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Aberystwyth shows it stands together against racism

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A PROTEST was held in Aberystwyth on Saturday (Jun 26), which organisers said was to stand in solidarity with those who experience racist abuse.

Aberystwyth Together: We Say No To Racism, took place in the Castle Grounds and was attended by around 50 people.

Organised by Rhodri Ffrancis, among the speakers were Aberystwyth mayor Cllr Alun Williams, Black Lives Matter activist Bianca Ali and Stand up to Racism Wales’ Nimi Trivedi.

Last week, Mr Francis told the Ceredigion Herald “It’s an opportunity for us to support people, like Rosedona Williams, and to give our love and compassion to them. And to tell people we object to racism.”

Last month student said she felt “trapped” in her seat as a group directed racist chanting and Nazi salutes towards her on a train.

Among the speakers were Aberystwyth mayor Cllr Alun Williams (Pic Rose Voon/Herald)

Rose Williams said she and others were subjected to a stream of abuse after a group got on the Aberystwyth-bound train at Borth, Ceredigion, on Sunday.

The microbiology student said the “heinous attack” came out of nowhere.

British Transport Police (BTP) said it was treating it as a racist incident and transport bosses say they “utterly condemn this abhorrent behaviour”.

In a post widely shared on social media, Ms Williams shared video footage of a man pointing and laughing at her while shouting racist slurs in the carriage.

Around 50 people were at the protest (Image: Rose Voon / Herald)

Speaking to BBC Wales, she described in detail the language and abuse she had been subjected to.

The student, who has lived in Aberystwyth for six years, said she was travelling back from a weekend away in Manchester with friends when the incident happened.

She explained her friends had just got off, when a group of men and women came into the carriage at Borth and one of the men started pointing at her, calling her a “big black dog”.

“It shocked me, it took me by surprise,” she said.

“His friends joined in and they were all chanting, ‘There’s a dog on the train’, raising their hands in the air like, jumping off their seats and laughing about it.”

At the time spokesperson for Transport for Wales, who run the service, told The Ceredigion Herald that the force was working closely with police with their investigations and urged anyone on the train to contact officers.

“We utterly condemn this abhorrent behaviour and are treating this report very seriously,” they said. “We encourage victims and those who witness such crimes to report it immediately – we will do all we can to help.

“We are proud of the diversity within Transport for Wales and the diversity of the customers we serve, and we stand together alongside our industry partners to say loud and clear that any form of hate crime will not be tolerated on our services.”

A BTP spokesperson said they were investigating a report of a racist incident on board a train between Machynlleth and Aberystwyth.

They urged anyone who had witnessed the incident to contact them.

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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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