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Man jailed for abusing puppy

A man has been jailed for causing unnecessary suffering to a puppy, which led to the animal's death.

Callum Gerken, 27, of Woodfarm, Oxford, also sent voice clips to the owner of the 17-week-old Labrador, which amounted to malicious communications.

The dog suffered a broken jaw, fractured ribs and lacerations on the liver, which led to its death last month.

He admitted the offences at Oxford Magistrates’ Court earlier and was sentenced to 23 weeks in prison and ordered to pay £250 compensation and £1,000 in court costs.

Man robbed at knifepoint near shops

Police are hunting a man and a woman who assaulted and robbed a 39-year-old man in a night-time attack yesterday.

The victim was close to the shops in Barton, Oxford, when the pair assaulted him at about 00:45 BST.

While the man held a Stanley knife to his neck, the woman went through his possessions and stole tobacco, cash and a bank card.

Thames Valley Police want to hear from a taxi driver who is believed to have witnessed the incident and members of the public who were nearby.

Weather: Warm and sunny

A fine and warm day with a good deal of sunny spells. However, some scattered showers are also likely to develop this afternoon.

Maximum Temperature: 21°C.

Any showers will fade to leave it dry tonight with clear spells and light winds. A rather mild and humid night though with a minimum temperature of 9°C.

City centre nightclub's application to stay open longer turned down

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A gay club’s application to stay open longer in its new spot has been turned down because police said it could contribute to crime.

Plush, which has operated in Oxford for nine years, now operates in Frewin Court, off Cornmarket Street.

Thames Valley Police admitted its record was "exemplary" but said if it had been allowed to open until 04:00 on Fridays and Saturdays, it would only increase demand on stretched police in the city centre.

Plush was asking for the conditions of its licence in Park End Street to be carried over to its new venue. The spot the club is in now was formerly used by Purple Turtle nightclub, which closed in November 2018.

Alex Bloomfield, Thames Valley Police’s licensing officer, said: "We’re not solely talking about people getting drunk and getting into fights. We’re talking about people who, yes, might have consumed alcohol but also the likely increase of them being victims of crime as well as being the perpetrators."

Deaths from strokes halved, Oxford research suggests

GP checking a patient"s blood pressure

The rate of people dying from strokes decreased by 55% in a decade, according to a study published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal).

Researchers from the University of Oxford analysed data from almost 800,000 adults in England admitted to hospital between 2001 and 2010.

The authors said: "Our findings show that most of the reduction in stroke mortality is a result of improved survival of patients with stroke.

"However, acute and long-term management of such patients is expensive, and the NHS is already spending about 5% of its budget on stroke care.

"By focusing on prevention and reducing the occurrence of stroke, major resources can be conserved."

The study found that death rates from strokes decreased across all age groups. In men, overall death rates dropped from 140 per 100,000 people in 2001, to 74 per 100,000 people in 2010, and in women, from 128 per 100,000 to 72 per 100,000.

European elections 2019: Polls take place

Voters are heading to the polls for the European Parliament elections.

Seventy-three members, known as MEPs, will be elected in nine constituencies in England, and one each in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Each region has a different number of representatives based on its population, with 10 MEPs in the South East.

Polling stations in the UK are open from 07:00 until 22:00.

The results will be announced once all EU nations have voted, with the voting process expected to be completed by 22:00 on Sunday.

Weather: 'Mostly dry and sunny'

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

Councillor 'must choose' after winning two seats

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A councillor is being pressed to “make a decision” over the area he wants to represent after it emerged he has been elected both in Hampshire and Oxfordshire.

Liberal Democrats Tim Bearder was elected in November 2018 to represent Wheatley on Oxfordshire County Council.

But on 2 May this year he was also elected as West End South councillor at Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC).

He said he has also been serving as a parish councillor in West End since last November.

While the seats he won are more than 60 miles away, he said the distance has no effect on his work.

Tim Bearder
Liberal Democrats councillor Tim Bearder won two seats across Hampshire and Oxfordshire

Thames Valley knife crime at record level, crime data reveals

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Serious knife crime in the Thames Valley has hit its highest level since 2010, latest crime data shows.

Thames Valley Police recorded a total of 1,483 serious crimes involving knives in 2018.

That is up 19 percent on the previous year and the highest since 2010-11.

The crimes included eight homicides, 48 rape and sexual assault offences and 117 threats to kill across the policing area last year.

Thames Valley Police covers Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Man handling a knife
Knife crime in Thames Valley has reached record levels since 2010

Children as young as 10 targeted by drug dealers

Children as young as 10 are being targeted by county lines drug gangs in Oxfordshire, it has been revealed.

Oxfordshire County Council says it's supporting young people who are exploited by dealers looking sell drugs in small towns and rural areas.

Karen Hulston, a social worker, says there clear warning signs when a child is vulnerable to exploitation.

She added a sign was "changes in behaviour" where young people become "disruptive, because they are scare or upset".

University of Oxford promises quarter of places to poor

Louise Richardson
Oxford, along with other top universities, has faced claims of perpetuating privilege

University of Oxford is promising a "sea-change" in admissions, with plans for a quarter of students to come from disadvantaged backgrounds by 2023.

The university wants to tackle accusations that it is socially exclusive.

Oxford will soon announce that 60.5% of its most recent intake are from state schools - the highest since the 1970s.

But vice-chancellor Louise Richardson says she wants to "accelerate the pace at which we are diversifying".

Councillor elected to second seat in different county

Local Democracy Reporting Service

An Oxfordshire county councillor was also elected as as borough and parish councillor in Hampshire earlier this month, it has emerged.

Tim Bearder was elected to represent Wheatley in November and won a seat on Eastleigh Borough Council on 2 May.

The Liberal Democrat claimed his recent election was "not relevant" to his work in Oxfordshire. The seat is more than 70 miles away.

Mr Bearder, a former BBC Radio Oxford presenter, said he lived in both Oxford and Hampshire, spent half his time in both places and is able to carry out his duties as a councillor.

Tim Bearder

More trains on Stratford-upon-Avon - London Marylebone line

The number of direct trains between Stratford-upon-Avon and London Marylebone has more than doubled following the launch of the new Chiltern Railways timetable.

The number of direct trains in the week between London and Stratford, through Oxfordshire has now increased in both directions from three to six. There are also additional services on the weekend.

Chiltern train
Geoff Thompson

Weather: 'Cloudier and cooler'

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Man charged with knife-point robbery at Oxford Co-op

A man has been charged with possession of a bladed article and robbery after money was stolen from a convenience store in Oxford.

The 46-year-old from Corby, Northamptonshire, was charged with the offences following an incident on 5 May.

At a Co-op store on Iffley Road a knife was produced in front of staff and a quantity of cash was stolen, Thames Valley Police said.

He is due to appear at Oxford Crown Court on 31 May.

In pictures: Philip Pullman knighted

His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman has been knighted by Prince Charles in an investiture at Buckingham Palace.

The Oxford writer was given it in the New Year's honours list.

Philip Pullman knighted
Philip Pullman knighted
Philip Pullman
Getty Images

Pullman to receive knighthood

Philip Pullman

Oxford-based author Philip Pullman will be awarded his knighthood later.

The writer of the His Dark Materials trilogy was recognised in the New Year Honours for his services to literature.

At the time he said he was "very surprised and honoured" after being awarded a knighthood.

Mr Pullman is due to receive the honour alongside wildlife campaigner and presenter Chris Packham, who's been awarded an CBE.

It comes after a public appearance by Mr Packham in Lymington, Hampshire, was cancelled because of protests over his campaign on bird shooting in the New Forest.

The singer who brought the house down
Sam Pittick amazed the audience when he sang for Soundabout inclusive choir for the first time.

Staff shortages force hospital ward closure

Fulbrook Centre in Oxford

A community hospital ward in Oxford is to temporarily close because it does not have enough nurses.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust said City Community Hospital Ward - a 12-bed unit at the Fulbrook Centre at the Churchill Hospital site - would close at the end of the month.

It said the move was for "patient safety" because there were insufficient registered nursing staff to ensure safe staffing of the unit.

Girl, 16, punched unconscious by man

New Inn Hall Street in Oxford

A man punched a teenage girl in the face twice, knocking her out and leaving her with a deep cut, police have said.

The 16-year-old needed hospital treatment after she was involved in an altercation in New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, at about 17:30 on Sunday.

Police are appealing for information about the incident involving a white man in his 50s with dark brown hair and of large build, wearing a maroon polo shirt and light-coloured jacket.

Weather: Dry and sunny, but breezy

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

Wednesday will be dry and fine with a brisk east-southeasterly breeze making it feel less warm in coastal areas.

A change in the weather is on the way from Thursday, bringing a risk of showers.

Prince Harry meets patients at Oxford Children's Hospital
The Duke of Sussex met youngsters at Oxford Children's Hospital and was presented with the gift.