Missing Gemma Simpson: Man remanded on murder charge

Gemma Simpson in 2000 Gemma Simpson disappeared in 2000

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a Leeds woman who vanished 14 years ago.

Gemma Simpson was 23 when she was last seen in the Harehills area of the city in May 2000, when she told a friend she was on her way to visit another friend in Huddersfield.

Martin Bell, 44, of St Leonard's Crescent, Scarborough, appeared before York Magistrates' Court.

Mr Bell was remanded in custody to appear at Leeds Crown Court on 15 July.

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BBC Local Live

    Owen signs for Wildcats 14:18: BBC Sport

    Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have signed utility back Richard Owen on a three-year deal.

    Richard Owen

    The 25-year-old made 12 appearances for the Wildcats last season after joining on loan from rivals Castleford Tigers in May.

    news on the hour 14:00: Julie Langford News Editor, BBC Radio Leeds

    Improving rail links between Leeds and Manchester is critical for the creation of the government's so called "northern powerhouse", according to a new report.

    The Centre for Cities report says the Transpennine route takes almost twice as long to travel as the longer distance between London and Milton Keynes.

    Listen live to the 14:00 bulletin for more.

    Travel disruption warning 13:40:

    Major engineering work on the railway bridge at the junction of Thornhill Lane and Fall Lane in Dewsbury is expected to cause disruption from today, according to Kirklees Council.

    Railway bridge

    These works are "essential to the safe operation of the railway infrastructure", the council says, with a rolling programme of road closures and diversions in place in the area.

    The work is due to be completed by the end of January 2015.

    Man's jaw broken in attack 13:15:

    A man suffered a broken jaw in a "totally unprovoked attack" as he walked home with his two sons from Bradford City's home game with Sheffield United on Saturday, police say.

    The 44-year-old was walking along Midland Road at about 18:45 when he was punched in the face. Anyone with information about the attack is asked to contact police.

    Firm joins battle against Ebola 13:02: Halifax Courier

    A Halifax healthcare firm is burning the midnight oil in the fight against Ebola, with extra shifts operating and manufacturing processes at capacity to build 1,600 special beds.

    news on the hour 12:58: Julie Langford News Editor, BBC Radio Leeds

    Improving rail links between Leeds and Manchester is critical for the creation of the government's so-called 'northern powerhouse', according to a new report.

    The Centre for Cities points out that the Transpennine route takes almost twice as long to travel as the longer distance between London and Milton Keynes.

    Listen live to the 13:00 bulletin for more.

    Emley's spectacular sunrise 12:31: Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Thanks to John Bradley in Golcar for sending us this picture he caught on camera of this morning's spectacular sunrise over Emley Moor mast.

    Emley Moor sunrise

    Have you taken any shots of West Yorkshire you'd like to share? Why not email or tweet them to us?

    Rail delays due to weather 12:21:

    National Rail Enquiries tweets: Trains through Huddersfield may be delayed by up to 15 minutes because of poor rail conditions

    Halloween's almost here 12:15: Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Local blog South Leeds Life has been finding out more about a whole host of spooky events planned for Halloween which is just over a week away.

    Carved pumpkin

    Organised by environment charity Groundwork, the three-day Halloween extravaganza includes pumpkin carving, giant games and spooky gazebos. Read more here - if you dare...

    news on the hour 12:02: Clive Settle Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

    Two men being questioned by police about the stabbing of a care worker in Castleford have been released on bail.

    The pair, aged 28 and 25, were being questioned after a 67-year-old woman was attacked at The Beeches care home on Saturday morning.

    Listen live to the midday bulletin for more.

    Meeting over beauty spot plans 11:53: Huddersfield Examiner

    A public meeting has been set up for tomorrow in Huddersfield as councillors call for development plans for a beauty spot to be made clearer.

    Site of proposed development
    E-fit issued over stabbing 11:46:

    Police have released an e-fit image of a man they want to speak to in connection with a stabbing at The Beeches care home in Castleford at the weekend.

