Category Archives: Kristine L Ming News Site

Kristine L Ming News Site

Carl Sargeant: Labour AM told in text minister would be sacked

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Carl Sargeant was found dead four days after he was sacked

A Labour AM was told of allegations against Carl Sargeant and his imminent sacking before Mr Sargeant himself was informed, BBC Wales has learned.

The AM received a text message saying Mr Sargeant was to be dismissed due to complaints about his behaviour.

The nature of the message was outlined to the first minister and Labour AMs two days after Mr Sargeant’s death.

Wales’ top civil servant found “no evidence of prior unauthorised sharing of information” about the reshuffle.

Permanent Secretary Dame Shan Morgan was asked to investigate whether there had been a leak.

It is understood that at the meeting of Labour’s assembly group the AM quoted a line from the text message which made reference to allegations of “touching up a woman”.

A source who was present at the meeting said: “The fact than an assembly member was told of Carl’s sacking prior to the reshuffle raises serious questions.

“Were the complainants or those close to them made aware of this by someone within Welsh Government?”

A spokesperson for the first minister said: “This message was investigated as part of the leak inquiry which found that no leak from the Welsh Government took place.

“We cannot comment further without serious risk of disclosing information that could lead to identifying a complainant.

“BBC Wales journalists whose tweets have been held up by some as proof of a leak from the First Minister’s office are in a unique position to confirm that no leak from the First Minister’s team occurred. We would encourage them to do that.”

‘Matter of urgency’

The Welsh Conservatives repeated their call for Dame Shan’s report of her leak inquiry to be published.

A party spokesman said: “To ensure the integrity of this process is maintained and to fully satisfy any remaining concerns over this investigation, the Permanent Secretary must release the report into the public domain, along with all the evidence which supported its conclusions.

“We expect this to be done as a matter of urgency and if necessary in a redacted form to protect the identities of those interviewed during the process – if they requested such anonymity.”

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Analysis by BBC Wales Welsh Affairs editor Vaughan Roderick

“The confirmation that at least one AM knew that Carl Sargeant was facing the sack on the morning of the reshuffle doesn’t necessarily invalidate the conclusions of the leak enquiry, which found there had been no unauthorised release of information.

“It’s entirely possible that the information was officially released to people outside of the government who then shared the information with others.

“Even so, questions may be asked about whether it was appropriate that anyone outside the government knew of the situation before Carl Sargeant himself was informed.

“From a government point of view, today’s revelations reopen an aspect of the reshuffle that they had hoped to put to bed.

“With stories surrounding the reshuffle and Mr Sargeant’s subsequent death appearing on an almost daily basis, the pressure on Carwyn Jones shows no sign of easing.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-43071615

Senedd to be given vote on £1.4bn M4 relief road plans

M4

AMs will get a vote this year on plans for an M4 relief road south of Newport, BBC Wales has been told.

Several Labour AMs and opposition parties have called for a vote once a public inquiry is completed.

Welsh ministers favour the so-called “black route” – a £1.4bn 15-mile stretch of new motorway.

Some Labour backbenchers want the money spent on public transport instead. The vote will be seen as a test of First Minister Carwyn Jones’s authority.

It follows a difficult few months for Mr Jones following the death of Carl Sargeant, who was found dead four days after he was sacked by the first minister in November.

Mr Sargeant had denied allegations of inappropriate conduct towards women and is thought to have taken his own life.

A former adviser to UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has told the BBC Wales Live programme building a relief road was not something a Labour government should be doing.

Steve Howell, who previously ran a business in Cardiff, said it would be a mistake if Mr Jones tried to “push it through” at this stage of his tenure as first minister.

Mr Howell was Mr Corbyn’s deputy director of strategy and communications during last year’s general election campaign.

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Steve Howell says the new road will use up the entire capital budget for Wales

Mr Howell thinks a relief road would push traffic congestion to other parts of the road network and the money should be spent on the South Wales Metro public transport project instead.

“It is the reality that it is the relief road versus the Metro,” he said.

“This will use up the entire capital budget that’s available to Wales.”

He said the M4 is “not environmentally sustainable” and is “not even going to do the job it claims it’s going to do in terms of reducing congestion”.

Last year, Labour AM Lee Waters suggested a government decision to go ahead could face a judicial review, meaning a further delay.

