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  1. Updates for Wednesday 1 April 2015
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates will return from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Jenny Coleman and Rumeana Jahangir

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Rumeana Jahangir

BBC News

That's it for today. Join us for more news, sport, weather and travel across Merseyside tomorrow.

I'll leave you with two fitting tributes to Cynthia Lennon - her own cover of the 1960s classic

Those Were The Days and Julian Lennon's
In Loving Memory.

Cynthia Lennon

Cynthia's loves

After divorcing John Lennon in 1968, Cynthia went on to marry three more times.

She married Italian hotelier Roberto Bassanini (below) in 1970 but they later divorced.

Cynthia Lennon and Italian hotelier Roberto Bassanini

She was

married another two times - to John Twist and then former nightclub owner Noel Charles in 2002. He died in 2013.

No song for Cynthia

Answering questions in the Independent in 1999, Cynthia Lennon said John never wrote a song for her because it was "too sloppy when you were young to dedicate anything to anybody".

"Macho Northern men didn't do that in those days. I can only muse about our time together and feel from the music."

'Amazed' by John

Cynthia Lennon published memoirs of her time with John and when she was publicising one of the books in 2005, she told Good Morning America that she "couldn't resist being around him".

John and Cynthia Lennon
Getty Images

"You couldn't resist watching what he was up to," she said.

"I mean, he was a total rebel. Everybody was amazed by him".

'Peace and love'

The Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr

tweets: Peace and love to Julian Lennon God bless Cynthia love Ringo and Barbaraxx

Blackpool born, Hoylake raised

Cynthia Lennon was born Cynthia Lillian Powell in Blackpool on 10 September 1939.

Cynthia and John Lennon
Getty Images

She grew up in Hoylake with her parents and two elder brothers and started at Liverpool College of Art in 1957.

The story goes that she met John Lennon after her tapped her on the back in class and simply said "Hi, I'm John".

Cynthia in India with Beatles

In 1968, Cynthia Lennon joined The Beatles and their partners at Rishikesh in India for a meeting with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

The Beatles and their wives at the Rishikesh in India with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, March 1968. The group includes Ringo Starr, Maureen Starkey, Jane Asher, Paul McCartney, George Harrison (1943 - 2001), Patti Boyd, Cynthia Lennon, John Lennon
Getty Images

The group includes (from left to right) Ringo Starr, Maureen Starkey, Jane Asher, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Patti Boyd, Cynthia and John.

'Not a hippy at all'

The Beatles' biographer Hunter Davies says Cynthia Lennon was "not a hippy at all".

John and Cynthia Lennon
Getty Images

"I think it was the attraction of opposites between them. When they got together at art school, everyone was amazed - she was seen as refined and reserved and nobody thought they would last."

"John treated her appallingly. He slept with Yoko in their marital home and, as we discovered later, he also physically attacked her but she was loyal to him."

'Totally different from John'

Hunter Davies, who penned the only official biography of The Beatles in 1968, says Cynthia was "a lovely woman".

Cynthia and John Lennon
Getty Images

"When I was writing the book, I spent two years with them, visiting her home and spending time with her.

"She was totally different from John in that she was quiet and reserved and calm."

News on the hour

Jessica Robbins

BBC Radio Merseyside

John Lennon's first wife Cynthia

has died at her home in Spain, her family has said.

Cynthia Lennon
Getty Images

A message on their son Julian's website said the 75-year-old died "following a short but brave battle with cancer".

It said: "Her son Julian Lennon was at her bedside throughout. The family are thankful for your prayers."

Cynthia Lennon: With the Beatles

Cynthia Lennon met John at the Liverpool College of Art in the late 1950s.

Here they are seen with the rest of the Beatles, plus Ringo Starr's wife Maureen (centre), bidding farewell to fans in London as they left to continue production of the film Help in Austria in 1965.

3th March 1965: British pop band The Beatles bidding farewell to their fans at London Airport as they leave to continue production of their film 'Help' in Austria. (Left to right) George Harrison (1943 - 2001), Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr (with Maureen) and John Lennon (1940 - 1980, with Cynthia)
Getty Images

Lennons' 'funny and bizarre' wedding

Cynthia Lennon, who has died at the age of 75, met John when they were at art college in Liverpool in 1958, and they married in 1962 after discovering she had become pregnant with Julian.

John and Cynthia Lennon
Getty Images

Speaking in 2010, she said their wedding had been "a mixture of the comically funny and the downright bizarre".

Cynthia witnessed the Beatles' rise to global fame but the couple divorced in 1968, after Lennon met Yoko Ono.

'Short but brave' cancer battle

A message on Julian Lennon's website said his mother Cynthia had died "following a short but brave battle with cancer".

