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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday, 9 June 2016
  2. Thomas White jailed for killing his partner Ashley Gillard before setting fire to his flat
  3. Luton borough councillor Mohammed Ashraf is expelled from the Labour Party after being found guilty of offences relating to his travel agency business
  4. CCTV photos show 'hockey stick robbery'
  5. Modern day slavery 'victim' tells court he voluntarily went to live with travellers
  6. Reaction to plans for maternity services to move from Bedford Hospital to Milton Keynes
  7. Updates resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

That's all from the team across Beds, Herts and Bucks for today.

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

See what you missed by scrolling through the page to catch up.

Councillor expelled: Luton travel agent's signs removed

Paul Scoins

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

The travel agency run by a councillor who has been suspended by the Luton Labour Party after being found guilty of falsifying documents is looking rather bare...

Luton Travel Services on Dunstable Road now has no signage left.

Luton Travel Services shop with signs removed
BBC

Mohammed Ashraf was convicted of five of the six charges against him at Luton Magistrates' Court and fined more than £2,000.  

The court heard he displayed outdated signage and documents inferring he was consumer protected and the logo of a major airline - Pakistan International Airlines - which he wasn't entitled to display. He also faked documents and produced them in an official investigation under caution.  

Weather: More sunshine on the way

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

Plenty of sunshine to end the day and then a dry night. Temperatures no lower than 9C (48F).

Weather graphic
BBC

Tomorrow is looking largely dry with spells of sunshine. Temperatures could reach 21C (70F).

Milton Keynes flat fire: White 'did nothing in life-threatening situation'

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

A judge passing sentence on Thomas White for the manslaughter of his partner told him: "You intentionally did nothing to help a fellow human being in what was a life-threatening situation."

Thomas White
SBNA

The 26-year-old was passed an extended sentence of 13 years and nine months at Luton Crown Court today by Judge Richard Foster, who said White posed a risk to the public of committing further serious offences.

Judge Foster detailed to the court how White had found out hairdresser Ashley Gillard was HIV positive and he left him fitting whilst tied up in his flat.

He later returned to burn the flat in an attempt to destroy any evidence of the killing.

BreakingMilton Keynes flat fire: Ashley Gillard's partner jailed

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

A man who admitted killing his partner and then setting fire to his flat after hearing his victim was HIV positive has been jailed for more than 13 years.

Ashley Gillard
SBNA

Thomas White, 26, of Bibury Close in Wellingborough, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court in April to manslaughter by gross negligence.

Hairdresser Ashley Gillard (pictured), 31, was discovered after the blaze in the third-floor property in Wolverton, Milton Keynes on 8 June.

Judge Richard Foster gave White an extended sentence of 13 years and nine months, and he was told he would be on licence for four years after his release.

Speech 'encouraged support for so-called IS'

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

It's been alleged in court that hard-line Muslims were encouraged to support the so-called Islamic State during a speech at an Anglican church in Luton. 

The jury heard a transcript of the speech, which had been recorded by an undercover police officer, at St Margaret's Church on 29 June 2015. 

Old Bailey Scale of Justice
BBC

The prosecution says the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spoke about Muslims who supported the aims of so-called Islamic State, but were waiting for it to be victorious before showing their support. 

He is charged with four counts of encouraging support for a proscribed organisation, which he denies.

Four other men are also on trial: A second man, who also cannot be named, is charged with three counts of arranging meetings for a banned organisation.

Three men are accused of encouraging support for a banned organisation: Two from Luton, Yousaf Bashir, 35, and Rajib Khan, 38, and a third from Maidenhead, all deny the charges against them.

Bedford and Milton Keynes Hospital proposals 'good news', say MPs

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Milton Keynes MPs have said proposals for maternity services to move to the town from Bedford are "good news".

Conservative MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart said in a joint statement that "the move would be the result" they "have been campaigning for".  

