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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK


Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

That's it for our live coverage for today. Thanks for your company.

We'll be back on Monday from 08:00.

Scroll back through today's page for anything you may have missed, including...

  • More on a man from St Neots jailed over murder and attempted murder in St Ives   
  • A council looking to reinstate a removed phone box
  • Clean-up begins on Latin graffiti in Cambridge

Have a great weekend.


Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it for another week from all the team here at Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

We'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday.

As Julie Reinger has already predicted, Sunday is set to be a rather warm day, so make sure you have your garden furniture out of storage and you know where to find your sunglasses.


See you again next week!


Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it from all the team here at Local Live for Northamptonshire for this week. 

From 08:00 on Monday we'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather. 

Whatever you're doing this weekend, we hope you have a good one and enjoy the sun that's expected this weekend.

Now, where did I put my sunglasses? 

Weather: Get ready for a warm weekend

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It will be a dry night with long clear spells. There may be some patchy mist and fog and a touch of ground frost in places. 

Minimum temperature: 2C (36F). 

Weather map

It will be a cold start to Saturday, but any mist and fog should quickly clear to leave a largely sunny day. 

There may be a bit more patchy cloud in the east for a time. Light winds and highs inland of 18C (64F). 

Patchy mist and fog should clear very quickly on Sunday to leave another fine, dry and very warm day, with temperatures about 22C (72F). 

Much cooler and cloudier on Monday, with a few showers.

BBC Weather has more.

Cricket update: Northants 156 for five

BBC Sport

In the closing stages of the first day of the new season at Wantage Road, Northants are 156 for five in their first innings against Glamorgan.

Earlier they bowled out the Welsh side in the County Championship tie for just 101.

Get the latest at BBC Sport .

Picture perfect

BBC Weather Watchers

The sun has had his hat on today in Northamptonshire, so to mark the sunshine, here's a pick of some of our best BBC Weather Watcher pictures .


Man admits killing wife

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

A man from Cambridge accused of murdering his wife has admitted smothering her to death.

Muhammad Malik, 36, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Cambridge Crown Court after attacking his 32-year-old wife, Asia Tufail, in November.

Police and paramedics attended the property on Perne Road after Malik rung the emergency services saying he had attacked her.

She was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital but died of her injuries. 

A post-mortem examination concluded she died of asphyxia.

He will be sentenced on 19 May.

Woman 'loses consciousness' in Northampton attack

A woman was assaulted and had her handbag stolen on Barrack Road, Northampton, last night. 

It happened at about 18:40 after the woman got off a bus. 

A man approached her and following a conversation he punched her in the face, causing her to lose consciousness for a short time. 

A member of the public helped her up and another man returned her handbag, saying he had got it back from the offender.

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Removed phone box looking to be reinstated by council

A council says it will look to get a village's red telephone box back after a communication error saw it wrongly removed.

Telephone box being removed
Jo Walker

The box, pictured above, was removed from the village of Castor, near Peterborough, on Wednesday.

BT said a notice of its removal was posted on the kiosk in September, asking people to get in touch with Peterborough City Council with their responses in 90 days.

The company said a letter signifying the intention to remove the kiosk was also posted to the council.

The telecoms giant said the authority received and signed for the letter on 10 October and it received no news or objections back, so went ahead with the removal.

The council could neither confirm nor deny the letter was received.  

Patch where telephone box used to be
Jo Walker

A council spokesman said: "BT confirmed a letter was sent, however no-one in the council's planning department has knowledge of receiving it.

"We will endeavour to work with BT and the parish council to get the red telephone box reinstated in Castor. 

"In addition, we've now also objected to the removal of some other phone boxes including in Southorpe, Wansford and Ufford."

The council will now look to take ownership of the remaining boxes, using the  Adopt a Kiosk  scheme.

BT confirmed no calls were made from the Castor box in the 12 months leading up to last September.

Museum re-opening brings Luton Girls Choir out of 'retirement'

The grand opening of the refurbished Wardown House, Museum and Gallery tomorrow is being marked by a special performance of Luton Girls Choir

The group, which became world famous, was set up in 1936 but folded in 1977 when their founder died. 

They've now reunited after 40 years and they've been rehearsing for the big day. 

Luton Girls Choir reunited after folding when the founder died in 1977

Luton museum to re-open after multimillion-pound revamp

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

For the past year Luton's Wardown Park Museum has been slowly transformed. 

Just over a year ago it closed its door to the public so a £3.5m redevelopment could take place. 

