Rhyl ‘sex nuisance’ convicted for breaching order

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A judge has warned a Rhyl man he faces jail if he makes any sexual comments to women.

Barrie Hill was found guilty last month of sexual assaults against two women and five counts of breaching a sexual harm prevention order. The 50 year-old unemployed decorator, formerly from Llandudno Junction, had been placed under the order following a police request in March 2015.

Caernarfon Crown Court heard Hill had made the women extremely uncomfortable by making inappropriate remarks and touching their bottoms – in one of the incidents, he pulled a mother towards him and put his arms around her waist at her child’s school.

Hill had denied the allegations but the defence said while he was not a violent sex attacker, he was ”something of a sexual nuisance”. Hill told the jury he had run a massage business in the past but had not done so for a long time.

Sentencing him to a seven year prevention order, Recorder Paul Hopkins QC told Hill he had shown ”absolutely no remorse for appalling, repugnant behaviour…you hold views towards women that have absolutely no place in a civilised society. You are more than a pest, you are a potentially predatory individual.”

Hill, who previously served a prison sentence for indecent assault, was placed under a three year community order and ordered to undergo an overnight curfew for three years. He must also sign the sex offenders’ register for five years and pay £560 in court costs.

As part of the prevention order, applying to women he’s not in a relationship with, he must not make comments about their bodies or offer any massages.

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Spate of armed shop raids linked, say police

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Police believe a spate of armed robberies in the Point FM area this month are linked.

It follows three raids on stores in Rhyl and Dyserth over the past week – in the latest, a Bargain Booze store on Wellington Road was targeted at just before 10.15pm on Sunday night. No one was injured.

Lifestyle Express, Dyserth

Three men also raided the Lifestyle Express store on Dyserth High Street at around 10.15pm on Saturday night and at Llewelyn Stores on Trellewelyn Road in Rhyl at around 9.55pm last Thursday.

It’s believed the men raided the Dyserth shop on Saturday with knives while wearing dark clothing. A dark-coloured vehicle was spotted near the junction with Maes-y-Foel that evening.

Two youths were arrested following the Llewelyn Stores raid, which left the female shopkeeper with a minor hand injury.

Detectives are also still investigating a raid involving three men at the Apex Stores in Kinmel Bay at around 10.20pm on Thursday 9th March. Two men were later arrested and bailed.

In all four robberies, staff were threatened with the offenders’ weapons before they fled with cash and cigarettes. Police patrols have been increased around the stores in a bid to stop further raids.

Detective Inspector Iwan Roberts, leading what’s being described as Operation Danism, said: ”I want to reassure the community and the small business community that we are doing all we can to progress this investigation. Arrests have already been made, but I am keen to locate any witnesses to the premises which have been targeted in the last week.”

Anyone with information about the robberies should contact Central CID on 101, quoting Operation Danism, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Rhyl sand dunes damaged by fire

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Pictures by Craig Kennealey

North Wales Fire Service and Rhyl Coastguard were called to Horton’s Nose in Rhyl on Sunday afternoon after fire began to spread along the sand dunes.

Fire broke out on Horton’s Nose just before 5pm with flames grown quickly. Point FM’s Craig K who was walking his dog along the public footpath at the time called the emergency services after seeing the fire break out in front of him.

Horton’s Nose became struck by fire back in 2010 after apparent arson, the area which is home to many species of plants and animals, including the common lizard, skylarks and burnet moths, and cormorants, sandwich terns and oystercatchers.

North Wales Police took a male into custody and the investigation is ongoing.

Pictures by Craig Kennealey

Pictures by Craig Kennealey




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Bangor flat closed in drug crackdown

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North Wales Police

A flat in Bangor has been closed down by police for three months.

The property on Mount Street was said to be involved with the supply and use of Class A drugs and anti-social behaviour.

Caernarfon magistrates granted permission to seal off the flat until Friday 23rd June – it’s now an offence for anyone to enter the building.


