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Summary

  1. Updates for Tuesday, 12 July 2016
  2. Man released on bail in missing children's author inquiry
  3. Triple car deaths resulted from 'avoidable road collision'
  4. Hopes public bike hire service can survive vandalism
  5. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our local coverage across the day

That's all for today. 

Our main stories included:

  • Protests against Labour MP Angela Eagle
  • A man arrested in connection with the death of Royston author Helen Bailey has been released on bail pending further inquiries
  • And Europe is to get it's first reusable spacecraft called Space Rider

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00. Have a good evening. 

Football: Dons take on Drogeda in second friendly and Wycombe in France

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

MK Dons play their second pre-season match in Ireland tonight as they come up against Drogeda. 

They won yesterday's friendly against St James's Gate 9-1 in Dublin. 

 Also tonight, Wycombe play their first pre-season friendly as they take on Le Havre in France.

Max Whitlock leads men's GB Olympic gymnastic team

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

Hemel Hempstead's World champion, Max Whitlock will lead Great Britain's quest for an historic first Olympic gold medal as part of a 13-strong squad in Rio next month. 

Gymnast, Max Whitlock
PA

Whitlock will start favourite on the pommel having clinched the world crown in Glasgow last year. 

He claimed two bronze medals at London 2012 in the pommel and team events. 

Pupils give knife disposal bins a makeover

Mariam Issimdar

BBC Local Live

Knife disposal bins in Bedfordshire will soon receive a makeover, thanks to the creativity of pupils from two schools. 

School pupils
Bedfordshire Police

It follows a visit by police officers to Arnold Academy in Barton and Biggleswade Academy where they delivered an educational session to pupils on the dangers and consequences of knife crime, with the young people then being asked to create a piece of artwork around knife crime, gangs and violence. 

The winning designs will be placed on to the knife bins which are located across the county. Sergeant Ben Dimmock says: “Some young people might want to carry a knife or be part of a gang because they feel it will make them safer, but it’s important that they know that just by carrying a knife they are putting themselves at higher risk of becoming a victim themselves."

Organisers of cycle scheme vow to continue despite vandalism

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

Organisers of a new shared cycle scheme in Milton Keynes are vowing to carry on despite a spate of vandalism in the first week since it was launched, which has seen bikes stolen, dumped and destroyed.

Vandalised rental bike lies on ground in Milton Keynes
Allie Short

Milton Keynes Centre manager Melanie Beck says CCTV footage has been passed on to police: "There's always going to a be a minority of people, and not necessarily kids, this is all sorts of people," she said.

Ms Beck told me that in the first project meeting after the launch, just 30 seconds was spent "discussing the vandalism because the scheme has [already] got 10,000 riders". 

She described it as "a huge success".

Bedfordshire 'tornadoes' (or funnel clouds)

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Adam has emailed us this afternoon to say it looks as though there's been a tornado over the Sandy area in Bedfordshire.

I've been caught out by this one before, and am fairly certain in saying it's more likely to be a funnel cloud (please correct me if I'm wrong though!)

Funnel cloud over road in Sandy, Bedfordshire
Adam Dart

One of our BBC Weather Watchers has spotted something rather similar in Potton too!

Funnel cloud in Potton
BBC

Space Rider: Reusable spacecraft parts to be developed in Bedfordshire

The Bedfordshire business Lockheed Martin will start work on Europe's first reusable spacecraft after winning the contract for the Space Rider project.  

Artists impression of what the Space Rider will look like
ESA

Engineers based at the company's Ampthill site will work on the craft's actuator system, which operates flaps to steady the flight during re-entry, and the landing system to bring the craft back to earth.

The multi-million euro project is being led by the European Space Agency (ESA). Lockheed Martin have been contracted by the Italian Aerospace Research Centre (CIRA).

The unmanned craft will be used to gather scientific data, carry out exploration missions and deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station.

