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  1. Updates on Tuesday 5 April 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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End of live updates

That's it for live updates today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Man, 21, charged with hostel murder

BBC News England

A 21-year-old man has been charged with murder after the body of a 52-year-old man was found at a hostel in Birmingham.

Man charged with murdering man at Sparkhill hostel

Damien Borowiec, 21, of Durham Road, Sparkhill, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court today. He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear in crown court later this week.

Two other people have been bailed as inquiries continue. A remaining seven people who were arrested on Monday have been released without charge.    

Weather: Light showers likely overnight

Any light showers will soon clear leaving a dry start to the night with clearer spells.

Cloudier by the early hours, with rain pushing east by the end of the night - lows of 6C (43F).

Sara Blizzard with the afternoon's weather forecast for the West Midlands

Watch: Rail passengers face 'nightmare' journey as services delayed

BBC Midlands Today

Thousands of rail passengers nationwide have had their journeys plagued by delays after the line between Birmingham and Coventry closed.

Rail passengers face 'nightmare' journey as services delayed

Latest headlines: Rail delays continue; children's services in Dudley rated 'inadequate'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Sticker appeal launched by Sutton Coldfield rescue centre

Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer

An animal rescue centre in Sutton Coldfield has launched a special sticker appeal to warn gardeners of the dangers facing hedgehogs as they emerge from hibernation.

Sutton Coldfield Observer

Ticket restrictions lifted as rail delays continue

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Restrictions have been lifted on rail tickets after severe delays plagued thousands of commuters on the railways today.

The head of communications at London Midland says the company is now running reduced services between Birmingham and Coventry, as well as Virgin Trains.

Train companies have agreed to carry one another’s customers as Network Rail continues to repair the damaged overhead wires on the West Coast main line near Birmingham International station.  

View more on twitter

Three charged in connection with Birmingham shootings

Three men have been charged in connection with "a series of shootings" in Birmingham last year, police say.

West Midlands Police has charged Ashai Gray, 22 of Willes Road, Winson Green, and Reial Phillips, 20 of Musgrave Road, Winson Green with conspiracy to murder, plus firearms and drugs offences.

Ishmail Lee, 27, of Leicester Street, Wolverhampton, was charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

The three men are due to appear in court on Thursday.

Rail disruption latest: Some trains from Coventry to Birmingham have started to run - here's the first one.

Martin Winch

BBC Local Live

The delayed 16:22hrs Virgin service to Birmingham New Street has just arrived at Coventry railway station. It was 11 minutes late.

Replacement bus services are still in place as not every train is running.


Rail disruption latest: Hourly train service to start between Birmingham and Coventry

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Train operator London Midland says a reduced, hourly service is now running between Birmingham and Coventry.

The line between the two cities had been closed since 06:30 after "an incident" involving an empty train carriage and overhead cables, causing nationwide disruption.

View more on twitter

Deputy PCC suspension 'heavy-handed'

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

The suspension of the West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner was "heavy-handed", a meeting heard.

Yvonne Mosquito (pictured) was suspended last month over allegations she visited a murder victim's family without informing officers.

Yvonne Mosquito

But Maxie Hayles said Ms Mosquito was "an ordained minister giving condolences to a grieving family"‎ and a councillor for the area.

He chaired a meeting of more than 100 people to discuss the suspension.  

Cuckoo commissioned for two more series

Have you watched Cuckoo on BBC Three?

It stars comedian Greg Davies and is filmed in and around Lichfield.

The BBC channel which is now online says the programme has been commissioned for another two series. 

Here's actor Tyger Drew-Honey....

View more on twitter

Children's services rated 'inadequate'

"Serious and widespread failures" have been identified in services for children and young people needing protection in Dudley.

Ofsted inspectors said there was no assurance that vulnerable children were safe or "effectively protected" due to "inadequate services" run by the town's council.

Dudley Council

The authority had been aware of the deficits for "some time" but had not acted quickly enough, they added.

Dudley Council said it would "continue at pace" to radically improve services.

Video: Bird's eye view of Brum is just Paradise

Ariel footage of the demolition of Paradise Square has been released by developers.

The work is affecting the Paradise Circus Queensway junctions with Broad Street, Sand Pits and Summer Row.

