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  1. Updates for Thursday 14 May 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 Friday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

Local Live has finished for the day. We're back from 08:00 on Friday with more news, sport, travel and weather. Join us then.

Cloudy and clear overnight

BBC Weather

After a fine end to the day,

there will be a dry night with long clear spells.


The wind will remain light and temperatures will fall under the clear skies, perhaps with a touch of frost in sheltered locations.

Lows of 7C (45F).

Coming up on TV

Nick Owen

Presenter, Midlands Today

Patients with advanced prostate cancer live nearly two years longer if given a chemotherapy drug at first diagnosis. Our health correspondent, Michele Paduano, has the story.

And thousands of people have been remembering Burntwood teenager Stephen Sutton today to mark the

first anniversary of his death from bowel cancer. A service was held at Lichfield Cathedral and his home town's been decorated with yellow ribbon.

Join us for the

Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

The Great Escape - 10 years on PT2

BBC WM Sport

This week marks 10 years since one of the most dramatic days in West Midlands football.

West Bromwich Albion fans listened to their radios during the Premiership match against Portsmouth at The Hawthorns on May 15, 2005.

West Brom fans listen to results come in on 15 May 2005
Getty Images

The tense day saw Bryan Robson's side change history and become the first club in Premiership history to avoid relegation after being bottom of the table at Christmas.

Listen to a

special documentary on BBC WM at 18:00 tonight.

Watch: Abusive carer captured on camera

A Willenhall carer who systematically abused an elderly patient has been jailed for two months following a police investigation.

Julie Hamilton, 53, was employed to look after the 88-year-old woman - who has severe dementia - at her Walsall home and help her at meal times.

A still screengrab from the hidden camera footage
West Midlands Police

At one stage

hidden camera footage captured her crying out in distress as Hamilton crammed food in her mouth.

Det Con Karen Kirman says: "Hamilton shows a complete lack of respect and humanity for a very vulnerable lady under her care; the only time she did her job, adopting a friendly, smiling demeanour, was when a doctor was also present."

Delays after M6 breakdown

BBC Travel

One lane is closed and there is heavy traffic on the M6 southbound between J5 for Castle Bromwich and J4a for the M42

because of a breakdown.

Villa fined over derby pitch invasion

BBC Sport

Aston Villa

have been fined £200,000 over the pitch invasion at the end of their FA Cup
quarter-final win over West Bromwich Albion that saw some Baggies players targeted by fans.

A police line kept Aston Villa fans away from where West Brom's travelling supporters were seated

Villa admitted

"spectator misconduct" in relation to the game on March 7 after being charged by the Football Association with failing to ensure that no spectators or unauthorised persons were permitted to encroach onto the pitch area at Villa Park.

Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, Villa have also been severely warned as to the club's future conduct.

Latest headlines

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here's a quick recap of some of the stories we've been looking at this afternoon:

Rail problems at Butlers Lane

London Midland

tweets: "Services are still being held whilst the police deal with the trespass incident at #ButlersLane apologies for this disruption. Replacement coaches have been ordered for cross city stations, waiting on an ETA."

Devolution debate: Birmingham 'penalised'

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News

Greater Manchester should become a blueprint for other large cities for devolution,

George Osborne has said.

I've been asking people in Birmingham what they think if it happens here.

Nigel Leyland, 61, who is retired, says: "We don't need an elected mayor and another kitchen cabinet.

Nigel Leyland

" I don't want more bureaucracy. I want more effective responses to local needs and we're not getting that because the government is penalising us (Birmingham) for being Labour."

Battle to beat superbug at QE

BBC Radio 4

It took the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham 18 months to eradicate a particularly nasty strain of superbug that was infecting patients on some of its wards.

Before then the bug, called Acinetobacter baumannii, managed to resist nearly everything staff and cleaners threw at it.

The Acinetobacter baumannii superbug
Science Photo Library

But what makes the bug so tough and

why is it difficult to get rid of?

Listen again here.

Jail for carer who stole food from elderly patient

A Willenhall carer who systematically abused an elderly patient has been

jailed for two months following a police investigation.

Julie Hamilton, 53, (pictured) was employed to look after the lady - who has severe dementia - at her Walsall home and help her at meal times.

julie hamilton
West Midlands Police

However, over a period of several months she routinely force fed her meals in minutes to speed up visits, and often threw food away.

