28/03/2017 Points West


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A fellow Marine on the tour from hell says his


You are surrounded by absolute lunacy, a bit of lunacy doesn't seem


so bad. We'll be talking to Paddy Ashdown


about today's reduced sentence Our other headlines tonight:


Repairing the tallest pylons outside London,


how they tackled the job People in Bath are among the first


in the UK to take it for a spin. Hundreds answer the SOS


for a family who want There were scenes of celebration


outside the Court of Appeal in London today as a former royal


marine from Taunton learnt that he'd be released


from a Wiltshire prison within days. It was the moment his family


and friends had been longing for. Alexander Blackman was almost


at the end of what his supporters called a "hellish" tour of duty,


when he shot and killed The moment was captured


on a helmet camera. A year later, the police came


across the footage by accident and Blackman found himself accused


of murder, along with His colleagues were acquitted


but the now disgraced Sergeant was found guilty


and sentenced to life. Over the next three years, his wife


Claire challenged that verdict, until finally an appeal was granted


and his conviction quashed. We are overjoyed at


the judge's decision sentence, such that he can be


released imminently. This is the moment we


have all been fighting It is hard to believe that this


day is finally here. Our Somerset Correspondent,


Clinton Rogers has been reporting on this story for us


since the beginning. He's in the Royal Marine town


of Taunton this evening. Clinton, there had been some


suggestion that Blackman might be freed today,


but his supporters will have to wait a little longer


for the homecoming. Yes, any welcome home party


here needs to be put on hold. Now he's already been in prison


three and a half years. Today his previous life sentence


was substituted with seven years - and because many prisoners only


serve half their sentences, well Blackman has pretty


much done all his time. His barrister said he expected him


to be freed in about two weeks. Now this is a case that continues


to polarise opinion. There are those, including


senior ex military men, who believe Alexander Blackman had


to be prosecuted once that video Others though say,


unless you were there, unless you've suffered the intense


heat of battle, you That's certainly the view


of a colleague of Blackman, Rob Driscoll was a Sergeant


with the Royal Marines on the same He has undergone years


of counselling since. He says the horrors about


Afghanistan will probably never Through my career, I have seen some


pretty horrific things. But I hadn't seen them use body


parts as bait, I haven't heard or A real hatred built


up inside me for the insurgency and the people that were


prepared to use these techniques Do you think that is the background


against which Alexander I think it is certainly


a contributing factor. There is no way that we can argue it


it wouldn't have affected I think we are


surrounded by absolute lunacy, a little bit of lunacy


doesn't seem so bad. Rob Driscoll says he


still supports Alexander He acknowledges that what Blackman


did on the battlefield, captured on helmet


cameras, may have been captured on helmet cameras,


may have been illegal, but militarily, he made the right


decision in not summoning help for the wounded


Taliban fighter. If he hadn't have done


what he did, then I would be walking out of the main gate


with eight or nine guys and that would have meant me rolling those


dice and potentially not coming back


with all the guys I walked Now Alexander Blackman had hoped


that once his murder conviction had been overturned he might be able


to rejoin the Royal Marines. Today's judges, who said


he "retained a substantial responsibility for


the deliberate killing". Decided he should remain dismissed


from the Royal Marines. Though they did change one thing,


"Dismissed with disgrace" now But should he have been


allowed to rejoin? One former Royal Marines colonel,


still living in Somerset, He is and always will


be part of the Royal Marine family, but I am


sure that he will want to focus on his future


and the Royal Marines will


want to to go back to concentrate on doing


what they do best, being the nation's


expeditionary force of choice. They and he will have


learned much, but I'm sure they'll


want to put it behind I'm sure they'll want


to put it behind them Unwavering support and admiration


for Claire Blackman today. You've had many conversations


with her over the last three years. Did you ever get the sense


that she thought this Up to half an hour ago, I would have


said no. In fact, she rang me in the last 20 minutes and I had


accommodation with her. I was able to say that they will ask me that


question, I am -- am I right in saying you have my doubts? She said


no, I did have doubts. She said at some point she felt like she was


fighting an unwinnable battle. I think that once the criminal case's


decided to get this case back to the Court of Appeal, I think her views


on that changed. She was confident from that point on. She said


confident, but never count your chickens. That is view.


