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Summary

  1. Updates from across the West of England on Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight to all in the West

That's it from us. We'll be back tomorrow from 7am with all the latest news, travel and weather throughout the day.

Before we go here's the weather forecast for Thursday and it looks like it's getting cold again.

Heated blankets at the ready!

Watch: Very cold overnight with daytime highs of 4C tomorrow

Electrocuted scaffolder has second hand amputated

A father of baby twins who suffered a severe electric shock in Swindon has now had both hands and a leg amputated to help him survive. 

Jamie Mines, who's 33, was working as a scaffolder when it happened just before Christmas. 

A fundraising campaign set up by the community in his home town of Frome to support him and his young family has now raised more than £30,000.

Watch: Jamie Mines' friend Billy Wright says he is a popular semi-professional footballer in the local area
Hospital admissions (not sure which hospital in the West region)

Six out of seven hospitals in Bristol, Bath and Somerset say they're struggling with emergency admissions following the New Year.

Read more

Treatment at last for man with anorexia

Last month we brought you the story of Simon Rickards from Cheltenham, who used to weigh well over 20 lbs but developed anorexia after trying extreme dieting.

Simon was desperately awaiting the news that he could be treated at an eating disorder clinic as he had been waiting for over 10 weeks due to lack of spaces for men.

Watch: A Cheltenham man gives an insight into what it's like being anorexic

Well now Simon is getting some help in Bristol, he says "to improve my medical state".  

He posted on social media to say he would be in a clinic for a short period and although it's not a long-term solution he'll be "safer".

View more on twitter
Jens Hegeler

Bristol City sign midfielder Jens Hegeler from Hertha Berlin and Bosnia-Herzegovina striker Milan Djuric from Cesena.

Read more

Garage's pride in Donald Trump's old limo

Watch: See inside Donald Trump's old car which is now at a garage in Gloucester

A limousine that used to belong to US President-elect Donald Trump now belongs to a Gloucestershire mechanic.

Craig Eyres bought the then derelict car eight years ago - but said he knew nothing of the limousine's history at the time.

The now-restored 1980s limo features a bar with a drinks dispenser, video player, fax machine and mobile phone.

Nearly 30 cars targeted in city vandalism spate

Police in Bath are investigating after almost 30 vehicles were found with their windows smashed on Wednesday morning.

Most cars appear to have been ransacked before items such as loose change, sweets, audio cables and a sat nav were stolen.

There were 12 damaged along Weston Road, with five in Warminster Road, four in Bathwick Hill and three in Mill Lane. 

Three more vehicles were damaged in Sydney Road, Lansdown Grove and Bathampton Lane.

BreakingSecond man charged with Mohammed Abdurezek's murder

A second man has been charged with the murder of 31-year-old Mohammed Abdurezek.

Mohammed’s body was found in undergrowth off Gibbs Lane in Siston on Christmas Eve. He had suffered multiple stab wounds.

Abdiwahab Abdulahi, aged 22, of no fixed address, will appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

Karl Cullen, 42, of no fixed address, was charged with murder earlier today and is due to appear at the same hearing.  

Mohammed Abdurezek
Avon and Somerset Police

Test your Concorde knowledge with our quiz

As we've been reporting - Points West celebrates its 60th birthday this year and to mark their diamond anniversary celebrities with West Country connections have been invited to be guest reporters. 

In tonight's programme the Bristol actor Joe Sims, perhaps best known for his role as Nige, the creepy plumber in the ITV drama Broadchurch, went behind the scenes of the new aviation museum in South Gloucestershire.

The museum opens this summer with the star attraction being the West's most iconic aircraft, Concorde. 

As a special treat for Local Live viewers we've put together this quiz about Concorde, how many can you answer?

Watch: How much do you know about Concorde?

PC sacked over unpaid train ticket

Northamptonshire police headquarters sign
BBC

A police officer has been sacked for failing to pay for a rail ticket that would have cost about £15.50.

PC Frances Tilley admitted she had "destroyed her career" after evading payment for a journey between Bristol Temple Meads station and Castle Cary in Somerset last June.

The officer was travelling with friends and didn't buy a ticket for the final leg of her journey. 

She was dismissed for gross misconduct.

Five hospitals struggling to cope with patient demand at A&E

Watch: Yeovil District Hospital is one hospital on the highest possible alert and bosses say it's exceptionally busy

Five hospitals in the West are struggling to cope after being inundated with patients. 

The Bristol Royal Infirmary, the Bristol Children's Hospital, Southmead, Weston General and Yeovil District Hospital are now on the highest possible alert and asking people not to go to A&E unless their conditions are life-threatening. 

They're also having to consider cancelling non-emergency operations.  

Urgent care bosses are encouraging people to choose the appropriate service for their needs and only using A&E for serious and life-threatening emergencies.

