Five guilty of £500,000 cash machine explosion raids

Blown up cash machine The convicted men raided about 28 cash machines in the North West and the Midlands in 2013

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Two men have been found guilty of blowing up cash machines in the North West and the Midlands to steal an estimated £500,000.

Anthony Bushell, 29, and Thomas Whittingham, 28, had denied conspiracy to burgle commercial premises and conspiracy to cause explosions.

Three men had already pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court.

Anthony White, 24, was acquitted. The jury failed to reach a verdict on Gary Keating, 30, who will face a retrial.

Bushell, of Childers Street, Old Swan and Whittingham, of Broughton Hall Road, West Derby, were found guilty on Thursday of the thefts from ATMs at banks, post offices and supermarkets.

Kurt Beddoes, 31, of no fixed address, Craig Cartwright, 39, of Vinecote Road, Coventry and Ian Ellis, 30, of Hostock Close, Prescot, each admitted one count of conspiracy to cause explosions and conspiracy to burgle commercial premises.

Blown up cash machine The men used gas to blow up the machines and steal an estimated £500,000 in cash

In 2013, the convicted men raided about 28 cash machines in places including the Wirral, Lancashire, Cheshire, Southport, Liverpool, Prescot, Loughborough, Gloucester, Birmingham, Northampton and Derby, police said.

They were traced through a tracking device fitted to the cash box from a machine in Warrington.

The men used gas to blow up the machines and steal an estimated £500,000 in cash, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Prosecutors said after the raids the men drove away at speeds of up to 191mph in stolen Audi cars with cloned number plates.

Maria Corr, from the CPS, said: "The cash machines were often in residential areas and these men blew them up without a thought for the safety of the local community."

The year-long police investigation involved the Merseyside, Warwickshire and West Mercia forces.

Det Ch Insp Gayle Rooney said the men believed they were untouchable and used extremely dangerous tactics, endangering members of the public.

The five men will be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on 5 September.

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BBC Local Live

  1.  
    18:00:

    That's all from Local Live on the day that the Giants arrived in Liverpool and thousands queued to see Grandmother Giant asleep in St George's Hall.

    We return tomorrow at 08:00 with all your news, travel, sport and weather. You can email us at merseyside.locallive@bbc.co.uk.

     
  2.  
    'A fine end to the day' 17:58:

    After a fine end to the day with plenty of evening sunshine, it will remain dry with largely clear skies. Some patchy low cloud may affect the Pennines through the latter part of the night. Highs of 27C (81F).

     
  3.  
    10,000 visit grandma giant 17:56:

    Liverpool City Council has now tweeted that some 10,000 people have now visited the Grandmother Giant at Liverpool's St George's Hall, as she rests in preparation for the main event.

    Grandma giant

    Remember you can keep up to date with all the action from the extravaganza on this special section of the BBC website.

     
  4.  
    Mark takes double gold 17:53:

    A Widnes man has won two gold medals and a silver at the European Heart and Lung Transplant Games in Vilnius, Luthuania.

    Halton Borough Council media officer Mark Allen, 42, represented Great Britain in the singles and doubles in table tennis, petanque and shot put.

    Mark won the golds in the overall doubles and age group doubles in table tennis - where he played with French partner Paul Baudry - and the silver in the singles - where he lost to his Hungarian friend Gabor Rimoczy.

     
  5.  
    Injury blow for Rovers defender 17:48:

    @bbcmerseysidesport tweets: #Tranmere defender Liam Ridehalgh has had a scan on his ankle and could be out for up to a month #TRFC #SWA

     
  6.  
    Giant dress sense 17:44:

    @MancThatter tweeted this lovely picture of her daughter, Maisie, who is wearing a dress specially made by her mum to match the Little Girl giant.

    Giants dress
     
  7.  
    Firefighters deal with house blaze 17:39:

    Firefighters were called to a fire at a house in The Groves, Chester. The blaze broke out at about 12.30 in an upstairs floor of the home.

    Crews used a large fan to clear the property of smoke. No one was injured, and firefighters were working to establish the cause of the fire.

     
  8.  
    Dog attack death 17:32:

    A woman died after being attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier in Liverpool.

    MaQueen Street

    Louise Caygill, 43, was found in a flat in MacQueen Street, Old Swan, on Sunday.