Now the work is complete and tomorrow its doors will open again with a new name -  Wardown House, Museum and Gallery

Wardown House
Luton Culture

Not only will you be able to see how a wealthy Victorian family lived and how Luton has developed over the years, but it includes many interesting artefacts and even  Queen Victoria's silk stockings .

Wardown Museum

St Ives double stabbing: Life-saving neighbour receives £1,000 reward

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

The neighbour of 28-year-old Andrew Hasler who saved a woman from being stabbed to death has been commended for his life-saving actions with a High Sheriff's Award and £1,000.

Matthew Sharpe, 40, has been jailed for stabbing Mr Hasler to death and for the attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend, 27-year-old Charna Knights.

Cambridge Crown Court heard one of Mr Hasler's neighbours had gone round to the house after he heard a commotion going on inside.

He was confronted by Sharpe who was on top of Ms Knights, repeatedly stabbing her while Mr Hasler lay severely injured on the floor.  

St Ives murder scene

The neighbour managed to pull Sharpe off the woman and kick the knife out of his hand before he fled.

Det Insp Lucy Thomson said: "Charna suffered multiple stab wounds and thankfully made a recovery, however medics were unable to save Andrew.

"I would like to pay tribute to the selfless bravery of Andrew's next-door neighbour who put his own life at risk in order to help Charna.

"His actions that day ultimately saved her life."

New Errol Flynn screen will 'increase numbers, revenue and income'

Samuel Boyle

BBC Radio Northamptonshire

Northampton's newest cinema has opened its doors this afternoon. 

A second screen at the Erroll Flynn Filmhouse in the Royal and Derngate has begun showing movies.

The screen sits 83 people and comes after months of development work building the new site. 

The site's operational director, Richard Clinton, said he was "very excited" about the opening, which would allow the Erroll Flynn to "further increase numbers, revenue and income".

He said the opening of the first screen had been a "brilliant success", adding "we took a risk with that which has paid off".

Mr Clinton added the new screen would bring greater capacity and allow the cinema to devote a whole week to popular titles.

St Ives double stabbing: Man jailed

David Keller

BBC News

We've just heard from Cambridge Crown Court that a 40-year-old man has been jailed for stabbing a man to death and attempting to kill his ex-girlfriend.

Matthew Sharpe, from Eynesbury, St Neots, was arrested on 8 January after officers were called to a violent incident at the home of Andrew Hasler, 28, on Houghton Road, St Ives.

Matthew Sharpe
Cambridgeshire Police
Matthew Sharpe

On arrival they found Mr Hasler and Charna Knights, 27, from Huntingdon, had been brutally attacked with a knife. 

Mr Hasler could not be saved and died at the scene, but Ms Knights survived after she was rescued by a neighbour.

Police said the neighbour heard a commotion and managed to pull Sharpe off Ms Knights and kick the knife out of his hand before restraining him, but he managed to get away.

Andrew Hasler
Cambridgeshire Police
Andrew Hasler

Sharpe was then stopped by police at a bridge over the River Ouse in the town and he jumped into the river. He was pulled out and found to have self-inflicted injuries.

He pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder at a hearing on 10 March. 

Today he was sentenced to life in jail with a minimum term of 25 years for the killing and 20 years for the attempted murder, to run concurrently.

BreakingMan jailed over St Ives murder and attempted murder

Matthew Sharpe has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 25 years at Cambridge Crown Court for the murder of Andrew Hasler in St Ives in January.

The 40-year-old was sentenced to a further 20 years for the attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend Charna Knights, to run concurrently. 

Chinese delegates in MK 'optimistic' about trade with UK post-Brexit

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

So far today the Chinese entrepreneurs have visited Bletchley Park to see some of Milton Keynes' heritage and computing history. 

Dr Philip Smith, chairman of the MK Business Leaders Partnership, says they've come to MK because of the "high-tech" industries on offer here. 

He told me: "They want to know how we work, how we operate." 

He said they've already worked with Dubai and the United Arab Emirates and have other countries in the pipeline.

Chinese Trade Delegates

LP Yau, the chief editor of Asia Weekly in Hong Kong, says they've come to the area to "explore the latest development in the UK, in particular in the wake of Brexit to see if there are any new initiatives between China and the UK". 

He added: "Brexit is so unpredictable, but for the time being we are optimistic." 

Museum to commemorate The Shoemakers

Abington Park Museum is hosting a memorial service and evening of talks on 19 April to remember the men of the 4th Territorial Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, known as The Shoemakers.

The majority of the battalion were shoe and leather workers from Northampton. This year marks the 100th anniversary of their fall during battle in Gaza.