First Yeovil-built helicopter delivered to coastguard

Hampshire's Coastguard base is to take delivery of the first of 11 new helicopters being given to five bases across the UK.  

The £20m Leonardo AW189 - built in Yeovil, Somerset - is the first of two that will operate from Lee-on-the-Solent, near Portsmouth.  

The aircraft will conduct training missions in the coming months before starting operational duties in April. 

Bristow Helicopters, which operates the UK search and rescue (SAR) helicopter service on behalf of HM Coastguard, has been flying training missions to prepare for the aircraft entering service. 

AW189 coastguard helicopter
HM Coastguard

The 11 AW189s have been specially fitted for UK SAR operations:

  • Capacity - six seated plus two stretchered casualties
  • 300ft twin hoist with a maximum load of 600lbs
  • Rear cabin folds down from the roof, leaving the floor clear of obstructions
  • Maximum speed - 169 knots
  • Cruising speed - 145 knots
  • Range - 200 nautical miles

Stars (and planes) by night over north Bristol

With the appearance of Venus in the night skies recently we've been challenging you to come up with some great night photos.

Martin O'Neill has supplied us with this corker.

He had to open the lens for more than four hours to show the stars "move" through the rotation of the Earth.

You can also see some planes flying overhead too.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Man charged after fire destroys classrooms

A man has been charged with starting a fire at a school in Warminster this morning. Edward Beavis, aged 34, of no fixed abode, has been charged with arson and criminal damage following the fire at The Avenue School. He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Salisbury Magistrates' Court tomorrow morning.

Burnt remains of the building
BBC

BreakingAvian flu detected at Slimbridge

Four cases of avian flu have been detected at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) Slimbridge in Gloucestershire.

The news confirms that the influenza strain H5N8, which only affects birds, is in the West of England. In December, a wigeon was found dead in Somerset as a result of the virus.

DEFRA has announced that restrictions brought in to protect birds have been extended until the end of February.

In a statement, WWT Slimbridge told the BBC that the low number of cases is good as it means the wetlands centre is not a "source" of the virus.

duck with ducklings
PA

It is not unexpected, the current European outbreak has now been found in all parts of Great Britain. We're providing a local early warning system, looking hard for it on our 670 acre reserve, and sending dead birds to the government for testing. This strain of bird flu has never transferred to humans, the public risk is considered to be very low. The key thing is to protect local birds by stopping anyone inadvertently transporting the disease on footwear, hands or equipment.

Peter MorrisSpokesperson, WWT Slimbridge

MIssing man found

Earlier we told you about Duncan Fieldhouse, the 55-year-old was missing from his home in Bridgwater, Somerset.

We've been told by the police that Duncan has now been found safe and well.

Duncan Fieldhouse
Avon & Somerset Police

Social media response after fire destroys school classrooms

Watch: See the damage caused by the fire

Avenue Primary School in Warminster is shut today following a fire which gutted two classrooms.

A 34-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and criminal damage.

Here's some of the comments posted in response on BBC Wiltshire's Facebook page:

  • Kathryn Moffatt: "So so sad, I'm sure it's quite a few thousands of pounds worth of damage, looks badly affected"
  • Christine Farley: "I feel so sorry for the children that have lost all their work because of the fire and the property it is a lovely school such a shame"
  • Clare Jones: "The poor teachers and children having lost all their work. The parents too, as many of them will now struggle will childcare whilst this is being sorted."  

BBC Points West 60: Back in 1971

Watch: John Craven reporting for BBC Points West in 1971

This year we're marking 60 years of BBC Points West - and today we're taking you back to 1971. 

A certain John Craven was reporting on the closure of the rail line between Taunton and Minehead. 

What would you like to see from the archive as we celebrate the diamond anniversary? 

Let us know by email.

Passengers feared stopped train was on fire

A train was delayed between Swindon and Bristol because of a mechanical fault which caused passengers to fear it was on fire.

Passengers on board tweeted that they were terrified by the incident while one person who spoke to us described the situation was "tense".

Matty told us that there was so much smoke that it was "like going through a cloud".

The smell was “really bad”, he added.

The service was stuck for around 30 minutes before slowly moving on to Bristol Parkway.

GWR confirmed the train was stopped outside of Hullavington due to the fault but that there were no reports of fire.

"After assessment the train continued to Swansea via Bristol Parkway and Cardiff," a spokesman said.

View more on twitter

Police appeal after house set on fire in Bath

Search continues for missing woman

View more on twitter

Police are becoming "increasingly concerned" for the welfare of Susan Weston, from Chippenham, who has gone missing.

The 58-year-old, from Cepen Park South, has not been seen since lunchtime on Monday.

Wiltshire Police said the CCTV picture shows the clothes Mrs Weston was wearing when she was last seen.

