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Summary

  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates from across the West of England on Thursday, 11 May 2017.

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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And it's goodnight from us

Thanks for being with us today. Before we go, here's a look at how tomorrow's weather is shaping up.

Most of our area will see rain in some form. Temperatures will stay mild, with highs of 17C (54F) in Gloucester.

We'll be back as usual at 7am with the news, travel, sport and weather. See you then...

Watch: rain in parts gives way to mild temperatures tomorrow.

Celebrating 25 years of Gloucestershire's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps

In 1992, NATO set up a high-readiness force in Germany, called the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC).

The organisation moved to RAF Innsworth in Gloucestershire, now known as Imjin Barracks, in 2010. 

Now, ARRC is celebrating 25 years of service, during which it has helped direct missions in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, and Afghanistan in 2006. 

Watch: the ARRC has pioneered the command and control operation of NATO troops for the last 25 years

Bonnie Armitage should have been 'actively supervised'

Bonnie Armitage
SWNS

A council officer who investigated nine-year-old Bonnie Armitage's death told the inquest today her injuries "could have been prevented".

Bonnie was killed when a horse kicked her in the chest. She was out riding with the Cotswold Hunt at the time.

My conclusion was that had Bonnie been actively supervised by a responsible adult in close contact with her, there was a possibility Bonnie could have been directed not to get too close to the horse in front, which could have had the effect of preventing the injury. In my view, riders under 11 should be supervised one-to-one by an adult.

Phil ParkStroud District Council

New scheme helps seriously ill children understand what's happening to them

Watch: Hospitals are allowing children to become mini scientists for a few hours.

Children with serious illnesses often become very distressed at the number of painful and intrusive tests they have in hospital. 

But a new scheme aims to take some of their worries away by helping them understand why they have the tests and what happens afterwards. 

Harvey's Gang - named after a little boy who died from leukaemia - invites young patients to visit the laboratory, don a white coat and become a trainee biomedical scientist.

It's currently running at Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital, Yeovil District Hospital and Salisbury Hospital.

Antiques Roadshow returns to Minehead

Watch: We've been digging in the BBC Archives for when the show first visited Minehead Railway Station 20 years ago

Minehead Station is to host Antiques Roadshow once again to mark the show's 40 years of valuing antiques and treasures. 

It'll be an extra-special recording, as the show first stopped off at the station 20 years ago.

Antiques Roadshow will be at Minehead Station next Wednesday.

Bristol Uni study: 'HIV patients have better life expectancy'

Watch: Jonathan Sterne from Bristol University says HIV drugs are better and easier to take now

Research led by Bristol University suggests HIV patients can now expect to live close to the same age as the general population. 

The study, published in the Lancet, points to the success of treatments in Europe and North America over the past two decades.

Family's fears over grandmother's deportation

Irene Nel
BBC
Irene Nel

The family of an elderly South African woman living illegally in Britain for almost five years fear the process to deport her may have come a step closer. 

Irene Nel, 73, came to Bristol on a tourist visa in 2012, but two weeks into her stay she fell ill and was diagnosed with kidney failure. 

Daughter Desree Taylor said Mrs Nel signed on regularly with the police but the last visit included a health check. 

The Home Office said Mrs Nel must leave Britain because her visa has expired. 

Dyson wins vacuum cleaners appeal at European Court

Sir James Dyson
Getty Images

Sir James Dyson has won his appeal over a case that argues European suction tests favour his competitors' vacuum cleaners.

In 2015, he lost a major legal battle in his bid to prove the tests gave misleading higher efficiency ratings to rivals' appliances.

This successful appeal against that ruling will see the claim sent back to the original EU court for judgement.

A spokesperson at Dyson's Wiltshire base said they were "shocked and delighted".

Click here to read more...

Gloucester Rugby v Stade Francais

Gloucester fly-half Billy Burns
Getty Images

Gloucester make three changes to the side that won their European Challenge Cup semi-final at La Rochelle as they face Stade Francais in Friday's final.

Centre Matt Scott, wing Charlie Sharples and back row Lewis Ludlow come in for Henry Trinder, David Halaifonua and Jacob Rowan respectively.

But they change six from Saturday's loss to Exeter in their final Premiership game of the season.

Victory would see the Cherry and Whites lift the trophy for the third time.

You'll be able to listen to full match commentary on BBC Radio Gloucestershire from 7pm on Friday.

Stade Francais celebrate at Murrayfield

Gloucester 17-25 Stade Francais

Stade Francais come from 10-0 down to deservedly beat Gloucester and win the European Challenge Cup final at Murrayfield.

