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  1. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday
  2. Updates for Wednesday 13 May 2015

Live Reporting

By Katy Lewis and Craig Lewis

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

Thanks for joining me this afternoon for a hectic waltz through all the latest news across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

We'll be back again at 08:00 tomorrow morning for more of the same.

Remember you can email your comments to or contact us on Twitter
@BBC3CR or

Alexa-Marie Quinn's death 'hugely distressing'

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

Reaction is still coming in to the news that 31-year-old Carl Wheatley has been

found guilty of murdering his daughter, Alexa-Marie Quinn.

Kevin Crompton, director of children's and adults services at Bedford Borough Council, said the four-year-old's death had been "hugely distressing" for everyone involved. "Our thoughts remain with her family and all those who knew her during her tragically short life," he said.

Mr Crompton said the council was taking part in a serious case review with colleagues from Hertfordshire, adding: "We can confirm Alexa-Marie had lived in Bedford before her father was granted custody of her by the courts and her move to Hertfordshire."

Man cleared of shotgun attack

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

A Dunstable man has been cleared of firing a shotgun through a window of another man's home, days after he sent him a Facebook message threatening to kill him.

Aaron Poynter, 27, of Great Northern Road, Dunstable, had a 10-year history of "bad blood" with Dean McAdam, Luton Crown Court heard. But he said he had been walking his dog at the time of the attack and was cleared of five charges, including attempted murder.

However, he was convicted of a sixth offence of possessing ammunition when prohibited and sentenced to 18 months in custody.

Watford Museum 'to come to life'

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

If you like your museums coming to life in a Night at the Museum style way, Watford might be the place to be this weekend.

Watford Museum
Watford Museum/Dave Parker

As part of

Culture 24's Museums at Night festival, Watford Museum will be telling stories through kinetic animations, using bicycle wheels, record players, Victorian toys, flipbooks, projections and mechanisms alongside sounds and strobe lighting.

The show will take place between 18:00 and 20:00 on Saturday.

Tributes paid to 'founding father' Derek Walker

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

The great and the good of Milton Keynes have paid their respects to architect Derek Walker, known as one of the new city's founding fathers.

Peter Marland

Milton Keynes Council leader Pete Marland (pictured) said: "During his lifetime he saw his visionary ideas translated into today's growing and thriving city and perhaps his greatest tribute will be that Milton Keynes today is very much a place that is loved and enjoyed by its residents."

And MK Mayor Derek Eastman said: "People like Derek Walker don't come along very often. He was a very talented man whose vision, energy and innovation has left a positive legacy for Milton Keynes. We owe him a great and lasting debt."

Latest headlines

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The latest headlines are:

  • Bedfordshire Police has seized assets, including cars and bikes, belonging to a
    gang of men who carried out ram raids on cash machines. About 140 officers from three forces took part in the raids, including at Potton in Bedfordshire
  • Luton Borough Council has lost its fight to get more social housing built on the northern edge of the town. It took legal action against Central Bedfordshire Council for not including more cheaper housing on the land, but the Court of Appeal dismissed the legal challenge

Alexa-Marie 'not able to protect herself' from father

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

Carl Wheatley did not seek medical help for his four-year-old daughter after dishing out repeated beatings, and instead took to the internet to carry out his own research on how to treat bruising and repair a tooth.

Police outside Carl Wheatley's home
John O'Reilly

Det Ch Insp Jerome Kent said Alexa-Marie, who died following an assault on 12 March 2014, suffered "horrific injuries at the hands of her father".

"Alexa-Marie, who has been described as a happy child prior to living with her father, died because he lost his temper and took his frustrations out on her," he said. "At the age of four she was not able to protect herself from this violent man, who then went out of his way to ensure no-one else could protect or help her either."

Cash raised to return Airlander to the skies

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

Crowd sourced fundraising to return the

world's longest aircraft to flight has reached its £2m target.

The Airlander hybrid air vehicle
Hybrid Air Vehicles

Manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles says the Airlander is low noise, low pollution, environmentally friendly, and can take off and land vertically. It can also operate from remote environments, including in water, desert and ice.

The machine is stored at Cardington shed number one, in Bedfordshire.

Review launched into care of Alexa-Marie Quinn

Stephen Chittenden

Radio 5 Live

An investigation has been launched into the process which led to four-year-old Alexa-Marie Quinn being placed in the care of her father, Carl Wheatley.

