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Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates from across the West of England on Thursday, 30 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Patchy rain first thing tomorrow but dry later

Thanks for being with us today. Here's a look at tomorrow's weather map. 

Patchy rain to start with, but that will clear by afternoon leaving things largely dry but cloudy. 

We'll be back tomorrow morning from 7am.

Good night.

Watch: staying largely dry tomorrow

F1 kids race at Silverstone

Students from Gloucester were at Silverstone this evening as they entered a national racing competition.

A team from The Crypt School made a mini formula one car, which was tested against others from across the country. 

Sadly they failed to make the top spot, but we're sure they had a fun experience they won't forget in a hurry.

Watch: Gloucester students at Silverstone in national racing competition.

Prize for puppeteer

An animator turned puppeteer has won 50 thousand pounds in a competition in Germany. 

Barnaby Dixon has created his own puppets and films at his home in Bridgwater.  

He's already getting interest from international programme makers. 

Watch: Barnaby Dixon's puppets in action

How a major trauma centre 'prepares for the worst'

Watch: How Southmead's major trauma centre works

Wales is to get its first major trauma centre, based on one in Bristol, which will have a specialist medical team on call 24 hours a day for the most serious emergencies.

For the last five years, Bristol has been operating one of 27 such centres in England.

Lead nurse Juliette Hughes explains to BBC Wales health correspondent Owain Clarke how the Southmead major trauma centre in Bristol is always prepared for the worst but is set up to achieve the best results.

An unlikely radio reunion

Watch: Three BBC Wiltshire listeners reunited after more than 60 years.

You never know what you'll hear on the radio.

Three former schoolmates have been reunited after listening to BBC Wiltshire. 

Last week oKeith in Bratton recognised the voice and name of one of the guests, Paul from North Bradley.

He thought they might have gone to school together back in the 1950s and so the station got the two of them back on to see if it was true. 

Hearing their on-air 'Surprise Surprise' moment, Bob from Chippenham got in touch to say he went to school with Paul and Keith too.

The trio have been to look round their former school together - Trowbridge Boys High.

UK premiere of Banksy film in Scotland

Banksy work
Parade Deck Films

The UK premiere of a documentary about street artist Banksy is to be held in Scotland .

Saving Banksy explores attempts to preserve and profit from the anonymous Bristol artist's work.

The premiere is being held as part of the NuArt Aberdeen festival.

Belmont manager Colin Farquhar explained: "Banksy is a cultural phenomenon and we are sure the showing will be popular."

'Wannabe gangster' Wire fan dealer jailed

Raphael Castillo
Avon and Somerset Police
Raphael Castillo fancied himself as a "gangster", police said

Raphael Castillo fancied himself as a "gangster" and used aliases of characters from the US drama.

Raphael Castillo

'Wannabe gangster' Wire fan dealer jailed

Raphael Castillo fancied himself as a "gangster" and used aliases of characters from the US drama.

Read more

Dying in prison: 'Stories of avoidable tragedy'

Jessica Whitchurch
BBC
Jessica Whitchurch died in Eastwood Park prison in May last year

The number of women who died in prison in England and Wales reached a record high of 22 last year, and more than half of them took their own lives, Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Nigel Newcomen reported this week.  

"Behind the statistics are stories of avoidable tragedy," says Deborah Coles, director of the charity Inquest.

Jessica Whitchurch, who grew up in Nailsea, was one of three women to kill themselves at Eastwood Park, near Bristol, in 2016.  

Click here to read more  from her siblings who have been reflecting on her life.

A chart
BBC

Volunteers wanted to reduce crayfish numbers

Watch: Exmoor's National Park Authority is trapping crayfish

A project to reduce crayfish numbers on Exmoor is looking for volunteers.  

The scheme's aim is to catch and either kill or sterilise Signal crayfish - originally native to North America - and has been running for several years.

The team behind it say the crayfish are damaging the river's ecosystem by killing or forcing out other species.

