Live updates


Sand sculpture festival will return

Weston super Mare's sand sculpture festival will return Credit: ITV Westcountry

Weston super Mare's sand sculpture festival will return this year despite fears that it might be too expensive.

Organisers have confirmed the festival will be back next month to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Last year organisers said the festival might not return because it costs too much to set up.

Teenage conmen jailed

Rahim Choudhury and Abdul Shafee jailed Credit: ITV Westcountry

Two teenage conmen have been jailed for their part in phone scams which tricked dozens of pensioners out of thousands of pounds.

19 year olds Rahim Choudhury and Abdul Shafee were part of a gang that conned 30 pensioners from across the South West out of a total of £88,000.

They sometimes pretended they were police.

Choudhury received three years, two months in prison and Shafee, 15 months.

Detective Inspector Tony Hubbard from the South West Vice Crime Unit spoke to ITV news after the sentencing.

Convicted murderer back behind bars

Convicted murderer deported from Australia Credit: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

A convicted West Country killer who went on the run in Australia for 15 years is back behind bars.

Robert Hennessey, 50, was jailed in 1978 for repeatedly stabbing his elderly aunt in Plymouth when he was 14 years old.

Hennessey disappeared after walking out of Leyhill prison, in South Gloucestershire in 1998. Officers finally tracked the 50 year old down in Australia and he has now pleaded guilty to evading lawful custody.

He has been jailed for 16 months.

Robert Hennessey was arrested on suspicion of fraud offences in the Queensland area of Australia in 2013.

Since then we’ve been working closely with the Australian authorities to ensure he was returned to the UK to serve the rest of his sentence and to face justice for the unlawful absconsion.

With the assistance of Devon and Cornwall Police, the victim’s family have been kept updated on Hennessey’s deportation and subsequent court appearances in the UK.

– Det Con Stuart Brooks


Teenager with Bath train ticket missing for two weeks

A teenager who was last seen buying a train ticket from Paddington to Bath has now been missing for two weeks.

17-year-old Ryan Ranson from Devon was seen on CCTV at the station on Friday 23 January. He went missing after failing to show up to work in Plymouth. His parents say he is not in trouble and they just want him home.

Ryan Ranson. Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police

The West Country at Westminster: election, NHS crisis, social media

A new series of our political discussion programme, The West Country at Westminster, kicked off last night with Ian Axton at the helm.

Guests were Duncan Hames, the Lib Dem MP for Chippenham, Thangam Debbonaire, Labour's prospective Parliamentary candidate for Bristol West, and the Conservative hopeful in North Devon, Peter Heaton-Jones.

With the election 100 days away on January 27th, they look ahead to the forthcoming contest and discuss the key priorities, such as the NHS, and the rise of social media - particularly Twitter, following an outburst by another local MP who aired his feelings online.

See the debate here and join in the discussion on Twitter with #wcaw

Today's weather: fine and dry with sunny spells

An atmospheric shot of the river Huntspill on the Somerset Levels Credit: Richard Stewart

A fine and dry winter's day across the region with some patchy cloud and plenty of sunshine. There will be a northwesterly breeze that will ease through the day. Feeling noticeably colder than on New Years Day. Maximum temperature 11 deg C (52 deg F).

Tonight will start mainly dry and cold with winds easing. However, milder, cloudier conditions will gradually encroach from the west with rain arriving later, locally heavy across the moors and hills. Minimum temperature 2 deg C (36 deg F).

Saturday will begin wet and windy with the risk of coastal gales. Rain locally heavy over higher ground. Becoming drier later with winds easing into the evening. Maximum temperature 14 deg C (57 deg F).

Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday: Largely fine and dry on Sunday after a cold start, turning cloudy with patchy rain possible later. Remaining mild, cloudy with some patchy rain at times on Monday and Tuesday.

Load more updates