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  1. Alton Towers admits safety breach over crash which injured Barnsley teenagers
  2. Axe attack police officer 'recovering well' in hospital say colleagues in Sheffield
  3. Former Darfield Co-op manager jailed for stealing £90,000 of stamps
  4. Plans for new travellers' site at Swallownest rejected after residents' complaints
  5. Updates on Friday 22 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Kate Linderholm

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye: Our live coverage across the day

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

Updates on Sheffield and South Yorkshire have finished for the day but Katie Galbraith will be back at 08:00 on Monday.

Have a lovely weekend. I hope you get a chance to get out and about and if you can take a photo of where you are we'd love to see it.

This image of a beacon lit to celebrate the Quenn's 90th birthday yesterday evening was taken by Keith from Wortley at the village of Green Moor near Sheffield at a panoramic point known locally as "the Isle of Skye".

Beacon against the sunset
Keith Bartram

Happy Birthday Bernie Clifton - and he doesn't look a day over 79!

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

Entertainment legend Bernie Clifton got a few surprises recording his Live-ish show at BBC Radio Sheffield today. 

You can tune in tomorrow to listen but get a load of that 80th birthday cake with Bernie astride his ostrich. 

Bernie Clifton and show producer David Markwell

Millers travel to Wolves with no new injury woes

Rotherham boss Neil Warnock, whose side need one point to secure their survival, does not have any fresh injury concerns.

Lee Frecklington (calf) will be assessed but defender Lloyd Doyley (knee) misses out.

Neil Warnock
Getty Images

Weather: A dry and fine evening with a touch of frost possible overnight

Keeley Donovan

BBC Look North

Staying fine with some sunshine before dusk but feeling chilly with temperatures quickly dropping this evening. Cold overnight with prolonged clear spells allowing a frost to form. A chilly start to Saturday with showers and sunshine with more rain expected Sunday.

hourly forecast

Watch: Google Gori's top tips for Doncaster businesses

Kevin Larkin

Doncaster Reporter, BBC Radio Sheffield

I've been at the Doncaster Business Conference today where more than 200 business leaders met to discuss how the borough is doing economically.

The mood was upbeat after the recent opening of the Great Yorkshire Way link road with the M18 and construction beginning on the new High Speed Rail College, but there are continuing concerns over skills and how to market Doncaster to the rest of the world.

Gori Yahaya from Google was on hand to offer advice to small businesses about their websites. I asked him what his top tip was for Doncaster businesses.

Your views: Sheffield tram tracks danger for cyclists

Campaign group Cycle Sheffield today called for safety improvements around the city's tram tracks.

Tram tracks intersecting with cycle paths
Cycle Sheffield

Sheffield City Council say accidents are a worldwide issue but they are looking at specific accident hotspots.

This is what you had to say:

Maybe the council could run some common sense classes, preferably in an area where people with a lack of it don't have to cross any tram tracks.

Alan Jenkinson

As I approached Bamforth Street tram stop the platform overhangs the road and I moved into the space between tracks to pass the stop. On moving back my front wheel fell in the track and I was thrown over the handlebars. I cracked helmet, lost a lot of skin elbow to wrist on my right arm, suffered deep grazes right ankle to right knee and a swollen knee. I was shocked and upset and too terrified to get back on the bike. I wheeled my bike home and sold it.“

Kay Guccione

Fly-tipper who dumped rubbish in Rivelin Valley has to pay £351

A man's been ordered to pay £351 in fines and costs by a magistrate in Sheffield after being caught dumping rubbish in a local beauty spot.

Darren Butterworth, 38, of Buchanan Road in Sheffield, appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court after some detective work by an environmental protection officer who found the pile of rubbish (pictured) at Rivelin Valley Road. 

Pile of Rubbish dumped in Rivelin Valley Road
Sheffield City Council

Pair who 'tortured' vulnerable man in Thurcroft jailed for 25 years each

Jenny Cork

BBC Sheffield news

A man and woman have each been jailed for 25 years for attempted murder after a prolonged attack on a man in a wheelchair in Thurcroft last October.

Toni Ackerman and Paul Lyons
South Yorkshire Police

Paul Lyons, 47, of Ravenfield Street, Denaby and Toni Ackerman, 35, of Cunningham Road, Doncaster were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court for an attack on a 55-year-old man at his home in Thurcroft in October last year.

