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Summary

  1. Man guilty of body in taxi murder
  2. Child sex exploitation report suggests taxi driver database
  3. Decision on new West Herts hospital 'should be made locally'
  4. Protected birds of prey shot
  5. Updates on Friday, 7 April 2017

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Son Heung-min

Patrick Jennings

BBC Sport

Tottenham keep up the pressure on Chelsea with an impressive victory over Watford, their sixth consecutive Premier League win.

Read more

Goodbye

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it for another week from all the team here at Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

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

As Julie Reinger has already predicted, Sunday is set to be a rather warm day, so make sure you have your garden furniture out of storage and you know where to find your sunglasses.

Blossom
BBC

See you again next week!

Severe accident: M25 Surrey anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Surrey anti-clockwise severe accident, between J13 for A30 and J12 for M3.

M25 Surrey - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J13, A30 (Staines) and J12 M3, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe accident, between J18 for A404 and M25 J19.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked and slow traffic on M25 clockwise between J18, A404 (Chorleywood) and M25 J19, Watford, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Weather: Get ready for a warm weekend

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It will be a dry night with long clear spells. There may be some patchy mist and fog and a touch of ground frost in places. 

Minimum temperature: 2C (36F). 

Weather map
BBC

It will be a cold start to Saturday, but any mist and fog should quickly clear to leave a largely sunny day. 

There may be a bit more patchy cloud in the east for a time. Light winds and highs inland of 18C (64F). 

Patchy mist and fog should clear very quickly on Sunday to leave another fine, dry and very warm day, with temperatures about 22C (72F). 

Much cooler and cloudier on Monday, with a few showers.

BBC Weather has more.

Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, between J13 for A421 and J14 for A509.

M1 Bedfordshire - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M1 northbound between J13, A421 (Bedford) and J14, A509 (Milton Keynes), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Museum re-opening brings Luton Girls Choir out of 'retirement'

The grand opening of the refurbished Wardown House, Museum and Gallery tomorrow is being marked by a special performance of Luton Girls Choir

The group, which became world famous, was set up in 1936 but folded in 1977 when their founder died. 

They've now reunited after 40 years and they've been rehearsing for the big day. 

Luton Girls Choir reunited after folding when the founder died in 1977

Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, between J13 for A421 and J14 for A509.

M1 Bedfordshire - Two lanes closed and slow traffic on M1 northbound between J13, A421 (Bedford) and J14, A509 (Milton Keynes), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Luton museum to re-open after multimillion-pound revamp

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

For the past year Luton's Wardown Park Museum has been slowly transformed. 

Just over a year ago it closed its door to the public so a £3.5m redevelopment could take place. 

Now the work is complete and tomorrow its doors will open again with a new name -  Wardown House, Museum and Gallery

Wardown House
Luton Culture

Not only will you be able to see how a wealthy Victorian family lived and how Luton has developed over the years, but it includes many interesting artefacts and even  Queen Victoria's silk stockings .

Wardown Museum
BBC

Success: No truth in Voodoo curse

Watford striker plays down Voodoo curse stories that are being reported in Nigeria.
Nigeria's Isaac Success has only managed to start one game for Watford this season because of injuries.  But according to reports in Nigeria, a curse has been placed on him by "evil witches".

The striker explains to World Football how upset he's been by people reporting these stories stating: "I'm a Christian I don't believe in that".

(Photo: Isaac Success of Watford shouts, Credit: Getty Images)

Severe disruption: M1 Northamptonshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Northamptonshire northbound severe disruption, at J15 for A45.

M1 Northamptonshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M1 northbound at J15, A45 (Northampton), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M40 Buckinghamshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Buckinghamshire southbound severe disruption, at J2 for A355 affecting J3 for A40.

M40 Buckinghamshire - Queuing traffic on M40 London-bound at J2, A355 (Beaconsfield), because of an earlier vehicle fire. Congestion to J3, A40 (High Wycombe East).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, between J24 for A111 and J25 for A10.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, between J21A for A405 and J22 for A1081.

M25 Hertfordshire - Delays on M25 clockwise between J21a, A405 (St Albans) and J22, A1081 (St Albans), because of an earlier overturned vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Stolen Torah scrolls found by roadside after police appeal

We reported yesterday that two valuable Torah scrolls had been stolen from the house of two a Rabbis in Barnet.

They have now been found on a roadside in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, and returned to Rabbi Larry Tabick and Rabbi Dr Jackie Tabick.

Detectives are continuing to appeal for information to trace the suspect, who was disturbed at the property in Ashbourne Grove at 17:30 on 22 March during the break-in.

He is described as white, around 5ft 10 ins and dressed in black with a scarf across his face.

PC Louise Bates, of Barnet CID, said: "It is fantastic that these scrolls have been found and returned to their owners, but our efforts to try and find the person who carried out the burglary continue.

“The scrolls were found in bushes near the Bentley Heath Cricket Club on Wagon Road. Have you seen anyone dumping anything at the roadside there in the last few days? We would like to hear from you."