Let's get the thoughts now of Lord Ashdown,


Paddy Ashdown, are you comfortable with today's decision? The courts


process has completed. It has taken the course it should take, must


take, as part of our system of law in Britain and it has reached its


conclusion. It is not for politicians or indeed for anybody


else to interfere in that process. They argue final and only authority.


They have made their decision as to the guilt or otherwise of Sergeant


Blackman and they have reached their conclusion as to the sentence and


there in lies and there it stays. I agree with Clinton that the one an


Allied heroin is Claire Blackman. She has stood by her husband. But


yourself in his position in that terrible day of duty. With remains


of other soldiers being used as bait and so on, do you think you might


have been tempted to do what Blackman did? I can't tell. I wasn't


there. I think anybody that was there knows and anybody who wasn't


there it doesn't. That does not alter the fact that in the end there


is a question as to whether or not the law in our country and indeed


international law, has been broken. It was right that that should be


tested in the court and right that the court should reach its


conclusion. David, I was a Royal Marine myself. I have been in active


service. I've not seen anything like what Sergeant Blackman saw, but I


have seen enough. I have given evidence three times in front of the


war crime tribunal. For actions against international law. Unless


you have that law asserted and tested in a court, you can't have


Nuremberg, you can't bring walk on roles to justice. No one is saying


that sudden Blackman is. But the law has to be paid. These old -- soldier


goes into someone else's country armed with lethal force. To uphold


the law. If these older in the process of a battle does not uphold


law, then they need to face justice. If the enemy is in your site, you


must do everything you can to kill him. If the enemy is in your power,


you have to do everything you can to save him. I remember you saying


that, but the truth is that he did break the Geneva Convention and he


has admitted that. The people he is fighting against, the Taliban and


so-called IES, couldn't care less about the Geneva Convention. No.


That is frequently the case. With the enemies that we need to fight.


It does not mean that you do not follow it. I remember saying to


slobber than the loss of itch -- a person who was .... It is a hard


judgment. In the end, the court has decided on that decision needs to be


respected. There were mitigating circumstances and that is where the


matter should be left. We should be celebrating with Claire Blackman.


That was Lord Ashman reacting to our top story tonight. The imminent


release of Alexander Blackman, the former Royal Marine from Taunton who


has had his prison sentence cut today.


This is David and Liz with tonight's Points West.


Still to come on this evening's programme:


If you're scared of heights you might want to look away now.


We're with the super sparkies as they scale the pylons


A misty start across the Severn. A mixed day of weather. Next is the


watchword for the next few days, but I will try and pin some detail on it


later in the weather. Yes, we are going up in the world later on.


The inquest into the death of a man who was fatally stabbed heard today


that his killer had a history of paranoia, but not violence.


Robert Cox was 24 when he was attacked by Derek Hancock


at their supported accommodation in Bristol, four years ago.


In his 20s, with mental health problems, he ended up here.


Supported accommodation on Eginton Road in Bristol.


In the summer of 2013, another resident, Derek Hancock,


The inquest heard Derek Hancock had been homeless and in a hostel


with 24-hour staff cover, but was judged ready to step


Wherever he lived though, there were problems.


We heard today that Mr Hancock was paranoid


--and at another, he had made unfounded


This was all before he came to Egerton Road, but once that,


he made the same type of unfounded allegations against Robert Cox.


Including on the day that Mr Cox died.


How police dealt with those allegations will be picked


Risk assessments by the Bristol City Council and housing providers


But Mr Cox's family still want answers from this ten-day inquest.


The police have issued a fresh appeal for information


in an unsolved case of a woman who was murdered 30 years ago today.


66-year-old Helen Fleet was found in woodland


She was last seen alive that morning when she parked her blue Datsun


near Worlebury Woods to take her dogs for a walk.


Her body was found by another dog walker and it sparked a major


police investigation, but no-one was ever charged.


A security guard who was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter


after tackling a suspected shoplifter will face


Kieren Church died when the glass bottles he was hiding smashed


as he was apprehended by the security guard at The Shires


Three men have appeared in court charged with slavery and drugs


offences after a cannabis farm was discovered in a disused nuclear


Two men from Bristol aged 27 and 30, along with a 45-year-old man


from Bridgwater have all been remanded in custody.


