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Summary

  1. Updates on Monday, 11 April 2016
  2. Family doctor jailed for child sex abuse admits sexually abusing 13 female police officers
  3. Police and mental health trust not to blame for man's stand-off death, coroner rules
  4. Investigations will continue into how a train and a tractor crashed at a level crossing near Thetford yesterday
  5. Norfolk County Council is to discuss plans for East Anglian devolution today
  6. 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 all from the Norfolk Live team today, but we'll be back tomorrow at 08:00 with the news, sport, travel and weather updates for the county.

If you've a story that you'd like to share, you can contact us on email or Facebook or send a tweet.

Weather: Cloudy with rain

BBC Weather

A cloudy evening with patchy rain. Temperatures falling to 8C (46F).

weather graphic
BBC Weather

Cloud and rain will clear tomorrow morning, and it will become drier, brighter and warmer. Temperatures reaching 14C (57F).

BBC Weather has more information for you.

Norfolk's largest brewery sold

Norfolk's largest brewery has new owners.

Woodforde's logo
Woodforde's

Woodforde's, based at Woodbastwick, near Norwich, has been sold to a consortium of private investors headed by experts from the drinks industry, with connections to Norfolk. Former owners, Dennis Nudd and Mike Betts, are retiring.

Mr Nudd says they "sought out the right people to help Woodforde's continue to grow and innovate, and to protect the values and heritage we have built within the business."

Watch: Investigation under way after train hits tractor

An investigation is under way after a train hit a tractor at a private level crossing near Thetford.

The 12:04 train from Norwich was travelling to Cambridge when the incident happened yesterday lunchtime at Roudham, near Thetford.

As Richard Daniel reported live from the scene for BBC Look East at lunchtime today, a train could be seen passing through at high speed.  

Stag party comes to the rescue of police

Norfolk Police have tweeted their thanks to a stag party who helped them out of a tight spot:

View more on twitter
Stag party helping police officers
Norfolk Police

Arrest following unlicensed music event

A man has been arrested after police closed down an unlicensed music event near Watton at the weekend.

Police were called to an area of farmland in Great Cressingham early yesterday morning after local residents reported hearing loud music. About 100 people were found at a derelict farm and the event was safely closed down by 15:00.

About a dozen speakers and generators were seized on site. A 27-year-old man was arrested and taken to Wymondham police headquarters for questioning. He has since been released on bail pending further inquiries. 

New course for behind-the-scenes theatre technicians

Norfolk is to be the home of a brand new course that aims to equip the next generation of theatre technicians.

Theatre Royal, Norwich
BBC

Access to Music Norwich is launching a new level 3 Technical Theatre Production course, offering practical skills training in areas such as lighting, sound, set design and stage management.

The course will be run in partnership with Norwich's Theatre Royal and will be delivered at a brand new theatre school in the city.  

Chinese medicine plant 'may help treat cancer'

Researchers in Norwich have revealed how a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine produces compounds that may help to treat cancer and liver diseases.

The Chinese skullcup, with purple and white petals and green leaves
John Innes Centre

The John Innes Centre found cells in the root of the Chinese skullcup, Scutellaria baicalensis - known in Chinese medicine as Huang-Qin - can kill human cancers while leaving healthy cells untouched.

Further research is needed to clarify its potential use in medicine.  

Doctor 'was a sexual predator who operated in plain sight'

Dr Hugh Blaise O'Neill, 62, from Tasburgh, near Long Stratton, was a GP at Horsford Medical Centre and medical adviser to Norfolk Constabulary from 1991 to 2003.

Already serving time for child rape and sexual assault, he today admitted sexual assaults against 13 female police officers between 1991 and 2001 and will be sentenced next Monday.

Det Supt Kathryn Thacker, who led the inquiry, said: "It's now clear O'Neill was a sexual predator who operated in plain sight for a number of years."  

Police force received complaints about GP who sexually assaulted officers

Norfolk Police received complaints in 1993 and 2002 about the conduct of a force medical adviser who has today admitted sexual assaults against 13 female officers, it has emerged.