Julian and Cynthia Lennon
Getty Images

"Her son Julian Lennon was at her bedside throughout. The family are thankful for your prayers," it reads.

Cynthia Lennon tribute

Cynthia and John Lennon's son Julian

tweets: Cynthia Lennon - In Loving Memory

Cynthia Lennon tribute

Cynthia Lennon dies

Cynthia Lennon, who has died at her home in Spain, was John Lennon's first wife and

witnessed the Beatles' rise to global fame.

Cynthia Lennon

She met John when they were at art college in Liverpool in 1958 and they married in 1962, after discovering she had become pregnant with Julian.

The couple divorced in 1968, after John met Yoko Ono.

In 2009,

she spoke to BBC News about her life with John.

BreakingBreaking News

John Lennon's first wife Cynthia died today at her home in Spain, her family has said.

Bus crash fraud ringleader found guilty

The ringleader of a "cash for crash" gang has been found guilty of fraud over his involvement in organising collisions in Chester, in which a car would hit the side of a bus.

John Smith, 45, will be sentenced at a later date after the crashes between October 2010 and January 2012.

Cheshire Police say as a result of seven collisions, a total of 218 personal injury claims were submitted, with 177 of the claimants using Smith′s accident management company.

Ten others were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, while a further four have already admitted their parts in the scam.

News on the hour

Jessica Robbins

BBC Radio Merseyside

Eleven people who took part in a huge "crash for cash" scam in Chester have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Seven collisions took place involving buses over a two year period.

Merseyrail's new 'hologram' assistants

Merseyrail are using hologram-like figures to offer help to passengers in Liverpool and the first of three "virtual assistants" has been placed at Central Station.

Merseytravel virtual assistant

The image, which is projected onto a plastic cut-out, provides safety messages for customers.

You can watch the new assistant in action on

Radio Merseyside's Facebook page.

Police release CCTV over 'inappropriate touching'

Merseyside Police has released a CCTV image of a man officers would like to speak to in connection to two incidents during which a woman was touched inappropriately.

Merseyside Police
Merseyside Police

The first incident happened on 12 March at about 13:00, when a woman travelling on the Southport to Liverpool train reported that she had been touched inappropriately by a man.

The second happened on 19 March at about 16:10, when the same woman reported the same man approached her in a supermarket on Old Hall Street, grabbed her and attempted to kiss her. A member of staff at the store intervened and the man ran away.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

Goodison Park turns blue for autism

Goodison Park will be turned blue tomorrow to mark World Autism Awareness Day.

Everton FC
Everton FC

Light It Up Blue is an international initiative, led by Autism Speaks.

It sees thousands of iconic landmarks, communities, businesses and homes across the globe unite by shining bright blue lights in honour of the millions of individuals and families around the world affected by autism.

Meals on wheels for Wirral residents

Wirral Globe

Vulnerable residents in Bromborough have had a vital service restored after

a former lecturer set up a fundraising recycling charity to reinstate meals on wheels.

Val Hamlet raised the money by opening a charity shop to help recycle and sell bric-a-brac, pre-loved clothing and household goods.

The profits from the shop have now helped set up a pilot scheme, which is now delivering to four local residents.

News on the hour

Giulia Bould

BBC Radio Merseyside

Families who lost loved ones at Hillsborough have described at the inquest today how police asked them how much they and their relatives had to drink on the day of the disaster.

They've been asked to recall interviews they gave to police moments after identifying bodies in the stadium's gymnasium.

Louis named as One to Watch

Louis Berry has been named as the Liverpool's GIT Award One to Watch for 2015.

Louis Berry
Louis Berry

The Huyton-born 23 year-old is described by

Get Into This' editor Peter Guy as "channelling the energy of Jerry Lee Lewis through the story-telling of Dylan".

Berry's debut, .45, has been tipped by national magazines and radio and signed a contract at each of his first two gigs - a publishing deal following a

BBC Introducing set and recording terms after lighting up East Village Arts Club.

He was selected for the prize by the Merseyside judging panel and will perform live at the GIT Award 2015 ceremony on Saturday.

Flood plain plan to be decided at inquiry

Chester Chronicle

A controversial plan to

build homes in a flood zone will be decided following a public inquiry.

Sealand Road playing fields

Cheshire West and Chester Council's strategic planning committee backed Bark Street Investments' 142-homes scheme on the Clifton Drive sports pitches, off Sealand Road, last December, against the advice of its own planning experts.

Wirral dog cruelty man spared jail

Wirral Globe

A Wirral man whose dog chewed through a brick wall and door in search of freedom after

being left to starve in squalid conditions for "at least four days" has been spared jail.

Three-year-old "Sam" chewed through a door and a wall to reach a window ledge.

