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  1. Updates on Friday 6 March 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

That's all for BBC Local Live Oxfordshire for today.

Join us again on Monday from 08:00. Have a good and hopefully spring-like weekend.


Prolonged clear spells

Holly Green

BBC Weather

It will stay dry with variable amounts of cloud and some

prolonged clear spells.

Holly Green

Brisk winds will prevent a frost forming across the region with temperatures staying a staying few degrees above freezing.

Arson accused appears in court

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

Andrew Main, 47, has appeared in court

accused of a spate of arson attacks on South Oxfordshire District Council offices, a funeral parlour and a thatched cottage on 15 January.

He appeared via video link at Oxford Crown Court charged with two counts of arson with intent to endanger life and two counts of arson reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Andrew Main, pictured in grey, led to security van

The case was adjourned for psychiatric reports to be carried out and he is next set to appear at another preliminary hearing on 27 March.

Full story

Roz Tappenden

BBC South

A man who killed a 14-year-old girl when his car mounted the pavement has admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Liberty Baker died in hospital after being struck as she walked to school in Witney, Oxfordshire, on 30 June. Read the

full story.

Liberty Baker

'Brave' victims praised by professionals

Social workers and police officers from Oxfordshire's Kingfisher team have praised victims of abuse who gave evidence in the trial of seven people for sexual offences in Banbury.

Jim Leivers, Oxfordshire County Council's director for children, education and families, said: "This case embodies all of the lessons learned from Operation Bullfinch and is a very different case as a result. These victims have shown real bravery."

Topical cartoons

BBC Radio Oxford

Oxford cartoonist Clive Goddard was in the studio with Nick Piercey this afternoon, to draw topical cartoons relating to the big news stories this week.

See more on Radio Oxford's

Facebook page.

Clive Goddard cartoon
Clive Goddard

Suspected brothel raided

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

Thames Valley Police has raided a suspected brothel in Cowley Road, Oxford.

A warrant was carried out on Tuesday at 11:00 and police have today released details, saying two women were found at the house and are being looked after.

Phones and laptops were seized, but no-one has been arrested.

Swimming pool open to public

The £7.6m

Leys Pools and Leisure Centre in Pegasus Road, Oxford, is now open to the public.

Leys Pool
Neil Hoyle

There is a 25-metre competition standard swimming pool, learner pool and children's play pool at the site formerly known as Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre.

Congestion on Oxford roads

Sara Dumbell

Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

There are still long delays on the A34 in Oxfordshire between the Peartree interchange and Kidlington junction after an accident earlier. All lanes have been reopened.

Oxford travel

Traffic is queuing on the B4044 Eynsham Road northbound in Botley between the A420 junction and the B4449 junction. There is also slow traffic on the A34 southbound at Milton interchange.

News on the hour

Alex Dibble

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

In the

17:00 news bulletin: The man accused of killing 14-year-old Liberty Baker in Witney by dangerous driving
has pleaded guilty.

Robert Blackwell had cannabis in his bloodstream when he mounted the pavement on Curbridge Road in June, crashing into her and three others.

Jury decision took more than 15 hours

Katharine Da Costa

Reporter, BBC South Today

More on the Banbury child abuse trial.

It took more than 15 hours for the eight men and four women of the jury to reach verdicts on all 26 counts against seven people.

One man has been acquitted, but five others and one 17-year-old have been convicted of subjecting eight under-age girls from Banbury to horrific sexual offences, including rape, over a five-year period.

Prime minister in Eynsham

via Twitter

Prime Minister David Cameron has tweeted: "At Bartholomew School in Eynsham with

@speakrs4schools, who have hosted over 1,750 talks at state schools
#S4SNextGen "

David Cameron

Liberty's death 'feels like yesterday'

Speaking to the BBC before the hearing in which Robert Blackwell admitted causing Liberty Baker's death, her father Paul said: "I know it was six months ago but it does feel like yesterday.

"It was the hardest day of our lives and it still is."

