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  1. Updates for Thursday, 7 July 2016
  2. Weybread murders suspect Ali Qazimaj appeals against extradition to the UK
  3. Mother praises hospital's care for amputee footballer
  4. Local MP pipped to post at Newmarket by sheikh
  5. Statue of king commemorates 350 years as 'home of horseracing'
  6. Portugal fans in Ipswich celebrate Euro 2016 semi-final win
  7. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Philippa Taylor

All times stated are UK

Acid attack victim says buying strong acids is still too easy

Kelly McCormack

BBC Radio Suffolk

Adele Bellis, who suffered severe burns in an acid attack in Lowestoft two years ago, says access to buying strong acids in the shops is still too easy.

Before and after photographs of Adele
Adele Bellis

Speaking as MP James Berry campaigns to have some of the potentially lethal substances to be re-classified so that anyone who wants to buy them would need a licence, Ms Bellis said "I do think it is too easy to get hold of.

"Builders use it, you can get it from a builders' yards, in shops, on eBay, it is really easy to get hold of."

Crowe in Action for Pompey

On-trial Town keeper Michael Crowe (pictured left) played the first half and kept a clean sheet as Portsmouth opened their pre-season friendly programme with a 3-3 draw in a testimonial at Sligo Rovers last night. 

Michael Crowe (pictured left)

Sayers misses out in Amsterdam

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Newmarket's Goldie Sayers has missed out on qualification for the final of the women's javelin at the European Athletics Championships.

Goldie Sayers
Getty Images

The 33-year-old's best throw this afternoon was 53.56 metres, which was over six metres less than the set qualifying standard.

Sayers, 11 times a British Champion, is now unlikely to make an appearance at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Statue of King Charles II unveiled

Luke Deal

BBC Radio Suffolk

A statue of King Charles II has been unveiled at Newmarket's July Racecourse, as part of the celebrations marking the town's 350-year history of horseracing. 

Statue of King Charles II

The statue is a replica of one which is displayed at the Old Bailey courthouse in London.

Following the July Festival, the statue will be permanently moved to the Premier Enclosure Courtyard at the Rowley Mile racecourse.

Amy Starkey, from Newmarket Racecourses, said "There currently isn't a statue of King Charles II in Newmarket, and the team felt that honouring him should be a key part of the celebrations this year."

More about the link between King Charles II and Newmarket

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

As part of the celebrations to mark 350 years of horseracing in the town, the July Festival kicked off with the Town Plate, which is traditionally run in late summer, and which was instigated by King Charles II.

King Charles returns to Newmarket
Newmarket Racecourses

Three and a half centuries ago, he journeyed to Newmarket, and commanded a course be created there for a race in his name. The king's three-mile, six furlong Round Course, the first "modern" racecourse, was first run in 1666.

According to the Palace House website, between 1668 and 1771, the monarch bought land east of the High Street to construct a new Palace, part of which has survived as Palace House.

His last visit to Newmarket was in 1684, a year before he died.

Police renew their appeal for information about Sylvia Stuart

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

Police say they've received "official confirmation" that a 42-year-old man arrested in Luxembourg in connection with the murder of Peter and Sylvia Stuart, is appealing his extradition to the UK.

Sylvia Stuart
Diss Express

They say they're continuing to work to locate Sylvia Stuart, who they believe is dead after she disappeared from Weybread where her husband's body was found.

Officers are renewing appeals for anyone with information about her whereabouts to contact them.

Travel: Accident causes delays eastbound on A14 from J55

BBC Travel

One lane is blocked and there's queuing traffic eastbound on the A14 in Ipswich between J53 (A1156 Whitehouse) and J55 (A1214 Copdock) because of an accident involving a car and a trailer.

Winning sheikh in praise of town which 'revolves around horses rather than people'

Ben Parker

BBC Suffolk sport

The winner of today’s Newmarket Town Plate, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, has praised the town saying: "It’s just majestic really, I think it is the home of racing.”

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani
Getty Images

Speaking before the race, the owner of Qatar Racing said: “I think it is an unbelievable place Newmarket. 

"I could not believe that a town actually revolves around the horses rather than the people."

'I was pipped at the post' says West Suffolk MP after coming second in Newmarket race

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, who came second in the Newmarket Town Plate this afternoon, said: "It was a great race - very competitive."

The race was won by Sheikh Fahad, who Mr Hancock said "swooped past him" after he'd led for much of the race on Medieval Chapel.

Admitting he was "pipped at the post", Mr Hancock said it's "a bit soon" to decide if he'll compete in the race again future.

Sheikh Fahad wins the Newmarket Town Plate

Newmarket's MP Matt Hancock has failed in his bid to win the amateur Town Plate on the July Course, losing out to Sheikh Fahad. 

View more on twitter

Ali Qazimaj appeals District Court decision on extradition

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

Ali Qazimaj, from Tilbury in Essex, has appealed against a decision by the District Court in Luxembourg to uphold his extradition to the UK.