Det Con Janelle Dexter-Lowe, the investigating officer, said:

This was a vicious, targeted attack on a vulnerable and defenceless man carried out by two evil individuals. The man used a wheelchair to get around the local area and Lyons and Ackerman took advantage of him, even befriending him prior to the attack. The man was effectively tortured in his own home for up to two hours, during which time he was punched, stamped on, stabbed and burnt with an iron."

Latest Headlines: Pair jailed for 'torture' attack in Thurcroft and Alton Towers operator faces 'big fine' over Smiler crash

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

The top stories in Sheffield and South Yorkshire this afternoon include:

  • A man and a woman who "tortured" a vulnerable man in Thurcroft in a brutal and prolonged attack have been jailed for 25 years each for attempted murder and robbery
  • The company which runs Alton Towers has admitted breaching Health and Safety law when its rollercoaster crashed - seriously injuring two teenagers from Barnsley
  • A campaign group concerned about the number of accidents involving cyclists on Sheffield's tram tracks say they're taking legal advice to try and force changes

Sheffield Wednesday winger suspended for trip to Derby

Sheffield Wednesday will be without suspended winger Ross Wallace for their away match against Derby County tomorrow.

However, the versatile Jeremy Helan is expected to feature following his return from loan.

Midfielder Sam Hutchinson returned to training last week following glandular fever and could feature. 

Sheffield Wednesday players
Getty Images

Doncaster MP Ed Miliband says town's image is improving

Kevin Larkin

Doncaster Reporter, BBC Radio Sheffield

The Labour MP Ed Miliband says he thinks the image of Doncaster is improving. 

He's one of the speakers at a big Doncaster business conference taking place today at the town's Legacy Centre.

MP Ed Miliband at conference

The Doncaster North MP thinks the way residents feel about the area is changing.

Because we've got the National Rail College coming with High Speed Two, I think that's really having an impact on people's perceptions, and I think people recognise that the council has sorted it out and that Doncaster is projecting a positive vision of the future."

MP Ed Miliband

Smiler crash: HSE hopes Alton Towers admission of guilt will help victims

The owner of Alton Towers theme park has admitted breaching health and safety laws over the rollercoaster crash that left five people seriously injured.

Smiler ride

Merlin Attractions Operations said it accepted responsibility for the crash.

Leah Washington and Joe Pugh from Barnsley were among those seriously hurt in the accident on the Smiler ride in June last year. 

Neil Craig is from the Health and Safety Executive:  

Those injured on the second of June had every right to expect a carefree and fun day out. The incident was profoundly distressing for all those involved both physically and mentally. It left some of them with life-changing injuries. We hope this first step in this criminal case will help those affected in their recovery.

Neil CraigHealth and Safety Executive spokesman

Severe travel problems on the A1 southbound in Doncaster

BBC Travel

Disruption for drivers travelling on the A1 Southbound between J37 for the A635 Barnsley Road and J36 for A630 Warmsworth Road.

A1 one land closed very slow queuing traffic for eight miles.

Barnsley thief stole 'inordinate amount of stamps' say police

A man's been jailed for 20 months for stealing £90,000 worth of stamps from the shop he worked at in Barnsley. 

Co-op at Darfield

Andrew Swales, 39, from Holmfirth stole thousands of books of stamps whilst he was manager of the Co-op on Snape Hill Road in Darfield between 2009 and 2012.

Det Con Graeme Badcock says an "inordinate amount of stamps" were stolen and then sold them to a second-hand stamp dealer in London:

There is a market for second hand stamps. If companies for example go out of business and they have a quantity of stamps that they want to get rid of there is an outlet to sell surplus stock. But, Mr Swales took advantage of that and saw an opportunity for himself to make some extra money."

Det Con Graeme Badcock

Rotherham man jailed for inciting sexual activity with girl

A 36-year-old man from Rotherham who sent sexual messages to a 15-year old girl and then threatened her with violence to keep her quiet has been jailed for more than three years.

Aftab Hussain, also known as Amaan Hussain, of Holywell Place, admitted two counts of inciting sexual activity with a child, attempted witness intimidation and possession of cannabis at a hearing last month.

He was handed a 40-month jail sentence today at Sheffield Crown Court.

