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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 6 December 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Poppi Worthington

There was no clear evidence of sexual abuse, a pathologist tells the toddler's inquest.

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Our live coverage across the day

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

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.

Weather: Mild and windy today, turning significantly colder tomorrow

BBC Weather

It will stay mild with outbreaks of rain, these becoming more persistent and heavier through the afternoon.

Winds will continue to strengthen, reaching gale force around the coasts and hills.

Highs of 11C (52F).

You can see a detailed weather forecast for where you live here.

Weather capture
BBC

England's first 'garden villages' to get £3m

More money is being earmarked for England's first "garden villages", Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced.

Aerial shot of proposed garden town on the Essex-Hertfordshire border
Places for People

About £3m will be spent on 14 sites, where tens of thousands of homes are due to be built.

The locations chosen are said to be distinct, and not part of existing developments.

The sites are at:

  • Long Marston in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Oxfordshire Cotswolds, West Oxfordshire
  • Deenethorpe in Northamptonshire
  • Culm in Devon
  • Welborne in Hampshire
  • West Carclaze in Cornwall
  • Dunton Hills in Essex
  • Spitalgate Heath in Lincolnshire
  • Halsnead in Merseyside
  • Longcross in Surrey
  • Bailrigg in Lancaster
  • Infinity Garden Village in Derbyshire
  • St Cuthberts in Cumbria
  • Handforth in Cheshire

Civil nuclear's '£4.3bn contribution' to North West economy

The civil nuclear industry in the North West contributed £4.3bn to the UK economy last year and supported more than 57,000 jobs, according to a new report.

The Nuclear Activity Report by Oxford Economics was commissioned by the Nuclear Industry Association.

It found Cumbria and the North West make the largest contribution by far to nuclear skills growth by training more than 1,000 new apprentices each year.

You can read the full report here.

Sellafield
PA

Claims that council officer has been victim of 'despicable smear campaign'

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

A senior officer at Copeland Council has been the victim of a "despicable smear campaign", it was claimed at a meeting last night.

Fiona Rooney was appointed as the director of commercial and corporate services on a permanent basis earlier this year, but the right process wasn't followed.

Councillors said last night that she'd suffered harassment and that the matter was being looked at by both the police and the council's human resources department.

Hadrian's Wall and Great Wall of China collaboration

A "unique" collaboration between Hadrian's Wall, which spans the north of England, and the Great Wall of China has been announced.

It will "increase the historical and cultural understanding" of the two World Heritage Sites, Heritage Minister John Glen said.

Tourism growth and the "challenges and opportunities" of managing large remains will be explored, he said.

The agreement is being heralded by the government as the first of its kind.

The Wall to Wall agreement between Historic England and Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, which manages the Great Wall, will be signed on Thursday.

Hadrian's Wall and Great Wall of China
BBC

Inquest wrapping up for the day

The Poppi Worthington inquest is finishing for the day. We now bring you some other news from across the county.

Poppi Wothington inquest: Leg fractures 'could have been been accident'

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

Fractures discovered during an examination of Poppi Worthington's body could have been caused accidentally, inadvertently or deliberately, a leading pathologist has told the inquest.

Dr Cary said he entirely supported the conclusions of Professor AJ Freemont, who assessed her skeleton.

Pathologist Dr Alison Armour said she “strongly disagreed” with that opinion and believed the fracture had been caused by abuse as it was never reported to medical professionals.

She said the injury would have caused Poppi pain and made her move with a limp.

Mr Thomas asked Dr Cary if he agreed.

“No,” Dr Cary said.

He went on to say: “To come to the conclusion it is an inflicted injury is in my opinion completely flawed.”

Pathologist says there was no evidence of a criminal act directly or indirectly causing Poppi’s death

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

There was no evidence of a criminal act directly or indirectly causing Poppi’s death, a pathologist has told the inquest.

Leslie Thomas, representing Poppi's father Paul Worthington, asked Dr Cary: “There are occasions are there not where, as a result of a criminal act, you were asked to give a medical opinion as to the cause of death and if the cause was a result of a criminal assault lets’ say you are able to say so?”

“Yes in the majority of cases,” Dr Cary said.

Mr Thomas asked: “Were you able to give an opinion as to a criminal act causing the death of Poppi?”

“No,” Dr Cary said.

“Was any expert able to do that?”

“No,” Dr Cary said.

Mr Thomas clarified Dr Cary was asked by Cumbria Police to offer a second opinion on the possible cause of Poppi’s death as it was a “difficult and complex case”.

