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Summary

  1. News, sport, weather and travel updates from across the West of England on Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Heavy band of rain in morning rush hour

Watch: Rain in the morning but the afternoon should brighten up, says Ian Fergusson

That's it for today's coverage on Local Live.

We'll be back from 7am tomorrow with the latest news, travel, weather and sport for the West.

Expect more heavy showers interspersed with sunny spells tomorrow.

'Out of the Mouth of the Parrett'

Watch: An exhibition about the river has been created

The River Parrett snakes its way through the heart of Somerset from Bridgwater to Langport to South Petherton. 

Industries have grown up around it and lots of wildlife depends on it. 

Today in Bridgwater, an exhibition opened celebrating the river and those who live along it.

Sally Ann John murder: 'Fake' postcard prompts new leads

Watch: Wiltshire Police had fresh calls following the TV appeal

Wiltshire Police said analysis of a postcard Sally Ann John was thought to have sent after her disappearance has led detectives to conclude it was a fake, but its author is unknown.

The postcard featured on Monday's Crimewatch and has prompted fresh calls from the public.

Ms John was 23 years old when she went missing on 8 September 1995. She was last seen on Aylesbury Street in Swindon, close to the town's red light district.

Her vanishing was initially treated as a missing person inquiry: a murder investigation was eventually launched in 2014.

'It was very upsetting at the time'

The letter
Christopher Davies

The letter was sent to Mrs Davies on 6th March, but she had died on 27th February.

Her son Christopher complained, but his mother was sent a second letter dated 15th March.

Ada Davies
Family photo

Shortly after her death, I received a letter from the council saying they had ended her reduction for council tax and she still could claim for a reduction if she'd like to ring them up and complete a form and send it off with proof of earnings, which is really bizarre. It was very upsetting at the time, and when you're going through your own emotions it was extremely insensitive.

Christopher Davies

South Gloucestershire Council said: "We have updated our records to ensure that this incident doesn't happen again and we would once again like to thank Mr Davies for bringing this to our attention."

The caterpillars helping fight Alzheimer's

Watch: The diet of these caterpillars is being monitored carefully

Caterpillars are being used to shed light on whether changing our diet could reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists at Bath University have cultured Europe's only colony of tobacco hornworm. 

They want to find out if eating molecules found in red wine and chocolate can prevent them from developing a harmful by-product of sugar which is thought to lead to a decline in memory in humans. 

Disruption continues following derailed train

Derailed freight train
Great Western Railway

Network Rail is still working to clear a derailed freight train from the tracks in Somerset.

Great Western Railway is advising all passengers to check before they travel to see how services are impacted.

Here's Network Rail's maintenance director:

View more on twitter

Camran Green murder prompts serious case review

Camran Green
Gloucestershire Police/ BBC

Despite having a care team, Camran Green was able to travel by train from Birmingham to Cheltenham at weekends.

This is how he met his killer Steven Sharpe , who fatally stabbed him with a 14 inch "Rambo" knife (pictured below) in a failed robbery attempt.

His mother Emma Barrow is upset he wasn't better looked after.

Dudley City Council says this was a tragic case and its thoughts are with the family.

The care he received will now form the subject of a serious case review.

The weapon used to kill Camran Green
Gloucestershire Police

Football: Kick-off for Forest Green in 30 minutes

Dead woman gets higher council tax bill

Ada Davies
Family photo
Ada Davies died in late February but was still being sent council tax letters

A grieving son has branded a council as "extremely insensitive" after receiving a letter about his mother's council tax bill.

The letter to 95-year-old Ada Davies said she would no longer get a reduction as she had "passed away".

Her son, Christopher Davies, from Bristol, said: "It says dear Mrs Davies the reason for the calculation is that you've passed away."

South Gloucestershire Council said it was extremely sorry for causing upset.

Travel: Overnight closure on the M32

'Promising' lead after Sally Ann John Crimewatch appeal

Det Sgt Don Pocock said Wiltshire Police is working on several new lines of enquiry following last night's televised Crimewatch appeal.

Watch: "We had eight calls following the appeal," said Det Sgt Don Pocock

The appeal focused on a postcard which murdered Sally Ann John allegedly sent shortly after disappearing.

Wiltshire Police said analysis of the postcard has led detectives to conclude it was not written by Ms John, but its author is unknown.

Ms John, whose body has never been found, went missing while working as a prostitute in Swindon in 1995. 

Fake postcard
Crimewatch

Severe disruption: M4 Bristol westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Bristol westbound severe disruption, at J19 for M32.

M4 Bristol - M4 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic westbound at J19, M32 (Bristol), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Killer high on drugs at time of Camran Green murder

Steven Sharpe
Maxine Nelmes

Sharpe was said to have been high on heroin and cocaine at the time and planned to rob Camran Green of his takings.

The robbery went wrong and Sharpe stabbed Mr Green a single time in the body with a 14in blade.

The judge told Sharpe he must serve a minimum of 24 years and six months of his life sentence.

