A FORMER social worker who sexually abused a teenager, a paedophile who had images of children as young as one being abused, and a burglar who broke in to four houses in a day just days after being released on bail were all jailed in February.

These nine criminals from across west Wales were sentenced to a combined total of just under 20 years.

The defendants were charged with offences including arranging the commission of a child sexual offence, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act, possession of indecent images, battery, strangulation, possession of a knife and an imitation firearm, possession with intent to supply cocaine, burglary, assaulting police officers, and inflicting grievous bodily harm.

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Here’s a round-up of their cases.

Richard Ford

Western Telegraph: Richard Ford was sentenced to five years in prison at Swansea Crown Court.Richard Ford was sentenced to five years in prison at Swansea Crown Court. (Image: Dyfed-Powys Police)

Former social worker Richard Ford trawled pornographic websites, arranging to have sex with a 13-year-old girl in a hotel room and saying he would bring underwear, alcopop and lubricant.

Ford, 51, now of Princess Way Road in Hackney, was sentenced to five years in prison.

The court heard that Ford, who had worked as an adults’ social worker, had changed his name by deed poll, with Social Care Wales confirming that he was known to them as Dale Richard Barker and is currently subject to an interim suspension order.

Upon his arrest in September 2022, Ford was found to be in possession of more than 900 indecent images of children, 254 which were of the most serious class A category. Of these he had shared or distributed 19 images.

Ford used two websites to facilitate child sexual abuse. He said that he had a sexual interest in young children and "blossoming girls and young girls that need training up".

Unbeknown to him, he was talking to undercover police officers.

He said that he was looking to groom a girl of nine or 10 and asked how he could arrange "play dates" to meet and have sexual intercourse with young girls.

In conversations with who he thought was the abusive mother of a 13-year-old girl, to whom he sent 19 indecent images, Ford fantasised about sex with her daughter and discussed booking a hotel room and carrying out sexual acts with the child while the mother watched.

He also had a conversation with the teen where he discussed sexual matters. During this chat Ford revealed that he had sexually touched a teenage girl.

Ford’s revelations that he had sexually abused a young girl led to a separate police investigation. Officers were able to locate his victim, a teenager, who disclosed three sexual offences that Ford had committed against her.

Ford was sentenced for arranging the commission of a child sexual offence, attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act, possession of 910 indecent images, distribution of 19 of these images, and for the three sexual offences on the teenage girl.

He was put on the sex offenders register for life. A further hearing later this week will finalise the terms of a restraining order and a sexual harm prevention order.

Andrew McGown

Western Telegraph: Andrew McGown had more than 2,000 child sex abuse images on his computer.Andrew McGown had more than 2,000 child sex abuse images on his computer. (Image: Dyfed-Powys Police)

Paedophile Andrew McGown had images of children as young as one being sexually abused on his computer before, during, and after he was sentenced for identical offences last summer.

McGown was sentenced to 10 months, suspended for 18 months, last June after being found with more than 11,000 images and videos of child sex abuse and bestiality on his computer, phone, and printed out and sorted in to folders.

However, during a routine visit to his home on October 3, the police found evidence of more than 1,000 indecent images of children on McGown’s desktop computer. He denied that he had looked at this.

All of the indecent images on the computer were inaccessible, although there was evidence the files were created in April – on the day after he bought the computer. Some had been accessed and modified while he was awaiting sentence as well as after he was sentenced for his previous offences.

The court heard that one of the images involved a child as young as one being sexually abused by an adult male.

A USB shortcut was also found with more than 1,000 more indecent images of children on it.

McGown said he didn’t know how these images got on his computer – and suggested it may have been when he was trying to install Microsoft Office on the device with what he thought was a blank disc. However, it was pointed out that it was a USB shortcut, not a disc.

McGown, 62, of Tan Y Bryn, near Llandysul, pleaded guilty to having 117 Category A indecent images, 72 Category B images, and 1,884 Category C images. He also admitted breaching a suspended sentence order.

He was sentenced to a total of 12 months for the indecent images offences, and an additional six months for breaching his suspended sentence.

The defendant will continue to be subject to a sexual harm prevention order and must continue to register as a sex offender.

