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Portsmouth sailor spending Xmas in South Atlantic

Portsmouth sailor sends christmas wishes home Credit: Navy

Maxine Richardson, who lives in Portsmouth, will be spending Christmas in the South Atlantic after she was deployed with one of the 4 Royal Navy ships in the region this year.

She'll be based on HMS Clyde, a Portsmouth-based ship, which is permanently stationed in the South Atlantic to deliver security to the area.

Maxine, 42, will be enjoying Christmas dinner abroad while her two children will be back in Portsmouth and her parents enjoying Christmas in the Caribbean.

Burglars target Pastor's home while he's in Church

Thieves stole Christmas presents from a pastor's house in Poole while he was in church leading a carol service.

Simon Patterson returned home in Poole, Dorset, on Sunday evening to discover that the front door was slightly open and a garden spade had been left next to it.

Inside, he found that one bedroom had been rifled through and some of his four children's Christmas presents had been taken from a wardrobe, along with a tablet computer and a woman's handbag containing a phone, purse and digital camera.

Mr Patterson, who leads Parkstone Evangelical Free Church, said: "We had a burglary while we were at a carol service and they took some presents."

He said family and friends had helped to replace the stolen gifts and urged members of the public not to donate anything.

"We've had lots of generosity and gifts from other people," he said

A Dorset Police spokeswoman said: "We were called to reports of a burglary on Ringwood Road which occurred sometime between 3.40pm and 5.50pm on December 21.

"Offenders gained access to the secured premises by forcing the front door and stole an unknown quantity of children's Christmas presents and jewellery. "There have been no arrests."


Attacker punched driver and tried to pull him through the car window

A motorist has been assaulted in a Tesco car park in Dorset during a road rage incident, police said.

The 63-year-old man was punched in the face, then the attacker tried to pull him through the window of his car on Tuesday lunchtime.

Police said the incident began when the driver of a 4x4 car pulled out in front of a Citroen Picasso along the A30 between Ludwell and Shaftesbury.

The victim, who was driving the Citroen, was forced to slam on his brakes and sound his horn at the 4x4 driver.

The 4x4 driver pulled over to the side of the road to allow the victim to pass before following his vehicle to the Tesco car park in Christy's Lane.

While the victim was reversing into a parking space, the man approached and without provocation punched the victim through an open window, knocking off his glasses. He also attempted to pull the victim through the car window.

The man, who is described as white and was driving a gold or bronze-coloured 4x4 car, got back into his vehicle and left the scene. The victim suffered cuts to his left arm, swelling to his right arm and cuts and grazes to his face.

Pc Dave Pearce, of Dorset Police, said: "The car park was very busy at the time of the incident and I am appealing to any witnesses who have not yet spoken to police to call me.

"I would also like to hear from anyone who may have seen either vehicle being driven prior to the incident."

Fareham sailor sends Xmas message to fiancee and baby

A Naval sailor from Fareham in Hampshire who is serving on board HMS Kent in the Gulf has sent a special message to his fiancee and 11-month-old daughter.

Paul Howe, 27, joined the Navy in January 2013 and so this is his first deployment and although missing friends and family, he says he is enjoying the job.

Warning over Chinese lantern dangers

People are being warned about the dangers of Chinese lanterns, ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Chinese lanterns, also known as wish or flying lanterns, have become increasingly popular worldwide as a means of celebrating special occasions - however, they carry a significant risk of fire or injury if not used wisely.

The lanterns are generally made from paper, supported by a wire frame that incorporates a holder at the base for a solid fuel heat source.

There have been house fires in the county in recent years caused by Chinese lanterns landing on roofs.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Home safety manager Neil Chamberlain said: "With Chinese lanterns, you're basically throwing a naked flame into the sky with no control over the direction it will take or where it will land - in addition, there is no guarantee that the fuel source will be fully extinguished and cooled when the lantern eventually descends, and that presents a real fire hazard."

He added: "Chinese lanterns are very attractive when they're in the sky, and we fully understand why people use them.

"We would just urge anyone who's thinking of buying some to celebrate Christmas or New Year to think very carefully about where they will be released."

Locations that should be considered unsuitable for flying lanterns include areas with standing crops, anywhere near buildings with thatched roofs, areas of dense woodland and areas of heath or bracken, especially in dry conditions.

Consideration should also be given to the proximity to major roads or airfields.

Further advice on the use of Chinese lanterns can be found at

Swimmers brave the cold on Christmas Day

Swimmers set to brave the cold on Christmas Credit: Macmillan

Swimmers are set to the brave the cold today for a traditional Christmas Day dip.

One event has been organised to raise funds for the Macmillan Unit at Christchurch Hospital in Dorset.

It is a Specialist Palliative Care Unit for cancer patients in the local community.

The event takes place 9.45am at Boscombe beach this morning.


Fire safety tips for the Christmas holidays

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service has released 12 top tips for ho-ho-home safety over the festive period

· Check your Christmas lights are in good working order and conform to the British Safety Standard. Never overload electrical sockets, and make sure outdoor lights are fitted with a residual current device.

· Always switch off Christmas lights before going to bed or leaving the property.

· Never place candles near your Christmas tree, decorations or furnishings – and never leave a burning candle unattended.

· Decorations can burn easily – so don’t hang them near lights or heaters.

· Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children.

· If you’re having a few festive drinks, take extra care in the kitchen. Never leave your Christmas dinner cooking unattended and make sure you switch off the oven and hob when the meal is done.

· Make sure any guests know what to do in the event of an emergency – do they know where door/window keys are kept and have you shown them the escape route?

· Many fires start when people fall asleep while smoking, so make sure you extinguish cigarettes properly – and never smoke in bed.

· If you’re planning on celebrating with fireworks, make sure you follow the instructions.

· Never remove the batteries from your smoke alarm to power a new Christmas toy.

· Make sure you test your smoke alarm every week – and why not spread a little festive goodwill by checking on any elderly relatives, friends or neighbours as well.

· If you don’t already have one, get a carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly – this is essential in homes with gas appliances, real fires and/or woodburners.

Home safety manager Neil Chamberlain said: “Sadly, over the years, we have seen too many fires both locally and nationally during the Christmas period. We want everyone to have a happy, enjoyable and safe Christmas, so we hope these top tips will be a handy reminder.”

Some households will qualify for a free home fire safety check from Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service. To find out more, call 0800 389 7849 or visit

Road rage attacker punches driver and tries to pull him through car window - in busy Tesco car park

The victim of a road rage incident has been punched by a driver who also tried to pull through him through the car window.

The incident, in which a 63-year-old man suffered injuries to his face and arms, happened in a busy Tesco car park on Tuesday afternoon.

Police said: "The victim was driving a Citroen Picasso along the A30 from Ludwell towards Shaftesbury when a gold or bronze 4x4 vehicle pulled out into his path, causing the victim to slam on his brakes and sound the horn.

"The offender pulled over to the side of the road to allow the victim to pass before following his vehicle to the Tesco car park in Christy’s Lane.

"While the victim was reversing into a parking space, the offender approached and, without provocation, aimed a punch through an open window, knocking off his glasses. The suspect also attempted to pull the victim through the car window."

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