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Summary

  1. Johnny Moloney jailed for keeping a man as a slave
  2. Judge tells Moloney he "deliberately degraded" another human being
  3. Milton Keynes hit by flooding
  4. Updates for Friday, 17 June 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it for this week from everyone here on the Local Live team in Beds, Herts and Bucks. 

You can catch up on today's news by scrolling back through the page.

We've reported on a St Albans man being jailed for four years for keeping a man as a slave for more than 10 years.

We've also brought you news on the heavy rain that affected Milton Keynes yesterday.

We hope it stays dry on Sunday as the 15th Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival takes place at Willen Lake. 

Thousands of spectators are expected at the event, which is described as the longest running and largest of its kind in the country. 

Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Race
Vanessa Barton Photography

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

Weather: Drier Saturday expected

BBC Weather

After yesterday's heavy rain in Milton Keynes, it looks like there's good news to come.

As the picture below shows, taken by Weather Watcher BucksBlackCat, heavy showers will gradually ease through the evening, with some clear spells for a time. 

Minimum Temperature: 11C (52F). 

Milton Keynes
BucksBlackCat/Weather Watcher

Tomorrow will start mostly dry with some bright spells. It'll become rather cloudy though, with scattered showers developing through the day. 

Maximum Temperature: 17C (63F). 

School gets ready to reopen after flash floods force it to close

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

After spending the day clearing up after last night's flash floods in Milton Keynes, Stantonbury Campus is expected to be open again on Monday.

The music block and creative arts suite filled with water and as you can see expensive musical equipment had to be moved out of the way. 

View more on twitter

Saracens loan five players to Bedford

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Bedford Blues have signed five young playerson loan from Saracens for next season.

Heading to Goldington Road for the year will be full back Matt Gallagher, winger George Perkins and prop Billy Walker, who are all currently in action at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship, along with prop Hayden Thompson-Stringer and scrum half Tom Whiteley.

Rugby game at Bedford Blues
Getty Images

Meanwhile, the clubs have announced a pre-season friendly at Goldington Road on Friday 19 August.  

Timberlake spoof video makers 'not heard from Justin yet'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

I've been talking to Sue Wybrow from St Albans Businesses about the spoof Justin Timberlake video they have made.

Salih Gaygusuz and Justin Timberlake
YouTube

She told me that what started out as a comment on their Facebook group has now become a reality, with everybody who took part donating to the cause.

Its premiere at the Odyssey cinema yesterday also raised funds and they are now encouraging all who see it to make a donation. 

She said: "It was really good fun... we haven't had a response from Justin yet but hopefully he'll like it."

Businesses create spoof Justin Timberlake video in bid to raise funds

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Not much gives you that Friday feeling more than a bit of Justin Timberlake!

Well, a group of business in St Albans have got together to produce this rather brilliant spoof of his Can't Stop The Feeling video, which aims to raise awareness and funds for Home Start St Albans.

Amongst other local business figures, you can see the part of the snake-hipped star uncannily recreated by outgoing mayor of St Albans Salih Gaygusuz.

View more on youtube

Man charged after fire causes £3.5m worth of damage

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A man has been charged with arson after a fire caused £3.5m worth of damage to a listed thatched property in Drivers End, Codicote last year. 

The fire broke out on 12 July and was tackled by more than 15 fire engines and support vehicles.

Fire at Codicote
Hertfordshire fire service
Fire at Codicote
SBNA
Fire at Codicote
SBNA

Watch: Bedfordshire author goes it alone to make his mark

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Adam Croft, from Flitwick, suffered many rejections in his bid to become a published author.

But his latest thriller has just cleared more than £1m in sales - after he self-published and self promoted the title. 

Women left in serious condition after Bedford hit and run

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A woman in her 60s has been left with serious injuries after a hit and run incident in Bedford. 

Police say the driver of a red S-reg Toyota Corolla fled the scene towards the town centre after a crash took place at the junction of Warwick Avenue and Linden Road at about 15:00 on Wednesday afternoon.

Junction at Warwick Avenue and Linden Road
Google

The woman was left trapped in a black Renault Megane. 

They believe there were two passengers in the Toyota. 

Tesco sells Dobbies Garden Centres for £217m

Hertfordshire based Tesco has sold its garden centre chain Dobbies for £217m as the retailer continues with its strategy of focusing on its supermarket business.