Dr Cary agreed but said he was an “independent” witness.

Poppi Worthington inquest: Pathologist questioned over concerns about delay over post-mortem

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

Gillian Irving QC, representing Poppi's mother, questioned Dr Cary about his concerns about the length of the post-mortem interval, the five days between Poppi's death and the examination.

"What are the consequences of such a delay?" she asked.

Dr Cary, a forensic pathologist, said: "You basically lose clarity in the microscopic assessment. "Because the tissue starts to break down you don't see such clear cellular detail."

Ms Irving said to Dr Cary: "This death seems extremely rapid,"

Dr Cary replied: "It suggests rapid onset of cardiac arrest from a state of being reasonably OK, although there was a virus and this was not a child that was completely well.

"What it isn't is a progressive downhill course. It appears to be the precipitating factors are stoppage of breathing and heartbeat.

"The problem I have is what caused that is another matter."

Poppi Worthington inquest: Training now given to all police officers

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

Police officers have received further training following the death of Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington, an inquest has heard.

Retired officer Catherine Thundercloud said officers at all levels have been trained about the “golden hour time frame” which is the time available for the greatest evidence gathering.

She said there are opportunities to gather evidence within the first hour of a crime and “once those are lost, they are lost forever”.

All Senior Investigating Officers now attend, and will continue to attend, a four-day child death course and there are various other courses they have to attend some which must be renewed every year.

She also said a group has been set up to “have better oversight” over the training gaps officers might have.

She also said there is now independent reviewal of cases by other agencies.

Cumbria Police crime command, who are in charge of all crime teams and which Ms Thundercloud led before her retirement, also review every on-going child death case every month.

Expert unsure how Poppi died

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

A leading expert has told the Poppi Worthington inquest he could not be sure how she died.

Dr Cary, a consultant forensic pathologist, said: “There may have been an element of asphyxia in a very broad term but it is not possible to be more precise.”

Ms Hewitt asked if the findings from the autopsy “assisted” Dr Cary in determining the mode of death. “Not really,” he replied.

Poppi’s father had said she woke screaming at 05:45, he got her from her cot and put her in his bed.

He was then away for 90 seconds to get a nappy from downstairs, then in another five to 10 minutes he touched Poppi’s arm and found it limp.

Dr Cary said based on that time frame, “it is far too short a time for a co-sleeping death to occur”.

Pathologist says if Poppi was sexually assaulted there would be 'very obvious injury and there wasn’t anything of the sort'

If Poppi Worthington had suffered a serious sexual assault then there would be "very obvious injury and there wasn’t anything of the sort", a consultant forensic pathologist has told the inquest

Dr Nat Cary has been on the Home Office register for pathologists for 25 years.

He did not carry out his own post-mortem examination of Poppi but has had access to photos and slides. He said that was enough to form an opinion.

Alison Hewitt, counsel for the coroner, asked Dr Cary about the relevance of Poppi’s injuries to her death.

She asked Dr Cary: “Is it right you disagree with Dr Armour and do not consider the findings support a positive conclusion that penetration occurred?”

“That is correct, even on the balance of probabilities,” Dr Cary said.

He said he could not “absolutely exclude” abuse but that he couldn’t in many cases.

Leading pathologist casts doubt on autopsy findings that Poppi Worthington was sexually abused before her death

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

A leading expert has cast significant doubt on autopsy findings that one pathologist suggested showed Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington had been sexually abused.

Poppi's father Paul Worthington denies sexually assaulting his 13-month-old daughter and has never been charged.

Dr Nat Cary, a consultant forensic pathologist, told the inquest in Kendal that some of the trauma Poppi suffered was "pretty small" and could have been cause by blood settling after her death.

He said internal bruising was of "no consequence", adding there was no clear cut evidence of trauma implying third-party involvement.

He said resuscitation efforts when a tube was put down Poppi's throat into her lungs could explain deep bruising in the back of her mouth.

The hearing continues.

Poppi Worthington inquest: Proper records not kept

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

A proper log by police officers investigating the death of Poppi Worthington was not kept, retired police officer Catherine Thundercloud has told the inquest.

Ms Thundercloud, who was tasked with reviewing the force's initial investigation into Poppi's death, said “it was very difficult for me to see the rationale of what was done and not done”.

Ms Thundercloud also said officers did not use a recognised system to record the progress of the investigation and instead used emails. “I have never seen emails used for that, it was not standard practice,” she said.

