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Families pay tribute to crash victims

The families of Captain Thomas Clarke and Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas have paid tribute to them in statements released by the Ministry of Defence.

We cannot express enough our devastation at the loss of a truly wonderful husband, son, brother and friend. Tom brought so much happiness and love to everyone he knew with his sparkling blue eyes and cheeky smile.

He had an absolute passion for life and was the best part of us; we are all poorer today without him. We carry your heart, we carry it in our heart.

– Captain Thomas Clarke's family

Oliver was a truly amazing person, living his life to the full, while fulfilling some of his many dreams and adventures. He was very much loved and will be greatly missed by grieving family and friends.

– Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas's family

Two Welsh soldiers killed in Afghan helicopter crash

Two Welsh soldiers who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last week have been named as Captain Thomas Clarke and Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas.

Both men were on a Lynx helicopter which crashed in southern Afghanistan on Thursday.

Captain Tom Clarke enlisted as an army officer in May 2007 Credit: MOD

Captain Clarke, 30, from Cowbridge, enlisted as an army officer in May 2007, undertaking officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He then joined the Army Air Corps as a pilot. He was described as an "ambitious and competent young officer" with "a very bright and promising future."

Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas served with the Intelligence Corps Credit: MOD

Lance Corporal Thomas, 26, was born in Brecon and joined the Army Reserve in June 2011. He was deployed to Afghanistan with 3 Military Intelligence Battalion in December last year, to serve with the International Security Assistance Force.

His commanding officer said he was a "young, enthusiastic and highly capable Intelligence Corps soldier" who loss will be "deeply felt."


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Youngest killed in crash was Lance Corp. Oliver Thomas, 26

Lance Corp. Oliver Thomas, 26 has been named as the youngest man to die in the Afghanistan helicopter crash.

Lance Corporal Thomas was born Brecon, Powys and joined the Army Reserve in June 2011, and after moving to London he joined 3 Military Intelligence Battalion in July 2012.

His commanding officer said: “Lance Corporal Oli Thomas was the embodiment of his generation: bright, gifted with an enquiring mind and laser focused on the task in-hand.

"The bonus for us was that he was also blessed with a natural flair and the happy-knack of always being able to raise a smile with his keen sense of wit. His absence has left an enormous gap in a close-knit team. We will remember him."

Phone salesman saved customer's nude photos

Lee Hawkes from Swansea, admitted one charge of voyeurism. Credit: Wales News Service

A mobile phone salesman secretly copied naked photos of women customers from their phones - then transferred them onto his own computer. Sales manager Lee Hawkes, 35, downloaded dozens of images of two women who took their mobiles in for repair at his shop in Brecon, Powys.

Police raided his shop and found 48 images of a woman in her twenties in a series of different nude poses. There were a further 135 sexually explicit images of a woman in her thirties.

Merthyr Crown Court heard a colleague at the Get Connected shop was "gobsmacked" when Hawkes showed him the images and said it happened "industry wide" and was normal behaviour." Police were brought in after a complaint by staff at the shop.

Hawkes downloaded the images a shop in Brecon. Credit: Wales News Service

Hawkes, from Swansea, admitted one charge of voyeurism and two of unauthorised access to data.

Judge Twomlow jailed Hawkes for four months but suspended the sentence for 12 months. He was also put on the sex offenders register.

Pc Gareth Tanswell said after the case, "People's mobiles carry a vast amount of personal data and images these days, and they expect to be able to trust those that they give access to them for repair, maintain or for advice purposes."

Brecon High School placed in special measures

Brecon High School has been placed in special measures, after the education watchdog judged it had not made enough progress on "important weaknesses" at the school.

Estyn visited the school in February and found continued problems with GCSE results, attendance, marking and management at the school.

Inspectors will now monitor Brecon High every term.

Estyn judged Brecon High School to have made 'insufficient progress' since it was inspected in 2012. Credit: Google Street View

Chair of Governors, Councillor David Meredith, said the school "has already drawn up an action plan to ensure that Estyn’s concerns are addressed as a matter of urgency. The school has had a difficult history in recent years, and I am confident that this is now firmly behind us."

Another Powys secondary school - John Beddoes in Presteigne - was placed in special measures in December 2012, and will soon be closed.

Estyn says that, around Wales, there are currently eight primary schools, eight secondary schools and five pupil referral units in special measures.


Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal section drained for repairs

Members of the public are being invited to explore part of a two-hundred-year-old canal that's being restored in mid Wales.

A lock in the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal at Llangynidr has been drained while the work is carried out.

Our reporter Alexandra Lodge dons her wellies and takes a look at the construction taking place at this historic waterway.

Engineers remove canal lock gate at Llangynidr

A crane removes the lock gate from the drained-out section of canal Credit: Alexandra Lodge/ITV News

Engineers have removed a one-and-a-half tonne lock gate from the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.

The section of canal at Llangynidr has been drained to carry out restoration work, and allow members of the public to understand the engineering that went into building the canal.

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