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Drive ban for rugby legend JPR; WALES IN 60 SECONDS.

MONDAY RUGBY legend JPR Williams was banned from driving for 17 months after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

Cardiff Magistrates Court heard former full back Williams, 61, had sucked copper pennies in an attempt to lower a breathalyser reading.

He believed a "myth" that copper would interfere with the machine's function.

Williams, of Llansannor, Cowbridge, in the Vale of Glamorgan, who works as an orthopaedic surgeon, was also fined pounds 380 plus costs.

The court heard Williams had to be told twice to remove three one-penny coins from his mouth in the back of a police car after he was stopped in Cardiff on January 30.

TUESDAY A PENSIONER left a bogus bomb at his dentist at the climax of a revenge attack triggered by the belief he had been overcharged, a court heard.

Peter McShane, 84, of Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, wrapped up a large oblong box in a bin bag and carried it down to his local dental surgery.

The hoax bomb, consisting of a brick, ticking alarm clock and twisted wires, gave rise to a major police operation when it was discovered last month.

He was released on conditional bail to Swansea Crown Court on April 9.

WEDNESDAY FEWER than one in five S4C programmes within a three-week period attracted more than 10,000 viewers, it emerged.

Leaked documents showed that over a 20-day period between February and March this year, more programmes on the Welsh-language channel were watched by statistically zero people than pulled in a five-figure audience.

The astonishing statistics last night led to renewed calls from former Conservative minister Rod Richards for the BBC to take back responsibility for Welsh-language programming.

S4C is funded by a grant of more than pounds 100m a year from the UK Government's Department for Culture.

THURSDAY A UNION leader expressed outrage after it emerged that most council leaders in Wales had been recommended for a BANNED: JPR Williams pay rise of more than 6.5%.

Dominic MacAskill, who heads the local government section of Unison, said it would be "gross hypocrisy" for council leaders to accept the rise at a time when a pay freeze is being imposed on local authority staff.

The recommended rise, if accepted, would mean council leaders' salaries will have risen a total of more than 9% over the past two years while wages of the majority of Wales' 160,000 council workers have been frozen after a 1% rise last year.

FRIDAY A COUNCIL already under "special measures" due to failings in children's social services had investigated the deaths of three more children in its care, it was revealed.

Swansea Council is to make public three separate serious case review reports into the deaths of the children over the past three years.

Two died due to involvement with drugs and in the case of all three children the council was either looking after them or had dealings with them.

It is understood the reports will highlight some serious procedural issues.

SATURDAY FIREFIGHTERS had to simultaneously battle seven large grass fires across the south-west.

Mid West and Wales Fire Service spokeswoman said crews had to attend blazes at areas including land near the A4109 and Heol y Glyn, both in Glynneath, Campian Gardens, Clyne, Swansea, Cymmer Hill, Croeserw and Burry Green.

The spokeswoman said there was also a grass fire at the rear of the Ethnic Cuisine Ltd in Viking Way, Morriston.

In came a day after it was revealed that since last Sunday, 340 field blazes had cost Mid West and Wales Fire Service almost pounds 700,000.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 14, 2010
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