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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 7 July 2017
  2. NHS body suspends IVF treatment
  3. Police hold 'Twitterthon' to highlight misuse of 999 calls
  4. Horse 'kicked and burned' in Luton attack
  5. 'Suffering' dog found with red raw skin in MK
  6. Dry and very warm day ahead

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Well, that's it for yet another week on the BBC Local Live feed for Beds, Herts and Bucks.

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

If you've missed anything today, you can scroll through the page to find out about an attack on a horse, a large field fire in Luton and how Hertfordshire's Aljaz Bedene sadly missed out on progression at Wimbledon.

We'll leave you with this stunning BBC Weather Watcher photo from "robbie".

Have a great weekend everyone.

Clouds in the skies of Amersham on the Hill
BBC

Weather: Cloudy with possibility of sharp showers

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Cloud will develop from the north west bringing a small chance of isolated sharp showers across the BBC East region tonight.

But it will remain dry for many areas with clear spells later.

Weather chart
BBC

Light rain or drizzle is possible across western counties later as the temperature falls to 12C (54F) in places.

Saturday will be another dry day with sunny spells and some cloud and it will be cooler on the coast.

Maximum temperature: 23C (76F)

More details from BBC Weather:

Goalkeeper signs on the line for MK Dons following successful trial

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

MK Dons have signed Dutch goalkeeper Wieger Sietsma on a free transfer for two years, with the option of a further year.

The 21-year-old had been on trial with the League One side after leaving Heerenveen, for whom he failed to play a league match in two seasons.

Sietsma spent time on loan at Dutch second-tier side FC Emmen last term.

"This is a big club in a big stadium and I'm looking forward to the season," he told the club's website.

Wieger Sietsma
MK Dons

'Don't call 999 enquiring about your passport', say police

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

All day today Bedfordshire Police has been taking part in a "Twitterthon" to show what kind of 999 calls they get.

Some are emergencies, but many are not.

Here are some of the calls that were not an emergency:

  • A caller wanting some advice about a car he'd recently bought.
  • A call from a woman enquiring about her passport.
  • Calls made accidentally in people's pockets. "Please remember to lock your phones," say police.
  • A hoax call from school children. "Wasting police resources is not funny," police say.

Calls that should have gone to 101 (non-emergency number):

  • A call about a suspected theft.
  • Two callers reporting vehicle break-ins that took place during the last 12 hours.

Correct 999 calls:

  • To report a three to four car collision in the fast lane of the M1.
  • A caller reporting they are being attacked with a baseball bat. Officers were dispatched to the scene.

Police have asked people to think carefully about the calls they make, as non-emergency calls clogging up 999 could stop an urgent call being picked up.

Travel: Crash on M1 northbound

BBC News Travel

There are currently delays on the M1 northbound between junction 8 for Hemel Hempstead and junction 9 for Redbourn after a crash involving several cars.

View more on twitter

BreakingMan found not guilty of father-in-law's murder

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

A Letchworth man who stabbed his wealthy Syrian businessman father-in-law to death has been found not guilty of his murder, after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Nicholas Daher, 85, was knifed three times by Sammi Ozone on 4 January because he allegedly resented the older man's controlling behaviour, Luton Crown Court heard.

However, Ozone, 60, of Whitethorn Lane, was cleared by a jury today of the murder charge in just three hours.

Judge Michael Kay QC asked the jury to specify the basis of their verdict and the forewoman said it was on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Whitehorn Lane
Google

Ozone was remanded in custody until 25 August, pending the preparation of an updated psychiatric report.

The court heard that while in hospital with a police guard nearby, Ozone was said to have made the unprompted comments: "Is the devil alive? I didn't mean to do it. I saw the devil in front of me."

Severe accident: M1 Hertfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

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

M1 Hertfordshire - Stationary traffic on M1 northbound after J7, / (Junction 8 Hemel Hempstead), because of an accident and a rolling road-block. Congestion to J6a M25.

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

Luton field fire 'accidental'

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

I've just been given more information about the large fire over two fields in Luton.

Firefighters were called at 12:56 to a severe blaze affecting 74 acres (300,000 sq m) of crops and stubble by the A6, on the outskirts of Luton.

More than 30 firefighters from six stations helped put it out.

Because of its size, crews were divided to different areas of the field.

Farm machinery was used to plough firebreaks to help control the spread of the fire. Hose reels, high pressure lances and beaters were also used and the crops were dampened down.

The cause of the fire was accidental and no-one was hurt, but a bailing machine was completely destroyed by fire, a spokesman said.

The blaze was put out just before 15:30.

