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  1. Updates on Wednesday 27 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Alex Regan

All times stated are UK

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Our news coverage through the day

Alex Regan

South Online

That's all from BBC Local Live for today.

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

Tonight's TV: Leaked report reveals NHS managers knew of Oxford care unit failings

South Today

Tonight on South Today at 18:30 we have exclusive access to a leaked report revealing that NHS managers knew about failings at an Oxford care unit, 10 months before a teenager drowned in a bath.

Connor Sparrowhawk
Sara Lee

Also we discuss the controversial decision to provide fewer beds at the new Townlands Hospital in Henley. 

Finally we will find out how Oxfordshire students are learning about the dangers on farms, from handling livestock to operating machinery. 

Tonight's weather: Scattered showers and freezing temperatures

BBC Weather

There will be some scattered showers moving in this evening with a few sunny spells. 

Temperatures will go down significantly this evening with lows of 0C and frost across the county. 

Weather update 27 April

Tomorrow will start off cold with some more sunny spells but cloud will approach as we move into the afternoon. 

Sport headlines: Oxford United's final away game sells out

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

Here are this afternoon's sports headlines from BBC Oxford Sport: 

  • Oxford United fans are getting behind the club after tickets for their final away game at Wycombe sell out
  • Oxford Rugby League could be set for an away game in Canada in 2017 after Toronto Wolfpack, a newly-formed club, agreed to join the UK's third-tier
  • Oxford United Women hope to either draw or win against Yeovil this evening after three pointless matches 

Latest headlines: New cycle rent scheme comes to Oxford

Alex Regan

South Online

  • People in Oxford who don't own a bicycle are able to rent one from a neighbour as part of a brand new scheme
  • Network Rail wants to install a culvert as part of a £17.5m package of work to limit the impact of future flooding on the line at Hinksey
  • An man from Oxford's been charged with two counts of exposure in connection with incidents that happened on 22 March in Woodcote and Whitchurch, Aylesbury  

Airmen leap from plane as part of new trial of military freefall parachuting

Oxford Mail

Airmen boldly leapt from high in the sky during a successful new trial of military freefall parachuting.  

Travel latest: Two-car collision on A34 causing tailbacks

BBC Travel

  • A two-car crash on the A34 northbound between Weston-on-the-Green and M40 junction 9 is blocking one lane and causing tailbacks
  • A lorry on the A40 London Road is blocking a lane heading towards the Headington roundabout

CCTV images released after woman sexually assaulted on train

The British Transport Police has released images of a man it wants to speak to in connection with a sexual assault that occurred on a train between Oxford and Reading. 

A 23-year-old woman was assaulted on 9 April between 18:35 and 19:00 by a man, who appeared to be drunk.   

British Transport Police CCTV
British Transport Police

A man sat next to the woman, made some inappropriate comments and sexually assaulted her after blocking the woman from leaving her seat. 

Oxford hospital to celebrates 20 years of orthotics centre

Headington's Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre recently celebrated 20 years since the opening of the Tebbit Centre. 

The centre has provided devices to help people with muscular and skeletal issues since 1996.

Nuffield Orthopaedic Cenre

To celebrate 20 years, staff at hospitals across Oxford were invited to demonstrations on orthotics and rehabilitation engineering, as well as 3D gait analysis.

Man charged with shoplifting from four chemists and a supermarket

A man from Steventon has been charged with allegedly burgling four chemists and shoplifting from a supermarket.

Oxford Crown Court

Craig Ralphs, 39, of Hanney Road, will appear at Oxford Crown Court on 27 May in relation to burglaries at chemists in Eynsham, Woodstock and Abingdon between 12 April and 25 April, and an incident of shoplifting at a Tesco in Abingdon on 21 April.

Police seek boy over assault of girls on Bicester bus

Police have released images of a boy they wish to speak to in connection with an alleged assault on a bus in Bicester. 

Two girls aged between 11 and 12 were assaulted on the S5 bus on Saturday between 16:55 and 17:15. 

Boy on bus in Bicester
Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police has not elaborated on the alleged offence, which happened as the bus was travelling between Manorsfield Road, Bicester and Ploughley Road, Ambrosden.

New cycle rental scheme begins in Oxford

A new scheme where bike owners can rent out their cycles has begun today in Oxford. 

The initiative, called, allows locals to rent their bikes to anyone visiting the city.

Cycling in Oxford
Getty Images

Founder Agne Milukaite said the company can provide insurance to bike owners in case of accidental damage. 

Watch Pop-up Opera perform for Nick Piercey in the BBC Oxford studio

Dog fouling cut by 51% after council campaign in Oxford

Dog fouling in two areas of Oxford has reduced by 51% after a two-week campaign to educate dog owners on cleaning up after their pets. 

