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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK


Stuart Bailey

BBC News

That's it for another week of live updates for Northamptonshire. Thanks for joining us.

You can scroll back here for anything you might have missed, including:

  • £4m for new children's services trust in the county
  • Daventry's 'canal to nowhere' approved
  • Man stabbed in Northampton park

Don't forget, Northamptonshire's cricketers begin the defence of their T20 title in half an hour's time against Derbyshire. There's commentary from Wantage Road on BBC Radio Northampton.

We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel for the county at 08:00 on Monday.

Have a great weekend.


Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Well, that's it for yet another week on the BBC Local Live feed for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

We'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday.

If you've missed anything today, you can scroll through the page to find out about an attack on a horse, a large field fire in Luton and how Hertfordshire's Aljaz Bedene sadly missed out on progression at Wimbledon.

We'll leave you with this stunning BBC Weather Watcher photo from "robbie".

Have a great weekend everyone.

Clouds in the skies of Amersham on the Hill

Our live coverage for the day

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

That's it for live updates for today and this week.

Scroll back through today's feed for anything you may have missed, but we'll be back again with our regular updates of news, sport, travel and weather for Cambridgeshire.

Have a great weekend.

Man U youngster on his way to the Cobblers

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

Northampton Town have signed young Manchester United defender Regan Poole on a season-long loan.

Regan Poole
Getty Images

Poole, 19, moved to Old Trafford in 2015 from Newport County, where he played under current Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh.

But his only United appearance to date was as a late sub in the Europa League under Louis van Gaal in February 2016.

The Wales Under-21 man comes in as competition for Cobblers centre-backs Ash Taylor and Leon Barnett.

Goalkeeper signs on the line for MK Dons following successful trial

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

MK Dons have signed Dutch goalkeeper Wieger Sietsma on a free transfer for two years, with the option of a further year.

The 21-year-old had been on trial with the League One side after leaving Heerenveen, for whom he failed to play a league match in two seasons.

Sietsma spent time on loan at Dutch second-tier side FC Emmen last term.

"This is a big club in a big stadium and I'm looking forward to the season," he told the club's website.

Wieger Sietsma
MK Dons

A look at the papers

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Elsewhere in Northamptonshire:

David Miller murder trial: Homeless Ian Cuthbertson had gone to victim's house 'for a bath'

Craig Lewis

BBC News

A homeless man accused of killing a man in his own home was "petrified" while the attack was carried out, a court has heard.

The body of David Miller, 56, was found at his flat on Patterdale Walk in Boothville, Northampton, on 14 June 2016.

Patterdale Walk

Mr Miller had been stabbed multiple times and crude attempts had been made to destroy his body.

Ian Cuthbertson, 49; Michael Hallett, 37; Joseph Catlin, 30, and Zena Kane, 35, of no fixed address, all deny murder.

Northampton Crown Court was told Mr Cuthbertson had simply gone to the house for "a bath, a change of clothing and to watch TV" but had been caught up in a "truly horrific" crime.

The case continues.

'Don't call 999 enquiring about your passport', say police

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

All day today Bedfordshire Police has been taking part in a "Twitterthon" to show what kind of 999 calls they get.

Some are emergencies, but many are not.

Here are some of the calls that were not an emergency:

  • A caller wanting some advice about a car he'd recently bought.
  • A call from a woman enquiring about her passport.
  • Calls made accidentally in people's pockets. "Please remember to lock your phones," say police.
  • A hoax call from school children. "Wasting police resources is not funny," police say.

Calls that should have gone to 101 (non-emergency number):

  • A call about a suspected theft.
  • Two callers reporting vehicle break-ins that took place during the last 12 hours.

Correct 999 calls:

  • To report a three to four car collision in the fast lane of the M1.
  • A caller reporting they are being attacked with a baseball bat. Officers were dispatched to the scene.

Police have asked people to think carefully about the calls they make, as non-emergency calls clogging up 999 could stop an urgent call being picked up.

Killers of vulnerable man acted like 'pack of wolves', court told

Craig Lewis

BBC News

Four homeless people acted like "a pack of wolves" when they killed a vulnerable man in his own home, a court has heard.

The partially-dismembered body of David Miller, 56, was found at his flat in Patterdale Walk, Boothville, Northampton, on 14 June 2016.

