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  1. Man jailed for causing Kayden Dunn's death
  2. Sports centre to close due to £2.4m repair and maintenance bill
  3. Ceramic firm aims to double staff numbers with £3m investment
  4. Hundreds of police on Cheshire beat without current background checks
  5. Updates from Friday 19 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

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Luke Reddy

BBC Sport

Southampton end the season without a win in five home matches as Stoke record a first away win since January.

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Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening.

Football: Stoke City's Premier League season 'not disastrous'

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

The Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says the current campaign has not been "disastrous" for his side, despite being set to finish lower in the Premier League table than in the last three seasons.

Mark Hughes
Getty Images

It would also be Hughes's worst finish at Stoke boss since he took the job in 2013.

He's been speaking ahead of the Potter's last game of the season, away at Southampton on Sunday.

It's fair to say that we haven't hit our targets this season, so it is disappointing. It isn't disastrous though, I don't feel. The key emotions are frustration and disappointment. We put things into perspective, because for the most part we have been comfortable."

Mark HughesStoke City manager

Friday's pick of your great photos of Staffordshire and Cheshire

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Here are six of the many great photos you've sent in over the past days, taken in Staffordshire and Cheshire.

If you've got a picture of the area to share, which you've taken, send it in on email or put it on Instagram, adding the tag #bbcstoke to show you agree to share it.

Your pictures

Man jailed after fatal bike crash

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A man's been jailed for his part in a crash between two bikes in which another man died.

Staffordshire Police says Philip Gray, 37, from Oldbury, died after the crash on the A5 in Fazeley near Tamworth in November 2015.

A5 near Fazeley

Steven Porton was found guilty of dangerous driving earlier this month.

Today the 29-year-old from Windrush Close, Walsall was jailed at Stafford Crown Court for 12 months and banned from driving for three-and-a-half years.

BBC Election Panel: Your thoughts on transport

The BBC is running an election panel, asking voters for their thoughts ahead of 8 June.

We asked:

Labour has proposed the railways should be re-nationalised. What are your views? What other transport or infrastructure issues need tackling, in your view, if any?


You said:

Beatrice Benson, Shrewsbury: "I believe franchising has improved the railways massively, and although prices for train journeys are at an all time high, I don't see the solution lying in re-nationalisation."

Rachel, Stoke: "I believe that they should be re-nationalised following the end of the franchise deal with private railway companies. This would allow the government to control the rising prices of rail tickets and may make the railway service more reliable. It would also allow the government to reap in the profit currently being made by private companies, such as Virgin."

Paul Cheshire, Shrewsbury: "Yes they should."

Football: Burton Albion to sign Northern Ireland midfielder from Rochdale

BBC Sport

Burton Albion have made their first signing of the summer by agreeing a two-year deal with Rochdale midfielder Matty Lund.

The 26-year-old's contract at Spotlands expires at the end of June.

Matty Lund
Getty Images

Twice capped by Northern Ireland, Lund has scored 10 goals in 37 games for Rochdale this season.

Playing in the Championship has been an aim of mine for a couple of seasons. It's an opportunity for me to show what I can do at a higher level and I want to show Burton, my family and friends that I can make that step up."

Matty LundBurton Albion signing

Watch your weekend weather forecast

BBC Weather

Showers slowly fading through this evening to leave agenerally dry night with clear spells - lows of 4C (39F).

Tomorrow will be a day of sunny spells and scattered showers.

Here's a full forecast looking ahead to what's instore this weekend...

Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Ceramic firm aims to double staff numbers with £3m investment

Amy Cole

BBC Midlands Today

A Stoke-on-Trent ceramics firm has opened a new £3m headquarters today.

Valentine Clays

Valentine Clays' new warehouse and distribution facility in Fenton will include gallery space and a new workshop.

The firm says it hopes to double the number of people it employs over the next three years.

Jerome Thomas

Port Vale confirm that 13 senior players will exit the club following their relegation to League Two.

