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Summary

  1. News, sport, weather and travel updates for the West of England on Wednesday 24 May

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight from us - it's going to be another sunny day tomorrow

That's it from Local Live for today. We'll be back again tomorrow from 7am-10pm with news, sport, travel and weather updates from across the West Country.

Here's Ian with the full weather forecast.

Weather May 24

Flames ravage house in Bath earlier this evening

Zoo-keepers catch moment tiny tortoise hatches

Louis the baby pancakge tortoise
Bristol Zoo
Louis the baby pancake tortoise
BBC

Keepers at Bristol Zoo were able to catch the exact moment a tiny baby African pancake tortoise hatched from its egg.

Little Louis is only a little bigger than a 50p coin.

Baby pancake tortoises are independent from the moment they hatch.

Bath fire: flames under control

A fire at a house in Bath is now under control and crews are damping down the flames.

Several units were called to Shaws Way in Twerton at 6.17pm.

A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue said one house had been completely gutted by fire, while another was severely smoke-logged.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

Support workers from the Red Cross are at the scene providing support and advice to the families affected.

Twerton fire
John Kelly

Claustrophobic man overcomes fears to fly to wife in Australia

Andrew Hall suffers from severe claustrophobia which makes travelling very difficult.

He hasn't seen his wife Kim for nearly two years. She lives in Australia and is not eligible for a visa to move to the UK.

Andrew, from Calne in Wiltshire, and Kim, got married in 2014. He's planning to emigrate later this year. But first he has to overcome his claustrophobia.

Andrew Hall hasn't seen his wife in two years

Frome Hoard is 'nation's favourite' treasure find

A hoard of Roman coins discovered in a field in Somerset in 2010, has been voted the nation's favourite treasure find.

The find of 52,000 coins - unearthed by metal detectorist Dave Crisp - topped the list of 20 finds in a poll run by The Telegraph and The British Muesum.

Dave Crisp found over 50,000 Roman coins in Somerset

Dave, from Devizes, says "it feels great" to have won and he's "very pleased".

"I was pleased to start with that the experts put it in the top 20 at the British Museum but to win has sent me over the moon," he said.

Portishead shows heart for Manchester attack victims

People across the country have been showing their solidarity with the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack.

In Portishead, North Somerset, members of the public were invited to join together and form a familiar sign of peace and hope.

Portishead people make symbol of hope for Manchester victims.

Donation points for rough sleepers

Contactless donation points to fund night shelters for people sleeping rough are to be launched in Bristol.

Shoppers in Broadmead will be able to use their bank card to give £2 to the #SOSBristol fundraising campaign.

Safer off the Streets (SOS) is aiming to raise £100k for the city’s night shelters.

Donation points allow shoppers to give to donate money easily.

King Arthur Pendragon loses court battle with English 'heretics'

King Arthur Pendragon
PA

Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon has lost his legal challenge with English Heritage over car parking charges at Stonehenge.

He argued a parking fee of £15 for the 2016 summer solstice breached his human rights.

At an initial court hearing in January, Mr Pendragon said the claim was not about money or costs, but the fact it "unfairly targeted his religion".

He argued that this treatment is in direct violation of his human rights and that he has a right to worship at Stonehenge without unnecessary restriction or hindrance from English Heritage, who he claims are merely managing the site "on our behalf".

The increased charge was introduced to encourage more people to car share or travel by bus.

The County Court in Salisbury has ruled that introducing car parking charges was a 'reasonable and legal measure'.

Bath fire: locals advised to close doors and windows

View more on twitter

People living close to Shaw's Way in Twerton are being advised to close doors and windows as crews from seven fire engines tackle a serious house fire.

The Avon Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support team is also at the scene.

Twerton fire
John Kelly

Supporters' bid to buy Swindon Town ground backed by former chief exec

A former chief executive of Swindon Town is to help a supporters group in their attempt to buy the football club's home from the local council.

Nick Watkins worked for the Robins for five years between 2008 and 2013.

