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  1. Updates for Friday 27 March 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates are back 08:00 Monday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Have a good weekend

Local Live has finished for the day. Join us for more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday.

Cool and dry overnight

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

A dry evening, although

cloud will thicken from the southwest.


Low cloud and hill fog is then likely during the early hours. However this should gradually clear, as winds strengthen around dawn.

Lows of 7C (45F).

Coming up on TV

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

The new cricket season is just around the corner. So this weekend, thousands of volunteers will be making sure their local grounds are in tip-top condition.

Warwickshire bowler Oliver Hannon-Dalby paints some gates

But it's not just the amateurs who've got their work cut out. The same applies to the professionals at Warwickshire, as Ian Winter reports.

Join us for the

Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

'Such a cheeky chappie'

The parents of Harry-James Kirkham, who was killed after being hit by a police car have released a joint

tribute to him: "Harry-James was such a cheeky chappie, into all the things that all 15-year-olds do. He loved his Star Wars, James Bond and was extremely sporty.

Harry-James Kirkham
Kirkham family


Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the death of the Kingstanding teenager who was struck outside a police station in Erdington on 18 March.

He died in hospital the following day.

M6 tailbacks

BBC Travel

BBC Travel

There is slow traffic on the M6 northbound between J7 for Great Barr and J8 for the M5 because of an earlier crash involving a car and a van.

All lanes have been re-opened but

congestion is back to J6 and the A38(M) Aston Expressway.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Police have released dramatic CCTV footage of an armed robbery at a bingo hall in Birmingham.

You can watch it on the

BBC WM Facebook page.

More stories with us in

the 17:00 news.

Chilling footage of armed robbery

An armed robber has been captured in crystal clear CCTV footage shouting and swearing at staff as he demands they hand over cash at BJs Bingo on Mackadown Lane, Kitts Green.

A still image from the CCTV footage
West Midlands Police

Officers have released the footage of the hold-up, on 13 February, hoping someone recognises the culprit.

Election countdown

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

I've been catching up with some of our MPs with marginal majorities shortly before they packed their bags and left Westminster ahead of the election on 7 May.


Even before the Tories reselection emergency, Dudley North had star billing. But Labour incumbent Ian Austin told me he's not worried about UKIP, which some polls suggest could overturn his 649 majority.

Swingers raid: Motive 'unknown'

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

An investigation is underway after three raiders with ski masked burst into a private event at a Birmingham swingers club..

A spokeswoman's rubbished reports semi-naked people were seen fleeing into the road after the raid at Tudor Lounge in Highgate.

She added: "We've got security cameras but the guard did not look at them before they burst in."

Nothing was reported stolen, said police.

Walsall man hopes to be Wembley winner

BBC Sport

Midfielder Kieron Morris is

keen to make up for Walsall's Wembley disappointment in the FA Trophy final with Wrexham on Sunday.

Kieron Morris

Walsall's Morris, 20, is on loan at the Racecourse until the end of the season, but travelled with the Saddlers for the Football League Trophy final.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

There's growing evidence that the German co-pilot at the controls of an airliner which crashed into the Alps, killing all 150 people on board including Wolverhampton father-of-two Martyn Matthews, had mental health problems.

We will hear from a clinical psychologist, in

our 16:00 news.

Will all our MPs be back in May?

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

Time's up for our MPs as Parliament is dissolved on Monday ahead of the election. So who'll be back in May?


Lib Dem MP for Solihull Lorely Burt had a majority of just 175 last time. Now she's number one target for the Conservatives she's worked with in Government.

She told me: "It's quite easy to fight them tooth and nail on the ground in our constituency."

Concern for missing teen

Concern is growing for a teenager suffering from depression who left her Kitts Green home this morning,

according to police.

Jamie Glynn
West Midlands Police

Jamie Glynn, aged 16 is from The Fensway, and her family are very worried for her safety. Call 101 if you have information.

Honouring the Spitfire

Cath Mackie

BBC Midlands Today

A new gallery which honours the legendary Spitfire has been officially opened at the Thinktank in Birmingham. It will celebrate the design of the plane, as well as the men and women who helped build Spitfires in Castle Bromwich and those who flew them.