Inspector Owain Llewellyn said: ”This sends out a hard message to those people who persistently cause misery to the law abiding members of the community. We are grateful to the local residents who worked with us to successfully obtain this closure order. We will continue to take action against those who engage in such activity.”

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Interview with Niall McGuinness after the Newtown defeat

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Interview with Rhyl Manager Niall McGuinness after the 2-0 defeat to Newtown in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League

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Interview with Michael Walsh after Newtown defeat

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Interview with Rhyl midfielder Michael Walsh after the 2-0 defeat at home to Newtown in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League

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Mark Mason murder trial begins next month

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Family photo: North Wales Police

The trial of four Liverpool men accused of the Mark Mason murder in Rhyl will begin next month.

Anthony Baines (30) of Kensington, Jake Melia (21) of Aintree, James Davies (20) of Stoneycroft and Mark Ennis (30) of Walton all deny fatally stabbing the father-of-two outside Home Bargains last October. Mr Mason, died in hospital after he was allegedly attacked in the store car park on Marsh Road.

The four defendants are also accused of maliciously wounding two other men – Justin Trickett and Sam Illidge – with intent to inflict grevious bodily harm.

At a pre-trial hearing in Mold Crown Court on Friday, Melia’s lawyer said he has not well enough to proceed with the case because he had not received insulin for his diabetes before leaving HMP Altcourse.

Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, appearing via videolink from the Law Courts in London, remanded the four men in custody until the trial begins on Wednesday 26th April. It’s expected to last for up to four weeks.


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£31.4m transport schemes for a connected, safe and active Wales

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Economy Secretary Ken Skates has today announced £31.4 million of grants to local authorities across Wales for transport schemes to improve safety, create economic growth and promote active travel.

The Local transport fund announcement made 22nd March confirmed the  allocation which comprises four different funds; £20 million through the Local Transport Fund, nearly £4 million from the Road Safety Capital Grant, £5.5 million through the Safe Routes in Communities Grant and almost £2 million for road safety education and training programmes.
Ken Skates said:
“I’m delighted with the range of schemes I’ve been able to announce today and commend the high quality of applications we received across these grants.
“It’s also very pleasing that a number of these projects feed directly into some of our key transport priorities such as North East and South Wales Metros, improved local bus services and better choices for communities.
“I had the opportunity to see first hand in Llangefni last week what investment such as this can mean to the wider community – easing congestion, linking communities with training, jobs and Enterprise Zones, supporting economic growth and improving access to public transport and active travel.
“From Deeside Industrial Estate – Access to employment in Flintshire to Fishguard Town Centre Access Improvements in Pembrokeshire, I’m confident that this substantial investment will help have a similar effect on our communities and look forward to communities benefiting at the earliest opportunity.”
The £20m Local Transport Fund will see communities from across Wales benefit from 46 schemes across 20 local authorities, whilst the Road Safety Capital Grant will enable the delivery of 31 road casualty reduction schemes in 16 local authorities. The schemes target the locations and routes across Wales with the highest casualty and collision figures and support our road casualty reduction targets.
The Safe Routes in Communities Grant makes an investment of over £5.5m in 32 schemes that will make a big difference to pupils’ journeys to school by improving walking and cycling routes to schools in 19 local authorities. The grant supports the work that is being done in schools across Wales to encourage more children to walk and cycle to school.
In addition, funding of nearly £2 million will be made available to all local authorities for road safety education and training programmes for, in particular, high risk and vulnerable groups such as children, young people, older drivers and motorcyclists.


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Welsh Government confirms commitment to £1bn of innovative investment in infrastructure

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The Welsh Government has confirmed its commitment to delivering £1bn of capital infrastructure investment through innovative finance using the new Mutual Investment Model (MIM).

Finance23 March 2017Budget

At an event held on Thursday 23rd March Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford, Health Secretary Vaughan Gething and Education Secretary Kirsty Williams launched the MIM to potential partners and provide an update about  the three schemes being taken forward.

The new MIM has been carefully designed by the Welsh Government over the last 18 months to finance major capital projects while promoting the public interest and protecting the public purse.

