A CARDIFF man who crashed his car into a petrol pump on a garage forecourt was disqualified from driving and over the drink-drive limit at the time.
Appearing in Llanelli Magistrates’ Court via videolink on Thursday (Jan 4) Thomas Morgan, 28, pleaded guilty to charges of driving while over the specified alcohol limit, driving without due care and attention, driving while disqualified, and driving without insurance.
The court heard that Morgan, of Longspears Avenue, was currently in prison for leading police on a high-speed chase in Cardiff while twice the legal alcohol limit in July.
Prosecuting, Abul Hussein said that a Vauxhall Astra driven by Morgan had collided with a pump at a fuel station near St Clears as well as striking a member of the public on June 10.
“As a result of the collision, substantial damage was caused to the fuel pump. A number of persons got out of the Vauxhall Astra and stayed at the scene for a few minutes before running off to an unclassified road,” he added, explaining that CCTV footage showed Morgan exiting the drivers’ door of the car.
A police officer located the defendant half a mile away on the unclassified road. He was subsequently arrested but had sustained injuries to his leg and needed medical attention.
At West Wales General Hospital, a blood sample showed 165mcg within 100 ml of blood, over twice the legal limit. “At the time of the offence Mr Morgan was actually disqualified from driving. There are lots of similar convictions recorded and in August of last year, the defendant was disqualified from driving for a total of 24 months with a four month extension,” Mr Hussein added.
The court heard that a compensation claim for £14,883.80 had been made by the garage to cover the ‘substantial damage’ done to the pump.
Representing Morgan, John Wilkins in mitigation said that the defendant had ‘no recollection’ of the events.
He added that Morgan had been in custody since August for offences which post-dated this incident.
“As a result of the accident, my client was hospitalised. It’s more luck than judgement that he wasn’t more seriously injured and there wasn’t more serious damage. Some credit should be awarded for an early guilty plea,” he added.
“I’m glad that you actually realise how foolish you are,” Chair of the Bench, Lynne Davies told Morgan. “You’ve done this once, then again and again. There are a substantial number of previous and similar offences prior to the last custody sentence.”
Morgan was jailed for 16 weeks, to run concurrently with his existing sentence. In addition, he was banned from driving for 36 months and ordered to pay a total of £200 in costs and victim surcharge on release.
However, magistrates decided that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ for compensation to be awarded.
Closure of hospitals considered by Hywel Dda Health Board
A NUMBER of the options for health care in the Hywel Dda area involve closing or removing services from Glangwili and / or Prince Philip Hospitals, consultation documents have revealed.
As The Herald reported last week, Hywel Dda UHB is considering a number of options following a series of public engagements last year.
The plans, which were described as ‘a once in a lifetime opportunity’ by Medical Director Dr Philip Kloer, appeared to mainly involve transferring more hospital services into the community where appropriate.
This was as part of a strategy that the Health Board was looking into, to help solve an acute recruitment problem which is putting a great deal of pressure on the way that the Heath Board operates – and is leading to an untenable level of use of costly temporary staff to plug gaps and services.
However, of the nine options which have been listed at this stage, five show Glangwili Hospital closing entirely, while four also show Prince Philip close its doors.
In the instances where a hospital would be closed, it is envisaged that the service provision would be replaced by 24/7 urgent provision, and ‘community hubs’.
Other options include having planned surgery at the hospitals, or even closing Withybush, Glangwili and Prince Philip and replacing them with one centrally-located hospital.
Llanelli MP Nia Griffith said: “I will always speak up for getting the best possible access to hospital services for people in the Llanelli constituency, and for keeping services at Prince Philip Hospital.
“When I sought reassurances from the Chair of Hywel Dda, she explained that the health board is currently looking at a whole range of options, and stressed the considerable investment that has gone into Prince Philip and Pride in the services there.
“I will be keeping a close eye on the situation.”
In a statement about the reorganisation, the Health Board said: “All potential options, which are clinically-led, consider significant change to the status quo and focus on improving the health of the local population and transferring more hospital services into the community where appropriate. Some consider whether hospitals need to take on different roles, or even need to be replaced.
“A fewer number of preferred options will be released publicly in the spring, when the Health Board is confident they are viable, safe and an improvement on what is currently provided.”
