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Prolific sex offender jailed for historic offences

David Mace, 59, from Bristol, admitted a series of serious sexual offences against multiple victims between 1996 – 2013 at Bristol Crown Court today.

Offences include rape, sexual activity with a child, sexual assault, voyeurism and indecent assault.

Mace’s friend, Kenneth Gavens, 62, has also admitted sexual activity with a child and the possession of extreme pornographic image.

Mace has been jailed for 17 years and Gavens has been jailed for 29 months.

It is testament to the victims in this case who have bravely relived some of their most painful memories that we have been able to bring these men to justice today. They’re continuing to receive all the support and help they need.

There is no escaping the fact that these were appalling and abhorrent crimes committed against vulnerable women and children.

A number of these offences were carried out under the guise of Pagan initiations and rituals – preying on the victim’s vulnerability.

Some of the victims were unconscious during these sustained attacks.

These offenders took advantage of vulnerable young girls and exploited them for their own sexual gratification.

In addition to the attacks themselves, Mace filmed a number of the incidents – adding further anguish for the victims.

We are determined to work with our partner agencies to make sure we are consistently tackling sexual abuse in all its forms. We’re committed to ensuring all our officers and staff are able to spot the tell-tale signs of exploitation and abuse to safeguard children across the Force area. I would urge anyone who has any suspicions about children or young people being exploited to please tell us. Every piece of information is important and we all have a role to play in keeping our children and young people safe from harm.

– Detective Inspector Larisa Hunt, Avon and Somerset Police

Have you seen missing 13-year-old Amy Miles?

13-year-old Amy Miles Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

A 13-year-old girl missing from Devon may be in Somerset.

Amy Miles was last seen at a property there on Monday night, and was reported missing to Avon and Somerset Police yesterday evening.

They believe she may be in the Street, Glastonbury or Wells area, and are growing very concerned for her welfare.

She was last seen wearing black jeans, a waist length hoody, blue/grey jacket and a Bob Marley t-shirt.

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Cannabis factory found in Bath

Cannabis factory found in Twerton Credit: Avon and Somerset police

Cannabis plants worth around £100,000 have been seized at a house in Twerton, Bath.

Police searched the house after a tip off from a member of the public.

Two bedrooms were converted into growing rooms and the attic into a nursery, with lights, heaters and fans.

The house’s electricity supply had been bypassed.

Bath officers found more than 230 plants and man was arrested.

In the space of less than a month we have taken nearly half a million pounds’ worth of cannabis off the streets.

This is not a back-street dealer peddling in a few pounds of cannabis.

This is serious, organised crime and I’m very eager for members of the public to report any of their suspicions to me.

– PC Adrian Secker, Twerton beat manager

Driver dies in crash near Bridgwater

Crash near Bridgwater Credit: ITV Westcountry

Police are investigating after a driver died in car crash near Bridgwater earlier today.

It happened near the Dunball roundabout just after 2pm this afternoon

A car collided with a tree at the junction between the A38 and A39. As a result, the driver died at the scene.

Anyone who saw the collision and has not yet spoken to the police, please contact the Collision Investigation Unit on 101.

Avon & Somerset Police respond to reports of missing sex offenders

Avon & Somerset Police along with partner agencies, including the National Probation Service, manage and supervise 1240 registered sex offenders across our Force area.

We use an excellent process for sharing information about offenders which all agencies are committed to. Six offenders are currently wanted by Avon & Somerset Police for failing to notify us of a change of address; we believe they are abroad and steps have been taken to locate them.

We take managing our offenders very seriously. We have already rolled out IRiS in Bristol which is a team of professionals from different agencies who assist offenders who are at a high risk of causing serious harm to the public or their previous victims. We are currently working with partners to share this good practice throughout our Force area.

When an offender is missing, they become a wanted person. Routine and regular enquiries are made; previous addresses, known contacts and aliases are checked. Contingency plans are in place to notify and protect previous and potential victims. This information is also shared between partnership agencies.

– Carolyn Belafonte, Superintendent in charge of Offender Management, Intelligence and Safe Guarding

CCTV released in connection with Bridgwater assault

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Police have released CCTV footage of men they believe could be responsible for the Brigdwater assault.

The attack took place on 21 January. The man involved, wore a balaclava-type mask over his face, and broke in through a unsecured door at around 7.50am.

He proceeded to tie up his victims and threaten them with a knife. A sexual assault also took place.

We’ve identified two pieces of CCTV footage taken from cameras in Bridgwater on Tuesday 20 January – the day before the incident. Although the men in the footage look similar and are wearing similar clothing, we can’t conclusively say they are the same person so we could be looking to speak to two men.

– Andy Williams, Senior Investigating Officer

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33% increase in complaints against Avon and Somerset Police

There were a total of 1189 complaints last year Credit: ITV News

Last year complaints against Avon and Somerset Police increased by over a third - a total of 1189.

This compares with an increase of 15% across England and Wales.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission says the hike is partly due to complaints about operational policing being included as well as those about officers' conduct.

Con artists who scammed elderly out of £15,000 jailed

The pair travelled across the south of England targeting pensioners. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

A father and son who conned Alzheimer's sufferers out of thousands of pounds have been jailed for their crimes.

Albert Webb, 51, and his 26-year-old son Jimmy Chuter targeted elderly people across Avon and Somerset and other parts of South England, demanding they pay for work on their homes that they had never done.

Some of their victims had dementia or Alzheimer's Disease, and most were women in their 80s and 90s. The oldest was a 97-year-old man.

If the victim did not have the cash they would drive them to the bank, and would sometimes burgle their homes while they were distracted. In total the pair are believed to have stolen £15,000.

The pair pleaded guilty, with Chuter sentenced to four years for conspiracy to defraud, and Webb to three-and-a-half years for the same and other charges.

The police are searching for a third man in connection with these crimes. Jessie Webb, 19, is believed to be in the Surrey and London areas.

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