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  1. As it happened across the West of England on Friday 8 July, 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Weekend weather: Brollies at the ready

Making plans for the weekend? Don't get caught out by the weather. Here's Ian Fergusson with the forecast...

That's all from BBC Local Live for the West Country - we'll be back at 7am on Monday.

Meet the vulture spotted over the Severn Estuary

Remember the story of the rare bearded vulture spotted near the second Severn Crossing?

The lammergeier vulture was seen in May perched on rocks near the bridge - it was the first time the species was spotted in Britain.

We went to the Bristol Museum to find out more about how big they are... 

BMX World Championships ride into Somerset

BMX world championships at the Bath and West Showground

Thousands of adrenaline junkies are in Somerset this weekend for the BMX World Championships. 

It's the first time they've been held in this country for 28 years. 

Over the next three days at the Bath and West Showground, riders will be showing off their extreme skills from bunnyhops and 180s to feeble grinds and the superman.

Man dies as light aircraft crashes in Wiltshire

Police car generic
Met Police

Just to recap on one of today's main stories, a man has died after a light aircraft crashed into a field in Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Police said the plane came down close to Dinton, near Salisbury, at about 10:50 BST.

Another man was rescued from the wreckage and taken to hospital in Salisbury.

View more on twitter

Join the festival at Bristol Pride

A huge party is taking place in Bristol tomorrow to mark the city's Pride festival.

Record numbers are expected at the event at the Harbourside and thousands of people from the LGBT community will be holding a big parade in the city centre.

We've been speaking to Daryn Carter, director of Bristol Pride, about how big the event has become...

And Daryn's not the only one who's ready...

View more on twitter
Lee Tomlin

Lee Tomlin says he did not want to wait for any other clubs' offers before joining Bristol City on a three-year deal.

Read more

Introducing Samphire Festival

The village of Porlock in Somerset will be a bit busier this weekend with more than 1,000 people from all over the UK expected to arrive for a brand new festival.

It's not just music... there will be drama, comedy, yoga, den building, tree climbing and stargazing!

Say hello to Samphire Festival ...  

100 years of Jerusalem

The 100th anniversary of one of the country's most famous hymns is being celebrated in Gloucestershire this weekend.

The music of Jerusalem has a very special link to the area - Hubert Parry, the man who wrote it, grew up in Highnam and learnt to play the organ at Highnam Church. 

The church will hold events over the next few days to mark the anniversary, including a big singalong on Sunday.

Here's a rendition - have a singalong, we know you want to...

BreakingMan dies in light aircraft crash

One of the two men involved in the light aircraft crash near Dinton, in Wiltshire, died at the scene, police have confirmed.

What's making headlines around the West Country?


Here's a round-up of some of the stories being covered in the local papers this evening: 

Somerset Live: Dad died on stag do with son at Butlins in Minehead

Stroud News & Journal: Vehicle fire causes M5 congestion

Wiltshire Times: Emergency services at scene of plane crash 

Bristol Post: Police officer cleared of wrongdoing after tasering man in the back outside a Bristol nightclub

Heart surgery: Expert doubts Bristol hospital can meet recommendations

Bristol Children's Hospital can carry on doing heart surgery - as long as the troubled unit meets 32 recommendations made by last week's independent cardiac review. 

One in four units are being closed by the Government across the country. 

But Ash Pawade, the surgeon who turned Bristol around to be one of the best centres in the country, doubts all these recommendations will be met...  

Crash causing two-mile tailbacks in Gloucestershire

Bristol West MP speaks out after 'toxic' Labour party meeting

Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire has described her constituency meeting last night as "difficult".

The Bristol West MP was speaking after hundreds of people packed the Centre for the Deaf in Stokes Croft for Labour's local annual meeting, many of them supporters of the current leader Jeremy Corbyn. 

Some described scenes of shouting, heckling and bullying, although many have played down the atmosphere.

Air tattoo: Cadets celebrate 75 years

That's one really impressive sight...

View more on twitter

Detective Inspector: More victims of Mark Lester likely

There's a distinct possibility that there are more victims of prolific child sex offender Mark Lester, according to the police detective in charge of the case.