Regional forecast: Further torrential downpours with drier conditions later

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

The risk of heavy and possibly thundery showers continues this evening and there is a yellow warning in place until 22:00 for further torrential downpours and the risk of localised flooding.

Later, the wet weather will be confined to the eastern half of the region, as drier conditions spread from the west. Lows of 9C (48F).    

Overnight weather map
BBC

Tomorrow the last of the overnight showery rain should clear to the North Sea, and then it's a mixture of sunshine and showers, which should be lighter and more scattered than today, although an occasional heavier downpour can't be ruled out. Top temperature: 19C (66F).

Get the full forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

Space Rider: The facts about Europe's first reusable spacecraft

Artists impression of the ESA Space Rider
ESA
  • Space Rider will "help us understand things such as how plants grow or how technology functions in space," says Lockheed Martin's space business lead Stephen Gibson
  • It will fly a couple of times a year
  • Its flights will last from two weeks to six months
  • Each craft will be designed to carry out at least six flights
  • It will re-enter our atmosphere at 7.5km a second
  • The first launch is expected about 2020

Space Rider: Major focus is to ensure safe landing

In a separate development from the rocket project in Buckinghamshire....

A major part of the Space Rider project for Ampthill's Lockheed Martin site is to ensure the spacecraft can land back on Earth safely.

It's because of this that the company's technical lead, Alex Godfrey, says they're looking at two solutions.

"The first is a mid-air retrieval system, or MAR, which will mean the spacecraft is slowed down by a parafoil and then captured in the sky by a helicopter," he said.

"The second is more traditional wheeled or skidded landing gear, with it coming to rest on a runway."

The Bedfordshire company will look at the pros and cons for each system and present their findings to the Italian space research organisation CIRA and the European Space Agency.

A final decision is expected by the middle of next year, which will then see the "full development and manufacturing phase of the programme," Mr Godfrey said.

Man arrested in missing author inquiry is released

Mariam Issimdar

BBC Local Live

A 55-year-old man who was arrested yesterday morning in connection with the disappearance of Royston children's author Helen Bailey, has this evening been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Helen Bailey
Hertfordshire Police

Helen went missing with her dog Boris on 11 April and police have been trying to trace her since then.

In a statement Hertfordshire Police said the man, also from Royston, had been arrested on suspicion of murder, disposing of a body in a manner likely to obstruct the coroner and theft of money belonging to Helen Bailey.

He is due back to answer his police bail in August. 

Searches at Helen’s homes in Royston and at Broadstairs in Kent are now complete, the force said.

BreakingPolice release man held in connection with missing author

A 55-year-old man, who was arrested yesterday in connection with the disappearance of the author Helen Bailey, has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.  

More details to follow.

Shuker condemns Eagle protestors as 'intimidating' the democratic process

Luton South MP Gavin Shuker has hit back at protestors picketing at Angela Eagle's visit to the town  saying: "It is not acceptable to try and intimidate the democratic process.

"I am glad Angela Eagle is stepping up to take leadership when we have such a vacuum of it at Westminster."

Labour's Angela Eagle MP and Gavin Shuker MP
South Beds News Agency

The Labour leadership challenger was supposed to be holding a "meet and greet Q and A" sessions with Mr Shuker at a hotel, but the meeting, with around 50 party members, was hastily moved to conference rooms at the town's library after threats were allegedly made to the original venue.

Sixteen protesters with placards supporting Jeremy Corbyn picketed the entrance, but Ms Eagle was ushered in and out through a back door.

Mr Corbyn has appealed for "calm" and "dignity" from Labour supporters.

UK Space Agency test facility announced

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

The UK Space Agency has announced a test facility for rockets is to be built in Buckinghamshire. 

The £4.1m Space Propulsion Test Facility will be built at Westcott, which has been the home of the British rocket industry since the end of the second world war.

Aerial view of Westcott Venture Park
Westcott Venture Park

Natalia Doherty death: Background information

Natalia Doherty, left, and her ex-husband Gerald
Bedfordshire Police

Natalia Doherty was last seen in 2003 and her remains were discovered in December last year.

