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  1. Live updates on Friday 15 December
  2. Rape victim appeals to find attacker
  3. Thousands apply to have beard stroked
  4. Cricketer appeals exposure conviction
  5. Railway museum in £9.5m funding blow
  6. Council defends road gritting efforts
  7. Video shows bag's journey through airport

Live Reporting

By Amy Woodfield and Calum McKenzie

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Andi Weimann

In-form Derby County boost their promotion hopes with a win over play-off rivals Aston Villa.

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Joe Bryan

Championship high-flyers Bristol City beat Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate, the Robins' fourth successive victory.

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Our live coverage across the day

That's all from East Midlands Live.We will be back from 08:00 on Monday morning.

East Midlands weather update: A dry but cold night ahead

BBC Weather

There will be clear spells through the night, but low temperatures mean a widespread frost will develop by morning.

BBC weather grid

Watch: Rape victim appeals to find attacker

Calum McKenzie

BBC News

Can you help Derbyshire Police in their investigation?

Woman strokes a man's beard

The service is being offered to stressed-out Christmas shoppers looking for last-minute gifts.

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MP attends Christmas lunch

Calum McKenzie

BBC News

Leicester West MP Liz Kendall tweets...

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: A515 Derbyshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A515 Derbyshire both ways severe disruption, between Oak Lane and Cubley Lane.

A515 Derbyshire - A515 in Little Cubley blocked and queuing traffic in both directions between the Oak Lane junction and the Cubley Lane junction, because of lorry stuck.

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

Your comments: Council blames rain for gritting issues


Leicestershire County Council's response to concerns about roads being left "iced up" has certainly caused plenty of debate on Facebook.

Sarah Ferns writes: "What a load of rubbish. Markfield and the surrounding villages haven't seen any gritters whatsoever".

Val McEntee adds: "I saw a gritter yesterday in coalville. The amount of grit coming out wasn't worth putting down tight sods".

Ex-cricketer to appeal indecent exposure conviction

Chris Doidge

BBC Radio Derby

Former Derbyshire cricketer Shiv Thakor is to appeal against his conviction for indecent exposure.

Shiv Thakor

His trial in November heard he had been jogging around a housing estate before he exposed himself "through a gap in his trousers".

The 24-year-old was put on the sex offenders' register for five years.

Forest aim joke at Prince over wedding day choice

Calum McKenzie

BBC News

Nottingham Forest tweets...

View more on twitter

...Forest are due to meet 13-time FA Cup winners Arsenal in the competition's third round in January.

Company boss in VAT fraud avoids jail

Calum McKenzie

BBC News

A man who charged customers VAT, pocketing £30,000 he was not entitled to, has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Derby Crown Court

Martyn Partington, 57, of Marple Road, Charlesworth, Glossop, charged clients VAT through his CCTV installation firm, despite not being VAT registered.

Derby Crown Court heard how Partington carried out the fraud over a four-year period from 2012.

After admitting the charge, he was given a 20-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

A hearing in March will decide whether he has to pay any money back.

Rugby: Return of Toomua and Tuilagi

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

Leicester Tigers welcome back Matt Toomua and Manu Tuilagi for the European Champions Cup fixture against Munster Rugby this weekend.

Both are reunited in the Tigers' starting line-up, with Mathew Tait reverting to the full-back role in the absence of the injured Telusa Veainu.

Manu Tuilagi
Getty Images

Australia international hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, who arrived in Leicester this week, is included among the replacements.

We prepared well for last weekend but we didn’t deliver on the day and were beaten by a very committed Munster side. Now we are looking at a big reaction at home this week. Matt and Manu have been training hard, they’re world-class operators and it’s great to have them back.”

Matt O’ConnorTigers head coach

Watch: Christmas money stolen from war veteran

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

A World War II veteran has told the BBC how he mistook a young robber for a relative and let him inside his home.

Once inside Harry Higgins' home in Melton Mowbray, the robber stole money the 91-year-old had saved for Christmas presents.

Since the robbery the local community has come together to gather food and money donations for Harry.

Severe disruption: M1 Leicestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Leicestershire northbound severe disruption, at J24 for A6.

M1 Leicestershire - Queuing traffic and one lane closed on M1 northbound at J24, A6 (Kegworth), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Danny Wilson

Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson is to become forwards coach at Wasps, who are to bring in Nottingham boss Ian Costello.

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Severe accident: M1 Derbyshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Derbyshire southbound severe accident, between J29 for A617 and J28 for A38 Alfreton.