Milton Keynes Hospital entrance
Google

They continue that "centralising specialist services" would mean they'd be able to "attract the best staff" and enable clinicians to "develop their skill".

"We will continue to push the case for Milton Keynes University Hospital to be upgraded and expand to attain further services to deliver for our growing population," they conclude.

Death on mountain comes 15 years after school trip tragedy

This is Fansipan Mountain, where British backpacker Aiden Webb's body was found this morning. 

Fifteen years ago, 17-year-old schoolgirl Amy Ransom, from Bryants Bottom, Buckinghamshire, died after falling 500m (1,640ft) when she slipped off a path on the same mountain

Fansipan mountain
Reuters

She was part of a school party, accompanied by two Vietnamese guides, and had been trekking up the mountain near the village of Sa Pa when the tragedy happened.  

Policeman admits filming teen girl performing sex act

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

A police officer from Aylesbury has admitted making and distributing indecent images, after filming a teenage girl performing a sex act on him and sending it to three friends.

High Wycombe Magistrates Court
Google

Metropolitan Police officer Stephen McMillan, 26, of Viridian Square, pleaded guilty to four charges at High Wycombe Magistrates' Court.

He met the girl, who is under 18, via the dating app Tinder. He will be sentenced next month and has been suspended by the force.

Machete raid left shop workers 'traumatised'

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

A court has heard how two shop assistants were left so traumatised by a machete raid in Luton that they had to leave their jobs.

The Nisa store on Axe Close in Luton's Marsh Farm was robbed on 15 October by two men armed with a machete and an imitation hand gun.

Luton Crown COurt
SBNA

Luton Crown Court heard how the female shop assistant was left suffering from sleepless nights and depression. A male assistant was left so traumatised he could no longer work indoors and has moved to another part of the country.

Leonard Hunte, 34, of Albert Road, Luton, was given an extended 17-year prison sentence.

Machete raider jailed for 17 years

Gail Sanderson

BBC Three Counties Radio

A man armed with a machete who raided two small shops and a bookmaker in Bedfordshire has been given an extended jail sentence of 17 years. 

Nisa in Marsh Farm
BBC

Leonard Hunte, 34, of Albert Road, Luton, made off with just a few hundred pounds, but the shop workers were left so traumatised they had to leave their jobs.   

Luton Crown Court heard how Hunte and another man wore scarves to cover their faces, and were armed with a machete and an imitation handgun when they robbed the Nisa store in Axe Close. 

Throwback Thursday: Sharnbrook in the 1940s

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

It's that time of week again, Throwback Thursday! 

Bedford Borough Council has shared another great photograph from the Bedfordshire Archive - of Sharnbrook High Street about 70 years ago.

View more on twitter

Man 'spied on mother and child under toilet door'

A man who spied on a mother and her three-year-old daughter in a public toilet has been fined and told he must complete a 12-month community order.

St Albans Crown Court heard that Malcolm Hawkins, 57, of Oakmere Avenue, Potters Bar, put his head under a toilet door in the women's toilets in Verulamium Park, St Albans, in June 2014.  

St Albans Crown Court
SBNA

The mother took a photograph of Hawkins and circulated it on social media. His neighbour told him about the picture and he handed himself in to police.

Hawkins, who suffers with a learning disability, was given a 12-month community order with supervision of probation officers, made to pay £1,750 and must register as a sex offender for five years.

Getting into a turret? More like getting into a pickle...

Roberto Perrone

BBC Three Counties Radio

We're broadcasting live from Bedfordshire's Lockheed Martin, a worldwide defence company whose turret production line was officially opened earlier.

Before the show started, I got to take a look around and INSIDE one of the turrets... they're rather tiny.

View more on twitter

Live from Lockheed Martin: Turret production line

Roberto Perrone

BBC Three Counties Radio

This is the impressive turret production line at Bedfordshire's Lockheed Martin.

The facility was officially opened today by the defence minister Philip Dunne.

