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Summary

  1. Updates for Monday, 18 April 2016
  2. A GP and former police medical adviser has been given an extended jail term for sexual assaults on 13 female officers
  3. Norwich cafe faces opposition to plans to extend its opening hours to 03:00
  4. Norwich City's chances of Premier League survival take a blow after a 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland
  5. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Caroline Kingdon

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Weather: Cloudy with rain but dry on Tuesday

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Staying cloudy this evening, with the chance of some rain.  Clear spells developing later.

Minimum temperature: 2C 36(F).

Weather chart for Tuesday 16:00
BBC Weather

Tomorrow will be dry with sunny spells. Temperatures reaching 13C (55F), although it will be cooler on the coast.

BBC Weather has more information for you.

Majority of pupils get first preference for primary schools, says council

More than 90% of children in Norfolk have got a place at their first-choice primary school, according to the county council.

The authority says demand is increasing each year because of population growth, and that it has a duty to respond to the changing need. Parents whose children have missed out can appeal.

Richard Snowdon, head of admissions, said it worked closely with schools to expand as and when necessary to match increasing demand.

Watch: Circus trust lowers floor to accommodate trapeze

Andrew Turner

BBC Radio Norfolk

A circus and street arts trust has had the builders in.

Sea Change Arts took over Great Yarmouth's Drill House in 2012, but the roof was too low for a swinging trapeze.

The building is listed, so builders couldn't raise the roof... and instead dug down, building a pit 2.5m (8ft) deep to give extra height.  

Mammoth find on Norfolk beach

Janet Harnden

BBC Radio Norfolk

A trainee field study instructor has found the tooth of a baby mammoth just two weeks into his job. 

Niall Thorogood made the discovery on West Runton beach, where a mammoth skeleton was famously discovered in 1990. Mr Thorogood, who works at the Aylmerton Field Study Centre in north Norfolk, says more people should look for prehistoric finds on our beaches.

Every time you walk along the beach you probably walk along miles and miles of fossils and different things to be discovered... people don't realise how much the coast has to offer."

Niall Thorogood

Images show extent of damage as boys arrested in connection with arsons

Diss Express

Pictures released by Norfolk Police show the extent of the damage to a farm building after nearby straw bales were deliberately ignited in Stratton St Michael last month.

Damaged farm buildings
Diss Express

The headlines: Sex abuse doctor jailed for abusing policewomen... Judge describes him as 'disgrace to an honourable profession'

Our top story today:

  • A doctor who groped female police officers and new recruits in his role as Norfolk Police's medical adviser has been jailed for a further three years
  • Dr Hugh O'Neill, already serving a 12-year jail term for the sexual offences against two underage girls, was described by Judge Anthony Bate as a "disgrace to an honourable profession" 

Other stories in the news today:

  • Two independent financial advisers have been charged with fraud totalling millions of pounds
  • A care home remains shut seven years after it was built

Orphans receiving care at wildlife centre

The orphan season has started at the RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife Centre, where staff are currently looking after a number of animals including ducklings, blackbirds and leverets.

A leveret on a blanket
RSPCA

Four nestling blackbirds are now safe and warm in an incubator, being fed every 20 minutes, after they were accidentally knocked out of a shrub by a football in King's Lynn.

More than 20 ducklings are being cared for, including a group that was seen crossing the road in Snettisham with no parent in sight. Two of three leverets were picked up by dogs, and another is receiving treatment for an eye injury after being attacked by crows. 

Bus crashes into tree

First Buses is investigating after a bus crashed into a tree near Norwich this morning.

The incident happened at about 08:00 when the vehicle was overtaking a bin lorry in Costessey.

Five children were on board the bus, one of whom got a small cut on the leg. Nobody was seriously hurt.

Sex abuse doctor: Force referred to IPCC

Another police force is to investigate where Norfolk Police missed opportunities during its investigations into allegations of sexual abuse of female officers by medical adviser Dr Hugh O'Neill, jailed for an additional three years today.