    Police said a post mortem examination has provisionally concluded she died as a result of "multiple dog bites", and the dog was destroyed at the scene.

     
  9.  
    Coming up 17:25: Roger Johnson Presenter, North West Tonight

    On tonight's show we'll have all the latest from the build-up to the Liverpool Giants spectacular, as excitement builds ahead of the fascinating showcase.

    We also take a look at the Commonwealth Games, which launch tonight, and hear how a missing boa constrictor snake could be a danger to small children.

    You can watch North West Tonight on BBC One from 18.30, or follow the show online.

     
  10.  
    Hospital's giants message 17:15:

    @RoyalLpoolHosps tweets: "Visiting patients during @GiantSpectacle? We will be as flexible as we can about visiting during this time - check with ward staff. #giants"

     
  11.  
    Plan ahead for Giants 17:10:

    Spectators enjoying this week's Giants extravaganza have been urged to observe some simple safety measures.

    Lilliputians

    Dr Sandra Davies, director of public health at Liverpool City Council, said: "With the warm weather and crowds over the next few days, it is important that we keep an eye out for older people, those with serious illnesses, and the very young to make sure they are safe and can keep cool."

    Ian Davies, head of operations and corporate performance for Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We have a number of Red Cross first aid stations located at points along the route with emergency water should spectators feel the effects of the warm weather. We ask that the public plan ahead."

     
  12.  
    news on the hour 16:59: Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The main headlines at 17:00 include:

    • A group of Liverpool fans have officially lodged a claim against four police forces arguing they were unlawfully imprisoned on a coach coming back from an away match three years ago
    • A senior ambulance officer who helped draft the emergency plan for the Hillsborough stadium in the 1980s said he 'never considered' sending ambulances on to the pitch
    • The United Nation's top human rights official claims Israel may have committed war crimes during its assault on Gaza
     
  13.  
    Crash driver escapes unscathed 16:52:

    A van driver escaped unscathed after an accident that saw his vehicle overturn.

    Chester accident

    A car and van were in collision in Sealand Road, Chester, at 13.00.

     
  14.  
    Thousands visit grandmother giant 16:47: Nafeesa Shan BBC News

    I've just been chatting to an official spokesman at Liverpool City Council, who tells me 4,000 people have now been through the door to visit the Grandmother Giant at St George's Hall (pictured).

    Queues outside St George's Hall

    He also said that, although the Grandmother is "static" at the moment, she is expected to start breathing tomorrow ahead of her walk. Exciting stuff!

     
  15.  
    On air 16:43: Simon Hoban BBC Radio Merseyside

    I'll be hearing from young entrepreneur Rachel Gilbertson from Crosby, who set up her own jewellery business at the age of 19.

    She's talking to us after Employment Minister and Wirral West MP Esther McVey said those who want to be self-employed should be given the same respect and support as those following the more conventional route into employment.

    We also take a look at plans to charge bars and nightclubs in Liverpool a fee to help pay for policing the city at night. You can listen to Drive here.

     
  16.  
    Sleeping Giant 16:38: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    Check out this view of St George's Hall with Grandmother Giant's tartan slippers peeking out of the end of her bed.

    giant view from St George's Hall

    The crowds queuing outside clearly can't get enough of her. Have you taken a picture of Grandmother Giant that you'd like to share? Tweet us or send a message via Facebook.

     
  17.  
    Lord Derby 'recruits' Pals 16:29:

    As the Grandma Giant snoozes in St George's Hall, the 17th Earl of Derby "recruits" Liverpool Pals in the city centre. It's all part of the Memories of August 1914 commemorations.

    lord derby
     
  18.  
    Ambulance strike action 16:22: Warrington Guardian

    Paramedics and ambulance staff from the GMB union in the North West have voted for industrial action over cuts in ambulance cover, mileage allowances and vehicle staffing.

     
  19.  
    Watch video of giants build-up 16:14: Steve Coleman BBC Radio Merseyside

    Visit our Facebook page to watch a video of the latest scenes, as crowds at St George's Hall, Liverpool, clamour for a glimpse of the Grandma Giant.

    Giant crowds

    You can follow all the action on a special section of the BBC website as the spectacle begins in earnest tomorrow.