Norman Smith

Western Telegraph: Norman Smith has been jailed for a series of burglaries.Norman Smith has been jailed for a series of burglaries. (Image: Dyfed-Powys Police)

‘Prolific burglar’ Norman Smith broke in to four homes in one day just days after he was released on bail following his last arrest.

Smith, 45, of Stover Avenue in Sageston, was jailed after admitting six offences of burglary, two counts of fraud, and one of having a knife in a public place.

The court heard a mobile phone was stolen from a car in Bush Street in Pembroke Dock on the evening of October 8. The phone had two women’s bank cards in its case.

Smith used the cards in Bargain Booze, buying alcohol and tobacco worth £133.67 with one of the cards and £83.58 with the other. He was heard telling people in the shop he was “looking to party”.

The following day, Smith broke in to a house on Front Street in Pembroke Dock, and the homeowner reported that jewellery and an Egyptian vase had been stolen. The defendant’s fingerprints were found on the kitchen window.

The next day, police were called to a house on Imble Street in Pembroke Dock. When they arrived, the defendant was still inside. He was arrested, and when searched at the police station, he was found to have had a pocket knife hidden in his underwear.

Smith appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on October 12, and was granted bail. However, just six days later, the defendant burgled four houses in one day.

This included three homes on Prendergast in Haverfordwest, and one on Perrots Terrace. He stole items including a PlayStation 5 console with games and controllers, a jacket worth £170, a purse, a wallet, cash, a mobile phone, watches, an iPod and an iPad.

The defendant was captured by a CCTV camera on a nearby house, and McDonald’s in Haverfordwest contacted the police about a man trying to sell items including the PS5 and games to its customers.

Smith was arrested at an address in Sageston on October 19, and was jailed for a total of five years.

Richard John

Western Telegraph: Richard John has been jailed after he attacked two men, a woman and a teenage girl.Richard John has been jailed after he attacked two men, a woman and a teenage girl. (Image: Dyfed-Powys Police)

Richard John drank “about 28 cans” in one day and strangled, punched and spat at his four victims after an argument over a Chinese takeaway.

John had been bailed to an address in Milford Haven as he awaited sentence for unrelated offences, and – at around 8pm on January 2 – he was outside the property drunkenly shouting at neighbours.

When he came back inside, he began arguing again – this time complaining that he had been “left with scraps” from a Chinese takeaway.

He grabbed a 24-year-old man by the throat and started strangling him. The man was able to escape John’s grip by headbutting him.

John spat blood at a woman while she attempted to intervene, and also spat blood at a 16-year-old girl as she tried to get John out of the room.

The man’s partner arrived and saw that a struggle was taking place. He ran in to help, and the defendant punched him in the mouth.

John went in to the living room, and his victims held the door closed while waiting for the police to arrive.

The 40-year-old defendant, of Bush Street in Pembroke Dock, pleaded guilty to an offence of strangulation and three charges of battery.

The court heard that a probation service report stated that John had drank “about 28 cans” on the day of the offence – which Ian Ibrahim, defending, described as an “astonishing” amount of alcohol.

John was sentenced to a total of 18 months, and the strangulation victim and the girl were both granted a five-year restraining order against the defendant.

Gareth Jeffreys

Gareth Jeffreys fractured his partner’s eye socket after she phoned 111 asking for advice to help him with a health issue he was suffering from.

Jeffreys was in a relationship with the victim since June 2023. He reported to her that he was experiencing a health issue, but when she told him to go to the hospital for a check-up, he refused.

The defendant continued to refuse to get the issue checked, so at just after midnight on January 4, his partner called 111 to ask for advice.

However, when the defendant heard she was on the phone, he went “berserk”, and said that he didn’t want the police or ambulance at his home.

“She was concerned about his health and was just wanting help or advice,” prosecutor Sian Cutter told the court.

Jeffreys “lashed out”, grabbing her phone and ending the call, before arguing with the victim. He then punched her in the face two to three times.

She said “What have you done?” and said she couldn’t open her eye. He responded with “f*** it” and said he was going to kill himself, before leaving the address.

The police later found Jeffreys nearby with injuries from suspected self-harm, and he was taken to Morriston Hospital.

The victim was also taken to hospital, and it was found she had suffered a fractured eye socket.

Jeffreys, of Ynys Y Gwial in Cwmgiedd, Ystradgynlais, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

He was jailed for 14 months.

