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Man jailed for 16-years after caught with £5 million of drugs

61-year old Malcolm O'Halloran Credit: Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU)

A man caught driving along the M1 with drugs in his van worth five million pounds as been jailed for sixteen years.

Malcolm O'Halloran who is 61, was stopped by police as he drove through Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire in January.

Police found cocaine in his van and later searched O'Halloran's house, finding guns and ammunition along with just under sixty thousand pounds in cash.

O'Halloran pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply, one count of possessing criminal property, three counts of possessing a prohibited firearm, and one count of possessing illegal ammunition.

Cocaine found in the back of O'Halloran's van Credit: Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU)

"Fifty kilograms of cocaine equates to an untold amount of misery and degradation on the streets of the eastern region, and the guns and cash found at his house demonstrate both the money involved with the drugs trade and the dangerous undercurrent of violence that comes with it."

– Detective Chief Inspector Chris Balmer

Appeal after man found dead in Luton car park

Police were called to Sainsbury’s car park in Quantock Rise. Credit: Google Maps

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was found dead in a car park in Luton.

Emergency services were called at approximately 4pm (27 April) to reports a man had been found in a van in Sainsbury’s car park in Quantock Rise.

The man, Peter McCann, 47, died at the scene.

We are not treating this death as suspicious, but we are keen to find out what happened to Peter prior to his death, and we’d like to speak to anyone who may have seen him, or his vehicle, yesterday.

– Detective Sergeant Michelle Lack

The van was a green Vauxhall Vivaro with a 11 plate.

Anyone with information is asked to contact DS Lack on 101 quoting Operation Chantilly.

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Man arrested on terrorism charges linked to Syria

A 21-year-old man from Luton has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism linked to Syria.

He was held at around 1pm on Wednesday on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism.

The suspect was taken to a police station in south London for questioning.

Police are investigating alleged plans to travel to Syria to support a banned organisation, Scotland Yard said

Government inspectors find gender segregation continues at faith school

The Rabia school in Luton

Some independent faith schools are "flouting British values" by continuing to enforce gender segregation, Government inspectors have found.

A report by Ofsted on Rabia Girls' and Boys' School in Luton found staff
insisted on using a dividing screen across the middle of the room to separate men and women during a meeting with inspectors.

Senior inspectors visiting the Muslim faith school also gathered evidence that male and female staff are regularly segregated during whole-school staff training sessions. It meant male staff would sit in one room while the session was simultaneously broadcast to females in another part of the school.

The findings were revealed in a letter from Ofsted Chief Inspector for England and Wales Sir Michael Wilshaw to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan relating to inspections carried out earlier in April.

Nicky Morgan MP, Education Secretary

Sir Michael said inspectors were so concerned about the behaviours modelled by leaders at Rabia school that they informed the proprietor it would remain in the "inadequate" category despite improvements being made elsewhere.

Yarl's Wood detainee loses case against Home Secretary

The Yarl's Wood centre

A mentally-ill Nigerian immigrant who said she was wrongly held in an Bedfordshire immigration removal centre pending deportation has lost a Supreme Court damages fight with Home Secretary Theresa May.

The 38-year-old woman had complained that she was unlawfully detained at Yarl's Wood removal centre near Bedford for several months pending deportation.

But five Supreme Court justices have dismissed her claim after analysing Home Office policy on the detention of mentally-ill immigrants pending deportation at a hearing in London.

The woman, who was not named in a written ruling, had previously lost fights in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Lawyers representing her complained that she had not been able to access necessary mental health services at Yarl's Wood.

The justices' ruling did not say whether the woman had now left the UK.

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Day one of junior doctors strike officially ends

5pm: Day one of the junior doctors strike has officially ended.

The industrial action doesn't appear to have driven up hospital waiting times or caused any problems of note so far.

Junior doctors are expected to walk out again on Wednesday between 8am and 5pm.

Kate Prout reflects on how our hospitals coped in the east:

Sarah Cooper reflects on how hospitals coped in the west.

Mayor of Paris thanks primary school for condolences after terror attacks

The messages of support sent by the school. Credit: William Austin Junior School

Pupils from William Austin Junior school in Luton who sent a special book of condolence to France in the wake of terror attacks have received personal thanks from the Mayor of Paris.

The letter, written in French and translated for the children, thanked the school for their lovely book and their show of support.

Web daters warned to 'date safe'

Crimes initiated via internet dating have risen. Credit: PA.

Internet users are being advised to "date safe" following a national increase in reports of crimes initiated via internet dating.

Bedfordshire police recorded 39 crimes in the last two years - all relating to the use of internet dating sites - six of these were serious sexual offences.

Concerns raised for children starting school

A charity has raised concerns about children just about to start school. Credit: ITV Anglia.

More than half of parents in the East of England are worried their child will not be ready to start school at the age of five, according to charity Action for Children.

It has led the group to call upon the Government to offer more support to parents.

The charity says many children have not developed good enough communication skills to cope with the school day.

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