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Storm Doris batters the South

The Needles on the Isle of Wight were battered with 82 mile an hour gusts today - as Storm Doris forced flights to be cancelled and brought disruption to ferries and trains. Fallen trees blocked railway lines out of Reading - and between Eastleigh and Winchester. A weather warning remains in place for strong winds into this evening. Here's our report from Mary Stanley.

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Bracknell on course for major revamp

Bracknell town centre is set to be transformed by a 240 million pound scheme for a major new shopping and leisure centre. The project, called The Lexicon will offer thousands of new jobs for the region, as Bracknell attempts to compete with other shopping hubs in Reading, Basingstoke and Newbury. It's due to open in September. Cary Johnston went along to check on its progress.

Firefighters tackle blaze at disused nursing home

Credit: Nick Fontana

Firefighters were called to a blaze at a disused nursing home in Uckfield last night.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue service received 30 calls about the fire at Ridgewood Manor on Lewes Road.

Credit: Nick Fontana

Six fire crews attended the blaze after 8pm last night.

Roads were closed and residents were asked to keep their windows and doors shut.

There were no casualties and an investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Credit: Nick Fontana
Credit: Nick Fontana
Credit: Nick Fontana

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Two men plead guilty to torturing couple for cash

Kacey Adams (left) and Daniel Wallace (right) Credit: Kent Police

Two men who broke into a home in Halstead and tortured a couple whilst demanding cash have pleaded guilty to burglary and assault.

33 year old Kacey Adams formerly of Covert Road, Hainault, Ilford and 23 year old Daniel Wallace of no fixed address smashed into the property in London Road on 26th April last year.

The victims were tied up and repeatedly assaulted for two hours.

Boiling water was poured over them and they were beaten and threatened with a knife and hot iron.

Adams and Wallace fled around 11pm with stolen cash and jewellery.

The male victim managed to untie himself and call the police.

The couple were taken to hospital with serious injuries, with the woman suffering 30% burns to her body requiring treatment in an intensive care unit for months afterwards.

Adams and Wallace were arrested on 31st May at Heathrow Airport after returning from a shopping trip in Dubai.

They were charged with aggravated burglary and two counts of grievous bodily harm.

The date of their sentencing is yet to be announced.

Adams and Wallace were responsible for crimes which can only be described as barbaric and cruel beyond words. The woman had two kettles of boiling water poured onto her, inflicting horrific burns and injuries, which could quite easily have proved fatal. The psychological scars that both victims are continuing to deal with are unimaginable."

"This is an extremely rare case and one that has shocked a very experienced investigation team. I would like to thank the victims for their courage and assistance in helping bring these men to justice and I hope when these two men are sentenced it will least provide some comfort and closure."

– Detective Inspector James Derham, Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate

'Fuel bank' scheme used by 500 children in Hastings in less than a year

A 'fuel bank' that's been running for just under a year in Hastings has already helped more than 1,100 people - including 500 children.

The scheme gives foodbank users vouchers for gas or electricity so families don't have to choose between keeping the lights on and heating their home.

Jeffery Beale, manager, said: 'During the last few months, we’ve seen an increase in people coming through our doors for both food and fuel support, largely due to the roll out of Universal Credit in our area.

'With waiting times of up to six weeks before receiving any benefit means that not only those out-of-work are struggling, but also those in-work and on low incomes.'

£400,000 for Southampton to help the homeless

Credit: ITV Meridian

Southampton City Council is to receive £400,000 in funding to offer 24 hour support as well as accommodation to the homeless in the city.

The funding is part of the Rough Sleepers' Grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government and will be spread across two years.

The council is encouraging members of the public to give donations to homelessness charities in the city rather than directly to those begging.

The council launched the poster campaign 'Begging you for lasting change' last year to encourage this as it says the money is used more effectively this way.

Regular patrols are carried out in the city on behalf of the council to encourage individuals to take advantage of the services available.

We especially want to intervene when people are at risk of becoming homeless or have just arrived on the street, as this is perhaps the best chance we have of getting people to accept help."

“It’s a major frustration that help is on hand to the homeless in Southampton, but is often refused. There are hostel beds available for most rough sleepers in the city and services are available for those sleeping rough with help routinely offered to them. We aim to use this grant funding to encourage more people, especially those not yet accustomed to life on the streets, to accept the help and turn their lives around."

– Councillor Warwick Payne, cabinet member for Housing & Adult Care

Lorry catches fire on the M4 in Wiltshire

Credit: Highways England

A loaded car transporter has caught fire on the M4 in Wiltshire between Swindon and Chippenham.

The motorway is currently closed westbound between junction 16 and 17.

Emergency services are at the scene.

Drivers have been advised to allow extra time for their journey and follow the diversion signs in place.

HGVs are being diverted via junction 15 while all other traffic is being diverted off junction 16 via local roads.

The eastbound carriageway was also blocked earlier today due to thick smoke, it has since reopened.

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