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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 7 December
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates return from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Live updates from Merseyside and west Cheshire have finished for the day, but we'll be back from 08:00 on Thursday with more of the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates.  

Weather: Mild, rainy night ahead

BBC Weather

Staying warm later this afternoon and more rain expected tonight - and it is likely to get heavier.

Temperatures still very mild for the time of year with overnight lows of 12C.

More from BBC Weather

Man who posted anti-Semitic abuse about MP found guilty

A man has been found guilty of harassing Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger in a string of anti-Jewish rants sent after the jailing of a fellow far-right extremist.

Luciana Berger
PA

Joshua Bonehill-Paine, 24, wrote five hate-filled blogs about the Labour MP after a man was sent to prison for four weeks in October 2014.

The jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for just over one hour and 15 minutes before finding Bonehill-Paine guilty of racially-aggravated harassment.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • The coroner at Viola Beach inquest says he does not think it will "ever be known" what caused crash that killed the band and their manager
  • A man is found guilty of harassing Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger after posting anti-Semitic abuse online
  • A fire at one of Merseyside's oldest pubs - The Scotch Piper in Lydiate - is not being treated as suspicious by police

BreakingMan guilty of harassing Wavertree MP Luciana Berger

Joshua Bonehill-Paine, 24, has been found guilty of the racially-aggravated harassment of the Labour MP for Wavertree Luciana Berger in a string of anti-Jewish rants.

Viola Beach inquest: Police 'don't know what actually happened' to band

Cheshire Police's Supt Martin Cleworth has said the force "don't know the final answer... of what actually happened" to Viola Beach and their manager.

View more on twitter

Speaking after the coroner concluded the five had died as a result of a road traffic accident, Supt Cleworth said he was "sure there will be speculation", but there was no answer to why they were "tragically sent into the water".

Viola Beach inquests: Deaths were 'most awful tragedy'

The Cheshire coroner has said the reasons why a car carrying Warrington band Viola Beach crashed through two barriers and plunged into a canal in Sweden may never be known

Viola Beach
BBC

Nicholas Rheinberg recorded conclusions of death by road traffic accident for the four band members and manager Craig Tarry who was driving the hired car. 

He said it was not for him to speculate what happened in what he described as "the most awful tragedy".

Viola Beach inquest: Truth of crash may 'never be known'

Viola Beach inquest: Band and manager died as 'result of road traffic collision'

Viola Beach inquests: Coroner concludes causes of deaths

Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg has been giving his conclusions in the Viola Beach inquest in Warrington.

Viola Beach
BBC

He has concluded 19-year-olds Jack Dakin, Kris Leonard, River Reeves and Craig Tarry, 32, died as result of head injuries

Tomas Lowe, 27, died as result of drowning.

Viola Beach inquest: Coroner begins conclusions

Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg has begun giving his conclusions in the Viola Beach inquest in Warrington.

Weather: Mild and overcast afternoon

BBC Weather

A mild and cloudy afternoon although there is a chance of drizzle. Temperatures are well above average for the time of year at 14C.

More from BBC Weather

The Scotch Piper pub fire 'not suspicious'

A fire at one of Merseyside's oldest pubs isn't being treated as suspicious by police. 

The thatched roof of The Scotch Piper in Lydiate was destroyed in the blaze yesterday, and some of the building suffered water damage during the salvage operation.

An investigation into the full scale of any structural damage is being carried out today.

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Jury out in MP anti-Semitic abuse trial

A jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of a man accused of anti-Semitic abuse against Labour MP Luciana Berger in a string of online blogs.

Luciana Berger
PA

Joshua Bonehill-Paine, 24, is accused of making five posts about the Liverpool Wavertree MP after a far-right extremist was jailed for harassing Ms Berger in October 2014.

Over the next four months, Mr Bonehill-Paine wrote that she was an "evil money-grabber" and compared her with a rodent, the Old Bailey has heard.

Ms Berger has told jurors she felt "sick" at the posts and "very much under attack" during that period.

Mr Bonehill-Paine, of Yeovil, Somerset, denies racially-aggravated harassment claiming that his conduct falls within the boundaries of freedom of speech.

MP demands Skelmersdale town centre work 'starts immediately' as legal challenge rejected

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is demanding work starts immediately on plans to transform Skelmersdale town centre. 

It is after the High Court rejected another challenge to the scheme - brought by the owners of the Concourse shopping complex. 

Plans to bring new leisure and shopping facilities to Skelmersdale have now been in the pipeline for over a decade.

'Flatpack' houses go up in Liverpool

A housing association is investing in "flatpack" houses in a bid to get more new homes built in Liverpool.

About 15,000 people are on the council's waiting list for houses.

Liverpool Mutual Homes has bought 33 of the "flatpacks", which are built in a factory and assembled on site.

They say they "could be the homes of the future".

