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Summary

  1. Milton Keynes action group calls for empty buildings to be turned into a centre for homeless people
  2. The inquest into the death of Istiak Yusuf at Luton police station in June last year hears about spy hole usage
  3. Chancellor George Osborne is visiting Red Bull in Tilbrook, Milton Keynes
  4. Updates for Wednesday, 4 May 2016
  5. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Thursday at 08:00

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Moon's Newsagents, Park Street, Luton

A man admits trying to murder a shopkeeper in the same spot in Luton where her husband was killed nearly seven years ago.

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Our live coverage across the day

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

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

We'll be back at 08:00 on Thursday with all your news, sport, travel and weather.

Weather: Fine with sunshine on Thursday after a cool night

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Skies will remain clear tonight and the wind will be light so temperatures will drop again, perhaps leading to a touch of grass frost in one or two rural spots around Leighton Buzzard and Waddesdon.

Watford
Moxhey/Weather Watcher

Minimum temperature: 4C (39F).

Car being driven dangerously seized by police

A car has been seized in Bedford by police after it was seen being driven dangerously.

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Mercedes deny favouring Nico Rosberg over Lewis Hamilton

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Mercedes have rejected accusations they are favouring Nico Rosberg over Hertfordshire's Lewis Hamilton this season.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton
Getty Images

In an open letter to fans on their website, the team address "the haters, the naysayers and the conspirators" following criticism on social media.

Mercedes also say it was a "miracle" Hamilton's car finished Sunday's Russian Grand Prix as the engine had zero water pressure for the last 16 laps.

Milton Keynes man arrested for murder after woman goes missing

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

Detectives investigating the disappearance of a woman from Milton Keynes, have arrested a man on suspicion of murder.

Natalie Hemming
Thames Valley Police

Natalie Hemming, 31, from Newton Leys was reported missing yesterday having last been seen in Hemel Hempstead on Sunday afternoon.

A 42-year-old man from Milton Keynes was arrested earlier today.

BreakingMan arrested for murder in connection with missing woman case

A 42-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the investigation of a missing Milton Keynes woman.

Police warn of a number of van break-ins in Buntingford

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A warning has been given by Hertfordshire Police asking people not to leave valuables in vehicles after three break-ins in Buntingford over two days.

About £500 worth of tools were taken from a van on Freeman Drive.

Personal items, including a wallet and phone, were taken from a van in Olvega Drive and another van was broken into in the same road.

Headlines: Inquest into Luton man's custody death shown CCTV footage... Drone used to help find the cause of fire

Jon Kaye

BBC Three Counties Radio

Here are the main news stories:

  • A drone is being used to investigate a fire that destroyed two 18th century listed buildings in Stony Stratford
  • Mercedes have written an open letter to reassure fans that they're not deliberately sabotaging Hertfordshire's Lewis Hamilton's car

Man found dead during Bletchley fire

Milton Keynes Citizen

An investigation is underway following the death of a man in Bletchley.

Family clock up mileage trying to find missing cat

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

This is Simba. She escaped from a car at Beaconsfield Service Station on 23 April.

Simba the cat
Zara Schofield

She was being transported from Manchester to her new home in Kent, but decided to make a dash for it.

Her owner Zara Schofield and her family have so far made about 10 trips back to Beaconsfield to find her, but sadly she's still not been found.

Istiak Yusuf inquest: Court hears from Detention Officer

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

On the second day into the inquest into the death of Istiak Yusuf, the court has heard from Diane Jones - the detention officer who carried out welfare checks of the cells, including Mr Yusuf's. 

She said at 11:22 she recorded no concerns or issues, saying: "I assumed he was awake looking up at the ceiling. At 11.54 I looked in, thought he was in the same position prior, and became concerned. I opened the hatch and called in. No response. Raised the alarm and entered the cell." 

After questioning she stated it was possible he wasn't breathing at 11.22. Ms Jones has since told the Independent Police Complaints Commission she made an error and it was likely Mr Yusuf was not awake at that time.

Istiak Yusuf inquest: Memo sent to officers saying spy hole only checks are not acceptable

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

The inquest into the death of Istiak Yusuf has heard how as a result of Mr Yusuf's death Bedfordshire Police sent a memo to officers reminding them welfare checks using a spy hole only are not acceptable.

Prior to his death it seems they were being used. The Professional Practice document states checks via a door flap or physical entry to the cell are acceptable means of checks.

Osborne makes MK pitstop

Paul Scoins

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

It was a busy morning for the Chancellor George Osborne - not only did he visit the headquarters of Red Bull racing in Milton Keynes, but he was put to work to change a Formula 1 tyre...

