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Summary

  1. Updates for Tuesday 17 March 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates will resume at 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Good evening

    Rachael Connors

    BBC News Online

    That's all for this evening. We will return with news, sport, weather and travel updates from 08:00 tomorrow.

  2. Cloud increasing

    BBC Weather

    It should be dry with some clear spells developing, particularly across Cheshire, and it will be cold with a patchy frost developing.

    However, cloud is likely to increase by dawn with a few mist or fog patches. Minimum temperatures should be about 4°C.

  3. Coming up

    Roger Johnson

    Presenter, North West Tonight

    On the programme, the match commander at Hillsborough admits his failures caused the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.

    David Duckenfield also told the inquests he "froze" and "bottled it" as the tragedy unfolded.

    And a school in Warrington is singled out by the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, for "instilling grit and resilience".

    Join me for more on BBC One at 18:30.

  4. Sewer collapse road still closed

    BBC Travel

    BBC Travel

    The A5267 remains closed between Cambridge Road in Churchtown and A567 Preston New Road in Southport because of a sewer collapse and emergency repairs.

  5. Chief admits 'cause of 96 deaths'

    Tom Mullen

    BBC News

    Here's a fully updated story from today's evidence at the Hillsborough inquests, where police match commander David Duckenfield agreed his failure to close a tunnel "was the direct cause of the deaths of 96 people".

    David Duckenfield
  6. Looking at life after suicide

    A woman from Liverpool whose husband took his own life eleven years ago will feature in a BBC documentary this evening looking at life after suicide.

    Angela Samata

    Angela Samata was left caring for her two young sons after her husband Mark died.Angela Samata's partner killed himself.

    She has travelled around the country to meet the family and friends of others who took their own lives for the BBC One documentary, which airs at 22:45.

  7. Post update

    Liverpool Echo

    tweets: Re-cap: Brilliant pictures of #StPatricksDay parade and celebrations in Liverpool.

    St Patrick's day in Liverpool
  8. McGinty family 'badly treated'

    BBC Radio Merseyside

    The Shadow Minister for Justice Dan Jarvis has criticised the treatment of a victim's family from Merseyside after they were not told their son's killers are to be moved to an open prison.

    Colin McGinty

    Colin McGinty, 21, from Formby was stabbed to death in 2001 in Bootle. His killers Michael Brown and Gary Hampton were jailed for 16 years.

    The Labour MP told the Commons that Colin's parents had been badly treated by the authorities.

  9. Rovers face crucial test

    BBC Sport

    Tranmere face another crucial test in their fight to keep their league status tonight.

    Danny Holmes

    Rovers are at Cambridge but will be without Rob Taylor due to a hamstring injury. Danny Holmes (pictured) will have a late fitness test.

  10. News on the hour

    Megan Key

    BBC Radio Merseyside

    The police match commander at the Hillsborough disaster has admitted his failures directly caused the deaths of 96 people.

    David Duckenfield, who's giving evidence at the inquests, also agreed he "froze" while in command in the police control box.

  11. Fake coins appeal

    Police are investigating the use of fake £1 coins in machines at a bookmakers in Liverpool city centre.

    Graphic showing differences between real and fake pound coins - the pattern on the fake is not upright when the coin is rotated, and the lettering on the edge - including the distinctive cross - is unclear on the fake version

    A number of fake coins were found in a machine at William Hill on Hanover Street on 29 January. Officers want to hear from anyone who has information relating to their use.

  12. School gets top marks

    Chris Long

    BBC News

    A school which holds weekly ethics, philosophy and public-speaking classes has been praised as the best in England for "instilling grit and resilience".

    King's Leadership Academy pupils

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said King's Leadership Academy in Warrington was "leading the character charge".

  13. Your view

    Rumeana Jahangir

    BBC News Online

    We've introduced BBC Local Live from our base in Liverpool to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

    Tell us what you think.

  14. Summary of today's evidence

    Giving evidence today, former match commander David Duckenfield told the new inquests:

    • his failure to open the tunnel leading to the Leppings Lane terrace was a "direct cause" of the deaths of 96 people
    • he "froze" while in command in the police control box
    • he was drinking too much after the disaster and suffered depression in the run-up to the Taylor Inquiry
    • he was "ashamed and embarrassed" at being diagnosed with PTSD and being medically retired two years after the disaster
    • The jury also hears Mr Duckenfield is being investigated for serious criminal offences by the ongoing criminal investigation into Hillsborough, known as Operation Resolve.
  15. Afternoon session ends

    Mr Duckenfield has finished giving evidence at the new inquests and the hearing has finished for the day.

