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  1. Updates on Friday, 7 April
  2. Fire station wall collapses on engine in the Fens
  3. Man jailed over St Ives murder and attempted murder
  4. Cambridge Latin graffiti clean-up begins

Live Reporting

By Adam Jinkerson

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

That's it for our live coverage for today. Thanks for your company.

We'll be back on Monday from 08:00.

Scroll back through today's page for anything you may have missed, including...

  • More on a man from St Neots jailed over murder and attempted murder in St Ives   
  • A council looking to reinstate a removed phone box
  • Clean-up begins on Latin graffiti in Cambridge

Have a great weekend.

Weather: Get ready for a warm weekend

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It will be a dry night with long clear spells. There may be some patchy mist and fog and a touch of ground frost in places. 

Minimum temperature: 2C (36F). 

Weather map

It will be a cold start to Saturday, but any mist and fog should quickly clear to leave a largely sunny day. 

There may be a bit more patchy cloud in the east for a time. Light winds and highs inland of 18C (64F). 

Patchy mist and fog should clear very quickly on Sunday to leave another fine, dry and very warm day, with temperatures about 22C (72F). 

Much cooler and cloudier on Monday, with a few showers.

BBC Weather has more.

Man admits killing wife

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

A man from Cambridge accused of murdering his wife has admitted smothering her to death.

Muhammad Malik, 36, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Cambridge Crown Court after attacking his 32-year-old wife, Asia Tufail, in November.

Police and paramedics attended the property on Perne Road after Malik rung the emergency services saying he had attacked her.

She was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital but died of her injuries. 

A post-mortem examination concluded she died of asphyxia.

He will be sentenced on 19 May.

Removed phone box looking to be reinstated by council

A council says it will look to get a village's red telephone box back after a communication error saw it wrongly removed.

Telephone box being removed
Jo Walker

The box, pictured above, was removed from the village of Castor, near Peterborough, on Wednesday.

BT said a notice of its removal was posted on the kiosk in September, asking people to get in touch with Peterborough City Council with their responses in 90 days.

The company said a letter signifying the intention to remove the kiosk was also posted to the council.

The telecoms giant said the authority received and signed for the letter on 10 October and it received no news or objections back, so went ahead with the removal.

The council could neither confirm nor deny the letter was received.  

Patch where telephone box used to be
Jo Walker

A council spokesman said: "BT confirmed a letter was sent, however no-one in the council's planning department has knowledge of receiving it.

"We will endeavour to work with BT and the parish council to get the red telephone box reinstated in Castor. 

"In addition, we've now also objected to the removal of some other phone boxes including in Southorpe, Wansford and Ufford."

The council will now look to take ownership of the remaining boxes, using the  Adopt a Kiosk  scheme.

BT confirmed no calls were made from the Castor box in the 12 months leading up to last September.

St Ives double stabbing: Life-saving neighbour receives £1,000 reward

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

The neighbour of 28-year-old Andrew Hasler who saved a woman from being stabbed to death has been commended for his life-saving actions with a High Sheriff's Award and £1,000.

Matthew Sharpe, 40, has been jailed for stabbing Mr Hasler to death and for the attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend, 27-year-old Charna Knights.

Cambridge Crown Court heard one of Mr Hasler's neighbours had gone round to the house after he heard a commotion going on inside.

He was confronted by Sharpe who was on top of Ms Knights, repeatedly stabbing her while Mr Hasler lay severely injured on the floor.  

St Ives murder scene

The neighbour managed to pull Sharpe off the woman and kick the knife out of his hand before he fled.

Det Insp Lucy Thomson said: "Charna suffered multiple stab wounds and thankfully made a recovery, however medics were unable to save Andrew.

"I would like to pay tribute to the selfless bravery of Andrew's next-door neighbour who put his own life at risk in order to help Charna.

"His actions that day ultimately saved her life."

St Ives double stabbing: Man jailed

David Keller

BBC News

We've just heard from Cambridge Crown Court that a 40-year-old man has been jailed for stabbing a man to death and attempting to kill his ex-girlfriend.

Matthew Sharpe, from Eynesbury, St Neots, was arrested on 8 January after officers were called to a violent incident at the home of Andrew Hasler, 28, on Houghton Road, St Ives.