He said: "The murky world of drugs has taken yet another young life."

Camran Green's mother makes impassioned plea

Watch: Bereaved mother Emma Barrow warns young men to steer clear of knives

The mother of murdered teenager Camran Green, 17, has made a plea to others to stay away from drugs.

She was speaking outside Bristol Crown Court today.

Steven Sharpe, 31, has been handed a minimum jail term of more than 24 years for killing Camran.

Camran Green used by drug dealers as he was 'disenfranchised'

Watch: "Camran Green was only 17 and he has lost his life," said Det Ch Insp Ruth Mather

Following the jailing of Steven Sharpe , Det Ch Insp Ruth Mather of Gloucestershire Police said Camran Green fitted a type of man used by drug gangs from big cities.

She said vulnerable young men like him are frequently being used as drug runners in smaller towns.

Drivers warned about new parking restrictions

Parking ticket
BBC

More than 130 motorists have received warning notices about the way they've parked in North Somerset. 

Their vehicles received stickers yesterday advising them of the penalties they'll face if they ignore parking restrictions from next month. 

North Somerset Council is set to impose fines on drivers who contravene parking regulations, such as leaving their cars on yellow lines. 

The new measures start from Monday 3rd April - but for the next two weeks, officers will sticker offending vehicles with details about the fines they could face.

Stab murderer handed 24-year sentence

Camran Green
Gloucestershire Police/BBC

Steven Sharpe, the killer of teenager Camran Green (pictured), has been handed a minimum jail term of more than 24 years .

Bristol Crown Court was told Camran had travelled to Gloucestershire from the West Midlands to supply drugs through the so-called "county lines" drugs network.

Drug gangs from big cities have been using vulnerable young men on a frequent basis as drug runners in smaller towns to do their dirty work for them. Camran was being used in this way - basing himself at Sharpe's girlfriend's address to deal crack cocaine and heroin for gang leaders in Birmingham. Tragically Camran had his life taken as a result of that work.

Det Ch Insp Ruth Mather
View more on twitter

Football: Forest Green Rovers v Solihull Moors (7.45pm)

National League
Getty Images

Forest Green Rovers welcome Solihull Moors to the New Lawn in Nailsworth for tonight's game in the National League.

Tune in to BBC Radio Gloucestershire for live commentary or follow the stats on the BBC Sport website .

How to cook a 200-year-old curry

Watch: How to cook a 200-year-old curry

A cookbook from 1793 that was discovered by monks is to be published.

Among recipes for Calves Head Turtle Fashion and Fricassee of Pigs Feet and Ears is a more familiar dish - chicken curry. 

Its inclusion in the Downside Abbey book highlights the global influence on the port of Bristol at the time. 

We asked Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton to recreate the dish, which will feature in the Bristol Georgian Cookbook.

Four people arrested for drug production in Pulborough

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Four people have been arrested in connection with drug production in Pulborough.

BBC
Sussex Police

A 48-year-old man from Pulborough has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of possession of class A drug, abstracting electricity, production of class B drug. 

A 64-year-old man from Pulborough, a 44-year-old woman from Taunton and a 28-year-old woman from Pulborough have been arrested on suspicion of production of a class B drug.

Life sentence for Steven Sharpe

Steven Sharpe, 31, has been sentenced to life in prison, serving a minimum of 24 and a half years.

BBC local radio headlines across the West

Radio
BBC
  • BBC Radio Bristol: Rail services between the South West and London will be disrupted for up to 48 hours after a freight train derailed in Somerset last night
  • BBC Radio Gloucestershire:  A man from Cheltenham has appeared in Court, charged with the murder of a teenager, last year
  • BBC Somerset:  One of the main rail lines through Somerset could be closed till tomorrow after a freight train derailed
  • BBC Wiltshire:  A shortage of GPs in Wiltshire - which has led to one practice cutting its opening hours to three mornings a week - has been described as "desperate" by a local MP

Steven Sharpe to be sentenced later for stabbing murder

Steven Sharpe
Gloucestershire Police

Steven Sharpe has pleaded guilty to the murder of Camran Green, 17, who was fatally stabbed in Cheltenham.

He is expected to be sentenced later.

Bristol Crown Court heard Sharpe, 31, from the town, had planned to rob Camran (pictured below) of money. 

Camran, originally from Wednesbury in the West Midlands, was stabbed in the stomach at an address in Shakespeare Road on 2 October.

Camran Green
Gloucestershire Police/BBC

Bristol City striker could lose driving licence for second time

Tammy Abraham
Reuters

A striker on loan to Bristol City could face losing his driving licence for a second time.

Nineteen-year-old Tammy Abraham first passed his test when he was 17 - but had his licence revoked. 

He's now passed the test again - but faces a court summons on suspicion of driving without a licence after a crash in January. 

If he's found guilty of those offences - his licence could be revoked again. 

Local newspaper headlines from across the West

Newspapers
Getty Images

Man pleads guilty to teenager murder

Camran Green
Family photo
Camran Green was stabbed at a house in Cheltenham in October

A man has admitted stabbing a teenager to death. 

