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  1. Updates on Tuesday 12 May 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Good evening

Martin Coldrick

BBC Local Live

That's all for today from BBC Local Live in Leeds and West Yorkshire.

I'll be here again tomorrow from 08:00 with all the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the county.

'Local hero' opens new A&E

Daragh Corcoran

Reporter, BBC Radio Leeds

Leeds Olympic medallist Jonny Brownlee has officially opened a new £6.5m accident and emergency unit at Airedale Hospital between Keighley and Skipton.

Jonny Brownlee and staff at hospital

The hospital serves parts of the Bradford district, some of North Yorkshire and even Colne and Nelson in Lancashire.

Consultant Meg Crossley told me it was "absolutely great" to see Jonny, a "local hero" as she rightly calls him, opening the new unit. "He's a great local lad and we're very proud of him."

Birdsong marks naturalist's anniversary

The 150th anniversary of the death of world famous Wakefield naturalist Charles Waterton is to be celebrated with a series of events starting this month,

it's been announced.


Squire Waterton travelled around the world collecting specimens of wild creatures, and he created what's believed to be the world's first nature reserve - at Walton Hall near Wakefield.

Celebrations begin on 27 May with the launch of A Nightingale Chorus where people will be able to hear recordings of the songbirds in places across the district including Wakefield Museum, Wakefield Market and Sandal Castle.

Coming up on BBC One

Amy Garcia

Presenter, BBC Look North

Join me and Phil Bodmer at 18:30 for BBC Look North as we report on news that police have named for the first time the man they believe started the fire at Bradford City's Valley Parade ground in 1985 which killed 56 people.

A former detective, who was part of the team which investigated the cause of the blaze, has told the BBC

the police have always known the identity of the person who dropped a cigarette which accidentally started the fire.

Rhinos to 'really go for it'

Jake Katborg

Sports Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

Leeds Rhinos half-back Danny McGuire says the team's more relaxed entering the Challenge Cup this year as holders of the trophy.

Danny McGuire

Leeds face Huddersfield Giants this Saturday looking to end a run of three Super League games without a win.

McGuire says the Rhinos are every bit as determined to try and keep the Challenge Cup: "We probably won't put as much pressure on ourselves, but we still want to do well and really go for it."

All quiet at Huddersfield Town

Paul Ogden

Sports Reporter and Commentator, BBC Radio Leeds

At Huddersfield Town, it's pretty quiet on the player recruitment front at the moment.

Sources close to the club have confirmed to me today that, despite what some tabloids say, no talks have taken place with either of the two defenders Lawrie Wilson or Michael Morrison.

Both played for Town boss Chris Powell in his Charlton Athletic days, but so far no approach.

'ME fraud' drove sports car in Med

An insurance cheat from Wakefield who claimed to have chronic fatigue was caught out by social media postings about his passion for racing sports cars,

the High Court has heard.

Christopher Parkin, 41, claimed he could not work between August 2007 and September 2012 and was living with his parents in Badsworth, near Wakefield.

But in many of his posts, the steelwork draughtsman said he lived in Cyprus.

A dry and clear night

Paul Hudson

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

This evening will see showers at first, but with all parts soon becoming dry and increasingly clear with a low temperatures of about 4C (39F).

Weather forecast

Tomorrow will be dry and sunny at first, with skies turning partly cloudy later but remaining bright with further sunny spells.

The top temperature will be about 15C (59F).

Get on your bike?

Spencer Stokes

Journalist, BBC Look North

This might look like a pavement, but this is actually

the 14 mile Cycle Superhighway that will run from Leeds to Bradford (or vice versa).

Cycle Superhighway

The Tour de Yorkshire has been and gone, but building work on the Superhighway - one of the Tour de France's biggest legacy projects - is now well under way, aiming to separate cyclists completely from drivers.

But, as I've been finding out today, it's eating into road space and is leaving some people along the route distinctly unimpressed. Watch BBC Look North at 18:30 for more.

Leeds transfer ban lifted

BBC Sport

Leeds United have had their transfer embargo lifted after six months.

Leeds United

In December, United were placed under embargo until the season's end after breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

To have had the embargo lifted, the Championship side will have needed to stay within an operating loss of no more than £3m, with a maximum of £3m of shareholder investment this season.

Bridgewater Place wind restriction

Leeds City Council

tweets: High sided vehicles being diverted at #BridgewaterPlace due to high winds. According to forecast, diversion likely to be in place til 6pm

Sunset at Cowling Pinnacle

Martin Coldrick

BBC Local Live

Thanks to Ann Johnson from Keighley for sending us this atmospheric picture she's taken of the sunset at Cowling Pinnacle near Sutton-in-Craven.

