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Somerset pensioner came face to face with gunman who killed 38 tourists in Tunisia

Keith Hawkes, a former Gurkha from Highbridge, was caught up in the Tunisian terrorist attack Credit: ITV News

A Somerset pensioner has spoken exclusively to ITV News West Country about the moment he came face to face with a gunman in the Tunisian terrorist attack in which 38 holidaymakers died.

Keith Hawkes, a former Gurkha from Highbridge, risked his own life when he ran towards the gunfire to see how he could help those being shot. He says there was a second gunman firing at tourists.

Mr Hawkes said: "All of a sudden there was three or four very loud bangs. I recognised these bangs as gunshots straight away having experienced it many, many times during my army service. I looked down across the pool and I could see people running towards us."

"Everybody then got up and started to run. I grabbed hold of my wife and we both took cover behind a wall."

"I looked round and saw a man with an AK47 rifle slung across the front of his body. He wasn't actually looking at me, he was looking down at a phone that he had in his hand. Someone shouted that he was another gunman."

"There was an injured person just to our right and we were talking to him, telling him to keep quiet and not to move."

"Then there was another loud bang and he'd fired a shot in the reception area. We were just so, so lucky. The bullets came in our direction. I know that because we were immediately below the glass doors"

"I looked down to my left and I saw there was a man with his head in his hands who was sobbing. He told me he had just lost his wife. He said they just shot her through the neck and what could I do? I just had to console him. That's all I could do."

"I then went down to the swimming pool and picked up some towels and began to cover the bodies."

Run away mum will not be jailed after ex-partner drops proceedings

Roger Williams has dropped legal proceedings against his former partner after she went on the run with their three-year-old son.

Rebecca Minnock will now face no further action after she breached court orders by fleeing her home on May 27, following a ruling her son Ethan should live with his 39-year-old father.

After handing herself in two weeks later, Mr Williams said he wished to pursue the 35-year-old for breaching 10 court orders made during the custody battle for Ethan

But today, his barrister told Judge Stephen Wildblood QC, sitting at Bristol Magistrates' Court, that he wished to drop the application and "draw a line".

My client observes that this is a case which has been characterised by a long history of breaches of court orders at multiple stages of proceedings by the respondent, the mother Miss Minnock.

He does feel that it is important that the mother understands that any future breaches will be met by an application of this sort.

In view of the fact Ethan has been returned home to his care, and that he is happy and settled at home and contact has been started my client wishes to draw a line under the previous breaches.

– Rupert Chapman, representing Mr Williams


Runaway mum could face jail

Rebecca Minnock, who went on the run with her three-year-old son during a bitter custody battle could be jailed.

The 25-year-old is facing committal proceedings launched by her ex-partner Roger Williams after she defied two court orders concerning their son Ethan Williams.

Two court hearings will take place in Bristol this week, which could see the mother-of-one jailed for contempt of court.

Judge Stephen Wildblood QC said would there would be a directions hearing on Wednesday, ahead of the full hearing on Friday. Both will be heard at Bristol Magistrates' Court.

Man jailed over runaway mum could be prosecuted

Andrew Butt was freed after apologising for lying about his role in the disappearance of Becky Minnock Credit: ITV News

A man jailed for lying about his role in the disappearance of a mother and her son from Highbridge could face perjury charges.

Andrew Butt has been freed, after apologising for lying in court about the whereabouts of his partner's daughter, Rebecca Minnock and her three year old son Ethan. The judge at Bristol Crown Court told Mr Butt he had disgraced himself and could still be prosecuted.

Andrew Butt you have disgraced yourself publicly.

'You lied to the police. You lied twice in your evidence. You may face prosecution for perjury which, as I have explained, is a serious criminal offence.

You admit having told serious lies in evidence and I found to the criminal standard of proof that you told further lies under oath.

You belonged in jail for your behaviour and I have no doubt at all that the sentence that I imposed was richly deserved.

I accept that you have now expressed regret for your actions and have apologised.

I consider that the court has sufficiently marked its deprecation of your actions and that you should now be released.

I therefore accept that you should now be released from custody.

– Judge Stephen Wildblood QC

On leaving Bristol Crown Court, Mr Butt had this to say:

"I'm just glad that it's over. I'm glad that I'm out. I just want to put it behind us. Things happen in life".

Do you regret what you did?

