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  1. Updates on Friday, 28 April 2017
  2. M1 re-opens after lorry leaves the road
  3. Golf pro jailed for sex assaults on underage girls
  4. Buzzards found dead - at least one was shot
  5. Vauxhall 'reckless' over Zafira fires, say MPs
  6. Father of murdered teen helps Street Angels
  7. Anthony Joshua gets ready to rumble with Wladimir Klitschko

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage for the week

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

So that's it from all of us at the Local Live team for Beds, Herts and Bucks for this week. 

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

So what ever you're doing, we hope you have a good one and the rain stays away, if anyone is planning a BBQ or other outdoor fun. 

I'm hoping to go out and see some beautiful bluebells as spotted by Honeybee, one of our BBC Weather Watchers

Bluebells in Bedford

The bank holiday weather forecast

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

Apart from a few isolated showers, tonight will be mostly dry with clear spells.

Temperatures could fall as low as 3C (37F) although they'll rise by the end of the night.

Weather graphic for 05:00 Saturday

A largely fine and dry day tomorrow, with sunny spells and just the chance of an isolated shower.

Temperatures rising to 14C (57F) - although it could be a little bit warmer in the best of the sunshine.

Another dry day on Sunday, although cloud will increase from the south west later... rain isn't expected until the evening.

As for bank holiday Monday... it's still uncertain, but potentially we could have some rain, followed by sunshine and showers, with temperatures hitting 17C (63F).

Joshua & Klitschko face off ahead of showdown

Luke Reddy

BBC Sport boxing reporter

This is the moment that Watford's Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko faced off at the weigh-in ahead of Saturday's heavyweight boxing showdown.

Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko face-off ahead of Saturday's heavyweight showdown

The Hertfordshire sporting star is hoping to bring the Ukrainian down in front of a 90,000-strong audience at Wembley Stadium tomorrow night.   

He says he'll go as far as he needs to go. 

Anthony Joshua says he is ready to dig deep to get the win against Wladimir Klitschko

Stevenage boss calls Wycombe boss a 'liar' over play off claims

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Stevenage boss Darren Sarll has laughed off suggestions from Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth that it's better to be just outside the League Two play-offs and chasing rather than being in them.

The Boro currently occupy the final play-off place with Wycombe a point behind.

Ainsworth said: "It's always better being the chaser than the one being chased. The pressure ramps up."

Sarll responded: “He’s a big liar! Gareth wishes he was in the play-offs. But if Gareth wants to chase, Gareth can chase!”

Darren Sarll
Getty Images

Hamilton fourth quickest in Russian GP practice

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer in Bahrain

Sebastian Vettel led a Ferrari one-two in second practice at the Russian Grand Prix as title rivals Mercedes appeared to struggle for pace.

The four-time champion was 0.263 seconds clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen while Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas was 0.670 seconds off the pace.

Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton, seven points behind Vettel in the championship, was fourth quickest - 0.039secs off his Ferrari team-mate. 

Hamilton appeared to be struggling with his car throughout the day - he aborted his first two attempts at a fast lap, made a series of mistakes and was slower than Bottas in both sessions.

The Milton Keynes-based Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth, but 1.4 seconds off Vettel's pace, and the Dutchman ground to a halt with an engine problem midway through the session.

Lewis Hamilton
Getty Images

Man's eye sockets fractured in 'violent and unprovoked attack'

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

This rather graphic image of a man's injured face has been released by Hertfordshire Police

The man in his 50s, who only wants to be known as Gavin, suffered fractures to his eye sockets, cuts and bruising.   

He was walking along Nicholas Place in Stevenage on Wednesday at about 23:30 when a red car drove past. 

He shouted for them to slow down, the motorist pulled over and two men got out. 

Facial injuries
Hertfordshire Police

One then held back Gavin's friend and the other punched Gavin. When he fell to the ground he was kicked in the head several times. 

Poice say it was a "violent and unprovoked attack". 

They believe a woman was driving the car and they are appealing for her to come forward. 

Gavin Samuels: 'Bravery and courage' of his victims praised

The courage of Gavin Samuel's three victims has been praised today by both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

After the 26-year-old from Melford Drive, Linslade, was sentenced to 14 and a half years in jail at Luton Crown Court, Det Con Ben Stone said: "I’d like to thank them for their incredible bravery in coming forward to reveal this abuse. 

"I hope that it gives others the confidence in knowing that they do not have to suffer in silence – we will support them, and justice will be done. 

Bill Khindey, from the CPS, said: "It is only due to the courage of the victims that the disgraceful behaviour of this man has been exposed. 

"I would like to pay tribute to them all for their strength and tenacity in coming forward and providing evidence for the prosecution." 

