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Summary

  1. Updates from Tuesday 20 February

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Good evening

That's all from BBC South Live for today.

The service will resume at 08:00 on Tuesday.

You can still get in touch with us using our Oxford,Hampshire,Dorset, and Berkshire Facebook pages, or via our Twitter accounts: @BBC_Hampshire, @BBCDorset, @BBCBerkshire and @BBCOxford.

Man arrested on suspicion of murdering wife

A man from Dorset has been arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife who he reported missing as the newlyweds sailed off the coast of Cuba, the FBI announced.

Lewis Bennett, 41, from Poole, was arrested on suspicion of second degree murder in a Miami court on Tuesday where he was to be sentenced for smuggling stolen coins during the voyage in May from which he was rescued alone.

In a court document, FBI Special Agent James Kelley said the bureau believes Bennett "knowingly and unlawfully killed" Isabella Hellmann, the mother of his child.

Dorset's zigzag path repairs to get funding

A cliff path from Highcliffe Castle to a Dorset beach should be given extra funding for reconstruction work to make it safe again, a taskforce has recommended.

The zigzag path near Christchurch was closed by the borough council in March last year because of safety fears.

Having originally voted not to proceed with rebuilding, members reviewed the decision and commissioned consulting engineers, AECOM, to refine their designs.

The task force says £239,500 should be set aside to allow the path to be rebuilt. The total budget now being requested is £884,500 rather than the original estimate of £1,250,000.

Zigzag path
Kenneth Goodwin

Two jailed after Xmas present burglary

Joe Nimmo

BBC South

Oxford Crown Court
BBC
Matthew Webb and Daniel Webb were sentenced to 10 months in prison by Judge Ian Pringle

Two brothers have been jailed for 10 months for handling £2,000 of presents stolen in Oxford on Christmas Eve.

Five bin bags of wrapped gifts, toys, and clothes were taken from a house in Walton Street on 24 December 2017.

Daniel Webb, 34, and Matthew Webb, 36, both of no fixed address, denied burglary but admitted handling stolen goods.

A prosecutor said about a quarter of the presents were found in a tent where they lived on 4 January.

Judge Ian Pringle said it would have been "blindingly obvious" the items were stolen Christmas gifts.

Schools to merge after vote of confidence

The merger of two schools in Sandhurst, Berkshire, has been approved after more than 70% of people surveyed agreed with the plan.

College Town Infant and Junior schools will be joined to create one primary school, which should be running by this September.

Bracknell Forest Council says it will provide better continuity of education and progression for pupils.

College Town Junior School
Google

Panel reviews maternity downgrade

Horton protest outside the Examination Schools, Oxford
BBC
Campaigners have fought against the changes to maternity services in Banbury

An expert panel has completed a review of controversial changes to maternity services at Horton General Hospital in Banbury and filed recommendations.

It was examining the decision to permanently change the Horton’s maternity department from a consultant led unit to a midwife led one last summer.

The move, by Oxfordshire Clinicial Commission Group, was referred to health secretary Jeremy Hunt after a council committee said it was not in the “best interests" of residents.

Mr Hunt passed the matter to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel and health minister Steve Brine said he would consider its advice and recommendations in the next few days.

Man cleared of rape near nightclub

Joe Nimmo

BBC South

Atik nightclub in Oxford
Google
The attack was alleged to have happened close to Atik nightclub in Oxford

A man has been cleared of raping a woman after she left a nightclub in Oxford.

Suranga Wijethunga, of Speedwell Street, Oxford, denied a single count of rape during his trial at Oxford Crown Court.

The attack was alleged to have taken place in an alleyway near the Atik nightclub on Park End Street at about 02:00 BST on 17 June 2017.

A jury earlier found the 32-year-old not guilty after a seven-day trial.

Severe congestion: M25 Berkshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Berkshire clockwise severe congestion, at J15 for M4 affecting J13 for A30.

M25 Berkshire - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise at J15 M4. Congestion to J13, A30 (Staines).

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

Note

A disabled woman's mother was threatened with being reported "for illegal use of a blue badge space" despite having a valid permit.

Read more
David Beresford

The victim's Skoda Octavia collided with a Ford Transit van near Lymington.

Read more

Thousands cancel Oxfam donations over Haiti scandal

About 7,000 people have stopped making regular donations to Oxfam since it emerged some of its staff used prostitutes in Haiti, MPs have heard.

The boss of the Oxfordshire based charity, Mark Goldring, apologised to the International Development Committee for the damage done to people in Haiti and the wider efforts of aid workers.