Old spitfire footage
Cath Mackie reports from the new exhibition

There are dressing up clothes for when the children come along, a pilot's uniform from the time and a replica cockpit.

News on the hour

Charlotte Harriman

Broadcast Journalist, BBC WM

A 15-year-old cyclist has died after a collision with a car in Wednesbury last night.

You can hear more on this story in my

15:00 bulletin.

End of term for our MPs

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

I've been catching up with some of our MPs with marginal majorities shortly before they packed their bags and left Westminster ahead of the election.


Wolverhampton South West MP Paul Uppal defends a Conservative majority of just 691 over Labour.

He says "Ultimately your boss is the good people of Wolverhampton, and they'll make a choice come May 7th".

Three loanees join Harriers

BBC Sport

Kidderminster Harriers have signed

three players on youth-loan deals until the end of the season.

19-year-old Birmingham City defender Nat Kelly (pictured) returns, having

originally joined Harriers in January, alongside fellow Blues utility man James Fry, 20.

Nat Kelly (Birmingham City)

And they have signed left-side player William Boyle, 19, from another Championship side Huddersfield Town.

Station sex pest had bestiality images

Express and Star

A man who was spotted touching women at New Street Station was also found to be

in possession of dozens of sickening bestiality images when police searched his home.

Interest 'never greater'

Nick Clitheroe

Sports editor, BBC Midlands Today

Birmingham City Ladies get their

Women's Super League season under way on Sunday against Manchester City Women.

Nick Clitheroe reports from a training session

There's a real desire to increase the profile of the game.

BT Sport will show live matches, there will be a regular highlights programme on BBC Two on Monday nights as well as radio commentaries.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

There are warnings that a fake fundraising account has been set up in memory of a Birmingham teenager who died after being hit by a police car earlier this month.

We will have more on this story and others in

our 14:00 news.

Raid during swinger's party

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

An investigation is underway after three raiders in ski masks burst into a private event at a Birmingham swingers club.

West Midlands Police confirmed it's investigating the raid at the Tudor Lounge, in Highgate, on 18 March. The force says a 53-year-old man was punched and was treated for a cut to his nose and a bump to his head.

Tudor House

A spokeswoman for the venue says the security guard had mistakenly not checked CCTV cameras before opening the door and being struck by the intruders.

Delays on our roads

BBC Travel

BBC Travel

There is very slow traffic on the M54 westbound between J2 for Wolverhampton and J3 for Albrighton in the roadworks area.

There is a similar problem on the M6 southbound between J10a for the M54 and J8 on the M5,

drivers are warned.

Birmingham City loan Watford forward

BBC Sport

Birmingham City have

signed Italian forward Diego Fabbrini from fellow Championship side Watford until the end of the season on an emergency loan.

Diego Fabbrini
Getty Images

Fabbrini, 24, played at Empoli, Palermo and Udinese, who transferred him to their sister club Watford as part of a major Italian influx in July 2013.

Why West Midlands is key

The Birmingham Eastside

blog has been looking into 50 key marginal seats in the 2015 general election.

Adam Ward, co-founder of 50 for 15, tells Eastside: "The West Midlands is extremely important for this election. Looking at the results of previous elections, a national swing is always amplified in the West Midlands.

Screengrab from the website
Birmingham Eastside

"If a party wants to win the most seats or at least a majority, it needs to win key seats in the West Midlands."

News on the hour

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

A Birmingham councillor has told us traffic signalling in the city centre needs to change to avoid repeated gridlock.

More on this in

our 13:00 bulletin.

Refurbishment for Central Baths

Wolverhampton's Central Baths are in line for a £300,000 refurbishment.

Left to right: duty officer Emma Merrick, lifeguard Daryl Humpage, cabinet member for leisure and communities Cllr Elias Mattu and head of leisure services Chris Huddart.
Sam Bagnall

The revamp will include the changing rooms and the creation of a fitness studio so it will offer exercise classes for the first time.