    The former police match commander will return tomorrow at 10:00.

  16. News on the hour

    Megan Key

    BBC Radio Merseyside

    The match commander at the Hillsborough disaster has admitted his failures directly caused the deaths of 96 people.

    David Duckenfield, who's giving evidence at the inquests, also agreed he "froze" while in command in the police control box.

  17. Match chief admits drinking and depression

    Ben Schofield

    BBC News

    The jury also heard how David Duckenfield struggled to sleep in the run-up to the Taylor Inquiry and was drinking beforehand.

    "I clearly recall, leading up to Lord Justice Taylor's inquiry, sitting in an armchair one morning when the sun was coming through the window, and I was drinking half tumblers of whisky to find the courage to read the statements, and that continued."

    David Duckenfield

    Mr Duckenfield was medically retired from the police force on 10 November 1991, two years after being suspended from duty.

    He was certified as "unfit to undertake the duties of a police constable" and was diagnosed with "severe depression and post traumatic stress disorder".

  18. Apology delay caused 'offence'

    Ben Schofield

    BBC News

    To recap, the jury has heard how David Duckenfield admitted and apologised for his lie during his evidence to the Taylor Public inquiry in 1989.

    His lawyer John Beggs QC said: "I think you understand, don't you, why the delay in providing a more gracious and more full apology has caused to many both offence and distress? You understand that?"

    "I fully understand that, sir," Mr Duckenfield replied.

  19. Court takes a short break

    The court is taking a short break at the Hillsborough inquests, after which David Duckenfield will resume his evidence.

  20. Chief's failure 'direct cause' of 96 deaths

    Rumeana Jahangir

    BBC News Online

    To recap on a busy afternoon at the fresh Hillsborough inquests, the police match commander has agreed that his failure to close a tunnel "was the direct cause of the deaths of 96 people".

    Leppings Lane turnstiles

    David Duckenfield also accepted that he "froze" during the afternoon of the 1989 football disaster.

    He is giving evidence for a sixth day at the new Hillsborough inquests in Warrington, Cheshire.

  21. News on the hour

    Megan Key

    BBC Radio Merseyside

    The police match commander at the Hillsborough disaster has admitted his failure to close a tunnel leading to the Leppings Lane terrace was a "direct cause" of the deaths of 96 people.

    David Duckenfield has also agreed he "froze" as the tragedy unfolded.

  22. 'Drank too much after disaster'

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield tells the court that after the disaster - and before the Taylor Inquiry - he was drinking too much.

    "I was drinking half tumblers of whisky to find the courage to read the statements."

    He says he was "very ashamed and embarrassed" at being medically retired in November 1991 on grounds of severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    He says he saw it as sign of weakness and concealed his condition from family and colleagues.

  23. 'Most difficult period of my life'

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield tells the jury he "felt destroyed" before giving evidence to the 1989 Taylor Public Inquiry.

    His lawyer John Beggs QC asks: "Has it been easy to admit your professional failings led to the deaths of 96 innocent men, women and children?"

    Mr Duckenfield says the last few days at the inquests "have been the most difficult period of my life".

  24. 'I froze'

    Ben Schofield

    BBC Radio Merseyside reporter

    David Duckenfield has admitted that he "froze" in the police control box.

    David Duckenfield
  25. Contradictory evidence on 1979 crush

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield denies he had a previous experience of crushing at a 1979 match at Hillsborough when he was a police inspector.

    But a transcript of a meeting between the chief constable and Mr Duckenfield on the day after the 1989 disaster shows that he did mention previous crushing in 1979.

  26. 'Pens full when gate opening ordered'

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    Paul Greaney, representing the Police Federation, asks David Duckenfield if he knew the pens were full at the time he ordered the gates open.

    He replies: "They would be full at that time."

  27. Inquests resume

    The Hillsborough inquests have resumed in Warrington, with David Duckenfield being questioned by Paul Greaney, representing the Police Federation.

  28. Road closure

    The A5267 Cambridge Road in Churchtown is closed in both directions between the B5244 Cambridge Road junction and the A565 Preston New Road junction because of a sewer collapse, reports BBC Travel.

    There are also reports of congestion on the B5132 Sutton Way in Ellesmere Port in both directions between Whitby Road (A5032) and Cheshire Oaks Way.

  29. News on the hour

    Megan Key

    BBC Radio Merseyside

    The man who was in charge of policing at Hillsborough has told the inquests he gave no instructions to officers about how to handle the consequences of opening an exit gate.