Cowling Pinnacle
Ann Johnson

We always love to feature the best pictures you've taken of West Yorkshire. Why not

email or
tweet your photographs to us?

Corfu deaths: Jury sent home for day

The inquest into the deaths of two children who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday in Corfu will resume at Wakefield Coroner's Court tomorrow morning.

Christianne and Bobby Shepherd

Earlier, the inquest jury in Wakefield was told they can only conclude that Christianne Shepherd, seven, and Bobby, six, were unlawfully killed while on holiday in October 2006.

The children died from fumes from a faulty boiler.

District's A&Es hitting targets

Telegraph & Argus

Bradford's hospitals are still meeting national A&E department waiting time targets,

according to the latest figures.

Bradford Royal Infirmary
Telegraph and Argus

Latest headlines

Martin Coldrick

BBC Local Live

'Complex, difficult and harrowing case'

The jury at the inquests into the deaths of Bobby and Christi Shepherd, from Horbury, West Yorkshire, has been sent out to consider its verdict.

They have instructions on how to fill out a form detailing how and why the children died.

West Yorkshire Coroner David Hinchliff told them: "This has been a complex, difficult and sometimes harrowing exercise. But you have to make your determination based on the evidence that you've heard and not on any feelings of sympathy and empathy with the family."

Legal aid refused for parents

The inquest which has been taking place over the last two weeks into the deaths of Bobby and Christianne Shepherd began five years after the criminal trial in Greece.

Coroners' court sign

The children's parents had to fight for legal aid to be represented at the inquest. Their funding bid was initially refused as lawyers are not normally needed at inquests.

But, following a meeting involving David Cameron, their MP and the legal aid minister, funding was provided.

'Shock' at tour firm damages

Thomas Cook was awarded damages against the owner of the Greek hotel where Christianne and Bobby died.

Its claim related to costs incurred for the trial of its two travel reps and was settled following a High Court hearing in 2013

At the time, the children's parents said they were "very shocked" to hear of the award of damages to the travel firm.

Lengthy wait for inquest

The inquest into the deaths of Christianne Shepherd, seven, and Bobby, six, from Horbury, marks another step in a long legal campaign by their parents.

A criminal trial into their deaths was held in 2010 following a three-year battle by the family in the Greek courts.

Three people, including the manager of the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel and two members of staff, were found guilty of manslaughter by negligence and sentenced to seven years.

Eight other people were cleared, including two Thomas Cook travel reps. The trial cleared the travel firm of any responsibility.

Father wept over children's deaths

During the inquest, the children's father, Neil Shepherd, said he was "paralysed by guilt" over their deaths.

Ruth and Neil Shepherd

Mr Shepherd sobbed as he described his "perfect son" and "feisty, loving" daughter.

His partner, now wife, Ruth, told the inquest she heard Bobby whimpering and they both went to comfort the children before losing consciousness themselves.

'Speak up for yourself then'

Robert and Christianne's mother Sharon Wood said the faulty boiler responsible for their deaths was "gross negligence".

And during the inquest, she pressed former Thomas Cook boss Manny Fontenla-Novoa after he declined to answer questions.

Invited by her barrister to "look my clients in the eyes" and express his sympathy, Mr Fontenla-Novoa said: "I deeply regret the incident that occurred."

Sharon Wood and husband

Mrs Wood then said: "Speak up for yourself then."

Deadly boiler had several faults

The inquest jury heard there was a series of faults in the rusting boiler responsible for the children's death. These included:

  • A failure to fit a flue
  • A water leak which meant the boiler was over-working
  • A crucial safety device had been short-circuited
  • Holes had been left in the walls between the outbuilding and the children's bedroom
Robert and Christianne Shepherd

Wakefield coroner David Hinchliff called this final error a "bodged and botched" job.

Mother stormed out of inquest

The children's mother, Sharon Wood, stormed out of the inquest after tour rep Ms Jordison refused to confirm whether statements from 2007 relating to the manslaughter by negligence trial were hers.

Ms Wood had previously told the inquest that when she arrived on the island she visited the bungalow and saw the house sealed with police tape.

When she was taken to see her children, she said: "Christi and Bobby were both dressed in someone else's clothes and they had their shoes on the wrong feet. I wanted my children to be dressed in their own clothes."

Thomas Cook pair cleared

Thomas Cook holiday rep Nicola Jordison and customer affairs executive Richard Carson were both put on trial by the Greek authorities.

They were charged with manslaughter by negligence in relation to the children's deaths and causing bodily injury by negligence to Mr and Mrs Shepherd.

Both were cleared by three judges in 2010.

