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That's all from the BBC News at Six, so it's goodbye from me
Welcome to BBC Points West with Alex Lovell and Sabet Choudhury.
Months of agony after being severely burnt by acid.
The family of a 29-year-old man talk exclusively about his pain
and suffering for 15 months after an alleged attack in Bristol.
Accusations of intimidation and neglect - the residents
in Bristol unhappy with the company managing their homes.
Calls for a change in the drugs policy -
could Bristol see a new clinic where addicts can inject
It will certainly rain tomorrow but the big question is will it snow? If
so, how much and where will it be? The forecast will come up later.
The family of a man who died after being maimed by acid have
spoken about the terrible pain he endured for 15 months.
More than three quarters of Mark Van Dongen's body was burnt
His father, who's Dutch, drove to see his 29-year-old son every
weekend while he was in Southmead hospital, before taking him
A woman's now awaiting trial charged in connection with the incident.
Our home affairs Correspondent, Charlotte Callen, has this exclusive
Barje wants us to remember his little brother Mark like this -
But his body had been ravaged by burns, disfigured beyond belief -
When you talked to you, how did he say he felt?
Mark was Dutch, but had lived in Bristol for six years,
studying at the university and then working.
It took the police nine days to tell his family he was in hospital.
The police say it was hard to trace his next of kin.
His father, Kees, speaks just a little English.
Mark's father drove from Belgium every weekend to be at his bedside.
He couldn't have a room in the hospital,
and with little money, he slept in this van.
In the end it was this Belgian businessman, Patric Derdeale,
who helped them, raising money to help pay for fuel
and for a private ambulance to take Mark home to his father.
Dutch expats in the UK have set up a JustGiving page to raise
money for the months of travel his family endured,
but they say the scars they have been left with will never heal.
And Charlotte Callen is with me now.
You've been following this very shocking and upsetting case.
It's obviously been extremely upsetting for this family.
The family are in pieces and Kees, Mark's father found it difficult
because he does not speak good English. When he was trying to talk
to doctors and police over those months, unless there was a
translator present he found it confusing. He was more comfortable
with a translator there. For the first few months well marked was in
intensive care he was allowed to stay at the hospital, but when moved
to the burns unit because of risk of infection and not having rooms, he
could not stay there any more. The father was dealing with driving a
long way from Belgium in between working there and finding he did not
have enough money to pay for a hotel. Both the police and hospital
say they tried to do everything they could for them and say they
contacted charities and also the Dutch Consulate.
What's happening in the ongoing police investigation?
A 46-year-old woman, Berlinah Wallace, was charged with offences
around throwing a corrosive liquid which he denies. The case was due to
go to the Crown Court in Bristol on Monday but after Mark died, it was
postponed and it will go to court in April.
A man in his 20s has died after being hit and dragged along
Avon Somerset Police were called to the junction of Creswicke Road
and Airport Road in Knowle West at around 9pm last night
after reports a man had been run over.
Police say a full investigation has been launched and a man
A group of residents in Bristol have accused a property management
company of neglect and attempts to intimidate them.
They say they have been living with damp, rats,
dangerous electrics and no heating in some properties owned
As Pete Simpson reports, the local authority is now
reviewing its agreement with the management company.
There's BLEEP no lighting in some of them!
A fiery council meeting in Bristol last month -
property guardians taking their grievances to City Hall.
There is a massive housing crisis in the city!
They were evicted by security, but I went to see them
Nic is a property guardian, one of hundreds in Bristol.
He pays below market rate to live in buildings like this,
a former care home owned by Bristol City Council, and managed
Everyone should benefit but the deal's gone sour.
Police treat the people a bit better.
Give them the basic - some heating and hot water
Nic and other guardians are angry about what they say
are a poor living conditions, and a lack of maintenance.
And they say they have been made to feel intimidated
There is no higher or outside regulation.
To be fair, we only have permission to be here...