Bishop of Dudley does the dishes at community café

Dudley News

The Bishop of Dudley rolled up his sleeves and got stuck in at a Dudley

community café as part of the Church of England's Lent campaign.

He donned rubber gloves and an apron and washed up after lunch at the Retreat Community Café at St. Francis' Church yesterday (Thursday) to mark #Washday15.

'Fake' Facebook tribute page

The family of

Harry-James Kirkham, the boy killed in a collision with a police car in Erdington, is warning people to stay away from a Facebook tribute page set up by a stranger, who they say had never met him.

His parents said: "We would like to add that there has been a 'RIP Harry Kirkham page' on Facebook opened by a boy who he didn't know and had never met him. Unfortunately he has also set up a 'fund me' page.

"We, his parents, have now opened a page called '

Remember Harry-James Kirkham'. This is for people who knew him to leave stories and memories they have shared together and post any photos they have of him."

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Prosecutors in Germany say the co-pilot who is said to have deliberately crashed the Germanwings passenger plane hid his mental illness from his employer.

More on this in

the 12:00 news.

Via Twitter

Wolverhampton City Council

tweets: "Great atmosphere @MolineuxStadium for #wolvesjobsfair Over 50 exhibitors here with 100s of jobs on offer so pop down before 2.30pm"

Watchdog investigates fatal police car crash

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation after a 15-year-old boy was killed following a collision with a police car.

The IPCC is looking into the crash at around 21:10 on Wednesday 18 March when an officer on a routine patrol, collided with Harry-James Kirkham on Sutton New Road outside Erdington police station.

Erdington police station - generic image
Google Maps

The teenager was on foot and crossing the road in front of the Potters House Christian Fellowship Church on the other side of the road from the police station.

He died from his injuries in hospital the following day.

Raiders stormed swingers club

Birmingham Mail

Police are hunting a

masked gang who raided a Birmingham swingers club - attacking a man and a woman and sending semi-naked customers fleeing into the street.

Three thugs targeted Tudor Lounge, based at the 400-year-old Stratford House in Highgate.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

A Birmingham councillor says traffic signalling in the city centre needs to change after last night's gridlock.

It follows an accident on the A38(M) Aston Expressway and Councillor Victoria Quinn, who sits on the authority's transport and scrutiny committee, was one of those caught up in the traffic afterwards.

We will hear

more from her at 11:00.

Death by dangerous driving suspect

Jerry Chester

BBC News, North West

West Midlands Police has confirmed a 24-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after a cyclist died in a collision with a car in Wednesbury last night.

Albion's Dorrans remains at Norwich

BBC Sport

Norwich City have extended the loan of West Bromwich Albion midfielder

Graham Dorrans until the end of the season.

Graham Dorrans
Getty Images

The 27-year-old's stay with the fourth-placed Canaries will include any potential Championship play-off games.

Dorrans has played eight times since joining the Canaries on an initial one-month deal in February.

Traffic lights down

BBC Travel

BBC Travel

There is a traffic light failure between the Sedgley Road East junction and Burnt Tree in Dudley, which is causing disruption.

More details here.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Research has found in Birmingham alone more than 3,500 children are not meeting the desired levels in listening and attention when they start school.

At 10:00 we hear from a headteacher from a Sparkhill school explaining why he believes it's happening. Listen live


Cyclist dies after crash

A cyclist has died after being in collision with a car in Wednesbury last night.

The man was

confirmed dead at the scene by ambulance crews, after the crash on Walsall Road, Friars Park, just after 19:30, said West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Iconic tennis girls dress displayed

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

The white dress worn in the iconic 1976 Tennis Girl poster will go on display at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.

The All-England Club has been revealed as the buyer of the dress, which sold at auction last July for £15,000.

Tennis dress
Fielding Auctioneers

Fiona Butler, who was then 18, asked if she could borrow it

for a photo shoot at the University of Birmingham's tennis courts with her boyfriend at the time, Martin Elliott, who sold the rights to poster company Athena. He died in 2010.