Photos of woman 'filmed while raped' shared on WhatsApp

An unconscious woman was filmed being raped by two men who shared pictures on messaging app WhatsApp, a court heard.

Nottingham Crown Court
PA

Jesse Burgoine, 28, and Artjom Nepryahin, 26, are accused of "targeting" the then 23-year-old after meeting her in a club.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that two explicit videos were filmed as the woman slept on a sofa.

Mr Burgoine, of Bedfordshire, and Mr Nepryahin, of Liverpool, both deny two counts of rape.

Chester MP calls for controversial homeless hostel to be shut down

Chester MP Chris Matheson is calling for a homeless hostel which has been at the centre of complaints to be closed and replaced with smaller units across Cheshire.

Richmond Court
BBC

Residents near Richmond Court in Boughton have complained about drug dealing and antisocial behaviour since the facility opened three years ago. 

Council officials are reviewing the way homeless people are helped in the city.

Viola Beach inquest: Summary of morning's evidence

The inquest into the deaths of Viola Beach and their manager began this morning. Here's a summary of what has been heard.

Viola Beach
PA
  • The Warrington band (Kris Leonard, 19, River Reeves, 19, Tomas Lowe, 27, and Jack Dakin, 19) were travelling in Sweden at about 02:00 on 16 February when their car, driven by their manager Craig Tarry, 32, went through two crash barriers into a raised bridge before plunging into a canal below
  • The car drove down a verge past stationary queuing traffic and through the first set of barriers about 120m (390ft) from the bridge
  • It continued in a "controlled manner" at 70 to 90km/h (43 to 55mph) down the centre of the road, through a second set of barriers, 30m (100m) from the drop into the canal and crashed into the raised section of the bridge before plummeting 25m (82ft) into the water below
  • The impact caused "substantial deformation" of the vehicle and scraping and damage to the underside of the bridge section. A tanker then passed over the car and "contact" between them could not be ruled out
  • Tests showed there was nothing wrong with the car, the signalling, the barrier system or the procedure for raising the bridge, and the road was wet, but not frozen with ice
  • Post-mortem reports revealed four died from head injuries, while Tomas Lowe drowned. There were no drugs or alcohol found in the driver Craig Tarry, and no drugs and only small amounts of alcohol found in the band members

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Viola Beach inquest: CCTV footage shows car drive towards warning lights

Dave Guest

Chief reporter, BBC North West Tonight

The Viola Beach inquest have been shown CCTV footage of the bridge, where warning lights can be seen coming on in the distance as the band's car drives towards them.

The court was also told the three band members sitting in back of the car weren't wearing seatbelts and that those in front were, meaning they had to be cut out of the vehicle.

Viola Beach inquest: 'Car hit taxi before crashing into barrier', court told

The court has heard that Viola Beach's car went through the bridge barrier and fell 25m, hitting the water within 15 seconds.  

In a statement read to the hearing in Warrington, a Swedish lorry driver described seeing the car drive through two barriers.

He said the driver seemed to be in control and travelling at about 70 to 80km/h (43 to 49mph).

Viola Beach crash site
AP

The band's car also hit a taxi before crashing into the barrier, the inquest was told. 

The coroner said it was "utterly extraordinary" that the taxi driver has not been traced.

The hearing was also told after the crash, Swedish Police divers in the canal found the band's manager Craig Tarry in the driver's seat and guitarist River Reeves outside the car.

Viola Beach inquest: Boat crew thought falling vehicle 'was ice'

The inquest into the deaths of Viola Beach and their manager has heard their car fell into a gap in the bridge created as a centre section had raised by approximately 1m to allow a boat to pass through.

The court has heard witnesses were unable to describe what happened at the point where car fell into the water.

The crew of a nearby boat said they saw the vehicle falling but thought it was ice at first.

Viola Beach inquest: 'Very unusual to drive through barrier', Swedish authorities say

The Viola Beach inquest has heard from Swedish police, who said it is "very unusual" for someone to drive through the bridge barriers.

Bridge in Sweden
AP

Swedish authorities said one warning light was out of order but there were at least 10 other warning lights and flashing signals.  

Viola Beach inquest: 'Not clear why driver chose to pass stationary vehicles', court told

The inquest has been told the car Viola Beach traveled in was new and in good order and was not travelling at excessive speed just before the crash.

The crash took place on a bridge outside Stockholm
GOOGLE/BBC

The hearing was told it was not clear why the driver chose to pass stationary vehicles and go through lowered barriers, just ahead of the raised road bridge. 

There were no errors in the bridge warning system and the road was not slippery.

CCTV showed the band's car pass stationary vehicles by driving on a verge and through the barrier.

The court in Warrington also heard a number of measures are being introduced following the crash, including better monitoring of road signals and improved automated road signage.

Viola Beach inquest: Court hears band were 'rising stars'

The inquest into the deaths of Warrington band Viola Beach has heard they were "rising stars" who had played Reading and Leeds festivals and who, their families believed, would have played Glastonbury one day.

