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  1. Updates on Thursday 23 June 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 06:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our coverage across the day

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

That's it for live updates today. We'll be back from 06:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country. 

We'll also be bringing you extended coverage of the EU Referendum. 

School pupils shot with pellet gun

Two school pupils have been injured after being shot by a pellet gun, police say.

Police were called to Waverley School in Yardley Green Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, just before 10:30.     

One received swelling to the head, police say, while the other sustained a hand injury. Both are in Year 11 and their injuries are said to be minor.

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage.

Watch: Overnight forecast

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Staying dry for many overnight, with some clear skies for a time. 

Cloud will gradually increase from the west by dawn, bringing the risk of very isolated showers with lows of 11C (52F).

Shefali Oza with the afternoon weather forecast for the West Midlands

Photo: Man who stabbed pregnant partner walks through streets 'in disguise'

Mobile phone footage captures Babur Karamat Raja as he makes his way through Sutton Coldfield town centre with a rucksack up his jumper to try to disguise his build.

Sentencing him to 18 years in prison, Judge Simon Drew QC said it was a "deliberate, pre-meditated attack". 

Attacker in disguise
West Midlands Police

Photos: Statement of woman whose partner stabbed her while pregnant

Natalie Queiroz stands outside court as her statement is read by a police officer. It follows today's 18-year prison sentence for her partner who admitted her attempted murder.

Natalie Queiroz
Natalie Queiroz

Victim speaks: 'Totally unexpected attack'

Natalie Queiroz, the woman repeatedly stabbed by her partner while carrying his baby, says she is continuing to recover following the attack four months ago.

In a statement, issued today after Babur Karamat Raja was sentenced to an 18-year prison sentence, she said: "I am unable to find the words to describe how I feel about today and the events of the last 16 weeks, other than I have been left devastated by the attack on 4 March.

"The attack he committed on me was completely unprovoked and totally unexpected. Luckily I was saved and my baby was born alive."

'Four members of the public' helped save pregnant woman after partner stabbed her

Police say the intervention of bystanders saved a pregnant woman and her baby from death following a frenzied knife attack in Sutton Coldfield town centre. 

Babur Karamat Raja, 41, of Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, attacked his partner, Natalie Queiroz, in the street on 4 March.  

DI Ian Ingram, West Midlands Police
DI Ingram

DI Ian Ingram of West Midlands Police said of Raja's attack: "He tried to cut her throat but was prevented. Without the interaction from members of the public and life-saving from police, and taken straight to the QE by air ambulance, she wouldn't be here."

'Attack designed to kill and destroy' partner and unborn child - judge

Sentencing Raja for his "merciless" assault on Ms Queiroz, Judge Simon Drew QC said: "Once you chose your mother over your partner and child, you resolved not only to terminate your relationship, but to terminate them.

"This was a deliberate, pre-meditated attack designed to kill and destroy your partner and unborn child."

Breast implants 'probably saved' stabbed pregnant woman's life

Judge Simon Drew heard that Ms Queiroz's breast implants "were probably what saved her life" during the frenzied assault.

The difference between life and death - 2mm

Prosecuting barrister Benjamin Aina QC said if the knife had stabbed Natalie Queiroz a further 2mm in her abdomen, "it would have killed the [unborn] baby".

Stress 'tipped Raja over the edge'

Raja's legal team says he was "tipped over the edge" by his mother, who didn't agree with the couple's relationship.

Jane Humphryes QC said the stress lead to a temporary mental illness or "adjustment disorder", leaving him with little memory of what he had done.

Raja admitted attempting to murder his pregnant partner, attempted child destruction, possession of a knife in public and the wounding and assault of two passers-by.

Mum of man who tried to murder pregnant partner 'literally drove him mad'

Raja's barrister, Jane Humphryes QC, said his conservative Muslim mother "literally drove him mad" in the run up to the attack by forcing him to choose between her love and that of his partner.  

Forced to choose between his mum and 'love of his life'

Here's more on the jail sentence for the man who tried to murder his pregnant partner - and their unborn child - by stabbing the woman 24 times in a town centre. 

Babur Karamat Raja, 41, was forced to choose between his Muslim mother's faith and the "love of his life", Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Babur Raja
West Midlands Police
Babur Raja

His mother had not been happy he was in a relationship with a white woman, and told him he must leave her or she would not be in contact. This man of impeccable character is driven literally to distraction, forced by his own mother to choose between her and his chosen partner and their unborn baby.

Jane Humphryes QCRaja's barrister

Pregnant woman stabbing: Baby delivered by C section

Phil Mackie

Midlands correspondent, BBC News

The baby which the victim was carrying was delivered by caesarean section on the day of the attack.