Dr Hugh Blaise O'Neill, 62, from Tasburgh, who was sentenced in January 2015 after admitting two counts of rape and three counts of gross indecency, today admitted to 13 counts of indecent assault on a female, each relating to separate officers at Norfolk Police, between 1991 and 2001.

Norfolk Police said it had commissioned a professional standards investigation.

Watch: Vandalism puts school farm project on hold

A primary school in Gorleston has delayed the arrival of animals for its school farm project after being targeted by vandals over the Easter holidays.

The windows of a school bus, linked to Peterhouse Primary School's farm project, were smashed, and damage was also caused to buildings in the playground and school gates.

Head teacher Martin Scott says the school, which reopened after the Easter holidays today, has put the arrival of the farm animals on hold, and said he was "frightened for the safety of the animals... in 10 years we have never had any vandalism".

Headlines: Family doctor jailed for child sex abuse admits more offences... Investigation after train and tractor collide

The stories in the news today:

  • A family doctor jailed for child rape and sexual assault has admitted abusing 13 female police officers during his time as force medical adviser
  • An investigation is under way after a train collided with a tractor on a private level crossing
  • Plans for historic steam locomotive the Flying Scotsman to travel through the county in May have been called off over safety concerns

Family doctor admits sexually abusing 13 female police officers

A family doctor jailed for 12 years for raping and sexually assaulting two children has admitted abusing 13 female police officers during his role as medical adviser.

Dr Hugh Blaise O'Neill, 62, from Tasburgh, was sentenced in January 2015 after admitting two counts of rape and three counts of gross indecency.

Norfolk Police HQ sign
BBC

He today admitted 13 counts of indecent assault on a female, relating to 13 officers at Norfolk Police.

O'Neill is due to be sentenced next week.

BreakingMinister appointed to oversee devolution

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

The West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock has been appointed as minister to oversee East Anglian devolution. 

Matthew Hancock MP
BBC

It follows concerns that the deal, announced in last month's budget for a directly-elected mayor for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, was running into trouble. 

I understand that Mr Hancock will be in charge of leading negotiations between the 23 local councils, several of whom have expressed concern that the devolution process is being rushed. 

Trespassers on Flying Scotsman route

Here's the Flying Scotsman guard's reaction back in February to one of the incidents of trespass during the engine's inaugural journey, which has led to this year's visit to Ely and Norwich being cancelled.

The locomotive was halted near St Neots after about 60 people made it alongside the tracks during the journey from London King's Cross to York. 

Fears it could happen again as the train makes it way from London to Cambridgeshire have led to the cancellation.

Travel: A1101 blocked at Welney

BBC Travel

The A1101 in Welney is blocked in both directions around the Cock Fen Road junction because of an earlier accident involving a lorry and subsequent recovery work.

Norwich City's youngsters win at Leicester

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norwich City's Under-21s have beaten Leicester City 1-0 away from home this afternoon. 

A late free kick from Ray Grant, the son of former Canaries manager Peter Grant, sealed the victory. 

Ray Grant
get

It's a notable win for an inexperienced Norwich team which found itself up against a Leicester squad including Switzerland international Gokhan Inler and recent £3.7m signing Demarai Gray. 

BreakingStars' meeting at Coventry postponed

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

The weather has claimed another of King's Lynn Stars Elite League speedway meetings. 

A heavy downpour means tonight's scheduled meeting at Coventry is off. 

View more on twitter

The two sides are due to meet again in Norfolk on Wednesday night. 

Flying Scotsman: Ely to Norwich trip cancelled

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Plans for the historic steam locomotive the Flying Scotsman to travel through the county in May have been called off over safety concerns.

The Flying Scotsman
Getty Images

In February, its inaugural journey after restoration was disrupted after trespassing on the rail line.

First reported by the Ely Standard, the organisers of the East Anglian Cream Tea ride said the Flying Scotsman would no longer run between Ely and Norwich.

They said the service would have to first run from London King's Cross to Ely and there were fears that the popularity of the train could lead to similar trespassing - putting lives at risk on this part of the line.

