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Key Lockerbie bombing witness dies

Tony Gauci Credit: PA

A key witness whose evidence helped to secure the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi over the Lockerbie bombing has died, according to the Times of Malta.

Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci died of natural causes at his home at the age of 75.

Mr Gauci ran a clothes shop in Malta, at the time of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 and claimed that Megrahi bought a piece of clothing found among the debris of the aircraft.

His evidence helped to secure the 2001 conviction of Libyan Megrahi for the atrocity in which 270 people died.

Pan Am 103 Credit: PA

Some doubts were subsequently raised about Mr Gauci's reliability.

Megrahi was the only person to have been convicted of the bombing on December 21 1988.

In his last interview, Megrahi insisted he had "never seen" Mr Gauci and had not bought clothes from him.

Man arrested after serious assault in Kelso

Police Scotland Credit: PA

A 23-year-old man has been arrested and charged following a serious assault in Kelso.

Police Scotland confirmed a 27-year-old man suffered serious facial injuries as a result of an incident which took place in The Square around 12.30am on Sunday 30th October.

He was taken to Border General Hospital for treatment.

The 23-year-old is due to appear at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on Monday 31st October.

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Prison Service say public protection is 'top priority'

The Prison Service has released a statement saying that public protection is their top priority, after a prisoner escaped from HMP Haverigg.

Dean Walker was noted as unaccounted for on Friday 28th October and the 32-year-old hasn't been seen since.

Police forces across Cumbria, Lancashire and Manchester say they are working together to find Mr Walker.

"Public protection is our top priority. “Staff at HMP Haverigg are working closely with the police to locate an offender who is unaccounted for.”

– Spokesperson, Prison Service

Concern for missing Braithwaite teenager

Missing teenager Tom Hammond Credit: Cumbria Police

Police in Cumbria are becoming increasingly concerned for a 15-year-old boy who is missing from the Braithwaite area.

Tom Hammond, from York, was last seen at High Bridge in Braithwaite at 4.30pm on Friday 28th October.

He is described as:

  • 5ft 7 inches tall
  • Slim build
  • Short blonde hair

He was last seen wearing a dark blue duffel coat, light blue jeans and walking boots.

Anyone who has seen Tom is asked to contact police immediately on 101.

Search continues for missing Haverigg prisoner

Dean Walker Credit: Cumbria Police

Police in Cumbria have confirmed that they are continuing to search for a prisoner who they believe has escaped from Haverigg Prison.

Dean Walker, from Manchester, remains unaccounted for after reports of the 32-year-old going missing on 28th October.

Specialist policing resources have been deployed across Cumbria and they're liaising with police in Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Mr Walker, who was sentenced for robbery, is described as black male, with brown eyes and a shaved head.

“We have worked throughout last night and this morning in our attempts to trace Walker and return him to custody. A thorough search of the prison grounds and the nearby area has been conducted.

“Walker has a history of violence and our advice to members of the public is to not approach him, but to call the police immediately.

“We are liaising with other local police forces in case he is attempting to return to Manchester and are working closely with HMP Haverigg.

“Numerous resources are currently in the area searching for Walker and we would like to hear from anyone who has any information on Walker’s whereabouts.”

Anyone with information on where Walker is should call Cumbria Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

– Chief Inspector Matt Kennerley, Cumbria Police

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Refugee information event planned for Carlisle

Orphaned children in Calais Credit: PA

An event aimed at teaching people about the current refugee crisis is being held in Carlisle on Wednesday 19th October.

Local people, students and businesses will find out about the issues faced by refugees during the information evening taking place at the University of Cumbria's Fusehill Street Campus.

It follows news that Cumbria County Council is applying to host a group of Syrian refugees over the next few months.

The former refugee camp in Calais, which was home to more than 10,000 people at one stage, is set to be demolished shortly.

“Since 2014 the UK has resettled less than 2,000 Syrian refugees - a pitifully small proportion compared to the 4.8 million Syrians in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

"Meanwhile Calais Camp contains 1,179 minors including 387 refugee children who have been identified as eligible for protection in the UK, but not one child has been transferred to the UK this year."

– Hazel Royle, Chair, Amnesty Carlisle Group
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