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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday 5 January:
  2. Fourth murder arrest over New Brighton Boxing Day death
  3. Everton reveal Bramley Moore Dock as preferred stadium site
  4. Councillors consider police request to limit Birkenhead bars and off licences
  5. Consultation to begin over plans for 1,600 new homes in Knowsley

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

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

Weather: Cold and frosty evening ahead

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

Chilly at first this evening but cloud will increase gradually, bringing a few spots of rain. It'll turn less cold although a frost is possible at first in St Helens.

Minimum temperature: -1C.

Tomorrow outbreaks of locally heavy rain will spread across all parts during the morning, with light rain continuing through the day. Maximum temperature: 7C.  

More from BBC Weather

Jill Saward: Judge said impact on rape victim 'not so great'

Liverpool-born Jill Saward, who has died aged 51, was raped in 1986 when a gang broke into her home.

Jill Saward
PA

She spoke to the BBC in 2013 welcoming new guidelines on the sentencing of sex offenders in England and Wales, telling BBC Breakfast that the men who gang raped her were given the same sentence as for aggravated burglary.

And she said the judge had said the trauma suffered by her was "not so very great".

Man charged with burglaries in Ellesmere Port

Police investigating burglaries in Ellesmere Port have charged a man over three incidents in Hooton, Neston and Little Sutton.

The 22-year old, from Liverpool, was charged with two counts of burglary and one count of attempted burglary in December.

Voluntary 'bed tax' tourism levy mooted for Liverpool hoteliers

Hotel owners in Liverpool will be asked to pay a "bed tax" as part of a tourism levy, the city's mayor has revealed.

Hotel room
Getty Images

Joe Anderson has said he is writing to hotel owners as part of a wider plan to generate more money for the city in the wake of a reduction in central government funding.

Local authorities do not currently have the power to tax hotel stays and so it would require new legislation.

Mr Anderson said he would ask Liverpool's hoteliers for a "voluntary contribution".

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • A transgender woman from Merseyside being held at a male prison while on remand has been found dead in her cell
  • The Mayor of Liverpool says he is writing to all hotel owners in the city asking them to pay a voluntary "bed tax" to generate cash
  • A woman who became a sexual assault campaigner after she was raped during a burglary at her father's vicarage in 1986 has died

Merseyside was so cold last night a lake is still frozen

Liverpool Echo

Merseyside was so cold last night the lake in Central Park, Wirral froze over.

melting ice
BBC

Jill Saward: How Ealing Vicarage case changed treatment of rape victims

Cherry Wilson

BBC News

In 1986 Jill Saward, who has died aged 51, was raped after a gang of burglars broke into Ealing Vicarage where she lived.

Jill Saward
BBC

Her father, Michael - the vicar of Ealing - and her boyfriend were beaten with cricket bats by the men, who demanded money and jewellery.

It was a sexual attack which shocked the nation, became headline news and was subsequently labelled the "Ealing Vicarage rape".

The media coverage of the case and the sentencing of the men who attacked Ms Saward - who was born in Liverpool and later became Jill Drake - led to a public outcry about how rape victims were treated.

Lennon's Beatles forgeries sell at auction

An old newspaper with autographs of the Beatles that were forged by John Lennon has sold at auction for £2,000.

The newspaper
Adam Partridge Auctioneers

A front page photo shows Paul McCartney crowning the carnival queen in Northwich, Cheshire, in 1963.

It was taken by photographer Les Goode and featured in Alkali News - an in-house magazine for chemical company ICI.

He sent it off to the Beatles to be autographed, but John Lennon signed it on behalf of all four band members.

Appeal for driver and passengers who fled scene of New Year's Day crash

A car driver and passengers who fled the scene of a crash, which left a taxi driver with a broken spine, are wanted by police.

Car on roof
Merseyside Police

The crash happened near to the junction for McDonald's in Edge Lane, Liverpool, just before 07:00 on New Year's Day. 

The taxi was carrying a family of four who were heading to the airport after staying in the city.

