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Illegal dog breeder pays heavy price for misleading customers

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AN ILLEGAL dog breeder has been handed a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay over £200,000 after selling sick puppies with false pedigree and veterinary papers.

Dylan Huw Thomas, of New Inn, Llandeilo, was caught running a fraudulent dog breeding business by Carmarthenshire County Council’s Trading Standards team, who carried out a lengthy investigation over a number of years to bring him to justice.

Thomas, 59, deliberately mis-led his customers, selling puppies across the country – some of which were severely ill and required immediate veterinary treatment, and including one chocolate Labrador who had to be put down.

He claimed to be a registered breeder when he was not, adulterated lineage documents and veterinary cards to cover his tracks, and often hid behind a false identity.

Several concerned customer of Thomas contacted the local authority after becoming concerned at the welfare of puppies they had bought from him, or about the paperwork that came with them.

Customers say he would appear ‘nervous’ or ‘shifty’ and evaded their questions.

Adverts would often state that puppies were raised at home amongst family and children, when in fact it has been difficult to trace exactly where the puppies have come from.

He would travel to his customers with the puppies saying he happened to be in their area, and if asked where the puppy’s mother was would say she was ‘under the weather’.

Following the Trading Standards investigation, and in the face of overwhelming evidence, Thomas pleaded guilty to 14 separate offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.

He was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday (December 20, 2018) where His Honour Judge Geraint Walters handed him a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered him to pay £215,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Passing the sentence, he told Thomas: “You went into this business with your eyes open when farming was difficult. Easy money – you were deceiving people you were dealing with.”

Cllr Philip Hughes, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Public Protection, praised the Trading Standards team for their thorough investigation which helped bring Thomas to justice, and said he hoped this case would act as a deterrent to other illegal breeders.

“Dylan Huw Thomas deliberately mis-led his customers and made a lot of money through selling puppies without proper welfare checks and documentation,” he said.

“This is a serious crime with serious consequences, and we’re glad we were able to bring him to court and see this sentence handed down.”

He added: “This should be a lesson to anyone who breeds dogs – breeding and selling without proper licensing, documentation and regard for the welfare and wellbeing of puppies and their mothers will not be tolerated.”

The council has urged people to ensure they carry out proper checks before purchasing a puppy advertised for sale to avoid funding the illegal dog breeding trade.

They advise that people should see mum and puppy together at the place of breeding, documents should be thoroughly checked, and enquiries should also be made with veterinary practices and local authorities.

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Cold temperatures likely to lead to icy conditions

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A YELLOW weather warning is in place over Wales from 10pm tonight (Jan 16) and 11am tomorrow morning (Jan 17).

As temperatures drop, there is a strong chance of ice patches causing dangerous conditions for motorists.

Icy patches developing with wintry showers also affecting some areas.

What to expect

  • Some injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces
  • Probably some ice on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths
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Next stage of works to clear Cwmduad landslide

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PHASE two of the works to stabilise a landslide in Cwmduad has begun following the recovery of a lorry from the river below.

Carmarthenshire County Council is leading the operation to clear the site and re-open the A484 for traffic travelling between Carmarthen and Newcastle Emlyn, following the landslide in October.

Phase one, which commenced before Christmas, created a safe zone for the recovery of a lorry that was swept in to the river during the storm.

That recovery took place earlier today (Monday, January 14, 2019).

Phase two, to permanently stabilise the embankment, involves complex drainage and geotechnical works.

The highway structure will then be assessed before any indication can be given as to when the road will re-open.

The council has thanked the community, and affected commuters, for their patience whilst site assessments and works have been underway.

Ruth Mullen, Director of Environment for Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “We are now making progress in what has been a highly complex operation and legal process between the council, partner agencies and the landowner.

“We fully appreciate the impact this has had on the community, and we wish to reiterate that we have worked without delay to undertake site investigations in the immediate aftermath of the landslide, along with clearance and construction works to make the area safe.

“We are working as quickly as we can to re-open the road as soon as possible, and would like to thank those affected most sincerely for their patience.”

Until the road is re-opened, traffic will continue to be diverted along the B4333 Carmarthen – Newcastle Emlyn.

Additional bus services remain in place:

  • A shuttle service currently runs from Cwmduad to Tycoch to catch the 460 service at 7.25am, 9.35am and 10.55am. Return journeys are at 2.25pm and 4.45pm.
  • The 460 service is currently operating on a diversion route
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Three seriously injured in A40 crash

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is appealing for information about a collision which resulted in serious injuries.

The collision which happened on Sunday afternoon (Jan 13) involved a silver Ford Fiesta and a Silver BMW 120 and at approximately 4pm on the A40 between Pont-y-fenny and Whitland roundabout.

The Silver Fiesta was travelling towards Whitland and the BMW was travelling towards Carmarthen.

A 67-year-old woman has been taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

A 71-year-old man and a 68-year-old woman were also taken to hospital suffering serious injuries.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, or was driving along the road around the time or with dash cam footage, is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit by calling 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, please text 07811311908. Please quote reference DP-20190113-199.

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