It was sold to a group of investors led by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital.

Dobbies signage
BBC

The sale comes a week after Tesco announced the sale of UK restaurant chain Giraffe and its Turkish business.

Tesco bought Dobbies in 2007 for £150m and it is now the UK's second largest gardening retailer.

Three police constables served gross misconduct notices after Bedford death

The police watchdog have confirmed that gross misconduct notices have been served on three constables following the death of Karl Brunner in Bedford town centre on 11 May. 

Below is the mobile phone footage taken of the incident which shows plain-clothed police urging him to spit out something which was in his mouth.

Police face criminal investigation over Bedford death

Paul Scoins

BBC Three Counties Radio political reporter

It's been confirmed that a criminal investigation is now under way into the death of man who was being detained by police in Bedford Town Centre last month. 

Three police constables have been served with gross misconduct notices over the death of Karl Brunner on Midland Road on 11 May. 

Midland Road, Bedford
Google

The Independent Police Complaints Commission are examining the officers' use of force during Mr Brunner's restraint and the provision of emergency medical care. 

A post-mortem test didn't identify the cause of death and further tests are ongoing. 

St Albans slavery case not 'unique'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are urging anyone who may know someone who's being held against their wises to come forward. 

Peter Shaw, from the CPS, believes this isn't a "unique" case and says they're committed to securing justice even in the "most difficult circumstances".

Anti slavery poster
Hertfordshire Police

He says: "The victim was a vulnerable man who had been falsely promised paid work and a place to live in a flat. He was completely exploited by Johnny Moloney for financial gain and was treated in an appalling way."

Anyone with any information is asked to call or contact Modern Slavery or call the police on 101. 

St Albans slavery case: Images released of where 'slave' was kept

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Hertfordshire police have just released two images of where Cameron Biggar was forced to live during his time being kept as a slave by Johnny Moloney. 

As you can see below, he was made to live in sheds and a camper van in Hertfordshire with no sanitation.

Accommodation in slave case
Hertfordshire police

Accommodation in slave case
Hertfordshire Police

St Albans slavery case 'almost defies belief'

Hertfordshire Police has spoken of the "cruel" and "dreadful ordeal" inflicted on Cameron Biggar by Johnny Moloney.

Det Insp Pete Frost, who led the investigation, said: "To think that another human being was subjected to such cruelty and suffering and in such a degrading manner is abhorrent and almost defies belief, particularly considering this has happened in the 21st century."  

He praised the victim's courage and strength for coming forward and said hoped the sentencing "brings some comfort to him."

Johnny Moloney
Bedforshire Police

St Albans slavery case: 'Slave' forced to work all over Europe

At the week-long trail, the jury heard how Cameron Biggar was taken by Moloney to work in places like Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Norway and Sweden, after Moloney bought him a passport, that he kept. 

They also heard how the married father of three had been hit on about five occasion and was insulted. 

Prosecutor Peter Shaw said in court Cameron Biggar was lucky to get a Sunday off if he was feeling sick or injured whilst working he'd "be given painkilllers, not a day off".

St Albans slavery case: 'I saw it as an opportunity not to be homeless'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

During the trial of Johnny Moloney, who has been jailed for four years for holding Cameron Biggar in slavery, St Albans Crown Court heard he had been 18-years-old when he first came across the homeless Scotsman in The Strand in London.

Moloney, now 30, promised Mr Biggar accommodation, regular work and a wage and food. Mr Biggar agreed to go back to the defendant's home - a travellers' site in Watford Road, St Albans.

Mr Biggar, who had mental health issues and was drinking heavily, told the jury: "I saw it as an opportunity not to be homeless anymore." 

The court heard Mr Biggar had been kept a prisoner and when he had tried to escape Moloney's clutches in 2006, the young traveller had gone after him and brought him back to the site.

St Albans slavery case: Man 'deliberately degraded' fellow human

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The judge who jailed a St Albans man for four years today told him he had "deliberately degraded" another human being.

Earlier this week Johnny Moloney, 30, was found guilty of knowingly holding a person in slavery or servitude, and knowingly requiring another person to perform forced labour.

Passing sentence at St Albans Crown Court, Judge Andrew Bright QC said the offences Moloney had been found guilty of "represented the deliberate degrading of a fellow human being over a substantial period of time".

He added: "You forbade him from having any contact with friends and family."