    David Duckenfield has been accused of failing to offer any true leadership as the disaster unfolded.

  30. 'Pretty cloudy'

    Charlie Slater

    Weather Presenter, BBC North West

    It's still going to be pretty cloudy this afternoon with some spots of showery rain, most likely in the east towards Warrington.

    Charlie Slater

    Later on, things should turn dry and also brighter. Maximum temperature will be around 9°C.

  31. Coming up

    Roger Johnson

    Presenter, North West Tonight

    On the programme this lunchtime, two men from the North West, suspected of involvement in multimillion-pound drugs gangs, have been named today on a most-wanted list of British fugitives believed to be living in Spain.

    David Mcdermott from Ormskirk and Scott Hughes from Halewood are being targeted as part of Operation Captura, a joint initiative between the UK and Spanish police.

    Join me for more on BBC One at 13:35.

  32. Inquests break for lunch

    The court at the Hillsborough inquests has now paused for lunch with Mr Duckenfield due to resume his evidence after the break.

  33. 'Blaming junior officers'

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    Police Federation barrister Paul Greaney suggests David Duckenfield has been "shifting blame to junior officers".

    He says other witnesses who've given evidence on the issue have said it was Mr Duckenfield's responsibility to monitor the pens.

    David Duckenfield

    Mr Greaney asks: "Does it come down to this. Whatever anyone else has said about this issue, you know best?"

    Mr Duckenfield replies: "No sir, I don't."

  34. 'Split second' decisions

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield accepts he had three minutes to consider the consequence of opening gate C and a commander should be able to make "split second" decisions.

    Paul Greaney, representing the Police Federation, asks: "Do you agree that - never mind a match commander - it might only take a child of average intelligence to realise what the consequences of your decision might be?"

    Mr Duckenfield replies: "I didn't consider it on the day because of the pressure I was under."

  35. 'All in a state of shock'

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    Paul Greaney, representing the Police Federation: "Can you not tell us whether you simply froze?"

    David Duckenfield: "I think it's fair to say we were all in a state of shock."

    Mr Greaney: "You were the one whose job it was to get past any feelings of shock and manage the situation."

    Mr Duckenfield: "Yes, but I am human."

  36. News on the hour

    Giulia Bould

    BBC Radio Merseyside

    The police match commander at the Hillsborough disaster has denied he "bottled it", as the tragedy unfolded.

    David Duckenfield has been accused of "panicking" after giving the order to open an exit gate next to the Leppings Lane turnstiles.

  37. 'Didn't anticipate consequences'

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield says that, when opening the exit gates, he only anticipated people running and falling down in the concourse - not crushing on the terrace.

    The former chief superintendent also says he doesn't know why he didn't look at a stadium plan - pictured here on a table in the police box.

    view from box
  38. 'Can't comment on whether I froze'

    David Duckenfield says "it's for others" to make a judgement on whether he "froze" on the afternoon of the disaster.

    Paul Greaney, who represents the Police Federation, says the former chief superintendent knew the consequences of his actions and he "froze" and "bottled it".

    Mr Duckenfield disagrees, saying he was "a man in deep thought" but "I can't comment on whether I froze or not".

  39. 'Not concealing evidence'

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield repeats he had no idea where fans would go when entering turnstiles A to G or through exit gate C.

    He denies he is "concealing from the jury for (his) own purposes" what he knew on the day.

    "I tell the truth about my failings... with hindsight I should have known other things."

  40. Confusion due to 'personal circumstances'

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    Paul Greaney, representing the Police Federation, asks David Duckenfield why his recollection about his knowledge of the Hillsborough ground is better now than when he gave evidence to the Taylor Public Inquiry.

    The former chief superintendent says he was confused when giving evidence then "because of his personal circumstances".

  41. Taylor Inquiry 'lies' denial

    Ben Schofield

    BBC Radio Merseyside reporter

    David Duckenfield denies lying, exaggerating or concealing relevant facts during his evidence to the Taylor Inquiry held between 1989 and 1990.

    Fans and police at Leppings Lane end
  42. 'No grip on Hillsborough geography'

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield accepts it is "totally unacceptable that as match commander he didn't have a grip on the geography of Hillsborough".

    He says he has no explanation for why he didn't have a good understanding of the layout of the stadium.

  43. 'Not shifting blame'

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    Answering questions from Paul Greaney, who represents the Police Federation, David Duckenfield agrees he was in overall charge on the day, had considerable responsibility and should have been the leader to officers.