He's now agreed to help Trust STFC - the organisation who want to buy and redevelop the County Ground.

Nick Watkins
BBC

Fire in Bath: 'no reports of injuries'

Firefighters continue to tackle a fire in Twerton, Bath.

A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue says the fire has spread through two floors to the roof of one house and is believed to be affecting a neighbouring property which has been evacuated.

There are no reports of any injuries and all occupants of the houses have been accounted for.

View more on twitter
Fire in Twerton
Rory Phillips

BreakingFirefighters evacuating homes close to site of fire

Fire crews are evacuating houses in Shaws Way, Twerton, in Bath after a serious house fire.

Five fire engines are at the scene of the blaze, which is said to be "well alight" and affecting two other properties

A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue said everybody was out of the properties but neighbouring homes are being evacuated.

They received the call at 6.17pm.

Fire crews tackling 'serious' house fire in Bath

Canine crusader back on the messy warpath

A Minehead man whose one-man crusade against dog owners who won't pick up their animals' mess was banned by the local council says he is ready to restart his battle.

Steven Heard has divided public opinion. In the past he's resorted to spray painting graffiti warnings on pavements to get his message across.

He was given an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) by West Somerset District Council, which tried to clamp down on his campaign.

But Steven says the ABC has now expired so he's back on the clean-up trail.

Steven Heard says he is prepared to defy a council ban on his activities.

Points West 60: John Craven reports on Bristol Parkway opening

Points West is 60 years old this year and to mark the occasion we've been digging through the archives.

In 1972, a fresh faced John Craven was sent to report on the opening of Bristol Parkway railway station for Points West.

The station - described as a "park and ride" station "looking towards the requirements of the 1980s" - was the first in the UK to boast the Parkway name.

John Craven reports for Points West on the opening of Bristol Parkway railway station.

Up in smoke: watch the largest ivory burn in Africa

Bristol student films largest ivory burn in Africa

Two students studying an MA in wildlife filmmaking at a Bristol university have had their films shortlisted for the international BAFTAS.

Tania Esteban and Ada Bodjolle have been studying at the University of the West of England.

The course is run in conjunction with the Natural History Unit at the BBC.

Bristol stab victim's campaign to help stop knife crime

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Daniel Curtis was out celebrating playing in his first FA Cup match when he was stabbed in the neck by Louis Holmes.

As a result of the attack he's unlikely to ever walk again.

Vigil for bombing victims replaces election hustings

Wells Cathedral
BBC

Tonight's election hustings at Wells Cathedral have been cancelled due to events in Manchester.

Instead, a half hour vigil for the victims will take place at 7.30pm.

Anyone affected by the violence is invited to light candles, take part in simple prayers or sit in silence.

Stolen bear is returned to school

A teddy bear mascot stolen from a school over Easter has been mysteriously returned.

Hugo the bear was taken during a burglary at Holbrook Primary School in Trowbridge.

He'd been with the school for more than 20 years.

But an unknown person placed the bear outside the school gates on Tuesday night.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: A417 Gloucestershire westbound

BBC News Travel

A417 Gloucestershire westbound severe disruption, between A417 and A38 Barnwood Road.

A417 Gloucestershire - A417 in Gloucester closed and very slow traffic westbound between C&G Roundabout and Walls Roundabout, because of a police incident.

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

Two casualties in Leigh Road crash near Bradford-on-Avon

The RSPCA appeals for information after four kittens abandoned in a bag

RSPCA inspector John Pollock
RSPCA
RSPCA inspector John Pollock

The month old kittens were found by a passer-by in a bag dumped behind Morrisons supermarket near the canal path and pond off Taunton Road in Bridgwater at around 8pm on Monday (22 May).

They have been named Bellamy, Murphy, Monty and Octavia,

RSPCA inspector John Pollock said: “Dumping these kittens in such a thoughtless and irresponsible way put their lives at risk.

