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Summary

  1. News, travel, sport and weather updates across the West of England on Monday 20 February 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Latest weather with David Braine

It's the end of today's regular updates. We'll be back from 7am with the latest on the search at the former home of Christopher Halliwell.

Before we go, here's a look at the latest weather forecast with David Braine.

Watch: David Braine has the latest forecast for the west

Flood defences 'built in back of gardens'

Riverbourne Fields development, Tidworth
Google
The homes are part of the Riverbourne Fields development

Householders living on a new estate in Tidworth built by Persimmon Homes say they've been left with gardens up to five metres shorter than should be. 

The residents of Habberfield claim flood defences have been built in what should be the bottom five metres of their gardens 

Wiltshire Council's confirmed that a variation has been granted to the original planning application. 

Persimmon has yet to respond to the BBC's request for comment.

London Irish's Allinson to rejoin Bath

London Irish scrum-half Darren Allinson is set to rejoin Bath from the end of this season on a two-year deal.

Click here to read more.

Darren Allinson
Rex Features
Allinson will be with Bath Rugby club from the end of this season

Twins running a mile a day for 100 days

Watch: Twins want support to raise money for Kenyan orphans

In other news this evening...

Four Bristol brothers are currently running one mile every day for 100 days for charity. 

The two sets of twins - who're aged 12 and 13 - want to raise £1,000 for children in Kenya who have been orphaned due to AIDS.

Moses, Malachi, Jacob and Joseph have organised this fundraising effort all by themselves and will complete the run on 25 February.

Christopher Halliwell latest: Will Glennon from the scene

Our reporter Will Glennon is at the scene and has the latest.

BBC reporter Will Glennon on the search at a former home of Christopher Halliwell.

Christopher Halliwell latest: Statement from police

Wiltshire Police has released another statement informing residents that they can expect to see a police cordon in place for five days as officers work at two addresses in central Swindon.

Murderer Christopher Halliwell lived on Broad Street in the late 1990s. Police say the search is an "intelligence led" activity.

Detective Chief Inspector Jeremy Carter, who is leading the investigation, said:

Searches are being conducted in the gardens and garages of two properties in Broad Street over this coming week. Whilst we do not have plans, at this stage, to search inside the properties there will be some disruption to the occupants. I would like to make it clear that those living at the addresses have no involvement in the investigation and we thank them for their understanding and patience. Although we are unable to comment on the nature of our enquiries, we can say that we are acting on intelligence received.”

DCI Jeremy CarterWiltshire Police

Officers will be patrolling the vicinity and will be available for anyone who has any concerns relating to the searches.

Christopher Halliwell latest: video from the scene

Here's the latest video from the scene showing the cordoned off area in Broad Street.

Police are searching a garden at the former home of murderer Christopher Halliwell.

Professional Footballers' Association boss gives to Jamie Mines fund

The boss of the Professional Footballers' Association, Gordon Taylor, has donated £1,000 to the fund for scaffolder Jamie Mines.

Jamie had both hands and a leg amputated after he received an massive electric shock at work, days before celebrating his first Christmas with his baby twin girls.

A campaign set up to help Jamie and his family has now reached more than £100,000.

View more on twitter

Christopher Halliwell latest: search could be in relation to Sally Ann John

One line of inquiry that the police could be probing is that of Sally Ann John, our home affairs correspondent Charlotte Callen says.

Sally Ann John was working as a prostitute when she went missing from Swindon, aged 23, in 1995.

But she lived close to Halliwell at the time she went missing.

Police won't confirm any details of what the search is in relation to. But we were expecting this digging to take place.

Our reporter at the scene, Will Glennon, says there are several security staff guarding the scene. Black tarpaulin is blocking the alleyway by the house.

Sally Ann John
BBC

Christopher Halliwell latest: new photo from Broad Street

Another photo from Broad Street. Again, we've increased the brightness so you can see more detail.

Latest photo from Broad Street
BBC

Christopher Halliwell latest: History of the story

Swindon taxi driver Christopher Halliwell has been previously convicted of two murders.

He was first found guilty of killing 22-year-old Sian O'Callaghan in 2011.

Halliwell picked her up from a Swindon nightclub before murdering her and dumping her body near the Uffington White Horse.

At the time, he confessed to also murdering Becky Godden who went missing in 2003, but it took until last September for him to go on trial for it.