Describing O'Neill as a "sexual predator" who targeted women when they were "particularly vulnerable", Det Supt Kate Thacker said it was possible that some of the victims may launch legal claims against Norfolk Police. 

The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Norfolk Police has set up a hotline for other possible victims to come forward. The number is 01603 276999.

Sex abuse doctor 'a disgrace to an honourable profession'

A doctor who groped female police officers and new recruits in his role as Norfolk Police's medical adviser between 1991 and 2003 was described in court by Judge Anthony Bate as "a disgrace to an honourable profession".

View of Norwich Crown Court
BBC

Prosecutor Kate Davey told Norwich Crown Court that Dr Hugh O'Neill had been a "trusted and respected member of the team... part of the scenery within the county's police force."

None of the examinations performed by the 63-year-old doctor formed part of any legitimate procedure and were carried out for his own sexual gratification, Ms Davey told the court, adding that they were often "a smokescreen for sexual abuse".

Sex abuse doctor 'denies any wrong-doing', despite guilty plea

A paedophile doctor jailed for a further three years after admitting the sexual abuse of female police officers during force medical examinations continued to deny any wrongdoing when he appeared for sentencing at Norwich Crown Court today.

Norfolk Police HQ sign
BBC

Michael Clare, in mitigation, said Dr Hugh O'Neill "was investigated in 1993 when he denied all matters and again in 2002 when he denied all matters... he continues to deny all matters but has his own reasons for pleading guilty".

O'Neill, previously of Tasburgh, was a GP at Horsford Medical Centre after beginning work as a doctor in the 1980s. His role as a medical adviser at Norfolk Police, which he took on in 1991, included examining new recruits.

The force is now looking into possible failings in the two investigations.

Sex abuse doctor: Crimes a 'gross and repeated' breach of trust

Norwich Crown Court heard that it was not until last year, when 63-year-old Dr Hugh O'Neill was jailed for 12 years for the rape and sexual assault of two girls aged under 14, that his assaults on policewomen were fully investigated. 

Prosecutor Kate Davey told the court that allegations about O'Neill's conduct during force medical examinations had first emerged in 1993 but little was done and he carried on abusing women in a "gross and repeated" breach of trust for another nine years.

O'Neill left the force in 2003 after further claims were made but this did not lead to any criminal action.

Sex abuse doctor: Police failed to investigate complaints

Norfolk Police failed to investigate claims that a doctor groped female officers and new recruits more than two decades before he was finally prosecuted for sex attacks, Norwich Crown Court has heard.

Prosecutor Kate Davey told the court that allegations about Dr Hugh O'Neill's conduct during force medical examinations had first emerged in 1993 but little was done and he carried on abusing women in a "gross and repeated" breach of trust for another nine years. 

Norwich Crown Court
BBC

O'Neill left the force in 2003 after further claims were made but this did not lead to any criminal action.   

It's a wrap: Driver stopped with unsecured wardrobe on roof

Police in Great Yarmouth stopped a driver who was transporting a wardrobe on the roof of a car, held in place by only a thin sheet of bubble wrap.

They posted this picture on Instagram, adding: "A passenger was also found laying under the wardrobe doors inside the car, as all the seats were down to transport." 

View more on instagram

Financial advisers charged with fraud totalling millions of pounds

Two independent financial advisers from Norfolk have been charged with a total of 14 fraud offences by officers from the Eastern Region Specialist Operations Unit (ERSOU).

Alan Taylor, 36, of St Stephen's Street, Norwich, and Russell Taylor, 35, of Old Hall Road, Witton, near North Walsham, have each been charged with seven counts of fraud including conspiracy to defraud and fraud by abuse of position.

The charges relate to the handling of investments between their businesses, Taylor and Taylor Associates Ltd, based in Hoveton, and Vantage Investment Group, between January 2008 and July 2015.

Investigations have revealed that the sums relating to the fraud charges are likely to run into millions of pounds. The two men have been released on conditional bail to appear before Norwich magistrates on June 24. 