Read more

Police appeal for help on missing Bristol man found dead in Exmouth

David Clarke
Devon and Cornwall police

Police are trying to find out what happened to a man who was found dead in Exmouth two days after he was reported missing from his home. 

David Clarke, 78, was reported missing from his Bristol home on 5 April. 

His body was discovered in Exmouth on 7 April. 

Police say his death was not treated as suspicious, but police are keen to trace his last movements. 

Det Con Matthew Burnell said: “I am keen to try and establish where he may have spent time between these dates. It is believed that he was sighted in Budleigh Salterton on Thursday 6 April, however, we do not know where he stayed during the rest of his time in Devon.

“I would be grateful if accommodation providers could consider whether David stayed with them during this time frame."

Cheerz to Zummerzet!

Quick, there's still a few hours of Somerset Day left to celebrate! According to Somerset Live, this is the third Somerset Day.

The eleventh day in May was chosen because it apparently marks the date that King Alfred the Great defeated invading Danes in 878, at the Battle of Edington.

View more on twitter

Appeal for Thornbury child with cerebral palsy

Watch: Ezzy has cerebral palsy. Her mum told us what she deals with every day.

Ezzy Hodge from South Gloucestershire has cerebral palsy after being born 11 weeks premature. 

Her condition makes it difficult to do simple tasks like holding knives and forks and getting out of bed.

Ezzy's family hope to send her to the US for an operation to make it easier for her to walk, but they still need to raise an extra £30,000 on top of the £50,000 they've already raised in the past five months.

If their fundraising is successful, Ezzy will fly out to St Louis for a hip operation that will allow her to walk unaided.

BreakingAccidental death verdict recorded in Bonnie Armitage inquest

Bonnie Armitage
SWNS

An inquest into the death of nine-year-old Bonnie Armitage has ruled her death was accidental. 

Bonnie died when she was kicked in the chest by another horse. A major artery in her chest ruptured, even though she was wearing a chest protector at the time. 

No bus predictions in Bristol

First Bus tweets...

View more on twitter

Andraya's family mourn "generous, fun-loving person"

Andraya Lyons
Lyons Family
Andraya Lyons

The family of murdered Swindon woman Andraya Lyons have released a statement following the life sentence handed down to her partner who admitted killing her.

They express their anguish about the "evil act" that robbed them of Andraya, and call for anyone experiencing domestic violence to speak out and get help now.

Andraya was a generous, fun-loving, bubbly, caring person who saw the good in everyone. We miss her so much and all our lives have been completely devastated by the act of one evil, vicious, selfish, manipulative and cowardly individual. We will never get over the circumstances surrounding the death of Andraya or accept any remorse for what he has done and put our family through. We as a family would also like to take this opportunity to reach out to anyone that may be experiencing domestic abuse. There is support available; please do not suffer in silence and please find the strength to seek help. Had we have known the type of relationship Andraya was experiencing then this terrible situation may have been avoided. If, after hearing this statement, one person can leave a violent relationship then at least something has come out of this dreadful nightmare we are going through.

Family spokesperson

BMW makes Brexit warning for Mini production

BMW Swindon
Getty Images

Car maker BMW, which has a factory in Swindon, has warned that a bad Brexit deal could see production of its iconic Mini car sent overseas.

BMW employs 800 people in Swindon making body panels.

Chief executive Harald Kreuger told investors at the firm's AGM in Munich earlier they were "flexible" about their production locations.

We hope for pragmatism from all parties in the Brexit negotiations. That means no new barriers to trade. Free movement for skilled workers. Here, we are planning in terms of scenarios. You know that we make Mini models at VDL Nedcar in the Netherlands. We're flexible.

Harald KreugerChief Executive, BMW

Happy Somerset Day!

What could be more Somerset than the Wurzels?

BBC Somerset's Claire Carter has been celebrating Somerset Day today with her very special rendition of 'Combine Harvester'. Lush.

Watch: It's "Combine Harvester" as you've never heard it before.

Pair arrested after raid on Bath jeweller

Mallory's jewellers
Google

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of carrying out a daylight robbery at a jeweller in the centre of Bath. 

Thieves smashed windows of Mallory's on Bridge Street and made off on a motorbike with watches worth tens of thousands of pounds.

Avon and Somerset police say they found the bike on Swainswick Lane. 

They are questioning a 22-year-old and a 25-year-old on suspicion of robbery.

17 years in jail for murder of Andraya Lyons

Andraya Lyons
Lyons family
Andraya Lyons

A 32-year-old Swindon man will spend at least 17 and a half years behind bars after pleading guilty to the murder of mother-of-two Andraya Lyons.

