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Drug dealer escapes jail ‘by a whisker’

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Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 14.22.58MAGISTRATES told a former part-time scaffolder that ‘drug dealing is a very serious crime‘, and that he was ‘a whisker‘ from going to prison, at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Aug 3).

Jorden Patrick Davis Allen, 18, of London House in Borth, pleaded guilty to three offences of threatening and abusive behaviour on July 5 at Borth, with intent to cause unlawful violence.

He also pleaded guilty to both possessing, with intent to supply, 22.5 g of controlled cannabis and possessing 0.08g of psilocin, a controlled Class A drug, on December 5 , 2015. Due to the psilocin being a small amount, Magistrates withdrew the offence.

Prosecutor Ellie Morgan told the court that the defendant used cannabis for several years as self-medication, but with no intent to sell.

With regards to the drug offences, at 0.30am, officers were on patrol around the Aberystwyth Castle grounds and saw a group of people hanging around. The officers said they could smell a strong scent of cannabis and when they opened up a rucksack, they discovered 13g of herbal cannabis. When the officers asked who it belonged to, Allen admitted that it was his. As a result, his phone was also ceased as they conducted a search.

Ms Morgan added that the herbal cannabis was sent for forensic investigation and officers discovered a further 9.91g in plastic wraps, which was later confirmed that the street value was approximately £91.90 for the for the smaller amount and £133.10 for the larger amount.

Allen’s text messages were also analysed and officers found 52 contacts on his phone, with written confirmation in the text messages that needed no explanation.

PC Rogers, one of the officers who regularly analyses text messages, stated that it the messages suggest that the defendant clearly had built up a trust with his contacts. The messages would involve a reply in the defendant saying if he had any drugs for sale, and that he takes pride in what he sells by charging £10 for 1g and £20 for 2g.

PC Roger’s also added that it is impossible to say how much money the defendant has made to date on the selling of drugs.

With regards to the threatening behaviour offence s on July 5, Allen got into an argument which was provoked by the complainant kicking Allen’s flat door.

She said that an officer and his wife were walking along the High Street in Borth at 1.15pm where they heard a male voice and a female screaming, which was getting louder, and called the police.

A vehicle pulled over on the kerb outside and the defendant was spotted appearing from his property three or four times wearing blue boxer shorts and getting agitated.

While the complainant was trying to calm the defendant down, the officer’s wife heard the female continue to scream at the defendant, saw the complainant try to enter the property with full force and saw the defendant come back out again from the property.

Ms Morgan added that in a statement, the complainant said that he had parked his car at Borth for about 20 minutes while he went to visit his mother when he heard the female scream. As he recognised the voice, he went to the property and the defendant shouted threats at him.

Concerned with the doors being locked, the complainant kicked the door twice and headed up two flights of stairs when he saw the female lying on the ground. The defendant made further threats towards the complainant when he thought it was wise to leave and proceeded to call the police from outside the building.

As he heard the complainant talking to the police on the phone, the defendant raced out of his property with an aerosol in his hand and the female saw him squirt at the complainant while he tried to calm him down. As a third party tried to calm them both down, the defendant sprayed the aerosol at the other person.

The complainant told the police that the defendant was trying to get him to fight and when he told them the defendant had a gun, the defendant dropped his shorts to prove he had no gun and the complainant made his disgust clear.

Ms Morgan added that the there was no physical confrontation, but that it was concerning for the complainant. The complainant only got involved as he thought the female was in danger and that the police found no gun, which the complainant believed to be true at the time.

Defending, Iestyn Davies told the court that the incident was something like a ‘schoolyard fight‘.

With regards to the drug offences, Mr Davies said that there is no way of telling that the 52 contacts are separate people as it is common for people to change their numbers or have two phones. The defendant has previously said that his current medication for his ADHD does not agree with him and that, due to his age, peer pressure and immaturity has played a part in selling drugs. He is also very sorry and upset to be attending court.

Mr Davies added that it is street dealing at the basic level, with Allen admitting that he does not remember what he said when he made the threats but did remember being in the flat. The police searched the property twice with dogs and found no gun or spray.

Probation Officer Julian Davies told the court as part of a character report that Allen was able to fund the cannabis by selling it to others and even though he knew it was illegal, he did not think he would get caught with a little amount.

Even though there was history with the complainant, he knew onlookers would see and feels ashamed of the incident.

Mr Davies added that Allen has eight convictions from nine previous offences, a referral order from 2013, a possession of cannabis offence from 2013 and 2014, and is considered to be a medium risk of harm. Even though he tends to smoke cannabis to help him sleep, Allen has accepted that he cannot use cannabis for this reason for the rest of his life.

Following recommendation, Magistrates imposed a 12 month community order on Allen, which include 24 rehabilitation activity days, 20 thinking skills sessions, and 120 hours of unpaid work.

Allen was also recommended to see his GP regarding better medication and was ordered to pay £205 in court costs.

Magistrates also issued an order for the destruction of the drugs.

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Ceredigion County Council’s Apprenticeship recruitment campaign is now live

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THE council’s 2019 Apprenticeship programme is now open for applications until Sunday 22 September.

A council apprenticeship gives learners the opportunity to build skills and confidence while earning a salary and gaining a nationally recognised qualification. With roles available in Business Administration, ICT Technical Support and Social Care teams, there is an opportunity for everyone.

