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Double barrelled shotgun found in attic

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A FORMER antiques dealer who left a double barrelled 12-bore shotgun in his attic when he split with his partner was told that he only avoided prison due to the ‘somewhat exceptional circumstances’ of his case.

48-year-old Simon Causer, of Lammas Street, Carmarthen, pleaded guilty to one charge of possessing a shotgun without a certificate when he appeared at Llanelli Law Courts on Thursday (Jun 7).

The court heard that the gun had been purchased when causer was working as an antiques dealer, and he had been under the misapprehension that the weapon had been deactivated.

Prosecuting, Catherine Miles told the court that the offence dated back to November 2016, when Causer’s ex-wife had been clearing out the house they had previously shared prior to selling it.

In the attic, she found two guns wrapped in black bags, which she believed belonged to Causer. Police were called, and the weapons identified as a double-barrelled shotgun of Spanish origin and an air rifle. The shotgun was in working order, but had light corrosion to the barrel.

Causer was interviewed in January of this year, and confirmed he used to work as an antiques dealer carrying out house clearances. He added that he couldn’t remember where the guns came from, but thought that he had purchased them several years ago.

Causer explained that he had been told the weapons were deactivated, and he intended to mount them on wooden plaques and sell them as ornaments, and told officers that he had moved the guns, along with other items of stock, to the attic when he was forced to close his business due to ill-health.

The court heard that while Causer had previous convictions, he had not been before the courts since 2002.

Speaking in mitigation, David Elvy said that Causer had paid £20 for both guns ‘very many years ago’, believing that they were not working.

“He never thought to check whether they had been deactivated,” he remarked, explaining that after Causer moved his surplus stock to the attic his relationship broke down and he ‘packed his bags and left’.

Mr Elvy noted that while police recovered the guns in 2016, Causer was not spoken to until this year, when he went to the police station to report a theft.

Pointing out that no ammunition was found Mr Elvy added that Causer accepted ‘he should never have purchased the guns in the first place’.

“This is one of the rare occasions when a custodial sentence is not appropriate,” he remarked.

District Judge Chris James told Causer that certification was required to keep weapons like this out of the hands of people who should not have access to them.

“This was a side-to-side two-barrel shotgun, which has no lawful use in these circumstances,” he added, noting that it had been in Causer’s possession for an extended period of time.

While he accepted that Causer had not intended to use the gun, Judge James pointed out that it was capable of being used.

Causer was given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay a total of £200 in costs and surcharge.

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Plaid Cymru MP campaigns against martial law

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PLAID CYMRU’S Defence Spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, has spearheaded a campaign to stop the use of troops on the streets and the imposition of ‘martial law’ post-Brexit.

Working with the Peace Pledge Union, Mr Edwards, MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, has tabled a motion calling for the Defence Secretary to rule out the use of armed forces personnel for police functions or for social control, and to make clear that the imposition of martial law is not under consideration.

In December 2018, No. 10 sources said that 3,500 armed forces personnel were being put on standby to deal with any disruption in the event of a disorderly departure from the EU. In January, The Sunday Times revealed that Whitehall officials have been gaming a state of emergency and even the introduction of martial law in the event of disorder after a no-deal Brexit.

Alongside the motion – known as an Early Day Motion – Mr Edwards also tabled a series of questions to the Secretary of State for Defence seeking to clarify whether he has any plans to impose martial law and if he will rule out the use of troops on the streets in place of police.

As well as serious concerns about the economic and democratic implications of imposing martial law, Mr Edwards questioned whether the army is appropriately equipped to deal with roles normally reserved for the police or civil agencies.

The effects of police cuts and whether this plan puts the public at risk must be considered, the Plaid Cymru MP said. The last time states of emergency were declared in the UK was in the early 1970s to deal with the effects of strikes in essential services.

Plaid Cymru’s Defence Spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, said: “It is both absurd and terrifying in equal measure that the British state is considering putting soldiers on the streets as a result of their own bungled Brexit policy. The British Government must clarify the mission statement it has sent accompanying the call up and calling for it to be published.

“Martial law is probably the most serious domestic decision any government could make and is not to be taken lightly.

“The economic effect of imposing a state of emergency would be catastrophic. That is not to mention the democratic and social implications.

“Of course, brutal police cuts have left our law enforcement services with little or no spare capacity. Replacing them with soldiers is, however, neither sensible nor safe – they do not have the appropriate training, experience or, fundamentally, function in our society.

“Contemplating putting soldiers on the street is surely proof enough that the Westminster Government cannot continue with their dangerous deal or no deal gamble.

“Imposing martial law wasn’t on the side of a big red bus in the 2016 referendum. Now the facts have come to the fore, it’s time the people had the opportunity to make an informed decision and the chance to stop this Brexit mess.”

Symon Hill, spokesperson for the Peace Pledge Union, said: “Gavin Williamson has so far failed to deny reports that the UK government is looking at using troops for social control, or even considering martial law in the event of civil unrest.

The chaos over Brexit must not be used to present the armed forces as the only institutions that can save us in a crisis. Both leavers and remainers emphasise their belief in democracy. A democratic society is not a militarised society. Sending troops onto the streets is no alternative to listening to people’s grievances.”

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Kitten rescued from telegraph pole

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A KITTEN that was stuck up a wooden telegraph pole in Carway, Kidwelly, after being chased up there by a dog has been safely rescued.

The eight-month-old tabby and white cat – named Nala – became stuck on Monday evening and the RSPCA was contacted when she wasn’t able to get down. Due to the height and nature of the pole, the fire service were called to assist, with a crew from Pontyates fire station attending Bron Gwendraeth in Carway on Tuesday (Feb 12).

RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Ellie West said: “Poor Nala had been up there all night and was not able to get herself down. She had perched herself on a light and looked quite scared. She must have been around two storeys high.

“The fire service, as usual, were absolutely brilliant and came along with their specialist equipment for this rescue.

“Initially they tried a big set of ladders and it was hoped she would come down of her own accord as she was showing interest, but unfortunately it didn’t work. They then used different ladders for one of the firefighters to go up and rescue her who carried her down safely. We’d very much like to thank the fire service for their assistance and continued partnership working.”

ACO West added: “Nala was returned to her owner and then tucked into her late breakfast after her ordeal. I’m sure she will keep away from the pole in future and hopefully the dog won’t be chasing her again!”

If you do see an animal in distress please call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

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Tributes paid to ‘kind natured’ man who was killed by falling tree

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TRIBUTES have been paid to Llanelli man who tragically lost his life after a tree fell on his van in Carmarthenshire.

Mid and West Wales Fire Service confirmed the tree had fallen on to a transit van on Friday (Feb 8) just after 10am.

Police were called to the B4306 between Pontyberem and Llannon where the driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Darren Davies, a father of three, from Carmarthenshire, was driving his Yodel work van when he was killed by the falling tree.

He has been described as a ‘kind natured’ man, with his family describing him as ‘caring, thoughtful and have the ability to make everyone laugh’.

He has worked at the Yodel depot in Llanelli for a number of years, Yodel have said he would be ‘sorely missed’.

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