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Summary

  1. Serial stalker jailed for manslaughter
  2. Benefits cheat avoided £15K in M6 tolls
  3. Men cleared of murder get police pay-out
  4. Police officers cycle to National Memorial Arboretum to remember dead colleagues
  5. Updates on Friday 28 July 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Severe disruption: A50 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A50 Staffordshire both ways severe disruption, at A520 Sandon Road.

A50 Staffordshire - A50 Meir Tunnel in Meir closed and queuing traffic in both directions at Meir Tunnel Interchange, because of flooding.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: A51 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A51 Staffordshire both ways severe disruption, at Biddles Lane.

A51 Staffordshire - A51 in Cranberry blocked and queuing traffic in both directions at the Biddles Lane junction, because of an overturned vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: A5121 Staffordshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

A5121 Staffordshire eastbound severe disruption, between Sydney Street and Eton Road affecting Shakespeare Road.

A5121 Staffordshire - A5121 Derby Road in Burton Upon Trent closed and slow traffic eastbound between the Sydney Street junction and the Eton Road junction, because of a building fire. Congestion on Eton Road to the Shakespeare Road junction.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: A51 Cheshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A51 Cheshire both ways severe disruption, between A51 and A530 Beam Street.

A51 Cheshire - A51 Barony Road in Nantwich closed in both directions between Reaseheath Roundabout and the A530 Beam Street junction, because of a vehicle fire.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: A50 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A50 Staffordshire both ways severe accident, at Chadwick Street.

A50 Staffordshire - A50 Uttoxeter Road in Stoke-On-Trent blocked and queuing traffic in both directions at the Chadwick Street junction, because of an accident involving a car and a motorcycle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Amanda Blakeman and Laura Douglas

The team end their three-day charity bike ride ahead of a service at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Read more

Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe accident, between J14 for A34 and J15 for A500.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane blocked on M6 northbound between J14, A34 (Stafford North) and J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent), because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, between J16 for A500 Crewe and J17 for A534 Sandbach.

M6 Cheshire - One lane blocked on M6 northbound between J16, A500 (Crewe) and J17, A534 (Sandbach), because of a broken down car. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M42 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire southbound severe accident, at J10 for A5.

M42 Warwickshire - One lane closed on M42 southbound at J10, A5 (Tamworth), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M42 Leicestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Leicestershire southbound severe accident, between J11 for A42 and J10 for A5.

M42 Leicestershire - One lane closed on M42 southbound between J11, A42 (Burton Upon Trent) and J10, A5 (Tamworth), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: A460 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A460 Staffordshire southbound severe accident, between Voyager Drive and M6 Toll J7T.

A460 Staffordshire - A460 Eastern Way in Cannock closed southbound between the Voyager Drive junction and Churchbridge, because of a serious accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, between J16 for A500 Crewe and J17 for A534 Sandbach.

M6 Cheshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J16, A500 (Crewe) and J17, A534 (Sandbach), because of vehicle tyre change. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: A51 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A51 Staffordshire both ways severe accident, at A53 Newcastle Road.

A51 Staffordshire - A51 in Blackbrook blocked and very slow traffic in both directions at the A53 Newcastle Road junction, because of an accident involving lorry and a car.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Justene Reece

Justene Reece killed herself because her ex stalked her, leading to him being convicted of manslaughter.

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Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday.

Leek show returns to the Moorlands

BBC Radio Stoke

Thousands of people are expected to visit one of the biggest shows in the Staffordshire Moorlands tomorrow.

Leek Show
BBC

Leek Show is being staged at the Birchall Playing Fields and is described as when town meets country.

This is the second year the main show ring has been moved further down the grounds.

Football: Alex striker back in training

Crewe Alexandra striker Jordan Bowery could be in contention to be part of the squad for next week's opening game of the season.

Bowery is training today with the squad for the first time after a hernia operation.

Jordan Bowery
Empics

Football: Vale striker out with hamstring injury

Port Vale striker Tyrone Barnett (below right) has been ruled out of the first few months of the season with a hamstring injury.

Barnett only joined the club this summer, after signing on a two-year deal from AFC Wimbledon.

Tyrone Barnett
Getty Images

Watch: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Outbreaks of rain and strong winds will continue through tonight eventually clearing away to give a drier end to the night with clear spells.

It will remain on the mild side for most - lows of 14C (57F).

Weather for the West Midlands.

Plans to build shops and student accommodation submitted

BBC Radio Stoke

Plans have been submitted to redevelop Ryecroft in the centre of Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Retail units, student accommodation and parking are all part of the plans that will be built on the former Sainsbury's site, which is being used as a pay and display car park.

Ryecroft
Google

'Campaign of torment' had a devastating effect on Stafford woman

The "sustained campaign of torment" a Stafford woman suffered at the hands of an ex-partner led her to a point where she "was unable to endure his behaviour any longer", the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

After 47-year-old Nicholas Allen was jailed for the manslaughter of Justene Reece, Staffordshire Police said: "She changed from a very bubbly and loving person to someone who was timid, afraid, lethargic, and frightened to leave the house."

Justene Reece
Staffordshire Police handout

Stafford Crown Court heard that Allen had made around 3,500 attempts to contact Ms Reece after they split up in October last year.

This case illustrates the devastating effect that stalking can have on victims. It reaches into every aspect of their lives, causing acute distress and leaving them, and often their families, living in fear."

Hannah SidawayCrown Prosecution Service

'Legal first' as serial stalker jailed for manslaughter

In what is believed to be a legal first, a serial stalker who drove his ex-partner to kill herself has been jailed for 10 years, with another five years on licence, after admitting manslaughter.