Gavin Samuels: 'I'm proud to have stood up against sexual abuse' says one of his victims

A victim statement was read out at Luton Crown Court from one of the girls that Gavin Samuels, 26, from Melford Drive, Linslade, abused. 

It explained that she was initially too scared to speak out. 

"I was afraid to tell others because of what they might think of me. I didn’t know how to tell anyone for a long while so I kept it to myself," she said. 

"Following this experience, I feel reassured that he will no longer abuse any more girls and I feel proud of myself and the others involved for having the courage to stand up to sexual abuse," she added. 

Gavin Samuels: 'Predatory and manipulative'

Former golf professional Gavin Samuels abused three girls between 2006 and 2014, at a Bedfordshire golf club. 

His first victim was about 12 when he started abusing her, when he was aged between 15 and 16.

She was 13 when he first raped her, Luton Crown Court heard.  

The other offences happened when the girls were aged between 14 and 15, and Samuels urged them not to tell anyone. 

Judge Lynn Tayton QC described the 26-year-old as "predatory and manipulative." 

She said: "I have been told that golf was your life but you were not deterred that you could lose your career. You were in a position of trust.

"There is evidence of a long history of your interest in young girls which manifested itself when you were 15 and continued until you were reported to police."

Golfer sentenced for raping teenage girl

A former golf professional who raped a teenage girl and sexually assaulted two others has been given a lengthy prison sentence. 

Gavin Samuels, 26, from Melford Drive, Linslade, has been jailed for 14 and a half years and given a five year extension to his licence period. 

He was convicted following two trials at Luton Crown Court in August 2016 and February this year, after being found guilty of 10 sexual offences, including four of rape. 

Gavin Samuels
Bedfordshire Police

Two birds of prey found dead - at least one was shot

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Two buzzards have been found dead in Hertfordshire.

Their bodies were discovered by a member of the public south of Beningfield Drive in London Colney on Sunday - one of them had "clearly been shot" by an air gun.  

Jenny Shelton from the RSPB says they're "angry and saddened" by the deaths.

"April and May is an important time for buzzards - it’s when they start pairing up and laying eggs," she said.

"Buzzards mate for life, and males perform a ‘roller-coaster’ flight to impress their partners – a spectacular sight if you’re lucky enough to see it." 

Bill Boaden/Geograph

The charity is offering a £1,000 reward for any information which leads to a successful conviction.  

The birds are protected under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.   

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.

M25 Greater London - One lane closed and slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) in London and J24, A111 (Potters Bar) in Hertfordshire, because of a broken down car.

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

'Long wait' expected at hospitals this bank holiday weekend

Carol Abercrombie

BBC Three Counties Radio

NHS bosses in Hertfordshire are warning that accident and emergency services are under pressure ahead of the bank holiday weekend. 

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group says people going to Watford General with a minor complaint are likely to face an extremely long wait. 

Bedford Hospital has also warned that they are very busy and are advising that, if anyone is unwell, "your local pharmacist could help". 

Watford General Hospital
West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Severe disruption: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe disruption, at J11 for A505 Dunstable Road.

M1 Bedfordshire - M1 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic northbound at J11 A505 Dunstable Road, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko - A step to greatness or can Wlad turn back the clock?

Luke Reddy

BBC Sport boxing reporter

Watford's IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua believes he will take "another step towards greatness" when he meets Wladimir Klitschko in the richest bout in British boxing history.

Joshua, 27, will defend his title and bid for the vacant WBA strap in front of a post-war record boxing crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in just his 19th professional fight.

Ukrainian Klitschko, 41, was unbeaten in 11 years prior to defeat to Tyson Fury in his last fight in November 2015 and says he is "obsessed" with overcoming the Briton.

Anthony Joshua has left 'no stone unturned' ahead of his showdown Wladimir Klitschko

Joshua heavier after weigh-in

Luke Reddy

BBC Sport boxing reporter at Manchester Arena

Anthony Joshua and Wladamir Klitschko have just weighed-in ahead of tomorrow night's fight at Wembley Stadium.

Klitschko is 17st 2lb (109kg), while Watford's Joshua is 10lbs heavier at 17st 12lbs (113kg).

Anthony Joshua
Getty Images

The bout starts at 22:00 and you can listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live from 21:00 and text updates on the BBC Sport website and app from 20:00.     

Lewis Hamilton 'affected' by British teenager's crash

Matt Davis

BBC Sport

Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton says he was "affected" by British teenager Billy Monger, who had to have both his legs amputated after a Formula 4 crash.

Formula 1 teams and drivers are showing their support at this weekend's Russian Grand Prix with #BillyWhizz stickers on their cars and helmets.

