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Summary

  1. Seven schools closed and others partially shut due to teachers' strike
  2. Boy's death 'could have been prevented', court hears
  3. Footballer loses legs in hit-and-run
  4. Weather: Mainly dry with a top temperature of 21C (70F)
  5. News, sport, travel, weather and other updates resume on Wednesday at 08:00

Live Reporting

By Philippa Taylor

All times stated are UK

That's it for Tuesday's Suffolk Live

Our main story today has been the tragic news of a footballer who had both his legs amputated.

Shaun Whiter had gone to help a friend whose car had a flat tyre in Newmarket on Friday night, and both men were seriously injured when a hit-and-run driver crashed into their vehicles.

We'll bring you reaction tomorrow from Shaun's aunt, as well as police who are leading the investigation to try to find the driver responsible.

For coverage of this and Suffolk's other top stories, don't forget you can scroll down to see what's been happening across the county.

Overnight weather: Quite chilly as skies clear

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Any areas of cloud will clear away overnight, with temperatures dropping to 9C (49F).

Wednesday's weather map
BBC

It will be a chilly start to Wednesday, with some patchy mist and fog. It'll warm up during the day though, and stay dry.

Top temperature: 20C (68F).

Get the full forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

Mother gives evidence at optometrist trial

Kevin Burch

BBC Look East

Vinnie Barker's mother Joanne told the jury at Ipswich Crown Court that she had no idea her son had hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid in the brain.

During the visit to Boots the Opticians in Ipswich, both her son and daughter had retinal images taken. They were free and the children were told they would make their eyes "look like Mars". 

She said she wasn't shown the resulting pictures and they weren't discussed at any point, adding: "I suppose, naively, I didn't question it at the time." 

She said she was told Vinnie's eyes were perfectly normal, which surprised her, because she'd suspected he might have needed glasses, as he'd been having headaches. 

Vinnie, 8, died on 13 July 2012. Optometrist Honey Rose, 35, denies a charge of gross negligence manslaughter.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

The 'spine-tingling' discovery of previously unseen Beatrix Potter drawings

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

A series of drawings by Beatrix Potter are set to go on display for the first time since they were discovered hidden inside books at the National Trust's Melford Hall.

Chamber Room
National Trust
Fireplace
National Trust

Potter was a regular visitor to the hall and used to take extended holidays there between 1899 and 1916.

Josephine Waters, house manager, found three of the drawings during conservation work.

"It was an absolutely spine-tingling moment," she said.

"I remember all the hairs on the back on my neck stood up as we realised what we’d found. Working with a collection like this, it was a dream come true."

Mirror Signal in Canada

Richard Haugh

BBC Introducing in Suffolk

Staying with music, it's been an extraordinary week for Steven Barker, aka Mirror Signal.

The Suffolk singer was picked to represent BBC Introducing at the Montreal Jazz Festival, having impressed both us at BBC Introducing in Suffolk and Radio 2 presenter Jamie Cullum.

View more on instagram

Steven is an incredibly talented artist, but his success goes to show what can happen if you take the time to add your music to the BBC Uploader.

Who knows what it could lead to?

BBC Introducing to host stage at Latitude

Richard Haugh

BBC Introducing in Suffolk

The Latitude Festival has announced that it will have a new stage at this year's event - hosted by BBC Introducing.

Latitude Festival
Getty Images

The new stage will present "classical, world, jazz, country and folk music" that has been suggested by the 36 local BBC Introducing shows around the country. Iosif Purits, Vincent Burke, and Joy Atlas are among the acts playing.

Don't forget that the BBC Introducing in Suffolk show has also picked three acts to play at the festival, which starts a week on Thursday. AYA, Muckaniks and Oktoba will be performing on the Lake Stage.

Cricket update: Suffolk's lead cut to 119

Cambridgeshire had made 222 for 4 after 70 overs, at tea, on the final day of Suffolk's Minor Counties Championship Match at Copdock.

The away side had earlier been set a victory target of 342.

Man arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving following A12 crash

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

A lorry driver, a man in his 30s, has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving following a collision on the A12.

The incident between a car and two lorries was close to the Copdock roundabout and happened just before midday.

The young woman driving the car, believed to be in her 20s, was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital with serious injuries.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

Travel update: Delays around A12

BBC Travel

We understand that all lanes have now reopened on the A12 southbound from J33 (A1214), but the earlier diversion has been having a knock-on effect on roads in the area, with long delays also being reported on the A12 northbound from J31 (East Bergholt).

