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Samurai attacker jailed for four years

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swordA MASKED man armed with a samurai sword who put six people through a “petrifying ordeal” has been jailed today for four years and eight months.

Kyle Poole, aged 26, admitted kidnapping Luke Jones and his girlfriend Hannah Wright, and causing affray at the home of Carwyn Jones.

Parick Griffiths, prosecuting, told Swansea crown court how Poole, from Stockport near Manchester, had visited his aunt, Michaela Jones, in Cardigan and had been told that Carwyn Jones, then her boyfriend, had been involved in a minor act of violence.

Poole decided to take revenge and drove to Mr Jones’ home, Hafod Llwyd Farm, at Llechryd.

He used a scarf as a mask and put on a pair of latex gloves before bursting into a caravan in the grounds of the farmhouse and “scaring the daylight” out of Mr Jones and Miss Wright.

Poole punched Mr Jones to his eye and demanded to know where he could find Carwyn Jones.

Poole then placed two large kitchen knives in his left hand and a three foot long samurai sword in his right hand and marched the couple to the farmhouse.

He burst into the living room where Carwyn Jones was watching television with his three children, aged between seven and 14.

“It is not difficult to imagine the terror they would have felt,” said Mr Griffiths.

Poole told Carwyn Jones he was going to “slice him up” and lunged at him with the knives and the sword. Mr Jones grabbed the blade of the sword but Poole “kept on coming” and cut his hand and his cheek.

Carwyn Jones managed to push him away and all six victims fled in different directions.

Carwyn and Luke Jones locked themselves in the caravan, three minors who were also present ran out onto a road, and Miss Wright spent twenty minutes hiding behind a wall “scared out of her wits” that Poole would find her.

A motorist rescued the children and telephoned the police.

Poole was seen to drive away from the farm in a Vauxhall car, which he crashed into a fence and abandoned. He was arrested later in Cardigan.

Poole maintained he had intended to frighten Carwyn Jones but not to harm him.

Judge Keith Thomas said when people armed themselves with knives then serious injury can follow.

He said Poole had been “masked and armed to the teeth” and had put his victims through a petrifying experience.

Judge Thomas said he regarded the kidnaps and the violence at the farmhouse as separate incidents.

He jailed Poole for 32 months for the kidnaps, with an additional 24 months for the affray.

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Police trying to track stolen tanker

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of a fuel tanker containing approximately 8,500 litres of diesel (4,000 litres of red diesel and 4,500 litres of white diesel).

The vehicle was taken from Tan Y Foel Quarry, Cefn Coch, Welshpool, between 5.30pm on Wednesday, May 23 and 6am on Thursday, May 24.

The police are asking people to see if the tanker is now in this area.

Anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to report it by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908, quoting Ref: DPP/0006/24/05/2018/01/C.

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Reprogrammed virus offers hope as cancer treatment

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A CANCER treatment that can completely destroy cancer cells without affecting healthy cells could soon be a possibility, thanks to research led by Cardiff University.

The team of researchers has successfully ‘trained’ a respiratory virus to recognise ovarian cancer and completely destroy it without infecting other cells. The reprogrammed virus could also be used to treat other cancers such as breast, pancreatic, lung and oral.

Dr Alan Parker from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine said: “Reprogrammed viruses are already being used in gene therapy procedures to treat a range of diseases, demonstrating they can be trained from being life-threatening into potentially lifesaving agents.

“In cancer treatment, up until now, reprogrammed viruses have not been able to selectively recognise only the cancer cells and would also infect healthy cells, resulting in unwanted side effects.

“We’ve taken a common, well-studied virus and completely redesigned it so that it can no longer attach to non-cancerous cells but instead seeks out a specific marker protein called αvβ6 integrin, which is unique to certain cancer cells, allowing it to invade them.

“In this case we introduced the reprogrammed virus to ovarian cancer which it successfully identified and destroyed.

“This is an exciting advance, offering real potential for patients with a variety of cancers.”

Once the virus enters the cancer cell it uses the cell’s machinery to replicate, producing many thousands of copies of itself, prior to bursting the cell and thereby destroying it in the process. The newly released viral copies can then bind and infect neighbouring cancer cells and repeat the same cycle, eventually removing the tumour mass altogether.

The virus also activates the body’s natural immune system, helping it to recognise and destroy the malignant cells.

The reprogrammed virus is from a group of respiratory viruses called adenoviruses. The advantage of using these viruses is that they are relatively easy to manipulate and have already been safely used in cancer treatment.

The technique used to reprogramme the virus to identify the protein common to ovarian, breast, pancreatic, lung and oral cancers could also be used to manipulate it so that it would recognise proteins common to other groups of cancers.

Additional refinement to the viral DNA could also allow the virus to produce anticancer drugs, such as antibodies, during the process of infecting cancer cells. This effectively turns the cancer into a factory producing drugs that will cause its own destruction.

The research was carried out in a laboratory, using mice with ovarian cancer, and has not yet reached clinical trials. The next step is to test the technique with other cancers, with a view to starting clinical trials in five years’ time.

Dr Catherine Pickworth from Cancer Research UK said: “It’s encouraging to see that this virus, which has been modified to recognise markers on cancer cells, has the ability to infect and kill ovarian cancer cells in the lab. Viruses are nature’s nanotechnology and harnessing their ability to hijack cells is an area of growing interest in cancer research.

“The next step will be more research to see if this could be a safe and effective strategy to use in people.”

The team includes researchers from Cardiff University; the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA; Glasgow University; the South West Wales Cancer Institute; and Velindre Cancer Centre.

The research was funded by Cancer Research UK, Tenovus Cancer Care and Cancer Research Wales.

The paper ‘Ad5NULL-A20 – a tropism-modified, αvβ6 integrin-selective oncolytic adenovirus for epithelial ovarian cancer therapies’ is published in Clinical Cancer Research.

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Money raised by Canolfan Padarn in the Race for Life

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STAFF and service users from Canolfan Padarn took part in this year’s Race for Life which took place on Sunday, May 13.

Service users Debbie, Lowri and Donna had been training for months as part of the centre’s healthy lifestyle group and were joined by staff members Lina, Ellie-May, Heather, Jenny, Dawn and Anwen, along with Heather’s daughter Cala, and Anwen’s daughter Jena.

Canolfan Padarn Support Worker Ellie-May Watkins said: “The crowd gave the crew great support and we’re grateful to everyone who cheered us on. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Queens Road Bowling Club for use of their facilities on the day. Previously, Canolfan Padarn raised £330 for Cancer research, we hope that we will match or exceed that in sponsorship this year.”

Canolfan Padarn is a community resource base for adults with learning disabilities in Aberystwyth, offering social, leisure and work opportunities in the local area.

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