     
  20.  
    News on the hour 16:00: Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The main headlines at 16:00 include:

    • A group of Liverpool fans have officially lodged a claim against four police forces arguing they were unlawfully imprisoned on a coach coming back from an away match three years ago
    • A senior ambulance officer who helped draft the emergency plan for the Hillsborough stadium in the 1980s said he 'never considered' sending ambulances on to the pitch
    • The United Nation's top human rights official claims Israel may have committed war crimes during its assault on Gaza
     
  21.  
    Plans for free parking 15:54: St Helens Star

    The council is looking to introduce free parking on Saturdays in a bid to boost retail in the town centre.

     
  22.  
    Piano delight 15:46: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    Heard the pleasant sound of piano playing around Liverpool city centre? That'll be the Tickle the Ivories piano festival which continues this week. The festival invites people of all skill levels to play pianos set up around the city.

    Piano festival

    Out on my lunch break earlier, I heard this lady playing Beethoven's Für Elise.

     
  23.  
    'Big, bold and exciting' 15:38:

    Actress Sue Johnston has written a blog for BBC Arts on the emotional power of the Giants.

    Sue Johnston

    She says one of her greatest experiences was when, "alongside tens of thousands of people from my hometown, I took to the streets to follow a 30ft wooden 'giant', her uncle and her dog around the streets of Liverpool".

    "Artistic endeavour such as this - big, bold and exciting - is a vital way for us to mark key historical events, no matter how sombre".

     
  24.  
    Gran chased handbag thief 15:30: Liverpool Echo

    The manager of a Litherland social club chased a thief with a mop and bucket after he stole £200 from her handbag.

     
  25.  
    One hour to Grandma 15:20:

    Liverpool City Council tweets: Queuing time to see the Grandmother just under 1hr so bring some water & please be patient ... she's worth it though #grandmaweloveyou

     
  26.  
    Rickie's ready for action 15:13:

    New Liverpool signing Rickie Lambert is now ready to look past the initial delight of signing for his hometown club and focus on showing his true quality for the new season.

    Rickie Lambert

    The former Southampton ace, who worked in a beetroot-packaging factory before entering professional football, told the club's official website: "The first game of the season is coming and believe me when I say that is all I am focusing on."

     
  27.  
    Grandma's slippers 15:07:

    Guess who these slippers belong to? That's right - the grandmother giant, who is welcoming guests to St George's Hall ahead of the big event.

    Grandma's slippers

    This photo is just one of a set of stunning images captured by photographer Mark McNulty. You can see more of his work on his blog.

     
  28.  
    News on the hour 15:00: Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The main headlines at 15:00 include:

    • The United Nation's top human rights official claims Israel may have committed war crimes during its assault on Gaza
    • A senior ambulance officer who helped draft the emergency plan for the Hillsborough stadium in the 1980s said he 'never considered' sending ambulances on to the pitch
    • An inquest has heard that the television presenter Peaches Geldof died of a heroin overdose after losing her battle against addiction
     
  29.  
    Duke to open revamped park 14:53: Chester Chronicle

    The Duke of Westminster will open Chester's newly restored Grosvenor Park on Monday - 147 years after his ancestor realised the importance of "fresh air and exercise" to those living in England's towns and cities.

     
  30.  
    New post office to open 14:45:

    Royal Mail emails to say a modernised post office branch is to open at Costcutter on Cemetery Road, Southport.

    The service, which will launch at 13.00 on 20 August, will be provided from three counters, opening between 06:30 and 21:30, seven days a week.

     
  31.  
    Which sport are you made for? 14:36:

    With the opening of the Commonwealth Games later, BBC News have a test to let you find out which sport you are made for.

    The Big G structure at George Square in Glasgow

    Answer 13 questions about things like your height, pain tolerance, co-ordination and body fat and you can discover if you should try judo, hockey, wrestling, netball or any of the other sports on show at the Games.

     
  32.  
    Giants' 'recruitment drive' 14:26:

    Giants Spectacular tweets: Exchange flags in liverpool is recruiting @BBCNWT #giants #suprises

    Recruiters in Liverpool
     
  33.  
    On this day 14:13:

    It's ten years to the day since striker Tim Cahill signed for Everton.