Severe disruption: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J26 for A121 and J25 for A10.

M25 Essex - One lane closed and slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Chinese delegates in MK 'optimistic' about trade with UK post-Brexit

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

So far today the Chinese entrepreneurs have visited Bletchley Park to see some of Milton Keynes' heritage and computing history. 

Dr Philip Smith, chairman of the MK Business Leaders Partnership, says they've come to MK because of the "high-tech" industries on offer here. 

He told me: "They want to know how we work, how we operate." 

He said they've already worked with Dubai and the United Arab Emirates and have other countries in the pipeline.

Chinese Trade Delegates
BBC

LP Yau, the chief editor of Asia Weekly in Hong Kong, says they've come to the area to "explore the latest development in the UK, in particular in the wake of Brexit to see if there are any new initiatives between China and the UK". 

He added: "Brexit is so unpredictable, but for the time being we are optimistic." 

Protected birds of prey shot

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The body of a protected bird with more than 10 pieces of lead shot lodged in its body was found by a member of the public in Daintry Wood, close to Toddington in Bedfordshire. 

Police and the RSPB are investigating after they believe the red kite was shot at close range. 

Shot red kite
RSPB

It comes after Hertfordshire Police says another red kite had to be put down after it was shot in the Furneux Pelham area of Buntingford.

Red kite bird
Getty

The bird of prey (pictured above) is fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. 

The RSPB says although they are now a common sight in Bedfordshire, in the 1980s red kites were one of the UK's rarest breeding birds.

Chinese trade delegates welcomed to MK

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Milton Keynes has been rolling out the red carpet to Chinese trade delegates today. 

They've been invited to the new city by the MK Business Leaders Partnership, aimed at forging close international trading partners post-Brexit. 

Here they are arriving at Bletchley Park. 

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M25 Berkshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Berkshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J15 for M4 and J14 for A3113 Airport Way.

M25 Berkshire - Stationary traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J15 M4 and J14, A3113 (Heathrow Terminal 4), because of a broken down van and a rolling road-block.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

'Unique talent' signs new Stevenage contract

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Stevenage youngster Ben Kennedy has signed an extended contract with the club until 2019.

The 20-year-old, who is an U21 Northern Ireland international, has made over 70 appearances for Stevenage and is being tracked by several top clubs.

Chairman Phil Wallace said: "Ben is a unique talent. 

"He is a big game player and we have worked hard to develop him on and off the pitch since he came to us from Northern Ireland 4 years ago. 

"We are delighted he has agreed to extend his contract."

Ben Kennedy
Stevenage FC

Kennedy commented: "I'm really happy to sign. It has been a great season so far and I have really enjoyed playing with this team. Hopefully we finish it strong."  

Thousands paid out for trampoline accident in Bedfordshire

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

Cuts, bumps and grazes in school are nothing new, but it appears that accidents have become an expensive issue. 

A BBC investigation has revealed school payouts have doubled in two years from £1.65m in 2014 to £3.45m in 2016. 

It includes a payout of £11,500 after a trampoline accident at a school in Central Bedfordshire.

Child injured being seen by a doctor
Getty Images

You can read more from the investigation here .

Three bears... but no sign of Goldilocks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The first North American black bear cubs to be born at Woburn Safari Park for 18 years have emerged from their first winter hibernation and are taking their first steps in their new home.

North American black bear cubs
Woburn Safari Park

The young bears, born at Easter in 2016, had previously been living inside a ground-level den in an enclosed half-acre pen, so they could sleep, grow and bond with their mum.

But Alabama, Kaska and Sekani have now left their pen with four year-old mum, Phoenix, and ventured out into the main 13-acre reserve in the Kingdom of the Carnivores drive-through enclosure.  

North American black bear cubs
Woburn Safari Park
North American black bear cubs
Woburn Safari Park
North American black bear cubs
Woburn Safari Park

The park is the only place in the UK that visitors can see this species. 

Senior keeper Ben Davies said: "We still expect them to stay relatively close to their mum over the next few weeks as they find their feet and work out their place in the natural hierarchy.

"As in the wild, this will be a trial and error process and they will have to learn pretty quickly not to muscle in on their dad, Xanthos' food!"

Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, between M1 J10 and J11 for A505 Dunstable Road.

M1 Bedfordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M1 northbound between M1 J10, Luton Airport Spur Road and J11 A505 Dunstable Road, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M1 Hertfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Hertfordshire northbound severe accident, after J7 for affecting J6A for M25.

M1 Hertfordshire - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on M1 northbound after J7, / (Junction 8 Hemel Hempstead), because of an accident. Congestion to J6a M25.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Body in taxi murder: 'Jealous, controlling, manipulative' man found guilty

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

"Hassan was deeply controlling, manipulative and consumed with jealousy."

Those were the words of Det Insp Stuart Blaik from Thames Valley police after Ahsan Hassan, 28, from High Wycombe, was found guilty of murdering Zofia Sadowska before putting her dead body into a taxi. 