Turret production line
BBC
Turret production line
BBC
Inside turret
BBC

Elderly couple taken to hospital after car overturns

Two people have been taken to hospital after a car overturned in Luton this afternoon.

Wigmore Lane in Luton
Google

Emergency services were called to Wigmore Lane just before midday and treated two elderly people.

A woman, suffering from chest and abdomen pain, and a man with cuts and bruises were taken to hospital for further treatment. Their injuries were described as minor.

Dunstable collision: Teenage boy discharged at scene

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

I've just heard from the ambulance service about the collision in Dunstable earlier. 

They were called to the scene at College Drive and Boscome Road just after 12:45.

There was just one patient assessed by staff - a teenage boy. He didn't require any further treatment and was discharged at the scene.

24 Hours in Police Custody: In Plain Sight

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Last night's 24 Hours In Police Custody on Channel 4 was a tough watch, featuring two cases of child sex offences in Bedfordshire.

24 Hours in Police Custody
Channel 4

One of the officers featured in the episode, Det Cons Mo Hussain, has blogged about the case involving Martin Druce.

He said: "I’m a shy person and I don’t like to be in front of the cameras, but this was such a good job by all involved that I wanted people to see it.

"I wanted them to witness first-hand the work we do to protect people."

Modern day slavery 'victim' voluntarily went to live with travellers

A man who is alleged to have been the victim of modern day slavery told St Albans Crown Court today that he voluntarily went to live with a family of travellers.

Johnny Moloney
SBNA

Cameron Biggar, 43, was living on the streets of London in 2004 as an alcoholic. 

Appearing via video link, he told the court that he agreed to work for Johnny Moloney (pictured) from St Albans: "I saw it as an opportunity not to be homeless any more," he said.

Mr Biggar said he'd been made to feel welcome at the Moloney home in Watford Road when he arrived. Read more here.

Defence minister opens Bedfordshire production line

Gail Sanderson

BBC Three Counties Radio

A new multi-million pound production line at a worldwide defence company in Bedfordshire has been officially opened by a government minister. 

Ribbon cutting
BBC

Lockheed Martin in Ampthill has a contract to make armoured vehicle turrets for the British Army. It's been designed and developed at the site, and the new production facility will create 40 new jobs. 

Philip Dunne, the minister of state for defence procurement, said of the turrets: "It's a digitally-enabled platform which will allow the operators inside the vehicle to have much greater awareness of the situation that they find themselves in."

Live from Lockheed Martin

Roberto Perrone

BBC Three Counties Radio

This afternoon I'm taking a behind-the-scenes look at one of Bedfordshire’s biggest employers.

I'm at Lockheed Martin in Ampthill to find out what the 900 workers do for the defence industry.

Roberto Perrone in Lockheed Martin
BBC

The production line's just been officially opened by the Defence Minister Philip Dunne, and we'll be broadcasting live from the building from 15:00.

Weather: Plenty of sunshine this afternoon

BBC Weather

You'll be pleased to hear that any residual cloud will soon clear, leaving another warm afternoon with plenty of sunshine.

Maximum temperature: 21C (70F).

St Albans Cathedral
BBC

Lunchtime panto surprise

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

So, it's not often you pop out for lunch and find CBBC's Ed Petrie hanging out the washing in the park!

Ed Petrie
BBC

Ed and the rest of the cast of the Grove Theatre's panto were taking part in an Aladdin-themed mini Olympics, which included Throwing the Flying Carpet, Fastest to Dress Up as The Genie and Hanging Out Widow Twankey's Washing.   

Collision in Dunstable

Paul Scoins

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

There has been a collision in Dunstable, at the junction of College Drive and Boscombe Road.

A motorcyclist is being treated by a paramedic

More on this as we get it.

Accident in Dunstable
BBC

Jury considers verdict over poppy-seller attack plans

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The jury has retired to consider its verdict in the case of a High Wycombe man accused of planning a knife attack, which was allegedly inspired by so-called Islamic State on Remembrance Day 2014. 