M1 Derbyshire - Heavy traffic and one lane closed on M1 southbound between J29, A617 (Chesterfield) and J28, A38 (Alfreton), because of an accident.

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

Your photos: Winter woollies

BBC Weather Watchers

It might be Christmas Jumper Day but some of you have spotted a different type of "winter woolly" in the East Midlands today.

Like this flock of sheep in Calke.

Sheep in Calke

We bet these sheep in Clipstone were nice and warm in their fleeces this afternoon.

Sheep in Clipstone

Rain washing road grit away, council says

Calum McKenzie

BBC News

Leicestershire County Council has defended its efforts to grit the roads, amid concerns that surfaces were being left untreated and unsafe.

Road gritter and a pile of salt
Getty Images

Some residents contacted the BBC and others took to social media to complain that roads had "iced up".

Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for highways, said: "Our gritting team have been out constantly since 21:00 yesterday to treat key routes across the county. However, sporadic periods of heavy rain, which washes the rock salt away, and freezing temperatures made gritting the roads difficult.

"We are aware of residents’ concerns this morning and our day crews took over at 07:30 gritting major roads and assessing minor routes to keep the county moving".

Gary Rowett was appointed as Derby County manager on 14 March - exactly three months after his dismissal by Birmingham City

A year on from his Birmingham sacking, Derby County boss Gary Rowett rejects claims that he had wanted to leave Blues.

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Hollywood star in festive cinema visit

Dave Wade

BBC News

It's not every day a Hollywood star just drops in to your work to say hello.

Jack O'Connell
Michael Sargeant

But that's what happened at Quad cinema in Deby.

Here's Jack O'Connell, who was born in Alvaston, wishing the staff at Quad a merry Christmas.

The Unbroken star is a patron of the Market Place cinema.

That's all well and good, Jack, but where's your Christmas jumper?

Cities awarded cash to celebrate suffragette centenary

Calum McKenzie

BBC News

Nottingham and Leicester have been awarded a share of £1.2m from the government to help fund projects to celebrate the centenary of votes for women.

suffragette meeting
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Next year marks the centenary of British women’s suffrage.

It is hoped the cities will use the cash to teach people about suffrage and the suffragette movement and in turn encourage women to register to vote.

Women and equalities minister Anne Milton, said: "Less than 100 years ago, women could not vote and could not stand as candidates for Parliament.

"By remembering and celebrating those individuals who fought to get the right to vote we are continuing to push for all our political institutions to reflect women’s representation in society".

The other cities awarded money as part of this project are Bolton, Bristol, Leeds, London and Manchester.

Man in 'serious condition' after cement tanker crash

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

A man is in hospital with serious injuries after the car he was driving crashed into a cement tanker in Lutterworth.

It happened on Rugby Road just before 14:15 yesterday.

He was taken to hospital in Coventry where police have said he remains in a "serious condition". The driver of the tanker was not injured.

Nottingham restaurant voted among UK's finest

Calum McKenzie

BBC News

A Nottingham restaurant has been named among the best in the country by a leading publisher.

Sat Bains

Restaurant Sat Bains, on Lenton Lane, was named as the 13th best in the UK by Harden's.

The company surveyed 8,500 diners, who contributed 50,000 reviews, to compile the list.

Love hearts in the snow

Gavin Bevis

BBC News

Look at this - Kay Carr sent us this picture of heart-shaped tracks she discovered on her parents' snowy driveway in Derby.

Snow with heart shapes
Kay Carr

Housekeeper stole £126,000 from 85-year-old

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

A woman who stole more than £126,000 from her 85-year-old employer has been jailed for three years.

Tanya Benjamin, from Ryecroft Street in Stapleford, was a part-time housekeeper for the elderly woman. In 2012, when she went into a care home for two weeks, a family friend noticed that four cheques had been removed from the woman's cheque book.

Tanya Benjamin
Nottinghamshire Police

Then, when he was going through her bank statements in March this year, he noticed that a cheque for £126,000 had been cashed.

The bank confirmed they had been written out to Tanya Benjamin. The police were able to recover just over £54,000 from the 60-year-old's bank account but £70,000 had already been withdrawn, most of which was being kept in a box at Benjamin’s home.

Earlier this year Benjamin pleaded not guilty to theft and two counts of fraud but she was found guilty on all counts by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court.

We had never heard anything like this case. The extent that Benjamin went to gain the elderly victim’s trust and the amount she stole was completely cold and callous."