Andraya, 39, was found dead after a house fire in the early hours of 10 December last year.

Bristol Crown Court heard Lyons and Anthony Porter, from Drew Street in Rodbourne in Swindon, had a violent relationship.

Her body was found in the living room and blood was found on the kitchen walls. The court also heard she would have been breathing when the fire started.

Neighbours reported hearing arguments in the early hours, before smoke appeared and the fire brigade was called at 5am.

BreakingAnthony Porter jailed for life for murder of mother of two

Anthony Porter has been jailed for life for the murder of Andraya Lyons in Swindon in December 2015. Porter, 32, earlier pleaded guilty to the murder of the 39-year-old mother of two at Bristol Crown Court.

More to follow...

Bonnie Armitage inquest: 'She was just lying there, big blue eyes...'

Bonnie Armitage
SWNS

The inquest into the death of nine-year-old Bonnie Armitage has heard more from the farmer whose horse killed Bonnie when it kicked her in the chest. 

I looked back and she was still landing and I pulled up. It was all a bit of a blur. I just jumped off my horse. I can't really remember what happened. It was just mad. I remember grabbing the horses and leading them away. She was lying, big blue eyes ...

Toti Gifford

Nine-year-old killed by horse while riding with hunt

Bonnie Armitage
SWNS

An inquest into the death of Bonnie Armitage has heard how the nine-year-old died when she was kicked in the chest by another horse.

Bonnie — a pupil at St Hugh's School in Faringdon, Oxfordshire — was out riding a Shetland pony with members of the Cotswold Hunt in Miserden, near Stroud, when the tragedy struck.

The horse was ridden by local farmer Toti Gifford, who suggested his horse may have been spooked by Bonnie's pony.

I was just cantering up the side of the field and my horse went 'irregular'... I heard a shout and looked back and saw Bonnie.

Toti Gifford

Towering dung-ferno

Fire crews are trying to put out a huge heap of dung that's caught fire.

The blaze is in the village of Withycombe, near Minehead.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said they were called out to a large smouldering dung heap measuring 30m x 10m just after 11am.

View more on twitter

UKIP will field no candidates in South Gloucestershire

UKIP rosette
PA

UKIP has confirmed it will not field any candidates across South Gloucestershire in the general election.

The party came third in all but two of the 11 constituencies in Bristol and South Gloucestershire in 2015.

The decision could affect the Conservative vote in marginal seats like the Thornbury and Yate constituency.

Tory candidate Luke Hall is defending a 1,500 majority, where UKIP won more than 5,000 votes in the previous election.

You can read more about the story here.

Happy Somerset Day tweets

It's Somerset Day today - created in 2015 with the idea being to celebrate all that's good about the county.

A group of local businesses have marked it by creating an A-to-Z of jobs across the county. 

They say they want to show you don't need to leave the area to find an opportunity, so their pictures will be published on social media.

And here's how some have been marking this auspicious day on Twitter:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Court appearance for man charged with murder

A man charged with murder following the death of a 38-year-old man in Chippenham has appeared before magistrates.

Matthew Chapman, 22, of Wood Lane in the town, was remanded to appear at Bristol Crown Court.

The victim, believed to be Russell Nixon of Derby Close, Chippenham, was found in London Road in the town on Wednesday.

View more on twitter

Football: New Swindon boss 'to control transfers'

Lee Power
Empics

Swindon Town's new manager will have 100% responsibility for player recruitment, chairman Lee Power has told BBC Wiltshire.

The Robins, who were relegated to League Two in their penultimate game of the season, parted company with head coach Luke Williams on 5 May.

In the past, the chairman has often been heavily involved in transfers himself.

Click here for more.

Further arrests made in Xanax investigation

Xanax
BBC

Two further arrests have been made in the investigation into Xanax supply to teenagers in Salisbury, Wiltshire Police has said.

The two men, aged 18 and 19, were arrested on Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class C drugs (Xanax and Cannabis).

Both were taken into custody at Melksham police station and later released on bail.

Spice Girls? The Smiths? Picketywitch?

Just some of the guesses as to what the  could be:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

@bbcmusic @GlastoFest Led Zeppelin. Pink Floyd. Both!

@bbcmusic @GlastoFest Picketywitch

Pupils take school trip using virtual reality

Watch: VR school trips - "pretty freaky"

Pupils at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy have been enjoying a school trip with a difference.

Thanks to virtual reality headsets they were able to travel the world without even leaving the classroom. 

Local newspaper headlines

No UKIP candidate for Cheltenham

Hayley Mortimer

BBC Gloucestershire politics reporter

Cheltenham
Ian Rob

UKIP won't be fielding a candidate in Cheltenham.

