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Caravan centre owner: 'We are devastated that this has happened'

Ten fire engines worked to bring the fire under control Credit:

A fire which tore through a family-owned caravan centre in the early hours has destroyed more than a hundred caravans worth over £1 million.

More than 60 people called the emergency services and a fleet of 10 fire engines were mobilised to Highbridge Caravan Centre in Somerset - where the blaze was eventually brought under control.

Philip Davies, Director of Highbridge Caravans, praised the quick-thinking actions of a security guard who raised the alarm.

We are devastated that this has happened...More than 100 caravans have been destroyed and as each has a value of around £10 to £15,000 the overall figure will be around £1million.

I'm thankful that our security guard spotted the fire early and thank the emergency services for their work - we had ten fire engines at the peak of the incident.

– Philip Davies

The cause is not yet known but it is originally through to have started in a shed or fence on the perimeter of the site.

No one was hurt, and since no buildings were damaged the workshop, sales area and awnings shop are still open for business.


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.

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