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'Dementia has ruined my life' says former Stoke City player

Simon Glover

BBC Online

A former Stoke City player says dementia has ruined his life.

Ronald Spiers was a midfielder for the Potters but says a brain scan in 2007 revealed he had the condition.

Nurse holding older person's hand
Getty Images

It comes as the Royal British Legion says more nurses are being employed to help those with dementia and their families.

People qualify for help from a specialist Admiral Nurse by having served in the British armed force - Ron Spiers was in the Territorial Army.

He and his wife Lorraine, who's his main carer, say the nurses have been a huge benefit.

I lose track of things very, very easily and it's good for me to have somebody I can speak to who is knowledgeable about the actual condition."

Ronald SpiersFormer Stoke City player

Hundreds of police on Cheshire beat without current background checks

Victoria Gould

BBC News Online

Hundreds of police officers in Cheshire have not had up-to-date background checks to ensure they are suitable to serve.

Out of 2,044 total officers with Cheshire Police, figures reveal 928 have not been vetted in line with current policy.

Cheshire Police signs

Vetting aims to help prevent corruption in the police by checking an officer or potential officer's background.

Out of 48 police forces across the country, 17 responded in full to a request from the BBC under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.

About 14,000 police officers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had not undergone up-to-date checks.

Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary Mike Cunningham said forces "need to address this matter urgently". Cheshire Police have been asked for their response.

Police seize £60k of fake cigarettes on M6

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Fake cigarettes with an estimated street value of about £60,000 have been seized in Staffordshire.

Central Motorway Police Group says officers pulled over a white van on the M6 near Keele Services at around 11:00 today.

Boxes in van

They say they found 257,000 counterfeit cigarettes in the vehicle.

The county council says its trading standards team was then called out to recover the cigarettes and have launched an investigation.

Matty Lund

Burton Albion will sign Rochdale midfielder Matty Lund on a two-year deal when his contract expires at the end of June.

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Man jailed for causing Kayden Dunn's death

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A man's been jailed after admitting causing the death of a seven-year-old boy who died five days after he was hit by a car.

Kayden Dunn, of Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent, was hit by a Volvo XC90, on Repington Road on 14 April last year.

Kayden Dunn
Family picture

Today Shakeeb Zamir, 21, also of Sneyd Green, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

He was given a 12-month prison sentence at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court this afternoon.

Football: Port Vale release list of retained players after relegation

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale have now officially released their retained list after relegation.

Riginio Cicilia (pictured) and Kiko have had their contracts terminated by mutual consent.

Manager Michael Brown is in talks with Andre Bikey, Chris Eagles and Ryan Taylor over possible deals.

Riginio Cicilia
Port Vale FC

In total six players have been released as Brown looks to trim his squad.

Arson arrest over two 'suspicious' fires

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A man has been arrested as police investigate two suspicious fires in Crewe, one of which left five people in hospital.

Cheshire Police says a woman, three boys and a girl escaped through a downstairs window during a house fire on Wednesday morning on Selworthy Drive.

All five were treated in hospital after breathing in smoke and have since been discharged.

Selworthy Drive, Crewe

And last night, the force says there was a shed fire on the same road but no-one was injured.

Detectives say they're keeping an open mind as to whether the two suspicious fires are linked.

The 21-year-old's been arrested on suspicion of arson.

General election 2017: Local debate candidates probed on Brexit impact

Stuart George

Presenter, BBC Radio Stoke

Brexit proved a hot topic at last night's BBC Radio Stoke general election debate in Newcastle-under-Lyme between the three candidates standing in the poll.

The election debate

All of them were asked how they thought the issue would affect the area:

  • Nigel Jones for the Liberal Democrats said the area would hit by the loss of trade and new tariffs, affecting jobs and the economy
  • Owen Meredith for the Conservatives said he would use feedback from local businesses to influence Brexit negotiations to help Newcastle-under-Lyme
  • Labour's Paul Farrelly said what was needed was a strong Parliament to hold the prime minister to account to get the best deal out of Europe

You can see the whole debate on the BBC Radio Stoke Facebook page here.