Car on roof
Merseyside Police

The taxi driver suffered a fractured spine and two passengers suffered minor injuries after the car flipped on to its roof.

A black Audi A8 which was involved in the crash was abandoned by several occupants who fled the scene, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

Black Audi
Merseyside Police

Vicarage rape victim Jill Saward dies

A woman who became a sexual assault campaigner after she was raped during a burglary at her father's vicarage in 1986 has died.

Jill Saward, then 21, was sexually assaulted by two men in Ealing, west London. Her boyfriend and father Michael were severely beaten.

Jill Saward
PA

At the end of the trial of her rapists, the judge said her trauma "had not been so great", sparking outrage.

Born in Liverpool, she was the first rape victim in the UK to waive her anonymity.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Transgender woman found dead in cell

A transgender woman being held at a male prison while on remand has been found dead in her cell.

Jenny Swift
BBC

Jenny Swift, 49, was found unresponsive at HMP Doncaster, South Yorkshire, on Friday and later pronounced dead.

Previously known as Jonathan Swift and from Seaforth in Sefton, Merseyside, she was remanded in custody after a man was stabbed in November and later died.

An unnamed friend of hers said she had asked to be put into a women's prison, the Sheffield Star reported.

Weather: Cold but sunny afternoon

BBC Weather

A cold afternoon with lots of winter sunshine. Staying dry with light winds. Highs of 4C.

More from BBC Weather

Southport shopping centre to be demolished and replaced by seven-storey hotel

Southport Visiter

Marble Place Shopping Centre in Southport is set to be demolished and replaced by a new seven-storey hotel under radical plans submitted to Sefton Council.

Marble Place Shopping Centre
Google

Football: Ademola Lookman 'delighted' to sign for Everton

BreakingFootball: Everton sign Charlton forward Ademola Lookman for £11m

BBC Sport

Everton have completed the £11m signing of Charlton Athletic's teenage forward Ademola Lookman.

The 19-year-old joins on a four-and-a-half-year deal until June 2021.

The England Under-20 international has scored seven goals in 25 games in all competitions for League One Charlton this season.

Lookman said: "It feels great to be an Everton player. As soon as I heard about Everton's interest I knew this would be the right place for me."

Football: Everton sign teenager Lookman from Charlton

Arrest after armed police surround Walton home

A man has been arrested after armed police surrounded a house in Liverpool.

Taylors Lane
Google

The disturbance broke out in Taylors Lane, Walton, just before 10:30. Officers cordoned off the area amid reports the man inside was carrying a knife. 

He has now been taken into custody for questioning.

Appeal to trace convicted rapist who fled UK after Chester attack

A fresh appeal has been made to trace a convicted rapist who fled the country half way through his trial in Warrington in September.

Sultan Amari
Cheshire Police

Sultan Amari, 46, is refusing to return to the UK where he has been sentenced to imprisonment for raping a woman he took to a house in Chester when he was working as a taxi driver. 

Police said leaving the country is not a way to escape justice.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • A fourth person has been arrested on suspicion of murder following an assault in New Brighton on Boxing Day
  • A fresh appeal has been made to trace a convicted rapist who fled the country half way through his trial in Warrington in September  
  • Everton's preferred site for its proposed new stadium is Bramley Moore Dock, the club's chairman has said

Widnes Victoria Cross hero honoured

Runcorn and Widnes World

A Widnes WWI Victoria Cross hero is being honoured - 100 years since the act of bravery for which Sergeant Mottershead was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Boys, 15, charged over Norris Green assault

Two 15-year-old boys have been charged after a man was assaulted in Norris Green.

Broadway, Norris Green
Google

A 38-year-old man suffered head and chest injuries following an attack in Broadway on 28 December.

The boys have been charged with assault and one of them has also been charged with threatening someone with a blade in a public place.

They are due to appear at Liverpool Youth Court later. A 16-year-old boy was charged with assault yesterday.

Calls to limit bars and off licences in Birkenhead considered

Councillors in Wirral will meet later to consider a request by Merseyside Police to limit the number of bars and off licences in Birkenhead - after an increase in alcohol-related crime. 