He had been stabbed multiple times and "crude attempts" were made to destroy his body, Northampton Crown Court was told.


Ian Cuthbertson, 49; Michael Hallett, 37; Joseph Catlin, 30, and Zena Kane, 35, of no fixed address, deny murder.

Summing up, prosecutor Peter Joyce QC said the only possible verdicts were guilty of "murder, murder, murder, murder".

He told the jury: "It is not argued that what happened to David Miller wasn't murder.

"The question is whether one or all of these four defendants took part."

He called the killing of Mr Miller "a team job", saying that was why none of the accused had given evidence during the trial.

Mr Joyce dismissed a statement to police by Mr Cuthbertson - in which he denied he had been at the scene - as "lie, after pathetic lie, after pathetic lie".

He also accused Ms Zane of "crocodile tears and humbug and hypocrisy".

The case continues.

Elsewhere in Cambridgeshire

Let's take a quick look at some of the other stories being reported in Cambridgeshire today:

  • A police hunt using a sniffer dog was launched in Grantchester Meadows in Cambridge - but one man remains at large, reports the Cambridge News
  • A group of newly-graduated Cambridge students have faced a legal threatundefined from a publishing company following their plans to parody Enid Blyton's The Famous Five at the Edinburgh Fringe, says Varsity
  • Meanwhile, a Wisbech shopping centre is launching a kids club in a bid to help families enjoy their experience, writes the Fen Citizen

Travel: Crash on M1 northbound

BBC News Travel

There are currently delays on the M1 northbound between junction 8 for Hemel Hempstead and junction 9 for Redbourn after a crash involving several cars.

View more on twitter

BreakingMan found not guilty of father-in-law's murder

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

A Letchworth man who stabbed his wealthy Syrian businessman father-in-law to death has been found not guilty of his murder, after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Nicholas Daher, 85, was knifed three times by Sammi Ozone on 4 January because he allegedly resented the older man's controlling behaviour, Luton Crown Court heard.

However, Ozone, 60, of Whitethorn Lane, was cleared by a jury today of the murder charge in just three hours.

Judge Michael Kay QC asked the jury to specify the basis of their verdict and the forewoman said it was on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Whitehorn Lane

Ozone was remanded in custody until 25 August, pending the preparation of an updated psychiatric report.

The court heard that while in hospital with a police guard nearby, Ozone was said to have made the unprompted comments: "Is the devil alive? I didn't mean to do it. I saw the devil in front of me."

Luton field fire 'accidental'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

I've just been given more information about the large fire over two fields in Luton.

Firefighters were called at 12:56 to a severe blaze affecting 74 acres (300,000 sq m) of crops and stubble by the A6, on the outskirts of Luton.

More than 30 firefighters from six stations helped put it out.

Because of its size, crews were divided to different areas of the field.

Farm machinery was used to plough firebreaks to help control the spread of the fire. Hose reels, high pressure lances and beaters were also used and the crops were dampened down.

The cause of the fire was accidental and no-one was hurt, but a bailing machine was completely destroyed by fire, a spokesman said.

The blaze was put out just before 15:30.

Field fire out in Luton

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

We've just had confirmation that the large field fire in Luton is now out and the A6 between Barton Le Clay and Keech Hospice Care is now open.

View more on twitter

Foal rescued from river

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

This forlorn foal had to be rescued by firefighters after falling into the river off Mill Road in Buckden.

It went over the top of a weir before getting stuck downstream.

Foal rescue
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue

The baby horse was saved using a flotation device and a harness, which guided it back on to the river bank.

James Ball, from St Neots fire station, said the foal was "pretty lucky".

The animal escaped largely unhurt and only had a small graze to one of his shins, he said.

Austrian GP practice: Lewis Hamilton top again

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton kept up the pace and finished fastest at the end of the second free practice at the Austrian Grand Prix, with a 1:05.483.

The Stevenage racer was 0.147secs ahead of title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

Then it's the second Brackley-built Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas (+0.216), followed by the Milton Keynes-based Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in sixth.

Secret mars moment in MK

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

A new generation of space explorers are getting specialist rover training at Open University in Milton Keynes.