She even stole cakes from the 88-year-old's kitchen cupboards and later told detectives it was a "perk of the job".

Devolution debate: I'm undecided'

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News

English cities will get powers over housing, transport, planning and policing

under plans set out in George Osborne's first post-election speech.

I've been getting reaction in Birmingham.

Rebecca Coats

Rebecca Coats, 43, a mature student, said: "I don't like this central government has no place (idea).

"It could be the thin end of a wedge or it could be a good thing, so that's why I'm undecided."

On devolution, Ms Coats said: "For me I think it would just be local facilities like libraries and the infrastructure of the city like transport like the trams like places for your kids to go."

Latest headlines

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here are some of the stories we're looking at this afternoon:

Friedel retires

BBC Sport

After a 20-year career in football, goalkeeper Brad Friedel is hanging up his gloves at the end of the season, aged 44.

brad friedel in 2011
Getty Images

The American, currently at Tottenham, made 114 appearances for Aston Villa between 2008-2011.

Aston Villa

tweets: "FAB FRIEDEL: Best wishes for the future to our former No.1
@friedel_b who is retiring at the end of the season.

A wet afternoon

BBC Weather

The rain will get heavier at times before clearing away to the southeast leaving a dry end to the day.


It will

feel cold under cloud and rain.

Birmingham men to face terror charges

Three Birmingham men accused of trying to smuggle themselves out of Britain to travel to Iraq or Syria will go on trial in November.

Gabriel Rasmus, 29, Anas Abdalla, 26, and Mahamuud Diini, 25, all from the city, are accused of preparing acts of terrorism.

Port of Dover
Gareth Fuller

They were arrested when they were found in the back of an articulated lorry at the Port of Dover.

Young mum 'froze to death'

Birmingham Mail

A young mum

froze to death after climbing into school grounds late at night after drinking and taking drugs and not being able to get out, an inquest heard.

Walsall: Bakayoko signs new contract

BBC Sport

Teenage Walsall striker Amadou Bakayoko has

signed a new deal with the League One club.

Walsall striker Amadou Bakayoko

The 19-year-old made eight substitute appearances for Dean Smith's side in 2014-15, in addition to a loan spell at Conference side Southport.

Arrests after park disorder

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A 15-year-old boy and a man have been arrested after a 16-year-old needed to be taken to hospital with stab and slash wounds after

disorder in Palfrey Park, Walsall.

The 15-year-old, from the Delves area, and a 27-year-old man from Caldmore, were arrested in nearby streets on suspicion of wounding after the other teenager was taken to hospital with the wounds to his back. His conditions is described as stable.

Devolution moves 'welcomed'

Jennifer Harby

Journalist, BBC News Online

The leader of the Conservative opposition group at Birmingham City Council, Robert Alden, has welcomed George Osborne's

announcement on progress on devolution.

He said: "It's been unacceptable for places like Scotland to get offered more powers while Birmingham - one of Britain's regional powerhouses - gets ignored.

Birmingham City Council house

"It would be very different to the Manchester model, where their councils are roughly the same size," he said. "Birmingham City Council is so much bigger than the surrounding authorities and there is often a fear they will be amalgamated.

Coming up on TV

Satnam Rana

Arts reporter, BBC Midlands Today

A Black Country girl has landed her first major role in the stage show of the popular 1980s film Dirty Dancing.


Jessie Hart from Wall Heath, is playing the lead role "Baby" in the UK Tour which has landed at Birmingham Hippodrome.

I caught up with her for

Midlands Today on BBC One at 13:40.

Villa fans queued for tickets

Daz Hale

Presenter, BBC WM

Aston Villa fans have been getting their hands on tickets for the FA Cup Final after the club confirmed that a limited number were still available.

Villa fans wrapped up in blankets for their overnight wait

I was there this morning. Some fans had queued overnight in the hope of getting some of around 1,000 believed to remain in the Villa end for the clash with Arsenal on 30 May as the majority of the 25,000 allocation in Wembley's West Stand had been snapped up.

Thumbs up for Stephen

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

People gathered for a thumbs up for Stephen outside Lichfield Cathedral earlier to remember Stephen Sutton

a year after his death.

Today's thumbs up for Stephen Sutton

The Baggies Great Escape - 10 Years on

Rob Gurney

BBC WM Sport

Tonight on BBC WM we look back on

West Bromwich Albion's Great Escape, 10 years on from the final day win over Portsmouth that kept them in what was then the Premiership.