Birkenhead
Google

Officers said street drinkers in the Charing Cross area have been responsible for thefts from shops, but have also been victims themselves of attacks by gangs.

Rail: Delayed service on Merseyrail in Wirral

BBC Travel

There is a delayed service on Merseyrail between Birkenhead Central and Hooton due to a signalling problem.

Latest from BBC Travel

Fourth murder arrest over New Brighton Boxing Day death

A fourth person has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a man died following an assault in Wirral on Boxing Day.

Marine Promenade, close to Evo’s Loft nightclub
Google

Zac Matthew Wells, 30, from Liscard was left with head injuries following an attack in Marine Promenade, close to Evo’s Loft nightclub, in New Brighton at about 03:45.

He died in hospital yesterday.

A 19-year-old man, from Egremont, is being questioning by police.

A man aged 29, a 26-year-old woman and 16-year-old boy arrested yesterday remain in custody.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • A fourth person has been arrested on suspicion of murder following an assault in New Brighton on Boxing Day
  • Two more teenagers have been charged after a man was assaulted in Norris Green last week
  • Councillors in Wirral will meet later to consider a request by Merseyside Police to limit the number of bars and off licences in Birkenhead 

Public views sought on Knowsley garden village plan

A public consultation into a plan for a garden village with 1,600 homes on former green belt land in Knowsley will start next week.

House building
PA

Last night Knowsley Council's cabinet agreed the public should be asked about the scheme to build a site called Halsnead near Whiston.

Garden villages have been proposed for 14 sites across the country, which will each deliver between 1,500 and 10,000 properties.

The developments will be distinct new places, with their own community facilities, rather than extensions to existing urban areas, the government said.  

Green space campaigners have urged Knowsley Council to rethink the plans, but councillor Graham Morgan, cabinet member for Regeneration, said the scheme will "benefit the whole community".

Severe accident: M56 Cheshire westbound

BBC Travel

M56 Cheshire westbound severe accident, between J12 for A557 and J14 for A5117.

M56 Cheshire - Two lanes closed and slow traffic on M56 westbound between J12, A557 (Runcorn) and J14, A5117 (Hapsford), because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Football: Injured Everton winger Bolasie could be out for a year, says Ronald Koeman

BBC Sport

Everton winger Yannick Bolasie could be out for a year with a knee injury, says manager Ronald Koeman.

Yannick Bolasie
Getty Images

Bolasie, 27, injured his right knee during the Toffees' 1-1 draw with Manchester United on 4 December.

Manager Koeman said on Wednesday: "It will be around 11-12 months before he is back. That is a big disappointment but he will come back."

Bolasie is due to have a second operation - on his anterior cruciate ligament - in the coming weeks.

Travel: Rail replacement bus service between Birkenhead and Liverpool

BBC Travel

The Wirral loop line works started this week which means there is no service on Merseyrail between Birkenhead Central and Liverpool Lime Street, and between Birkenhead North and Liverpool Lime Street. 

A replacement bus service is running at Liverpool Moorfields, at Liverpool Lime Street and between Birkenhead Central and Birkenhead North. 

More from BBC Travel

Everton reveal Bramley Moore Dock as preferred stadium site

Everton's preferred site for its proposed new stadium is Bramley Moore Dock, the club's chairman has said.

Goodison Park
Getty Images

Bill Kenwright told shareholders at the club's annual general meeting at the Philharmonic Hall on Wednesday evening.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said the council would invest £20m ($25m) in a new road near the planned ground, alongside plans for a railway station.  

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Jenny Coleman

Reporter, BBC Local Live

  • Everton's preferred site for its proposed new stadium is Bramley Moore Dock, the club's chairman has said
  • Councillors in Wirral will meet later to consider a request by Merseyside Police to limit the number of bars and off licences in Birkenhead
  • A public consultation into plans to build 1600 new homes on former green belt land in Knowsley will start next week

Weather: Frosty start to a dry and bright day

BBC Weather

A cold and frosty start to a dry, bright day with plenty of sunshine.. Highs of 3C.

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.