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  1. Our live page updates for the day have now ended
  2. Updates on Monday 31 July 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's all for now

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Thank you for joining us today - we'll be back at 06:00 BST with more news, sport, weather and travel for the county.

Is there anything you'd like to tell us about?

You can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.

Police jacket generic

An officer facing an assault allegation stopped reporting for duty, a disciplinary hearing is told.

Read more

Man guilty of raping teen boy in leisure centre

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

A man has been convicted of raping a 14-year old boy in a leisure centre toilet.

Nicholas Gully, 48, of Eley Crescent, Rottingdean, was convicted at Hove Crown Court of rape, and two counts of sexual assault.

Nicholas Gully
Sussex Police
Nicholas Gully

Gully, who worked in Hove as a self-employed psychotherapist, launched the attack in a men's toilet cubicle at the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove on 29 January, while the boy was waiting for his mother.

He was remanded in custody until sentencing on 6 September.

It's looking sunny and warm on Tuesday

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter, BBC South East

Make the most of the sunshine as it's not going to last.

Here's my latest forecast.

What was it like to come out as gay in 1976?

Simon Fanshawe meets Tony Whitehead who faced a backlash from his employer after coming out as a homosexual in 1976.

Back in 1976, the 22-year-old worked for British Home Stores who had a reputation as a family company.

When Tony appeared in a TV documentary about 'coming out', it provoked a reaction from his employer which resulted in his resignation.

The story of Tony Whitehead who came out as gay in a TV film in 1976

In the film he was seen kissing another man at Brighton Station.

On the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 which legalised male homosexuality, Tony reflects on 'coming out' in the 1970s.

He also describes how his treatment provoked protests and demonstrations from gay rights activists across Britain.

Hove MP calls for 'sex for rent' landlord prosecutions
Hove MP Peter Kyle says the move will protect young, vulnerable people from rogue landlords.
Heart surgery at 24 – the remarkable story of a Premier League footballer’s return
Brighton defender Connor Goldson is preparing to play Premier League football after a remarkable recovery from heart surgery.

Man sought in connection with Worthing thefts

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Detectives in Worthing investigating two shoplifting offences want to speak to the man shown in these CCTV images.

CCTV image
Sussex Police

The thefts took place at Maplin Electronics in Chapel Road.

Equipment worth a total of almost £470 was taken.

Police say the same man was seen inside the shop on both occasions and they believe he may be able to help with their enquiry.

Sussex Police

Sex-for-rent deals illegal, says minister

Lauren Moss

BBC Live reporter

An MP is calling for landlords who offer accommodation in exchange for sex to be prosecuted after the justice secretary told him such arrangements were already a criminal offence.

A BBC South East investigation found that some landlords were targeting vulnerable young people with "sex for rent" deals.

They argued there was no compulsion on people to respond to such adverts.

But Justice Secretary David Lidington has revealed that such offers may breach the Sexual Offences Act.

Landlords that BBC South East spoke to in April said they did not believe they were breaking the law, one describing the deals as a "sex with benefits" arrangement, another as a "win-win situation".

Our video from April

But Hove MP Peter Kyle pledged to force website operators to ban "exploitative" adverts.

He took the case to the Ministry of Justice and has now been told by Mr Lidington that "such acts/arrangements are already a criminal offence in England and Wales by virtue of the Sexual Offences Act 2003".

Mr Lidington said in a letter: "Taken together, these [provisions] essentially mean that an offence is committed when a person offers accommodation in return for sex, as they are inciting/causing another person to have sex with them in return for 'payment'."

A woman in bed crying
Getty Images

Adverts seen by BBC South East included one posted by a Maidstone man asking for a woman to move in and pretend to be his girlfriend, another publicising a double room available in Rochester in exchange for "services" and one in Brighton targeting younger men.

Tenants told the BBC they feared they would lose their accommodation if they did not comply with requests for sex.

But Mr Lidington's letter suggests police already have the weapons to take action against landlords imposing such demands on tenants and says the offence carries a prison sentence of up to seven years.

Mr Kyle said: "This is an incredibly significant moment, and it's going to protect vulnerable people enormously.

"Right now there are people out there advertising accommodation in return for sex. I want to see them prosecuted; I want to see them go through the courts process; I want to see them convicted, and I want to see them go to jail."

Balbir Chatrik, director of policy at Centrepoint homeless charity, said: "These landlords need to know this is not acceptable and they need to feel the full force of the law if they resort to these kind of adverts."

