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  1. Updates on Wednesday 11 May 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our coverage across the day

Live updates for Coventry and Warwickshire have now ended for the day.

We'll be back with you from 08:00 tomorrow with news, sport, travel and weather as it happens.

One man's search for a vintage Sunbeam car

One man's search for a vintage car - which was his father's prized possession in the 1930s - has brought him to the Midlands.

It involved an old photo album, the internet, and a magnifying glass.

And you can see the story on Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30. 

The Sunbeam car
Bob Hockenhull in the car

Man suffers 'serious' facial injuries

A man suffered "serious facial injuries" during an altercation in Union Street, Stratford, which left him needing "extensive surgery" to treat jaw fractures, police say.

The Warwickshire force has today issued an appeal for witnesses to the attack outside Caz Bar on Saturday April 23.

It was reported at about 04.15 when a group of five or six men were seen walking away from the premises towards Birmingham Road.

Eighty-year-old defrauded out of £5,000

Here's more on the phone scam we told you about yesterday in which a man purporting to be a police officer rang elderly women in Warwickshire and lied that fraudsters had got hold of their money.

None of the three fell victim to the ruse, but Warwickshire Police has today revealed there were two further incidents of so-called courier fraud on Tuesday, including one in which an 80-year-old woman lost £5,000 to the scammer.

She received a call from a man claiming to be a Sergeant West from London who said her bank account had been compromised. 

The pensioner, from Welford, withdrew money and handed it over to a courier. 

Artists recreate photo

Musicians from around Coventry and Warwickshire came together last Sunday to re-create a photograph in the Jephson Gardens in Leamington. 

Jazz musician Kel Elliott was inspired by the photo, A Great Day in Harlem, which was taken in New York in 1958, and features about 57 musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Thelonious Monk.

Kel wanted to do a similar thing with friends and musicians from Coventry and Warwickshire. 

Many of our BBC Introducing artistes were present.

Duncan Hill

Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

The latest news: 80-year-old defrauded of £5,000; man pulled from smoking car by off-duty paramedic

These are some of the stories we are looking at today: 

- An 80-year-old Warwickshire woman has been defrauded of £5,000 in so-called courier fraud

-  A man in his twenties was rescued from the wreckage of his smoking car by an off-duty paramedic this morning 

- A Coventry cat charity fears it might have to close its doors to new admissions because it's been overwhelmed with animals   

Plans revealed for waterpark

Artist's impressions of how Coventry's water park will look like have been released following the application for planning permission by FaulknerBrowns Architects on behalf of Coventry City Council.

Plans for the park include a wave pool, six flume rides, a "lazy river", toddlers’ splash area, a spa and sauna.

Work is set to start later this year.  

Waterpark image
FaulknerBrowns Architects

Great Shakespeare speeches

The RSC is picking great Shakespeare performances ...  

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Why Midlanders are narrowing their referendum options

Patrick Burns

Political editor, Midlands

"Can you give us the facts?"

Wherever I go and whoever I bump into these days, that's what people are asking me during the countdown to the referendum on Thursday 23 June 2016.

Here's my latest blog with more.

Praise for off-duty paramedic

West Midlands Ambulance Service is praising the actions of an off-duty paramedic who rescued an unconscious man from the smoking wreckage of a car crash on the A45 in Warwickshire this morning.

It happened after two cars collided near Stretton-on-Dunsmore at about 05:45.

The rescued driver, in his twenties, was taken to hospital with serious head and pelvic injuries.

Clearly having a paramedic there makes a big difference, he was able to use his skills to assess the state of play with the patient involved, noted all the dangers that were around and then acted very succinctly and made a big difference to the outcome to the patient".

Murray McGregoryWest Midlands Ambulance Service

Fire crews' training put to use

Warwickshire police inspect the site of a potential fire. 

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The latest news: Praise for off-duty paramedic; BBC presenters in court

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

-  There's praise for an off-duty paramedic who rescued an unconscious man from the smoking wreckage of his car 

- Two BBC radio presenters have appeared in court charged with sex offences against four boys during the 1990s 

- Concern is expressed that a Warwickshire village isn't the right place for vulnerable refugees 

Cat charity overwhelmed with animals

A Coventry-based cat charity is warning it might have to close its doors to new admissions for a second time because of an influx of animals. 

The charity has only just re-opened after dealing with a large numbers of cats last year. 

Coventry Cat Group
Coventry Cat Group

This happens every year - we would like to educate people on how to go about neutering and spaying their cats".

Brenda CartwrightSpokeswoman
Edgbaston in the rain

Warwickshire's home game with Somerset is abandoned as a draw after a second successive washed-out day at Edgbaston.

Read more

Disciplinary hearing into conduct of West Midlands Deputy PCC Yvonne Mosquito 'handled very badly'

Earlier we told you a disciplinary hearing found that Ms Mosquito's visit to a murder victim's family amounted to "serious misconduct" and, according to the office of the PCC, made "the already complex job" of investigating police "more difficult".  