    E-fit image

    During the incident, at about 06:15 on Saturday, a 67-year-old female staff member was stabbed in the arm and had to be treated in hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

    Two men aged 25 and 28 who were arrested on Sunday on suspicion of assault have since been released on police bail, police have said.

    Parking charges 'working' 11:37: Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    More on the news that nearly 17,000 parking tickets have been issued in Leeds since a £2 evening and weekend parking charge was introduced in the city last November.

    Andrew Mason, in charge of parking for Leeds City Council, told BBC Radio Leeds that since the charges were introduced the number of tickets issued has actually fallen and more people are visiting the city in the evenings because there are more spaces available.

    "The city centre is busier than ever before. We think it's working," he said.

    Windy weather warning 11:29: Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for the whole of the UK with gales, and more locally severe gales, expected to affect much of the country on Tuesday.

    Woman struggles with umbrella

    While Monday night will see wet and windy conditions sweeping eastwards, the strongest winds are expected after the rain clears and winds veer northwesterly on Tuesday morning.

    Gusts exceeding 55mph are likely inland. People are being warned to expect travel disruption and possible damage to trees.

    WATCH: Leeds' 1971 FA "Cupset" 11:22: BBC Sport

    BBC Sport is looking back at 50 iconic FA Cup goals in the build-up to the first round proper, which takes place in November.

    Colchester's Ray Crawford celebrates his goal against Leeds in the FA Cup

    One of those selected is the moment an ageing Colchester United side toppled Leeds United 3-2 in the fifth round in 1971.

    Leeds' "cupset" came when Ray Crawford, the son of a professional boxer and a prolific lower-league scorer throughout the 1960s, grabbed his moment in the sun. Watch this remarkable moment here.

    Winning curry bid 'ticked all boxes' 11:13: Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    More on the news that Bradford's been awarded the Curry Capital of Britain title for a record-breaking fourth time in a row.


    This year's bid included the creation of a Balti Pie by a local butcher, a Great Poppadum Challenge and the compilation of a recipe book of healthy curries.

    Patricia Tillotson, tourism manager for Bradford, says: "We knew our bid had to be really different this year and tick all the boxes. We're just absolutely over the moon today".

    news on the hour 10:59: Clive Settle Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

    Leeds City Council's been defending its decision to introduce city centre parking charges on weekday evenings and weekends.

    New figures show almost 17,000 fixed penalty notices have been issued in the first year, bringing in almost £500,000.

    Listen live to the 11:00 bulletin for more.

    Four hurt in crash 10:55: Keighley News

    Four people were injured in a crash on the Aire Valley trunk road near Keighley last night.

    Super League fixtures are out 10:42: Jake Katborg Sports Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

    The Super League Grand Final may only seem like it was two minutes ago, but the fixtures have been released for the new season.

    RL ball

    There's a West Yorkshire derby on the opening weekend as Castleford host Wakefield, Leeds Rhinos go to Hull KR, while Huddersfield Giants host Hull FC.

    Bradford Bulls will begin life in the Championship with a trip to champions Leigh while Featherstone Rovers take on newly-promoted Hunslet Hawks, Dewsbury are at home to Sheffield, Halifax go to Whitehaven and Batley host Workington.

    Survey shows concerns over city life 10:32: Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    In today's Yorkshire Evening Post, the paper reveals its readers' biggest concerns about life in Leeds after thousands of people took part in what it calls an "unprecedented" survey.

    Leeds skyline

    The paper's figures reveal that nearly 80% of its readers actively avoid certain parts of the city for fear of becoming a victim of crime.

    And three-quarters of readers say traffic is a major problem in the city - and they believe it's only getting worse.

    Five fires at Halifax factory 10:23: Halifax Courier

    Firefighters have been called to fires at a Halifax bed factory five times in recent weeks, with a total of seven different crews attending the most recent blaze.