Mr Howell said that would mean Mr Jones could run out of time to approve the project.

“He [Carwyn Jones] has said, I gather, that he thinks in terms of 10 years, two terms as FM [first minister], that’s certainly what Rhodri did – he stood down before anyone asked him to stand down and we are coming up to 10 years next year.

“So you would imagine that any delay means it goes past the end of his term and to try and push it through at this stage in his term would be a mistake because he would be leaving his successor with the delivery of a project that a lot of people frankly don’t want.”

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Ken Skates says it is essential the M4 “artery” is not clogged

But Welsh Government Transport Secretary Ken Skates said it was “essential we don’t just look at individual transport projects in isolation”.

“The Metro is designed to primarily transport people on a north-south basis within the region,” he said.

“The M4 is the key artery for the entire south Wales region and it’s essential that artery is not clogged.”

Mr Skates said he would listen to the views of his Labour colleagues.

“We have always said our preferred option is the black route and we will make a decision based on the outcome of the inquiry, but I think that consideration needs to be extended to all members within the Labour group,” he added.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “The Welsh Government will table a debate on the M4 plans later this year.”

Plaid Cymru spokesman Adam Price AM said he was “pleased to see the Welsh Government concede” to a full assembly vote on the proposals, and said Plaid Cymru would continue to push for the alternative ‘blue route’.

“This is one of the largest spending commitments in the history of devolution,” he said. “If MPs are given a vote on plans for HS2 and the restoration of Parliament, then AMs should have the same right when it comes to deciding on the future of the M4.”

Conservative economy spokesman Russell George welcomed ministers’ “clarity” but warned the announcement “must not be a token gesture and should include a binding vote on the financial aspects of the project”.

BBC Wales Live is on BBC One Wales at 22:30 GMT on Wednesday 14 February and then available on BBC iPlayer.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-43059755

Lynette White case prompts call for longer jail terms

The so-called Cardiff Five

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Clockwise top left: Tony Paris, Yusef Abdullahi and Stephen Miller were convicted in 1989, Ronnie and John Actie were acquitted

There are calls for a law change so criminals who knowingly allow innocent people to be convicted of their crimes can be sentenced more severely.

It comes on the 30th anniversary of Lynette White’s murder in Cardiff, for which three innocent men were jailed.

They were acquitted by the appeal court and DNA advances later led police to the real killer, Jeffrey Gafoor.

Having served 13 years, he is now due for parole which has angered the victims of his crimes.

In sentencing Gafoor the judge said he had “allowed innocent men to go to prison” for a crime he knew he had committed.

With Gafoor now eligible for parole some are calling for a change in the law.

This, they say, would be included in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 forcing the issue of criminals who knowingly allow innocent people to be convicted of their offences to be sentenced more severely.

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Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said sentencing guidelines should be reviewed

It is a view supported by South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael.

“There certainly were questions raised in a number of places about whether the sentence was proportionate to the nature of the crime and the fact that several innocent people spent time in prison as a result of Gafoor not coming forward and not admitting the case at an earlier stage,” he told BBC Wales Investigates.

“I can’t answer those questions but I think they are legitimate questions and it’s a challenge to the criminal justice system to ensure that all factors can be taken into account in the sentencing process in future.”

One campaigner for change is journalist Satish Sekar – author of three books on the Lynette White murder case – who is critical of the 13-year tariff given to Gafoor.

He wants to see an amendment to the existing sentencing guidelines to include a specific aggravating factor concerning miscarriages of justice.

“It is indefensible that he got a lower tariff than the original defendants,” he says.

“He pleaded guilty but that was 15 years too late. It cannot erase the pain and guilty of Lynette’s family or the suffering and stigma endured by the Cardiff Five and their families.”

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Lynette White was found murdered on St Valentine’s Day 1988

Sex worker Lynette White, 20, was stabbed more than 50 times by in a flat in the docklands area of Cardiff in 1988.

Detectives got an early lead when a white man was seen at the murder scene in a distressed state, his hands covered in blood.

But 10 months later five black men were arrested.

Despite their repeated denials and lack of evidence, three of the men were convicted in 1989.

Their convictions were eventually quashed on appeal.

A new “cold case” police investigation subsequently found the real killer, security guard Jeffrey Gafoor who eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in jail with a tariff of 13 years.

