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  1. Updates for Tuesday 31 March 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates return from 08:00 Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Local Live updates have finished. We'll have more news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 Wednesday

Windy night ahead

BBC Weather


Gusts of over 60mph have been recorded in parts of the West Midlands today.

Looking ahead to tonight it will be rather windy and with the odd blustery shower at first, but these will soon die out.

Charlie Slater

Forecaster Charlie Slater says, "Winds will gradually ease through the night, although it will still be fairly breezy. It will be largely dry with clear spells developing."

Coming up on BBC One at 18:30

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Dramatic pictures from Bournville where a driver was cut free from his car after being hit by a falling tree - we speak to eye witnesses who say it was like a can being crushed.

The Black Country GP who is saving lives, time and money by travelling with ambulance paramedics, keeping patients out of hospital.

Dave Heeley

And charity "Blind Dave" Heeley (pictured) - could his latest challenge be a step too far, even for this marathon man?

More on Blues sale offers

BBC Sport

Five offers have been received for Birmingham City, the club's parent company Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL) has confirmed.

St. Andrew's stadium
Getty Images

The receivers Ernst & Young, who have been running BIHL since February, made the announcement in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The Football League has already said it is happy that enough funds are available to allow the Blues to complete the current Championship season.

Read the full story on BBC Sport.

Watford fan Nic Cruwys moved to specialist care unit

A Watford FC fan who was attacked after a match in Wolverhampton

has been moved to a specialist care unit.

Nick Cruwys
West Midlands Police

Nic Cruwys suffered head injuries in the attack on 7 March.

The 44-year-old, from Hemel Hempstead, is in a serious but stable condition, West Midlands Police said.

Seven teenagers, aged between 13 and 18, have been bailed after being arrested on suspicion of wounding the father-of-two.

Tree falls on house

Birmingham South Police Response team

tweets: A 2nd fallen tree, this time into a house on Quarry Road, Weoley Castle. Pls take extra care on your journeys home.

Tree falls on house in Weoley Castle
West midlands police

Tree crushes car: Technical rescue team assistance

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

I've just spoken to West Midlands Fire Service who say they had to use air bags to lift the tree from the car, after it was blown down in string winds at about 13:40 between Bournville and Weoly Castle.

Tree crushes car

Crews from Woodgate Valley and Northfield attended the scene with extra assistance provided by their Technical Rescue unit.

I'm told the rescue took roughly an hour to cut the man free, thought to be in his 30s.

Walsall will 'stick together', says Saddlers defender

BBC Sport

Walsall defender James O'Connor insists that the Saddlers can "stick together" to

beat off the growing threat of relegation to League Two.

James O'Connor

A run of just one win in nine League One games has left Walsall in jeopardy, just three points clear of trouble.

"We've eight big games coming up," said O'Connor. "We need to move on and get ourselves safe as quick as possible.

News on the hour

Gareth Ford-Lloyd


Our top story in the news at 17:00 on

BBC WM: A man's been taken to hospital after a tree fell on his car during strong winds in Birmingham this afternoon.

'Gust of wind' fells trees

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

Eye-witness Lucy Miller saw the moment the 60ft tree fell on a car in Birmingham.

She told BBC WM: "There was a massive a gust of wind and a 60ft tree hit a smaller tree and both have landed on top of the car and crushed it outright".

Ms Miller who lives opposite says lots of people tried to help and lift the tree from the car but had to wait for the emergency services to arrive because they couldn't lift it.

Tree crushes car: 'Like a can being crushed'

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

It's an extraordinary scene on Witherford Way. There are some tree surgeons at the scene now trying to take off what is a 18 metres (60ft) high tree which collapsed this afternoon.

A silvery blue Nissan car was directly under it when it came down in strong winds and has been completely flattened.

The male driver thought to be in his 30s has been taken to the QE hospital.

Car hit by tree

An eyewitness on Shenley Fields Road which is nearby told me it was like "a can was being crushed".

Car crushed: Workmen at the scene

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

This is the tree which fell onto a car at about 13:40 on Witherford Way between Bournville and Weoly Castle.

Tree fallen on the car

I'm told the driver was taken to QE Hospital. Workmen are now shredding the tree.

I'm at the scene now - here's a short piece of video I've just taken.

