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  1. Updates for Friday, 27 January 2017
  2. Helen Bailey murder trial: Author's body took two days to recover
  3. Tesco agrees to buy Booker in £3.7bn deal
  4. Alfie Barker admits FA charge over Harry Arter tweets
  5. Borehamwood businesses claim rent has gone up by more than 400%

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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Millwall's Steve Morison celebrates scoring against Watford

Steve Morison puts League One Millwall into the last 16 of the FA Cup as his 85th-minute volley knocks out Premier League Watford.

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Son Heung-min

Alex Bysouth

BBC Sport

Son Heung-min scores a stoppage-time winner as Tottenham recovered from twice going behind to League Two Wycombe.

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Severe accident: M25 Berkshire clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Berkshire clockwise severe accident, at J15 for M4 affecting J13 for A30.

M25 Berkshire - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise at J15 M4, because of an accident involving a lorry and a car. Congestion to J13, A30 (Staines).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:


Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it from all of us here on the Beds, Herts and Bucks live news feed. 

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

Tonight we'll be keeping our fingers crossed for Milton Keynes singer Holly Brewer, who's hoping you'll be "Making Your Mind Up" and voting for her to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest. 

She'll be performing "I Wish I Love You More" tonight live on You Decide, on BBC Two at 19:30, where you can vote for your favourite singer.

Holly Brewer's Eurovision: You Decide song

Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, before J11 for A505 Dunstable Road.

M1 Bedfordshire - One lane blocked and slow traffic on M1 northbound before J11 A505 Dunstable Road, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Send your good luck messages to the Chairboys

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Meanwhile, Wycombe Wanderers supporters are being encouraged to send good luck messages to the Chairboys ahead of the FA Cup tie against Tottenham.

The club said Twitter posts with #GoodLuckAtTheLane will be collated here and shown to the players before the game. 

View more on twitter

Drinker loses appeal bid to overturn conviction for pub murder

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A second attempt by a drinker to have a murder conviction overturned has failed at the Court of Appeal. 

Stuart James Layden, 34, from Harlow in Essex, was one of a gang who attacked Ian Church, 40, outside the Bricklayer's Arms in Great Yarmouth in May 2012.

Stuart Layden
Norfolk Police

His conviction for a "joint enterprise" murder along with four others in 2013, was quashed on appeal in 2015. 

A retrial at Norwich Crown Court last year re-convicted him of the murder and he was again jailed for life. 

Today Lord Justice Treacy, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, heard him mount an attack on the jury's guilty verdict and then dismissed his application for permission to appeal. 

Mr Church was kicked and stamped upon after being knocked to the ground outside the pub and died of brain injuries. 

Lawyers for Layden had argued that there remained a "lurking doubt" about his involvement in the attack.

Dismissing the application, Lord Justice Treacy said: "It was for the jury to sift and analyse these shocking events, which happened at night over a short period of time - that is what juries do."

Wycombe Wanderers prepare for Spurs game

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

There is great interest in a possible FA Cup giant killing on Saturday and yesterday cameras were allowed into Wycombe Wanderers' training session, ahead of their fourth round match against Spurs on Saturday.

They also caught The Beast - aka Adebayo Akinfenwa - getting in some training in the gym.

Wycombe Wanderers
Getty Images
Wycombe Wanderers
Getty Images
Wycombe Wanderers Adebayo Akinfenwa
Getty Images

Weather: Cloudy with patchy light rain

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

Occasional clear spells overnight, but generally cloudy with outbreaks of mainly light and patchy rain in a moderate breeze across the BBC East region.

Weather chart

Less cold tomorrow but expect a cloudy day with some further outbreaks of mainly light and patchy rain. 

There's a chance of sunshine in the west of the region before sundown. 

Maximum Temperature: 8C (46F)

More details from BBC Weather

Mystery after man found with head injuries in Royston

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Police are trying to find out how a man ended up with serious head injuries in Royston in the early hours of Wednesday.  

They say the 65-year-old man had been near Morrisons and Princes Mews at about 00:40. 

He was taken to hospital, but has since been released. 

Police are keen to talk to anyone who saw anything, including two men who were in the area at the time.

Morrisons supermarket

Big Garden Birdwatch: 'Charismatic migrants' expected in UK gardens

As well as blue tits and house sparrows, unusual migrant birds could be spotted in our gardens during the RSPB's annual birdwatch.

More than half a million people are expected to take part in this year's Big Garden Birdwatch

The Bedfordshire-based RSPB said people may be able to spot Scandinavian visitors such as waxwings (pictured), redwings and fieldfares.

The charity said the birds had left their homelands to feed on the UK's bumper berry crop.

Getty Images

Watch the birdie!

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

For nearly 40 years now the Bedfordshire-based RSPB has been asking members of the public to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, but this year it's been extended by a day. 