Magistrates imposed a 12-week custodial sentence on Lawton, suspended for 12 months, and banned him from owning or keeping animals for 10 years.

News on the hour

Giulia Bould

BBC Radio Merseyside

A father who lost his son at Hillsborough says the temporary mortuary at the stadium was "disgraceful".

Leslie Jones, whose son Richard died, says it was a "disgraceful" and "atrocious" place to be.

Huyton man jailed for brutal attacks

Liverpool Echo

A Huyton man is starting

a six-year jail sentence for battering his girlfriend and attacking a security guard in two different incidents.

Peter Brittles was described by Mr Justice King, QC, as posing "a seriously high risk to the public".

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the first incident happened in the early hours of 25 July last year when Brittles, who was armed with a pair of scissors, attacked a security guard at student accommodation in South Hunter Street.

In September, he attacked his girlfriend after becoming jealous having seen her chatting to a man at a funeral they had attended earlier that day.

Ferries: Stena Line

BBC Travel

There are delays of up to one hour on Stena Line between Liverpool and Belfast due to adverse weather conditions.

Coming up

Annabel Tiffin

Presenter, North West Tonight

On the programme this lunchtime, a Home Office pathologist joins the police investigation in Gibraltar into an apparent murder-suicide of a family by a 31-year-old man believed to be from Liverpool.

And we look at the issue of immigration in the North West as part of the run-up to the General Election.

Join me for more on BBC One at 13:35.

Saints dealt a triple whammy

St Helens Star

St Helens Rugby League have been dealt a series of hammer blows ahead of Good Friday's trip to Wigan.

Scans and X-rays have revealed that star stand-off Travis Burns suffered a triple fracture of the cheekbone in the opening minutes of his return to Hull KR.

New signing Atelea Vea has suffered a shoulder injury and Jonny Lomax, who injured his knee at Wakefield three weeks ago, will undergo exploratory surgery to find out the extent of his problem.

Mum's plea over autistic son's stolen bike

Southport Visiter

A mother from Banks has

issued a desperate plea after her autistic son's bike was stolen from outside a friends house on Fir Street at around 16:00 on Tuesday.

Harry, 12, suffers from autism which makes changes to routine traumatic and can affect his behaviour.

The mum of two says Harry has been left "distraught" by the theft and won't accept kind offers of a new bike.

News on the hour

Giulia Bould

BBC Radio Merseyside

A 26-year-old woman has been arrested and questioned over a hammer attack in Anfield.

Two women needed treatment for arm injuries after they were both hit on Yelverton Road late on Tuesday afternoon. A Renault Clio was also smashed.

Man dies in West Derby house fire

A man has died in a "very severe" house fire in West Derby.

Bevan's Lane in West Derby

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service say the man was carried out of the house on Bevan's Lane at about 04:20 this morning, but "sadly died a short time later".

A spokeswoman for the service says an investigation into what started the fire has begun.

Does the Grand National affect you?

With more than 150,000 race-goers set to descend on Aintree for the Grand National meeting later this month, Merseyside Police are

asking local residents to share any issues or concerns they have.

Grand National
Getty Images

The force's dedicated neighbourhood officers want to make sure there is minimal disruption for residents during the event, which runs from 9 to 11 April.

Hillsborough inquests latest

Ben Schofield

BBC Radio Merseyside reporter

More from the Hillsborough inquests, where families of the victims have been giving evidence.

Martin Thompson, who lost his 17-year-old brother Stuart, said it was "inappropriate" for police to ask him questions about alcohol.

Mr Thompson, who was 19 at the time, said he was "shaking [and] crying", adding: "I'm not proud, but I did swear at the police."

Also giving evidence was Leslie Jones, whose 25-year-old son Richard died in the disaster, who said the gym, used as a temporary mortuary, was "atrocious" and in a "disgraceful state".

Hillsborough victim had 'no dignity in death'

Emma Stanley

BBC News

A Liverpool fan who was at Hillsborough has told the inquests

there was "no dignity" for his brother who died in the disaster.

Ian Glover
Hillsborough inquests

John McCarthy told the new inquests he saw a video of his brother, Ian Glover, in a nearby gymnasium, which was used as a mortuary during the 1989 tragedy.

He said a camera zoomed in to show a bin liner over his dead brother's face.

St. Helens College evacuated

Students were evacuated from St. Helens College where Merseyside Police were dealing with a security alert.

St Helen College evacuation
Liam Cronin

The fire service were on standby at the scene but were given the all-clear to leave when police allowed staff and students back into the building.

News on the hour

Giulia Bould

BBC Radio Merseyside

A 26-year-old woman has been arrested and questioned over a hammer attack in Anfield.

Two women needed treatment for arm injuries after they were both hit on Yelverton Road late on Tuesday afternoon. A Renault Clio was also smashed.