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  1. Tuesday 19 December 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Hallam Hope

Hallam Hope's brace helps Carlisle to a 3-1 win over Gillingham and an FA Cup third round visit by Sheffield Wednesday.

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Through the day: BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We've now finished posting news, travel reports and a regular weather forecast for today. Here's a reminder.

  • The Independent Police Complaints Commission criticised Cumbria's police for allowing Miklos Verebes to leave a police station before they'd completed inquiries into a claim that he'd raped his partner Melinda Korosi, whom he killed, just two days later
  • Two new bridges were opened to replace ones washed away by the storms of two years ago, one for a road, and one for people on foot, although that had barely escaped another flood in November this year
  • And on Walney Island, retained firefighters rushed to the station to answer a "shout", to find it was the shortest journey they'd ever made with the blue lights on

We'll be back to do it again from 08:00 tomorrow. If you want to pass on news you think we should know, or share a photo, 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.

Penrith shoppers asked to help fill charity hat box

Kerry Parvin


Joan Robinson from Penrith has put boxes in the town's shopping centre into which people can put unwanted hats, gloves and scarves, and from which people can take them if they're caught out by the cold weather.

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Cumbria's weather: A cloudy mild night with drizzle

BBC Weather

Cloud will thicken and lower across Cumbria this evening with some fog over the hills. Outbreaks of light rain and drizzle will become more persistent during the early hours, and it will be a mild night, with only light winds and temperatures of 6C (43F).

Weather graphic

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

Kendal to get new parking to make up for New Road closure

Two new parking areas are being opened to the public in Kendal to make up for spaces lost when South Lakeland council controversially closed New Road earlier this year.

Canal Head parking

Kendal Snowsports Club is allowing part of its parking at Canal Head (pictured) to be made into a pay and display area on weekdays, adding up to 45 spaces, and land on Parkside Road is earmarked for another 41 cars subject to planning permission.

But councillor Graham Vincent said it had proved impossible to find a way to create a large new car park at Beezon Fields.

There have been protests over the loss of New Road, an area of informal free parking near the town centre, but Mr Vincent said the new areas would provide more spaces than New Road would have done if it was properly marked out.

Student asks: Could we bring back vanishing grass snake?

A zoology student at the University of Cumbria is investigating why grass snakes, once common in North Cumbria, disappeared and whether they could be reintroduced.

Grass snake
Abbie McNally

Abbie McNally is hoping local people will remember seeing the snakes before 1974, and can tell her where and when and she has set up an online survey.

Abbie says the restoration of wetlands like Glasson Moss should create perfect habitat if the snakes, which are harmless to human beings, are reintroduced.

Bridge that fell replaced with an elegant single arch

This is the new Bell Bridge, which crosses the Caldew south of Carlisle and links the villages of Sedbergham and Welton.

New Bell Bridge
Cumbria County Council

The original Bell Bridge collapsed in 2016, having been damaged by Storm Desmond in 2015 and successive storms through to Jonas the following January.

The £1.1m structure is designed to withstand future floods, and the stone from the old structure was used to face the new abutments, to be in keeping with its surroundings.

It was formally opened by Cumbria County Council leader John Bell this morning.

Cumbria 'most vulnerable to Brexit' in UK

Cumbria is the most vulnerable region in the country to the effects of Britain leaving Europe, according to research by an international team of economists.

The paper analyses the county's trade links to study whether leaving the single market, or other consequences of Brexit, might hit businesses.

It finds more than 16% of Cumbria's GDP, a measure of income, is exposed to changes following Britain's departure from the EU, compared to 10% of London's GDP.

One of the team, Philip McCann, who's Professor of Economics at Sheffield University said the report did not necessarily mean Brexit would harm the county, but it did mean it was more important that the right agreements were reached.

Workington lifeboat crew called two nights running

Workington's lifeboat volunteers have been called out two nights running to vessels suffering engine failure.

Dorothy May White

On 18 December the Dorothy May White was launched soon after midnight to bring in a fishing boat that was six miles west of Sellafield.

Early this morning the crew was paged again to go to the aid of a vessel involved in a cable-laying operation off the coast at Whitehaven.

Miklos Verebes

Melinda Korosi was killed by her ex-partner Miklos Verebes two days after he was released by police.

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Travel: A66 still closed after Threlkeld crash

BBC News Travel

The A66 is still closed between Station Road and the Crossthwaite Road roundabout at Keswick after a collision involving a heavy goods vehicle and a car.

Hospitals trust wins praise from Health Secretary

The Government is praising the work of the North Cumbria Hospitals trust following significant improvements after it was put into "special measures" for four years.

The action followed concern over high death rates at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

The Conservative MP for Carlisle John Stevenson told the Commons that it was down to better management.

John Stevenson

Funding, is clearly very important but given the improvements of the hospitals in my area down to the leadership of the chief executive, the leadership team and the staff, would the minister agree that leadership is as important as funding?

