Wales

News in Wales: Review of the Year part two

We continue our look at some of the major stories that happened in Wales during 2014 along with others that proved popular with readers.

JULY

Image copyright Family picture
Image caption Six-week-old Alfie Sullock was beaten by Michael Pearce with a shoe and plastic bottle
  • July proved a busy month with a big debate sparked over the announcement of a new £1bn relief road for the M4 motorway in south Wales. While it was the largest capital investment programme ever announced by the Welsh government, it has been criticised for being too expensive and that a cheaper, alternative route was not considered.
  • In the courts, a man was jailed for nine years for killing his girlfriend's six-week-old baby by battering him with a shoe and plastic bottle. Michael Pearce was looking after Alfie Sullock for two hours while the baby's mother had her first night out following the birth. He was convicted of manslaughter.
  • And paedophile rock star Ian Watkins had his bid to cut the length of his jail term for child sex offences thrown out. The Lostprophets singer was jailed for 29 years in December 2013, with another six years on licence.

AUGUST

Image copyright Family via Facebook
Image caption Arthur Jones was an experienced walker with 40 years' experience
  • A court appearance with a difference came in August when a lawyer came under fire from a judge for looking like "something out of Harry Potter". Long-haired Alan Blacker appeared with St John Ambulance medals and ribbons on his chest during a trial in Cardiff Crown Court.
  • On the Greek island of Crete, the search for a north Wales pensioner who had been missing since June ended when his body was found. Experienced walker Arthur Jones was last seen two days after arriving and his son said it was presumed he was dehydrated and suffered heat exhaustion.
  • Back in Wales, a siege took place at Swansea's Meridian Tower and police used a Taser to subdue the gunman after two hours. He later pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation handgun and false imprisonment and will be sentenced in January.
  • It was a bad year for those working at the Avana bakery in Newport. Earlier this year, it lost a major contract with Marks and Spencer prompting job loss fears. Then just weeks after the site was saved by new buyers, it was announced up to 390 jobs would go.

SEPTEMBER

Image caption Barack Obama, who is the first serving US president to come to Wales, made a visit to a local school

OCTOBER

Image caption Ched Evans and his girlfriend Tasha appeared in a video released on the footballer's website

Court cases featured prominently during October.

  • A woman was found guilty of trafficking two women from Nigeria to the UK to work in the sex trade. Lizzy Idahosa, arranged for the women to be put through a ritualistic "juju" ceremony in Nigeria to make them afraid of disobeying her. She was later jailed for eight years.
  • A Swansea MP admitted being duped by a conman who pretended to be quadriplegic claiming police were abusing him. Geraint Davies said he took up Alan Knight's case "in good faith" and wrote to police after meeting his wife, Helen. But Knight faked the condition to evade prosecution after conning a neighbour out of £40,000. He was later jailed for four-and-a-half years.
  • Another four-and-a-half-year sentence was handed out to a horse farmer who forced a "terrified" vulnerable man to work unpaid for 13 years in "modern day slavery". David Daniel Doran pleaded guilty midway through his trial to making Darrell Simester perform forced or compulsory labour.
  • Welsh footballer Ched Evans was released from prison after serving half of a five-year sentence for raping a woman in a hotel room. He issued a video statement in which he said he is "determined to continue the fight" to clear his name.

NOVEMBER

Image caption Cerys Marie Yemm died after being attacked by Matthew Williams
  • The home of murderer Mark Bridger, where he is thought to have killed five-year-old April Jones in 2012, was demolished. Her parents Coral and Paul Jones said April's spirit "can now be free".
Image caption The demolition of Mark Bridger's home was requested by April Jones's parents
  • And finally, Dame Shirley Bassey revealed she had re-recorded Goldfinger 50 years on after admitting there were two wrong notes in the original version. Now the Cardiff-born singer re-recorded the hit 007 movie theme for her latest album.

DECEMBER

Image caption The incident on the Sky Swing ride at Cardiff's Winter Wonderland was captured on video
  • Staying with the festive theme, fun seekers at Cardiff's Winter Wonderland were left screaming after a gust of wind sent carriages on a sky ride crashing into each other. No-one was injured, and the ride was taken down at the end of the month after an unrelated electrical problem. It was later closed down following further problems.

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