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  1. Updates on Thursday 21 January, 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    So it's been a day of developments around the Poppi Worthington case.

    This morning we reported how the sister of the man accused of sexually assaulting the 13-month-old girl before her death in Barrow had spoken out in defence of her brother.

    Then this afternoon Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes said he'd called in Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to look at the way the death of the Barrow toddler was investigated.

    And then late this evening The Crown Prosecution Service said it was reviewing the case

    Both of her parents were arrested following her death but in March last year it was confirmed no further action would be taken.

    Earlier this week a family court judge criticised police for the way they'd allowed evidence to be thrown away after Poppi died.

    It has no doubt been a challenging day for her family, friends and relatives. 

    Updates on BBC Cumbria Live have now finished for the evening. We'll be back from 08:00 on Friday. We hope you can join us then.

    Poppi Worthington
  2. BreakingCPS 'reviewing Poppi Worthington case'

    The Crown Prosecution Service has just said it's reviewing the case of Poppi Worthington.

    Earlier this week a family court judge criticised police for the way they'd allowed evidence to be thrown away after Poppi died.

    He said he believed Poppi had been sexually assaulted before her death from so-far unexplained causes.

    This evening a CPS spokesman said: “We received a file from Cumbria police, in relation to the tragic death of a 13-month-old girl in December 2012. 

    "We conducted a thorough review of the evidence in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.  

    "This review included consideration of expert evidence which was carefully considered by the prosecutor who took advice from experienced counsel. 

    "We decided there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and therefore no one was charged with any offences relating to her death. 

    "Following the findings of the family court judge we are now reviewing the case.”

  3. What sanctions could Poppi officer face?

    The IPCC says a Cumbria Police officer will face a "third-stage performance meeting which has the power of dismissal if gross incompetence is proved".

    It follows a judge's serious criticism of the police's handling of the investigation into the death of Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington.

    So what is a "third-stage performance meeting"? The Home Office guidance says the possible outcomes are as follows:

    • Redeployment.
    • Reduction in rank (in the case of a member of a police force and for performance cases only).
    • Dismissal (with a minimum of 28 days’ notice).
    • Extension of a final improvement notice (in exceptional circumstances).
  4. IPCC confirms officer is facing hearing over Poppi death

    The Independent Police Complaints Commission has confirmed a serving Cumbria Police officer is to face a 'performance meeting' which has the power of dismissal if gross incompetence is proved over the investigation into the death of toddler Poppi Worthington.

    This was suggested on Tuesday when Cumbria Police was heavily criticised for a catalogue of failings over the toddler's death in December 2012.

    A spokesman had said: "One officer was suspended and has since retired, another two were moved into different roles. 

    "One of the officers is currently undergoing performance proceedings and the second officer has been dealt with by management action."

  5. Jordan Watson jury shown knives found by police

    The jury in the trial of three men accused of murdering Carlisle schoolboy Jordan Watson has been shown knives found at the home of one of the defendants.


    They found blades and other weapons including swords, a cutlass, two Gurkha kukris, spears and air rifles at the home of George Thomson.

    The judge, Mr Justice Green, urged caution from the jury - he said many young men collected knives but did not commit murder.

    Earlier the court heard about police interviews with two of the defendants, George Thomson and Brahnn Finlay, who are both 19. 

    The jury was told the third defendant, 20-year-old Daniel Johnston made no comment in reply to all the questions he was asked.

    All three, who are from Carlisle, deny murder.  The trial continues.

  6. 'Accountability of chief officers' to be probed

    The PCC's office have come back and confirmed the steps it wants HMIC to investigate are:

    "Decisions around identifying clear responsibility in regard to scene management and investigation.  

    "This includes accountability to chief officers for the conduct of investigations."

  7. Questions about 'revised processes' after Poppi's death

    Fiona Trott

    BBC News

    Cumbria's crime commissioner Richard Rhodes says he has asked Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to 'independently inspect the steps which have been taken' since Poppi Worthington's death in 2012.

    We asked his office what these steps were, and a spokeswoman replied:

    "The steps referred to include: Additional officer training including specifically around child death.

    "Revised processes and procedures to ensure that the decision-making process is more robust."

    Naturally we have asked for more information about what this means.

  8. How a judge detailed failures by Cumbria Police

    The statement from Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes saying he was 'disappointed' by the initial investigation into Poppi Worthington's death comes after a scathing ruling by a judge.

    The catalogue of failures to properly probe the toddler's death was detailed by Mr Justice Peter Jackson in his report this week.

    They included:

    • Items at hospital not preserved for forensic analysis: ambulance sheet, paramedic's gloves, hospital stretcher sheet.
    • Items at home not preserved for forensic analysis: Poppi's pillow, her clothing (pyjama bottoms if any), the parents' sheet, any possibly penetrative item, the father's computer.
    • Scene not secured: loss of Poppi's last nappy despite the presence of police officers.
    • Decision by senior police not to visit the home, despite it being nearby.
    • No reconstruction with the parents at home, so that their accounts could be understood and investigations focused.
    • No forensic medical examination at the time of death. Swabs were not taken until post-mortem. 
    • No engagement of a paediatrician with specialist knowledge of investigating sexual abuse, in order for there to be a physical examination of the child, a viewing of the home and a report for the pathologist.
    • The parents were not interviewed formally until August 2013.
    • No analysis of either parent's mobile telephone or Facebook accounts.
    • Swabs from the father taken on 12 December 2012 were not sent for analysis until 2 August 2013.
    • No statements taken from any witnesses (paramedics, nurses, doctors, family members) until September 2013.
  9. PCC lists four key steps on Poppi's death

    Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes says he's taken four steps to hold police to account over the way the force had dealt with the death of Poppi Worthington.