Animals, animal husbandry, I'm pretty sure there are more rules
and laws and regulations to govern how they live and how they are
They put us in touch with a guardian from a different property
with a different story - more representative, they say,
of the majority who want cheap, short-term accommodation.
It's a secured building and I feel very, very, very safe.
Minimum standards should always be kept, and at Camelot we completely
thrive for that to happen, and we make sure that happens
It's like everywhere, sometimes things slip or we are not
told until the next time we visit, but the fact of the matter
You know, we have a visit here to the property we are at today,
and it is absolutely in good condition.
Labour in Bristol are desperate to solve the city's housing crisis,
but admit in this case things have gone wrong.
I would be very concerned if we were to try to use this
process again, which involved people living in those sorts of properties
without the proper conditions, because creating tenancies
in properties which, at some point, we will no longer use,
But Nic is a guardian, not a tenant, and doesn't have the same rights.
We are squatters with permission, almost.
With other guardians, he is challenging this in court,
in what could be a test case for the sector.
You're watching your regional news programme, BBC Points West,
on this increasingly cold Wednesday night.
And stay with us, as there's plenty still bring to you tonight.
Including: We find about the unit in Gloucester on stand-by to command
Nato troops if they're needed in a global emergency.
And after the glitz of Strictly, could swing be the way to shift
A man has gone on trial in Taunton for sex offences alleged to have
been committed when he was just ten years old.
It's claimed that 31-year-old Andrew Margetts was actually abusing
children younger than himself when he was just eight.
He denies a total of 23 charges including rape,
sexual activity with a child and false imprisonment.
The family of a Taunton bar manager are calling for a fresh
Josh Clayton was found dead on the Isles of Scilly in 2015.
The inquest into his death has now been suspended,
because a witness has claimed he'd seen him involved in an argument
There's calls for Bristol to provide a safe drugs clinic
where addicts can inject themselves under supervision.
Late last year, Glasgow approved its first
Now, Transform - an organisation calling for a change
in drugs policies - wants to see a centre in the west
This old petrol station just opposite Temple Meads has
Covered in undergrowth and with some form of shelter,
people have been coming here and injecting drugs.
In the space of just two hours, those clearing up this site
found over 100 needles, filling these sharps bins.
So is it now time to have a safe place for users to go,
In Glasgow, they are looking at introducing one of these,
partly because they get a lot of HIV infections from sharing needles,
and you save about ?400,000 for every one of those you avoid,
but also because of these places allow the drug users to come
into contact with health workers and support, and then they can move
them on and move them off drugs, and offer them lives away from petty
crime and so on, to the benefit of society as a whole.
There are more drug-related deaths here than anywhere else in Europe.
Safe Injection Facilities could be an answer -
hygenic spaces where people who are on drugs can at least
Maggie Telfer has worked with addicts for over 30 years
and believes there has been an increase in people
But over the last 18 months, couple of years, and certainly
from our perspective is linked to a larger number of people
who are street homeless are living in accommodation
where they are injecting and they do not have
any other choice but to do it in a public place.
I think the real issues are how we would pay for them.
Since funding the drug and alcohol services was given
to local authorities, so to Bristol, from the central
Government a few years ago, we are now looking at 20% less
of that funding over the next five years.
Many cities around the world have found the money for them and have
seen less drug use in public places, fewer discarded needles.
The question is, as funding is cut, who here would pay?
Liz Beacon, BBC Points West, Bristol.
As we've heard, back in October, Glasgow was given approval
to open the UK's first ever Supervised Injection Facility.
David Liddell is from the Scottish Drugs Forum and joins us now.
Do supervised injection facilities really help?