Matthew Sharpe
Cambridgeshire Police
Matthew Sharpe

On arrival they found Mr Hasler and Charna Knights, 27, from Huntingdon, had been brutally attacked with a knife. 

Mr Hasler could not be saved and died at the scene, but Ms Knights survived after she was rescued by a neighbour.

Police said the neighbour heard a commotion and managed to pull Sharpe off Ms Knights and kick the knife out of his hand before restraining him, but he managed to get away.

Andrew Hasler
Cambridgeshire Police
Andrew Hasler

Sharpe was then stopped by police at a bridge over the River Ouse in the town and he jumped into the river. He was pulled out and found to have self-inflicted injuries.

He pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder at a hearing on 10 March. 

Today he was sentenced to life in jail with a minimum term of 25 years for the killing and 20 years for the attempted murder, to run concurrently.

BreakingMan jailed over St Ives murder and attempted murder

Matthew Sharpe has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 25 years at Cambridge Crown Court for the murder of Andrew Hasler in St Ives in January.

The 40-year-old was sentenced to a further 20 years for the attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend Charna Knights, to run concurrently. 

Trust's £200k boost for education research

A west Suffolk education trust which runs 15 schools has been given £200,000 to become the first official "research school" in the east of England. 

Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill

The  Samuel Ward Academy Trust  is responsible for teaching about 8,000 pupils in Haverhill, Newmarket, Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds. 

It has been named as one of six new research schools, or groups of schools, in the country.

The money will allow the trust to use research-based approaches to improve pupil achievements. 

Howard Lay, chief executive of the trust, said: "This is excellent news for the east of England because it will enable the Samuel Ward Academy Trust, in partnership with others, to stimulate educational innovation in order to raise standards and outcomes. 

"This research grant will enable us to ground practice in theory that works for all young people." 

Local firm helping global effort to tackle landmines

Jozef Hall

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A Cambridgeshire company that converts old farming machinery to clear landmines says new mines are being laid faster than countries can clear them.

Landmine clearing machine

Armtrac, based in Burwell, has just completed 60 new armoured vehicles, which are now on their way to parts of the world previously affected by war.

Five are going to Columbia, one to Kurdistan and three bigger machines to Nigeria. Tunisia is looking at getting one too. 

The machines, which are remote-controlled, have either titanium spikes or hammers on the front that rip through the ground. Any mines will either explode or get ripped to pieces.

Man operating controls

The vehicles range from £40,000 to £500,000 in price.

They are much smaller than they used to be, meaning they can be carried by helicopter or thrown into inaccessible areas.

Armtrac designs the machines so once they have completed mine clearance they can then be adapted to do a range of tasks, including planting seeds, helping construct roads and digging for pipelines or wells.

The company is helping a global drive, supported by Prince Harry, to help rid the world of landmines by 2025. The government is committing £100m to fund the drive.

Prince Harry welcomes new funding for landmine clearance

Philip Juggs, who leads the machine design at Armtrac, said "as quick as we can clear them, other countries are laying them in the ground". 

"It's going to take many years to clear them," he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Landmine clearing machine

Cambridge Latin graffiti clean-up begins

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Work to paint over Latin graffiti daubed across luxury Cambridge homes in protest at the city's housing crisis has begun.

The graffiti on four £1.25m five-bedroom houses overlooking the River Cam and Stourbridge Common will cost "at least" £4,000 to clean, the developer said.

Graffiti being cleaned off houses

They were  painted with the words Locus in Domos Loci Populum  on Tuesday.

It's thought the vandals intended the phrase to mean "local homes for local people".

Graffiti being cleaned off houses

Cleaning will take two days and the £4,000 bill could rise "substantially" if it does not come off straight away, developer HC Moss (Builders) Ltd said.

Graffiti being cleaned off houses

Horses reined in on building site

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

We can now report 12 horses found running loose on Station Road in Willingham are safely back in their field.

The drove, who were looking to stirrup trouble, were reported to have escaped about 06:30 near the junction on Station Road.

They were corralled temporarily on a nearby building site until the owners were located.

The horses have now been reunited with their owner and are back in their field. 

Fire station archway collapses on top of engine

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

A fire station in the Fens has had to temporarily shut after brickwork which surrounds the vehicle bay gave way and landed on top of an engine.

