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  1. Updates for Thursday 5 May 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our coverage across the day

That's it for live updates this afternoon.

My colleague Alex Homer will be back from 22:00 bringing you comprehensive coverage of the local and police and crime commissioner elections as the results come in overnight.

He'll be bringing you live text updates for the West Midlands on our dedicated BBC News live page between 22:00 and 08:00 on Friday.  

Final village bank to close due to 'fall in demand'


The one remaining bank in a village near Redditch will close this summer.

Lloyds Bank in Studley

Lloyds Bank in Studley (pictured) will shut in July following the closure of a branch of HSBC. 

Both banks say it's because of falling customer demand. 

World War Two hoard up for auction

A militaria and aviation fanatic who has amassed barns full of rare war memorabilia has put his entire hoard up for auction.

John Hancocks, 85, said his fascination began as a child in Birmingham when the city was targeted by German bombers during World War Two.

His passion grew during his National Service as an RAF crash salvager based at Cosford in Shropshire.

John Hancocks collection
John Hancocks has collected thousands of pieces of militaria and aircraft memorabilia

Service for pilot killed by poachers

A British pilot killed by elephant poachers while monitoring a conservation area in Tanzania has been remembered at a service.

Roger Gower: Memorial service held for pilot killed by poachers in Tanzania

Roger Gower, 37, had been flying over Maswa Game Reserve when his helicopter came under fire.

Originally from Edgbaston, he worked in London before moving to East Africa to work as a helicopter pilot.

Afternoon forecast: Dry and warm

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

This evening will be dry and warm with some good sunny spells before dusk. 

This will lead to a dry night with clear periods, although a few mist patches may form in rural spots with lows of 8C (46F).

The weather for the West Midlands.

Video: Elephant named after Stephen Sutton marks second birthday

A baby elephant named in memory of the teenage cancer patient and fundraiser Stephen Sutton has turned two years old.To celebrate, keepers at West Midlands Safari Park gave him a birthday cake made up of mounds of his favourite food, which include elephant feed, bread and fruit. 

West Midland Safari Park's baby elephant has turned two.

He now weighs a whopping 790kg and is almost four feet tall. 

E-fit released of Walsall rape suspect

Here's an e-fit image of a man police want to trace following the rape of a 16-year-old girl.

E-fit image of rape suspect
West Midlands Police

The teenager was approached by a man in a silver car as she walked along Sutton Road in Aldridge, Walsall, towards the Beacon Road junction at about 22.30 on 18 April.

He stopped to ask her for directions, offered her a cigarette and she got into the car. He then drove her to a flat - which officers believe is in Birmingham - and sexually assaulted her.

The next day he dropped her off outside shops on Little Aston Road.   

BBC coverage of the local and PCC elections from 10pm

Chris Blakemore


BBC WM will have reporters in, Redditch, Sandwell, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Tamworth Cannock, Walsall, Birmingham and Solihull as part of our coverage of the local and police and crime commissioner elections. 

Our political reporter Kathryn Stanczyszyn will be presenting our coverage alongside Dr Matt Cole, a politics expert from King Edward’s College in Stourbridge, from 01:00. 

Kath will be crossing live to our reporters at counts across the West Midlands and we will be on air until you know who will be in charge of your local council.  

BBC WM election special

You can also follow live text coverage of the West Midlands results between 22:00 and 08:00 on our dedicated BBC News live page.

Barclaycard is to cease sponsorship of Birmingham's National Indoor Arena

Rebecca Woods

BBC News Online, Journalist

Barclaycard is to cease sponsorship of the National Indoor Arena (NIA) after pulling out of its contract early.

The announcement comes just 18 months after the Barclaycard Arena was unveiled following a £26m refurbishment.

Rail delays between Birmingham and Lichfield

A broken-down train between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield is causing delays.

National Rail is warning passengers to expect delays until about 18:00. Passengers are able to use their train tickets on local bus services.

Photo at the scene: Firefighters on Barr Street

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

This photo sent into the BBC was taken on Barr Street in Hockley. 

More than 30 firefighters are tackling a fire at a derelict factory. 

West Midlands Police has closed a number of the roads in the surrounding area.

