Reference Library – England
The owner of a golf course and driving range targeted by thieves is urging other companies to review their own security systems after vital equipment was stolen.
Steve Muller, who runs North Wales Golf Course and Driving Range in Trefnant1 , has warned business owners to be vigilant after two quad bikes, a specialist mower and a strimmer were swiped in the incident. Mr Muller, who is now ramping up security further at the site, said the thieves struck just minutes after his father had closed up shop for the night on August 16.
He said: The range shuts at 9pm and my dad was working that night . He left at approximately 9.15pm and they turned up at 9.21pm.
If he had forgotten his phone it makes you wonder what they would have done.
Were they chancers or were they prepared to go further for what they wanted?
Mr Muller said the theft looked like it had been planned.
Steve Muller, North Wales Golf range with daughter Freya, which was targeted by thieves (Image: Robert Parry-Jones)
He said: The quads are kept in a back area and within four minutes they have turned up, used bolt cutters to get through a gate loaded the quads and gone away.
They came back two and a half hours later and taken the rest of the equipment.
When something like this happens it makes you start wondering if you have been watched.
Mr Muller said the thefts would have a big impact on his business, which he has run since 2003. The thieves took two green Kawasaki KLF300 quad bikes without the keys, a John Deere 220B greens mower, and a Stihl petrol strimmer. He said: The quads are used by the ball collectors and without these the balls need to be picked up by hand and there are thousands.
They were used for jobs on a daily basis.
The green mower is being used on a daily basis and is specifically for golf and bowling greens as it cuts as short as four or five millimetres.
Mr Muller said the course had good security measures in place, but they would now be paying to have those improved further. He said: You just don t expect it to happen.
Locks were broken and our container was also broken into, so please use it as an opportunity to take a check on your own security- although ours is pretty solid and we ve got cameras everywhere, it can still happen.
The thieves were using a short wheelbase white transit van in the incident. A North Wales Police spokesman said: I can confirm that North Wales Police are investigating after a property was broken into at Llanerch Park Trefnant, St Asaph, sometime between mid-evening Wednesday, August 16 and about 7am the following morning Thursday, August 17.
It is likely thieves would have needed a vehicle to have taken the items away.
We are eager to hear from anyone who was in the area and saw any suspicious vehicle or activity at the time of the break-in and we are reminding the local community to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately to police.
Alternatively phone 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and quote RC17124926.
Plymouth law courts have stepped up security amid fear of acid attacks. People bringing a drink into the city law courts will now have to to take a swig of the liquid in front of security guards to prove it is not acid, before they are allowed to take it in. The security clampdown is being enforced by the Ministry of Justice across the country to reduce the risk of judges, jurors or witnesses being attacked with the corrosive substance.
In Plymouth, courts have also banned any other liquid, such as aerosols and foundation, from being taken any further than the foyer.
Liquids were already banned from being taken inside the court rooms themselves for safety reasons, for example to prevent bottles being thrown and injuring somebody. But now people entering both Plymouth Magistrates Court and Plymouth Crown Court have to remove all liquids from their bags before going any further.
Stepping through a metal detector is protocol at Plymouth Crown Court
The security guards then check the rest of their belongings as usual, and keep the liquids in a safe place to be returned on departure. Stepping through a metal detector was already protocol, before the guards use a hand-held wand as a further security measure.
Plymouth courts implemented the new measure this month, although other cities across Britain already had the system in place. The Courts and Tribunals Service said the rules have been implemented to ensure courts are a safe place for people to come, and to make sure all courts have the same level of security. A Courts and Tribunals Service spokesperson said: “We take the safety and security of court users and staff extremely seriously, which is why we’re bringing in enhanced safety measure across the court estate.
“We keep our security procedures under constant review, and will always take action where appropriate.”
Acid attacks: Plymouth victim calls for longer jail terms
Andreas Christopheros pictured in hospital recovering from a acid attack
A former Plymouth University student who was left disfigured and on death’s door after a horrific acid attack at his home has called for longer jail sentences for attackers – and revealed the worst thing about his injuries. Andreas Christopheros, 32, said he could feel his face melting when he was attacked when he answered the door at his home in Truro, Cornwall, in a terrible case of mistaken identity. With his attacker facing release from jail in just five years, Mr Christopheros has spoken out in an interview with the Daily Mirror to call for longer sentences for anyone involved in acid attacks.
As a rise in the number of acid attacks continues across the country, numerous people, including Home Secretary Amber Rudd, have called for a review of such incidents, including relabeling acid and other corrosive substances as dangerous weapons. In the interview, which can be seen in the video above, Mr Christopheros said he believed attackers should be given minimum sentences of 20-plus years. He also raised concerns about how easy it was to purchase corrosive and dangerous substances in the UK.
Andreas was was left scarred for life after a man hurled acid in his face
Mr Christopheros said: “Given how readily available corrosive substances are in our daily lives anyone can get their hands on them.
“Not every person in the UK can get a gun . The majority of people can’t.
“For that reason, I strongly believe that the sentencing for anyone who carries out any form of acid attack, whether their intended victim is injured badly or not, anyone who carries out an acid attack should serve a life sentence with a minimum term of 20 plus years.”
The matter was made even more personal for Mr Christopheros after news that his attacker, David Phillips, could be back on the streets earlier than previously anticipated following an appeal last year. At the time of the trial in October 2015, Mr Phillips, who had carried out the horrific revenge attack on the wrong man, was jailed for life . But in April 2016, the Court of Appeal cut the sentence to 16 years and he will be eligible for parole after serving just eight for the attack in December 2014. Phillips had wrongly believed that a person he suspected of sexually assaulting a family member lived at Mr Christopheros’ address.