Maxie Hayles, pictured second right as he chaired a public meeting in support of the suspended Ms Mosquito in April, today said it was an "injustice" that the hearing over "such a serious accusation" had proceeded in Ms Mosquito's absence.  

Peter Pennant, Sara Myers, Maxie Hayles, Brother Andrew of the Birmingham Study Group

Conservative Councillor Andrew Hardie, of Sutton Vesey ward, who also attended last month's meeting, said the disciplinary process had "been handled very badly in view of the tragedy involved." The office of the PCC says the hearing, overseen by an independent panel, considered a "substantial statement" from Ms Mosquito.  

Hours after announcing the panel's finding, the office of the PCC said it would be recruiting two new Assistant PCCs instead of a single Deputy PCC.

County Championship: Prospects of play bleak at Edgbaston

Mike Taylor


A mopping-up exercise is under way at Edgbaston in the hope of salvaging some play between Warwickshire and Somerset on day four of their County Championship clash.

An inspection is due to be held into conditions at 14:00.

Follow the state of play.

Covers on

Air ambulance launches night-time car service

A new night-time emergency service is to be launched by Warwickshire’s air ambulance charity.

It will see specialist trauma doctors and critical care paramedics out on the county’s roads assisting land ambulance crews until the early hours of the morning – seven days a week.

New Car
The Air Ambulance Service

The service, which has been developed by Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, will launch later this month.   

Coming up on TV

Elizabeth Glinka

BBC Midlands Today

The head of a chain of academy schools held up by the government as an example of good practice has resigned. 

A weight loss trial run by a Midlands hospital trust has proved such a success it could now be rolled out across the NHS.

And two BBC radio presenters have appeared in court charged with historical child sex offences. 

We'll have more on these stories and others in the Midlands Today on BBC One at 13:30.

Rural location 'not right place' for refugees

Here's more on one of our top stories this morning:

The Church of England, which owns Offa House in the village of Offchurch, near Leamington Spa, is looking to use the former retreat as a refugee centre, but not all villagers are convinced of the plan's viability.  

The house itself is not suitable without a huge amount of money being spent on it and the other thing is that Offchurch as a village doesn't have the facilities for these young women. We've got a pub, we've got a church, that's it".

Mo ChiversOffchurch resident

Cars damaged in A45 collision

More on the earlier collision on the A45. West Midlands Ambulance Service says two cars involved suffered "considerable" damage.   

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Union dubs disciplinary hearing against suspended Deputy PCC 'deplorable'

Ms Mosquito's union Unite had rejected the allegations against her before the hearing. 

The union said it was "deplorable" the hearing went ahead without Ms Mosquito nor her union representative who was on holiday, despite their suggestion of alternative dates.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner - Labour's David Jamieson who was re-elected last week - said an independent panel considered the evidence including a "substantial statement" from Ms Mosquito.

BreakingDeputy PCC 'committed serious misconduct' visiting murder victim's family

Suspended West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito "committed serious misconduct" visiting a murder victim’s family during an active investigation without first informing officers, an investigation has found.

She has been ordered to apologise to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and the family of Kenichi Phillips.

The 18-year-old was killed as he sat in a car in St Mark's Crescent, Birmingham, on 17 March. 

Ms Mosquito has been issued with a final written warning. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner says, as she has not yet offered an apology, she remains suspended until her contract ends later today.

Yvonne Mosquito

The latest news: Leader wants more progress; village 'wrong place' for refugees

These are some of the stories we're looking at this lunchtime: 

- BBC presenters appear in court accused of sex offences against four boys in Warwickshire in the 1990s.

- The new leader of Coventry City Council has expressed frustration at the lack of a major tenant for the city's Friargate development 

- The suspended Deputy PCC for the West Midlands 'committed serious misconduct' when visiting the family of a murder victim   

BBC presenters appear in court over child sex offence charges

BBC presenters have appeared in court accused of committing sex offences against four boys in the 1990s.

Tony and Julie Wadsworth - local radio presenters who have both worked for BBC WM among other BBC stations - spoke before magistrates in Leamington Spa only to confirm their names and address. They are currently both off-air.

Tony and Julie Wadsworth
The couple make their way to court

The couple, aged 68 and 58 respectively, are charged with a string of offences said to have been committed in Warwickshire between 1995 and 1999. Mr Wadsworth is accused of five counts of inciting a boy under the age of 16 to commit an act of gross indecency, while Mrs Wadsworth - who broadcasts as Julie Mayer - is charged with seven counts of the same alleged offence.

The case has been adjourned to Warwick Crown Court until June 10. Conditional bail was granted to the pair who are also accused of an act of gross public indecency.

New leader frustrated by delay

The new leader of Coventry City Council says he's frustrated that no major tenant has been confirmed for the multi-million pound Friargate project near the railway station.

George Duggins says the scheme needs to succeed to aid other development in the city.