Stafford Crown Court heard 47-year-old Nicholas Allen from Rugeley had bombarded 46-year-old Justene Reece with abusive voicemails, texts and Facebook messages after they split up in October.

Nicholas Allen
Staffordshire Police

She was found hanged at her home in February with a note saying she had "run out of fight" following six months of threats from him.

Allen pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to charges of manslaughter, coercive behaviour and stalking, accepting that his abuse led to her death.

You clearly caused her to lose her life and before that to experience, over a protracted period of time, what must have been a living nightmare... It is not suggested that you intended at any time that she should die but clearly you intended that she should suffer serious psychological harm."

Judge Michael Chambers QCRecorder of Stafford Crown Court
Linda Hoey

She claimed she could barely walk but investigators found photographs of Linda Hoey scuba diving and snorkelling.

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Analysis: Pollution data review

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Last year Cheshire East Council revealed a series of anomalies had been discovered between the actual findings from testing stations across the borough and the air quality data they sent to the government.

Now an external report says those errors were deliberate.

The wrong data was used to decide on some planning applications, and it's affected action the council's taken to clean up local air.

The council says it's doing everything it can to rectify the failings.

In terms of who is to blame and why they did it, there's no detail but the council says it's considering any HR issues.

Fire at industrial unit was 'deliberate'

A fire was deliberately started at an industrial unit on Wombourne Enterprise Park in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire Police says.

The force is appealing for witnesses.

The blaze at Wombourne Windows is thought to have begun late on Wednesday evening or in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The force said the fire was contained. A joint investigation is under way between its officers and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Wombourne
Google

Severe accident: M42 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, between J9 for M6 Toll and J10 for A5 affecting J7A for M6.

M42 Warwickshire - Queuing traffic and one lane closed on M42 northbound in Curdworth between J9, M6 Toll (Curdworth) and J10, A5 (Tamworth), because of an accident involving car and lorry. Travel time is 35 minutes. Congestion to J7a M6.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

'Deliberate and systematic' manipulation of pollution data

Cheshire East Council has apologised for "deliberate and systematic manipulation" of air pollution data in the borough over a three-year period up to 2014.

Exhaust
PA

The authority says an external review shows data from many of the collection tubes - which monitored nitrogen dioxide levels at around 100 sites - was altered.

A report says the inaccurate data may have influenced planning decisions in Crewe, Nantwich, Congleton, Sandbach and Holmes Chapel.

The council says it has since improved air quality measurement procedures, and is still deciding whether any staff will face disciplinary action.

Severe accident: M42 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire southbound severe accident, between J10 for A5 and J9 for M6 Toll affecting J11 for A42.

M42 Warwickshire - M42 blocked and queuing traffic southbound between J10, A5 (Tamworth) and J9, M6 Toll (Curdworth), because of an accident involving two vehicles. Congestion to J11, A42 (Burton Upon Trent).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Many issues stopping police recruit from ethnic communities

Cheshire's Police Federation says it's understandable why the force's chief constable would want to stretch the law as much as possible to employ more black officers.

Chief Constable Simon Byrne was responding to criticism of his force's lack of ethnicity - he said he'd be prepared to look into "as many ways as possible" to increase the quota of officers from different backgrounds.

Police officers marching
Getty Images

Brian Kennedy, who's the chair of the Police Federation in Cheshire, says he backs the idea, but believes there are many issues why people aren't coming forward.

There is a fear of having to work in a racist environment within the police, anticipated isolation, the danger of the job, fear of abuse from the public in carrying out the role, failure to fit in and anticipated reaction of family and friends."

Brian KennedyPolice Federation in Cheshire

Community groups urged to apply for grant funding

Staffordshire Newsletter

A new grants scheme funded by Stafford Borough Council, working in conjunction with The Community Foundation for Staffordshire has given away nearly £3,000 at a presentation – and is now inviting other community organisations to make their applications.

Alzheimer's drug trial

A Staffordshire mental health trust is helping to develop a drug which is hoped could slow the onset of Alzheimer's Disease.

St George's Hospital in Stafford is trialling the use of a pill that's usually given to people with high blood pressure.

It's one of 22 other sites involved in the UK-led research study. The trust is looking for people with the disease who would be willing to take part in the year-long trial.

Police Unity Tour honours PC Keith Palmer

Officers from across the UK take part in a charity cycle ride to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Read more

Football: Hughes stays silent on signing 'the Ox'

BBC Radio Stoke Sport

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says being linked to Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shows they're targeting top quality players.

Reports this week suggested Stoke were ready to break their transfer record to land the 23-year-old.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Getty Images

Hughes wouldn't be drawn on the speculation surrounding Chamberlain but he says they're working hard to strengthen their squad.

Your pictures: Rainbow and fields

BBC Weather Watchers

Here's a lovely picture of a rainbow peeking through some clouds in Alton.

It was taken by Terry Eyre.

Alton
Terry Eyre

This picture next was taken by Videoman in Leek. It features some lush-looking green fields.

If you have picture you'd like to share, you can sign up and become a BBC Weather Watcher here.

Leek
Videoman

Your comments: Surgeon has hair shaved off for charity

The BBC Radio Stoke Facebook page shared a great video of a former Stoke-on-Trent surgeon Satyendra Singh who had his hair shaved off for charity.

Many of you think he's done a wonderful thing.

Hair shave
BBC

What a wonderful thing to do in order to make a difference to others by raising cash for charity. Good luck with your fund raising."

Christine Chappell

Great to see 'The Master Signature' at work! Excellent"

Wayne Ellington

Fantastic!

Deborah Bomberg

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J11 for A460 and J10A for M54.

M6 Staffordshire - Slow traffic on M6 southbound between J11, A460 (Cannock) and J10a M54, because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time