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  1. Updates on Tuesday 23 December 2014
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates from 08:00 Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

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

Watch: Parking stand-off

Midlands Today

A motorist, a parking ticket and a city centre stand-off.

Police man speaks to Matthew Sanders

Amy Cole reports from Birmingham city centre.

Watch more on the BBC WM's Facebook page. and on
BBC One at 18:30.

Company fined after man 'crushed'

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News

Jaguar Land Rover is fined £40,000 after a worker suffered life-threatening crush injuries, the Health and Safety Executive says.

In a statement, a JLR spokesman says: "The safety and wellbeing of our workforce is an integral strategic imperative across our entire business.

"We continue to work tirelessly to ensure the protection of our employees remains our highest priority."

Parking authority 'pleased' with council action

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Kelvin Reynolds from the

British Parking Association says there is massive abuse of the Blue Badge scheme across the UK and he's pleased with the action Birmingham City Council is taking against Matthew Sanders.
Read more about the parking stand-off here.

Red card revoked

BBC WM Sport

Aston Villa striker

Gabriel Agbonlahor's red card has been rescinded.

Getty Images

The 28-year-old was dismissed in the second half for a late challenge on former team-mate Ashley Young.

Aston Villa have been charged by the FA over player behaviour during the 1-1 Manchester United match on Saturday.

Parking sit-in man 'Staying in car all night'

James Bovill

Journalist, BBC WM

I'm reporting from Bennetts Hill in Birmingham where Matthew Sanders says he'll stay in his car all night to

avoid paying the fee for being towed.

Matthew Sanders sits in his car

When asked why he won't pay the fine he said: "It's a matter of principle. I know that I'm right and they're wrong."

Syria terror case dropped

BBC News

Prosecutors have dropped their case against

a Birmingham woman accused of funding terror in Syria.

Gerri Tahari, 45, from Sparkhill, Birmingham, had been due to stand trial over the offence at the Old Bailey.

But at a hearing earlier, the prosecution said it would offer no evidence against her.

Opinion divided

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The man who illegally parked in Birmingham and is trying to stop his car from being towed away is dividing opinion.

Norman Booth

tweets: "the man in the car should be ashamed he is in the wrong & he knows it, hope he is charged for wasting peoples time, seifish man"


tweets: "this is ridiculous,his said he'll pay the fine,why not let him go?"

'Can't afford release fees'

Parking sit-in man Matthew Sanders tells BBC News: "I've not refused to pay the ticket but I am refusing them to steal my property.

Matthew Saunders

He adds: "I haven't got he financial funds to pay for the release fees and everything else."

Parking sit-in: Police at the scene

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

West Midlands Police say they are on Bennetts Hill in Birmingham as a man refuses to leave his car after illegally parking in the city centre.

A spokesman says the force is there only to reassuring presence only and to prevent a breach of the peace.

Sit-in for over five hours

Amy Cole

Reporter, Midlands Today

A man refusing to let his car be towed away by Birmingham City Council after parking illegally on a street in the city centre has been there for more than five hours.

Matthew Saunders

He's still sat in the car which has been put on a top loader.

The public has given him chocolate bars and drinks.

'Driver parked illegally'

Birmingham City Council says it hopes to resolve the issue of a man sitting in his car to stop it from being towed away.

A spokesperson says: "This driver parked illegally in a disabled bay without a blue badge.

"Disabled motorists have a right to park in designated spaces and this driver's actions have taken a much-needed space out of action for disabled visitors. The police are in attendance."

Tow driver sit-in

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

A driver who wrongly parked in a disabled bay in Birmingham is refusing to get out of his car to stop it being towed away.

Matthew Saunders

Matthew Sanders says he's not disputing the ticket but relies on the car to get to work and cannot afford to release it if it's put in a compound by the council.

The car is currently on a transporter, with the council threatening to take it away.

Pothole cash 'conditions'


Road bosses in Dudley say extra funding from the government to fix potholes is still not enough.

Councillor Kurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for transport at Dudley Council, says he welcomes the funding but "it comes with a lot of conditions, including we will have to be responsible for contingencies".

He adds: "For example if there is severe weather and disruption leading to more potholes. We'll have to find the money to repair those."

Have your say

We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you news, sport, travel and weather updates in one place.

We'd like to find out what you think.