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Drone used to help in Stony Stratford fire investigation

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A drone is being used to help find out how a fire destroyed two 18th century listed buildings in Stony Stratford on Sunday.

Bucks and MK Fire service say it is using the machine as the structure is too unsafe to enter. Investigations into the blaze are continuing.

Ariel shot of fire devastation
Bucks and MK Fire service
Ariel shot of fire devastation
Bucks and MK Fire
Arield shot of dire devastation
Bucks and MK Fire

Drugs, cash and weapons seized at Bedford property

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

Thousands of pounds, two air weapons and drugs have been seized from a house in Bedford.

Kingsbrook Road Bedford ariel shot
Google

Police carried out a warrant at the property on Kingsbrook Road last Thursday. 

A man has been arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply and has been bailed pending further enquiries.

Headlines: Man pleads guilty to attempted murder of widow... Rare rocks taken from Hertfordshire museum

Jon Kaye

BBC Three Counties Radio

Here are the main news stories this lunchtime: 

Weather: Fine with sunshine

BBC Weather

The afternoon will be fine with plenty of sunshine and light winds.

Barnet
Helen'sHouse/Weather Watcher

The sun may turn periodically hazy as some higher level cloud rolls over.

Maximum Temperature: 17C (63F).

Darkened classroom hug teacher banned

Jodie Smith

BBC News

A teacher who hugged one of her pupils at a Hertfordshire school in a darkened room and had personal contact with her outside school hours has been banned from the profession.

Leventhorpe Business and Enterprise Academy
Google

Tuesday Nathan, 29, had an "inappropriate relationship" with a girl at the Leventhorpe Business and Enterprise Academy in Hertfordshire.

A professional misconduct panel found their relationship from 2012 to 2015 developed in a "secretive manner".

Istiak Yusuf inquest: Jury hears from custody sergeant

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

The jury at the inquest of Instiak Yusuf has heard from custody sergeant Matthew Carroll. He booked Mr Yusuf in at Luton Police Station.

Ampthill Coroner's Court
BBC

He said: "I could smell stale alcohol on his breath, it was enough for me to put him on 30 minute checks."

When asked if he would have altered his assessment had he known class A drugs were suspected of contributing to the alleged offence, he said it may have "prompted me to ask further questions about taking drugs".

Istiak Yusuf inquest: Jury hears how escorting police officer carried out pat down search

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

At the second day of the inquest of Istiak Yusuf, the jury at Ampthill Coroner's Court heard evidence from PC Steve Hunt, a response officer based in Dunstable.

He said he did a "a pat-down search, limited to outer clothing only. I searched down the legs, torso, patted down front and rear".

He said if Mr Yusuf had had a kinder egg in his pocket he would have found it. He agreed when questioned that the search took 22 seconds. He said he had "absolutely no concern whatsoever" that Mr Yusuf was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

Istiak Yusuf

A man who died at Luton police station after taking drugs in his cell was searched for 22 seconds, an inquest hears.

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Chancellor Osborne defends local Government cuts during MK visit

Paul Scoins

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

George Osborne has defended the Government's funding of local government on a visit to Red Bull racing in Milton Keynes.

George Osborne at Red Bull HQ
BBC

He told me local government has to "live within it's means" and "the alternative is services don't get funded or the council tax goes up."

He was in the area as part of the local election campaign.

Police investigate theft of 'world's rarest rocks'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Hertfordshire Police say the stolen Hertfordshire Puddingstone is "one of the world’s rarest rocks".

Hertfordshire Puddingstone rock
St Albans City and District Council

PC Sean Lannon, investigating, said: "It's part of our county’s heritage so we are doing all we can to ensure these stones are returned to the museum."

Travel: Two accidents close to A421 in Milton Keynes

BBC Travel

There have been two separate accidents close to the A421 in the Milton Keynes area.  

The first one happened at the roundabout at Aspley Guise by Junction 13 of the M1 when a van overturned.

Aspley Guise accident
BBC

The second, was at at the junction of the A421 south of Milton Keynes as it reaches the new A421 to Bedford. A car went under a lorry.

Milton Keynes Council 'constantly reviewing' assets for housing potential

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The MK People's Assembly is calling for the council to urgently make one of the empty buildings in the town into a centre for homeless people and to fund four members of staff to support the homeless.

Milton Keynes Council has told us only 18 of the 400 plus properties listed by the group are directly owned by the council, but added it is "constantly reviewing" how best to make use of its assets and would look at any schemes to free up property for housing.

A spokesman said it had already converted one of the properties listed in Two Mile Ash into three one-bedroom houses, although any projects like this were "always subject to a number of constraints, including the availability of funding".