Three major capital projects will be delivered through the model – completing the dualling of the A465 from Dowlais Top to Hirwaun; the new Velindre Cancer Centre and a significant tranche of the next phase of the 21st century schools and education programme.

At today’s event at Penarth Learning Community, partners from the finance and construction sectors will hear about the model and the three capital schemes, including the assurance provisions and development timelines.

Professor Drakeford said:

“Over the last 18 months, we’ve worked closely with the Office for National Statistics and experts at the European Investment Bank to carefully design and secure our new Mutual Investment Model. It has been designed to promote and protect public interests, while also providing the right mix of incentives to private partners.

“I am pleased we’ve had such an interest in today’s event from potential private partners. It is a clear sign that the market is interested in working alongside the public sector on these three important schemes.

“We are continuing to face unprecedented challenges to public finances so it is vitally important that we unlock all opportunities to boost infrastructure investment. This new public-private partnership model will deliver a £1bn capital infrastructure investment boost for crucial transport, health and education schemes

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Enhanced dialysis care part of three new wards at Glan Clwyd Hospital

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Ward patients who need dialysis treatment will benefit from the latest phase of Glan Clwyd Hospital’s redevelopment.

Three newly refurbished wards are now in use at the hospital, including one which features on-site dialysis facilities.

The development means that patients undergoing dialysis will not need to travel to the hospital’s renal unit for treatment, instead receiving care at their bedside on Ward 12, the new Renal and Diabetes ward

Dr Aled Lewis, a Consultant in Renal Care at Glan Clwyd Hospital, said the on-site facilities, which allow six patients to receive dialysis while on Ward 12 , will prevent patients from having to be transported through the hospital’s to the dialysis unit on the ground floor

“It means we can provide significantly improved care for anyone on the ward who needs dialysis – there’s no delay in transferring them to the renal unit, and our staff benefit from more regular experience providing dialysis, helping them keep on top of their skills.

“Above all else though, it means patients can be treated at the bedside, ensuring they don’t have to regularly travel through the hospital.

“It’s a much more dignified and comfortable way to receive care, and we’re delighted to finally be able to offer it to our patients.”

The new ward was visited by Friends of Renal Care (FORC), which raises funds for supplementary care and services for renal patients at the hospital.

FORC donated £25,000 towards the purchase of the dialysis equipment, which cost approximately £60,000.

Jean Evans, chair of the Friends of Renal Care, said: “The new facilities are fantastic, and will make a real difference to the care offered to people having dialysis.

“The group was set up 12 years ago, and we’ve done a lot of fundraising in that time to improve the experience of all patients living with kidney disease.

“The bedside dialysis is great for staff too, as it’ll mean the care they provide won’t be disrupted by patients leaving the ward to go for dialysis.”

As well as Ward 12, Wards 4 and 8, which provide colorectal and cardiac/dermatology in-patients, have also opened following their refurbishment.

Ellen Greer, Assistant Director Secondary Care, said: “We’ve already received really positive feedback from both patients and staff on all three of the new wards, which have been specifically designed to provide an a calmer, more private and dignified inpatient environment for our patients who require a stay in the hospital.

“It’s a real challenge to manage the transfer of working wards and departments to new facilities, and as always, our staff and volunteers have been fantastic in working together to ensure the safe transfer of patients to new areas. It’s also great to see more new facilities open as we continually work towards improving our hospital to the benefits of our patients whilst we also remove asbestos from the main hospital building.”

The completion of a further three new wards, there are now six in total, represents the latest milestone in the hospital’s redevelopment programme, which started in 2011.

The work, which is being managed by construction and engineering company Laing O’Rourke, has seen a significant amount of new developments and refurbishment work take place throughout the hospital. Improvements to date have included a new emergency department, 11 new theatres and two new theatre recovery areas, a new Critical Care Unit, a new Day of Surgery Arrivals area, refurbished areas on Radiology, and a new facility for the General Anaesthetic Community Dental Services.

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