Because he was not read his rights, in accordance to guidelines, the evidence was deemed inadmissible by a judge.

Becky Godden
Wiltshire Police
Becky Godden was last seen getting into a cab in the early hours of January 1, 2003
Sian O'Callaghan
BBC

Halliwell has been linked to numerous other murders including that of chef Claudia Lawrence. 

Christopher Halliwell latest: photo from the scene

Here's the latest photo from Broad Street, and the search by Wiltshire Police.

Black tarpaulin has been erected across an alleyway. Obviously, it's very dark so we've had to lighten the shot so you can see it.

There are various references online to Christopher Halliwell having lived on Broad Street. We're just working on standing the element of the story up.

Broad Street
BBC

Christopher Halliwell latest: 'Cannot comment further'

We asked Wiltshire Police to confirm they were digging at one of the former homes of Christopher Halliwell but they would not give any further details.

They issued a statement (see the 6.22pm post) but added this when we asked about Halliwell's involvement: "We are unable to comment any further."

Christopher Halliwell latest: Statement from police

Specialist officers are currently carrying out excavation work within the gardens of two properties in Broad Street as part of the ongoing investigation being carried out by the Brunel major crime investigation team. This relates to intelligence that the force has received. We are unable to comment further.

Wiltshire Police

BreakingPolice digging garden thought to be former home of Christopher Halliwell

Police are digging in a garden, though to be a former home of Christopher Halliwell, the murderer convicted of killing Becky Godden and Sian O'Callaghan.

Reports suggest the operation at two properties in Broad Street, in the centre of Swindon, is intelligence led.

Christopher Halliwell
PA

Congestion at M5 J11A

Rail disruption between Swindon and Bristol Parkway

Former Gloucestershire Police HQ being sold for £7m

Archive images of the site of the former headquarters for Gloucestershire Constabulary
Gloucestershire Constabulary/Google

This is some amazing profit to be made on a building. And Homes Under the Hammer and others would be proud.

Gloucestershire Police bought their HQ for £300 in 1921. And they just sold it for £7,150,000. That's a rise of 2,300,000%.

Martin Surl, the force's police and crime commissioner, said there also could be an additional £100,000 subject to CALA Homes being granted planning permission for the site.

This has been on the Constabulary’s agenda for more than a decade but due to circumstances, many of them outside their control, it has taken longer to achieve than first envisaged. Selling now represents a good deal for council tax payers and with most of the money re-invested in the new investigative centre, Prism House, and custody facility, Compass House, it means a more suitable working environment for staff who have re-located.

Martin SurlPolice and Crime Commissioner, Gloucestershire

'My dad was scared' - fans react to trouble at Port Vale v Bristol Rovers game

Trouble at Vale Park
BBC

Bristol Rovers' troubles at Port Vale on Saturday has been the hot topic of the day. And dozens of you have been in touch to offer your views.

Here's a selection from BBC Points West's Facebook page

I'm starting to get frustrated by people having strong opinions who were not there. I've watched Rovers all over the country for over 35 years and the behaviour of those [stewards] was disgusting. I was sat right there with my 17 year old son and 72 year old dad and my dad was scared!

Jason ParkhouseRovers fan

I work at BRISTOL ROVERS as a steward for the last 3 seasons. i have never seen anything so bad as what i witness at Port Vale. decent people beat up because they could not find a place to stand. Total bang out of order

Gary MorrisRovers steward

Seven years for driver who killed a teenager while under the influence

A drunk driver whose car ploughed into four pedestrians in Nailsea, a year ago, has been jailed for seven years and four months.

Alex Gould, 18, later died in hospital and another man was seriously injured.

Alex Gould
BBC
Alex Gould died when he was hit by Bisset's car

James Bisset, from Yatton, admitted causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and possessing a class A drug at a previous hearing at Bristol Crown Court.

He was also over the alcohol limit when he crashed the car.

This has had a huge impact on all those involved and the wider community in Nailsea ... [and] serves as a tragic reminder of the consequences of getting behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol and drugs.

Sgt Peter TruchAvon and Somerset Constabulary

Latest travel news: Roads looking clear around the region

If you're about to hit the road, it's looking okay at the moment ....