St Albans slavery case: Man had to work 14-hour days, seven days a week

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A man who kept a homeless man as a slave has been jailed for four years at St Albans Crown Court.

Johnny Moloney
SBNA

Johnny Moloney, 30, also known as Johnny Murphy, had picked Cameron Biggar off the streets of London with the promise of a flat, regular work and food.

But instead, Mr Bigger found himself living in a cold shed with no running water, and a bucket for a toilet.

During a week-long trial, the jury was told Mr Biggar, now 43, had been forced to carry out unpaid block paving and building work for Moloney. He sometimes had to work a 14-hour day, seven days a week. 

BreakingSt Albans slavery case: Man jailed for four years

A St Albans man has been sentenced to four years in jail after being found guilty of keeping a man as a slave for over 10 years. 

More details to follow.

Weather: More rain expected

BBC Weather

There's a chance of thunder later with the potential for localised downpours

However, there will be some sunny spells between showers and a few places may miss the showers. 

Milton Keynes
HayWayne/Weather Watcher

It'll get quite warm. 

Maximum Temperature: 19C (66 F). 

24 Hours in Police Custody.... Sergeant gains fans

A new star has been born after the recent TV series 24 Hours In Police Custody on Channel 4. 

Andy Rivers was a custody sergeant featured on the programme. 

He's now written a blog about his job, the filming process, and just why "it's important to be the voice of reason".   

View more on twitter

24 Hours in Police Custody....more shows expected on Beds police

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

I've just spoken to Bedfordshire police who've confirmed that more episodes of 24 Hours in Police Custody are expected on Channel 4 in the future. 

Although no new filming is expected to take place, they say the show's producers have enough behind-the-scenes footage that could be aired at a later date. 

It would feature cases and incidents that were filmed last summer. 

24 Hours in Police Custody promotion photo
Channel 4

Milton Keynes flooding: Teachers 'stranded' by flash floods

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

I've just been talking to two teachers who became stranded when their school, Stantonbury Campus, in Milton Keynes, was flooded yesterday afternoon. 

Natasha Sandison, the head of music, and Sarah Robinson, head of drama, were left stranded when the "heavens opened". 

Within half an hour, the music block and creative arts department had water everywhere.  

They said they couldn't get out because there was water all around them. 

The fire service came and offered to carry them out but they declined and instead waded out. 

Flood damaged musical equipement
BBC

St Albans slavery case: Johnny Moloney due to be sentenced shortly

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A man from St Albans will be sentenced shortly for holding a man in slavery for more than a decade.

Johnny Moloney
South Beds News Agency

Johnny Moloney, 30, also known as Johnny Murphy, of Watford Road, St Albans, held Cameron Biggar in slavery between 2010 and 2014 and forced him to live in a shed and work 14 hours a day without pay.  

Moloney was found guilty at St Albans Crown Court on Wednesday - he has been told to expect a significant jail term.

We're expecting updates on this very soon.

Milton Keynes flooding: School damaged after floods

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

This is the music room at Stantonbury Campus which is closed today after extensive flooding in the Milton Keynes area yesterday. 

They're cleaning up the mess at the moment and hope the school will re-open on Monday.  

The whole of the music block and creative arts suite was flooded and is expected to be closed for about five weeks. 

Expensive musical equipment, which you can see in the photo below, is now on the tables and has been damaged and destroyed by the water damage. 

Flood damage at Stantonbury Campus
BBC
Flood damage at Stantonbury Campus
BBC

Milton Keynes flooding: When the rain came down.......

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

This is a photo taken by James Rayner showing the moment the rain came down in Milton Keynes yesterday.

He says: "I've never seen the main road turn into a river before in Haversham. The hail made for slippery driving conditions."

Heavy rain in Milton Keynes
Deluxe Electrical Ltd

The weather forecast suggests more rain is set to hit, with heavy showers expected. 

If you have any pictures of the floods, you can send them to us twitter or email

Milton Keynes flooding: Worries homes will flood again

Matt Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

Barbara Davies is worried that as there's more rain forecast for today her home could flood again. 

She lives in Crispin Road in Milton Keynes where 14 homes were flooded. 

Flooded damage in MK home
BBC

She told me the properties were built temporarily about 30 years ago and are not fit for purpose when it rains this heavily.  

She's not too sure if the homes will ever be re-built, but in the mean time she's having to make her own makeshift flood defences. 

