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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday 24 April 2015
  2. News, sport, weather and travel return from 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's the way to say goodbye

Paul Burnell

BBC News

Thanks for joining us today. We will be back with more news, sport, travel and weather on Monday at 08:00.

And I'll leave you by revisiting the news that Punch and Judy is to return to the city this weekend for the first time since the 1990s as part of the St George's Quarter Festival.

That's the way to do it.

Punch and Judy
BBC

Rainy outbreaks

It will be mainly cloudy this evening with some outbreaks of rain, then turning mainly dry overnight with a few clearer spells and the odd shower.

Weather graphic
BBC

There will be a freshening southwesterly breeze, and it will be a mild night. Minimum temperature will be 9°C.

Tomorrow, there will be a mixture of bright or sunny intervals and a few heavy showers. It will be quite warm at first with a moderate to fresh southwesterly wind, though it will turn colder later as winds veer northwesterly, becoming fresh towards Southport and Wirral.

Coming up

Beccy Meehan

North West Tonight

Tonight we will be reporting on the inquest into the deaths of four soldiers, including two from Wirral and one from Cheshire, who were killed when their armoured vehicle hit a police car and rolled into a canal in Afghanistan.

We will hear from Liverpool Crown Court, where a club bouncer from Southport has been convicted of the manslaughter of a man he punched.

And there will be previews of Liverpool and Everton's Premier League games this weekend, as well as a look at St. Helens and Warrington's Super League ties later.

Join us at 18:30.

McGough criticises lack of children's poetry

Liverpool poet Roger McGough has

criticised the lack of poetry books currently being published for children.

Roger McGough
BBC

As chair of the judges for 2015's Children's Poetry Award, McGough said they were "excited by the variety and quality" of the submissions this year.

However, he added they were "sorry that there were not more submissions and that so few publishers are producing books for children and young people".

Five books have been shortlisted for this year's award.

Expressway closed for 10 weeks

The Expressway beneath Station Road Bridge in Runcorn is to be

closed for 10 weeks from Sunday, Halton Borough Council has announced.

Expressway Runcorn
Google

It will be closed while essential work is carried out to repair damage to the columns that support the bridge.

The work will also affect traffic travelling from the Bridgewater Expressway to the Weston Point Expressway and vice versa.

Kirkby man on arson charge

Liverpool Echo

A 38-year-old man has been charged following an incident in Kirkby.

Mark McCaffrey of Cawthorne Avenue, Southdene, was charged with arson with intent to endanger life.

The charge follows an incident on Thursday morning.

Fixing Reds 'easier said than done'

Phil McNulty

Chief football writer

I've been answering questions on

Sportsday Live, including one from Benji Deane, who asks "what is the reason for Liverpool's decline?"

Liverpool FC
Getty Images

Two reasons for a start, Benji. They lost a world-class player in Luis Suarez to Barcelona in the summer and the other main contributor of goals, Daniel Sturridge, has barely kicked a ball all season because of injury. It is almost impossible to replace that.

Also, no-one can currently make any serious case that that £75m brought in for Suarez has been used wisely. On current evidence, only Emre Can can be regarded as anything like a success.

The fix is to find a way to fix Sturridge, sign another top-class striker, find a world-class replacement for Steven Gerrard and unload the deadwood. Easier said than done.

A cathedral from the air

Today's lead image is of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and was taken by the National Police Air Service based at Warton.

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
NPAS Warton

Thanks to them for sending it to us. If you have a picture you'd like to see on this page, send it over via

email,
Facebook or
Twitter.

Four on drugs and gun charges

Four people have been remanded in custody charged with drugs and firearms offences following raids by Merseyside Police on Thursday, which saw 16 people arrested.

The other people arrested in the raids in Belle Vale, Kensington and Old Swan in Liverpool and in Newton-le-Willows have been released on bail.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A doorman who punched a man outside a club in Southport has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Scott Sheard from Formby suffered brain damage in the attack outside Destination in 2009, and died more than two years later.

Stuart Humphreys had claimed he acted in self-defence, but has been convicted after a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Mother speaks out on soldier deaths

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News

A bereaved mum has spoken out on behalf of the families of four soldiers, including a Runcorn soldier, who died in a crash whilst serving in Afghanistan.

An inquest into their deaths has concluded today with the coroner reaching a narrative verdict combined with the conclusion the soldiers died in a road traffic collision while on active service.

Gerrard to receive special PFA award

Steven Gerrard will be given a special merit accolade at the

PFA awards on Sunday ahead of his Liverpool exit.

Steven Gerrard
Getty Images

The footballers' union wants to pay tribute to the Reds captain and Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard for their contribution to the Premier League before they head to America to play in MLS.

His Liverpool teammates Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling are up for the main events of the evening.