Biker 'seriously hurt' in crash

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A motorbiker's been seriously hurt after crashing with a car in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

West Midlands Ambulance Service says the collision happened near the Rose and Crown pub on Rudyard Road, Biddulph Moor last night.

Rose and Crown in Biddulph Moor

They say the crash was so severe, the biker's helmet had cracked in the collision.

Paramedics treated him for injuries to his head, arm and legs and he was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

The group

Eight men are jailed after police seize drugs, money and Rolex watches from their homes and cars.

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Sports centre to close due to £2.4m repair and maintenance bill

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A sports centre is going to be shut by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, because it's expected to cost £2.4m to repair and keep it going over the next seven years.

It's not yet clear if it will be replaced by a new centre.

The site on Fourth Avenue, Kidsgrove will need £400,000 in the next year alone, the local authority says.

Kidsgrove sports centre

Councillors say a building survey found the Kidsgrove centre, which opened in 1976 and contains a gym and two swimming pools, is deteriorating and costing more to maintain.

The authority says a new building at nearby King's School means it's no longer needed for school swimming but it hasn't yet worked out how to meet the "health and well-being needs" of local residents.

Drugs gang leader 'tried to swallow evidence' as police arrested him

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

The ringleader of a drugs gang in Staffordshire tried to swallow a sim card to dispose of evidence as police went to arrest him, police say.

All eight of the group (pictured) have been jailed after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in the county.

(clockwise from top left): Andrew Junior Chambers, Christopher Mayers, Daniel Nelson, Dharmesh Patel, Matthew Adderley, Martin Kelly, Leon Morton, Jamaine McFarlane
Staffordshire Police

Staffordshire Police says their leader, 33-year-old Dharmesh Patel from Bilston, tried to run away as they arrested him and threw away parts of a mobile phone.

He received the longest sentence of 12 years and six months at Stafford Crown Court.

Wedgwood to bring special flower pots to RHS Chelsea Flower Show

BBC Midlands Today

Stoke-on-Trent's most famous pottery brand Wedgwood will showcase specially designed flower pots at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year.

Ulrik Garde Due from the Fiskars Group, parent company of Wedgwood

The Royal Horticultural Society was founded by Josiah Wedgwood's son John in 1804.

This year, to mark the connection between the two, a special tea conservatory will be at the world famous show, along with pots giving a modern take on Wedgwood's Jasperware.

On Midlands Today from 13:30: Ceramic firm in new headquarters

Amy Cole

BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today from 13:30, I'll be live in Stoke-on-Trent at a family-run business that's showing off a new, multi-million pound headquarters today.

Valentines Clays

Valentine Clays has been based in Hanley for 37 years and I'll have more from 13:30 on BBC One.

Peaty claims gold in Japan

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

Adam Peaty has won Britain's first gold medal at the Japan Open swimming.

Adam Peaty

The Olympic champion from Uttoxeter, who trains in Loughborough, took the top prize in the 100 metres breaststroke.

BBC Weather Watcher photos: Glorious Staffordshire sunset

BBC Weather Watchers

Last night was clearly a cracker when it comes to the sunset and our BBC Weather Watchers uploaded pictures from across the area.

These two are from Staffordshire users Ashmo in Stone and Christine in Audley.


Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe accident, at J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - Slow traffic and one lane blocked on M6 southbound at J12, A5 (Gailey), because of an accident involving a lorry and a car.

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

Football: Stoke boss 'frustrated' over defender talks with Porto

BBC Sport

The Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says his club are in discussions with Bruno Martins Indi's parent club Porto about the Dutch defender.

Bruno Martins Indi
Getty Images

Indi, who is on loan from FC Porto until the end of the season, has been a near-regular in the first team this season.

Clearly Bruno is still their player. We have to be patient with it. It is a little bit frustrating because Bruno has been fantastic this year, but there isn't just us and Bruno to satisfy. We are at a little bit of an impasse with Porto at the moment. We want to improve our defensive positions this summer."

