Live: Wales breaking news plus weather and traffic updates (Monday, February 19)

Live: Wales breaking news plus weather and traffic updates (Monday, February 19)

Hello, and welcome to Wales Online’s live blog for Monday, February 19. We will be bringing you all of the latest news from across Wales – whether you’re on the move, at home or at work – as well as the latest traffic and travel.

We will also be keeping you informed of major news stories from the UK and overseas. Contribute to the live blog by posting your comments below, or tweet us @WalesOnline to share the news that’s breaking in your area.

Robert Harries

Concern grows for teenage girl missing for two days

Police are “concerned for the welfare” of a 15-year-old girl who has gone missing from her home in south Wales. Demi Edmunds was last seen in Hengoed, five miles north of Caerphilly, at around 12.30pm on Saturday (February 17).

— Gwent Police | Caerphilly Borough Officers (@GPCaerphilly) February 19, 2024

Robert Harries

Six people in court over alleged DVLA driving licence medical forms fraud

Six people have appeared in court accused of being involved in the fraudulent supply of driver medical forms to the DVLA.

The defendants are alleged to have been party to the provision of D4 forms which are documents that anyone applying for a lorry or bus licence in the UK – or anyone renewing a licence after the age 45 – has to submit to the Swansea-based licensing agency.

Swansea Crown Court heard the alleged offences involve a company called called Doctors on Wheels Ltd and span a period of 21 months.

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The alleged fraud involved the dishonest provision of medical forms for bus and lorry licences to the DVLA in Morrison (Image: Matthew Horwood)

Robert Harries

Face of monster who saw stranger in shop and changed her life forever

A serial sex offender has been jailed after “randomly selecting” a stranger and beginning a campaign of stalking against her. Mark Maxwell repeatedly turned up at the woman’s workplace in Cardiff and left her terrified.

An earlier hearing at Cardiff Crown Court was told that 33-year-old Maxwell’s stalking spanned just over three weeks in June 2023. Prosecutor Matthew Comer said the victim was working behind the till of a store in Cardiff city centre when Maxwell started approaching her. On one occasion he asked if she had a boyfriend or a husband, if she was on the pill, and if she was “any good” at oral sex. He also told her he knew where she lived and correctly stated the neighbourhood of Cardiff.

A few days later the woman was listening to music on her headphones while walking in Church Street when Maxwell spotted her. She said in her statement:

I noticed he had turned around, looked at me, and started to walk in the same direction. It was clearly an intentional act as he turned round and made a beeline for me. When we were side by side he grabbed my right arm and squeezed with some force as if he was urgently trying to get my attention.

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Mark Maxwell mugshot (Image: South Wales Police)

Read the full story here.

Robert Harries

‘I will drive my tractor to the Welsh Government in Cardiff if I have to’ – Nigel Owens

Former Welsh rugby referee Nigel Owens has said he would be prepared to drive his tractor along the M4 to the Senedd in Cardiff Bay in protest at plans for farming.

Recent protests by farmers have come after unions warned that the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS), which is set to be introduced next year, was “unworkable”. You can read more about the ongoing row here.

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Nigel Owens has said that the farming community cannot “stand by and do nothing” and called on the community to “stick together” (Image: Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency)

Robert Harries

One person taken to hospital after Swansea house fire

One person has been taken to hospital after a kitchen fire at a house in Swansea. Fire crews were called to the West Cross area of the city on Saturday night. The fire was confined to the kitchen of the property after the alarm was raised just after 7.30pm. Crews from Swansea West, Swansea Central and Morriston crews were sent to the scene.

A spokesman for Mid and West Fire and Rescue said:

The fire was confined to the property’s kitchen on the ground floor and crews utilised six breathing apparatus sets, three hose reel jets and one positive pressure ventilation fan to extinguish the fire.

Two people at the scene were given oxygen therapy by the crews, and one was taken to hospital by ambulance for further treatments. Crews left the scene two hours after being called around 9.37pm.

Cathy Owen

Man set fire to house while his children were inside

A father set fire to his house while his children and their friends were inside it, a court has heard.

Philip Jones, 56, committed arson at the three-bed terraced property in Chepstow Road in Cwmparc, Treorchy, on the evening of September 6 last year causing £15,000 worth of damage. Read more here.

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(Image: South Wales Police)

Cathy Owen

Train disruption warning

Due to a fault with the signalling system between Reading and London Paddington, fewer trains are able to run on some lines.

Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or delayed. The advice is to check before you travel.

Cathy Owen

Cameron arrived in the Falklands

Lord Cameron has become the first foreign secretary to visit the Falkland Islands in 30 years, in a high-profile demonstration the contested territory is a “part of the British family”.

Lord Cameron said that the archipelago’s sovereignty is “not… up for discussion” while the islanders wish to be British, despite fresh calls from Argentina for talks on the future of the islands.

The Foreign Secretary arrived at Mount Pleasant airbase and will visit some of the key battle sites of the 1982 Falklands War to pay his respects to those who lost their lives in the conflict.

Cathy Owen

Man in court after migrants found in van

A man has appeared in court after Vietnamese migrants were discovered in the back of a van at a UK ferry port.