Signal crayfish
Thinkstock

A very special wedding dance for a Somerset mum

A bridegroom has made it possible for his bride to dance with her disabled son at their wedding. 

Alex Dieterle, who is 13 and from Shepton Beauchamp, has severe cerebral palsy.

It was his mother Jo Atrill's dream to see him dance on her big day.

So her husband Martin created a special harness so Alex could join his mother on the dance floor.

Watch: Jo Atrill's severely disabled son joined her and her new husband

Blast off for tonight's bedtime story

View more on twitter

Catch Tim's bedtime tale on CBeebies at 6.50pm. 

New pound coin design giving arcades a headache

The new 12-sided pound coin has officially entered circulation, meaning that thousands of devices designed to use the old coins have to be modified.

Minehead's "Arkade" sent away for some samples of the new coin in advance. 

But it will still take several months to change all of their arcade machines so that they can take the new coins. 

The "Arkade" in Minehead says it will take several months to modify its machines

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe disruption, between J14 for A338 and J15 for A346 Marlborough Road.

M4 Berkshire - Two lanes closed and slow traffic on M4 westbound between J14, A338 (Hungerford) in Hungerford Newtown and J15, A346 (Swindon East) in Wiltshire, because of debris on the road.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Gloucestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Gloucestershire northbound severe disruption, between J9 for A46 and J8 for M50.

M5 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M5 northbound between J9, A46 (Tewkesbury) and J8 M50, because of debris on the road. Approach with care. Traffic is coping well.

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

Amazon investigation: The follow-up

Last year, BBC Inside Out West broadcast an investigation at Amazon's Avonmouth delivery depot. 

The programme heard claims that drivers regularly worked "illegal" hours, and were paid less than the minimum wage.

After the programme, we received around 50 messages from drivers across the country saying they'd faced similar experiences. 

Watch: Seb Choudhury reads out some of the responses after we went undercover at Amazon.

In a statement, Amazon said:

As independent contractors, drivers deliver at their own pace, take breaks at their discretion and are able to choose the suggested route.

Amazon statement

Severe accident: A38 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

A38 Bristol southbound severe accident, near Toronto Road.

A38 Bristol - A38 Filton Road in Horfield blocked and very slow traffic inbound near Job Centre, because of an accident involving a bus.

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

Houses set for demolition used in fire training

What do you do with houses set for demolition? Batter the front door down of course. 

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were given access to properties in Cricklade that are soon to be knocked down.

They used them to train for scenarios like search and rescue, use of breathing apparatus and working at height.

Watch Manager Dean Hoskins from Stratton fire station says it's an opportunity to train in real-life situations.

Watch: the houses marked for demolition have been used for fire training

Severe accident: A4 Wiltshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

A4 Wiltshire eastbound severe accident, between High Street and A346 Barn Street affecting Cherry Orchard.

A4 Wiltshire - Very slow traffic on A4 Bridewell Street eastbound in Marlborough between the High Street junction and St Peters School, because of an accident earlier on. Congestion on A346 Salisbury Road to the Cherry Orchard junction and to the Elcot Lane junction.

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

Days lost to 'bed-blocking' fall in Somerset

Hospital ward
Getty Images

The number of days lost in Somerset's hospitals because of so-called "bed-blocking" fell by almost a third between last September and this January.

Almost 3,500 days were lost in September, compared to about 2,500 in January. But that's still a long way off the target figure of around 750 days.

Health bosses in the county have put almost £1m into trying to get people who are medically fit out of hospital and back either into their own homes or into care homes.

Therapy to end nightmares

Soldiers in silhouette
PA

Military veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are being offered help by a therapist to sleep better. 

Justin Havens, from Cheltenham, has spent three years researching "planned dream intervention".

It's an American idea that he believes "teaches" the brain to change recurring nightmares and "resets the sleep cycle".

The technique involves helping victims to prepare for and ignore the disturbing elements of their dreams before they go to sleep.  

