Live updates

Backpacker 'hung' himself in Thailand hears inquest

A Welsh backpacker travelling in Thailand hung himself from the air conditioning unit in his hotel room, an inquest heard. Jack Davies, 21, from Llanelli, West Wales, died suddenly while living in the Southeast Asian country.

Jack Davies, also known as Jay, was found dead while travelling in Thailand Credit: Wales News Service

Friends found his body in a guesthouse on the island of Ko Phi Phi off the coast of Phukhet. Police in Thailand said his death was "not suspicious" and sent a file to the UK for his inquest at Llanelli town hall.

Carmarthen coroner Mark Layton said he could not be satisfied that Jack intended to kill himself.

Jack suspended himself by a ligature from an air conditioning unit in a room in Thailand where he was residing. He was found by a friend who had been out drinking in town with him and came back to find Jack hanging there. The question of intent remains unclear

– Carmarthen coroner Mark Layton

His parents Christina and Jonathan Davies did not attend the inquest of Jack, a former pupil of Old Road Primary School, Bryngwyn Comprehensive and Coleg Sir Gar, In a statement last year they said: "Jay was a lovely boy and everybody loved him."

More: Llanelli backpacker found dead in Thailand

Burglars jailed for stealing property worth £70,000

Three Flintshire men have been jailed for a string of burglaries across north Wales.

Joel Reece Morris and Andrew Smith Credit: North Wales Police

The men appeared before Mold Crown Court for sentencing after pleading guilty at an earlier appearance.

Joel Reece Morris from Connahs Quay was sentenced to 2 years and 4 months and 25 year old Andrew Smith from Buckley received 2 years and 8 months.

Christopher Anthony Brick aged 26 from Connahs Quay was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months.

Christopher Anthony Brick Credit: North Wales Police

The three men who were responsible for 21 burglaries across our force area between the May 2013 and April 2014. Locations of the offences included Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire and Flintshire. In total they stole property in excess of £70,000 and now, following a 9 month investigation, they have received appropriate sentences.

– Inspector Dave Jolly, North Wales Police

Advertisement

Swansea sees a £100m turnover and a profits rise

Swansea have announced a post-tax profit of £1.7million, with turnover increasing by more than £30 million to nearly £100 million.

The figures take in a period which saw Swansea finish 12th in their third Barclays Premier League season and reach the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Credit: PA

Turnover increased largely due to TV broadcasting income negotiated by the Premier League. Expenditure increased by £29.7 million with club record signing Wilfried Bony (£12million) - who has since been sold to Manchester City for a fee which could rise to £28million - and Jonjo Shelvey (£5million) recruited during the period.

The total cost of acquiring all new players during that year amounted to £33.4m, while an additional £6.9m was spent on new training facilities at Fairwood. Some additional improvements will still be necessary to fully complete the training sites at Fairwood and Landore to the board's satisfaction when cash flow permits.

– Swansea's finance director Don Keefe

Valleys college in 'special measures' for poor performance

Tonypandy Community College has been placed in 'special measures' by education inspectors for its poor performance. In a report published on Friday by Estyn - which inspects quality and standards in education in Wales -

In a report published on Friday by Estyn- which inspects quality and standards in education in Wales - said current performance is judged to be unsatisfactory because:

Credit: tonypandycollege.co.uk
  • Performance in indicators that include English and mathematics are weak, well below expectations and significantly below that of similar schools
  • Performance in the majority of non-core GCSE subjects is weak
  • A number of groups of pupils significantly underperform, such as boys in English,boys and girls in mathematics, and more able pupils across many GCSEsubjects
  • The low level disruption caused by a few pupils disrupts the progress of other pupils in a minority of lessons
  • Over half of pupils do not make sufficient progress in lessons
  • Too many pupils’ literacy skills are weak and their numeracy skills are very weak
  • The quality of teaching varies too much.

The school has been told to draw up an action plan which shows how it is going to address the issues. Estyn will monitor the school’s progress on a termly basis.