They were found in the back garden of Daniel Doherty's house in Icknield Way. The 67-year-old and his brother Joseph Doherty, 72, of Port Glasgow, are accused of obstructing a coroner and perverting the course of justice.  

Joseph Doherty is also charged with preventing a lawful burial.  

It's believed Natalia Doherty, 50, also know as Natalia Wilkanowska, travelled to Luton 13 years ago to stay with her ex-husband Gerald Doherty (pictured), who has since passed away. 

Natalia Doherty inquest: Unlawful killing verdict

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

I've been at the inquest into the death of Natalia Doherty, whose remains were found in a garden in Luton in December 2015.

The nearly empty court room at Ampthill Coroners Court heard that dental fillings were used to identify the human remains of the mother-of-three who was last seen in 2003.

A pathologist report also confirmed a serious injury to the skull.

Natalia Doherty
Bedfordshire Police

Det Con Jerry Waite gave evidence to say he believed this to be the cause of her death but that the body was so decomposed it was hard to be sure.

Coroner Tom Osborne concluded that Natalia died as a result of unlawful killing before expressing his own sincere condolences to her two daughters listening in court.

Kyle McFadzean

Burton Albion sign MK Dons defender Kyle McFadzean for an undisclosed club-record fee on a three-year deal.

Read more

Kyle McFadzean: Burton Albion sign MK Dons defender for club-record fee

BBC Sport

Burton Albion have signed defender Kyle McFadzean from MK Dons for a club-record fee on a three-year contract.

Kyle McFadzean
Getty Images

The Championship club have not disclosed the amount but have confirmed it is more than the £20,000 paid for midfielder Russell Penn in 2009.

MK Dons boss Karl Robinson had said that their asking price for McFadzean, 29, was £500,000.

Throwback: A Stevenage nightclub in 1991

BBC Look East

In 1991, Look East visited an under 18s night at a Stevenage nightclub. There wasn't any drinking allowed, but there was plenty of dancing. 

As 1990s fashion is currently seeing a revival, we posted the video on the BBC Look East Facebook page to see if it prompted any memories. The post has been shared hundreds of times, with nearly 200 people sharing their thoughts. 

Jonathan Lee-Smith wrote: "The fashion sense of Stevenage teenagers hasn't improved since our day that's for sure!"

Michelle Tham O'Shea commented: "Haha!...I remember that hair & outfit!"  

Corbyn must 'get control' of his activists, says Eagle

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

Labour leadership challenger Angela Eagle has begun her question and answer session at Luton Central Library.

Angela Eagle and Jeremy Corbyn
AFP/Getty Images

Supporters of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have been outside the venue, and Ms Eagle's team said a brick had been thrown at her constituency office on Merseyside yesterday.

She told the Luton gathering that Mr Corbyn needed to get control of his supporters and the attack on her office was "bullying and it has to stop".

Corbyn supporters track challenger Eagle in Luton

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

Weather: Heavy rain possible this afternoon...

BBC Weather

Many of us will see further showers this afternoon and these could then turn heavy and thundery in places, with some slow-moving torrential downpours possible. 

Maximum temperature: 19C (66F)

Goffs Oak - rain on the window
Weather Watcher "David"

Angela Eagle: Flitting about Luton

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

The former shadow business secretary Angela Eagle, who has launched her attempt to oust Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader, is in Luton today.

But where in Luton you ask?

Well, it's been all over the shop it seems. Initially, the event was due to be held at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts.

That was then changed to a hotel.

I'm in Luton for an @angelaeagle leadership event we've been invited to. Except the hotel where it's happening tells me it's been cancelled.

Our reporter Tom Barton then had more trouble trying to find out exactly where he was supposed to be...

Can't get hold of anyone from @angelaeagle campaign team to confirm or deny if this is true. twitter.com/tombarton/stat…

Eventually, he struck gold:

Told it's jut been moved. Luton central library. twitter.com/tombarton/stat…

And then breathed a sigh of relief.

