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  1. Updates on Friday, 10 February 2017
  2. IS terror support men to be sentenced
  3. Teen due in court over death of brother
  4. Speaker John Bercow faces no-confidence bid from MP

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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Exeter v Wasps

James Law

BBC Sport

Wasps move five points clear at the top after sharing 10 tries with 14-man Exeter to draw a pulsating match.

Read more
Juan Mata celebrates giving Manchester United the lead

Neil Johnston

BBC Sport

Manchester United move one point behind Manchester City with victory over Watford at Old Trafford.

Read more

Severe accident: M4 Greater London eastbound

BBC Travel

M4 Greater London eastbound severe accident, between J4 for A408 Heathrow Spur and J3 for A312 affecting J5 for A4.

M4 Greater London - Slow traffic on M4 London-bound between J4, A408 (Heathrow Spur) and J3, A312 (Hayes), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J5, A4 (Langley).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:


Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it from all of us here at Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks. 

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

In the mean time on Sunday night we'll be watching to see if a former Luton teacher has won a Bafta.

Writer Mike Carey is up for Outstanding Debut by a British writer, director or producer for his part in the zombie film, The Girl with all the Gifts.

The film stars former Bond girl Gemma Arterton, Hollywood legend Glenn Close and Paddy Considine.

Gemma Arterton at the premier of The Girl with all the gifts film
Getty Images

See you again next week.

Weather: Rain, sleet or snow expected in places

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

Further outbreaks of rain, sleet or snow and this could lead to a covering of snow in places across the BBC East region tonight.

It's also likely to turn quite murky at times with the risk of frost and ice, as temperatures fall. 

Minimum Temperature: -1C (30F).

Weather chart

Saturday will be cold and cloudy with further wintry showers feeding in on a light-to-moderate north to north-easterly wind. 

These showers are likely to turn mainly to rain by the afternoon. 

Maximum Temperature 4C (39F).

More details from BBC Weather:

'We will not tolerate those who spread fear' say police

Steve Swann

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

Today's sentencing of the four Luton men for terror offences follows an intelligence-led operation by Bedfordshire Police and the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command. 

Cdr Dean Haydon, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: "My officers and those of Bedfordshire Police worked hard to gather the evidence needed to ensure this group's conviction. 

"They and Luton Social Services have also worked to safeguard the vulnerable children we identified were taken to the meetings and subjected to the radical speeches."

Det Supt Glen Channer, from the Eastern Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit, said: "Luton is a fantastic town with great diversity and strong communities; however we are aware there are elements with extreme views who prey on the vulnerable. 

"We simply will not tolerate those who spread fear and hate in our communities and will continue to target, arrest and disrupt anyone with extreme views."

Humpty Dumpty... case solved

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Earlier we brought you the story about how a crime scene had been set up in Ware after Humpty Dumpty fell at St Edmund's Nursery School. 

We said we would bring you the result of the investigation. 

East Herts Rural Police has confirmed that "a few implements were used by the suspect, these were found by the little investigators". 

East Herts Rural Police

"After lots of careful investigative work, they worked out the offender was a PIG, he turned Humpty into an omelette. 

Crime notes
East Herts Rural Police

"Mr Pig is currently still at large, Sgt Wallace is extremely happy for the help provided by the little investigators in solving the crime."   

Stevenage gets ready to honour 'theatrical pioneer'

Louise Hubball

BBC Look East

He's described as "one the most radical and influential forces on the world’s stages" and a "world-renowned theatrical pioneer and artist".

I'm talking about Edward Gordon Craig, who is now the subject of a new exhibition at Stevenage museum. 

He was born in the town in 1872 and was commemorated when the town's theatre was named after him in 1975. 

Louise Hubball holding a marionette

Rare and valuable items from his life including marionettes, which I was lucky enough to hold, will be on show from tomorrow until 3 June.

You can see more by watching Look East tonight at 18:30. 

Independent school students gain extra time for exams

Tom Bateman

Political Correspondent, Millbank

One in five students in independent schools received extra time to complete GCSE and A-level exams last year.