Paul and Maureen Baker


Roz Tappenden

BBC South

What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like

your feedback about this service.

'Inappropriate' cartoon

Clive Goddard was in the BBC Radio Oxford studio and drew this while on air with Nick Piercey.

Go to

Facebook to tell us what you think and match it to a news story from this week.

Clive Goddard cartoon
Clive Goddard

Death driver was speeding

Robert Blackwell today

pleaded guilty to causing the death of Liberty Baker by dangerous driving.

Robert Blackwell

Prosecutor Ian Hope said Blackwell was travelling at "a minimum of 44mph" in a 30mph zone when his Citroen C2 struck Liberty in Curbridge Road, Witney.

News on the hour

Alex Dibble

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

In the

16:00 news bulletin: A man has admitted his dangerous driving caused the death of a 14-year-old girl in Witney.

Liberty Baker was killed in June when Robert Blackwell mounted the pavement on Curbridge Road and crashed into her.

Long delays on A34

Sara Dumbell

Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

Drivers are facing long delays on the A34 northbound between Peartree interchange and the Kidlington junction.

There was an accident earlier involving a van and two cars and congestion is back to the Hinksey Hill interchange.

Get the latest from BBC Travel.

Victims subjected to 'horrific' abuse

Senior investigating officer, Det Insp Steve Raffield, from Banbury Force CID, said after the conviction of six people for sexual offences in Banbury over five years: "These offenders abused the trust of the vulnerable young victims for the purpose of their own sexual gratification.

"The girls were subject to horrific sexual offences including, in some cases, rape at the hands of these defendants.

"These horrific crimes will have a lasting impact upon the victims' lives."

Men guilty of Banbury attacks pictured

Linda Serck

BBC News, Berkshire

These are the men convicted of a string of sex abuse cases in Banbury over five years.

(Clockwise from left) Said Saleh, Mohamed Saleh, Kagiso Manase, Ahmed Hassan-Sule and Takudzwa Hova were found guilty of a string of sex offences

From left to right - Said Saleh, Mohamed Saleh, Takudzwa Hova, Ahmed Hassan-Sule, Kagiso Manase
Thames Valley Police

A 17-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is guilty of one count of rape.

Alexandru Nae, 19, of Broome Way, Banbury, was acquitted of one count of sexual activity with a child and one count of rape.

News on the hour

Alex Dibble

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford


the news at 15:00:

An Oxfordshire historian's told us of his horror, at seeing an ancient Assyrian city demolished by Islamic State.

Dr Paul Collins from Ashmolean Museum in Oxford said IS militants have bulldozed the Iraqi city of Nimrud, which is three thousand years old and contains some of the world's greatest archaeological treasures.

Teenager 'facing jail' for Liberty death

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

A judge told Robert Blackwell, who has pleaded guilty to causing the death of a schoolgirl, he is likely to face a "significant prison sentence".

Liberty Baker, 14, died after being hit by a car in Witney, Oxfordshire, as she walked to Henry Box School on 30 June.

Liberty Baker
Thames Valley Police

Three others were also injured in the collision.

Blackwell pleaded guilty to one count of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

BreakingLiberty Baker driver guilty


Robert Blackwell has admitted causing the death of Liberty Baker, a 14-year-old school girl in Witney.

The 19-year-old of Hayway Lane, Bampton, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He's due to be sentenced on 16 April.

'Lasting legacy' for Connor

Oxford Times

Teenager Connor Sparrowhawk will be

given a "lasting legacy" by a public consultation being launched today.

The 18-year-old drowned in the bath after suffering an epileptic fit at in-patient learning disability centre, The Slade in Headington, in 2013.

Care Minister Norman Lamb will today announce plans to give people with learning disabilities and their families more rights, in a campaign called No Voice Unheard, No Right Ignored.

Jury returns all sex offence verdicts

Katharine Da Costa

Reporter, BBC South Today

A jury in the trial of seven men

accused of sexual offences in Banbury has completed its deliberations.

Six were found guilty of a string of sexual abuse crimes over five years.