    Tim Cahill

    To mark the occasion, the Blues are running a video on their website featuring highlights from the Aussie hero's career.

    Cahill left Millwall for Goodison Park, and went on to make 226 appearances for the Toffees, scoring 56 goals.

     
  34.  
    News on the hour 13:59: Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The main headlines at 14:00 include:

     
  35.  
    Follow the giants 13:48:

    The giants are in town and you can follow the spectacle on a special section of the BBC website.

    Liverpool giant

    We'll be bringing you coverage of the event as it unfolds, alongside informative features and other background information about the World War One commemoration.

     
  36.  
    Ambulances 'never considered' 13:37: Ben Schofield Hillsborough reporter

    A senior ambulance officer who helped draft the emergency plan for the Hillsborough stadium in the 1980s said it was "never considered" ambulances would need access to the pitch during an emergency.

    Ambulance on the pitch at Hillsborough

    Gerald Wilkinson, who was in charge of South Yorkshire Ambulance Service's control and communications between 1986 and 1988, was giving evidence to the Hillsborough inquests.

    He said following the 1985 Bradford stadium fire, it was thought the pitch could be a dangerous place for ambulances because large numbers of people may gather on it.

    He said the pitch would be used to assess and treat casualties.

     
  37.  
    A pint in a potting shed 13:30: Sean Styles BBC Radio Merseyside

    Is this the best shed ever? Mark from St Helens' shed is in the final of a national competition - after he turned it into a pub.

    Sean Styles in a shed/pub
     
  38.  
    Reds ready for Roma in US 13:21:

    Liverpool are in Boston getting ready to face AS Roma in a pre-season friendly scheduled for an early hours kick-off.

    Fabio Borini

    Former As Roma striker Fabio Borini looks set to play some part in the game - even though he's still considering a £14m move to Sunderland.

     
  39.  
    Coming up 13:14: Annabel Tiffin Presenter, North West Tonight

    Coming up on North West Today, we're live in Liverpool, where hundreds have flocked to see the sleeping grandma as the giants arrive in the city.

    And we've the latest on the boa constrictor which has gone missing in Skelmersdale.

    Join us from 13:30 on BBC One.

     
  40.  
    Crowds flock to grandma 13:06: BBC Radio Merseyside

    tweets: Crowds continue to swarm into St Georges Hall for Grandma #giants

    Crowds at the grandmother giant
     
  41.  
    News on the hour 13:00: Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The main headlines at 13:00 include:

     
  42.  
    Public transport changes for giants 12:54:

    There will be major changes to public transport across Liverpool while the giants are in town.

    Giants in 2012

    Bus routes will be altered, some special services will be in operation and James Street Station will be closed for some of the time.

    More details can be viewed on the Merseytravel website.

     
  43.  
    Gibson boost for Blues boss 12:48:

    Everton boss Roberto Martinez has spoken of his delight at being able to welcome back midfielder Darron Gibson after nine months out with injury.

    Darron Gibson

    The midfielder made his comeback appearance in Tuesday's pre-season friendly at Tranmere Rovers, playing the entire second half as the Blues recorded a 2-2 draw.

    Martinez told the club's official website: "It's been very frustrating for him. But when you see him using that technical ability he has and the quality he brings to the side, he is like a fresh player coming back to us."

     
  44.  
    Queuing - the British way? 12:42: Chris Long BBC News

    The mammoth queues in the sunshine to see the grandmother giant put me in mind of a BBC News feature about queuing.

    Queues outside St George's Hall

    That was about the queues at Wimbledon last year, but it rings true for the crowds at St George's Hall.

    If you're in the queue, drop us a line on email, Facebook or Twitter to let us know how you are keeping yourself entertained.

     
  45.  
    Missing medical equipment appeal 12:34:

    Medics behind new blood pressure testing technology have made a desperate appeal after an important package went missing from Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

    Royal Liverpool University Hospital

    Innovative new blood pressure "cuffs" were being tested by the Department of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering.

    But after the tests, the prototype cuffs disappeared before they were due to be picked up by a courier, at about 15:25 on 11 July. It is thought they were either picked up by the wrong courier or by a taxi company collecting on behalf of somebody else.

