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Violent attack on Bedford pensioners

Carol Oxenham, 65, and Merlin O'Brien, 72, were attacked in Bedford town centre. Credit: Bedfordshire Police.

Two pensioners were attacked in an unprovoked attack n Bedford town centre.

A 65-year-old man was left with a fractured eye socket and a broken jaw while a 72-year-old suffered major bruising and swelling, including two black eyes, following the attack early on Sunday.

The men had left a kebab shop in the Broadway at about 1am and were walking along the footpath at Cavendish Street.

They were suddenly set upon by two men, who were part of a larger group. They were kicked, punched and stamped on.

Police said they believed there was no motive for the attack.

Det Con Andy Boston, from Bedford Police, said: "Even for an experienced detective, it's shocking to see the severity of injuries cause to two gentleman of this age who have been attacked for no obvious reason."

Police are appealing for witnesses.

Two women sexually assault within 15 minutes of each other

Two women were sexually assaulted in Dunstable on Sunday. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Two women were sexually assaulted within 15 minutes of each other in Dunstable yesterday evening.

Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses to the attacks which happened at around 5.15pm close to Apollo Close and 5.25pm at Priory Gardens on Sunday.

The first victim was walking along the alleyway which links Sundown Avenue and Apollo Close when a man grabbed her shoulder and tried to kiss her while pushing her against a fence.

The 28-year-old bit his tongue as hard as she could but the man then tried to put his hand down her trousers.

She ran away after the fence collapsed and they fell to the floor.

The second victim, aged 55, was walking through Priory Gardens when a man tried to hug and kiss her. He walked off towards High Street North.

The offender in both attacks is described as being a white man of Mediterranean appearance, aged in his mid-20s to late 30s, and between 5ft 5ins and 5ft 8ins tall.

He had dark hair, dark eyes, a strong accent and was wearing a long black coat which came to his knees, dark trousers or jeans and black shoes.

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Police make cash point scam warning

Police in Luton are warning people to be vigilant at cash points in the town after two people were approached and had their cards taken from them.

It relates to an incident outside the Lloyds Bank on Riddy Lane and another outside the BP garage on Barton Road.

One victim, a 43 year old woman had her card taken after two men approached her and cancelled the transaction. Shortly after a 77 year old man had his card taken, with the men also managing to withdraw £250 from his account.

Chief Constable on investigation into death of Leon Briggs

The Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police has denied 'closing ranks' after the death of a man in custody.

Leon Briggs died at Luton police station after being detained under the Mental Health Act.

Friends and family of Mr Briggs demanded answers from the force at a public meeting in Luton last night. Five police officers and two support staff have been suspended while an investigation is carried out.

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Five officers and two support staff suspended after death of man in custody

Five police officers and two support staff who are under investigation after the death of a man in custody at Luton police station were tonight suspended from duty.

Bedfordshire Police chief constable Colette Paul said the suspension "in no way jumps to any conclusion" about the investigation currently being carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) police watchdog.

Mr Briggs, 39, described by his family as a "kind, loyal, intelligent" father, died after being detained at Luton police station under the Mental Health Act on Monday.

The suspension has been made after an initial assessment by the IPCC, Ms Paul said.

"Their suspension in no way jumps to any conclusion about the outcome of the investigation, but ensures absolute assurance of neutrality and transparency as the IPCC investigation progresses. The suspension of each member of staff will remain under constant review.

"We continue to co-operate with the investigation to help provide Mr Briggs' family, the Coroner and the IPCC with accurate information about how and why Mr Briggs died."

– Bedfordshire Police chief constable Colette Paul

Chief Constable releases statement over death

Colette Paul Credit: Bedfordshire Police

The officers under investigation following the death of Leon Briggs have today been suspended from duty following an initial assessment by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Their suspension in no way jumps to any conclusion about the outcome of the investigation but ensures absolute assurance of neutrality and transparency as the IPCC investigation progresses. The suspension of each member of staff will remain under constant review.

We continue to co-operate with the investigation to help provide Mr Briggs’ family, the Coroner and the IPCC with accurate information about how and why Mr Briggs died.

I want to express my sympathy to the family of Leon Briggs at this difficult time. Mr Briggs’ family are being supported by IPCC family liaison managers at this sad time.Colette Paul Chief Constable.

Community meeting over police custody death

A community meeting's being held in Luton this evening to discuss concerns over the death of a man in police custody.

A shrine's been set up in memory of Leon Briggs who died after being detained at Luton police station under the Mental Health Act.

A meeting's being held at the Carnival Arts Centre at 8pm tonight. Representatives of Mr Brigg's family are expected to attend, along with the police and the IPCC, who are investigating what happened.

Family pay tribute to loving father

Tributes outside Luton police station
Tributes outside Luton police station Credit: ITV Anglia

Leon Briggs's family said they were deeply shocked by his sudden death. They added: "Leon was a loving father, son and brother. He was a kind, loyal, intelligent, caring person who put his family and others first.

"We have a lot of questions about why he was put through this terrifying ordeal and why he died. We feel he has been let down by the authorities at a time when he should have been provided with specialist care and support."

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