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Summary

  1. Woman loses latest court battle to divorce husband of nearly 40 years
  2. Hereford students intended no 'disrespect' to murdered officer, PC Palmer
  3. Teenager flies home from US after spine operation
  4. Worcester man to run London Marathon in aid of Jo Cox
  5. Hereford Library proves popular since its re-opening
  6. Updates on Friday 24 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Monica Rimmer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

On Midlands Today from 13:30: Spanish cat turns up in Midlands

Joanne Malin

BBC Midlands Today

On Midlands Today this lunchtime, we'll have the unusual story of how a cat which turned up in our region has apparently made the journey from Spain. 

Slinky
BBC

Vets found the animal, nicknamed Slinky, had been reported missing a month ago in mainland Europe.

We'll find out how it's though it happened and what the next step is, on BBC One from 13:30.

Police name man who died of head injuries

Briohny Williams

South East Today reporter

A Kidderminster man who died at the weekend from serious head injuries has been named by police as  55-year-old Mark Beresford .

He died in hospital on Saturday, after paramedics were called to a property on Offmore Road in the town at around 20:30 on Friday.

Police say a post-mortem examination indicates his death is unexplained and investigations are continuing to try to establish how he was injured.

Offmore Road, Kidderminster
Google

 A 22-year-old man who was arrested on Saturday has been released on police bail until a date in July.  

Hereford FC, the 2016-17 Southern League Division One South and West champions

Phoenix club Hereford FC secure their second successive promotion, winning their eighth-tier title with six games to spare.

Read more

Twenty four hours in a priest hole

Nina Das Gupta

Presenter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A Worcestershire man is nearing the end of a 24-hour stint in an Elizabethan priest hole, alone with only a praying mannequin for company. 

Phil Downing is a volunteer at Harvington Hall and he's staying silent in the hole for 24 hours to raise funds for the hall's Restoration Trust. 

In the late 1500's, when it was illegal to hear mass, Catholic families used to hide holy-men in their homes from royal soldiers coming to arrest them.

Phil Downing and a mannequin in a priest hole
BBC

My main aim is to raise funds for the hall, but I also want to experience what it must have been like for a Jesuit priest to have been confined to such a small space for such a long time. Raids could have lasted for days, but I'm only going to be spending 24 hours with minimal food and drink and no natural light."

Phil DowningHarvington Hall volunteer

The hall has seven priest holes in all, more than any other building in England. 

New boss takes up the reins of Worcestershire's troubled hospitals

James Pearson

Journalist, BBC Hereford & Worcester

The new permanent chief executive of Worcestershire's acute hospitals begins her first day in the job today. 

Australian Michelle McKay has never worked in the NHS before, but she has run hospitals and a social care charity in her home country, and is a former emergency nurse. 

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which is currently in special measures, says it's secured a "world-class leader".

Michelle McKay
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust

Misty morning in Herefordshire

There's plenty of mist and fog around in Herefordshire this morning. 

Thanks to BBC Weather Watchers Johnqa in Lyonshall and Postman Les in Bromyard for these beautiful pictures of the countryside emerging through the mist. 

Misty morning in Lyonshall
Johnqa
Misty fields in Bromyard
Postman Les

Worcestershire's Joe Clarke stars in Abu Dhabi opener

BBC Sport

Worcestershire batsman Joe Clarke top-scored with 89 as MCC were bowled out for 332 on the opening day of the Champion County match in Abu Dhabi .

James Harris (3-49) and Ravi Patel (3-83) ensured MCC were kept in check.

Joe Clarke
Getty Images

Northamptonshire's Ben Duckett made 69 and Yorkshire opener Alex Lees 41 after MCC had won the toss.

And it was MCC's day when Lewis Gregory removed Sam Robson in the four overs Middlesex had to face before stumps, Middlesex closing 9-1 - 323 behind.

Hereford man's Filipino wife still in the UK

Nicola Goodwin

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A Hereford man whose Filipino wife is threatened with deportation, was unable to meet the deadline to leave voluntarily, after her flight was cancelled. 

Marinel Bristow came to live in the UK with her husband Rob, after a typhoon killed dozens of her relatives and friends in 2013.

When her legal team failed to win her a few more weeks in the UK to say her goodbyes, Marinel bought plane tickets to fly back last night to meet a Home Office deadline.

Rob and Marinel Bristow
BBC

I think we're both shocked and I think it's absolutely disgraceful how she can be treated like this. They took her to the airport 10 hours before the flight. Apparently the flight was just cancelled and she was told the flight would be today instead at 12:30."

Rob Bristow

Arrest after 'suspicious' death in Kidderminster

Police have arrested a 22-year-old man after the death of another man in Kidderminster at the weekend .

Paramedics were called to Offmore Road in the town at about 20:30 on Friday and found a 55-year-old with serious head injuries. He died in hospital a day later.

Offmore Road
Google

Police are treating his death as suspicious.

The man's next of kin has been informed and a post mortem is due to take place.