Yousaf Syed, 20 (pictured right), denies a charge of preparation of acts of terrorism alongside 29-year-old Haseeb Hamayoon (left), from Hayes. 

It's alleged they planned to behead a poppy seller or a police community support officer in response to a fatwa issued by a spokesman for the so-called Islamic State.

Harpenden robbery: Young woman 'afraid to be alone in home'

A young woman who was grabbed by robbers and dragged around has described how "frightening" the incident was.

CCTV of car / similar safe
Hertfordshire Police

The victim in her 20s was smoking outside her home in The Common, Harpenden, on 14 May when two men in balaclavas grabbed her and dragged her inside, stealing a safe.

"The whole experience was very frightening," the woman said. "I am afraid to be alone in the house."

Police say there was nothing of value inside the safe, similar to the one pictured, so it may have been dumped.

Harpenden robbery: Description of the offenders

CCTV of robbers
Hertfordshire Police

Information about the three men responsible for a robbery at a home in The Common, Harpenden, has been released by police:

  • They are white
  • Wore balaclavas and gloves
  • Were armed with a hockey stick
  • They stole a brown Honda 4x4, registration 8PXB, with the words "Brayley Honda St Albans" on the driver and passenger doors, and "www.brayley-honda.co.uk" on the back

Harpenden robbery: New CCTV released

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Police have released new CCTV of a robbery in Harpenden, after it featured on the BBC's Crimewatch Roadshow this morning.

CCTV of burglars
Hertfordshire Police

Two men grabbed a woman in her 20s, at about 22:00 on 14 May, when she was having a cigarette outside her home. The men, armed with a hockey stick, dragged her inside, and a third man entered.

They took a heavy safe from the house and put it in the victim's brown Honda 4x4 before driving from The Common towards Annables Lane.

Quique Sanchez Flores: Espanyol appoint former Watford boss

BBC Sport

Former Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores is back in work, having been appointed as the new manager of Spanish side Espanyol.

Sanchez Flores left Watford at the end of the season, despite keeping the Hornets in the Premier League and reaching the FA Cup semi-finals.

Quique Sanchez Flores
Getty Images

'Reassurance patrols' after attempted sex assault in Arlesey

Gail Sanderson

BBC Three Counties Radio

Police in Bedfordshire are carrying out reassurance patrols after a 17-year-old girl was the victim of an attempted sexual assault.

The teenager was walking along a path between Arlesey and Stotfold on Tuesday afternoon when a man tried to push her to the floor and sexually assault her. She managed to push the man off and ran away.

Police said the alleged offender was about 19-years-old, white with a tan, slim and wearing a blue hooded top with jeans. He was carrying a beer can.

St Albans couple's 'slave': Trial continues

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

The trial continues today of a young couple accused of keeping a modern day slave at their home in St Albans. 

Johnny Moloney and his wife Shanon Loveridge are accused of modern slavery
SBNA

Johnny Moloney, 26, and his wife, Shanon Loveridge, 22, of Watford Road, are alleged to have forced Cameron Biggar to work for up to 14 hours a day, seven days a week, on unpaid block-paving and tarmacking work. 

Yesterday, the 43-year-old told St Albans Crown Court he had to live in a shed with other men, and use a bucket as a toilet.

Councillor expelled from Labour Party: 'No comment'

Paul Scoins

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

As we hear the news that a Luton councillor has been expelled from the Labour Party, let's look again at my attempt to speak to Mohammed Ashraf as he left court.

He was found guilty of faking documents relating to his travel company at Luton Magistrates' Court.

View more on twitter

Councillor expelled from Luton Labour Party

Paul Scoins

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

The Labour Party has confirmed that a Luton borough councillor has been expelled from the party after he was found guilty of various offences relating to his travel agency business. 

