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  1. Updates on Wednesday, 24 May 2016
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Dani Bailey

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Our live coverage today has been dominated by the murder of a woman in Overstone Road, Luton.

Keep an eye on our full story for any updates throughout the evening, or scroll through this page to catch up with what we know so far.

We'll be back tomorrow at 08:00 with any updates from that story and throughout the three counties.

Overstone Road

Beef jerky firm takes over smokehouse

BBC News Scotland

Europe's largest producer of beef jerky, formed after a merger with a Milton Keynes company, has taken over the tenancy of a former fish smokehouse in the Highlands.

Beef jerky

The Meatsnacks Group has said it will make a new salmon jerky product at the facility in Grantown on Spey, owned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  

Meatsnacks was formed after a merger of Forres-based Jerky Group and Cruga in Milton Keynes. It employs about 110 people across Scotland and England.

MK Dons extend keeper Burns' contract

BBC Sport

MK Dons have triggered a one-year option in goalkeeper Charlie Burns' contract to keep him at the League One-bound club for next season.

Charlie Burns
Getty Images

The 20-year-old was given his full debut this season against Sheffield Wednesday and made a further three appearances for Karl Robinson's side.

Burns previously had loan spells at Cambridge City and Truro City.

Prime Minister says holidays will rise by £230 if UK leaves EU

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

David Cameron has been in Luton this morning, keeping up his campaign against leaving the EU. Today he warned family holidays could be more expensive if the UK leaves.

Mr Cameron has been addressing staff at easyJet's headquarters at Luton Airport. 

David Cameron in Luton

Those campaigning to leave the EU are questioning the calculations, but the Prime Minister put a specific figure on it: "If we were to leave and the pound were to fall, which is what most people expect and what the Treasury forecast, that would put up the cost of a typical holiday for a family of four to a European destination by £230."

'Nothing has changed' at suicide prison, family claim

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

The family of a man who killed himself at Woodhill Prison says it has not "learned any lessons".

Woodhill Prison

The jail has the highest number of suicides in England and Wales, with five in 2015.

Relatives of Kevin Scarlett, who killed himself in 2013, claim there were missed opportunities to prevent his death and "nothing has changed" since.

Prison minister Andrew Selous MP said the jail launched a review into the way prisoners at risk were supported.

Kevin Scarlett

The family of a man who killed himself at a jail with the highest number of suicides in England and Wales say the prison has not "learned any lessons".

Read more

McCourt leaves Luton to return to Northern Ireland

BBC Sport

Paddy McCourt has left League Two side Luton Town by mutual consent to return to his native Northern Ireland.

The 32-year-old ex-Celtic and Brighton winger joined the Hatters on a two-year deal last summer and played 26 times.

"Paddy has had to face up to some personal problems in recent weeks," said boss Nathan Jones.

Patricia Wilson (right) with her mother Jean

The ex-wife of a man accused of killing his British lover in rural France tells a court she believes he was capable of committing the crime.

Read more

Woodhill Prison suicide rate: 'Not enough being done'

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

A Milton Keynes man says not enough is being done to tackle the suicide rate at Woodhill Prison after his step-brother killed himself there three years ago.

Lee Jarman's step-brother Kevin Scarlett had a history of mental health problems and his call comes as a charity says prisons need to change to enable staff to build relationships with prisoners and reduce the risk of suicide.

Woodhill Prison

The Howard League for Penal Reform says prisons need more staff, with specialist skills, and better training in mental health awareness.

The Ministry of Justice insists it is training new staff to respond effectively to prisoners experiencing mental health issues.

Weather: Plenty of sunshine this afternoon

BBC Weather

There will be plenty of sunshine this afternoon, although cloud will gradually begin to increase and it will stay breezy. Maximum Temperature: 17C (63F).

This is what Potters Bar in Hertfordshire has been looking like this morning...

Blue skies in Potters Bar

French gardener murder case: Ex-wife believes him capable

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

The ex-wife of a French gardener accused of killing a woman from Hertfordshire has told a court she believes he was capable of committing the crime.

Patricia Wilson (right) with her mother Jean
Slater and Gordon/PA

Jean-Louis Cayrou, 54, of La Salvetat-Peyrales, is on trial for the murder of Patricia Wilson, 58, formerly of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. She vanished from her home in Southern France in August 2012 and her body has never been found.

Sylvie Escaffre, 53, the former wife of Mr Cayrou, said he became a violent, abusive husband. Cayrou denies murder, calling the case "lies".

Luton mother-of-four murder: Police cordon in two roads

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

Not only is there a police cordon in Overstone Road, where a woman was murdered at a property last night, there is also a cordon across Atherstone Road.

Police cordon on Atherstone Road, Luton

The roads run parallel to each other from Dunstable Road to Bradley Road.