Firefighters tackle derelict factory fire in Hockley

Severe delays on the M5 northbound

BBC Travel

There's very slow traffic on M6 northbound between J8 M5 and J9, A461 (Wednesbury), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. 

All lanes have been re-opened but congestion is queuing back to J1, A41 (West Bromwich) and to J7, A34 (Great Barr).  

Photo: Aerial platform tackling factory fire

An aerial platform is being used to tackle the fire at a derelict factory on Barr Street in Hockley (pictured). More than 30 firefighters are now at the scene.

West Midlands Police is now in attendance and has closed the street in both directions at the Harford Street junction.

Factory fire in Hockley

Photos: Derelict factory fire in Hockley

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

@Guigsy took these photos of the derelict factory fire in Hockley.

About 30 firefighters are currently at the scene. 

Derelict factory fire in Hockley
Derelict factory fire in Hockley

'Avoid Hockley area' after factory fire breaks out

West Midlands Fire Service is advising people to avoid the Barr Street area in Hockley as rush hour approaches.

BreakingDerelict factory fire in Birmingham

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

About 30 firefighters are tackling a blaze at a derelict factory in Birmingham.

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service says it received a 999 call to Barr Street in Hockley at 15:45. Six fire engines are currently in attendance.

A brick building measuring 15 by 40 metres is alight.

We'll bring you more information when we have it.

Watch: The super-car licensed as a cab

Wolverhampton City Council says it's become the first local authority to license a Lamborghini for private hire.For £349, people can hire the super-car for 90 minutes, or if they prefer, a Rolls Royce.

The bright green Lamborghini can reach speeds of up to 200mph

Whilst it's aimed at those wanting to arrive in style to a wedding or prom, it can also be booked for a trip to the shops.The bright green Lamborghini was bought for £196,000 by a Wolverhampton-based vehicle hire firm.    

'Severe' kitchen fire in Birmingham flat

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Firefighters have tackled a "severe" house fire in Handsworth Wood this afternoon.

Three crews from Aston, Handsworth and Perry Barr received a 999 call at 13:49 alerting them to a blaze in a kitchen on the building's first floor.

A spokesman says no injuries have been reported.

View more on twitter

Domestic violence charity closes due to funding shortage

A domestic violence charity in Walsall has closed amid funding difficulties.

Walsall Domestic Violence Forum released a statement on Facebook saying: "We have fought long and hard over many years to secure the necessary funds to continue our support services for victims of DV. However, sadly we have now lost that battle."

The charity closed its doors for the final time yesterday.

Watch: Pretty in pink - 100-year-old woman models in Vogue

A 100-year-old woman has made history by becoming the oldest model to feature in Vogue.

Bo Gilbert, who lives in a housing facility in Warwickshire, was chosen by Harvey Nichols for a special campaign to celebrate the magazine's 100th anniversary.

Bo Gilbert never goes out without heels and make-up

The 100-year-old previously worked at a cardboard box manufacturing firm in Birmingham after moving to the city as a teenager.

Court: Kenichi Phillips shooting

Here's more on our earlier story about a man accused of murdering an 18-year-oldwho was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Screen grab of online story

Cat shot in the face 'by shotgun'

A cat has lost part of its tongue after being struck by a bullet which went through its nostril, mouth and neck, the RSPCA says. 

The six-year-old, called Tom, was found injured by his owner on 23 April, near his Lichfield home.

A vet discovered that the bullet - thought to be from a shotgun, the charity said - had caused serious injuries to Tom's face and teeth. His eyesight is also damaged.


It’s thrown me off my feet because this happening to Tom has made me feel like I’ve lost an arm because we are so close and he follows me everywhere. I feel so helpless that I can’t help him more.

Amanda DukesTom's owner

Anyone with information is urged to contact the charity, which says Tom is lucky to be alive, on 0300 123 8018.

Baggies announce new shirt sponsor

BBC WM Sport

West Bromwich Albion have signed what they call a record commercial deal with online casino to be The Baggies' new shirt sponsor.

The Chinese-based firm has agreed an initial two-year deal with Albion, which hopes to grow a fan-base in Asia as a result. 

Rail delays in Stourbridge cleared

The faulty train in Stourbridge which caused delays has now been cleared, says London Midland.