Victim stabbed 24 times by partner in 'ambush'

Phil Mackie

Midlands correspondent, BBC News

On 4 March this year, Raja arranged to meet his partner, Natalie Queiroz, in Sutton Coldfield town centre on the pretense of going to the bank, but he effectively ambushed her; stabbing her 24 times.

Four men who were walking by intervened and helped to save her life. 

Victim 'crying through most of today's hearing'

Phil Mackie

Midlands correspondent, BBC News

Babur Karamat Raja, 41, will serve 18 years in prison for the attempted murder of his pregnant partner and baby.

Raja sat in the dock today with his head bowed, not meeting the gaze of Natalie Queiroz, the woman he tried to stab to death in March in Sutton Coldfield town centre.

She sat at the front of the public gallery staring at him and crying through most of today's hearing which lasted several hours.

BreakingPregnant woman stabbing: Partner jailed for 18 years

Phil Mackie

Midlands correspondent, BBC News

A man who admitted the attempted murder of his pregnant partner by repeatedly stabbing her in a street in Sutton Coldfield is to be jailed for 18 years.

Prison officer appears in court over drug smuggling charges

A prison officer charged with smuggling drugs into HMP Birmingham in Winson Green has been remanded in custody, West Midlands Police says.

The force says Richard Stack, 35, from Kingstanding Road, Kingstanding, was arrested on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old is charged with possessing cannabis, steroids and a psychoactive substance with intent to supply, two counts of conveying items into prison, and misconduct in a public office.

He is due to appear again in court next month.

Video: 'No-one would marry me unless I had FGM'

Victoria Derbyshire

A woman from the West Midlands who says she was pressured to have FGM in order to get married has spoken to the BBC about her experiences.

The woman says the fear of having to undergo FGM led her to develop mental health problems. 

The polling station at the back of a lorry

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

This polling station in Halesowen, in the Black Country, is among the many across the UK where people will cast their referendum vote today - but as you can see, this one's a little different.

Polling station 119 didn't exactly fall off the back of a lorry, but that's where you'll find it. The council truck carries the generator powering the portable cabin behind - and it's there, in the metal box, where people have been marking their papers.

Polling station on Shelah Road in Halesowen

Polling stations opened at 07:00 and will close at 22:00.  

After polls close, sealed ballot boxes will be collected and transported to the count venue for each of the 382 local counting areas.  

Polling station on Shelah Road in Halesowen
Polling station on Shelah Road in Halesowen

Men accused of giving cash to terror suspect will face trial

Two men from Birmingham accused of giving money to a suspect in the Brussels and Paris terrorist attacks when he visited England are to stand trial in November.  

Mohammed Ali Ahmed and Zakaria Boufassil, both 26, from Small Heath, are accused of giving £3,000 to Mohamed Abrini in Birmingham in July last year.  

The pair were remanded in custody.

Artist drawing of Mohammed Ali Ahmed and Zakaria Boufassil

Southend sign Demetriou

Ex-Walsall right back Jason Demetriou has signed a two-year deal with Southend.

Former Leyton Orient player Demetriou, 28, joined Walsall last summer after playing for five years in Cyprus.

Capped 28 times by Cyprus, he played 53 times for Walsall in 2015-16, but rejected a new deal.

Jason Demetriou
Getty Images
NCA officers

Four men are arrested as part of an investigation into alleged smuggling of migrants across the English Channel.

Read more

Petrov to join Villa training camp in Austria

Here's word from the club that, as we reported earlier, Petrov will not only resume training with the first team but join the training camp abroad.

View more on twitter

Plans to demolish greyhound stadium rejected

Chris Blakemore


There's been a stay of execution for the Hall Green greyhound stadium in Birmingham. 

At a planning meeting this morning, city councillors refused the owner's plans to knock it down and build housing in its place. 

Stephen Rea leads the Save Our Hall Green campaign and says he expects the decision to be appealed.

It was very emotional when the decision was made. The room was packed with supporters and they cheered every councillor who spoke in favour of rejecting the application. We were very tearful and elated when we came out."

Stephen ReaSpokesman, Save Our Hall Green campaign

JRR Tolkien's annotated Middle Earth map on show

A map of the fictional Middle Earth annotated by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien has gone on display for one day only in Oxford.   

The author, who grew up in Birmingham, is thought to have been inspired by his childhood haunts of Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog.

JRR Tolkien's annotated map on show at Bodleian
The Tolkien Estate Limited 2016

It was unseen for decades until last October, when a book shop put it on sale for £60,000.  

The map is on display at the Bodleian's Weston Library.

Petrov to start training: Background

BBC Sport

Read more on the ex-Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov who is to resume training with the first team.

Petrov was then Villa boss Martin O'Neill's first signing when he arrived from Celtic for £6.5m in August 2006.