Luton mother-of-four murder: What we know from police

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Police in Overstone Road, Luton
  • A woman died at a house on Overstone Road, in the Challney area of Luton last night
  • She had suffered serious injuries
  • Police were called by the ambulance service to the scene just after 11.30pm
  • A murder investigation has been launched by the Beds, Herts and Cambs Major Crime Unit
  • A police cordon remains in place

Chelsea Flower Show: Bedford family-business get gold

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Oh look! It's Doug McMurdo, from Bloms Bulbs in Bedfordshire, which has won another medal at the Chelsea Flower Show this year.

The family-run business have won a total of 66 gold medals so far from Chelsea. Not many then...

Bloms Bulbs medal at Chelsea Flower Show

The Garden Bed wins gold at Chelsea Flower Show

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Milton Keynes' Frosts Landscapes has won gold at the Chelsea Flower Show for its Artisan Garden, The Garden Bed.

The garden is made up of a real hospital bed as a centrepiece to encourage visitors to view the hospice garden "through the eyes of a patient".

The quilt of foliage and flowers was designed by Alison Doxey, while Stephen Welch helped design and create the rest of the garden with her.

Alison and Stephen with award
Garden bed

Luton murder investigation: Local news round-up

Here's how some of the local newspapers are reporting the incident...

The Luton News' headline states: "Police launch murder hunt into death of Luton woman". Read their coverage here.

Luton on Sunday's headline reads: "Woman found dead in Luton last night had suffered 'serious injuries'". Read more here.

Murder investigation launched after woman's death

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Police have launched a murder investigation in Luton following the death of a woman at a house in Overstone Road last night.

Police tent in Luton

"We are following a number of lines of inquiry and are keeping an open mind as to what led to this tragic incident," said Det Ch Insp Adam Gallop.

Officers say it's "of the utmost importance that anyone with information" contacts them immediately.

Luton murder: 'Spate of burglaries' in Overstone Road

Jo Black

BBC News

I've been told there has been a spate of burglaries in the Challney area of Luton recently.

Neighbours were speaking of unconfirmed reports of a disturbed burglary in Overstone Road, which has led to the death of a woman.

Cars have also been vandalised in the area.

BreakingLuton death: Murder investigation launched

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Police are saying they have launched a murder inquiry after what they were previously caling a "suspicious" death in Luton.

Luton 'suspicious' death: Family screams alerted neighbours

Neighbours in a Luton street were alerted to the death of a woman when her family began screaming upon returning to the home, it's reported.

"The first I knew that something was wrong was when I heard [relatives] screaming in the street," one neighbour, who didn't want to be identified, said.

Reports, unconfirmed by police, say the woman was lying in the hallway of the property having suffered stab wounds.

Residents 'frightened' after Luton death

Jo Black

BBC News

A former councillor says the death of a woman in Luton has left residents feeling frightened.

Khtija Malik, who's lived on Overstone Road in the Challney area for 24 years, told me "people just need reassurance... [they] are scared in their own homes knowing that this can happen."

Police Tent in Luton

Luton 'suspicious' death: Rumours family were at funeral

Jo Black

BBC News

We've been speaking to neighbours in Overstone Road, Luton today, where a woman was pronounced dead last night after suffering serious injuries.

Overstone Road, Luton

Former Labour councillor Khtija Malik said she has heard "the family were away at a funeral" yesterday and there are rumours circulating "that it was a botched burglary". 

Police have not confirmed or denied any of these rumours, but are treating her death as "suspicious".

Luton 'suspicious' death: The scene in Overstone Road

Police are still in Overstone Road investigating the"suspicious" death of a woman. This was the scene this morning...

A police investigation is under way in Luton after the death of a woman.

Luton 'suspicious' death: Victim was 'a very quiet lady'

A woman found dead at a house in Luton's Overstone Road has been described as "a very quiet lady."

Neighbour and former councillor, Khtija Malik, who has lived in the area for 24 years, said she had waved to her as she walked and drove along the street, but "doesn't know the family personally".

Other neighbours said the family had come to the UK around seven years ago from Holland.

Luton 'suspicious' death: Major Crime Unit leading investigation

The Major Crime Unit is leading the ongoing investigation into the death of a woman found at a house in Overstone Road, Luton.

Scene in Overstone Road, Luton

Officers were called to the scene after 11.30pm last night by the ambulance service.

Police remain at the scene, which is cordoned off. They say the death is being treated as suspicious.

New Thameslink trains for Bedford to London line

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

New trains for the Thameslink line from Bedford into London will be showcased in the capital today.

View more on twitter

Operator Govia say they will come into service in the next few weeks, and will be longer with more capacity to ease rush hour crowds.

More than 100 trains have been built by Siemens, and will also run on the Great Northern route through Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City.

Police investigating malicious school calls

Police forces across the country are trying to establish whether a series of malicious calls to schools yesterday, which caused them to be evacuated, are linked.

