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Winchester's historic Hat Fair launches today

Winchester Hat Fair Credit: ITV news

Winchester's famous Hat Fair launches today. It's the UK's longest running street festival and is celebrating its fortieth year. There will be a Mexican themed parade involving 400 school children from across the city followed by singalong of a specially composed Hat Fair song.

The parade from Abbey Gardens to the Cathedral involves huge willow and tissue paper maracas, sombreros and a giant '40' made by children from 11 Winchester primary schools.

From its beginnings as a buskers' festival, Hat Fair has become an event of global renown, featuring international artists and the best performances from the UK. The festival continues over the weekend including music, dance and circus.


£4m building work set to transform Naomi House

Major building work is due to begin at Naomi House Children's Hospice near Winchester.

The £4 million transformation will see children's rooms enlarged, family rooms improved, a new suite of rooms for emergencies and the building of play, music and art areas.

Work will begin today at Naomi House Children's Hospice in Sutton Scotney. Credit: PA

Romsey firm Reside Construction has been named the primary contractor to complete the building work at the site in Sutton Scotney.

The charity, which cares for children with life-limiting conditions, has launched a Caterpillar Appeal to generate the funding for the building's first renovation in its 17-year history.

Former soldier jailed over blackmail abuse

A Hampshire woman has been imprisoned for six years for blackmailing an animal testing company through explosive devices and desecration of graves.

Debbie Vincent, a former soldier who underwent a sex change, was found guilty of being involved in a conspiracy against Cambridge-based animal testing company.

The blackmail was launched by the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty group against Cambridge-based Huntingdon Life Services.

Michael Bowes QC, prosecuting, told the jury during her trial that the protests targeted HLS, by accusing staff of being paedophiles, sending hoax bombs and damaging people's homes and cars.

It is difficult for a judge to calculate the repugnance felt by society to such appalling acts. Nothing at all could justify such attacks. You express no shred of remorse or condemnation for the incidents of extreme terror and desecration which have been caused. There is not an inkling of understanding the distress those actions must have caused. You could not care less for the pain, distress and loss the conspiracy was causing others."

– Judge Keith Cutler, Winchester Crown Court

Four men jailed for string of cigarette burglaries

Four men have been jailed for a total of 15 and a half years after pleading guilty at Winchester Crown Court.

The men were sentenced for conspiracy to burgle after a series of cigarette breaks in Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey and Hertfordshire.

Luke Oliver, 31, from West Drayton was sentenced for five years;

Jason Noakes, 33, from Slough was sentenced for five years;

Kirk Morgans, 31, from Slough was sentenced to three and a half years;

Michael Green, 23, from Slough was sentenced to two years.

These men travelled around South East England committing high value burglaries at convenience stores and garages causing disruption to local businesses. During the investigation we executed a number of warrants, trawled hours of CCTV, collaborated with other forces and made use of forensic technology in order to help us solve the case and bring these men to justice.”

– Constable Robert Muir, from Aldershot CID

CCTV images released after hotel theft

A CCTV image of a man in connection with the theft Credit: Hampshire Police

CCTV images have been released of two people in connection with a theft at a Winchester hotel.

The man has not yet been identified and police have released two images to identify the two men.

On Wednesday 22nd January between 7.45pm and 8.15pm, a driving licence and a debit card belonging to a guest were stolen from a hotel room.

The victim received a call the following morning from a person falsely claiming to be from his bank and saying there had been suspicious activity on his card.

His PIN was not disclosed but the card was still successfully used in Birmingham to withdraw £7000 from the victim's bank account.

A CCTV image of a man police want to speak to in connection with theft Credit: Hampshire Police


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

War medals stolen in Winchester

Police are investigating a burglary in Wales Street, Winchester between February 20 and February 27 where various items were stolen including 3 medals belonging to a World War Two veteran.

The stolen medals were The 1939 - 1945 Star, The African Star and The Italian Star. They were accompanied with paperwork. These medals hold sentimental value and any information is sought that may lead to their return and the identity of the offenders.

Efit issued following assault

Efit released of man wanted in connection with assault Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

Police have issued an efit following an assault in Winchester. The incident occurred at around 1.30am on Saturday, February 16 on Airlei Road.

The victim, a 22-year-old man from Staines-upon-Thames, was walking home after a night out with two female friends when an unknown man began to follow them from Sparkford Road.When they reached Airlei Road the suspect assaulted the victim by punching and kicking him.

The victim suffered a broken jaw as a result of the assault and required surgery.

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