There's very slow traffic:

  • Northbound on B1113 in Sproughton, between A1071 and Burstall Lane
  • Northbound on A137 in Tattingstone, between Station Road and Wherstead

There are also reports of delays for drivers on the A1214 Yarmouth Road in Ipswich, between Bramford Road and Norwich Road.

Optometrist worked as a self-employed locum

As Jonathan Rees, the prosecutor in the trial of Honey Rose continues to set out his case, the jury has heard that Honey Rose qualified as an optometrist in India in 2005, the same year she came to the UK.

She told police that in 2007 she did an optometry course at university.

Mr Rees said Ms Rose had said she passed her exams and registered as an optometrist with the General Optical Council in July 2010. 

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Ms Rose said she worked as a self-employed locum for companies such as Specsavers and Boots, as and when they required her services.

Doubt raised over images seen by optometrist during eye test

The jury was told that Honey Rose was interviewed under caution by two police officers in March 2013. 

Prosecuting, Jonathan Rees said that when she was shown the retinal images taken of Vinnie Barker on February 15 2012, she said they were not the ones she had seen because they showed a "completely pathological problem" which would have caused her to make an emergency referral that day. 

Ipswich Crown Court heard that she said it looked like the findings she recorded that day related to 2011 images of Vinnie's eyes, and she suggested that she had been shown those instead of the 2012 images.

Vinnie Barker's mother 'told optometrist he'd been suffering from headaches'

Prosecuting, Jonathan Rees told the jury about the morning Vinnie's mother, Joanne Barker, took him and his younger sister for the routine eye tests at Boots the Opticians, in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich.

At the start of the test, Mrs Barker recalls that she told Ms Rose that Vinnie had suffered headaches over the previous Christmas.

Mr Rees said Vinnie showed no signs of being sensitive to the light and "nothing was mentioned by the defendant about there being any problem whilst conducting the tests or examination".

Optometrist trial jury shown photographs of consulting room

The jury at the Ipswich Crown Court trial of optometrist Honey Rose, who denies a charge of gross negligence manslaughter relating to the death of eight-year-old Vinnie Barker in July 2012, has been shown a number of photographs of the room where Vinnie's consultation took place:

Consulting room
Suffolk Constabulary
Consulting room
Suffolk Constabulary

The scene on the A12

This photograph of the A12 was taken by one of our colleagues within the past hour.

A woman has been airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge after the car she was in crashed with two lorries on the A12 at Copdock at lunchtime.

A12 following crash
BBC

Waveney Council defends pay-and-display overpayment income

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

Waveney District Council has defended its use of pay-and-display machines which don't provide change, and resulted in a £41,000 boost to its income last year.

Car park machine in Halesworth
BBC

A spokesman said: "The£41,225 which Waveney received in overpayments during 2014-15 is only around only 2.5% of total Pay and Display (P&D) income.

"However, the cost of installing, managing and maintaining change-providing machines would far outstrip this figure and the machines we use are therefore a far cheaper use of public money. 

"All car parking ticket income (including overpayments) is treated exactly the same in terms of council funds and is added to general funds to be re-invested to help maintain car parking services and other local amenities."

Woman airlifted to hospital after crash with lorries

A woman has been airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge after the car she was in crashed with two lorries on the A12 at Copdock, police have said.

The crash happened at lunchtime.

The BBC understands that the driver of one of the lorries has been arrested.

Footballer who lost legs was due to start pre-season training

The secretary of Newmarket Town FC confirmed both of Shaun Whiter's legs had been amputated following the crash on Friday.

"He was due to begin pre-season training this evening," he told the BBC. "We are in shock, absolutely devastated."

Both Newmarket FC and Cambridgeshire club Soham Town Rangers have tweeted their support for the players, describing them as "great guys".

A Crowdfunding page set up to help both men has raised almost £5,000.

View more on twitter

Footballer loses legs in hit-and-run

A footballer who went to help a friend in a broken-down car has had both his legs amputated after a hit-and-run driver crashed into their vehicles.  

Newmarket Town FC
Google

Shaun Whiter drove to help his friend fix a flat tyre in Newmarket on Friday night. Both were pinned against their cars when another smashed into them.

Mr Whiter, who was due to begin training with Newmarket Town FC, has lost both legs below the knee.

