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Man thanks magistrates for their ‘leniency’

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A CARDIGAN man who invited doormen to have a fight with him and later told a police officer to ‘touch [him] and see what happens’ thanked magistrates for their ‘leniency​’ after he was fined on Tuesday (Oct 24).

Aaron Nathaniel Simpson, of Poppit Sands,​ ​admitted resisting police and a further public order offence at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court.

The 26-year-old was found in the street bleeding by police after getting into a fight with doormen after a night out​ on October 8 in Quay Street​.

The police then witnessed Simpson trying to get back to the doormen so he could offer them outside to continue the altercation.

Prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard-Jones outlined the ​incident, which took ​place at​ around​ 3am​,​ following Simpson having a fight with doormen.

He said: ​”​He was trying to get back to those doormen. Inviting ​them to go and have a fight with him down the lane. ​​PC Morris, for his own good​, said​ he should walk away. The defendant became abusive. When​ the​ officer tried to lead him away​,​ he said​,​ ‘touch me and see what happens​’​. He was then arrested to prevent further public disorder and​,​ as he was taken hold of by the officer​,​ he pulled away causing officer to lose his grip.

“Other officers came to help​. Two officers helped​,​ but ​t​he​y​ ​were​ struggling to ​arrest him as he was wriggling.​”​

“He appeared to be very strong. He was sprayed and then stopped resisting​,​ and he was handcuffed. He was using foul and abusing comments to all the police officers around him. He was taken to A&E but when he was presented he ​t​old everyone to ​’​f*** off​’​and put his head down so he could not see the injury to his head. The doctor said he was fit to be detained and he was taken back to the police station.​

“He has a long list of previous convictions, some of them are similar.​”​

Defending Mike Kelleher said: “Your Worships, Mr Simpson was out for a night out he was assaulted and cut badly above the eye, ​there is a ​scar left now​. He was kicked in the head. The police found him wandering around intoxicated and bleeding quite badly.”​

He was arrested as you have heard and he made very rude and inappropriate comments as you have heard. However he was never interviewed and the police did not ask why he was injured.

“What came over my client was a feeling of self-righteousness. A simple misunderstanding – he could not understand why he was being arrested when he was the victim of the assault.

“He cleans caravans in Tenby and is a carer for his mother. This is a regrettable incident and in the circumstances,​ despite a very bad record​,​ you might consider that this could fit into the category of a financial penalty. He has calmed down a lot from his younger days.”

On sentencing the magistrates said that despite his criminal record being ‘horrendous’, Simpson has been out of trouble, save for cannabis, over the last two years.

The defendant was given a small fine of £80. Simpson also had to pay £85 costs, and £30 victim surcharge to help the victims of crime.

From the dock he said: “Thank you very much ma’am for your leniency.​”​

“We can see that you are turning a corner, and at 26​-​years​-​old you should be turning that corner​,” said the chair of the bench. ​

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A level results still high in Ceredigion

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THE ‘A’ level examination results published today by the WJEC (15 August) show that high standards are being achieved in Ceredigion schools once again. 97.9% of entries for WJEC examinations were graded A* to E, with 27.9% of the entries achieving the top ’A’ grades.

Ceredigion pupils continue to outperform the Welsh average. More pupils in Ceredigion achieve the top ’A’ grades and A* to E grades. The below table shows a comparison with average Welsh figures. These don’t include Welsh Baccalaureate results and those from examination bodies other than WJEC.

Wales 2019             Ceredigion 2019

Grade A* – A           27.92%                    27.0%

Grade A* – B           56.0%                      n/a

Grade A* – C          77.5%                        n/a

Grade A* – E          97.9%                       97.6%

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations once again to Ceredigion’s sixth form students for their successes in this year’s A Level and AS examinations.

These results are the culmination of a long journey through school life which has seen them nurture and develop the academic and interpersonal skills that will enable them to move confidently into higher education, training or employment in fields of their choice. I wish them good luck for the future and would like to sincerely thank all who have contributed to their school journey in any way.”

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MP Ben Lake calls for reform of police funding

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HAVING recently shadowed Dyfed Powys Police officers in Aberystwyth, the Ceredigion MP has again urged the UK Government to review the police funding formula for rural areas.

Mr Lake visited Aberystwyth police station as part of the #GiveADayToPolicing campaign, a scheme for Members of Parliament to better understand the challenges currently facing police forces across the UK.

During his visit Mr Lake had the opportunity to experience a variety of aspects of local policing – from spending time with the neighbourhood policing team, meeting officers from different departments, and discussing policing challenges with front-line police officers.

Mr Lake has challenged the UK Government on several occasions to reform the formula for police funding – highlighting the need for the funding formula to take into consideration the seasonal pressures on forces, particularly the significant increase to the population of coastal areas during the summer months.

Mr Lake said: “I am very grateful to the officers of Aberystwyth police station for their welcome, and for taking the time to speak with me. I now have a better understanding of the challenges our police officers face, as well as a deeper level of respect and admiration of their work and commitment to public safety.

“As I have previously stated, we cannot expect a one size fits all approach to work effectively across the whole of the UK, and as such, it is imperative that the criteria used to allocate the Home Office police grant are revised so that they reflect the increased demands and unique challenges facing rural forces in areas such as Ceredigion, especially during summer months.”

Mr Lake added: “It is widely acknowledged that Welsh police forces have suffered under the present funding formula, and so it is high time that the UK Government either amends the formula accordingly, or devolves the responsibility for policing to the Welsh Government so that they may do so themselves.”

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New waste trial launched in Aberystwyth

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A NEW trial has been launched in Aberystwyth as part of the Caru Aber campaign, to help keep the town centre clean on waste collection days.

Heavy duty sacks will be placed on Aberystwyth streets on Monday afternoons before the black bag collection on Tuesdays in the following streets; Portland Street, Portland Road, Queen Street, Corporation Street, Eastgate Street, New Street and Cambrian Place.

Black bags should be put in the sacks by 8am on Tuesday mornings for collection. The intention is that the sacks contain the waste until it is collected. The sacks will be retrieved after the waste has been collected to avoid clutter and obstruction on the streets.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “We see this trial as a practical and relatively cost effective way of responding to long standing issues relating to domestic waste presentation in Aberystwyth town centre. The sacks will also provide a visible reminder to residents in the town centre on what days to present their black bags.

“The trial forms part of the Caru Aber campaign, and the wider Caru Ceredigion campaign, where the council looks to work with local communities to address issues which are of concern or are important to them.

“This innovative approach is another example of positive proactive action the council is taking. We hope that the residents of the town centre will play their part by making good use of the sacks as this will be the critical factor in measuring the success of the scheme.”

Clean recycling and food waste should continue to be presented on a weekly basis in the containers that the council already provides through clear bags and food caddies.

Ensuring that the right waste is presented in the right way and on the right day will help to make sure that the town’s streets are kept clean and that the waste is contained, managed and treated in the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way as possible.

The sacks were first used in readiness for waste collections on Tuesday 6 August 2019. The initial feedback is positive as they have worked to contain the waste on the streets, which were noticeably cleaner.

This latest initiative is developing on feedback and experience from two other trials undertaken. The success of the trial will be monitored on an ongoing basis and reviewed to reflect the experience which will include looking at ways of engaging all residents.

For more information about the new scheme, please contact the Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570 881 or by e-mail on clic@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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