"Yes to a certain extent, yes I do. I really do. Didn't think it was going to come to this but it has. But never mind, such is life".

– Andrew Butt

Meanwhile, the boy's father, Roger Williams, had until today (17 June) to decide whether or not he feels Rebecca Minnock should face contempt proceedings or not.

Ms Minnock will be told tomorrow (18 June) if she will face the charges - after breaking a court order and taking off with her son.

WATCH: Orphaned baby rabbit rescued in Somerset

Herman is almost three weeks old. Credit: Secret World Wildlife Rescue

A wildlife rescue centre in Somerset is appealing for support after finding record numbers of animals needing its help this summer.

1,000 casualties have come through Secret World Wildlife's doors in Highbridge in the last month, including 80 in one day alone.

They include an orphaned baby bat the size of a 50p piece, a little owl on antibiotics for respiratory problems and a baby rabbit who needs feeding.

Herman, who is almost three weeks old, weighed just 70g when he was taken in, but has been growing steadily, and is now up to 98g. He's being syringe-fed goat milk, which tries to imitate his natural diet. Looks like he likes it!

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The centre hopes to get all its patients back to the wild by the end of the summer, and has launched a fundraising appeal to help it do that.

Find out more here.


Runaway mum could face jail

Rebecca Minnock arriving in court on Monday (15 June) Credit: ITV News

A mother from Somerset who went on the run with her three-year-old son during a bitter custody battle, could be jailed if her ex-partner starts legal proceedings against her.

Roger Williams has until 4.30pm to decide if he wants to bring contempt proceedings against Rebecca Minnock - for defying two court orders.

Runaway mum could face jail if ex decides to press charges

Rebecca Minnock and her son Ethan were missing for 17 days. Credit: Family

A mother from Somerset who went on the run with her three-year-old son during a bitter custody battle could be jailed if her ex-partner starts legal proceedings against her.

Roger Williams has until tomorrow to decide whether he wants to bring contempt proceedings against Rebecca Minnock for defying two court orders.

Roger Williams has to decide by tomorrow whether to pursue legal proceedings against Ethan's mother. Credit: PA

Ethan's dad speaks of his relief at having his son home

Roger Williams with his son Ethan, who went missing with his mother during a custody battle Credit: PA

The father of a three-year-old boy who went on the run for 17 days with his mother during a bitter custody battle has spoken of his "huge relief" that his son has been returned safely.

Roger Williams, who is 39 and from Burnham-on-Sea, described the last few weeks and months as a "time of immense anxiety and distress" and said he is grateful to everyone who helped bring his son Ethan home.

He released a short statement days after his ex-partner Rebecca Minnock, 35, handed herself into the authorities with their son Ethan.

I am hugely relieved and grateful that Ethan has been returned safely and is now able to resume a calm, normal daily routine.

The last few weeks and months have been a time of immense anxiety and distress for Ethan and for me and my family. I am very grateful to the authorities, the family court, my legal advisers and members of the press for the hard work that has gone into ensuring this situation is resolved in Ethan's best interests.

My primary focus is on Ethan and his wellbeing and I would ask that the matters that remain to be addressed are considered in a calmer atmosphere and without the glare of the media.

– Roger Williams, Ethan's father

Mr Williams will have the final say whether Ethan's mother, Rebecca Minnock, should be prosecuted for Contempt of Court.

Runaway mum's behaviour "utterly irresponsible"

Rebecca Minnock arriving at court today. Credit: ITV News

A Somerset mother who went on the run with her son after losing a custody battle has been called "utterly irresponsible" by a judge.

Rebecca Minnock, 35, from Highbridge, appeared at Bristol Crown Court today as a hearing was held to decide her three-year-old son Ethan's immediate future.

She went into hiding with him for over two weeks after a judge ruled that Ethan should live with his father Roger Williams, and that Ms Minnock only be allowed supervised contact after she made a series of false allegations against her former partner.

Judge Stephen Wildblood QC said her actions in running away had amounted to an irresponsible publicity stunt.

Rebecca Minnock and Ethan were missing for over two weeks. Credit: Family

Rebecca Minnock, who previously said she had "felt trapped", handed herself and her son in to the police on Friday night after 17 days in hiding and a nationwide search. Ethan is now with his father. The judge has said he will do everything possible to ensure the boy has "an effective relationship" with both parents.

There were no criminal proceedings against Ms Minnock today, and all subsequent family hearings will be held in private.

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