Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Stepfather admits murdering toddler in Wolverhampton
  2. Mosque says Katie Hopkins' Twitter claims 'total rubbish'
  3. Knife attack victims to be buried together in coffin
  4. Natalie Putt: Police urge man to contact them over 'crucial information'
  5. Updates from Wednesday 7 June 2017

Live Reporting

By Monica Rimmer

All times stated are UK

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening.

Harry Redknapp backed by Blues coach

BBC WM Sport

Birmingham City coach Kevin Hitchcock has backed Harry Redknapp to bring in high quality players this summer to push the club where they want to be.

Hitchcock has confirmed he's staying on at St Andrew's after originally being brought in under Gianfranco Zola and says Redknapp has the experience needed to get Blues up the league.

Harry Redknapp
Getty Images

'Nothing found' in Natalie Putt graveyard search

West Midlands Police have concluded their search of a graveyard as part of their investigation into the disappearance of Natalie Putt.

Police investigating the graveyard near where Natalie Putt was last seen.
West Midlands Police

The search of the graveyard near to where Ms Putt was last seen in Lower Gornal revealed nothing of interest and graves have now been resealed and restored to their original condition.

Det Insp Ian Illife said: "Unfortunately we found nothing which could give us any clues to Natalie’s whereabouts."

Ms Putt disappeared nearly 14 years ago. Her sisters released a statement saying they "have never given up hope of finding her safe and well".

Watch: Your weather for tonight and tomorrow

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

For most places today has been dry and sunny - here's how tonight is looking and the start of Thursday.

Keep updated with the BBC Weather website.

Shefali Oza

Wilkinson funeral: Father and daughter say a final farewell

Peter Wilson

BBC Midlands Today Special Correspondent

Peter Wilkinson, who was seriously injured in the stabbing at his home in Oldswinford, Stourbridge which killed his wife and son, has said a final farewell with his daughter Lydia to his murdered family members.

Peter Wilkinson with daughter Lydia
BBC

The funeral for Tracey and Pierce Wilkinson was taking place today at St Mary's Church in Oldswinford.

The mother and son are being buried in one coffin.

Daughter Lydia spoke of her love for her "gorgeous" mother and "happy" brother.

Police officer stabbed in leg at Asda store

A police officer is recovering at home after being stabbed in the leg when responding to an incident at Asda, in Dudley, last night.

Asda in Dudley High Street
Google

Police were called to the store, in High Street, at 20:20 following reports of a woman with a knife.

A 19-year-old woman was detained and arrested on suspicion of wounding.

Sgt James Harrison was stabbed in the leg and is now recovering at home after being checked over at hospital.

Travel: Delays to trains between Stafford and Wolverhampton

BBC News Travel

Cricket: Bears look to T20 warm-up games

BBC Sport

With no county championship games until 19 June, Warwickshire's one-day side will be getting some T20 practice this week, with two friendly games against Shropshire.

The matches are being played back-to-back on Friday at Bridgnorth cricket club, with the first one starting at 11:00.

Bridnorth cricket club
Stuart Dunn

The Bears are due to start their T20 Blast campaign away to Worcestershire on 7 July.

Katie Hopkins is 'doing terrorists works for them' says West Midlands PCC

Chris Blakemore

BBC WM

David Jamieson, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, has said tweets from Katie Hopkins accusing West Midlands Police of not allowing its officers into the Birmingham Central Mosque is like "doing the terrorists' work for them".

Asking for a "formal request" on the claims, Ms Hopkins shared the accusations with her 776,000 followers which has so far been retweeted more than 3,400 times.

Police said there was "simply no truth" in the rumour and the mosque's chairman said it was "total rubbish".

Birmingham Central Mosque
Birmingham Central Mosque

People like Katie Hopkins, what she is saying by making out that other people have said certain things, she is trying to drive us apart and she is doing the terrorists' work for them."

David JamiesonWest Midlands Police and Crime Comissioner

BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Rainbows appear after rainfall

BBC Weather Watchers

It may have chucked it down with the rain yesterday in Staffordshire but, when things cleared up, it led to some lovely BBC Weather Watcher pictures of rainbows.

These two are from users Dandy in Wombourne and Happy Spaniels in Barton under Needwood.

Wombourne
Dandy
Barton under Needwood
Happy Spaniels

Severe accident: M42 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands southbound severe accident, between J5 for A41 and J4 for A34.

M42 West Midlands - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on M42 southbound between J5, A41 (Solihull) and J4, A34 (Shirley), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M5 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, between J2 for A4123 Oldbury and J1 for A41.

M5 West Midlands - Slow traffic on M5 northbound in Birmingham between J2, A4123 (Oldbury) and J1, A41 (West Bromwich), because of an earlier car fire. In the roadworks area. All lanes have been re-opened. Travel time is around 20 minute.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Daughter gives emotional tribute to killed mother and brother

Lydia Wilkinson has paid an emotional tribute to her mother Tracey and brother Pierce, who died after being stabbed at their home in Oldswinford, Stourbridge.