BBC One at 13:30

Joanne Malin

Presenter, Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this lunchtime we'll be live at The Birmingham Shelter as it opens its doors to help venerable people this Christmas.

Former presenter Kay Alexander looks back at some of our best Christmas moments over the last 50 years.

These stories and more with me on BBC One from 13:30.

JLR fined

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News

West Midlands car-maker

Jaguar Land Rover has been fined £40,000 by the Health and Safety Executive after a Birmingham man was dragged into machinery leaving him with numerous injuries.

Jaguar Land Rover plant

The government body says the 57-year-old maintenance electrician from Northfield, punctured both lungs and broke bones all over his body in the incident in June 2013.

The man who has asked not to be named was put in an induced coma after being crushed.

Defiant driver sits in car ON tow truck to stop it being taken away

Birmingham Mail

A driver who parked in a disabled bay is in a stand-off with police - after

jumping back into his car to stop it being towed away.

Double glazing salesman Matthew Sanders, 34, is still inside his Vauxhall Tigra, which is now on the back of a low loader in Birmingham city centre.

Murder appeal 20 years on

Police are renewing their appeal for help in finding two men who doused a woman in petrol and set her alight 20 years ago

after she was abducted in Birmingham.

Tracey Mertens

Tracy Mertens, 31, from Rochdale, was abducted in Nechells before being driven to Cheshire and attacked in 1994, she died 12 hours later.

Aston Villa stewards kick out weeping schoolboys for cheering Manchester United goal

Birmingham Mail

A Christmas treat ended in tears for two Midland schoolboys - when

they were thrown out of Villa Park for celebrating a Manchester United goal.

Isaac Thompson, seven and his brother James, nine, were sitting among home fans when they jumped up to celebrate Radamel Falcao's equaliser on Saturday.

Weather snapshot

BBC Weather

tweets: The weather today still lacks that festive feel for many. Here's your #weatherplanner... MattT

Outlook for Tuesday
BBC weather

Market's impact on Birmingham

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

I've just spoken to Birmingham City Council who tell me it's too early to give any clear figures on the number of people who visited Birmingham city centre while the Frankfurt Christmas market was open.

A spokesman says they will have a better idea in January along with the impact the market's had on the city.

Currently it's estimated to be in the five-million region and "about the same as last year".

Firefighter applications closed

West Midlands Fire Service

tweets: Morning all! The application process for firefighter recruitment has now closed. Thanks for the amazing response and the very best of luck!

Bring back Berahino?

Richard Sneekes

Former West Brom midfielder

On the

BBC WM Football Phone-in I've been saying it's time for West Bromwich Albion to bring back Saido Berahino.

Saido Berahino
Getty Images

The striker has scored eight goals this season but has lost form recently. The Baggies face a tough match at home to Manchester City on Boxing Day.

Stories we're working on

John Bray

Assistant editor, BBC Midlands Today

We've just finished our morning meeting ahead of

today's programmes. A Christmas feel to today's programme - we'll be spotlighting the charity helping to make Christmas more comfortable for homeless people.

Our former presenter Kay Alexander is back with a festive film.

And we're playing a musical finale to our final full programme of 2014.

Millions visit market

Joanne Malin

Presenter, Midlands Today

Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market closed its doors last night.

Birmingham Christmas market
Getty Images

It's estimated about five million people have visited since it opened in November. Last year's event was worth around £85m to the city's economy.

Serious case review

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

Solihull local safeguarding children's board says a serious case review is being carried out into the death of a toddler.

Levi-Blu Cassin

Levi-Blu Cassin died from "catastrophic injuries" in February last year at a flat in Smiths Wood, Chelmsley Wood.

The toddlers mother Danielle Cassin and father Mark Piper were convicted of causing or allowing the death of a child and yesterday -

and were each jailed for nine years.

Potholes repair cash


A record half-a-billion-pounds is to be spent on improving West Midlands roads over the next six-years.

The government money should be enough to fix around 1.6 million potholes across the region.

Read more about the money given by the Department for Transport here.

Cloudy & windy

Kaye Forster

Weather Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Largely dry for much of the day with bright spells but also a few outbreaks of rain or drizzle, staying mild but windy.

Kaye Forster

More persistent rain will start to edge into northwestern parts later. High of 13C (55F).

Good morning

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

I'll be bringing you the very latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

If you'd like to get in touch please

email or
tweet @BBCWM.