The proportion was significantly higher than those who received the special measure in state schools where the figure is fewer than one in eight.

The difference has come to light following an analysis of official exam data by the BBC. 

Children sitting exam

Peter Hamilton, headmaster of The Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School in Elstree, Hertfordshire, believes serious cuts in the "maintained sector" makes it hard for schools and colleges to ask as for more time.

But he added: "In a funny way by identifying these problems, the independent sector is raising I suppose a sort of a flag, because it should in fact be the other way round."

Company working to minimise sewage smell in Letchworth

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

Anglian Water has apologised for the smell coming from a sewage works in Letchworth. 

The company says it is working on trying to minimise the odour and has installed odour removal spray units at various locations on site and is also hoping to permanently cover two wells. 

It has successfully appealed against an abatement notice served by Central Bedfordshire Council

Entrance to treatment site

Residents in the nearby Fairfield Park area have been telling me they've been complaining for weeks and that it's "really bad" and just "awful". 

Watford mums to get Finnish-style baby boxes

Matthew Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

Finnish-style baby boxes are to be handed out to some expectant mothers in Watford.

The boxes were first introduced in Finland in the 1930s. They are a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed, and some say they helped Finland achieve one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates.   

Baby box
Alternatives Watford

Alternatives Watford - a preganancy crisis and support centre - says its boxes will be given free to anyone who is 32 weeks pregnant and claiming universal credit, living in temporary accommodation or under 16-years-old.

It has been given a grant by Watford Borough Council to get the project off the ground but the idea is that it will eventually sustain itself and the charity is looking for people to sponsor boxes and donate items.

Jailed men had 'extreme and violent jihad mindset', says judge

Steve Swann

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

Judge Michael Topolski QC described how Mohammed Alamgir, 37, of Kenilworth Road, Luton, spoke in St Margaret's Church "of the sun setting on the British Empire and the sun trying to rise on the Islamic State". 

Jailing him for six years, he said: "You are in my judgement deeply committed to an a extreme and violent jihad mindset. You are in that sense a dangerous man." 

Rajib Khan (left), 37, of Biscot Road, Luton, had said that a captured Jordanian pilot burned alive by IS "deserved to die". He was jailed for five years.

Yousaf Bashir (middle), 38, of Dane Road, Luton, was sentenced to four years and six months. 

Rajib Khan, Yousaf Bashir and Ziaur Rahman
Met Police

The court heard how Ziaur Rahman (right), 39, of Ferndale Road, Luton, was also convicted of arranging the meetings at which there were children present. 

He was sentenced to two years and six months.

Mohammed Choudry, 23, of Laggan Road, Maidenhead, had said that non-Muslims "should die in their rage".

The judge described how at the end of a long speech by Choudry there was "a truly chilling passage that imagined, through the mouth of another, 40 trucks driving down Oxford Street (in central London) full of explosives". He was jailed for four years.

Men jailed after being convicted of inviting support for IS

Steve Swann

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

A judge has praised the courage of an undercover police officer who infiltrated a group of British supporters of so-called Islamic State (IS) to gather evidence against them.

Today the leader of the group, Mohammed Alamgir (below), 37, was jailed for six years after being convicted at the Old Bailey of inviting support for IS. 

Alamgir and four other men - three from Luton and one from Maidenhead - either arranged or spoke at closed meetings in a marquee and a church hall in Luton. 

Speeches made in support of IS were secretly recorded by the undercover police officer, known only as Kamal.

Mohammed Alamgir
Met Police

Judge Michael Topolski QC said Kamal displayed "considerable resourcefulness and even greater courage in slowly infiltrating the group" from March 2014 to November 2015. 

He said "the evidence he gathered played a pivotal role in this case" and that it was not difficult to imagine the fate "that might befall him had he been exposed". 

Hertfordshire man arrested under terrorism act

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A 44-year-old man from Hertfordshire has been arrested at Gatwick Airport on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts, Scotland Yard said.

Officers from the MPS Counter Terrorism Command stopped the man on Thursday after he got off a flight from Iraq.