Tracey and Pierce Wilkinson
BBC

The 18-year-old said: "I'm so proud of my happy family. My dad and I will miss them for the rest of our lives."

Of her mother, Tracey, she said: "My mum was gorgeous, not only in terms of looks and fashion but she had a beautiful soul. She was an inspiration."

She described her younger brother Pierce as "simply the best brother I could ask for. He'll always be my baby brother, and I'll never forget the fantastic times we had together."

Severe accident: M42 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands southbound severe accident, at J4 for A34.

M42 West Midlands - M42 lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J4, A34 (Shirley), because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Stourbridge knife victims buried in same coffin
Tracey and Pierce Wilkinson died after being stabbed at their home.
Sunny Singh

Warwickshire left-arm spinner Sunny Singh targets more first-team cricket after his maiden five-wicket haul.

Read more

Bishop thanks police for terror response

The Bishop of Birmingham hand-delivered a giant card to West Midlands Police in recognition of their work following recent terror attacks.

The Bishop of Birmingham delivering the card to West Midlands Police
West Midlands Police

Rt Revd David Urquhart said: “It is a difficult and dangerous time for the police. Their work can go unnoticed and we may take it for granted, but these people make a vital contribution to our security and wellbeing."

Assistant Chief Constable Alex Murray said: “This is a really lovely gesture from Bishop David.

“The support we’ve had from members of the public has been a real boost to everyone at West Midlands Police.”

Jeremiah Regis-Ngawah murder:Police speak of 'brutal' treatment
The toddler was found by police and paramedics at an address in Wolverhampton in November.

Ballet star to perform for patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital

BBC Midlands Today

Patients and staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham will be treated to a live dance performance.

Ballet
BBC

Principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet Iain Mackay, seen above performing in The King Dances in 2015, is leading a new pop-up dance company.

They'll stage three original performances outside the main entrance of the hospital throughout today.

Mr Mackay says the idea is to take ballet to places you wouldn't expect to see it.

Birmingham Central Mosque dismisses Hopkins tweets as 'total rubbish'

Birmingham Central Mosque's Chairman, Mohammad Afzal, has said the mosque is "really shocked" at the tweets posted by broadcaster Katie Hopkins earlier claiming it is a "no-go area" for police.

He said: "We have a very close relationship with West Midlands Police," adding they were expecting officers at the mosque on Friday and the claims in the letter tweeted by Hopkins were "total rubbish".

Birmingham Central Mosque leaders standing with West Midlands Police
Birmingham Central Mosque
The mosque said "pictures speak louder than words"

West Midlands Police has also released a statement saying there is "no truth" in the rumours it discourages officers from going there.

Toddler 'spent short life terrified'

Chevase McGregor and Sindyann Laverne Regis are due to be sentenced on 23 June.

Sindyann Laverne Regis and Chevase McGregor
West Midlands Police

McGregor is convicted of murdering Jeremiah Regis-Ngawah, who died from peritonitis after suffering a traumatic blow to the stomach inflicted by his stepfather.

Regis, Jeremiah's mother, pleaded guilty to allowing the death of her son.

Det Insp Warren Hines said: “Parents are duty bound to care for children and to nurture them into adulthood.

"The home should be a sanctuary of safety, reassurance and happiness, not a place where they are brutalised and beaten.

"Jeremiah must have spent his short life absolutely terrified.”

Coming up on BBC Midlands Today: Stepfather admits toddler murder

BBC Midlands Today

The stepfather of a two-year-old boy has admitted murdering him after inflicting more than 100 separate injuries in what's been described as a "sustained regime of brutality".

Jeremiah Regis-Ngawah
Family picture

Jeremiah Regis-Ngwah died in Wednesfield in November last year.

Our reporter Ben Godfrey will have more on BBC One at 13:30.

Police say there is 'no truth' in mosque tweets

Ch Supt Chris Johnson, from West Midlands Police, has released a statement saying "there is simply no truth in the rumour that we discourage or stop our officers and staff from attending Birmingham Central Mosque".

Statement from Ch Supt Chris Johnson
West Midlands Police

Police released the statement in response to a tweet from broadcaster Katie Hopkins claiming she'd been passed a letter saying Birmingham Central Mosque was a "no go area" for police officers.

Ch Supt Johnson says he is a frequent visitor to the mosque and, like his staff, has alwasy "been made to feel really welcome at any time".

“There are no places across this city where our officers won’t go," he said, adding: "I would be disappointed if this false claim damaged our excellent relationship with the mosque and our communities."

Cricket: Warwickshire facing very difficult season, says Bell

BBC Sport

The Warwickshire captain Ian Bell says his side have to be more ruthless, after they suffered their third innings defeat of the season.

Ian Bell, walking off the pitch
Harry Trump/Getty Images

The latest one saw Hampshire wrap up an innings victory after lunch on day four.

