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  1. Friday 29 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Martin Lewes

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Martin Lewes


Updates have now finished for today and this week. 

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday to keep you up to date with the latest news, travel reports and weather forecasts.

If If you have news or pictures of our glorious county, you can  Email us, tweet us @BBC_Cumbria or contact us via Facebook

Have a very good weekend.

Cumbria's weather: Dry, clear and cooler

Any showers will ease this evening to leave a dry and quiet night. 

Clear spells will develop and it will feel cooler than recent nights. 

Temperatures falling to 10C (50F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest forecast for where you are, here.

Drug testers prove their worth at Kendal Calling

Kendal Calling has become the second UK festival to embrace drug testing without fear of prosecution - and the testers have already found dangerous substances.

Team of drug testers at the Loop

Festival-goers can hand over pills for forensic testing to The Loop, a not-for-profit firm which pioneered front of house testing last week at a Cambridgeshire festival.

So far ecstasy containing potentially harmful levels of MDMA has been found.

Debbie Pay, whose son Christian died after taking a bad pill last year, said the introduction of testing was "great news".

Ruling father sexually abused daughter will be 'robustly challenged'

A judge's ruling that a father sexually abused his young daughter shortly before her sudden death will be "hotly and robustly challenged", a court heard.

A family court judge found Paul Worthington committed the assault on Poppi in December 2012. He has always denied this.

A fresh inquest is due to be held into her death after the first hearing heard no evidence and ruled her death was "unascertained".

Leslie Thomas QC, representing Mr Worthington, told coroner David Roberts, who will be holding the new inquest and wants to admit the judge's findings as evidence, that Mr Worthington had continued to receive death threats.

Mr Thomas continued: "This inquest can potentially seriously impact upon Mr Worthington ... the threats, the death threats that's being made. 

 "There's a risk, a real risk to Mr Worthington and that risk would not just extend to him when he's in the courtroom, it's getting here, leaving here." 

 The Coroner said he was "alive" to the issue and will make a decision in due course.

Weather rocks on for festival

Some of us are old enough to remember when the ritual chant at the start of a rock festival was "no rain, no rain".  Is it still?

View more on twitter

Five now in hospital in 'dangerous' drug alert

Police now say five people have been treated in hospital after taking drugs in Carlisle.

Two 31-year-old men are still being treated for breathing problems, while three others, aged 36, 21 and 19, have been discharged.

A 36-year-old woman's been arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs.

Temporary Det Insp Colin Ritchie said the drug is believed to be "blue Valium" and it is "very dangerous".


Poppi's father 'must be allowed to give evidence over video link'

A father who a judge ruled probably sexually assaulted his daughter shortly before her death should be allowed to give evidence at her inquest through a video link, his solicitor says.

Paul Worthington, 48, should not have to attend the inquest into the death of his daughter Poppi because he is receiving death threats, a hearing heard.

Mr Worthington, who denies any wrongdoing, was not at today's pre-inquest hearing at Carlisle Coroner's Court ahead of the full hearing later this year. 

A judge in the family courts earlier this year ruled that his 13-month-old daughter was probably sexually assaulted by him before her sudden death at the family home in Barrow, Cumbria, in December 2012. 

A botched investigation by Cumbria Police meant evidence was not collected and no one has ever been prosecuted.

The coroner will make a decision at a later date.

Alston Hospital goes daytime only 'temporarily' because of staff shortages

The trust that runs the cottage hospitals across North Cumbria says it's "consolidated" in-patient beds and staff from Alston to Brampton and made a number of other changes because of staff shortages.

Alston Hospital sign

It's not clear whether any patients will have to move. Officials said the changes would be temporary.

In a statement the trust said the nurse-led treatment service at Alston would move from being round the clock, to 0800: to 16:30, with the day hospital and community nursing services continuing.

At Keswick, a minor injury unit is also reducing its hours. 

The trust said it is doing all it can to avoid making further changes and hopes to restore services in September.

QC tells Poppi coroner: Using judge's opinion would be 'unlawful'

John Bowness

BBC Radio Cumbria reporter

The barrister representing Poppi Worthington's father says a coroner's intention to use a judge's findings during the new inquest into her death, would be "unlawful".

Paul Worthington
Kelvin Media

A family court judge had concluded that Paul Worthington sexually assaulted the 13-month old from Barrow, shortly before she died in 2012. 

He denies this and has never been charged.