Absolutely, there is a huge body of evidence particularly across Europe
within the region of 90 centres in operation, for now a body of
evidence of 30 years. They definitely work, yes. The most
important aspect, certainly in the Glasgow context is, and it sounds
like the Bristol situation may be similar, is that it provides an
important first step and way of reaching out to what we have, a
group of 500 very vulnerable, mostly older, injecting drug users, so it
provides, as you said in your clip, a place where people can inject any
safe environment. Basically all it is doing, in a way, is moving the
injecting that is currently happening in very unsafe
environments into a safe environment, and certainly there is
strong evidence that it can make an impact on things like, you know,
blood-borne viruses, like HIV infection in particular, but also on
overdoses as well. And then we can move people on so that they get
further support and help, whether that is with treatment services
etc... And the other aspect is that certainly the driver in many places,
for example in Frankfurt, the driver there was the European Central Bank
when it was created, that was very concerned about public nuisance and
public injecting. They actually financially supported the
development of injecting facilities in Frankfurt.
That is interesting. Now, with regards to you talking about the
finance there, it seems a thing to pick up on. Our contributor from the
Bristol drugs Project said, how will it be paid for? We all know that the
NHS is up against it. What is happening in Glasgow?
Certainly the key driver for the initiative is in the region of 75
drug injectors who have become infected with the HIV virus, and
that is sadly reminiscent of the situation we found ourselves in in
Scotland in the 1980s, where we had a major outbreak of HIV infection.
That is a particular concern in Glasgow,, to get a grip of that
outbreak of infection, and as your earlier speaker alluded to, the
potential cost of treating just one individual could be as high as
?400,000. So anyway it should be a no-brainer that this is actually
something that is worth investing in, and has a huge benefit in a
number of areas, but you are right that it is very hard with the state
of the public finances, to argue for this, particularly for a group who
are not generally well thought of by the wider public. And therefore not
considered very deserving of help, which we would argue should not be
the case. Individuals such as the people we are talking about have a
whole range of problems, and the presenting problem is one of drug
use, but if we can engage more effectively we can deal with the
range of problems they face. And taking it out of society as
well. Thank you for joining us. There is a discussion on this on our
Facebook page if you have opinions on this.
The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, or ARRC, is based at Imjin Barracks
in Innsworth in Gloucester, and is at the heart
of the Nato Alliance and defence of the UK.
It's the largest headquarters on land which Nato can put
Although over half of the people working for ARRC are from the UK,
20 Nato and non-Nato countries have staff at Imjin too, from Albania
And today their role became even more significant as they took
on responsibility to command Nato troops should they be
Here's our Gloucestershire reporter, Steve Knibbs.
Symbolising the transfer of responsibility...
It was a simple ceremony, but of major significance
for the soldiers here in Gloucestershire.
The Nato Response Force pennant flag was handed
from Spain to the commander of Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.
Should Nato now deploy anywhere in the world,
the ARRC will command and control the operations on the ground.
There was general acknowledgement today of the fact that we still live
in uncertain times, under fast and ever-changing global threat.
The focus for the ARRC in 2017 will be tackling that threat
I think it is well publicised that Russia and Nato have different views
on things at the moment, so there is clearly
an element of a threat there, and so we will continue to act
But there are wider threats now, in terms of humanitarian
crisis and the unknown, and that's the beauty of having
a response force is that you can sit here and be prepared to command
Those threats are varied - there is huge experience within
the ARRC of counter-insurgency operations in Iraq, Afghanistan
Cyber-attacks are also a growing threat, but at the extreme,
there's war, and in the current climate it's an area the ARRC says
Like everything, you need to practice these things,
so what we are doing this year and we have done a little bit last
So when we do our training, we don't practice counterinsurgency,
The ARRC is made up of 21 different nations - many from the EU -
but its role in the UK within Nato unaffected by Brexit.
We are decidedly not stepping back from our responsibilities
to European security, and the occasion today demonstrates
that we are taking the lead in the very high-readiness
For now, the ARRC's control room at Innsworth is quiet,
but on stand-by, and preparation and training continues to evolve
Steve Knibbs, BBC Points West, Imjin Barracks.
Gloucester Rugby have boosted their squad for the next season with the
signing of Leicester Tigers fly-half Owen Williams. He has scored many
points over many appearances. But they're also set to strengthen its
season with Sam Underhill in back row.