They have built a new Mars yard, simulating the surface of the Red Planet, on which students can remotely control a rover equipped with a robotic arm.

It's a special top secret mission, that is so secret even I'm not allowed to film it.

Computer mars mission

Senior lecturer Manish Patel told me they'd made it as realistic as possible, including rocks, "to prepare exploring the surface of mars when we go there with our own rover".

Bedene out of Wimbledon singles

BBC Sport

Unfortunately Britain's Wimbledon singles hopes have been reduced to three players after Wycombe's Aljaz Bedene lost in straight sets to Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.

Muller, the 16th seed, won 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 6-4 on court two to reach the fourth round and end Bedene's hopes of a first last-16 place at a Grand Slam.

Ace, ace, ace, ace - Muller hits four straight aces

Four British players reached the third round of Wimbledon for the first time since 1997.

Large fire in Luton fields

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

I've just spoken to Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, where a spokesman told me 30 firefighters were dealing with a large fire in two fields just off the A6 close to Streatley.

The road is currently shut between Barton Le Clay and Luton, by Keech Hospice Care.

There are seven fire vehicles there and crews from Ampthill, Biggleswade, Kempston, Stopsley, Woburn and Luton are attending.

A1101 crash: Only 'slight injury' reported

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Just to update you on our post this morning...

Fortunately only one person received "slight injury" when a lorry and a car crashed on the A1101 near Wisbech, according to police.

They were taken to hospital to receive further treatment.

The crash happened at about 08:45. The road has since reopened.

Your pictures: Blue skies

BBC Weather Watchers

Lots of sunshine again today in Northamptonshire.

And it's been beautifully captured, as ever, by our BBC Weather Watchers...

Sunshine in Irthlingborough.
Sunshine and a dog in Pattishall.
A bird in Burton Latimer,
Blue skies in Roade.

Afternoon weather: Turning cloudier

BBC Weather

A few clouds will pass over Northamptonshire this afternoon, but there will be plenty more sunny spells too.

It will stay dry and warm, though not quite as warm as yesterday afternoon.

A top temperature of 24C (75F).

Forecast for Northampton.

BBC Weather has more.

Field fire breaks out near Luton

Ely bypass delayed

Tom Horn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

The opening of the new £36m Ely Southern Bypass has slipped back by about three months.

The route - to connect Stuntney Causeway to Angel Drove and remove congestion from Ely Station - was due to open next Spring.

Construction site for new Ely bypass

However, it won't now be ready until late summer 2018 because of complications moving a high voltage power cable.

Bob Menzies, from Cambridgeshire County Council, admitted it was disappointing...

View more on twitter

7/7 survivor on how her life has changed

Martine Wright, from Tring, was the last survivor to be pulled from the Aldgate train during the London 7/7 terror attack in 2005.

She lost both her legs, 80% of her blood, was in a coma for 10 days and underwent 10 months of surgery.

Twelve years on, she's releasing her memoir to tell others how her life has changed since the attack...

7/7 survivor on how her life has changed since the attack

Man stabbed in Northampton park

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A man has been repeatedly stabbed as he walked home through Dallington Park.

He was approached by a man who demanded his phone and wallet.

As he tried to fight him off, he was approached by another man and stabbed in the neck, stomach and chest, with what the police described as a "small unknown pointed object".

His injuries are said to be "minor". It happened between 03:30 and 04:00 on Monday.

One of the offenders was black, about 5ft 5in tall and was wearing dark clothing. He was believed to have had a tattoo of a face or an animal on his left hand.

Dallington Park, Northampton.

Bedene breaks with amazing lob shot

BBC Sport

The latest on court two at Wimbledon...

Hertfordshire's Aljaz Bedene has lost the first set, in a tense tie-break with Gilles Muller which he lost 7-4.

But he's started the second set superbly with an early break of Muller's serve courtesy of this amazing lob...

Bedene breaks with amazing lob shot

The current score in the second set Bedene 3-2 Muller.

Rogue gardener targeting victims

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

A rogue trader targeting elderly residents across St Ives and Huntingdon is being hunted by police.

The offender has been offering to do gardening work at a reasonable price. However, he asks them to pay up front to cover the cost of tools and then doesn't complete the agreed work.