Watch: Vigil held for bouncy castle death girl

A two-minute silence was held at a Harlow park for a seven-year-old Norwich girl who died when a bouncy castle she was playing on blew away.

Summer Grant, from Norwich, died after suffering multiple injuries in the incident. 

About 200 people attended the vigil on Saturday night at which candles were laid in the shape of two hearts as Summer's favourite music played.

Watch: Cars destroyed in scrapyard fire

Hundreds of cars have been destroyed by fire at a scrapyard in south Norfolk. 

Ten fire engines and more than 70 firefighters were called to the incident at Seething, near Loddon, late last night.

Their task was made more complicated by the fact the cars were stacked and there was a risk they could fall over. Owner David Yarham said about "600 to 700" cars were burnt.    

Stand-off death: Police and mental health trust not to blame

A jury has found a man who died following a 14-hour stand-off with police near Norwich took his own life but did not intend to do so.

Kamal Nour
Family photo

Kamal Nour, 40, barricaded himself inside his flat at Costessey in August 2014, threatening to cut his throat if police officers entered. Police, who had last had contact with him just after 18:00 on 14 August 2014, forced entry shortly after 20:00 and found him hanged. 

The coroner ruled the actions of the police and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, which had previously had contact with Mr Nour, did not contribute to his death.

BreakingGP jailed for rape and assault admits further abuse

Laura Devlin

BBC News

A family doctor jailed for 12 years for raping and sexually assaulting two children has admitted further abuse.

Dr Hugh Blaise O'Neill, 62, from Tasburgh, Norfolk, was sentenced in January 2015 after admitting two counts of rape and three counts of gross indecency.

He has pleaded guilty to 13 counts of indecent assault on a female on what was to be the first day of his trial at Norwich Crown Court. 

He is due to be sentenced next week. 

Dr Hugh Blaise O'Neill
Archant

Two taken to hospital following barn fire

Two people were taken to hospital following a barn fire in south Norfolk at the weekend.

East of England ambulance
BBC

East of England Ambulance Service attended Lodge Road, Tivetshall St Margaret, shortly after 17:30 yesterday.

A woman and a man were treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns to their hands before being taken to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.  Another woman was discharged at the scene with no obvious injuries. 

Train crash: 'Safety is our main concern'

A 31-year-old tractor driver remains in hospital after his vehicle was in collision with a train at an unmanned level crossing in Norfolk yesterday.

The crashed tractor
BBC

Paul Seaman from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Services says it was a "high-speed collision", adding it was fortunate that the train didn't derail so that they were dealing with a lot less casualties than they could have been.  

Safety is our main concern... our main aim is to work together with the other emergency services, making sure that our pre-planned arrangements are in place and the best outcome for everybody is achieved."

Paul SeamanNorfolk Fire and Rescue Service

City legend's battle with Alzheimer's

Norwich Evening News

The front page of today's Norwich Evening News:

Front page of Norwich Evening News
Archant

NDR: Drayton Lane closing

A popular cut-through to the north of Norwich is closing, due to work on the Northern Distributor Road (NDR).

Route of the Northern Distributor Road
Norfolk County Council/Ordnance Survey

Drayton Lane, between the B1149 Holt Road and Reepham Road, is being re-aligned to run from a new roundabout on the Holt Road to a roundabout on the NDR.  Once complete in 2017, all Holt Road traffic will use this route.

Other work begins today on the Low Road in the Plumstead area, and at Fakenham Road. 

Leisure centre reopens after £3.5m refurbishment

Wymondham Leisure Centre has reopened after it closed months ago for refurbishment.

The gym at Wymondham Leisure Centre
BBC

South Norfolk Council has spent more than £3.5m on new facilities, including a two-storey gym, sauna and spa area, and a new cafe.

Martin Wilby, deputy leader of the council, said the authority was aware of the "crucial role that regular participation in sport and physical activity can have" on residents. 