GP given extended jail term for sex abuse of police officers

A GP and former police medical officer has been given a further three years in prison today after he admitting to sexually assaulting 13 female police officers.

Dr Hugh O'Neill
Norfolk Police

Dr Hugh Blaise O'Neill, who practised at Horsford, was jailed for 12 years in January 2015 after admitting two rapes and three counts of gross indecency against two girls under 16. 

Last week, the 62-year-old from Tasburgh, admitted 13 counts of sexual assault on a female, relating to 13 female police officers. He worked as a medical adviser for Norfolk police between 1991 and 2003.

O'Neill appeared before for sentencing at Norwich Crown Court this afternoon.

Money pours in for disabled man robbed at bus stop

An appeal to raise funds for a disabled man who was robbed in Norwich has passed its target.

Danny Barrett in his wheelchair
BBC

Danny Barrett, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, had his wallet stolen while waiting at a bus stop in the city last Monday.

A crowdfunding appeal was set up by Penny Brown after she heard the story. She was hoping to raise £200 so that Danny could have a day out with a friend. So far £325 has been donated to the page. 

Watch: Canaries fans on Sunderland defeat

Norwich City are now just one point above the dreaded drop-zone following their 3-0 defeat to relegation rivals Sunderland at the weekend.

As Canaries fans streamed out of Carrow Road on Saturday, BBC Look East's Tom Williams asked them their reaction to the game.

Rail: Uninterrupted ride promised for passengers

Rail travellers are being promised an uninterrupted ride from Norwich to Liverpool Street from today.

Rail tracks, platform and signals
BBC

It follows 10 weeks of weekend work on the line. Track and old overhead wiring have been replaced by Network Rail between Ingatestone and London. 

The work cost £170m.

Digging the garden could reveal clues about castle's past

A project by the Norfolk Archaeological Trust, examining the development of Burgh Castle, near Great Yarmouth, has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Burgh Castle Roman ford
Geograph/Tony Grant

The funds will give local residents the opportunity to get involved with investigating how Burgh Castle village has developed from Roman times to the present day, including a programme of archaeological "test pits" in gardens and fields to find more about the size and spread of the settlement over the centuries.

Trust director Caroline Davison said it was delighted with the £9,600 grant, and hoped local people would enjoy getting involved, adding: "One way would be to allow us to dig a pit in their garden."  

Water company says sorry for flooding

Anglian Water says flooding in an area of Great Yarmouth on Friday was caused by a power cut, leading to the pumping station on Bryant's Quay to stop working.

This led the sewer system to back up and overflow.  The water company says it is now looking at what caused the problem to prevent it from happening in future.

We're very sorry for any upset and inconvenience caused on Friday... We visited each of the five customers affected and offered clean-ups to help get things back to normal.”

Emma StaplesAnglian Water

Leaving care home 'unacceptable', says MP

The Broadland MP Keith Simpson is calling for a health regulator to speak to the owners of a care home that has stood empty for seven years.

Street view of the care home
Google

The Care Quality Commission was told by the owners of Cawston Care Home that it would open last month, but it remains closed. A spokesman for owner Florence Care said it wanted to open by September but would need to spend about £500,000 on furnishings and staff.  

Mr Simpson said: "It's unacceptable... it's been one excuse after another... I want to find out from the CQC what their professional assessment is and whether we should be looking at an alternative provider."

Steel used in major road project will be exclusively British

Steel reinforcement used in a major road project in Norfolk will be exclusively British, main contractor Balfour Beatty has confirmed.

Map showing route of the NDR from the A47 east of Norwich to the A1067
BBC

The 20km (12-mile) Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) will be reinforced with the metal. The road runs around the east and north of the city, from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Norwich to Fakenham Road.

Construction work on the £180m project began in January. Last year Balfour Beatty signed up to the UK Steel Charter, committing it to using British steel in support of the industry, which is currrently in crisis with news of the sale of Tata Steel's Port Talbot plant

Hubble bubble, neighbour trouble

A Norwich cafe's plan to extend its opening hours has met with opposition from local residents.