Toffees' tribute to Sir Philip

Everton

tweets: PHOTO: A billboard outside Goodison Park pays tribute to the late Sir Philip Carter.

Billboard outside Goodison Park pays tribute to the late Sir Philip Carter
Everton FC

Wirral father made false claim of racism

Liverpool Echo

A Wirral dad-of-two attacked his neighbour over a boundary dispute then accused him of a racist assault -

only to be exposed as a liar on CCTV.

Sanjay Chaddah, 43, claimed Dean Patten had kicked and punched him and used a racist term while arguing over a fence panel outside their family's homes in Raby Mere, Wirral.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A doorman who punched a man outside a club in Southport has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Scott Sheard from Formby suffered brain damage in the attack outside Destination in 2009, and died more than two years later.

Stuart Humphreys had claimed he acted in self-defence, but has been convicted after a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Ibe back for Reds

BBC Sport

Jordon Ibe returns to Liverpool's squad for

Saturday's away Premier League match at West Bromwich.

Jordon Ibe
AP

Ibe was cup-tied last weekend for the FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa.

Daniel Sturridge, Mamadou Sakho and Lucas Leiva are still unavailable because of injuries, while Adam Lallana and Jon Flanagan are doubts after recently returning to training.

Victim's mother in tears over bouncer guilty verdict

Phil Cooper

Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside

A nightclub doorman, who hit a man with a "good" and "fast" punch outside a bar in Southport, has been found guilty of manslaughter to gasps from the victim's family.

The jury dismissed Stuart Humphreys' claims that he was acting in self-defence when he hit Scott Sheard from Formby outside Destination in October 2009, returning its verdict after five hours.

The mother of Mr Sheard, who died more than two years after suffering brain damage in the attack, broke down in tears as she left Liverpool Crown Court.

Humphreys, who was bailed until sentencing on 19 May, claimed Scott Sheard and another man threatened to stab him and he feared he was about to be punched when he launched the attack.

Congestion on A55 in Chester

BBC Travel

On the A55 in Chester, there is queuing traffic in both directions at Junction 38, A483 at the Posthouse roundabout due to roadworks.

Keep up to date with BBC Travel.

Punch and Judy return to city

Punch and Judy return to Liverpool this weekend as part of the

St George's Quarter Festival.

Punch and Judy
BBC

The Victorian puppet show will be entertaining families in St Johns Garden's just yards from where it was first performed in Liverpool - at St George's Hall by 'Professor' Richard Codman 155 years ago.

The last performance in the city was in the 1990s.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

A nightclub doorman, who punched a man outside a bar in Southport, has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Scott Sheard from Formby suffered brain damage in the attack outside Destination in October 2009, and died more than two years later.

Stuart Humphreys had claimed he acted in self defence, but he's been convicted after a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

University's dyspraxia study

Liverpool Hope University

tweets: Merseyside youngsters invited to try new gaze training techniques as part of Dyspraxia study:
goo.gl/16oPYq

Dyspraxia study at Liverpool Hope University
@LiverpoolHopeUK

Convicted robber wanted on recall to prison

A convicted robber from Merseyside who was released on licence last year is wanted on recall to prison.

Kevin Barlow
Merseyside Police

Merseyside Police say Kevin John Edward Barlow has breached the conditions of his licence by failing to attend probation appointments.

They also want to speak to him in relation to a robbery at Ravenhead Social Club in St. Helens.

Barlow is known to have links to the Liverpool, Sefton and St. Helens areas.

Moyes pays tribute to Sir Philip

Former Everton manager David Moyes has paid tribute to the club's life president, Sir Philip Carter,

who died yesterday.

Sir Philip Carter
Getty Images

He

told the club's website Sir Philip was "a wonderful man, a top, top man".

"He had the respect of everyone who knew him and I always thoroughly enjoyed his company. He loved his football and he loved Everton.

"He was a massive figure at Everton Football Club but always completely humble and always a perfect gentleman. I was devastated when I heard of his passing and my thoughts are with his family."

Bold Street seating plans revealed

Bold Street in Liverpool could be the site of the UK's first city centre "Parklets".

Plans for Bold Street
Liverpool BID Company

The Liverpool BID Company is hoping to replace the parking bays on the busy shopping street with small seating areas with a bit of greenery.

Chief executive Bill Addy says he hopes the idea, first used in San Francisco, can return Bold Street to its former glory.

News on the hour

Megan Key

BBC Radio Merseyside

Nine of the 18 witnesses to the Hillsborough disaster police wanted to trace have now got in touch.

CCTV images of them were released on Thursday morning.

Star-studded line-up for road race

Chester Chronicle

Stars of the women's cycling world will descend on Acton Bridge on Sunday for a

national race.

