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Summary

  1. Bristol City beat Sheffield United 2-1
  2. Woman forced into van and sexually assaulted
  3. Family want Kenyan memorial for soldier
  4. Beavers to return to the Forest of Dean
  5. Football: Forest Green's Christian Doidge scoops league award
  6. Live news, sport, travel and weather updates for the West of England on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Toulon beat Bath in the Champions Cup

Bath are denied victory at the Stade Mayol as a late try from replacement fly-half Anthony Belleau sees Toulon win 24-20.

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Ollie Thorley

Two tries from Ollie Thorley keep Gloucester in Challenge Cup contention as they come from behind to win 33-26 at Zebre.

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Bristol City celebrate goal

Tom Garry

BBC Sport

Bristol City strike late to beat 10-man Sheffield United and close the gap on the Championship's top two.

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Jojo Wollacott

Bristol City loan young goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott to National League side Woking on a one-month deal.

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The all-important weather for the weekend

Watch: The weather forecast with Ian Fergusson, as warnings are issued

That's it for another week from us here at BBC Local Live in the West. We're back at 7am on Monday.

It's very cold out there and looks like it will remain so for the next few days.

Ian Fergusson has the weekend weather outlook, with an update on the potential for snow in the region.

Santa asked to take present to someone 'who needs it more'

Watch: Julius Hallett, 10, reads his letter

When Julius Hallett came downstairs for breakfast earlier this week, he was concerned.

With Christmas approaching, the 10-year old from South Gloucestershire told his mum he wanted to help children who might not get as many presents as him.

Since then, his family and his rugby club have been incredibly busy.

They've already collected more than 50 presents and by the end of this weekend there could be about 200.

Bristol City victory closes the gap

Aden Flint's late winner earned Bristol City a valuable victory against 10-man Sheffield United in an absorbing Championship contest at Bramall Lane tonight.

The Blades hit the woodwork three times in the first half but Jamie Paterson's superb strike put Bristol City ahead.

Leon Clarke drilled in the home side's equaliser after the break, before the post denied winger Mark Duffy again.

John Fleck was then sent off for a two-footed challenge on City's Korey Smith and Flint volleyed in on 90 minutes.

football
Rex Features

Man who rebuilt life after brain injury nominated for award

Watch: Danny Reeves on rebuilding his life

A Gloucestershire man who sustained a devastating brain injury after contracting chicken pox, has been shortlisted for an award.

Danny Reeves from Cheltenham had to rebuild his life after being left unable to walk.

Tonight, he'll be at a ceremony in London organised by the charity Headway.

Danny said he wants his wife and son to be proud of him.

Gloucestershire gritting facts

Gloucestershire gritting facts
BBC
Ever wondered how big the job of de-icing our roads is? Gloucestershire Highways team gave us these statistics

Information sought after Hucclecote rape

Watch: Det Insp David Shore-Nye advises "remain vigilant"

The police are appealing for information after a woman was raped in daylight in part of Gloucester.

The woman was dragged into a Transit style van on Elmgrove Road in Hucclecote at around 10:00am on Thursday.

The man police want to talk to in connection with the incident is described as being in his 30s, of stocky build, 5ft 10in tall and with short, cropped, light-coloured hair.

Detective Inspector David Shore-Nye said the force is doing everything it can to identify the offender.

Granny's plight prompts hydration life-saver

A simple new cup invention is changing lives.

Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton has been running a trial that reminds patients to drink enough fluids while in hospital.

They are the first in the country to take part in the trial of the flashing cups, that were designed and invented by a university student.

Ellie van Leeuwen came up with the concept as part of her final design project, after her grandmother was in hospital following a hip operation; by the time she was discharged she was severely disorientated and confused due to dehydration.

Gritters out in force across the region

Watch: Martyn Midgeley "thousands of miles of road gritted"

The gritters are out in force across the region tonight as today's snow threatens to turn to ice.

Martyn Midgeley of Gloucestershire County Council's Highways Department said thousands of miles of roads have already been gritted and they will be monitoring the weather carefully over the weekend.

Three arrested for throwing items over prison wall

Three people have been arrested after it was reported that items were being thrown over the wall into Erlestoke Prison.

Wiltshire Police said it got a call on Thursday night and two men, aged 26 and 31, and a 30-year-old woman were arrested following a search of the area.

The three, all from Swindon, have since been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Sgt Lou Oakle, said it was thanks to a "vigilant member of the public" that officers were able to "locate them, despite them fleeing the scene".

Erlestoke Prison
PA

'My son is still doing good' says mum of killed soldier

Watch: 'My son is still doing good'

The family of a soldier who was killed by a single punch at a nightclub in Stroud says his name will live on through charity work in Kenya, where he spent a lot of time.

Jack Mitchell, 24, died during a row at a nightclub in February.

