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Welcome to BBC Points West with Sabet Choudhury and Alex Lovell.
The mum of Christopher Halliwell's last victim tells us of her fears
as the police continue to dig at his former house in Swindon.
I think it's highly unlikely that he wouldn't have killed
more people than the two that we already know about.
Wiltshire Police now say they'll need more time than expected
The raid that found a million pound cannabis farm hidden deep underneath
Shorter school days becase we're short of cash.
The education trust proposing to ring the bell
And from protecting war heroes to sheltering garden plants,
the amazing story of this Lancaster gunner pod.
The mother of Christopher Halliwell's final victim says
she thinks it's almost inevitable that there are more
She was speaking as the police announced they'll need more time
to continue their forensic search of his former home in Swindon.
Halliwell is already serving two life sentences for the murders
of Becky Godden in 2003 and Sian O'Callaghan
Sian's mum Elaine has been speaking to our reporter, Andrew Plant.
The police search at the back of these Swindon houses
goes on - the former home of double murderer Christopher Halliwell.
The sounds from inside - a mechanical digger,
forensic teams taking away wheelie bins full of the soil
Elaine Pickford's daughter Sian was Halliwell's second victim.
The question now - are there others lying
I personally believe with a psychopathic major -- nature,
pathological liar, he would have slipped from everyday life and then
whatever his trigger was, he would then be capable to go out and do
what he has done to not only Sian but Becky and possibly others.
Becky Godden was Halliwell's first victim, killed in 2003.
But did Halliwell offend in the years before,
Today, police said the search here would now go on into next week.
Initially this was expected to last five days. However, work at the site
will pause for the weekend on Friday and we will reconvene to commence
surging once again on Monday next week.
Sian's mother has studied the killer and believes it's likely
I personally believe once he had got to that level of being able to
commit that sort of crime and getting his nature and his history
and his unnatural urges, sexually, I think he would -- would not have
been able to contain did for eight years.
a plea bargain during interviews with police last year.
"If I confess," he said, "will that stop everything else?"
Police say they are digging here in intelligence they've received.
But so far, haven't said what, if anything, they've found.
Now, as we've just seen in the national news,
a massive cannabis farm has been discovered deep beneath
the Wiltshire countryside, in an old nuclear bunker.
Police carried out a midnight raid in Chilmark,
just south of Warminster and found several thousand plants
thought to be worth more than a million pounds.
Our reporter Scott Ellis is in the local pub, the Black Dog.
Chilmark is as pretty a Wiltshire village as you can imagine, church,
stone building, many of them thatched and a lovely local pub. We
can show you drilled footage of worthy cannabis was found, sent in
by a viewer. You can spot a metal tower, that is where the nuclear
bunker is. Was built to house Government officials and there are
20 rooms, in each room at 200 cannabis plants. It is ?1 million
haul of cannabis. Colin is here. Have you ever known anything like it
Chilmark? Not in the time I've been here, that's for sure. Did you see
anything happening last night? No, not a thing, I was sleeping, honest.
What about you? I was sleeping with him. Did you know anything about
this or suspect anything? Not a thing, no. It is a very sleepy
village and we are very close to the 303, ten miles from Stonehenge. No
reason for it to happen? Did you see anything last night? No, we didn't
see a thing but there was the cricket EGM here last night. We
didn't take any notice of the van we saw going past. Well done, thank you
all very much. The police are saying locals did play their part in all of
this because it was local dog walkers that we had smelt cannabis
that was all logged and written down and it made a part of their
three-month investigation and helped them pinpoint the cannabis factory
and it was from there they took their action last night. 12 of them
hiding out in the trees waiting for the suspects to come out, the new
that was the only way in because it was in impenetrable nuclear bunker.