Video: Are the blue skies going to continue?

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A lovely day in store, with plenty of blue sky and sunshine around with highs of 14C (57F).

You can find a detailed forecast for your area here.

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J4A for M42.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42, because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: A44 Worcestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

A44 Worcestershire both ways severe disruption, near A38 Commandery Road.

A44 Worcestershire - A44 / A38 Sidbury in Worcester blocked near the A38 Commandery Road junction, because of a police incident.

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

Footage of Severn Valley Railway locomotive on 50th anniversary
Volunteers at a heritage railway are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first locomotive to travel on the restored line.

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday.

Keep an eye out here for more updates this evening.

Have a good weekend. 

Tini Owens: Grounds for divorce

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Online

We've been telling you about Tini Owens and her marriage to her husband Hugh Owens  - she's been told by the Court of Appeal that she can't divorce her husband of 39 years. 

Judges concluded that the marriage had not "in law" irretrievably broken down.

When you apply for a divorce in England and Wales you must prove your marriage has broken down and give one of the following five reasons:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • You have lived apart for more than two years and both agree to the divorce
  • You have lived apart for at least five years, even if your husband or wife disagrees

Source: Gov.uk

Man charged after a woman assaulted

A man has been charged after an alleged assault on a 32-year-old woman in Evesham, police say.

West Mercia Police say the 29-year-old has been charged with using threatening or abusive behaviour, assault and criminal damage.

The incident happened on Sunday, 19 March.

The man has been bailed to appear at Worcester Magistrates' Court on 27 April, a spokesman said.

Kidderminster Harriers win red card appeal

Tyrell Waite will be available for selection tomorrow after overturning a ban. 

View more on twitter

Final written warning for West Mercia officer

A West Mercia police officer has been given a final written warning for striking a handcuffed man on the back of the head "without reasonable excuse or lawful authority". 

A misconduct hearing found the behaviour of Insp Tim Bower fell "below the standards expected from an officer". 

Police say the officer, who has completed 18 years' service with West Mercia Police, was most recently based at Hindlip in Worcestershire - he is currently on "a career break" a spokesman said.

The incident happened in March 2013 in Ross-on-Wye.  

Watch: Weather for this evening and the weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Weather

 It will be dry, clear and cold tonight with a touch of frost , particularly in rural areas. 

We may see a few mist and fog patches forming by dawn in places. Lows of  2C (36F).

Rebecca Wood has your forecast

Famous marathon runner in Worcester

Dan Pallett

BBC Midlands Today Sport

He ran 401 marathons in 401 days and now Ben Smith is heading back to Worcester for more.  

Ben Smith
BBC

The famous fundraiser will be taking part in the city's new half-marathon in September. 

Organisers hope 4,000 runners will take part.

Birds die in fire at aviary

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Around 40 birds have died after a fire involving an aviary in Hereford. 

Firefighters attended a property on Gladstone Drive at around 04.50 this morning where a section of fence, a shed and an aviary were "well alight". 

A spokesman for Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: "There were a number of birds in the aviary at the time and unfortunately there were no survivors." 

Although the service did not have an exact number, the spokesman said there were around 40 birds in the aviary at the time. 

Green Party push Lib Dems into fourth in Hereford

Jerry Chester

BBC News Online

The Green Party is now the third largest group on Herefordshire Council after a by-election, pushing the Liberal Democrats into fourth position. 

Trish Marsh, who won the Leominster South seat, brings the total number of Greens to three. 

The by-election followed the death of the long-serving independent councillor Peter McCaull. 


          (L-R) Green Cllrs Felicity Norman, Jenny Bartlett and newly elected Trish Marsh
Herefordshire Council
(L-R) Green Cllrs Felicity Norman, Jenny Bartlett and newly elected Trish Marsh

I am delighted to have gained the support of residents in Leominster South and pledge to do my best for them however they voted. I owe my victory to the good people of Leominster who wanted a local, hard working councillor."

Trish Marsh

Your pictures: Hereford Cathedral pays tribute to Westminster attack

LouNik sent in this picture of Hereford Cathedral with its flag at half mast as it pays tribute to those who died in the Westminster terror attack. 

Hereford Cathedral
LouNik

Care home appoints MasterChef star

A luxury care home has employed a chef known for his appearance on TV programme MasterChef. 

The care home is due to open in Worcester shortly, and chef Chris Williams said he is looking forward to cooking for and growing vegetables with residents at Fernhill House in Fernhill Heath.

Chris Williams
Fernhill House

The care home, which looks after people with dementia, allows residents to get involved with the planting and looking after of the vegetables.   

Chris previously worked at the Big Lottery-funded growing and cooking project, Kingstanding Food Community, in Birmingham and says he already has plans to build a pizza oven. 

My work-in Kingstanding was incredibly satisfying. I enjoyed making a difference to the community by being able to inspire, enable and motivate local people to eat more healthily."