Ali Qazimaj
Suffolk Police

Mr Qazimaj, who was arrested by police in Luxembourg last month, will find out within 20 days whether the Court of Appeal upholds Monday's decision to extradite him, or whether his appeal has been successful.

If the decision to extradite him is upheld, Mr Qazimaj will be surrendered to Suffolk Police within 10 days.

Police want to question Mr Qazimaj about the murder of Peter Stuart and the disappearance of his wife, Sylvia, who they also believe has been killed.

BreakingWeybread murders suspect appeals extradition from Luxembourg

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

We've just heard from the District Court in Luxembourg that Ali Qazimaj, who is suspected by police of killing Weybread couple Peter and Sylvia Stuart, has appealed the decision to extradite him to the UK.

We'll bring you further details shortly.

Court breaks for lunch at teacher's sexual abuse trial

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

The trial of Gerard Singer has broken for lunch.

The judge will continue his summing-up of the evidence in the two-week trial this afternoon.

Mr Singer denies 28 charges relating to his time teaching at St George's School, which was based at Wicklewood in Norfolk before it moved to Great Finborough in Suffolk in 1978.

Gerard Singer case: Explanation of types of offence

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Continuing his summing up in the trial of Gerard Singer at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge Martyn Levett has told the jury there are four types of offence which range from indecency with a child to serious sexual offences.

The judge will be reminding jurors about all the evidence they've heard in the course of the two-week trial.

Newmarket 'looking glorious' ahead of MP's race

Away from the Gerard Singer trial, one of Suffolk's MPs is preparing to ride in the amateur Town Plate at Newmarket's July Course at 13:00.

View more on twitter

Gerard Singer case: Judge says verdicts will not necessarily be the same in each case

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Judge Martyn Levett has told the jury they must consider the evidence of each of the specific complainants, and said it might be that the verdicts will not necessarily be the same in each case.

He's also explaining the difference between single and multiple charges.

Gerard Singer case: Jury given guidance by judge

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

The jury in the trial of Gerard Singer, who denies sexual abuse of pupils at St George's School in Norfolk and Suffolk, has been told it needs to consider whether it believes he was wrongly convicted of offences of sexual aggression on children in France.

Mr Stringer denies these happened, despite his conviction in 1998.

Judge Martyn Levett said that even if Mr Singer had a "propensity" to commit offences such as the French ones, it didn't in itself prove he committed these ones at St George's.

'Make or break' for Goldie Sayers

Ben Parker

BBC Suffolk sport

It's make or break for Suffolk javelin thrower Goldie Sayers in the coming days if she is to qualify for what would be her fourth Olympic Games. 

The Newmarket athlete is in qualifying action at the European Championships in Amsterdam this afternoon where she will need to produce her best throw of the season if she is to make the grade for Rio.  

Goldie Sayers
Getty Images

Sayers, 33 believes if she makes Rio it would be her finest moment in the sport. 

She said: "Of all the Olympics to qualify for I think it would actually be my best achievement. 

"In the last Olympic cycle it's been a nightmare, I've had five surgeries and somehow found a way to get back after each one, so if I was to qualify I'd obviously be over the moon." 

Sayers needs javelin personal best for Rio place

Ben Parker

BBC Suffolk sport

Newmarket's Goldie Sayers is in action at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam this afternoon.

Goldie Sayers
Getty Images

The 33-year-old needs to produce her personal best throw of the season if she is to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio.

Sayers said: "It's been quite a tough season and I’m having to problem-solve my way to throwing further.

"I'm confident it's in there, but it's down to me to get it out."

Football world unites to support Shaun, 27

East Anglian Daily Times

This is the front page of the west edition of today's East Anglian Daily Times

Front page of west edition of today's EADT

250 arrests in crackdown on drugs gangs

Ipswich Star

Here's the front page of today's Ipswich Star:

Ipswich Star front page
Ipswich Star

MP's horserace is at lunchtime

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

West Suffolk's Conservative MP Matthew Hancock is due in the saddle at 13:00 for the amateur Town Plate race at Newmarket's July Course.

He's been told to keep of the carbohydrates as part of his training programme:

MP Matthew Hancock to take part in historic Newmarket Plate race

The race precedes the main card at Newmarket, which starts at 14:10.

Gerard Singer case: More from Ipswich Crown Court

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Gerard Singer, 69, who most recently lived in north east France, is wearing a white shirt and black trousers and he's sitting in court with his arms folded.

The jury at Ipswich Crown Court, is made up of six men and six women.

Ipswich Crown Court

Judge continues summing-up in Gerard Singer case

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

I'm at Ipswich Crown Court, where Judge Martyn Levett is continuing summing-up in the trial of Gerard Singer, who denies abusing nine former pupils at St George's School, which was first based at Wicklewood, Norfolk, and then Great Finborough in Suffolk, between 1978 and 1981.