    David Duckenfield

    The former chief superintendent agrees it would be "disgraceful" and "cowardly" for a leader in his position to shift blame but says he has not done so.

    He acknowledges he made "major" and "grave" errors at Hillsborough.

  44. News on the hour

    Giulia Bould

    BBC Radio Merseyside

    Two Liverpool schoolboys have been told they will go on trial for rape in June over an attack on a vulnerable woman in Anfield.

    The 42-year-old victim was in her own home at the time.

  45. Ambulance barrister starts questioning

    Ben Schofield

    BBC Radio Merseyside reporter

    The court at the Hillsborough inquests has resumed after a short break.

    Jenni Richards QC is now asking questions on behalf of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, which was the South Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service in 1989.

    fans on pitch plus ambulance
  46. 1991 evidence 'totally at odds'

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield told the first Hillsborough inquest he hadn't read a guide on safety at sports grounds.

    He has told these new inquests that he did.

    He agrees he is surprised that his evidence in 1991 was "totally at odds" with what he had now told the court about reading the guide.

  47. Role of stewards questioned

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield says he doesn't know where he thought Sheffield Wednesday's club stewards were going to stand to monitor fans filling the pens.

    "My personal view was, and it is now, that it wasn't a police officer's duty to direct fans in the concourse," he says.

  48. Police's job to monitor pens

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield agrees he could have contacted Sheffield Wednesday about any concerns before the match, but he did not.

    fans for pen

    Andrew Waters, the barrister for Sheffield Wednesday, says if the former chief superintendent had raised concerns about the club, he'd have learned it was the police's job to monitor the pens.

    Mr Duckenfield replies: "My view, sir, is that we were monitoring the pens properly."

  49. Crowd control at Hillsborough

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    Earlier in his evidence, David Duckenfield said he thought Sheffield Wednesday weren't complying with crowd control guidelines at Hillsborough.

    He agrees that if that was a concern at the time, there were "a number of obvious steps" he could have taken to deal with it.

    "25, 26 years ago I can't recall conversations that took place," he says.

  50. Monitoring the pens

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield is now being questioned by Andrew Waters on behalf of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.

    He asks the former chief superintendent about the guidance on who had responsibility to monitor the filling of the pens.

  51. Empty space near turnstiles

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield agrees that, while deciding whether to open gate C, he didn't ask advice from any of the officers in the police control box.

    The jury is shown CCTV footage of an empty road next to the crowded area that was outside the turnstiles.

    Mr Duckenfield says he didn't think of moving fans there but should have done.

  52. News on the hour

    Giulia Bould

    BBC Radio Merseyside

    The match commander at Hillsborough has denied he was "overconfident and under-prepared" on the day of the disaster.

    David Duckenfield is giving evidence at the new inquests for a sixth day.

  53. 'Complacent' claim denied

    Ben Schofield

    BBC Radio Merseyside reporter

    David Duckenfield denies he was "complacent" about the situation outside the Leppings Lane turnstiles and that he "didn't address them".

    He adds: "My view always has been that segregation is a necessary ingredient of a successful match."

  54. 'Turning up the tap'

    Heather Williams QC is taking David Duckenfield through evidence he gave in March 1991 at the first Hillsborough inquest.

    She asks him about the decision to close Leppings Lane at 14:17.

    Ms Williams says closing the road was like "turning up the tap" and "exacerbated" the situation at the turnstiles with Liverpool fans.

    Mr Duckenfield says fans onto the stadium concourse "should not be allowed in an unregulated fashion".

  55. 'Underprepared' denial

    Judith Moritz

    North of England correspondent, BBC News

    David Duckenfield is currently being questioned by Heather Williams QC, on behalf of the family of John McBrien, who died at the Hillsborough disaster on 15 April 1989.

    He disagrees that he was "overconfident and underprepared" for the match.

  56. David Duckenfield at Hillsborough inquests

    Ben Schofield

    BBC Radio Merseyside reporter

    David Duckenfield, who was in charge of policing on the day of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, is back in the witness box, answering questions for a sixth day at the new inquests.

    David Duckenfield
  57. Protest at cuts to children's centres

    Wirral Globe

    Parents protest outside Wallasey town hall over Wirral Council's plans to reduce the number of designated children's centres.

  58. News on the hour

    Giulia Bould

    BBC Radio Merseyside

    Two men thought to be involved in Merseyside drugs gangs are on the UK's list of the 10 most-wanted criminals who are likely to be on the run in Spain.

