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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Our live coverage for the day

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    That's it for live updates today, and for this week. Thanks for joining us.

    We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday.

    Scroll down through this page to find out what you've missed.

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Our live coverage across the week

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    Regular updates for Beds, Herts & Bucks have now ended for the day, and week, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

    You can of course scroll down to read anything you may have missed.

    Have a great weekend.

  3. And finally - it's that three-legged cat again

    Helen Burchell

    BBC News

    You might remember we've told you before about Jasper, the three-legged cat who's become a favourite with Cambridge University students?

    Jasper and student

    He's become the ultimate stress-reliever for students at the Marshall Library of Economics, where they've just run their latest "tea with Jasper" afternoon.

    Taking tea with a three-legged bundle of fluff has proved a hit again, with students posting their favourite pictures on the library's Twitter feed.

    View more on twitter

    Isn't he adorable?

  4. Kidnap victim 'burned, bruised and beaten' and ends up with 68 injuries

    A kidnapped man was "burned, bruised and beaten" as part of a 30-hour ordeal, a court has heard.

    Gun used against victim

    As we've been reporting, six men have been jailed for kidnapping a 20-year-old man on Downs Road, Luton, on 20 June 2016.

    Luton Crown Court heard the victim had a live shotgun put in his mouth, had his knees beaten with a mallet, had cigarettes stubbed out on his arm.

    He was also stunned with a Taser-like weapon and gagged and beaten with a knife. One defendant also threatened to rape him.

    Here is a transcript of part of the ransom call:

    Offender: "Don’t mug me off. It’s gonna get really bad now innit cuz this kid’s no use to me, so I might as well put him out of his misery. Know what I’m saying?”

    Relative of victim: "Listen don’t hurt him, he’s not done anything wrong.”

    Offender: "Listen, I’m going to lay it down to you straight, get the gear and I’ll give you a call back, else you’re losing him, and I’m coming for you next.

    "Forget this kid, you should be worried what I’m going to do after this kid.”

    Shotgun used against victim

    The court heard their victim had 68 separate injuries, although none were described as individually serious.

    Det Ch Insp Adam Gallop said: "These six men were part of an organised crime group, and I’m pleased that they are now facing such a lengthy stint behind bars for their violent and unacceptable actions last June.

    "This was a completely terrifying experience for the victim, a completely innocent young man who was just going about his day to day business when he got dragged off the streets of Luton. "Fortunately he was not seriously harmed and I hope that today’s sentencing will allow him to move on from this ordeal.

    "The strong sentences delivered today send a very clear message – offend in this way, and you risk spending a very long time locked up away from your family and loved ones for many of the best years of your life."

  5. Gang's sentences in full

    As we've been reporting, six men have been jailed for kidnapping a man at gun point.

    Here is a full list of sentences:

    • Mohammed Yousaf, 22, of Lyndhurst Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail. He was sentenced to 12 years.
    • Muhammed Hussain, 25, of Belmont Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment, blackmail and a firearms offence. He was sentenced to 20 years.
    • Saqib Rehman, 20, of Belmont Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. He was sentenced to three and a half years.
    • Jalil Uddin,40, of Chatsworth Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. He was sentenced to eight years and three months.
    • Mitchell Malik, 21, of Hillside Road, Dudley, was found guilty of false imprisonment, blackmail, and a firearms offence, but was found not guilty of kidnap. He was jailed for 15 years.
    • A 17-year-old boy from Luton pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail. He was jailed for five years.
  6. Woman found guilty of disposing of a body using a mobility scooter

    Helen Burchell

    BBC News

    A woman, who moved the body of a man who died in her home to a nearby park, pleaded guilty to disposing of a corpse to obstruct a coroner at Cambridge Crown Court today.

    Kelly Ann Almond, 34, of Fairview, Peterborough, used a mobility scooter to move the body of Stuart Wilkinson, 53, who died in her home on Sunday, 4 April, to a nearby park where it was later discovered.

    A further charge of perverting the course of justice was dropped.

    Mr Wilkinson’s cause of death has yet to be determined, however it is not believed to be suspicious.

    The case has been adjourned for sentencing until the week of 7 August.

    Almond will remain on remand in custody.

  7. Row breaks out in dock as gang is jailed

    Scenes of anger broke out in the dock as a gang leader was jailed for 20 years.

    Muhammed Hussain
    Image caption: Muhammed Hussain

    As we've reported, Mohammed Yousaf, 22, Muhammed Hussain, 25, Jalil Uddin, 40, Saqib Rehman, 20, Mitchell Malik, 21, and a 17-year-old boy were sentenced at Luton Crown Court today.

    They were imprisoned for a number of offences including kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail after a man was kidnapped from Downs Road, Luton, on 20 June 2016.

    Hussain was the first to be sentenced. When Judge Philip Bartle QC sentenced him to two decades behind bars, he reacted angrily and the judge had to temporarily leave court.

    Mohammed Yousef
    Image caption: Mohammed Yousef

    Sentencing the gang, the judge said: "This young man was being held hostage and being treated with such violence and contempt. These defendants were wholly indifferent to the suffering they were inflicting on him.