Lester, 60, of Riverside Close, Bridgwater, was jailed for life at Bristol Crown Court after being convicted of 51 offences including rape and sexual assault.  

Detective Inspector Lindsay Shearlock said it's "quite likely" there are more victims...

Prince George steals the show at the Royal International Air Tattoo

All little boys love airplanes - even the future king.

Prince George joined his parents to visit the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire today.

On arrival, it seemed to be a bit too overwhelming for him and he burst into tears - he is just two years old after all.

Prince George has a tantrum
Prince George has a tantrum

But a pair of blue ear defenders did the trick and he was soon smiling inside a Squirrel Helicopter and the cockpit of a Red Arrow Hawk aircraft.  

He was given ear defenders as he checked out the helicopters and planes
He was given ear defenders as he checked out the helicopters and planes
Prince William showed him around the helicopters
Prince William showed him around the helicopters
Prince George inside a helicopter cockpit
Prince George got the opportunity to sit in a helicopter
Prince George gets a close look at the Red Arrows
Prince George gets a close look at the Red Arrows
Prince George in the cockpit
Prince George in the cockpit

Rape victim speaks out after 'vile' David Mears jailed for life

Rapist David Mears jailed for 1987 attack on Swindon teenager

A rape victim has spoken of her relief that her attacker has been jailed for life, almost 30 years after she was attacked in Swindon.

After a cold case review, 60-year-old David Mears from Plymouth was arrested in April and in May he pleaded guilty to rape.

Today he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of eight years. 

The victim's words have been spoken by an actress in the video.

Live at the Royal International Air Tattoo

Pilots at the RIAT
Getty Images

Got a question for the pilots and staff at the world's largest military airshow?

We're live at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on BBC Radio Wiltshire's Facebook page.

Police show off colourful Pride car

It's the Bristol Pride celebrations this weekend and rainbows have been spotted across the city in support of the LGBT+ community.

Even the police have got involved - they've added rainbow stripes to one of their police cars to show their support - and send out a general message of tolerance...

Thousands are expected to attend the weekend's celebrations.

Watch out if you're currently heading down the M5 towards Bristol

Prince George meets Red Arrows pilot and gets to sit in Hawk cockpit

The Duke of Cambridge showed his son the cockpit of a Red Arrow Hawk aircraft as William and the Duchess of Cambridge spent the day at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. 

They met members of the Red Arrows display team shortly before they took part in the show. 

And George got a closer look at a Squirrel helicopter - the same aircraft his father trained in while he was based at RAF Shawbury in 2009.

Bristol Labour party meeting described as 'toxic'

Pete Simson

Broadcast Journalist

Supporters of the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have clashed with other party members at a local meeting in Bristol.

Hundreds of Labour members - old and new - were joined by Bristol West MP Thangam Debboinaire - who explained her reasons for resigning from Jeremy Corbyn's front bench.

Here it seems, is the crux of the problem for Labour. The post EU landscape has created a huge void in the party.

View from inside the Labour meeting

One blogger describes a "toxic" atmosphere in which supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and other members clashed verbally, were shouted down, and some even reduced to tears.

The hurt comes from both sides, allies of Mrs Debboinaire, many of whom felt threatened and bullied last night, as well as Corbyn supporters who feel their views are being marginalised by the official party.

Taunton's oldest public swimming pool will close today

Taunton pool closes

The St James Street Pool was opened in 1929 and has for many years been used as a teaching pool - more than 1,600 children have lessons there every week. 

It will be replaced by a new learner pool and a 25 metre pool at Blackbrook Leisure Centre.

Plane crash near Salisbury: What do we know so far?

  • The crash happened at Dinton Airfield near Salisbury shortly before 11am
  • South West Ambulance Service says there were two male casualties from the crashed plane
  • Firefighters cut one of the men free from the wreckage. One had a leg injury

Breaking'Cold case' rapist David John Mears jailed for life

David John Mears, 60, from Plymouth
Wiltshire Police

A man who admitted raping a teenager in 1987, after police re-opened the "cold case" almost 30 years later, has been jailed for life.

David John Mears, 60, from Plymouth, broke into the 16-year-old's home in Swindon and "violently attacked" her on 12 August 1987.

