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Fatal fire 'most likely caused by discarded cigarette'

A fire which killed a 28-year-old woman in Basingstoke was most likely caused by a discarded cigarette.

Tamazin Van Der Walt died in March when the blaze ripped through her brother's house in Popley.

The number of people who smoke has halved in the last forty years. But 37% of fatal fires are still caused through smoking.

Kate Bunkall reports from the coroners court on another tragedy probably caused by a habit that is doubly dangerous.

Basingstoke election count is underway

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£100,000 worth of wine stolen

Wine was taken from a warehouse in Basingstoke Credit: ITV Meridian

Thieves have stolen more than a hundred thousand pounds worth of some of the world's finest wines from a warehouse in Basingstoke.

Like the Hatton Garden heist, they cut a hole through the wall of the firm Berry Bros and Rudd - which is famous for supplying the Royal family.

One crate alone they stole was worth £5000.

Wine was taken from a warehouse in Basingstoke Credit: ITV Meridian

Basingstoke man charged following assault on twins

Police have charged a 31 year old man from Basingstoke following a stabbing on Saturday 21 March.

Two 16 year old twin brothers were assaulted during an incident at the roundabout in Tanyard Way, Dilton Marsh, Westbury. This evening detectives have charged Darren Bryant, aged 31 from Basingstoke, with two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He remains in custody and is due appear at Swindon Magistrates court on Saturday 28 March.

Concern for missing teenager

Mary Mbatia was last seen on Wednesday night. Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

Police are issuing an appeal for information about a missing teenage girl from Basingstoke.

Mary Mbatia, aged 15, was last seen at her home in the town shortly after 11.30pm on Wednesday night.

Mary is described as:

Black Medium build Long shoulder-length hair

One line of enquiry is that Mary may have travelled to London with an older black man.

Mary or anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact police by phoning 101. Mini-com users can phone 18001 101. In an emergency, dial 999.

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Rail firm's apology over 'fat people' announcement

Rail company apology over fat people announcement Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/Press Association Images

South West Trains have apologised for an announcement urging fat people to stay on their feet due to overcrowding.

The train was full of commuters when a member of staff reportedly said: 'We are going to be like sardines on this train, so can I ask that only slim people sit on the three-seaters.

'If you are fat then it is simply not going to work.'

One angry passenger on the service, which was leaving Basingstoke in Hampshire, told the Daily Mail: 'I am not necessarily a big person but most people are larger than those seats anyway. It's pretty disgusting. I would get fired if I said that at my work.'

South West Trains have since apologised, saying the comment, if it had been made, was unacceptable.

A spokesman said: 'All passengers are welcome on board our trains and we would find it unacceptable if that comment had been made by one of our employees.

'We run some of the busiest trains in the country and we do appreciate that space on some of our trains is limited.

'To provide extra space and seats for our customers, we are in the process of investing £250m in extra carriages and new trains.'

Woman dies in Basingstoke house fire

A woman has died in a house fire in Basingstoke in the early hours of this morning.

Fire crews received seven calls about the fire on Buckfast Close Credit: Google Maps

Hampshire Fire and Rescue service says it received several calls reporting a blaze at Buckfast Close, just before 5am.

Three fire engines from Basingstoke and one from Overton attended the incident.

When crews arrived they were faced with a severe fire on the ground floor of an end of terrace house.

Two people had been able to make their own way out of the house but a woman was not able to escape and was pronounced dead at scene. An investigation is now underway.

Dog walker in Basingstoke may hold vital clues in police investigation

Detectives investigating a sexual assault on two teenage girls in Basingstoke on Friday 6th February are appealing for a dog walker to contact them. The man, who was walking two or three white dogs in the South Ham area, is believed to be a vital witness who officers need to speak to.

The two teenagers were in the Paddock Road area between 8.30pm and 10.30pm when they were sexually assaulted by a man. He's described as in his 60s and approximately 5ft 9ins tall.

The girls have told officers that they spoke to the dog walker after the incident and detectives would like to trace this man to see if he can help them with the investigation. He is not a suspect. Police have carried out extensive investigations, including house to house enquiries and reviewing CCTV in the area.

Detective Constable Ed Tyrie said: “I understand that there will be some concern within the local community about what has happened. Please be assured that we have been conducting significant enquiries in the area and have extra officers out on patrol. Key to this investigation is tracing the man walking his dogs that the two girls spoke to after the incident. We would urge this man to get in touch as soon as possible."

Anyone with any information should contact Det Con Tyrie in the Northern Investigation Team on 101. Or call the Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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