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Driver who fell asleep at the wheel killing three people jailed

A van driver from Abercwmboi in Rhondda Cynon Taf has been sentenced to four-and-a-half-years in prison for causing the deaths of three people in a crash in Wiltshire.

Stephen Jenkins, who's 39, fell asleep behind the wheel of a work van while driving his colleagues.

3 men died when the van crashed into a lorry on the M4 in 2014. Credit: ITV News

James Stark, 37, Steven Sheldon, 35, and Martin Williams, 36, all from south Wales, died when the van crashed into a lorry on the M4 in 2014.

Stephen Jenkins fell asleep behind the wheel of a work van killing three colleagues. Credit: Wiltshire Police

Stephen Jenkins was convicted after a trial at Swindon Crown Court.

He was also disqualified from driving for four years and three months.

Stephen Jenkins was jailed for four-and-a-half-years. Credit: ITV News

You caused the deaths of three men and the serious injury of a fourth.

You had fallen asleep behind the wheel because you had not made sure you were properly rested before setting off.

You had a responsibility for the safety of the men. You had a duty to make sure you were fit to drive.

– Judge Timothy Mousley

We had to make the heart-breaking decision to turn off our son's life support machine.

Since then, our lives have been torn apart.

He made our family complete and there is a hole in our lives.

Now none of our lives will be complete again.

– Tina Pople, James Stark's mother

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Two airlifted to hospital following Valleys crash

A road crash involving two cars and two cyclists is causing tailbacks in Rhondda Cynon Taff.

Credit: Google Street View

Police say both cyclists suffered non life threatening injuries and both people have been taken to hospital.

The A4119 was closed both ways after an Air Ambulance landed in the road between Gelli Road and Clydach Vale Roundabout.

Witnesses are asked to call police on 101.

Police raid Valleys homes in drugs operation

Police raided 17 properties across Tonyrefail and Tonypandy early this morning as part of a major operation targeting drug dealers in the Rhondda.

Officers made ten arrests and seized cocaine and cannabis.

This morning’s activity was all about providing reassurance to communities in the Rhondda that we are taking action against those suspected of being involved in dealing Class A drugs.

We recognise this is an issue that can be linked to crime and anti-social behaviour that affects the lives of residents and this operation was designed to send a strong message that we will deal with this type of criminality.

– Superintendent Jim Dyson

Seven other people have been arrested previously. Police say the operation has led to cocaine with a street value of £500,000 being recovered along with a large quantity of cash. Two vehicles worth £50,000 were also seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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Parents in RCT protest over cuts to education

Many parents in the area say plans to reduce nursery provision will put children at risk Credit: ITV News

Parents in Rhondda Cynon Taf gathered today to protest against the council's plans to introduce part-time education for three and four year olds in the area.

A march took place in Pontypridd town, organised by members of the group Parents Against the Cuts to Education.

The group have been fighting the council's plans for more than 18 months.

Jo Caddy is one of its members.

A spokesperson for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said it had been forced to consider these decisions as part of the UK Government's Austerity Measures.

The Council's Cabinet recently agreed to amend the funding of nursery education to support part-time nursery education for three year-olds and full-time for four year olds.

The Cabinet determined that this decision will continue to ensure the provision of sufficient nursery education for the children of Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Even after these changes Rhondda Cynon Taf will be offering one of the most favourable provisions in Wales.This difficult decision will contribute over £2million in savings to bridge a funding gap of £30million which was initially faced by the Council.

– Spokesperson, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council
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