The charity is asking as many people as possible to log the birds that land in their garden in an hour and it can be completed on Saturday, Sunday or Monday. 

Rupert Masefield said the data was compiled to "build a picture about how different birds are doing". 

Robin in garden in Sharnbrook

Last year the most spotted bird in Bedfordshire was the house sparrow, but in Hertfordshire it was the blue tit.   

Helen Bailey: More photos released of cesspit under garage

The photos below have been released today by Hertfordshire Police.

Accessing a cesspit
Hertfordshire Police

They were shown at St Albans Crown Court today when the jury heard how experts spent two days recovering Helen Bailey's body from the cesspit in her garage.

Garage floor
Hertfordshire Police

The former well is where the 51-year-old's body was found in July. 

Hertfordshire Police

Only Ms Bailey's elbow was visible when police first looked inside the deep well, jurors at St Albans Crown Court heard.

Opening up of the cesspit
Hertfordshire Police

Her fiancé, Ian Stewart, 56, denies murder, preventing a lawful burial, fraud and three counts of perverting the course of justice.

Search and rescue by the cesspit
Hertfordshire Police

The case continues.   

Helen Bailey: Photos shown to jury of crews accessing cesspit

A series of photos have been released by police which were shown to the St Albans Crown Court jury in the trial over the death of Helen Bailey.

Helen Bailey's home in Royston
Hertfordshire Police

They were taken at the Royston home the author shared with her partner Ian Stewart, who denies murder.

The garage of Helen Bailey's home
Hertfordshire Police

They show the process taken to recover the 51-year-old's body found in the cesspit under their garage.   

Digging a hole
Hertfordshire Police
A hole in the cesspit
Hertfordshire Police
Helen Bailey

A murder trial jury hears how police removed the body of a children's author from a cesspit beneath her house.

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Helen Bailey: Court hears her Arsenal season tickets were renewed during her disappearance

The jury in the trial of Ian Stewart, accused of murdering his partner Helen Bailey, has heard how her two season tickets for Arsenal football club were renewed more than a month after her death in April.

At the time police had been searching for the 51-year-old Royston writer after she was reported missing by Mr Stewart, 56.

The case at St Albans Crown Court heard Ms Bailey was a keen Arsenal supporter and a season ticket holder.

Helen Bailey
South Beds News Agency

A statement by Det Con Helen Richmond was read out and she said she contacted the club as part of her investigations.

She said she was informed by the club that all the season ticket holder renewals had been sent out on 12 May last year. 

Ms Richmond said she was then told that two season tickets held in Ms Bailey's name had been renewed and paid for over the telephone on 16 May, using funds from Ms Bailey's sole Barclays Bank account.

Mr Stewart, of Baldock Road, Royston, denies murder, preventing a lawful burial, fraud and three counts of perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.

Severe accident: M1 Hertfordshire southbound

BBC Travel

M1 Hertfordshire southbound severe accident, at J5 for A41 affecting J6 for A405 North Watford.

M1 Hertfordshire - Delays on M1 London-bound at J5, A41 (Watford), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J6, A405 (North Watford).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire eastbound

BBC Travel

M4 Berkshire eastbound severe accident, at J5 for A4 affecting J7 for A4.

M4 Berkshire - Delays on M4 London-bound at J5, A4 (Langley), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J7, A4 (Slough West).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Nathan Jones

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones is given a one-match touchline ban for comments made to the match officials at Wycombe.

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Weather: Ice, ice baby

BBC Weather Watchers

It was a cold and icy start to the day in Milton Keynes and Hitchin, as these pictures from BBC Weather Watcher, Harry, show. 

Ice in Milton Keynes

For the rest of the day it's set to remain rather cloudy, with rain possible towards the evening.

Temperatures will be much milder than yesterday though. Maximum temperature: 5C (41F). 

Helen Bailey: Ian Stewart paid for 'missing' leaflets

The partner and alleged killer of Helen Bailey paid for flyers and attended a dog walk as part of the search effort for the missing children's author, a court has heard.

In a statement read out at St Albans Crown Court by the author's friend, Jay Nolan-Latchford, she said: "When Helen was missing I set up the 'Where Is Helen Bailey?' Facebook page. As part of our campaign we organised an awareness walk in Royston. It was during this walk I met Ian Stewart for the first time."

She added: "Ian insisted on paying for the leaflets we were going to distribute during the walk. I was surprised when Ian said he would come across to wave the group off - throughout the whole day I found Ian to be unemotional and very contained in his manner." 

Helen Bailey

Ian Stewart, 56, of Baldock Road, Royston, denies murder, preventing a lawful burial, fraud and three counts of perverting the course of justice.

The case continues.  

