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Pearl sold at auction for nearly £1m

A rare pearl has fetched nearly a million pounds when they were sold at auction in Salisbury this week.

The described natural pearl exhibits an impressive size and weight of 33.147cts (132.59 grains), combined with an attractive roundish shape and smooth pearl lustre.

This pearl was sold for £680,000 at Woolley and Wallace Credit: Woolley and Wallace

The pearl shows an attractive white colour with weak rosé and green overtones, poetically also referred to as the 'orient of pearls'. Such overtones are due to an iridescence effect caused on the surface of pearls and greatly contribute to their beauty.

Documentation of historic round pearls can be prone to conflicting details and some pearls, over the years, have simply disappeared. Although some were recovered, the entire French crown jewels were stolen when the Garde Meuble was stormed in Paris during the French Revolution in 1792.

A pearl of 148 grains was referred to in Taverniers Voyages as being a gift to the Great Mogul from Shah Abbas. Again, it has not been mentioned since.

However, it is certain that the 33.14, or 132 grain pearl to be offered is one of the largest round pearls ever to be offered at auction.

Witness appeal after attempted fraud at a Salisbury bank

Police want to speak to this man Credit: WILTSHIRE POLICE

Wiltshire Police have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to regarding an attempted fraud at the Royal Bank of Scotland, Salisbury.

Just before 3:00 pm on Monday 24th March a man tried to withdraw £900 using a false driving licence.

It's believed that the man realised that he had been caught out and left the bank via the Market Square exit.

The man is described as white, aged approximately 50 years, 6ft tall and of medium build. He had short dark hair and was wearing a dark coloured suit with a white shirt underneath.

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Football fans cycle to away games for charity

Groups of football fans from Portsmouth and Salisbury football clubs have undertaken special cycle rides to raise money for their chosen charity after coming together through their mutual appreciation of football.

Instead of taking the usual form of transport to the football matches, both sets of fans decided to cycle to the away games and raise money for charities in the meantime.

Murder victim's family remember 'gentle and caring' man

Joseph before the attack Credit: Wiltshire Police

Following the sentencing of their son's killer, Joseph Starzacher's family have release a statement paying tribute to a "lovely young man in the prime of his life".

Joseph was punched unconscious in Salisbury City Centre in 2007 and later died from Pneumonia in 2010 because of immobility problems relating to the attack in 2007.

Joseph Starzacher with his daughter after the attack Credit: Wiltshire Police

His family said:

"To see Joseph’s life taken away in such an act of unprovoked, mindless violence has had a devastating and heartbreaking affect on all those who knew him.

We have had to endure seeing Joseph locked in his body unable to communicate for three years watching his deterioration that eventually led to his death in 2010.

This has been deeply distressing for us all but especially for his daughter Megan who was the apple of his eye.

Despite going through two trials and two appeal processes we can now begin the process of moving on from this horrific ordeal knowing that Adam Cross, the person responsible for our grief, has been found guilty of murder."

Man sentenced for murder 6 years after attack

A man from Salisbury has been found guilty of murder, after viciously attacking a man in Salisbury City Centre in 2007.

Adam Cross, who is 35, was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 14 years, for the murder of Joseph Starzacher.

Joseph was attacked by Adam on Sunday 29th July in 2007 on a night out with his friends.

He was kicked so hard in the head that he lost consciousness.

He underwent emergency surgery and Cross was convicted with grievous bodily harm in 2008.

Joseph was left in a 'Persistent Vegetative State' and caught Pneumonia in August 2010 because of his immobility and died.

Medical experts concluded that Joseph’s death was linked to the head injury he received that day.

Cross was serving the initial sentence for Grievous bodily harm with Intent but following Joseph’s death it is right and proper that he was put before the courts to stand trial for his murder. This case is a stark reminder of the serious consequences of violence. Joseph lost his life and his young daughter lost her Dad because of the actions of Adam Cross."

– DS Pete Ritson, Wiltshire Police

Distraction burglary in Salisbury

Police are appealing for information regarding a distraction burglary at the home of an elderly lady in Salisbury.

At 1:30 pm on Friday 31st January 2014, a man called at a property on Winchester Street saying he had come to collect some books she had promised to his wife.

Police want to speak to this man in connection with a distraction burglary Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

The victim was intimidated and he entered the house and looked around, he told the lady that his wife would be in contact and left.

A short time later the victim discovered that a ladies gold watch of Japanese origin had been stolen.

The man is described as white, 5ft 11 tall, aged in his late forties/early fifties. He had a round face and thick rimmed glasses. He wore a knee length dark grey woollen coat, dark trousers and black lace up shoes.

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Missing Salisbury man has not been seen for days

Wiltshire Police are appealing for the public's help in trying to find missing Salisbury man Glynn Griffin.

The 59-year-old has not been seen since Sunday 16th March and was last seen at his home address of Winding Way in Salisbury.

It is not clear what clothes Mr Griffin was wearing when he was last seen but he has been described as a white male, approximately 5ft 9ins tall with collar length white hair.

Anyone who may know the whereabouts of Mr Griffin is asked to call Wiltshire Police on 999.

Glynn Griffin has not been seen since Sunday 16th March Credit: Wiltshire Police

Speech therapists turn their advice into a book

The Spires Speech and Language Therapy Team who have put together the handbook Credit: NHS

The speech therapy team from Salisbury District Hospital have written up their years of experience and knowledge into a handbook for families across the country.

The book draws on expert knowledge and provides advice for families and teachers on how to help their child with cleft lip and palate speech disorders.

Speech therapist Ginette Phippen, the brainchild behind the book, said: “The regional Spires Cleft Centre based in Salisbury and Oxford is one of 10 specialist centres in the country.

"The centre provides specialist treatment to around 100 new babies a year and overtime we’ve built up a wide range of knowledge which has informed clinical practice across the country.

"The aim of the book was to pool all our experience and expertise with best practice from other centres across the country and collate this in one easy-to-use handbook.”

Children's off road motorcycles stolen in burglary

One of the missing motorcycles Credit: Wiltshire Police

Officers are investigating a burglary at a property in Down Barn Road, Salisbury.

At some point between Wednesday 19th and Friday 21st February offenders broke into a lock up and took two off road motorcycles.

The red and white Honda 230F Motocross bikes are used for teaching local children to ride and without them the training programme cannot continue.

The bikes are described as rare and imported from Brazil. Both had missing baffles from the exhausts and one had a 'Huckley Bridge Events' sticker on it.

Anyone with information on the burglary or the location of the bikes is asked to contact PC Lucy Thorne at Salisbury Police Station on 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 where details may be left anonymously if preferred.

Soldier found hanged in barracks after claiming rape

A fresh inquest opened today into the death of a soldier who was found hanged at her barracks in Wiltshire. Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement from Bournemouth died at Bulford, after claiming she had been sexually assaulted by two colleagues.

A previous inquest recorded a verdict of suicide. But last year, the High Court ordered a second hearing after claims that the military failed to provide her with the correct support and she was driven to take her own life.

Martin Dowse reports.

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