Ashraf arrives in court
BBC

Mohammed Ashraf was convicted of five of the six charges against him and was fined more than £2,000.

He will remain a councillor.

Isle of Man helicopter crash: Impact 'not survivable'

The impact of a helicopter crash in the Isle of Man "was not survivable for the pilot", an accident report found.

The A 18 Mountain Road was closed for several hours after the helicopter crash
BBC

Matthew Chapman, 48, from Lincolnshire, was the only person on board the aircraft after dropping two passengers from Milton Keynes at the Baldwin Valley.

Businessman Mr Chapman, of Louth, had 786 hours of flying experience, including 126 on helicopters.  

The AAIB concluded that appropriate training in mountain flying techniques and the associated hazards "could have assisted the pilot in executing the flight successfully".  

Isle of Man helicopter crash: TT races pilot 'fought gusty conditions'

A helicopter pilot killed in a crash on the Isle of Man struggled to regain control in gusty conditions, an accident report has found.

Matthew Chapman
Isle of Man Constabulary

Matthew Chapman, from Lincolnshire, was the only person on board when the helicopter crashed during the TT Festival on 6 June last year.

The 48-year-old set off from Milton Keynes with two passengers who he dropped off at the Creg Ny Baa. The helicopter crashed at about 09:00 BST, after lifting off for the return journey.

Mr Chapman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Crimewatch Roadshow: Violent Stevenage burglary featured

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A violent unsolved burglary in Stevenage has also featured on BBC One's Crimewatch Roadshow this morning.

Peter and Janet Ward, who had worked in the jewellery business for about 40 years, were threatened by two men with a machete and a shotgun in their own home before being tied up and left in the bathroom. The thieves made off with about £80,000 of jewellery.

Det Cons Katy Tucker said: "This was the worst aggravated burglary I have ever dealt with."

View more on twitter

Bedford Hospital: Former consultant condemns plans

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A former consultant at Bedford Hospital has condemned plans to move maternity services to Milton Keynes, announced in a long-awaited NHS review.

Bedford Hospital
Google

The review team has said catering for a higher number of births in Milton Keynes would help to "attract and retain essential staff", and "provide the highest quality of care".

But former Bedford consultant Dr Barry Monk said there had been "a number of inquiries into maternity services at Milton Keynes Hospital" which "weren't uncritical".

He said: "There have been some serious issues with maternity in Milton Keynes. If you want to combine with someone, why on earth combine with Milton Keynes?"

Bedford Hospital plans: Report 'incredibly disappointing' mayor says

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The mayor of Bedford has condemned moving maternity services from Bedford Hospital to Milton Keynes, in plans announced by a long-awaited NHS review. 

Bedford Hospital
BBC

The review team say Milton Keynes would become a major emergency centre, but Dave Hodgson said the plans were "incredibly disappointing" and Milton Keynes could not cope with more than 3,000 extra births from the Bedford area.

He said: "It's a very crude approach and doesn't make the health services and the care services any more sustainable.

"Milton Keynes Hospital or any other hospital in the area hasn't got the capacity for an extra 3,100 births... and that's on top of all the difficulties about expectant mothers.

"Having to travel for up to an hour to a hospital, it just seems wrong to me that we won't have births in Bedford, a county town."

Crimewatch Roadshow: Police appeal for help in Hitchin robbery case

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

An unsolved crime in Hitchin has been featured on BBC One's Crimewatch Roadshow this morning.

Cynthia Parker had more than £2,000 stolen from her by professional thieves, who watched her enter her pin number into a cash machine in the town centre.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Albanian murderer arrested in Watford

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

A double murderer from Albania, who was on the run in the UK, has been caught in Hertfordshire.

The 53-year-old was arrested as he drove through Watford yesterday by Metropolitan Police officers after a tip-off from a national newspaper.

The fugitive was wanted by Interpol after a court in Albania convicted and sentenced him over two brutal killings in his absence.  

He will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court today for an extradition hearing.