M4 near Almondsbury
Highways England
M4 near Almondsbury
M4 near Swindon
Highways England
M4 near Swindon
A303 near Amesbury, Wiltshire
Highways England
A303 near Amesbury, Wiltshire
M5 near Taunton
Highways England
M5 near Taunton

Breaking'Dangerous driver' jailed following death of teenager

View more on twitter

We'll have more on this shortly.

Bristol Rovers describe Port Vale trouble as 'unsavoury'

We've been talking about the problems at Bristol Rovers' match at Port Vale on Saturday.

The club has now released at statement following the "unsavoury incidents", and has said it has been "inundated" with eyewitness accounts of what happened.

Here's the statement in full:

Bristol Rovers FC are, of course, aware of some unsavoury incidents at the game against Port Vale on Saturday. Because the match took place at Vale Park, any investigation into the incidents has to be led by Port Vale FC and the Staffordshire Police. We have been inundated with eye witness accounts which we have forwarded to Port Vale and Avon and Somerset Police, who had spotters at the game. At this stage, and because investigations are ongoing, it would be inappropriate for Bristol Rovers FC to make any further comment at present.

Bristol Rovers statement

Staffordshire Police said six people were arrested during the trouble.

Rovers Chairman calls for investigation after police punch up

Posthumous exhibition for Wiltshire artist

Mum says son's artwork has helped her cope with his death

Jillian Freeman's son Michael died of a drugs overdose in 2015. 

A talented artist, Michael, from Swindon, had three main styles of work: urban and graffitti, oriental and surrealism. 

He managed to create over 50 pieces, some of which will be exhibited on March 6 at SWADS in Swindon, the health and well-being centre which has supported Jillian.  

Council one of first in UK to run a lottery

Money
PA

Mendip District Council is to become one of the first local authorities in the country to run a lottery.

The Shape Mendip Lottery will be offered online with weekly draws taking place and £25,000 offered as the jackpot. 

For each £1 ticket bought, 60% of the price will go to support community groups throughout the district.

It's being officially launched in Shepton Mallet later and the first draw will take place on Saturday 25th March.

Teenager living in Somerset after fleeing persecution in Afghanistan

He had never used a computer or seen a house with a pitched roof before arriving in the UK

This boy - who we're calling Alex - was 16 when he arrived in the UK. 

He was trafficked into the country and then dumped in a Somerset village in the middle of winter.

After wondering in to a village shop and asking for the police, Alex was told he would be put in to foster care - not that he knew what that was. 

Alex says he's had to start a new life, with a new family.

Model railway exhibition takes place for the final time

We could use a load of train cliches here, but we'll stay on track.

The South West Narrow Gauge Model Railway Club Exhibition has been going since the 1990s.

But the final miniature passengers have alighted as the exhibition is due to terminate soon.

Continuing problems at Bristol Airport due to 'adverse weather'

Latest update: Call for probe into police match fracas

Video footage with a highlight on a steward in a crowd of people

Call for probe into police match fracas

Bristol Rovers chairman Steve Hamer wants an inquiry having been "just appalled" by the violence.

Read more

Companies offering migrant workers day off

Watch: "All of our European staff will have the night off," said Shareen Campbell

A number of businesses across the region are taking part in a day of action to highlight the economic role played by migrant workers in Britain. 

"One Day Without Us" is a national campaign, aiming to give people a greater understanding of the contribution made by people of different nationalities. 

A demonstration will be held in Bristol later and some companies in the West have given their migrant workers a day off.

Shareen Campbell, who owns the Los Gatos tapas bar in Swindon, said some of their staff will be given the night off to show how much we depend on workers from elsewhere in Europe.

Port Vale v Bristol Rovers disturbance: Six injured, four arrests

A crowd in a football stadium with a figure blurred out
John Thomson

An appeal for witnesses following a "series of disturbances" at a football game on Saturday has been published by Staffordshire Police.

Bristol Rovers fans attended an away game at Port Vale when there was trouble between groups of fans, match stewards and police.

Here's what the force has said:

  • Thirty Bristol Rovers supporters were ejected from the ground during the game
  • After the game some 50 Rovers fans congregated in one of the car parks
  • Four males and two females sustained minor injuries and were treated by St John Ambulance at the ground
  • Four arrests were made at the match - all have been bailed

As part of investigations in to the incident, officials from the two clubs and officers from Staffordshire Police will be studying CCTV images.

Help us honour the West's musical heroes with Blue Plaques

Massive Attack
BBC
Does Bristol's Massive Attack deserve a Blue Plaque?

