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  1. Updates for Friday 19 December 2014
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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BBC Local Live will be back from 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Weather overnight

It will be largely dry with lengthy clear spells overnight, though the odd shower is possible, mainly in the north.

Rebecca Wood

It will be a cold night for all, but the strength of the wind should prevent a frost for most places. A low of 3C (37F).

Tomorrow will be a largely dry and bright day with plenty of winter sunshine.

Saturday sport

Richard Wilford

BBC WM Sport

After last weekend's victory over local rivals Villa bought him a bit of breathing space, Albion head coach Alan Irvine knows

Saturday's trip to QPR is another key opportunity to pull away from relegation fears. BBC WM will have full match commentary from 3pm on 95.6FM.

Aston Villa's inconsistent season will be

further tested at home to an improving Manchester United. Paul Lambert's still hindered by a lengthy injury list.

Hear coverage and match build-up on BBC WM from 12:00 with Daz Hale's Early Kick-Off.

Council fined for safety breach injury

Birmingham City Council has been

fined after a refuse worker was injured by a reversing bin lorry.

Damage to bin lorry
Health and safety executive

Allan Chevelleau, 41, from Kings Norton, injured his leg when the incident happened at the waste depot in Tyseley.

The council has been fined £10,000 for breaching the management of health and safety at work regulations.

CCTV footage released

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

Police have released footage of Danielle Cassin, who was today found guilty of causing or allowing the death of her son Levi-Blu, captured in the hours before his death.

CCTv of Danielle Cassin
West midlands police

Cassin is seen at a local second hand shop, where she traded some of her belongings for cash.

During this period her 22-month-old son had been at home alone with her partner Mark Piper, who was also convicted of causing or allowing the boy's death.

Trojan Ofsted reports published

Faye Chambers

BBC News Online

Ofsted has

published new reports on a further two schools put in special measures after the so-called "Trojan Horse" affair.

Oldknow Academy

Inspectors found Oldknow Academy is "not making enough progress" and criticised "considerable decline" in some areas of achievement since its April inspection.

The watchdog found Golden Hillock School was "making reasonable progress", which is how it also described Saltley School and Nansen Primary School earlier.

The parents guilty of causing death

West Midlands Police

tweets: The parents of toddler, Levi Blu Cassin, have been found guilty of causing or allowing the 21-month-old's death.

The parents of toddler, Levi Blu Cassin
West midlands police

Read the full story.

Man arrested in weapons inquiry

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

A 31-year-old man has been arrested following reports of a sighting of a large knife and air gun in a Willenhall park.

Officers arrived at Willenhall Memorial Park at about 15:00 and arrested the man on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon after reports he was seen with a machete.

A second man was also spoken to, but not arrested, after he was found to be in possession of a pellet gun.

Jealously 'knew no bounds'

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

"It was a horrible horrible sensation. Pain you could never ever feel," Vikki Horsman told me.

The horrific burns were revenge from her 80-year-old ex-boyfriend after she ended their relationship.

Mohammed Rafiq's jealously knew no bounds.

Acid attack house in Tividale

On the night of the attack, Rafiq had been with Vikki at a friend's house here in Tividale. She heard a knock at the door - Rafiq told her it was a "man for you".

On the porch she was doused in acid. Some went on Rafiq, so he claimed to be a victim.

Why send a flea to space?

David Gregory-Kumar

Environment correspondent, BBC News

What happens to water fleas after the first 30 or so days of the experiment in space?

Water fleas being caught

Well we don't actually bring a lot of rubbish back to Earth from the space station.

Instead it gets dumped into a Russian progress spacecraft and burns up in the atmosphere. But from pond to space and then finally ending up as a shooting star is a pretty glamorous life for a water flea from the suburbs of Birmingham. Read more on

my blog and watch my report online now.

Fleas in space

David Gregory-Kumar

Environment correspondent, BBC News

I think the

sending of water fleas from a pond in Edgbaston up to the International Space Station is my favourite story of the year.