     
  46.  
    'Lord Derby' call to arms 12:27: Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight

    tweets: Here's "Lord Derby" exhorting the men of #Liverpool to join up for #WW1 #giants @GiantSpectacle @BBCNWT 1.30

    Actor as Lord Derby
     
  47.  
    Nightclub policing fee 'closer' 12:21: Claire Hamilton Political reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

    Plans to charge bars and nightclubs in Liverpool a fee to help pay for policing the city at night have moved a step closer.

    Councillors have agreed to consult on the plans which have already received support from Merseyside Police, which spends more than £500,000 a year on policing the night time economy.

    The next step is for consultants to be appointed. The full council will have to approve the scheme if the charge is to be introduced.

     
  48.  
    Jean-Luc describes his giants 12:14:

    Giants creator Jean-Luc Courcoult has been explaining how his characters will come to life.

    Jean Luc Courcoult

    He says the giants are "not like you and me, because when they are born, they are born at the age they will stay all their life".

    You can watch a video of the eccentric artist's interview here.

     
  49.  
    Schoolboy given bread and water 12:07: Liverpool Echo

    A five-year-old boy was made to sit outside his headteacher's office with only a barmcake and a glass of water for lunch - after his school refused to accept dinner money from his mum.

     
  50.  
    News on the hour 12:00: Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The main headlines at 12:00 include:

     
  51.  
    Python-and-on-and-on 11:52:

    A team at Chester Zoo have given an enormous reticulated python its annual check-up - including using ultrasound to scan its heart.

    Reticulated python at Chester Zoo

    Reticulated pythons are the longest snake species in the world and it took a team of eight handlers to hold the snake in order for it to be examined.

     
  52.  
    Coming up 11:43: Roger Phillips BBC Radio Merseyside

    On today's show we'll be talking about Bradford MP David Ward, who has said again that he understands why Hamas supporters are firing rockets into Israel.

    Lib Dem MP David Ward

    He's caused quite a stir after tweeting last night: "If I lived in Gaza, would I fire a rocket? - probably yes".

    And we'll have all the latest as the Queen prepares to open the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this evening, marking the start of 11 days of competition. You can listen here from 12:00.

     
  53.  
    Beside the Widnes seaside 11:38:

    Halton Council tweets: Widnes-on-Sea is here! bit.ly/1nzKXLr

    Widnes-on-Sea poster
     
  54.  
    Show off your snoozing gran 11:32:

    As lots of people are heading to St George's Hall to see the grandmother giant getting a bit of shut-eye, we wondered if you had any pictures of your gran having a sleep?

    The grandmother giant

    We would love to see them, so send them in - with her permission, of course - via email, Facebook or Twitter.

     
  55.  
    Jellyfish joy 11:24: Claire Hamilton Political reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

    Last night I went to High Park Street in Toxteth to see these jellyfish.

    Jellyfish

    Artists Walter Hugo & Zoniel have created a window tank in a derelict shop window as part of the Biennial Art Festival's fringe.

    During the day, the shutter of the shop is closed, but at night it opens to reveal a vast water tank of 20 living jellyfish. You can see them from 10pm every night this week.

     
  56.  
    Traveller funeral slows traffic 11:17: St Helens Star

    Traffic was brought to a standstill after more than 200 vehicles joined a procession for a traveller funeral at the crematorium.

     
  57.  
    Jean-Luc can't wait 11:08: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    Here's Jean-Luc Courcoult, the man behind plans for the Giants Spectacular, taking a stroll around Liverpool.

    Jean-Luc Courcoult

    The founder of French creators Royal de Luxe says the event promises a "spectacular, emotional journey".

     
  58.  
    News on the hour 11:00: Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The main headlines at 11:00 include:

    • The government has denied claims that Britain's still exporting military equipment to Russia.
    • Pioneers behind a ground-breaking technology have made a desperate appeal after an important medical package went missing from a Liverpool hospital
    • A BBC investigation has found charities fear for their future if they speak out about how the government manages their funding
     
  59.  
    Memories of giants 10:55: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    When giants last roamed the streets of Liverpool in April 2012, they bewitched thousands of people - including those involved in the spectacle.

    Giants close up

    I spoke to one volunteer about the legacy of Royal de Luxe's Sea Odyssey.

     
  60.  
    Police search for missing boa 10:49:

    Police in Skelmersdale are searching for a missing snake.

