Documentary series following South Wales Police. In Mountain Ash, the police and the community race to catch the culprit responsible for a recent string of burglaries.
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This programme contains some strong language
South Wales Police. What's your emergency?
Where were they? Outside the house?
They were in the house?
Yes. In the house.
Where did you see him in the house?
Did you get a description of them?
Or how many of them there were?
Are you OK?
Yes, I can imagine.
-But I'm all right.
They say, if you can work in The Valleys, you can work anywhere.
We deal with the same people on a daily basis.
Everybody knows everybody.
We are all one big family!
It's very close-knit around here.
So, I think, a strict, regimented way of policing
would never work around here.
What I just said...
Because it's a small community, you know, there's been occasions
where I've had to deal with my extended family in custody.
It's a bit awkward.
In The Valleys, most people like to sort things out themselves.
They don't want the police sticking their nose in.
-Watch your head.
My children have got to grow up around here.
Imagine if you're from somewhere else
and you come into a place like this,
it's like landing on a different planet.
MUSIC: Northern Lites by Super Furry Animals
32-year-old Mark Jones is one of the youngest detectives on the force.
Valleys born and bred,
he's been policing the area for the last 10 years.
It makes your job easier when you grow up in the same place.
Come from similar backgrounds, went to the same schools.
Everybody knows everybody. They look out for each other.
Seven o'clock, was it?
I remember, years ago, being a little kid, growing up
in Cwmbran, you walk in to your next door neighbour's or your friend's.
Just walk in, you wouldn't even knock. The door's open for you.
You could help yourself to the cupboards, the food.
That's just the way it is, you know.
Hello again. You OK?
Force of habit, really.
You'd only leave your door open.
It's unfortunate, people do know that, as well.
They walk around trying door handles and in they go.
Mark's investigating two burglaries
that took place in Mountain Ash overnight.
Mountain Ash kind of polices itself.
If somebody's got a problem with somebody else,
they tend to sort it out themselves and they don't involve us.
If something happens, you can look on Facebook before you come to work,
you know, that happened last night.
So you kind of know what you're coming into, as well.
So, if something happens, you can guarantee within the first hour
of it happening, it's on Facebook.
One of the burglary victims has posted his own CCTV images online,
hoping locals in Mountain Ash will identify the thief.
That's the best thing.
If anything goes on, you know someone will know about it.
Or, if he don't know about it, someone will find out about it.
This, now, that you've been on my doorstep filming
will be all over Facebook and all around this town within an hour.
Now, Jack. Come on.
Come on, Austin. Put it in, Austin.
That's disgusting, shocking.
To think that can happen in The Valleys.
Creepers going around in the night, right.
Off their faces on probably who knows what. Heroin, everything.
People that break into shops and stuff like that, all right.
I don't condone it but I understand people need to make money.
But breaking into people's houses when they're in bed in the night,
that's just an no-go area, like.
I tell you something now, if they come into my house,
it's game over for them.
If that's not a distinctive picture, I don't know what is.
Because, at the end of the day, like,
I'm not being nasty, or taking the pee,
but that's a big old hooter, innit?
It's been shared on and on and on. "You can tell who it is."
"Fucking disgusting." "He's the first person I thought of."
Apparently, the name has been put on there over 400 times,
by all accounts.
The man being named by the community
is 42-year-old John Gino Williams.
He has a history of shoplifting
but no previous for burglary.
"Hope the police catch him before family members
"or some locals catch him.
"I see some badly broken bones on the horizon."
Former nightclub bouncer Jason Penney has been
looking for John Gino after one of his family was also burgled.
Myself and my brother are well known in the area.
When we were younger, we were called The Krays.
We had a reputation where nothing was too hot.
Getting into fights was a normality.
People in the area do know us
and they do know that, if they mess with the wrong family
then, obviously, you know, there will be consequences.
Mark's had a call from Jason.
He's confronted John Gino in the street
and told him to wait for the police.
My first reaction was anger because, you know, we know Gino
and Gino knows who we are.
His sister said to me in the street, you know, they came up,
you know, "Please don't hit him. Please don't hit him."
You're under arrest on suspicion of burglary.
You don't have to say anything. It may harm your defence if you
don't mention when questioned something you later rely on in court.
-Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Understand?
All right, John. Get you in the car. You're freezing, innit?
He's from here. He's born and bred. His family are here.
The phrase they use is shitting on your own doorstep.
And it doesn't go down very well.
So, he's probably better off with us for the time being,
I would have thought. More for his own safety.
He's drug dependent.
Alcohol dependent, as well.