Aftab Hussain

Watch: Chapeltown teacher reunites with favourite pupil after more than 60 years

Rony Robinson

Presenter, BBC Radio Sheffield

I played host to a wonderful moment today when we reunited Betty Sanderson with one of her favourite pupils at Warren School at Chapeltown more than 60 years after they last met.

She was known as Miss Corbett to her pupils and she bought one boy Albert Holmes his first pair of football shorts, he went on to become a captain at Chesterfield Football Club.

Healthy eating on the menu for Sheffield's charity cookathon

For the eighth year running, the Children's Food Trust, based on the East Parade in Sheffield city centre, is running a cookathon this weekend. 

Last year's winners were the Brownlie family (pictured).

Brownlie family with children
Children's Food Trust

This year’s Big Cookathon will see schools, workplaces and community groups all cooking the same recipe of cottage pie over the weekend.

Council backs off fee hike for Sheffield community market

Gina Bolton

BBC Radio Sheffield

Plans to raise the fees for a community market in Sheffield have been abandoned.

Market poster

Organisers of the Sharrow Vale Community Market told BBC Radio Sheffield earlier this week that proposals to increase fees from £25 to almost £800 put their future in doubt.

City councillors have now voted against the price hike.

Latest headlines: Alton Towers admits safety breach and Rotherham veterans get Legion of Honour medals

Jenny Cork

BBC Sheffield news

The top stories in Sheffield and South Yorkshire this afternoon include:

Former Co-op manager jailed for stealing £90,000 of stamps

A man has been jailed for stealing £90,000 worth of stamps from his employer in Barnsley which he used to fund foreign holidays and gambling. 


Andrew Swales, 39, of Woodland View, Thongsbridge, in Holmfirth, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court today where he was sentenced to one year and eight months for theft after admitting theft. 

The court was told from 2009 to 2012 he ordered and then stole thousands of books of first and second class stamps while manager of the Co-op convenience store on Snape Hill Road, Darfield. 

MPs Ed Miliband and Rosie Winterton at Doncaster Business Conference

Kevin Larkin

Doncaster Reporter, BBC Radio Sheffield

It's the second annual Doncaster Business Conference today. Local MPs Ed Miliband and Rosie Winterton are attending.

Ed Miliband with Kevin Larkin
Doncaster Chamber of Commerce

It's hosted by the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce at the The Legacy Centre and has three main themes this year:

  • Northern Powerhouse and devolution
  • How the town is represented regionally, nationally and internationally
  • Skills and aspirations

Prince tribute from Sheffield musician and producer Martyn Ware

Toby Foster

Presenter, BBC Radio Sheffield

The founding member of two Sheffield bands - Heaven 17 and the Human League - has been paying tribute to Prince who died yesterday aged 57.


He was my favourite 80s artist. He was from the black community, he championed black music but was very popular with a white audience. He was influenced by all the soul greats but also he synthesised rock music into all this, plus the fashion, plus the business sense, what more do you want?

Martyn Ware

 Martyn Ware told me why he was such an influential musician and songwriter:  

Weather: Sunny spells but feeling cooler

Kay Crewdson

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

Another fine day with plenty of sunny spells, although it will feel rather cool compared to Thursday, especially in the breeze.

A dry end to the day with clear spells overnight allowing a frost to form. 

Through the second half of the night, scattered wintry showers will spread from the north.

Hourly forecast

Bernie Clifton celebrates 80th birthday with BBC Radio Sheffield listeners

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

Entertainer Bernie Clifton who recently appeared on the BBC One show The Voice has been celebrating turning 80 today. 

He's been presented with a cake marking his years with the BBC on the children's show Crackerjack.

Birthday cake for Bernie Clifton

He's also been recording his Live-ish show,  which goes out tomorrow, in the BBC Radio Sheffield's Open Centre, wearing a football shirt with the legend "Clifton 80".

Crowd at recording of Live-ish Bernie Clifton Show

Support for cycle safety campaign on tram tracks in Sheffield

Cyclists in Sheffield have been vocal on Twitter today in support of the campaign to highlight the number of accidents on the city's tram tracks.

View more on twitter

Watch: Cycle campaigners highlight injuries on Sheffield tram tracks

Tom Ingall

Journalist, BBC Look North

More than 200 cyclists have had accidents on Sheffield's tram tracks in the past two years.

