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Tributes to Burma war veteran who has died aged 99

Burma war veteran John Skene, who has died aged 99. Credit: Family

One of Bristol's last surviving Burma war veterans has died at the age of 99.

John Skene, who was born in Kingswood in 1919, fought the Japanese during the Second World War. He was injured when a 600lb shell exploded near his head and suffered headaches right through his life as a consequence. In later life he travelled to India and Burma to visit the graves of his comrades.

Mr Skene was made an MBE in 2002 for his contribution to engineering after the war.

His grand daughter Annalea Rogers has paid tribute to him, saying his loss has left a big hole in her.

Delays after bales of hay spread across motorway

The lorry shed its bales of hay on M5 Southbound this morning. Credit: Highways England

Two lanes remain closed after two accidents and a lorry carrying bales of hay has shed its load on the M5 Southbound in South Gloucestershire.

There are speed restriction of 40mph between Junction 14 B4509 (Thornbury / Falfield) and Junction 15 M4 (Almondsbury Interchange).

This has caused long delays on M5 to the Michaelwood Services. Highways England say travel time is around 45 minutes.

Recovery work continues, a sweeper has been requested to clear the hay from the carriageway as one bale has split.

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Police appeal after blind lady assaulted in South Gloucestershire

Police are appealing for witnesses and information after an apparently unprovoked attack on a 41-year-old blind lady. Credit: PA

Police are appealing for witnesses and information after an apparently unprovoked attack on a 41-year-old blind lady in Staple Hill, South Gloucestershire.

It happened at about 7.55am on Tuesday 13 March. The woman had caught a bus at the Soundwell Road/Portland Street stop, at about 7.45am.

She left the bus at about 7.55am at the end of Soundwell Road, near Page Road car park.

Just after she got off she was assaulted by an unknown suspect who punched her several times in the torso and laughed before running off.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who was travelling along Soundwell Road at around 8am on Tuesday morning, especially anyone who may have travelled on the same bus.

The person responsible for this unacceptable assault would have been aware of this lady’s visual impairment.

She was left with bruising after the attack and has understandably been left shaken and distressed by the incident. I’d ask anyone who can help our investigation to get in touch.

– PC Dan Whalley

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Severely disabled girl has her 'voice' stolen

The father of a severely disabled girl has begged burglars to return his daughter's 'voice' - after they stole a laptop that is her only way of communicating.

Mark Lawrence and his 13-year-old daughter Celyn were victims of a break-in while they slept at their home in Staple Hill on the outskirts of Bristol.

Police have arrested a man in connection with the theft but they are still working to trace the equipment.

Our reporter Ellie Barker has been to visit to the family.

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