Mark HughesStoke City manager

Rolf Harris released from Stafford Prison


Rolf Harris has been released from Stafford Prison.

The TV entertainer is currently on trial on four counts of alleged indecent assault against three teenagers between 1971 and 1983 - but has been appearing via video link.

Rolf Harris

Mr Harris, who denies all charges, will attend the trial at Southwark Crown Court in person from Monday.

Jurors have already been told that Mr Harris, 87, was convicted and sentenced following a trial in 2014.

The current trial, which began on 15 May, is not sitting on Friday.

Gang 'who hid crack cocaine in Kinder eggs' jailed

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A gang who police say hid crack cocaine inside Kinder eggs have been jailed for between four and 12 years each.

Kinder egg

Staffordshire Police says the eight conspired to supply crack cocaine in Hednesford, Cannock and Rugeley in 2014 and 2015.

The force says officers seized thousands of pounds worth of drugs and cash in searches after they made the arrests.

All eight had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and crack cocaine:

  • Dharmesh Patel, 33, of Shale Street, Bilston, was jailed for 12 years and six months
  • Martin Charleton Kelly, 44, of Holyoake Place, Rugeley, was jailed for eight years and one month
  • Christopher Mayers, 30, of Cedar Crescent, Rugeley, was jailed for six years and three months
  • Leon Morton, 30, of Hazel Grove, Bilston, was sentenced to four years in prison
  • Daniel Nelson, 36, of Barracks Lane, Walsall, was jailed for four years and six months
  • Matthew Adderley, 37, of Waterbrook Way, Cannock, was sentenced to four years in jail
  • Jamaine McFarlane, 31, of Bilston, was sentenced to six years in prison
  • Andrew Junior Chambers, 45, of no fixed abode, was jailed for six years and three months

Voters' views: Will Brexit fire up Stoke's dwindling electorate?

Rebecca Woods

BBC News Online, Journalist

It had the lowest turnout of any constituency in the UK at the 2015 general election.

But fresh from a by-election and a fired-up electorate which overwhelmingly backed Brexit, could June's ballot see Stoke-on-Trent Central voters turn up in better numbers at the ballot box?

Sign at Stoke-on-Trent train station
Gavin Dickson

I've been in the centre of the city getting the opinions of people on the street and what issues are firing them up.

You can read more here on the BBC website.

Severe disruption: M42 Leicestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Leicestershire southbound severe disruption, between J11 for A42 and J10 for A5.

M42 Leicestershire - Heavy traffic on M42 southbound between J11, A42 (Burton Upon Trent) and J10, A5 (Tamworth), because of a rolling road-block and emergency repairs.

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

Football: Pope confident Port Vale can get instant promotion

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale's new signing, returning striker Tom Pope, says he feels they can bounce straight back from relegation.

Tom Pope

Pope, 31, has agreed a two-year deal with the club he supported as a boy, having left for Gigg Lane in 2015.

The Vale have been relegated back to League Two but their new signing says they just need a few more signings to get back to League One.

General election candidates clash on NHS and Brexit in debate

Emma Thomas

Political reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

The three candidates hoping to become Newcastle-under-Lyme's next MP went head-to-head last night in a BBC Radio Stoke general election debate at Newcastle-under-Lyme College.

The three Newcastle-under-Lyme candidates with Emma Thomas and Stuart George (on the right)

Among the questions they faced from the audience were ones on Brexit, the high-speed rail project HS2 and legalising cannabis.

All three candidates were also asked how they would tackle long waiting times at A&E and bed shortages at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

  • Paul Farrelly for Labour said more use should be made of community hospitals to ease the pressure on the bigger hospital.
  • For the Conservatives, Owen Meredith said he saw one way to support the Royal Stoke would be to invest further in the NHS through a "strong economy and the proceeds of taxation".
  • Nigel Jones for the Liberal Democrats said his party would raise income tax to help fund the NHS and social care.

You can see the whole debate on the BBC Radio Stoke Facebook page here.