29-year-old Jake Davies was jailed for six-and-a-half years for his manslaughter, last month.

Jack's mother Kate Mitchell said the work in Kenya will ensure her son "is still doing good in the world".

Drivers advised to stay safe on the roads

Beavers could prevent Forest flooding when humans have not

The confirmation that beavers are to be released into the Forest of Dean wild, after 400 years' absence, came from the Department for the Environment today.

It's hoped the four furry flood-fighters will improve defences in the area by building natural dams.

The licence, for the Forestry Commission, follows a successful trial scheme in Devon.

And it seems there might be other benefits for local tourism...?!

View more on twitter

Graphic images of mauled sheep warn dog owners to prevent worrying

Dog walkers at Ham Hill Country Park in Somerset have been warned against sheep worrying, by graphic images of maimed and bloodied sheep displayed at the popular spot.

The images - which are too distressing for us to use - were displayed along with this warning:

Warning sign
BBC
Two graphic images of mauled sheep were displayed with this notice, now removed

Avon and Somerset police have confirmed that farmers do "have the right to shoot dogs that are worrying or attacking livestock. We don’t want anyone to lose their beloved family pet."

"The park is a popular spot for dog walkers but recently there have been problems with gates being wedged open allowing the livestock to escape and venture onto public highways" they say.

Livestock worrying is a big issue for farmers, particularly during the lambing season (December to May). An increasing number of sheep-worrying incidents have been recorded in the region.

Dog-owners could end up being responsible for offences including criminal damage and sheep worrying, as well as potential prosecution for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

PC Katy DrabbleRural Crime Team

Mendip councillor abused and threatened

Watch: BBC Sunday's Politics West clip

A BBC survey has revealed the extent of abuse and threats facing local politicians across the West.

John Parham, a Mendip District councillor said he was accused of corruption online

He said he challenged his accuser to prove his claims.

BBC Sunday Politics West's report can be seen on BBC One in the West and South regions at 11:00 GMT on Sunday 10 December, and afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.

Yeovil Ladies FC change of venue

Yeovil Town Ladies Football Club are to play their league game against Reading at Weston-super-Mare football club on Sunday.The change is due to the need for the ground to be prepared for the men's Yeovil Town FC important FA Cup second round replay game next Tuesday.

"We understand that for many fans, this change in venue will be a considerable inconvenience, but we would like to encourage you to continue your support of the team and join us at Weston Super Mare FC on Sunday, under circumstances out of our control," say the club.

Yeovil Town Women's team
Getty Images

Brain-injured Cheltenham man in final for achievement award

Watch: Danny Reeves said he wants to make his family proud

A Gloucestershire man who sustained a brain injury that left him unable to walk or cope with leaving the house has been shortlisted for charity Headway's Achiever of the Year award after rebuilding his life.

Danny Reeves from Cheltenham has refused to give up after contracting encephalitis, and in October he even took part in Cheltenham’s half marathon.

He said he wants his wife and son "to be proud of him".

Danny will find out if if he is a winner at the ceremony at The Dorchester Hotel, in London, later tonight.

Gritters head out as West weather warnings step up

Gritter
BBC

Gloucestershire county council's gritting teams say they are concerned about "freezing temperatures from 5pm onwards this evening, all through the night to 10am tomorrow morning."

Weather forecasters have said the risk of more persistent snow is travelling down from the Midlands into the Cotswolds: the Met Office has issued a yellow ‘be aware’ alert across parts of the West.

Highways England’s team of gritter drivers "will be working through the night to spread salt and keep traffic moving safely, and drivers should take care on all routes in the region, especially those that cross higher ground, such as the A417 Crickley Hill in Gloucestershire."

Drivers are advised to check road conditions and the weather forecast before setting out on their journeys... and if conditions are poor, to delay journeys.

Strong winds and coastal gales are also anticipated through the latter part of the weekend, affecting high routes and bridges in the South West.

Further information can be found by visiting the www.highways.gov.uk/traffic

Severe disruption: M4 Bristol eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Bristol eastbound severe disruption, before J19 for M32 affecting J20 for M5.

M4 Bristol - One lane blocked and slow traffic on M4 eastbound before J19, M32 (Bristol), because of a broken down car. Congestion to J20, M5 (Almondsbury Interchange).

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

A46 blocked both ways

The A46 is currently blocked in both directions between the M4, J18 and Bath.

Police are dealing with an accident involving two cars, at the Cold Ashton roundabout.

It believed there people have been hurt.

Police say disruption could last two hours and drivers should try to avoid the A46.

Victoria Cilliers and Sgt Emile Cilliers

Emile Cilliers application to spend a month in Cape Town with his elderly parents was denied by a judge.

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Portishead councillor had dog poo dumped outside his house

Watch: BBC Sunday Politics West clip

A BBC survey has revealed the extent of abuse and threats facing local politicians across the West.

