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  1. Thursday 14 December 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting news, weather forecasts, and some rather icy travel reports for today.

Here are some of the main points:

  • Ten days of hearings in the Poppi Worthington inquest, with often-harrowing evidence and a detailed debate over what the evidence meant, came to an adjournment, with the coroner, David Roberts, promising to deliver his verdict next month;
  • South Lakeland councillors voted unanimously, in effect, to go back to building council houses by lending money to housing associations;
  • And in the way of Parliamentary conventions, Carlisle's Conservative MP John Stevenson played his part in a Commons rebellion and abstained - by voting twice.

We'll be back to do it again from 08:00 tomorrow.

As always, if you want to pass on news you think we should know, or share a photo with the county, you can email them to us, send them using Twitter where we're @bbc_cumbria, or head to our Facebook page.

Have a very good evening.

Virgin says most services will run on strike day

Virgin Trains says it will run the majority of its West Coast Main Line services tomorrow, in spite of a strike by the RMT and TSSA unions.

The company says it's offered a 3.6% pay increase, while the unions are insisting on 4%.

The RMT general secretary Mick Cash said Virgin was "creaming it in" from the West Coast services and there was no excuse for the company to refuse their workers justice.

Virgin train
Getty Images

Woman cut from wreckage after Frizington crash

A driver was cut from the wreckage of her car by fire crews after a collision in the Rheda Park area of Frizington earlier today.

The woman was driving a Seat and the other vehicle was a Ford Focus.

She was taken to hospital but her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Business groups back Thirlmere zipwire plans

Two major business groups have come out in support of controversial plans to build zipwires across Thirlmere.

Cumbria Tourism says it's vitally important that the Lake District reaches younger audiences.

The Lake District Partnership business task force said the plan: "Represents an evolution of the Lake District visitor offering and would be more appealing to a new generation of visitor."

The proposals, which include a cycle route around the lake, are out for public consultation until the start of next month.

Treetop Trek

Cumbria's weather: Wintry showers and icy

BBC Weather

There will be clear spells at times overnight, although further showers are also likely, especially at first, and some will be wintry.

It will turn frosty and icy in places with lowest temperatures about -1C (30F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Met Office posts new ice warning for county

The Met Office says there'll be more problems with ice this evening and overnight.

Meteorologists have posted a yellow warning saying that continuing showers of rain, sleet or snow alternate with clear periods allowing temperatures to drop.

Statue will mark memories of famous Lady Anne

A statue's planned in Kirkby Stephen in memory of a famous aristocrat of Elizabethan times who is still fondly remembered in the area as a benevolent noblewoman.

Maquette of statue
Diane Lawrenson

The artist, Diane Lawrenson, has prepared ten maquettes or scale models of the statue, for sale to pay for the work, which will then stand in the town where a long distance trail, Lady Anne's Way, passes through.

Lady Anne stood to inherit huge estates across northern England, but her father left them to a male heir, in spite of an earlier direction that they should go to the oldest child.

She spent 40 years fighting a court battle to regain control, and then in her final years restored the estate's castles, building almshouses and other good works.

South Lakes £6m loan fund for cheaper homes is voted through

Martin Lewes


A £6m fund to provide low interest loans to housing associations has been given the go-ahead by South Lakeland councillors.

Building site

The money is coming from sources such as the New Homes Bonus, which means local authorities get extra money from the government to match the council tax paid on housing developments.

Until now, the money's provided grants towards new affordable housing developments, but all three parties on the Liberal Democrat-controlled authority voted in favour of lending the money instead.

There are 3,100 households on the waiting list for social housing and council says it wants associations to build 1,000 new homes for rent over the next seven years.

Travel: Collison slows traffic on Whitehaven Loop Road

BBC News Travel

There's been a collision on the A595 Loop Road North in Whitehaven.

Three Bluebirds back from injury

BBC Cumbria Sport

Barrow player/coach Grant Holt says the return of players from injury means it's unlikely there will be any new arrivals at the club over the next few weeks.

Dan Jones, David Fitzpatrick and Thierry Audel are all back from long-term injury this week.

Grant Holt
Barrow AFC

The FA trophy tie at Nuneaton Town will be subject to a pitch inspection at 09:00 tomorrow.

Burst water main hits Wigton homes

United Utilities says some consumers in Wigton may have no water or low pressure after a main pipe burst in Main Street.

The company says engineers are at the scene.

Police say 87 homes now have a domestic abuse panic button

Police say 87 homes are now connected to their control room because of the risk of domestic violence in the family there.

Officers say there's a spike in the number of calls around Christmas.

