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CCTV helped a vulnerable assault victim get justice



PROACTIVE use of new hi-tech CCTV cameras helped a vulnerable man who was assaulted in Ammanford town centre receive justice.

Last week two men were sentenced for their roles in the assault, which one of the men filmed on his phone and posted on social media. It happened in Ammanford town centre on July 2, 2019.

That footage cut off at the point where one of the defendants punched the victim.

What emerged through the public-space CCTV system was the assault continued for a further 30 minutes and that the victim was at one stage knocked unconscious.

When the video broke on social media one of Dyfed-Powys Police’s CCTV Operators immediately set about reviewing footage from the CCTV cameras to firstly identify the area where the incident had happened as it wasn’t clear from the social media footage, and then to see if the incident had been caught on camera.

CCTV Operator said: “As soon as I saw the social media video I set about trying to work out the location of the incident. Once I’d worked out it was Ammanford Town Centre it was then a case of trawling through hours of footage as we did not know what time the offence had occurred.

“I eventually located the people from the social media video and the incident itself. I sent the footage on to the investigation team immediately.

“I felt ecstatic to be able to help a vulnerable person in this way.”

The officer investigating the case, Detective Sergeant Rebecca Thomas, said: “The CCTV was clear and of very good quality, from which it was possible to identify the two suspects.

“This footage was extremely important as it identified that the victim had been knocked unconscious, allowing us to charge one of the defendants with actual bodily harm. Without the CCTV footage he would have been given a lesser charge of common assault, which would have resulted in a lesser sentence.”

The new hi-tech cameras have been installed in Ammanford as part of a project to reinstate CCTV in public spaces in key town locations throughout the Dyfed-Powys Police force area.

123 cameras have been installed in 17 towns. Seven further towns are to receive cameras in the coming months.

The project was a key election pledge from the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn.

He said: “This shows the effectiveness of having a CCTV system in place and most importantly, having a team of operators in place who are proactively monitoring the cameras and the footage that has been recorded to help catch criminals.

“I am really happy to see examples coming through the criminal justice system of how CCTV footage has assisted in criminal investigations. This already demonstrates the effectiveness of the system and the CCTV operators.” EDITOR’S NOTE:22-year-old Hefin Parker, of no fixed abode, was given a 14 month prison sentence after pleading guilty to ABH.

19-year-old Elis Kelman, of Llangennech, was sentenced to 30 weeks in a young offender’s institution suspended for 12 months with 100 hours of unpaid work and a three-month nightly curfew. He had pleaded guilty to encouraging/assisting in the commission of an assault.

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Senior Learning Disability nurse recognised for her outstanding contribution



A SENIOR Learning Disability nurse at Hywel Dda University Health Board is celebrating after receiving a prestigious award for her outstanding contribution to Learning Disability nursing.

Laura Andrews, Professional Lead for Learning Disabilities Nursing, was presented with the Cavell Star by the Chair of the Health Board, Maria Battle, at a special event held recently.

The Cavell Star recognises outstanding nurses, midwives, nursing associates and healthcare assistants who go above and beyond in their professional duties and show exceptional care.

Laura, from Llanboidy, was nominated for the award by her colleagues in the Learning Disabilities health liaison service for her passion and dedication towards LD nursing. She has been been a LD nurse for over 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked in many settings both in England and Wales.

She said: “It’s really marvellous – I’m really surprised and shocked!

“I don’t even have the words – I’m speechless. It’s nice that this is happening around the same time that we prepare to celebrate 100 years of LD nursing.

“This award is for everyone that works in LD services. It shows that for me, the passion is still there even after 35 years.”

Emily Andrews, Laura’s daughter, who is training to be an adult nurse, added: “I’m really proud of my mum. She’s worked so hard and she really deserves this.”

Maria Battle, Chair of the Health Board, added: “Laura is a true advocate and champion of learning disability nursing. She has tirelessly raised the profile of learning disabilities in all arenas she attends and takes every opportunity to encourage new students into the profession.

“Laura has been instrumental in developing new services to meet the needs of those with a learning disability and she always includes and values the input of people with a learning disability to ensure their voice is heard.”

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30K Lottery win for Ammanford neighbours



RESIDENTS surprised with cheques during Storm Brendan

Five neighbours in Ammanford were celebrating this weekend despite the miserable weather, after they won a large cash sum with People’s Postcode Lottery.