Schools in Bedford and Stevenage were among those evacuated.

Barnwell Schoo, Stevenage

The National Police Chiefs' Council said "there is no information to suggest the incidents are terrorist-related, however enquiries continue to establish the facts".

MK Dons boss Robinson turns down Leeds

BBC Sport

MK Dons boss Karl Robinson has turned down an offer to manage Leeds United, reports BBC Three Counties.

Karl Robinson
Getty Images

Robinson oversaw the Dons' promotion to the Championship in 2014-15 and their subsequent relegation this season.

The 35-year-old met with Leeds chairman Massimo Cellino in London on Friday about the managerial position.

Luton death: Neighbour 'heard shouting and swearing'

Mike Cartwright

BBC Look East

I'm at the scene of a "suspicious" death in Overstone Road, Luton, where a neighbour has told me they heard shouting and swearing, then later the road was full of police.

Police cordon in Luton

A woman died after sustaining serious injuries at a house in the road.

Luton 'suspicious' death: Speaking to residents at the scene

Nicola Haseler

BBC Three Counties

Overstone Road in Luton is cordoned off and I can see a white police tent in the front garden of the house at the end of the road and a red Vauxhall car, which seems to have stopped halfway across the pavement.

Police tent in Luton

Residents have told me the woman lived in the house with her sister and her three young children.

It's being reported here that it was a burglary that went wrong with a woman losing her life and with the children in the house at the time. But there's been no confirmation of that from police as yet.

Luton 'suspicious' death: Photos of the scene

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

White police tent in Luton
Police cordon in Luton
Red car on pavement in Luton by crime scene

PM in Luton: Tribulations of reporting in a hangar...

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Political reporter Tom Barton is at an Easyjet hangar in Luton this morning for David Cameron's EU Referendum discussion.

It seems as though it's not the easiest place to concentrate on the job in hand...

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Prime Minister at Easyjet in Luton

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

Prime Minister David Cameron has landed in Luton this morning to speak to Easyjet staff - he was introduced as "one of our passengers".

Mr Cameron is there for a question and answer session on the EU referendum and has said family holidays to Europe could more expensive if Britain leaves the EU.

David Cameron at Easyjet in Luton

Easyjet chief executive Carolyn McCall is also backing the Vote Remain campaign: "It is highly likely fares would go up because we would have to have, for instance, negotiations on certain routes, we would have to have negotiations on slots."

Biker dies in head on crash

A motorbike rider was killed in a head on crash with a car near Aylesbury on Sunday.

The 58-year-old man was riding a yellow Yamaha R1 motorbike that was in collision with a yellow VW Lupo on the A413 Buckingham Road at Hardwick at 10:10am.

The man sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene. Police say no-one has been arrested.

Weather Watchers: Aftermath of storms

BBC Weather Watchers

We've had some fantastic photographs from the aftermath of the storms yesterday evening from our Weather Watchers...

These ones across Milton Keynes were particularly impressive - and moody...

Rainbows and lightning over Milton Keynes
Rainbow in Loughton, Milton Keynes
Double rainbow at Caldecotte Lake in Milton Keynes
BBC/Clare the Rower
Rainbow over MK Dons stadium
BBC/Ian the Great

Teen biker in serious condition after hit and run

A teenage motorcyclist is in a serious condition following a hit and run collision in Watford.

Hartspring Lane in Watford

The crash happened at 9.20pm along Hartspring Lane, near the Toby Carvery.

Police say the car, which didn't stop at the scene, is believed to be a white Vauxhall car. It will have damage to its front as a result of the incident.

Wootton school reopening after 'security alert'

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Yesterday we reported there was a "security alert" at a Bedford school. Well, now we have more - the school is reopening this morning after being evacuated following a telephoned bomb hoax.

Wootton School, Bedford

Wootton Upper School was one of over 20 schools targeted across the country as GCSE exams were taking place. Sniffer dogs searched the school buildings, but no explosive device was found.

In a letter to parents, principal Michael Gleeson said he was immensely frustrated by the disruption, but praised the reaction of staff and pupils.

Barnwell School in Stevenage was also evacuated.

Luton death: Police cordon at scene

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

This is what the scene looks like in Overstone Road, Luton this morning.

A police cordon is in place following the "suspicious" death of a woman at a house last night.

Police cordon in Luton

Flooding in Hertfordshire after heavy rain

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

It really did chuck it down in many places across Beds, Herts and Bucks last night.

It seems as though Hertfordshire suffered following such heavy rain. Herts Fire Service say they were called to several properties in Hemel Hempstead last night to deal with flooding.

View more on twitter

Flooding was also reported on several roads in Watford, as you can read here in the Watford Observer.

Luton 'suspicious' death: Reporter going to scene

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Reporter Jo Black is on her way to the scene of a "suspicious" death in Luton overnight.

We'll bring you more news on the situation as we hear it.