Milton Keynes flooding: Schools describes 'biblical' flooding

Matt Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

This morning I've been talking to Nick Higgins, business director at the Stantonbury Campus, in Milton Keynes.

He described the flooding as "biblical". 

"We're open for exams today and hopefully normally on Monday if we don't get any more flooding," he said.

He said they had called the fire brigade to help three staff members out of the performing arts building. 

Stantonbury Campus
BBC
Stantonbury Campus
BBC

Weather Watchers: Milton Keynes flooding

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Weather Watcher Purple C took this photo in Bradwell, Milton Keynes yesterday.

The fire service attended 38 flooding incidents in four hours yesterday as heavy rain hit the town.

Bradwell
BBC

Milton Keynes flooding: The clean-up begins

Matthew Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

This morning I've seen for myself the clean-up operation taking place in Milton Keynes after heavy downpours last night. 

Stantonbury has been effected and Stantonbury, Heelands and Stanton Schools are all closed. 

View more on twitter

Milton Keynes flooding: Crispin Road residents 'fed up'

Matthew Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

I've been with Barbara Davies, who lives in Crispin Road, in Milton Keynes, which was flooded yesterday.

She told me she is fed up with her property being flooded as this is not the first time it's happened and efforts to fix the problem so far have failed.

Barbara said water came through her windows yesterday and she and her son had to use towels and cloths to try to hold the water back.

Barbara Davies
BBC

Jo Cox death: Bedfordshire MPs visited by police

Two Bedfordshire MPs say police visited their homes last night to review their security following the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox in her West Yorkshire constituency. 

The Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire Alistair Burt, and the Labour MP for Luton South Gavin Shuker were both visited by officers. 

Alistair Burt
BBC

In a tribute to Jo Cox, Mr Burt said he was "so desperately sorry" about the "dreadful event". 

Travel: Train services start to get back to normal after earlier incident

Delays are still expected on trains services between Stevenage and London this morning, after the emergency services dealt with an incident between Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City. 

The lines are now open. 

View more on twitter

Jo Cox death: 'We must not be afraid'

Former Labour MP for Stevenage Barbara Follett was a mentor to Jo Cox - who was killed yesterday - and persuaded her to get into politics. 

Barbara Follett
BBC

She has said Mrs Cox would want MPs to keep on meeting people in their constituencies.

"For Jo's sake, we must not be afraid to be out there, we must go and do our public duty if we feel we want to do it, and we must hold the referendum, we mustn't postpone anything, she wouldn't have wanted that."

Jo Cox death: Speaker of the House 'absolutely devastated'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Buckingham MP and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has also made a statement following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox

"I am absolutely devastated to learn the news about Jo Cox. Jo was an outstanding Member of Parliament and a wonderful, kind, caring person who was liked and respected in all parts of the House. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this harrowing time."

John BercowSpeaker of the House of Commons

Jo Cox death: Luton MP writes of 'incredible talent'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Our local MPs have been reacting to the death of Birstall's Labour MP Jo Cox.

Luton South MP Gavin Shuker has written a piece on the sad events of yesterday and what it means in our political culture.

In it he calls Mrs Cox "an incredible talent - hard working, committed, human, trying to live with some kind of purpose".

"It is a privilege to serve, and the price we pay is massive. In Jo’s case it was ultimate," he said. 

View more on twitter

Today's weather: Sunshine and showers

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It's pretty murky out there at the moment but any early mist or fog patches will quickly clear to bring a mixture of sunshine and showers - some of which will be heavy and thundery at times, with the risk of some localised flooding.

Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

Severe flooding in Milton Keynes after heavy rain

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Bucks Fire and Rescue have said they attended 38 flooding incidents In Milton Keynes in the four hours from 16:45.

Bradville was one of the worst affected areas, with 14 properties in Crispin Road (pictured) flooded.

Crispin Road
BBC

The Milton Keynes Citizen and One MK has also been reporting on the floods, where you can see some more pictures.    

At the scene: Milton Keynes flooding

Matthew Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

I'm in Crispin Road in Bradville in Milton Keynes at one of 14 properties affected by flash flooding yesterday.

Crispin Road
BBC

This home owner has had to rip up carpets and wooden flooring and the damage is expected to be in the thousands of pounds.

The fire service was inundated with calls from Bradville due to flooding from about 16:00 yesterday. One car got stuck in floodwater.