Joey Abbs, who plays for Soham, sustained a "serious" leg injury.

The crash happened on Dullingham Road at about 22:55.

Call for transparency over pay-and-display overpayments

The chairman of Lowestoft Vision, the group which runs the town centre, says he'd like to know how Waveney District Council is spending the extra money it generates from parking machines which don't give change.

Lowestoft town centre
BBC

Speaking in response to the news that Waveney received a massive parking overpayment boost last year, Danny Steel said: "It would be nice to know what the £41,000 is being spent on, because that's not particularly clear.

"We would certainly like the money to be ploughed back into improving the town centre and not disappearing into some black hole."

We'll bring you Waveney Council's response shortly.

Cricket update: Suffolk lead by 240 at lunch

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

I still make Suffolk slight favourites for victory in their latest Minor Counties Championship match at Copdock, but Cambridgeshire are making a fight of it.

The away side are 101 for 2 at lunch on the final day, having earlier been set a victory target of 342.

Jed Cawkwell was Suffolk's star yesterday, as he made 143 with the bat in only his third match for the county.

Council's £41,000 parking overpayment boost

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

Waveney District Council scooped a parking machine change bonanza of more than £41,000 in 2015.

The authority made £41,224 from pay and display machines which don't give change.

Pay here at machine sign
BBC

Elsewhere across Suffolk, the following councils also made substantial amounts:

  • St Edmundsbury - £21,428
  • Suffolk Coastal - £16,977
  • Ipswich Borough - £17,587

Vinnie Barker died after feeling sick at school

Ipswich Crown Court heard that on July 13, 2012, Vinnie Barker was sick in school and his mother was contacted about collecting him. 

He was brought home but deteriorated during the afternoon. Emergency services were called that night and he was taken to accident and emergency. 

Paramedics and an emergency team tried to resuscitate Vinnie, but he was formally pronounced dead at Ipswich Hospital.

Optometrist's conduct was 'criminal' say prosecution

Back to Ipswich Crown Court, where Honey Rose is on trial and denies a charge of gross negligence manslaughter relating to the death of eight-year-old Vinnie Barker.

Prosecuting, Jonathan Rees told the jury: "At the heart of the prosecution case against the defendant is the allegation that the defendant's failure to detect the swollen optic discs and refer Vinnie on for further investigation was grossly negligent - key phrase in this case - on her part.

"Given the risk of death involved, her conduct was so bad in all of the circumstances - it fell so far below the standards to be expected of a competent optometrist - that it was criminal."

Travel: A12 update - northbound carriageway about to be closed

Further to the news we've just brought you about the A12 being closed southbound between J33 (A1214 Copdock) and J32B (Belstead), police have just told us they're about to close the northbound carriageway to allow the air ambulance to land.

We'll bring you any further updates as we get them.

Travel: Crash closes A12 southbound at Copdock

BBC Travel

The A12 is closed southbound in Ipswich between J33 (A1214 Copdock) and J32B (Belstead) because of a crash involving a car and a lorry.

Cricket update: Suffolk set Cambridgeshire 342 to win

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Suffolk's cricketers were all out for 328 in their second innings this morning, on the final day of their Minor Counties Championship match with Cambridgeshire.

They have therefore set the away side a victory target of 342. Cambridgeshire were 45-1 a moment ago.

Optometrist trial: Honey Rose 'had duty of care' for patient

Jonathan Rees, prosecuting, told Ipswich Crown Court: "The prosecution allege that Vinnie's death was preventable, and would have been prevented had the defendant, Ms Rose, done her job properly."

Honey Rose
Archant

Jurors heard that post-mortem examinations of Vinnie Barker showed the cause of death was hydrocephalus - a build-up of fluid in the brain which led to an increase in pressure within his skull and, ultimately, his collapse and death. 

They were told that Ms Rose owed a duty of care to her patients. This included a duty to carry out a competent examination of the eye, and a duty to make an urgent referral if any injury or disease was detected.

Optometrist trial: Court hears boy's death could have been prevented

The death of an eight-year-old boy could have been prevented if an eye specialist had "done her job properly", Ipswich Crown Court has heard.

Vincent Barker
Barker family

Vincent Barker, known as Vinnie, died on 13 July 2012. It was around five months after he was taken to have a routine eye test at Boots the Opticians, in Upper Brook Street in the town.

The conduct of optometrist Honey Rose, 35, fell so far below the standards expected that it was "criminal", prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said.