Ms Hewitt,counsel for the coroner, asked Ms Thundercloud about the officers’ attendance of the post-mortem examination. She said: “This investigation they focused very much on the constipation conversation and not the sexual abuse.”

Ms Hewitt asked: “Ought it to be apparent this was possibly a case of sexual abuse by the end of the post-mortem?”

“Yep it would have been a line of inquiry certainly,” Ms Thundercloud said.

The inquest heard police then effectively paused their investigation while waiting for Dr Alison Armour’s post-mortem report which was released in June 2013. Ms Thundercloud said it was “not normal practice” to wait for a post-mortem report to come through.

Poppi Worthington inquest: Pyjama bottoms should have been an important item in the police search

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

A retired police officer says Poppi Worthington's pyjama bottoms, which have never been found, should have been an item of item of importance in the search, the inquest has heard.

Catherine Thundercloud said an account from Paul Worthington would have shown the clothing was needed.

She added though: “If you don’t know you seize as much as you can.”

She also said Poppi’s pink elephant pillow which had been in her cot but was found on Paul Worthington’s bed should also have been seized along with blankets.

Poppi Worthington inquest: Laptop and mobile phones should have been seized

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

Poppi Worthington's father's laptop and both parents' mobile phones should have been seized, a retired police officer has told the inquest.

Catherine Thundercloud said the laptop was something police would want to investigate and it should have been seized - even on the basis that doctors at the hospital said they suggested this could be a case of child abuse.

Ms Thundercloud said videos should also have been seized and they eventually were - but only two years later.

Ms Thundercloud said efforts were made to find the laptop with later searches of both Paul Worthington’s and the mother’s houses. She said police went to Paul Worthington and asked him where his laptop was and he said he had sold it on.

They went to the person he said he had sold it to but that person said they had sold it on.

She said police went back to that person three times but were unable to go any further in their search for the laptop.

Poppi inquest hears there was 'a lot of failings by police' and 'missed opportunities

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

A retired police officer says there had been “a lot of failings by police” and “missed opportunities” in the first two days of the investigation into Poppi Worthington's death, an inquest has heard.

Catherine Thundercloud said swabs should have been taken from Poppi’s body much earlier than the post-mortem examination, which was five days later.

She also said the post-mortem exam should have been held within 48 hours.

She said it is more difficult with child death as you need “two experts there” but you “would still expect it to the day after”.

Ms Thundercloud said it was part of the police’s role to make sure the body was not washed or cleaned but in this case they didn't do that.

Poppi Worthington inquest: Police 'did not have a search strategy'

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

Police investigating the death of Poppi Worthington "did not have a search strategy”, retired police officer Catherine Thundercloud has told the inquest.

Gillian Irving QC, representing Poppi’s mother, who was also in court, said there had been no “systematic investigation” of Poppi’s death between December 2012 and August 2014. Ms Thundercloud agreed.

Ms Irving called it a “farrago of failure so fundamental that a prosecution was never going to be achievable”.

She asked Ms Thundercloud if Poppi’s death was treated as a murder inquiry, especially after Dr Alison Armour’s report. Ms Thundercloud said it was not.

Ms Irving said some of the items which were not seized “beggar belief”.

Ms Thundercloud said the officers should have had a strategy and seized a lot more things.

Poppi Worthington inquest: Police didn't properly investigate sexual assault concerns

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

Police investigating the death of Poppi Worthington didn't properly progress the line of inquiry that she was sexually assaulted, an inquest has heard.

Reired police officer, Catherine Thundercloud, said: “It is imperative at the start of an investigation to have an open mind and follow any line of inquiries.

“In this case the main line of inquiry was sexual abuse. How that related to her death was not progressed sufficiently for several months.”

“Everything we have discussed, it was apparent the possible sexual assault was not properly progressed. This also included the long delay in arresting everyone because they missed evidential gathering opportunities.”

She said she accepted criticism from the family court judge over the investigation.

Poppi Worthington inquest: Important evidence wasn't seized

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

Officers recovered some nappies from the house but not her last one, which is a piece of evidence doctors at the hospital said should have kept, the inquest has heard.

The inquest also heard that Poppi's aunt, Tracy Worthington, threw the last nappy from the house in the bin.

Retired police officer Catherine Thundercloud said the officers at the house did not take a statement from the aunt and officers who saw her throw the nappy away did not pass the information on to investigators.

Police searched one wheelie bin at the house but not a second one.