At a pre-inquest review today Leslie Thomas QC, for Mr Worthington, said it would be "fundamentally wrong" if Cumbria's senior coroner David Roberts used the judge's finding as evidence, adding he would seek clarification from the High Court if necessary. 

Mr Roberts said he would consider whether there is a way to avoid the expense of that, and will make a decision in the near future

Dramatic scenes in Kendal!

Martin Lewes


A festival of locally-written plays in Kendal is nearing its end. 

The plays, written specially for the event, have been performed individually all week, and now are being reprised.

View more on twitter

Photographer films climbers as they head for roof of the world

An photographer from Cumbria has just returned from six weeks as the resident artist at Everest Base Camp.


View from tent
Derek Eland

Derek Eland set up a diary tent to document the stories of people trying to climb the mountain. You can see a short film about it here.

Voice of Postman Pat passes away

Ken Barrie, the voice of children's TV favourite Postman Pat for many years, has died at the age of 73.

Postman Pat

Barrie, who was born Leslie Hulme, provided the voice for Pat and many of the other characters in the original 1980s series.

He also famously sang the show's theme tune, which was released as a single and spent 15 weeks in the top 75. Mr Barrie died at home after a short battle with cancer, his family has confirmed.

Cumbria's weather: Mostly dry with sunny spells

It'll be mostly dry this afternoon, with sunny spells and temperatures reaching 20C (68F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest forecast for where you are here.

BreakingPoppi's father tries to get sexual abuse finding thrown out of inquest

A father wants a ruling that he sexually abused his young daughter excluded from a fresh inquest into her death.

There's been legal argument this morning over whether the findings of a family court judge can be used in a second inquest into the death of Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington.

The senior coroner for Cumbria, David Roberts, is holding a hearing to plan the inquest, which will probably start on 10 October, and has said he wants to include the evidence.

Poppi Worthington
Family photo

It comes after a first inquest failed to ascertain a cause of death for Poppi.

Poppi died in 2012, and earlier this year the judge Peter Jackson concluded she'd been sexually assaulted by her father Paul Worthington just before she collapsed.

He has always denied this.

This morning Leslie Thomas QC, for Mr Worthington, said he'd ask for clarification from the High Court about using the judge's findings. 

Mr Roberts said he would consider ways to avoid the expense of that and announce his decision at a later date. 

Main road into Whitehaven goes one-way for work on pavements

Traffic heading into Whitehaven will have to bypass Inkerman Terrace for the next five weeks as the pavements are rebuilt.

Inkerman Terrace

Then in September the road will be closed completely for a week for resurfacing.  

New Road will be used as a diversion.

County council engineers say the work's taking place during the school holidays to minimise disruption, but county councillor Keith Little said disruption was inevitable:

Unfortunately we have no other option but to close the road to carry out the necessary carriageway resurfacing work in September."

Newcastle United defender goes on loan to Carlisle United

Paul Newton

Sports Editor, BBC Cumbria

Carlisle United have signed defender Macaulay Gillesphey on a half-season loan from Newcastle.

Macaulay Gillesphey

The 20-year-old played 23 games on loan with Carlisle last season, playing at left back and as central defender.

Man's body found beneath viaduct

A man's body was found near the railway viaduct at Middle Gelt Bridge this morning, police say.

They say they're still investigating what happened, but they don't regard the circumstances as suspicious.

Whitehaven misses out on Great Exhibition of the North

Whitehaven has missed out on being shortlisted to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, the culture minister announced today. 

The exhibition, which will run for at least two months, will showcase the creative, cultural and design sectors across the whole of the region, and hopes to boost investment and tourism in the region.

Newcastle and Gateshead, Blackpool, Bradford and Sheffield were successful.

The shortlist will now be assessed by a board before a final selection is made by ministers.

The chosen venue will be announced in the autumn.

View more on twitter

Travel: A590 blocked by crash

BBC Travel

The A590 is blocked westbound at Haverthwaite after an accident.  There's queuing traffic.

Poppi's Worthington's mother hopes new inquest will uncover truth

The mother of the toddler Poppi Worthington, whose death in 2012 started years of legal action and controversy, says she hopes a new inquest will finally uncover the truth about what happened to her daughter.

The first inquest ended after seven minutes, with the then coroner Ian Smith saying an earlier court hearing meant he could only say the cause of Poppi's death was "unascertained".

After legal action by a number of organisations including the BBC, the High Court agreed to a request from the Cumbria senior coroner David Roberts to hold a new inquest.

