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Summary

  1. Top stories on Monday, 4 April 2016
  2. Seven members of a gang which stole artefacts from museums - and attempted to steal a rhino horn from Norwich Castle Museum - are jailed
  3. Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn trials extended visiting hours
  4. Pub landlord claims wheelchair ramp decision is holding back his business
  5. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Caroline Kingdon

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's it from the Norfolk Live team today. We'll be back at 08:00 tomorrow bringing you the news, sport, travel and weather updates for the county.

We like to involve you in Norfolk Live, so if you have a story or maybe a photograph that you'd like to share, send us an email or a tweet, or get in touch on Facebook

Watch: Tying the knot in a castle

Norwich Castle is the new home for register office weddings in the city. 

The first couple to tie the knot in there were Josie Bigwood and Steve Manson. Their wedding took place on Friday, the 15th anniversary of the day they moved in together.                       

Weather: Showers easing

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

Scattered showers easing to leave a mostly dry night.  A few mist or fog patches may form.

Temperatures falling to 4C (39F).

Weather chart for Tuesday at 06:00
BBC Weather

Much of Tuesday will be dry with sunny spells, and occasional cloud.  A small chance of isolated showers in coastal areas.

Temperatures will reach 14C (57F). BBC Weather has more details for you.

Head ranger hangs up his boots for the last time

After 26 years looking after the National Trust's 4,500-acre Blickling estate, head ranger Dave Brady has hung up his work boots for the last time.

Dave Brady with Ben Fogle, walking through grassland during filming for ITVs Countrywise in 2014
National Trust

During the last two-and-a-half years his work has included the River Bure restoration, reverting Tower Park from agriculture to grassland, as well as restoring the historic woodland areas of Kingshot Copse and Hyde Park.

His achievements will be remembered as the estate's longest waymarked walk is re-named Brady's Walk in his honour.  

The headlines: Crime gang sentenced for museum thefts... Inquests opens into death of man who died during 14-hour stand-off with police

The stories in the news this afternoon:

  • Seven members of an organised crime gang who arranged for multi-million pound items to be taken from musuems and auction houses across England, including Norwich Castle Museum, have been jailed
  • An inquest has opened into the death of a man who was found dead at his home in Costessey in August 2014 following a 14-hour stand-off with police
  • A motorcylist has died in a collision with a lorry on the A47 near Scarning

Watch: Fans' reaction to Norwich win

A last-minute goal by Martin Olsson gave a boost to Norwich City's hopes of staying in the Premier League.

The Canaries beat Newcastle 3-2, delighting City's fans.                       

Watch: Pensioner embarks on epic bus journey around England

Malcolm Metcalf's sense of adventure has taken him around the world. 

But now the 82-year-old has set off on a different journey, using his bus pass to travel around England. Using 60 buses, he'll travel through 33 counties in 29 days, and raise money for the East Coast Hospice at the same time.                       

A47 reopens following fatal collision

The A47 has now reopened in both directions following a fatal collision between a motorcycle and a lorry earlier today. 

Decision deferred on anaerobic digester

Tim Addicott

BBC Radio Norfolk

A decision on plans for a biogas plant between Attleborough and Snetterton have been deferred.

Breckland councillors made the decision after discussing the proposals for the anaerobic digester on land to the south of the A11 at Snetterton racetrack. 

It's claimed the plant, on 12 acres of land, would power up to 6,000 homes by converting crops, slurry and silage into energy. 

Stand-off: Police response 'proportionate', inquest told

Norwich Coroner's Court has heard that a man found dead in his home following a 14-hour stand-off with police was "a man of principles, morals and integrity" and that a previous incident had involved "verbal" aggression only.

Norma Nour, the mother of 40-year-old Kamal Nour, went on to tell the inquest she was concerned that the incident in Quarry Road, Costessey, in August 2014 was considered "high-risk" by police and so firearms had been deployed.

Norfolk Police says its response was "proportionate" and that when officers attempted to contact Mr Nour's mother there was no response.

Dan Holley explains Sunday night's thunderstorms

If you were awake late last night, you may have heard thunderstorms as they passed over Norfolk.

But just what caused them? Here's weatherman Dan Holley with an explainer.

Six more people being sentenced over museum raids tomorrow

Jo Black

BBC News

A further six defendants will be sentenced tomorrow at Birmingham Crown Court over the museum raids.

Detectives say the Chinese artefacts stolen were worth about £18m but could have fetched up to £57m, and the case dwarfed the more high-profile Hatton Garden heist in London. 

You can read the full story here.

Men jailed for museum raids

Jo Black

BBC News

Seven members of an organised crime gang who arranged for precious artefacts to be stolen from museums and auction houses across England have been sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court.

