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Gloucestershire police officer pleads guilty to misconduct

A police officer, currently suspended from all duties, has pleaded guilty to five counts of misconduct in public office.

Darren Stephen Heath, 44 and of Taynton near Newent appeared at Bristol Crown Court today.

The charges relate to several cases in which Mr Heath made inappropriate advances or formed sexual relationships with vulnerable women he met through his duties.

The alleged offences are due to have taken place between 2002 and 2012.

Heath pleaded not guilty to two charges of rape, two charges of misconduct in public office and theft.

The case is now being referred to the Professional Standards Department.

Darren Heath would use his position as a police officer, whether it was during his time working in restorative justice or as a family liaison officer, to identify women he could offend against.

These were often victims of crime who were already extremely vulnerable but who he wanted to take advantage of even further. Our investigation has been lengthy because we have had to spend time regaining the confidence of women who had been badly let down by someone they should have been able to trust, precisely at a time when they needed him the most.

Heath was manipulative and calculating while he was offending and that is one of the reasons he was able to carry on doing this over a number of years.

The most disappointing thing is that he has shown no remorse whatsoever towards his victims and made no comment throughout his interviews. He could have made it a lot easier for them but chose not to.

Those victims have shown incredible bravery by supporting this prosecution and I want to pay tribute to them for that.

It doesn’t stop here though - I have absolutely no doubt there are more victims out there and I would appeal to them directly to come forward. We want to talk to you and get details of what Darren Heath has done. You will be listened to and we may be able to direct you to support services that can help you.

– Detective Inspector Giulia Marogna, Senior Investigating Officer with the Constabulary's Anti-Corruption Unit

90 weapons handed in under Dorset gun amnesty

Dorset Police ran a two-week gun surrender campaign to encourage anyone holding an illegal weapon to hand it in safely.

The initiative was aimed at local people in the community who wished to hand in unwanted firearms and help take guns out of circulation permanently.

A total of 93 firearms were surrendered to stations across Dorset during the campaign, along with a large amount of ammunition.

  • 31 handguns
  • 11 air rifles
  • 27 shot guns
  • 7 air pistols
  • 6 BB guns
  • 4 replica guns
  • 5 rifles
  • 1 humane killer
  • 1 bird scarer

We are extremely pleased at the success of this firearms surrender and would like to thank everyone who took part. The vast majority of these surrendered firearms were not being used in criminal activity. Our aim is to stop guns falling into the wrong hands. Every gun given up is one less that poses a threat or that criminals can potentially get hold of. I would like to remind residents that Dorset is a very safe place to live with very low levels of gun-related crime. Levels of illegally held firearms are low but this surrender was a real opportunity for members of the public to relinquish any weapons that may be outside the law.

– Operational Support Superintendent Nicky Searle

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Funeral of Sam Amin at Bath Abbey this morning

The scene outside Bath Abbey this morning Credit: ITV News West Country

Friends and family of Sam Amin have begun arriving at Bath Abbey ahead of the 18 year olds funeral. Sam went missing following a night out in the city on Sept 12. His body was recovered from the River Avon on Sept 16th. People attending the service have been asked to wear bright colours to celebrate Sam's life.

Friends of Sam Amin have begun taking their seats inside Bath Abbey ahead of the 18 year olds funeral. Credit: ITV News West Country
The cortège will be led by a cadet drumming band of which Sam was a member. Credit: ITV News West Country

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Bath's student population warned of river dangers

Students are being warned about the dangers of the River Avon Credit: ITV News

Bath's large student population is being warned of the dangers of the city's river following the discovery of a teenager's body in the water this week.

Sam Amin's body was recovered on Tuesday and two thousand students arriving at Bath Spa University this weekend are being given advice on how to enjoy their nights out responsibly.

Chris Ellicott, who is the Registrar at the university says: ""There have been a number of deaths. It's about one a year on average but, of course, one a year is one too many every year, so we do want to remind students that they do need to be safe."

Tributes to teenager found in the River Avon

A scroll of tributes to a teenager whose body was found in the River Avon has been laid out in a church in Bath. Sam Amin was discovered in the river on Tuesday after going missing for three days.

Now more than seventy of his friends have left messages on a 10 metre strip of paper which will be presented to his family. It's been made at the church he attended, St Michael's in Twerton.

Rector Richard Wilson says Sam will always be remembered by his friends and family.

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