Medical Director Dr Philip Kloer said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our health service and community to work together to design an NHS which is fit for our generation and beyond. It has been acknowledged for some time across the UK that healthcare services are challenged like never before and we need significant change. Indeed this has been recognised in the recently published ‘Parliamentary Review of Health & Social Care’ here in Wales.
“We need to develop more proactive, resilient and better resourced local community services to support and improve people’s health and wellbeing, and avoid deterioration where possible. This will involve closer working with our partners, particularly colleagues in social care. We are also looking at ways of providing the most modern clinical practice, using the latest digital, technological, and new scientific developments, in fit for purpose facilities to provide better patient outcomes and experience.
“A number of our services are fragile and dependent on significant numbers of temporary staff, which can lead to poorer quality care. For us specifically in Hywel Dda, the geography we cover is large, with many scattered communities that are getting older, needing more holistic health and social care treatment and support. Because of this, we need to better resource our community based care, which is where most of our patient contact is, and help people manage their health conditions. We also need to evolve traditional ways of working and provide a more proactive approach. This should give patients – young, older and frail and everyone in between – the services they need when the need it, so people do not have to wait too long.
“This will mean changing hospital-based care, as well as community care, and we appreciate the attachment local people and our own staff have for their local hospitals. They have been cared for in them, or work in them, and they also play an important role in our wider communities. The options may propose change to a local hospital; however this is about more than the buildings. This is about investing in our communities, attracting doctors, nurses and therapists by operating a modern healthcare system and keeping hospitals for those who really need hospital care.
“We will not put in place any change that isn’t safe for our patients and population. And we will look at all the impacts from ensuring services are safer with better patient outcomes, to considering the wider impact on people, including the most vulnerable.”
Plaid Cymru, Mid and West AM, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Simon Thomas said: “These leaked documents once again call into question the commitment of the Labour government into providing a health service for rural Wales and in the west.
“Hywel Dda health bosses appear obsessed with service change and re-organisation rather than getting on with the job of running health services. It’s only a few years since the last set of major changes, justified on the grounds of ‘sustainability’ and allegedly for the long term.
“Now once again the board are considering more changes, like a gambling addict convinced just one more bet will solve their problems. Trying to have a health service with no hospitals locally is something no other country would even attempt, but that doesn’t appear to stop this relentless ideology of pretending you can deal with an elderly population by substituting hospital beds in exchange for a few extra community health staff with ipads.
“Plaid Cymru have a long-term health plan to recruit more doctors and nurses for the Welsh NHS including our hospital services.”
Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas has tabled an emergency question in the National Assembly to seek answers from the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Vaughan Gething.
Councillors secure safety fence for ‘pond’
SARON Ward County Councillors Carl Harris and Alun Davies have secured safety measures around the attenuation pond on the Ty Dyffryn / Rhodfa Frank estate, Ammanford.
The pond, which is vital to manage the control of surface water in the area, has been a cause for concern for local residents who believed a larger barrier around the pond should be erected.
The two County Councillors took these concerns to Family Housing Association which operates the site. At a site meeting last year, the two Plaid Cymru Councillors secured a commitment that a range of options for the pond would be drawn up.
Recently a new fence has been installed, meaning that water can build up in the pond without the fear and concern of anyone, including young children on the estate, being able to access the water.
Welcoming the news, Saron Ward County Councillor Carl Harris said: “Following up on the concerns raised by local residents, Councillor Alun Davies and I arranged a meeting at Ty Dyffryn with a Director of Family Housing.
“During this meeting we were able to stress how residents believed the cordon around the attenuation pond was inadequate. We also discussed options for preventing access to the river which runs around the top of the site.
“I am absolutely delighted that Family Housing have installed a new barrier around the pond. They have also erected a wooden fence around the river which surrounds the housing estate, making the estate safer and reducing the risks associated with water. Both Alun and I are grateful to Family Housing for addressing the concerns we raised with them.
“It took a bit of time, but we have managed to achieve a solution that many residents were asking for. I sincerely hope they are happy with the result.”
Man denies £7,000 burglary
A MAN from West Sussex has today denied carrying out a £7,000 burglary in Lampeter.
Kurtis Poat, aged 23, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.
Poat, of Osborne Crescent, Chichester, denied breaking into a house in Nantyglyn, Cwmann, in May, 2017, and stealing a tin containing £7,000 in cash.
Poat faces a two day trial scheduled to begin on April 11 and was granted bail until then.
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