St Albans Crown Court
John O'Reilly

Wheatley was today found guilty of

beating his daughter to death, months after he had been given custody of her.

Jenny Coles, director of children's services at Hertfordshire County Council, said an independent review of all agencies involved in looking after Alexa-Marie would be conducted by the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board.

Ram raid riches seized in police raids

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

Thousands of pounds worth of assets believed to have been bought with the proceeds of a string of cash machine ram raids across the east of England have been seized by police.

An Audi seized during the police raids
Bedfordshire Police

About 140 officers from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk Police carried out warrants in which an Audi A5, a Swift Corniche caravan, a Nissan Navara, numerous smaller quad bikes, plant machinery and a tank of diesel were seized.

The raids took place at addresses in Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, Potton in Bedfordshire and Upwell in Norfolk. The officers also discovered cannabis factories at the Potton and Upwell addresses, with a combined potential street value of between £18,000 and £54,000.

Can you identify supporters?

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

Southend United FC have

released an image of a group of supporters they're looking to speak to after a smoke bomb was let off during last month's
League Two match at home to Luton.

Fans at the Southend vs Luton game
Southend United FC

The incident has sparked an investigation by the Football Association.

The Essex club say supporters will be searched ahead of tomorrow's play-off game at home to Stevenage.

Waltham Cross kayakers in world record attempt

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

The Lee Valley Paddlesports Club is set to celebrate its one year anniversary in a unique way - by attempting to break the world record for the number of people simultaneously rolling in kayaks.

A kayak doing an Eskimo roll
Lee Valley Paddlesports Club

About 100 paddlers will attempt to set an official world record by spinning their kayaks 360 degrees at the same time at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire.

The event will take place between 16:00 and 18:00 on Sunday.

Latest headlines

The latest headlines are:

  • Carl Wheatley
    found guilty of murdering his four-year-old daughter, Alexa-Marie Quinn
  • Thousands of people in Bedford had their water cut off when a water main burst this morning - three homes in Bromham Road were flooded and seven schools closed
  • Southend United release an image of a group of supporters they're looking to speak to in relation to a smoke bomb that was let off during last month's League Two match at home to Luton

Alexa-Marie Quinn 'had 66 injuries'

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

Alexa-Marie Quinn had 66 injuries, including a bruise from her stomach to her ankles, when she died in March 2014.

Police at Carl Wheatley's home
John O'Reilly

Carl Wheatley, 31, from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, had admitted manslaughter, but the jury at St Albans Crown Court

rejected his plea of not guilty to murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Prof Rupert Risdon, who carried out the post-mortem examination, said he had never seen injuries like those suffered by Alexa-Marie.

Carl Wheatley to be sentenced on Friday

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

Carl Wheatley will be sentenced for the murder of his daughter, Alexa-Marie Quinn, on Friday.

Carl Wheatley and Alexa-Marie Quinn
John O'Reilly

The single dad, 31, beat her to death just three months after being granted custody.

He has

been found guilty of murder and will be sentenced by Judge Andrew Bright QC at St Albans Crown Court.

Alexa-Marie Quinn's 'lungs blocked' after attack

St Albans Crown Court had heard Alexa-Marie Quinn, 4, had lived with her father, Carl Wheatley, since 13 December 2013 after he gained custody. She was found with fatal injuries on 12 March 2014.

Alexa-Marie Quinn
John O'Reilly

Wheatley had hit his daughter with such force that fat was released into her bloodstream and blocked her lungs, the court heard.

Wheatley, a supermarket worker, dialled 999 for the emergency services on the morning of the fatal attack, but it was too late.

Carl Wheatley guilty of murdering daughter

Stephen Chittenden

Radio 5 Live

A father has been convicted of beating his four-year-old daughter to death after losing his temper.

Carl Wheatley and Alexa-Marie
John O'Reilly

A jury at St Albans Crown Court found that Carl Wheatley, 31, murdered Alexa-Marie Quinn at his Hatfield home in March last year.

The jury rejected Wheatley's plea of not guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility, after psychiatrists had diagnosed multiple mental health disorders.

BreakingBreaking News

Carl Wheatley has been found guilty of murdering his four-year-old daughter, Alexa-Marie Quinn

Broadband boost for Hertfordshire

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

Almost £14m of funding has been announced to increase high-speed fibre optic broadband coverage across Hertfordshire.


