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  1. Updates on Thursday 28 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Chris Brown

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our news coverage through the day

Chris Brown

BBC News

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

We'll be back from 08:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Oxfordshire. Join us then.

Weather: Showers through the evening, clearing overnight

BBC Weather

Cloud building this evening with outbreaks of rain, perhaps heavy locally at times. Becoming dry later in the night with clear spells developing and becoming quite breezy. Lows of 3C (37F).  

Oxford weather 28 April 2016

Sport headlines: Skarz and Roofe back in training

Jerome Sale

BBC South Today

The top sport stories this evening:

Evening TV: Examining the rise in reported crime in Thames Valley

South Today

On South Today at 18:30 tonight:

More on the resignation of Mike Petter as chairman of the under-fire Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

For the first time in 10 years, there's been an increase in overall crime in the Thames Valley Police area. We'll find out if crime is going up, or if victims are more confident to report crime.

And we'll be finding out why 'graffiti walls' can help reduce vandalism in Oxford.

Travel latest: Slow traffic in Clifton Hampden, Banbury and Swinford

BBC Travel

  • There's very slow traffic on the A415 Abingdon Road in both directions in Clifton Hampden at the B4015 Oxford Road junction
  • It's also slow on the A361 South Bar Street in both directions in Banbury at Banbury Cross
  • And it's slow on the B4044 Oxford Road westbound in Swinford at the B4449 junction

You can get the latest on the BBC Travel site.

BreakingChairman of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust resigns

The chairman of under-fire Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has resigned.

Mike Petter's departure comes in advance of what is expected to be a highly critical report into the trust from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) tomorrow.

I have made the very difficult decision to tender my resignation as Chairman of Southern Health. The Trust has recently undergone a significant amount of scrutiny in some service areas and given the challenges it faces I feel it is appropriate for me to allow new board leadership to take forward the improvements."

Mike PetterChairman of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Latest headlines: Father of Katy Pancott says his daughter 'will never be forgotten'

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories this evening:

Have your say on graffiti walls

Over on the BBC Oxford Facebook page, users have been discussing the idea of "free walls" for graffiti artists as a means of reducing vandalism.


Andrew Henderson posted: "Graffiti = Vandalism to property you don't own and we all end up paying to get cleaned up. Don't try and makes excuses for this! "

However Skeeta Oliver posted: "Keep the graffiti coming, spice up life, be colourful, the buildings are drab."

Burglar sentencing delayed thanks to Prison Service bungle

Press Association

The sentencing of a gang of burglars had to be adjourned following a Prison Service bungle at an Oxfordshire jail.

Staff at HMP Bullingdon failed to transport Jesse Gregory, 50, of School Hill, Brinkworth, Chippenham, Wiltshire, to Swindon Crown Court after spelling his first name "Jessie" on paperwork. 

The court heard that, due to the error, Gregory had not been transported to the court. The judge said he could not sentence the gang with one of the defendants absent and adjourned the case until June 10.

Having friends is 'better than morphine'

People with more friends can tolerate more pain, Oxford researchers say

Friends have a powerful painkilling effect, similar to morphine, Oxford research says
Getty Images
Friends have a powerful painkilling effect, similar to morphine, Oxford research says

Students at Oxford University's department of experimental psychology say their findings show that having larger social networks help people to manage stress better. 

They put it down to the fact that social interactions trigger endorphins - leading to more positive emotions.

Endorphins are part of our pain and pleasure circuitry – they’re our body's natural painkillers and also give us feelings of pleasure. Previous studies have suggested that endorphins promote social bonding in both humans and other animals. To test this theory, we relied on the fact that endorphin has a powerful painkilling effect - stronger even than morphine.

Katerina JohnsonDoctoral student

Rising crime figures down to victims' confidence to come forward, say police

Chris Brown

BBC News

Thames Valley Police insists rising numbers of reported crimes in the 2015/16 crime figures are due to the force's work to encourage victims to come forward.

Deputy chief constable John Campbell says it's down to encouraging people to come forward

Alongside our community partners we are continuing to work hard to encourage reporting of domestic abuse and sexual offences. This has led to the growing confidence of victims to come forward to report incidents particularly in relation to sexual offences and domestic abuse.