Bryan Robson of WBA after securing premiership status at The Hawthorns on May 15, 2005
Getty Images

From 18:00 you'll hear from the then manager Bryan Robson (pictured) and members of the Albion playing squad that season.

Jobs axe falls at hospital

Express and Star

More than 250 posts have been axed at Dudley's hospital trust during the past year

in a bid to save £7.5m.

Latest Headlines

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Some of the stories we're looking into today include:

Respects paid to Stephen

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

I'm live at Lichfield Cathedral for BBC WM where a

memorial service for Stephen Sutton has been held.

Picture of Stephen Sutton
Mourners outside Lichfield Cathedral

M5 delays warning

BBC Travel

A lane is closed on the M5 entry slip road at J3 for Halesowen on the southbound carriageway,

drivers are being warned.

Carjacking victim punched in face

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A man was punched in the face as he became the victim of a carjacking at a Great Barr supermarket,

police have revealed.

Officers are appealing for information about the theft at the Asda store on 14 April, when a 41-year-old man was robbed of his BMW M3 convertible at around 18:30 BST.

Birmingham gym users 'will not pay double', says council

Birmingham City Council has

denied people using its pools and gyms will have to pay extra membership fees when a private company takes over operating some of them.

A total of eight of the authority's leisure facilities are due to be taken over by Serco in June.

Tiverton Road Baths

Gym users were told they would need to pay twice to use facilities at different sites, such as Tiverton Road Baths in Selly Oak (pictured).

But the council says it's now "looking at options" after one member said he would have to pay double his current cost.

Tamworth charity calls for 'Peel pig' sculpture return

A charity is calling for a council leader to

bring back a sculpture of a pig he has removed from Tamworth town centre.

The sculpture, which is depicted wearing a police helmet, is known as the "Peel Pig" after former prime minister Sir Robert Peel, who was an MP in the town.

The Peel pig
The Peel Society

The work was removed by the councillor Danny Cook who said it was "offensive".

But a charity set up to honour Sir Robert is calling for its return.

Road layout for Paradise

Paradise Birmingham

tweets: "New
access changes are now in effect around Paradise, Sand Pits/Parade closed to all traffic."

Map showing the road closure
Core Marketing

Cannock drugs raids arrests

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Eight people have been arrested on suspicion of supplying illegal drugs across Cannock in dawn swoops by more than 100 officers.

Raids took place at 10 properties in Cheslyn Hay, Rugeley and Norton Canes and one address in Bloxwich, under the banner of the Staffordshire Police's Operation Nemesis - tackling suspected drug dealers.

Seven men and one woman aged between 15 and 51 are being questioned.

England in focus

Every day

BBC England's Big Picture features a photograph sent in from across the country - with the gallery growing throughout the week.

Wastwater, Cumbria
Mark Harwood

If you have a photo you'd like to share, email us at, post it on
Facebook or tweet it to

You can also find us on

Instagram - use #englandsbigpicture to share an image there.

When the world met Stephen

Bethan Bell

Journalist, BBC News

When Stephen Sutton was told his illness was terminal, he published online a "bucket list" of things he wanted to achieve before he died.

They included raising £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust, playing drums in front of a huge crowd, getting a tattoo and skydiving.

Stephen Sutton
Sutton family

But it was a photograph of Stephen putting his thumbs up and posting a goodbye message on Facebook in April 2014 that

spawned a "thumbs up for Stephen" support campaign and prompted people from around the world to donate.

Latest headlines

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Some of the stories we're looking into today include:

  • Jaguar Land Rover is to
    expand its site at the i54 business park near Wolverhampton again
  • Five emergency vehicles
    crashed every day in the West Midlands over three years
  • A year after his death, Stephen Sutton's fundraising efforts have pulled in £4.5m - here's
    how the money has helped

Roadworks 'risking bars' administration'

Birmingham Post

Three popular Birmingham city centre bars are

just weeks from falling into administration after Paradise Circus roadworks caused losses of £400,000 in four months.

New powers for cities


Plans to give English cities powers over housing, transport, planning and policing will be set out in George Osborne's first post-election speech.

George Osborne

He'll says Greater Manchester should become a blueprint for other large cities, and that the "old model" of running everything from London is "broken" and has unbalanced the economy.