Viola Beach
PA

The band's agent Graham Bennett said they were in Sweden for a showcase festival for young emerging artists and played to high level promoters.

He also said the band were being driven by their manager Craig Tarry.

Results of post-mortem examinations showed Mr Tarry had not taken drugs or alcohol, and the band had only drunk a small amount of alcohol. 

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • The inquest into the deaths of the four members of the Warrington band Viola Beach and their manager, who were killed in a car crash in Sweden in February, has started
  • China's famous Terracotta Warriors are to be exhibited in Liverpool in 2018, the culture secretary has said
  • The thatched roof of one of Merseyside's oldest pubs -The Scotch Piper in Lydiate - has been destroyed in a fire

Viola Beach inquest: Guitarist 'was doing something he loved', dad tells court

River Reeves' dad Benedict Dunn has to the inquest his son originally studied drama before switching to music.

River Reeves
BBC

Mr Dunn said music was "River's world".

"He was as happy as he's ever been - he was doing something he loved with people he loved being with," he said.

Viola Beach inquest: Court hears how band 'all looked out for each other'

The court is now hearing details about the band members.

Tomas Lowe
PA

The coroner said Viola Beach were "in the ascendancy" with tours booked in Europe and America.

Tomas Lowe's mum, Margaret, told the inquest her son joined Viola Beach last year.  

He was a self taught drummer who then took up bass guitar. He was also a keen sportsman.

Mrs Lowe says band members were great friends who "all looked out for each other" and went to UK gigs in a leaking orange transit van they named 'Shady Nasty'.

Viola Beach inquest: Band and manager 'will not have suffered', coroner says

The coroner opens the inquest into Viola Beach deaths by saying Swedish police have been "very helpful" providing details of their inquiries.

Viola Beach crash site
AP

Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry were killed when their car plunged more than 25m (82ft) from a highway bridge into a canal in Sweden in Febriuary.

Cheshire Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg says because of injuries incurred "none of the young men will have suffered" as they died.

Viola Beach: Inquest into deaths of Warrington band open

Judith Moritz

BBC North of England Correspondent

I'm in Warrington, where the inquest into deaths of the local band Viola Beach has begun.

Viola Beach
BBC

The courtroom is full of the relatives of Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Jack Dakin, Tomas Lowe and manager Craig Tarry.

The four young musicians and their manager died when their car plunged from a bridge in Sweden in February.

Merseyside's Scotch Piper pub thatched roof destroyed in fire

The thatched roof of one of Merseyside's oldest pubs has been destroyed in a fire.

The Scotch Piper
Google

Crews were called to The Scotch Piper in Lydiate yesterday afternoon.

An investigation into the full scale of any structural damage will be carried out today.

Terracotta Warriors to invade Liverpool

China's famous Terracotta Warriors are to be exhibited in Liverpool in 2018, the culture secretary has said.

Terracotta Army
AFP

Karen Bradley MP made the announcement while visiting the tomb of China's First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

She said she was "delighted" that a "selection of warriors" would be coming to Liverpool, home to the UK's oldest Chinese community.

It is the first time the warriors have been exhibited in the UK outside of London since the 1980s.

Inquest into deaths of Warrington band Viola Beach to begin

The inquests into the deaths of Warrington band Viola Beach, who died in a car crash in Sweden in February, will begin today.

Viola Beach
BBC

The band and their manager were heading to Stockholm Airport when their car plunged from a highway bridge into a canal.

They were on their way home to continue a UK tour.

Sell-out tribute concerts was held at Warrington's Parr Hall in April and in June, and Glastonbury headliners Coldplay covered the bands song Boys That Sing.

In August Viola Beach's posthumous album topped the charts.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • The inquests into the deaths of Warrington band Viola Beach killed in a car crash in Sweden in February will begin today
  • The thatched roof of one of Merseyside's oldest pubs - The Scotch Piper in Lydiate - has been destroyed in a fire
  • Chester MP Chris Matheson wants a homeless hostel in the city to be closed down

Travel: Building fire closes road in Lydiate

BBC Travel

Southport Road in Lydiate is closed in both directions between the Hall Lane junction and then Manion Avenue junction because of a building fire at the Scotch Piper Inn.

Latest from BBC Travel

Weather: Cloudy and warm

BBC Weather

A mild start to what will be a much warmer day than of late. Plenty of cloud around and a couple of showers possible this afternoon. Highs of 14C. 

More from BBC Weather

Good morning: Join us for today's live news coverage

Jenny Coleman

Reporter, BBC Local Live

Hello from Liverpool, I'm here with all your news, sport, travel and weather updates from across Merseyside and west Cheshire today. 

If you've got a story you'd like me to hear about or a photograph you'd like to share, you can contact me on email, Facebook or Twitter.