He first showed symptoms of leukaemia after developing a fever following a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal in March 2012 and was diagnosed with the illness a few days later, after making 218 appearances for Villa and more than 500 in British football.

Stiliyan Petrov in 2012
Getty Images

He had four months of chemotherapy before it was announced in August of the same year that he was in remission.

Fuelled by the love and support of the Villa fans, he has since set up a foundation to help leukaemia patients.

Latest: Petrov resumes training with AVFC; prison officer charged with smuggling drugs into HMP Birmingham

Stiliyan Petrov to resume training with AVFC first team four years after leukaemia diagnosis

- Prison officer charged with smuggling drugs into HMP Birmingham

- Date of first Birmingham International Marathon announced

Teenager treated for stab wounds

A teenager has been stabbed in Sutton Coldfield.

The victim, an 18-year-old, is in a stable condition in hospital and his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Police say they were called to reports of a stabbing on Crawford Road in Walmley at about 22:00 last night.

A 17-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Man cut from car taken to hospital

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Here's more on our earlier story about this morning's multi-vehicle collision.

A man who was cut free from his car in Wolverhampton is being treated at New Cross Hospital.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said he "was not complaining of any obvious injuries".

BBC Midlands Today: News stories we're working on

BBC Midlands Today

Hilary McConnell, Producer

On Midlands Today this evening, our Staffordshire reporter Sian Grzeszczyk has been given exclusive access to the Stoke on Trent traffic warden team.

It follows an increase in the number of verbal and physical assaults on the city’s traffic enforcement team. They now wear body cameras to record everything they see.

We’re in the Black Country as officials from UNESCO visit the area as it bids to become a GEOPARK. Find out what that means at 13:30 and 18:30 tonight with our Black Country reporter Ben Godfrey.

And we're speaking to the England cricket squad ahead of their one day international against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston tomorrow.

BreakingPetrov to resume training with Villa first team

Mark Regan

BBC WM Sport

Former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov is to resume training with the first team - four years after he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Petrov, 36, has been away from football since 2012, but will join up with Villa for their pre-season training camp in Austria in July.

The Former Bulgarian International is hopeful of making a full return to football and will be looking to improve his fitness ahead of the new season with his former club.

Stilian Petrov
Getty Images

The woman saved from her father's FGM plans

Victoria Derbyshire

A woman from the West Midlands is the first person in the UK to be given a joint court order to protect her from both forced marriage and female genital mutilation. She tells her story.  

The unidentified subject of the court order talking to Victoria Derbyshire

Speedway: Brummies 47-43 Kent

Mike Taylor


Teenage reserves Jack Parkinson-Blackburn and Jack Smith rescued the Birmingham Brummies in a tense first leg of the National Trophy final against Kent last night. 

With some of the team's leading riders struggling, 15-year-old JPB and Smith, 17, both reached double figures to help the Brummies to a 47-43 win. 

The Brummies manager Graham Drury said the team's youngest riders stood up very well to the challenge from an impressive Kent team.

The second leg is in Kent on Monday.

Leopard to have a spot of Darjeeling

Yesterday we brought you the story about one of Dudley Zoo's snow leopards moving to India as part of an international breeding programme.

See more about the cat's journey from Dudley to Darjeeling....

Dudley snow leopard to have a spot of Darjeeling

Pollen levels 'very high'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

If like me you suffer with hay fever, get your tissues ready - it's another eye-watering, sneezy day ahead as pollen levels are very high.

View more on twitter

Birmingham International Marathon date announced

The date of the first Birmingham International Marathon has been announced.

It will take place on Sunday, October 15, 2017.  

View more on twitter

BreakingPrison officer charged with smuggling drugs into HMP Birmingham

A prison officer has been charged with smuggling drugs into HMP Birmingham in Winson Green, West Midlands Police says.

The force says Richard Stack, 35, from Kingstanding Road, Kingstanding, was arrested on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old is charged with possessing cannabis, steroids and a psychoactive substance with intent to supply, two counts of conveying items into prison, and misconduct in a public office.

He is due to appear in court later today. 

HMP Birmingham
Lancashire opener Haseeb Hameed

Haseem Hameed's 70 not out puts Lancashire on top against Warwickshire after spinner Matt Parkinson's five-wicket debut.

Read more

Racing stadium plans to be decided later

Giles Latcham

BBC Midlands Today

A decision on whether to demolish Hall Green greyhound stadium in Birmingham is due to be made by the city council later. 

The venue on York Road has been hosting greyhound racing for 89 years. 

Hall Green greyhound stadium archive photo

Developers want to build more than 200 houses on the site. 

The plans have been backed by animal rights campaigners but more than 4,000 people have signed petitions to save the stadium.