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Family escape house fire believed to be arson

A family have escaped from a fire at their home which it's believed was started deliberately.

The blaze broke out at a property in Bassett Way in Kidlington at about 1.50am on Friday.

An offender/s is believed to have caused a fire to start at the front door of the property, which then spread.

The victims, a 50 year-old man, a 36-year-old woman and a five-year-old boy were able to escape the property via windows.

The man and the boy were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene by paramedics.

The woman was taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation. She has since been discharged.

“We believe that arson was the cause of this incident, which could have led to the death of three people, one of whom was a five-year-old child.

“Fortunately, they all managed to escape from the property, but the outcome could have been very different.

“We are conducting a full investigation into this incident, and I am therefore appealing for anyone who has any information which could relate to it to contact us by calling the non-emergency number 101.”

– Investigating officer Det Con Ruth Ivins of Bicester Force CID

Efit released after exposures in Oxfordshire

Police want to speak to this man in connection with a series of exposures Credit: Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police is releasing an e-fit of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a series of exposures in Kidlington.

The incidents, which are believed to be linked, took place -

At about 9pm on Tuesday, 10 February, in Oxford Road, at the junction with Maple Avenue. The offender ran past the 38-year-old victim from behind and then turned around and ran back towards her, at which point he exposed himself. He then continued running along Oxford Road.

At about 9pm on Friday, 30 January, in Oxford Road. The offender ran towards the 45-year-old victim and exposed himself, before continuing to run past her. A short time later he returned, running towards the victim, before crossing the road towards the Gurkha restaurant. He then ran down an alleyway.

At about 5pm on Thursday, 29 January, in Banbury Road. A 12-year-old girl was walking towards Kidlington village centre when a man ran towards her and exposed himself.

Anyone with information about any of the incidents should contact investigating officer James Guinivan, of Banbury Local CID, via the 24-hour enquiry line 101.

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Firefighters "Reindeer" rescue

Wantage and Kidlington firefighters have been called to help a stag that had become trapped when it slipped down a bank into a brook near West Hendred. The large stag had slipped backwards into a cavern that had been formed as a result of a collapsed concrete bridge over the brook. The stag was unable to get back out due to the sheer drop of the bank and the metal rods from the remains of the bridge, across the cavern opening.

Incident Commander Graham Turner said ‘This really was a potentially dangerous incident for the firefighters involved as the frightened stag was trying to force its way out of the cavern, and its large antlers could easily have caused a serious injury. But it was a beautiful animal that was uninjured, so we felt that in spite of the dangers, we had to at least try and release it, if we could. The operation was made more difficult as the stag also had some nylon twine wrapped around its antlers and neck and this had to be cut away to avoid it being strangled once it was released. We worked closely with the RSPCA in order to free the animal without causing it any injury and we are all pleased that he is up and about in time for Christmas in case he is needed to pull a sleigh on the big night!’

Victim saved trauma of trial after conman's guilty plea

This was a long and arduous investigation and I’m happy that Al Ashkar pleaded guilty. This means the victim has been saved the uncertainty and indignity of a trial. Informing the victim of today’s result will be very rewarding, I’m just upset that there are people out there capable of this sort of crime in the first place.

– Det Con Rebecca Prior, Thames Valley Police

Terminally ill woman conned out of £70,000

Wassim Al Ashkar Credit: Thames Valley Police

A 32-year-old man who defrauded a terminally ill woman out of £71,450 has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Wassim Al Ashkar, of Oxford Road, Kidlington, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud.

Between 2011 and 2013, Al Ashkar was employed as a full-time live-in carer for the 67-year-old woman who suffered from an advanced stage of multiple sclerosis.

She was bed bound at her home in Kidlington, relying on full time assistance and only leaving the bed for the occasional visits to the hospital.

After Al Ashkar left his role in March 2013, a relief carer noticed irregularities with the victim’s finances.

An investigation was carried out and discovered that Al Ashkar had used the victim’s bank cards to steal £71,450 from her.

It is believed he spent most of the money on gambling in local bookmakers.

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Man who held his children hostage is jailed

A man who held his two children hostage at his home is Oxford has been jailed for 12 years.

Daniel Rodriquez had an air rifle during the standoff with armed police at the property in Kidlington and fired at officers before he was tasered.

Daniel Rodriguez was jailed following a stand-off with police Credit: Thames Valley Police

The court heard how Rodriquez has taken drugs and alcohol before the incident last July. Cherwell and West Oxfordshire LPA commander Supt Colin Paine said: “The incidents of that day in July had a substantial impact on the local community in Kidlington.

It saw some residents confined to their homes while officers persuaded Rodriquez to hand himself in. I would like to praise the community for their helpful response and support for the police on that day, which ultimately lead to a successful resolution without any harm to residents."

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