Three incidents in the area in the last month are believed to be linked:

  • About £100 taken in Little How, St Ives, on 17 June
  • £450 taken in Greengarth, St Ives, between 19 June and 22 June
  • £750 taken across 28 June and 29 June in Ambury Road, Huntingdon

The suspect is described as white, about 5ft 8in tall, aged in his early 40s and with short dark receding hair.

Angie Wilson, from Cambridgeshire Police, said: "To reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a rogue trader we advise you to be very wary of giving work to anyone cold calling at the door or from a flyer posted through your letterbox.

"The price may seem reasonable at first and this is designed to gain your trust. However, very quickly you will be asked for more money in order to complete the job, whilst the offenders do very little work.

"My advice would be not to pay them a penny until the job is complete and you are completely satisfied. And if a gardener needs money to buy tools then he's in the wrong job. Don't fall for it."

Bedene's passing winner

BBC Sport

Hertfordshire's Aljaz Bedene is now on action on court two at Wimbledon.

He's playing Luxembourg's Gilles Muller who's just broken his serve.

The score is currently Bedene 3-4 Muller in the first set.

But to cheer you up, this Bedene winner has been a particular highlight so far...

Bedene's passing winner

New children's services trust 'a step towards privatisation' - union

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

As we've just mentioned, the government has given Northamptonshire County Council £4m to set up a new company to manage the day-to-day running of children's services.

The authority says it will allow the department to be run in a more efficient way than if it continued to be managed directly by the council.

But Penny Smith from the union, Unison, said: "Our children's services previously haven't been up to standard and I worry that this will alter the level of care to young people in Northamptonshire.

"I am very concerned that eventually it'll become a private company and I've always felt that public services should be run by the public, for the public and delivered in the public interest."

Lesley Hagger, director of children's services at Northamptonshire County Council, said: "This new company will be a public service company and wholly owned by the local authority.

"Local government, by the nature of how it's organised, is quite bureaucratic, and this will enable us to spend more time working with children and families.

"It gives us more freedom and flexibility to change the way we do things."

£4m for new children's services trust in the county

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Northamptonshire County Council has been given £4m from the government to help set up a new trust to run its children's services - the first of its kind in the country.

It means it will be run day-to-day by a separate company rather than directly by the council.

However, this company will be set-up by and wholly owned by the authority, which will monitor and remain responsible for its performance.

Northamptonshire's children's services is a department under extreme pressure - having to help more and more children - and has had a troubled history.

A child in the classroom.

Inspectors from the watchdog, Ofsted, previously said it was "inadequate", but last year they moved it up a category to "requires improvement".

The council believes this new trust will mean children's services can be run more efficiently, but the union, Unison, is concerned it's just a step towards privatisation.

It's likely to be up and running by April 2018.

We'll look at their arguments in more detail shortly.

Saints fixtures announced

Graham McKechnie

BBC Radio Northampton sport

The fixtures have been announced for the forthcoming Premiership rugby season.

It starts for Northampton Saints at Twickenham on 2 September - they're Saracens' opponents in the London Double Header.

Then, on the back of that, they're at home to Leicester on Saturday, 9 September.

The other East Midlands derby is at Welford Road in April.

Saints' ground.
Getty Images

The tough start to the season continues with a Friday evening game at home to Bath.

Other matches that stand out are another trip to Twickenham to play Harlequins around New Year - they're at home to Exeter just before Christmas.

And the regular season ends for Saints at Franklin's Gardens on 5 May against Worcester.

Police hold 'Twitterthon' to highlight misuse of 999 calls

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

I'm about to set you a bit of a quiz.

If you wanted to report a car break in to the police, what number should you call?

Well, according to Bedfordshire Police, it should be its non-emergency number - 101 - and not 999.

To highlight the need to free up the emergency line, all day today officers are running a special "Twitterthon" from the control room.

You can read the tweets by following the police and hashtag #999live.

View more on twitter

We'll bring you more on it during the day.

Using VR to improve building designs for people with sight loss

Virtual reality is being used to help designers improve buildings and public transport for people with sight loss.

The software, called Eyeware, has been developed by Milton Keynes-based Catapult allows users to see the world through the eyes of people with problems like glaucoma or cataracts.