He said 26 claims of sexual misconduct were made since the scandal broke.

Save the Children chief executive Kevin Watkins told MPs the charity had investigated 53 allegations in 2016.

Oxfam's Mark Goldring apologises to MPs over Haiti sex scandal

CCTV image of armed robber released

Thames Valley Police has released a CCTV image of a man they are hunting in connection with three robberies at convenience stores in Wendover, Marlow and Earley.

The man was armed with a machete and a hand gun in the incidents at the weekend.

Detective Inspector Jonathan Groenen said: "Thankfully no one was injured in any of the robberies however they caused distress to the victims."

He appealed for anyone with a dash cam who was driving past around the time of the incidents to check the footage and come forward.

TVP
Thames Valley Police

KFC says stores are starting to reopen

KFC
Reuters
Last week, the fried chicken chain switched its delivery contract to DHL, which has blamed "operational issues" for the supply disruption.

KFC says some of the outlets which had to close when delivery problems meant they ran out of chicken have reopened.

Latest figures show that 470 of the fast-food chain's 900 outlets in its UK-based division were shut as of 13:00 on Tuesday.

That compares with 575 that were closed at 21:00 on Monday.

Last week, the fried chicken chain switched its delivery contract to DHL, which has blamed "operational issues" for the supply disruption.

Across the South several branches remain closed.

Man jailed following stabbing in Poole

Rory John O’Leary, 21, from Poole, has been jailed for three years and three months after stabbing a man outside Munchies kebab shop on Old Orchard in Poole.

The victim, in his 20s,was treated in hospital for stab wounds to his forearm and arm pit.

O'Leary admitted charges of unlawful wounding, criminal damage, assaulting an officer in the execution of their duty, a racially aggravated public order offence and breaching a suspended prison sentence.

Detective Constable Jo Regan, of Bournemouth CID, said: “Rory O’Leary subjected his victim to a violent attack and it is fortunate the injuries sustained were not even more serious."

Old Orchard
Google

Fourteen arrested in avoiding justice probe

A Thames Valley Police probe has led to the arrest of 14 people on suspicion of evading justice and failing to appear at court.

Arrest attempts on 96 people were made between 30 January and 1 February across parts of Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire to locate a number of offenders.

Police tape
Getty Images

A total of 12 men and two women were located as a result of those enquiries, the force said.

They were facing a variety of offences which include assault, burglary and theft.

Child refugee numbers grow in the South

The number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children being supported by local authorities in the South has increased dramatically in the last few years.

Numbers have doubled in Berkshire and Oxfordshire from last year, with both areas taking care of more than 50 young people who come mainly from Eritrea, Albania and Afghanistan.

The six council's in Dorset and Hampshire, meanwhile, provided care for 40 children in 2013, but that number has grew to 180 in 2017.

Refugees
Getty Images
Conflicts elsewhere in the world are seen as the main reason for the rise
Oxford United midfielder Joe Rothwell

Oxford United's Joe Rothwell faces several weeks on the sidelines with his second hamstring injury of the year.

Read more

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe disruption, between J10 for A329 and J11 for A33.

M4 Berkshire - Slow traffic on M4 westbound between J10 A329(M) Wokingham and J11, A33 (Reading), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

School closed after rodents spotted

A school in Hampshire has been closed for the day after rodents were spotted on the premises last night.

Ringwood Church of England Infants school says the move is a precaution while the situation is investigated,.

Ringwood school
Google
The rodents were spotted at Ringwood Church of England Infants school

The school's headteacher, Hillary Silk, says the school will "be keeping parents and staff informed of the situation."

She added: "We will reopen the school as soon as we have confirmed that it is safe to do so.”

University staff to strike over pensions

Staff from Reading, Oxford and Southampton universities will go on strike on Thursday as part of a wave of strikes hitting 64 universities across the UK in a row over pensions.

More than 64,000 pupils are expected to be affected by the industrial action over the three sites, which will see 14 days of strikes over a four-week period, beginning with a five-day walkout this week.

Oxford Uni
BBC
Oxford University say that students should attend teaching and exams as usual

Staff from Oxford Brookes University and Southampton Solent University are not affected.

Man released without charge over stabbing

A man has been released without charge over the stabbing of a 20-year-old man found in a Portsmouth street.

The man from Birmingham was found in a "serious condition" in Middle Street shortly before midnight on Saturday.

Middle Street
BBC
Police said the man was found in Middle Street

A 21-year-old man from London was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, but no further action will be taken, police said.

