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  1. Updates on Wednesday 13 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for Staffordshire and Cheshire have finished for the day but we'll be back from 08:00 Thursday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Robbers steal cash from Burton store

Euan Duncan

BBC Local Live

An armed robbery's taken place in Burton.

Staffordshire Police say three masked men entered the Tesco Express on Stanton Road yesterday and one of them threatened staff with a suspected firearm, while another stole some cash - nobody was injured.  

Tesco Express

Incidents involving firearms are extremely rare in Burton and we’re working to establish if the weapon involved in this incident was an imitation or real."

Ch Insp Steve MaskreyEast Staffordshire Local Policing Team Commander

Tonight on BBC Midlands Today: Prime minster pledge over Ayeeshia Jane Smith

BBC Midlands Today

We've heard today that David Cameron has pledged to examine concerns over the independence of a serious case review after a woman murdered her toddler in Burton

Family handout

Kathryn Smith, 23, was jailed for 24 years after murdering 21-month-old Ayeeshia Jane Smith in May 2014. 

We'll have more from 18:30 on BBC One in Midlands Today.

Watch: New female peregrine falcon arrives in Staffordshire

Ros Chimes

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Wildlife experts say a new female peregrine falcon has turned up at Staffordshire beauty spot the Roaches to mate with a male one.   

Jon Rowe from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust says it may be a previous female one died or has been replaced in the affections of the returning male by the new arrival.  

Your pictures: The sun over Tamworth and near the canal in Staffordshire

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

More of your great pictures, starting with this one from Clive Fisher in Tamworth.

Clive Fisher

Then this one was taken by Kath Dawson of the canal in Meaford, Staffordshire "between the bridge and the lock".

If you've got a picture of Staffordshire or Cheshire to share you can do so by sending it in on email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or use Instagram.

The canal in Meaford, Staffordshire
Kath Dawson

Watch: Banteng birth at Chester Zoo boosts conservation of rare species

Emma Stanley

Reporter, BBC News Online

A rare banteng - a wild forest-dwelling member of the cattle family - has been born at Chester Zoo.  

The South East Asian species is listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, with recent estimates suggesting there could be fewer than 5,000 left in the wild.

The female calf, which keepers have named Jasmine, means the zoo now has a herd of 10 - four males and six females.

News: Four convicted after Burton death; PM weighs in on Ayeeshia Smith murder; PCSO cover cuts 'caused by rent cuts'

Jack Dowling

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

The top stories for Staffordshire and Cheshire this evening include:

- Four men have been found guilty of their part in the death of a man in Burton in what police have called an "organised and calculated attack"

- The Prime Minister says "no punishment in the world" is severe enough for a Staffordshire mother jailed for killing her daughter

- Two housing associations in Cheshire have stopped funding Police Community Support Officers, blaming rent reductions imposed by the government

Football: Stoke City's Butland on Young Player of the Year shortlist

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland's exceptional season has been rewarded by being named on the shortlist for the PFA Young Player of the Year.

Jack Butland making a save
Getty Images

The 23-year-old is currently out injured after suffering a fractured ankle in England's recent 3-2 victory over Germany.

Also on the shortlist are Tottenham pair Harry Kane and Dele Alli, Everton duo Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley and Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

Travel: Delays after crash on M6 near Holmes Chapel

BBC Travel

There are long delays on the M6 northbound between junctions 18 and 19 because of an earlier accident between a lorry and a car.

All lanes have been reopened - travel time is 45 minutes with congestion back to junction 17.

Watch: Tonight and tomorrow's weather for Stoke and Staffordshire

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Staffordshire and Cheshire's latest weather forecast can also be found on the BBC website.

Reduced PCSO cover in parts of Cheshire 'caused by rent cuts'

Phil McCann

Political reporter, Cheshire

Two housing associations in Cheshire have stopped funding Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), blaming rent reductions imposed by the government. 


Chancellor George Osborne announced last summer that social housing rents would fall by 1% each year until 2019.

The housing providers said this forced them into "very difficult decisions" over whether they could still afford PCSOs to cover their properties.

Cheshire Police said the areas affected would still have policing cover.

Hundreds of homes set for green belt land in Moorlands

James Bovill

Political reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Over 1,000 new homes could be built on green belt land in the Staffordshire Moorlands over the next 15 years, as part of the district council's local plan for the area. 

Street through Cheadle

An area the size of 33 football pitches is being considered for possible development by 2031, to meet population and economic growth.

Councillors are being asked to recommend a list of proposed sites at a meeting tonight. 

Protestors in Cheadle say the council doesn't need so many new homes and countryside campaigners are opposed to any greenbelt development. 

Four men convicted after death of man in 'calculated attack'

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Four men have been found guilty of their part in the death of a man in Burton in what police have called an "organised and calculated attack".

Staffordshire Police say Tomasz Bachta (pictured), 29, died in All Saints Road in July after several men, dressed in black, wearing masks and armed with weapons, got out of a van and assaulted him. 