Project to help protect future of bees

Almost £1m of lottery funding is being spent on helping protect endangered bumblebees.

PC sacked by Sussex Police

A police officer has been sacked for gross misconduct after he failed to turn up for work while already under investigation.

PC Alex Rush, 38, based at Brighton, was subject to a gross misconduct investigation after an allegation of assault was made against him in January.

He notified Sussex Police of his intention to resign on 23 May, but was told that he was not allowed to do so under Regulation 10A of the Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012.

Brighton police station

He wrote to the force announcing that it was still his intention to resign on 19 June after a 28 day notice period.

As a result, he was told that this could constitute gross misconduct and was subsequently summoned to a public gross misconduct hearing at Sussex Police HQ in Lewes on Friday.

He did not attend and Inspector Matt Webb, chairman of the Sussex Police Federation, who was representing him, said that PC Rush had taken a "pragmatic view" and had admitted to the allegation.

PC Rush was dismissed with immediate effect.

Rikki Clarke has rejoined his first county Surrey, from Warwickshire

With the 2017 county season here, keep up to date with the latest signings, departures and rumours ahead of next season.

Read more

'My eye socket was completely shattered, I had haemorrhages in both eyes'

On the 50th anniversary of the partial legalisation of homosexuality, is it safe to be gay now?

Victims of recent homophobic violence describe their horrific experiences.

'Is it safe to be gay in the UK?' is on BBC2 on Tuesday 1 August at 21:00 BST.

ICYMI: Loud and proud

Here's Brighton Gay Men's Chorus celebrating half a century since a very significant change to the law.

Sunshine after the rain

Owain Wyn Evans

BBC weather

After the weekend's washout, we're having a couple of dry days.

Here's my forecast.

What is Japanese knotweed?

Scientists are using a field in Robertsbridge to carry out an experiment to try and get rid of one of Britain's most invasive plants.

But what is Japanese knotweed and why is it such a problem?

'Opportunities missed' to stop radicalisation of two Sussex teenagers

Police and child protection workers missed opportunities to prevent the radicalisation of two Sussex teenagers killed in Syria, according to a serious case review

Abdullah Deghayes, 18, and his 17-year-old brother Jaffar died in 2014, after leaving home in Brighton to fight for a group affiliated to Al Qaeda.

ICYMI: 'I live with the guilt of a man's death'

Jailed for being homosexual, Keith Biddlecombe talks about how it changed his life.

Drink driver 'tried to swallow key'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A man arrested for drink-driving in Sussex tried to swallow his vehicle's key.

Police had been called after a van was seen driving erratically on the A27 in Arundel, around 20:30 BST on 24 June.

The vehicle was found abandoned on the St James Industrial estate and a man was detained nearby.

St James Industrial estate
St James Industrial Estate, where the van was found abandoned

He then put a van key in his mouth, but officers managed to make him spit it out.

He was later found to be more than three times over the legal drink-drive limit.

Bexhill teenager loses half her body weight

A teenager from Bexhill who was warned she could face weight loss surgery if she didn't slim down has managed to lose nine and a half stone naturally.

Air collision near Eastbourne avoided thanks to pilot

Two aircraft only just missed colliding with each other over East Sussex because one of the pilots took evasive action, it has emerged.

Fewer police on roads

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Kent has 14% fewer traffic officers compared to 10 years ago, according to figures released this morning.

There are now 89 dedicated officers, compared to 104 in 2007.

Traffic police

By contrast, Sussex was one of only five forces across the country to increase its numbers, up by 11%.

Nationally there are a third fewer traffic officers patrolling the country's roads.

Traffic police

Violent mugger caught on camera

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Police have released CCTV images of a man suspected of being involved in a theft and a violent mugging in Brighton, in which a woman was punched.

He was caught on camera stealing a rucksack containing a laptop and headphones, which had been left unattended in a computer room at the University of Brighton.

Brighton mugger
Sussex Police

That was about 19:30 BST on 24 May, and about 15 minutes later the same man approached a woman in Lewes Road and demanded her phone.

She handed it to him, but then pushed him to the ground.

He got up and punched her in the face, but a passer-by intervened, grabbing the rucksack as he did.The attacker ran away along Coombe Road.

What's in today's Sussex newspapers?