So, he's got no real form of income whatsoever.
He's, obviously, desperate measures, resorted to bad crimes.
Now I'm going to take a quick photograph of you now, OK?
So, there's going to be a bright light coming on.
If you can just look straight ahead at the top circle for me.
There we are. Right. You can relax now.
Any new scars at all? Nothing like that?
With the suspect in custody,
Mark visits the burglary victims who captured the incident on CCTV
to collect evidence.
Eating lots of pink biscuits?
You've been spoiled!
Is that because you've been good? Yeah.
My name's Mark. Have you been a good boy?
If it hadn't have been for the baby waking up,
then he wouldn't have come down and scared him off.
I nearly jumped out of my skin.
I've never felt like this before. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
Can we go back a bit to see his trainers, please?
-We're going to go back to work now.
To catch the bad people, haven't we?
Yeah. So long. Ta-ra.
There's been a big crack cocaine problem in The Valleys.
Which, obviously, it's not cheap to buy. So...
The level of crime is rising.
So, we're starting to deal with a lot more burglaries.
The police begin searching addresses linked to John Gino,
looking for the stolen property.
They are hoping his neighbours might have seen something.
I hear the door about seven o'clock in the morning.
Him coming in very quietly.
And he's there for about 10, 20 minutes.
Then he creeps out.
And, I mean, me being here on my own.
You know, it's a bit intimidating. So...
Well, he's with us at the moment
and he's not going to be coming out for a bit, anyway. So...
-I shouldn't say that.
-You haven't seen him in the last 24 hours?
No, no, no.
This is a nice little block.
And everybody's so tidy.
And then you just get one rotten apple and it only takes one.
Looks like it's already been smashed in.
I've known him for years. He's always shoplifting.
He said to me, earlier in the car, that his dad died this year.
Septicaemia. And I knew his sister had, his brother, as well.
So, in the last year, he's had three family deaths.
This is what you're dealing with.
The police haven't found any of the stolen goods,
so they still need to build a case against John Gino
or convince him to confess.
I feel sorry for him in a certain way,
but in another way you don't,
because nobody's holding a knife to him saying, "Burgle this house."
So, what do you do with him? You know what I mean?
Lock him up. It's all you can do with him, isn't it?
People round here haven't got well paid jobs, do you know what I mean?
You get by on what you do.
But for someone to just come into the house and take something,
He won't come back to the Valley.
Go ahead, caller.
Just ahead. Straight on.
The Valleys can get tasty, can get violent.
There's always people fighting.
This people fighting everywhere, all the time.
That's all you seem to do on response
is breaking up people's fights, or getting involved in fights.
Last night, a man was found badly beaten in the street in Mountain Ash
and is currently unconscious in intensive care.
The police believe the man was assaulted at his friend's house
before being dragged onto the pavement.
-Can we come in, butt?
-All right. If you lock the dogs away.
Shaun! Put the dogs away!
There's a certain way Valleys people talk to each other
and communicate with each other.
That familiarity between people.
I say "butt" a lot. I've got to try and get out of that.
I say a lot of that, in interviews, as well.
It must make the sound very simple when I go to court and things
and they are reading interview transcripts and that.
I'm like, "Right then, butt. Right then, butt." It just means "mate".
All right, butt?
He was found not too far from here, right?
What I would say to you is, right?
You're both, at the moment,
under arrest on suspicion of Section 18 assault.
All right. We'll sort that out.
I won't leave you in the lurch. I'm going to caution you both.
You don't have to say anything but it may harm your defence
if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court.
Anything you do say may be given in evidence. All right?
-Do you both understand the caution?
-Have you got any reply to the caution?
Pat, can you do me a favour? Just stand up for me and turn around.
I just got to give you a quick search. All right, butt?
The suspects are 44-year-old Paddy, a single father of three...
Just stay still for me, butt. Keep your hands in the air.
..and his 20-year-old stepson Shaun.
-Do you understand why you've been arrested?
It's the first time Shaun has ever been arrested.
Grab a seat on the bench there. Sit down. Sit down.
Right, keep your hands still now, right? OK?
Watch your head, Bale? OK?
-Watch your head.
-Watch your head!
-Are you all right?
No! He snapped my hand.
Response cop Nathan has picked up on a comment made by Paddy
about the state of the victim on the evening of the assault.
Before arrest, you said that. You're not signing it? All right.
Letting us know that he's downed a bottle of whisky
suggests that he was absolutely blotto
and he's probably fallen over, or something.
That's what he's probably trying to make us think. Yeah?
First things first.
I just need a signature to say that you don't want to read
the codes of practice at this time.
Don't even know what the time is.
Most of the people who we deal with are used to being in custody
and used to the system, being interviewed,
being arrested, going to court.
I mean, you go to court these days and it's like a circus.
People take their kids there, their babies.
There's kids running around court and it's just... It's ridiculous.
It's absolutely ridiculous.
When we go through, yeah, Shaun.
Speak to the custody Sergeant at the desk. The officer will...
But for people who haven't been arrested before
and people who are not used to be arrested and going into custody
and things, I can imagine, it's very, very intimidating.
-Shouldn't be too much longer now, all right?
As the victim is in a critical condition,
Paddy and his stepson Shaun are held
on suspicion of committing a section 18 GBH.
An offence that could result in life in prison.
Whilst you are speaking in the holding cell,
"He didn't mean to do anything."
"I didn't see anything."
"People just wind him up."
From what I know, I think Shaun hasn't a lot of experience
with coming into custody and things like that.
It's a very serious offence to be accused of, in the first place.
For someone like that to come into custody,
you can imagine how they're feeling.
They're probably panicking
some people just talk when they shouldn't really talk.
Obviously, it's great for us.
Because we've got something to question Patrick on. But...
He's landed his father in it, I think, a bit. So...
There we are. Schoolboy error.
-24 hours a day, the world's best bulbs.
MUSIC: Abracadabra by The Steve Miller band
Obviously, a few pints must sway your frame of mind a lot.
Everyone's been there where you had a few pints and start a fight, like.
Everyone's seen it.
Maybe an argument over somebody looking at your girlfriend.
You might be somebody like me that's fucking steaming, drunk,
and somebody's going to take offence to something and it happens.
..the old saying.
The recent burglaries have been the talk of Mountain Ash.
They're really outraged about it.
Like, it really shouldn't be happening in a community this small.
Like, if you're struggling, ask someone.
More times than not, they will help.
Especially around here.
Mark is preparing to interview John Gino,
the man named on Facebook as the Mountain Ash burglar.
None of the stolen property has been found but they have the CCTV.
Because of the strength of the evidence,
it's either going to be, I'd say, no comment interview,
or it'll be a full and frank admission.
So distinctive, his features, especially his nose.
This interview is being visually recorded.
I'm Detective Constable 4687 Mark Jones.
I don't want to sound too confident, mind,
because it could all go pear shaped but, yeah, I am pretty confident.
I've dealed with a lot of burglaries previously.
There's quite strong evidence against him
so I think he's...
I think he's got problems.
John, the reason why you've been arrested
is on suspicion of two burglaries.
That's the thing they've posted on Facebook. Is that you?
You stayed at Colin's all night?
What were you doing over there?
Can you tell me what you were wearing?
Do you know anything about that burglary?
Pop your shoes off.
Put them in there.
Pop the jacket off, as well.
A bit unexpected. I thought it was going to be no comment interview
but he's given a full and frank account now. So...
Off we go to sort that out.
If he's in prison.
Whilst John Gino has been in custody,
the Mountain Ash community's own investigation has continued
and there's been a development.
There's been information passed around on Facebook saying
it's Lightfoot. We've got the wrong one.
Now the finger has been pointed at Jason Lightfoot,
a convicted burglar who's kept out of trouble for the last few years.
If you look at his nose...
A bit bigger build.
He lives the opposite side.
You know, where the Esso garage is, Mountain Ash.
No, it's all shoplift.
You've got none?
If he's not guilty of this, then,
maybe he should put his own Facebook post up
saying it wasn't me, it was him!
Woo-woo! It's the sound of the police.
Woo-woo! It's the sound of the police.
With another Facebook lead to follow,
Mark has brought in a support team to track down the new suspect.
It's two people burglaries.
That's our suspect there, Jason Lightfoot.
-Right, has he got previous for this, as well?
Four, five, six, maybe seven strikes burglar. So...
There's every chance he's going to be expecting us, then, is he?
At the moment, the post on Facebook was all pointing to
-the boy we've got in custody.
-And everyone's blamed him.
So, he might have thought, "Oh, I got away with this."
But it's not just the police looking for the thief.
Jason Penney, the man who caught John Gino joined the hunt
after seeing Lightfoot named online.
In Mountain Ash, if someone does wrong by someone else,
you'll find the vigilante groups.
You do get guys who are out and about looking, trying to help you.
I never criticise it because, like, we try and do our best,
try and help. That's exactly what they are doing.
What I want Jason Lightfoot to feel is the fear
that my sister-in-law and her daughter felt on that night
when they knew there was someone in the house.
I want him to feel fear that somebody was after him
and he knew somebody that was after him
that wasn't going to worry about him carrying a weapon
or wasn't going to worry about him what he was going to do.
I wanted the information to get to him that we were looking for him
and we knew he did that burglary.
He was going to fear us catching him, basically,
before the police caught him.
He changes his number all the time.
We need to speak to him.
So, if we don't catch up with him and he comes back,
best thing to do is get him to go to a police station, really.
Just so we can have a chat
and sort out the matter that needs to be sorted out.
Shaun is waiting to be questioned about the assault in Mountain Ash.
I'm 20 years old.
I've never touched a drug.
Not done a drug. I don't touch anything.
I drink when one of my mates' birthday, or sisters,
but I don't hardly drink.
And I raised him up since then.
When Shaun was a teenager, Paddy and his mum split up.
Shaun wasn't getting on with his mum, so Paddy took him in.
Paddy has been interviewed
about the assault that allegedly took place in this house,
leaving his friend in intensive care.
On solicitor's advice, he's gone no comment throughout.
Would you like a cup of tea or anything before we start?
-No, I'm all right, I am.
So, ready to go. Shaun, you ready to go, yes?
Although it's his first time in custody,
Shaun has chosen not to have a solicitor.
This is your turn to talk. OK?
Shaun, you're here because you've been arrested
on suspicion of a GBH and assault.
How was he injured?
That's it. He was all... Face.
A witness has told police they'd seen the victim
being carried out of Paddy's house and left on the pavement.
Police suspect Paddy might have asked Shaun to help.
Where were you when you first saw him?
He wasn't on the road, like you first said, was he?
So, that's not the truth, is it?
I know it's difficult because your dad's probably involved.
He's critically ill at the hospital.
Can't breathe for himself, a machine is doing that for him.
Obviously, you're concerned about him
because you checked his vital signs, didn't you? You checked his pulse.
You carried him out of the house, didn't you?
He's been carried out of your house. Are you carrying him?
You were carrying him. Who else is carrying him?
There's a good chance you could go to prison for this
because you have assisted an offender by carrying the victim
to get him outside.
-Who do you think has assaulted
I were there when it happened.
-Has your father assaulted
And I just hope he hasn't done it, to be honest.
I'm stopping the recording.
I don't know what happened that night.
Only they really know what happened that night.
If it was my father, if my father was in a predicament
and he needed my help,
then I would do everything I could to try and help him.
Wait there for me for two seconds.
To get to the truth of Shaun and Paddy's involvement,
detectives now have to persuade neighbours to talk.
It's a typical Valleys town where everybody knows everybody else.
And, you know, tension is certainly running high.
I've been spending a bit of time over there the last 24 hours.
None of them are very willing to converse with the police normally.
But I think, you know, they are all on board with this
because they see it as something that's gone too far.
Detectives have identified the neighbour who called
the ambulance anonymously.
Paddy's drinking buddy Robbie
who they've known for years.
I warned Robbie last night that he had to stay off it this morning.
Think that's where they've slung him.
On the floor.
On there. Just a bit further down here.
Mostly, the older generation, will talk to police.
They won't told you what's happened
with regards to an incident.
They'll tell you what Liz next door is doing,
or having for tea and things like that.
You build up a familiarity with these people
that's bordering on unnatural, if that makes sense.
Ah, there's the man!
-How are you, fella, are you all right?
-Yeah, come in.
You all right, butt?
Rob, obviously, we need to get a statement from you, fella, we do.
-Is that all right? Are you happy to do that.
-Yeah, I'm happy to do that.
Will you come with us
down to Mountain Ash police station for us to take that off you?
All right. OK. All right.
All right. No worries. Take your time.
Why, though? Why go that far?
Consensus amongst them all is that he's gone too far.
Whatever's happened in that house has gone way too far.
In his statement, Robbie tells police that he wanted to move
the victim out of Paddy's house for his safety...
..and asked Shaun to help.
Robbie did say, he said, he was tidy, he was helpful.
"He helped me," he said.
"I just wanted him out of there." And he did help to get him out.
Shaun is no longer suspected of assisting an offender
and is released without charge.
We've taken further statements from one of the witnesses there
and he was the neighbour and he actually has told us that
he instructed Shaun to help to carry him to get him outside.
He's tried to do the right thing, to be fair to him.
He didn't really know what to do.
And, so, I made the decision, basically, we weren't going
to charge him with any offences and he was released without charge.
I'm feeling relieved that I'm out.
I can't believe it. It was...
..a hard place to go in.
The cells. It was scary.