Bird's eye view of Birmingham Paradise demolition

It is part of a project to demolish the old library and create new offices, shops and walkways.

It's a capital idea, but do we Midlanders want a mayor?

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

Barring some sort of bolt from the blue, in a little over a year from now, voters in a conurbation of more than three million people, from Wolverhampton to Coventry and from Sutton Coldfield to Solihull, will be preparing to elect their first 'metro mayor'.

Read my blog for more on the "devolution revolution".    

Watch: Why the railway line is closed between Birmingham and Coventry

Elizabeth Glinka

BBC Midlands Today

Liam Sumpter from Network Rail explains the damage that has been caused to overhead cables near Birmingham International:

Network Rail explains the damage done to overhead cables at Birmingham

Delays expected until 20:00 at the earliest

David Lumb

BBC Midlands Today

The general manager for Virgin Trains has just told me the rail disruption will go on well into the evening rush hour. 

Francis Thomas says repairs won’t be complete until 20:00 at the earliest. 

Passengers are being reminded they can use their tickets on any train.

Museum gang members all jailed after £57m Chinese art and rhino thefts

The final six members of a gang have been jailed for masterminding the theft of artefacts worth up to £57m from museums and an auction house.

Chinese jade and rhino horn were targeted in Cambridge, Durham, Norwich and Lewes, East Sussex.

Expensive Chinese artefacts
Fitzwilliam museum

The 14 men, from Cambridgeshire, Essex, London and the West Midlands, were convicted of conspiracy to steal between November 2011 and April 2012.

They were jailed for between 15 months and six years, eight months.

No action against Agbonlahor by Villa

BBC Sport

Aston Villa will take no further action against Gabriel Agbonlahor after he was pictured appearing to hold a shisha pipe in Dubai.

Gabriel Agbonlahor
Getty Images

Villa had suspended Agbonlahor and carried out an internal investigation.  

'Empty train and overhead cables significantly damaged'

An empty train and overhead cables were severely damaged on a railway line between Birmingham and Coventry, closing the line this morning.

A Network Rail spokesman has been talking to BBC Midlands Today.

Liam Sumpter

Shortly after 06.30 an empty London Midland train leaving Birmingham International station heading towards Coventry became involved in an incident with the overhead line equipment. It resulted in significant damage to that over head line and the train itself. It is causing signifcant disruption and will for some time. We are advising passengers to check with their train operator and National Rail

Liam SumpterSpokesman, Network Rail

Engineers are on site while commuters are warned to expect delays beyond 20:00.

Troubleshooter to aid council after children's services rated 'inadequate'

The government has appointed a commissioner to work with Dudley Council to try to improve its children's services department after an "inadequate" rating.

Eleanor Brazil, who was brought into Haringey Council in the aftermath of the Baby P scandal, will work with the West Midlands council over the next three months.

This morning Ofsted published its report into the council department.

Rail disruption video: Bus replacement services in operation

Matt Bradle, general manager for Virgin Trains in the West Midlands, explains that bus replacement services are in operation. He refers to early estimates that disruption would ease by 17:30, although the projected time is now later in the evening.

Anyone wishing to travel is advised to check services via National Rail Enquiries.

Deputy PCC's suspension discussed in public meeting

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

More than 100 people turned up for a public meeting last night to discuss the West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner's suspension amid allegations she broke protocol by visiting a murder victim's family.

Public meeting over deputy PCC suspension

Community campaigner Desmond Jadoo said the purpose of the meeting was to gather public opinion on Yvonne Mosquito's suspension "and take that forward".

He added an overview of discussions would be forwarded to the office of the PCC.

Latest on the rail delays between Birmingham and Coventry

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Thousands of people travelling across the country by rail are being delayed after the line between Birmingham New Street and Coventry closed this morning due to overhead line problems at Birmingham International. Here's the latest details:

- Hundreds of commuters this morning queued for bus replacement services

- National Rail is currently advising that it expects delays until 18:30

- An Arriva service is now running between Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International

- Train operators including Chiltern, Virgin, East Midlands & Cross Country Trains accepting tickets for disrupted journeys

- Network Rail staff carrying out overhead cable repairs

- Anyone wishing to travel is advised to visit the National Rail Enquiries website for full details

Man and woman released on bail after terror arrest

A man and woman who were arrested on suspicion of terror-related offences have been released on bail.

