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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

'Obsessive' man jailed after sexual images threat

An "obsessive" man, from Hertfordshire, who threatened to post sexual images of a teenage girl on the internet has been jailed for 13 weeks for breaking a court order linked to a suspended sentence.

Mathew Mallaghan, 21, of Bishop's Stortford had been ordered never to contact the girl and was told he would be jailed if he did so when he was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court in June.

But within three months he was again sending the girl social media messages where were described by his lawyer as a bid "to establish some kind of relationship" and not intended to be a threat.

Judge Andrew Bright QC said "the effect has been to cause the girl great distress and anxiety".

Mallaghan, who had been living at the YMCA, admitted breaching the terms of the restraining order, breaching the suspended sentence and failing to attend court on 30 January. He had already spent five weeks in jail and described the experience as "difficult and isolating".

Defending, Corinne Bramwell said Mallagan had difficulty dealing with his "obsessive" behaviour and suffered "a terrible sense of guilt' for what happened.

Family pay tribute to woman killed while walking dog

The family of a woman who was killed while walking her dog in Newport Pagnell have spoken of their "tragic loss" in a tribute to her.

Ann Waters
Thames Valley Police

Ann Waters, 64, died when she was struck by a grey Vauxhall Mokka on Westbury Lane at 20:05 last Friday. She was walking her dog with her daughter at the time.

In a statement released by Thames Valley Police the family said: "No words can ever express the sorrow and heartbreak we feel as we try to come to terms with the untimely and tragic loss of Ann Waters, our beautiful, selfless mother, wife, sister, auntie and great auntie.

"She was kind, had the biggest heart, and always put everyone else before herself."

A man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed alcohol limit in connection with the crash.

He was later released under investigation.

Thousands of cannabis plants discovered in Felthorpe

Police say they've found what is believed to be one of the biggest cannabis factories in Norfolk in recent years.

Norfolk Police
Norfolk Police

Up to 4,000 cannabis plants and hydroponic equipment were found at an outbuilding on Holt Road in Felthorpe, north of Norwich, on Wednesday.

Ch Insp Wes Hornigold said: "We are at the early stages of our inquiries and the factory is very large, therefore, CSI teams will be there all weekend to gather evidence before the set-up is dismantled next week."

Man jailed after about £200k of cannabis is found in loft

A man has been jailed for four years after 226 cannabis plants worth up to £189,000 were found growing in a loft.

The discovery was made during a police raid at a top-floor flat in Westborough Road, Westcliff-on-Sea in Essex, in September 2016.

Cannabis plants found in a loft during a police raid.
Essex Police

Christopher Tame, 40 of Wallace Street, Shoeburyness, was arrested there and officers later found £21,000 in cash, which belonged to him, at another property.

He admitted production of cannabis and was found guilty of abstracting electricity and various criminal property offences.

The flat's tenant, Roy Laidlaw, 49, admitted cannabis production and abstracting electricity in June, and was given a 20-month suspended jail sentence.

Harlow hospital has England's worst A&E waiting times

Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow has the worst A&E waiting times in the country, according to the latest figures.

In the last 12 months, 70.9% of patients were seen within four hours, compared to the NHS target of 95%.

Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow.

A difficult winter period means the health service overall has recorded its worst-ever annual performance - at 88.4% - since records began in 2004.

Last month, Princess Alexandra was moved out of special measures following a visit by inspectors, which a hospital spokesman said reflected "positive changes".

The specific rating for emergency services there was upgraded from "inadequate" to "requires improvement".

Luton Mall to fight Hatters' stadium finance plan

The Mall, Luton

The owners of Luton's Mall have said they now support a new football stadium in the town centre but would continue to strongly oppose plans to fund it with a retail park.

The Mall's owner's Capital and Regional had said in 2016, when plans were submitted, that relocating Luton Town FC to Power Court could lead to "social issues" on match days.

Its new chief executive Lawrence Hutchings said: "I think the stadium could bring some great things for the town centre in terms of regeneration."

But he added 2020 Development's plans to fund the ground by creating Newlands Park, a retail and leisure site at junction 10 of the M1, would swamp the market at "a tough time for the High Street".

"There are alternate uses at Newlands Park or other sources of funding - we could pitch in with funding to plug the gap," he said.

Luton Town FC chief executive Gary Sweet said the company's decision to challenge the plans regardless was "disrespectful" ahead of a meeting of both parties.