    On air now 10:06: Nick Ahad Presenter, BBC Radio Leeds

    Join me until midday on BBC Radio Leeds as I get reaction to this morning's sad news that actor Lynda Bellingham has died.

    Lynda Bellingham

    Also, I'll be talking to crime novelist Anthony Horowitz, the man behind Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War, ahead of a book signing in Leeds this week.

    news on the hour 09:58: Clive Settle Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

    Almost 17,000 parking tickets have been issued since Leeds started city centre charging on evenings and weekends nearly a year ago.

    This means the move has already netted the council an estimated half a million pounds.

    Listen live to the 10:00 bulletin for more.

    Ivy Benson: Original girl power 09:54: BBC iPlayer Radio

    If you missed it at the weekend, remember you can catch up with Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm celebrating the musical legacy of Leeds-born band leader Ivy Benson on BBC iPlayer now.

    Ivy Benson

    Ivy, a gutsy and glamorous woman, rose to fame in the 1940s with her All Girl Band - and Melanie has been speaking to some of the surviving members from that era.

    This was, of course, 50 years before Melanie was shouting about Girl Power.

    Ambulance delays after killer murdered 09:40: Huddersfield Examiner

    A Midlands prison has been criticised for taking 50 minutes to call in medics after two inmates strangled a Huddersfield child killer in his cell.

    Subhan Anwar
    top headlines
    Bradford crowned Curry Capital 09:21: Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    It's a record-breaking four-in-a-row this morning for Bradford with the news that the city's been voted Curry Capital of Britain once again.


    Peter Grove, organiser and founder of the award, says it seems the city has found "the magic formula".

    "Of all the competing cities, they have understood the underlying message of the event - to promote cohesion where there was division and have used curry as a bonding agent to bring different aspects of Bradford society together."

    news on the hour 08:57: Clive Settle Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

    Almost 17,000 parking tickets have been issued since Leeds City Council started charging for parking on evenings and weekends nearly a year ago.

    This means the move has already made an estimated half a million pounds for the council.

    Listen live to the 09:00 bulletin for more.

    Your views 08:47: Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We write all the news, sport, travel and weather updates in our newsroom here in Leeds and would like to find out your views about the service.

    Red sky in the morning... 08:43: Huddersfield Examiner
    Parking tickets extent revealed 08:29: Richard Edwards Reporter, BBC Radio Leeds

    BBC Radio Leeds has discovered that nearly 17,000 parking tickets have been issued in Leeds since evening and weekend parking charges were introduced in the city almost a year ago.

    Pay and display sign

    We asked Leeds City Council to confirm exactly how much money it's raised from the charges on an evening and on Sundays but it did not give a figure.

    If each of these 17,000 tickets were paid promptly, at the lower rate of £25, that's worth about £435,000 to the council - and it could be much higher than that.

    Two arrests over care home stabbing 08:18: Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Here's a reminder of West Yorkshire's top story from the weekend: detectives investigating a stabbing at a West Yorkshire care home on Saturday have arrested two men.

    Beeches care home

    A 25-year-old man and a 28-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a 67-year-old woman at The Beeches in Castleford and are in police custody.

    The woman was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

    Slow traffic after accident 08:07:

    BBC Travel News reports there's slow traffic on the M62 westbound between J23, A640 (Huddersfield) and J22, A672 (Rishworth Moor), because of an accident.

    Drivers are being warned to expect delays in the area.

    Cloudy with heavy shower risk 08:03: Lisa Gallagher Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    The best of any brightness will be in the east at first, otherwise there'll be a lot of cloud today with scattered showers.

    Weather forecast

    The showers will be most frequent in the west where some could be on the heavy side this morning.

    The top temperature will be about 14 deg C (57 deg F).

    Good morning 08:00: Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Hello and welcome to BBC Local Live for Leeds and West Yorkshire on Monday 20 October 2014.

    I'll be with you until 18:00 with all the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the county.

    And remember, throughout the day you can also send your news, pictures and comments to leeds.locallive@bbc.co.uk.



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