Water fleas

The idea for the experiment came from kids and it's experts from the University of Birmingham who are sorting the practicalities of the experiment, such as how to keep the water fleas fed and happy.

Men found with gun and machete

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Two men with a machete and a "cap" gun have been arrested by police in Walsall.

West Midlands Police Force Contact says officers attended an "incident" earlier.

News on the hour

Charlotte Harriman

Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

Coming up in the news bulletin at 16:00 on

BBC WM: There's a candlelit vigil outside Birmingham Cathedral tonight to remember the victims of the school shooting in Pakistan.

Results of review due next year

Solihull Council says the results of the serious review it is holding following the

death of Levi-Blu Cassin and his parents' court case will be published in spring next year.

Man jailed for murdering ex-wife

A man has been jailed for life for drugging his estranged wife and strangling her at their former home in Birmingham.

Andrew Leigh
West Midlands Police

Andrew Leigh, 43, was convicted of murdering his wife Luan, 42, at her home in Pype Hayes, Birmingham.

The judge at Birmingham Crown Court said the telecoms engineer would serve a minimum term of 25 years.

Big wheel facts

Tim Stokes

BBC Local Live

Birmingham's big wheel has arguably become as synonymous with Christmas in the city as the Frankfurt Market.

Birmingham big wheel

Offering views of the city from a height of 33m, each carriage will travel further than the distance between Birmingham and Algiers during the time it is open.

News on the hour


An 80-year-old man from the Black Country has been jailed for 18 years for arranging an acid attack on his teenage former girlfriend.

We'll bring you the full story in our

15:00 bulletin.

Life 'destroyed' by ex

A 20-year-old woman who had acid thrown in her face by a jealous ex-boyfriend

has spoken of the attack and the impact it's had on her life.

Ben Godfrey speaking to Vikki Horsman

She told the BBC: "I could just feel my airways going tight, my lips blistering and just swelling... agonising pain. I had no idea what was happening."

Vikki Horsman spent two weeks in hospital before Rafiq, who suffered burns to his legs, came to visit her.

Read the story in full on BBC News.

Baby death sentencing

A father who killed his 12-week-old baby girl has been

jailed for nine years.

Isabella Vallance
West mercia police

Isabella Vallance died of a head injury in December 2012 at the family home in Stanley Close, Redditch.

Tyler Vallance, 21, admitted manslaughter. Her mother Jessica Wiggins, 20, of Heathfield Road, Redditch, was convicted at Worcester Crown Court of allowing her death.

Winter book challenge

via Facebook

Solihull Council posts: "This winter, Solihull Council is challenging children in the borough to read three library books over their Christmas holidays with the Christmas Mini Challenge."
Read more online.

New Breakfast show

Gareth Roberts

Editor, BBC WM

Adrian Goldberg will be returning to BBC WM to present a new breakfast show.

Adrian Goldberg and Pete Morgan

As part of a new year schedule refresh, the station is changing its morning schedule, with Pete Morgan presenting a new early show between 05:00 and 07:00 from 5 January.

Adrian Goldberg will be fronting a new Breakfast show between 07:00 and 09:00. Adrian will be back at the station from the end of February 2015.

Quite simply, Adrian is one of the West Midlands' best known and most loved radio personalities, we're delighted that he's coming back home.

Acid victim's life 'destroyed' by ex

A young woman who had acid thrown in her face after splitting up from her 80-year-old boyfriend

says her life has been destroyed.

Vikki Horsman

Mohammed Rafiq, from Smethwick in the West Midlands, arranged for two men to throw sulphuric acid over Vikki Horsman for just £50, causing 8% burns.

He has been jailed for 18 years for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent in April this year.

Look back to snowy times

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

This time four years ago the weather was oh so very different.

Snow in Birmingham on 19 December 2010
kathryn hamlett

These photos were taken exactly four years ago today by Kathryn Hamlett, in Birmingham city centre, following an "arctic blast",

according to the Met Office.

