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A cracking Christmas: behind the scenes of the ballet 'Nutcracker'

The Birmingham Royal Ballet is a company of 60 dancers from all over the world so there is some serious competition for roles.

Their Christmas production of The Nutcracker opens this evening but instead of princes and princesses from far-away lands, they hail from places a little closer to home.

The Nutcracker prince is from Selly Oak and Clara is from Cheltenham. It has also been a huge project to get it ready in time - in just two weeks!

West Country (E)

Coroner rules school girl dies from natural causes

An inquest into the death of a schoolgirl who collapsed suddenly has ruled she died from natural causes.

The inquest heard how 11 year old Megan White from Cheltenham had been "merry and laughing" with her friends at All Saints' Academy in the town. But she suddenly fell unwell and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where tests revealed she had suffered a small bleed on her brain.

Megan collapsed at school on January 13. She was taken to hospital where investigations showed a large bleed on her brain.

"She was transferred to Bristol Children's Hospital where despite treatment, she died on January 14. I am sorry that the experts have not been able to make it any clearer as to why this happened. She died of natural causes."

– Gail Elliman, deputy coroner for Avon

While she was in the emergency department, she had a larger bleed which caused her to go unconscious and at that point she was put on a breathing machine.

"She was taken to Frenchay Hospital and underwent neurosurgery. After that, unfortunately she was still showing signs of a very severe brain injury.

"This bleed occurred in an area very deep inside the brain where even a small bleed can cause a large amount of damage. We probably see two cases like this a year, where people come in with a small bleed then the second bleed occurs.

"Mostly, despite our best efforts, we are unable to save these children. It is very, very sad - going from someone who is quite normal to such devastating injury."

– Dr Margrid Shindler, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

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West Country (E)

Witness appeal after pedestrian critically injured

Scene of the incident on Bath Road, Cheltenham. Credit: ITV News

Police are investigating after a pedestrian was critically injured on Bath Road in Cheltenham in the early hours of this morning (Sunday 15 September). The incident happened at around 12:40am outside the Wetherspoons Moon Over Water pub on Bath Road.

Officers were called to reports that a pedestrian had been in a collision with a Skoda Superb private hire vehicle. The pedestrian, a 19-year-old woman from Gloucester, suffered serious injuries in the incident.

She was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital but has since been transferred to a specialist neurological ward at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, where she is in a critical condition. Any witnesses that have not yet spoken to officers are asked to call Gloucestershire Police on 101.

West Country (E)

MP pledges to fight grandmother's death sentence

The MP for Cheltenham, Martin Horwood, has pledged to fight the death penalty imposed on former Cheltenham resident, Lindsay Sandiford, in the light of her failure to win her appeal at the Indonesian Supreme Court.

  • He is working with the charity Reprieve supporting Mrs Sandiford in Indonesia
  • He plans to meet with the Foreign Office to discuss how to get her legal advice to help find evidence that could mean a Judicial Review
  • He will request another meeting with the Indonesian Ambassador to discuss her sentence

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Foreign Office will 'consider' support for Sandiford

The Foreign Office will "consider how to support any application for judicial review or clemency" for a Cheltenham grandmother who lost her appeal against the death penalty for drug trafficking in Indonesia.

We are aware that Lindsay Sandiford's appeal to the Indonesian Supreme Court has been denied.

We will continue to provide consular assistance to Lindsay Sandiford and her family at this difficult time.

– Foreign office

Cheltenham grandmother loses death appeal

A spokesman for the Supreme Court in Jakarta has confirmed a British grandmother from Cheltenham has lost her appeal against a death sentence for drugs trafficking in Bali.

Lindsay Sandiford's appeal was unanimously rejected by a three-judge panel at the court, Ridwan Mansur said.

Under Indonesian law, Sandiford can still look for a judicial review of her case before appealing for a presidential pardon.

Read More: Lindsay Sandiford News

West Country (E)

PICTURES: Paraglider rescued from Leckhampton Hill

This photo shows the difficult nature of the rescue on Leckhampton Hill Credit: Glos Fire & Rescue Service
Close-up of the paramedics and rescue teams attending to the paraglider Credit: Glos Fire & Rescue Service
The rope rescue team from Coleford was brought in to help the fire crews Credit: Glos Fire & Rescue Service
Another shot of the teams working together to save the paraglider who was airlifted to hospital Credit: Glos Fire & Rescue Service
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