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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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Recovery efforts underway in aftermath of floods

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A HUGE clean-up operation is underway to deal with the aftermath of the worst flooding Carmarthenshire has seen in decades.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s operational team has now switched its efforts from emergency response to recovery and supporting affected communities and businesses.

Additional resources have been put in place to collect ruined carpets, furniture and other waste, with cages and skips being dispatched to worst hit areas. People are advised to check with their insurers before disposing of any items.

Dehumidifers have been provided to as many homes as possible.

A hardship fund has been established for residents most in need of financial support, and housing officers will be visiting homes and helping people to complete and submit insurance claims.

Business support officers are also making contact with retailers and businesses to support them, and rate relief is also being sought from Welsh Government.

Highways, cleansing and refuse crews continue to sweep and clean debris left by the receding floods, and inspections will take place on all affected road surfaces, verges and bridges.

Specialist teams are being drafted in to support crews, including divers to inspect underwater structures and areas that have experienced land slide.

The council continues to urge people to take extra care and to allow extra time for their journeys as a number of diversions will remain in place.

Carmarthenshire County Council Chief Executive Mark James said: “Our staff have been working hard to respond in extremely difficult conditions. Now that the flood waters have subsided we have shifted our focus from response to recovery and we are doing all we can to support everyone affected.

“A full assessment of the damage is underway, and, as well as working with partner agencies, we are also speaking with Welsh Government to ensure appropriate resources are in place.”

· Follow updates on the council’s Newsroom, Facebook and Twitter

· Anyone in need of assistance should call 01267 234567 or email direct@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

· Apply for support for flooding recovery: https://myaccount.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/en/service/Support_for_flooding_recovery

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Llandysul: Fire service cordoned off gas cylinders

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ON SUNDAY (Oct 14) at 11:45am, firefighters from Llandysul were called to a flood-related incident in Station Road, near the Tyweli River.

On attendance to the incident, firefighters were confronted with a strong smell of gas, where approximately 60 gas cylinders had entered the river and accumulated in a culvert. Western Power were also in attendance to make safe a live electrical wire, from a three-phase electrical pumping station.

The Fire Service evacuated 12 properties from either side of the river and cordoned off Station Road for public safety.

Firefighters retrieved approximately 40 cylinders from the river and monitored the incident until the level of the flood water dropped.

The Police Service were also in attendance.

The cordons have now been lifted and business owners and residents have returned to their properties.

The Fire Service received the stop message at 09:02am this morning (Oct 15).

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Police say ‘stop protecting’ murder suspect Steve Baxter

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JUST over two weeks ago Simon Clark, aged 54, was found dead at Grove Caravan Park in Pendine, Carmarthenshire.

Dyfed-Powys Police is continuing its manhunt for Steve Baxter, who is wanted on suspicion of Simon’s murder.

Baxter also known as Steve Tidy, Steve Rowley, Wayne Tidy or William Tidy, is aged 52, 5’5” (1.65cm) tall and has tattoos on his forearms – the name Chez and entwined circles on his left arm and a serpent on his right arm.

He has connections in the West Wales, South Wales, South West and North England areas of the UK.

Officers and staff are working round the clock to follow all possible lines of enquiry.

The independent charity Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to the arrest of Steve Baxter and he has been added to the Most Wanted section of their website. Information would be taken by the charity anonymously.

Detective Superintendent Huw Davies said: “It’s over two weeks since Simon Clark was murdered at Grove Caravan Park, Pendine.

“The manhunt for Steve Baxter is ongoing and I must stress to the public that officers and staff are working round the clock to investigate all possible lines of enquiry that could lead us to him.

“I urge anyone with information of Baxter’s whereabouts to come forward. If you do not want to speak to police directly, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, which is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to his arrest.

“Someone knows where he is or has been in the last two weeks. Please stop protecting him. Simon Clark’s family deserve to see all those involved in his death brought to justice.”

Four people have been charged in connection with the murder: Jeffrey Stephen Ward, aged 40, from Pendine, has been charged with murder; Linda Mary Rowley, aged 52, from Pendine, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder); Kirston Macklin, aged 52, from Newport, Gwent, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder) and Julie Louise Harris, aged 46, from Tonypandy, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder).

If you see Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 999. Do not approach him.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 101 immediately.

To pass on information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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