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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Kris Holland

    BBC Radio Northampton

    Thanks for joining us as we come to the end of another week on BBC Local Live: Northamptonshire.

    We return on Tuesday with regular updates.

    Have a great bank holiday weekend, and don't forget you can tune in to BBC Radio Northampton's live commentary from Franklin's Gardens for the Saints v Stade Francais clash, which is one of the many things you can read about if you scroll down this page...

  2. Our live coverage across the day

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    That's it for the Local Live news feed for Beds, Herts and Bucks for this week.

    As it's a Bank Holiday on Monday, we won't actually be back with regular updates until 08:00 on Tuesday.

    We hope you all have a great long weekend, and the hot weather stays around (unless you have fields or gardens which need rain).

    Not forgetting to wish good luck to Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton in Sunday's Monaco F1 grand prix...

  3. Our live coverage for the day

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    That's it for our live coverage for today and indeed this week. Thanks for your company.

    As it's a Bank Holiday weekend, we'll be back on Tuesday from 08:00.

    Until then, scroll down thorugh today's page for anything you may have missed.

    Have a great (hopefully sunny) weekend and see you next week.

  4. Airlander testing could move to a new site

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    The world's longest airship, The Airlander 10, could carry out some test flights from RAF Henlow later in the summer.

    Currently all testing is taking place at Cardington Airfield just outside of Bedford.

    Hybrid Air Vehicles, the company behind the craft, say discussions are taking place for heavy lift trials to take place there, but nothing is confirmed.

    They told me it's because they need a "larger airfield" than is available at Cardington, as they need more space when the craft is heavier.


    They also also stated that they've completed a "comprehensive post-flight inspection" after their third flight and everything has "come out very positively".

    There's still no news when the next flights will take place.

  5. Teaching assistant jailed for child sex offences

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    A former teaching assistant at a school in Corby has been jailed for three years after admitting 15 sexual offences against children as young as 13.

    Northampton Crown Court heard that Stuart Baker, 40, who used to work at Corby Business Academy, used a fake Facebook profile to pose as a 14-year-old girl and befriend teenage boys.

    Stuart Baker

    He persuaded five of them to send him explicit photos of themselves over a period of about 18 months.

    Baker had previously pleaded guilty to 10 charges of inciting children to engage in sexual activity and a further five relating to the making and distribution of indecent images of children.

    Judge Timothy Smith said: "A significant amount of planning had gone into this deception. You exploited these boys. This was a breach of trust as a high level teaching assistant."

    The court was told that it had caused his victims psychological harm.

    Baker was also banned from working with children and put on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

  6. Opening of Hertfordshire splash park delayed

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    On what could be a very hot weekend, the opening of a brand new splash park in Hertfordshire has has to be delayed.

    The new "tropical island" in Kings George Recreation Ground in Bushey was due to open tomorrow, but a problem with the electrical circuit board means it's now on hold.

    There's no news when it will open but Hertsmere Borough Council hopes it wil be "as soon as possible".

    The fault was discovered during final testing today.

    Splash park
  7. Mosque collection after terror attack

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    The region's biggest mosque is fundraising today for families of the victims of Monday's terror attack in Manchester.

    People praying

    The Faizan e Madina Mosque on Gladstone Street in Peterborough is expecting more than 2,000 people to attend prayers and to make a donation.

    Abdul Choudhuri, chair of the mosque, says that "the hope is a fair bit of money will be collected to give to those people".

    Collection outside mosque

    "We want to show solidarity to the families who have lost loved ones," he said.

    "We are very hurt that these people [the terrorists] are calling themselves Muslim.

    "Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslim."

  8. Trespassing raccoon 'friendly and inquisitive'

    A raccoon, which was found in a house in Northampton after getting in through the cat flap earlier this month, is settling in to his new RSPCA home.

    The animal charity believes he was an abandoned pet and it has produced a video of him at its Stapeley Grange centre in Cheshire which you can watch by clicking here.


    The charity said he will be rehoused in a more specialised facilities once he is neutered and vaccinated.

    Lee Stewart, Stapeley Grange manager, said: "We must stress that raccoons really don't make good pets.

    "They are wild animals and we would strongly discourage people from buying or keeping one.

    "They are nocturnal and need a great deal of space so their needs cannot be met in a typical domestic environment."

  9. Drink driver who killed pedestrian is jailed

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    A drink driver who killed a pedestrian in Wisbech has been jailed for more than six years.

    Michael Johnson (pictured), 51, was driving a Rover 75 when he hit 49-year-old Arturas Matuzevicius in Kirkgate Street on 21 March.

    Michael Johnson

    Mr Matuzevicius of Lilac Close in Wisbech, died at the scene.

    Johnson, of Waterlees Road in the town, was nearly four times over the drink-drive limit.

    Yesterday, Johnson pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving whilst over the prescribed limit and causing death by driving whilst unlicensed at Huntingdon Crown Court.