Melissa Morris

Western Telegraph: Melissa Morris has been jailed for selling cocaine. Melissa Morris has been jailed for selling cocaine. (Image: Dyfed-Powys Police)

Melissa Morris claimed to police that more than 60 grams of cocaine found in her home belonged to her ex-partner and he had “forgotten about it”.

Morris, 30, was jailed for a total of three years and nine months after admitting possession with intent to supply cocaine, possession of criminal property, possession of cannabis and possession of amphetamine.

Police were called to an address on Goat Street in Haverfordwest at around 6pm on January 10 after reports of a woman screaming at the address.

Morris let them in and told the officers that she had been crying about her partner. However, the officers could smell cannabis in the property.

The officers found nine grams of cannabis, cannabis edible sweets, two small bags each containing around half a gram of cocaine and a small bag of amphetamine.

As she was talking to the officers, she was seen glancing over to where two blocks of cocaine were later found.

Upon searching the property, officers found the two blocks of cocaine – one 54g and the other 7.25g – on the floor by the bed.

In total, Morris was found to have 62.238g of cocaine – with a street value of around £7,900, 11.3g of cannabis, and 1.8g of amphetamine.

The police also found digital weighing scales with powder on them, small bags, and £850 cash in a drawer.

Morris told the police that her ex-partner used to sell drugs, and “she thought he had forgotten about it and left it there”, and that the cash wasn’t from drug dealing, but instead was savings and Christmas money.

Judge Huw Rees ordered that the £850 was to be used by Dyfed-Powys Police to help combat drug trafficking.

Alexander Gooding

Western Telegraph: Alexander Gooding has been jailed for 18 months.Alexander Gooding has been jailed for 18 months. (Image: Dyfed-Powys Police)

‘Blatant liar’ Alexander Gooding broke in to a vulnerable person’s home and stole £350 in cash and two Swansea City season tickets, and then tried to pin the theft on an innocent man.

On the evening of February 21, 2022, Gooding’s victim left a living room window “slightly open” at his Pembroke Dock flat to improve the air flow to help with his breathing.

In the morning, he discovered his tobacco was missing, as well as a tobacco tin, two Swansea City season tickets, and a wallet containing £350 and a bank card.

The police found prints on the windowsill, one of which matched the defendant’s right palm. Footprints at the scene were also analysed and compared to the defendant’s trainers.

Gooding, of Deer Park View in Stackpole, was arrested in Pembroke Dock on February 24, 2022. His home address was searched and the tobacco tin was found.

The defendant claimed he’d never been in the flat, before he then told the police there was one occasion he had walked past and saw the window open, so closed it out of concern for the occupant.

However, it was pointed out to him that his prints were found on the inside of the windowsill.

Gooding then told the police that he walked past the flat with another person – who was wearing his trainers at the time – and it was him that gave him the tobacco tin.

Officers tracked down the other person, who was known to the police, and he confirmed this was not true.

Gooding admitted an offence of burglary, and he was jailed for 18 months.

Mark Ion

Mark Ion has been jailed after attacking two police officers in Tenby.

Ion, 52, of no fixed abode, appeared in court charged with two offences of common assault of an emergency worker.

Ion was accused of assaulting the two officers in Tenby on February 20.

He pleaded guilty to both charges at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on February 22.

Ion was jailed for 14 weeks, running concurrently for each offence. This was uplifted from 12 weeks due to the offences being committed against emergency workers.

The defendant must also pay £85 in costs.

Kane Stewart

18-year-old Kane Stewart has been jailed after being found with a knife and an imitation firearm in Haverfordwest.

Stewart, of Wavell Crescent in Pembroke Dock, was alleged to have had a BB gun, a knife, and 6.71 grams of cannabis on him on Salutation Square on January 3.

He was also charged with failing to surrender to bail after not attending Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on January 23.

Stewart had admitted each of the offences on February 1.

At Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on February 20, Stewart was jailed for 21 weeks of possession of a knife.

He also received concurrent sentences of 12 weeks for possession of an imitation firearm, four weeks for possession of cannabis, and four weeks for failing to surrender to bail.

The defendant was also ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £154 surcharge. A forfeiture and destruction order was made for the knife, the BB gun and the cannabis.