Councillors and city officers spent two weeks talking to dog walkers and handing out dog bags around Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. 

Dog fouling bin

Instances of dog fouling reduced from 39 to 24. 

Most dog owners are responsible and pick up after their pets but hopefully we reminded some of those that hadn't been doing so about their responsibilities.

David GrowcottOxford City Council neighbourhood locality officer

Travel update: Queuing traffic in roadworks area at Peartree interchange

BBC Travel

  • Currently there is the usual queueing traffic on the A40 in both directions towards the Cutteslowe roundabout
  • There is slow traffic on the A44 Woodstock Road from the A34 at Peartree interchange to Wolvercote
  • In Abingdon there is slow traffic on Ock Street in both directions between Drayton Road and the A34 Marcham interchange

'Dangers of farming' taught to agricultural students

Oxfordshire's Abingdon and Witney College has begun teaching agriculture students about the dangers of farming. 

Farmer James Chapman has been speaking to students about his own experiences, including an incident where he lost his left arm. 

Abingdon and Witney College

I was asked to use a machine that wasn't safe, and I became entangled in a rotating shaft which was unguarded. It sucked me up and spat me out the other side, minus my left arm.

James ChapmanFarm Safety Foundation

Mum’s hiking mission for Didcot charity that helped family out of debt

Oxfordshire Guardian

A mum in "dire straits" 10 years ago is hiking 87 miles in silence to raise money for the charity that supported her out of crushing financial debt.  

Decision on part of £17.5m flood prevention on Hinksey rail line to be made

BBC Radio Oxford

Proposals to make train tracks near Hinksey in Oxford more resilient to flooding will be discussed in public, after requests from councillors. 

Network Rail has submitted plans to build a culvert - a structure that allows water to flow under a rail track - as part of £17.5m proposals to limit the impact of flooding in Hinksey. 

Network Rail

Network Rail hopes that it can begin work on the plans in July, when it has proposed closing the line for 16 days. 

Listen back: Simplified Shakespeare and Eurovision on Kat Orman

Today BBC Oxford's Kat Orman spoke to Clare Roberts, who is simplifying some of Shakespeare's works to make them more understandable for children.   

Also former contestants of The Voice Joe and Jake talk about preparing for this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

What happens to marshmallows when you put them in a vacuum?

Woman jailed for two years after harrassing bus driver across county

Oxford Times

A woman who harassed a bus driver by lying in wait at bus stops on his route then threatening him has been jailed for two years.  

Junior doctors strike: Staff walk out for second day in a row

Rahil Sheikh

BBC News Oxford

Junior doctors have continued the second day of an unprecedented strike nationwide today as a result of the Department for Health's attempts to impose a new contract on clinicians. 

Medics at the John Radcliffe Hospital have also walked out of emergency care services and many are stationed outside the Headington hospital.  

Junior doctors strike

What we want is to make sure this contract is not imposed as we don't believe it's safe for patients or fair for doctors. We want the government to come back and negotiate with us to stop the strike, none of us want to be here.

Junior doctorJohn Radcliffe Hospital

Oxfordshire health costs 'to rise faster than budget'

Marcus Liddell

BBC Radio Oxford

The costs of Oxfordshire's health services are set to grow at a faster rate than the budget for providing them, according to the commissioning body the CCG.

John Radcliffe Hospital

This year the money available to the county's clinical commissioning group rose by around 7.5%, but next year the increase will be 2%.  

We've gone from a very large increase, to something that will now only cover inflation. In the NHS, our costs always run above the national inflation rates, so it will be very challenging [to budget] next year.

David SmithChief executive, Oxfordshire CCG

Lunchtime TV: Coming up on South Today

South Today

On South Today this lunchtime at 13:30 we will look at claims that board members at an under-fire health trust knew about health and safety concerns before a man drowned in a bath. 

Also, patients are staying away from A&E as doctors strike for a second day across the country. 

Skippy the lamb

And on the lighter side of the news, we'll speak to a farmer who has knitted Skippy the bald lamb a fluffy jacket. 

Sports latest: Oxford United women 'have to do their best'

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

  • Oxford United women's coach Les Taylor has said the team has to do their best to get their first points of the season, after losing three games
  • Banbury will play Taunton on Bank Holiday Monday in the play-off final after beating Winchester 1-0 in the semi final last night
  • Oxford United's final game of the season against Wycombe Wanderers has now sold out 

Weather: Possibility of heavy showers this afternoon

BBC Weather

Some showers will push in through to the afternoon, with the potential of being quite heavy and the possibility of hail and snow on higher ground. 

Weather update 27 April

Temperatures will struggle in the north-westerly wind, with some areas creeping up to double figures and highs of 10C. 

Afternoon headlines: Man charged in connection with Chipping Norton stabbing

Alex Regan

South Online

Connor Sparrowhawk death: Shadow minister for mental health 'shocked' by report

Serena Martin

BBC Radio Oxford

The shadow minister for mental health has called a leaked report into health and safety at an Oxford unit "shocking" and "incredibly distressing". 

Labour MP Luciana Berger commented on the report, which shows concerns were raised about safety at Slade House 10 months before 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk drowned at the facility in 2013. 

Luciana Berger

I think it's absolutely shocking and reading the report... it's incredibly concerning that so many different issues were mentioned in this mock inspection [before] Connor lost his life.

Luciana BergerShadow mental health secretary

Oxford man charged over 'exposure'

An Oxford man will appear in court after being charged in connection with two counts of exposure. 

Michael Hook, 43, of Centaury Place, was charged on Monday over two incidents on 22 March in Woodcote and Whitchurch, Aylesbury.  

Lady Justice
Getty Images

He will appear at Oxford Magistrates' Court on 31 May.  

Amorous horse Angelos rescued by firefighters after unsuccessful leap over gate

Witney Gazette

Angelos the horse had to be rescued by a team of firefighters after he took an unsuccessful leap of faith over a gate in a desperate attempt to reach two mares.

At least 43 revenge porn cases in Thames Valley in past year

Phil Mercer

BBC Radio Oxford

There have been 43 reported cases of revenge porn in the Thames Valley since a law against the practice came into force in 2015. 

Revenge Porn

About 12% of cases led to an alleged perpetrator being charged, but no action was taken in half of the cases reported to police.   

AirBNBs rise by 113% in Oxford

The number of rooms being rented in Oxford through website AirBNB has risen by 113%, according to figures in the last year.

Jericho terraces
Getty Images

But members of the Bed and Breakfast Association have warned that users of the website need to obey regulations, after a garden room rented through the website was found to breach planning rules. 

AirBNB says it provides extensive advice on health and safety for users.   

The regulators are way behind the times. They are not currently inspecting properties from websites like AirBNB. If you let property through a website... AirBNB certainly don't check and say they're not responsible for safety.

David WestonBed and Breakfast Association

Mid-morning headlines: MP comments on leaked Southern Health report

Alex Regan

South Online

  • Labour's shadow minister for mental health Luciana Berger has said a leaked report into health and safety at a unit where a man drowned is "incredibly concerning"
  • A 44-year-old man from Deddington has been charged in connection with a stabbing of a woman in her 70s in Chipping Norton on Monday
  • Junior doctors across Oxfordshire are staging a second walk-out today without providing emergency cover

Connor Sparrowhawk death: Southern Health responds to leaked report

The NHS trust which ran a unit where a man drowned in a bath has responded to a leaked report that raised concerns about patient safety 10 months prior to his death. 

Connor Sparrowhawk died in 2013 after drowning during an epileptic fit at Slade House, Oxford, which was operated by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. 

Katrina Percy
Chief executive of the trust Katrina Percy has refused calls to resign

Southern Health said an action plan had been put in place to address the issues but added that it "fully accepts that these had not all been completed at the time of Connor’s death in July 2013".  

Doctors begin second day of strike in Oxfordshire

Man charged over Chipping Norton stabbing

A man has been charged in connection with a stabbing in Chipping Norton on Monday. 

Steven Williams, 44, of Wilborn Close, Deddington, has been charged with one count of wounding and will appear at Banbury Magistrates' Court today. 

Hailey Avenue, Chipping Norton

A woman in her 70s was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital on Monday after sustaining stab wounds in a house in Hailey Avenue and remains in a stable condition. 

Connor Sparrowhawk death: Leaked document to be handed to police

The mother of Connor Sparrowhawk, who drowned in a bath at an NHS unit in Oxford, thinks leaked information could lead to a corporate manslaughter charge against Southern Health NHS trust.

Connor died in 2013 at Slade House and his mum Dr Sara Ryan has said she will ask Thames Valley Police to look at the document.   

Sara Ryan

We're going to ask the police to have a look at it, as it seems to provide a missing link to the board and the chief executive which they couldn't find when they first investigated. Hopefully that will lead to a corporate manslaughter charge.

Dr Sara RyanCampaigner and mother of Connor Sparrohawk

Connor Sparrowhawk death: NHS Trust 'knew of failings'

Dave Gilyeat

BBC News

An NHS trust knew of failings at a care unit 10 months before a teenager drowned in a bath there, the BBC has learned.

Connor Sparrowhawk

A leaked 2012 review found staff did not feel Slade House, Oxford, was safe and that it was dirty and difficult to track the care of patients at the unit.  

Connor Sparrowhawk, 18, died at the site in July 2013 after drowning in a bath during an epileptic fit.