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Editor found guilty but will appeal

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Thomas Sinclair: Editor of The Ceredigion Herald

THE EDITOR of the Ceredigion Herald was today (May 12) found guilty of breaching the Sexual Offences Amendment Act (1992) after a judge ruled that a story published last year ‘includes matters likely to lead members of the public to identify [the complainant] as the person against whom the offence is alleged to have been committed’.

Thomas Hutton Sinclair, 37, had pleaded not guilty to the offence, which was tried at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court last month.

A skeleton argument was put forward by his legal representative, Matthew Paul, which attempted to demonstrate that the information put forward in the article was not sufficient to lead to members of the public identifying the complainant.

However, after reserving judgement, District Judge David Parsons found that the relevant information provided in the article was sufficient to provide a ‘real risk’ of identification.

“The purpose of S1 (2) of the Act is to preserve the dignity and privacy of victims of sexual offences,” he said. “Without this provision victims may well not report crimes for fear of publication of their identity. In my judgement likely in this case includes probable or might well happen. However on the facts of this case I am satisfied that there was a real risk, a real danger, a real chance that members of the public would identify the victim.”

The judgement stated that the CPS did not contend that any identification of the complainant had taken place as a result of the article’s publication.

Speaking in mitigation, Mr Paul noted that in a similar case in 2013, Trinity Mirror had been fined £1,200. He added that The Herald was an independent paper, from which Sinclair did not draw a salary.

“It is regretted by Thomas Sinclair that it ‘slipped through the net’ but there was no considered decision to print,” he added.

Mr Paul noted that this offence pre-dated another matter which came before court last year, and that staff had received training before this matter came to court.

He also added that the ‘gleeful’ reporting of the Ceredigion Herald’s circulation figures as of last June by rival titles had adversely affected advertising revenue, pointing out that the current weekly sales were in the region of 3,300.

Sinclair was fined £1,500, and ordered to pay compensation of £1,500, costs of £500 and a surcharge of £150.

Speaking after the verdict, he said: “District Judge Parsons’ decision was badly wrong. The District Judge reached factual conclusions that were not reasonably available to him, and made errors of law.

“I maintain that there was no likelihood of the information in the report leading members of the public to identify the complainant. I will be appealing against both the conviction and sentence, and fully expect that the District Judge’s decision will be overturned by the higher Courts.”

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Woman dies following two-car collision

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a two-car road traffic collision on the A470 between Cemmaes and Llanbrynmair.

Police were alerted to the collision at approximately 23:50pm on Saturday (Sept 23).

Sadly the 70-year-old woman driver of a grey Skoda died as a result of her injuries. Next of kin and HM Coroner are aware.

Two passengers travelling in the Skoda, and a man driving a silver Mazda, have been taken to hospital.

Fire and ambulance also attended. The road was closed for several hours while collision investigation took place.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, or was travelling on the road around this time, is asked to report information by calling 101. If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908, quoting reference: 409 of September 23.

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Newcastle Emlyn: Restaurant shut down by Immigration Enforcement officers

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A POPULAR restaurant in Newcastle Emlyn has been shut down by Immigration Enforcement officers, due to its history of employing illegal workers.

On Thursday (Sept 21), officers visited Yasmin’s on Sycamore Street and carried out an immigration check on the employees.

Two men, both 37, had overstayed their visas and were now in detention as they are prepared to be sent back to Bangladesh.

Two more men from Bangladesh were also found to not have permission to work in the UK. They are now being ordered to report to Immigration Enforcement as their cases are reviewed.

Five illegal workers were discovered in two previous visits in 2013 and 2014.

In total, the business has been fined £88,750, however £72,000 remains unpaid. This is now being investigated by the Home Office.

Because of the non-compliance of the restaurant, Yasmin’s has now been shut down temporarily, using powers from the Immigration Act 2016.

Richard Johnson, from Immigration Enforcement in Wales, said: “Businesses that persistently employ illegal workers must face the consequences.

“These immigration powers give us an opportunity to further crack down on those offenders where civil penalties have been issued and not paid.”

 

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Drug dealer who was ‘caught red handed’ jailed for three years

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Swansea Crown Court

A BRYNAMMAN drug dealer who was ‘caught red handed’ with cocaine and cannabis has been jailed for three years today (Sept 19).

Darrian Bointon, aged 21, was told he needed to decide now whether he would continue offending and risk spending the rest of his life in jail.

Bointon, of Brynbrain Estate, admitted possessing both cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply.

Swansea Crown Court heard how police stopped a car he was driving on June 12 and found the drugs already divided into individual deals.

Judge Geraint Walters said it was the third time Bointon had been caught dealing in cannabis but it was his first offence for being involved in the supply of a Class A drug.

At the age of only 21 he had already amassed a considerable criminal record, said the judge.

“You have completely lost your way,” he added.

“Your downfall was the taking of drugs and then becoming addicted to them.

“People who deal in Class A drugs almost always go to jail, it is as simple as that. You must have known that.”

Judge Walters said he accepted that Bointon had not been making huge amounts of money but had been dealing to meet the cost of his own habits.
However, he had been spreading the misery of drug usage just to make a fast buck.
He warned Bointon he would spend longer and longer in jail unless he changed–and the time to do that was now.
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