The plots saw multi-million-pound items including Chinese jade and rhino horn taken from sites including the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and an attempted theft at Norwich Castle Museum. 

The jailed men were:

  • Danny Flynn, 45, of Orchard Drive, Smithy Fen, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, jailed for four years
  • Paul Pammen, 49, of Alton Gardens, Southend, Essex, jailed for five and a half years
  • Donald Chi Chong Wong, 56, of Clapham Common South Side, London, jailed for five and a half years
  • Daniel "Turkey" O'Brien, 45, from Smithy Fen, Cottenham, jailed for six years and eight months
  • Richard "Kerry" O'Brien Junior, 31, of Dale Farm, Oak Lane, Billericay, Essex, jailed for five and a half years
  • Alan Clarke, 37, of Melbourne Road, Newham, London, jailed for five and a half years
  • John "Cash" O'Brien, 68, of Fifth Avenue, Wolverhampton, jailed for five years and three months

BreakingMembers of museum raid gang jailed

Seven men from Cambridgeshire, Essex, London and the West Midlands, who were part of an organised crime gang, have been jailed for their roles in stealing artefacts worth up to £57m from museums across England, including in Norwich and Cambridge.

Man dies in A47 collision

A man has died following a serious collision on the A47 at Scarning, near Dereham, earlier today.

A motorcycle and a lorry were involved in a collision at about 09:30. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.

The road remains closed while police carry out scene investigations. Motorists are advised to avoid the area, and diversions are in place.

Weather: Brighter later

BBC Weather Watchers

It's been a showery morning, as this picture taken by BBC Weather Watcher "lionofnorfolk" shows. 

Those showers will slowly die away, with brighter spells developing towards the end of the afternoon. 

Feeling warmer in the sunshine, with temperatures reaching 12C (54F). 

Water pools in field
Weather Watcher/Lionofnorfolk

Stand-off man's mother: 'How ill does a person need to be before he receives help?'

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

An inquest into the death of a man of a man who died following a 14-hour stand-off with police at his home near Norwich has heard that his mother had tried to help her son access mental health services but their "voices were never heard".

Norma Nour says she wrote to the GP of her son, Kamal Nour, in the months before his death, asking: "How ill does a person need to be before he receives help?"

According to the inspector in control of police contact and communications on the day of the incident in August 2014, Mr Nour, 40, had refused further mental health support earlier in the year. Police had attempted to contact his mother on the morning, but without success. The inquest continues.

Stand-off man's 'cries for help never answered', inquest hears

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

The mother of a man from Norfolk who took his own life after barricading himself in his flat in Norwich has told an inquest that his cries for help were never answered.

Kamal Nour, 40, from Queen's Hills, Costessey, had a history of mental health problems and admitted having suicidal thoughts. Police were called to his flat in August 2014 where he threatened to cut his throat if officers entered.

After negotiations broke down, police forced entry to the property and found he had hanged himself.  The inquest, at Norwich Coroner's Court, is expected to last for several days. 

Inquest opens into death of man who died following police stand-off

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

An inquest has opened into the death of a man who died following a 14-hour stand off with police.

Kamal Nour, 40, was found hanged inside his home in Costessey, after barricading himself inside the house in August 2014.

Mr Kamal's mother Norma told the inquest, at Norwich Coroner's Court, that her son suffered from severe bouts of depression, anxiety attacks and fear. His GP had referred him to the mental health trust but it was not considered urgent. 

The inquest is expected to last several days.

Listed status for war memorials

Clare Worden

BBC Radio Norfolk

Five war memorials in Norfolk have been given listed status, as part of a national programme to mark the centenary of World War One.

Kelling war memorial
Paul Stamper/Historic England

The status gives the monuments at Kelling (seen here), Cawston, Wood Dalling, Methwold and the clock tower in Gaywood, extra protection and preservation rights.

Historic England wants to protect 2,500 war memorials by 2018, marking 100 years since the end of the war. 

Hospital not the first to trial extended visiting hours

Flexible visiting times being trialled at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn have previously been available at the James Paget Hospital which reverted back to restricted times following patient feedback.

Ambulances outside the James Paget Hospital
BBC

Julia Hunt, deputy director of nursing, at the Gorleston hospital said it had a "patient-centred approach", with visiting hours allowing it to "conduct those things that are part of nursing care that patients may want to have private or maintain their dignity".

Visiting times at the hospital are between 14:30 and 17:00, and 18:30 to 20:00.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital says it has no plans to change their visiting hours, which are from 14:00 to 16:00, and 18:00 until 20:00.

Hospital trials flexible visiting hours

Flexible visiting hours are being trialled at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn

Families and friends can visit loved ones from 10:30 until 20:30, seven days a week.