Collapsed wall at fire station
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue

The station, on Westfield Road in Manea, is currently closed off while investigation work takes place to establish what happened.

No-one has been hurt.

Chief fire officer Chris Strickland said: "I want to reassure the residents of Manea that they can still expect a fire engine to be with them in the fastest possible time in an emergency."

It's not yet known where the engines are being kept in the interim.

St Ives murder: Man to be sentenced

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A murderer from Eynesbury, near St Neots, has been warned by a judge he faces a lengthy stint in prison when he is sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court later.

Matthew Sharpe
Cambridgeshire Police
Matthew Sharpe admitted murder and attempted murder

Matthew Sharpe (above), 40, killed Andrew Hasler  (below) at his house on Houghton Road, St Ives, in January.  

Andrew Hasler
Cambridgeshire Police
Andrew Hasler died at a house in St Ives on 8 January

Mr Hasler was repeatedly stabbed and died from a single wound to the heart.

Sharpe also tried to murder his former girlfriend in the attack, but she was saved by a neighbour.

Murder scene

We'll bring you the latest from court when it happens.

Weather: Warm and sunny with blue skies

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

After a chilly start temperatures will rise steadily through the morning bringing warm sunshine and blue skies lasting well into the afternoon but light cloud may appear during the middle of the day.

Temperatures will fall to single figures overnight with some cloud lingering in places.

Maximum Temperature 17C (64F)

More details from BBC Weather :

Horsing around

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Take care if you're out and about in Willingham this morning.

It appears a dozen horses have escaped from their enclosure and are running around on the road.

View more on twitter

Good morning

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Live updates for Cambridgeshire have now resumed. Welcome back.

We'll be here until 18:00 keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, sport, weather and travel from around the county.

First up today, a full weather forecast on what has started as another gloriously sunny day.

You can get in touch with the team by email , Twitter and Facebook .

Severe accident: A47 Cambridgeshire westbound

BBC News Travel

A47 Cambridgeshire westbound severe accident, between J15 A1260 Nene Parkway and A1 Great North Road.

A47 Cambridgeshire - A47 closed and heavy traffic westbound between J15 A1260 Nene Parkway in Longthorpe and the A1 Great North Road junction in Wansford, because of a multi-vehicle accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Corrie Mckeague: Father's vigil during landfill hunt
Corrie Mckeague's dad says it is "heartbreaking" that the site could be his son's last resting place.

Severe accident: A47 Cambridgeshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A47 Cambridgeshire both ways severe accident, between B198 Cromwell Road and A141 March Road.

A47 Cambridgeshire - A47 blocked and queuing traffic in both directions between the B198 Cromwell Road junction in Wisbech and the A141 March Road junction in Ring's End, because of an accident involving three vehicles.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Our live coverage through the day

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

That's it for our live coverage for today. We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00.

Scroll back down today's feed for anything you may have missed.

Any breaking news that occurs around the county will appear here overnight.

Have a great evening.

Local paper-round up

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Here's what the local papers have been reporting on today...

The Peterborough Telegraph has been looking at some of the inappropriate 999 calls made to the ambulance service last month, including for a sick cat, dandruff and someone who wanted an ambulance crew to do their shopping.

The Ely Standard are on the hunt for Ely’s unsung heroes, including the smiliest server and the best parent in the what they are calling "the area’s newest community event", the Ely Hero Awards .

But the big news comes from the Cambridge News , which says that weather experts are forecasting the hottest weekend of the year, with temperatures climbing to 20C (68F) on Sunday.

Weather: Touch of frost expected tonight

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Staying fine and dry this evening across the BBC East region, with patchy cloud moving in from the north during the night.

It'll stay clear - but watch out - temperatures will drop to 2c (35F) and may even be low enough for a touch of ground frost.

Tomorrow will be another fine, dry day with sunny spells. Light winds - and highs of 13C (55F).


Cambridge games company boasts record profits

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Cambridge-based online game developer Jagex has posted record revenues for the second successive year.

The company, situated on the Cambridge Science Park, produced a 28% revenue growth in 2016, to nearly £75m.


It's a rise on the developer's previous record results which came last year, when it generated £58m.  

Jagex's flagship project is the online role-playing game, RuneScape, which has more than 250 million player accounts worldwide.   