The first year of the programme is nearing an end and has been a great success. Alanah Lloyd recently completed a Business Administration Apprenticeship. She said: “I would recommend doing an apprenticeship at Ceredigion County Council to all my friends. I enjoyed the balance of real responsibilities and having the space to keep on learning.”

Maria Lloyd, Alanah’s mother said: “When Alanah was successful with her application I was delighted. It gave her the opportunity to show her work ethic and continue with her education in an organisation where there is career progression. Alanah has now gained a permanent position at the council. I would highly recommend apprenticeships to other parents.”

Lynne Connolly, Apprenticeship and Work Experience Coordinator, Ceredigion County Council said: “This year we are continuing to demonstrate our commitment to ‘grow our own’, offering opportunities for school and college leavers to continue education in a working environment and for members of the community looking to return to work or change career. All our apprentices are paid well above the minimum apprentice wage which reflects how much we value their contribution.”

To apply and find out more visit career.ceredigion.gov.uk or contact us at apprentice@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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Overall ‘excellent’ performance at Mynach Primary School

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A RECENT Estyn report on the primary school in Mynach has given the ‘Excellent’ status to each of the five inspection areas.

It was noted in the report that the school had attained ‘Excellent’ status in standards; wellbeing and attitudes to learning; teaching and learning experiences; care, support and guidance; and leadership and management.

The report notes, ‘A particular feature is the opportunities for Key Stage 2 pupils to plan and deliver lessons for the rest of the class, focusing on specific skills.’

Joyce George is headteacher at Ysgol y Mynach. She is also headteacher at Pontrhydfendigaid Primary School and Sir John Rhys Primary School. She said, “As a headteacher, I am extremely proud of the results of the survey and very grateful to the staff, governors and those who work effectively together as a team to ensure a first class education for all pupils. I am proud of the fact that the inspectors identified pupils’ literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology skills as excellent.

It was also noted that a pioneering feature of Ysgol Mynach is the way in which teachers adapt and develop the curriculum in order to raise pupils’ independence. Working together as a wider partnership with Ysgol Pontrhydfendigaid and Ysgol Sir John Rhys, Ponterwyd is a great advantage and an opportunity to share expertise, co-design and share ideas which extend and widen the experiences of pupils across the schools.”

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member for Learning services. She said: “The Estyn report shows that Ysgol Gynradd Mynach has achieved exceptionally high standards. The hard work and dedication of the headteacher, staff, governors and of course the children is very evident. The school shows that a way of working together with neighbouring schools in a progressive way can produce excellent results. Everyone in the school deserves congratulations.”

The report notes that the school is an extremely close community. It also notes that the head teacher has a progressive vision that is continually focused on maintaining and raising standards of pupils’ achievement and wellbeing.

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Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn visits Machynlleth

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ON Thursday 15 August Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed around 200 local Labour Party members from Mid, West and North Wales at Machynlleth Bowling Club. Tickets for the event had all been taken within 24 hours, and an additional video link was live streamed into the club bar to allow those who could not get into the packed venue the opportunity to hear him speak.

Mr Corbyn was joined by Christina Rees, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, and West Wales Regional AMs Joyce Watson and Eluned Morgan, Welsh Labour Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language.

Eluned Morgan AM’s passionate introductory remarks highlighted Welsh Labour’s ongoing commitment to improving outcomes in education, health, housing, jobs and the environment. She urged immediate action from international UK and international governments on the climate crisis, declaring ‘The emergency is now!’

Mr Corbyn made clear that he is expecting a general election to be likely very soon and proceeded to outlined the scale of the current crisis the UK is facing, with 14 million now in poverty in the world’s 5th richest economy, and child poverty predicted by some to rise as high as 40%.

He went on to congratulate Welsh Labour on the great work that has been possible in Wales to insulate the Welsh people from the worst of the effects of Tory austerity, protecting vital NHS services and preventing the worst of school cuts, but he explained that there was only so much that could be done without the full support of a Labour government in Westminster.

“Things will be very different under a Labour government” Mr Corbyn added, saying that Labour will invest in people, with principles of equality and social justice and to demonstrate his state of readiness, with great vigour declared: “I’m up for an election anytime”.

He expressed grave concern over the effects that a reckless No Deal Brexit would have on the UK economy with particular reference to the devastating effects on Welsh industry and agriculture. He promised that Labour will do everything they can to prevent a no-deal, including the offer of a second referendum with Remain as an option, and the formation of a national unity government to prevent further political chaos.

Outlining his commitment to green industrial development Jeremy Corbyn stated that a Labour government would support the creation of the Swansea Tidal Lagoon which would bring valuable new green transitional jobs to Wales which would lead the world on renewables technology.

Mr Corby thanked everyone present for their efforts in Wales and reaffirmed his commitment to core Labour values of equality and social justice. He received a standing ovation and stayed after the event to chat and have photos taken with supporters.

A Ceredigion Labour spokesperson commented: “Jeremy Corbyn spoke passionately and inspiringly. He was full of praise for our outstanding efforts in the 2017 election and said he would be visiting Ceredigion during the next General Election campaign.”

The following day Mr Corbyn visited the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth to see new renewable energy technology in action and learn about pioneering methods of sustainable building and farming. He also confirmed that he would not stand in the way of any future discussion of a Welsh Independence referendum, and that he was open to considering all options for Wales’future.

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