An online fundraisier for the 17-year-old has raised more than £760,000.

"It really hit home," said Hamilton. "Just to see a kid, I've been there, been in that position of racing."

Billy Monger
Jakob Ebrey

The three-time world champion added: "He was doing well -  fighting to get to Formula One and then such a horrific incident.

"I think I was affected more by Billy's incident than I probably have been by most, with the exception of what happened in Formula One."

Monger hit the back of another car on 16 April during the Formula 4 British Championship at Donington Park in Leicestershire and had to be airlifted to hospital.

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J17 for A412 and J16 for M40 affecting J19 for M25.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked and slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J17, A412 (Maple Cross) and J16 M40, because of a broken down lorry and recovery work. Congestion to J19, M25 (Watford).

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

Man in serious condition after car hits bridge

Lee Agnew

BBC Three Counties Radio

A 50-year-old man has been airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after a car hit a bridge in Great Missenden near High Wycombe this morning. 

The A413 remains closed in both directions between London Road and the B485 Frith Hill. 

South Central Ambulance Service were called at 10:33 and they used hydraulic rescue equipment to release the driver, who was trapped.

He was then flown to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford with serious chest and head injuries. 


Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe accident, after J24 for A111.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise in Botany Bay after J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of an accident and recovery work.

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

Take note

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

You can't beat a good quiz and it seems like neither can East Herts Rural Police. 

They've posted a picture on Twitter asking: "Can anyone tell us what is wrong with these £20 notes. 1st person to guess correctly will win something."

Then the answers came flooding in:

  • The same serial number. 
  • Pound sign the wrong way round. 
  • The paper looks wrong. 
  • Can't see a security mark. 
  • Too many security silver dashes across the middle of the note. 

£20 notes
East Herts Rural Police

Sadly you'll have to wait for the correct answer(s), as they've revealed the winner will be announced on Tuesday, but only after they've had a few days to sort a gift out!

Severe accident: A413 Buckinghamshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A413 Buckinghamshire both ways severe accident, between London Road and B485 Frith Hill.

A413 Buckinghamshire - A413 in Great Missenden closed and queuing traffic in both directions between the London Road junction and the B485 Frith Hill junction, because of a serious accident.

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

M1 crash: Man airlifted to hospital

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A man in 60s has been flown to hospital in Coventry after the lorry he was in went down an embankment on the M1 this morning, crashing into trees. 

Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance say they dispatched the air ambulance at 07:15 and arrived on the M1 at 07:30. 

The man suffered leg injuries, and arrived at the hospital at 09:18. 

His condition is unknown. 

Traffic hold ups on M1
Highways Agency

A specialists rescue service was used to get him out of the lorry and to asses him. 

His current condition is unknown.

The road has re-opened. 

M1 crash: Road re-opens

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

There's currently queuing traffic on the M1 southbound between junctions 15 and 15 after a lorry left the road earlier this morning, causing the road to be closed for several hours. 

It has since re-opened but one lane remains closed for recovery work. 

There's congestion to junction 15a and on surrounding roads. 

View more on twitter

Virgin East Coast strike called off after 'progress' talks

BBC News England

A two-day strike by Virgin Trains East Coast workers was called off after talks, a union said.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) were due to walk out in a row over the role of guards, on the service that runs through Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire. 

General secretary Mick Cash said the company had confirmed there will now be a train manager on every passenger service carrying out duties previously carried out by the guard.

The action was due to take place on Friday and Saturday.

Virgin East Coast train

David Horne, managing director of the Virgin Trains route, said "We're making exciting changes on the east coast as part of the customer-centric revolution which has seen us embark on a £140m investment programme in our trains and stations."

Luton shooting was 'targeted attack'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Detectives investigating a shooting in Luton on Monday afternoon have said they believe it was a "targeted attack".

Scene of Whipperley Ring shooting
South Beds News Agency

A man was shot from a car on Whipperley Ring opposite the Pace Garage in Farley Hill at about 15:30, as children were making their way home from school.

It is suspected the shot was fired from a blue Audi A3.

The victim is still his hospital but is said to be in a stable condition and his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. 

Bedfordshire Police said it's likely that someone in the community knows who is responsible and has urged any other witnesses to come forward.

Det Insp Alan Page said: “We would like to reassure the public that based on our investigation we feel strongly that this was a targeted attack." 

Man injured after lorry leaves M1

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

A man has been injured after a lorry left the road and went down an embankment on the M1 this morning. 

Bucks and MK Fire service say the accident happened just after 05:00 on the southbound carriageway between junction 15 for Northampton and Newport Pagnell Services near the Cattle Creep underpass. 

Crews from Newport Pagnell, Broughton, Mereway, and Aylesbury attended. Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance have confirmed they attended.  