Scott, thank you very much for that. Storm Doris has been felt
across the West with gusts Hundreds of homes have been
without power and train passengers Here, at Sand Bay, gusts of up
to 60 miles per hour battered the coastline,
but still a few hardy souls, and one I feel like I've been
sand blasted the whole Really, really windy,
really, really bad. So we're going home now
for a nice cup of tea. The good news is that
Storm Doris should have blown herself out sometime
this afternoon, we hope! So if you haven't walked the dog
yet, or you want to walk down the beach, maybe here
at Sand Bay, perhaps leave it But Doris went on to
wreak more havoc first. Up the coast at Clevedon,
planks were pulled off parts of the pier for safety reasons,
and the view across the Cheddar reservoir looked more
like the open seas. On dry land, hundreds
of homes across the west By the afternoon,
the main entrance to one of Bath's biggest car parks
on Charlotte Street was temporarily out of action,
when a large tree came down. Another - on the other
side of the city - crushed a pick-up-truck,
and damaged several other cars. But in Bristol, it was a different
story, after a man was hit Eyewitnesses said it fell
from a building on Temple Way. The man's injuries have
been described as minor. The road closure continues to affect
traffic around the M32. Also down for much of the afternoon
was the railway line between Bristol Temple Meads
and Birmingham because It's since been reopened,
but delays are anticipated Well, hopefully you've made it home
OK and are now safe and dry It is exiting the stage, tomorrow is
a very different day. The details later in the programme.
And ten years of tickling the ivories.
The worldwide public pianos project hoping to celebrate its first decade
An education trust in south Gloucestershire is considering
shortening the school day because it says it's reached crisis
The Olympus Trust, which runs seven schools,
has written a letter to parents outlining all the options.
They include parents being asked to make regular
financial contributions and reducing the curriculum.
The head of the Olympus Trust is calling it a perfect storm.
And he's not referring to Storm Doris.
South Gloucestershire has been amongst the country's worst
At the same time, there are more pupils to teacha
and the schools need to pay increased pension and national
It means that in September, both Bradley Stoke and
will have to reduce spending by over 8%, that's ?400,000 each.
The solution to this funding crisis: in the Trust's own words,
Like, shortening the school day, asking parents to make regular
financial contributions, reducing the number of teachers,
and reducing support roles across the schools.
For example, pastoral support, counsellors, and
The Government recently announced changes to funding
for schools to make it fairer across the country.
South Gloucestershire was supposedly one of the winners -
their funding will actually go up by 2.4%.
But it varies from school to school, and here,
It's not just about this year and next year being really tight,
it is the fact that in the future it's going to continue
And some of the things we're going to have to question and put
on the table are some really unpleasant ideas.
And one of those unthinkables is possibly shortening the school day?
It's certainly something that we've put on the table.
And idea which hasn't gone down well with these sixth formers.
We're not going to have enough time to learn,
I think it will really lower the performance of our school.
I think I was most concerned about the cuts to the week,
So not just the day, but also having a four-day week,
which I think is really going to impact how students
learn because every day and every lesson counts.
This parent says she would be prepared to contribute
financially to the school, but shouldn't have to.
What about those families that are on an absolute
They know what living under a budget is.
They haven't got that choice to say, "Yes,
I can pay ?200 a month, maybe, to send my child to school."
Or get an extra tutor after school to give a bit of an extra boost.
Education is for everybody, not just for the well off.
Two years ago, more than 100 teachers at the Winterbourne Academy
in south Gloucestershire went on strike, partly
Discontent among schools in the area is on the increase.
An independent investigation into a former Avon and Somerset
police doctor has found he fell woefully or grossly below common
and acceptable standards during ten medical examinations.
The report also found there were several missed
opportunities to act upon concerns about Dr Reginald Bunting,
Victims complained about being made to strip naked unnecessarily
The M4 in Wiltshire was closed earlier because of a lorry fire.
Police shut both sides of the motorway around junction 17
for Chippenham because of the heat and thick smoke.
All three lanes of the eastbound carriageway have now reopened,
The driver of the lorry was uninjured.
The Secretary of State for local government came west today,
and faced criticism over cuts being made by councils.
Sajid Javid visited Somerset, Bath and Wiltshire,
to help his fellow Conservatives prepare for the local
But he's under pressure over falling funding
for local government, and the effect that's
Our political editor Paul Barltrop joins us from outside
This is the latest of the west councils to be setting their budget,
the meeting starts at 7pm, a little protest is going on. What is
happening here is rather unique. The conservative Administration are
setting up parish councils. They will take over the running of some
services, the also ramped up council tax. If you live in Swindon, any
band D household, you could see your tax rise between ?19 and ?160. The
council here hope that will enable services to be kept running, however
in other parts of the west Country, they're having to rely more on cuts.