Side of police van
Cumbria Police

Some families have also been helped by a programme called Turning the Spotlight, funded by the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner.

John from Carlisle has been helped by the scheme, and say it's taught him to think about consequences.

Everybody's the same person, but drink can change you so much."


Charity gathers gifts for children of homeless families

A Carlisle charity has been showing the gift bags it has gathered to give to some of the more 40 children in Cumbria whose families are in temporary housing this Christmas.

The Housing charity Shelter says the largest number, 14, are in Carlisle.

Bags of presents

The gifts were gathered by Carlisle Key, which says it gathered more than 100 presents overall after an appeal.

Paedophile exposed by vigilante group is jailed

A west Cumbrian lorry driver whose online child sex crimes were exposed by an online vigilante group has been jailed for three years.

David Duthie
Cumbria Police

David Duthie was confronted about his "relentless" and graphic chatroom conversations with what he thought was a 12-year-old girl.

The vigilante group who caught him gathered 450 pages of sexualised messages and sent them to the police.

At Carlisle Crown Court today, Duthie, of no fixed address, admitted eight offences, including five charges of attempting to cause a child aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

As well as the prison sentence, the 47-year-old was made to sign the sex offenders' register for life.

Police concerned for missing Carlisle man

Police say they are concerned for a 65-year-old Carlisle man who's been missing from home since 22 November.

Glenn Dawes was last seen dressed for a walk, in a blue jacked and carrying a yellow and black rucksack.

Glenn Dawes
Family photo

Police 'find lorry' in A66 death inquiry

Police say they believe they've found the heavy goods vehice involved in an collision which left a man fatally injured on the A66 near Keswick yesterday.

Earlier, they said the man was Dave Robinson, who lived locally.

Officers would still like to talk to anyone who passed Keswick on the A66 yesterday before 07:30, especially if they have a dashcam.

Poppi Worthington

Paul Worthington refused to answer 252 questions, citing rules protecting witnesses from incriminating themselves.

Read more

Experts 'do not agree entirely' over Poppi's death

A solicitor for Poppi Worthington's father says the inquest into the toddler's death heard from a large number of experts none of whom “agree entirely”.

Paul Clarke, representing Paul Worthington, said the only one among all the experts who provides any “positive opinion” about what happened is Dr Alison Armour.

He said the evidence provided by other experts showed there were other explanations.

Paul Worthington

“The very reason why they provide their evidence in the first place is as a response to Dr Armour”, he said.

Mr Clark asked the coroner to look at where the other experts provide “positive evidence to reject Dr Armour’s submissions”.

Mr Clark said: “There are four eminent experts who are entirely united as regards the proposition that if there had been penetration there would have been much more extensive bruising to the anal rim and internal bruises.

“One of them said it was beyond reasonable doubt that Dr Armour was wrong.”

Poppi Worthington

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News online

The inquest into the death of Poppi Worthington has heard from almost 40 witnesses over three weeks.

Read more

Travel: High passes still difficult or closed

BBC News Travel

The high roads in Cumbria are still hazardous or closed because of ice, and snow at higher levels

Hartisde under snow
Cumbria Highways

This is Hartside on the A686, on the Cumbria Highways webcam.

Poppi inquest: Barristers debate father's silence

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

The legal team representing the mother of Poppi Worthington has said the inquest into the 13-month-old girl's death was "disappointing" as it has not heard from the "key protagonist".

Poppi's father, Paul, exercised his right to refuse to answer 252 questions over more than a day at the stand.

But his barrister said it would be wrong to infer that evidence had been excluded.

Paul Worthington
Julia Quenzler

Obviously the protection afforded him allows him not to answer questions but given that full inquest was sought on his behalf it is disappointing that he has chosen to hide behind the veil of rule 22.”

Gillian Irving QCCounsel to Poppi Worthington's mother

It is completely inappropriate to leave the inference or smell that evidence has been excluded from the proceedings."

Leslie Thomas QCCounsel to Paul Worthington

Barristers on the final day of this part of the inquest have debated whether earlier statements made by Mr Worthington could be used in the inquest.

Coroner David Roberts will give his verdict in January.

Charity prepares bid for flood-hit care home

A council-owned care home, closed since the floods in 2015, could be taken over by a Cumbrian charity.

The Oaklea Trust, which provides accommodation for elderly people, is considering submitting a bid to buy Edenside in Appleby.

Edenside home

The charity says it's looking at costings and flood resilience measures but it's received about 550 letters of support from people in the area.

The deadline to submit a bid to the council is 27 January.