John StevensonMP for Carlisle

This was one of the most troubled trusts in the NHS and thanks to incredible dedication by the doctors and nurses and everyone working in that trust, they've really turned things around."

Jeremy HuntHealth Secretary

Driver flown to hospital after A66 crash with tanker

A driver was cut from his car by firefighters and flown to hospital by air ambulance after a collision with a tanker carrying hydrogen peroxide on the A66 near Threlkeld.

Fire crews are currently standing by while the tanker and other wreckage is recovered. The road is closed.

Police 'sorry' for failings in case that ended in woman's death

Cumbria's senior detective says his officers are extremely upset that a woman was killed by a man who'd been arrested on suspicion of raping her and then released.

Today a report from the Independent Police Complaints Commission found that two officers had failed to complete several lines of inquiry before releasing Miklos Verebes without charge two days before he killed Melinda Korosi at her Carlisle home.

Det Ch Supt Andy Slattery said: "None of our officers come to work to do a bad job, they all come to work dedicated to protecting members of the public and when something horrific happens like this they take it very seriously."

We are indeed sorry, we have had very close contact with the family, and we remain in contact with Miss Korosi's family to this day and we've been very open with them."

Det Ch Supt Andy SlatteryCumbria Police

Engineers cut final door into sealed n-waste store

Engineers at Sellafield say they've now created a sixth and final door to enable them to empty the world's first nuclear waste store.

Door being cut out
Sellafield Ltd

The store contains cladding stripped from nuclear fuel since 1952 and was built never to be emptied. It contains hundreds of tonnes of radioactive material and is listed as one of the site's most hazardous buildings.

Next year they will start to remove the contents, using a completely automated system, so the waste can be packed into modern storage without causing any danger to the staff involved or the surroundings.

“Getting access to this nuclear waste store which was built with no thought to how it would be emptied has been an incredible engineering challenge, involving years of planning and preparation, hundreds of dedicated people and many millions pounds of investment.

Steve CarrollHead of programme

Chainsaws burglar given suspended sentence

A man who admitted burgling a domestic garage near Alston has been given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Marc Brian Moody and Gary Smart, both 33, were seen as they fled in a van, and Moody was caught after a police chase ended in a dead-end lane. The stolen items, two chainsaws and a mountain bike, were recovered.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Moody, from Arthur Terrace in Bishop Auckland also admitted two driving offences, and he was banned from the road for two years.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Smart, from Rochdale Street in Evenwood, after he failed to appear for sentencing.

New footbridge was almost washed away again

Martin Lewes


A new foot bridge in South Cumbria, to replace one washed away in Storm Desmond, was damaged itself by renewed flooding earlier this winter just before it was due to open.

Fishermans' Bridge

The Fisherman's Bridge, on the River Lune near Tebay, was twisted out of shape when scaffolding was washed away in November.

The 35m (115ft) long bridge was repaired again, and has now been reopened creating a crossing in a long stretch of the river between Crook'o'Lune bridge and Lincoln's Inn bridge.

The project cost £110,000, with local people and groups contributing £12,500.

Cumbria's weather: Cloudy with hill fog

BBC Weather

Through the rest of the day skies will be cloudy, with fog likely over the hilltops. Most places will be dry but there is a risk of catching some light rain.

Temperatures could reach about 10C (50F).

Weather graphic

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

Miklos Verebes: IPCC says safeguarding measures were taken

The IPCC report into the case of Miklos Verebes, jailed for murder earlier this year, says police did take measures to safeguard the woman he was accused of raping and went on to kill.

The report says there is no evidence of misconduct by any officer in relation to the measures to protect Melinda Korosi.

IPCC operations manager Catherine Bates said the problem was not with the safeguarding measures, but with Verebes being released while several lines of inquiry had not been pursued.

“We cannot say that, had these enquiries been progressed, Verebes wouldn’t have been released or the murder of Melinda Korosi could have been prevented" she said.

"However, our investigation highlights the importance of pursuing every possible avenue when it comes to such serious criminal allegations, for the protection of those most at risk in our society.”

Police 'accept findings' of IPCC into Verebes case

Police say they accept the criticisms in an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into the case of Miklos Verebes, who killed his partner Melinda Korosi in Carlisle in 2016.

The IPCC investigator found that Verebes, who'd been arrested on suspicion of raping Ms Korosi, was released before officers had completed several lines of inquiry.

In a statement Cumbria Police says: “We accept that some potential lines of inquiry were not conducted before Miklos Verebes was released, following his arrest on suspicion of rape, and this amounts to misconduct for two serving officers.

"Although the officers involved took measures to protect Ms Korosi we recognise that some investigative actions were not followed up.

“The sanction, which was agreed with the IPCC, was management action for both officers. This action, which is ongoing, consists of a formal recording of misconduct and a robust personal development plan. This is being managed by senior officers."