The man has since been released. 

Lorry on side of M1
Bucks and MK Fire

The road remains closed southbound between junctions 15 and 14, causing lengthy hold ups in the area.

Diversions are in place.  

Travel update: M1 clearing

BBC News Travel

Hopefully traffic will begin to get back to normal on the M1, after an earlier lorry accident on the southbound carriage between J15 for the A45 and J14 for the A509. 

View more on twitter

Father of murdered teen helps Street Angels

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

The father of a man murdered on a night out in Bedford has spoken of his decision to join a group of volunteers helping those who have too much to drink.

Bedford Street Angels was set up after 17-year-old Robert Gill was mugged and then murdered on Boxing Day 2007.

His father Fred Gill said: "The street angel teams are out every Saturday night and there is always somebody needing help.

"Quite often there are people in similar situations to our Robert - they've got so drunk that they're not able to look after themselves and we're there to look after them and see that they get home safely."  

Bedford Street Angels keeping the streets safe at night

Vauxhall 'reckless' over Zafira fires, say MPs

BBC Business News

Luton-based Vauxhall showed "a reckless disregard for safety" in allowing customers to keep driving Zafira B cars after a fire risk was identified, MPs have said.

Vauxhall Zafira fire

It was "morally reprehensible" for the car maker not to warn customers sooner, MPs on the Transport Select Committee said.

And Vauxhall was too slow in general to take action over the fires, which came to prominence in 2015, MPs said.

Vauxhall said there were "lessons to be learned" from the Zafira fires.

The fires started behind the glove box in the heating and ventilation system, and were a problem in Zafira B cars, which are still subject to a recall.

Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko: 'Memory stick mind games won't faze me'

BBC Sport

Anthony Joshua has challenged Wladimir Klitschko to "stand up to the power" after the Ukrainian branded him only "a puncher" in the run up Saturday's bout.

Anthony Joshua
Getty Images

Klitschko, who is entering his 29th world title fight, revealed on Thursday he has made a video of his prediction for their heavyweight bout at Wembley.

That has been saved on a memory stick which will be sewn into his robe.

"It's strategy," said Joshua, 27. "An attempt at a mind game. I didn't take it the way he wanted to express it."

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 van.

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

Weather: A dry, sunny day ahead

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

A bright but chilly start.

Through the day, there will be good spells of sunshine with most places staying dry.

The cloud will tend to increase by the afternoon.

Highs of 13C (55F).  

Weather forecast

Keep up-to-date through the day on the BBC Weather website.

Travel update: Delays on southbound M1

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

There are delays on the southbound M1 this morning between J15 for the A45 and J14 for the A509 due to an accident involving a lorry.

Bucks Fire and Rescue earlier tweeted that the vehicle had gone down the embankment.

An air ambulance has landed.  

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Asda Watford reopens after flood

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Yesterday we told you that Asda was forced to close its superstore in Watford during the afternoon due to flooding. 

The supermarket said it believed the problem was caused by a burst water main.

We've spoken to the store this morning and it is open for business as usual after being closed for three hours yesterday.

Judging by these pictures from Families Online Watford, some people must have worked very hard on the clean-up. 

Asda Watford flood
Mary Tsui/Families Online Watford
Asda Watford flood
Mary Tsui/Families Online Watford

Welcome back to live updates from Beds, Herts and Bucks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to another day of live updates from Beds, Herts and Bucks. We'll be here from now until 18:00 bringing you the very latest news, sport, weather and travel.

Today is Ed Balls day - and if you're new to this concept, here's an explanation why a Twitter "fail" in 2011 is still remembered today.

Ed is not local but we thought it was worth a mention because who, six years ago, would think that the then shadow chancellor would come to be known for this?

Ed Balls & Katya Jones Salsa to Gangnam Style.

Coming up - a full regional weather forecast.

Severe accident: A422 Buckinghamshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A422 Buckinghamshire both ways severe accident, at Alston Drive.

A422 Buckinghamshire - A422 Monks Way in Milton Keynes blocked and very slow traffic at the Alston Drive junction, because of an accident involving two cars. On the roundabout.

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

Severe congestion: A418 Buckinghamshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A418 Buckinghamshire both ways severe congestion, between Wingrave Road and Park Gate.

A418 Buckinghamshire - A418 Wingrave Cross Roads in Wingrave closed and slow traffic in both directions between Wingrave Crossroads and the Park Gate junction.

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

Severe accident: M25 Greater London anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London anti-clockwise severe accident, at J25 for A10 affecting J27 for M11.

M25 Greater London - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise at J25, A10 (Enfield), because of an accident involving car. Congestion to J27 M11.

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