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Summary

  1. News, sport, weather and travel updates from across the West of England on Thursday, 6 April 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Factory whistle brings back memories from 40 years ago

Watch: Stroud factory whistle sounds again after 40 years.

Some people may remember the sound of factory whistles and hooters sounding every day to signal clocking on and clocking off times. 

Today the sound of the Holloway Brothers' factory whistle in Stroud returned, 40 years after it fell silent. 

It was all down to a campaign led by BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

Margaret Cook and Sheila Girdwood, who used to work at the factory, recalled the whistle blowing while they were still running to get to work.

And that's it from BBC Local Live for today - join us again tomorrow from 7am for more news, sport, weather and travel updates.

'I've never done anything as rewarding' - DIY SOS volunteer

Watch: Volunteers share their DIY SOS project experience in Bristol

This morning a family in Bristol got to see just how the BBC's DIY SOS team has transformed their home.

With the help of hundreds of volunteers the Pollard's house in Hartcliffe was converted so 24 year-old Ryan, who has a brain condition, can live there. 

One of the volunteers said this ranked among the most rewarding things he had ever done.

Toxic air fear pilot sought help abroad

Richard Westgate
PA

A British Airways co-pilot who thought he had been poisoned by repeated exposure to contaminated cockpit air, died as he sought treatment abroad.

Richard Westgate died in 2012 after moving to the Netherlands to seek help for symptoms he thought were caused by "aerotoxic syndrome".

His brother Guy told an inquest in Salisbury Mr Westgate had been in "excruciating pain" from the symptoms.

The 47-year-old said his brother felt let down and angered by UK doctors.

Click here if you'd like to read more.

Disabled man's parents 'overwhelmed' by DIY SOS transformation

Watch: Ryan's father said the community had "rallied together"

The parents of a disabled man say they are "overwhelmed and honoured" by the help from hundreds of volunteers who have converted the family home so their son can return to live with them again.

The BBC's DIY SOS team made it possible for 24-year-old Ryan Pollard, who has a brain condition, to move back to Hartcliffe. 

Ryan became ill when he was 19 and for the past five years has had to be cared for in Gloucester. 

His dad Dave Pollard said it was "amazing to see all these people in our house doing work for us".

Ryan Pollard
BBC

Robert Cox inquest: 'More work needed' says mother

Watch: Sue Cox believes the inquest has highlighted failings

A lack of on-site support and poor police interaction exacerbated a situation in which a young man was stabbed to death, according to an inquest jury. 

Robert Cox was killed by another resident in supported accommodation in Bristol four years ago.

A jury concluded he had been unlawfully killed and a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of his killer had not helped. 

Speaking after the inquest, Sue Cox - Robert's mother - said more work is needed to prevent similar deaths.

Stroud's Holloway whistle steams again

Watch: The former factory whistle has not sounded for 40 years.

After 40 years of silence, the famous Holloway factory whistle has sounded again. 

It was once used to alert workers across the area that it was time for work. 

The restoration came following a campaign by Mark Cummings on BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

Severe disruption: M4 Wiltshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Wiltshire eastbound severe disruption, at J17 for A350.

M4 Wiltshire - M4 lane closed on exit slip road eastbound at J17, A350 (Chippenham), because of a spillage on the road. Traffic is coping well.

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

Missing schoolgirl found 'safe and well'

A 15-year-old Wiltshire schoolgirl, who has been missing since this morning, has been found "safe and well", police have said.

The teenager, from Highworth, did not turn up for school which sparked a search involving the police helicopter.

Red Devils freefall parachute team take to the skies

Watch: The Red Devils put on special aerial performance

Soldiers from parachute freefall team - the Red Devils - took to the skies over Amesbury earlier today. 

They were jumping to raise money for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Airbase Appeal.

Lance Corporal Lee Crudgington said it was "good to show people how fast parachutes actually do go".

Factory's whistle sounded for the first time in 40 years

Watch: Faye Woodward said her father would let her blow the hooter at the end of the day

A factory whistle brought back memories for some people today when it was sounded for the first time in 40 years. 

The Holloway Brothers' whistle, in Stroud, was used to let workers across the Five Valleys know it was time to clock on or off for work. 

As a young girl, Faye Woodward was allowed to operate it under her father's supervision. She returned to the site today to sound it once again.