Four people 'unhurt' after MK bus fire

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Three passengers and a bus driver were "safely removed" from a number 4 Arriva bus in Milton Keynes this morning after it caught fire. 

The bus company confirmed there were "no injuries" on the service that runs between Bletchley and Milton Keynes. 

It said the "driver safely secured the vehicle, ensuring no-one was injured and called the fire brigade who attended". 

"The vehicle has been taken back to Milton Keynes depot by recovery," a spokesman added.

Tesco-Booker deal 'not about job cuts'

The chief executives of Tesco and Booker both said on a call with reporters they plan to merge the two companies without cutting jobs.

Londis store

They reckon they'll get benefits of £25m and cost savings of £175m from combining the two companies.

But that would not be driven by a reduction in the number of roles, said Dave Lewis, head of Welwyn-based Tesco.

Charles Wilson, head of Booker, which has about 800 workers at its Wellingborough headquarters, said they hoped to "keep the expertise" in both firms.

Alfie Barker admits FA charge over Harry Arter tweets

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

Ex-Hitchin Town player Alfie Barker (pictured) has admitted an FA charge related to tweets sent to Bournemouth's Harry Arter about the death of his baby daughter.

When Bournemouth lost a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Arsenal in the Premier League on 3 January, Barker posted on Twitter: "Big hype just for a disappointment like the nine months leading up to your child's birth."

He was charged with allegedly posting comments which were abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.

Alfie Barker
Hitchin Town

The 18-year-old, who takes medication to combat symptoms of ADHD and a mild from of autism, later apologised for his "disgraceful comments" and said he would accept any punishment given to him.  

A date for a hearing for Barker, who was sacked, will be set in due course.  

'Newsagents will see Tesco-Booker as a good deal'

Booker is a major supplier to independent convenience stores across the UK.

Its chief executive, Charles Wilson, was asked on a media call with reporters how shopkeepers might feel about buying their products from Tesco - in many cases a direct rival - if the supermarket chain acquires Booker.

"It'll take a bit of persuasion," he conceded.

Man reading a newspaper
Getty Images

However, corner shops face many other challenges including rising business rates and the living wage being implemented on staff, so they want to get the best out of their suppliers, he said.

"In five years' time I think they'll be saying it's a good deal for them," he added.

Booker's headquarters is on Irthlingborough Road in Wellingborough and employs 800 people.

Borehamwood rent rise: 'Suddenly you end up in the wilderness'

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

This is Arif - he runs the Tandoori Restaurant in Leeming Road in Borehamwood. 

I spoke to him after the council announced his rent was set to increase by about £18,000. 

He said he's been left "devastated" by the news. 

View more on twitter

The council says as it hasn't put the rent up for 15 years it needs to rise, but it's willing to negotiate with businesses. 

Bus fire in MK: Latest

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

We're just getting more information about the bus fire in Milton Keynes this morning. 

Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Service says it was called at just after 06:00 and found a bus "severely damaged" on the junction of Springfield Boulevard and Marlborough Street. 

Crews from Broughton and Great Holm attended and used a main jet, one hose reel, two dry powder extinguishers and two sets of breathing apparatus.  

Police also attended and road closures were put in place until the vehicle was recovered. 

The road has since re-opened. 

Borehamwood businesses rent rise: 'It's the first review in 15 years,' council says

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The council accused of putting up business rents in Leeming Road, Borehamwood, by more than 400% in some cases says it's the "first rent review for 15 years", and it's trying to balance getting a good deal for taxpayers and keeping a thriving row of shops. 

John Graham, who's in charge of finance at Hertsmere Borough Council, said: "We've done an exercise in line with the Institute of Chartered Surveyors and we've worked out what we think is the market rent for each of those shops.

"The last time one of those shops went up for rental at the market rent we had a competitive auction with four potential tenants.

"I appreciate what's happening with the tenants that are currently there, [but] there are historical reasons why those rentals on Leeming Road are low. Twenty years ago the EU gave a grant to the ward because of its social deprivation and at that time there were many empty shops in Leeming Road.  

"We're seeking to find a balance between getting the right return for our ratepayers but keeping Leeming Road as a thriving parade - we need to find the balancing line that allows us to do that."

He added that rent negotiations will happen with leaseholders on a one-to-one basis when each lease comes up for renewal. 

Tesco 'confident' on competition concerns

As well as its supplier business, Booker also owns the Londis, Premier, Family Shopper and Budgens convenience store brands, which have thousands of shops.

So, how will Tesco satisfy potential concerns from UK competition regulators?


Tesco boss Dave Lewis said Booker, based on Irthlingborough Road in Wellingborough, doesn't own the stores - they are run as franchises.

He also claimed a Booker-Tesco combination wouldn't have influence over key aspects of how the shops are run, including pricing.

"We're very confident that competition regulators will come to the same view," Mr Lewis said.

