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Summary

  1. Commuters' anger over 'app only' discount
  2. Ice Maidens' bid for Antarctic record
  3. Updates on Friday 15 September 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J6 for A449.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane blocked on M5 southbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J6, A449 (Worcester), 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: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, at J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - M5 lane blocked on exit slip road and slow traffic northbound at J5, A38 (Droitwich), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

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

M5 Worcestershire - Slow traffic on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42, because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

Our coverage across the day

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

TV DIY expert assault case: Trial adjourned

Tom Edwards

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Huntley Thawe, from Channel 4's Renovation Game, is on trial at Redditch Magistrates Court facing four charges, including assaults on two police officers, after a row with his estranged wife outside McDonald's in the town.

He denies the charges, and the case has been adjourned until Thursday, 28 September.

Mr Thawe has been released on unconditional bail.

TV DIY expert assault case: Police were like 'a pack of wolves'

Tom Edwards

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A witness who filmed an altercation between police and a television DIY expert from Worcestershire says officers set upon him "like a pack of wolves".

Huntley Thawe, from Channel 4's Renovation Game, is on trial at Redditch Magistrates Court facing four charges, including assaults on two police officers, after a row with his estranged wife outside McDonald's in the town.

The court has heard from eyewitness Ashley Walsh who said police were "out of control" - he said he couldn't understand why the defendant "kept on getting punched".

His mobile phone footage was also played in court, showing police hitting Thawe with a baton.

Mr Thawe denies the charges - the trial continues.

Weather: Some showers tomorrow, but Sunday looking dry

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

We're going to have a few more showers tomorrow afternoon, but it's looking a lot drier on Sunday.

Rebecca Wood has your weekend forecast

Women's Super Rugby: Midlands teams in new competition

BBC Midlands Today

Three West Midlands women's rugby teams are preparing for fixtures in a newly-established elite competition this weekend.

Launch of Women's Premier 15s
Getty Images

It's hoped Women's Super Rugby will help double female participation in the sport.

The Rugby Football Union will make a multi-million pound investment in the competition's first three years.

The Midlands boasts three of the ten teams; Worcester Valkyries, Gloucester Hartpury Women and Wasps Ladies.

Police officer dismissed for 'gross misconduct'

A 51-year-old police constable has been dismissed for gross misconduct after a three-day hearing, West Mercia Police says.

PC Ellaine Graham had completed 13 years' service as a constable, most recently based at Redditch.

The allegations concerned three timesheets containing false information, and "an employee leavers form containing false information which she knew or ought to have known was false", police say.

She has been dismissed from the force with immediate effect.

FA Cup: Relive the moment Kidderminster beat Birmingham in 1994
Relive arguably Kidderminster's most memorable FA Cup moment when Jon Purdie scored from long range to give the Harriers a shock 2-1 win over Birmingham in 1994.

Greenwoods menswear firm goes into administration

Worcester News

Menswear and formal hire firm Greenwoods – which had a branch in Worcester - has gone into administration

TV DIY expert assault trial: Police 'smashed their way into house'

Tom Edwards

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Police smashed their way into the house of a television DIY expert on trial for assaulting two officers in Worcestershire in a bid to "question" him over a Facebook video showing the incident, a court has been told.

Huntley Thawe, of Channel 4's Renovation Game, is on trial at Redditch Magistrates' Court facing four charges after a row with his estranged wife outside a McDonald's in the town.

Magistrates heard how after being charged, a police officer broke into his house to try to get the raw footage of a Facebook video, showing police appearing to drag him from his car and strike him with a baton.

Mr Thawe, from Kidderminster, denies charges he assaulted two police officers during the altercation outside McDonald's.

The trial continues.

Pocket dials and children cause rash of wrong 999 calls

West Mercia Police says it got 27 "accidental" 999 calls yesterday.

View more on twitter
Joe Clarke

Worcestershire beat bottom club Leicestershire at New Road to go top of Division Two and take a big step nearer promotion.

Read more

Worcester city run: Half marathon alongside 10k

Thousands of runners are making their final preparations ahead of the Worcester 10k and half marathon this weekend.

It's the first time a half marathon has been held alongside the 10k route.

Worcester 10k run
BBC

Both courses start and finish at Worcester racecourse on Sunday morning, taking in the city's sites, including the cathedral, viaduct and the River Severn.

Badger cull begins

BBC News Channel

Badger culling has begun in Herefordshire, as part of efforts to tackle tuberculosis in cattle, the Environment Department has confirmed.