Cafe Istanbul on Dereham Road serves coffee and tea, and allows customers to smoke shisha pipes. It now wants to remain open until 03:00, as a lot of its business comes from workers in the restaurant and takeaway trade.

People living nearby have raised concerns about noise if the plan is approved.  

Victims of stalking urged to seek help

Norfolk police are urging victims of stalking to seek help, as a national campaign aimed at highlighting the issue gets under way.

Finger pressing the delete button on a laptop
PA

Between 1 April 2015 and 4 February 2016 the force recorded 48 incidents, an increase on totals of 18 for 2013-14 and 42 for 2014-15. Officers hope the national week of action will encourage more victims to seek help.

The national campaign, by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, focuses on the risk social media poses, and reveals it as a tool of choice for many stalkers. 

Canaries youngster wins Football League Award

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norwich City midfielder Ben Godfrey was named League Two Apprentice of the Year at last night's Football League Awards.

The 18-year old impressed after coming through the ranks at York City and was signed by the Canaries in January.

View more on twitter

Godfrey has been part of Norwich City's Under-21 set-up since joining the club and is yet to feature for the first team. 

Travel: The latest updates on Norfolk's roads

BBC Travel

The A47 in King's Lynn is partially blocked, with queuing traffic westbound at Pullover Roundabout, because of an accident involving a car and a van.

In Costessey, the Norwich Road is partially blocked at the Kabin Road junction because of an accident involving a bus and a fallen tree.

Care home remains shut seven years after it was built

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says it wants answers about a care home in Norfolk that has never been used.

Street view of the care home, with barriers across the entrance
Google

Cawston Care Home was built near Reepham in 2009 but has still not opened. Florence Care became the owners in 2013, buying it from Nightingale Premier Health for £1.7m after it went into administration.

The CQC says it has not heard from the owner since October last year, after it had given an opening date for March. A spokesman for the home says it still plans on opening later this year.

Villagers' big push to save pub

Eastern Daily Press

The front page of today's Eastern Daily Press

Front page of the EDP
Archant

Weather: Cloudy skies with light showers

Georgina Burnett

BBC Weather

Becoming cloudy, with one or two light showers later.

Maximum temperature: 11C (52F).

BBC Weather has more details for you.

Norwich City must 'do it the hard way' - O'Neil

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norwich City's chances of staying in the Premier League suffered a damaging blow at the weekend when they were beaten 3-0 at home by Sunderland.

The result leaves the Canaries one point above the relegation zone having played a game more than the two sides immediately below them, Sunderland and Newcastle.

Gary O'Neil
Getty Images

Gary O'Neil, who captained the side, told me after the game "We've got four big games coming up and we'll have to do it the hard way." 

Sentencing of GP for sex assaults on police officers

A GP and former police medical adviser is to be sentenced today after he admitting sexually assaulting 13 female police officers.

Dr Hugh O'Neill
Archant

Dr Hugh Blaise O'Neill, 62, from Tasburgh, is already serving 12 years in prison for raping and sexually assaulting two children.

He pleaded guilty at Norwich Crown Court last week to 13 assaults on female police officers between 1991 and 2003.

The headlines: GP to be sentenced for police officer sex assaults... Residents oppose extension of cafe's opening hours

The headlines this morning:

  • A GP and former police medical adviser is to be sentenced today after he admitted sexually assaulting 13 female police officers
  • A cafe in Norwich has come up against opposition to extending its opening hours to 03:00
  • The Care Quality Commission says it wants answers about why a Cawston care home has not opened, seven years after it was built 

Welcome to Norfolk Live

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Hello and welcome to a new week on Norfolk Live. We'll be here until 18:00, keeping you up to date with the news, sport, travel and weather for the county.

If you have a story - or maybe a photograph - that you'd like to share with us, you can get in touch on email, Facebook or send us a tweet.