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Wrexham MP warns Magistrates' merger could be 'legally challenged'

Ian Lucas
Credit: ITV News

A decision to merge Wrexham and Flintshire Magistrates' Benches could have 'profound implications' on local people, according to Wrexham MP Ian Lucas.

Mr Lucas has written to the Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling, asking him to reconsider the proposal, because of the impact it would have on the Wrexham area.

The MP has been a long standing opponent of the proposed merger, and has made submissions to consultations ran by the Ministry of Justice.

In his letter to Mr Grayling, he says:

"This could have profound implications for Wrexham people - whether that is the court staff who face uncertainty over their jobs, the cost to all those involved in court cases having to make additional journeys to Flintshire, or indeed the impact upon our town's legal professionals."

"It is little wonder that the possibility of a legal challenge to the proposals is now being seriously discussed in Wrexham."

– Ian Lucas MP

A spokesperson for the HM Courts & Tribunal Service said the decision was made after consulting local authorities, Criminal Justice System partners and stakeholders, including local MPs.

"Following a local consultation, Flintshire and Wrexham Local Justice Areas were merged into one new Area.

"The merger was to make the best use of judicial, legal and administrative resources to improve the service for court users.

"It will improve the effective delivery of justice by increasing flexibility in dealing with cases and increasing the opportunities for magistrates to retain experience and their competence."

– HM Courts & Tribunal Service spokesperson

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Mobile users in Wrexham not happy with service

Problems with EE mobile phone reception in Wrexham have been raised with the company by the town’s MP.

Ian Lucas contacted the company to ask for a meeting after a series of constituents raised issues with mobile services in the town.

Mobile phone
Wrexham customers of EE complained about the reception. Credit: PA

Mr Lucas has said he has been told that repair work is underway on a central Wrexham mobile mast – but has asked people to contact him if they find problems persist.

When I met EE, I told them that people in Wrexham were paying them for a service and had every right to expect that service. They told me that there is a problem affecting a mast in central Wrexham which they are working to fix as soon as possible, and that repairs should be made within the next few days.

– Ian Lucas, MP for Wrexham
EE
EE say repair work is underway in the town. Credit: PA

Mr Lucas says he was pleased with the speed of the response from EE but believed people should be getting the service they are paying for.

“If these issues have not resolved within the next few days, people should get back in touch with me – and I will put their concerns to EE," he said.

Plans for Wrexham power station to be discussed

Sign for Wrexham Industrial Estate
If plans go ahead the new power station will be located at the Wrexham Industrial Estate Credit: ITV News

Public meetings are being held this week on plans to build a new gas power station on Wrexham Industrial Estate.

The firm behind the plans, Wrexham Power Ltd, says the £300 million scheme would create 30 permanent jobs, and hundreds more whilst it's being built.

But local opposition group WRAPS (Wrexham Residents Against the Power Scheme) say the power station would spoil the rural landscape.

Today sees the final meeting take place at Redwither Business Park.

Audience applaud surprise proposal at festival

David proposes to Elise before concert goes at Llangollen.

Festival goers in Llangollen got more entertainment than they bargained for when a Wrexham man proposed to his girlfriend before a concert began.

As an audience of thousands looked on as 28-year-old David Jackson of Ruabon, went up on stage and down on one knee to romantically pop the question to Elise Davies, 26, at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

Elise said, “I had no idea David was going to ask me to marry him, especially in such a public place. I was absolutely gobsmacked when he did it and couldn’t speak for a few seconds but then I said yes because the whole thing was so romantic.”

The audience at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod cheered them on.

The couple haven't named the day just yet as they are waiting for their first baby to be born.

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Woman's burns recovery 'a miracle,' doctors say

Catrin Pugh suffered 96 per cent burns after the coach she was on crashed in the French Alps Credit: Catrin Pugh

A Wrexham woman who suffered horrific burns in a coach crash in the French Alps is learning to ski again as part of her recovery.

Catrin Pugh, 20, was returning home after working as a ski instructor in the French Alps last year, when she was involved in a serious crash.

She was rescued, but suffered severe burns to 96 per cent of her body. Doctors gave Catrin a one in a thousand chance of survival and described her as a 'living miracle.'

Against all odds she's fought her way through her recovery and is now heading back to the slopes.

Catrin Pugh was working as a ski instructor in the French Alps when the accident happened Credit: Catrin Pugh

Pub killer given 23-year jail term for 'ferocious' attack

by Ian Lang

A man who murdered an amateur boxer in a Wrexham pub last June will serve a minimum of 23 years behind bars.

Former engineer Francesco Prevete stabbed Craig Maddocks 52 times in an attack described as 'brutal and ferocious'.

This week a jury took just over three and a half hours to find Prevete guilty of murder.

Judge: Prevete 'carried out brutal and ferocious attack'

Sentencing Francesco John Prevete to at least 23 years in prison, the judge at Mold Crown Court said: "you carried out a brutal and ferocious attack on Craig Maddocks.”

Prevete showed no emotion as the sentence was passed.

Francesco John Prevete was told it would be 23 years before he could apply for parole. Credit: North Wales Police

Mr Justice Jeremy Baker detailed the injuries inflicted by more than 50 stab wounds, causing "a significant degree of mental and physical suffering”.

He said the victim would have been “conscious of what you were doing to him.”

The judge said that there was evidence that Mr Maddocks’ use of cocaine meant that he owed people money, including £300 to Prevete's father - and that Prevete decided to punish him.

He denied murder during the trial, and Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said: “Because of your claim to have no knowledge of the offence, it may never be known with certainty what lay behind your decision to kill him."

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