Licences for new schemes were given on Monday, with culling now taking place in 21 areas across England.

Badger
Thinkstock

TV DIY expert assault trial: 'Gross display of force' by police

Tom Edwards

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Police officers have been accused of using a "gross display of force" as a court saw a video of a television DIY expert being allegedly manhandled.

Huntley Thawe, from Channel 4's Renovation Game, is on trial at Redditch Magistrates' Court facing four charges - including two assaults on police - following a row with his estranged wife outside McDonald's in Redditch.

Magistrates have seen a video showing Mr Thawe, who lives in Kidderminster, resisting arrest, despite police using pepper spray and batons to try to remove him from his vehicle.

Defence lawyer Sarah Magill accused the police of "mishandling" the incident, telling magistrates it was a "gross display" of "unnecessary" force.

In the video, voices can be heard in the background of passers-by, one accusing the police of "brutality".

The trial continues

Cricket: Worcestershire chase victory target

Dave Bradley

Cricket commentator

Worcester are chasing a victory target of 132 in their game against Leicestershire at New Road - a win could put them top.

You can follow all the action on BBC Hereford & Worcester's 738AM frequency and online.

New Road
Getty Images

TV DIY expert assault trial: Police officer tells how star 'lashed out'

Tom Edwards

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

A court has heard how a television DIY expert from Kidderminster got into an angry scuffle with two police officers after a row with his estranged wife.

TV builder Huntley Thawe, from Channel 4's Renovation Game, has pleaded not guilty to four charges following an incident outside McDonald's in Redditch .

PC Paul Downes, giving evidence at Redditch Magistrates' Court, described how three offices struggled to control Mr Thawe after he refused to move his vehicle which was blocking his estranged wife's car.

They used pepper spray on the TV star after he refused to be arrested, the court heard.

PC Downes said the defendant had "lashed out" during a melee as they tried to get him out the vehicle, leaving two PCs needing treatment for soft tissue injuries.

The court also heard how a crowd of up to 60 people watched the scuffle, which started after he demanded two passports from his estranged wife so he could take their two sons on holiday in France.

The trial continues.

Slideshow: Rainbows and spectacular clouds

BBC Weather Watchers

The mix of bright sunshine, a bit of rain and clouds has led to some great photos for our BBC Weather Watchers.

Thanks to Spennells Pensioner, Mike Snapper, J at Severn Ridge, Johnqa and Nick for this selection.

Rainbows and spectacular clouds

Driver taken to hospital after skip lorry overturns

A driver needed hospital treatment for facial injuries after a skip lorry overturned while it was being loaded, police say.

West Mercia Police says the accident happened at about 08:00 on Fleetwood Lane, in Spetchley, near Worcester.

Overturned skip lorry
West Mercia Police

The driver was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Overturned skip lorry
West Mercia Police

Severe accident: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

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

M5 Worcestershire - Slow traffic on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42, because of an accident involving a van and two cars earlier on. In the roadworks area. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

'Long running' pollution source traced

The pollution was at Mill Lane, Aldington.

View more on twitter

Rugby: Warriors v Chiefs

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Worcester Warriors have made only one change to their starting line up for tonight's Premiership match against Exeter Chiefs at Sixways.

Biyi Alo comes into the front row in place of the injured Nick Schonert, while tighthead Gareth Milasinovich returns to the squad following a hamstring injury that saw him being stretchered from the field (pictured) - he is among the replacements.

Gareth Milasinovich
Getty Images

There will be full commentary on that game as part of a rugby special on BBC Hereford & Worcester.

TV DIY expert assault trial: Argument outside restaurant

Tom Edwards

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

The star of Channel 4's Renovation Game is in court today over claims he assaulted two police officers after rowing with his estranged wife outside a McDonald's in Redditch.

TV builder Huntley Thawe, from Kidderminster, is on trial at Redditch Magistrates' Court following an incident on 15 April.

His estranged wife Anna Thawe told magistrates they agreed to meet outside the restaurant so he could collect their two boys, aged seven and nine.

The meeting escalated into a row after he demanded their passports to take them on a foreign holiday, the court heard.

Mr Thawe, 48, denies charges of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour, obstructing a police constable and two counts of assault against a police officer.

The trial continues.

Football: FA Cup ties

Trevor Owens

Sports Editor, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Hereford will head to Kempston Rovers for their tie on Saturday when they will look to build on their recent excellent form.

The Bulls have won their past three games in style - scoring 17 goals in the process.