Poppi's mother's identity is protected by a court order, but she issued her statement through a solicitor saying she "has always been anxious to know exactly what happened to Poppi on the day of her death as well as to secure justice for her little girl".

Poppi Worthington
Family photo

Patient praises 'people power' that kept ward open

"People power" is being credited with preventing the closure of a mental health unit in Kendal.

Westmorland General Hospital

The Kentmere Ward at the Westmorland General Hospital was going to shut, after inspectors said it didn't meet modern standards, but campaigners persuaded health officials to change their minds.

Sanny has been a patient at the unit, and was one of the campaigners: "I'm ecstatic, I'm very very relieved. I was worried that if I ever needed the services again I'd be shipped miles away."

Man critical after accidentally stabbing himself in the groin

A man suffered critical injuries after he accidentally stabbed himself in the groin, the air ambulance says.

Great North Air Ambulance paramedics used military dressings on him after flying to Long Marton at 17:30 yesterday.

The patient had sustained "a substantial wound" and was given blood as he was flown to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Celebrations planned for day when M6 will be a national parks boundary

Cumbria's two national parks, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, will both be larger from Monday as new extensions agreed after years of discussion come into effect.

Tebay gorge

The two parks will now almost meet, with the Lake District ending one side of the M6 through Tebay gorge (pictured) and the Yorkshire Dales near the opposite hard shoulder.

The original boundaries were decided before motorways were built, and with the old county borders, so the Dales park ended halfway across the Howgill Fells, and the Lakes ended at the old A6 over Shap, leaving six miles of open fell between.

Builders picked to start on new school

Contractors have been appointed to build a new £30m school in West Cumbria.

Wates Construction will design and build the school and sports facilities for St Benedict's and Mayfield School in Whitehaven.

School people

Pupils and staff from both schools went to have a look at the site this week.

The days when duty beckons with a smile

For those officers who like their music, Kendal Calling must be quite a good day out of the office!

View more on twitter

Police warn about drug after two men collapse

Police have put out a warning, saying they believe that two men who collapsed in Carlisle may have been taking a drug called Blue Valium.

Blue pill

A 36-year-old man collapsed in English Street at about 16:00 yesterday.  A 31-year-old man then collapsed in Prescott Road two hours later.

Both men were taken to hospital. Police say their conditions are not thought to be life threatening.

Det Chief Insp Andy Wilkinson said: "If you are offered this drug or have it in your possession please do not consume as it is very dangerous."

Poppi Worthington inquest: How a toddler's tragic death came under the spotlight

Martin Lewes


Poppi Worthington died in December 2012. 

The 13-month had collapsed at her home, where she'd been in the care of her father, Paul.

He has always denied any wrongdoing

Poppi Worthington
Family photo

A first inquest two years later lasted only seven minutes, with the then coroner Ian Smith saying  a court hearing prevented him ascertaining the cause of death.

A long process of legal proceedings followed, ending in serious criticisms of Cumbria's police and social services and a decision that Mr Worthington would not be prosecuted.

This was despite the fact that a judge at a family court hearing had concluded he'd sexually abused his daughter before her death.

Cumbria's weather: Looking better through the day

It'll be a cloudy start with patchy rain but that will gradually sink southwards, with a drier and brighter afternoon to follow. 

It should feel pleasant enough with temperatures rising to about 20C (68F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest forecast for your area here.

Hearing should set date for new Poppi Worthington inquest

A hearing in Carlisle today is expected to set a date and choose the witnesses who'll be called to a new inquest into the death of Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington in 2012.

An inquest in 2014 failed to ascertain a cause of death.

Poppi worthington
Family photo

The coroner, David Roberts, says he wants to take evidence on the cause of Poppi's death from the same pathologists who disagreed about some of the evidence at the family court, and from Poppi's father, said by the judge at that hearing to have sexually abused his daughter before her death.

Paul Worthington has always denied this, and earlier this month it was announced no charges will be brought over her death.

Travel: Carlisle road works still continuing

BBC Travel

There are still road works on the A69 Warwick Road in the Brunton Park area in Carlisle, and on the A6 London Road between Harraby Green Road and Rydal Road. 

So there will be congestion at peak times.

You can get the latest travel news here.

Good morning and welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We'll be keeping you updated on the latest news, travel updates and weather forecasts through to about 16:00

As always - we'd like to hear your stories and see your pictures.  Email us, tweet us @BBC_Cumbria or contact us via Facebook