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  1. Updates on Monday, 9 May 2016
  2. A man has appeared in court charged with murdering missing Milton Keynes woman Natalie Hemming
  3. Two teenage girls whose car stopped after it struck a deer on the A10, were killed when another car crashed into them from behind, a court hears
  4. Councils in Bedfordshire have spent £200,000 clearing up illegal travellers' sites over the last two years
  5. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Dani Bailey

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's all from the live team for Beds, Herts and Bucks today - if you missed anything... take a scroll down the page.

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow with the latest news, sport, weather and travel.

Have a good evening.

Weather: Cloudy tonight with some rain

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Turning cloudy with the risk of a few thundery showers tonight and general rain moving across the region. Lows of 10C (50F).

Weather graphic shows rain tomorrow

Tuesday will be a much cooler, cloudy day, with some showery outbreaks of rain during the morning. Turning a little brighter and drier later. Highs of 17C (63F)  

Get the detailed forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

'Blacklisted' union worker to win £60,000

Carol Abercrombie

BBC Three Counties Radio

Construction workers blacklisted for union activities are finally getting compensation after a long running campaign for justice, including one worker from Milton Keynes who is due to get £60,000.

Builder with hammer

Blacklisting came to light seven years ago when the Information Commissioner's Office seized a database of construction workers and environmental activists. It was used by 44 companies to vet new recruits.

In a statement the construction companies involved including Sir Robert McAlpine, which is based in Hemel Hempstead and Keir based in Sandy, Bedfordshire, said they acknowledged the system was unlawful and had made a full public apology.

Girl threatened by man on Hatfield bus

A 13-year-old girl was threatened by a man on a bus in Hatfield on Wednesday.

Uno bus depot in Hatfield

Officers are appealing for witnesses travelling on Uno bus route 601 between 07:44 and 07:54 on 4 May, where the girl caught the eye of the man who then accused her of staring and went on to threaten her.

The man is described as black, in his late 20s, slim and wearing a dark navy jumper and jeans or jogging bottoms. Police are keen to speak to a man who stepped in to protect the girl so the offender couldn't approach.

Evening headlines: Union workers payout... A10 crash death trial begins

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The latest headlines:

Four charged with Stevenage fraud which targeted elderly for thousands

Four people have been charged with fraud offences in Stevenage after a number of elderly residents lost thousands of pounds.

Two people in their 20s have been remanded into custody and another two released on bail.

Hertfordshire Police say between 18 March and 3 May - 23 elderly victims were contacted by people claiming to be police officers investigating bank account fraud. Some were persuaded to withdraw cash and hand it over to couriers. 

About £24,500 was taken in total.

Sinkhole residents have 'no reason not to be upbeat'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The closest residents to the hole in Fontmell Close who are still living in their house have said they have "no reason not to be upbeat" about the situation - even though the view from their front door is a ring of blue boarding.

Derek and Rosemary Broom

Derek and Rosemary Broom said they don't feel a need to have a survey done under their house - which they moved back to seven weeks after the hole opened up in October - and had "every reason to be positive".

"We have no reason to complain, no one was hurt and everyone has really pulled together," Mrs Broom said.  

Derek Broom said: "[The house] has been up for 40 years and now this is the most surveyed piece of land in Hertfordshire - it'll be the safest by the time they've finished."

Istiak Yusuf didn't want drug use disclosed, says partner

Nicola Haseler

BBC Three Counties

The partner of a man who died in police custody in Luton last year said it was "on everyone's mind" that he was on a suspended sentence for drink driving and was likely to go to prison if in trouble again.

Istiak Yusuf, 25, died in a cell at Luton police station in June 2015 after taking a concoction of cocaine and ecstasy, the inquest at Ampthill Coroner's Court heard.

Mr Yusuf's partner Naomi Smiley said he had been drinking for hours and "only took drugs when drinking" but that he "didn't want people to know" that he used them.

Whaddon residents mark top secret wartime role

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

Residents in a Buckinghamshire village are marking the top secret role they played during World War Two.

Bletchley Park
Shaun Armstrong/

Whaddon was a satellite station to the code-breaking centre at Bletchley Park and played a vital role in communicating with secret agents abroad. 

Marcel Jaurant-Singer, 94, who was in the French resistance, told villagers via video-link "the first time I had a connection and I had an answer, that was fantastic for me. I had the impression I had done something extraordinary."

Alleged assault involving traffic warden

Police are appealing for information after a traffic warden allegedly assaulted a man when he tried to take a photograph of him.

South Street in Bishop's Stortford

The incident happened outside the church in South Street, Bishop's Stortford, on 30 March at about 14:45.