    He was sentenced to six years and six months in prison and disqualified from driving for 13 years and three months.

    PC Peter Bimson said: "Johnson decided to make that journey knowing he was unlicensed and in excess of the drink-drive limited.

    "He showed a complete lack of regard for his safety and that of other innocent people. Tragically that decision led to the death of Mr Matuzevicius."

  10. Laura Kenny targets 2020 cycling medals

    BBC Sport

    Hertfordshire's Olympic champion Laura Kenny says she expects to be back competing in the velodrome at Tokyo 2020.

    The 25-year-old is taking a break from the sport as she's expecting her first child later this summer.

    "I feel like I'm almost wishing my life away, because I want it here now," said Kenny during a visit to to St Matthew's Church of England Primary School in Nechells in Birmingham.

    "After that I'm going to give myself at least six weeks completely off after, get myself back going again.

    "I don't want to rush into it, I want to enjoy my new life.

    "It might take me a year before I race again, but yeah, Tokyo is definitely on the cards.”

    Laura Kenny with school children
  11. Saints v Stade: Team news as Wood returns as captain

    BBC Sport

    England back row Tom Wood returns to captain Northampton in the Saints' only change for tonight's Champions Cup play-off against Stade Francais.

    The 30-year-old, who missed the play-off semi-final win over Connacht with a back injury picked up against Harlequins earlier this month, replaces Jamie Gibson at open-side flanker.

    He is joined in the back row by Louis Picamoles and Teimana Harrison.

    Captain Sergio Parisse will miss the match for Stade Francais.

    Tom Wood
    Image caption: Wood took over the captaincy from Lee Dickson, who is on the bench for Saints tonight

    However, the French team are strengthened by the return of Australian scrum-half Will Genia.

    France international Jules Plisson is preferred to Springbok rival Morne Steyn at fly-half, while prop Rabah Slimani is on the bench.

    South African Jonathan Ross, who will join Sale at the start of next season, comes in to replace Parisse at number eight.

    Victory will assure Northampton of a ninth successive season of top-flight European rugby.

    Saints finished bottom of their pool, behind Leinster, Montpellier and Castres this campaign.

  12. Manchester attack: Vigil to be held in Bedford

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    A "Vigil for Manchester" is taking place in Bedford this evening.

    The event, organised by the Bedford Council Of Faiths, starts at 18:00.

    The Mayor of Bedford, David Hodgson, and the Bishop of Bedford, the Right Reverend Richard Atkinson, have been confirmed as speakers, as well as representatives from the Muslim faith, Friends of Refugees and the Quakers.

    Anyone is welcome to come along.

    Manchester bombing tributes

    Twenty two people, including a number of children, died in Monday's suicide attack at Manchester Arena.

  13. Cobblers' Wembley win remembered in special programme

    Wednesday marked 20 years since Northampton Town Football Club beat Swansea City 1-0 in the Division Three (now League Two) play-off final.


    John Frain's 93rd minute free-kick helped the Cobblers cap their centenary season with promotion in front of over 32,000 of their supporters under Wembley's twin towers.

    Tonight from 18:00, BBC Radio Northampton presents a special programme with memories of the day from former manager Ian Atkins and captain Ray Warburton.

    Several of the players, including Frain, will also feature on the show, along with the BBC Radio Northampton commentators that day, Mike Sewell and Tim Oglethorpe.

  14. Luton Carnival will be 'safe'

    Kate Bradbrook

    BBC Look East

    Security has also been stepped up for the annual Luton Carnival on Sunday.

    It comes after the terror attacks in Manchester on Monday and a number of stabbings that happened after the event last year.

    Robin Porter from Luton Borough Council says it's a "family-friendly fun event" and he told me he's looking forward to bringing his own family.

    Luton Carnival

    He said: "The police have done a sterling job, they have got extra resources on the ground this weekend.

    "Crowds are at times scary and after the very, very shocking and sobering events of this week we are absolutely clear that this needs to be a safe event."

  15. Northampton Saints prepare for Champions Cup showdown

    Graham McKechnie

    BBC Radio Northampton sport

    Northampton Saints are in the second chance saloon as they take on French club Stade Francais in the European Rugby Champions Cup play-off final at Franklin's Gardens tonight.

    Both clubs missed out on automatic qualification after they finished outside the top six in their respective domestic leagues.

    Saints finished the Premiership season in seventh, and beat Irish club Connacht 21-15 in Saturday's play-off semi-final.

    "We've got one more game now and it's going to be difficult," said Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

    "We know where we are at. This is it. It's a big game, against a big team and they have got some class acts. But so have we - and the players are really looking forward to that competition."

    The green, black & gold - European champions in 2000 - have competed in eight successive seasons of top-flight European rugby, but finished bottom of their pool, behind Leinster, Montpellier and Castres this campaign.

    There will be increased security at Franklin's Gardens after the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena on Monday.