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Media Wales

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Jeffrey Gafoor led into Cardiff Crown Court for sentencing in July 2003

After he was convicted police launched an investigation into what went wrong with the original 1980s investigation.

Three of the main witnesses police presented – Mark Grommek, Leanne Vilday, Angela Psaila – later admitted that they had fabricated their accounts of the murder under intense pressure by police.

Jailing the three of them for 18 months for perjury, the judge told them. “You were seriously hounded, bullied, threatened, abused and manipulated by the police during a period of several months leading up to late 1988, as a result of which you felt compelled to agree to false accounts they suggested to you.”

A police corruption trial which alleged eight retired detectives had acted “corruptly together and with other police officers to manufacture a case against the five men” began in 2011.

It collapsed in dramatic circumstances five months later due to disclosure issues. The judge abandoned the trial and declared all defendants not guilty.

The Lynette White inquiry had virtually brought South Wales Police to breaking point.

That stain remains to some extent which, says Chief Constable Matt Jukes, has served to forge a determination for change.

Speaking on the anniversary of Lynette White’s murder, he says: “The learning we’ve taken from the murder of Lynette White and the original investigation has led us to review many other historic cases and has led to convictions in several of those.

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South Wales Police Chief Constable Matt Jukes paid tribute to Lynette White whose memory had been eclipsed by the legal saga

“So, the case itself has driven a change in the organisation and brought about justice for other victims.

“For young officers today and many members of the community this case is something that they’re aware of in the history of the organisation.

“It has truly deep resonances for all those affected by it and it’s somewhat now in the DNA of the force I’ve got to say.

“Our determination not to fail in this way again steals my resolve every day to make sure our investigations are at the highest quality, professionally, technically, ethically, that they can possibly be.

“So I don’t think even though this is an event that took place 30 years ago, it will leave the psyche of this organisation and its leadership for another generation.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-43052066

Steel pensions: Mis-selling scandal ‘already erupting’

Port Talbot steelworksImage copyright
Getty Images

Another major financial mis-selling scandal is “already erupting” according to a report by MPs into British Steel’s pension scheme.

Members were exploited by “vulture” financial advisors and “apparently neglected” by government, Tata Steel and regulators, said the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

The UK government has yet to issue its response to the “neglect” claim.

The Pensions Regulator said it would continue to work to protect savers.

The British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) was closed after regulators accepted that Tata Steel UK would be insolvent if it continued to sponsor it.

It had a membership of 124,000 current and retired steelworkers and pension obligations of £14bn.

About 8,000 people are employed by Tata across England and Wales, including 3,500 in Port Talbot.

Members had to decide what to do with their pensions after the scheme was separated from Tata last September.

Between October and December 2017, they had a choice of entering into a new Tata-backed scheme, BSPS2, or the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

Both were less generous than the scheme that closed but BSPS2 was better for the majority of people than the PPF.

Media captionFrank Field MP: “Pension holders were fleeced by financial vultures”

A third option was transferring out of the scheme completely – a so-called DB transfer – but the committee said this is “not usually in someone’s interests”.

But circumstances surrounding the BSPS “created perfect conditions for vultures to take advantage”, the MPs concluded.

One Tata worker told the BBC he lost almost £200,000 by transferring out of the BSPS after seeking independent financial advice.

The committee noted that an outline plan to save Tata Steel UK, the “sponsor” of the BSPS, had been in place since May 2017.

But it said those signatories to the deal – Tata, the UK government and Pensions Regulator – had neglected the pension scheme’s members.

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Richard Bevan is one of the Tata workers who fears he has been targeted by “financial vultures”

Committee chairman Frank Field said: “Once again we find the pensions regulator fiddling while Rome burns, when it should have seen this rip-off coming.”

He added: “All the responsible authorities must act, now, to stop more people being cheated.”

The financial advisers’ regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), also faces serious criticism for how it handled concerns over mis-selling.