Owner of Dudley based wedding firm admits fraudulent trading

Dudley News

A woman who left Black Country brides in the lurch on their big day

has admitted fraudulent trading.

The owner of A Little Bit of Bling, Sarah Cawthorne, from Sedgley, pocketed thousands of pounds from couples after promising she would provide the décor at their wedding receptions.

The 31-year-old of Hickmerelands Lane, pleaded guilty to one charge of fraudulent trading between July 2012 and September 2013.

News on the hour

Gareth Ford-Lloyd


Coming up in the news bulletin at 16:00 on

BBC WM: An inquest has shown that a West Midlands woman killed in a terrorist attack earlier this month died from gunshots to her abdomen and pelvis.

Sally Adey
Getty Images

Sally Addy, 57, from Albrighton near Wolverhampton, was one of 21 people shot dead at a Museum in Tunisian capital.

Man's car hit by tree


Fire crews have rescued a man in Weoley Castle in Birmingham after a tree fell crushing him inside the car.

Tree falls on car

Crews were called out at about 13:45.

The man had to be cut out of the car before being taken to hospital, his condition is not yet known.

Five offers for Blues

Ged Scott

BBC Sport

Birmingham City's parent company, Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL), has received five offers for the Championship club.

The receivers of the company,

who have been in charge since February, announced in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that they "have received five indicative non-binding offers from independent third parties in relation to possible acquisition of an interest in the Company and/or Birmingham City plc".

Whistleblowing policy change

via Facebook

Solihull Council posts: To reflect recent changes to government legislation, Solihull Council has revised its whistleblowing policy.

Whistleblowing is the practice of raising issues of genuine concern about malpractice or impropriety that you believe to be in the public interest, including but not limited to mismanagement, bribery, fraud, and health and safety failures.

You can view the revised Whistleblowing Policy here:…/Corpo…/WhistleblowingPolicy.pdf

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM

An inquest has heard how a woman from the West Midlands, killed in a terrorist attack in Tunisia, died from gunshot wounds to her abdomen and pelvis.

Sally Adey, aged 57, from Albrighton near Wolverhampton, was among 21 people shot dead at a museum in the capital Tunis earlier this month.

Listen live to BBC WM for more on this story and others.

Council 'discriminated' against its tenants

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Sandwell Council

'discriminated' against an Oldbury couple over its handling of a housing benefits claim, a
judicial review has found.

The authority included disability living allowance (DLA) as income when working out the discretionary housing payments (DHPs), to help them cope with the shortfall following changes to the benefits rules.

Sandwell Council House

Lawyers acting for the couple - council tenants Michael and Jayne Hardy - said the decision could go on to have wider consequences for many other local authorities across England and Wales.

Man jailed for sexually exploiting Walsall schoolgirl

A homeless man has been

jailed for seven years after admitting grooming a Walsall schoolgirl and inciting her to begin a sexual relationship.

bati singh
West midlands police

Banti Singh was arrested by police in Bloxwich in September last year after the 14-year-old girl's family raised concerns with officers about her behaviour and contact she was having with an older man.

Zoo chief exec investigated

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The chief executive of Dudley Zoo has been suspended on full pay pending an investigation into his conduct of certain affairs.


A spokesperson for Dudley Zoo says the "suspension of Peter Suddock does not constitute disciplinary action by the Zoo.

Whether or not disciplinary action is taken will depend upon the outcome of the investigation."

Bears sign McCullum for T20 Blast

BBC Sport

Champions Birmingham Bears have

signed New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum for this summer's T20 Blast.

Brendon McCullum

The 33-year-old recently led New Zealand to the World Cup final, which they lost to Australia on Sunday.

McCullum has signed a seven-game deal, which should make him available for half of the Bears' qualifying group games, as they aim to defend the trophy they won for the first time in August.

News on the hour

Chris Blakemore

News editor, BBC WM


the news at 14:00:

The chief executive of Dudley Zoo has been suspended on full pay.

Blind Dave's challenge

Daz Hale

Reporter, BBC WM

Earlier I met Black Country marathon runner Dave Heeley who has started his training for his next big challenge.

Black Country Marathon runner Dave Heeley

"Blind Dave" as he's known is the first blind person to attempt to run the Marathon Des Sables, which involves six days of running across the Sahara Desert.