Children found dead by a maid

Bobby and Christi were found dead by a chambermaid in their hotel room, three days after they arrived on the Greek island.


Post-mortem tests revealed carbon monoxide levels in their bloodstreams were 56.8% and 60.7% respectively. Levels above 50% are fatal.

Neil and Ruth Shepherd were also found in comas but later recovered. The children's mother, Sharon Wood, learned about her children's death on the radio at home in West Yorkshire.

Hotel 'lied about boiler'

Engineer Thomas Magner told the inquest he had "never seen levels of carbon monoxide that high coming from a boiler" when he examined it at the property in Corfu, and found it had been incorrectly installed.

Group chief executive officer Peter Fankhauser

Thomas Cook's current chief executive, Peter Fankhauser (pictured above), said the right checks were not carried out on the boiler because the hotel lied about there being no gas fuelled water heaters at the complex.

"I feel so thoroughly, from the deepest of my heart, sorry but there's no need to apologise because there was no wrongdoing by Thomas Cook," he said.

Holiday firm reps decline to answer

A number of Thomas Cook employees have given evidence over the last fortnight but exercised their legal right not to answer questions.

Tour rep Nicola Jordison

declined the opportunity to apologise to the family over the children's deaths.

And former chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa

said he "deeply regretted what happened."

Manny Fontenla-Novoa

Father 'blamed Thomas Cook'

The two-week inquest heard from the children's father, Neil Shepherd, who says he "firmly believes" Bobby and Christi would be alive had tour firm Thomas Cook inspected the boiler.

Neil and Ruth Shepherd

Both children had complained of feeling unwell in the days leading up to their death on 26 October 2006. The court was told Mr Shepherd later learned the previous occupants of their holiday home were in hospital suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Coroner directs jury

Bobby and Christi, aged six and seven, were on a half-term break with their father, Neil, and his partner, now wife, Ruth, when they died at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel win October 2006.

Summing-up the case to the jury today, West Yorkshire Coroner David Hinchliff said the only conclusion it can come to "would be a conclusion of unlawful killing".

BreakingGas deaths 'were unlawful killing'

Lauren Potts

BBC Local Live

A jury at an inquest into two children who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday in Corfu can only conclude they were unlawfully killed, a coroner says.

Christianne and Robert Shepherd

Bobby and Christi Shepherd, from Horbury, West Yorkshire, died from fumes from a faulty boiler while on a Thomas Cook holiday in 2006.

'Police mishandled Savile accusation'

Sussex Police missed a chance to investigate Leeds DJ and broadcaster Jimmy Savile in 2008 because it mishandled a sex abuse claim,

the police watchdog has found.

Jimmy Savile

The force did not send a trained female officer to visit a woman who had reported that Savile sexually assaulted her in Worthing in 1970.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said "not all lines of inquiry were properly followed".

Club's expansion plans 'down to planners'

Jake Katborg

Sports Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

Guiseley AFC chief executive Adie Towers is calling on Leeds City Council planners to back their expansion plans and help secure their status as a Conference Premier League side.

Guiseley were promoted at the weekend, but could face automatic relegation next season if their ground doesn't meet the required standards.

Towers says the club has more meetings with the council this week to try and reach a resolution and "it's down to the planners to give us some support".

Traffic delays in Bradford

BBC Travel

There's currently queuing traffic on the A6177 Smiddles Lane in both directions in Bradford between the A641 Manchester Road junction and the Mayo Avenue junction.

This is due to roadworks in the area. Drivers are being warned to expect some delays.

A sunny but breezy afternoon

Lisa Gallagher

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

It'll be a bright and breezy afternoon with sunny spells.

Weather forecast

There'll also be a scattering of showers, most likely towards the Pennines.

Top temperatures will be about 15C (59F).

Volunteer search for Pontefract Castle

Volunteers are being sought as part of a £3.4m bid to put Pontefract's historic castle firmly back on the map.

Pontefract Castle
Derek Dye/Geograph

Wakefield Council is looking for people who will help with the running and maintenance of the castle, which was built in the years following the Norman Conquest. A special day for potential volunteers is being held at the castle on Saturday 23 May.

It's part of the Key to the North project which it's hoped will see major conservation work to the ruins which could see it taken off the At Risk register.

Remembering the 56

BBC Radio Leeds

Bradford City fan James Thornton has been looking back at

the tragic fire at Valley Parade on 11 May 1985 in which 56 people died.

Bradford fire memorial service

He's spoken to those who witnessed the tragedy and has also studied how the fire changed the future of Bradford City and football stadia across the country.

Listen back to his documentary which was first broadcast on BBC Radio Leeds yesterday - the 30th anniversary of the disaster.