For BBC Music Day this summer we want to celebrate legendary West Country musical people, places and locations by putting up official Blue Plaques. 

And we want your help choosing who, what or where we honour.

You could nominate a singer, songwriter or musician who’s no longer with us or you could choose a place that’s been a major part of music heritage – or the location of an iconic musical event.

The chosen plaques will be unveiled as part of this year’s BBC Music Day in June.

Text, call or email your local radio station with your suggestion.

BBC Radio Bristol

BBC Wiltshire

BBC Radio Gloucestershire

BBC Somerset

Flood defences 'built in back of gardens'

Watch: See video of the land in question

Householders living on a new estate in Tidworth, built by Persimmon Homes, say they've been left with gardens up to five metres shorter than they should be. 

The residents of Habberfield claim flood defences have been built in what should be the bottom five metres of their gardens.

Wiltshire Council has confirmed a variation was granted to the original planning application. 

Persimmon Homes says the land contained within the property titles reflects accurately that which has been sold to the owners.

Canoeist Ed McKeever announces his retirement

View more on twitter

London 2012 canoeing gold medallist Ed McKeever has announced his retirement from the sport.

The 33-year-old from Wiltshire won in the men’s single kayak (K1) over 200m.

“Competing and winning a gold medal at a home Olympic Games in front of thousands of British fans is something that will live with me for the rest of my life”, he said.

View more on twitter

New 'Rail by Mail' stamps launched

Stamps
Swindon Borough Council

A new collection of railway heritage stamps has been launched in Swindon. 

The six 'Rail by Mail' stamps will be available at Steam - from the museum's Post & Go kiosk until 15 March.

These are beautiful stamps and STEAM is a very appropriate venue to launch them. They perfectly reflect the fantastic railway heritage that is reflected in this iconic railway museum.

Cllr Garry PerkinsSwindon’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Regeneration and Skills

Call for police and steward conduct probe

Watch: Video courtesy of John Thomson

An investigation is being called for into the conduct of police and stewards at a Port Vale v Bristol Rovers football match.

I came out of the ground and a policeman swung this person around and hit me in the chest and I went down and cracked my head open on the concrete.

Andy WilliamsBristol Rovers fan

At least two fans needed hospital treatment, with reports of pepper spray being used and supporters getting punched and pushed to the ground.

Rovers chairman Steve Hamer is calling for a full investigation.

You don't go on a Saturday to watch a game of football and support your team and end up being pushed to the floor and punched and pepper sprayed - it's something you never want to hear. We'll do our damnedest to make sure it never happens again.

Steve HamerBristol Rovers chairman

Staffordshire Police and Port Vale have been contacted but have yet to respond.

New trial date for Army sergeant over wife's parachute fall

Press Association

Emile Cilliers
PA

A new trial date has been set for an Army sergeant accused of the attempted murder of his wife whose parachute failed to open during a 4,000ft (1,200m) jump.

Emile Cilliers (pictured) has pleaded not guilty to three charges in relation to his wife, Victoria Cilliers, 40, who suffered multiple serious injuries at Netheravon airfield on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire on April 5, 2015.

During a preliminary hearing at Winchester Crown Court, the judge, Mrs Justice May, postponed the start of the trial to October 3 from the previous date of June 7 to enable expert witness reports to be prepared for the defence.

Cilliers, of Aldershot, Hampshire, denies two charges of attempting to murder his wife.

Driver airlifted to hospital after 'road rage attack'

Police officer
BBC

A driver in his 60s suffered serious injuries after he was "beaten around the head" in an alleged road rage incident.

Avon and Somerset Police said the motorist was "seriously assaulted" after two vehicles stopped on the A303 near the Sparkford roundabout at about 11:20 GMT on Saturday.

The man, who was driving a blue BMW, had to be airlifted to hospital.

'And Now For Something Completely Different' - Python fans get engaged

Street death 'not suspicious'

A road with a white building on a corner junction
Google

The death of a man found with serious injuries in Bristol is not being treated as suspicious, according to police.

Officers were called to Pennywell Road on Saturday morning following reports a man had collapsed.

"The man was taken to hospital but sadly later died as a result of his injuries. We are treating his death as unexplained," a force spokesman said.

Following a post-mortem examination, it is being treated as a sudden death, he added.