Today temperatures are quite a bit warmer, with highs of about 8C (46F).

Bad times for Rudolph?

Tim Stokes

BBC Local Live

Birmingham Christmas market may be best known for sausages, beer and pretzels, but have you found some of the more unusual items on sale?

Birmingham Christmas market
Birmingham City Council

Whether you're after a chocolate hammer or soap made from honey, the markets will provide.

And if bratwurst is not your thing, there's always fried cauliflower or a range of bizarre sounding burgers, including reindeer. Let's just hope it's not Rudolph.

BBC One at 13:30

Amy Cole

Reporter, Midlands Today

We're live at Wolverhampton Crown Court where an 80-year-old man's been jailed for 18 years for instigating an acid attack on his teenage former girlfriend.

Plus, we'll be finding out how water fleas are being trained for a mission into space by Birmingham scientists.

Join us for the latest this lunchtime.

News on the hour

Charlotte Harriman

Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 13:00:

An 80-year-old man is jailed for 18 years for masterminding an acid revenge attack on his teenage ex-girlfriend.

We'll hear from victim Vikki Horseman in the news bulletin shortly.

First TV interview

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

Vikki Horsman has given me her first TV interview.

Acid attack victim, Vikki Horsman

She told me she thought she was going to die from intense acid burns.

I'll be live on Midlands Today from 13:30 with the latest on BBC One outside Wolverhampton Crown Court.

In court

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

Vikki Horsman, 20, suffered severe burns when she was splashed with sulphuric acid in April. She'll need reconstructive surgery.

Rafiq's accomplices Shannon Heaps, 23, and Steven Holmes, 25, received 12 and 18 years in jail respectively.

Holmes threw the acid.


Mohammed Rafiq, 80, who masterminded an acid attack on his former partner in Tividale has been jailed for 18 years.

Serious case review

A serious case review is under way following

the verdict in the Levi-Blu case., the local safeguarding children board says.

Edwina Grant, who chairs the board, says: "We would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family of Levi-Blu.

"I can confirm Solihull Local Safeguarding Children Board is carrying out a serious case review."

Guilty of causing or allowing death

Danielle Cassin, 27, of Frensham Close, Chelmsley Wood, and Mark Piper, 31, of no fixed abode,

have been found guilty of causing or allowing the death of their son.

Flat in Chelmsley Wood

Levi-Blu died after "catastrophic" injuries - the prosecution likened them to falling from the upper window of a house or being hit by a car.

The toddler was found at the flat his parents shared in Nightingale Avenue (pictured), Chelmsley Wood, on 20 February 2013.

Toddler died from severe injuries

Levi-Blu Cassin (pictured) died from severe abdominal injuries after being found collapsed at his parents' flat in Chelmsley Wood, Solihull.

Levi Blu Cassin
West Midlands Police

This morning a jury cleared Danielle Cassin, 27, and Mark Piper, 31, of murder and manslaughter.

News on the hour


A Chelmsley Wood couple have been cleared of killing their son in 2013.

But they were found guilty of causing or allowing the death of Levi-Blu Cassin and will be sentenced on Monday.

Listen live to the 12:00 bulletin.


Danielle Cassin and Mark Piper are found guilty of causing or allowing the death of their toddler son, 22-month-old Levi-Blu Cassin.

Footballer's cars stolen

Two luxury cars belonging to Aston Villa player Darren Bent have been stolen.

Darren Bent
Getty Images

Staffordshire Police say the home of the striker in Little Aston, near Birmingham, was broken into on Saturday morning.

A Range Rover and Audi RS6 were taken after the locks on his windows were snapped. Former England striker Bent is currently on loan with Brighton and Hove Albion.

Man knocked out parking warden

Dudley News

A Lower Gornal man has been handed a suspended jail sentence for

knocking out a parking warden in Dudley.