A spokesperson for Tonypandy Community College said the results of the Estyn report highlights many of the positive elements of our College, particularly in student care and attendance.

However, we disagree with a number of judgements made by the Estyn inspectors during their few days at our College and will be pursuing those directly with them. Their report tell us nothing new and the issues they have raised are already being improved upon. Sadly, due consideration has not been given to significant improvements at Key Stage Three, attainment at 5A*-G, 5A*-C and Post 16, with many measures above Local Authority and Welsh averages. In fact this is in contrast to the progress made by the College, which has been acknowledged by the Welsh Standard Unit which places our school in the top 3 groups across Wales. This is higher than many schools across Rhondda Cynon Taf and Wales as a whole and reflects the progress that the College is making to improve standards.

– Tonypandy Community College

“Sadly, due consideration has not been given to significant improvements at Key Stage Three,

attainment at 5A*-G, 5A*-C and Post 16, with many measures above Local Authority and

Welsh averages. In fact this is in contrast to the progress made by the College, which has been

acknowledged by the Welsh Standard Unit which places our school in the top 3 groups across Wales.

This is higher than many schools across Rhondda Cynon Taf and Wales as a whole and reflects the

progress that the College is making to improve standards.

“We will continue to improve at all levels across the College and look forward to ESTYN’s visit in the

summer term when they will measure progress against those recommendations made.”

Advertisement

Attempt to improve housing stock given investment boost

The Welsh Government is investing a £20 million to improve the Welsh housing stock and bring thousands of derelict and inhabitable properties back into use.

It's part of an attempt to tackle social issues and to help meet housing demand in Wales.

Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister, Lesley Griffiths, today launched the Home Improvement Loans scheme, which will offer loans to home owners and landlords to improve poor quality housing across Wales.

£10 million will be provided over two years to offer interest-free loans of up to £25,000 per property.

Latest figures suggest there are around 23,000 empty properties in Wales.

Lesley Griffiths said:

“One of the biggest issues facing the housing sector at the moment is the lack of homes for sale or for rent. Empty homes are not only a wasted resource, but they can also attract vandalism and anti-social behaviour and can spoil the appearance of our neighbourhoods.

“Today’s funding announcements clearly demonstrate our commitment to meeting Wales’ housing need.”

Health staff work for free to support Ebola fight

Health workers in north Wales are working for free this weekend to support colleagues tackling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Many of the staff have agreed to work additional weekend sessions in the Eye Units at Abergele Hospital and Ysbyty Gwynedd to help the Health Board deliver quicker treatment for patients and to reduce the numbers on waiting lists.

They have all agreed that their payments should be donated to support the on-going medical work to tackle Ebola.

Consultant Eye Surgeon Claire Morton said:

"We have all been very impressed by the courage and selflessness of colleagues who have volunteered to go out to the affected region to care for people affected by this terrible disease."

Prof Matt Makin, the Health Board's Medical Director, said:

"I think this is a very noble gesture by our Ophthalmology teams. This is an idea that they came up with themselves, and one that says a lot about the spirit and compassion of our health service staff and the sense of loyalty that professional colleagues feel towards each other."

Two members of staff from the Health Board have already spent time out in Africa, working on the response to the Ebola outbreak, and a further two members of staff will be heading out to Africa in the coming months.

Read more: Ebola battle 'moving to end phase' as new cases fall

Weather warnings in force

Credit: Ian Lang/ITV Cymru Wales

Yellow, be aware, warnings for ice and snow are in force for much of Wales along with one warning of strong winds for South and West Wales.

Snow has closed the The A542 Horseshoe Pass between Llangollen and Llandegla.

In Powys the B4355 is closed in both directions because of ice and snow between Dolfor and Felindre.

The Llangynidr Mountain Road is also closed because of snow between Llangynidr and Ebbw Vale.

The warnings are valid until 11.00am but there are more warnings of snow for Sunday and Monday.

Load more updates Back to top