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Police search for missing man

Missing man Neil Devlin Credit: Hertfordshire Police

Bedfordshire Police are concerned for the safety of Neil Devlin, a 37-year-old from Town Bridge Mill in Leighton Buzzard who was last seen on New Year’s Eve.

He is described as suffering from mild learning difficulties and was reported missing by neighbours.

Mr Devlin who lives alone has also failed to attend work at Morrisons in the town.

CCTV released after attempted Tesco theft

If you recognise this man contact 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
If you recognise this man contact 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Bedfordshire Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to following an attempted theft from the Tesco store in Vimy Road, Leighton Buzzard.

The incident took place between 1.3pm and 1.45pm on Friday July 12 when two men entered the store with a shopping trolley and began filling it with various items.

The duo then walked out of the store with the trolley but this triggered the store alarm and the pair were chased by security guards who managed to retrieve the goods which were valued at £850.

If you recognise this man contact 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
If you recognise this man contact 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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Former Leighton Buzzard soldier changes plea to guilty

Police on Bridge Street after the former solider had locked himself in his home
Police on Bridge Street after the former solider had locked himself in his home

A former soldier, who was arrested after a five hour siege in Leighton Buzzard has today changed his plea to guilty of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Marc McLees, 42, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, sparked a major alert at his home in Bridge Street, Leighton Buzzard on the evening of February 5 this year.

He had denied a charge of communicating false information about a bomb hoax at the same time at an earlier hearing at Luton crown court.

Prosecutor Kevin West said that the new plea to the BB gun offence was acceptable and said he would ask for the bomb hoax charge to lie on the file.

The police had been called to Bridge Street after the former solider had locked himself in his home and began throwing things out of the window.

He made threats and police negotiators and an Armed Response team attended. After five hours he was arrested and the BB gun was recovered.

Defence barrister Will Noble said: "This case has an abundance of mitigation. Mr McLees had an exceptional military career. He has no previous convictions and his behaviour was out of character and somewhat bizarre. It is clear he needs help and assistance for post traumatic stress disorder."

He said Mr McLees was being helped by the Royal British Legion. The organisation is providing him with a flat, therapy to combat stress, education and training as well as financial support.

Since being remanded to Bedford jail, he had been an exemplary prisoner, said Mr Noble. Judge Barbara Mensah remanded him in custody for pre sentence reports to be prepared. It is hoped the case will be fully opened on 31 July.

Hollywood star takes a ride on Leighton Buzzard Railway

John Travolta and his son Ben with some of the volunteers on the Leighton Buzzard Railway Credit: Leighton Buzzard Railway

Volunteers operating a narrow-gauge railway in Bedfordshire were amazed to find a Hollywood super star on one of their trains yesterday.

The actor John Travolta came for a ride with his young son Ben on the Leighton Buzzard Railway.

Following the 70-minute round trip, the star said how much they had enjoyed the experience and would try to come again in the future.

Man charged with five burglaries in Harpenden

A man has been charged with five burglaries in Harpenden and has admitted to committing a further 40 across the county.

Dennis Skiller, aged 32 and from Eagle Close in Leighton Buzzard, was arrested on 9 May.

He admitted five burglaries which occurred in Harpenden between May 3 and 5. Having spent time in custody, he admitted a further 40 offences which took place in Berkhamsted, Tring and Harpenden, as well as in Buckinghamshire.

He appeared at Hatfield Remand Court yesterday and was remanded into custody. He is next due to appear at St Albans Crown Court on May 29.

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Taxi driver robbed at knifepoint in Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses after a taxi driver was threatened by armed robbers on Tuesday evening

The incident happened at around 6.40pm as the victim went to collect a fare in Meadow Way, Leighton Buzzard.

When he arrived, three offenders - who were all wearing masks - threatened him with a pen knife and a stick.

The driver got out of his car and the suspects took his money, phone and satellite navigation system.

“Thankfully the victim was not injured during the attack but this could have been a far more serious incident and we must apprehend the people who committed this offence before they can commit further harm."

– Detective Constable Matt Shepherd, Bedfordshire Police

There is no clear description of the offenders although all three are believed to be white males.

Forced labour trial

Luton Crown Court has heard how the head of a family of Irish travellers in Bedfordshire drove his workers like slaves.

The jury was told one of the workers lived in a horsebox with 10 others at the Greenacres Travellers site near Leighton Buzzard.

They were driven to a service station for a shower once a week. Tommy Connors and three of his sons deny charges which include making people perform forced labour. The trial continues.

Light Railway celebration at Leighton Buzzard

The volunteers who run Leighton Buzzard's narrow-gauge railway will be celebrating the start of their 45th year of operation today, Sunday 17th March.

The first train of the season, due to depart from Page's Park station at 10.40, will be given a send-off by the Town Mayor and the Town Crier.

The first regular passenger trains, operated by volunteers, ran in 1968, and have operated every year since then. The railway itself, originally built to carry sand, will celebrate its centenary in six years' time.

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