Thames Valley Police

All aboard! Oxford United head for Carlisle clash by train

Jerome Sale

BBC South Today

The Oxford United squad will travel north to Carlisle tomorrow and managing director Greg Box Turnbull has revealed that sponsors have paid for the team to arrive by train rather than their normal coach journey. 

The match on Saturday is the U's final away match of the season, with automatic promotion still in their hands. 

Joe Skarz and Kemar Roofe have both trained today. Defender John Mullins is the one major doubt with an ankle injury.

View more on twitter

Katy Pancott inquest: Dad says 19-year-old "will never be forgotten"

Peter Cooke

BBC South Today

The father of Katy Pancott, who died after being struck by a car on the A40 last October, says she "will never be forgotten".

David Griffin spoke about his "lovely" daughter following the inquest into her death 

Teenager killed on the A40 'was just wonderful' says father after inquest into her death

Katy Pancott inquest: Argument with boyfriend before getting out of car

Peter Cooke

BBC South Today

Katy Pancott's boyfriend Andi Rama - who was at the scene of her death as he had been driving her to a house in Witney - told police she had contacted him and asked him to pick her up from Oxford. 

The scene where Katy Pancott was hit by a car on the A40
The scene where Katy Pancott was hit by a car on the A40

The inquest into her death heard Ms Pancott had been out in the city drinking with friends on the evening of 8 October, but they had an argument on the way to Witney.

Ms Pancott opened the car door saying she was going to get out, so Mr Rama pulled into a side road off the A40. Katy then got out of the car and ended up in the carriageway of the A40, where she was struck by the Ford Focus.

Katy Pancott inquest: 19-year-old had twice legal driving limit of alcohol

Peter Cooke

BBC South Today

The inquest heard the level of alcohol in the Kidlington woman's system was twice that of the legal driving limit when she was struck by a car on the A40.

The driver of the Ford Focus which hit her said he was travelling home with his wife and was at the legal speed limit of about 50mph when she appeared in front of his car.

The Ford Focus driver's statement added that after the accident Katy Pancott's boyfriend Andi Rama said about her: "She cannot take her drink, she's worse for wear."

Mr Rama was breathalysed and provided a negative test.

Latest headlines: Inquest rules on death of Katy Pancott on the A40

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories so far today:

Inquest ruling on death of 19-year-old on A40

Peter Cooke

BBC South Today

An inquest into the death of a 19-year-old woman killed on the A40 last October has heard she was knocked down after getting out of a parked car of her own accord.

Katy Pancott
Katy Pancott/Facebook
Katy Pancott

Katy Pancott, from Kidlington, died after being struck by a silver Ford Focus just after midnight, between the Eynsham roundabout and Wolvercote roundabout, on 9 October.

Thames Valley Police officers said she was a passenger in another vehicle, a black C63 Mercedes, which was stationary at the time - and got out of that car and ended up on the carriageway.

The inquest in Oxford concluded she died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Countdown to Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival

Organisers of the Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival are getting ready to showcase some of the county's best artists and their work.

Picture of The Day: Maggie Bicknell, #Jericho #Oxford… 8 days 'til Oxon #Artweeks festival!

Picture of The Day: Maggie Bicknell, #Jericho #Oxford… 8 days 'til Oxon #Artweeks festival!

D-Day hero and 40-year servant of Oxford's ex-service community dies in his sleep

Oxford Mail

Tributes have been paid to a "hero" who saved lives during the Second World War and devoted more than 40 years of his life to the county's ex-service community.  

Oxford United team news: Roofe and Skarz return to training

Jerome Sale

BBC South Today

Several Oxford United players have returned to training today for the first time since Saturday's win against Hartlepool. 

Kemar Roofe
Getty Images
Kemar Roofe

Left back Joe Skarz, who made a premature return to the first team, is expected to complete a full session, as is striker Kemar Roofe who's been struggling with an ankle injury. 

However defender Johnny Mullins is a major doubt for Saturday's fixture at Carlisle.

