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Street, Shepton assaults – man jailed

Last year we reported on three sexual assaults, in Shepton Mallet and Street. The Police from the first appeal for help suspected the incidents were linked.

Today the 36-year-old man from Evercreech who sexually assaulted the women was jailed for four years and seven months.

He had  previously admitted three counts of sexual assault, today’s hearing at Taunton Crown Court was for sentencing. After serving his time in prison, on releas he’ll be on licence for a further three years and will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

At today’s hearing, Judge Cook said the man had committed serious offences which showed an “escalation in violence”. He said the offending was planned as he had “lain in wait” for his victims.

In the first incident on Tuesday 5 June, he attacked a 24-year-old woman in Somerton Road, Street. He pushed her against a wall and sexually assaulted her but ran off after she shouted out for him to stop. However the victim was able to give officers a detailed description including the fact the offender was wearing brightly coloured construction trousers.

From CCTV footage officers identified a man matching this description close to the scene of the incident and an image was circulated as part of the public appeal that The Leveller promoted.

In the second incident happened on Thursday 19 July an 18-year-old woman was attacked shortly after leaving a supermarket. She managed to force him off and run home where her mother contacted the police.

The third incident happened in Dark Lane, Shepton Mallet, at about 7pm on Friday 31 August when a 20-year-old woman was out jogging when she was grabbed around the throat and pulled to the ground. She fought back and managed to release his grip. As she tried to run off, he attempted to rugby-tackle her to the ground but she kicked him again and escaped.

In a statement given to the court, the victim described how the incident had left her “paranoid” and had affected her emotionally “I have started to go running again but I have changed my route and how far I run. I am very paranoid about seeing anyone, especially a man. The few days after the incident, I couldn’t sleep as it was troubling me and I couldn’t process what happened.”

Investigating officer DC Catherine King told us “I’d also like to recognise the immense courage shown by all three of the victims. They’ve all been through a terrifying ordeal and I hope they can move forward with their lives in the knowledge their attacker is now behind bars.”

Appeal as case goes to court

Avon & Somerset police have released an image of a man they’d like to identify following an incident in which a 14-year-old boy was threatened with a crossbow. The youngster was held against his will, assaulted and robbed of his mobile phone in the incident which took place at an address on Taunton Road, Bridgwater on 28th February. Since then a 39-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy have been charged in connection with the incident.

They are next due to appear at Taunton Crown Court on 26 April. Police are looking for more information to help identify another suspect they believe to be connected to the case.

Anyone who recognises the man in the image is asked to phone 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5219044632.Police image

Appeal to find missing Gino Sidoli

Avon & Somerset Police are asking the public for help to find 57-year-old Gino Sidoli, who has gone missing from the Wellington area of Somerset. Concern is growing Gino, who has been missing since 8 March.

Gino was last seen in the Walford Cross area, walking in the direction of North Petherton. Police believe there was a possible sighting of him in the Clifton area of Bristol, where he has previously spent time living in a tent. Gino has links to Wellington, Taunton, Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea and Keynsham

He is a white man, 5ft 6ins tall of medium build and unshaven or with a beard. When he went missing he was wearing a black jacket and black jogging bottoms although it is possible he is not wearing this clothing at present.

Gino is likely to need help, he is believed to have a form of dementia and may appear confused or depressed.

The Police would like Gino to contact us or anyone who believes they have seen him. If you can help call on 101, quoting reference 5219050774


Thefts from Curry Rivel

On Monday morning, 8th April, Curry Rivel in Bloom (CRiB members) and Curry Rivel residents woke to a nasty shock.

After last year’s highs winning the Gold medal and Cox Cup in Southwest in Bloom, they had already begun preparations for this year’s events. Nothing trivial, as this year they will be entered for the National Finals.

So imagine their disappointment (an understatement) when they discovered several of their planting boxes were missing.  At first, it was thought to have been a prank and they searched the village to try to find the missing planters.

Sadly, it seems that they have gone for good – stolen by petty, selfish people who don’t realise or appreciate the time, work, emotion and, of course, money which the village has put towards this community project.

The CRiB team are appealing for information to help recover the planters – a total of five were stolen, all in full bloom: two (grey) from the High Street railings opposite Living Pretty, one (terracotta) from the railings next to The Bell bus-stop and two pots from the Parsonage Place bus shelter.