    David McDermott, 41 and from Ormskirk, is alleged to be part of a group that tried to import 400kg of cocaine through Tilbury Docks in Essex.

    Scott Hughes, 34 and from Halewood, is wanted for questioning over the supply of class-A drugs.

  59. Ebola volunteer thanks his family

    Wirral Globe

    A Wirral man who volunteered to help tackle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa says it was the support of his wife and family that made his time in Sierra Leone possible.

    When an urgent appeal was sent out for biomedical scientists, father-of-two Alex Warrington jumped at the chance to join a 16-strong lab team deployed by the UK Government in January.

  60. Train delays

    Signalling problems at Liverpool Central are causing delays on northern line trains, say Merseyrail.

    Train services from Kirkby may be terminated at and started back from Sandhills and there may be disruption to trains to Hunts Cross, Ormskirk and Southport.

    An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

  61. Cathedral hosts Tudor-themed banquet

    Liverpool Echo

    Stunning photos show off the incredible transformation of Liverpool Cathedral for a Wolf Hall-style Tudor banquet at the recent BBC exports showcase.

    wolf hall banquet

    Hundreds of TV programme buyers from around the world attended a dinner - with rows of wooden tables lit by candelabras, as seen in the BBC Two adaptation of Hilary Mantel's historical novel.

  62. Your views

    Rumeana Jahangir

    BBC News Online

    We've introduced BBC Local Live from our base in Liverpool to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

    Tell us what you think.

  63. Via Twitter

    Most wanted

    BBC Radio Merseyside tweets: Scott Hughes from Halewood is on the UK's most wanted list. The 34-year-old is wanted for questioning over supply of class A drugs.

    Scott Hughes
  64. Hillsborough inquests

    The police match commander during the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, former Ch Supt David Duckenfield, is again due to give evidence at the new inquests in Warrington.

    This will be the sixth day of evidence from the now 70-year-old retired senior officer.

    As always, we will bring you comprehensive coverage.

  65. News on the hour

    Giulia Bould

    BBC Radio Merseyside

    Liverpool is one of 15 towns and cities across the UK which will play host to a cycling Sky Ride later this year.

    The traffic-free routes for the amateur cycling events have just been revealed - and thousands of cyclists are expected to take part in the city.

  66. Via Twitter

    Breakdown at Birkenhead tunnel

    Merseytravel tweets: Drivers heading to Wirral are advised to use Wallasey tunnel. A breakdown's currently causing significant congestion in the Birkenhead one.

  67. Can Liverpool beat Man City to second place?

    BBC Sport

    Liverpool's form has given them a chance to finish second in the Premier League, says manager Brendan Rodgers.

    Brendan Rodgers

    Liverpool are fifth with nine games to play, but are only four points behind second-placed Manchester City, who lost 1-0 at Burnley on Saturday.

  68. Liverpool edges towards Champions League place

    BBC Sport

    Liverpool moved within two points of the Champions League places and stretched their unbeaten run to 13 league games with a hard-earned win at Swansea.

    Jordan Henderson

    Swansea dominated the first half but, thanks to Simon Mignolet's fine saves from Bafetimbi Gomis and Gylfi Sigurdsson, it was goalless at the interval.

    Liverpool were vastly improved after the restart and scored a fortuitous winner when Jordi Amat's clearance deflected off Jordan Henderson and into the net.

  69. Cloudy with sunny intervals

    BBC Weather

    Latest

    Mostly cloudy across the region with showery outbreaks of rain.

    weather chart

    It should become drier from the south with a few sunny intervals, especially later today. Winds will be light and temperatures will be around average.

  70. Rush hour traffic

    BBC Travel

    BBC Travel

    The A5267 Cambridge Road in Churchtown is closed in both directions between the B5244 Cambridge Road junction and the A565 Preston New Road junction, because of a sewer collapse and emergency repairs.

  71. Most wanted

    David McDermott, who is originally from Ormskirk but lived in Liverpool, is wanted for smuggling drugs with a value of £71m into the UK - hidden in beef.

    The 41-year-old is one of Britain's 10 most wanted fugitives, according to the National Crime Agency.

    He is believed to be a member of an organised crime gang involved in smuggling cocaine - hidden in a container of frozen beef from Argentina - at Tilbury Docks in Essex in 2013.

  72. Good morning...

    ...and a happy St Patrick's Day if you're celebrating any Irish connections!

    Man in Irish face paint

    Stay with us for the latest updates on news, sport, travel and weather across Merseyside today.