The money comes from the Connected Counties programme - the result of a partnership between Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire county councils and BT - which has pledged to ensure more than 90% of premises in both counties have access to fibre broadband by the end of March 2016, as part of the current £18.06m rollout.

The additional £13.9m will see a further 44,000 homes and business in Herts become connected, meaning 98% of premises in the county are covered.

Good afternoon

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

Thanks to Katy for all her updates so far today. I'll be here with all the latest news from across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire from now until 6pm.

We'd love you to get involved so email your comments to or contact us on Twitter
@BBC3CR or

Council loses legal challenge

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

Luton Borough Council has lost its fight to get more social housing built on the northern edge of the town.

The Court of Appeal dismissed its legal action against Central Bedfordshire Council, which has yet to comment, for not including more cheaper housing on the land.

A borough council spokesman said: "Given the urgent need for affordable homes in Luton, this action is about protecting the town's long-term future and employment opportunities, therefore we are very disappointed with the outcome of this Court of Appeal challenge."

Young musicians promote prom

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

Young musicians from Stopsley Primary School in Luton have been chosen to promote the BBC Ten Pieces prom, to be held at the Royal Albert Hall in July.

BBC Proms

The children were invited to the venue to have their photo taken with percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, soprano Danielle De Niese, BBC presenter Katie Derham and conductor Nicholas Collon.

The BBC Ten Pieces project is a new initiative for schools across the country and will culminate in two proms at the Royal Albert Hall, on 18 and 19 July.

Is Buckinghamshire posh?

MK Citizen

The MK Citizen has used Google's Autocomplete function to find the most asked questions about Buckinghamshire on the search engine - and then

attempted to answer them.

It found the most Googled search questions were "Why is Buckinghamshire postcode HP" and "Is Buckinghamshire posh?".

College welcomes African agriculture students

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

Thirteen farmers from countries in Africa are taking part in a special 10-week course at

Shuttleworth College in Bedfordshire, organised by the Marshall Papworth Fund.

The students, who all work for charities based in Africa, are focusing on improving crops, selective livestock breeding and marketing their produce.

The project was featured on

BBC Radio 4's Farming Today programme this morning.

Founding father had vision of Milan for MK

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

One of Milton Keynes' founding fathers, Derek Walker, died on Monday.

Derek Walker
Victoria JK Lamburn

Mr Walker is best known as one of three architects - along with Stuart Mosscrop and Chris Woodward - responsible for thecentre:mk.

The trio followed the minimalist principles of German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in an attempt to create a building with the feel of the European-style glass-covered shopping streets or arcades of the Galleria in Milan. The centre was opened on 25 September 1979 by Margaret Thatcher.

Lunchtime headlines

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

Here are the latest headlines:

  • Three homes have been flooded and schools closed due to a burst water main in Bromham Road, Bedford
  • A Bedford man is due to appear in court today charged with terrorism-related offences
  • A plaque in memory of the Auxiliary Fire Service is due to be unveiled in Flackwell Heath, near High Wycombe

Listen to all the latest news on the hour at

BBC Three Counties Radio.

Woman with baby robbed

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

A woman has been robbed while walking her baby in Houghton Regis, in what police called a "vile crime".

She was walking along a footpath in Houghton Hall Park, near Cemetery Road, on Friday morning when she was approached by three teenage boys on bikes. They punched her several times, pushed her to the pavement and took her bag containing a large amount of cash.

Bedfordshire Police said as well as being injured, she's been left shocked and upset.

Wartime fire service remembered

BBC Three Counties Radio

A plaque in memory of the Auxiliary Fire Service is due to be unveiled in Flackwell Heath near High Wycombe today.

It was paid for by Charles Darby, 90, who served in the fire service and later was a rear gunner. He said he wanted a "fitting memorial".

Habib Ullah's supporters welcome public hearing

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

Supporters of Habib Ullah, who died after a drugs search by police officers in 2008, have welcomed yesterday's news that Thames Valley Police has been directed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission to hold a misconduct hearing for five officers in public.

Habib Ullah

Saqib Deshmukh, from campaign group Justice 4 Paps, said the group and the family were "genuinely pleased".

"I think it's a very significant step," he said. "Misconduct hearings normally take place behind closed doors, and this is actually very rare that you get misconduct hearings being held in public."