Chris WilliamsChef

Worcester Warriors: Unchanged side for Sunday's match

Worcester Warriors have announced an unchanged side ahead of Sunday's game with Wasps. 

View more on twitter

Only four UFO sightings investigated in last four years

Andy Giddings

BBC Local Live

Only four reports of unidentified flying objects have been investigated by West Mercia Police since 2013, the force has revealed.

They include a flaming object which landed in a tree near Donnington in November 2013, an object moving erratically in the sky over Bridgnorth in September the following year - neither of these UFO sightings were explained.

Slitheen
BBC

There was also a report of a UFO not far from Evesham in February last year, with "lots of lights and a loud screaming sound", but this one turned out to be in Gloucestershire, so it was passed on to their police force to investigate.

And only 12 months ago there were reports of "strange lights" over Shrewsbury. It turned out to be a helicopter.

Worcester plays host to The Voice

Talent scouts from the television programme The Voice have been in Worcester, holding auditions for the next series of the show. 

Candidates sang in the hope of eventually being invited to take part in the singing programme in front of the celebrity judges. 

Microphone
iStock

Herefordshire and Worcestershire have already had some success in the programme, with Kidderminster's Clark Carmody, Bewdley's Becky Hill and Hereford's Andy Boucher all making appearances in previous series.  

Cyclist taken to hospital after hitting windscreen of car

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Online

A 28-year-old cyclist has been taken to hospital after she was involved in a collision with a car. 

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Amublance Service said they were called to a junction near Hastings Drive and Woodgreen Drive shortly before 07:30 this morning.

The woman hit the windscreen of the car and was taken to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The driver of the car was uninjured. 

Your pictures: Delightful Doddenham

BBC Weather Watchers

BBC Weather Watcher Toppo shared this picture from Doddenham, Worcestershire.

It looks like there's a lovely blue sky hiding under the clouds.

Doddenham
Toppo

If you have a picture you'd like to share, you can sign up and become a BBC Weather Watcher here

Worcester Warriors: Francois Hougaard in high spirits

Worcester Warriors scrum-half  Francois Hougaard  has shared his hope for the team ahead of Sunday's clash against the league leaders.

The South African said it has been a "great week" so far for the team in training. 

View more on twitter

Former Leominster MP Sir Clive Bossom dies aged 99

Hereford Times

Sajid Javid: 'We will always stand together'

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Online

Sajid Javid, the communities secretary and MP for Bromsgrove, says his job in the wake of the Westminster terror attack is to ensure no communities feel targeted or vulnerable in the wake of the attack.

View more on twitter

We are a united country... we will always stand together shoulder to shoulder. It doesn't matter if we're white, we're brown, we're black, we have faith, don't have faith, we are people of different communities all coming together to form one community. I think that's a very important message we must get out there."

Sajid JavidMP for Bromsgrove

Worcester Warriors face league leaders

Worcester Warriors will return to Aviva Premiership action on Sunday when they will head to the league leaders, Wasps. 

The Warriors' director of rugby, Gary Gold, says this is clearly going to be a major test, but he's confident they will be fully prepared.

Gary Gold
Getty Images

Elsewhere, Warriors have announced their high performance director, Nick Johnston, is to leave the club at the end of the month. 

The club says Johnston has decided not to take up the option of a two-year extension on his contract. 

PC Palmer selfie: Students intended no 'disrespect' to murdered officer

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Online

Two students from Hereford Sixth Form College have become the subject of media interest after they shared a selfie taken with PC Keith Palmer, the police officer murdered in Wednesday's Westminster terror attack

Will Robins and Tyler Chatterley-Russell were on a college trip to London in November when they took a picture with PC Palmer.  

Will Robins and Tyler Chatterley-Russell with PC Palmer
WILL ROBINS/TYLER CHATTERLEY-RUSSELL

Will said: "We didn’t want to come across as being disrespectful to PC Palmer and other victims of Wednesday’s incident. We just wanted to show, in the two minutes that we spoke with him, how approachable, fun, but still very professional, he was."

Tyler added: "Thank you to everyone who has supported the image and we hope its use can help support the fundraising efforts for all of the victims’ families." 

Tini Owens: In a 'wretched predicament' due to 'no divorce' ruling

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Online

Tini Owens, who's 66, has had her appeal to divorce her husband, 78-year-old Hugh Owens, turned down. 

Mrs Owens said she had been left in a "wretched predicament" - locked in a "loveless and desperately unhappy" marriage. 

Tini Owens
PA

Three appeal judges, led by Sir James Munby, said Judge Tolson had correctly concluded the marriage had not "in law" irretrievably broken down. 

Sir James added: "Parliament has decreed that it is not a ground for divorce that you find yourself in a wretchedly unhappy marriage, though some people may say it should be."

Another appeal judge, Lady Justice Hallett, said: "It is for Parliament to decide whether to amend (the law) and to introduce 'no fault' divorce on demand. It is not for the judges to usurp their function." 

Appeal judges announced their decision in a written ruling.