Watch: Investigation into tractor and train collision

The driver of a tractor remains in hospital with serious injuries after his vehicle was in collision with a train at an unmanned level crossing in Roudham yesterday. 

The train was travelling from Norwich to Cambridge when the crash happened at about 12:30. The train driver and several passengers were also taken to hospital.  

Devolution discussions under way

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

County councillors have begun discussing plans for East Anglian devolution.

Councillors debating devolution
BBC

Liberal Democrat group leader Marie Strong questioned the need for a directly-elected mayor, saying: "We were told the role of mayor was optional... when did it become compulsory?"

Labour council leader George Nobbs replied: "We were told by ministers it's that or nothing."

The Conservative group leader Cliff Jordan said the plans so far had generated "a lot of confusion."

Train death 'not suspicious'

British Transport Police is not treating the death of a person who was struck by a train at Cringleford, near Norwich, earlier today as suspicious.

Norfolk Police and the East of England Ambulance Service attended the incident and the person was pronounced dead at the scene.

Trains on the route between Norwich and Cambridge are delayed by up to fifteen minutes.

Police stand-off death jury considering verdict

The jury is considering its verdict in the case of a man who died following a 14-hour police stand-off near Norwich. 

Street view of Quarry Road in Costessey
BBC

Kamal Nour barricaded himself inside his flat in Costessey, in August 2014, threatening to cut his throat if officers entered. Norfolk Coroner's Court heard his mother, Norma Nour, say his cries for help were ignored by mental health services.  

The jury has been instructed to consider a verdict suicide or narrative conclusion.

Debate begins on devolution

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

Norfolk County Council has started debating plans for East Anglian devolution which would see a directly elected mayor for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

County Hall
BBC

Council leader George Nobbs, who had led the negotiations, admitted that the proposals in their present form were flawed but he said the council should continue negotiating. 

There are lots of things to be said for this scheme and lots of things to be said against it."

George Nobbs, Leader of Norfolk County Council

Train crash: 'Miracle that no one was seriously hurt'

A rail passenger has been describing the moment a train hit a tractor at an unmanned level crossing near Roudham yesterday.

The train, with smashed front and emergency services
BBC

Chris Last was sitting across the aisle from one of the windows that was smashed in the crash, and says he "got a face-full of broken glass". He described how the train made a rumbling and grinding noise, and it "felt like it was going to tip over".

Mr Last said the train was "still going at some speed and the wind kept blowing shards of glass into the carriage". He said there was a lot of "pretty horrendous screaming, panic attacks, not injury.... everyone rallied round and was supportive of each other... it was incredible that no one was more seriously hurt".

Travel: Delays for rail services

Rail passengers on services between Norwich and Cambridge are facing delays of up to one hour, due to emergency services dealing with an incident.

British Transport Police say a person has been struck by a train at Cringleford.

Candlelit vigil for girl killed on bouncy castle

Hundreds of people attended a candlelit vigil at the weekend in memory of a seven-year-old Norwich girl who died after a bouncy castle blew away.

Candles in glass jars, with a little girl looking at one
BBC

Summer Grant died after the inflatable she was on broke free and was lifted into the air by the wind in Harlow, Essex.

Her uncle, Shawn Grant, says the inflatables should be banned until an investigation into the incident is complete. 

Cars destroyed in scrapyard fire

Firefighters have been dealing with a major blaze at a scrapyard.

Emergency crews at the scrapyard
BBC

Ten fire engines and more than 70 firefighters were called to the incident at Seething, near Loddon, last night. Incident commander Tim Edwards said it was a challenging job, with more than 1,000 vehicles involved at the height of the fire.

The blaze has now been put out, but about a dozen firefighters remain on site.

Norwich City sweat over Klose injury

Phil Daley

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norwich City are waiting on news of how serious the injury to Timm Klose is.

The central defender was taken off in the first half of the Canaries' defeat at Crystal Palace after he landed awkwardly.

Timm Klose
Getty Images

Norwich manager Alex Neil told BBC Radio Norfolk: "It's a blow; he's been great for us and it's disappointing. We'll analyse the injury over the next day or so."