“We understand that sometimes people can face unexpected difficulties in life but there are organisations like ourselves out there that can help when times get tough.

"There is no excuse to dump any animal in this way.

“If anyone thinks they may have seen anything suspicious in the area or if they know where these cats have come from please contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.”

The kittens are currently being cared for at RSPCA West Hatch Animal Centre in Taunton.

Congestion follows accident in Bradford on Avon

Hundreds of jobs at risk at dessert firm

Greencore factory at Evercreech
Google
Greencore employs about 40 staff at its Evercreech factory

Hundreds of jobs are at risk at a factory which makes chilled desserts.

Greencore Ltd confirmed it is "proposing to discontinue production" at its Evercreech plant in Somerset where about 400 people are employed.

It said "there are no financially sustainable solutions" to repair the 126-year-old site and it was "in need of significant refurbishment".

Greencore said it could not comment further until after a 45-day consultation process.

Greencore factory at Evercreech

Hundreds of jobs at risk at dessert firm

Greencore confirmed it is "proposing to discontinue production" at its Evercreech plant where 400 people are employed.

Read more

Bath bus station open again but some delays expected

Wiltshire Police: 'Remain alert but not alarmed'

Following the shocking events in Manchester, the chief of Wiltshire Police has moved to reassure the public.

Asst Ch Const Kier Pritchard said: "There is no known specific threat to Wiltshire and the South West region at this time and it is unlikely that our communities will see a military presence on the streets.

"The most important message is for the public to remain alert but not alarmed – police nationally and locally along with our partners, are doing everything we can to help protect the security of our citizens, public institutions, critical national infrastructure, and businesses and places.

"Our security measures and activities are under constant review and we will keep communities updated."

Wiltshire Police vest
BBC

The force has also issued a statement warning that hate crimes will not be tolerated.

View more on twitter

Two stuck in mud are rescued by coastguard

Two people have been rescued from mudflats after becoming stranded in thick fog this morning.

Coastguard and crews were called to assist the man and woman who were stuck in thigh-deep mud on Brean beach in North Somerset at 9.55am on Wednesday.

The Burnham Area Rescue Boat (BARB) sent out a hovercraft to retrieve them in visibility of just 50m.

Coastguard Officer Ian Jefferies said: "The two people had walked out across the mud to reach the sea when they got into difficulty.

"They had shouted out to try and get help but could not be seen in thick sea fog, before one dialled 999 and asked for the coastguard."

The pair were unhurt.

Rescue at Brean
BARB

Killed busker's mother says she's 'overwhelmed by the horror'

Three teenagers have been sentenced today over the killing of a vulnerable man in Gloucester.

Paul Pass died after being tortured at his own flat last October, which had been taken over by drug dealers.

Abdulmalik Adua and Rezwan Islam have been sentenced to a minimum of 16 years each for the murder of Paul Pass.

Bilal Moosajee was sentenced to nine years for his manslaughter.

In a victim’s statement, Paul Pass' mother, Josephine, said the "horror" of how her son had died was "overwhelming".

Paul Pass
BBC

Since attending Court I have experienced the dreadful impact of hearing witness statements about how Paul had suffered physical torment and beatings. I constantly think about Paul being alone in the last stages of his life and whether he was afraid and in great pain and this haunts me. These young men have not only taken Paul’s life, they have taken mine away as well, because I feel like I have died. "

Josephine PassPaul Pass' mother

Severe disruption: A3039 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A3039 Somerset both ways severe disruption, between A367 St James's Parade and Henry Street.

A3039 Somerset - A3039 Dorchester Street/ Manvers Street in Bath closed and very slow traffic in both directions between the A367 St James's Parade junction and the Henry Street junction, because of a police incident.

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

Father's ashes stolen from handbag

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A young mother has had her father's ashes stolen while on holiday in Cornwall.

Joanne Young carried her father's ashes in a locket in her wallet which was stolen along with her handbag on Monday as she fed ducks with her two young children.