Other criticisms in the report were:

  • Despite a “surge in interest” in DB transfers in April 2017, the FCA did not act until November, by which stage BSPS members were faced with a pressing deadline, creating “perfect conditions for vultures to take advantage”
  • A communication plan by BSPS was “woefully inadequate”, under-resourced and unable to provide basic facts for members to make a complex choice. The report said it was the responsibility of the Pensions Regulator to ensure members were well-informed, but “all this failed”
  • Around 25,000 scheme members did not make any choice, thought to include many very elderly or ill pensioners. These members will move into the PPF scheme. The report said the government had not implemented a system of “deemed consent” to ensure that any member who would have been obviously better off in BSPS2 would automatically be moved, and had not explained its decision. The report recommended the government should ensure deemed consent is in place for similar future deals

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Getty Images

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The pensions deal followed a year of crisis in the steel industry in the UK, with threats to jobs and falling prices

Responses to the findings:

The FCA said it was reviewing the rules that apply to firms advising on pension transfers.

“We believe the committee’s recommendations are sensible,” said a spokeswoman. “We are currently looking at the register to see how we can make it easier to use.”

It said it remained focused on ensuring consumers are protected.

The Pensions Regulator said it had fulfilled its primary role by evaluating and approving this complex restructuring of the scheme.

“We believe this was the best possible outcome for everyone involved in what was a very challenging situation, bringing greater certainty for thousands of scheme members,” said a spokesman.

“We also helped tackle unscrupulous financial advisers who were exploiting the situation and the current high transfer values available by working closely with the scheme trustees, the FCA and The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS).”

Tata Steel said the consultation process was a major undertaking involving “complex financial detail”.

A spokesman said it was pleased so many pension scheme members made a positive choice to select the best scheme for their future.

“We were also pleased to note the trustee expects the new scheme to pass the agreed qualifying conditions to go forward,” he said.

The BSPS trustee welcomed the work being done to ensure that members taking transfers from defined benefit pension schemes “do so on the basis of suitable advice”.

He added that the actions of some financial advisors during the process was “something that the committee rightly highlights as a concern for all involved”.

A spokesman for the steel unions, including Community, said: “There is clear evidence from this report that some steelworkers were exploited and given poor advice on hugely important choices.

“Regulators need to toughen up when it comes to shutting down irresponsible financial advisers, and warning people about which firms to avoid.”

He said they would continue to support members who believe they have been ripped off “and will keep lobbying government and regulators to ensure measures are put in place so that such a scandal can never again be allowed to happen.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43060272

Sainsbury’s supermarket sign falls on woman in Swansea

Supermarket signImage copyright
Noah Redfern

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An eyewitness said it was lucky no one was killed

A supermarket has apologised after a shop sign fell on top of a woman outside a store in Swansea.

The incident happened outside the Sainsbury’s on Crescent Road on Tuesday.

Witness Noah Redfern said the sign was about eight metres long, adding: “It skimmed her head but I think she will be ok, she’s had a lucky escape”.

Sainsbury’s said it had temporarily closed the store to make sure it did not happen again.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-43050857

‘Horror movie’ attack by Taffs Well man on ‘step gran’

Janice GriffithsImage copyright
Family photo

A man with mental health issues cut the throat of the woman who raised him with a hunting knife after believing she was a “white witch”.

Jonathan Griffiths, 23, killed Janice Griffiths, 59, at their home in Taff’s Well, Rhondda Cynon Taff last June.

Griffiths was ordered to remain in a mental health hospital after pleading guilty to her manslaughter.

Judge Eleri Rees said it was “tragic” she had died at the hands of someone she had raised.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the defendant attacked Ms Griffiths – also known as Rose – at their home on 12 June 2017.

Carpet fitter Dennis Jones, who was praised by the judge and police, tried to pull him away from her, but she died from her injuries in hospital.

He later said the attack felt like he was in the “middle of a horror movie”.

Neighbour Yvonne Woodward, who witnessed the incident and has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, said: “Nothing prepared me for the horror.”

The court was told Griffiths was a paranoid schizophrenic who had “extremely poor” mental health for about 10 years.

‘Shocking and tragic’

Judge Rees said he had killed someone who was effectively his step-grandmother and had been nurturing and supportive of him throughout his life.

She said: “It is shocking and tragic that she should die at the hands of someone she did so much for.”

Griffiths was found to have low culpability because the violence was attributable to acute psychotic symptoms.

The judge made a hospital order for Griffiths, who is in Ashworth Hospital in Liverpool that will remain in force indefinitely.