To prepare he's spent the morning in a humidity chamber at the University of Birmingham (pictured).

He's hoping to raise £30,000 for the Albion Foundation which encourages disabled people to play football.

Firkins job losses

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The loss of jobs at Firkins Bakery isn't the first we've seen.

In 2008 the bakery shut 21 with the loss of 140 jobs. At the time 30 shops across the area were saved at the company, which is more than 140 years old.

The bakery, based in West Bromwich, blamed rising supplier prices and the economic downturn seven years ago.

White Dee MP?

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

Could White Dee, the undisputed star of Channel Four's Benefits Street, become the next MP for Birmingham Ladywood? According to the bookmakers there's a 50-to-1 shot.

Benefits Street star, White Dee
Getty Images

You can read my predictions ahead of the general election on my blog.

Appeal for stem cell transplant

Amy Cole

Presenter, Midlands Today

The mother of a Birmingham teenager has made a desperate plea for more stem cell donors to come forward as her son is in urgent need of a transplant.

Omar Al Shaikh

Omar Al Shaikh, 16, is being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for acute myeloid leukaemia and has just three months to find a matching donor.

Now his mother

Mirabela has issued an urgent appeal for help through the Anthony Nolan Trust.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 13:00 on

BBC WM: A Watford football fan attacked after watching a match at Wolves earlier this month has been
moved to a specialist care unit.

Cruwys family

Nic Cruwys was attacked after he left Molineux on 7 March having watched his team draw 2-2.

Toddler hit by taxi

Birmingham Mail

A three-year-old girl was in a serious but stable condition in hospital

after being run over by a taxi in Birmingham.

Marston's taking over Thwaites

Black Country-based brewer and pub group

Marston's has agreed to buy the beer division of north west England-based Thwaites for £25.1m

Marston's sign

Marston's, which has around 1,700 pubs and also brews ales such as Hobgoblin, said the acquisition includes a 150 strong workforce and Thwaites' two leading premium ales, Wainwright and Lancaster Bomber.

Windy afternoon ahead

BBC Weather


Windy, with gales in many places, particularly across the hills.


It will be a chilly day, with some sunny intervals but also scattered blustery showers, perhaps heavy at times and with the risk of hail - high of 9C (48F).

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

It's been announced that around 60 B&Q stores across the UK will close over the next two years.

The only one in the West Midlands that's been announced so far is on the Stechford Road in Birmingham. More details in

the news at 12:00.

Family's plea for help


The family of a West Midlands man behind bars in a Thai jail say they're desperate to help him.

Lane Whitemore was arrested in August of last year when he sold 200 ecstacy pills to an undercover police officer.

His parents don't deny the crime but say he's being kept in inhumane conditions and that the charges changed between arrest and his appearance in court.

Bakery goes into liquidation

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The Birmingham bakery Firkins has gone into liquidation due to a "lack in sales", with the loss of more than 100 jobs.

Firkins Bakery in West Bromwich

A statement from Business Recovery and Insolvency says: "Following difficult trading periods on the high street, Newbridge Bakery, Newbridge Bakery Ltd have announced that their shops trading as Firkins and Woolaston Bakery have closed and will cease to trade."

It added it will result in the loss of 104 full and part time jobs.

Wolverhampton line reopens

via Facebook

Network West Midlands

posts: ‪#‎BacktoBusiness‬

Midland Metro has now reopened back to Wolverhampton St George's and trams are running normally again.

Old mine workings in Wolverhampton city centre

"Midland Metro would like to thank all customers for their patience during these works"

Work laying new tram tracks was delayed after former mine workings in Wolverhampton were discovered last year.

News on the hour

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 11:00 on

BBC WM we'll have more on an attack on a man in Birmingham believed to be religiously motivated.

Police are investigating after it was filmed and posted online.

Brewery development plans submitted

Plans for a multi-million pound

re-development of a former brewery in Wolverhampton have been submitted to the city council.

Springfield Brewery
university of wolverhampton

The University of Wolverhampton wants to buy the former Springfield Brewery and turn it into an international campus and business park for students looking for careers in the construction industry.

The plans include the repair of the existing Grade II listed building.