He has been taken to a central London police station where he remains in custody.

Gatwick Airport

Stevenage couple welcomed home after community repairs house

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

A short while ago Arline and Peter Sparrow were able to go back into their Stevenage home after volunteers spent days renovating it. 

Their home was left in a terrible state after a builder took more than £1,000 from them but never completed the work he was meant to carry out. 

It was very emotional for them and a few tears of happiness were shed.

All the work was organised by Give Back to Stevenage.

Justin Dealey

Even the Mayor of Stevenage, John Lloyd, was on hand to welcome them home. 

Tributes to Buckinghamshire paratrooper who 'lied about age to join army'
Denis Cruse took part in the famous Pegasus Bridge operation on D-Day.

Airlander 10 back in Bedfordshire skies soon

Louise Hubball

BBC Look East

At last I may have the answer to the question that many people in Bedfordshire have been wanting to know since August. 

On only its second test flight over the skies of Bedfordshire, the Airlander 10, the world's longest aircraft, had a "heavy landing" and its cockpit was damaged, taking it out of action.

Airlander 10

Repair work has now been completed and the craft is currently undergoing tests inside Hangar 1 at Cardington. 

Steve McGlennan, the chief executive of Hybrid Air Vehicles, told me that "come March time or about then, we should be leaving the hangar again for our 2017 flight test programme, and then we will begin working with customers doing trials and demonstrations". 

Man caught by paedophile hunters jailed

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A man snared by self-styled paedophile hunters has been sentenced to 18 months in jail.

At his trial at Luton Crown Court last year, Mark Porter, 55, said he thought he had been in contact with a 14-year-old girl called Jenny. 

But when he arrived at the town's railway station in March he was confronted by Katie and Neil Ivall, who target paedophiles.

Mark Porter arriving at Luton Crown Court
South Beds News Agency

Porter, of Amersham Hill, High Wycombe, was found guilty of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

The court heard the couple found his profile on Facebook and, posing as Jenny, began exchanging messages with him in January.

He's been made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years, restricting his contact with anyone under 16 and his use of the internet for sexual purposes. 

He must also register as a sex offender.

Weather: Let it snow?

BBC Weather

This afternoon it will stay cloudy with occasional wintry showers, though these will gradually fade away. It will be feeling very cold in the brisk winds. 

Maximum Temperature: 3C (37F). 

Trees in Markyate

Into this evening there could be occasional snow showers, which could turn heavier for a time.  

Severe disruption: M25 Greater London anti-clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Greater London anti-clockwise severe disruption, after J25 for A10.

M25 Greater London - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M25 anticlockwise after J25, A10 (Enfield), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall... or did he?

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

School children are tackling this conundrum at St Edmunds Nursery School in Old Hall Green, Ware. 

At the moment information is a bit "eggy", but we believe police and children are trying to "crack" the case. 

We don't know if it's "fowl" play, but have been told "stand-by for an update at 15:30". 

View more on twitter

Teen appears in court over death of brother

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A teenager from Aylesbury has appeared at Reading Crown Court this morning charged with murdering his own brother.

Brandon Lavender, 18, from Brompton Close, is accused of fatally stabbing Daniel Lavender, 26, last month. He died after being taken to hospital on 16 January.

The accused did not enter a plea and is next due to appear in court in April. 

Medium congestion: M25 Surrey clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Surrey clockwise medium congestion, between J10 for A3 and J17 for A412.

M25 Surrey - Long delays on M25 clockwise between J10, A3 (Wisley Interchange) and J17, A412 (Maple Cross).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe accident: M25 Berkshire anti-clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Berkshire anti-clockwise severe accident, before J15 for M4 affecting J17 for A412.

M25 Berkshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic for seven miles on M25 anticlockwise before J15, M4 (Thorney Interchange), because of an accident and a fuel spillage. Travel time is just over 20 minutes. Congestion to J17, A412 (Maple Cross).

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'I want to give something back'

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

Earlier I met some amazing people as volunteers from all over arrived to renovate Arline and Peter Swallow's home in Stevenage. 

