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  1. Updates from Thursday 4 January
  2. Boy stabbed to death near playground in Oxford
  3. Vicar's disgust at Windsor begging crackdown call
  4. Oxfordshire major hospitals on highest alert
  5. Firefighters tackle blaze in Ringwood

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Oxford Farming Conference speech 'positive' for industry

National Farmers' Union president Meurig Raymond has called Michael Gove’s speech at the Oxford Farming Conference a positive signal for the farming industry.

The environment secretary told farmers the government would guarantee subsidies at the current EU level until the 2022 election, followed by a "transitional period".

Mr Raymond said this would allow time "to prepare properly for the introduction of a new agricultural policy... during which an assessment can be made of the impact of Brexit..."

Police stop 17 speeding drivers in West Berkshire

Escaped prisoner attempts to drive wrong way down motorway
Darryl Dempsey was eventually stopped when police deliberately crashed into his 4x4.

Escaped prisoner who tried to drive wrong way on motorway jailed

Helicopter footage
Hampshire Police

An escaped prisoner who tried to evade police by driving down the wrong way of a busy motorway has been jailed for two years.

Darryl Dempsey, 23, from Eastbourne, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Southampton Crown Court.

He also pleaded guilty to escaping from lawful custody, driving while disqualified and criminal damage.

The court was told Dempsey had been wanted by police after absconding from Ford prison in West Sussex on 3 July.

Police footage shows Dempsey driving across fields, driving on footpaths and even attempting to drive down the wrong way of the M3.

Officers hit the 4X4, which overturned, ending the 13-minute pursuit in Chilworth shortly before 22:30.

Southampton General Hospital under pressure 'more than ever'

Southampton General Hospital

Fiona Dalton, chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, has written to staff about the winter pressures affecting Southampton General Hospital.

She said they had been under "sustained pressure from unprecedented levels of emergency demand, with more patients attending the emergency department, and admitted as emergency admissions, than ever before".

She said it was partly due to "high levels of demand from our local population, and in part due to our support to other parts of the region".

She said cancelling services to divert staff to emergency work would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

"Our priority will always be patient safety, balancing the clinical needs of our different patient groups," she added.

Royal wedding: Theresa May joins Windsor begging row debate
The prime minister said she disagreed with the views of the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.
Rob Dickie runs during a training drill

Oxford United sign Rob Dickie from Reading for an undisclosed fee as the defender agrees a deal until the summer of 2020.

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Florence Pugh nominated for Bafta

Florence Pugh
AFP/Getty Images

Oxfordshire actress Florence Pugh has been nominated for this year's Bafta Rising Star award.

Pugh, who was born and went to school in Oxford, earned critical acclaim for her performance in 2016 film Lady Macbeth and has recently finished shooting Outlaw King with Chris Pine and Aaron Taylor-Johnson for release on Netflix.

She is also set to star on the big screen in horror film Malevolent, wrestling comedy Fighting With My Family and action thriller The Commuter, all set for release this year.

The other nominated actors are Daniel Kaluuya, Josh O'Connor, Tessa Thompson and Timothee Chalamet.

The winner will be announced at the Baftas on Sunday 18 February.

Let's call the whole thing off?

Severe disruption: M27 Hampshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M27 Hampshire eastbound severe disruption, at J12 for M275.

M27 Hampshire - M27 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic eastbound at J12, M275 (Portsmouth).

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

Arno Botha receives a pass

Premiership side London Irish sign South Africa internationals Arno Botha and Piet van Zyl from Super Rugby side Blue Bulls

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Oxford murder investigation focuses on bridge

Bridge by Friars Walk
A blue tent was erected next to the bridge by officers from Thames Valley Police

Specialist officers investigating a suspected murder in Oxford have been focusing on the area around a bridge near Friars Walk.

It's after a boy, believed to be 16 and from the Birmingham area, was found with stab wounds on Wednesday evening and later died in hospital.

A 25-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man, both from Oxford, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

BBC South's Katharine Da Costa says a blue tent was erected next to the bridge by officers from Thames Valley Police while forensic specialists worked in the area.

Man assaulted at home in Hampshire

A man was assaulted in his home on Forest Road in Chandler's Ford by four men who broke into his house on Tuesday.

The men, whose faces were covered, were confronted by the man, 49, and struck him on the head with a weapon before they fled.

He has been taken to Southampton General Hospital where he is receiving treatment for serious but not life-threatening head injuries, Hampshire Constabulary said.

Det Con Russell Smith added: "This was a nasty assault and we would like to hear from anyone with information on what happened.

"Did you notice four males together? Or perhaps you noticed vehicles in the area that you did not recognise? If so, please get in touch."

Gove's 'transitional period' for farming subsidies welcomed

Michael Gove at conference

The CLA, the membership organisation for landowners in rural England and Wales, has welcomed comments made by Michael Gove at the Oxford Farming Conference.

Director of Policy Christopher Price said: "This speech is the latest evidence that government is embracing our vision for a new policy based on rewarding farmers for the range of public benefits they deliver.

"We have been clear that significant change is necessary but it is right to take the necessary time to design and implement a policy without causing immediate and dramatic disruption to thousands of farming businesses across the countryside.

"We are pleased the Secretary of State has listened to our concerns on this issue and extended the period of operation of the existing basic payment scheme to ensure a full and smooth transition."

Michael Gove at conference

Hampshire council gets first electric cars

Mel Kendal
Hampshire County Council

Hampshire County Council has rolled out its first electric vehicles for staff to use.

A new electric delivery van and pool car based at Bar End, Winchester, will cost 97% less to fuel than equivalent diesel vehicles, the council said.

