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  1. Tuesday 5 December 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Through the day: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting news, travel reports and a regular weather forecast for the day. Here's a reminder.

We'll be back to do it again from 08:00 tomorrow. If you have news you think we should know, or want to share a photo with the county, you can email them to us, send them using Twitter where we're @BBC_Cumbria or head to our Facebook page.

Have a very good evening.

Clint Hill

Clint Hill may be tempted to play on towards his 40th birthday if Carlisle mount a play-off challenge this season

Read more

Cumbria's weather: Dry and mostly cloudy

BBC Weather

It will stay mostly dry this evening and overnight with a fair amount of cloud, fresh southwest winds and a minimum temperature of 6C (43F), rising through the night.

Weather graphic

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

Poppi Worthington inquest: Second expert backs pathologist on abuse

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

A forensice consultant called in to review autopsy evidence on the death of Poppi Worthington told the inquest her injuries were consistent with abuse.

Dr Victoria Evans said an injury to Poppi was significant and the pattern of injury and bruising was consistent with penetration.

She was reviewing the work done by the Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour, who believes Poppi was abused before her death.

The inquest has heard a suggestion that the injuries could be explained by constipation, but Dr Evans said she had not seen bruising caused this way.

Later she told the inquest that penetration was "the best explanation" for everything she had seen and read.

'Cowardly and wicked' robber jailed for seven years

A robber who grabbed £100 from a 73-year-old woman after breaking into her home with another man has been sent to prison for seven years by a Carlisle Crown Court judge.

Thomas Kirkpatrick
Cumbria police

Thomas William Kirkpatrick, 28, (pictured) from Shadygrove Road, Carlisle, grabbed the woman by her throat, the court was told, and the traumatised pensioner later moved out of the home she'd enjoyed for 25 years.

Kirkpatrick, 28, carried out the raid with an unidentified accomplice. He admitted robbery.

Jailing him for seven years, Carlisle Recorder Michael Murray told Kirkpatrick: "It was a cowardly and wicked thing that you did."

He very much deserves his prison sentence."

Det Con David HetheringtonNorth Cumbria CID
Storm Desmond: Man tells of stress at not being back home
More than 120 homes remain uninhabitable two years after Storm Desmond hit Cumbria

Two Cumbrian bobbies win second bravery award

Two Cumbrian police officers, one a special constable, have added a Police Commissioner's award for bravery to a similar honour they received from the Chief Constable last summer.

Officers with High Sheriff, chief constable and PCC
Cumbria Police

Special Constable Neal Collins and PC Joe Rossiter, pictured second and third from left, went to help a man in Carlisle who had doused himself in petrol and was holding a cigarette lighter.

The commissioner, Peter McCall, said they were incredibly brave: "Their selfless actions undoubtedly helped save the life of someone who was clearly in distress at the time."

The two officers received the Chief Constable’s Commendation for Outstanding Bravery for their actions at a ceremony in May.

South Lakes 'has growing problem of hidden poverty'

Poverty appears to be on the increase in the South Lakes, according to the district council.

Officials say the area often looks prosperous on the surface, but there are pockets of poverty across the area.

Council officials meeting with other groups

The council leader Giles Archibald says officials at South Lakeland had held meetings with representatives of 100 groups including churches and charities to get a better understanding of the issue and how to address it.

More than 1,200 children under the age of 16 are living in poverty in the district, and nearly five thousand households struggle to stay warm on their income.

Minister plans to link great walls of east and west

The people who care for Hadrian's Wall and the Great Wall of China are to work together on how best to look after some of the world's largest archeological features and show them off.

Hadrian's Wall
Getty Images

The plans were announced by the heritage minister John Glen who said It will "increase the historical and cultural understanding" of the two World Heritage Sites,

Snow showers warning for Cumbria coast

The Met Office has posted a weather warning for snow showers along the coast of Cumbria on Friday and Saturday.

The warning says up to 2in (5cm) is possible, with more on high ground.

Second pathologist 'saw no sign of natural cause of death'

The second pathologist to give evidence at the inquest into the death of the Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington has said she found no natural cause that might have contributed to the child's death.

Dr Stefania Bitetti said she had not seen anything like the injuries on Poppi's body during previous examinations.

Poppi Worthington
Family photo

And she denied a report that she had suggested constipation might have caused some of the injuries, saying there was no evidence Poppi was constipated at the time of her death

"In terms of natural disease I cannot account for the injuries," said Dr Bitetti.