Mrs Young, from Bath, had taken her family on holiday to Perranporth because she had gone there with her father, John Hadley, every year throughout her childhood.

She said: "The money isn't important to me but my dad's ashes mean the world."

Joanne Young and John Hadley
Joanne Young

Severe disruption: A367 Somerset both ways

BBC News Travel

A367 Somerset both ways severe disruption, between St James's Parade and A36 Lower Bristol Road.

A367 Somerset - A367 St James's Parade in Bath closed and very slow traffic in both directions between the St James's Parade junction and the A36 Lower Bristol Road junction, because of a police incident.

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

Expect delays on buses in Bath following earlier closure

Bath bus station evacuation only a 'precaution' - due to open again shortly

View more on twitter
Scene at Bath bus station
Conor Purcell
Scene at Bath bus station

Severe disruption: M49 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M49 Bristol southbound severe disruption, between M4 J22 and M5 J18A.

M49 Bristol - One lane closed on M49 southbound between M4 J22 and M5 J18a, because of police training exercise. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Bristol southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Bristol southbound severe disruption, between J18A for M49 and J19 for A369.

M5 Bristol - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 Avonmouth Bridge southbound between J18a M49 and J19, A369 (Portishead), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

'National approach' needed to deal with knife crime

The knife used by Louis Holmes during the attacks in Bristol city centre
Avon and Somerset police
The knife used by Louis Holmes during the attacks in Bristol city centre

DI Jane Wigmore is calling for a "national approach" to understanding the nationwide rise in knife crime.

Her calls come as Louis Holmes is jailed for 10 years for stabbing a number of people in Bristol nightclubs.

She said a "multi-agency approach" was needed to deal with the issue, adding it "can't just be law enforcement that tackles this".

I'm not sure I understand what the issues are. We need a national approach to understand these issues, particularly with young people, to understand why they want to carry knives.

DI Jane Wigmore

Teen dealers jailed over revenge murder

Abdulmalik Adua, and Rezwan Islam
Gloucestershire Police
Abdulmalik Adua, and Rezwan Islam "ruthlessly exploited and brutally killed" their victim

Two teenage drug dealers who murdered a man in a revenge attack have been jailed.

Abdulmalik Adua, 17, of Woolwich and Rezwan Islam, 19, of Gloucester were both sentenced to a minimum of 16 years each.

Paul Pass, 49, was stabbed in his flat in Gloucester last October by the pair, who used it as a drug-dealing base.

Bristol Crown Court heard he was hit over the head with a guitar and stabbed in the leg, which caused his death.

Adua and Islam were found guilty of murder at an earlier hearing.

Paul Pass
BBC
Paul Pass was a busker

Islam was also found guilty of kidnap. Bilal Ebrahim Moosajee, 19, of Gloucester was sentenced to 9 years after admitting manslaughter and kidnap at an earlier hearing.

BreakingGloucester drug dealers jailed over revenge murder

Abdulmalik Adua, 17, from Woolwich and 19-year-old Rezwan Islam from Gloucester have been sentenced to a minimum of 16 years each for the murder of Paul Pass.

Bilal Moosajee, 19, was sentenced to nine years for the manslaughter of Mr Pass. He'll serve half before being considered for released on licence.

Knife rampage teen a 'risk to the public'

A teenager who stabbed five people at nightclubs, leaving one of them paralysed, has been described as a "risk to the public" by a judge.

Louis Holmes, 18, of Fishponds, carried out the attacks in and outside two clubs in Bristol city centre in the early hours of 21 August last year.

He has been jailed for 10 years, at Bristol Crown Court, and will serve another five on licence.

Judge Hart, sentencing Holmes, said his "lawless behaviour" had escalated.

Louis Holmes
Avon and Somerset Police

The men you attacked were wholly innocent victims and this shows the stark danger of carrying knives. I have to ask myself are you a dangerous offender? I have to conclude you are a trouble maker. Therefore I conclude you do pose a risk to the public.

Judge Hart