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Three questioned after shop assistants' ordeal.

Three Birmingham men were being questioned by police yesterday after two shop assistants were attacked in a robbery at Cheltenham.

The staff, a man and a woman, were pushed into a storeroom at RoadUser in Lower High Street, Cheltenham, as three men carried out the robbery. They were not injured.

Three men from the Birmingham area were later arrested and were in custody at Cheltenham police station.

Cockatoo stolen

A white cockatoo worth pounds 1,000 has been stolen from a zoo at Malvern.

The bird disappeared yesterday lunchtime from The Children's Zoo at Blackmore Park Road. A spokesman for West Mercia Police said whoever took the bird had forced open its cage.

Candle blaze

A child playing with a candle is thought to have started a blaze which badly smoke-damaged a house in Devonshire Road, Smethwick.

A fire service spokesman said the householder, a woman in her 20s, had gone out for a while with her two youngsters, an eight-year-old girl and an 18-month-old boy.

He said: "We think the older child had lit a candle and while the family was out for about an hour it set light to a bedroom."

Overdose tragedy

A 28-year-old woman died in a Walsall hospital after taking an overdose of at least 30 paracetamol tablets, an inquest heard.

Miss Susan Hopkins started to recover before deteriorating and dying at the Manor Hospital last Tuesday, the hearing heard yesterday.

She had been found collapsed at her Slater Street home, Willenhall, three days earlier.

Home Office pathologist Dr Christopher Allen said Miss Hopkins died from respiratory failure due to liver problems and a paracetamol overdose.

Walsall coroner Mr Aidan Cotter adjourned the hearing to a date to be fixed.

Knifepoint theft

A man drove off in a hired vehicle worth pounds 15,000 after threatening its driver with a knife.

The driver, a man aged 24, was returning the Mercedes Sprinter van to its owner in Tudor Street, Tipton, when the knifeman ordered him outside before driving away.

Police at Tipton are hunting the man, who was of mixed race and aged 20 to 30 with a slight moustache.

Post Script

The Death's Head Hawk moth, the species which had a gruesome role in the film Silence of the Lambs, may be returning to Gloucestershire.

The large moths have not been recorded in the county for the past 16 years.

But that changed when members of the Gloucestershire Naturalists Society found four larvae at Apperley, near Tewkesbury. In the film, a killer pushed the moths down the throats of his victims.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 2, 1999
Previous Article:Man `knifed neighbour to death'.
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