Firefighters tackle blazing taxi in Tring this morning

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Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus (BA) were called to a tackle a burning taxi in Tring and used a hose reel jet (HRJ) to douse the flames just before 10:00.

Rail safety boost after passenger gets trapped in moving train door

New safety guidelines are to be published by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) after a passenger attempted to board a train at a Hertfordshire station and got trapped in a closing door.

The incident happened at Bushey station at about 21:25 on Monday, 26 March. The train started and had moved 30 yards ( 27m) before being stopped. The passenger remained upright but sustained a minor injury to their arm, an accident report said.

Bushey station
Sunil 060902

"We have undertaken a preliminary examination into the circumstances surrounding this incident," an RAIB spokesman said. "Having assessed the evidence which has been gathered to date, we have decided to publish a safety digest which will be available on our website."

The RAIB website said: "We could never hope to investigate every accident that is notified to us, the law gives us discretion about whether or not to investigate less serious accidents."

When deciding to investigate an accident the RAIB consider the severity of the outcome, potential for the consequences to have been more severe, the potential for new safety learning, and how widely it could be applied and safety trends or areas of particular safety concern.

Man arrested after two people injured by knife in Hemsby

A man has been arrested after two people received knife injuries at a house in Hemsby.

Police say they were called to reports of an "altercation" in The Marrams at 19:20 last night.

A man and a woman were taken to hospital and a man in his 20s is being questioned on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

It's believed those involved in the incident are known to each other.

Man killed in Gamlingay collision is named

The man who died in a collision with a tree in Gamlingay on the border with Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire has been named as Luke Emery.

The crash happened at about 14:40 on Sunday on Potton Road and Mr Emery, 24, of Maunder Road in Biggleswade, died at the scene.

Bedfordshire Police said a four-year-old boy was also treated for minor injuries.

PC John Blood is appealing for witnesses.

Potton Road, Gamlingay
David Howard/Geograph

Norwich health store closed due to fire

A health shop in Norwich has had to temporarily close after a fire.

Fire crews at the Guildhall

Fire crews were called to Rainbow Wholefood store in Labour In Vain Yard, Guildhall Hill, at about 21:00 yesterday.

Crews used a thermal imaging to check for hot spots and put the fire out.

Fire crews at the Guildhall

A sign on the shop today said it would be closed for a while and apologised to customers.

It said staff would update customers when possible.

Woman raped in 'horrific' attack in Halstead

An investigation is under way after a woman was raped in what police have called a "horrific and frightening attack" in Halstead.

The woman in her 20s said she was grabbed as she walked across a field near Windmill Road on Thursday afternoon.

Windmill Road in Halstead.

The suspect has been described as being white, aged in his mid-20s, around 6ft, of a skinny build and wearing a black hoodie and black tracksuit bottoms.

Officers said it was being treated as an isolated incident.

The Cambridge streets where cyclists are most likely to be 'doored'

Cambridge News

Almost 100 Cambridge cyclists have been injured colliding with vehicle doors in seven years.

The city has one of the highest total of ‘dooring’ incidents outside London, with 92 reported injuries between 2010 and 2016.

Drugs are 'pants' - just say 'no'

A suspected drug dealer learnt the true meaning of "stop and search" when he was stopped - and searched - and police pulled a load of drugs out of his pants.

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Officers from Northamptonshire Police stopped a car in Judith Road, Kettering, at about 19:00 on Wednesday.

There were three people in the vehicle and one of them - a 17-year-old male - was arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs.

Officers tweeted a photograph of the drugs saying they were found in the teenager's underwear following a stop and search operation.

He is still in custody being interviewed.

Wisbech bowler takes bronze at Commonwealth Games

Ellen Falkner from Wisbech will be bringing the bling back home to Cambridgeshire after winning the bronze medal in the women's triples bowls final at the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast.

Falkner and fellow England lawn bowlers Katherine Rednall and Sian Honnor beat Canada 20-12 in the bronze-medal match.

England women's lawn bowls team
Getty Images
Sian Honnor (l), Ellen Falkner (centre) and Katherine Rednall (r) with their bronze medals

Australia beat Scotland in the final of the women's triples lawn bowls to take Commonwealth Games gold.

Peterborough's 'Toys R no longer US' as store set to close

The children's toys retailer Toys R Us has announced its Peterborough store is set to close later this month.

The retailer went into administration at the end of February and now its remaining 75 stores across the country are due to be shut by 24 April.