As a result of advances in technology, officers arrested Mears in April and today he appeared at Swindon Crown Court for sentencing.

Mears was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of eight years.

Plane crash near Salisbury: AAIB to investigate

The Air Accident Investigation Branch has told us that they have launched an investigation into the crash.

Plane crash near Salisbury: 'Military helicopters circling'

The Salisbury Journal has a reporter at the scene where the newspaper says military helicopters are circling above the crash scene.

The report goes on to say air ambulances, a coast guard helicopter, an ambulance and a fire engine are on the scene.

Flightradar also shows a coast guard helicopter leaving the scene back towards the south coast.

Coast guard helicopter leaving crash site

Plane crash near Salisbury: Where is Dinton?

We've got reporters on the way to the scene.

But just to give you some geography as to where this has happened - you can see Dinton is just to the west of Salisbury.


Plane crash near Salisbury: What we know so far

  • Police were called at 10.50am to reports of a light plane crash
  • It happened at Dinton Airfield near Salisbury
  • Believed to be two people on board
  • Police, fire, ambulance are at the scene

BreakingPlane crashes near Dinton, reports Salisbury Journal

'Toxic atmosphere' at Bristol West's Labour party meeting

What happened at last night's Bristol West Constituency Labour Party meeting? One party member said she "no longer felt welcome in my own home".

View more on twitter

Tune in to BBC Radio Bristol and Points West later when we speak to Bristol West's Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire. We'll be following the story on Local Live as well.

Mark Lester jailed: Victim has 'nightmares almost every night'

Lester was originally arrested after breaking into a house in Bridgwater in January 2015.

He threatened the two occupants at knife-point, tying them up and sexually assaulting one.

One victim now has "nightmares almost every night".

Det Insp Lindsay Shearlock said: "Lester has refused to take any responsibility for these truly horrific crimes.

"Offenders of this type are prolific and will exploit any opportunity to abuse a child or a vulnerable person and it really is quite likely that there are further victims."

Breaking'Dangerous, cunning' child sex offender jailed for life

"Prolific" child sex offender Mark Lester has been jailed for life at Bristol Crown Court.

Lester, 60, of Bridgwater, was found guilty of 51 offences including rape and sexual assault.

Judge Martin Picton said he should serve a minimum of 18 years. He described him as a dangerous, cunning paedophile who posed a real risk to the public.

Mark Lester
Avon and Somerset Police

In pictures: Royal International Air Tattoo 2016

Although the show officially opened earlier today the press got a sneak preview yesterday.

Here's some of the best photos so far...

Fairford montage
Getty Images
Fairford montage

If you're at the show then why not send your pictures in and we'll show a selection of them throughout the day. 

'Skinny 10-year-old' could be next boxing champion

Speaking at an event to celebrate boxer Lee Haskins' achievements, Bristol's elected mayor Marvin Rees said he loved the story that the Empire Boxing Club had a wall of champions.

"It's all the people who've come through the club and gone on to success in boxing," he said.

"They bring young lads and girls in there and say 'they came in here as a skinny 10-year-old - this could be you one day."

Delays after bridge swing on Cumberland Basin in Bristol

'My summer break? Ten days of meditation'

Nathan Smith (right)
Nathan Smith

No exercise, no talking, no eye contact, no mobile phones - just 10 straight days of meditation in rural India.

It is not what you might imagine a professional footballer would get up to on their summer break.

But that is how Yeovil Town left-back Nathan Smith, "bored of the usual party holidays", chose to spend his close season.

"My best night's sleep was on the first night," the 29-year-old told BBC Sport. "After that, some nights I had no sleep whatsoever.

"Each day, the meditation lasted until 9pm. Being a vegan, the diet was hard too. I stayed away from anything that might have milk in it."

In your local newspapers today

City celebrates boxer Lee Haskins' world bantamweight title

Bristol hosted a special reception last night to honour its world boxing champion.

Lee Haskins successfully defended his IBF world bantamweight title against the Mexican Ivan Morales in a unanimous points decision in May. 

The 32-year-old is now after an all-British title fight with former IBF champion Stuart Hall, who lost to Haskins in 2012.