Using virtual reality to improve designs for people with sight loss

Austrian GP practice: Lewis Hamilton top

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set a scintillating pace in first practice at the Austrian Grand Prix as he left title rival Sebastian Vettel trailing.

The Stevenage racer was 0.449secs quicker than Ferrari's Vettel, despite using the slowest soft tyre and Vettel the faster super-soft.

The German was fourth fastest, behind Milton Keynes-based Red Bull's Max Verstappen and the second Brackley-built Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

Lewis Hamilton racing
Getty Images

Vettel is 14 points ahead of Hamilton as F1 resumes two weeks after their controversial collision in Baku.

Wimbledon 2017: 'I've got a chance,' says Bedene

BBC Sport

Hertfordshire's Aljaz Bedene is in the third round of Wimbledon action today for the first time in his career.

Aljaz Bedene
Getty Images

The 27-year-old faces Luxembourg's Gilles Muller in the first match on court two at about 11:30.

The world number 58 lost to Muller at a grass-court tournament in the Netherlands last month, but it was three tight sets.

"He loves grass," said Bedene. "He's won Hertogenbosch. He played semis at Queen's. He loves serve-and-volley play. He's quite aggressive.

"I played him a few weeks ago so I know, I wouldn't say his weaknesses, because there aren't many, but if I play my game, I've got a chance."

Bedene joins three other British players in the third round - Andy Murray, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson.

You can follow the game by visiting Wimbledon 2017 here.

Doctor 'sympathises' with patients who won't be able to get IVF treatment

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

Dr Trevor Fernandes, a local GP and member of Herts Valleys CCG board, says he "empathises" with his patients who won't be referred for IVF treatment.

This is after health officials suspended the treatment while a six-month consultation is carried out.

He understood it was a "distressing situation for a lot of patients", but said anyone who had already been referred would get treatment and some exceptions would be in place - for example, someone coming up to their age limit.

"There are big funding gaps and our job is to make sure people having heart attacks, strokes, who have cancer, get the care they need," said Dr Fernandes.

"We know these are difficult decisions, but we have to look at the greater population and make a decision so people can get the urgent care they need, when they need it.

"In the age of austerity, we have to make sure we keep essential services."

Science Photo Library

The consultation runs until 11 September.

NHS body suspends IVF treatment

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

Health officials in Hertfordshire have suspended the provision of IVF treatment with immediate effect.

Pregnant woman
Getty Images

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says it is suspending the service ahead of a six month consultation.

The CCG - which needs to save in the region of £40m to balance its books - insists the suspension "by no means pre-determines the outcome of the consultation".

It said it has been put in place to prevent "an unsustainable backlog building up during the review period".

People living in the area covered by the CCG - Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead - have told the BBC it will have a very damaging effect.

Susie Gower, from the Hertfordshire Fertility Support Group, said: "It's very difficult because women are looking towards IVF as an avenue to help them become parents and to have this taken away from them - it's their only lifeline they have to actually achieving that."

Other proposals to save money include limiting certain medicines and hearing aids on prescription.

We'll bring you a response from a doctor and CCG board member shortly.

Meanwhile, to have your say in the consultation, visit the A Healthier Future website.

'Suffering' dog found with red raw skin in MK

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Meanwhile, these rather depressing pictures show the state a dog was in when she was discovered by a dog warden in Milton Keynes.

The Staffordshire bull terrier, now named Millie, was found in Polruan Place, Fishermead, with red raw and bleeding skin. She's being looked after by the RSPCA.

Millie the dog

Susan Haywood from the charity, said: "Poor Millie has lost almost all of her fur as a result of the skin condition 'mange', which has also resulted in her being covered in scabs.

"She must have been so uncomfortable and in so much pain.

"We are keen to find her owner so we can establish how she managed to get into this state."

Millie the dog

"We want to make it clear that if you have a pet, you are responsible for ensuring the animal receives veterinary treatment for any conditions which may arise," she added.

Posh and U's to meet in first competitive fixture for years

Peter Swan

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire sport

Peterborough United, Cambridge United and Northampton Town will all be placed in the same group in next season's EFL Trophy.

EFL Trophy group

It'll be the first time county rivals Posh and U's will meet in a competitive fixture since December 2001.

The fourth side - an invited academy team - will be announced next week.

The dates for the ties are yet to be announced.