The public memorial service will take place at 15:00. The talks start at 19:30, with tickets costing £10.

Protected birds of prey shot

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The body of a protected bird with more than 10 pieces of lead shot lodged in its body was found by a member of the public in Daintry Wood, close to Toddington in Bedfordshire. 

Police and the RSPB are investigating after they believe the red kite was shot at close range. 

Shot red kite

It comes after Hertfordshire Police says another red kite had to be put down after it was shot in the Furneux Pelham area of Buntingford.

Red kite bird

The bird of prey (pictured above) is fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. 

The RSPB says although they are now a common sight in Bedfordshire, in the 1980s red kites were one of the UK's rarest breeding birds.

Edinburgh hopes to send 'fantastic' Wilder packing

Caroline Densley

BBC Radio Northampton Sport

Tomorrow sees the return of former Cobblers manager Chris Wilder (pictured) to Sixfields.

Wilder's new side, Sheffield United, are in with a chance of promotion to the Championship when they come to Northampton.

Chris Wilder
Getty Images

He was instrumental in Northampton Town's League Two title win last season and current boss Justin Edinburgh says Wilder will "be welcomed back with open arms".

"I've got a lot of time for Chris," Edinburgh said. "He did a fantastic job under difficult circumstances."

But the ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender says his team won't be lying down: "Hopefully we will send Chris off packing to find some points elsewhere."

Chinese trade delegates welcomed to MK

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Milton Keynes has been rolling out the red carpet to Chinese trade delegates today. 

They've been invited to the new city by the MK Business Leaders Partnership, aimed at forging close international trading partners post-Brexit. 

Here they are arriving at Bletchley Park. 

View more on twitter

East Midlands Ambulance Service reveals bizarre 999 calls

A sick cat, dandruff and someone asking for help with their shopping are among some of the strange calls received by East Midlands Ambulance Service.

The service, which covers Northamptonshire, said it also received a call from a man who was kicked out of a club after a night out but had no money to get home.

The service said it wanted to remind people to only call 999 in a genuine emergency.

Man calls 999 for his cat

'Unique talent' signs new Stevenage contract

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Stevenage youngster Ben Kennedy has signed an extended contract with the club until 2019.

The 20-year-old, who is an U21 Northern Ireland international, has made over 70 appearances for Stevenage and is being tracked by several top clubs.

Chairman Phil Wallace said: "Ben is a unique talent. 

"He is a big game player and we have worked hard to develop him on and off the pitch since he came to us from Northern Ireland 4 years ago. 

"We are delighted he has agreed to extend his contract."

Ben Kennedy
Stevenage FC

Kennedy commented: "I'm really happy to sign. It has been a great season so far and I have really enjoyed playing with this team. Hopefully we finish it strong."  

Glamorgan skittled for 101 in County Championship opener

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northants have rattled through opponents Glamorgan's top order to dismiss them for 101 .

Rory Kleinveldt, Ben Sanderson and Nathan Buck took three wickets apiece on the opening day of the County Championship at Wantage Road.

Thousands paid out for trampoline accident in Bedfordshire

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

Cuts, bumps and grazes in school are nothing new, but it appears that accidents have become an expensive issue. 

A BBC investigation has revealed school payouts have doubled in two years from £1.65m in 2014 to £3.45m in 2016. 

It includes a payout of £11,500 after a trampoline accident at a school in Central Bedfordshire.

Child injured being seen by a doctor
Getty Images

You can read more from the investigation here .

Local firm helping global effort to tackle landmines

Jozef Hall

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A Cambridgeshire company that converts old farming machinery to clear landmines says new mines are being laid faster than countries can clear them.

Landmine clearing machine

Armtrac, based in Burwell, has just completed 60 new armoured vehicles, which are now on their way to parts of the world previously affected by war.

Five are going to Columbia, one to Kurdistan and three bigger machines to Nigeria. Tunisia is looking at getting one too. 

The machines, which are remote-controlled, have either titanium spikes or hammers on the front that rip through the ground. Any mines will either explode or get ripped to pieces.

Man operating controls

The vehicles range from £40,000 to £500,000 in price.

They are much smaller than they used to be, meaning they can be carried by helicopter or thrown into inaccessible areas.

Armtrac designs the machines so once they have completed mine clearance they can then be adapted to do a range of tasks, including planting seeds, helping construct roads and digging for pipelines or wells.

The company is helping a global drive, supported by Prince Harry, to help rid the world of landmines by 2025. The government is committing £100m to fund the drive.

Prince Harry welcomes new funding for landmine clearance

Philip Juggs, who leads the machine design at Armtrac, said "as quick as we can clear them, other countries are laying them in the ground". 