“They hadn’t realised they hadn’t searched the second bin”, Ms Thundercloud said. “I can only presume they found that bin but didn’t look for another one.”

Other items not seized which were of importance included the bottom sheet on Paul Worthington’s double bed, which is where Poppi was laid at the time of her collapse, Ms Hewitt, counsel for the coroner said.

Retired police officer tells Poppi inquest 'vital evidence' may have been lost

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

The first police search of Poppi Worthington's house began before accounts had been gathered from Paul Worthington, an inquest into the death of the 13-month old has heard.

Retired police officer Catherine Thundercloud told the inquest they should have first accounts from the parents and details from hospital staff about what had happened.

Ms Thundercloud said: “Unless you’ve read what he said, you can’t do a proper strategy,”

She said those failures may have resulted in “vital evidence being lost”.

Poppi Worthington inquest: Statements should have been taken as quickly as possible

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

A retired police officer says it would have been “imperative” to get statements from people in the house and Poppi’s aunt Tracy Worthington as quickly as possible, an inquest has heard.

Catherine Thundercloud also said the ambulance and the hospital should have been treated as scenes as well as Poppi herself.

“It is imperative you ensure whatever is in that ambulance is taken straight away, it is not disposed of,” Ms Thundercloud said.

She said the sheets and equipment used on Poppi “should have been seized” automatically. Also whatever was used at the hospital should have been retained including the gloves worn by those attempting to resuscitate.

The sheet and equipment form the ambulance and the resuscitation room were not kept , the inquest has heard. Also lost was a sheet used to swaddle Poppi after her death.

DS John Carton previously told the hearing he asked about the items but was told they had been “destroyed”.

Poppi Worthington inquest: Police 'should have sealed off whole house'

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

A retired senior police officer who was tasked with reviewing the force's investigation into Poppi Worthington's death says she "literally" had to start the investigation again, an inquest has heard.

Catherine Thundercloud told the inquest that during this time she gathered further evidence and resubmitted the file to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The inquest has heard initially officers treated the upstairs of the home as the scene and therefore did not seal off the downstairs area.

Ms Thundercloud said the whole house should have been treated as the scene and a Detective Inspector should have attended immediately in any child death whether it was initially thought to be suspicious or not.

“It’s all about preserving and securing evidence and if you shut the scene down from the first moment it cannot be tampered with,” she said.

She said it was the responsibility of the officer in charge, the Senior Investigating Officer, to make sure the scene was secured immediately from the first call they received.

Chennai Six: John Armstrong's sister says he's flown out of India

The sister of John Armstrong, the man from Cumbria who was freed from prison in India last week, says her brother has flown out of the country.

He was among six former British soldiers imprisoned for four years on firearms charges.

The men had been held since 2013 but a judge in Chennai quashed their convictions last week.

John Armstrong's sister, Joanne Thomlinson, has thanked those who supported the campaign to free the men.

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Video: Spot the dog is looking for a home

Kerry Parvin

Reporter

Staff at one of Cumbria's animal rescue centres are asking for help to find a permanent home for a dog that's spending it's third Christmas with them.

Spot, the Border Collie, is believed to have been mistreated and was returned to Eden Animal Rescue after she was found a new home.

Staff say she would suit a female owner experienced with nervous dogs.

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Poppi Worthington inquest due to hear from Cumbria's top detective and expert who disputes autopsy findings

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

The Poppi Worthington inquest will hear more arguments about the cause of the Barrow toddler's injuries today.

The hearing has already been told that Dr Nat Cary, a consultant forensic pathologist, disputes some of the findings of the 13-month-old's autopsy - that she was both physically and sexually abused.

Poppi's father Paul Worthington denies sexually assaulting her immediately before her death.

Also due to appear is Cumbria's most senior detective, acting Det Chief Supt Catherine Thundercloud.

Yesterday the inquest heard how a solicitor representing Paul Worthington said fractures on her body could have been from a fall.

Poppi Worthington
Family photo

Weather: Mild and windy today, turning significantly colder tomorrow

BBC Weather

It will be a mild day with outbreaks of rain, becoming more persistent and heavier through the afternoon.

Winds will continue to strengthen, reaching gale force around coasts, especially towards Whitehaven.

Highs of 11C (52F).

You can see a detailed weather forecast for where you live here.

Weather graphic
BBC

Good morning: This is BBC Cumbria Live

Nell Dunn

BBC Cumbria

Good morning.

We'll be posting news, travel and weather throughout the day.

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.