    Boa constrictor

    The 8ft (2.5m) snake, which is believed to be a boa constrictor, was reported missing from an address in Bearncroft at around 21:30 on Tuesday.

    A spokesman said boa constrictors are not venomous and are not usually aggressive but the snake "could pose a risk to small children or pets by wrapping itself around them to seek warmth".

     
  61.  
    Ask Robbie.... 10:42:

    Former Liverpool striker and club ambassador Robbie Fowler will take over the Reds' official Twitter account later today - and the club is asking for your questions for the player.

    Robbie Fowler

    Fowler, who plundered 183 goals across two separate spells at Anfield, will answer questions submitted by supporters from 16:00 via the @LFC account.

     
  62.  
    Warrington sunrise 10:34: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    It's shaping up to be another gorgeous day, and one of the nice things about this recent heatwave is the crisp, clear mornings. Here's how the skyline in Warrington was looking earlier.

    Warrington skyline
     
  63.  
    Giant queues 10:26:

    Liverpool Council tweets: Huge queues at St George's Hall as people give a warm welcome to our giant visitor. @GiantSpectacle is here!!

    Queues to see the giant in Liverpool
     
  64.  
    Teen targeted in 'ear bite' attack 10:20:

    A 16-year-old boy was attacked by a gang in the doorway of a shop in Bootle on Tuesday night - suffering a cut to his ear.

    The teenager is recovering in hospital following the assault, which happened after he was chased by a group of three or four young men.

    An investigation is underway, though police say the victim and his family are refusing to co-operate with them.

     
  65.  
    Appy days 10:12:

    A new app to help visitors to Liverpool make the most of the city's cultural offerings is being trialled from today.

    Smartphones. File photo

    Called I'm@app, the programme features a wealth of information about museums, exhibitions and other tourist attractions.

    The trial has been started to coincide with this week's giants extravaganza - and runs until 26 October. Find out more on the app's website.

     
  66.  
    Come see Grandma 10:06:

    Giant Spectacular ‏tweets: And we're open! Come in and see grandma #grandmaweloveyou

     
  67.  
    News on the hour 10:00: Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The main headlines at 10:00 include:

    • The doors of St George's Hall in Liverpool are being thrown open to crowds getting the first glimpse of grandmother giant
    • A 16-year-old boy is recovering following a vicious gang attack in Bootle
    • David Cameron is being asked to explain why more than 250 government licences to export arms to Russia remain in place
     
  68.  
    Lining up to see grandma 09:54: Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight

    Queues are already building outside St George's Hall, as people clamour to catch the first glimpse of the grandmother giant.

    Giant queues

    This is going to be an exciting few days!

     
  69.  
    Commonwealth 'archaic' 09:45: Tony Snell BBC Radio Merseyside

    As the Commonwealth Games are poised to begin, you've been having your say on the Commonwealth itself. Is it still relevant today?

    Sacha Schnauzer posted on Facebook: "Commonwealth? Not common and no wealth, sorry but this is archaic now days, we should just let it go, like Scotland."

     
  70.  
    Reds relish Gerrard's retirement 09:37:

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Steven Gerrard's international retirement is "great" for the club.

    Steven Gerrard

    The 34-year-old midfielder, who captained England to a World Cup group-stage exit, quit the national team this week after 114 caps.

    "Liverpool is everything to him and no doubt missing international football will make him fresher," Rodgers said.

     
  71.  
    Joe and the Giant 09:30: Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight

    tweets: That's @joeforliverpool taking about #Liverpool #giants @GiantSpectacle @BBCNWT

    The grandmother giant and Joe Anderson
     
  72.  
    Pizza sleep ends in racist abuse 09:25: Warrington Guardian

    A racist abused a takeaway worker after falling asleep with his face in a pizza following a sambuca binge.

     
  73.  
    See a sleeping giant 09:19: BBC North West Tonight

    Over on Facebook, BBC North West Tonight has the first pictures of the sleeping Giant Grandma in St George's Hall, Liverpool.

    The grandmother giant

    As they say, "ssshhhh! Don't wake her up!"

     
  74.  
    Man shot in stomach 09:12:

    A 24-year-old man has been shot in the stomach in a garden in Huyton, Liverpool.