    This was the scene at the Gardens earlier this afternoon, bathed in sunshine...

    View more on twitter

    BBC Radio Northampton has full commentary of the match, which kicks-off at 19:45, with build-up from 19:00 available here (UK Only).

  16. Luton gets into the Carnival spirit

    Kate Bradbrook

    BBC Look East

    The sun is out, and preparations are well under way for the 41st Luton Carnival on Sunday.

    Tens of thousands are expected to the annual event, which starts at 12:00.

    About 20 floats are expected to parade around Wardown Park and I've been lucky enough to get a sneaky peak at some of the costumes.

    View more on twitter
  17. Video: 'My carelessness killed my dogs'

    A man whose three dogs "slowly cooked" to death in a hot car has spoken about the devastating impact his actions have had.

    Jonathan Theobald, 66, left his dogs Daisy, Rascal and Mitch in the car for more than four hours on 16 June 2016 while he went to a gym.

    Almost a year later, speaking about what happened that day reduced him to tears.

    Video content

    Video caption: Peterborough hot car dog death owner speaks about his 'carelessness'

    "My carelessness killed them," he said in a video released by the RSPCA for its campaign "Dogs die in hot cars".

    "I got it badly wrong," he said, recalling the day temperatures reached 16-19C (61-66F) with high humidity levels.

    The RSPCA said that day was overcast, and would not have seemed particularly hot, but it would have been far hotter inside the vehicle.

    An RSPCA spokesman said: "[They] would have overheated, they would have had fits. They may have slowly cooked, essentially."

    In September 2016, Theobold admitted causing unnecessary suffering to his three dogs and was sentenced to 18 weeks in jail, suspended for two years.

    He was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

    Theobald has taken full responsibility for what happened, but said without his dogs "the house feels painfully empty".

  18. Manchester attack: Wellingborough to hold vigil for victims

    A vigil for the victims of the Manchester bombing will be held in Wellingborough tonight.

    The event has been organised by the town's Inter Faith Group, and take place from 18:00 in the town centre, opposite the Hind Hotel on Sheep Street.

    hind hotel in wellingborough

    The organisers say they're keen to invite people of all faiths and none to come together to show solidarity with those suffering in Manchester.

    Mohiuddin Choudhury, from the Shahjalal Jame Masjid mosque, said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families at this time.

    "This is a horrific and criminal attack on innocent human life.

    "We want the perpetrators to face the toughest justice of the land and in the thereafter.

    "We pay tribute to our police force, other emergency services (such as fire services, ambulance services, doctors, and nurses) and those who played such important roles to save people’s lives and rushed to assist survivors and their families."

    Twenty two people, including a number of children, died in Monday's suicide attack at Manchester Arena.

  19. 'Sadistic' child abuser convicted

    A "sadistic" man who repeatedly abused a six-year-old girl, making her stand naked in front of a window and subjecting her to "water boarding", has been convicted of child cruelty.

    Garth Gatland, 39, of Austin Drive, Cambridge, also abused a boy, 15, making him hide drugs for him over a two-year period between 2014 and 2016.

    Gatland denied two counts of child cruelty, but was found guilty at Cambridge Crown Court on Thursday.

    He will be sentenced at a later date.

    Cambridge Crown Court

    His co-defendant Marie Maltby, 32, also of Austin Drive was found not guilty of two counts of child cruelty.

    A forensic scientist found traces of cocaine in the girl's hair, suggesting she had either "ingested cocaine or been exposed to it", Cambridgeshire Police said.

    Over the course of two years the girl was repeatedly hit with implements including a wooden spoon, made to stand in "stress positions" and regularly tipped out of her bed while she was sleeping, police added.

    Gatland would make her run for up to four-and-a-half hours barefoot on a treadmill so she would sleep at bedtime, officers said.

    The girl was covered with bruises and burns to her back, legs, feet and neck when the abuse was uncovered in October, after an acquaintance of Gatland reported it to police.

    "Gatland subjected his victims to a catalogue of sadistic abuse," Det Con Chris Down said.

  20. 'Dangerous sexual predator' jailed after sexual messages found of 11-year-old's phone

    Alistair Hodge, 28, was arrested after one of his 11-year-old victim’s parents discovered sexual messages sent by him to the girl.

    Today at Luton Crown Court he was jailed for 11 years.

    When police executed a search warrant at his home in Horace Close, Bedford, they seized a number of phones and computer devices and digital forensics officers found multiple indecent images of several children.

    Investigation Officer Amanda Dickson said: 2Hodge's computer devices contained images from the most severe category of child sexual abuse and there is no doubt that he is a dangerous sexual predator, so I am pleased he has received such a lengthy sentence for these sickening crimes.

    "He took advantage of a young girl, grooming her via messaging apps and intentionally inciting her to engage in sexual activity, as well as encouraging her to send indecent images of herself to him which he added to his sickening collection."