'Risk can never be totally eliminated', review into mother and baby deaths finds

Charlotte Bevan walking out of hospital
Avon and Somerset Police

Sally Lewis, the chair of the board which carried out the review, says risk can "never be totally eliminated" but "reviews like this help agencies to make improvements".

She said a "great deal" had already changed in local professional practice since the "tragic" deaths of Charlotte Bevan and her baby daughter.

Charlotte Bevan, 30, vanished from St Michael's Hospital in Bristol with four-day-old Zaani Tiana Bevan Malbrouck on December 2 in 2014. 

Search teams later found the bodies of Ms Bevan and Zaani, who both suffered fatal injuries consistent with a fall, on the Avon Gorge. 

We can never totally eliminate risk, but reviews like this help agencies make improvements, better recognise the potential for harm and take appropriate actions. Of course, safeguarding is everybody’s business and not only a responsibility of professionals. It is important therefore that every member of our community knows that by raising concerns, even where there may be uncertainty, their contribution is valued and they can play a crucial part in safeguarding our children. If you are concerned about a child’s safety call First Response on 0117 903 6444 in working hours, the police on 101 out-of-hours or, if you think there is immediate danger to someone, 999.

Sally Lewis Independent Chair of the Bristol Safeguarding Children Board

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe disruption, at J15 for M4.

M5 Bristol - M5 lane closed on entry slip road from M4 Westbound southbound at J15, M4 (Almondsbury Interchange), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Bereaved mother urges families with mental health problems to seek help

Watch: Rachel Fortune on serious case review into the death of her mentally ill daughter

The mother of a woman who killed herself and her new baby has urged anyone with mental health problems to seek advice and support.

Rachel Fortune's daughter Charlotte Bevan, 30, walked out of St Michael's Hospital in Bristol with her four-day-old daughter Zaani Tiana Bevan-Malbrouck in December, 2014. 

Their bodies were later found with fatal injuries, consistent with a fall, in Avon Gorge. 

Ms Fortune and Charlotte's sister - Janet - said they hoped "families and individuals facing such difficulties will now have a multi-agency team with accountable clinicians in each service, as they now do in Bristol". 

Agencies which can help include:

  • First Response on 0117 903 6444 in working hours
  • Police  on 101 out-of-hours or, if you think there is immediate danger to someone, 999 
  • www.nhs.uk/mentalhealth  or visit your GP or call NHS 111 

Travel: Motorcyclist involved in collision on M4

View more on twitter

One lane has been shut after a motorcyclist collided with a van, according to police.

Severe accident: M4 Wiltshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Wiltshire westbound severe accident, at J17 for A350.

M4 Wiltshire - One lane blocked and very slow traffic on M4 westbound at J17, A350 (Chippenham), because of an accident involving multiple vehicles.

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

Helicopter used in search for missing 15-year-old schoolgirl

A search involving the police helicopter is under way in Wiltshire for a missing 15-year-old schoolgirl. 

The teenager, from Highworth, was last seen this morning leaving for school but police said she didn't turn up. "Officers on the ground, the police helicopter and members of Wiltshire Search and Rescue are currently searching the Highworth area," added the force.

Severe accident: A436 Gloucestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

A436 Gloucestershire both ways severe accident, between A40 and B4068.

A436 Gloucestershire - A436 blocked and slow traffic in both directions between the A40 junction in Andoversford and the B4068 junction in Salperton, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

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

'No single thing to blame,' says Charlotte Bevan's mother

Charlotte Bevan
SWNS

Rachel Fortune, Charlotte’s mother, contributed to the serious case review.

She said it would lead to "constructive learning" in a number of areas, including: 

  • managing the difficulty of long-term ill mental health alongside pregnancy
  • honest, accurate and timely communication
  • multi-agency working with a lead clinician
  • best practice for clinic supervision

As you can quite clearly see from the report, no single thing, action or person was to blame. This was a particularly difficult case to manage as long-term ill mental health and pregnancy came together. It’s our hope now that any families and individuals facing such difficulties will have a multi-agency team with accountable clinicians in each service, as they now do in Bristol.

Rachel FortuneCharlotte Bevan's mother

Paedophiles aged 101 and 96 lose appeals

Ralph Clarke
Joe Giddens
Ralph Clarke is thought to be the oldest person convicted in England and Wales

Two paedophiles aged 101 and 96 have lost their appeals against sentences which they claimed were excessive because of their extreme old age.