Following the verdict Ms Griffiths’ family thanked Mr Jones and Ms Woodward and the emergency service staff who “fought tirelessly” to save her.

“If there is a heaven and God, our Janice will be an angel looking down on us all, knowing hell is only for the bad ones on this earth. Rest in peace our Rose,” they said in a statement.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-43050856

New AM Jack Sargeant calls for justice for his father Carl

Media captionJack Sargeant was given a standing ovation after giving his first Senedd speech

New AM Jack Sargeant has vowed in his first Senedd speech to ensure inquiries ongoing into the first minister’s conduct will examine how his father was treated in the run-up to his death.

The 23-year-old successfully held Carl Sargeant’s Alyn and Deeside seat for Labour in a by-election last week.

He said he knew he was not the only AM “who wants justice for my father”.

Carl Sargeant was found dead four days after he was sacked by First Minister Carwyn Jones in November.

The former cabinet secretary for communities and children had also been suspended from the Labour Party amid allegations of inappropriate conduct towards women, which he denied.

It is thought he took his own life.

  • Carl Sargeant’s son wins by-election
  • Jones could go this year – Labour AM
  • Jones bullying comment probe outlined

A QC-led inquiry is due to get under way into the first minister’s handling of the sacking.

A separate investigation has also begun into claims that Mr Jones misled the assembly when answering questions about alleged bullying within the Welsh Government in 2014.

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Jack Sargeant said he was not the only AM who wanted justice for his father

“I said last week that the by-election was one which no-one wanted to see,” Mr Sargeant told AMs on Tuesday in his first Senedd speech, with the first minister sitting nearby.

He said: “I know I am not the only person in this chamber who wants justice for my father.

“I know from the campaign we have just conducted that this feeling is also shared by my constituents in Alyn and Deeside.”

Wearing his father’s tie and tie-pin, he said he would work “to ensure that the inquiries under way will examine the way in which my dad was treated in the run-up to his death”.

“I owe my family, my constituents, my friends and my father no less,” he added.

Analysis by BBC Wales political editor Nick Servini

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Jack Sargeant was given a round of appaluse from AMs as his speech closed

New assembly members traditionally pay tribute to their predecessors but when that person happens to be your father it adds a layer of emotion to proceedings.

As well as the tributes, there was also plenty about manufacturing in north east Wales, which is clearly what Jack Sargeant wants to champion in his new role.

But in the short term at least, he will pack the biggest punch when he speaks about the inquiries into the death of his father.

He has touched on this territory before, including in his victory speech at the count in Alyn and Deeside, but to do so in the chamber within a matter of feet of the first minister made this uncomfortable viewing.

That said, I am told from both sides that the two men had an amicable discussion under the circumstances in a meeting alongside the Economy Secretary Ken Skates.

In his speech Jack Sargeant paid tribute to his father, calling him the “glue that held our family together”.

“My dad truly loved the community and the people of Alyn and Deeside. He loved the sense of togetherness,” he said.

“Our community’s problems are everyone’s problems, and that’s clear by the way local people come together when times get tough.”

“We are of course devastated beyond words,” Mr Sargeant said, “and we know our grief has and will continue to be shared by all those who knew and loved him.

“I hope that as the representative of a new generation in this assembly, I can do something to build a better, kinder politics for the future,” he added.

Mr Sargeant was applauded by AMs in the chamber at the beginning and the end of his speech.

Earlier, he met the first minister for the first time since the death of his father at the weekly gathering of Labour AMs.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-43044182

Rain and wind weather warning issued for most of Wales

A map of the area covered by the warningImage copyright
Met Office

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Delays to road, rail and ferries are likely

A warning for heavy rain and strong wind has been issued by the Met Office for most of Wales.

The yellow “be aware” warning runs from 00:05 GMT until 10:00 on Tuesday and covers 19 of Wales’ 22 counties.

The Met Office said delays to road, rail and ferry transport are likely.

It added spray and flooding on roads could make journey times longer and warned high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges to take care.

The areas covered by the warning are Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea, Torfaen and Vale of Glamorgan.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-43038538

‘Arguable breaches’ in Castlemartin firing range deaths

Darren Neilson and Matthew HatfieldImage copyright
Wales News Service

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Cpl Neilson (left) and Cpl Hatfield were described as “exceptionally talented soldiers”

There were “arguable breaches of the state’s obligations” when two soldiers died following a training exercise, a pre-inquest into the deaths has heard.