He said: "He [Hassan] evilly planned to murder Zofia and then showed cowardice when he tried to cover up his crime by falsely claiming that both he and Zofia had wished to commit suicide.

"Hassan has never admitted his crimes, which has made dealing with the loss of Zofia even more of a terrible ordeal for her family," he added.

Body in taxi murder: Woman died from asphyxiation

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Thames Valley Police has released more information on what happened the night Zofia Sadowska was killed by Ahsan Hassan. 

The force said on 18 September at about 23:10, Hassan took Ms Sadowska to a disused kebab shop on Gayhurt Road in High Wycombe, where he then murdered her. 

A post-mortem examination revealed the 20-year-old died from asphyxiation.

Officers then say at about 02:00 the next morning the body of Ms Sadowska was put in a waiting taxi, and she was taken back to Hassan's home on Dashwood Avenue. 

It was then at 05:00 the emergency services were called to a report of an attempted suicide.

Dashwood Avenue
Getty Images
Dashwood Avenue

Hassan, 28, was found guilty of murder and is due to be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Monday.    

Man guilty of body in taxi murder

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A man who killed a 20-year-old woman before taking her body home in a taxi has been found guilty of murder.

Thames Valley Police said Ahsan Hassan murdered Zofia Sadowska in a disused kebab shop in High Wycombe in September.

The force said the 28-year-old, of Dashwood Avenue in the town, then put his victim's body into a taxi and convinced the driver she was drunk and asleep.

Emergency services were then called to his home where Hassan told investigating officers the death was a suicide pact, police added.

Ahsan Hassan
Thames Valley Police

Hassan (above) was found guilty of murder at Reading Crown Court yesterday and will be sentenced on Monday.  

During the case, Usman Ansar, 30, also of Dashwood Avenue, High Wycombe, was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice. 

Severe disruption: M25 Greater London anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J25 for A10 and J24 for A111 affecting J26 for A121.

M25 Greater London - Queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. Congestion to J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Chinese Grand Prix: Second practice called off after safety helicopter grounded

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Formula 1 was forced to call off second practice at the Chinese Grand Prix because poor visibility prevented the medical helicopter operating.

Low cloud, rain and smog in Shanghai meant the helicopter was unable to land at the designated hospital.

Safety requirements dictate cars cannot run if the helicopter cannot fly.

The conditions also affected first practice in which Milton Keynes-based Red Bull's Max Verstappen was fastest during 10 minutes of running on a damp track.

Team-mate Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen managed only a total of five laps between them.

Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen
Getty Images

Decision on new West Herts hospital 'should be made locally'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The government has said any decision about building a new hospital for West Hertfordshire on land by the M25 at Kings Langley should be made by the NHS locally.

A petition on the government's website calling for a new hospital "equipped to modern standards" attracted more than 10,000 signatures.

It was set up by members of the New Hospital Campaign - formed to request a new facility on a central, accessible site between three main towns - Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford.

The government's response stated: "The reconfiguration of health services is a matter for the NHS locally.

"Any changes to local services should be led by clinicians and patients, not from the top down.

"It is for NHS commissioners and service providers to work together with patients and the public in bringing forward proposals that will improve the quality and sustainability of healthcare services." 

West Herts Hospitals Trust said a new hospital would be too expensive and it wants to redevelop Watford General instead.

Work to replace collapsed sewer continues

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Work will continue today to repair a sewer in Luton town centre.

The collapse happened on Old Bedford Road, close to the junction with Hucklesby Way.

Luton Borough Council says motorists trying to join the ring road from Old Bedford Road could face diversions for the next 10 days.

Map
Google

Child sex exploitation report suggests taxi driver database

Jodie Halford

BBC News

An independent review has called for improvements into the way the authorities in Buckinghamshire deal with child sexual exploitation.

They include  a call for the introduction of a national database of licensed taxi drivers, to make it easier to spot those with a criminal past.

Taxi
Getty Images

The serious case review examined all the reports of child sex exploitation in Buckinghamshire since 1998.

The review said it was "clear that taxi drivers picked young people up from schools and children's homes and some drivers were directly involved in the abuse of the young people".

It found that complaints about drivers were not always taken to licensing officers, and that licensing authorities were not told if a taxi driver had been arrested unless the driver revealed their occupation.

Issues with taxi drivers had been highlighted in a number of similar cases around the country, the report's author found.

The review also suggested that Buckinghamshire's four district councils and county council should improve the way they shared information with police.

Buckinghamshire County Council said the report found "good practice and strong partnership working in place to tackle sexual exploitation", as well as areas for further improvement.  

Weather: Warm and sunny with blue skies

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

After a chilly start temperatures will rise steadily through the morning bringing warm sunshine and blue skies lasting well into the afternoon but light cloud may appear during the middle of the day.

Temperatures will fall to single figures overnight with some cloud lingering in places.

Maximum Temperature 17C (64F)

More details from BBC Weather :