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Summary

  1. Updates for Thursday, 8 June, 2017
  2. Police issue video of assault which has left a man in a coma since May
  3. Increased police patrols on election day
  4. PC can understand why 'public not happy' over sentence for police dog stabbing
  5. Stevenage cat keeps watch over owner with diabetes

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Back with election coverage through the night

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

That's it from the Local Live team for Beds, Herts and Bucks for today.

It's been a day when we learnt how a cat from Stevenage alerts her diabetic owner if her blood sugar level drops dangerously at night; we had the reaction of a police dog handler after a teenager was sentenced for stabbing Police Dog Finn the Alsatian; and there were dramatic pictures of a flooded road in Elstree after a water main burst.

We'll be back from 22:00 tonight, and through the night, with full coverage of the election as and when the results come in.

Weather: Showers overnight and into Friday

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

Some showery rain possible across the BBC East region this evening, but this will clear eastwards to leave clear spells by the end of the night.

Southwesterly winds will ease, with temperatures falling to 10C (50F).

BBC weather map
BBC

Friday will start with some sunny spells, but scattered showers will develop, these heavy and locally thundery with hail, although tending to become more isolated by the end of the afternoon.

Quite breezy with a blustery southwesterly wind, with temperatures reaching 21C (70F).

Gang mugs man near Flitwick railway station

A group of three men have robbed a man of his wallet as he was walking near Flitwick railway station.

The victim and another man were confronted by a man, described as Asian, on a black mountain bike who started arguing with them.

Two other men then approached, one pulled a knife, and the victim handed over his wallet.

The other two offenders were also described as Asian and all three were wearing black clothing.

It happened on the footpath close to Steppingley Road at just after midnight in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Water company apologises for burst main

We've just heard back from Affinity Water about the burst water main in Elstree which is causing a headache for traffic in the area.

"We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by a burst on a 20 inch main along the A41 in Elstree," said the company.

Two cars wade through flooded road
South Beds News Agency

"Dagger Lane, at the junction of the A41 and Elstree Hill, is currently closed due to a large amount of water on the road. Our teams are working hard to clear this as quickly as possible and re-open the road.

"We would like to thank our customers for their patience whilst we carry out this work."

Teenager stuffed drugs down his pants, court hears

When suspicious police stopped a car in Hemel Hempstead last November, back seat passenger Panashe Gorerasa stuffed wraps of crack cocaine and heroin into his underpants.

But police took the 19-year-old back to their base in Hemel to search him and, in "pure panic", he tried to flush the drugs down the toilet.

The teenager, of no fixed address but with links to the Bedfordshire area, pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply and was sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders institution.

Heroin user
BBC

St Albans Crown Court heard Gorerasa's troubles began when he borrowed £700 from "a group of shady characters", but didn't have the money to pay them back a month later.

As a result, Gorerasa said he had been told to "hang on" to the stash of drugs on the day he was stopped by police.

In pictures: Burst water main creates impromptu river in Elstree

The A41 was closed in Elstree, Hertfordshire by a water main which released its contents over the tarmac.

Traffic management vehicle tyre-deep driving through flood
South Beds News Agency
Flooded junction
South Beds News Agency
Car drives through deep water
South Beds News Agency
Man runs through deep water
South Beds News Agency

Rehab of MK Dons' Scott Wootton continues apace

MK Dons have tweeted footage of Scott Wootton in training as he tries to regain fitness.

Shortly after signing, he ruptured a cruciate ligament during in an EFL Trophy match against Barnet in August, and was expected to be out for nine months.

View more on twitter

Hertfordshire Dragon's Den contestant guilty of sexually assaulting girls

Richard Hazell was arrested after the father of a girl complained about his behaviour to social services.

Complaints involving three other girls were then made and police found 2,957 indecent images of children on computers belonging to the 48-year-old from Hoddesdon.

Hazell was convicted at St Albans Crown Court of 13 charges:

  • two of sexual assault on a child under 13
  • two of sexual assault
  • one of taking indecent photos of children
  • seven of making (downloading) indecent photos of children
  • one of making an indecent pseudo photo of a child
St Albans Crown Court
South Beds News Agency

Hazell had been a contestant on the BBC entrepreneur show Dragon's Den in 2007, when he asked for £10,000 to invest in a diamond drill he had invented. He was turned down.

