06/01/2017 Points West

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A three-year-old boy who went to America for an operation


to help him walk again is making good progress.


Jacob Baird from Weston-super-Mare had surgery in the US


It wasn't cheap and doctors say it's available in Bristol for much less.


Our health correspondent, Matthew Hill, reports.


After an operation in America last month, Jacob Baird is already


Just to see him put one foot in front of the other


without tripping up is just incredible.


Jacob was born with cerebral palsy, which makes every step a struggle.


But his parents heard about a surgeon from Missouri


who had pioneered an operation to reduce the spasticity


Called selective dorsal rhizotomy, or SDR, it involves testing


which spinal nerves are causing the leg stiffness, and then


The family has raised nearly ?90,000.


The surgery itself was just over ?29,000, and then it's


really the rehabilitation, physiotherapy, that costs the money.


The operation was available here at the Children's Hospital,


on the NHS, until April, as part of a national


But until those results are evaluated, you can only get it


here privately for around ?20,000, that's significantly less


This Bristol surgeon learnt how to operate in America.


Now he's taught doctors in Russia how to do it.


He thinks it's better to have the operation close to home.


I would be a bit concerned that you're having an operation thousands


of miles away from your home, so if there are issues


post-operatively, you've got a clinical team that really


would have to look after you back in the UK, who wouldn't have a full


understanding of what's gone on in the US.


Jacob's parents say that there was never an in-depth discussion


with doctors about having the operation privately in Bristol.


They wanted to go to the surgeon who had the most experience,


and who told them he'd developed more advanced surgery,


something disputed by surgeons on this side of the Atlantic.


This is his best shot at being able to walk independently.


The Bairds are donating the extra money they've raised to other


families but as more families look abroad for treatment,


the NHS is going to have to give better information


about its services, so parents don't have to find out


Matthew Hill, BBC Points West, Weston-super-Mare.


The maximum sentence for stalking in England and Wales is to double


to ten years following a campaign by a Gloucestershire MP.


Alex Chalk fought for an increase after one


Dr Eleanor Aston was a GP in Abbeydale when a patient


It lasted seven years and she became so anxious she gave up work


and would hide behind the sofa rather than go outside.


This is the culmination of a very long campaign but I think the really


important thing is this sends a message out that protecting


victims has got to be the first priority and the courts now


have the powers they need to do that.


I just want to pay tribute to Eleanor Aston who has


Without her, this simply wouldn't have happened and I'm just


A man who was allegedly attacked with acid in Bristol has died.


Mark Van Dongen was injured on Ladysmith Road in


Berlinah Wallace has been charged with throwing


a corrosive fluid at him, with a trial due to start next week.


But it was halted today after Mr Van Dongen's father,


who lives in Belgium, confirmed his death.


The trial is now due to start in April.


There's a rise in domestic abuse at this time of year according


to a Taunton-based charity and a growing number of men


Paul Chivers from Wiltshire was abused by his wife for a decade,


and is urging other victims to speak out.


Paul Chivers suffered at the hands of his wife for ten years.


She coerced, humiliated and isolated him, and she physically


There was one incident where a painting was taken off


My ex-wife split my head open, and I needed eight


Since 2012, the number of male domestic abuse incidents


being reported has increased across all our police forces.


That shows more men are willing to come forward.


But the Home Office says men are still far less likely


The charity ManKind Initiative is based in Taunton.


It has a campaign using actors and hidden cameras to show how


quickly the public defend a woman being assaulted but in the same


Gradually, the police, local councils and the local health


services have started to realise and understand that men are victims


Paul's wife was jailed for abusing him.


He hopes by speaking out, he'll encourage others to avoid


Now sport and double Olympic rowing champion Alex Gregory has


decided enough is enough and announced his


Alex, who's from Cheltenham, won Gold in the men's four at London


2012 and defended that title in Rio last summer.


In rugby, Bath lost in the last few minutes


That makes it three defeats on the trot for them


Bath trailed at half-time but then an early try


This was followed by a better spell for the visitors


But it wasn't enough and Newcastle finished strongly with this try,


that was converted to give them the victory by two points.


Have a lovely weekend, and I'll leave you with Ian


We are in for a dry, or largely dry weekend.


It will be one under a lot of cloud, both the case of Saturday


and Sunday, extensive amounts of cloud, indeed, and fairly murky


Having said that it will be comparatively mild, more


For the rest of tonight, still patchy outbreaks of rain


about, just drifting away slowly southwards.


There will be a fair amount of dry weather generally


by tomorrow morning, certainly further northwards


and temperatures remain well above the territory


About three to five Celsius by daybreak tomorrow.


By that stage, still some hill fog around, still some outbreaks


They will continue to be a feature across the likes of Exmoor


Elsewhere, it is looking broadly dry.


I doubt we're going to see anything in the way of brightness


The winds will be light and all in all it should be a decent


enough day for anything you are doing outdoors.


Temperatures, getting up to about ten Celsius.


They will drop back a little bit during the course of Sunday.


Here's a look now at your national forecast.


Good evening. The weather has been turning milder and also cloudier


through the course of the day. We did see some clear spells moving in


from the North will stop this was the sunset, captured in Dundee. Some


clear spells as we headed through the course of the afternoon into the


evening. Really, through the weekend, wiki with a similar theme.


Much milder than it has been. A lot of cloud around in general, but for


most of us think. Dry. Not dry everywhere at the moment,


particularly across central and southern parts of England and Wales.


We have a lot of cloud, bringing outbreaks of light rain and drizzle.


The patchy rain will ease away slowly towards the south through


tonight and further north across the country, drier conditions. Wherever


you are, it's pretty cloudy. Mostly frost free to start the weekend, but


there could be frost across the central glens of Scotland. A chilly


start, but quite a lot of cloud, some pockets of Mr Ness as we work


our way south across parts of northern England, Northern Ireland


and Wales. Heading further south across England