Peter Cooper, 96, of Minehead, Somerset, got was jailed for three years in February. Ralph Clarke, 101, from Birmingham, got 13 years in December.  

They argued old people should get special consideration at sentencing as a different class of offender.

But judges disagreed, saying sentencing must be done on a case-by-case basis.

Risks unidentified due to Charlotte Bevan being 'articulate' and 'middle class'

Charlotte Bevan
Avon and Somerset Police

According to Charlotte Bevan's case review, health professionals had found it difficult to identify her mental health risks as she was "articulate" and "middle class".

One finding of the review was that professionals may have been intimidated by the mother who was described as "unpredictable and hostile".

"When confronted with this unpredictability or hostility, many professionals 'backed off' from the confrontation, leaving the issue for another time or another professional to handle without a clear documented plan of how to address these issues," the report states.

"This was compounded by what case group members described as Charlotte Bevan's intelligence and assertiveness. 

"One professional described Charlotte Bevan as 'middle class', 'articulate'. This made it more difficult for professionals to identify the potential risk.

"When challenged by professionals, Charlotte Bevan was able to counter their suggestions with cogent arguments."

Robert Cox inquest jury return unlawful killing verdict


          Derek Hancock, 42, stabbed Robert Cox, 24, at a hostel for people with mental health issues in Bristol
BBC
Hancock stabbed Robert Cox at a Bristol hostel for people with mental health issues

At Robert Cox's inquest , a jury unanimously returned an unlawful killing verdict, citing issues over delays in diagnosing Hancock's mental health issues and interactions with police as contributing factors.

On the night of Mr Cox's death, Hancock, 42, called Avon and Somerset Police three times complaining about him.

In the third, three-minute conversation, he told handler Susan Akerman that the "law is not doing anything" and he threatened to "take the law into my own hands".

In response, Ms Akerman told him police would deal with it, but later said "…that's entirely up to you Derek".

Minutes later, Hancock fatally stabbed Mr Cox, aged 24.

Police call handler sacked over 'up to you' killer advice

Derek Hancock and Robert Cox
BBC
Derek Hancock (left) was sentenced to life imprisonment for stabbing Robert Cox (right) to death in 2013

A police call handler who told a killer who was threatening to take the law into his own hands that it was "entirely up to you" has been sacked.

Derek Hancock spoke to Susan Akerman minutes before stabbing Robert Cox to death at a hostel in Bristol in 2013.

The police worker told Mr Cox's inquest that Hancock had given no indication he would go on to do what he did.

Hancock pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility in 2014.

Described as "deluded and psychotic" in court, Hancock had repeatedly made false allegations that Mr Cox and other residents at supported accommodation at Egerton Road had made sexual advances towards him.

At his inquest, a jury unanimously returned an unlawful killing verdict citing issues over delays in diagnosis and interactions with police as contributing factors in his death.

Read the full story here .

Quick response after Ms Bevan was reported missing

Charlotte Bevan walking out of hospital
Avon and Somerset Police

The report, compiled by the Bristol Safeguarding Children Board, said there was a system for controlling entry to the ward "but mothers and babies were allowed free access throughout the hospital".

It went on to say that, "this allowed CB [Charlotte Bevan] to leave the ward with ZBM [Zaani Tiana Bevan-Malbrouck] unnoticed and unchallenged".

Once the alarm had been raised that Ms Bevan and her four-day-old daughter were missing, there was a quick response, the report added.

However, it said the safeguarding concerns were "everybody's business" as Ms Bevan was "able to walk outside at night, in unsuitable clothing, carrying a newborn baby, in a public place unchallenged by anyone".

Click here if you'd like to read more.

Cliff fall mum 'was free to leave ward'

Charlotte Bevan
BBC

A mother who jumped off a cliff with her baby was able to leave a maternity ward unchallenged as she had "free access" in the hospital, a report said. 

Charlotte Bevan, who had schizophrenia, walked out of St Michael's Hospital in Bristol in December 2014 with daughter Zaani Tiana Bevan-Malbrouck. 

Their bodies were found in undergrowth in the Avon Gorge days later. 

The serious case review also found the lack of a lead clinician overseeing Ms Bevan's care led to confusion.

Severe accident: A303 Somerset eastbound

BBC News Travel

A303 Somerset eastbound severe accident, between A358 and A356.

A303 Somerset - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on A303 eastbound between Southfields Roundabout in Ilminster and the A356 junction in South Petherton, because of accident investigation work.

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

Missing woman's disappearance 'totally out of character'

Watch: "We don't know what has happened to her," said Hazel's son James Denham

The son of a missing Minchinhampton woman says he's concerned for his mother after she went missing while walking her dog recently.

Hazel Denham was last seen on Tuesday.

Severe accident: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe accident, between J26 for A38 and J27 for A361.

M5 Somerset - Two lanes blocked and slow traffic on M5 southbound between J26, A38 (Wellington) and J27, A361 (Tiverton), because of a multi-vehicle accident.

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

Lunchtime radio headlines across the West

Radio microphones
BBC
  • BBC Radio Bristol:  Plans for an indoor leisure development including an ice rink, ski venue and skydiving facilities at Cribbs Causeway retail park were approved today by South Gloucestershire council. 
  • BBC Radio Gloucestershire:  A major search to find a vulnerable missing woman from Minchinhampton is being extended. Hazel Denham hasn't been seen for two days.
  • BBC Wiltshire:  A Swindon head teacher's backing the Supreme Court's decision to rule against a father who took his daughter to Disney World during term term.
  • BBC Somerset:  Sedgemoor district council is training up all the area's licensed taxi drivers to be able to recognise the signs of child sexual exploitation.

Latest video: Public help in search for missing 71-year-old woman

Local people are joining the search for missing Hazel Denham in Gloucestershire. 

The 71-year-old was last seen walking her dog in Minchinhampton on Tuesday. 

Gloucestershire Police is now coordinating a search from Minchinhampton Common to the nearby Chalford Valley. 

Hazel Denham, 71, has gone missing while out walking with her dog in Gloucestershire.

BreakingCribbs Causeway ice rink and ski centre plans approved

South Gloucestershire Council has voted to approve plans for an ice rink, ski venue and indoor skydiving facility at Cribbs Causeway.

The new development will see 14,000 square metres added to the Cribbs site. Planning permission has also been granted for retail, a hotel, restaurants and a car showroom. 

Plans have gone to the Secretary of State who will have the final say on whether the development will go ahead.

Severe accident: A303 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A303 Somerset both ways severe accident, between A356 and A358.

A303 Somerset - A303 closed and very slow traffic in both directions between the A356 junction in South Petherton and Southfields Roundabout in Ilminster, because of a serious accident involving two vehicles.

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

Thousands expected at machinery sale in Taunton

The biggest farming equipment sale in our area kicks off again today. The annual Walford Cross Machinery Sale is now in its 63rd year. 

The huge open air fair will see 3,000 lots go under the auctioneer's hammer, with six auctions happening at one time. 

Watch: over 3,000 lots will go under the hammer today.

North Somerset MP helps sick baby on flight

Liam Fox
BBC

Trade Secretary and North Somerset MP Liam Fox has given medical aid to a baby taken ill on a flight to the Philippines.

The Cabinet minister - who worked as a family doctor for ten years - immediately came forward to help after flight attendants sent out an emergency message.

Dr Fox diagnosed the baby with febrile convulsion - a type of seizure - and says it happens when babies get overheated.  

The baby made a full recovery before landing.

Fancy living alone with the in-laws?

Alone with the In-Laws
BBC

Chris and Stacey from Bristol are getting married in the summer. Planning for the big day is one thing but making a success of the years that follow is another. 

What do they both expect of married life? The Reverend Kate Bottley suggests an unusual way to help them find out.

Kate wants Chris and Stacey to spend a few days living alone with their respective in-laws-to-be to explore what they can learn about the person they love from the parents who raised them. 

You can find out how they get on on BBC Two at 8pm, or afterwards on the iPlayer.

Volunteers join search for missing Hazel

Hazel Denham
Gloucestershire Police

Local people have volunteered to join the search for Hazel Denham, who has gone missing while out walking with her dog.  

The 71-year-old from Minchinhampton disappeared with her black poodle.

Police say she has memory problems and is considered to be vulnerable. 

The search is now extending beyond Minchinhampton Common towards an area called the Chalford Valley, also known as the Golden Valley.

It involves police officers and search dogs, the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA), the Search and Rescue Dogs Association and the National Police Air Service (NPAS). Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service are also taking part. 

Anyone who wants to help should meet PCSOs posted at the Water Reservoir on Minchinhampton Common.