Travel: Flood slows traffic on A591 near Windermere

BBC News Travel

Flooding is causing delays on the A591 between Windermere and White Cross Bay.

Two face charges after death in Barrow

A man has been charged with murder after a man was found dying in a house in Barrow at the weekend.

Police were called to the house in Gloucester Street early on 10 December after ambulance paramedics became suspicious about Andrew Hackett's injuries, and he died later in hospital.

Mark Bartholomew, 39, of Gloucester Street, has been charged with murder. Lee Black, 38, also of Gloucester Street, has been charged with assisting an offender.

They are expected before Furness Magistrates today.

Carlisle MP votes twice to abstain in Brexit rebellion

The Carlisle Conservative MP John Stevenson used a Parliamentary convention to abstain, by voting twice, when the government was defeated on whether MPs should have a vote on the final Brexit deal in the Commons last night.

John Stevenson

Mr Stevenson said he was standing up for Parliamentary control of the process when he voted in both the ayes and noes lobby, a move considered a formal abstention.

I've got every expectation that my Prime Minister and the Secretary of State will achieve a very good deal for the United Kingdom with our European partners, but I think it's absolutely right for democratic purposes that Parliament has that final say."

John Stevenson MP

The government whips can't really tell you off for voting against, because you've voted for as well - it's a neat trick and I suspect he will do it again."

Paul RowleyBBC Parliamentary correspondent

New appeal to drivers as police name A66 victim

Police have renewed their appeal for drivers on the A66 near Keswick yesterday to get in touch after a man who was found dying on the roadside early in the morning was identified.

Officers believe Dave Robinson, 53, from Keswick, may have been hit by a heavy goods vehicle whose driver did not realise what had happened.

Officers say they'd like to speak to anyone who passed along the A66 between the early hours of yesterday and 07:30 when the man was found.

They're also keen to see dashcam footage.

Weather on the fell tops: Cold and windy

  • Temperatures at 3,000 feet: -3C.
  • Winds: Westerly winds 30-35mph, gusting 50mph over ridges and summits. Easing 15-20mph and veering northwesterly later.
  • Cloud: 40% chance of cloud-free mountain tops at 800m with occasional or periods of cloud around 2,000ft, perhaps near 60% over more sheltered eastern fells.
  • Visibility: Very good falling in snow and less than a kilometre in heavier showers and drifting or blowing snow.
  • Freezing level: Around 1,000ft rising to 1,500ft.

The rangers who compile the Weatherline report say the snow was wet, but will refreeze if temperatures fall, so ice axe and crampon are essential on steep routes above the snowline.

They say the gullies are not in winter condition so climbing there may damage fragile alpine plants.

Closing statements made in Poppi inquest

Lawyers will be making their closing submissions today in the inquest into the death of the Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington.

Poppi was 13 months old when she died in circumstances that have never been explained, in 2012.

Family photo

The coroner has heard from a number of pathologists, none of whom could ascertain a particular cause of death, and who disagreed on whether features found in a post mortem examination indicated sexual abuse.

Poppi's father, Paul, has always denied hurting his daughter, and he has never been charged, although a family court judge concluded Poppi had probably been abused before her death.

The coroner, David Roberts, is expected to adjourn until January, when he will announce his verdict.

Travel: Parton roadworks cause A595 delays

BBC News Travel

One lane is closed on the A595 through Parton with three-way temporary lights, and delays are expected until Monday.

Cumbria's weather: Sunny and showers after icy start

BBC Weather

After an icy start in places there'll be sunny spells and scattered showers, these falling mostly as rain, sleet and hail at low levels, but with some snow on the hills.

It will feel cold in the wind, with highest temperatures of 5C (41F).

Weather graphic

You can find the latest BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Travel: Ice and snow make roads a hazard

BBC News Travel

Ice is making many roads slippery this morning, with showers washing the salt off.

The stretch of the M6 between junction 37 for Sedbergh, and 39 for Shap, is particularly hazardous, with a number of accidents.

The A592 Kirkstone Pass is picked out by the travel staff as particularly bad with snow, and all the high passes are difficult.

Hartside webcam shot
Cumbria Highways

This is the Cumbria Highways webcam view of Hartside on the A686 at 07:45 and the A6 over Shap is not much better.

Good morning: The is BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


Travel first - it's very icy in parts of the county this morning, even where the roads have been gritted, and the pavements are pretty lethal as well.

We'll be posting the news and weather as well through today.

As always, if you want to pass on news you think we should know, or share a photo with the county, you canemail them to us,send them using Twitter where we're @bbc_cumbriaorhead to our Facebook page.