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Man defending friends from racial abuse has jaw broken in 'violent and disturbing attack'

Police are keen to hear from any witnesses to the incident in Victoria Park. Credit: Google Earth

A man's jaw has been broken as he tried to defend his friends from racist abuse in Taunton.

It happened on Friday afternoon in Victoria Park - the 20 year old victim was walking with two women at around 5pm.

Police say they were approached by a large group of young people - some of whom then racially abused the two women before repeatedly punching the man in the face.

This was a violent and disturbing attack in which the victim and his friends were threatened and intimidated by a large group of people.

There can never be any excuse for hate crime or violence in any shape or form and this criminality will not be tolerated.

– DS Mark Probert

Police are keen to hear from any witnesses.

Musgrove Park Hospital evacuated after gas leak

No one has been hurt Credit: ITV News

Musgrove Park Hospital is being evacuated as a "precautionary measure" after a gas leak caused by an accidental rupture to the gas main.

There have been no casualties affected by the leak.

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There are currently 3 fire engines from Taunton and Wellington in attendance.

"Crews are currently at work with gas company representatives making the area safe and carrying out evacuations of a part of the hospital area."

Roads have been closed due to cordons that are in place for the safety of the public.

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Woman kills flatmate in alcohol-fuelled knife attack

Viktorija Ratiuk Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

A woman who stabbed her flatmate with a knife during an alcohol-fuelled argument has been convicted of manslaughter.

Viktorija Ratiuk stabbed 32-year-old Romualds Baluls once in the chest in the flat they shared in Bircham Road, Taunton, in 2016.

Ratiuk was found not guilty of murder but was convicted of manslaughter today following a trial at Bristol Crown Court and is due to be sentenced at the same court next week.

''The victim and defendant worked together as charity bag collectors and had only known each other for a matter of weeks. “On the day of the incident they were drinking alcohol in their flat with one of Romuald’s friends.

A row ensued between Ratiuk and the victim, resulting in Ratiuk being assaulted.

Following this, Romuald was stabbed once in the chest as he was sat in a chair.

The decision to use a knife while under the influence of alcohol was catastrophic and Ratiuk will have to suffer the consequences of her impulsive actions.

We’ve been supporting Romauld’s family, who live in Latvia, and have been keeping them updated on the progress of our investigation.

They continue to be in our thoughts as they come to terms with their loss and the outcome of this criminal investigation.”

– Andy Mott, Senior Investigating Officer, Avon and Somerset Police

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