A visit today by the secretary of State for local Government enabled
some conservative colleagues to speak out.
The Secretary of State was in Wells to campaign
They hope to keep control of the county council
But even before he headed West, he'd heard of its financial plight.
This year, Somerset County Counci and the district councils
in our area have now set their budgets, and those painful
Parliament was debating funding for local government.
We have to now accept that, in rural areas, public services have
not just been cut to the bone, they've had
Only last week, Somerset's leader John Osman passed
He was able to share his frustrations in private.
?120 million plus of savings we've had to find over the last eight
years and I made that point to the Secretary of State today.
And we need a long-term funding solution.
From the minister, the standard government response...
Funding can be challenging across the country.
We've got a situation today where I think most people accept
we've got to become a country that lives within its means.
That means every part of Government has to contribute to that.
Councillors here have cut more than raise taxes,
Is a ?161 rise in council tax for a band D taxpayer acceptable,
which is what is going to be voted through in Swindon
by the Conservative administration tonight?
I'm here to talk about Somerset and this is a great manifesto.
And that was all he would say on the matter.
Back here in Swindon, the meeting starts at 7pm. We will know by
tonight whether the budget has gone through. People here in Swindon
would get to have a say on it. There aren't local elections this year.
Brave one else in the West Country, they can express an opinion at the
ballot box on May the 4th. Paul, thank you.
Scientists at Bath University may have found a link between
Now, it's well-known that high blood sugar can lead to diabetes,
but what hasn't been clear is why diabetes patients
have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's,
Our health correspondent, Matthew Hill reports.
This dementia activity club, run by the Bristol charity Alive,
That's because more and more people are being diagnosed with dementia.
And there's another growing problem in the elderly - diabetes.
It can double a person's risk of developing dementia,
but we still don't really understand how the two conditions are linked.
But these researchers have found a vital clue.
They've identified a specific effect of high blood glucose
on an enzyme in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.
Scientists compared samples taken from people who have died
They've developed a test using flourescent light to look
for abnormal proteins in the brain that have been damaged by glucose.
We see that when this protein is modified by glucose, it doesn't
Another important function of this protein is regulation of insulin,
and that shows that there's a clear link between the immune system,
glucose regulation, and Alzheimer's disease.
Having proven this link, the team are now going to investigate
if they can detect these telltale signs in blood for an early
We certainly think it could have power in identifying those
at risk with what we call a modifiable risk factor.
High glucose, we could do something about that.
So if we can use this as a simple blood test
to identify those at risk, we could then use it to validate
potential interventions to reduce high glucose in the blood,
such as lifestyle changes, dietary changes,
The search for answers to prevent Alzheimer's
In the last ten years, the number of adults worldwide
living with the disease has jumped from almost 26 million
But this latest scientific advance shows another possible reason
We are talking to the Alzheimer's Society in the ten o'clock news.
Bristol city remain just three points above the relegation zone
after another disappointing defeat last night.
They lost 2-0 to Fulham with the visitors scoring a goal
It's the tenth time that City have lost in 13 league games.
An extremely rare Second World War gunner's turret
from a Lancaster bomber is to go to auction tomorrow,
No-one knows how or why it ended up in the west,
but it is expected to make far more than the guide price.
Andy Howard has stepped back in time to have a look.
The Lancaster bomber - one of the most famous aircraft
Which is probably why there's so much interest in one
Found in someone's garden in Bath, where it had been for 70 years -
the gunner's turret, a very dangerous place.
This is where the gunner would have been.
The Lancaster was quite a slow aircraft, so it would have had other
Two machine guns would have been fixed to the frame, here.
You can see where they would have come out.
But if they failed, or the bullets run out, then you'd have
I know this is not quite right, but you can imagine what it
All that separated you from the outside world...
So how did this historic turret end up lodged in someone's garden?
