and drink as long as it is consumed in a seated area for watching the performance

·         Indoor visitor attractions, including museums and galleries can re-open

·         Up to 30 people can take part in organised indoor activities and up to 50 people in organised outdoor activities. This includes wedding receptions and wakes.

International travel will resume from Monday 17 May but extra safeguards will be put in place for people returning from some countries to prevent coronavirus re-entering Wales. A traffic light system, aligned with England and Scotland, will be introduced. Countries will be classified as green, amber and red. This means people living in Wales will be able to travel to a small number of foreign destinations without the need to quarantine on their return. Mandatory quarantine for countries not on the green list remains in place.

From Monday 24 May, a paper-based vaccination status will be available for people in Wales who have had 2 doses of vaccination and need to urgently travel to a country that requires covid vaccination proof.

However, the Welsh Government continues to advise people to only travel abroad for essential purposes.

Caution still needs to remain as the Coronavirus is still with us. Ceredigion residents and visitors must keep following the guidance for Covid-19 infection rates to remain low. Keeping a social distance, wearing a face covering and washing hands regularly are vital to keep our county safe.

Enjoy Ceredigion safely and responsibly.  

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Safe visiting opportunities in Care Homes being put into place

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FOLLOWING Welsh Government’s announcement of moving to Alert Level 2 on Monday, 17 May, families of Council-run Care Homes are reassured that further enhanced visiting opportunities are currently being reviewed and progressed.

The Care Homes will be contacting the designated visitor of those residents who are currently cared for in bed to arrange indoor risk assessed safe visits from Monday 17 May onwards.

Visitors and residents will be offered options regarding their preferred location for the visit. This includes safe visiting options (for example a Pod) or outdoors (weather permitting). The length of time for visits will be extended.

As part of this important piece of work, questionnaires will be sent to families. This will ensure that residents have their voice and wishes centrally captured and used to support with planning and implementing any changes.

The safety of residents, staff and families will be central to all of the visiting opportunities that will be put in place.

All the Care Homes are looking forward to welcoming families back.

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Cllr Paul Hinge elected Chairman of Ceredigion County Council

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COUNCILLOR Paul Hinge has been elected as the Chairman of Ceredigion County Council for 2021-2022 during the Annual Meeting held virtually on Friday 14 May 2021.

This concludes Councillor Gareth Davies’ term of office, where he has steered the Council through an unprecedented time in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Following being elected as Chairman, Councillor Paul Hinge accepted the position and addressed the Council saying that becoming Chairman of the Council was a great honour. 

Originally from Cardigan, Councillor Paul Hinge now lives in Bow Street and represents Tirymynach ward on Ceredigion County Council. He is also the Council’s Armed Forces Champion and has campaigned extensively for veteran rights over the years as a veteran himself.

Councillor Paul Hinge, Chairman of Ceredigion County Council, said: “As a child born in Cardigan a number of decades ago now, I could never have envisaged then that one day I would be taking one of the highest elected civic roles in my home county as I have done so here today; this is a very proud moment in my life. I would like to thank my fellow councillors for entrusting me with this role for the forthcoming municipal year. I would also like to give a special thank you to Councillor Gareth Davies for his unstinting work in such difficult times in this last year, it’s been an honour to have been his Vice Chairman. I look forward now to being Ceredigion County Council’s Chairman in the year ahead”.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council, added: “I would like to congratulate Councillor Paul Hinge on his election as County Chairman and wish him well for the coming year. I would also like to thank Councillor Gareth Davies for steering the Council’s virtual meetings so smoothly and skilfully over the last year.”

Councillor Ifan Davies from Lledrod ward was elected as the Council’s Vice-Chairman. The Reverend Richard Lewis was appointed as the Chairman’s Chaplain for 2021-2022.

Questions for the Former Chairman

Councillor Gareth Davies, Llanbadarn Fawr Padarn ward, was the Chairman of Ceredigion County Council during 2020-2021. Here we look back at his year which has been very different in terms of all of the restrictions and adjustments.

What was it like to be the Chairman of Ceredigion County Council during the pandemic?

It was quite an unusual experience compared to previous years. Of course, nobody foresaw how the pandemic would affect our lives, nor how long it would last. We have all had to adjust the way we live and work. It was a bit of a disappointment that I did not have the opportunity to represent the county in any official events during my time. As an individual who has links with the Tregaron area, it was also sad to hear that the National Eisteddfod would be postponed. However, having said that, I’m extremely proud that I live in Ceredigion where the effects of the pandemic have been amongst the best in the United Kingdom.

What was the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was learning how to chair a virtual meeting. With over fifty people in attendance, it was not possible to see everyone on the call at the same time. Everyone else had to learn as well, and, as a result, the meetings took a litter longer than usual. I hope that the Council members feel that I have been a fair Chairman and that everyone had the opportunity to speak if they wished to. Everyone is coping well with the system by now.

What was the best thing about your experience?

I consider myself very privileged, and I was delighted that the elected members of Ceredigion County Council gave me the opportunity and trusted me to be Chairman. The year did not turn out as I had expected. But the safety and the health of Ceredigion’s residents is far more important than anything else.

What is your message for the new Chairman?

I very much hope that the new Chairman will have the opportunity to do the role justice, and I wish him well for the coming year.

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