Next, a quiet corner of South Bristol was transformed


into a massive building site today, as the BBC programme DIY SOS got


The team are working around the clock to transform


a home in Hartcliffe and allow the family's son to return


As you can see behind me, at quarter to seven in the evening, there are


still a good 25 were men and women in there. They have been here all


day most since eight o'clock this morning. An awful lot of hard work


going on. We have been here most of the day and it has been really


fascinating and inspirational learning what is going on. We all


watch and love the programme. It has been a real privilege learning what


goes on in real-time. By mid-morning most of the input side of that house


was in the skip here. What struck me most is just the atmosphere of fun


here today. A real sense of a community pulling together for a


really good cause. Nearly 100 builders, plumbers,


electircians and carpenters. All on site, on time


and raring to go. They won't get paid


and they will work hard, but they've all turned up


to do their bit. The people who come up and turn up


here, most of them won't be The people who give us kitchens


and extensions and all the rest of it, we are not allowed


to say who they are. It is the ultimate


altruistic act, really. It's the community


coming together in a way that people think doesn't


exist any more, but does. Five years ago he collpased


after an operation and has needed round-the-clock


care ever since. But the family home just


wasn't suitable for him, so he's been stuck in


a care home in Gloucester with his Mum traveling by bus


and train for five hours a day For his parents, this


build means the world. To come back and see our


house and a bit of the state, we are excited to see


what the end product Very, very exciting,


but slightly nervous, as well. It will transform especially my


life, travelling five hours a day just to go and see


Ryan and do his care. With a lot of man and woman power,


it didn't take long to make a start. It is now 10:30, this build only


started an hour ago. We have been watching


people piling in As you can see, this skip


which was empty and hour For people living nearby in this


usually quiet corner of Hartcliffe - it's been an unusual day -


with the street turned into part building site, part film set -


with some serious celebrity What is it like having


all of these famous I can't wait for them


to come out so I can meet And it is even better that it is for


a good cause, as well. By late afternoon,


the house was stripped bare. Walls and ceilings have


been knocked down, And tonight, nine days to get


it put back together, I can see you with your hard hat on,


neck. Looks like there was a brilliant turnout today. Is that


always the case or is heartless exceptional? It is in the top 30 of


the 200 and something that we have done probably in terms of turnout.


It was a good start. We thought we would have about 80, but in actual


fact I asked the man who did our lunches and he said he did 199 to.


They go. There is Billy in the background that. We have superglued


to a lamp post just for your entertainment. Love Billy getting in


on the action. Hello, Billy. He can't move, because I literally have


superglued him to the lamp post. I watched last week and you may build


and one of the volunteers wouldn't go home to see his wife in labour.


What is it about you and the team that inspires such passion? It is


very nice of you to think it is me and the team, it isn't. This is a


DIY SOS, but we are actually just a little gravitational pull for the


community to come together. The people who come in, enjoy it so much


and really feel they own this build. It is very difficult to send them


home. Health and safety things, work hours we are supposed to do, it is


hard to get them off site. They're determined to get on. The changes


here have been extraordinary, we have taken walls, ceilings, floors.