Police have appealed for anyone who "saw anything suspicious" to come forward.

The victim remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Royal wedding brings Americans to Windsor

Businesses and homeowners are cashing in on the impending royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle by renting out their vantage points for six-figure sums to American media organisations wanting a glimpse of the procession.

If you have a room in WIndsor, American news companies may come calling

Basingstoke body: Footage from scene

Statement released from bridges

(Unofficially of course).

Delays on Reading Bridge are causing a few problems this morning. It is causing what you might call 'a right old snarl up'.

There are significant queues going in and out of Caversham in every direction because of temporary lights.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Basingstoke murder: Police appeal

We are still in the very early stages of this investigation. I would appeal to anyone who was in the area early this morning or who knows anything about this incident to contact us as soon as possible.

Det Ch Insp Liz WilliamsHampshire police

Basingstoke murder: Heavy police presence

More and more police officers have been turning up recently to this council-run park. It's the kind of place that people walk their dogs, it is next to a school. Officers have been here throughout the night, and will continue to investigate it during the day.

Chris BrowningBBC Radio Berkshire on the scene

BreakingBasingstoke body: Murder investigation launched

Police in Basingstoke have launched a murder investigation after a body was discovered in a park this morning.

Officers were called to Russell Howard Park in South Ham, Basingstoke, at 01:21 GMT following reports of a body being found.

Hampshire Police have added that officers will remain at the scene this morning carrying out enquiries.

Basy 1
BBC
Pictures from the scene show a heavy police presence

Tuesday's sport headlines

  • This evening Reading face Nottingham Forest in the Championship, Portsmouth take on Fleetwood in League One, while in the National League Maidenhead host Eastleigh
  • Former Portsmouth manager Paul Cook masterminded Wigan's FA Cup fifth round victory against Manchester City last night. They will face Southampton in the quarter-final
  • Maidenhead-born ice dancer Penny Coombes finished 11th in the Winter Olympics, alongside partner Nick Buckland, 20 months after shattering her knee and being told she would never compete again
Watch Penny Coombes and Nick Buckland's dance
View more on twitter

BreakingBody discovered in Basingstoke park

The body of a man was been discovered in a Basingstoke park in the early hours of this morning.

Investigating police say they're treating the death as suspicious.

Russell Howard Park
Google

Hampshire Police officers were called at 01:21 GMT this morning after reports of a body being found in Russell Howard Park in the town.

The force added that enquiries are on-going.

This is normally a quiet residential area, but this morning it is not. There are about a dozen police vehicles here, with more coming and going. Two officers were dressed head-to-toe in white forensic gear, and carrying cameras, taking photographs of the scene here.

Chris BrowningBBC Radio Berkshire

Severe accident: A303 Hampshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

A303 Hampshire eastbound severe accident, at A34 affecting A3093.

A303 Hampshire - A303 in Lower Bullington blocked and stationary traffic eastbound at Bullington Cross, because of an accident involving lorry and a motor cyclist. Congestion to Andover Walworth Park turn off.

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

Here's your weather

Lucy Martin, our weather doctor this morning, has an excellent diagnosis today.

Lucy Martin has your weather

Southampton's ferry 'Dancing Man' is tourism superstar

A man who directs traffic on-and-off ferries has been nominated for a tourism superstar award.

Jim O'Reilly says he had an out-of-body experience that made him want to start dancing for motorists in Southampton.

Man who directs ferry traffic with dance nominated for award

Tuesday morning's headlines

  • The amount of unaccompanied child refugees seeking asylum in the South has grown dramatically in recent years. Numbers doubled in Berkshire and Oxfordshire in the last 12 months, and quadrupled in Hampshire and Dorset between 2013-17
  • Senior executives from Oxford-based charity Oxfam are to appear before MPs amid criticism over the way it handled claims of sexual misconduct by its staff in Haiti
  • Parking charge increases and a 3% council tax rise for Oxford have been voted through
  • A task force will today recommend that additional council funds be agreed to allow repair work to begin on the zig-zag path near Highcliffe
  • Seats on some of the new Great Western Railway trains running through Berkshire have been described as 'ironing boards' or being made of concrete

Well hello there

David Bowie once said that he would 'Love You Till Tuesday'. Well we are going one better and will love you right throughout the day.

We will be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from the South right to your screens until 18:00 GMT.

You can get in touch with us using our Oxford, Hampshire, Dorset, and Berkshire Facebook pages, or via our Twitter accounts: @BBC_Hampshire, @BBCDorset, @BBCBerkshire and @BBCOxford.