Corporals Matthew Hatfield and Darren Neilson from the Royal Tank Regiment died after an ammunition round exploded in their tank during an exercise.

Two other soldiers were injured in the incident at Castlemartin firing range in Pembrokeshire on 14 June 2017.

The coroner will see what safety checks and risk assessments were in place.

Senior Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, Louise Hunt, gave details during a review in Solihull on Monday ahead of a full inquest in July.

The provisional cause of death for Cpl Hatfield, 27, from Amesbury, Wiltshire, was burns, while Cpl Neilson, 31, of Preston, suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of blast-related injuries.

A previous hearing detailed how it was thought married father Cpl Neilson was the tank commander and was “positioned within the turret” at the time of the blast.

Cpl Hatfield, a father-of-one who was engaged to be married, was the armoured vehicle’s operator and was “loading the ammunition in the tank”.

The court was told Article Two of the European Convention on Human Rights – the “right to life” – would be invoked during a full inquest in July.

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The Castlemartin base covers 2,400 hectares of land on the Pembrokeshire coast

It means the inquest can consider if the state or a public body may have played a part in the men’s deaths.

“It is my view that there are arguable breaches of the state’s obligations,” Mrs Hunt told the court.

She will also consider two potential issues with safety checks before shots were fired from the tank.

“The third arguable breach is the persistent practice of storing charges on the floor, which is contrary to training…. and hadn’t been rectified by the MoD,” she added.

Mrs Hunt said consideration would also be given to what procedures were in place for so-called “guest shoots” which were not part of the formal exercise.

The MoD made a late application to postpone the inquest until later this year due to the availability of witnesses.

Turning down the request, the coroner cited the ‘considerable’ notice already given to ‘everyone involved’.

Families of the men who died told Mrs Hunt they had ‘waited long enough’.

Health and Safety Executive and MoD service investigations are ongoing.

The coroner will write to the MoD to request that any relevant information from its ongoing inquiry into the incident be made available to the full inquest.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-43030987

Hannah Turtle accused of smothering her baby son

James HughesImage copyright
Family photo

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James Hughes died from brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation

A young mother has gone on trial accused of suffocating her two-month-old son.

James Hughes died in June 2016 after being taken to hospital from his family home in Shotton, Flintshire.

His mother, Hannah Turtle, 22, has denied murdering the infant.

A jury at Mold Crown Court was told she had also restricted her son’s breathing on two other occasions, and administered her own anti-depressant medication to the child.

Prosecutor David Elias QC said the defendant was careful to ensure no-one witnessed her attempts to restrict the baby’s breathing.

He said Ms Turtle accepted that she stopped her child breathing on three occasions within a ten day period.

She also admitted that she had placed her own anti-depressant drug in his milk bottle on one occasion.

“The prosecution say that she knew what she was doing and she knew the serious harm she was causing her young son,” said Mr Elias.

“We may never know why exactly she did this.”

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Hannah Turtle arrives at court for the first day of her trial

He was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital and kept in for observations, but the prosecution alleged he stopped breathing while she was alone with him.

The jury heard that baby James was admitted to hospital two other times in the days leading to his death, after Ms Turtle pinched his nose to restrict breathing.

Then on 9 June, 2016, she suffocated her son again, said the prosecution.

But this time, he did not recover, and died in hospital on 13 June from brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.

“The prosecution say that he was killed by his mother,” said Mr Elias.

Ms Turtle initially denied being responsible but then told a social worker that she had killed him, repeated the claim to a nurse and in a letter to police.

The jury was told that the mother said she needed help and had heard voices telling her that she did not deserve James.

“I wish I had never done it,” she said,

“I know I need help.”

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Hannah Turtle denies murdering her son and administering poison

James’ funeral took place on 22 September, 2016, and Ms Turtle was told she would not be allowed to attend his funeral.

At that stage she claimed her partner had been responsible and maintained that version in a later police interview.

But the prosecutor said that the defendant now accepted that was part of an elaborate lie.

In a later interview she claimed she had suffered from post-natal depression and said she may have done it initially to seek attention and support.

The defendant has pleaded not guilty to murder, three charges of ill-treatment and two of administering poison.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-43029599