Police still searching for Latin graffiti culprit

Jeremy Sallis

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Police say they're still looking for anyone involved in an incident on Tuesday where graffiti written in Latin appeared on newly built homes in Cambridgeshire.

The writing is on several new homes on the Reflections development, on the site of the old Penny Ferry pub on Water Street, Chesterton, and is yet to be cleaned off.

Michael Bond, from the Old Chesterton Residents Association, says the graffiti "is completely beyond the pale".  

Grafitti on a house
Richard Taylor
Grafitti on a house

According to Google Translate, the phrase locus in domos means "room in the house", and loci populum means "local people".

It would appear the graffiti has been written in reaction to the current cost of houses in the city. 

Target response times reduced for ambulance service

The East of England Ambulance Service has been set a lower target to reach life-threatening calls.

Previously, the NHS trust had to reach 75% of these calls within eight minutes... that's now been lowered to 68.5% within the same time.

Kevin Brown, from the East of England Ambulance Service , says it doesn't mean patients are waiting longer.

In fact, they're waiting less longer than they had previously. We've got 7,500 square miles and trying to get to every single patient in that 'Red One' situation is very challenging. We focus on getting to our patients more quickly, more often than we have."

Kevin Brown East of England Ambulance Service
East of England ambulance

Corrie Mckeague: Dad keeps vigil and praises police effort

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Mr Mckeague says the police could not have done more to try to find Corrie.

"Everything leads to Corrie being here now," he said. 

"When I'm standing here looking at this and watching these guys rake through this, the police wouldn't be here and moving all these tonnes and tonnes of rubbish if they didn't think Corrie was here."

Corrie's mother Nicola Urquhart and her two other sons have not been to the Milton site, saying the experience would be too distressing.

Some 1,500 tonnes of waste have been raked through in five weeks so far. The search could take up to 10 weeks to complete. 

Matin Mckeague and wife Trish
Corrie Mckeague

Corrie Mckeague's father Martin says "everything leads" to his son being buried in landfill.

Read more

Corrie Mckeague: Dad describes wait as 'heartbreaking'

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Martin Mckeague has been camped up in a layby near the Milton landfill site every day for the last two weeks - awaiting news of his son Corrie.

The 23-year-old airman, based at RAF Honington in Suffolk, has been missing since he was last seen on a night out in Bury St Edmunds in September.

Mr McKeague has visited the ongoing search five times now, mindful that at any moment his son's remains could be found.

"It's heartbreaking to think that when you are there, Corrie could be underfoot," he said. 

"As each week has passed, when you're actually going in and physically seeing it yourself, and watching the cell [the area of landfill they're working on] open up, it is just breathtaking - the amount of tonnage that has been removed."

Milton tip search

Martin Mckeague: 'Let's bring Corrie home together'

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Corrie Mckeague's dad Martin

In a poignant Facebook post last night, Martin Mckeague paid tribute to the police volunteers working to find his missing son among the tonnes of landfill at Milton near Cambridge.

"Every time Trisha [his partner, not Corrie's mother] and I have the honour of looking into the faces of the team from the Norfolk and Suffolk police forces who are searching for my son there, I can't help but feel completely humbled and indebted to them," he wrote.

"But this is no place for large gung-ho groups – they have no part to play here. And anyone suggesting that more boots on the ground is a good idea clearly has no idea what’s going on or how this works.

"Mine and Trisha’s hearts are in our mouths with every load that’s lifted up in buckets by the incredible efforts of the Jones Brothers excavation team. They are pure professionals, dedicated and concerned.

"As for the police themselves, they have done nothing short of an outstanding job throughout a very difficult and complex situation.

"There are no cameras there. No microphones, no public to mislead, just the true heroes in this horrific process, raking through a little piece of hell looking for my son.

"Let's bring Corrie home together."

Police search landfill at Milton

Your pictures: Spring continues to spring

BBC Weather Watchers

I'm hoping that I won't be proved wrong, but it looks as though spring is here to stay.

Today is just the latest in a string of beautiful days around the county.

Fortunately, our BBC Weather Watchers have been out and about capturing some of the best sights...


Corrie Mckeague: Dad maintains vigil during landfill search

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Corrie Mckeague's dad, Martin and his partner Trish

The father of missing airman Corrie Mckeague says he feels "completely humbled and indebted" to the volunteers combing a Cambridgeshire landfill site in a search for his son's remains. 