Bell made 68 out of the Bears' 167 as they lost by an an innings and 94 runs.

It is not the first time this year that has happened. We know this team needs to learn quick. Division One is ruthless. We are fighting at the minute and it looks very difficult for us

Ian BellWarwickshire captain
Chevaze McGregor

Jeremiah Regis-Ngawah was left in agony before succumbing to peritonitis caused by a beating, police said.

Read more

Murdering stepfather used 'a belt, a rod and his fists' in attacks on two-year-old

Two-year-old Jeremiah Regis-Ngawah died from peritonitis after suffering a traumatic blow to his stomach inflicted by stepfather Chevase McGregor.

McGregor has been described as "a controlling, manipulative and violent individual" who believed in physical chastisement to "toughen children up".

Chevaze McGregor
West Midlands Police

Jeremiah, who was murdered in November, was found to have suffered a "catalogue of injuries" including a fractured skull and ribs, injuries to his arms and legs and a bite mark to his chest.

Det Insp Warren Hines said: “We believe the fatal assault was inflicted a couple of days before and Jeremiah was left in agony until he succumbed to peritonitis.

"Evidence shows that Jeremiah had defensive wounds to his hands and arms, which shows he tried to shield himself from the beatings.”

Severe disruption: M5 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, at J2 for A4123 Oldbury.

M5 West Midlands - M5 exit slip road partially blocked northbound at J2, A4123 (Oldbury), because of a broken down tanker. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Just one coffin for Tracey and Pierce Wilkinson

Peter Wilson

BBC Midlands Today Special Correspondent

Stabbing victims Tracey and Pierce Wilkinson will be buried together in one coffin.

Tracey Wilkinson and her son Pierce
BBC

The funeral for the mother and son, who were stabbed at home, is taking place today at St Mary's Church in Oldswinford, Stourbridge.

Severe accident: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe accident, between J6 for A38 and J7 for A34.

M6 West Midlands - Two lanes closed and slow traffic on M6 northbound between J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway and J7, A34 (Great Barr), because of an accident involving two vehicles.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Man admits murdering two-year-old stepson in Wolverhampton

Ben Godfrey

BBC Midlands Today

A man has admitted murdering his two-year-old stepson.

Chevaze McGregor, 27, killed Jeremiah Regis in Wolverhampton last November.

Jeremiah Regis
Family handout

Jeremiah's mother Sindyann Regis admitted allowing the two-year-old's death.

McGregor inflicted more than 100 injuries to the boy over a period of months, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Sentencing will take place at a later date.

In pictures: Tracey and Pierce Wilkinson's joint funeral

Peter Wilson

BBC Midlands Today Special Correspondent

The funeral is under way at St Mary's Church in Oldswinford, Stourbridge, for Tracey and Pierce Wilkinson, who were stabbed at their home.

A guard of honour outside the church included the family's greyhound Mandy and members of the dog rescue group.

Dogs outside church
BBC
Funeral programme
BBC
Flowers
BBC

Police deny claims Birmingham Central Mosque is 'no go area' for officers

West Midlands Police has denied it discourages or stops its officers and staff from attending Birmingham Central Mosque.

It was in response to a tweet from broadcaster Katie Hopkins, which claims an officer has said they've been told not to go to the Mosque or go inside.

Asking for a "formal request" on the claims, Ms Hopkins shared the note with her 775,000 followers which has so far been retweeted more than 800 times.

Tweet
Twitter

West Midlands Police responded on Twitter saying: "There's simply no truth in the rumour that we discourage or stop our officers and staff from attending Birmingham Central Mosque.

"I would be disappointed if this false claim damaged our excellent relationship with the mosque and communities.

"Our neighbourhood policing team regularly attend the mosque & hold events and meetings and have always been made to feel welcome."

The BBC is contacting the mosque for comment.

Aston University researchers say marriage better for your health

BBC News Health

Marriage appears to be good for your health, boosting your survival chances if you have a major heart risk factor such as high cholesterol, say researchers at Aston University.

A loving spouse might spur you on to look after yourself better, they told a heart conference, based on their study of nearly a million UK adults.

Couple holding hands
KUZMICHSTUDIO/GETTY

All of these people had high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes. The married ones fared much better than those who were single.

Dr Paul Carter and colleagues, who carried out the work, said the study looked at deaths from all causes, including heart disease.

Men and women in their 50s, 60s and 70s with high cholesterol were 16% more likely to be alive at the end of the 14-year ACALM study if they were married rather than single.

Your pictures: Dudley's double rainbow delight

BBC Weather Watchers

While the weather was far more January than June yesterday, there was some light at the end of the tunnel, in the form of this gorgeous double rainbow, captured by bardy.

Dudley
bardy
Dudley
bardy

If you have a picture you'd like to share, you can sign up to the BBC Weather Watcher website here and we'll feature our favourite pictures.

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J12 for A5 and J13 for A449.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time