I am now at Luton Central Library. I can confirm the @angelaeagle event IS happening here.

Time for a sit down and a cuppa Tom?

Luton hotel cancels Angela Eagle Q&A

Angela Eagle has had to move a question and answer session in Luton to another venue after the hotel she was due to hold the event cancelled the booking. 

A spokesman for the former shadow business secretary, who is challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the party, says they agreed to move venues after discussions with the hotel. 

Angela Eagle
PA

Meanwhile, Merseyside Police have confirmed that Angela Eagle's office in Wallasey was hit by a brick overnight. 

Coroner to write to home secretary over Toddington crash

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

The coroner at the inquest into the deaths of three young people near Toddington will be writing to the new home secretary about a law change.

Describing the collision on 1 December last year as an "avoidable tragic incident", Coroner Thomas Osbourne said new drivers should have a limit on the number of passengers they can carry in the first year after passing their tests.

He said: "Something needs to be done in the hope the law will be changed and the names of Steven, Rebecca and Casey will be one of the reasons for the change."

Toddington crash 'avoidable', coroner rules

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

The coroner has passed a verdict of an avoidable road collision at the inquest into the deaths of three youths in Bedfordshire last year.

At Ampthill Coroners Court, the coroner said such an incident "is very rare" and tragic due the ages of the people concerned.

Toddington road where collision happened
BBC

Four people had gone out together to find haunted houses - driver Stephen Evans, 20, and his passengers Rebecca Naborro, 23, and Casey Flissikowski, 18, who all died at the scene. 

A third passenger, a 19-year-old man, was treated for "non-life-threatening injuries".

The coroner said there was nothing the driver of the red Jaguar, Paul Armatage, could have done differently to avoid the collision on 1 December.

Toddington crash deaths: Driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

An inquest into the deaths of three youths near Toddington in December has heard that earlier in the evening the driver of the car had been going the wrong way around a roundabout in Luton.

Collision investigator PC Jennifer Miller told the court that Stephen Evans, 20, had been driving for less than three months when the accident happened. 

Driver Stephen Evans (centre) and his two passengers Rebecca Nabarro (left) and Casey Flissikowski (right), died following a crash at Toddington
Bedfordshire Police

At the time of the accident, he lost control of the vehicle when he thought another car was coming towards him over the brow of a hill causing him to swerve into the grass verge and then into oncoming traffic, she said. 

His under-inflated tyres meant the car found it difficult to take the weight of his passengers and he couldn't stop in time. 

While the passengers were wearing seat belts, Mr Evans was not.

Toddington crash deaths: Driver 'knew it was a bad accident immediately'

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

At Ampthill Coroners Court, the coroner has been hearing evidence about the crash near Toddington on 1 December.

Witness Paul Armatage told the court he was driving home from work in London when the silver Vauxhall Corsa suddenly came towards him, causing him to brake. 

Ampthill Coroners Court
Google

He says his airbags inflated immediately and he knew it was a bad accident.

Mr Armatage finished his evidence by saying how sorry he was for the families and that as both a dad and a grandfather, he can only imagine the pain it has caused.

Roadworks begin at Luton Airport approach

Three days of roadworks are starting on the approach road to London Luton Airport. 

The main dual carriageway will be affected from Capability Green up to the Percival Way roundabout.

Lane closures will be in place and drivers are being advised to allow extra time to get there.

View more on twitter

Elderly lady rescued from river

Simon Oxley

BBC Three Counties Radio

Firefighters have rescued an elderly lady from a river in Hertfordshire in the early hours of this morning. 

They were called to Essex Road in Hoddesdon at about 03:00, with a firefighter going into the water to pull the 82-year-old out.

Helen Bailey disappearance: 'No body found'

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Police have confirmed that they have not found author Helen Bailey's body.

Officers have been searching her home address in Royston, and her holiday home in Broadstairs in Kent, since a 55-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and disposing of a body yesterday.