    He said he had:

    • Spoken to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Police and asked them independently to inspect the steps police have taken since they were criticised in Mr Justice Peter Jackson's judgement.
    • Written to the Independent Police Complaints Commission asking for a copy of their report.
    • Spoken to the Home Office to offer to speak to the minister.
    • Spoken to Labour Barrow and Furness MP John Woodock.

    The fifth key step Mr Rhodes has taken is to offer himself for interview by journalists. 

    Cumbria Police have said no one will be available until after the IPCC report is published, and Cumbria County Council has declined comment until a Serious Case Review is made public.

  10. Poppi Worthington death probe 'extremely disappointing'

    Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner says he is "extremely disappointed" with the way Poppi Worthington's death was first investigated by the force.

    On Tuesday, a family court judge ruled Poppi was sexually abused by her father before her death and outlined a litany of failures by officers to collect and secure evidence.

    Poppi Worthington

    Today PCC Richard Rhodes said: "I have informed the Temporary Chief Constable that I am extremely disappointed with the initial police investigation which appears inadequate and unacceptable.  

    "The Temporary Chief Constable has reassured me that significant steps have been made in addressing the findings since the first judgement in 2014.  

    "In order to ensure that progress has been made I have asked the HMIC to come and independently inspect this progress as a matter of urgency."

  11. Police commissioner raises 'deep concerns' with chief constable

    Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes says he's raised "deep concerns" with the acting Chief Constable Michelle Skeer over the way the death of the Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington was investigated.

    This week a Family Court judge said he believed Poppi, who was 13 months old, had been sexually assaulted just before her death, and severely criticised the police and children's services over the way they'd dealt with the case.

    Richard Rhodes

    Neither Cumbria County Council nor the police force have commented, saying they want to see the result of other independent investigations first.

    Earlier this week Mr Rhodes said the same - but today he put out a statement saying the initial police investigation seemed "inadequate and unacceptable."

    He said he wants Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to examine the steps taken since Poppi's death to address the judge's findings.

  12. BreakingPolice commissioner calls for inspection of Cumbria force over Poppi Worthington case

    Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes says he's called in Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to look at the way the death of the Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington was investigated.

    More follows.

  13. 'Exploding firework' could have caused fatal wedding blaze

    An expert has told an inquest jury an exploding pyrotechnic shell was the most likely reason two people were killed in a licensed fireworks store near Windermere in 2014.

    Andrew Coates and 46-year-old Polly Connor were in the store preparing for a wedding display later that day.

    The inquest in Kendal has heard that Dr Stuart Myatt from the Health and Safety Laboratory found that a shell had punched through a wooden wall and metal locker before exploding inside the store.

    That started a fire, knocking the pair unconscious.

    The inquest continues.

  14. Firm rues irony of floods that stopped water biscuits

    Martin Lewes


    United Biscuits, which restarted limited production at its Carlisle biscuit factory this week after being flooded by Storm Desmond, has turned its misfortune into a marketing opportunity.

    This advert appears in The Times today.

    Biscuit advert
  15. Carlisle United players back on home turf

    It's taken a mammoth effort after the flooding, but today the Carlisle United players finally got to have a kickabout on their new pitch.

    View more on twitter
  16. Watch the best goals of the FA Cup third round

    BBC Sport

    Carlisle were victorious over Yeovil and now face a visit from Everton - but the Glovers did score a pretty good goal - and it was even good enough to get into our best strikes of the FA Cup third round. 

    Watch below:

  17. Barrow shipyard takes big share of apprentice record numbers

    BAE Systems says half of the 680 apprentices joining the company this year will be at the shipyard in Barrow.

    Interior of Barrow shipyard

    The company's taking on more than 680 apprentices across the country, some working to degree level and beyond.

    The company says it's recruiting a record number of these higher level apprentices.  

    Some of the training schemes last up to five years.

  18. Jordan Watson 'too much of a mate', says murder accused

    Adam Powell

    Journalist, BBC Radio Cumbria

    One of the three men accused of murdering Carlisle teenager Jordan Watson admitted in a police interview that he was angry with the 14-year-old because of a dispute over his girlfriend.

    But George Thomson told officers he "didn't have it in him" to kill Jordan, whose body was found in a cemetery in the city in June last year, Carlisle Crown Court was told.

    Asked if he murdered Jordan, Mr Thomson said he would never hurt the teenager because he was  "too much of a mate".

    Nineteen-year old George Thomson, Brahnn Finley, who's also 19, and 20-year-old Daniel Johnston, who are all from Carlisle, deny murder. The trial continues.