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IPCC to investigate officers on Swindon stabbing case

Alison Connolly was found at the bottom of a stairwell in Swindon after being stabbed. Credit: Family

Wiltshire Police have referred their own officers to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over their handling of the Alison Connolly murder case, because they were in contact with her before her death.

Police say the IPCC referral was mandatory in these circumstances, and that there will be an independent investigation.

The 49-year-old mother was stabbed to death in Swindon last week. Sisters Charice Gassman, 19, and Amberstasia Gassman, 23, appeared in court yesterday charged with her murder.


Mental health problems in men linked to domestic abuse

Mental health problems in men linked to domestic abuse Credit: PA: Dominic Lipinski

Men experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence linked with two to three-fold increase in mental health problems according to a University of Bristol study.

Questionnaires were distributed across 16 GP practices in the South West and were completed by 1,368 men aged 18 years and above.

The findings indicate there is a higher likelihood of men who present symptoms of anxiety and depression in primary care could be the victims or perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse.

Researchers found men who used some form of negative behaviour towards their partners were three to five times more likely to report symptoms of anxiety than non-perpetrators.

However, the study found no strong association between domestic violence and abuse with excessive drinking or cannabis use.

The research was led by Professor Marianne Hester from the University and is now calling on GPs urged to ask male patients with anxiety or depression about domestic violence.

Research on domestic violence and abuse has largely focused on women and there is a lack of research on men, both as victims and perpetrators.

The findings from this study are important as they suggest that when men present to GPs with anxiety or depression, they should be asked about domestic violence and abuse as there is a higher likelihood that they will be victims or perpetrators.

The findings are consistent with previous studies, which found that mental health problems are more common in men who either perpetrate or experience domestic violence and abuse, and serve as an important indicator to clinicians.

– Professor Marianne Hester OBE, lead author of the study and Head of the Centre for Gender and Violence Research at Bristol's School for Poli

Police release footage of missing man

Officers remain concerned for the welfare of a man who was last seen in Portishead on Thursday 14th May.

Avon and Somerset Police say they are concerned for his welfare and are hoping this footage will help identify him.

The man is described as white with pale skin with a prominent nose, around 6ft. He is thought to be in his 30’s. He was wearing a dark blue hooded top, stonewashed jeans and black shoes.

Despite extensive enquiries, we are yet to identify this man. We are releasing new footage of him in the hope that it will jog someone’s memory. We have specific concerns for his welfare and need to locate him to check that he is safe and well.

Forensic enquiries are on-going and we are speaking to witnesses who saw him. I would urge members of the public to come forward with any information that they may have.

– DC Nicholas Feetenby

Men arrested over Shaun James bailed until June

Five men arrested in connection with the death of Gloucestershire man Shaun James have had their police bail extended until June.

Shaun, who was 32, was run over in Cinderford in December 2002. Following a review, police are now treating his death as murder.

A 60 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, and four others on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.


Have you seen this man who has absconded from HMP Leyhill?

Vladymyr Lunkov is considered a risk to the public. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

Police are appealing for help to find a man convicted of sexual assault and burglary who has absconded from a Gloucestershire prison.

25-year-old Vladymyr Lunkov was serving an indeterminate sentence at HMP Leyhill for offences committed in London.

He has links to the Haringey area of London and family and friends in the city. He is considered a risk to the public

Sisters in court over Swindon stabbing murder

Alison Connolly was found at the bottom of a stairwell in Swindon. Credit: Family

Two sisters have appeared in court charged with the murder of a woman in Swindon.

Alison Connolly, 49, died following an attack in Park South last Tuesday. 19-year-old Charice Gassman and Amberstasia Gassman, 23, appeared at Bristol Crown Court this morning.

The hearing was adjourned until next month, and the pair have been remanded in custody.

New Business Secretary comes home to talk jobs

The new Business Secretary grew up on Stapleton Road. Credit: ITV News

New Business Secretary Sajid Javid made his first speech in Bristol this morning, setting out new measures to support entrepreneurs and boost jobs.

Mr Javid grew up in the city, above his parents' shop on Stapleton Road, where he says he learned everything he knows about business.

He was speaking at the Engine Shed business centre at Temple Meads.

I know what it's like to have a small business and I just thought this is the perfect location to come and talk about what we, as government, can do to help. That means also staying out of their way, letting them get on with their job - that's why we spent a lot of time over the last five years deregulating.

– Business Secretary Sajid Javid
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