That's according to campaign group Cycle Sheffield, which is calling for improvements to the network. It says some cyclists have suffered serious injuries.

Motorist fined £100 for brief stop near Doncaster Airport

Nick Wilson

BBC Radio Sheffield

A man from Sheffield is challenging the parking fine he got on a road next to Doncaster Airport.

Parking fine enforcement notice

Paul Armitage says he stopped for 38 seconds and was fined £100 - or £2.63 a second. He was shocked when the fine arrived in the post:

I stopped for 38 seconds to speak to my wife according to the photographic record. I think that's the most expensive phone call I've ever made to her in my life. I think it's scandalous. It's just a money-making exercise as far as I'm concerned.

Paul Armitage

A representative for Vehicle Control Services Ltd sent a statement disputing the length of the stay by nine seconds:

The driver of the vehicle in question was stationary at the time observed and remained so for the duration of the CCTV footage which was 47 seconds; there were two of the warning signs in close proximity to the stationary vehicle."

Sheffield cyclists call for improvements after hundreds of bike tram track accidents

Andy Kershaw

BBC Radio Sheffield News

The campaign group CycleSheffield has received 280 reports of accidents on tram tracks in the city since it set up in January 2015 to allow cyclists to report incidents they've been involved in.

Campaign banner for Cycle Sheffield
Cycle Sheffield

The group says 228 of these accidents have occurred in the past two years, a rate of over nine per month, with many resulting in serious injuries. 

Cyclist Lucie Oates, who had an accident, said:    

As I turned right at the end of Dykes Hall Lane my front wheel went into tram line and I flew off and landed on my knees and hands. I have a bruised bone in my left knee and am still receiving physiotherapy for it eight months later and I damaged my index finger. I used my bike to commute to and from work and can no longer do it. The thought of going anywhere near the tram lines is really scary to me."

Lucie Oates

Smiler crash: Operator says 'we have sought to support those injured'

A statement has been released by the operator of the Smiler ride at Alton Towers after it pleaded guilty to an office under the Health and Safety Act.

Emergency services at Smiler ride
West Midlands Ambulance Service

Five people, two of them from Barnsley, were seriously injured when their carriage collided with another one at the amusement park in June last year.

The park's owner Merlin Attractions Operations Limited says:

From the outset, the company has accepted responsibility for what happened in June last year and it has cooperated fully with the Health & Safety Executive in its investigation. We have sought to provide help and support to all those injured in the accident and will continue to do so."

Smiler Crash: Victims recovery will be 'a lifelong process'

The owners of Alton Towers have been told they face a large fine after admitting safety breaches on the Smiler rollercoaster ride.

Joe Pugh and Leah Washington, both from Barnsley, were among five people seriously injured when the Smiler ride crashed on June 2015. 

Leah was one of two women who needed a leg amputation.

Joe Pugh and Leah Washington

A statement's been released by the solicitors Stewarts Law who represent the most seriously injured:  

Today is not seen as a victory; the families are not motivated by retribution, but inevitably this guilty plea will be a milestone along the way to psychological rehabilitation. Regrettably the physical recovery will be a lifelong process."

Statement from Stewarts Law

Latest headlines: Alton Towers admits Smiler ride breaches and Sheffield musician pays tribute to Prince

Everard Davy

BBC Radio Sheffield News

The top stories for Sheffield and South Yorkshire include:

'Very large fine' warning over Alton Towers safety breach

Everard Davy

BBC Radio Sheffield News

Alton Towers operator Merlin has pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act over the Smiler rollercoaster crash in June last year which left five people seriously injured, two of them from Barnsley.

Smiler ride rescue operation
West MIdlands Ambulance Service

The Health and Safety Executive said it was a mechanically sound ride but there weren't sufficient safeguards in place when there was a static train on the ride. 

The computer correctly showed there was a static empty train on the ride, staff didn't see it and overrode the computer.

The case will go for sentencing at a later date. District Judge Jack McGarva warned the company "may be ordered to pay a very large fine".

Alton Towers owners plead guilty to health and safety breaches on Smiler ride

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

The owners of Alton Towers have pleaded guilty today to health and safey breaches over the accident last year that left two people from Barnsley seriously injured.

