ITV Meridian news in brief

All the news as it breaks across the south, south east and Thames Valley.

Man charged after travel agent robberies

A man has been charged following a series of robberies at travel agents across Kent and Sussex.

Luis Christo, 20, of Lomley House, Tulse Hill, London was arrested in the early hours of New Year's Eve as he boarded a plane to Lisbon at Gatwick airport.

He has been charged with four counts of robbery and four counts of possessing a firearm whilst committing an offence.

Travellers checks were stolen in the raids in Barnet, Sandwich, Hythe and Hove last month.

Christo has been remanded in custody until Wednesday next week.

Police appeal for missing man

Fred Chapman Credit: Kent Police

Police officers are appealing for the public's help to trace a man who has been reported missing.

Fred Chapman, 64, from Maidstone, was reported missing this morning and officers say they are growing increasingly concerned for his welfare.

Mr Chapman takes medication and is not thought to have his medicine with him. Police believe that he may be in the Cliffe Woods area of Medway.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Kent Police by calling 101 quoting incident reference 02-0381.

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Edwards leaves London Irish

Shaun Edwards Credit: PA

Surrey's London Irish have confirmed that Shaun Edwards consultancy role with the rugby club has ended.

Edwards will now concentrate on his commitments with the Welsh Rugby Union as it prepares for the fourth coming Six Nations Championship and the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

London Irish director Brian Smith said: “I have always been a supporter of Shaun Edwards and that will not change.

"He is a world class defence coach and has put in place structures, strategies and techniques that we will take forward. I will step up on the defensive side for the remainder of this season. We would like to thank him for his efforts over the last six months and wish him well for the future.”

Police appeal after arson in student digs

Police are appealing for witnesses after an arson attack at a student house in Southampton.

Officers were called by firefighters just before 7am on New Years Day to Milton Road. They had discovered a number of fires that had been started in different rooms in the building.

No one was hurt in the blaze as all the occupiers were out at the time. It’s believed the fires were started sometime anytime after 10.45pm the evening before.

Officers are now appealing for anyone with information or who saw anyone suspicious to get in touch.

They are asked to contact Det Const Gavin Jordan at Shirley CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.