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  1. Updates for Monday 22 December 2014
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good evening

    We'll be back from 08:00 on Tuesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

  2. Bent does not want return to bench

    BBC Sport

    Striker Darren Bent says he would be happy to stay at Brighton if there is no prospect of starting for parent club Aston Villa.

    He told BBC Sport: "There is only so much someone can take. If I'm going to go back and sit on the bench I would rather stay."

  3. Christmas tip

    Midlands Today

    Visitors to a recycling centre in Birmingham have been enjoying the efforts staff have made to transform it into a Christmas wonderland. See more pictures on Facebook.

    Tip in Birmingham with Christmas decorations
  4. Motorcyclist 'travelling at high speed'

    Stourbridge News

    A Wordsley motorcyclist involved in a fatal collision was travelling at "high speed", an inquest heard.

  5. Wolves press conference

    BBC WM Sport

    tweets: #wolves Kenny Jackett talking ahead of Watford game. All apart from Scott Golbourne fit and available.

    Kenny Jackett being interviewed

    Keep up to date with the latest sports news by following @BBCSport on Twitter and BBC WM Sport.

  6. Toddler's parents jailed

    Birmingham Mail

    The parents of tragic Levi-Blu Cassin have been jailed for nine years each for causing or allowing his death.

  7. No white Christmas

    Charlie Slater

    Weather Presenter, BBC East Midlands Today

    It should be cold and frosty on Christmas Day, but there'll be no white Christmas this year in the West Midlands. Here's the outlook.

    Charlie Slater

    Keep up to date with the latest forecast on BBC Weather.

  8. All eyes on New Year's Eve

    Trystan Jones

    BBC News

    The government has spent £700m this year to tackle "unprecedented demand" and try to take pressure off A&Es - including £50m specifically for ambulance services.

    But with 999 calls so high in the run up to Christmas, all eyes will be on New Year's Eve, traditionally the ambulance service's busiest time.

  9. News on the hour

    Alice Rosenthal

    Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 17:00: The parents of a toddler who was found dead in Smiths Wood with injuries consistent with being hit by a car have been jailed for nine years each.

    We'll hear from Levi-Blu's family, who gave their reaction to the sentencing, and more from our reporter Giles Latcham who was in court.

  10. Rise in 999 calls

    Trystan Jones

    BBC News

    About 6,500 999 calls were made to West Midlands Ambulance Service at the weekend, making it one of the busiest of the year.

    It still doesn't match the near-record figures of a fortnight ago, but is yet another busy weekend for an ambulance service that like others across the country says it's facing huge pressures.

  11. Man seriously hurt in crash

    A man is in hospital with serious injuries after a crash involving two cars in Solihull this morning.

    A man, believed to be in his 20s, was treated at the scene and taken to hospital with what are believed to be life threatening injuries.

    Police say the crash involving an F-type Jaguar and a Land Rover Freelander happened on Holly Lane, in Balsall Common.

  12. WW1 Christmas

    Bob Hockenhull

    Reporter, Midlands Today

    A hundred years ago Midlanders would have been sitting down to their Christmas dinner, with many family members away fighting in World War One.

    World War One Christmas at the Black Country Living Museum

    But what exactly would have been on their plates and how have things changed over the decades? I've been to the Black Country Living Museum to find out more.

    See my report on BBC One at 18:30 on Midlands Today.

  13. Council budget consultation

    Wolves City Council tweets: Got five minutes? Complete our online budget consultation survey #ManagingReality

  14. Stoke have upper hand

    Nick Clitheroe

    Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

    After West Brom's game against Manchester City on Boxing Day they'll take on Stoke City, who have traditionally had the upper hand in their meetings.

    In fact Albion have beaten them just once in 15 attempts over the past 10 years.

    They follow that with a trip to the surprise package of this season West Ham, who are currently fourth in the Premier League.

  15. Baby unscathed after car overturns

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    A woman and a nine-week-old baby have been taken to hospital after the car they were in crashed and overturned in Oxhill Road, Handsworth.

    Car crash in Handsworth

    Fire service watch commander Russell Edwards says because the car was fitted with the correct type of infant seat, the baby wasn't seriously hurt in the crash, at about 12:00.

  16. Mother sobbed

    Giles Latcham

    Reporter, Midlands Today

    Mr Justice Goss told Danielle Cassin and Mark Piper in court they were "selfish, neglectful and manipulative".

    The judge said: "You both deliberately flouted the agreement (with Solihull Children's Services) prohibiting Marcus Piper from living at the flat."

    Danielle Cassin sobbed throughout the hearing. Mark Piper remained impassive.