I'm very glad to be out there.
Paddy is remanded in custody.
With no-one claiming to have witnessed the assault,
the investigation hinges on the victim being able
to give a statement, but he's still in a coma.
What's your name, mate?
-What's your name?
Jason, I'm going to search you now, right.
Stand back from the desk, all right? Thank you.
The new Mountain Ash burglary suspect Jason Lightfoot
has handed himself in.
The fact that family and his friends
know what he's obviously got up to and probably got sick and tired of him.
Probably they said, "Best thing for you to do is hand yourself in."
As well as the community looking for him, as well.
So, you know, place of safety, straight to a police station.
Do I look violent to you? But don't tell them.
We're looking to see if we can stop him destroying any evidence.
-What do you mean?
-We're going to go round the houses now
and we're going to do section 18 searches at your addresses
just to see if there's anything...
Do you want a solicitor at the moment?
Done a search of his mam's house and we found a Superdry jacket.
I have been keeping out of trouble for years.
For years I kept out of trouble.
And then I get picked up for this and it just all...
It's just all getting put on me.
And, when he's come into custody, these are his trainers,
which he's accepted, he signed for them as his property.
And they seem to be the same trainers of the guy
on the CCTV, as well.
The amount of work that I've put in in the last three years
to turn my life around and here I am again looking at years.
I've got everything I want.
Everything I want and it's all been taken from me right now.
And I can't even have a fag to chill me out.
Also, in Mam's address of the suspect, hid in an airing cupboard
under a pile of clothes was this black handbag.
We've taken it to the victim of one of burglaries
and she's positively identified, basically,
that's her handbag stolen from the house.
The original burglary suspect John Gino is now in the clear.
Word quickly spreads around town that he is innocent.
We have apologised to his family. We have said sorry.
And I am sorry that the wrong person got the blame for something
they didn't do.
But that's the only downside to social media.
Now he's got a tarred name because of it.
And, probably, some people will hear the fact that that's not true.
Only the ones that care about the person will probably care
whether it's true or not.
You're looking well, butt.
Yeah. No problem at all. I'll sort that out now. And a shower.
After being released without charge, Shaun is back in Mountain Ash.
Paddy's teenage daughters have had to move in with relatives
whilst the assault case is investigated.
If he's charged with GBH, Paddy faces years in prison.
The police have been given an update on the victim's condition.
They put him in an induced coma to do the CT scan and, obviously,
-to drain the lungs.
-Why did they need to drain the lungs?
Blood in the lungs.
They took him off ventilation this morning
and then allowed him to come round from sedation and they said,
yeah, that he was conscious and able to talk to us.
The victim is now expected to make a full recovery.
And has given a statement to the police.
He was able to give us some sort of account.
It was a bit, you know,
trying to pull teeth, at times, with him.
But he's basically said that he's gone to Paddy's in the evening,
Paddy's given him some whisky.
He's been drinking heavily.
And taking God knows what.
So, he doesn't remember why or how but later on in the evening,
him and Paddy started arguing.
Bickering, he said, wasn't it? They've been bickering.
-Was the word used.
-And then they fronted each other.
Paddy's got aggressive towards him.
And he's got no recollection after that.
He doesn't know what happened to him. Doesn't remember being hit.
Doesn't remember anything. Just...
His next recollection is waking up in the hospital.
Despite being badly injured, the victim has asked the police
not to charge Paddy with GBH, the most serious assault charge.
He said to me in the hospital today,
"He's got kids. Can't he just be done for ABH?"
-That's what he said?
-That's what the victim said, yes.
That's The Valleys mentality, isn't it?
Being honourable to other people and being kind,
even in the most extreme circumstances like that.
He's got problems of his own, so let's show a bit of mercy on him.
It's unbelievable. It's incredible.
It's the way we are brought up, really.
You know, we were brought up to look after each other, like.
That's the sort of community we've been brought up in.
It's been like that since we were young.
On one hand, you don't want him to be seriously injured but...
..when they are, it gives us a better charge.
-Thank God, he's back home.
-I know he's there for me.
I know that, I've always known that.
He has got a good heart, that boy.
But I just wish he'd grow a brain with his heart.
It's a race to catch the culprit responsible for a recent string of burglaries in Mountain Ash, with both the police and the community joining the hunt. Detective Mark Jones leads the case for the police, but the community are aided by social media and are quick to identify the thief. Now the question on everyone's lips is have they got the right man? Meanwhile, the response team are called out to a serious assault at a family home, after a man is found badly beaten and dumped in the street. The victim is in a coma and the police need to rely on witnesses coming forward to talk.