It's all been organised by local group Give Back to Stevenage.

View more on twitter

'You can get so many benefits from it'


Alex Scott urges you to sign up for the 2017 FA People's Cup

England player Alex Scott "would've loved the opportunity to have a competition like this when I was younger".

What's she talking about? The FA People's Cup - the country's biggest free five-a-side competition which gives you the chance to make your way to Wembley.

"When I was younger, playing in a football cage, the dream was always to play at Wembley," adds Scott.

"The FA People's Cup gives anyone the opportunity to sign up to a local team in your area. You don't have to rely on your mates.

"It's a chance to meet different people, socialise in different environments. It's more than just signing up, you can get so many benefits from it."

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for the FA People's Cup - but hurry as the deadline for entries is the 19 February!

Community helps renovate 'inhabitable' home for elderly Stevenage couple

Justin Dealey

BBC Three Counties Radio

Community spirit has been alive and well in Stevenage this week. 

Since Wednesday a local version of DIY SOS has been taking place at Arline and Peter Sparrow's home to get it habitable again. 

Volunteer helping at Stevenage home

It was left in a terrible state after a builder carried out unsuitable electrical work. It led to the couple, in their 70s, being thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Volunteers helping at Stevenage house

Builders, decorators and helpers have all given their time for free to repair the house. They're trying to get everything finished by 13:00 for a visit by the mayor.

Funeral for Buckinghamshire D-Day hero

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

A man from Buckinghamshire who took part in the famous Pegasus Bridge operation on D-Day is being laid to rest today.

Dennis Cruse medals

The funeral of 90-year-old paratrooper Denis Cruse is taking place in Buckingham where Army cadets will line the streets.

He was awarded the Legion D'Honneur by the French government last year.

Despite success in capturing and destroying bridges in that area on D-Day, his son Colin says his father's duty in northern France came to an abrupt end.

"They were successful in capturing those bridges [and] they also captured members of the 21st Panzer division," he said.

"By midnight they were in the woods and their priority was now to hold the woods, but unfortunately dad's part in that ended on 10 June, just four days after his parachuting in, as in fierce fighting he had half his hip blown away."

Further info on damaged water pipe...

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Damaged water pipe in Milton Keynes shuts schools

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Two schools in Milton Keynes - Drayton Park and Water Hall primary - have had to close because of water problems in the area.

Anglian Water says a large pipe has been damaged in the Bletchley area by a "third-party contractor". 

It's "working hard to fix the problem" and says some people in the area may have no water or low pressure, but it doesn't yet know how many people have been affected. 

Water problems map
Anglian Water

Helen Bailey murder trial: Court not sitting today

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

All week I've been giving you reports on the ongoing trial of Ian Stewart, who's accused of murdering of Hertfordshire author Helen Bailey. 

It's not sitting at St Albans Crown Court today, so we'll be back with more updates on Monday. 

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

Ian Stewart
Helen Tipper/BBC

Teen due in court over death of brother

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A teenager from Aylesbury will appear at Reading Crown Court this morning charged with murdering his own brother.

Reading Crown Court

Brandon Lavender, 18, from Brompton Close, is accused of fatally stabbing Daniel Lavender, 26, last month.

He died after being taken to hospital on 16 January.

Bercow no-confidence bid: What do MPs think?

BBC Politics

Essex MP James Duddridge has tabled a no-confidence motion against Commons Speaker and Buckingham MP John Bercow over his comments about US President Donald Trump's visit to the UK.

John Bercow

Speaker Mr Bercow is expected to remain impartial. Earlier this week he accused President Trump of "racism and sexism" and defended the comments saying they were within his remit.

BBC Parliamentary correspondent Mark D'Arcy said other senior backbenchers doubt that Mr Duddridge's tactics would work.

He said Mr Bercow has a reservoir of support on the backbenches - particularly among pro-Brexit Conservative backbenchers - and was seen to have enabled MPs to challenge the government far more effectively.

Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke tweeted on Thursday that he disagreed with President Trump's executive order barring migrants from seven countries, but added: "John Bercow has politicised the office of Speaker and his position is untenable."