Tomasz Bachta
Staffordshire Police

Following trial at Stafford Crown Court:  

- Piotr Miezal, 33, of Pershore Drive, Branston was found guilty of manslaughter 

- Bartosz Ojeda-Rodriguez, 35, of Hunter Street, Burton was found guilty of murder 

- Stanislaw Czyz, 29, of Byrkley Street, Burton was found guilty of murder 

- Andrzej Pawel Czyz, 32, of Byrkley Street, Burton was found guilty of murder 

The four will be sentenced at a later date.

Football: Port Vale defender keen to keep starting place

Lee Blakeman

Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Port Vale defender Remie Streete says he is determined to keep his place in the team for their final four fixtures of the season. 

Remie Streete
Port Vale FC

Streete has started the last two games, but had previously not featured in the starting line-up since December. 

The former Newcastle United player told BBC Radio Stoke it's been a frustrating season.

Hopefully I can get a few more games of football before the end of the season, then build on that next season but it was definitely the right decision to get out (from Newcastle) and play football."

Remie StreetePort Vale defender

Watch: The Queen and Me

Gary Andrews

Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

She's been on the throne for the past 64 years. 

With her 90th birthday approaching, a number of events are being held to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's birthday on 21 April.

As part of our coverage, we'd like to hear your stories and see pictures of when you met the Queen. 

Please email

In photos: Continental market makes a Stoke-on-Trent return

A continental market has made a return to Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent today.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council says this time it is offering free stalls to young local traders and performers.

View more on twitter

News: Ayeeshia Smith murder raised with PM; thieves steal £100k ornaments; van smashes into Cheshire house

Jack Dowling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main headlines for this afternoon include:

- Burton's MP has raised the murder of Ayeeshia Smith with the prime minister, calling for serious case reviews to be more independent

- A collection of rare ornaments worth up to £100,000 have been stolen in a Staffordshire burglary

- A van's crashed into the front of a house in Cheshire  

Watch: Swimming star Adam Peaty targets Olympic medals

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

Staffordshire's Adam Peaty says he wants to bring medals back from the Olympic Games.

Last night, the Uttoxeter star secured his place at Rio with gold at the British Swimming Championships in Glasgow.

Travel: A449 blocked

BBC Travel

There's very slow traffic southbound on the A449 around Gailey in Staffordshire after a crash. 

There's debris on the road, which is blocked for recovery work, affecting motriists heading for Standeford.

Weed smell on train jails 'edgy' dealer

Jennifer Meierhans

BBC News Online

A drug dealer from Staffordshire has been jailed after a train passenger texted police about a man who "smelled of weed" and was acting "on edge". 

Weed in paint pot
British Transport Police

The passenger described Daniel Sheldon and officers were waiting for him when he got off at Wolverhampton station on 4 March. 

The 33-year-old of Sowdley Green, Wheaton Aston, was carrying a kilo of cannabis in a large paint pot worth £5,000 and had £1,000 of cash on him, police said. 

He was jailed for 16 months after admitting intent to supply cannabis at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Monday.

BBC Weather Watcher pictures: Staffordshire sunset and sheep in Leek

Monica Rimmer

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

There's a huge variety in the kind of pictures our BBC Weather Watchers upload for us.

This sunset's come from Beachcomber in Kiddemore Green, Staffordshire.

Kiddemore Green, Staffordshire

While Videoman in Leek took this picture of sheep in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Want to be a BBC Weather Watcher? It's simple, just head to the website and sign up.

Sheep in Leek

Van crashes into Cheshire house

Lamont Howie

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

A van's crashed into the front of a house in Cheshire.

Van which hit house in Knutsford
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service say no-one was in the home on Manchester Road, Knutsford when it happened just after 06:00 this morning. 

Firefighters say the driver was treated by paramedics and they isolated gas and electricity supplies before calling out a structural engineer.

Watch: Ayeeshia Smith murder raised with prime minister

Euan Duncan

BBC Local Live

Burton's MP has raised the murder of Ayeeshia Smith with the prime minister, calling for serious case reviews to be more independent.   

The 21-month-old's mother Kathryn Smith, 23, was jailed for life earlier this week

In the Commons, Andrew Griffiths said the toddler was known to social services but not enough was done.

David Cameron said the crime "simply took your breath away" but said he would wait for the serious case review first to get to "the bottom of what went wrong".  

On Midlands Today this lunchtime: Football compensation and Citizen Khan on tour

BBC Midlands Today

We'll have the latest on a football fan getting compensation after being "repeatedly kneed in the head" by a police officer - and where Citizen Khan will be appearing in the Midlands as part of a comedy tour.  

Citizen Khan

Plenty to get stuck into, you can see it all from 13:30 on BBC One.

Biker took cocktail of drugs before death crash

Express and Star

A 25-year-old motorcyclist who had consumed alcohol and taken a cocktail of drugs before getting on his bike, lost control of it and hit a tree just moments after waving at a friend, an inquest heard.  

Daniel Stephen Manning
Express and Star

Picture: Rescue for dog stuck for two days down rabbit hole

A dog's been rescued from a rabbit hole in Staffordshire after being stuck there for two days, the county's fire service says.

