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Man jailed for unprovoked knife attacks on strangers

A 31-year-old man has been jailed for 20 years after being convicted of attempted murder and two counts of wounding with intent after a violent attack on three strangers in Yeovil in June last year.

Lee Jeffries-Jones from Yeovil will spend a total of 27 years behind bars.

Lee Jeffries-Jones, of Yeovil has been jailed for 20 years. Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

In two separate incidents, Jeffries-Jones attacked a teenage girl and a 29-year-old woman with a knife, inflicting significant injuries.

The teenager was stabbed by the criminal in her back and the 29-year-old mother suffered a stab wound in her arm. Jeffries-Jones then approached a man who was putting his child into a car seat, and attacked him, but the knife broke.

Jeffries-Jones will serve a minimum of 10 years before being considered for parole.

Jail term for distraction burglar who posed as water company official

A distraction burglar who posed as a water board official to dupe an 88-year-old woman out of money has been jailed for three years and eight months.

Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Richard McCarthy was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court after being convicted of burglary, driving while disqualified and using a motor vehicle without insurance.

On Saturday 24 October 2015, McCarthy called at the victim’s house in Bristol and told her he needed to check her water supply due to problems in the neighbourhood.

He made the victim wait in the kitchen before searching the house for valuables - he then left the house, taking a quantity of money.

The court heard how the victim felt like she’d been “kicked in the stomach” and the crime had “knocked her confidence”.

Duping an elderly woman in order to steal a small amount of cash is a despicable crime.

McCarthy took advantage of the victim’s vulnerability and this crime has left her feeling upset and fearful."

– Det Con Garry Thatcher, Investigating officer

'If you're not sure, don't open the door'

Police have issued guidelines for people if they are unsure about someone cold-calling at their home.

“We’d encourage people to be cautious of people cold-calling at their homes, and if you have an elderly or vulnerable relative, friend, or neighbour then please help them to follow our crime prevention guidance."

Our advice is, if you're not sure, don't open the door. Be on your guard if you have an unexpected caller. Use your door chain. Genuine council or utility staff will offer identification and will be happy for you to check it before you let them in"

– Avon & Somerset Police

If you’re in any doubt about a visitor, ring police straight away on 101.

If you feel threatened, call 999.

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Avon & Somerset's new Chief Constable Andy Marsh to start work today

The new Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Police Andy Marsh. Credit: ITV News

The new Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Police is taking up his job today.

Andy Marsh is the fourth man in four years to take control of the force, which covers the whole of Somerset, Bristol and Avon.

He has been brought in to replace former Chief Constable Nick Gargan who was suspended last year and found guilty of eight counts of misconduct.

Mr. Marsh is also making policing history by working with his wife Nikki Watson, who is part of his senior team.

Police appeal for man wanted in connection with violent incidents

Police appeal for whereabouts of Thomas Swateridge. Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Police are appealing for the whereabouts of a man wanted in connection with two incidents that took place in the Taunton area between Christmas and New Year where weapons and violence were used.

DESCRIPTION

  • white
  • 5'10"
  • stocky build
  • has links to Taunton and Bristol areas

Officers are advising the public not to approach 24 year-old Thomas Swateridge, but to dial 999 immediately if you see him.

Two sought after 'vicious assault' on a family in front of 8 children

Police are searching for two men after a family walking home from a New Year’s party were assaulted in front of eight children.

This was a vicious unprovoked assault on a family as they walked home from a New Year’s party.

It was an extremely distressing incident for [the children] to witness.

– Det Con Mark Wilkes said

WHAT HAPPENED

The victims were walking along Scott Way in Yate at around 2.30am on New Year’s Day, when they were approached by two men.

Map showing location of Scott Way

A 40-year-old man and a 37-year-old man suffered serious injuries which needed hospital treatment while a 40-year-old woman was knocked unconscious to the ground.

Eight children between the ages of four months and 14 years were present during the assault.

TWO MEN SOUGHT

Police say the two suspects are believed to be eastern European due to their accents.

First suspect:

  • white
  • around 5ft 10ins
  • short spiky hair
  • wearing a dark jacket.

Second suspect:

  • white
  • 6ft
  • close shaved hair
  • thin face
  • wearing dark clothing and a jacket with white, black and yellow on it
  • was also wearing glasses but they were broken during the incident.

After the assault, the two men walked off in the direction of Yate shopping centre.

Police believe both men may have suffered injuries so are asking people to come forward if they know anyone with unexplained injuries, or if they recognise the descriptions given.

Police chief says West forces should merge to tackle modern criminals

A chief constable has said that all of the region's police forces should be merged into a single constabulary to help cut costs and better deal with the modern criminal.

Mike Veale, the Chief Constable of Wiltshire, thinks it's an "outdated idea" to have so many small forces in the country.

He hopes his county could merge with Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire to protect front-line services.

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