But fellow Conservative Claire Perry said on BBC One's Question Time: "I think for us to try and remove a speaker over something that he said would be really rather drastic. He's entitled to his opinions, perhaps he just shouldn't have addressed them on this particular issue."

Speaker John Bercow faces no-confidence bid from Essex MP

BBC Politics

A south Essex MP is hoping to increase pressure on Commons Speaker and Buckingham MP John Bercow by tabling a no-confidence motion.

James Duddridge
Conservative Party

Mr Bercow said this week he would be "strongly opposed" to US President Donald Trump addressing Parliament, accusing him of "racism and sexism".

The Conservative MP for Rochford and Southend East, James Duddridge, said Mr Bercow had "overstepped the mark", although he did not expect his motion to be debated.

The Speaker is the highest authority of the House of Commons and is expected to remain politically impartial.

Mr Duddridge told the BBC: "I've done this because Speaker Bercow for a long time has been overstepping the mark and with his comments on the state visit [of President Trump] he has clearly expressed views.

"That is not the role of the Speaker, and it is impossible for him to chair debates as Speaker adjudicating on things he has expressed a view on."

He added that "once the level of discontent is known and Speaker Bercow sees the writing is on the wall, he will go of his own accord".

Mr Bercow has defended his comments to MPs, saying they had been made "honestly and honourably" and were within his remit.  

IS terror support men to be sentenced

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

Four men from Luton are due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey today for arranging meetings that drummed-up support for so-called Islamic State (IS).

The four men, and another from Berkshire, belonged to the now banned group Al-Muhajiroun, which regularly campaigned in the town but was infiltrated by an undercover police officer.

The five were arrested in December 2015 and three were convicted by a jury in August.

Mohammed Istiak Alamgir, 37, Yousaf Bashir, 36 and Rajib Khan, 37, all from Luton, were convicted for their roles in spreading IS ideology.

Mohammed Sufiyan Choudry, from Maidenhead, and Zaiur Rahman faced a retrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

In January, Choudry was found guilty of one count of encouraging support for a proscribed organisation, while Rahman was convicted of three counts of arranging/assisting in, arranging/managing a meeting to support a proscribed organisation.

During the trials the court heard that meetings were held in a Methodist church hall in Luton and a marquee in one of their back gardens. 

Three of the men delivered provocative speeches to up to 70 people, including children, encouraging them to support and fight alongside IS.

Severe disruption: M1 Bedfordshire southbound

BBC Travel

M1 Bedfordshire southbound severe disruption, at J11 for A505 Dunstable Road.

M1 Bedfordshire - M1 lane blocked on exit slip road and heavy traffic southbound at J11 A505 Dunstable Road.

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Today's weather: Cold and cloudy, wintry showers

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Many places in the region saw a light dusting of snow yesterday and there'll be the risk of further wintry showers - not only today, but also into Saturday.

It will be cold and cloudy to start with, although we are mostly starting off with temperatures just about freezing. There could be some sleet around later, but generally the further west you are the drier it will tend to be.

The maximum temperature will be about 3C (37F), but in reality it will feel colder than that because of the bitterness of the easterly wind.

For more head to BBC Weather.

Welcome back to live updates from Beds, Herts and Bucks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome back to the live page where we'll bring you updates of the latest news, weather, travel and sport for the three counties until 18:00.

This morning, we'll be looking at how a Conservative MP has tabled a motion of no-confidence in the Commons Speaker and MP for Buckingham John Bercow for his comments about US President Donald Trump.

But first, as the weather continues cold - there were even small flakes of snow in Hertfordshire yesterday -a full regional weather forecast is coming up.

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

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J19 for A41 and J16 for M40.

M25 Hertfordshire - Queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J19, A41 (Watford) and J16 M40, because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe accident, between J5 for A4 and J6 for A355 Slough.

M4 Berkshire - Two lanes closed and slow traffic on M4 westbound between J5, A4 (Langley) and J6, A355 (Slough), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for: