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Poppy-seller had been 'overwhelmed by charity pleas'

One of Britain's longest-serving poppy sellers who was found dead in a gorge at the age of 92 had "just had enough" of pleas from charities for donations, her son said.

Olive Cooke, 92, was found dead by police at Avon Gorge in Bristol Credit: SWNS

Olive Cooke's body was found by police at Avon Gorge in Bristol last week, just two days before the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

Mrs Cooke had dedicated 76 years of her life to raising money for the Royal British Legion and is believed to have sold around 30,000 poppies.

She donated to many charities but spoke last year of how "overwhelming" the volume of post and phonecalls from different organisations requesting money had become.

Her son Del Whelan said his mother suffered health problems, the Guardian reported, and said the "constant drip of the begging letters" had not helped.

He said: "I think she found it difficult to say no. She had just had enough."

She was also said to have been troubled by the loss of £250 in cash which went missing in the post, causing her to lose faith in people, her friend Michael Earley said.

An inquest into Mrs Cooke's death is expected to be opened at Avon Coroner's Court next week.


Skies clear in Bristol ahead of the solar eclipse

ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn tweeted pictures of the skies over Bristol as the UK prepares for this morning's partial eclipse of the sun.


Becky Watts' belongings found as inquiry to last 'weeks'

A laptop, tablet and mobile phone all belonging to tragic schoolgirl Becky Watts have been recovered by investigating officers, police have confimed.

Det Supt Liz Tunks, who is leading the inquiry, said detailed forensic examinations were likely to take "several weeks" as officers try to establish exactly what happened to the 16-year-old, who was found dead more than a week after she disappeared.

Becky Watts' remains were discovered at a house in Bristol more than a week after she went missing

Six people have been charged over the case.

Becky's step-brother Nathan Matthews, 28, is accused of her murder, while his girlfriend Shauna Hoare, 21, has been charged with perverting the course of justice.

Four others - Karl Demetrius and Donovan Demetrius, both 29, Jaydene Parsons, 23, and James Ireland, also 23 - have been charged with helping to dispose of and hide the body parts of the 16-year-old.

We’d like to reassure the local community that our primary aim is to conduct a meticulous and exhaustive inquiry into Becky’s death.

Even though there have been charges brought in this case, it continues to be an active investigation.

– Det Supt Liz Tunks, Bristol Police

Search on for Bristol girl, 16, missing since last week

Becky Watts was last seen by her stepmother on Thursday. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

Police and members of the public are searching for a missing teenager who has not been seen for nearly a week.

Rebecca Watts, 16, known as Becky, was last seen at her home in Crown Hill, St George, Bristol at around 11.15am last Thursday.

She left the property without telling family or friends, which is "out of character", and did not take any extra clothes or her make-up.

Avon and Somerset Police have been searching for Becky since she was reported missing by her family at 4pm last Friday.

Her father Darren Goldsworthy said Becky had last been seen by her stepmother, Anjie, at the family home on Thursday.

She had stayed at a friend's house the previous night, she had come home on the Thursday morning, had her shower, got changed, and we haven't seen her since.

She's very shy and timid. She can't even go up to a till in a shop she's so reserved. This is how shy and reserved she is. This just doesn't add up.

– Darren Goldsworthy

Police appeal after murderer fails to return to prison on time

A murderer who was released from prison on a temporary licence has gone missing.

Avon and Somerset Police said Mark Stoner-Seed, 52, was allowed out of HMP Leyhill in south Gloucestershire yesterday but failed to return at the designated time.

Mark Stoner-Seed, 52, was released on a temporary licence in the Bristol area yesterday but failed to return at the designated time. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

He is serving a life sentence for murder, grievous bodily harm with intent and arson with intent.

Stoner-Seed is described as white, approximately 5ft 7ins tall, of large build, with no hair and blue eyes.

The public are asked not to approach him but any sightings should be reported to police by calling 101.

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