We're certainly in a place where it looks a little bit healthier than it did this time last week.

Michael AppletonOxford United head coach

Oxford lawyer backs call on power of attorney for elderly relatives

A lawyer in Oxford has backed calls for people not to leave gaining power of attorney for elderly relatives until it's too late.

Science Photo Library

Earlier, we heard from Carol, from Bampton, who spoke about her experience of obtaining lasting power of attorney for her stepmother Joan, who has vascular dementia.

Now Jane Maitland from Henmans Freeth solicitors in Oxford says sorting this out in advance can save a lot of heartache.

The last thing any family member wants to do, or indeed any lawyer wants to do, is to be sitting by the bedside of someone who is losing capacity trying to discuss with them the implications of power of attorney.

Jane MaitlandHenmans Freeth solicitors in Oxford

Graffiti walls: 'Giving us an opportunity to paint - that's all we want to do'

Adina Campbell

BBC South Today

We speak to Oxford street artists about why walls are being set aside in the city to allow them to express themselves.

Oxford's attempt to protect property after surge in complaints

Two-minute silence to remember Didcot power station victims

Chris Brown

BBC News

Workers at the Didcot A power station will hold a two-minute silence this afternoon to remember those who lost their lives when part of the boiler house collapsed in February.

View more on twitter

The private ceremony will take place at 16:04 - the time the first emergency call came in about the devastating collapse on 23 February.

It's one of hundreds of international events to mark Workers' Memorial Day, remembering those who have lost their lives at work.

Christopher Huxtable, 34, from Swansea, Ken Cresswell, 57, and John Shaw, 61, both from Rotherham died in the collapse on 23 February. Their bodies are still buried under the rubble. 

The body of Michael Collings, 53, from Brotton in Teesside, was recovered from the site.  

Lunchtime TV: Coming up on South Today

On South Today this lunchtime at 13:30 with Allen Sinclair, we examine the latest crime figures released by Thames Valley Police which show an increase in overall recorded crime for the first time in 10 years.

Nearly £80m is to be spent upgrading the railway signals between Reading and Paddington as Network Rail continues work on Crossrail.

Beer festival preparations

 And we meet the real ale enthusiasts prepare for one of the South's biggest beer and cider festivals.  

Sport headlines: Roofe and Skarz back in training for Oxford United

BBC Sport

The top sport stories so far today:

Travel latest: Delays in Bicester and Oxford

BBC Travel

  • There are delays on the A41 in both directions in Bicester between Bicester Ring Road and the Thame turn-off in the roadworks area
  • And there's slow traffic on the A4165 Banbury Road southbound in Oxford at Cutteslowe Roundabout. Congestion is stretching to the Water Eaton Park And Ride junction

Get the latest on the BBC Travel website. 

Weather: Showers moving in through the afternoon

BBC Weather

After the cold, dry and sunny start to the day, showers will develop through the afternoon. The thickening cloud will bring heavier outbreaks of rain to most parts during the evening. Highs of 10C (50F). 

Oxford weather April 28

Latest headlines: Rising crime figures 'down to victims' confidence to come forward'

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories this lunchtime:

New management takes over at Oxford City Stars ice hockey team

The Oxford City Stars ice hockey team has been taken over by new management.

View more on twitter

Paul Lynch, Russell Shrives and James Schall are now in full control as the new board and owners. 

Lynch and Shrives are local businessman while Schall has previously worked for the club in various capacities and is an ex Stars player.

Teacher recruitment shortage because they can not afford to live in Oxford

Oxford Mail

Major employers in the county could struggle to recruit workers if more teachers are not found for subjects such as design and technology, it has been warned.

Extra lane to be opened on notorious A44 roadworks

Some relief for motorists negotiating the roadworks on the A44 between Oxford's Peartree and Wolvercote roundabouts.

Traffic on the A44 at Peatree/Wolvercote roundabout roadworks

Oxfordshire County Council has announced that the southbound carriageway will be widened to two lanes at the end of this week.

The bus lane will also remain open and cyclists will still be able to use the shared foot and cycleway.