Anas Al Mustafa, of Heather Crescent, Swansea, is accused of assisting unlawful entry to the UK following the major response at Newhaven port in East Sussex on Friday. Read more here.

Cathy Owen

‘New laws for young drivers need to happen’

The mother of one of four teenage boys killed in a camping trip tragedy is calling for stricter laws for young drivers.

Crystal Owen’s son, Harvey, and three friends drowned when their car came off the road into water and overturned. Crystal now wants a ban on drivers under 25 carrying passengers until a year after passing their test. Read more here.

Cathy Owen

Wales call up uncapped Scarlets prop

Wales have called up uncapped Scarlets tighthead Harri O’Connor to their Six Nations squad.

The 23-year-old will replace Bath prop Archie Griffin who picked up a knee injury during Wales’ narrow defeat to England, while Leon Brown has also been struggling. Read more here.

Cathy Owen

Amy Dowden back in hospital

Amy Dowden has shared with fans that she’s been back in hospital after another health setback.

The 33-year-old Strictly Come Dancing pro, who will soon appear in the second series of BBC’s Dare to Dance, shared a photo of herself from a hospital bed.

Cathy Owen

Fire crews deal with Treherbert fire

Fire crews are dealing with a building fire in Treherbert.

The A4061 Bute Street is closed in both directions between B4522 Dunraven Street and Church Street.

Cathy Owen

Police investigating murder after body found in home

Police arrested a 25-year-old woman on suspicion of murder after a 44-year-old woman was found dead in a Maesteg home. The body was found on February 7 at an address in Mynydd Glas, Caerau.

South Wales Police previously confirmed a woman had been arrested in connection with the death. The force has now confirmed the arrest was on suspicion of murder.

Cathy Owen

Heavy rain warning for Wales

The Met Office has issued a warning for rain over parts of Wales later this week. They warn there could be as much as 70mm over higher ground.

It comes after a weekend of heavy rain and on Monday morning, Natural Resources Wales had three flood alerts on rivers near Cardiff, in Powys and Pembrokeshire. On Saturday more than 48mm of rain fell in some parts of south Wales..

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(Image: Met Office)

Cathy Owen

Police give update after three children found dead at house

The three children found dead at a property in Sea Mills, Bristol, were a boy aged seven, a girl of three and a 10-month-old boy, police have said.

Chief Inspector Vicks Hayward-Melen added: “It’s important to stress we are treating this as an isolated incident and we don’t believe there to be any ongoing risk to the wider community.

“We’ve been humbled by the community response to this tragedy. At a time of great sadness and disbelief, we’ve seen spontaneous acts of care and support.”

Cathy Owen

Turning colder this week!

After temperatures of 16 to 18°C in parts of the UK last week, the BBC Weather says it’s going to turn colder this week.

However, nothing too cold with temperatures coming down to around average. Here is the map for Friday:

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(Image: BBC Weather)

Cathy Owen

Police launch murder investigation

A man has died and another man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after an incident in Cardiff. There was a heavy police presence in the Butetown area of Cardiff on Sunday.

Police were called to a property in Belmont Walk shortly after 9am yesterday. A number of roads were sealed off by police and there were a number of police vehicles in attendance as well as an ambulance.

Cathy Owen

Gatland to call up new man

Ospreys prop Tom Botha has been given a huge seal of approval by Wales star Gareth Anscombe. The South African-born tighthead is now eligible for Wales on residency grounds and was once again an impressive scrummaging force for the Welsh region against Ulster on Sunday.

It comes as Warren Gatland is expected to call up a new tighthead into the Welsh squad today after watching weekend performances, following injuries to Archie Griffin and Leon Brown. Read the rugby morning headlines here.

Cathy Owen

Search continuing for missing boy

A search operation has been launched following reports of a two-year-old boy falling into a river in Leicester.

The child had been with family when he fell into the River Soar and has yet to be located, according to Leicestershire Police.

The operation is ongoing and will continue with “additional specialist teams” on Monday morning, the force said.

Cathy Owen

M4 congestion warning for drivers

No accidents on the M4 to report but there is some congestion this morning.

Traffic Wales says there are delays eastbound between junction 28 Tredegar Park and junction 26 Malpas.

Monitors are also showing congestion between junction 24 Coldra and junction 23A Magor.

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(Image: Traffic Wales)

Cathy Owen

Accident shuts Ceredigion road

An accident has closed the A487 Felindre Farchog to Cardigan road in Ceredigion.

Dyfed Powys Police say it has happened near the Brian Llewellyn garage.

A statement said: “The road is currently closed due to a collision . Please avoid the area and find alternative routes for your journey.”

Cathy Owen

Met Office forecast for Monday

Mostly dry with bright spells, remaining mild. Here is the full forecast for Wales today:

Light rain clearing during the morning to give a mostly fine day with some hazy sunny spells through high cloud. Feeling pleasant in the sunshine with mostly light winds and temperatures above average for the time of year. Maximum temperature 12 °C.

Dry and settled with light winds to begin with. Winds slowly pick up through the night around coasts and higher ground as cloud thickens in the west. Minimum temperature 3 °C.

Cathy Owen

Good morning

Welcome to the WalesOnline daily blog.

The breaking news team are here ready to bring you all the latest news, weather and travel from across the region.

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