He is due to be sentenced on 7 July.

Aylesbury cat 'gives me company during hard times'

A cat from Aylesbury, called Fish, has been nominated in the Better Together category in the National Cat Awards for the companionship she gives to her owner, who has bipolar disorder.

Charley Holmes with partner Joel Kirk and Fish
Ben Lister/PA Wire

Fish was given her unusual name because owner Charley Holmes found her in a storm trying to tread water in a bucket.

Charley says: "I struggle at night, especially. My sleeping pattern is all over the place and she'll just come and sit on me.

"She purrs very loudly and sort of gives me a head bump and little rubs to make sure I'm ok."

A cat from Stevenage is also up for an award for the help he gives to his owner who suffers from diabetes, as we reported earlier today.

Increased police patrols for election day

Police are putting on extra patrols as voters go to the polls in Beds, Herts and Bucks.

Hertfordshire Police say they've made extra resources available, including high visibility patrols, as a precaution.

A spokesman said, although there is no specific threat to the country, officers are asking the public to remain vigilant and report any concerns.

Polling station
BBC

Bedfordshire Police have deployed officers to visit polling stations across the county to "ensure that everything is running as it should be".

The force says it's confident it has the right resources in the right places to protect the public.

Thames Valley Police has also deployed extra patrols in Buckinghamshire and says its security measures are constantly under review to reflect the level of threat.

Rescue cat is 'life-line' for Stevenage's Kirsty

Kirsty Furness has type-one diabetes, but she never has to worry about her blood sugar dropping to dangerously low levels while she sleeps, thanks to her pet cat Charlie.

The cat's owner claims Charlie has the amazing feline ability to detect a fall in her blood sugar at night and alerts her by tapping on her face and meowing until she wakes up.

Kirsty Furness and her partner Alex from Stevenage with their pet cat Charlie
Ben Lister/PA Wire

Charlie's ability is such that he's now up for Rescue Cat of the Year in the National Cat Awards run by the Cats Protection League.

Kirsty says: "He just seems to have developed the ability somehow, he's never had any training and he's 20 years old, so he's quite incredible."

Motorcyclist killed on A1 near Welwyn is named

Zoltan Szollosi, who was 28 and lived in Hatfield, collided with the central reservation of the A1 on Friday. He died at the scene.

The professional welder was born in Hungary and had been travelling to work on his Suzuki Hayabusa when the crash happened just before 07:30 on the northbound carriageway, near to junction 6 for Welwyn.

Zoltan Szollosi
Family photo

His family have paid tribute, saying he was a "hardworking, kind and helpful" son, boyfriend and friend.

His brother, Ferenc, added: "Words can’t describe how we are feeling at the moment. Zoltan was loved by everyone. He always helped people who needed it."

Weather: Dry and breezy with brighter skies later

Today will be dry and breezy across the BBC East region, but cloudy early on with skies brightening up later.

Today will be dry and breezy with brighter skies later

Some warm and sunny spells will develop.

Maximum temperature: 18C (64F)

More details for where you are from BBC Weather.

'I can see why public are not happy' with sentence for stabbing Stevenage police dog

As we reported yesterday, the 16-year-old boy who stabbed Finn the Alsatian in Stevenage last year, has been sentenced to eight months in youth detention.

Giving his reaction this morning, Finn's handler PC Dave Wardell, who was also assaulted, said: "I think the public have shown that they're not happy, and I can see why."

Dave Wardell and Fin
Dave Wardell

But he stopped short of criticising the judge: "As a police officer, I have to say that I respect the judge's decision.

"They can only sentence within the sentencing guidelines."

Finn had to have life-saving surgery after the youth stabbed the dog in his chest and head with a 30cm (12in) hunting knife.

Finn returned to duty before retiring from the force in March and still lives with Dave Wardell as a family pet.

Good Morning Beds, Herts and Bucks

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

As the nation goes to the polls, we'll be here bringing you the latest for the three counties.

So it'll be a politics-free zone until polls close at 22:00 tonight when we will return for full coverage of the results.

Meanwhile, stick around as we begin the day with a weather forecast.