The man, 24, was arrested at Gatwick Airport yesterday, while the woman, 20, was arrested in west London. Both have been released under "strict bail conditions".

Police say the pair, from Birmingham, were arrested on suspicion of engaging in conduct in preparation for travelling to Syria.

Passengers warned of travel chaos

BBC News England

Thousands of rail passengers are facing delays and cancellations after overhead electric wires at Birmingham International station stopped working.

Services across the country are affected, including routes to London, Edinburgh, Manchester, North Wales and Southampton.

Rail commuters warned of major disruption across country

School closure consultation

Qasa Alom

BBC Midlands Today

It's the last day for parents and pupils to make their case as to why a Black Country school should be saved from closure. 

Coseley School protests

A number of protests (pictured) have already been staged after plans to shut Coseley School were revealed. 

Dudley Council says poor Ofsted ratings and a substantial drop in pupil numbers means it would cost too much to keep it open after 2017.  

Delays between Birmingham and Coventry to last until 5.30pm

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The disruption between Coventry and Birmingham is now expected to last until 17:30, warns National Rail.

Network Rail staff are on site carrying out repairs to damaged overhead wires. The New Street team tweeted these photos....

View more on twitter

Photos: Queues for replacement bus service

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Are you caught in the rail delays as passengers look for an alternative route while lines between Birmingham and Coventry remain closed?

Danielle Currie took this photo in Coventry as she queued to get on a replacement bus service to Birmingham New Street.

Danielle Curries
Danielle Currie

After much waiting she decided to head back to Rugby and work from home.

What's your journey been like? Email, tweet @BBCWM or get in touch via Facebook.

Disruption to trains between Coventry and Birmingham New Street

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Damage to the overhead electric wires near Birmingham International is causing major disruption to trains between Coventry and Birmingham New Street. 

You can find a comprehensive list on the National Rail Enquiries website.

Network Rail staff are on site and commuters are warned to expect delays until 15:00.

Watch: Latest forecast for the West Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Dry and bright start to the day which is set to continue for all of us.

The odd light shower is possible through the afternoon but with some decent sunny spells too. Feeling pleasant in the sunshine with highs of 14C (57F).

Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

An Arriva trains service is now running between the Birmingham stations hit by delays

Arriva Trains Wales is now operating between Birmingham International and Birmingham New Street.

View more on twitter

Rail disruption: Delay and repay

Chris Blakemore


The head of communications at London Midland has told us that the overhead power lines stopped working in the area around Birmingham International just after 06:00 this morning. 

Francis Thomas says there's still an empty stock train trapped on the line too. 

Birmingham International rail delays

If you've had a terrible commute this morning, buses between Rugby and Birmingham are being provided.

Remember, if you're delayed by more than half an hour you can claim a reimbursement from train operators, including London Midland and Virgin Trains.

'300 people queuing at Coventry railway station'

About 300 people are said to be waiting for replacement buses at Coventry railway station.

This video was taken a short while ago.

View more on twitter

Latest news: Man charged with hostel murder; trains delayed after line closes between Birmingham and Coventry

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the BBC WM newsroom this morning:

A man has been charged with murder after the body of a 52-year-old man was found at a hostel in Birmingham

- The railway line between Birmingham New Street and Coventry is closed after overhead line problems, with delays likely to continue until 15:00

- It's the last day for parents and pupils to make their case as to why a Black Country school should be saved from closure

Hostel body find: Man charged with murder

A man has been charged with murder after the body of a 52-year-old man was found at a hostel in Birmingham.

Hostel on Durham Road, Sparkhill,

Nine people were arrested after the man was found dead at the hostel in Durham Road, Sparkhill, on Sunday morning.

Damien Borowiec, 21, of Durham Road, was charged with his murder on Monday night and is due to appear before Birmingham magistrates, police said.

Queues at Coventry railway station

Passengers are facing a morning - and possibly afternoon - of disruption following the rail problems we've been telling you about this morning.  

This is the scene at Coventry railway station:

View more on twitter