Stobart boss is new chair at arts council

A new chairman of the North Area Arts Council has been appointed from Cumbria.

Kate Willard is currently head of corporate projects at the Carlisle-based Stobart Group.

Poppi inquest: Second pathologist 'not expert on abuse'

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

The inquest into the death of 13-month-old child Poppi Worthington from Barrow has been hearing from the second of two pathologists who were present at a post-mortem examination.

Dr Stefania Betetti said she attended the procedure because of Poppi's age, but sexual abuse was "outside my area of expertise".

Dr Bitetti said her role was "trying to ascertain if the child died from natural causes.”

The histopathologist said she found signs of a common virus infection, but it was very mild and would not account for the child's collapse.

Flood expert says many flood victims 'still in crisis'

The Carlisle flood expert Paul Hendy has said it's "unacceptable" that more than 100 families are still out of their homes two years after Storm Desmond.

Paul Hendy

Paul Hendy, who was flooded himself in 2005 and now runs the Carlisle Flood Recovery Centre, said: "Two years down the line, people should be home, they should be looking forward to Christmas right now.

Many of the situations we face are due to poor quality workmanship, of having to fight tooth and nail to get your home repaired and get it repaired properly."

Paul Hendy

Fourth cash machine is raided in West Cumbria

Police say there's been an attempt to rob a fourth ATM in West Cumbria since September.

The thieves failed to get into the machine in Low Road, Cockermouth, before 03:00 this morning.

Other machines were attacked in Aspatria, Whitehaven, and another store in Cockermouth. There have also been incidents in other parts of the county including Sedbergh.

A spokesman said: "Whilst we are not currently linking these incidents, we are following all lines of inquiry."

Cumbria police

Officers honoured for care home fire rescue

Police officers who helped save elderly people from a fire in a care home in Penrith have been commended by Cumbria's Chief Constable.

Commended officers with High Sheriff and Chief Constable
Cumbria Police

Nine officers were given awards for their actions, five of whom were at the ceremony. Some suffered smoke inhalation after entering the building to get residents to safety.

One person died in the fire in Lonsdale Court in November last year.

At the ceremony last night, awards were also given to four officers for saving a man who had taken an overdose in Carlisle earlier this year.

Copeland MP Trudy says academy 'isn't working'

The Copeland Conservative MP Trudy Harrison has told MPs on the education select committee what happened at the Whitehaven Academy could only be described as a failure.

Last week charitable trust Bright Tribe pulled out of the running of the school which is in special measures and has had six headteachers since it took over in 2014.

It came after pupils wrote a letter saying the academy had become so bad their futures were "being destroyed."

Trudy Harrison at committee

Mrs Harrison, questioning the National Schools Commissioner Sir David Carter said the school had got worse and worse.

"The staff say they're broken and the students say their futures are being destroyed", she said.

Sir David Carter said the school had been hit by a "perfect storm", involving the quality of the buildings and other factors that predated the take-over by the Bright Tribe academy chain.

This is a trust that didn't have the capacity to improve that academy."

Sir David Carter

Cumbria's weather: Mostly cloudy, getting milder

BBC Weather

It will continue to be a mostly cloudy day, although some glimmers of sunshine are likely from time to time and mainly dry with temperatures rising this evening towards 9C (48F).

Weather graphic

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

Poppi Worthington inquest: Barrister attacks 'objectivity' of pathologist

At the inquest into the death of the Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington, a barrister acting for her father Paul has criticised the pathologist, Dr Alison Armour, for her belief that abuse was involved.

Dr Armour had said her suspicions were aroused by a healing broken leg which had not been treated, which she said was typically associated with abuse in small children.

Leslie Thomas QC quoted other pathologists who believed the injury could be accidental, and said: “You cannot say this injury was not sustained as a result of a fall.”

Later he said: "“I am going to suggest you have approached this case with a particular mindset and that is portrayed by your assessment of the fractures.

“I’m going to suggest you lost your professionalism and objectivity.”

Poppi inquest: Pathologist explains six-month delay

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

The Home Office pathologist, Dr Alison Armour, has told the inquest into the death of Poppi Worthington that a six-month wait for an autopsy report is not unusual in the case of a child homicide.

A family court judge in a previous court hearing said: "Concern has rightly been raised about the gross delay in production of the pathology reports."