The Health and Safety Executive is prosecuting Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd in relation to the incident on the Smiler ride on 2 June last year. 

Teenagers Leah Washington and Joe Pugh (pictured), both from Barnsley, were two of the five people who were seriously injured when the rollercoaster crashed at the theme park. 

Leah Washington and Joe Pugh

Alton Towers re-opened the "Smiler" in March, nine months after the crash.  

Smiler Ride at Alton Towers

BreakingAlton Towers admits ride safety breaches

Alton Towers operator admits health and safety failure over rollercoaster crash which seriously injured five people, including two from Barnsley.  

More soon...

Conisbrough crash victim's aunt to raise money at London Marathon

Nick Wilson

BBC Radio Sheffield

A relative of one of the five teenagers who died in a car crash in Conisbrough 18 months ago is raising money by running the London Marathon this weekend. 

Megan Storey
South Yorkshire Police

Katey Bickerstaffe, from Wheatley in Doncaster, is auntie to Megan Storey (pictured), who was 15 when she died. 

Katey is raising money for the Blake Cairns Foundation, which has been set up to support families of teenage road crash victims. She says it's been a difficult time for all of the families involved:  

It's been hard, Megan used to stop with us most weeks overnight. She was in the same school year as my son so they grew up with each other. You have good days and bad days, but it's just a case of doing things in their memory and remembering the good times we had."

Katey Bickerstaffe
Memorial bench to teenagers killed in Conisbrough crash

Plans for travellers' site in Swallownest thrown out

Nick Wilson

BBC Radio Sheffield

Plans for a travellers' site in Swallownest have been rejected

Aerial shot of Chesterfield Road at Swallownest

Rotherham Council says the proposed site next to the A57 Chesterfield Road would generate too much traffic.

Around 500 people had complained about the plans for the site near the proposed £37m Gulliver's Resort.

Watch: Cycle campaigners in Sheffield highlight risks of tram tracks

Andy Kershaw

BBC Radio Sheffield News

There's a new campaign to encourage cyclists to report accidents on Sheffield's tram tracks. 

Cycle Sheffield says 300 cyclists have had accidents on the tram tracks since they started monitoring them and 228 of those have been in the past two years.

Sheffield Cyclists highlight accidents on tram tracks in Sheffield

Sheffield musician Martyn Ware pays tribute to Prince

Dan Green

BBC Radio Sheffield

A founding member of two significant electronic bands to come out of Sheffield - the Human League and Heaven 17 - has paid tribute to Prince this morning on BBC Radio Sheffield.


Martyn Ware says the superstar, who has died at the age of 57, embodied everything he loved about the 80s:

If he was only a guitarist this would be a tragedy, not only that he was the most fantastic songwriter. He had a fantastic pop sensibility. I was lucky enough to see him several times in his career. It's just come as an enormous shock."

Martyn WareMusician and record producer

Latest headlines: Doncaster Airport parking charge challenge and cyclists say tram tracks in Sheffield need to be safer

Everard Davy

BBC Radio Sheffield News

The top stories in Sheffield and South Yorkshire include:

  • A man from Sheffield is challenging the parking charge he got on a road next to Doncaster Airport
  • There's a new campaign to encourage cyclists in Sheffield to report any accidents they have on the tram tracks
  • Two Rotherham veterans of World War II will be honoured today with the Legion D'Honneur medal

Police officer injured in horrific axe attack in Sheffield 'recovering well'

A message has been put out by colleagues of PC Lisa Bates who suffered a fractured skull, broken leg and severe hand injuries when she tackled a man armed with an axein Gleadless Valley last week.

Supermarket at Gleadless

Here's the message from her colleagues on B Rota at Woodseats:  

We have been very moved by the support from the community, not only in Gleadless but across the city and we are very grateful for all the cards, flowers and donations that have been sent to our friend Lisa who is currently recovering well in hospital. As a team we will always be thankful for the brave actions of Simon Ellis, who helped save Lisa's life."

Message from Lisa's colleagues on B Rota at Woodseats

Nathan Sumner, 35, of Plowright Close, Sheffield, appeared at the city's magistrates court on 15 April charged with attempting to murder PC Bates and 12 other offences.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Sheffield Crown Court on 13 May.