He's worked with more than 100 PTSD sufferers and claims "more than half" have seen an improvement with sleep.

I was irritable with everybody, including children and grandchildren, wife, next-door-neighbour. Totally unpleasant. It has changed my life totally.

"Peter"RAF veteran

Leckford death crash lorry driver jailed

Indy Almroth-Wright

BBC South

A lorry driver who killed a Southampton motorcyclist has been jailed for five years.

The crash on Stockbridge Road at the entrance to the golf club in Leckford on 13 April last year involved a lorry and two motorbikes. 

Biker 63-year-old Alan Couper from Southampton died at the scene.

Roy Woods, 57, from Tidworth, who had earlier admitted causing death by dangerous driving, was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court.   

Roy Woods
Hampshire Constabulary

Blue plaque for one of Britain's most successful Olympians

Paolo Radmilovic
Getty Images

One of Weston-super-Mare's most famous sons was honoured today with a commemorative blue plaque

Paolo Radmilovic won his first two golds in 1908 in the London Games in water polo and the team swimming relay. 

These were followed by golds in water polo in 1912 and 1920. His last Olympic appearance was in the 1928 games when he was 42.

He was also a noted golfer, boxer and snooker player. 

The plaque at the Imperial pub is the first of a number of blue plaques set to be put up in the town, with a list of 12 other potential recipients due to be released next week

Swindon gas leak fixed

Police at the gas leak
BBC

Wales & West Utilities have now repaired a gas leak near Blagrove Industrial Estate in Swindon.

The gas pipe was damaged by a contractor, forcing 200 people working at a nearby factory to be evacuated. 

Wales & West Utilities is urging contractors carrying out excavations to think before starting work and dial before you dig. Third party contractors will be billed for any costs if something goes wrong.

Darren Keighley Wales & West Utilities Gas Emergency Services Manager for Swindon

Motorhome driver, aged 13, honoured at police awards

25 people have been recognised by Wiltshire Police at their latest Force Awards.

Wiltshire Police has honoured 25 people at its latest Force Award ceremony.

Among those given awards were a PC and two PCSOs who saved a drowning woman in Bradford on Avon and two officers who stopped a suicidal man on the busy A419 in Swindon. 

The youngest recipient was Teigan Morgan who took the wheel of her father's motorhome when he collapsed while driving on the A303 last year. She was aged 13 at the time.

The awards were handed out last night at Cumberwell Park near Bradford on Avon.

Rugby: Matt Garvey signs new contract at Bath

Matt Garvey
Getty Images

Bath forward Matt Garvey has signed a new contract with the Premiership club.

The 29-year-old has been  out of action since early January  because of a neck injury, which he has had surgery on. The length of his new contract has not been disclosed.

"I couldn't be happier to have extended my time here at Bath, and there wasn't really any hesitation," Garvey said.

"It's the light at the end of the tunnel after going through my rehabilitation in the last few months."

Gas leak: Latest from Wales & West Utilities

Gas leak
BBC

Darren Keighley, from Wales & West Utilities, said: "We are working to repair a leak on a gas pipe near Blagrove Industrial Estate in Swindon after the gas network was damaged by a contractor working in the area. 

“Great Western Way has reopened in both directions. We are in the final stages of repair work and we expect our work will be finished by 2.30pm.”  

Puppeteer wins £50,000 in German TV competition

WATCH: Puppeteer Barnaby Dixon with "Manu"

A British puppeteer who won £50,000 in a German TV competition is now getting offers from US television producers.

Barnaby Dixon created his own puppets at home in Bridgwater and made films to put on the internet. One featuring his creation "Manu" dancing went viral.  

The former animation student said the prize money would go towards "equipment and lawyers' fees in terms of patenting". Until now he's relied on crowdfunding to support his work. 

"If you're good enough and you like it - and other people like it - you can make a living. You can do anything if you find a way to make it viable but that's the tricky part," he said.