Field fire out in Luton

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

We've just had confirmation that the large field fire in Luton is now out and the A6 between Barton Le Clay and Keech Hospice Care is now open.

View more on twitter

Austrian GP practice: Lewis Hamilton top again

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton kept up the pace and finished fastest at the end of the second free practice at the Austrian Grand Prix, with a 1:05.483.

The Stevenage racer was 0.147secs ahead of title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

Then it's the second Brackley-built Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas (+0.216), followed by the Milton Keynes-based Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in sixth.

Secret mars moment in MK

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

A new generation of space explorers are getting specialist rover training at Open University in Milton Keynes.

They have built a new Mars yard, simulating the surface of the Red Planet, on which students can remotely control a rover equipped with a robotic arm.

It's a special top secret mission, that is so secret even I'm not allowed to film it.

Computer mars mission
BBC

Senior lecturer Manish Patel told me they'd made it as realistic as possible, including rocks, "to prepare exploring the surface of mars when we go there with our own rover".

Bedene out of Wimbledon singles

BBC Sport

Unfortunately Britain's Wimbledon singles hopes have been reduced to three players after Wycombe's Aljaz Bedene lost in straight sets to Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.

Muller, the 16th seed, won 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 6-4 on court two to reach the fourth round and end Bedene's hopes of a first last-16 place at a Grand Slam.

Ace, ace, ace, ace - Muller hits four straight aces

Four British players reached the third round of Wimbledon for the first time since 1997.

Large fire in Luton fields

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

I've just spoken to Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, where a spokesman told me 30 firefighters were dealing with a large fire in two fields just off the A6 close to Streatley.

The road is currently shut between Barton Le Clay and Luton, by Keech Hospice Care.

There are seven fire vehicles there and crews from Ampthill, Biggleswade, Kempston, Stopsley, Woburn and Luton are attending.

Field fire breaks out near Luton

Severe disruption: A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound severe disruption, between J7 for A602 and J6 for A1000.

A1(M) Hertfordshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on A1(M) southbound in Stevenage between J7, A602 (Stevenage) and J6, A1000 (Welwyn), because of a shed load.

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

7/7 survivor on how her life has changed

Martine Wright, from Tring, was the last survivor to be pulled from the Aldgate train during the London 7/7 terror attack in 2005.

She lost both her legs, 80% of her blood, was in a coma for 10 days and underwent 10 months of surgery.

Twelve years on, she's releasing her memoir to tell others how her life has changed since the attack...

7/7 survivor on how her life has changed since the attack

Severe disruption: A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound severe disruption, between J7 for A602 and J6 for A1000.

A1(M) Hertfordshire - One lane blocked and slow traffic on A1(M) southbound between J7, A602 (Stevenage) and J6, A1000 (Welwyn), because of a shed load. Approach with care.

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

Bedene breaks with amazing lob shot

BBC Sport

The latest on court two at Wimbledon...

Hertfordshire's Aljaz Bedene has lost the first set, in a tense tie-break with Gilles Muller which he lost 7-4.

But he's started the second set superbly with an early break of Muller's serve courtesy of this amazing lob...

Bedene breaks with amazing lob shot

The current score in the second set Bedene 3-2 Muller.

Bedene's passing winner

BBC Sport

Hertfordshire's Aljaz Bedene is now on action on court two at Wimbledon.

He's playing Luxembourg's Gilles Muller who's just broken his serve.

The score is currently Bedene 3-4 Muller in the first set.

But to cheer you up, this Bedene winner has been a particular highlight so far...

Bedene's passing winner

Police hold 'Twitterthon' to highlight misuse of 999 calls

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

I'm about to set you a bit of a quiz.

If you wanted to report a car break in to the police, what number should you call?

Well, according to Bedfordshire Police, it should be its non-emergency number - 101 - and not 999.

To highlight the need to free up the emergency line, all day today officers are running a special "Twitterthon" from the control room.

You can read the tweets by following the police and hashtag #999live.

View more on twitter

We'll bring you more on it during the day.

Using VR to improve building designs for people with sight loss

Virtual reality is being used to help designers improve buildings and public transport for people with sight loss.

The software, called Eyeware, has been developed by Milton Keynes-based Catapult allows users to see the world through the eyes of people with problems like glaucoma or cataracts.

Using virtual reality to improve designs for people with sight loss

Austrian GP practice: Lewis Hamilton top

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set a scintillating pace in first practice at the Austrian Grand Prix as he left title rival Sebastian Vettel trailing.

The Stevenage racer was 0.449secs quicker than Ferrari's Vettel, despite using the slowest soft tyre and Vettel the faster super-soft.

