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Police investigate Didcot robberies

Thames Valley Police is appealing for information after a series of robberies in Didcot.

The first offence occurred in Basil Hill Road. A man was walking near the sewage works when he was approached by two men who produced a knife and demanded money.

The second robbery happened outside the shops in Lostock Place. A 44-year-old woman was approached by two men who produced a knife and demanded money.

During the third offence, a 27-year-old woman was approached by a man who produced a knife. The incident happened again outside the shops in Lostock Place in the evening.

During the final incident, a 29-year-old woman was approached by one man who produced a knife in Avon Way at about 11pm.

Money was taken during the first two robberies.

Two men, aged 29 and 30 and both from Didcot have been arrested. Anyone with information should contact the Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at


Burglars steal gifts from under the tree

Children's Christmas presents stolen during a burglary in Oxfordshire contained personalised family photographs, police have said.

The wrapped gifts were in the living room of the home in Itchen Court, Didcot, which was broken into through a window at the back of the property, Thames Valley Police said.

Christmas presents beneath the tree Credit: itv news

The presents were for children in the family and were mainly toys, as well as personalised calendars featuring family photographs and a white Samsung tablet, a spokesman said.

"This is a terrible burglary due to the fact that several children's presents were taken on Christmas Eve. "I would appeal to anyone who saw or heard anything out of the ordinary in the area around the time of the offence to come forward to police in the hope that we can track down the offenders."

– Detective Constable Georginia Bradley

Anyone with information should call Thames Valley Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Witness appeal after pub assault in Didcot

Thames Valley Police are appealing for witnesses after a fifty-year-old man was assaulted in a pub in Didcot, Oxfordshire.

The incident happened in the Wallingford Arms public house in Broadway at around 2.30am on Saturday 14th December.

The victim was on the dance floor when he was assaulted by a stranger. He lost consciousness and was left with cuts to his chin. He was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital, but has been discharged.

Officers would like to speak to anyone who saw what happened, especially a woman who was wearing a burgundy dress. She is thought to have been in the dance floor at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information can call Thames Valley police via the 24-hour enquiry line 101. Alternately, if you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police release CCTV of victims of assault in takeaway

Man and woman were victims of assault in a takeaway Credit: Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police is releasing CCTV of two victims that officers would like to speak to after a series of assaults in Didcot.

The incidents took place at Delight 2, a kebab shop in Broadway, at 12.45am on 15 November.

Two men entered the kebab shop and became disruptive, with one of the men kicking the female and male customer pictured in the CCTV image.

One of the offenders then demanded chicken and, after being told it had sold out, reached across the counter and punched a member of staff in the face.

Staff then removed the men from the store, but they re-entered several times and one of the men damaged the window of the shop.

Police are looking to speak to speak to anyone who witnessed the incidents, and particularly to the woman and man who and are pictured in the image.

If you have any information which could help with the investigation, please contact PC Jon Morley from Didcot police station via the Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101.

If you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.


Gone in a flash. Didcot power station's massive chimneys come tumbling down

In a cloud of smoke and with a thunderous blast three historic towers were demolished today after dominating the Thames Valley's skyline for more than four decades.

The three southern towers of Didcot A power station in Oxfordshire were brought down by nearly 400lbs (180kg) of explosives in a matter of seconds. Hundreds of local residents were up all night to get the best vantage point to see the towers come tumbling down

The decision to demolish the towers in the early hours of the morning angered some locals, with a petition to change the timing gaining more than 3,000 signatures. Didcot town council had also expressed its disappointment but npower said the timeslot between 3am and 5am had been chosen for safety reasons, taking into account the risk of people getting too close to the explosion, and the impact of the dust cloud on local roads and a nearby rail line.

Warning sirens were sounded 15 and then 10 minutes before the explosion at 5am. During the build-up to the explosion #DidcotDemolition was trending on Twitter, and one Oxfordshire resident said: "This has gotta be Didcot's most momentous occasion since we won the FA vase".

The coal-fired power station ceased generating in March last year after dominating the skyline around the town since 1970, with the neighbouring gas-fired Didcot B continuing. The towers' appearance was not universally appreciated with many people finding them an eyesore. Whtaever your point of view, the journey along the A34 will never look the same.

Demolition: End of an era for iconic Didcot towers

The iconic cooling towers of Didcot Power Station have been a landmark across Oxfordshire, dominating the skyline for more than 40 years, but this weekend three of them will be demolished.

The towers have been a point of reference for walkers and drivers, and provided jobs and a way of life for many local families since the 1970s.

But new European rules over greenhouse gases which came into force two years ago mean the plant has to be completely demolished by 2016. Juliette Fletcher reports on the end of an era.

Jayden family: 'Our nightmare will never end'

Jayden Parkinson's family have given their reaction Credit: Thames Valley Police

The family of Jayden Parkinson have issued the following statement after her killer was jailed for life for her murder.

“Finally justice has been done for our Jayden.

“First, we would like to record our enormous gratitude to the officers of Thames Valley Police, in particular members of the Major Crime Unit, whose professionalism and perseverance secured Ben Blakeley’s conviction.

“We would also like to thank all of the prosecution’s witnesses who gave evidence, in particular three of Ben Blakeley’s former girlfriends, who showed immense courage in attending court to speak of his sick and twisted mind.

“From the day that Jayden’s life was so cruelly taken, the kindness shown to us by the people of Didcot has been immeasurable.

"For this, we will always be thankful from the bottom of our hearts.

“Over the months we have also found strength in the messages of support from strangers around the country and indeed worldwide.

“We will never be able to find an ounce of forgiveness for the evil that murdered Jayden and then concealed her body in such a cold, calculated and callous manner.

“For us as a family, today is not the final chapter in this tragedy.

"But now we can at least begin the challenge of coming to terms with the heartbreak which we all feel, and the rebuilding of our lives.

“Despite today’s sentencing of Ben Blakeley, our nightmare will never end.

"We can never erase from our minds the pain that was inflicted on Jayden, nor can we erase the image of Jayden’s battered and bruised body.

"We will never be able to celebrate birthdays, Easter or Christmas with Jayden, and we will never get to see Jayden grow up, get married and have children - this is our life sentence, it’s now time for Ben Blakeley to start his.”

Jayden killer jailed for life: Police reaction

Speaking after the sentence, Det Ch Supt Chris Ward from Thames Valley Police Major Crime said: “Ben Blakeley has today been sentenced to a minimum of 20 years after being found guilty of the brutal murder of 17-year-old Jayden Parkinson, on the 3rd December last year.

“Jayden was a teenager when she became involved in a relationship with Blakeley, who has proved to be a violent and dangerous liar.

"Ben mistreated Jayden, controlled her and often beat her which eventually resulted in her murder last year.

“Blakeley has never shown any remorse, nor has he cooperated with the police investigation.

"Instead, Ben chose to lie and has put Jayden’s family and friends through a harrowing trial, where they have been forced to listen to the details of his abuse of Jayden and other former girlfriends.

“Justice will now be served, as Ben faces a lengthy jail term.

“Of course, we respect the decision of the jury in respect of Jake Blakeley, who was charged with preventing a lawful burial.

"The Crown Prosecution will have seven days to decide whether to apply for a re-trial.

“I would like to thank all the police officers and staff who have worked on this complex case, as well as the Crown Prosecution Service, who the Force has worked with very closely.

“Finally, I would like to pay my respects to Jayden and to her family and friends, many of whom who have had to give evidence during this trial.

"I hope that today's conviction will allow them some closure and they can remember Jayden as the fun-loving young lady that she was.”

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