What is Booker?

Shopping trolley
Booker Group

Chances are you've bought food from Booker in the UK, even if you weren't aware of it.

It's the UK's largest cash and carry operator, selling everything from baked beans to teabags to 700,000 small businesses. It employs about 800 people at its Wellingborough headquarters.

A whole range of well-known restaurant chains, such as Wagamama, Prezzo and Byron Burger, use food supplied by Booker. 

And on the High Street, it owns the Premier, Budgens and Londis convenience-store brands.

In total, profits for the group were £127.8m in the year ending on 27 March.

Severe disruption: M40 Buckinghamshire southbound

BBC Travel

M40 Buckinghamshire southbound severe disruption, at J2 for A355.

M40 Buckinghamshire - M40 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic London-bound at J2, A355 (Beaconsfield), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Travel: Bus on fire causes delays in MK

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic due to an earlier bus on fire on B4034 Marlborough Street between Childs Way (Springfield Roundabout) and Chaffron Way in Milton Keynes. 

All lanes have been re-opened.

Tesco agrees to buy Booker in £3.7bn deal

The UK's biggest supermarket group Tesco, based in Hertfordshire, has agreed to buy Northamptonshire company Booker Group in a £3.7bn deal.

The firms said the deal would create the "UK's leading food business".

Tesco trollies

Booker Group, whose headquarters is in Wellingborough, is the UK's largest cash and carry operator, supplying everything from baked beans to teabags to 700,000 convenience stores, grocers, pubs and restaurants.

Booker also owns the Premier, Budgens and Londis convenience-store brands.

Sam Wood and Lionel Messi

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

BBC Sport meets Wycombe Wanderers to find out the stories behind the players trying to take down Tottenham in the FA Cup.

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Borehamwood businesses claim rent has gone up by more than 400%

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Businesses in Borehamwood operating from buildings owned by the local council say they are being forced to move out as they can no longer afford to pay the rent - which in some cases has gone up by more than 400%.

Deadline Reprographics

David Bowman, from Deadline Reprographics, said his rent of £6,000 per annum was put up to £28,000, with no warning.

"We were told it was going to go up 3% like inflation," he said, adding he has "no choice" but to close his business.

Another business owner, who has run the Borehamwood Tandoori for 28 years, said his rent was £10,000 per annum and it has also been put up to £28,000.   

Hertsmere Borough Council said it's the first rent review for 15 years and it's worked out what it thinks the market rate is.

We'll bring you more from the authority shortly.

FA Cup: Wycombe aim to extend unbeaten run at Spurs

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Wycombe Wanderers travel to White Hart Lane on Saturday to play Tottenham in the FA Cup.

Manager Gareth Ainsworth said his side are aiming to extend their 16-match unbeaten run.

Gareth Ainsworth
Getty Images

"It will be a brilliant day for Wycombe Wanderers, one that will live in the memory, but we want to go there and give a good account of ourselves," he said.

"We've got this run going, 16 unbeaten is fantastic. The boys have been unbelievable, they've pulled up trees for me and they deserve a good shot at this game."

Friday's weather: Mainly grey and cloudy, not quite as chilly as yesterday

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

We are starting off this morning with another widespread frost and we've got a few early outbreaks of rain too so some of this rain will refreeze onto the roads and pavements - there's a Met Office warning of ice for the rest of the morning.

Through the afternoon it's going to stay rather grey and cloudy, and with a slight shift of wind direction, temperatures will get up to between 3C and 5C (37F to 41F).

Watch my full regional forecast here:

Severe accident: M25 Berkshire clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Berkshire clockwise severe accident, between J15 for M4 and J16 for M40.

M25 Berkshire - Heavy traffic on M25 clockwise between J15 M4 and J16 M40, because of an accident earlier on.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Welcome back to live updates from Beds, Herts and Bucks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to the live page for Beds, Herts and Bucks where we'll bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather until 18:00.

The trial of Ian Stewart, the man accused of murdering his partner Helen Bailey, resumes today - after not sitting on Thursday. We'll bring you all the news from the court as we get it.

Plus, we'll be looking ahead to Wycombe Wanderers fourth round FA Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur - can the League Two Chairboys cause an upset against Premier League opposition? Manager Gareth Ainsworth certainly looks like he means business as he posed at yesterday's press call.

Gareth Ainsworth
Getty Images

It's still a bit parky outside but I have it on good authority that it's due to get milder over the weekend- we'll have a full regional weather forecast shortly so you can see what the day is due to bring.

Meanwhile, remember, you can contact us at any time via emailFacebook or Twitter.  

Scans 'good news' for rare sea turtle
A rare sea turtle discovered washed up on an Anglesey beach is closer to full health after scans reveal why she found it difficult to dive.