Officers say that the traffic warden and a man were involved in an argument before the alleged assault.

Inquiry impressed with Bucks mental health service

Bucks Herald

Children facing mental health problems in Bucks are benefiting from the methods of a revamped county-wide service, councillors have heard.

Deer crash girls died when car hit them

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Two teenagers whose car stopped when it hit a deer were killed when their vehicle was hit by another car and burst into flames, a court has heard.

Charlotte Dove and Daniella Ruggiero
Herts Police

Daniela Ruggiero, 18,  from Hoddesdon, and Charlotte Dove, 17, were in a Citroen C1 that came to a standstill on the A10 in Hertfordshire on 15 October 2013.

It then caught fire when it was hit at 68mph by Luiz Rocker's Volvo V40, leaving both teenagers trapped inside.

Mr Rocker, 48, from Ware, Hertfordshire, denies causing their deaths by dangerous driving. The trial continues at St Albans Crown Court.

Istiak Yusuf inquest: Custody death man had a 'drink problem'

Nicola Haseler

BBC Three Counties

A Luton man who died in police custody last June has been described by his partner's mother as "funny, thoughtful and caring" but with "drink problem" which brought on drug use.

Istiak Yusuf
Family picture

Linda Smiley, the mother of Istiak Yusuf's partner Naomi, told Ampthill Coroner's Court that she had taken the couple's baby to her house after receiving a call from her daughter.

The inquest heard that Ms Smiley thought Mr Yusuf's attack on her daughter, which led her to call the police and for him to be taken into custody, was because of drugs saying "he wasn't a violent man".

St Albans sinkhole: The story so far

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

St Albans sinkhole
  • A  66ft (20m) diameter and 33ft (10m) deep hole opened up in Fontmell Close, St Albans, on 1 October 2015
  • Hertfordshire County Council commissioned a microgravity survey of the road and footpath by Geotechnology Ltd, which involved working out measurements of gravity under the road
  • This identified another "possible void" and further intrusive surveys revealed an area under the road where further investigation was required
  • Deep boreholes were drilled into the road which the council has said "found no evidence to suggest there was a further void"
  • Further investigations on the road were completed last week and the final results should be available soon

Fatal bus crash in Milton Keynes

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

A man has died in Milton Keynes today after being hit by a bus near The Point.

The Point

Police were called to Midsummer Boulevard in Central Milton Keynes just after 11:15 to reports of a collision involving a pedestrian and a bus.

The man in his 30s died at the scene. Officers have informed his next of kin.

Aylesbury fire suspected arson attack

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

Firefighters say a fire which has severely damaged a double garage in Aylesbury last night is a suspected arson attack. 

Two fire engines were called to put out the blaze in Russell Avenue at about 22:30.

Maulden grave notices 'out of order', say families

Howard Shannon

BBC Three Counties Radio

Families in Maulden say notices left on stakes in graves about trinkets are "bang out of order". 

Churchyard notice

The rector of St Mary's Church has told residents that all personal items must be removed from their loved-ones graves. 

A lady, who did not want to be named, said it was unreasonable the way they'd been told and if it had been "worded differently, you might have thought 'fair enough'... but it's bang out of order."

Police Commissioner vote system criticised

Paul Scoins

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

There’s concern about the system used to elect Police and Crime Commissioners, after one authority found high numbers of spoilt ballot papers.

Bedfordshire’s police area returning officer, Trevor Holden, says he thinks the second preference voting system throws up abnormally high spoiled papers.

He says there may be a case for the Electoral Commission to review the way we vote for our PCCs.

2,138 ballot papers were rejected in Bedfordshire, from 109,273 votes in total.

Families feel let down over school places

St Albans Review

Families in St Albans feel let down by the county council to provide their children with a primary school place of their choice.  

Luton Airport hotel death accused may be moved to psyciatric hospital

A man accused of murdering of Canadian IT engineer at a hotel in Luton may be transferred from prison to a high-security psychiatric hospital.

Hampton Hilton
Geograph/M J Richardson

The 21-year-old, from Latvia, has been assessed by psychiatrists and may be moved to Rampton or Broadmoor Hospital.

He was arrested following an attack on father Ashwin Desai at the Hampton Hilton Hotel, near Luton Airport, last September. Mr Desai, in his 40s, was pronounced dead in December after being in a coma. 

There will be a plea hearing at Luton Crown Court on 14 June.

Mercury's journey across the sun

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Skywatchers around the globe are observing Mercury transit the Sun, the little planet's third such pass of 14 it will make this century... and people are watching out for it across the three counties.