Mum of amputee footballer praises 'amazing' work of hospital staff

Jodie Smith

BBC News

Shaun Whiter's mum has thanked staff at Addenbrooke's Hospital, where her 27-year-old son is being treated after a hit-and-run crash which left him needing both legs amputated.

Shaun Whiter / Addenbrooke's Hospital
Family Photo / BBC

"They've treated him and given him so much dignity," Pauline Whiter said. "They've been truly amazing".

Mr Whiter, a footballer who was about to begin training with Newmarket Town, was pinned against his car when another vehicle crashed into it when he was helping his friend Joey Abbs change a tyre near the Suffolk town on Friday night.

'This is a secret that shouldn't be kept'

Jodie Smith

BBC News

The mother of a footballer who lost his legs in a hit-and-run crash hopes the driver responsible "didn't realise the amount of damage and that's why they didn't stop".

Shaun Whiter, 27, who works as an estate agent in Stansted Mountfitchet and was due to begin training with Newmarket Town, was helping his friend change a flat tyre near Newmarket on Friday night when a car hit them and drove off.

Shaun Whiter
Family photo

His mum Pauline Whiter said she hoped the driver involved would come forward and speak to police.

"We hope they're a good human being and now they know what's happened, they will come forward, or someone they shared a confidence with will, " she said. "This is a secret that shouldn't be kept".

Suffolk MP-turned-jockey admits to feeling 'nervous trepidation' ahead of race

The MP for West Suffolk, who is taking part in today's Newmarket Town Plate, says he's feeling "nervous trepidation" ahead of the event.

It's the second time he's ridden at Newmarket Racecourses, but says the first time was just over a mile, and this is three miles, six furlongs (just over 6km)

Matthew Hancock

Mr Hancock added: "I've done some preparation, I've had my exercise, but I've no idea how it's going to feel by the end of the race."

A closer look at how the horseracing industry contributes to the local economy

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

We referred earlier to a report in 2013, which revealed that the horseracing industry at that time contributed more than £208m a year to the economy in and around Newmarket.

Newmarket town sign
Forest Heath Council

The report, which was commissioned by Forest Heath District Council, revealed that:

  • Trainers contributed £98.6m
  • Stud farms £81.2m
  • Visitors £8.8m

Leader of the council James Waters said in 2014: "We have never before had an independent, fact-based report on exactly what impact the horseracing industry has on Newmarket.

"It looks at the impact of racing up to 25 miles away, so will be a really useful document as we plan future growth in west Suffolk."

Horseracing industry continues to grow, says Jockey Club Estates

Kelly McCormack

BBC Radio Suffolk

The managing director of Jockey Club Estates in Newmarket says the industry has grown since a 2013 report which suggested it contributes more than £200m a year to the economy.

Newmarket composite picture
Getty Images

William Gittus said: "2013 was coming slightly towards the end of a pretty major recession and yet horse numbers, in terms of horses in training, using the facilities here, grew continually during that period and have continued to grow and the sales market has improved significantly since then."

Video: Celebrations in Ipswich as cafe marks Portugal's win over Wales

There was singing and dancing on the streets of Ipswich last night as Portugal gained their place in the final of Euro 2016. 

Bicafe o Portugues on Norwich Road was packed with people of all ages, and from several nations, watching the match - singing throughout. 

Once the final whistle blew with the score Portugal 2-0 Wales, people piled outside to celebrate - gaining honks from passing cars:

Singing and dancing on the streets of Ipswich to celebrate Portugal's win

'The whole local economy benefits from the prosperity of racing' says former Newmarket mayor

Kelly McCormack

BBC Radio Suffolk

A Newmarket trainer and former mayor says: "I think the whole local economy benefits from the popularity and prosperity of racing in the area."

Beverley House stables

John Berry was speaking on the first day of the July Festival, when the town also continues to celebrate 350 years as the home of horseracing. He said racing does "an awful lot" to boost the prosperity of the town.

"The most obvious ones are publicans and hoteliers in the High Street and weeks like this - this is where they make their money to tide them over the quiet periods through the year," he said.

Thursday's weather: Dry and bright

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It will be a generally dry day, but rather cloudy at times and the odd shower cannot be ruled out. 

There will be light winds and some sunny spells and it will feel pleasantly warm in the sunshine, especially in urban areas. Top temperature: 22C (72F).

BBC East's Elizabeth Rizzini has the forecast for the region:

Dry with variable amounts of cloud this evening, and relatively warm, with a chance of some rain arriving from the west by dawn. Lows of 13C (55F).

Get the full forecast where you live, from BBC Weather.

Welcome to Thursday's Suffolk Live

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

Good morning.

Today's the first day of the July Festival in Newmarket, where celebrations will also continue to mark 350 years of the town's heritage as headquarters of the British horseracing industry.

We'll be looking at the impact the festival has on the wider community, hear from one of the town's trainers, and look ahead to the Town Plate, which was instigated by King Charles II and first run in 1666. 

He stated that it should be run "forever" so I'm sure he'd be pleased it's still going.