Laura Trott
Getty Images

The Cheshire Classic Women's Road Race will boast a star-studded line-up of Olympic gold medallists Laura Trott, Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell, multi-paralympic gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey and current world and European gold medallist Katie Archibald.

Team news: Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves

BBC Sport

Warrington have winger Kevin Penny and scrum-half Gareth O'Brien back in the squad after their injuries for

the game against Leeds later.

Warrington Rugby
SWPIX.COM

Wolves are the only side to have beaten the Rhinos in Super League so far this season, after an 18-6 win last month.

Kick off is at 20:00 and you can listen to commentary on

BBC Radio Merseyside on 1485AM and online.

River Park to host walking festival

Wirral Globe

Port Sunlight River Park has been chosen as

one of the venues for this year's Wirral Walking Festival.

The beauty spot, owned by national land management charity the Land Trust and managed on its behalf by Wirral Autistic Society, was unveiled last year.

Everton tribute to Sir Philip Carter

Everton ambassadors Graeme Sharp, Graham Stuart and Ian Snodin have laid flowers in memory of former chairman Sir Philip Carter at Goodison Park.

Club Ambassadors Graeme Sharp, Ian Snodin and Graham Stuart lay a wreath at Goodison for Sir Philip Carter
BBC

The Blues life president and former chairman

died on Thursday after a short illness.

The club will pay a full tribute to Sir Philip on Sunday when they host Manchester United.

News on the hour

Giulia Bould

BBC Radio Merseyside

The support offered to veterans of the armed forces who become addicted to drink or drugs is be the subject of a national conference in Liverpool today.

The Tom Harrison House charity - which helps ex-servicemen and women - is hosting the War Stories conference in Speke.

Weathering that Friday feeling?

BBC Weather

tweets: Here's a quick snapshot of how the weather's looking at lunchtime & home time... Jo
#FridayFeeling

Weather forecast
BBC

Nine Hillsborough witnesses come forward

Nine new witnesses to the Hillsborough disaster have come forward following a police appeal.

Nine Hillsborough witnesses identified
Operation Resolve

Officers from Operation Resolve, the team tasked with gathering evidence for the new inquests, identified 18 new witnesses they wanted to hear from

on Thursday.

Pictures of the remaining nine witnesses police want to trace can be found on

the Operation Resolve website.

A 'hidden gem'

Tony Snell

BBC Radio Merseyside

tweets:
@bbcmerseyside our next door neighbour
@theBluecoat . My fave little cut thru. Hidden gem.

Flowers in Bluecoat Garden
BBC

A55 congestion in Chester

BBC Travel

There is queuing traffic on the A55 in both directions in Chester in the roadworks area around Junction 38, A483 Posthouse roundabout.

Keep up to date with BBC Travel.

News on the hour

Giulia Bould

BBC Radio Merseyside

Nine of the 18 witnesses to the Hillsborough disaster police wanted to trace have now got in touch.

CCTV images of them helping fans on the pitch were released just 24 hours ago.

It is thought they could help with the new inquests.

Team news: St. Helens v Widnes

BBC Sport

St. Helens expect to give scrum-half Luke Walsh his

first start since his long-term lay-off with a knee injury against Widnes later.

Luke Walsh
Getty Images

Saints centre Mark Percival is back from a knee problem, while Jon Wilkin has recovered from his injury, but stand-off Lance Hohaia is missing.

The Vikings make just one change to their 19-man squad, with forward Willie Isa coming in for Grant Gore.

Kick off is at 20:00 and you can listen to commentary on

BBC Radio Merseyside on 95.8FM, on DAB and online.

Fundraising for destroyed Huyton hairdressers

Liverpool Echo

A fundraising page has been set up for

a hairdresser whose business was destroyed in a fire in Huyton last week.

Hillside Road shops
BBC

Fire crews battled the blaze in Hillside Road for more than 14 hours after being called to the scene on 16 April.

Four shops had to be bulldozed after the fire ripped through the buildings, including Graham's hair salon.

Hillsborough: Eight more witnesses come forward

BBC Radio Merseyside

Eight more Hillsborough witnesses have come forward following

a police appeal yesterday.

One person came forward within hours of the appeal on Thursday and police have confirmed a total of nine have been in touch.

The appeal for the remaining nine witnesses remains active with people asked to get in touch with Operation Resolve, the police team tasked with investigating Hillsborough and providing fresh evidence to the inquests.

Watch: Pleasureland's Stealth Bomber

Southport Visiter

Southport Pleasureland re-opens this weekend and the Southport Visiter has been to

test the rides - complete with special head cam.

Southport Pleasureland
Google

The first in a series features the Stealth Bomber - a huge ride that features two sets of seats rotating around a central column, which gives riders an amazing view of Southport from a hair-raising height.

The ride is 132ft high and travels at 70mph.