Seventeen-year-old Camran Green was stabbed at a house on Shakespeare Road, in Cheltenham, last October. He died in hospital the next day.

Today Steven Sharpe, who's 31, pleaded guilty to murdering the teenager and also to several counts of assault. 

Blocked rail line: Latest train information

Engineers on derailment site
BBC
  • Services between Taunton and Westbury and between Weymouth and Westbury are expected to be severely disrupted for the rest of today, and tomorrow.  
  •  Arrangements have been made for GWR tickets to be accepted on South West Train services via any reasonable route and CrossCountry services between Taunton and Bristol Temple Meads.
  • Arrangements have been made for GWR tickets to be accepted on local bus routes with First in Wessex Dorset & South Somerset.
  • If you have been affected by this disruption, you may be entitled to claim a refund .  
  •  A shuttle train service is running between Weymouth and Castle Cary with connecting replacement road transport to/from Westbury.  
  • People travelling between Weymouth and Westbury may also travel via Salisbury for the South West Trains service between Weymouth and Southampton, this journey takes up to three hours.
  • Services between Taunton and Reading will be diverted via Bristol Temple Meads, train services will not call at stations between Taunton and Reading.

Lorry driver jailed for causing death crash while using mobile phone

Jodie Moss
Family handout

A lorry driver, who killed a 21-year-old woman while selecting music on his mobile phone, has been jailed.  

Jodie Moss, from Swindon, died when Dariusz Tokarczyk's HGV smashed into her stationary car on the A34 in Berkshire last year.

Tokarczyk, 47, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

He was sentenced to four-and-half years in prison and banned from driving for 51 months.

Click here to read more.

Fire damaged community farm shut for investigation

WATCH: The farm's office building has been extensively damaged.

A fire which caused "extensive damage" at a community farm is closed to visitors while police investigate what caused it.  

Firefighters were called to Lawrence Weston community farm, in Bristol, on Monday night. 

No animals, which were in a barn about 20 metres from the blaze, were hurt. 

Damaged buildings include offices, storage space and toilets.   

A very hungry caterpillar is helping research into Alzheimer's

WATCH: Meet the Manduca sexta caterpillar with Professor Jean Van Den Elson

Caterpillars are being used to shed light on whether changing our diet could reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists at Bath University have cultured Europe's only colony of tobacco hornworm. 

They want to find out if eating molecules found in red wine and chocolate can prevent them from developing a harmful by-product of sugar which is thought to lead to a decline in memory in humans. 

Blocked rail line: Latest video from the scene

Engineers assess derailed freight train.

Mobile phone ban keeps people talking down the pub

WATCH: Pub landlord Victor Long banned mobile phones a decade ago

Pub landlord Victor Long banned mobile phones from his bar 10 years ago. He said the Ship, in Portishead, is "an oasis".

He outlawed the use of mobiles after regulars got annoyed with people talking loudly on their phones. 

Now, he thinks it's the best thing that could have happened - because people can actually talk to each other. 

Blocked rail line: Train journeys affected 'until at least Thursday'

Blocked rail line: Commuters on disruption to services to London

WATCH: Castle Cary commuters talk of problems after the derailment.

Commuters trying to get to London today from Castle Cary talked about how they're changing their plans. 

The disruption has been caused by a derailed freight train which came off the tracks between Castle Cary and Westbury last night.

Great Western Railway is warning passengers it could take more than 48 hours before services are back to normal. 

Jenson Button Grand Prix helmet raises £9k for amputee

Jenson Button helmet
BBC

A helmet worn by Jenson Button during a Grand Prix has fetched £9,000 at an auction to raise funds for a triple amputee from Somerset. 

Jenson's school friend Jamie Mines had his hands and a leg amputated after suffering an electric shock at work. 

Jamie, 33, was injured at the Kendrick Industrial Estate in Swindon just before Christmas. The Health and Safety Executive is investigating.

Jamie Mines
Mines family
Jamie Mines is still recovering in hospital

Football: Sherwood banned for foul-mouthed rant

Swindon Town director of football Tim Sherwood
Getty Images

Swindon Town director of football Tim Sherwood was hit with a two-match stadium ban because of a foul-mouthed rant at a referee, the Football Association says .

The former Tottenham and Aston Villa boss repeatedly swore at referee Mark Brown at half-time during a 1-0 defeat at Bury on 11 February.

Sherwood, 48, has already served the ban, while he was also fined £2,000.

On Monday, the FA published the written reasons for Sherwood's suspension.

Community farm seriously damaged in fire

Lawrence Weston fire
Lyndsey Curtis

A fire has caused "extensive damage" at a community farm. 

Firefighters were called to Lawrence Weston community farm, in Bristol, on Monday night. 

Buildings affected included an outbuilding, offices, storage space and toilets. No animals, which were in a barn about 20 metres from the blaze, were hurt. 

Avon Fire and Rescue Service said an investigation into the cause of the fire was under way.