Four of the players scooped £30,000 each, with the fifth doubling their prize to £60,000 thanks to playing with two tickets.

The Carmarthenshire residents scooped the cash after their postcode, SA18 2EW, was announced as a winner on Sunday 12 January.

Pam Harris (49) was one of the lucky winners receiving a cheque for £30,000. She said: “I’m totally shocked! It’s a life-changing experience. Today I’ve had a very big adventure which I’m very happy about.”

Pam has a 13-year-old son who she plans to treat with the prize money, as well as booking a holiday to escape the wet weather.

She said: “My son is over the moon, he wants to spend it on all sorts of stuff. He wants to change his bedroom and he also wants to go abroad, which is fine by me as I want to go on holiday as well! I’d love to go to the Fiji Islands for a few weeks. I’d also love to hire a helicopter and go for a spin over the Grand Canyon.”

Pam was delighted to find out that some of her neighbours won too and plans on celebrating with her friends. She said: “I’m going to the local pub over the road with a couple of mates tonight. I’m going to absorb the atmosphere and soak it all in. Drinks are 100% on me, steaks all round, happy days!

It’s absolutely brilliant that my neighbors have won too. They’ll all be happy and we’re helping good causes too. You’ve got to be in it to win it, winner winner chicken dinner!”

Gwyneth Williams (62) was another local picking up a cheque for £30,000.

She said: “I couldn’t believe it, I’m still shaking. I’m not used to having this much money. I have four children and 11 grandchildren so that’s it spent already!”

With a minimum of 32% of every ticket going to good causes, players have helped raise more than £500 million to date for charities and good causes. Gwyneth commented: “It’s wonderful the amount of people it helps and that something good comes out of it. It’s a well worthy cause.”

There were another three winners in the postcode who were not available to receive their cheques in person, however the money will be paid into their bank accounts.

People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador, Danyl Johnson, was in Ammanford meeting the winners and handing out cheques. He said: “I had a great day meeting our winners and we definitely didn’t let the stormy weather dampen the mood! It sounds like Pam and her son have a lovely tropical holiday planned, and Gwyneth’s family is in for a treat. Congratulations to everyone who won in Ammanford, even those we weren’t able to visit!”

The draw was promoted on behalf of WWF UK. The charity has received over £13.4 million to help build a future in which people and nature thrive.

For more information on People’s Postcode Lottery, please visit or Facebook and Twitter.

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Heart charity search for Welsh heart heroes



Do you know a special person in your community who deserves a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Cymru award in 2020?

The charity’s Heart Hero Awards 2020 are open and people can now nominate their heart hero. The awards recognise the different ways people are helping beat heartbreak from heart and circulatory diseases. This could be through fundraising, volunteering or helping patients and their families.

This year there are three categories: Healthcare Hero, Young Heart Hero and the Inspiration Award. Nominations can be made at

The Healthcare Hero award will recognise a doctor, nurse, or person working in a healthcare setting who has made a special effort to make a difference to the life of a heart patient or their family.

The Young Heart Hero award will go to an exceptional person under the age of 18 years who has done something amazing for the BHF and is a source of inspiration to others.

The Inspiration award will recognise a person who inspires others through their determination and dedication. Whether that is through their fundraising efforts, taking part in a physical challenge, organising an event, or volunteering activities.

Nominations are open until Saturday 29 February. The winners will be announced at a very special gala awards dinner which will take place in London in September 2020.

Previous winners in Wales include 11 year old Llew John from Efailwen in Carmarthenshire; Healthcare Hero Liana Shirley, a Physiologist from Anglesey and Inspiration Award winner Jovita Jones from Abergavenny.

Adam Fletcher, Head of BHF Cymru said: ““Heart and circulatory diseases affect the lives of thousands of people across Wales, often in devastating ways. Yet, there are so many ordinary people who, when confronted with that challenge, are doing extraordinary things.

“The BHF’s Heart Hero Awards recognise and celebrate the efforts of those who are working selflessly to make life better for other people.

“It would be fantastic to reward some of our supporters in Wales, so if you know someone who is making a difference then please put them forward for an award so that their contribution can be recognised.”

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