"It's going to take many years to clear them," he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Landmine clearing machine

Referral made to Youth Offending Service after 12-year-old found with nine-inch knife

Craig Lewis

BBC News

I've got some more information on the story we mentioned earlier regarding a 12-year-boy who had a nine-inch knife confiscated by Corby police.

The news was originally revealed by the @corbypolice Twitter account .

Northamptonshire Police told me officers were called to Beanfield Avenue in Corby at 12:40 yesterday.

Once there they stopped a 12-year-old who was found in possession of a knife. 

He was taken home and has since been voluntarily interviewed about the incident. 

The knife was confiscated and a referral has been made to the Youth Offending Service, which looks to prevent crime.

Three bears... but no sign of Goldilocks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The first North American black bear cubs to be born at Woburn Safari Park for 18 years have emerged from their first winter hibernation and are taking their first steps in their new home.

North American black bear cubs
Woburn Safari Park

The young bears, born at Easter in 2016, had previously been living inside a ground-level den in an enclosed half-acre pen, so they could sleep, grow and bond with their mum.

But Alabama, Kaska and Sekani have now left their pen with four year-old mum, Phoenix, and ventured out into the main 13-acre reserve in the Kingdom of the Carnivores drive-through enclosure.  

North American black bear cubs
Woburn Safari Park
North American black bear cubs
Woburn Safari Park
North American black bear cubs
Woburn Safari Park

The park is the only place in the UK that visitors can see this species. 

Senior keeper Ben Davies said: "We still expect them to stay relatively close to their mum over the next few weeks as they find their feet and work out their place in the natural hierarchy.

"As in the wild, this will be a trial and error process and they will have to learn pretty quickly not to muscle in on their dad, Xanthos' food!"

Nathan Buck in the wickets in Northants' County Championship opener

Northamptonshire have raced out of the blocks in the County Championship.

In their Division Two clash against Glamorgan at Wantage Road, the county have reduced the visitors to 60-6.

Nathan Buck has picked up three wickets and Rory Kleinveldt took two. At one point Glamorgan were 26-6.

The  latest score can be seen on the BBC Sport website .

Nathan Buck

Errol Flynn Filmhouse to open new screen today

A second screen at the Errol Flynn Filmhouse will be opened today.

The Errol Flynn Filmhouse

The cinema, adjacent to the Royal and Derngate Theatre in Northampton, opened its doors in June 2013.

The first film shown on the new screen - which will seat about 80 people - will be 'The Time of Their Lives', starring Joan Collins.

More than 170,000 people have attended the original filmhouse since it opened four years ago.

Body in taxi murder: 'Jealous, controlling, manipulative' man found guilty

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

"Hassan was deeply controlling, manipulative and consumed with jealousy."

Those were the words of Det Insp Stuart Blaik from Thames Valley police after Ahsan Hassan, 28, from High Wycombe, was found guilty of murdering Zofia Sadowska before putting her dead body into a taxi. 

He said: "He [Hassan] evilly planned to murder Zofia and then showed cowardice when he tried to cover up his crime by falsely claiming that both he and Zofia had wished to commit suicide.

"Hassan has never admitted his crimes, which has made dealing with the loss of Zofia even more of a terrible ordeal for her family," he added.

Body in taxi murder: Woman died from asphyxiation

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Thames Valley Police has released more information on what happened the night Zofia Sadowska was killed by Ahsan Hassan. 

The force said on 18 September at about 23:10, Hassan took Ms Sadowska to a disused kebab shop on Gayhurt Road in High Wycombe, where he then murdered her. 

A post-mortem examination revealed the 20-year-old died from asphyxiation.

Officers then say at about 02:00 the next morning the body of Ms Sadowska was put in a waiting taxi, and she was taken back to Hassan's home on Dashwood Avenue. 

It was then at 05:00 the emergency services were called to a report of an attempted suicide.

Dashwood Avenue
Getty Images
Dashwood Avenue

Hassan, 28, was found guilty of murder and is due to be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Monday.    

Cambridge Latin graffiti clean-up begins

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Work to paint over Latin graffiti daubed across luxury Cambridge homes in protest at the city's housing crisis has begun.

The graffiti on four £1.25m five-bedroom houses overlooking the River Cam and Stourbridge Common will cost "at least" £4,000 to clean, the developer said.

Graffiti being cleaned off houses

They were  painted with the words Locus in Domos Loci Populum  on Tuesday.

It's thought the vandals intended the phrase to mean "local homes for local people".