The German was fourth fastest, behind Milton Keynes-based Red Bull's Max Verstappen and the second Brackley-built Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

Lewis Hamilton racing
Getty Images

Vettel is 14 points ahead of Hamilton as F1 resumes two weeks after their controversial collision in Baku.

Wimbledon 2017: 'I've got a chance,' says Bedene

BBC Sport

Hertfordshire's Aljaz Bedene is in the third round of Wimbledon action today for the first time in his career.

Aljaz Bedene
Getty Images

The 27-year-old faces Luxembourg's Gilles Muller in the first match on court two at about 11:30.

The world number 58 lost to Muller at a grass-court tournament in the Netherlands last month, but it was three tight sets.

"He loves grass," said Bedene. "He's won Hertogenbosch. He played semis at Queen's. He loves serve-and-volley play. He's quite aggressive.

"I played him a few weeks ago so I know, I wouldn't say his weaknesses, because there aren't many, but if I play my game, I've got a chance."

Bedene joins three other British players in the third round - Andy Murray, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson.

You can follow the game by visiting Wimbledon 2017 here.

Doctor 'sympathises' with patients who won't be able to get IVF treatment

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

Dr Trevor Fernandes, a local GP and member of Herts Valleys CCG board, says he "empathises" with his patients who won't be referred for IVF treatment.

This is after health officials suspended the treatment while a six-month consultation is carried out.

He understood it was a "distressing situation for a lot of patients", but said anyone who had already been referred would get treatment and some exceptions would be in place - for example, someone coming up to their age limit.

"There are big funding gaps and our job is to make sure people having heart attacks, strokes, who have cancer, get the care they need," said Dr Fernandes.

"We know these are difficult decisions, but we have to look at the greater population and make a decision so people can get the urgent care they need, when they need it.

"In the age of austerity, we have to make sure we keep essential services."

IVF
Science Photo Library

The consultation runs until 11 September.

NHS body suspends IVF treatment

Tony Fisher

BBC Three Counties Radio

Health officials in Hertfordshire have suspended the provision of IVF treatment with immediate effect.

Pregnant woman
Getty Images

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says it is suspending the service ahead of a six month consultation.

The CCG - which needs to save in the region of £40m to balance its books - insists the suspension "by no means pre-determines the outcome of the consultation".

It said it has been put in place to prevent "an unsustainable backlog building up during the review period".

People living in the area covered by the CCG - Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead - have told the BBC it will have a very damaging effect.

Susie Gower, from the Hertfordshire Fertility Support Group, said: "It's very difficult because women are looking towards IVF as an avenue to help them become parents and to have this taken away from them - it's their only lifeline they have to actually achieving that."

Other proposals to save money include limiting certain medicines and hearing aids on prescription.

We'll bring you a response from a doctor and CCG board member shortly.

Meanwhile, to have your say in the consultation, visit the A Healthier Future website.

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, before J23 for A1 affecting J25 for A10.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise before J23 A1(M), because of a broken down motorbike. Congestion to J25, A10 (Enfield).

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

'Suffering' dog found with red raw skin in MK

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Meanwhile, these rather depressing pictures show the state a dog was in when she was discovered by a dog warden in Milton Keynes.

The Staffordshire bull terrier, now named Millie, was found in Polruan Place, Fishermead, with red raw and bleeding skin. She's being looked after by the RSPCA.

Millie the dog
RSPCA

Susan Haywood from the charity, said: "Poor Millie has lost almost all of her fur as a result of the skin condition 'mange', which has also resulted in her being covered in scabs.

"She must have been so uncomfortable and in so much pain.

"We are keen to find her owner so we can establish how she managed to get into this state."

Millie the dog
RSPCA

"We want to make it clear that if you have a pet, you are responsible for ensuring the animal receives veterinary treatment for any conditions which may arise," she added.

Attacked horse 'will be scarred'

Usman Azad

BBC Three Counties Radio

Kimberly McGuinness, the owner of Crystal - the 10-year-old horse who was violently attacked - says she's recovering, but on a "lot of medication" to treat burns and other injuries.

The owner of the Sunshine Riding School in Luton said she discovered the horse curled up in her field in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

"[It was] very, very, odd. We had trouble getting her back on her feet. We could barely walk her back to the yard," said Ms McGuinness.

Injuries to Crystal the horse
Kimberly McGuinness

She said Crystal "will be scarred", adding "the bruising has all come out".

Injuries to Crystal the horse
Kimberly McGuinness

Security will be increased at the riding school, with extra CCTV to cover the fields.