Hereford bull
Getty Images

Elsewhere in the FA Cup, Redditch United will make the short trip to Stratford Town, but Alvechurch face a trek to Grantham Town.

Westfields are the only one of the five teams at home - they will host Vanarama North club, Leamington.

Commonwealth Games swimmer to face rape retrial

A Commonwealth Games swimmer will face a retrial after a jury was unable to reach a verdict on an allegation he raped a woman after a night out.

Otto Putland, from Dinedor, near Hereford, will face trial at Cardiff Crown Court in December accused of one charge of rape, which is alleged to have happened in the city in July 2015.

Mr Putland, who represented Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, had denied the allegation during his trial, saying he and the woman had consensual sex.

Judge Jeremy Jenkins adjourned the case until 4 December and released the 23-year-old on conditional bail.

Football: Harriers' FA Cup game streamed live

BBC Sport

Five local clubs will be in FA Cup action this weekend with Kidderminster Harriers first out of the blocks in their tie at Deeping Rangers.

That game has been selected for live streaming on the BBC website and so will kick off at 12.30 on Saturday lunchtime.

FA Cup
Getty

Harriers are 15th in National League North - two levels below the EFL - and will be strong favourites against Deeping, who are ninth in the United Counties League Premier Division.

TV DIY expert due in court over alleged assaults on police

A television DIY expert from Kidderminster is due in court today charged with assaulting a police officer.

Huntley Thawe, 48, from Channel Four's Renovation Game, is charged with two assaults on two separate police officers, obstruction of a highway and resisting a police officer.

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is expected to appear at Redditch Magistrates' Court this morning.

Ice Maidens' bid for Antarctic record

Two women soldiers, from Hereford and Redditch, are hoping to become part of the first large all-female team to ski across Antarctica.

Maj Sandy Hennis and Cpt Zanna Baker are taking part in Exercise Ice Maiden in November.

Maj Sandy Hennis
BBC

Maj Hennis says reaching the south pole will realise an ambition she's held for a long time.

Making it to the south pole... has been one of my dreams since I was 19. Unfortunately that's only a third of the way and actually this is one of my biggest worries - reaching the pole and realising I've still got a very long way to go

Maj Sandy HennisIce Maiden

Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft achieved a similar feat in 2001.

Severe disruption: M50 Gloucestershire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M50 Gloucestershire eastbound severe disruption, between J1 for A38 and M5 J8.

M50 Gloucestershire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M50 eastbound between J1, A38 (Tewkesbury) and M5 J8, because of a lorry having a tyre changed.

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

Cricket: Worcestershire push for win to put them top

Dave Bradley

Cricket commentator

Worcestershire's cricketers will hope the weather holds today because, if it does, they should close out the win that would take them top of the Specsavers County Championship second division.

New Road
Getty Images

Leicestershire will resume their second innings on 111 for 7 - that's a lead of only 22 runs.

I'll be bringing you full ball-by-ball commentary on BBC Hereford & Worcester's 738AM frequency and online.

Warning that police cuts could cover pay rise

BBC Midlands Today

Police commissioners are warning that the number of police officers working in the Midlands could be reduced by almost a hundred to fund a pay rise.

Police officer
PA

It's estimated a total of 97 posts could go between the West Midlands, West Mercia and Warwickshire forces.

Earlier this week the government confirmed officers would get a 1% pay increase and a 1% bonus.

The Staffordshire force is considering using its reserves.

Inmates to be sentenced over murder of fellow prisoner

Two inmates who pleaded guilty to the murder of another prisoner at HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire are due to be sentenced later.

Brett Rogers (pictured), from Essex, who was convicted of killing his own mother and her friend in 2015, was found strangled in his cell in June.

Brett Rogers
Essex Police

Gary Lindley, 41, and 24-year-old Billy White are expected to be sentenced later.

Commuters' anger as discount tickets only available on app

Passengers are worried a new mobile ticket app will mean some First bus customers in Worcestershire will end up paying more for their journey.

The 10-journey pre-paid tickets, which are discounted, are now only available on the app and can't be bought from the driver.

First bus
BBC

A First spokesperson said the Worcester 10-journey tickets were made available exclusively on the app from 10 September.

As part of a significant investment in Worcester, we will shortly be introducing new ticket machines with enhanced features, such as contactless payment. But unfortunately it means we are no longer able to issue 10-journey tickets on board

First statement

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

After a chilly start it will be a bright day with sunny spells with the chance of a few showers this afternoon.

Feeling cool for September with top temperatures of 16C (61F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands