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  1. Updates on Tuesday 19 May 2015

Live Reporting

By Andrew Humphrey

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

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

We'll be back on Wednesday from 08:00 to bring you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Oxfordshire.

Evening TV

Geraldine Peers

Presenter, BBC South Today


South Today this evening: A bomb scare in the centre of Oxford led to parts of the city being cordoned off this morning after a suspect package was found by a member of the public.

Police cordon

Police closed the area around Woodstock Road in St Giles. It was later confirmed the package was not suspicious.

Join me for that and more at


Drying and warming up

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Showers will continue through this evening,

before clearing overnight.

Bee Tucker

The winds will also ease off leaving a chilly night, with lows of 5C (41F) or cooler in the countryside.

Flying the nest

This picture of a blue tit leaving its home in Abingdon was sent in by Keith Wilkinson.

Blue tit
Keith Wilkinson

If you have a picture of Oxfordshire's wildlife, do share it with

Local Live.

Young boat-builders on career path

Witney Gazette

Scores of onlookers watched a boat race with a difference, featuring model craft built by young people

aiming to win an apprenticeship with a boat-building firm.

Fathers 'need support'

BBC Radio Oxford

New fathers are not given the support they need to be fully involved with their children, an Oxford University study has found.

Father and baby
Science Photo Library

Researchers said dads felt held back by a lack of help from health staff, the government and society.

Lead researcher Dr Anna Machin told

BBC Radio Oxford: "It's a case of asking father's how they are doing, making them feel involved at the normal pre-natal and anti-natal meetings. It's not a major step."

Joining friends

via Facebook

Oxford City Council has

called for volunteers to join the League of Friends Cafe at the John Radcliffe Hospital:

John Radcliffe Hospital
Bill Nicholls

"Volunteers normally work a four-hour shift between 8am and 12pm or 12pm and 4pm.

"If you think you can help, please contact

David Simpson."

Latest headlines

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

This evening's top stories on Local Live:

  • A former headteacher in Oxfordshire has been charged with sexual offences against children
  • Fathers of newborn babies need more support, according to new research by psychologists at Oxford University
  • House prices in Oxford have risen at their fastest rate since August

CCTV images over street robbery

A 22-year-old man was

punched, pushed into the road and robbed on Hythe Bridge Street in Oxford on Saturday 3 May.

CCTV images

The victim had his Apple iPhone stolen by the pair.

Thames Valley Police has released two images of the men they would like to speak to.

Crowmarsh Gifford flying high

Henley MP John Howell

tweets: I welcome the flag designed by Crowmarsh Gifford School flying in Westminster this week representing Oxfordshire

John Howell MP with flags
John Howell

The collection was displayed to represent the historic counties of the UK as MPs returned to Westminster after the election.

Homeless fine decision welcomed

Linda Serck

BBC News, Berkshire

Plans to fine rough sleepers in Oxford

have been scrapped after the city council decided to amend a proposal to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Rough sleeper

Kate Cocker, director of homeless charity Crisis Skylight Oxford, welcomed the decision.

Homeless people who fail to use indoor accommodation offered to them were originally on a list of people a Public Spaces Protection Order would target, but a petition against the idea had been signed by 72,000 people.

Double delight

Robyn Cowen

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

Player of the match Freeleigh Parnell, who scored twice to win Didcot the title, received her winner's medal from England star Andros Townsend.

Freeleigh Parnell with Andros Townsend

Didcot Girls win

Robyn Cowen

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

Didcot Girls have won the

National Schools Football Under-15s final, beating Woldgate 3-2.

They had to come from behind twice in the match, but two goals from Freeleigh Parnell and one from Mollie Dyer brought the school their third consecutive title.

Sexual assault CCTV

A CCTV image of a man

police would like to speak to in connection with a sexual assault has been released.

CCTV image

A 23-year-old woman was attacked at about 03:15 on Saturday, 19 April, in Holybush Row in Oxford.

Latest headlines

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

Today's top stories from Oxfordshire:

New charities for Oxford mayor

via Facebook

The new Lord Mayor of Oxford has

posted a video on Facebook to set out his chosen charities for the year.

Lord Mayor of Oxford Councillor Rae Humberstone
Oxford City Council

Councillor Rae Humberstone also set out his plans and priorities for the year. You can watch the video


Poachers fined

Five men have been

fined for poaching offences in Oxfordshire.

They had been arrested on 9 January after a report of trespassers on land in West Hanney.

The men - who range in age from 19 to 58 and all come from Ponypool in Wales - pleaded guilty to daytime trespass in pursuit of game earlier this month.

Double rainbow

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

Today is set to be one of sun and showers, so there's a good chance of spotting a rainbow or two, as Gary Nicholass did yesterday over Rose Hill in Oxford.

Gary Nicholass

Why not share your weather pictures with

Local Live?

Gyroplane record bid

Wallingford Herald

There is one aviation feat left up for grabs, and it is being eyed up by an Oxfordshire man -

to complete a round-the-world trip in a gyroplane.

Latest headlines

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

This afternoon's top stories on Local Live:

  • A head teacher at an Oxfordshire primary school has been charged with sex offences
  • Four of the men convicted of child sexual exploitation as part of Operation Bullfinch
    have had their sentences upheld
  • Part of St Giles was closed for an hour while police investigated a suspicious package
  • Oxfordshire's ambulance service needs hundreds more paramedics after a rise in demand

Lunchtime TV

BBC South Today


South Today this afternoon: South Central Ambulance Service says it is aiming to triple the number of paramedics it hires this year to cope with rising demand.


The number of calls it responds to has increased by 20% over the past two years, putting existing staff under pressure.

Join us at

13:30 for the full story.

Accused headteacher arrested last year

Police said headteacher Christopher Field, of Green Lane, Chieveley, near Newbury, was initially arrested in connection with sexual offences on 19 September last year.

He was charged last week and is due to appear at Oxford Magistrates' Court on 16 June.

BreakingHeadteacher on sex charges

A headteacher has been charged with sex offences against young girls in Oxfordshire.

Christopher Field, 46, is accused of committing offences against two girls while he was head of Woodcote Primary School in Oxfordshire.

He has been charged with three counts of assault by touching and one count of inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity, Thames Valley Police said.

Operation Bullfinch sentences

Lady Justice Hallett

dismissed the appeals by the four men at the Court of Appeal meaning their original sentences will stand:

  • Bassam Karrar must serve at least 15 years behind bars for nine separate offences
  • Brothers Akhtar and Anjum Dogar were each jailed for a minimum of 17 years after Akhtar was convicted of 11 offences and Anjum of nine
  • Kamar Jamil was ordered to serve at least 12 years in prison after being found guilty of nine offences

Oxford grooming sentences upheld

The last of the four men involved in the Oxford grooming gang who

lost appeals against their sentences today was Bassam Karrar (pictured).

Bassam Karrar

He is the brother of Mohammed Karrar -

the most prolific offender in the case.

Mohammed organised sex parties where he prostituted and raped girls in partnership with Bassam, a married father who worked as a security guard and also lived in Oxford.

The brothers separately and together subjected victims to a string of violent and sadistic rapes, often leaving them injured.

They were also friends with the Dogar brothers.

Operation Bullfinch appeals fail

Kamar Jamil was one of the

four men involved in a sadistic Oxford sex gang who today lost their appeals against their sentences.

Kamar Jamil

Jamil grew up on the same street as the Dogar brothers, who also lost their appeals.

Nicknamed "K-Dog" after a wrestler,

Jamil was identified by his victims thanks to his gold tooth.

He operated in partnership with the Dogars, with whom he abused and prostituted two of the girls.

Oxford grooming appeals fail

The judge at the Court of Appeal said there was "little mitigation" to consider reducing the sentences of Bassam Karrar, Kamar Jamil and brothers Akhtar and Anjum Dogar who were

jailed as part of Operation Bullfinch.

Akhtar and Anjum Dogar

The Dogar brothers (pictured) were ringleaders of the grooming gang and the other men were scared of them, according to the victims.

Akhtar, or "Spider" as he was known, "ruled the Cowley Road", according to one of his victims.

They were instrumental in planning the girls' prostitution and abuse together with Kamar Jamil.

'A leading force against climate change'

Oxford University's endowment investment strategy will

take into account climate change as well as maximising resources when selecting investments, after a
campaign for it to divest from fossil fuel companies.

Vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Hamilton, said: "Our investment managers take a long-term view and take into account global risks, including climate change, when considering what investments to make."

Campaigners welcomed the news, but called on a complete boycott of investment in companies involved with fossil fuel industries.

BreakingBullfinch sentences 'severe ...but deservedly so'

Bassam Karrar, Kamar Jamil, Akhtar Dogar and Anjum Dogar (pictured clockwise from top left) have failed in their attempts to reduce their sentences for their roles in a sadistic sex grooming gang in Oxford.

Clockwise from top left Bassam Karrar, Kamar Jamil, Akhtar Dogar and Anjum Dogar

The men's offences

included child rape and trafficking, between 2004 and 2012.

Dismissing the appeals, Lady Justice Hallett said: "The impact upon the victims has been devastating and of the utmost severity.

"Members of the public have been horrified and rightly expect those responsible to receive severe sentences as a punishment and as a deterrent to others."

Bomb scare update

Martin Eastaugh

BBC Radio Oxford

The whole of Little Clarendon Street was evacuated when a suspect package was reported to be found near the army recruitment office.

Little Clarendon Street bomb scare


IRA device was placed in a similar area in February 2014 so the police took the threat seriously, though it appears there was no danger on this occasion.

Divestment campaign to continue

BBC Radio Oxford

Campaigners calling on Oxford University to fully remove its investments from companies involved in fossil fuels have vowed to carry on their fight.

Alberta tar sands

The university has

pledged to not invest directly in coal or tar sands industries.

Campaigner Rivka Micklethwaite

told David Prever: "We will continue our campaign. We have a group of almost 70 alumni who promised they would hand back their degrees if the university did not divest and on Saturday they will do so."

Cordon lifted

Martin Eastaugh

BBC Radio Oxford

A police investigation into a suspect package in St Giles appears to be over, with the police tape removed from the streets that had been closed.

'Security threat'

Part of central Oxford has been cordoned off and evacuated due to a suspect package.

Natasha from the Oxford University Language Centre told

BBC Radio Oxford she had been told there was a security threat.

She said: "There's police vans and officers walking past the window."

Suspect package

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

Police have confirmed they are investigating a suspect package in St Giles that was reported before 10:00 this morning.

They said that the area had been evacuated as a precaution.

Police cordon off St Giles road

We have reports Woodstock Road in St Giles has been cordoned off by police.

The Oxford Student

tweets: Police blocking off roads at St Giles. Little Clarendon street being evacuated.

Stagecoach Oxford

tweets: SERVICE UPDATE: Due to Woodstock Rd incident, services unable to serve stops between Old Radcliffe & Canterbury Rd.