View more on twitter

Travel: Crash shuts A50 lane in Stoke-on-Trent

BBC Travel

A lane is shut on the A50 eastbound in Meir at the Tesco roundabout because of an accident.

Congestion is back to the Meir Tunnel Interchange.

News: Rare ornaments worth £100k stolen; train text leads police to drug dealer; rugby event to remember soldier

Jack Dowling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

This afternoon's main headlines for Staffordshire and Cheshire include:

- A collection of rare ornaments worth up to £100,000 have been stolen in a Staffordshire burglary

- A drug dealer from Staffordshire has been jailed after a train passenger texted police about a man who "smelled of weed" and was acting "on edge"

- A rugby tournament is to take place this weekend in memory of an army corporal who took her own life in Staffordshire after struggling with depression 

Staffordshire rugby event to remember army corporal

BBC Midlands Today

A rugby tournament is to take place this weekend in memory of an army corporal who took her own life in Staffordshire after struggling with depression. 

Charlotte Lloyd was found in a field in Stonnall in 2013. The 37-year-old played rugby for the army and also served with West Midlands Police. 

Her father has organised Saturday's tournament to raise money for the mental health charity MIND

It's against a backdrop of rising suicide rates across the West Midlands.  

Ornaments worth £100k stolen in Staffordshire raid

Jennifer Meierhans

BBC News Online

A collection of rare ornaments worth up to £100,000 have been stolen in a Staffordshire burglary.  

The Last Supper Capodimonte
Staffordshire Police

The haul, from Little Aston, near Sutton Coldfield, featured pieces by Italian porcelain manufacturers Capodimonte including the Resurrection of Christ, worth £12,000 and the Last Supper valued, at £6,000.

The burglary happened between Thursday 10 March and Saturday 12 March.

Police have launched a nationwide appeal to trace them.

Watch: Stoke and Staffordshire's afternoon weather

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

The BBC website also has the latest weather forecasts for any part of Staffordshire or Cheshire. 

Elections 2016: How to register to vote

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

There are elections taking place on 5 May but you will only be able to vote if you’ve registered to do so - and the deadline is next Monday.

Polling station sign
Getty Images

If you are not already registered, you can do so by visiting the following website:

And, if you want to find out more about the elections then you can visit the voter information website here: or the BBC News elections homepage:

More train disruption on the way between Stafford and Crewe

Train passengers are facing more disruption over the May bank holidays say Network Rail as they look to finish off upgrading the West Coast main line between Stafford and Crewe.

View more on twitter

Football: Shay Given 'ready' for Stoke City return

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Stoke City's goalkeeper Shay Given says he's ready to make his return to the first team this weekend if called on. 

Shay Given
Getty Images

The 39-year-old Republic of Ireland international injured his knee while playing for his country last October and hasn't played competitively since. 

Given told BBC Radio Stoke he's desperate to make his Stoke league debut.

I'm ready. I've not spoken to the gaffer about the situation, obviously he wanted me to play last week in the reserves and to be honest I was due to play again in the reserves on Saturday just gone but I'm ready."

Shay GivenStoke City goalkeeper

Mum posed as her 12-year-old daughter on Facebook to trap pervert

The Sentinel

A mum posed as her 12-year-old daughter to snare a father-of-five Facebook pervert grooming the schoolgirl for sexual pleasure.

Hanford Park, where Michael Hulme, inset, arranged to meet one of the 12-year-old girls
The Sentinel

Stafford warehouse blaze cause 'known' by fire service

Emma Thomas

Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

Staffordshire's fire service says it now knows the cause of a major fire at a warehouse in Stafford last month, but is not yet making that public.

It involved up to 40,000 litres of oil and at its height more than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze.

Witnesses described barrels exploding, as this footage from the Express & Star newspaper captured.

Footage from the Express & Star newspaper

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service says a formal report will be published on the fire at Aston Fields Industrial Estate in the near future.

The Environment Agency meanwhile says work is still ongoing to stop oil polluting water courses in the area.

Your pictures: Birds spotted in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

A theme of birds in these couple of pictures which have been sent in of Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Firstly this one's from Vickie Whitaker in Chesterton, Staffordshire. 

Bird on fence
Vickie Whitaker

While Chris Hollingworth took this picture at Westport Lake, Stoke-on-Trent.

Always a pleasure to get your photos and you can send them in on email, tweet @BBCRadioStoke or use Instagram and add #bbcstoke to the description.

Westport Lake in Jan 2016
Chris Hollingworth

News: Hundreds of 'dangerous dogs' seized; warehouse blaze cause 'known'; Rio place secured by Peaty

Lee Blakeman

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

The main headlines this morning include:

- Figures obtained by the BBC show that over 200 dogs suspected of being banned breeds have been seized across Staffordshire and Cheshire in the last three years

- Staffordshire's fire service says it now knows the cause of a major fire at a warehouse in Stafford last month

- Uttoxeter swimmer Adam Peaty secured his place at the Rio Olympics with gold at the British Swimming Championships in Glasgow