The hospital says the extended hours will offer families and friends greater involvement in the care of their loved ones, and help reduce the anxiety of patients.

Travel: A1088 blocked

BBC Travel

The A1088 Thetford Road is blocked in Ixworth, with delays in both directions. 

A lorry has become stuck while turning in the road.

Watch: Commentators' joy at Canaries winner

Phil Daley

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norwich City have moved four points outside the relegation zone, following their win over Newcastle United on Saturday.

An injury time winner from Martin Olsson gave the Canaries a vital win, much to the delight of BBC Radio Norfolk commentators Phil Daley, Rob Butler and Daryl Sutch.                      

Lightning strikes across Norfolk

Our weather forecaster Dan Holley has been tweeting about the storms which crossed over Norfolk last night:

View more on twitter

We'd love to see your photographs of the lightning. You can send them to us on email.

A47 closed: Diversions for motorists

Highways England is tweeting about diversions for motorists, following the closure of the A47 west of Norwich.

View more on twitter

Pub improvement plans 'harmful to its special character'

Breckland Council's historic buildings officer says an application by a landlord to install a wheelchair ramp would be "harmful to the special character" of the pub at Wretham, near Thetford.

Exterior view of the Dog and Partridge pub in Wretham
Google

The council says it judges proposals, as would Historic England, on the "listing details" of the building and its knowledge of it, adding that the harm caused by the demolition of part of the fireplace "would not be outweighed by the benefits of the improved access".

Martin Turver, landlord of the Dog and Partridge, claims the decision is holding back his business.  

A47 to remain closed

Norfolk police are advising motorists to avoid the A47, following a serious collision between a lorry and a motorcycle at Wendling, near Dereham.

The road is expected to remain closed for some time.

Emergency services remain at the scene. The motorcyclist has suffered life-threatening injuries.

Landlord claims council is holding back his business

A pub landlord says he's being blocked from improving his business by people who have never even visited it.

Martin Turver in the dining room of his pub
BBC

Martin Turver wants to install a new wheelchair ramp, allowing access to the dining room at the Dog and Partridge in Wretham, near Thetford. But Breckland Council's historic buildings officer is against the plan because it is a listed building. 

Mr Turver says the council has made its decision based on these comments, and has not even visited his pub.

Travel: A47 closed at Scarning

BBC Travel

The A47 is closed at Scarning, near Dereham, and motorists are advised to avoid the area.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 09:30 following reports of an incident involving a lorry and a motorcycle.

Sentencing taking place over museum raids

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Sentencing begins today of 13 men involved in museum raids across the country, including at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and Norwich Castle.

Rhino head
BBC
Chinese jade
Fitzwilliam Museum

Men from Cambridgeshire, Essex, Kent, London, the West Midlands and Northern Ireland were convicted of conspiracy to burgle in February, after high-value items including Chinese jade and rhino horn were stolen.

The hearing is due to take place over two days at Birmingham Crown Court.

O'Neil relieved to make amends after conceding penalty

Phil Daley

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norwich City midfielder Gary O'Neil says he was delighted to make amends after conceding a penalty against Newcastle on Saturday.

His cross eventually fell to Martin Olsson, who scored the winning goal in the 3-2 win at Carrow Road.

Gary O'Neil with Andros Townsend
Getty Images

With the score at 2-1 the ball struck O'Neil's hand. A penalty was awarded and converted by Newcastle.

O'Neil told BBC Radio Norfolk: "I was pleased my cross led to the third goal; it gave me that little bit of satisfaction that I'd made up for giving away the pen."

'We thought they might kill us'

Eastern Daily Press

The front page of today's Eastern Daily Press:

Front page of the EDP
Archant

Travel: Accident causing delays at Welney

WELNEY: A car has gone into a ditch on the A1101 Main Street at New Road. [7:31] HH

An accident on the Norfolk-Cambridgeshire border at Welney is causing delays. 

Gang to be sentenced for musuem thefts

Sentencing is due to begin today of a gang who tried to steal a rhino horn from Norwich's Castle Museum.

A close-up of the rhino horn at Castle Museum
BBC

Known as the Rathkeale Rovers, the 13 gang members raided museums in Cambridge and Ipswich, stealing artefacts worth millions of pounds.

Their raid in Norwich in February 2012 was foiled. 

Hospital trials flexible visiting hours

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn is trialling extended visiting hours from two to 10 hours a day.

Signage for Queen Elizabeth Hospital
BBC

From today, friends and families will be able to visit patients between 10:30 and 20:30, seven days a week.

The hospital hopes extending the hours will be therapeutic for patients, and improve communication with families. 

Weather: Showers, with some sunny spells

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

Cloudy with showers, heavy at times. Becoming brighter later.

Maximum temperature: 13C (55F).

BBC Weather has more details.