    "It is impossible to exaggerate the effect this has had on him."

    The court heard the gang believed two brothers had stolen cannabis worth £60,000 from them. The victim was the boyfriend of the two brothers' sister.

    The victim's captors, said to be led by Hussain and Yousaf, made six calls to the alleged thieves during which the victim could be heard screaming and crying and pleading for his life, the court heard.

  8. Increased police numbers at Strawberry Fair

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    Police say there will be a slight increase in presence at this year's Strawberry Fair in Cambridge, in light of the recent attacks in Manchester.

    Some 43 years on from its debut on Midsummer Common, the festival returns tomorrow.

    Strawberry Fair

    It's expected around 40,000 visitors will attend the festival across the day.

    The annual event has seen the police numbers reduced over the years, with the force saying they "recognise the organiser’s responsibility to deliver a safe event".

    Supt Laura Hunt said: "Following recent events in Manchester all events in the country have been reviewed and our response has been modified appropriately.

    "With regards to Strawberry Fair, appropriate adjustments have been made to policing numbers, but there has been no intelligence to suggest there is any threat associated to this event."

  9. Gang jailed for kidnapping man at gun point

    Six men have been jailed for up to 20 years each after a man was kidnapped at gun point in a "gang-related" incident.

    From top left, Jalil Uddin, Mitchell Malik, Muhammed Hussain, from bottom left, Saqib Rehman, Mohammed Yousaf
    Image caption: From top left - Jalil Uddin, Mitchell Malik, Muhammed Hussain; from bottom left - Saqib Rehman, Mohammed Yousaf

    Jalil Uddin, 40, Mitchell Malik, 21, Muhammed Hussain, 25, Saqib Rehman, 20, Mohammed Yousaf, 22, and a 17-year-old boy were sentenced at Luton Crown Court today.

    They were imprisoned for a number of offences including kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail, after a man was kidnapped from Downs Road, Luton, on 20 June 2016.

    The group bundled the victim into the back of a car in the early hours of the morning, before taking him to an address in Ashburnham Road where he was held against his will for about 30 hours.

    The gate to which the victim was tied

    Calls were made to the victim's friend and threats were made to harm him and other family members.

    The following morning, the victim was abandoned and left tied to the metal gate of a farm near Kensworth, at which point he was able to free himself and make his way home.

    Hussain was sentenced to 20 years behind bars, Malik to 15 years, Yousaf to 12 years, Uddin to eight years and three months, Rehman to three and a half years, and the 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to five years imprisonment.

  10. Bernie Sanders talks at Cambridge Union

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    You may have seen in other local press that US politician Bernie Sanders was a guest speaker at Cambridge Union today.

    Mr Sanders, who lost out to Hillary Clinton to become the Democrats' candidate in last year's presidential election, spoke for about an hour in front of a sell-out crowd, with the Cambridge News reporting that tickets for the event sold out in just 38 seconds.

    Bernie Saunders

    Mr Sanders joins a long list of high-profile speakers at the union, including most recently Piers Morgan, Mary Berry and Stephen Fry.

    Dr Niki Sol, a lecturer at Anglia Ruskin who was at the event, said that she "loved the fact that he was able to bring about a lot of different points that mobilised the audience".

    "I thought he was a very dynamic speaker," she said.

    "Bernie Sanders said that Donald Trump's idea to pull out of the Paris climate agreement was a stupid decision, which the audience agreed with."

    On whether she thought it was important Mr Sanders came to the union, Ms Sol said she was "not sure".

    "I thought it was an interesting choice. I don't know if it was important to him from a political perspective simply because he is a senator," she said.

    "But I think that part of his job working for social justice is that he knows he needs to mobilise as many people beyond himself, which I think he saw as a great way to talk to a lot of influential people that may be in power in the future."

  11. Rookie cop helped people escape Bedford fire

    Police say one of their new recruits was first on the scene at a fire in Harpur Street in Bedford yesterday afternoon.

    It broke out in a fourth floor flat at about 13:45.

    Bedfordshire Police said PCs Lesha Martin and Karen Jarman arrived by accident when they followed a vehicle being driven erratically. PC Martin was only in her eighth week of duty as they forced entry to the flat.

    She said: "We helped around five people to get out, as well as the family dog. It was the first time I have ever had to break in a door on duty.

    "I have quickly come to realise that policing is about far more than fighting crime, it’s also about protecting the public and doing all we can to keep people safe."

    PC Jarman added: "Within moments the smoke became thick and black, and we couldn’t see past our noses. I dread to think what could have happened in that situation, but fortunately along with our emergency services partners we could ensure that everyone, including the dog, was safe."

    Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service said the flat was 100% destroyed by fire and there was smoke damage to the first and second floors of the building.

    The fire service's station commander Paul Goddard said: "It is thought that an electrical fault was the likely cause of the fire."

    View more on twitter
  12. Two vehicle crash in Wisbech

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    Take care if you're travelling around Queens Road in Wisbech.

    There's been a two-vehicle collision at the junction with King's Road, which police are currently dealing with.

    View more on twitter

    Police say there have been injuries, but they're not thought to be life-threatening.

