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School building damaged after fire breaks out in skip

Fire crews were called to the Brooklands School in Leighton Buzzard. Credit: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

A school building in Leighton Buzzard has been damaged after a fire broke out at a nearby skip.

Firefighters were called to the Brooklands School yesterday afternoon (20 October) after the blaze destroyed the contents of an industrial skip, containing roofing materials, and caused damage to the exterior of the building.

The school roof was being renovated when the fire broke out. Credit: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

The school roof was being renovated. Contractors were removing materials - including felt and insulation - using blowtorches and putting them into the skip.

The fire service say it's possible that some of the materials could have been alight or hot - which then could have ignited the rest of the contents of the skip.

Workmen tried to tackle the fire before fire crews arrived. One of them suffered minor burns to his arm, and was treated at the scene.

The fire has been extinguished.

The fire has been extinguished. Credit: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

“The school activated the fire alarm and a full evacuation safely took place and the pupils were relocated to nearby Leedon Lower School.

When the crews arrived six minutes later the skip was well alight and had spread to the fascia of the building melting the UPVC window frames and causing heat damage to the exterior.”

– Darren Chambers, Watch Commander, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Murder charge dropped over man killed at caravan site in Leighton Buzzard

Patrick Maloney died after the attack at Little Billington Credit: Bedfordshire police/ ITV News Anglia

A murder charge has been dropped against a man accused of running over a father-of-three at a travellers' site near Leighton Buzzard.

43-year-old Patrick Maloney died from "multiple crushing injuries" after being hit by a vehicle at Toddbury Farm on 2 August.

Brothers Thomas and Christopher McCarthy had been charged with this murder, but prosectors today said they're only continuing with the case against Christopher.

His trial's expected to take place in January.


Man charged with murder following Leighton Buzzard death

Patrick Maloney died after the attack at Little Billington. Credit: Bedfordshire Police/ITV News Anglia

Police investigating the death of a man in Leighton Buzzard have charged a 21-year-old man with murder.

43 year old Patrick Maloney was found dead at the Toddbury Farm traveller's site in Little Billington just over two weeks ago.

21-year-old Christopher McCarthy is due to appear at Luton Crown Court on Monday.

A 24-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman have already been arrested.

Man charged with murder following death near Leighton Buzzard

Patrick Maloney died from multiple crush injuries. Credit: PA

A man has been charged with murder, following a death near Leighton Buzzard.

Thomas McCarthy, 24, is accused of murdering Patrick Maloney, 43, on Tuesday (2 August). Both men lived on the same site in Toddbury Farm, Little Billington.

McCarthy is being held in police and will appear in front of Luton Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (6 August).

A post-mortem examination carried out on Mr Maloney has revealed he died from of multiple crushing injuries, consistent with being involved in a crash with a vehicle.

His wife Margaret has issued a statement to police speaking of her devastation.

“I’m devastated at the loss of my husband, my best friend and a wonderful father to our three boys. “All of our hearts are broken. Finally, to our family and all who knew Patrick, he was a gentle giant.”

– Margaret Maloney

A 42-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of murder.

She is currently on bail, but will have to return to court on 14 September.

“While we have withdrawn our live crime scenes, we will continue to conduct visible patrols over the weekend and are continuing our investigation into the events of Tuesday.

"We would remind the public not to be alarmed, and if anyone has any information, or any concerns, we would still ask them to ring 101 quoting Operation Castor.”

– Detective Inspector Jerry Waite, Norfolk Police

Modern day slavery charge following raid at Bedfordshire travellers' site

Little Billington, near Leighton Buzzard. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

A 34-year-old man has been charged with modern day slavery offences following a raid at a travellers' site in Bedfordshire.

Christopher O'Driscol, of Pembury Road, London, faced six charges including one count of knowingly requiring another person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

The 34-year-old was arrested in October during a raid at a travellers' site at Little Billington, near Leighton Buzzard. The charges relate to work carried out in July and August last year.

He will appear at Luton Magistrates' Court later this month.

Six youths arrested after man stabbed in Bedfordshire

The man was stabbed in Leighton Buzzard. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Police in Bedfordshire have been carrying out extra patrols after a man was stabbed at the weekend.

The victim had been driving along Clarence Road in Leighton Buzzard on Saturday when a woman stopped in front of his car and refused to move.

When he got out to confront her, he was approached by a large group of people armed with a number of weapons.

He was stabbed several times.

Six youths have been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

This incident has understandably caused worry and distress to the people of Leighton Buzzard.

However, I would like to assure the community that we are doing everything possible to get to the bottom of this.

Violence of any type is never acceptable and we have a heightened police presence in the town following this incident to help prevent further disorder and provide reassurance to members of the community.

– Chief Inspector Sean Quinn


Police probe latest ATM raid

The loader is still in place outside the bank in Leighton Buzzard Credit: Steve Corkett

Police are investigating a ram raid that took place in Leighton Buzzard.

At approximately 3am this morning (Monday), an attempt was made to steal a cash machine from the Santander bank in Hockliffe Street.

It is not yet known if anything was stolen and the road is closed while officers carry out investigations at the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.

Electricity storage success for Britain's largest battery

The largest battery in Britain. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It has been a year since the largest battery in Britain opened in Bedfordshire.

The substation in Leighton Buzzard provides back up energy for the National Grid.

UK Power Networks says the two year trial to store electricity on a large scale is "going well".

Martin Wilcox, from UK Power Networks, said: "The project has been carrying out a wide range of individual service trials, aimed at exploring the performance and relative value of different kinds of storage methods.

"While there have some teething issues due to its first-of-a-kind nature, to date it has clocked up more than 1700 hours' operation in commercial markets and we have learned a lot about typical performance of grid-scale storage."

Teenager detained for 'vicious attack' on man when he was 14

A teenager from Leighton Buzzard has been detained for six and a half years for a "vicious attack" on a man that he committed when he was 14.

The boy, now 16, broke into a former pub in Heath and Reach in September 2014 and brutally beat a man, who was suffered serious injuries.

He pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, conspiracy to commit arson and conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

He was sentenced to six and a half years in a detention centre on Wednesday. The judge said he would have been jailed for 13 years been over the age of 18.

It is believed the teenager was associated with an older man that was behind the attack. The motive remains unclear.

“This was a horrendous assault that inflicted horrible injuries on a man that quite frankly is lucky to be alive.

We are pleased the instrument of this despicable crime has been detained with a lengthy sentence for a juvenile; however the instigator is yet to be discovered.

We are committed to ensure the person behind this attack is brought to justice and ask anyone that has any information that could assist our investigation to come forward in confidence.”

– Detective Constable Martin Hart, Bedfordshire Police
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