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Police search garden of convicted killer

Credit: Wiltshire Police

ITV News understands that Wiltshire Police are searching the garden of murderer Christopher Halliwell's former home in Swindon.

Two properties, believed to be on the same street, are being searched.

The operation is expected to last a couple of days.

Police say it's intelligence led, based on new information, and they emphasise they are not sure if they'll find anything.

Police have never searched the exterior of the property before and say that the search is unrelated to the current owners.

Specialist officers are currently carrying out excavation work within the gardens of two properties within Broad Street as part of an ongoing investigation being carried out by the Brunel Major Crime Investigation Team. This relates to intelligence that the force has received. We are unable to comment further at this time.

– Wiltshire Police statement

Halliwell, a Swindon taxi driver, was jailed for a whole life term, after being found guilty of murdering Becky Godden.

The 52 year-old was already serving a life sentence for the murder of Sian O’Callaghan in 2011.


The future of libraries in Swindon to be decided

Library services face cuts

The future of library services in Swindon will be decided later after council budget cuts threaten to close 10 libraries in the area.

Under current proposals Swindon's library facilities will be cut by two thirds from 15 to five.

The Borough Council says they need to cut £48 million by 2020 due to the rising cost of care for vulnerable adults and children.

Campaigners say the newly proposed £1.1 million budget is not enough to run a full library service.

Special campaign underway to save libraries

Woman dies in hospital following devastating house fire

Firefighters were called to the property in Manchester Road on Sunday night Credit: Viewer footage

A woman who was seriously injured in a fire at a house in Swindon has died.

The 30-year-old was taken to hospital along with two other adults and a baby girl after the blaze broke out on Sunday evening in Manchester Road. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Fire officers will be on hand at the nearby mosque to offer support to local residents.

An investigation is underway into what caused the fire Credit: Wiltshire Fire and Rescue

"This facility is to support people in this community during what is a difficult time for those living here.

"Not only will this give local people a central meeting point to come together but also reassurance through the fire prevention advice available.

"Police officers will also be on hand to give reassurance and listen to anyone who may want to give additional information to help our enquiries."

– Superintendent Charlie Armstrong


Brothers walk free over fire which burned for two months

It burned for two months and cost £700,000 pounds to put out and clear up.

Today two brothers were sentenced over a blaze at the Averies recycling centre in Swindon. 3000 tonnes of waste caught fire at the Marshgate site in 2014.

It blighted the lives of hundreds of people who lived and worked nearby.

Some businesses had to close because of the smoke and it even caused delays to trains.

Robert Murphy was in court and sent this report.

Man threatened by gang armed with knife and metal bar

A man has been threatened by a gang who broke into his home in Wiltshire, armed with a knife and metal bar. The group of around four or five men entered the house on Watling Close in Swindon in the middle of last Wednesday afternoon and demanded cash. Police says they then carried out an untidy search of the house while the victim was placed under a blanket with one from the men watching over him. A small amount of cash and a wallet was taken before the men left.

Soon after a group of men were seen running towards a silver/grey BMW parked in nearby Morris Street and driving off. The victim was uninjured by very shaken. Officers are appealing for witnesses.

Det Con Justin Downes said: "We would like to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard something suspicious or seen a group of men acting suspiciously in or around this area at this time. This is a busy residential area, with a nursery in Morris Street where parents would have been collecting their children - it's possible they saw something, like men running or a car speeding off. Although this was a particularly frightening situation for the occupant we want to reassure people that this type of incident is not common and we are doing our utmost to try and find these men."

Have you seen Jack aged 15? He's gone missing

Police are trying to trace missing teenager Jack Parfitt Credit: Dorset Police

Wiltshire Police have issued an appeal to help find Jack Parfitt aged 15 who has gone missing. The teenager lives in Plymouth in Devon, but was last seen there on Wednesday 17th August - at the time he was wearing a black t-shirt and a pair of cream coloured tracksuit bottoms.

Officers believe he may have returned to Swindon to see family and friends there. Jack is 5ft, of a stocky build and has green eyes and blond hair.

If you can help trace Jack or have seen him please contact Wiltshire Police on 101, or you can get in touch anonymously with the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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