Graffiti being cleaned off houses

Cleaning will take two days and the £4,000 bill could rise "substantially" if it does not come off straight away, developer HC Moss (Builders) Ltd said.

Graffiti being cleaned off houses

Man guilty of body in taxi murder

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A man who killed a 20-year-old woman before taking her body home in a taxi has been found guilty of murder.

Thames Valley Police said Ahsan Hassan murdered Zofia Sadowska in a disused kebab shop in High Wycombe in September.

The force said the 28-year-old, of Dashwood Avenue in the town, then put his victim's body into a taxi and convinced the driver she was drunk and asleep.

Emergency services were then called to his home where Hassan told investigating officers the death was a suicide pact, police added.

Ahsan Hassan
Thames Valley Police

Hassan (above) was found guilty of murder at Reading Crown Court yesterday and will be sentenced on Monday.  

During the case, Usman Ansar, 30, also of Dashwood Avenue, High Wycombe, was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice. 

Horses reined in on building site

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

We can now report 12 horses found running loose on Station Road in Willingham are safely back in their field.

The drove, who were looking to stirrup trouble, were reported to have escaped about 06:30 near the junction on Station Road.

They were corralled temporarily on a nearby building site until the owners were located.

The horses have now been reunited with their owner and are back in their field. 

Chinese Grand Prix: Second practice called off after safety helicopter grounded

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Formula 1 was forced to call off second practice at the Chinese Grand Prix because poor visibility prevented the medical helicopter operating.

Low cloud, rain and smog in Shanghai meant the helicopter was unable to land at the designated hospital.

Safety requirements dictate cars cannot run if the helicopter cannot fly.

The conditions also affected first practice in which Milton Keynes-based Red Bull's Max Verstappen was fastest during 10 minutes of running on a damp track.

Team-mate Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen managed only a total of five laps between them.

Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen
Getty Images

Northants start cricket season with 'three winnable games'

Northants' cricketers have a great chance to get off to a positive start this season, according to the club's chairman.

Ben Duckett
Getty Images

Gavin Warren said Northants' County Championship fixtures "suit as well" as the county side has "three winnable games that could give us a nice start to the championship before we concentrate on the white ball [matches]".

Northants start the Division Two season at home against Glamorgan today, before travelling to Derbyshire and Worcestershire.

Decision on new West Herts hospital 'should be made locally'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The government has said any decision about building a new hospital for West Hertfordshire on land by the M25 at Kings Langley should be made by the NHS locally.

A petition on the government's website calling for a new hospital "equipped to modern standards" attracted more than 10,000 signatures.

It was set up by members of the New Hospital Campaign - formed to request a new facility on a central, accessible site between three main towns - Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford.

The government's response stated: "The reconfiguration of health services is a matter for the NHS locally.

"Any changes to local services should be led by clinicians and patients, not from the top down.

"It is for NHS commissioners and service providers to work together with patients and the public in bringing forward proposals that will improve the quality and sustainability of healthcare services." 

West Herts Hospitals Trust said a new hospital would be too expensive and it wants to redevelop Watford General instead.

Fire station archway collapses on top of engine

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

A fire station in the Fens has had to temporarily shut after brickwork which surrounds the vehicle bay gave way and landed on top of an engine.

Collapsed wall at fire station
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue

The station, on Westfield Road in Manea, is currently closed off while investigation work takes place to establish what happened.

No-one has been hurt.

Chief fire officer Chris Strickland said: "I want to reassure the residents of Manea that they can still expect a fire engine to be with them in the fastest possible time in an emergency."

It's not yet known where the engines are being kept in the interim.

St Ives murder: Man to be sentenced

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A murderer from Eynesbury, near St Neots, has been warned by a judge he faces a lengthy stint in prison when he is sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court later.

Matthew Sharpe
Cambridgeshire Police
Matthew Sharpe admitted murder and attempted murder

Matthew Sharpe (above), 40, killed Andrew Hasler  (below) at his house on Houghton Road, St Ives, in January.  

Andrew Hasler
Cambridgeshire Police
Andrew Hasler died at a house in St Ives on 8 January

Mr Hasler was repeatedly stabbed and died from a single wound to the heart.

Sharpe also tried to murder his former girlfriend in the attack, but she was saved by a neighbour.

Murder scene

We'll bring you the latest from court when it happens.

Nine-inch knife taken from 12-year-old in Corby

Corby police have tweeted this somewhat frightening picture of a nine-inch knife that was confiscated from a 12-year-old boy yesterday.

Officers say the boy was "brandishing" the weapon in the street.

View more on twitter