David Pasley, a Portishead Town councillor said he was targeted after opposing a skate park in his area.

He said he has had vehicles damaged and dog poo dumped outside his house.

BBC Sunday Politics West's report can be seen on BBC One in the West and South regions at 11:00 GMT on Sunday 10 December, and afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.

Severe accident: M4 Bristol westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Bristol westbound severe accident, at J19 for M32.

M4 Bristol - M4 lane closed on entry slip road westbound at J19, M32 (Bristol), because of an accident involving two cars.

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

Fire engine

Police say the man's death is being treated as "unexplained" but is not thought to be suspicious.

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Gritters take to the roads in Gloucestershire

Snowy roads
Gloucestershire County Council

Gritters from Gloucestershire County Council are out this afternoon ahead of a very cold night.

They've taken this picture between Andoversford and Stow on the Wold.

Just as well as BBC Points West weather forecaster Ian Fergusson is warning drivers the roads "could get very nasty".

View more on twitter

Trains running normally again between Bristol and Swindon

Drivers asked to help in Hucclecote rape investigation

Police are appealing for drivers to come forward to help in a rape investigation.

A woman was assaulted after being forced into the back of a Transit-style van in Hucclecote, Gloucestershire.

Detectives are looking through CCTV and are appealing for any drivers with dashcam footage who were in the area to get in touch.

The van, which was pale in colour, possibly silver, with a sliding side door and believed to be a few years old, was parked on a driveway on Elmgrove Road, Hucclecote, on Thursday morning.

The offender is described as a stocky white man, thought to be in his 30s.

Police cordon
BBC

Our enquiries are continuing and while I know this terrible incident will shock the community I can reassure people that our team is doing everything possible to find the person who did this.

Detective Inspector David Shore-NyeGloucestershire Constabulary
tampons and towels

Austerity means some women struggle to afford sanitary products and need help, says a campaigning town councillor

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Bristol Rovers' ground

In a list compiled by the government, Bristol Rovers FC is said to have failed to pay £1,651.86 to 52 workers.

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Friday rush hour: Reactions on social media

Heavy traffic on a motorway
BBC

A series of maps has been created by analytics software company Esri UK which show driving distances from 10 of the busiest city centres.

Bristol has come out on top for journey distances in the 4pm rush hour.

Here's some of the responses we've had on the BBC West Facebook page:

Bill Bowdren wrote: "It would take 30/45 minutes to get from Broadwalk to the bottom of the M32 in rush hour never mind 15 mins to Chepstow. I think theses journeys were done by helicopter."

Sue Harris says: "Probably perfectly correct - if you have a helicopter on the office roof! For the rest of us mere mortals, Friday 4pm, be lucky to get out of the car park in 15 minutes."

Simon Sparkes posted: "This is complete nonsense.... Google maps, which takes traffic in to account gives better estimates. Very poor quality research here, the authors should be embarrassed, totally invalid."

Lisa Shahin: "I allow myself 45 minutes for Swindon from my home - St George to A46 and then M4 from Bath. It’s usually around 45 minutes. Would NOT dream of going anywhere near the M32."

Councillor forced to move due to threats

Watch: Eleanor Jackson says her son dealt with "nasty" phone calls

A BBC survey has revealed the extent of abuse and threats facing local politicians across the West.

Eleanor Jackson, a Westfield Parish councillor, said she has been abused in the street, on the bus and at home in Radstock.

She said the police advised her to move house after receiving threatening phone calls.

BBC Sunday Politics West's report can be seen on BBC One in the West and South regions at 11.00am on Sunday 10 December, and afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.

The Friday night rush: How far can you get in an hour?

A map
Esri UK

Can you drive from Bristol Shopping Quarter to Chepstow in 15 minutes? Or to Warminster in 30? Or Swindon in 45?

The Centre for Cities has released data that suggests on a Friday at 4pm you can drive to those places in that time.

What's your experience?

Tap here to see how Bristol compares with nine other UK cities.

Mother of killed soldier 'feels pain'

Watch: "I feel pain and sorrow" says Kate Mitchell

The mother of a soldier who was killed by a single punch at a nightclub in Stroud says she feels "pain and sorrow".

Jack Mitchell, 24, died during a row at a nightclub in February.

Jake Davies, 29, was jailed for six-and-a-half years last month after being found guilty of manslaughter.

Jack's mother Kate Mitchell, from Stroud, said she was pleased with the sentence, but said her son "will never come home".

On this day in 2000: Somerset floods

Watch: Archive report from the BBC's Jane O'Brien

Seventeen years ago, Somerset experienced widespread and severe flooding, as the BBC reported on 8th December, 2000.

Thousands of acres of land between Taunton and Yeovil were submerged by water and whole villages were cut off.

Cars were left stranded by their owners and railway lines were swamped.