View more on twitter

Latest headlines: Man appears in court over murder charge; super cars for private hire in Wolverhampton

The top stories in the BBC WM newsroom this lunchtime:

- A man has appeared before magistrates charged with murdering a Birmingham teenager who was shot as he sat in a car

Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce have been licensed for use as private hire cabs in Wolverhampton  

- A baby elephant at the West Midland Safari Park named after cancer fundraiser Stephen Sutton has celebrated his second birthday

Walsall boss Whitney remains positive

BBC Sport

Walsall interim boss Jon Whitney insists that the Saddlers are still highly optimistic going into this Sunday's League One finale.

To earn the second automatic promotion place, Whitney's side must win at Port Vale and hope that Burton Albion lose at all-but relegated Doncaster Rovers.

But Devante Cole's late goal at Bescot for Fleetwood on Monday means they now need an extra swing in goal difference.

Walsall interim boss Jon Whitney

If you look at it another way, we've got the 2-0 win. We've got momentum now. Our intention was to keep it going for as long as we can. We're going to carry it forward to next week and see where it takes us

Jon WhitneyInterim Walsall manager

Man appears in court on murder charge

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

A man has appeared before magistrates charged with murdering Birmingham teenager Kenichi Phillips who was shot as he sat in a car in Ladywood in March. 

Dean Silvera, 37, from Stamford Grove in Perry Barr was remanded back into custody to appear at crown court next week. 

Blinders star says Brummie accent 'sexy'

"The Birmingham accent is sexy," says Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy.

Last night he was in Birmingham for the series three premiere. 

Cillian Murphy

The 39-year-old says he would test out his Brummie accent on Peaky Blinders' creator, Steve Knight, who was born in the city.

"I would call him up and leave messages on his phone and see if he approves."

May 2016 local council elections in the Black Country and Staffordshire

Express and Star

Voters head to the polls today across the region to vote in the local council elections. Read more.

Man due in court over Kenichi Phillips shooting

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

A man charged with the murder of Birmingham teenager Kenichi Phillips is due before city magistrates later. 

Dean Silvera, 37, from Perry Barr, is the second person to be charged with murdering the 18-year-old who was shot dead in March as he sat in a car in Ladywood. A 17-year-old was charged last month.

Kenichi Phillips
Kenichi Phillips

A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder the day after the shooting remains on police bail while investigations continue.

Trains delayed in the Strourbridge area

Train services in the Stourbridge area are disrupted.

London Midland advises that road transport is being used temporarily.

View more on twitter

Delivery company could be affected by BHS administration

Amy Cole

BBC Midlands Today

Drivers and warehouse staff who deliver goods to BHS stores could be affected by the high street chain going into administration. 

The Unite union says 60 drivers and 300 warehouse staff work at DHL, based at Atherstone near Coventry, and supply 164 stores. 

BHS store in Birmingham

Unite is calling for urgent talks with DHL management, but they say it's too early to speculate on what will happen while discussions are continuing with administrators.  

Polling stations open for West Midlands PCC and local elections

Voters are heading to the ballot boxes after polling stations opened for local elections across the West Midlands.

The election of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner is also taking place, alongside ballots for seats on councils in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton.

Polling stations opened their doors at 07:00 and will close at 22:00.

Ballot paper

Hundreds gather for a red carpet screening of Peaky Blinders

Hundreds gather for a red carpet screening of Peaky Blinders in Birmingham
Hundreds of fans of the Birmingham based gangster drama Peaky Blinders turned out for a special screening of the new series in the city. 

Stars including Cillian Murphy who plays the lead character Tommy Shelby, attended the red carpet event at the Everyman Cinema.

Latest headlines: Second man due in court on murder charge; delivery company could be affected by BHS administration

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top news stories that we're looking at in the newsroom this morning include:

- A second man charged with the murder of a Birmingham teenager Kenichi Phillips is due before magistrates later

- Drivers and warehouse staff who deliver goods to BHS stores could be affected by the high street chain going into administration

- Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett, who was at the Peaky Blinders premiere last night, says he'll take inspiration from lead character Tommy Shelby - promising to be ruthless

M6 southbound re-opens: Delays expected

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Drivers on the M6 southbound are warned to expect severe delays after an earlier accident. Queues are going back to J10a M54.

Highways England says the carriageway is now fully open but it will take some time to clear congestion.

View more on twitter