George Duggins
Coventry City Council

What we have to do is to ensure that the development in the city centre is more balanced, that's why I'm impatient to ensure that Friargate moves and city centre south moves and ultimately, in the future, look to city centre north".

George DugginsLeader, Coventry City Council

Consultation on West Coast main line

A public consultation exercise has been launched over the future of the next West Coast main line franchise. 

Passengers are being asked for their views on the key rail route, which runs from London to Birmingham and onto Manchester and Edinburgh. 

Officials at the Department for Transport (DfT) want to see improvements in customer satisfaction, the introduction of innovative ways to improve ticketing, plus services that do more to meet the needs of the communities they serve. 

The new franchise is due to start in April 2018 when the current contract with Virgin Trains comes to an end.

Virgin train in station

Travel: Lane remains closed on A45

Update on the "serious" traffic collision at Stretton-on-Dunsmore: One lane remains closed on the A45 near Coventry. 

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Diabetes and obesity trial has seen signs of success in the West Midlands

A two-year trial of treatments for diabetes and obesity run here in the West Midlands has helped participants lose weight and become healthier, hospitals say. 

The treatment involves putting a latex tube into the patient's intestine, which reduces the rate at which food is absorbed. Patients also take drugs to lower blood sugar levels. 

Just under 100 people took part in the project at City and Sandwell Hospitals and they've lost an average of two stone each. 

Warwickshire Police investigating alleged election fraud

Warwickshire police has launched a fraud investigation into last year's general election

The force said the investigation is in its early stages and has not released any more details.

But it said it is continuing to work with the National Police Chiefs' Council and the Electoral Commission.

It comes as eight other forces across England launched electoral fraud inquiries last week.

Ballot box

Police 'up before the beak'

"Here's swan" that didn't get away...

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Watch: Health services under scrutiny

Adult and health services in Warwickshire being debated by county councillors this morning. 

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BBC presenters in court accused of historical child sex offences

Two BBC radio presenters are due to appear in court today accused of committing a series of child sex offences in the 1990s.

Married couple Tony and Julie Wadsworth, who have both worked for Birmingham-based BBC WM and BBC Radio Leicester, were charged by Warwickshire Police earlier this year.

Tony and Julie Wadsworth

Tony Wadsworth, 68, is charged with five counts of inciting a boy under the age of 16 to commit an act of gross indecency. His wife, aged 58, who broadcasts under the name Julie Mayer, is charged with seven counts of the same alleged offence. 

The pair - who are currently off-air - face a further allegation of outraging public decency. The BBC confirmed in April that the charges did not relate to the presenters' positions with the corporation.

Headlines: Man rescued from smoking car; church retreat could house refugees

These are some of the stories we are looking at this morning: 

- A man has been pulled unconscious from a smoking car by an off-duty paramedic

- A church retreat could home vulnerable women refugees and their children

- The new leader of Coventry City Council expresses concern that no major tenant has been found for the city's multi-million pound Friargate project

Off-duty paramedic pulls man from smoking car

A man has been pulled unconscious from a smoking car by an off-duty paramedic. 

It follows the crash we've been telling you about - on the A45 dual carriageway at Stretton-On-Dunsmore in Warwickshire at about 05:45 this morning. 


A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The paramedic, who does not work for WMAS, is believed to have arrived shortly after the crash.

"Due to the condition of the man in one of the cars and the fact that the vehicle appeared to be smoking, he took the decision to get the driver out quickly and start treating him".

The man - in his twenties - has been taken to University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire. 

Travel: People 'trapped' following traffic collision

Here's the latest:

People are reported trapped following a multi-vehicle collision on the A45 near Coventry.  

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Church retreat could become home for refugees

People in Warwickshire are being urged to have their say on plans to turn a former retreat for clergy into a refugee centre. 

The Diocese of Coventry is behind the proposals for Offa House in Offchurch near Leamington. 

The Home Office is considering using it as somewhere to house vulnerable women and children.

Offa House

Police attend "serious" traffic collision

Here's more on an earlier story:

There's been a "serious" traffic collision this morning on the A45 at Stretton-on-Dunsmore in Warwickshire, police say.

Road closures are in place and motorists are advised to seek alternative routes.


Latest headlines: Plans for refugee centre; hospital buildings' conversion to student digs; contract for Sky Blues teenager

The top stories for Coventry and Warwickshire this morning include:

- People in Warwickshire are being urged to have their say on plans to run a former retreat for clergy into a refugee centre

- Work's due to begin this summer on turning two old hospital buildings in Coventry into student accommodation

- Tony Mowbray says signing the teenager Jodi Jones to a four-year contract is an important move for the Sky Blues

Cunk on Shakespeare starts tonight

A Shakespeare comedy from Charlie Brooker starring Philomena Cunk starts on BBC Two tonight at 22:00.

Philomena, witless commentator from Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe, knows absolutely nothing about Shakespeare, but that won't stop her attempting to present a groundbreaking documentary about him.