Gas leak: Great Western Way in Swindon reopened

British armoured vehicles sent to Estonia

Watch: The Army is sending armoured vehicles to Estonia

Armoured vehicles are leaving the UK today as part of a big military deployment to Estonia. 

Fifty Warrior fighting vehicles, belonging to 5th Battalion the Rifles which is based at Tidworth, will be loaded onto a ship at Southampton. 

Earlier this month more than 100 soldiers from the 5 Rifles, based at Bulford Camp, arrived to bolster Nato Defences.   

The Nato operation is to reassure its eastern European members that they'll be defended in case of any aggression from Russia.

Gas leak: Warehouse evacuated

Swindon gas leak
BBC

A warehouse has been evacuated and people are being told to keep their windows and doors shut because of a gas leak in Swindon. 

Contractors cut through a gas main on the Blagrove Industrial Estate this morning. 

Three fire crews are on the scene with a strong smell of gas in the Freshbrook, Toothill and Grange Park areas.

People living in part of Swindon are being advised to close windows and doors due to a gas leak.

Gas leak: Great Western Way closed

Local newspaper headlines across the West

Newspapers
Getty

Severe disruption: A3102 Wiltshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A3102 Wiltshire southbound severe disruption, between B4553 Tewkesbury Way and B4534 Whitehill Way.

A3102 Wiltshire - A3102 Great Western Way in Swindon closed and very slow traffic outbound between Mannington Roundabout and Blagrove Roundabout, because of a gas leak.

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

Gas leak: Police shut road near industrial estate

Gas leak: Contractors have ruptured a gas main

Emergency crews are at the scene of a gas leak in Swindon.

Contractors have damaged a gas main, according to Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service.

Two fire engines were called to the scene on Frankland Road, Blagrove, shortly after 11am.

Transco have now arrived on the scene, in the last 10 minutes and are addressing the situation.

Pupils race F1 model car at Silverstone

Watch: Pupils race F1 model car at Silverstone

Gloucester engineering students are vying for a place in the world finals of a F1 in Schools competition at Silverstone today.

The Crypt School pupils are racing a scale model race car they designed on a 20m track in one of the halls at the famous circuit. 

They've already seen off competition from across the region and are now in with the chance of winning a trip to Texas for the finals.

'Dream therapy' reduces veteran's nightmares

Watch: Former soldier explains how the technique worked for him

A former soldier, who has suffered from nightmares for a decade, after seeing a friend killed during a military operation, says a form of "dream therapy" has improved his sleep. 

Therapist Justin Havens, from Cheltenham, uses a technique called "planned dream intervention". 

His client, Peter, who did not want to be identified, said he was able to sleep much better since using the Mr Havens' approach.

Amazon agency worker: 'Drivers thanked me for standing up for them'

Watch: Seb Choudhury talks to Cody Cooper

Last year a BBC Inside Out West investigation at an Amazon depot in Avonmouth heard claims that delivery drivers regularly worked "illegal" hours and received less than the minimum wage.

Cody Cooper, a former supervisor for the agency which supplies Amazon with drivers, was one employee who spoke out against what she felt were unacceptable working conditions.

She said since the programme she has received an "overwhelming" response from drivers who thanked her for "standing up for them".

Amazon's response
BBC

You can watch Inside Out's follow-up on  BBC One (West) tomorrow night at 7.30pm .  

Dying in prison: Jessica's story

Jessica Whitchurch and her sisters Emma and Beth
BBC
Jessica Whitchurch and her sisters Emma and Beth

Jessica Whitchurch was one of 22 women who died in prison last year .

She struggled to find a job, would get into abusive relationships and her siblings would struggle to keep track of where she was and with whom.

"Jess was a good person, she was the kindest person. She used to do anything for anybody, but drugs and alcohol took over," said her sister Beth.

Her other sister, Emma, added: "Jess should not have been in prison, she should have been in a mental health facility. She needed peace. That root of all evil needed to be found, and putting her in prison just tormented her."

Jessica Whitchurch
Family photo
Jessica Whitchurch as a child