Detective Constable Marc LancasterNottinghamshire Police
Paternoster: The rare lift that went over the top
As one of the last examples of a unique lift closes in Leicester, is it hasta la vista Paternoster?

Watch: Reptile rescuer saves hundreds of animals

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

A lover of reptiles is dedicating his life to saving those that have been mistreated in Leicestershire.

For the love of Christmas

Helen McCarthy

BBC Radio Leicester Reporter

There are Christmas decorations... and then there are Andy and Debbie Blann's Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations

You may have spotted this house in Leicester - it's just off the Pork Pie roundabout.

Christmas decorations

The couple told me they do it every year because of Debbie's love of Christmas and because she never got the chance to do it when she was a child.

If it was down to Andy it would be a bit of tinsel and that's it.

Ex-MP reflects on Toyota's 25 years in Derbyshire

Calum McKenzie

BBC News

Former Conservative MP Edwina Currie has been reflecting on how Toyota's Burnaston plant was initially met with scepticism, as the company celebrates 25 years of production in the area.

Toyota factory

The Japanese firm has produced over four million cars, including the Auris and Avensis, since moving there in 1992.

Ms Currie, who was MP for South Derbyshire at the time, recalls: "Every meeting there would be an elderly person who would put their hand up and ask 'why do we need this?'"

"I would say, I've got 3,000 on the unemployment register in Swadlincote, 6,000 on the register in Derby, 3,000 in Burton-upon-Trent and they need a job and that is why we are having it.

"And there would be silence and you could hear the penny drop".

Watch: MP slams 'media blackout' of Corbyn

Calum McKenzie

BBC News

A Labour MP has criticised journalists for not covering Jeremy Corbyn winning a peace award.

Derby North MP and Corbyn ally Chris Williamson claimed there was a "media blackout".

But during an exchange on BBC Two's Daily Politics, Mr Williamson was also reminded by presenter Jo Coburn that no-one in his party had announced it either.

Artist impression of the suspect

The victim makes an appeal to find her attacker who raped her after choking her until she passed out.

Read more

Severe disruption: M1 Derbyshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Derbyshire northbound severe disruption, between J30 for A616 and J31 for A57 Sheffield.

M1 Derbyshire - One lane closed on M1 northbound between J30, A616 (Worksop) and J31, A57 (Sheffield), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Foxes to face Fleetwood in FA Cup

Owynn Atkin

BBC Leicester Sport

Leicester City will play Fleetwood Town in the third round of the FA Cup - the obvious link: Jamie Vardy.

Jamie Vardy of Fleetwood Town
Getty Images

The England international signed for £1m from the Cod Army back in 2012. What a bargain he’s turned out to be.

There’s no doubt he’ll be looking forward to returning to Highbury Stadium on 6 January.

Highbury Stadium
Getty Images

It provides a massive opportunity for the Foxes to head into the fourth round, but Fleetwood shouldn't be underestimated.

Rugby: Nottingham name side for must win B&I cup clash

Calum McKenzie

BBC News

After last weekend's postponement due to the bad weather, Nottingham boss Ian Costello has picked the same side that were due to play Ospreys Premiership Select, for tomorrow's return fixture.

Josh Poullet
Nottingham Rugby

With both sides suffering losses in their opening two British and Irish Cup matches, victory in Neath is vital for either side if they want to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stage.

Green and Whites starting XV in full: Scanlon, Robinson, Millett, Hakalo, Williams, Eden, McConnell, Penman, Stevens, Burke, Moon, Qualter, Morris (c), Coghlan, Poullet (pictured).

Severe accident: A38 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A38 Staffordshire northbound severe accident, between A5121 and A5121.

A38 Staffordshire - A38 in Burton Upon Trent closed and queuing traffic northbound between Branston Interchange and Clay Mills, because of an accident.

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

Lottery explains decision to withdraw museum funding

Amy Woodfield

BBC News

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has explained its reason for withdrawing £10m of funding from a new heritage railway museum in Leicester.

The HLF said the project has experienced a number of difficulties and delays over the last two and half years.

Design for new heritage railway museum in Leicester
Wilkinson Eyre

The Board had ongoing concerns about outstanding risks including continuing extended timescales, future operational costs and management arrangements, and the potential for costs to increase further. So, it is with regret that HLF Board has decided to withdraw from this project. We realise that this will be disappointing news for all partners, but we have a responsibility for distributing money raised by National Lottery players.”

Jonathan PlattHeritage Lottery Fund