Sunrise over Luton Airport

Today's main image shows a glorious sunrise over Luton Airport.

Sunrise over Luton Airport
Aprill Harper

A big thank you to Aprill Harper, founder of

Bedfordshire Astrophotgraphy & Photography, for sharing her photograph with us.

If you have any photographs of sunrises, sunsets or landscapes, we'd love to see them. You can

email us here.

Bedford terror man due in court

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

A Bedford man is due to appear in court today charged with terrorism-related offences.

The 25-year-old faces two counts of possessing electronic files which could be used in preparing acts of terrorism and a charge relating to identity documents.

He will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court later.

Stevenage FC in 'pretty good shape'

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

Stevenage FC manager Graham Westley says his team are in "pretty good shape" ahead of Thursday's play-off semi-final second leg at Southend.

Graham Westley
Getty Images

Defender Bira Dembele is being monitored after a clash of heads in Sunday's first leg, but others came through unscathed.

"It was a bruising encounter, I think they made 20 fouls in the game," Westley said. "When you're in a game with that many fouls committed against you, you're likely to take a knock or two but in fairness the boys have come through pretty clean."

Luton Carnival parties like it's 1999

BBC Three Counties Radio

The Luton International Carnival is coming up on 24 May and we have some classic Lost East archive footage from 1999.

Luton Carnival in 1999

You can enjoy the

full video on our Facebook page.

Guide dog ban fine sends 'powerful' message

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

Dacorum Borough Council says it hopes the fine received by a local taxi driver who refused to pick up a blind passenger and their guide dog will send a "powerful" message to other drivers about their obligations.

Guide dog

Rajesh Kumar Punni, a licensed Hackney carriage driver, was ordered to pay more than £1,000 in fines and costs for refusing a passenger waiting at Hemel Hempstead town centre taxi rank, after claiming he had not realised the dog was a guide dog or the passenger was blind.

Council spokesman Ross Hill, said: "It's not acceptable that the visually impaired should be discriminated against and put at a disadvantage."

Burst water main causes school closures

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

More on the burst water main in Bromham Road, Bedford, which has led to three homes being flooded and a number of

schools closed.

A spokesman for Anglian Water said: "We are truly sorry for the impact this has had. We have a team of engineers on site who are working hard to reroute water through the network of pipes to return things to normal as soon as possible.

"Our loss adjustors will also be speaking to those customers who suffered flooding and we will pick up the tab for any work required."

Burst Bedford water main floods homes

Craig Lewis

Beds, Herts & Bucks Live

Three homes have been flooded by a burst water main in Bromham Road, Bedford.

The pipe burst in the early hours of this morning and Anglian Water says supplies in Queens Park, Biddenham, Kempston, and Bromham have been affected.

A spokesman apologised to customers who have been left without water after the 18in (45cm) water main burst.

Latest news

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

This morning's headlines:

  • The jury continues its deliberations in the trial of Carl Wheatley, who denies murdering his daughter Alexa-Marie Quinn
  • A second taxi driver in Hertfordshire is fined for refusing to pick up a blind passenger and her guide dog, it emerges
  • Wycombe Wanderers' play-off match against Plymouth on Thursday is now all-ticket

Wycombe play-off match all ticket

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

Wycombe Wanderers have sold more that 6,500 tickets for their play-off semi-final second leg match against Plymouth on Thursday.

The match has now been made all-ticket on police advice.


Chairboys lead 3-2 after the first leg in Devon last Saturday.

'Swallowed' toy sneezed out after 40 years

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

A man has

sneezed out part of a toy dart which he lost about 40 years ago.

Steve Easton
Steve Easton

Pat Easton, who lives in Buckinghamshire, said she took her son Steve to hospital at the age of seven or eight, suspecting he had swallowed the toy, but X-rays had not detected it.

Steve Easton, who is now 51 and lives in Surrey, was overcome by a sneezing fit and "a very uncomfortable sensation" before the rubber sucker emerged.

St Albans: Do you see your street here?

Katy Lewis

Beds, Herts and Bucks Live

Andy Lawrence from St Albans is a keen photographer and also collects century-old postcards.

Sutton Road

He has merged both passions in this

absolutely gorgeous video, showing St Albans now and then.

This picture of what's now a gym in Sutton Road is just one of the fascinating images.