Peterborough's store will close its doors on 22 April.

Man charged with possession of explosive substance

A 43-year-old man has been charged with possession of an explosive substance in Burnham, Buckinghamshire.

Thames Valley Police also charged the man with drugs offences.

It follows a warrant which was carried out by the force in June 2016.

The man has been charged with one count of possession of a controlled drug of class B, cannabis, one count of possession of a controlled drug of class A, cocaine, and four counts of possession of an explosive substance for unlawful purpose.

Wisbech milkman retires after 60 years and more than seven million pints

Peterborough Telegraph

Christopher Ketteringham, 74, from Wisbech, took over his father's business when he was just a teenager - and has only ever taken 13 days off work.

Man charged over Ely Travelodge missing Kent teen probe

A man has been charged following a large-scale police raid at a Travelodge hotel involving officers searching for a missing teenager.

About 12 vehicles from both Cambridgeshire Police and the Kent force descended on the Travelodge in Witchford Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire on Tuesday.

Police at Ely Travelodge
Spotted in Ely

The Kent Police-led operation was part of a hunt for a missing girl from the county.

A spokesman said the teenager had been found safe and well.

A 29-year-old man of no fixed address has subsequently been charged with "assisting a child to stay away from the responsible person" and released on bail to appear before Maidstone magistrates later.

An 18-year-old man from Weybridge, Surrey, who also arrested, was released pending further enquiries.

Boy, 16, in court over Ipswich stabbing

A 16-year-old boy has been charged after another teenager was stabbed in the back, police said.

Suffolk Police said officers were called at 19:55 to the incident at Cemetery Road, Ipswich, on Monday.

It said a 17-year-old boy was taken to Ipswich Hospital with a one inch stab wound in his back, but was discharged the same night.

The 16-year-old boy has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, possession of a bladed article and assault by beating. He is due to appear before Ipswich magistrates today.

Man died in lay-by crash on A41

A 26-year-old man died in a crash on the A41 in Buckinghamshire yesterday, police have said.

The crash, involving a black Renault Clio and a white articulated lorry, happened in a lay-by on the Aston Clinton bypass at about 09:40.

Thames Valley Police said the driver of the Renault Clio died at the scene.

Officers are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on the non-emergency number 101.

A41 Aston Clinton

Northamptonshire Police chief to retire

The Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Simon Edens, has announced he will retire from the force at the end of October.

Simon Edens has been a police officer for 37 years and became Chief Constable of the county's force in July 2015.

Chief Constable Simon Edens
Northants Police

Mr Edens began his career in 1981 as a constable and sergeant with the Royal Ulster Constabulary before moving to Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 1991 where he served for 17 years, rising to the rank of chief superintendent. In 2008 he became assistant chief constable at West Mercia Police and then deputy chief constable of the Leicestershire force in 2012.

"It has been a huge privilege and an honour to serve as Chief Constable for Northamptonshire and to have worked alongside colleagues from across the Force who do so much to protect people from harm every day," Mr Edens said.

"However, I believe the time is now right for me to hand over the reins to a new chief who will take the force forward over the next five years."

His last day at work will be 28 October.

Martlesham 2,000 homes plan passes final hurdle

Proposals for a £300m housing development at Martlesham near Ipswich have passed the final hurdle.

The scheme, which will include up to 2,000 homes, was approved by councillors in January.

But there were conditions attached which meant developers would have to invest in the local infrastructure and education.

The agreement signed by Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC), Suffolk County Council and the landowner Carlyle Land says developers must provide £17m towards education, a £15m package of transport improvements, a new half-hourly bus service from the site to Ipswich railway station and a new health centre.

As well as homes, the development, south of Adastral Park, will include shops, a school, outdoor play areas, a sports ground, allotments, footpaths and cycle ways.

Bird's eye view of the Martlesham site
Mike Hughes

Linesman dies after heart attack at youth football game in Ipswich

East Anglian Daily Times

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a linesman who died following a heart attack while running the line at an Ipswich and Suffolk Youth Football League match.

RAF 'Unsung hero' Tornado jet on display at IWM Duxford

One of the last Tornadoes to be flown operationally by the Royal Air Force has gone on display at Imperial War Museum Duxford.

Tornado GR4

The Tornado GR4, from RAF Marham in Norfolk, has been in service for 27 years and was used in counter-Islamic State operations in the Middle East.