Ms Rose, from Newham, east London, denies a charge of gross negligence manslaughter.

Teachers' strike: Your thoughts

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

We asked earlier if you had any thoughts about today's strike by members of the NUT over school funding.

David Stone has sent us an email, saying: "The tragedy about any strike is that the adverse effect such action causes seldom, if ever, causes any problems for those to whom the action is aimed.

"I feel sorry for the working parents who will struggle with how to cope, and the employers who will suddenly be short of staff.

"I have some sympathy for the reasons behind the strike but do not think this is the best way to deal with it – at the expense of 'the innocent'."

Pringle signs for Preston

TWTD.co.uk

Preston North End have confirmed the signing of former Blues loanee Ben Pringle from Fulham for an undisclosed fee.

Trial of optometrist charged with manslaughter expected to begin

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

An optometrist is expected to go on trial today at Ipswich Crown Court, charged with manslaughter by gross negligence, relating to the death of an eight-year-old boy from the town.

Ipswich Crown Court
BBC

Vincent Barker, known as Vinnie, died at his home in Ipswich in July 2012.

Honey Rose, 35, from east London, denies the charge. The trial is expected to last for three weeks.

Rare Beatrix Potter drawings found hidden in bookcase at Melford Hall

Suffolk Free Press

Hidden inside books and discovered during conservation work, a series of secret drawings by Beatrix Potter are set to go on display for the first time after they were found at Melford Hall.

Suffolk's cricketers in charge at Copdock

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

After a poor start to their latest Minor Counties Championship match at Copdock, Suffolk's cricketers are now favourites to seal victory on the final day.

They dismissed Cambridgeshire for just 137 yesterday before making 317 for 8 in their second innings, to lead by 330 at stumps. 

Jed Cawkwell was the man of the day with the bat, scoring an impressive 143 in only his third match for the county.

Tuesday's weather: Mainly dry with sunny spells

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

It'll be breezy this morning, with outbreaks of light rain and drizzle clearing. The rest of the day will then be dry with some warm sunny spells developing, but we could see the odd shower or two.

Top temperature: 21C (70F).

It will be dry and largely clear this evening and overnight, with a chance of some patchy mist or fog in rural locations around the Orwell and Deben estuaries. Minimum temperature: 9C (48F).

Get the full forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

Which schools are closed today?

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

We've been talking about the strike action being taken by members of the NUT today, over school funding, and have said that as well as a number of schools that are partially closed, seven are completely shut.

These are:

  • Coldfair Green Community Primary
  • Combs Ford Primary
  • Great Finborough C of E Voluntary Controlled Primary
  • Ranelagh Primary
  • Riverwalk 
  • Rushmere Hall
  • Westley Middle (pictured)
Westley Middle School
Google

Head of special school says it's 'very difficult' to feel sympathy for strike action

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

The head teacher of the Riverwalk School in Bury St Edmunds, one of those closed due to strike action by the NUT over school funding, has told BBC Suffolk: "It's very difficult to feel sympathy for strike action. However, they are professionals and they have that right."

Riverwalk School
Google

Jan Hatchell said she had to close the special school, which caters for children aged two to 19, because of the risk to the children. They are on three different sites and over 90% of staff are in the NUT.

"I cannot juggle classes, and I certainly can't cover three different sites all by myself," she said.

"I can understand why teachers are wanting to address the issue and that's where my sympathy lies, with the need to address the issue of funding because it's very, very poor."

NUT explains why it's taking strike action

Kelly McCormack

BBC Radio Suffolk

The secretary of the NUT in Suffolk says the union is taking strike action today because school budgets are not keeping pace with rising costs.

Primary school children
BBC

Graham White says schools are having to provide a really good education for pupils, with nearly l0% less funding.

"How are you going to provide the resources, how are you going to provide the teachers?" he said.

"Class size will go up, the curriculum gets cut, this is not what we want for education. We want the very best for our children, not something that is cost based, do-it-on-the-cheap approach."

Welcome to Suffolk Live

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

Good morning.

More than 2,000 children in Suffolk are getting a day off school today, as members of the National Union of Teachers stage a one-day strike over school funding.

Seven schools are shut completely, with a number of others partially closed.

We'll bring you reaction from the NUT itself, and hear from the headteacher of one of the schools that's closed.

If you'd like to give us your thoughts, you can send us an email, or post a message on our Facebook page.

NUT members with placards
Reuters