Aaron Pierre

Championship side Bristol City confirm they are looking at out-of-contract Wycombe Wanderers defender Aaron Pierre.

Read more

Severe disruption: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe disruption, between J11 for A505 Dunstable Road and J12 for A5120.

M1 Bedfordshire - One lane closed on M1 northbound between J11 A505 Dunstable Road and J12, A5120 (Flitwick), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Horse 'kicked and burned' in Luton attack

Usman Azad

BBC Three Counties Radio

A horse was violently whipped, repeatedly kicked, burned with a cigarette and had part of its mane ripped out during a vicious attack in Luton.

The 10-year-old mare was attacked at Sunshine Riding School in Warden Hill, between 22:00 on Monday and midnight on Tuesday.

Injured horse
Kimberly McGuinness
Injured horse
Kimberly McGuinness

Owner Kimberly McGuinness said a vet spent four hours treating the horse and documenting the injuries.

She's worried others nearby could be attacked.

Rob Hartley, from the RSPCA, said this kind of attack was "still very rare", but described the injuries as "horrible".

Police are appealing for witnesses.

Colchester sign goalie released by Premier League club

BBC Sport

Colchester United have added goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin to their squad for the new League Two campaign.

He's signed after being released by Watford at the end of last season.

Rene Gilmartin
Getty Images

The 30-year-old signed twice for Watford in his career and also played for Walsall, Yeovil Town, Crawley Town and Plymouth Argyle.

Dublin-born Gilmartin made his debut in international football for the Republic of Ireland at under-19 and under-21 levels and also played for League of Ireland side St Patrick's Athletic.

His deal at Colchester is for an undisclosed length of time.

Weather: Dry and very warm but cloudy later

Lucy Martin

BBC Weather

Bright or sunny spells will dominate and it will become very warm in a light breeze although cloud cover will increase in places.

Some rain showers are expected during a very muggy night.

Maximum Temperature: 27C (81F)

More details from BBC Weather:

Welcome back to live updates from Beds, Herts and Bucks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome back to Local Live across Beds, Herts and Bucks, where we'll be here until 18:00 bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel for ythe area.

Today is Tell the Truth Day apparently - but shouldn't it always be? I'll let you ponder on that - but meanwhile a full regional weather forecast is coming up shortly.

As always, if you want to get in touch you can by email, Facebook or Twitter.

BBC Weather Watchers
BBC

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, before J24 for A111.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane closed on M25 anticlockwise before J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of a broken down lorry. Traffic is coping well.

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 - Queuing traffic and one lane closed on M25 clockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of a broken down car.

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

Goodbye

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

That's it from all of us here.

We've signed off for the day, but do not fear, we'll be back from 08:00 on Friday morning bringing you more news, sport, travel and weather.

If you have missed anything during the day, you can scroll through the page to read many stories including seeing for yourself just how striking the new goalkeepers' kit for Wycombe Wanderers is, as well as finding out what a "dust devil" is.

Until then, have a good night everyone.

BepiColombo: Joint Mercury mission ready for 'pizza oven'

Jonathan Amos

Science correspondent, BBC News

The two satellites that make up the BepiColombo mission to Mercury were presented to the media today.

This joint European-Japanese venture has been in development for two decades, but should finally get to the launch pad next year.

The two spacecraft, which have been mainly put together by scientists at Airbus in Stevenage, will travel together to the baking world but separate on arrival to conduct their own studies.

Today's event was the last chance journalists would get to view the full "flight stack", as it is called.

Fully fuelled at launch, the 6.4m-high flight stack will weigh over four tonnes
BBC
Fully fuelled at launch, the 6.4m-high flight stack will weigh over four tonnes

Europe's Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and Japan's Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) will shortly be unbolted from each other for some final individual testing, prior to shipment to the launch site in French Guiana.

The double mission is due to get under way in October 2018. An Ariane rocket has been booked to carry all the equipment skyward.

Everyone will have to be patient, however. It is going to take seven years for the satellite duo to get to their destination.

Spacecraft
Airbus

Police to offer help to stop reoffending in the Armed Forces

Jane Killick

BBC Three Counties Radio

A new service to reduce reoffending rates in the Armed Forces has been launched today by Thames Valley Police.

The force is one of the first in the county to offer the help, in collaboration with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

PC Antony Colton said: "Anyone who comes into contact with TVP and who is identified as having any links with the British Armed Forces will be offered the opportunity to be referred to SSAFA, a charity that offers practical, emotional and financial support to serving personnel, veterans and their families.

"The purpose of this service is to better support our Armed Forces community whilst helping reduce crime and rates of offending and reoffending" and get them "the support they need".