Getty Images

The Argus: Campaigners unite to save their high street

West Sussex County Times: Seatbelt appeal - thousands at risk from not belting up

Chichester Observer: Elvis visits care home

Mid Sussex Times: PICTURES - A24 cleared after trailer overturns

Eastbourne Herald: Eastbourne couple in holiday earthquake terror

Hastings Observer: Fire at Hastings seafront

On BBC Sussex and Surrey this morning

Danny Pike

Presenter, BBC Sussex

This morning I'm asking whether it's still safe to let our children play outside.

Join the debate from 09:00 BST on 03459 57 00 57.

Can behavioural science cut road deaths?

Ben Weisz

Political reporter, BBC Sussex

In what's believed to be the first scheme of its kind in the UK, East Sussex County Council is turning to behavioural science to try and reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on the county's roads.

The number of so-called 'KSI' collisions has risen by nearly 20% in the county over the last decade. Nationally, that figure has fallen slightly. With over nine in 10 serious collisions caused by driver error, the council wants to try a new way of bringing road deaths down.

The A21 at Etchingham, East Sussex
There have been four serious collisions outside this garage in Etchingham since 2013.

So it's turned to the Behavioural Insights Team in London to help. They analyse a large amount of data to work out who's causing serious collisions. In East Sussex, younger drivers and motorcyclists were a particular cause for concern.

But the team found no evidence that the over-65s, goods vehicles or drivers from out of county were any more likely to cause serious collisions - which surprised some at the council.

The team then suggested "nudges" - small ways of getting those drivers to change their behaviour.

Ideas include changing the text of the letter that's sent to motorists when they speed, or maybe even asking motorcyclists to make pledges to loved ones that they'll ride more safely. Experiments elsewhere have shown people are more likely to keep promises if they make a physical pledge.

Those are just ideas at this stage - over the coming months, the council will decide which ideas, if any, to pilot. It'll be 18 months at least before any schemes are rolled out more widely.

Travel update: Southern delays due to fallen tree

Rob Oxley

BBC Radio London, Travel reporter

Southern trains are now starting to run again between Caterham and Purley after a tree fell on the line earlier. There are still with some delays and cancellations.

The Tube and the rest of the trains have a good service.

For the latest information follow @BBCTravelAlert

Missing: Have you seen Mark?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Police in Sussex say they're increasingly concerned for the safety and welfare of a man who's not been heard from since 26 July.

Mark Cawfield, 43, was last seen at work in Sompting on Tuesday.

Mark Cawfield
Sussex Police

He doesn't have a fixed address, but stays at various locations in the Portslade and Hove areas.

It's thought he may be sleeping in a tent.

BBC South East Today breakfast bulletin

BBC South East Today

Here are the headlines from the BBC South East Today breakfast bulletin:

  • A man is due in court this morning charged with the murder of a Latvian national in St Leonards
  • The number of dedicated traffic police officers has decreased by 14% in Kent compared to a decade ago according to latest figures
  • Police are investigating a serious assault after a man was stabbed outside an Esso petrol station in Ditton, near Maidstone

Book shines a light at the end of the tunnel

Briohny Williams

Reporter, BBC South East Today

'The Recovery Letters' is a collection of messages from people who've suffered with severe depression.

The book, compiled by James Withey from Hove, aims to help those still going through dark times.

Man in court over St Leonards fatal stabbing

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A 21-year-old man will appear in court today, charged with the murder of a man in St Leonards.

Salvis Auzins, who was 37 and from Latvia, died after being stabbed in Clyde Road last Thursday lunchtime.

Mr Auzins managed to drive himself to Wishing Tree Road, where officers found him. Mohamed Ahmed, of no fixed address, was arrested nearby.

Salvis Auzins
Sussex Police
Salvis Auzins was discovered in Wishing Tree Road

We have spoken to the parents of Salvis in Latvia and they are devastated at the loss of their son. We are appealing for witnesses to come forward who may have seen the stabbing or have information about this tragic incident. Please get in touch with us."

Det Ch Insp Emma HeaterSurrey and Sussex Major Crime Team

It's a sunny Monday

Owain Wyn Evans

BBC weather

It's a bright start to the working week.

Here's my forecast.

Welcome to the week

To start this Monday morning here's a fantastic pic of Hastings by Kristie Heath - it's our #PhotoOfTheDay

Kristie Heath

We'll be here until 22:00 BST with all your news, sport, travel and weather.

Is there anything you'd like to tell us about?

You can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.