Phillips drove 300 miles from his home to Truro, knocked on the door and threw acid in the face of Mr Christopheros.
Pia Christopheros with her husband Andreas at their home
In the interview with the Mirror, Mr Christopheros explained the terrifying moment he was attacked saying: “There was a knock on the door, I went to open it as I would normally, expecting it to be yet another courier delivering yet another parcel prior to Christmas, and instantly received a beaker of sulphuric acid to the face.
“Without this guy checking who I was, without anything . The only thing he said to me was, ‘this is for you mate’.”
After the incident Mr Christopheros was rushed to hospital where he was put on “death watch” with doctors unsure whether he would be able to pull through due to the severity of his injuries. He has lost his eyelids three times as the scarring on his face contracts, making sleep a constant struggle.
He has undergone up to 12 surgeries and will need more, he said. He added: “My t-shirt disintegrated from top to bottom, it just rolled away into nothing . The pain was inexplicable. Mr Christopheros said: “Not having eyelids is probably the most torturous thing I’ve been through . You can’t hide from the light, you can’t shut your eyes .
Obviously sleeping is difficult . But also the risk of infection is a lot higher.”
“You can’t hide from the light . You can’t shut your eyes.”
The acid attack victim has called for tougher jail sentences
The government has been called on to launch action against acid attack following a rapid rise in cases. In June, two cousins were doused with acid through a car window as they were out celebrating a birthday, prompting Home Secretary Amber Rudd to review legislation. Crimes using corrosive substances in London jumped in 2016 to 431 from 261 in 2015, Metropolitan Police numbers show.
So far this year, there have been 282. The Home Office said it planned to set out guidance for prosecutors on classifying corrosive substances as dangerous weapons and to review sentencing guidelines. Sarah Newton, minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability, said: “Other key actions will include a review of the Poisons Act to assess whether it should cover more acids and harmful substances and further work with retailers to agree measures to restrict the sales of acids and other corrosive substances.”
Jaf Shah, executive director of London-based non-profit Acid Survivors Trust International, said the law contained a “loophole” whereby people possessing acid would not be charged but those carrying a gun or knife could.
He said: “There just aren’t appropriate levels of controls around acid .
If you are caught with acid, police have to prove intent, which is very difficult.”
A dad launched a shocking tirade of racist abuse at a security guard after being caught trying to steal 14 from a coffee shop’s tips jar. In a desperate bid to fuel his addiction to drugs and alcohol, Jason Palmer, 45, attempted to swipe 14.98 worth of tips from Caff Nero in St Stephens Shopping Centre.1
After he was apprehended, he went on to racially insult and threaten to kill a member of the caf s security team in a disgraceful outburst on March 15. Lisa McCormick, prosecuting at Hull Crown Court2, said: He placed his hands into the tips jar but after a security officer spotted him and tried to stop him, the defendant threw the coins on to the ground and told the officer to remove his hands from him.
With the security officer trying to restrain him, the defendant said, ‘get off me you f****** n***** . I am going to kill your daughters . I am going to slit your throat and I am going to kill you.
He also called him a black b****** and threatened to kill the security guard s mother before a PCSO came to help apprehend and restrain Palmer. After being interviewed by police, Palmer was banned from entering any retail premises in Hull city centre3 and was released on bail on March 16.
However, just two days later, the defendant assaulted a member of the security team at Sainsbury s Local in Princes Avenue4 after being ejected from the supermarket. Palmer, who had taken a drug called G , described in court as a ‘legal high’ and drunk a bottle of Bacardi, also tried to throw a bin at the security guard and launched a wave of expletives at him before being arrested.
The defendant was subsequently banned from the supermarket and released on bail for a second time . However, on March 26, Palmer stole meat from the same store. He then went on to threaten his pregnant key worker on March 27 after she asked him to leave a property he had been evicted from in Washington Street, off Beverley Road.5
Miss McCormick said: She arrived to find the defendant in the bath . He was asked to leave but he said you will have to f****** get me out from here.
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Fearing violence, the worker went into the garden so she could phone the police6 but the defendant followed armed with a metal bar before leaving on his bicycle to evade the authorities. On March 29, his crime spree came to an end after he was apprehended and placed in custody after breaking down the door of a flat. Palmer, who appeared to Hull Crown Court7 via a video link from HMP Hull, pleaded guilty to assault, theft, threatening behaviour, criminal damage and a racially aggravated section four public order offence.
Claire Holmes, who represented Palmer in court, said his life had been blighted by an addiction to drugs and alcohol. She also argued Palmer, who has a 12-year-old son, was high on drugs when he committed his spree of crimes. However, Miss Holmes said Palmer has turned his life around by gaining NVQs in prison and becoming clean after moving to a drug-free ward.
Palmer also urged Recorder Jeremy Hill-Baker to not sentence him to any more time behind bars. Speaking via a video link, he said: I don t want to be like this . I want to change my life.
I took drugs and I was violent but I m not on any drugs now and I ve got a chance of going to get treatment when I get out.
I don t know why I said those things other than because I was on drink and drugs .
I know I can do it sir.
Despite this, Recorder Hill-Baker was unconvinced about Palmer s ability to reform due to his appalling criminal record as he jailed him for 12 months.
He said: History demonstrates that you have repeatedly offended on bail and while you were in breach of a community order.
It is not proportionate or reasonable to afford you the opportunity of a community sentence.
- ^ St Stephens Shopping Centre. (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
- ^ Hull Crown Court (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
- ^ city centre (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
- ^ Princes Avenue (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
- ^ Beverley Road. (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
- ^ police (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
- ^ Hull Crown Court (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
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