It is exactly 18 years since the disappearance of teenager Damien Nettles during a night out on the Isle of Wight. The last confirmed sighting of him on CCTV was at a chip shop in Cowes late on the night of November the 2nd, 1996. Despite searches taking place and rewards being offered no trace of him has ever been found. Richard Jones reports.
The disappearance of a teenager from the Isle of Wight is being highlighted this weekend - 18 years after he was last seen.
16-year-old Damien Nettles from Gurnard on the island was last seen during a night out in the town of Cowes in 1996.
The last confirmed sighting of Damien on surviving available CCTV was in Yorkie’s fish and chip shop off Cowes High Street at 11.35pm on Saturday, November 2, 1996.
Damien was also positively identified by his family from CCTV of Cowes High Street at 12.02am on Sunday, November 3, 1996. This footage showed Damien walking to a bus stop and then back along the High Street eating his chips.
The files on Damien Nettles remain with the Hampshire Major Investigation Team (HMIT) for regular checks. These include:
• Contacting Coroner's officers about the discoveries of any unidentified bodies similar to Damien's description.
• Analysing the credibility of any new information reported to police.
No new lines of enquiry have been identified by Hampshire Constabulary over the past year. However, the case is not closed.
Previous police actions in this case include:
• 1,134 people have been involved in the investigation (either as investigators, witnesses, or people of interest) since Damien Nettles disappeared on November 2, 1996.
• 357 witness statements have been taken to date since November 2, 1996.
• 2,553 documents have been reviewed and processed.
• Between 2010 and 2012, it was necessary for the Hampshire Major Investigation Team (HMIT) to concentrate on analysing and acting upon the information already passed to police by the local community.
• This analysis led police in 2011 to arrest eight people who were questioned over the course of a year, and later released with no further action.
• Officers focused on completing existing enquiries while suspects were on bail. We did not charge anyone with a criminal offence.
• Murder or foul play cannot be ruled out.
• Hampshire Constabulary offered a £20,000 reward between October 4, 2012 and April 4, 2013 for facts leading to the location of Damien Nettles.
• Police received 30 reports of information.
• Each of the 30 reports of information has been analysed and assessed in line with police procedures.
• None of the information led to new lines of enquiry. However, the case was not closed.
Hampshire Constabulary remains disappointed that Damien has not been found yet. Our files continue to be kept open to receive any new facts anyone may have about what happened to the teenager in November 1996.
A key point to repeat and remember in this case is the reporting of any new facts - not fictions fuelled by the repetition of rumour.
Anyone with information can contact the Hampshire Major Investigation Team (HMIT) at Fratton Police Station by phoning 101 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
He went missing, without a trace, 18 years ago - but now friends of Damien Nettles have begun digging on the Isle of Wight looking for his remains.
Sixteen year old Damien was last seen on a night out in Cowes. Hampshire Police believe he may have been murdered. But no body has ever been found.
But now a video has been released showing three people digging at an unnamed location. His family say if they find his body - it will help them find out who was responsible. Andrew Pate has more.
Damian Nettles' mother now lives in America. So ITV Meridian's Sangeeta Bhabra spoke to Valerie Nettles via Skype - and asked her why people have been digging on the island.
Next month marks the eighteenth anniversary of the disappearance of teenager Damien Nettles, who was last seen on a night out in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
Now people are digging at a site on the island in the hope they may discover what happened to him.
ITV Meridian spoke to Damien's mum Valerie from Texas via Skype.
Cowes Floating Bridge will be closed to cars for the next three nights. It will be operating a pedestrian only service between 8 o'clock in the evening until 12:30 am. It's so road resurfacing works can be carried out in Medina Road.
On the evenings of 24, 25, 26 and 29 September (8pm to 12.30am), vehicles will not be able to gain access to the floating bridge on the Cowes side.
Signs have been put in place by Island Roads informing motorists of the situation. The resurfacing has been scheduled for night-time hours to minimise disruption to the service.
Between the hours of 5am and 8pm the floating bridge will operate services as normal for vehicles.
Cowes RNLI lifeboat was among rescue services that attended a large yacht in which a man was fatally injured in what was a near-gale south-westerly today.
The alert was sparked by a ketch radioing Solent Coastguards shortly after 1 pm that a person had been seriously injured. To the scene raced the Cowes Atlantic 85 lifeboat, the police launch Commander and the Lee-on-Solent based rescue helicopter.
The winchman from the helicopter was lowered to the yacht, and after he had assessed the casualty the yacht proceeded to Trinity Landing, escorted by the lifeboat. There the yacht was met by coastguards and the crew of an ambulance which took the casualty on to St Mary’s Hospital.
Earlier the lifeboat acted as go-between for the winchman, taking him on board then transferring him to the police launch from which he was lifted back into the helicopter.
This was the second incident in two days that Cowes lifeboat had been called out to a yacht where a yachtsman had been a casualty of strong winds. In the first a Norwegian was treated at St Mary’s for arm and shoulder injuries, from an apparent accidental gybe. It is understood that the yacht was based in Southampton and was on its way to Yarmouth but before the accident was diverting to Cowes because of the weather conditions.
Cowes lifeboat returned to station at 2.20 pm.
It's a new approach to teaching that may sound eccentric - but some believe making children take their shoes off at school is making a real difference to their learning
The concept is on the rise around the world.
Supporters say it makes classrooms quieter and calmer and pupils more relaxed and willing to work.
Christine Alsford has been to Lanesend Primary at Cowes on the Isle of Wight where they are hailing their 'shoes off' policy a success.
Police on the Isle of Wight are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a crash between a car and a tractor in Cowes early on Monday morning. A black Mazda 2 TS was involved in a collision with a tractor on Newport Road by the show ground and caught fire at around 6.05am.
The 43-year-old driver of the car was taken to St Mary’s hospital and was later transferred to Southampton General hospital with severe head injuries. His condition is described as life-threatening.
The driver of the tractor was not injured.
Anyone with any information or who saw the collision is asked to contact PC Peni Houghton at Fratton Road Policing Unit on 101 or via the website.
Police are investigating after a woman was found with serious injuries at an address on the Isle of Wight.
They were called to a property in Fraser Close, Cowes last night, where the woman lives.
She has been taken to hospital for treatment to her injuries.
A police spokesperson said, "The address is being examined by officers for potential evidence to establish how the woman was injured.
"We're keeping an open mind about the cause of the woman's injuries at this early stage of enquiries.
"The possibility of a crime has not been ruled out."
Hampshire police are appealing for information after a woman was sexually assaulted on the Isle of Wight.
The incident happened between midnight and 12.45am on Tuesday 27th August.
A woman had just been to the cashpoint at Lloyds Bank in Cowes when she was grabbed behind by an unknown man who then sexually assaulted her.
The 32-year-old victim managed to hit out at him and he fled from the scene of the attack.
DI Martin Chudley said: “We are appealing for witnesses to this serious sexual assault, which took place during the early hours of Tuesday morning. Officers would like to hear from anyone who was out at around that time, and who may have seen or heard anything that may assist the investigation."