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CCTV issued in child abduction investigation

Police investigating a possible abduction of a child in Gloucester have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to interview.

Police would like to speak to this man who claimed he had seen a girl being abducted Credit: Gloucestershire Police

Police have made the appeal following a call they received on 13 November.

A man called 999 from a phone box on Sellars Road in Hardwicke at 4.10pm explaining to an officer that a girl was by the window of a black Vauxhall Vectra driven by a white man of large build who appeared to grab at the girl. When the man was asked further questions by the operator he hung up.

Officers are urging the man who rang 999 to call back on 999 or 101.

The incident is believed to have happened on Naas Lane in Quedgeley, Gloucester, at around 4pm on 13 November.


May scores but England lose to All Blacks

Gloucester's Jonny May is tackled by New Zealand's Sam Whitelock. Credit: EMPICS Sport

Seven Bath players have been involved in England's opening Autumn International match against New Zealand at Twickenham.

Gloucester's Jonny May put the first points on the board with a trademark try in the 4th minute, but the All Blacks scored three in reply, to win 24-21.

Bath's Dave Attwood in action for England v New Zealand. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Attwood to carry "dad strength" into New Zealand test

Bath's powerhouse says becoming a father has made him even stronger.

The 27-year-old lock forward, who grew up and started his playing career in Bristol before moving to Gloucester and Bath, will start his first England match in over a year on Saturday against the All Blacks.

His first born child arrived earlier this week but, rather than distracting him, Attwood insists fatherhood has given him renewed focus:

Bath's seven stars ready to take on world champions

The England rugby team test themselves against world champions New Zealand at Twickenham tomorrow with seven Bath players in the match-day squad.

And, fittingly ahead of Remembrance Sunday, Lance Corporal Rokoduguni will become the first serving soldier for fifteen years to represent his country.

Our sports correspondent Matthias Kurth caught up with our players ahead of the big match:

Rokoduguni dedicates his England game to armed forces

England newest debutant, Semesa Rokoduguni, says he's honoured to represent the entire British armed forces when he faces New Zealand at Twickenham.

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guard has just been named the Premiership's Player of the Month after a string of powerful performances on the wing for Bath.

And ahead of Remembrance Sunday the Fijian-born flyer says, "For those guys out there in the operational field - I will dedicate all the game to you guys."


Gloucester man jailed for microwaving live pet rabbit

Paul Rogers has been jailed for microwaving his pet rabbit Credit: SWNS

A man who microwaved his pet rabbit to death has been jailed for 16 weeks - with a judge branding the killing "sadistic".

Paul Rogers, 60, watched as the helpless creature writhed and squealed inside the oven for three minutes before leaving its lifeless body on a saucepan lid in his room.

The homeless drifter, who was living temporarily at the Dorchester Guesthouse in Gloucester, had bought the female rabbit only five days earlier from a pet shop.

Rogers, who spent periods in psychiatric hospitals, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to causing an animal unnecessary suffering on October 28 last year.

Passing sentence, District Judge Joti Boparai said Rogers had planned the killing:

"This is one of the most upsetting and unpleasant cases I have dealt with for a long time. Animal cruelty is bad enough when people abuse their pets, but this has resulted in very extreme suffering by a helpless rabbit. You thought about it, you planned it and you decided to carry out this sadistic act - and not only that, once you put the rabbit in that microwave you watched it while it squealed in that microwave. Three minutes is an extremely long time for anything to be suffering in the way I have heard.

"Your case passes the custody threshold but I have to consider whether I can suspend the sentence. This case is so cruel and the suffering of that animal is so extreme that regardless of your personal circumstances I cannot suspend it. Therefore the sentence will be 16 weeks."

– District Judge Joti Boparai

Rogers, of no fixed address, was also banned from keeping animals for life and told he could not apply to have the ban lifted for 10 years. He was also ordered to pay £200 prosecution costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

Rafe Turner, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said a fellow resident at the guest house had made the grim discovery after going to Rogers' room to feed the rabbit - finding it dead on a saucepan lid next to the microwave.

Rogers had earlier told the man he had killed it after microwaving it for three minutes but the man did not believe him and thought he was "taking the mickey".

After finding the rabbit the man called the police, who seized the pet and the microwave.

"We think the prison sentence is completely appropriate in a case like this where you can only really describe the defendant as evil in what he did. It is one of the nastiest cases I have come across.

"Obviously we completely welcome the ban. It is the most important thing to make sure the gentleman doesn't have anything to do with animals again."

– RSPCA Inspector Philip Mann

Hollie Gazzard murderer given leave to appeal sentence

Hairdresser Hollie Gazzard was stabbed to death at work in Gloucester in February Credit: PA

The man jailed for murdering his ex-girlfriend, 20-year-old hairdresser Hollie Gazzard has been given leave to appeal his 24 year minimum sentence.

22-year-old Asher Maslin from Cheltenham admitted stabbing Hollie to death at her salon in Gloucester in February.

In sentencing him to 24 years at Gloucester Crown Court in July, the judge, Mr Justice Teare, said it was a "merciless killing".

The Court of Appeal has confirmed Maslin has permission to appeal that minimum sentence.

Asher Maslin has been given permission to appeal his minimum 24 year sentence Credit: ITV News

Gloucester man jailed for child sex offences

Michael Cropton has been jailed for 20 years for sexual offences against children Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

A 42-year-old man has been jailed for 20 years for a series of sexual offences against children in Bristol and Gloucester.

Michael Cropton, of Stonehouse, Gloucester, was jailed for 20 years at Bristol Crown Court earlier today.

He will also serve an extended six year licence following the prison sentence and will be placed on the sex offenders’ register. He also received a Sexual Offenders Prevention Order (SOPO) to run indefinitely.

A 39-year-old woman was also jailed for 32 months in connection with this investigation. She will also be placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Cropton and the woman jointly admitted one count of conspiracy to sexually assault a child under the age of 13 and arranging the commission of a child sex offence. These charges relate to two girls.

In addition, Cropton also admitted four counts of rape in relation to a third victim, a boy.

Cropton met the woman through an online dating site in 2013 and over a period of time encouraged the woman to become involved in the sexual abuse of children.

Det Insp Gary Stephens, of the Public Protection Unit, says there could be more victims who have not yet come forward.

This has been a distressing and harrowing investigation involving the horrific sexual abuse of children. Michael Cropton is a devious and manipulative man who used classic grooming techniques to identify vulnerable children he could abuse. He admitted these offences due to the overwhelming evidence against him which resulted from the hard work of the investigation team. We believe there could be more victims out there and I hope the outcome of this case will encourage people to come forward and speak to us in confidence. I would also appeal to anyone who has been in a relationship with Michael Cropton to please get in touch with us.

Cropton is now in the right place and the community is a much safer place without him in it.

– Det Insp Gary Stephens, of the Public Protection Unit
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