  17. Plan for HS2 site

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    There are concerns a delay in developing the old LDV-Alstom site in Washwood Heath could mean the area is missing out on jobs.

    HS2 will mean a maintenance depot will go there - but not for a decade.

    A group of MPs led by Liam Byrne, who represents the area, are putting forward a plan they say would see 2,300 private sector jobs coming to the site sooner.

  18. 'Stamped on or kicked'

    Giles Latcham

    Presenter, Midlands Today

    During the hearing Mr Justice Goss said Levi-Blu Cassin had been "stamped on or kicked" with "very significant force required" to inflict the injuries that killed him.

    Levi-Blu Cassin

    "Levi would have been in pain, very upset and distressed."

    He added Levi's family must "live with the anguish of not knowing what happened to him".

  19. News on the hour

    BBC WM

    In the 15:00 bulletin: The parents of a toddler who was found dead with injuries consistent with being hit by a car have been jailed for nine years each.

  20. 'Make sure it doesn't happen again'

    Chris Blakemore

    News editor, BBC WM

    We've been speaking to the NSPCC after a Chelmsley Wood couple whose son died from severe stomach injuries were jailed for nine years each.

    Levi-Blu Cassin was nearly two years old when he was found dead in February last year at a flat near Solihull.

    The charity's head of child protection awareness Chris Cloke says: "This case has all the ingredients of neglect, physical abuse, domestic violence and drug taking. We need to makes sure that cases like this never happen again."

  21. Stories we're working on

    Dave Hart

    Producer, BBC Midlands Today

    The pressure is on West Bromwich Albion coach Alan Irvine. The next few fixtures are looking very tough, with The Hawthorns hosting champions Manchester City on Boxing Day.

    Many of us are likely to take a trip to the tip to get rid of the rubbish our bins can't handle. One tip in Birmingham is putting a smile on users' faces and bringing some festive cheer in perhaps one of the most unexpected of places.

    Find out more on Midlands Today at 18:30 this evening.

  22. BBC Weather bloopers

    BBC Weather tweets: Working today? This should make you smile... BBC Weather 2014 funny moments & bloopers: Jo

    BBC Weather's Carol
  23. Baby survives supermarket crash

    A nine-week-old baby has survived after their car hit a wall and landed on its roof on a pavement at the entrance to a supermarket in Handsworth, West Midlands Fire Service tweets.

  24. Critical time for Baggies

    Nick Clitheroe

    Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

    The next two weeks feel potentially critical for both West Bromwich Albion and their head coach Alan Irvine (pictured).

    Alan Irvine

    Many fans were furious that they failed to hang on to a two goal lead at QPR on Saturday and their forthcoming fixtures offer little cause for optimism.

    They entertain Manchester City on Boxing Day followed by two very difficult away games.

  25. 'Special boy'

    Outside court, Levi-Blu Cassin's grandmother and family paid tribute, saying "Levi was a special little boy who brought joy".

    Levi-Blu Cassin's family

    Kirsty Cassin (pictured second left) says: "All he suffered was heartbreak and pain and nobody is paying. How many more kids need to die?"

  26. Woman killed in crash named

    Express and Star

    A grandmother killed when she was hit by a car in Staffordshire was named today.

  27. BBC One at 13:30

    Joanne Malin

    Presenter, Midlands Today

    The family of a 22-month-old found collapsed at his home in Chelmsley Wood last year say the jailing of his parents for nine years each for their part in his death is not justice.

    We'll get the latest from our reporter Giles Latcham who has been in court for us.

    Join us for the latest on BBC One at 13:30 this lunchtime.

  28. Search for man after stabbing

    Police say they're in the process of trawling through CCTV to find a man following a Wolverhampton shopkeeper being stabbed.

    Det Sgt Paul Cook, from Wolverhampton's violent crime team, says: "No arrests have been made as yet, but we are determined to find the person responsible for this and need people to come forward with information."

    Anyone with information is urged to dial 101.

  29. Project to 'transform' treatments

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is to be one of the first hospitals in England to take part in a "world leading" DNA project.

    The NHS says the three-year project "will transform diagnosis and treatment for patients with cancer and rare diseases".

    As well as coverage on BBC News you can also read more about the scheme on the NHS website.

  30. Grandmother 'disgusted'

    Outside of court the grandmother of Levi-Blu said she's "absolutely disgusted" by the nine-year sentence.

    Angela Cassin

    Angela Cassin says: "Nine years for a baby's life, that's absolutely disgusting.

    "That is not justice, we don't even know what happened to him. It's not justice."