The town voted for Remain in the referendum so UKIP says it will instead concentrate resources elsewhere in the county.

The party stressed it won’t be endorsing another candidate in the town, nor has any arrangement been made with other parties.

Cheltenham is a target seat for the Lib Dems, with former MP Martin Horwood returning from his defeat in 2015 to try to win back his seat from the Conservatives.

But UKIP's decision could be welcome news for the Tory campaign, hoping added votes might strengthen Alex Chalk's majority.

Meanwhile, the Greens have decided to put up a candidate in Cheltenham after failing to agree a progressive alliance with the Liberal Democrats and Labour.

Acid house orchestra performing at Glastonbury

Manchester Camerata - Hacienda Classical
Stuart Westwood

An orchestra that has tripled its audience by playing less Beethoven and Mozart and more New Order and 808 State has won a major classical music award.

The Manchester Camerata was named best ensemble at the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Music Awards on Tuesday.

It has attracted ravers to arenas and concert halls including the Royal Albert Hall - and will open the Pyramid Stage at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

Click here to read more about the orchestra.

HIV study looked at 88,500 people

University of Bristol
BBC

Young HIV sufferers can expect near-normal life expectancy because of improvements in treatments, according to a study by Bristol University.

Researchers looked at 88,500 people with HIV from Europe and North America who had been involved in 18 studies.

They based their life-expectancy predictions on death rates during the first three years of follow-up after drug treatment was started.

The proportion of people with undiagnosed HIV has fallen steadily over the past 20 years but one in eight people with HIV is still thought to remain undiagnosed.

Your BBC local radio headlines

ARRC
NATO

BBC Radio Bristol: UKIP has announced it won't be putting candidates up in South Gloucestershire for the general election.

BBC Somerset: The cycling group Sustrans has been refused permission by the local council to create a cycle path in Shepton Mallet linking land on Cannards Grave Road to the Strawberry Line.

BBC Wiltshire: A man from Amesbury who was seriously injured at work after being crushed by steel plates has been talking about life since being brain damaged.

BBC Radio Gloucestershire: It's the 25th anniversary of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps based at Imjin barracks in Innsworth.

Chippenham murder: Man charged over death of Russell Nixon

London Road, Chippenham
BBC

A man has been charged following the death of another man in Chippenham.

Matthew Chapman, 22, of Wood Lane in the town, has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Salisbury Magistrates' Court later. 

Although formal identification has not yet taken place, police have named the victim as Russell Nixon, aged 38, of Derby Close, Chippenham. 

Wiltshire Police added his family have been informed and are being supported by specialist family liaison officers. 

The cordon in London Road has now been lifted.

BreakingMurder charge following Chippenham death

A 22-year-old has been charged with murder following the death of another man in Chippenham yesterday.

Glastonbury organisers keep secret 'for first time ever'

Glastonbury Festival organiser Emily Eavis
PA

Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran are headlining this year's Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, but there is still another "really big" secret to reveal.

Co-organiser Emily Eavis explained more in an interview with BBC's Newsbeat:

There is a lot of speculation and it's become a national pastime. Sometimes we get in trouble because bands are tied into other events, so have to say 'that's not happening'. Most of the time we just let it go. Some of it is right but most of it's wrong. We've managed to keep some big secrets recently and there's a couple more this year that haven't gone out yet as well. There's a really big one. I haven't even hinted or told anyone it's coming and we've managed to keep it completely quiet for the first time ever.

Emily Eavis

HIV life expectancy 'near normal' thanks to new drugs

HIV infection
SPL
Computer artwork of HIV particles in the bloodstream

Young people on the latest HIV drugs now have near-normal life expectancy because of improvements in treatments, a study suggests.

Twenty-year-olds who started antiretroviral therapy in 2010 are projected to live 10 years longer than those first using it in 1996, it found.

The study authors, from the University of Bristol, said the extraordinary success of HIV treatments was a result of newer drugs having fewer side effects and being better at preventing the virus from replicating in the body.

Click here if you'd like to read more.

No UKIP candidates in South Gloucestershire

Pete Simson

Political reporter, BBC Radio Bristol

UKIP won't be fielding candidates in South Gloucestershire's three constituencies.

The party might not seem a major player in the West, but out of 11 constituencies in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas the party came third in all but two in 2015 - votes that could have a serious influence next month. 

The decision could prove a huge boost for the Conservative campaign in Thornbury and Yate, where Luke Hall is defending a 1,500 majority and where UKIP received more than 5,000 votes last time around.