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Pay to park glitch in Somerset

Teething problems mean a new phone and pay system due to come into force today in parts of Somerset is not working.

The phone and pay app for smartphones was due to be operational in Taunton and Wellington. Somerset County Council says the company responsible is trying to fix it.

In the meantime motorists can call 01823 210302 to pay and this will also activate the app.

Watch: our report from outside the courtroom

Michael Overd has been found guilty of bullying and berating the public during sermons delivered using a loudspeaker. He discovered Christianity ten years ago and since then he's devoted much of his life to street preaching.

His literal interpretation of the Bible, including its teaching against homosexuality, prompted complaints from the public. Using a megaphone, he repeatedly quoted a passage in Leviticus which describes homosexuality as an abomination.

Our reporter was outside the court as Mr Overd returned to his preaching.

Not everyone agrees with the prosecution. Peter Tatchell, a prominent gay rights campaigner, says freedom of speech must prevail:

I don't agree with what Michael Overd said - and what he said was very offensive, but I think in a free and democratic we do have to sometimes accept there will be people who say things that we find deeply hurtful.

I would say protest against him, shame and embarrass him, but I don't think he should have been prosecuted.

– Peter Tatchell

But it wasn't just the gay community that Michael Overd upset. Shop owners in Taunton say they lost thousands of pounds in revenue because customers were deterred from going near.

Michael Overd was ordered to pay over £1000 in compensation, some of it to a gay man he had personally insulted.


Can you help find missing Winifred?

Winifred is believed to in the Taunton area Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Police are concerned about a vulnerable woman who has gone missing in the Taunton area.

79-year-old Winifred Vickery was last seen at 2.30pm yesterday by friends.

Officers say she may appear confused and has missed taking medication.

She is described as a white woman with silver/grey hair. When she went missing she was wearing a dusty pink coloured fleece jacket, black trousers and black shoes. She uses a walking stick.

Anyone with further information should contact Taunton police.


Ancient treasure returns to its rightful home

The Alfred Jewel is usually on display at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford Credit: Ashmolean Museum

The Jewel which is lavishly made of gold, enamel and rock crystal, will go on display in Taunton having been returned by Oxford University.

It also bears a famous inscription which translates as 'Alfred ordered me to be made'.

Historians have assumed that King Alfred the Great commissioned the Jewel, and that it may have been his gift to the abbey at Athelney which he founded in thanksgiving for his defeat of the Vikings in 878.

The jewel will go on display from Saturday 31st January.

The Alfred Jewel is a unique and compelling object which goes to the heart of West Country history. It left Somerset in 1718 and has never returned, so this is a very special occasion.

– Tom Mayberry, Chief Executive of the South West Heritage Trust

Ancient treasure to go on display in Taunton

It is thought the Alfred Jewel was commissioned by King Alfred the Great Credit: Ashmolean Museum

The Alfred Jewel, one of the most celebrated treasures from Anglo-Saxon England, is returning to Somerset for the first time in nearly 300 years.

The jewel, which dates from the late 9th century, was found near North Petherton church in 1693.

The jewel will be on display in Taunton throughout February

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