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Cardigan: Blackmailer jailed, but she still has the money

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A CLEANER from Cardigan has been jailed for 18 months today for blackmailing an 85 year old man by threatening to report him to the police for made up sex offences.

But an unrepentant Linda Mary Thomas, aged 62, still has the £10,000 she got out of the pensioner.

Thomas, of Briscwm Cottages, came unstuck when she demanded a second £10,000 and “caring bank staff” persuaded him to tell them the what was going on.

Judge Geraint Walters said that there was a suspicion that Thomas had been told that the police were on their way and that she hid the original £10,000.

But Swansea Crown Court heard today (Jul 31) that the police had not given up and there was a Proceeds of Crime investigation underway to try and locate it or force Thomas to repay it.

Thomas had denied blackmail but was convicted after a trial.

The jury heard how the man was in the habit of giving her a peck on the cheek from time to time.

Thomas took advantage of that and told him she would claim that he had touched her breasts unless he gave her £10,000.

Her victim gave her £8,000 but she complained it was not enough and he withdrew a further £2,000.

By then staff at the town’s Lloyds bank had become worried about why he was withdrawing such large amounts of cash.
Thomas then threatened to complain that he had tried to rape her unless he handed over a further £10,000.

The court heard that he was so worried and embarrassed that he went to the bank again, but this time staff managed to persuade him to explain what was happening.

Staff then called in social services who contacted the police.

Judge Walters said if the staff had not shown such a caring attitude the entire £20,000 would have disappeared and the offending “would have forever remained a secret.”

Dean Pulling, the barrister representing Thomas, said she still maintained her innocence and therefore had nothing to say about the missing £10,000.

The court heard that Thomas had a previous conviction for shoplifting and seven years ago was convicted of a benefits fraud.

Judge Walters said that because Thomas continued to deny her guilt there had not been an offer to repay the £10,000.

Her threats, he added, involved “complete and utter lies” but her victim had been a proud and vulnerable man who still suffered the effects of her wrong doing.

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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