Martin Mckeague is keeping a regular vigil at the site in Milton with his partner Trish as he waits for any news.

Police have been searching the tip for five weeks now. Corrie, who was based at RAF Honington in Suffolk, disappeared after a night out in Bury St Edmunds in September.

Despite a high-profile missing persons campaign, it's believed he ended up in a bin lorry.  

Mr Mckeague said: "The progress this team has made since last week alone is nothing short of incredible.

"They are managing to move and search through between 80 and 90 tons of material on average each day, and have physically raked through a total of 1550 tons over the last five-plus weeks."

Lunchtime weather: Dry and sunny

BBC Weather

It's been a glorious day out there already and it's set to continue with variable cloud and some bright or sunny spells.

Winds will be mainly light, and it will feel warm during any sunnier periods.

Highs today of 14C (57F).

Weather outlook

Woodpigeon tops farmland count

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Fifty farmers from around Cambridgeshire have been part of a survey to find out the most common birds on farmland across the UK.

Farmers from across 14,000 hectares (34,595 acres) of the county's land joined 1,000 others from across the country, noting down the birds they saw.

The Big Farmland Bird Count is the only farmer-led survey into bird life.

And the results are in...

The top five most common birds are:

  1. Woodpigeon
  2. Starling
  3. Fireldfare
  4. Rook
  5. Chaffinch
A woodpigeon

The list also includes rarer birds such as yellow hammers and brent goose.

Jim Egan, from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust which runs the count, says the presence of the birds is "a good indication of healthy farmland".

Mayoral candidates confirmed

Hannah Olsson

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire political reporter

You may have seen over the past few days that the final list of candidates standing in the mayoral elections for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has officially been published  - and there are no surprises. 

The seven candidates are hoping to secure your vote to become the first mayor of the combined authority. 

The candidates are:

  • Paul Bullen - UKIP
  • Rod Cantrill - Liberal Democrat
  • Peter Dawe - Independent
  • Stephen Goldspink - English Democrats
  • Julie Howell - Green Party
  • James Palmer - Conservative
  • Kevin Price - Labour

The elected mayor is part of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough devolution deal.

He or she will lead a combined authority, made up of representatives from all of our local councils, and will decide how £800m of government money is spent.

When our BBC Bus toured the county to find out what the mayor's priority should be, some of the big concerns were making sure that rural areas got a fair deal, as well as issues such as housing and infrastructure.

Hands holding a sign

Elections will be held on 4 May, the same day as the Cambridgeshire County Council elections.   

Shaun faces 150-mile hand-bike challenge

Newmarket Journal

Shaun Whiter, the Essex estate agent who played football for Soham Town Rangers, lost his legs after a car crashed into him near Newmarket.

View more on twitter

Thousands of dog owners breaking microchip law

Sarah Jenkins

BBC Local Live

One year ago it became compulsory for all dogs in England to be microchipped. 

However, new figures from  Dog's Trust show that 70,000 dog owners in the East haven't got their pets microchipped and are breaking the law. 

The law was introduced in the hope it would make it easier to reunite stray or lost dogs with their owners.

Darcy the Pug examining a dog microchip

When a dog is microchipped, a tiny chip about the size of a grain of rice is inserted under the loose skin on the back of its neck, giving it a unique 15-digit code.

Lee Paris from Dogs Trust says some owners are "nervous" about the process, but he can "assure anyone that it doesn't hurt the dog at all". 

Dog owners who have not had their pets microchipped could face a fine of up to £500 .

Wat-er is it?

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Seal in the Great Ouse
Twitter/David Pointer‏

This unusual creature was snapped swimming about in the Great Ouse at St Ives a couple of days ago by David Pointer‏, but can you tell what it is?

If you said a seal, then you've got my seal of approval.

So how uncommon is it to see one in this part of the world? Well it turns out, not very... 

In the past four years, they've been spotted in the same river many times, including:

Council services to shut

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Council customer service centres in Ramsey, Yaxley and St Neots are set to shut.

Huntingdonshire District Council says more people are accessing services online, like paying for council tax and making inquiries about benefits.

Vulnerable people will be provided with home visits and customers can still get help face-to-face at Pathfinder House in Huntingdon, according to the council.