    Lyme Cross Road

    Police are investigating after a man with a pistol opened fire on two other men at a house on Lyme Cross Road, at around 22:45 on Tuesday.

    The victim was taken to hospital with injuries to his abdomen, although they are described as "not life threatening". The other man was uninjured.

    Police are searching for the gunman, who was described as slim, about 5ft 8ins and wearing dark clothing.

     
  75.  
    Toffees draw with Rovers 09:07: Phil Kinsella, BBC Radio Merseyside Sport

    An eventful game at Prenton Park last night saw Everton get their pre-season campaign under way with a 2-2 draw against Tranmere.

    Leon Osman

    The blues led twice through Steven Naismith and Leon Osman but Rovers came back with goals from Cole Stockton and James Rowe.

    The only injury concern for Everton was a slight hamstring injury to Seamus Coleman. The Toffees' next game is on Sunday when they face Leicester City in Bangkok.

     
  76.  
    as it happened
    • News, sport, weather and travel on Weds 23 July
    • More updates from 08:00 on Thursday
    • Listen to BBC Radio Merseyside
     
  77.  
    News on the hour 09:00: Alex Dibble BBC Radio Merseyside

    The main headlines at 09:00 include:

    • Crowds are gathering outside St George's Hall in Liverpool as the grandmother giant welcomes visitors
    • A man has been shot in the stomach in Huyton on Merseyside
    • A BBC investigation has found charities fear for their future if they speak out about how the government manages their funding
     
  78.  
    Going to see Grandma 08:51: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    I'm here at St George's Hall, where the grandmother giant will soon be welcoming her first visitors.

    Grandmother giant

    The excitement is certainly starting to build now.

     
  79.  
    What does Commonwealth mean? 08:43: Tony Snell BBC Radio Merseyside

    So the 20th Commonwealth Games starts in Glasgow - with the Queen set to officially open the occasion in what promises to be a spectacular opening ceremony.

    But does being in the Commonwealth mean anything to you? What do you know about its history and is it still relevant today?

    Have your say on our Facebook page.

     
  80.  
    'Cocaine in callaloo' gang jailed 08:35: Liverpool Echo

    A gang which tried to sneak £1m of cocaine into Britain hidden in tins of Caribbean vegetable callaloo were today behind bars.

     
  81.  
    Happy birthday school 08:28: Steve Coleman BBC Radio Merseyside

    Want to start your day with a smile? Check out and share this video on our Facebook page, made by the kids and teachers of St Andrew's C of E School in Maghull.

    St Andrews School

    They're celebrating their 175th birthday.

     
  82.  
    Grandma, we love you 08:20:

    The giants have finally arrived in Liverpool ahead of this week's spectacular marionette show - and you can catch a glimpse of the grandmother giant today.

    Grandmother giant

    She can be seen inside St George's Hall from 10:00 today until 19:00 tomorrow. No booking is necessary, although large queues are expected and viewing is on a first come, first served basis.

     
  83.  
    Slow traffic 08:13: Jenny Summers BBC Radio Merseyside

    There is very slow traffic on the A580 East Lancashire Road in Croxteth, Liverpool, near the Showcase Cinema junction this morning.

    Busy traffic is also reported along both ways of the A49 Wilderspool Causeway at Warrington.

     
  84.  
    'Another dry, fine day' 08:06:

    Any spots of patchy cloud promises to clear through the morning to leave another dry and fine day with plenty of sunshine.

    BBC weather

    It should become very warm into the afternoon, especially along the coast, with highs of 27C (80F).

     
  85.  
    News on the hour 08:01: BBC Radio Merseyside

    The main headlines at 08:00 include:

    • The giants have finally arrived in Liverpool ahead of a spectacular show in Liverpool this week, commemorating the centenary of World War One
    • The BBC has been told charities are afraid of criticising the government, in case they lose their funding
    • A national day of mourning is being held in the Netherlands as the bodies of the first victims of the MH17 disaster are returned from Ukraine
     
  86.  
    Good morning 08:00: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    Good morning. It's looking like another cracking sunny day here in Liverpool, and I'll be bringing you all the day's news, sport and weather updates from around the region.

    Feel free to help by sending in your pictures and snippets of news via email, Facebook, or by tweeting us @bbcmerseyside.

     

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