All Tornadoes are being taken out of service in 2019, and aircraft ZA469, which is on display, was deployed to Afghanistan between 2011 and 2014, helped enforce a no-fly zone over Libya in 2011 and most recently took part in counter-IS operations in the Middle East.

Tornado at IWM Duxford

Flt Lt Kieran Gilroy, who has piloted the aircraft, described the Tornado as a "real workhorse" and said that it would be regarded as an "unsung hero" of the RAF.

The combat jet is being exhibited at IWM Duxford near Cambridge, as part of its Battle of Britain exhibition.

Funeral home plans for Chelmsford criticised

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Plans to use a building in Chelmsford as a funeral home have been criticised by residents living nearby.

Adam and Greenwood funeral directors have applied to Chelmsford City Council to allow a building which is listed as a place of worship in New London Road to be used as a funeral home.

The building being planned to be used as a funeral home

Some people who live in area have said the planned site is inappropriate and will add to traffic and safety problems.

Adam and Greenwood said it would help them fulfill contracts with the Essex coroner and hospitals around the county.

But Sheila Robinson, who runs the nearby St Anne's Preparatory School, said the whole planning application came as a surprise.

"We have had no communication. Nothing posted to the school to say this was going to happen," she said.

Shop owners' joy that giant pothole in Wisbech is finally filled in

Wisbech Standard

A disgruntled shop owner in Wisbech was pictured "pothole fishing" before the giant hole was filled in - despite businesses being told there could be a three month wait.

Flood-drained Wimblington church is flooding - again

Oh dear... a church warden who put out a plea for a good Samaritan (with a big pump) to come and help after the building's basement was flooded with 120cm (4ft) of water - is despairing again after the newly-pumped basement started filling up once more.

The picture below shows how high the floodwater had come on Sunday afternoon at St Peter's Church in Wimblington, Cambridgeshire:

Flooded basement at St Peter's Church, Wimblington
Peter James

The basement has been flooding for several years after a Victorian drain cracked under graves, and the water has been kept in check in the unused former boiler room by the church's own small pump, but after about 10 days of heavy rain, it was "overwhelmed" so... in stepped a genuine good Samaritan from Anglian Water on Monday evening - a local man with a big pump.

St Peter's Church, Wimblington
Geograph/Richard Humphrey

...And Hallelujah, it worked, and cleared the basement, leaving the church's small pump to continue dealing with any remaining water.

However, by Tuesday afternoon the water was rising again and by Wednesday it was right back where it started - if not higher. Mr James says he will be asking the very generous man with the big pump to return when he can, as he continues to fear the rising water will eventually compromise the church's foundations.

Flooded church basement
Peter James
By Tuesday afternoon the water was rising once more
Flooded church basement
Peter James
...And by Wednesday, it's back up the steps

Suspected WW2 munition found at Yoxford home

A suspected World War Two weapon has been found at a home.

Suffolk Police said officers were called to Yoxford, near Saxmundham, just after 10:00.

A spokeswoman said the property where the munition was found has been evacuated and the bomb disposal squad is on its way.

Reepham athlete delights at Commonwealth Games

Reepham's Iona Lake did it for England in the 3,000m Steeplechase at the Commonwealth games where she came eighth.

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Residents protest over new hospital plans

Residents living on Merton Road in Norwich are claiming redevelopment plans for the West Norwich Hospital could cause subsidence to their homes.

Norwich City Council has received plans to locate several new buildings on the Bowthorpe Road site.

David Kent, of Norwich Community Hospital Residents (NCHR) said: "We are concerned the developers have not fully considered the historic instability of land in this area which will impact residents' homes."

The residents claim the hospital car park area has been identified as a possible site of post-medieval lime kilns, chalk mines and underground tunnels and wants independent surveys of the area carried out.

The application is for a new hospital and care homes as well as parking and landscaping.

Two arrested after Ely Travelodge missing teen raid

Two people have been arrested in connection with a search for a missing teenage girl.

Up to 12 police vehicles from Cambridgeshire Police and Kent Police swooped on the hotel in Witchford Road in Ely, Cambridgeshire, shortly after 13:30 on Tuesday.

Police vehicles at Ely Travelodge
Spotted in Ely

Three people and several evidence bags were removed from the building by officers.

Following the raid, a Kent Police spokesman confirmed the missing teenager had been found safe and well.

A force spokesman said two people were arrested in connection with the teenager's disappearance and enquiries were continuing.