Work to create the additional lane will mean an overnight road closure on the A44 southbound starting at 20:00 tomorrow and be complete by 06:00 at the latest on Saturday.

It is expected that the temporary two-lane arrangement will be in place until mid-July when work on this phase is complete and the road opens to two full-width lanes.

We have always said that we keep the roadworks under review, and if progress allows and it is safe to do so we will make changes. This change shows that we constantly look for solutions that will help ease people’s journeys.

Mark KempDeputy director (commercial), Oxfordshire County Council

Oxfordshire cricket coach thought about quitting after final defeat

Robyn Cowen

Presenter, Radio Oxford Sport

Oxfordshire county cricket head coach Rupert Evans has admitted he considered quitting  at the end of last season after his team suffered an emphatic defeat in the Minor Counties final. 

After being crowned Western Division Champions, Oxfordshire lost inside two days in the final to Cumberland. 

Speaking ahead of the season opener this weekend, where Oxfordshire take on Devon at Wormsley in the one-day trophy, Evans, who's been part of the Oxfordshire set up for over 20 years, revealed last year's experience made him question whether he should continue in his role. 

I think immediately afterwards all those sorts of thoughts go through your head. Then you sleep on it and think this team is too good to actually walk away now. I would like to walk away when we've won the championship.

Rupert EvansOxfordshire county cricket head coach

Crime on the rise: Latest Thames Valley Police figures released

Chris Brown

BBC News

The latest figures from Thames Valley Police show large rises in reports of a number of different types of crime.

These include violence, sex offences, domestic abuse and hate crime. 

Thames Valley crime figures 2015/16

Farming dangers taught at agriculture college

The dangers of farming are being taught by a college in Oxfordshire in a first of its kind for the county. 

Getty Images

Abingdon and Witney College is training its 60 agriculture students in how to stay safe with farming machinery and livestock. 

Some 160 people have died in the agriculture industry over the last five years, according to latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive.   

Latest headlines: Reported crime up for first time in 10 years

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories so far this morning:

  • The number of reported crimes in the Thames Valley region has risen for the first time in 10 years, new figures show
  • Plans to raise part of a railway line in Oxford will increase the flooding risk to 19 nearby homes, the city council has admitted  
  • The rise of robots and deadly viruses are among the threats that could wipe out swathes of humanity, a new report from Oxford researchers warns 

Oxford rail works 'will increase flood risk' to nearby homes

Joe Nimmo

BBC News

Plans to raise part of a railway line in Oxford will increase the flooding risk to 19 nearby homes, the city council has admitted.

The £18m scheme is designed to reduce rail disruptions caused by flooding
Network Rail
The £18m scheme is designed to reduce rail disruptions caused by flooding

Network Rail wants to install two culverts to allow water to flow under the line at Abingdon Bridge Road.

The "highly exceptional" £18m scheme has been recommended for planning approval because it will reduce rail disruptions caused by flooding.

But residents have opposed the "damaging" plans.

Rising crime 'demonstrates confidence of victims to come forward', police insist

Chris Brown

BBC News

Crime has risen in the Thames Valley region for the first time in 10 years, latest figures released by Thames Valley Policeundefinedshow.


Overall crime went up by 7.2% in 2015/16 compared to the previous year, with 129,611 incidents reported. 

Violent crime, sex offences, robbery, hate crime and domestic abuse incidents all saw rises.

Police say they do not believe the rises "reflect an actual increase in violence in the Thames Valley", adding victims are now more confident in coming forward to report incidents.

I believe that the rise that we have seen this year in the reporting of domestic abuse and sexual offences demonstrates the growing confidence of victims that they will be treated with compassion and sensitivity by our officers. Despite the increases in violent crime on last year, which may on the face appear to be concerning, we are confident that the increases are down to better recording, and that the Thames Valley has some of the lowest levels of violent crime in the country.

John CampbellDeputy Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police

BreakingCrime up in Thames Valley for first time in 10 years

Chris Brown

BBC News

There's been a 10% increase in reported crime in the Thames Valley, the first overall increase in a decade. More to follow.