Men jailed for sex offences

A major criminal inquiry into a child prostitution ring in Shropshire has ended after securing the conviction of seven men.

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Police appeal after girl sexually assaulted in Shropshire

West Mercia Police have appealed for information to catch a youth who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl in broad daylight.

The attacker is described as white and between the ages of 13 and 17.

We need anyone who was in the area of St Michael's Street on Friday afternoon and saw anyone acting suspiciously to get in touch - any tiny piece of information could be useful. We would particularly like to speak to anyone who saw a teenage male with a younger girl between 3.45pm and 4pm.

Also, if you think you may know who the boy is, you need to contact the police immediately. We believe he is local, not least because he seems to have good knowledge of the area.

– Detective Chief Inspector Jon Marsden

Police warning after girl sexually assaulted in broad daylight

10-year-old girl sexually assaulted in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
10-year-old girl sexually assaulted in Shrewsbury, Shropshire Credit: PA

West Mercia Police have issued a warning after a 10-year-old girl was subjected to a sustained and serious sexual assault in broad daylight.

The attack happened on Friday afternoon in Shrewsbury as the girl walked along St Michael's Road towards Ditherington Road when she was approached by her attacker.

The attacker thought to be white and aged between 13 and 17 led the girl behind a container near a car wash where he assaulted her.

Police have issued a warning to families with young children to be extra cautious.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Marsden, who is leading the investigation, said:

I would recommend that, if at all possible, primary school-aged children are supervised when away from home either by yourselves or a trusted adult.

This week it is the Easter holidays, so for the time being, we suggest parents make sure they know where their children are and if possible stay in contact via mobile phone.

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River Avon body identified by police

Police have identified a man whose body was found in the River Avon at Evesham last month.

Officers were called to the Weir Meadow Caravan Park in Castle Street on Wednesday 19 February when a member of the public spotted a body in the river that had been caught up on a boat mooring.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service sent a boat crew to recover the man, who appeared to have been in the water for some days.

West Mercia Police released a nationwide appeal for the public’s help to discover his identity, including releasing photos of his clothes.

It is a relief we have confirmed who this man is and his family can now start grieving for their loved one.

“I would like to thank those people from across the country who contacted us with information about who this gentleman may have been.”

– Detective Sergeant Craig Tennant, West Mercia police

During a police search of the river bank looking for further clues, a rucksack was found that belonged to a man in his 50s from Cheltenham. Using DNA technology it was confirmed he was the deceased man.

His next of kin have been informed and the Coroner for Worcestershire has been updated.

Police advice on how to avoid telephone scam

West Mercia Police are now linking three cases in the past 24 hours in which telephone callers have posed as police to trick elderly or vulnerable victims into revealing their bank details.

Your bank and the police will never contact you by phone to ask for this information. Victims should refuse to give any details and end the call immediately.

In addition a police officer calling at your door will carry a warrant card which shows their name, number and a photograph as well as the force they work for.

Genuine police officers will never ask for bank details over the telephone. One simple rule will prevent you from falling for this kind of con and that is to never give bank details to anyone who has called you.

– Spokesperson for West Mercia Police

Police warning of telephone fraud in Worcestershire

West Mercia Police have issued an urgent appeal to be aware of fraud involving bogus officers after a steady increase in incidents in Worcestershire.

Officers are now linking three cases in the past 24 hours in which telephone callers have posed as police to attempt to trick elderly or vulnerable victims into revealing their bank details.

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Worcestershire NHS trust: surgeon 'excluded' after concerns raised about patient deaths

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has said it 'acted swiftly and responsibly' after becoming aware of 'potential problems' involving the deaths of patients cared for by a consultant surgeon.

West Mercia Police are looking into concerns about a number of patients who died while under the care of Sudip Sarker.

"The Trust would like to reassure patients and their relatives that as soon as it became aware there was a potential problem the Trust acted swiftly and responsibly to protect its patients.

"It alerted the Royal College of Surgeons in July 2012 and asked them to review his clinical practice.

"While the review was on-going the Trust put restrictions on the surgeon’s practice. He was excluded from the Trust in October 2012."

– Statement from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Worcestershire NHS trust: 'co-operating fully' with police over patient deaths

A Worcestershire NHS trust has said it is co-operating fully with a police investigation into the deaths of a number of patients cared for by Sudip Sarker, a consultant surgeon who worked in the county.

Officers at West Mercia Police have confirmed they have been looking into concerns about a number of patient deaths which happened in 2012.

"An expert multidisciplinary team has reviewed the medical records of all his patients who had undergone a major operation (eg for bowel cancer).

"Patients we were concerned about were recalled for further assessment and appropriate investigations.

"A separate review of all patients who had any contact with Mr Sarker (outpatient appointments or minor procedures) is being performed by a team of specialist external surgeons.

"Patients in this group who require further assessment/ investigation are also being invited back to the hospital."

– Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Surgeon investigated over Worcestershire patient deaths

West Mercia Police have described the case as a 'complex matter'. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Police have confirmed they have launched an investigation into the deaths of a number of patients cared for by consultant surgeon Sudip Sarker, while he was working in Worcestershire.

Mr Sarker was employed by the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

North Worcestershire Superintendent Kevin Purcell said the investigation began after officers received a letter in December last year.

He said: “We were made aware that there were a number of concerns in relation to the deaths of patients in 2012 who had been under Mr Sarker’s care.

"We are in the early stages of obtaining the relevant information from hospitals and other health organisations in order to conduct our investigation.

“We cannot be specific about numbers at this time but can confirm that the deaths of three patients whose joint inquest was adjourned in December (2013) form part of this inquiry.

"The families of those people have been informed and updated on the situation."

Over 2,000 cannabis plants in old Royal Mail office

More than 2,000 cannabis plants - worth more than £600,000 on the street - were discovered in a police raid on an old Royal Mail sorting office in Herefordshire.

Police today said it was the biggest cannabis factory ever discovered in the county.

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of producing the Class B drug.

Over 2,000 plants were found at various stages of development
Over 2,000 plants were found at various stages of development Credit: West Mercia Police

A total of 2,180 cannabis plants plus growing equipment were seized by the officers, who executed the warrant in Bromyard.

The raid was carried out after passers-by reported a strong smell of cannabis.

The old Royal Mail sorting office where the plants were being cultivated
The old Royal Mail sorting office where the plants were being grown Credit: West Mercia Police
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