But Dr Armour said she had explained her findings to Det Insp Amanda Sadler, who was leading the investigation the day after her post-mortem examination to explain the findings.

The autopsy was carried out on 17 December 2012, but the report was not released until 25 June the following year.

Dr Armour told Caroline Jones, for Cumbria Police, that she could not release a report until she had all test results and in Poppi's case there were a lot of tests with samples sent for analysis.

Poppi Worthington
Family photo

Cumbria's police chief to step down a year early

Cumbria's Chief Constable Jerry Graham has announced he's retiring a year early for "personal and health reasons".

Jerry Graham

Mr Graham said he hadn't agreed a final date yet, but he intended leaving no later than the end of March next year.

Mr Graham joined the force in June 2009 as Assistant Chief Constable and was Gold Commander in the 2009 Floods and during the West Cumbria shootings by Derrick Bird in 2010.

The Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, has thanked Mr Graham for his work and said his thoughts were now turning towards recruiting his successor.

Policing is constantly evolving and it is crucial that the new Chief Constable gets the right balance in supporting policing our neighbourhoods but at the same time ensuring that we are all protected from the growing threat of cybercrime."

Mayor Starkie 'misled by conflicting rules' on £90k job

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

Cumbria's only elected mayor acted beyond his powers in hiring a senior official on a salary of more than £90,000, according to a report going before councillors tonight.

Mike Starkie
Copeland Borough Council

The report says Mike Starkie, the independent mayor of Copeland, acted in good faith when appointing a financial officer on an enhanced salary and giving the managing director a pay rise, which he says was value for money.

The problem was that a council policy included contradictory statements about who could make these decisions, the mayor himself, or another council committee.

A report by officials says the committee should have made the decision and that the inconsistencies in council documents are now being addressed.

Weather on the fell tops: Freezing on the highest peaks

  • Temperatures at 3,000ft: 1C.
  • Winds: Strong southwest gusting 30-40mph.
  • Cloud: Extensive from 2,300-3,000ft.
  • Visibility: Generally good or very good.
  • Freezing level: 3,000ft.

You can find the Lake District Weatherline report on winter conditions here.

Cumbria's weather: Dry and cloudy

BBC Weather

It should be a mostly dry day with variable, often large amounts of cloud. Gentle southwest winds will freshen later and temperatures will rise steadily towards about 9C (48F).

Weather graphic

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

Travel: Crash slows traffic on A592 near Newby Bridge

BBC News Travel

An accident has partly blocking the A592 just north of Newby Bridge. Emergency services are there awaiting recovery vehicles to clear the road.

Poppi Worthington inquest: Pathologists to debate cause of injuries

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

The Poppi Worthington inquest will hear conflicting conclusions from pathologists today about what caused the Barrow toddler's injuries.

A family court judge concluded in 2015 that the 13-month-old's father Paul Worthington probably sexually assaulted her shortly before her death, but he denies this and has never been charged.

Dr Alison Armour

Dr Alison Armour, pictured, the Home Office pathologist, has told the inquest she believed that Poppi was sexually assaulted, and that deep bruising in her throat suggested she'd been smothered or suffocated.

Today Dr Stefania Bitetti, a paediatric pathologist who assisted Dr Armour carrying out Poppi's post-mortem examination will be asked why she concluded Poppi's injuries could be consistent with constipation and the effects of resuscitation.

Both pathologists agree though, that the cause of Poppi's death cannot be explained with certainty.

Two years on, county counts the cost of Desmond

Two years after Storm Desmond brought unprecedented flooding to Cumbria, 125 families still cannot return home.

Flood rescue
Getty Images

Figures provided by Cumbria County Council show the worst affected areas are Carlisle and South Lakeland, where 77 and 25 properties respectively remain uninhabitable.

More than 5,500 households and 1,000 businesses were flooded according to the Cumbria Community Foundation, which awarded grants totaling £7.2m to 3,157 families, and nearly £2.5m to 167 community groups.

The repair bills for those properties must be added the £70m spent already repairing the county's roads and bridges, with the final cost expected to top £125m

Good morning: This is BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We'll be posting news, travel reports, a regular weather forecast, and whatever lighter items catch our eye from around the county, through until 18:00 or so.

If you have news you think we should know, or want to share a photo with the county, you can email them to us, send them using Twitter where we're @BBC_Cumbria or head to our Facebook page.