Mercury passing the sun
Aprill Harper

Mercury's sojourn between Earth and our star lasts from 11:12 until 18:42. It will not make another transit until 2019 and then 2032.

BBC Weather Watcher Aprill Harper, who also runs Bedfordshire Astrophotography & Photography, is watching the journey and sent us this photograph (Mercury is on the left).

Find out how you can watch the transit here - don't look with the naked eye!

Istiak Yusuf inquest: Paramedic found 'Kinder egg-type capsule' on victim

Nicola Haseler

BBC Three Counties

I'm at Ampthill Coroner's Court for the inquest into the death in custody of Istiak Yusuf who died at Luton police station last June after being arrested over an alleged assault.

Istiak Yusuf
The Yusuf family

Today the jury has been hearing from Andrew Inskip, a paramedic who attended the call from Luton police station to attend to Mr Yusuf.

He said he patted Mr Yusuf’s pockets and “found a little yellow shell like a Kinder egg capsule” which he opened and saw it had a bag inside. He said: "The bag was passed out of the cell and we were unsure where it went. We didn't see it again."

Last week, a police officer who searched Mr Yusuf on arrival at the station, told the jury if Mr Yusuf had had a Kinder egg in his pocket he "would have found it”.

Weather forecaster Dan Holley looks back over the last month

St Albans sinkhole: What next for the evacuated residents?

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Hertfordshire County Council have indicated there is "no further cause for concern" about other voids under the road at the the St Albans sinkhole site - so what does this mean for the four households who have been unable to return to their homes in Fontmell Close since the hole opened up last October?

Fontmell Close, St Albans

Ben Bagshaw, who is living in temporary accommodation with his wife and seven-month-old baby, told me the insurance companies of the properties involved had investigated the land underneath their houses which the council is not responsible for.

He said: "I haven't seen a report, but it's my understanding that all is OK and there are no major concerns... as long as the council gives the all clear I see no issue with reinstating the road."

Of his time away from their home while investigations are carried out he said: "It's annoying, but what can you do?".

Wycombe Wanderers: Matt Bloomfield, Paul Hayes & Sam Wood sign new deals

BBC Sport

Wycombe Wanderers club captain Matt Bloomfield has signed a new one-year contract with the League Two club.

Matt Bloomfield
Getty Images

The 32-year-old midfielder has made 395 appearances in 13 years with the Chairboys, while striker Paul Hayes, also 32, has signed a two-year deal.

Marcus Bean is considering an offer of a deal until 2017 and fellow midfielder Sam Wood triggered a year's extension with his appearances this term.

Bafta win for 'My Son the Jihadi' about Bucks man

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

A documentary about a Buckinghamshire woman whose son joined a terrorist group won the award for Single Documentary at the Baftas last night.

Thomas Evans became known as Hakim when he converted to Islam and went to fight with a terror group in Somalia

My Son the Jihadi followed the story of Sally Evans and her son Thomas, who died fighting for terror group al-Shabab in June 2015.

When the documentary first aired in October, Ms Evans told the BBC: "I miss my son Thomas desperately but 'Hakim' [as Thomas became known], no. I have to be honest, I think it's best that he's no longer with us."

Man accused of killing partner appears in court

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A man charged with the murder of his partner who has been missing for six days has appeared in court. 

Alderney Avenue, Newton Leys, Milton Keynes
South Beds News Agency

Paul Hemming, 42, of Alderney Avenue, Newton Leys, Milton Keynes is accused of killing Natalie Hemming, 31, who was last seen in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire at about 15:00 on 1 May. She was reported missing from her home in Newton Leys, on Tuesday by a relative.

Mr Hemming was remanded in custody at Milton Keynes' magistrates and is next due in court in July.

Ms Hemming lived with Mr Hemming and their three children. Thames Valley Police said the search for her is continuing.  

Lunchtime headlines: Missing woman murder accused in court... Aylesbury garage fire suspected arson attack

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The top stories this lunchtime:

  • A man from Milton Keynes has appeared in court accused of murdering his partner
  • A man accused of murdering a guest at a hotel in Luton may be transferred from prison to a high-security psychiatric hospital 
  • Firefighters say a fire which has severely damaged a double garage in Aylesbury last night is a suspected arson attack

Council hopeful of 'no further cause for concern' in sinkhole area

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

I've been talking to Hertfordshire County Council about the latest situation at the St Albans sinkhole and they are pretty confident that there's no evidence of another void there - but are waiting for final confirmation from engineers.