Officers arriving at Helen Bailey's home in Royston
SBNA

Ms Bailey was last seen three months ago.

Inquest into three killed in Toddington car crash

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

I'm at Ampthill Court House this morning for an inquest into the deaths of three young people in a car crash near Toddington in December. 

Ampthill Coroners Court
BBC

Rebecca Nabarro, 23, from Luton; Casey Flissikowski, 18, from Milton Keynes; and driver Stephen Evans, 20, from Luton, were killed when their Vauxhall Corsa collided with a Jaguar car on the B530 near Fancott. 

I'll bring you more details throughout the day.

Helen Bailey: Police continue to search Royston home

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Police are continuing to search the home of missing Hertfordshire children's author Helen Bailey.

They are searching the address in Royston along with the writer's holiday home in Broadstairs, Kent.

Police officers arrive at Helen Bailey's home in Royston
South Beds News Agency
Police officer guards the property in Royston
South Beds News Agency
Officers gather equipment and belongings from police van in Royston
South Beds News Agency

Helen Bailey was last seen walking her sausage dog Boris near her home on 11 April.

Vandalised rental bikes: Hopes cycles will be repaired

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

A member of the Milton Keynes Green Party says she hopes vandalised rental bikes will be fixed so the scheme can continue.

Rental bike in river
Stuart Mitchell

Jenny Mark-Lew said she has seen lots of people "around and about Milton Keynes on the bikes" since Santander Cycles MK began on Wednesday.

"I hope the people running the scheme go on and fix the bikes and continue to persevere with the scheme," she said.

She added that she wasn't sure much could be done to stop the vandalism. 

Milton Keynes rental bikes vandalised

Sophie Sulehria

BBC Three Counties Radio

There's been a spate of vandalised rental bikes in Milton Keynes, just six days after a new shared cycle scheme was launched

Residents have seen the bikes being stolen, dumped and destroyed. 

Rental bike in Milton Keynes with rear wheel ripped off
Adrian Hetherington

Adrian Hetherington, who lives in Milton Keynes, said he found two bikes with the tyres ripped off: "The inner tube was hanging out and the tyres were off both rear wheels."

He says if this vandalism continues, then the public are "not going to bother" using them.

Helen Bailey disappearance: Police continue to question man

Gail Sanderson

BBC Three Counties Radio

Police are continuing to question a 55-year-old man on suspicion of murder following the disappearance of Hertfordshire author Helen Bailey. 

The man from Royston was arrested yesterday morning, three months after the 51-year-old went missing.

Helen Bailey and dog Boris
Hertfordshire Police

Ms Bailey disappeared with her sausage dog, Boris, on 11 April. She had left a note for her partner, Ian Stewart, saying she wanted some time away and was going to stay at her home in Broadstairs, Kent. He reported her missing four days later.  

The man is being questioned at Royston Police Station on suspicion of murder, disposing of a body in a manner likely to obstruct the coroner and suspicion of theft of items belonging to the missing children's author. 

Further searches are now being carried out at her homes in Royston and Broadstairs. 

Travel: Trains through Hertfordshire suspended

BBC Travel

London Midland services have been suspended between Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey due to electrical supply problems. Tickets are being accepted on Thameslink services.

Southern services are operating an altered timetable through Hertfordshire.

Weather: Heavy rain on the way

Aisling Creevey

BBC Look East weather

The sunny start is a little bit deceiving... we're going to see some heavy downpours later this morning and this afternoon.

Maximum Temperature: 19C (66F)

Watch my full regional forecast:

Visit BBC Weather for updates for where you are.

Welcome to Local Live for the three counties

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to today's live page for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

Today we'll be watching out for more news on the arrest following the disappearance of Hertfordshire children's author Helen Bailey - yesterday marked three months since she went missing and police arrested a man on suspicion of murder.

Helen Bailey
Hertfordshire Police

We'll also be talking about the new rental bikes in Milton Keynes, which have been vandalised less than a week since their launch.