BreakingMan charged with murder over death of Mohammed Abdurezek

Mohammed Abdurezek
Avon and Somerset Police

A man has been charged with the murder of Mohammed Abdurezek.

Mohammed’s body was found on Christmas Eve in undergrowth off Gibbs Lane in Siston, South Gloucestershire. He had suffered multiple stab wounds.

Karl Cullen, 42, of no fixed address, has been charged with murder and is due to appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court tomorrow. 

A second man, aged in his twenties, remains in custody while a third man was released on police bail yesterday.

Don't ring 999 if you miss the school bus...

Sheltered housing to be demolished in £23m regeneration project for Swindon

Watch: Queen's Drive will benefit from a £23m regeneration project

Queen's Drive, a major gateway into Swindon, is to benefit from a £23m regeneration project - and building could start in 12 months’ time. 

Under the plans, 122 non-traditionally built council homes will be demolished and replaced with 160 new modern properties along Queens Drive. 

George Gay Gardens is one of the sheltered housing blocks to go. 

Resident Leslie Jones, 86, says he doesn't want to leave as he has been happy there but understands he has to and will be happy to move if the accommodation he is offered is acceptable.

Rugby: Bristol's Tusi Pisi handed two-week ban for aerial tackle

Tusi Pisi in action
Rex Features

Bristol centre Tusi Pisi has been handed a two-week suspension for his aerial tackle on Worcester stand-off Jamie Shillcock in their Boxing Day meeting at Ashton Gate.

Pisi was sent off by referee Wayne Barnes in the 14th minute of Bristol's 28-20 win over their fellow strugglers.

The 34-year-old Samoan pleaded guilty to tackling Shillcock in the air.

Having already missed the 24-23 New Year's Day win at Sale, he now also misses Saturday's trip to Northampton,

Click here for more.

Car fire caught on camera from Broadway Tower

Glorious skies over suspension bridge last night

Costa award for Salisbury-based author

Keggie Carew has received the Costa biography award for Dadland, an exploration of her late father's past.

The Salisbury-based author said it was "wonderful to know" that people were responding to her work "in the way I had hoped".

"2017 could not have started with better news," she said in a statement. 

"Dad would have been amazed."

More on the other winners.

View more on twitter

Bath College closed to students but staff should report for duty

Bath College
Google

Bath College says it is closed to all students today after a flood affected some of its computer systems.

A message on the college's website said the closure affected all of its sites but added students should check back later for further updates. 

College staff are being asked to turn up as usual.

View more on twitter

Did you see the glorious sunset over Bristol last night?

Arson arrest after fire at primary school

Fire at Avenue Primary School in Warminster
BBC

A 34-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and criminal damage after a fire broke out at a primary school.

Wiltshire Police said it began at 03:20 GMT at the Avenue Primary School in Warminster, Wiltshire.

Nobody was injured but the school will remain closed while the extent of the damage is assessed, a spokesman said.

Missing appeal for Bridgwater man with learning difficulties

Duncan Fieldhouse
Avon and Somerset Police

A man with learning difficulties has gone missing from his home in Bridgwater, Somerset, sparking a police appeal to help find him.

Duncan Fieldhouse, 55, from Broomfield, was last seen on Tuesday morning.

Avon and Somerset Police said he "may appear confused or distraught" and think he could be in the areas of Enmore, Broomfield or Spaxton.

We are growing increasingly concerned for Duncan’s welfare. It is unusual for him to be away from home for this length of time and he is likely to be confused or frightened. I would urge anyone living in these locations to go and check sheds, outbuildings and gardens for any sign of Duncan.

DI Lindsay Shearlock

The West county's local newspaper headlines

Southmead Hospital warns of delays in Emergency Department

Behind the scenes at Concorde's new home

Watch: Actor and guest reporter Joe Sims reports for BBC Points West

Bristolian actor Joe Sims loved being BBC Points West's first guest reporter of 2017. 

He was helping out as celebrations begin to mark the programme’s 60th birthday.

The lucky chap has had a sneaky look behind the scenes at Aerospace Bristol, which will be the new home of Concorde 216 from later this year.

Severe accident: M5 Bristol northbound

BBC Travel

M5 Bristol northbound severe accident, at J16 for A38.

M5 Bristol - M5 lane closed on exit slip road northbound at J16, A38 (Aztec West), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Carol Vorderman lends support to get last Dambuster honoured

View more on twitter

George "Johnny" Johnson, 95, says any honour he gets will be dedicated to crews who died during bombing raids.

Friends of his have criticised the honours system after he was left off this year's list. 

Click here for more.

RSPCA concern after buzzard killed in Somerset

Watch: RSPCA concern after buzzard shot near playground

Wildlife experts say they're concerned with the amount of animal and bird shootings in Somerset. 

It comes after a buzzard was killed over the new year. 

The RSPCA believes it was shot with an air rifle near a playground in Chedzoy, near Bridgwater.