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Machete wielding Pagan off the hook

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magMAGISTRATES found that a man did have a good reason to be holding a machete and an axe at Haverfordwest Law Courts on Monday (Dec 15). Aaron Simpson, aged 23, of Maeshenffordd in Cardigan, pleaded not guilty to two charges of possessing the two items. The magistrates heard how Simpson is a Pagan and that he was going to collect wood to start a small fire to help clear his head following an argument with his mother. Prosecuting, Nick Newton said: “This incident occurred in the early hours of October 24, 2014 at around 1.20am. “PC Garney was on duty in an unmarked police car on Maeshenffordd when he saw Mr Simpson walking in the street and noticed that he was not wearing a top.

“The officer saw the man put two items on the ground before approaching the police car. When the officer asked who he was, he became confrontational, claiming ‘everyone knows who I am’ and stated that he was just out for a walk. “After a short while, the officer went back to him again and informed him that he was going to search him, as he suspected he had something he shouldn’t have. “He put his stuff on the floor and pulled his trousers down, saying ‘is that good enough for you officer?’

The officer called for a temporary sergeant to attend the area and informed him when he arrived that he was going to search the area where he had first spotted Mr Simpson. “He heard Simpson shout ‘you’ll find an axe and a machete up there’. He picked up the items, which were an axe and a machete. Simpson said ‘I told you there was an axe and a machete. He told the officers that he had previously had an argument with his mother and that he was going to collect wood to start a small fire to clear his head.”

A recording of his interview at the station was then played to the court and when Simpson was asked why he put the items on the ground he said: “I could hear a car coming and I didn’t want to make anyone feel ill at ease.” Simpson also told the court that he has had noise abatement notices to his flat and he has been told not to burn certain things but added he has not been told that he cannot start a fire.

He also told the magistrates that he is a qualified tree surgeon, and he listed a number of other similar qualifications that he has. Summing up the prosecution case Nick Newton added: “If you decide to cut wood, you wouldn’t walk down the street with no top on. The items would not be on display and you would not be confrontational with the police. Defending, Robin Reed said: “He is a Pagan and he believes in living off the land and at this time he was observing the pagan festival known as Samhain.

“He is quite proud of those items as he has restored them himself. They are used for cutting wood and they have no other purpose. “He did tell the officers what he was doing and he explained his account in great detail. “In terms of placing the items down this was quite a sensible thing to do as he didn’t want a confrontation with anybody. There has been no threat to use the items at any point”. Magistrates found that he did have a good reason to hold the axe and the machete and found him not guilty of the offence citing that he has an alternative lifestyle. They also warned him that he should be aware of others when out and about in the future.

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New Quay RNLI rescue two people in the water

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ON FRIDAY (Jul 16), New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was requested to launch by HM Coastguard following reports of two people in the water off Ynys Lochtyn, near Llangrannog, having capsized their kayak. 

At 10.40am New Quay’s inshore lifeboat Audrey LJ launched with three volunteer crew members on board and made good speed down the coast in excellent weather conditions. 

Huw Williams, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “When we arrived on scene we found one person had made it back onto the kayak and one still in the water. Both had been in the water for 30 minutes and were struggling in the tidal current so it was important that we got them on board to be assessed.  

“The Coastguard Rescue Helicopter was also tasked but was stood down after we confirmed that both casualties were safe and well, with no injuries. 

“Having got the casualties and the kayak onto the lifeboat we transferred them to Llangrannog beach where we handed over to the RNLI lifeguards and the New Quay Coastguard rescue team.” 

It was also a first shout for New Quay RNLI’s newest crew member, Will Best.  

Will is an international yachtsman and, sailing on the yacht Alegre, he has chalked up wins in both the Rolex Middle Sea and Giraglia Races. He was also navigator on board the winning 2011 Sydney to Hobart race boat Loki. As well as sailing competitively, Will specialises in the design and installation of electronic systems on Grand Prix race boats and super yachts. He has also worked with a number of America’s Cup and Volvo race teams.  

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager said, “Will brings a wealth of seafaring knowledge and is a great addition to the crew. Welcome on board Will!” 

Will added, “It has been great to join the New Quay RNLI crew. They are a great team and I’m glad I’ve got my first shout under my belt.”

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Man, 22, charged with murder of John William Bell in Cardigan

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A CARDIGAN man has been charged with murder after a man’s death in Ceredigion.

Dyfed-Powys Police said 22-year-old Ashley Keegan, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with his murder.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm that Ashley Keegan, aged 22, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with the murder of John William Bell.

“Keegan will appear at Swansea magistrates court on Saturday 24th July 2021.

“John’s family continue to be supported by specialist officers and the investigation is grateful for the support of the community whilst enquiries were conducted.”

This is the second major incident in the same area this month.

Another man was charged with making threats with a knife, he is again from Golwg y Castell.

Dyfed-Powys Police said they received a number of calls reporting a man brandishing a knife towards another man in Maesyfelin, Cardigan, at around 4.20pm on Wednesday (July 14).

Several police units swiftly made their way to the area, but the suspect had fled.

Dean Thomas, aged 25, was quickly located at his home in Golwg y Castell, where he was arrested on suspicion of affray and taken to custody.

Mobile phone footage was gathered from people at the scene, and statements were taken from witnesses.

Cardigan Inspector Owen Williams said: “Thanks to the swift attendance of officers, there were a number of people present who were able to provide evidence to assist with our enquiries.
“Thomas also made a significant statement linking himself with the incident, and was charged within hours of being arrested.

“I hope the speed with which we carried out enquiries into this incident reassures people living in Maesyfelin, who were naturally very concerned by what had happened.”

Thomas was charged with threatening a person with a blade or sharply pointed article in a public place and appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, July 15 where he admitted the offence.

He will be sentenced on July 29 at Swansea Crown Court.

In relation to the murder, anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101 and quoting Op Reedham. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Devastated family’s tribute to ‘loving and devoted’ son

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THE FAMILY of the 37-year-old man who died in Cardigan in the early hours of Wednesday morning (Jul 21) have said he will be “hugely missed by all that loved him”.

John Bell, who lived in the town, was found on the road to Cardigan Bridge at around midnight.

His family has issued this statement: “We are devastated at the loss of John.

“He was a loving and devoted Son, Brother, Father and Uncle and he will be hugely missed by all that loved him. 

“We ask for privacy at this time.”

John’s family is being supported by specially trained officers.

A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder remains in police custody.

Detective Superintendent Paul Jones said: “Our thoughts go out to John’s family at this very difficult time.

“We are currently focussing our investigation in Golwg Y Castell and the road between there and Cardigan Bridge, where Mr Bell was located.

“We are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen or heard an altercation in that area during the evening of Tuesday, 20 July, particularly the latter part of the evening, after 10pm, before police attended at around midnight.”

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org. Quote reference: DP-20210720-458.

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