Milton Keynes action group calls for empty buildings to house homeless

Jessica Cooper

BBC Three Counties Radio

A Milton Keynes action group is calling for the council to urgently make one of the many empty buildings in the town into a centre for homeless people because it fears more people will die on the streets.

Homeless person sleeping rough
BBC

So far this year two homeless people have died in Milton Keynes.

The MK People's Assembly says there are a number of properties lying empty which could be used for a well-being centre. It wants the council to commit to giving a building at little or no cost and to fund four members of staff to support the homeless.

Historic Rock theft: What is Puddingstone rock?

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Hertfordshire Puddingstone is a naturally occurring conglomerate consisting of rounded flint pebbles bound in silica cement, found mostly within the county.

Polished Section of Hertfordshire Puddingstone
Chris Reynolds/Geograph

It's thought to have originated from deposits laid down around 54 million years ago and is called puddingstone because the flints resemble the plums in a Christmas pudding.

The stones were taken from the gardens of the former St Albans museum site on Hatfield Road last month and originally came from the site of the seventh Day Adventist Church during the late 1970s.

Chancellor 'impressed' with Red Bull's Milton Keynes HQ

It seems Chancellor George Osborne has been "impressed" by the headquarters of Red Bull in Milton Keynes. He visited the site this morning...

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Historic Rock taken from St Albans museum

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Historic rock dating back 54 million years has been taken from a Hertfordshire museum.

Hertfordshire Puddingstone
Hertfordshire police

Police are investigating after 24 rocks known as Hertfordshire Puddingstone were removed from the site of the former St Albans museum on Hatfield Road. 

It's believed the stones were taken from the garden between 3 April and 14 April.

BBC Weather Watchers: Warm and cloudy day

BBC Weather Watchers

It's set to be a warm day with highs of 17C (62F) and some cloud - as these amazing pictures from the Royston area and Welwyn Garden City, sent in by our Weather Watchers, show.

Clouds in Melbourne
Vonnie/Weather Watcher
Welwyn Garden City
LouieMurg/Weather Watcher

Istiak Yusuf inquest: CCTV footage shown to jury

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

I'm at Ampthill Coroner's Court where the second day of the inquest into the death of Istiak Yusuf, who died at Luton Police Station, is taking place. 

So far the jury has seen 30 mins of CCTV footage showing Mr Yusuf at the station being checked-in by officers. 

A number of welfare checks were carried out every 30 minutes and during a check at 11.54 the officer shouts "are you all right mate?" several times and then raises the alarm.

Man admits trying to kill widowed shopkeeper at spot where husband was murdered

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A man has admitted trying to murder a widowed shopkeeper at the same spot in Luton where her husband was killed nearly seven years ago.

Moon's Newsagents
Google

Tomasz Jaworski, 30, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to the attempted murder of Nirupa Patel, 56, on Christmas Eve. She was stabbed at Moon's Newsagents in Park Street, where her husband Jashbai, 59, was murdered in June 2009.

Jaworski also admitted actual bodily harm to two others at the same time. He will be sentenced next month.

BreakingJaworski pleads guilty to attempted murder of widow

A Polish man has pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Nirupa Patel in Luton on Christmas Eve.

Tomasz Jaworski made the plea via video Link at Luton Crown Court.

George Osborne in MK: Red Bull trophy cabinet packed to the rafters

Our reporter Paul Scoins is at the headquarters of Red Bull Racing in Tilbrook, Milton Keynes.

He's reporting on the visit of Chancellor George Osborne, but also had time to check out the F1 giants' trophy cabinet...

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Luton house damaged by fire in kitchen

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A house in Luton has been left badly damaged after a fire in the kitchen. 

Firefighters from Stopsley and the Luton Community Fire Stations were called to the house just after 17:00 last night.

They say the fire was accidental and left the kitchen damaged. A quarter of the house was affected by smoke.

Chancellor George Osborne visits Red Bull in Milton Keynes

Paul Scoins

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

This morning I'm at the headquarters of Red Bull Racing in Tilbrook, Milton Keynes, where the Chancellor George Osborne is visiting today. 

So far he's met team principle Christian Horner...

George Osborne
BBC

Travel: Two lane collision on M1 southbound by Hemel Hempstead

Two lanes are closed and there's queuing traffic on the London-bound M1 at junction 7, Hemel Hempstead, because of an accident involving two cars.

Congestion is back to junction 9 at A5 Redbourn.

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It's not just Star Wars Day...

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The station commander at Hitchin and Royston fire stations has nicely pointed out that today is not only Star Wars Day, but also International Firefighters Day.

Lee Hutchinson's tweet cleverly puts the two together. 

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