Norse employee prosecuted after young sunbathers struck in park

Eastern Daily Press

A former Norse employee whose vehicle seriously injured a young couple as they sunbathed in a Norwich park has been prosecuted.

Witnesses described a scene of horror as a Norse 4x4 struck a 19-year-old woman and 20-year-old man in Earlham Park last summer.

The secrets of Cambridge’s tallest tower are about to be revealed

Cambridge News

The University Library’s tower, rumoured to house a giant stash of Victorian pornography, is about to bare all.

Graffiti artists graffiti over Hawking graffiti

Part of a tribute created by Cambridge graffiti artists to renowned theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking has been covered over - by other street artists.

The mural - including the face of the scientist and a silhouette of him in his wheelchair, with a black hole and the words "be curious" - appeared on the underside of a bridge on the city's Mill Road after his death on 14 March and before his funeral on 31 March.

Graffiti of Prof Stephen Hawking
The silhouette of Prof Stephen Hawking can be seen on the left of this photograph

However, as the Cambridge News reported, the silhouette part of the tribute has now been covered over.

Graffiti tribute to Prof Stephen Hawking
Graffiti on bridge in Cambridge
The silhouette on the left no longer exists

While the city council said it would not remove the original artwork as the bridge was not its property, and Network Rail which owns the structure said it might consider leaving it, Cambridge artist Kyle Warwick who created the mural along with others said he did did not think it would be long before someone covered it over.

And it now appears that another graffiti artist wanted that space to make their own mark, although they chose not to paint over Professor Hawking's face - yet.

Sixth property to be demolished at Hemsby

A sixth chalet on the cliffs at Hemsby is to be demolished on Saturday.


Great Yarmouth Borough Council says the property on The Marrams is now "in a dangerous condition overhanging the cliff by about a metre in places" due to further settlement of the cliffs following recent storms and heavy rainfall.

"This is still a changing situation," said Carl Smith, deputy council leader.

"We continue to update and advise the owners of all affected properties, and to monitor the situation closely with respect to the remaining properties at risk, whose owners are well aware of the sad potential of demolition at relatively short notice should there be any significant further loss of cliff material."

The public are being asked to keep away from the cliffs.

Flying Scotsman crashes Peterborough railway website

Bosses at the Nene Valley Railway have apologised after its website crashed due to high demand to see the famous Flying Scotsman.

The legendary steam engine will be visiting towns and cities across the UK as part of a summer tour and is stopping at the station near Peterborough in September as a special "thank you" for the help the organisation gave it, when it broke down in the city last October.

Flying Scotsman
The steam engine broke down in Peterborough in October

However, shortly after tickets went on sale on the Nene Valley's site on Tuesday morning, it crashed under the weight of demand.

Jerry Thurston, from the organisation, said he had informed the website provider of the likely demand and "was assured it would be tickety-boo... and it wasn't, we can only apologise - gutted goes nowhere near covering it".

Although the site started working again for a short time in the afternoon, it crashed again and the Nene Valley Railway has now "brought it to a halt for the time-being". Mr Thurston said there are still "plenty" of tickets available, but they will not put them back online until the website is sorted.

Norwich Airport boss welcomes new vision for aviation industry

Norwich Evening News

Government proposals to put passengers at the heart of changes in aviation and a focus on supporting regional airports have been welcomed by the boss of Norwich Airport.

The Department for Transport has released the next stage of its strategy for the industry, with the aim of improving customers’ flying experience, by making ticket costs clearer and allowing them to make an informed choice.

Man ‘punches’ seal with balled fist at Horsey

Eastern Daily Press

Thousands of seals are lolling on Horsey beach for the annual molt, spending as little time in the cold North Sea as possible.

But many people are getting far too close - one man even seen to lightly punch a seal which lolloped away towards the waves.

Flooding continues to affect Fen areas

Flooding continues to be a problem in some parts of the Fens near the Cambridgeshire and Norfolk borders.

The A1101 Welney Casuseway remains closed despite water levels dropping, and the situation is expected to be assessed later.

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An Environment Agency flood warning is in place for North Bank Road alongside the River Nene, east of Peterborough and west of Dog-in-a-Doublet Sluice, where the road is closed.

Flood alerts have also been issued for areas including Alconbury and Ellington brooks and the Hundred Foot Washes areas of the Fens.

You can check if flooding is affecting your area by typing your location into the search bar on the Environment Agency's website.