    We'll bring you more as we get it.

  13. 8,000 cyclists expected on Tour of Cambridgeshire this weekend

    Sam Edwards

    BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

    Thousand of cyclists are set to descend upon the East of England Showground over the weekend, for the Tour of Cambridgeshire.


    The mass cycling event is now in its third year, and takes in parts of Peterborough, Huntingdonshire and Fenland.

    The tour first came to Peterborough in 2015 and has been a roaring success, drawing in cyclists from across the world.


    The action starts tonight, with an Electric Bike Time Trial and a Folding Bike Fondo.

    Tomorrow, 800 riders take part in a time trial, before the mass participation race on Sunday, with some 8,000 competitors.

    Road closures and diversions are in operation around Sawtry, Ramsey and Whittlesey.

  14. Slimmers' battles for loose skin surgery on the NHS

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    We reported earlier about Sharon Wells from Dunstable and her battle for surgery to have excess skin removed, having lost 16 stone (102kg) - half her body weight - over three years.

    She says the NHS has refused to carry out the operation on three occasions, because her weight hasn't remained stable for two years.

    "I think that's a cop-out. It's just excuses," she said.

    "I'll get to two years and they'll say no because my body mass index has gone up and down."

    The NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups told the BBC they were unable to comment on individual cases.

    Sharon Wells

    But Sharon's not alone in having faced a problem like this.

    Paul Mason from Ipswich flew to New York in 2015 for surgery to remove excess skin.

    He used to weigh 70 stone (440kg) and lost about 45 stone (285kg). He was also told it would be at least two years before he could have his loose skin removed on the NHS.

    Sharon is now hoping a fundraising web page will help her find the £6,500 she needs for the surgery.

    Paul Mason
  15. Hills road gearing up for roadworks

    David Webster

    BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

    Hills Road in Cambridge is gearing up for another period of roadworks, as the council looks to add to its growing portfolio of cycle lanes, with an extension of the Hills Road cycleway.

    The work will add two 350m (1148ft) cycle paths to each side of the road at the junction of Long Road and Queen Edith's Way. It will join the existing path which starts at the Cambridge Leisure Park, and currently runs for 1km (0.6 miles).

    The road will be closed southbound for more than three months between Long Road and the Addenbrooke's Hospital roundabout.

    Roadworks on Hills Road.

    The existing cycle lane which starts at Cambridge Leisure Park, stops just short of the Long Road junction. When finished, the path will connect the leisure park to Addenbrooke's.

    Lewis Herbert, leader of Cambridge City Council, says the length of closure "is a balance".

    "The key thing here is that we've come up with a scheme that is going to be far less inconvenient than the 21 months that the earlier scheme took - which allows for continued northbound flow," he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

    "The earlier discussions were whether or not to shut it completely.

    "So for 14 weeks, during the summer where traffic is quieter, we're going to have one way shut."

  16. Your pictures: Hazy sunshine

    BBC Weather Watchers

    OK, so it's not quite as sunny or warm as yesterday across Beds, Herts & Bucks but our BBC Weather Watchers have captured some hazy sunshine breaking through the cloud.

    Skyline in Goffs Oak
    Image caption: Goffs Oak
    Flowers in Westoning
    Image caption: Westoning
    Great Brickhill
    Image caption: Field in Great Brickhill
    Field in Stevenage
    Image caption: Stevenage
  17. Hertfordshire's Inflatable Planetarium Goes on Tour

    The University of Hertfordshire is offering the knowledge of the universe to parks and festivals by loaning out its inflatable planetarium.

    It usually lives at the University's Bayfordbury Observatory, and takes trips out to schools to teach children about space.

    But this summer it's planning to travel further afield with its next stop being the Letchworth Festival later this month.

    Inflatable Dome erected on a field

    The planetarium has a six-metre high (19.5 feet) inflatable dome, a high definition projector and 360 degree sound to simulate the wonders of the universe, from our solar system to the rest of the Milky Way galaxy and beyond.

  18. Your pictures: Rain?

    BBC Weather Watchers

    No sign of today's forecast of torrential rain yet, although there are definitely some signs across Cambridgeshire.

    Our BBC Weather Watchers have been out and about capturing the sights... before they get drenched!

    Ramsey St Mary's
    Offord D'Arcy
  19. A1 fully reopened after fatal crash

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    The A1(M) through Hertfordshire is slowly returning to normal after a crash this morning in which a motorcyclist died.

    View more on twitter
  20. Graham Taylor train engine unveiled

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    A London Midland engine named after the former Watford and England manager, Graham Taylor, embarks on its maiden voyage at 13:36.

    It's after a commemorative plaque on the side of a Class 350 model was officially unveiled by Taylor's widow, Rita, on platform 10 of Watford Junction station.

    Rita Taylor, Graham Taylor’s widow

    The naming ceremony included speeches and music from a string quartet before football memorabilia was auctioned off for charity.

    Football shirts

    The train engine will retain its new name for the rest of its working life.

    It will be used on the West Coast Main Line, which passes through stations serving some of the places where Taylor was a manager, including Watford, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton and Wembley.