  31. News on the hour

    BBC WM

    In the 12:00 bulletin: A Chelmsley Wood couple whose son died from severe stomach injuries have been jailed for nine years each.

  32. Pair denied fatal blow

    Danielle Cassin, 27, and Mark Piper, 31, both denied delivering a fatal blow to their 22-month-old son at their home in Chelmsley Wood, Solihull, in February 2013.

    Levi-Blu Cassin

    Levi-Blu Cassin (pictured), died from "catastrophic" internal injuries.

    At Birmingham Crown Court on Friday, the pair were cleared of his murder and manslaughter.

  33. BreakingShopkeeper stabbed in city


    A Wolverhampton shopkeeper is in hospital after being stabbed multiple times last night.

    Police say the 51-year-old man's injuries are serious but not thought to be life threatening.

    The attack happened at Atwal Wines, in Bilston Road, at about 21:40.

  34. Have your say

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you news, sport, travel and weather updates in one place. We'd like to find out what you think.

  35. Rubbish boss to have assets seized

    Joanne Malin

    Presenter, Midlands Today

    The boss of a waste firm who was jailed for failing to clear a rubbish pile in the Black Country is to have his assets seized.

    Rubbish piling high in Brierley Hill

    Robert McNaughton, the director of Refuse Derived Fuel, was jailed for six months for repeatedly failing to clear a 42ft (13m) tall pile of rubbish in Brierley Hill.

    Now a High Court writ's been granted, allowing for his and the firms assets to be seized.

  36. News on the hour

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    In the news at 10:00 on BBC WM: A man has died in Staffordshire after being shot with a Taser by police.

  37. Rowett wants keeper to stay

    BBC Sport

    Birmingham manager Gary Rowett plans to keep hold of Darren Randolph in January, despite interest in the in-form goalkeeper.

    Darren Randolph

    Rowett says: "Every player in my team has ambition and I want them to be ambitious.

    He adds: "If a Premier League club comes in for Darren, then fantastic, but I want to keep him."

  38. 'Vicious attack on family man'

    Police are appealing for witnesses after a 40-year-old man was hit over the head with a brick in Stechford.

    Det Insp Neil Postins says: "This was a vicious attack on a local family man. It's an outrageous response to a verbal spat in the street. It's also a cowardly act to grab whatever he could lay his hands on and use it as a weapon.

    "The attacker may well have spoken about the incident to someone. If so, I'd ask them to do the right thing and get in touch."

  39. Birmingham joins DNA scheme

    A new genetics project could help "unlock a series of secrets about devastating diseases", the NHS says.


    Eleven Genomics Medicine Centres, including one in Birmingham, are being set up in English hospitals to gather DNA information to help devise targeted treatments for a wide range of diseases.

    The scheme is focusing on cancer and rare genetic diseases.

  40. 'Severe' fire at school

    Caroline Gall

    BBC News

    Firefighters have been tackling a "severe" fire at a Birmingham school, believed to have been started deliberately.

    Fire at North Birmingham Academy, on College Road in Erdington

    Arsonists are thought to have set fire to two shipping containers outside the school, which led to lots of equipment being destroyed, West Midlands Fire Service said.

    Crews were sent to North Birmingham Academy, on College Road in Erdington, at 04:15 and say the fire was dealt with by about 06:00.

  41. Man struck in head with brick

    A man is in an induced coma after being hit over the head with a brick as he walked to the shops.

    Stud Lane, at the junction with Church Lane in Stetchford

    The 40-year-old father, from Birmingham, was attacked in Stud Lane, at the junction with Church Lane (pictured) in Stetchford, at about 12:00 on Saturday.

    Police say it is understood the victim had a row with another man before he was struck with the brick and left unconscious in the street.

  42. Couple due to be sentenced

    A couple are due to be sentenced later for causing or allowing the death of their son in 2013.

    Danielle Cassin, 27, and Mark Piper, 31

    Birmingham Crown Court was told Levi-Blu Cassin died from "catastrophic" internal injuries in February 2013.

    Danielle Cassin, 27, and Mark Piper, 31, of Chelmsley Wood, had both denied delivering a fatal blow to the 22-month-old and were cleared of murder.

  43. Today's forecast

    Charlie Slater

    Weather Presenter, BBC East Midlands Today

    It will be windy, dull and cloudy for most of the day with a few showers thrown into the mix for good measure.

    Charlie Slater

    Very mild with highs of 12C (54F).

  44. Good morning

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    It's feeling quite mild this morning in Birmingham city centre, if not a little windy.

    I'm in the BBC WM newsroom bringing you the very latest news, sport, travel and weather.