We're almost two weeks into 2017 and we're also a fortnight
into celebrating sixty years of Points West.
It's fascinating looking through our archives,
and every so often we're coming across a real gem,
This is from January 1968, when the pressing question
on everyone's lips was, maxi or mini?
Which of the two skirts do you prefer?
Well, in this weather, I think I prefer that one, the long.
I suppose this one being in fashion, we should all like the maxi skirt.
What sort of male reaction do you think you will get?
I think they will like it in the end.
I think they will probably take time to come over but...
And will you buy one, even if they don't like it?
In our office, they don't like the maxi skirt.
It is very nice to see somebody else wearing them.
No, they still say you should wear the miniskirt.
Well, what's wrong with the maxi skirt?
Well, it looks so Russian and drab and everything.
Well, how do you expect people to keep warm in winter?
I'm not particularly worried about that.
They were wearing leather trousers. How very cool.
A dance group in Gloucester is encouraging people
Gloster Swing Dance held its first class last night,
It's run by the two dance champions, one of whom is recovering
So is swing the new way to shift the pounds?
Dancing the Charleston from the film Bugsy Malone,
Have you ever wondered whether a winter of dancing
on the telly makes more of us have a go?
Well, this is what happened in Gloucester last night,
140 people turned up, and for those beginners who might
The one thing you need to remember about swing dancing,
And I'm sure many did go wrong, but gradually,
the room moved as one, probably ahead of time too.
Our expectations are really low, I reckon.
I think they are really low, because...
They can take you as long as you want to dance.
You can be fat, thin, old, young, black, white,
enabled or disabled, you are welcome and swing dancing.
I have never done anything like this before and it is really good.
You feel that you are actually learning something
Will you do it in the living room when you get home?
It is just so friendly, getting together and dancing.
Now, I danced with Claudia Fragapane last month, but it seems whatever
I managed to pick up from Bristol's pocket rocket disappeared
At least my partner is still smiling, or laughing...
Back to the professionals, and a special moment.
Five weeks ago, Gary Boon had a heart attack.
If I wasn't fit and if I didn't do this, I may not be here now.
And it looks like it could change many more - apart from mine.
Andy Howard, BBC Points West in Gloucester.
Gary, well done. That is incredible. The big question
is about the weather, and whether we will have snow or heavy rain. It is
not a simple question, is it? No, it is not. I suspect the net
result is going to be a combination of both by this time tomorrow, Alex.
Let me take you through the forecast. The rain looks I get them
now, based on our current forecast model. For some argue, heavy
rainfall. The tricky element, given it will be a noticeably cold day, is
how much of it will change to snow. More particularly as we had through
late afternoon tomorrow. The Met Office has issued a warning tomorrow
for the threat of snow, and it is a low risk in the broader sense of the
word, but if we start to point out areas of greater risk, at the
Exmoor, and anywhere east of the Mvia, particularly from
mid-afternoon through to about the early part of the evening. -- the
M5. A north-westerly flow, bringing Caldaire down across us do towards
tomorrow. Watch out towards the West and watch this taking shape on this
wave towards the east through the afternoon. You will see the back
edge of interacting with other colder air giving a threat of snow.
The south-east of England tomorrow, including London, could be a horror
show on the roads are the worst happens. I say if the worst were to
happen, if we keep a close eye on developments. A straightforward
story through the evening tonight, barring the odd shower looking dry
and breezy Wendy. Into two tomorrow morning, the first signs of rain is
going in. Temperatures tonight at a range of two to five Celsius.
Tomorrow, I will run the sequence. Do not take it literally but it
gives an idea of the indications we think are going to build the
forecast for tomorrow. Notice the bread of heavy rain, difficult
enough on the road by lunchtime early afternoon, and then watch that
colder air bringing snow eastwards towards the afternoon and evening.
Snow showers following behind. A cold day tomorrow and we will keep
you up-to-date through the BBC forecast tomorrow morning.
We well and also our bulletins and radio and social media as well. We
will see you