The owner of the house has no idea how it got there,
it was there when he bought it in 1950.
So we actually know very little about it at all.
I thought you were going to give me some dramatic story.
Bath was bombed for three days in 1942, but no
We genuinely just do not know how this ended up in Bath.
It's certainly been in the wars all right, in more ways than one.
The bullet holes aren't actually from battle, but, they think,
It's even been used as a greenhouse in its time.
This is the first original one that we've ever seen.
We've had interest from all over the world for it.
Everybody that's seen it so far has gone, "Wow.
And their friends come round, and they go, "I've got a turret
Well, if you'd like to buy it, the guide price
is between ?100 and ?200 - for a piece of old aluminium
Mind you, it's seen some pretty historic days, too.
And you won't believe what else goes on sale at the same
This, a bank note, believed to have been owned
by Wild West gunfighter Billy the Kid!
Apparently, it was found on him when he was killed.
We'll let you know what both items fetch tomorrow.
We were hoping to talk to the artist Luke Jerram about the return
For brothers from Bristol are running 100 miles every day. The two
sets of twins want to raise ?100 for children in Kenya who have been
orphaned due to AIDS. They have organised this fundraising effort
all by themselves, with only two days left of the challenge, we
caught up with them to find out how it's going.
I'm 13. I'm 13. I'm 12. I'm 12. We are running a mile for 100 days. We
came up with the idea to run a mile every day for 100 days. Sometimes
before school we will do it. We have marked out a route where we get
picked up and then we get in the car and go to school. It has been really
difficult, especially when the weather is bad and you have to run
inside and you are tired, but we always do it and keep going. We are
raising money for a charity for children in Kenya. They have so
little and we have so much. It is nice to give. Our first original
goal was ?1000 that we are over that now, so we will just see how much we
can hit now. The money could go towards a bus for the kids who live
far away from school, you can't go there. Please sponsor us! Their last
mile is on Saturday and they want lots of people to join them.
We were hoping to talk to the artist Luke Jerram about the return
of his public pianos project to the Bristol later this summer,
but he like many Bristolians has been caught up in the traffic chaos
in the centre of the city and sadly can't join us but we do have
Now just before Ian brings us the forecast, we had
If you could only choose one photo to sum up the day,
This is Rosie out for her morning walk
at Sand Point in North Somerset, feeling the full
Did you say Doris or Gladys? I did says Doris. The earpiece here it is
catching the wind. I thought, my goodness, he has even got the name
of it wrong. I think risking a dog that small actually upon those North
Somerset coastal districts was quite brave because we had wind gusts
earlier on today which were touching 67 mph, up over the top of Exmoor,
little Whittington on the Cotswolds, we had 66 mph, and really across the
West Country, a number of areas between 50 or 60 mph gusts,
especially in the early to mid part of the afternoon. Those winds are
abating. The forecast tomorrow will be chopped and cheese combo today.
The winds will be considerably later, a fine, very day, a fair
amount of sunshine through the morning after a chilly start. As we
go through the afternoon, varying amounts of cloud but it will stay
dry until later in the evening with the potential of light patchy rain
coming in from the west. An altogether different day from the
one we have just been going through. Storm Doris is to party no art
towards the south-east. The strongest winds following in its
wake. A ridge of high pressure settles on tonight and into
tomorrow, hence the much, weather. There will be more rain as we head
into Saturday. The key thing with Saturday is it will one against
return a mild erythema and a windier one as well. For the time being, the
winds are dying down, it still gusts or 40 miles an hour plus, many
fading away as we get to this evening. A much quieter night and it
will be a chilly one as well. One or two spots might have a risk of
ground frost with temperatures somewhere between one and two
Celsius. It should be a bright start, a good deal of sunshine
around to get us under way on Friday. The only significant change
is going to be more cloud starting to develop into the afternoon, still
bright, but that cloud thickens up towards the west from the evening
and you can see the potential for some patchy rain trying to creep in
from that direction. Many of you will have had a dry day up to that
point. Temperatures down down on today. Winds will pick up. There
will be more chance of patchy rain in the second half of Saturday.
We will see you at ten o'clock. Goodbye.