This is a particularly nasty little crime, against a village that have gone the extra mile to bring colour and greenery to their village centre. And won national acclaim in the process.

If you can help, please contact the police on 101 quoting Crime number 5219076888, Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or you can contact Gina (CRiB Chairperson) by email

Fatal collision near Wedmore

Avon & Somerset Police are investigating a fatal collision just outside Wedmore.

The single-vehicle collision was reported at about 6.45am yesterday (Sunday 7th April) when a silver Jaguar XF was found in a ditch on the B3151 at Blakeway near Fir Tree Farm. Police, fire and ambulance attended the accident but sadly the driver died at the scene.

A silver car is thought to have stopped at the scene in the early hours of Sunday morning, before the collision was reported.  The occupants may have seen the vehicle in the ditch.

Anyone who has any information which could help with the investigation of the collision can get in touch through, or by calling 101, reference 5219075225

Taunton Park & Ride closed again

The irony is acute. Barely a fortnight after we wrote a piece in the March Leveller the  Gateway Park & Ride site is closed tomorrow (Monday). As we explained in our article, the Park & Ride is so sparsely used that it is hardly surprising Travellers find space among the multitude of empty parking spaces.

Another group illegally set up camp at the site late on Friday and they are still in situ.

Ollie Woodhams, Strategic Manager at Somerset County Council explains “Buses of Somerset and Somerset County Council made the decision to close the site on safety and security grounds after a number of Travellers accessed the site late on Friday afternoon. The primary concern is for the safety of all users of the site and to mitigate the risk of accidents due a large number of vehicle movements. We have started the legal process to remove the Travellers and we aim to open the Gateway Park & Ride site as soon as possible.”

Gateway buses will continue to operate between the Town Centre and Blackbrook Park as normal on Monday and alternative Park & ride facilities are available at Silk Mills but will be of little value to anyone heading towards Taunton from the east of the town.

There is now a legal process to be gone through before the Travellers can be moved on.

Appeal over incident in Ilton

Avon & Somerset Police are appealing for information after an incident In Ilton.

Officers were called to Copse Lane, Ilton, at about 9.45pm yesterday, Saturday 6th April following reports of a fight involving two men. A man in his 30s remains in hospital with injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening.

A man in his 50s who was initially arrested in connection with the incident, is currently receiving hospital treatment for his injuries which are also not believed to be life-threatening.

A woman also suffered injuries in the incident, which did not require hospital treatment.

Officers have seized a car and other items as part of their enquiries.

Anyone with information is asked to get in touch through, or call 101, quoting reference 5219074979.

Frome accident appeal for help

Avon & Somerset Police have released more details of the hit and run accident at Standerwick near Frome. The incident happened at 10am this Wednesday (3rd April). Police have said the victim, a woman, was driving a red Peugeot 207 when the collision happened involving two other vehicles one of which failed to stop.

She was taken Southmead Hospital with life-threatening head injuries. She remains in a critical but stable condition. She has now been named as Polly McRae, who worked locally as an advanced nurse practitioner with the Beckington Family Practice.

Polly’s family – her husband and two adult sons – are appealing for witnesses to the collision to come forward to help the police investigation.

Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident, especially anyone who may have captured the collision on a dash cam. If you are able to help please phone 101, quoting reference 5219071965

Mendip candidates

Last but by no means least we have the list of candidates for Mendip District Council.

Mendip has thrown a few surprises out. It is the Somerset District which has the largest number of Green Party candidates standing. By my count they have fielded more candidates than Labour. In three District Wards there will be a two horse race between a Green Party Candidate and Conservative:


Cranmore, Doulting and Nunney


In three other seats there are also just two candidates, this time a LibDem and a Conservative.

St Cuthbert Out North



UKIP also have two candidates one for Rode and Norton St. Philip and the other in Rodney and Westbury. There are a spattering of Independents too. You can find the full list of candidates here: Mendip District Council election candidates

It is the towns of Frome, Shepton, Street, and Glastonbury and the City of Wells where there will be most candidates standing and seats will be hotly contested. And it is once again Wells St Cuthbert’s that will have the spotlight with Council Leader Harvey Siggs and his one time deputy John Osman both seeking election as Conservative candidates.

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