Police woman outside Ms Korosi's house

BreakingPolice criticised after man released went on to kill

The Independent Police Complaints Commission says police failed to finish lines of inquiry before releasing a man who went on to kill the partner he was accused of raping.

Miklos Verebes was jailed for life, with a 28 years minimum, earlier this year after he was convicted of murdering Melinda Korosi, and three counts of rape.

Miklos Verebes
Cumbria Police

In its report, the IPCC says Verebes (pictured) was arrested on suspicion of rape and then released without charge, although police had not completed their inquiries on several points.

The investigator says a detective constable and a detective sergeant may both have a case to answer for misconduct.

We'll have more on this shortly.

Fire crews cross road to fight fire in derelict building

Police are investigating a fire that broke out in a derelict building opposite the fire station on Walney Island early this morning.

Firefighters turned two hose reels on the blaze and spent nearly two hours putting it out.

Police say they suspect arson and officers would like to hear from anyone with information about the fire.

Fire engine at fire
CFRS @Walney_fire_stn
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Travel: Now police close just two lanes on M6 southbound

BBC News Travel

Police say they've managed to carry on inquiries into the death of a pedestrian on the M6 in South Cumbria last night, while leaving one lane of the motorway open.

The woman was hit by a heavy goods vehicle soon after midnight and died in hospital later.

Delays are still likely while lanes one and two are closed.

Photographer Jason has fun in the fog

Jason Hudson's hobby is photography and last night he caught this on one of Barrow's roundabouts.

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If you've a picture you'd like to share with the county, you can email them to us,send them using Twitter where we're @BBC_Cumbria, or head to our Facebook page.

Motorway closed after woman pedestrian dies

The M6 southbound has been closed while police investigate an accident on the southern border of Cumbria in which a woman died.

Police say the woman pedestrian was hit by a heavy goods vehicle just after midnight, between junctions 36 for Kendal, and 35. The driver is being interviewed.

Officers warn that the closure could last a number of hours.

Travel: Trains delayed southbound on West Coast Mainline

BBC News Travel

Virgin Trains services towards the south have been suspended between Preston and Warrington after reports that a person has been hit by a train.

Tickets are being accepted on ScotRail, Virgin Trains East Coast and Transpennine Express services

Weather on the fell tops: Wet and mild

Temperatures at 3,000ft: Up to 6C.

Winds: Fresh southwesterly gusting 30mph.

Cloud: Extensive above 1,500ft, more broken above 2,000ft in the north and east at times.

Visibility: Good, poor in the rain.

Freezing level: Above the summits.

The report on fell top conditions from the Lake District national park assessor says that given the forecast, accurate navigation will be essential, along with full winter clothing and equipment such as ice axe and crampons.

Red Tarn from Helvellyn summit.

Two years after floods winter, another bridge reopened

Bell Bridge, a link between the villages of Sedbergham and Welton in the northern fells, is due to be reopened today.

New bridge
Cumbria County Council

The previous structure, 250 years old, was damaged during the 2015 floods including Storm Desmond and finally collapsed after Storm Jonas in January 2016.

Cumbria County Council says it has spent £1.9m on the replacement, a steel single arch that engineers say should be "much more resilient"..

Victim battered with his own crutch, court told

A man from Carlisle has told the city's crown court that he was attacked in his own home, with his own crutch, during a violent robbery.

Paul Savage, who's 50 and suffers mobility problems, told the court he was punched and then attacked with a wrench, a hammer and the crutch at his flat in Harraby, before cash, a jacket and a gold ring were stolen.

The prosecution alleges that Braden Moreton, 19 and of no fixed address, was one of the attackers. Another man on trial, 37-year-old Gary McCaffrey from Balmoral Court, Etterby in Carlisle is alleged to have supplied drugs in connection with the robbery, and is accused of perverting the course of justice.

The two men deny all charges and the trial continues.

Cumbria's weather: Cloudy and mild

BBC Weather

It will be a mostly cloudy day with patchy fog in places slowly clearing this morning.

There will be gentle southwest winds and a maximum temperature of 10C (50F).

Weather graphic

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

Barrow foodbank sees need rise by two thirds through 2017

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

The foodbank that helps people in the Furness area says there's been a 64 per cent increase in demand since last December.

The Barrow Foodbank says low incomes and changes to the benefit system are responsible for the rise of nearly two thirds.


The foodbank, which also serves Millom and Ulverston, has seen unprecedented demand. Last Friday 61 people were helped when the previous record for one day was 42, and demand is so high there are now real concerns about supplies in the new year.

Some food retailers are now giving food that's close to its "best before" date to these charities instead of sending it to landfill but most of the donations still come from individuals.

Good morning and welcome to BBC Cumbria Live

Martin Lewes


We'll be keeping up with the news and travel reports, posting a regular weather forecast and dropping in the odd other nugget from the county through the day.

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