One man was acquitted of being part of the abuse.

Some of the verdicts were delivered on Thursday evening at Oxford Crown Court.

'I called him Freddie Pretzel'

Kat Orman

Afternoon presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

Garry Holland, from Didcot, said it had become his life's mission to write a song for the

Eurovision Song Contest.

He said: "I worked out who would be really desperate for an entry and I worked out it was Austria... I found someone who could half sing and gave him a Europop name - Freddie Pretzel.

Cover of Big Dreams, Bum Notes
Garry Holland

"I showed the lyrics to a native German speaker and after they finished convulsing with laughter they explained to me what I'd written."

If you missed the interview, you can listen again on


News on the hour

Alex Dibble

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

In the

14:00 news bulletin: The search for a cure for Parkinson's disease at the University of Oxford has been boosted by a £6m grant.

The money's been given by Parkinson's UK to find new drugs to slow or even stop the condition.

Would you let a child walk home alone?

BBC Radio Oxford

This morning we asked how old your children were when you let them walk home alone.

Simon Hopkins replied on our

Facebook page: "I'd say 10 really... In the late 80s and early 90s we didn't have mobile phones to call 999 as soon as a stranger tried to nab someone."

Leonardo Paoletti says: "I think it's all down to where you live, and also in which times you live."

Castle Mill flats: Roof removal rejected

Indy Almroth-Wright

BBC Online

Plans to demolish the top floor of a block of controversial student flats in Oxford have been

rejected by senior academics for a second time.

The Castle Mill development
Adrian Arbib

A postal vote of the university's 4,500 "congregation" was called after the motion was rejected last month.

Cartooning on the radio

Clive Goddard ‏

tweets: Cartooning on the radio? How's that going to work? Find out at 2 today by listening to @BBCOxford.

Tune in.

Sexual offences verdicts considered

Paul Jenner

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

The judge at Oxford Crown Court will accept majority verdicts in the case of seven defendants for sexual offences in Banbury over a period of five years.

Five men have

already been found guilty for some of the sexual offences against girls aged between 13 and 15 from 2009 to 2014.

The jury are still considering eight counts related to sexual abuse.

Listen out

Bicester Green

tweets: Listen out for our interview on @BBCOxford today at 1.10pm.

Tune in.

Oxfordshire hotter than the Med

The Herald

Oxfordshire looks set to be

hotter than the Mediterranean on Saturday as temperatures are set to rise over the weekend.

Areas of the county could see temperatures reach up to 14C, whilst areas of the Mediterranean such as Tunisia experience low temperatures on Saturday, according to forecasters.

Dons against reducing height of flats

Oxford Times

An attempt to reduce the height of the Castle Mill student flats has been

thrown out by Oxford University dons.

Critics said the blocks blighted views of Oxford's historic skyline and a report also found 22 views had been damaged by them.

News on the hour

Sue Kinnear

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Coming up in the

BBC Radio Oxford news at 12:00: The remaining verdicts on six men accused of a range of sexual offences against girls in Banbury over five years are being considered by a jury at Oxford Crown Court.

Benefit cheats fleeced taxpayers out of £1.3m

Oxford Mail

Fraudsters in Oxford

raked in almost £1.28m in the past financial year from the public purse.

The number of detected cases in the city, including council tax and housing benefit fraud, was five times higher than in 19 neighbouring areas it was compared to.

Five arrested in cyber-crime raids

Thames Valley Police has

arrested five people following raids in Kidlington.

Officers, working alongside the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit and the National Crime Agency, carried out searches as part of a crackdown on cyber criminals.

The men, from Wheatley, Witney, Bampton and Didcot, were held on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and computing offences.

Do you let your children walk home alone?

BBC Radio Oxford


BBC Radio Oxford this morning we are asking: How young is too young to let children walk home from school?

An American couple have been found guilty of child neglect after allowing their six-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son to walk home alone from a park.

Children walking home
Getty Images

How old were your children when you first let them walk home alone? Get in touch by

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