Mel Kendal, the council’s member for economic development, said: “The decreasing cost of electric vehicles makes this an ideal time to start replacing our small diesel vehicles – which could dramatically reduce our fuel costs and potentially save over £200,000 a year."

Oxford MP calls for music venues to be protected

Layla Moran

There needs to be a change in the law to better protect well-loved music venues, an MP has said.

Layla Moran, who represents Oxford West and Abingdon, says a "rethink" is needed after The Cellar, a venue in the city, came under threat.

A petition to keep it open gathered more than 13,000 signatures and the planning application was officially withdrawn in October.

A new bill will be debated in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Ms Moran says if it became law the 'Planning (Agent of Change) Bill' would require developers to take account of the effect of their schemes on music venues.

Reports of flooding in Hampshire

PM rejects council leader's homeless comments

Theresa May

Theresa May says she does not agree with a Conservative council leader who's calling for a crackdown on begging in Windsor.

Simon Dudley - who leads Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Council - wants police to urgently address "aggressive begging" before the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Mrs May, who is the MP for Maidenhead, told reporters that councils should "work hard" to ensure they are providing accommodation for homeless people.

She added that local authorities should work with police where aggressive begging is an issue.

Men arrested over boy's eye injury are released

Two men arrested in connection with an incident in Poole that left a 13-year-old boy with a serious eye injury have been released while inquiries continue.

The boy was walking along Wimborne Road, close to its junction with Tatnam Road and the Co-op food store, between 20:00 and 20:15 GMT on 31 December when he felt something hit him on the leg.

He turned round and was hit by something in his eye. The boy sustained a serious eye injury and was taken to hospital. He is continuing to have treatment.

Two men, aged 19 and 20 and both from Poole, were arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent.

Women raped at Bournemouth bowling green

The rape of a woman in her 30s at a bowling green in Bournemouth on New Year's Eve is being investigated.

Police say she met a man in Southcote Road at about 23:30 GMT and they walked to a nearby bowling green where "sexual activity" that took place.

This was initially consensual but the man became violent and raped her.

Officers are looking for a slim white man who's thought to be about 21 years old who was wearing a red and black chequered jacket.

Severe disruption: M27 Hampshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M27 Hampshire eastbound severe disruption, between J4 for M3 and M3 J14.

M27 Hampshire - One lane closed on M27 eastbound between J4 M3 and M3 J14, because of emergency repairs. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M3 Hampshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M3 Hampshire northbound severe disruption, between J13 for A335 and J12 for A335.

M3 Hampshire - One lane closed on M3 northbound between J13, A335 (Chandlers Ford) and J12, A335 (Eastleigh), because of a lorry having a tyre changed.

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

Waves whipped up by winds on Isle of Wight

Shanklin seafront has been battered this morning...

Shanklin seafront
Patrick White

Storm damage snapped in Oxford

Dorchester 'hit-and-run': 27-year-old woman arrested
Police are still appealing for anyone who saw a dark Audi A3 in the area to get in contact.

Farmers to be paid for 'public goods'

Michael Gove at Oxford Farming Conference
Michael Gove spoke to the media after his speech at the Oxford Farming Conference

Farming subsidies will be replaced by payments for "public goods", from boosting access to the countryside to recreating wildflower meadows, Michael Gove has said.

In a speech to the Oxford Farming Conference, the Environment Secretary has been setting out plans for food and farming after Brexit.

They include a switching away from what he called the "unjust and inefficient" subsidies paid through the European Union.

The government has also agreed to maintain current farming subsidies, which are worth about £3bn to UK landowners each year and most of which are linked to the amount of land that is farmed, until 2022.

BreakingDriver, 95, sentenced over cemetery death

Braywick Cemetery
Paul Mills was hit by a car as he was working in the grounds of Braywick Cemetery

A 95-year-old woman who knocked down and killed a cemetery worker after tending to her husband's grave on Valentine's Day has been sentenced.

Gertrude Lister, from Maidenhead, Berkshire, received a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in December.

She is thought to have hit the accelerator instead of the brake after she found the exit of Braywick Graveyard in Maidenhead blocked in February last year.

Paul Mills, a 47-year-old cemetery worker, was hit by the car and died just over an hour later from extensive injuries.

Betting shop robbers steal £2,000

Betfred, High St, Eastleigh

Two men armed with a knife have stolen nearly £2,000 in a raid on a betting shop in Eastleigh.

Police were called to Betfred in the High Street at 20:45 GMT on Wednesday.

About 45 minutes later, two Eastleigh men, aged 34 and 36, were arrested on suspicion of robbery.

They remain in custody, police said.

New school plan abandoned

Plans to build a new £8m school in Theale have been halted.

West Berkshire Council says it's given up on the idea because of difficulties securing land needed for the site from Theale Parish Council.

It says the parish's decision on whether to "relinquish its lease on vital land" has been subject to "continued delays".

West Berkshire Council will now be looking to provide extra school places elsewhere

Police commissioner reacts to begging crackdown call

BBC Radio Berkshire

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Simply moving on beggars from Windsor will not address homelessness in the area, according to the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley.

Anthony Stansfeld's comments come after he was asked to tackle the issue by Simon Dudley, who leads Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council.

Mr Stansfeld told BBC Radio Berkshire: "It's not as easy as putting them in a police van and dumping them in Southall, or somewhere, it's much more complicated than that."

But Mr Stansfeld accepted begging and vagrancy was always a problem in areas where there are tourists and says similar issues exist in Oxford.

Island hovercraft service suspended

Hovercraft crossings between Southsea and Ryde have been stopped due to adverse weather conditions.

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Dorset chef takes a stand against racist trolls online
Dorset Police said it was still investigating the claims by Jean Daniel Francois.