Back of the house of. It is on such a grand scale that people really buy


into it. It is more relevant than just making something for somebody,


they are changing an opportunity for a family. This lad has been away


from his home and family for five years. The medics have done an


amazing job for him, but they can't get him home. This lot can. That is


kind of amazing. When you realised you have that power, it is not


difficult. Plus, we feed them heavily, which is important. Very


quickly, it is always a race against time to get it done, that have


always does get done, doesn't it? Yes, I feel like Geoffrey Rush in


Shakespeare in Love when he says, it will be all right, I don't know how,


but it will be. I don't know how it works. No matter how much work needs


doing, people stay until it gets done and we will be here late on


next Tuesday, Wednesday, ready to hand the thing over on Thursday


morning and hopefully change the family's live. These people will be


changing families lives. Literally superglued to the lamp post. You


thought I was joking, he really is. If you need any help for the heavy


work, I will send Liz over straightaway. Oh, no, David is your


man. One of the UK's tallest electricity


pylons has been scaled today, to replace vital parts last touched


almost 50 years ago. The pylon, one of two


spanning the river severn, stands at almost 500-feet tall


and carries cables buzzing Shrouded by a thick fog this


morning, this pylon has helped keep the South West's light switches


working since the late 1950s. And is so tall the top is often lost


among the low cloud. They call these river crossing


towers or pylons to you and me, and what we've


got here in the west is the second-highest pair


anywhere in Great Britain. And through pretty dense fog


here this morning, you can see the one over there


and that is carrying longest span anywhere


in the UK, actually. Over a mile of wires


going through the air. And over the side,


the Chepstow side, 500 feet up to the top,


you might just be able to make up the yellow jackets


of the people carrying out Those insulated as they are changing


haven't been switched since This is what it


looks like when you work Carrying 275,000 volts


across the river severn, you can see the severn bridge


in the background. Filmed over half an hour,


this shows the view up the tallest pylon in the UK anywhere outside


London. They connect the whole country


to the power stations and you have got the grid network around


the whole country supplying power so they can divert power


all over the country. And the distribution networks,


the country your door. The insulators they're replacing


were last changed in 1969. As you can see, health


and safety procedures The new ones should be fitted this


week and keep the electricity People in Bath have been among some


of the first in the country The 12-sided coin came


into circulation today and the city was one of the few places to receive


them on launch day. Bath's main post office


is used to firsts. It was from here that the first-ever


stamp was sent and today, almost 180-years later,


the city one of the first It is the first batch


in the first edition, I thought it might be nice just


to hold onto it for later on. Bath was one of only 14 cities


to offer the coin today. It is usually quite busy anyway,


being the big office in the centre of the city,


but the first probably 25 or 30 customers,


they were only here to get


the new pound coin, which is unexpected,


but quite And how many people have you had


coming through the doors We have only been open about an hour


and a half and at least 150, For some it was a momentous way


to mark a special day. We are actually a way for Lisa's


birthday, so we were just in town and we heard that they


were coming out here. So we thought we would just


pop in and get them. My sister texted me


and said get some So I thought I would get


some for the kids and Others just wanted to be one


of the first to have one. It doesn't happen


very often, does it? I thought I'd just


come and get a few. Have a couple of the new ones


in the draw, so that when my granddaughter comes to visit,


I'll be able to give her some. Getting their hands on a piece


of history and they're proving to be Well, if you think you've got any


old pound coins lurking down the back of the sofa you have


until October to spend them. And talking of sofas,


this is what happened when BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker got his hands


on one of the first new pound coins It reminded us of this classic


Points West moment when presenter Susan Osman lost a diamond worth


?750,000 down the back of our sofa luckily, as you can see,


it wasn't lost forever. Let's have a look at the weather


with Sara Thornton. Thank you. I have lost a bit of


detail in this forecast. I said a few minutes ago that it is pretty


mixed, and if you look at the Globe, you can see that there is some


showers on it because it is going to be a pretty mixed forecast. Today,


we saw those amazing pictures way high up of mist and fog. Then it


cleared up and some cloud has been moving in. That cloud has got some


rain with it. It is fizzling out a lot, but is heading our way. As I


said last night, it has opened the floodgates for little systems to


flood in over the next few days. Let's talk about that detail. Look


at that yellow line, it is right across the Bristol Channel. Anything


north west will be wetter. Always a bit drier in knee. They're that in


mind as we look at the progression of France in the chart. That little


bit of drizzle coming through this evening, largely most of it will be


gone by tomorrow evening. If you lingering showers. Much milder than


last night. Ten or 11 degrees. That is because of that south-westerly


wind that you can see. That south-west of the wind will bring us


some showers especially at the west. Cloudier largely than today and by


the afternoon a view more showers coming through. A lot of dry


weather. The further east you are, temperatures in the mid teens. In


terms of once, it is Thursday that we are really feeling that southerly


wind all the way up from the Azores. France are trying to encroach


towards us. They don't really make too many in the way of inroads, so


there will be a lot of dry and bright weather in the east.


Temperatures cooler by Friday. Thank you very much. I've got one of


these new pounds. Shall we toss for it? Works. Sorry, it is mine. We


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