St Albans sinkhole

The 33ft (10m) deep hole appeared in Fontmell Close, a former clay pit site, on 1 October last year and initial reports showed up another possible hole and further probes were needed. 

The latest investigations included deep boreholes being drilled into the road beneath and surrounding the now plugged hole (pictured).

The council said the recent tests had given it "no further cause for concern over possible mined voids in this location" but it was "still awaiting final reports to confirm this".

Motorists asked to avoid The Point in MK

There has been a serious collision by The Point in Milton Keynes, police say.

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Grave trinkets row in Maulden

Howard Shannon

BBC Three Counties Radio

Residents of Maulden in Bedfordshire are angry about notices that have been left on their loved-ones graves. 

Graves in Maulden

The rector of St Mary's Church has told them that all personal items must be removed by 15 May.

Paul Hughes, from the St Albans Diocese, says "you're not allowed to put trinkets on graves because they're a hazard" to people looking after the site.

Firefighters to respond to medical emergencies from today

Carol Abercrombie

BBC Three Counties Radio

Firefighters in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire will begin responding to medical emergencies from this morning - the 999 control room will send either paramedics or firefighters to attend, depending upon who's nearest.


Hertfordshire Fire Service says fire engines already carry trauma kits and defibrillators so it makes sense to support the ambulance service when they can get to a patient quicker. It's says they aren't trying to turn firefighters in to paramedics and it won't affect their ability to attend fires, road accidents and other serious incidents.

Firefighters won't take casualties to hospital, but will provide care at the scene until an ambulance arrives.

Weather Watchers: Hitchin bathed in sunshine

BBC Weather Watchers

St Mary's Church in Hitchin is looking idyllic in the sunshine on this Monday morning. 

Hitchin in the sunshine

Our BBC Weather Watchers are keeping us up-to-date with the latest weather "nowcasts" across Beds, Herts and Bucks. Find out here how you can join in too.

Councils spend £200k clearing up after travellers

Matthew Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

Councils in Bedfordshire have spent £200,000 clearing up after illegal traveller sites over the past two years. 

Rubbish left at J10 0f the M1

Figures obtained by BBC Three Counties Radio show the most money was spent by Luton Borough Council who paid out £69,000 last year, but Labour leader Hazel Simmons says moving them on is easier said than done.

She said: "We have to deal with this under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act... I don't think it's as easy as you think to go through a process. We have to evict them properly, we have bailiffs who go on there and talk to them, though they all leave rubbish - some are worse than others."

Hemel Hempstead woman is London marathon's millionth finisher

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A Hemel Hempstead woman has been named as the one millionth person to finish the London marathon since it began 36 years ago.   

Shannon Foudy with her daughter Catrin
Virgin Money London Marathon

Metropolitan police officer Shannon Foudy, 39, who was running her first marathon, clocked up a time of 5:45:18.

She was running to raise money for the Luton & Dunstable Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which saved the life of her daughter Catrin who was born at 26 weeks in January 2010.

Ms Foudy, who works as a schools and youth engagement sergeant in Barnet, said it was "the most worthwhile thing I have ever done".

Morning headlines: Council clean-up costs... Grave trinkets row

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

The latest headlines:

  • Councils in Bedfordshire have spent £200,000 clearing up after illegal traveller sites over the past two years 
  • An inquest continues this morning into the death of a man in a cell at Luton police station 
  • Residents of Maulden in Bedfordshire are angry about notices that have been left on their loved-ones graves

Maintenance work overruns on M1

Paul Scoins

BBC Three Counties Radio

This is what the M1 southbound at J14 looked like this morning - very congested due to over-running maintenance work, which has meant the hard shoulder has remained closed. 

It would normally be open to cope with peak time traffic.


Milton Keynes' Bake Off winner delighted at programme's BAFTA win

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

BBC One's The Great British Bake Off, won by Milton Keynes' Nadiya Hussain, was a winner at the BAFTA's last night, taking the features prize.

Last night Luton-born Nadiya was clearly enjoying herself as she tweeted a selfie from the ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall while this morning she tweeted: "Am I dreaming or did bake off win a BAFTA? Good morning folks ..."

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Watford 'fail to take chances' at Anfield

BBC Sport

Watford lost 2-0 at Liverpool yesterday in the Premier League.

Roberto Firmino of Liverpool holds off Sebastian Prodl of Watford
Getty Images

Joe Allen scored for the Reds in the first half and Roberto Firminho doubled the lead in the second. Watford's most promising chances fell to Odion Ighalo but he failed to capitalise, with his best effort seeing him shoot into the side-netting.

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores, said: "During the match we had chances. We were competitive but we need to remove the little mistakes."