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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.

Armed robbery at Bedfordshire bookmaker's

A member of staff at a bookmaker's has been threatened with a handgun during an armed robbery in Leighton Buzzard.

It happened on Saturday evening at Betfred in Wing Road.

The raider demanded money, which was handed over, before running from the store.

Detective Constable Rachel Foy, who is investigating the offence, said: "This was an extremely frightening attack and it is important that we catch this offender as soon as possible.

"The offender fled towards New Road but we believe that he may have made his way to Mentmore Park."

Two people have been arrested in relation to the raid and released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Man charged after siege

Siege in Leighton Buzzard Credit: ITV Anglia

Bedfordshire Police have charged a man arrested after a five hour siege in Bridge Street, Leighton Buzzard on Tuesday evening. Marc McLees, 42, of Bridge Street,

Leighton Buzzard has been charged with one count of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and one count of communicating false information about a bomb hoax.


Man in custody after armed siege

A man is being questioned by police after a 5-hour stand-off in Leighton Buzzard last night.

Armed response teams were called to a property in the Bridge Street area at about 5pm yesterday afternoon.

A bomb disposal unit was also called to the scene.

A number of roads were closed in the area while specially-trained negotiators spoke to the man.

He was taken into police custody at about 10.30pm.

An imitation firearm was found at the property.

Woman robbed at knifepoint

Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses after a 25 year old woman was robbed in an alleyway in Leighton Buzzard on Saturday night.

Two men and a woman grabbed the victim from behind as she walked through the alley near West Street around 9pm. They held a knife to her throat and emptied her handbag.

Detective Constable Thomas Hamm, who is investigating the incident said: “This was a frightening and upsetting experience for the victim and it is vital that we find the people responsible as quickly as possible and stop them from committing any further offences.

Homes evacuated after gas main fire

Forty residents had to be evacuated from their homes after sparking power cables set fire to a leaking gas main in Bedfordshire.

Crews were called to Leighton Buzzard at 7.20 a.m after workmen reported the fire on Stanbridge Road.

Bedfordshire fire service said the men were working on low voltage cables in the road when the main caught alight.

Police closed the road and 24 homes were evacuated. The blaze was under control two hours later.

The fire service said Stanbridge Road remains closed and local homes will be temporarily without power while workers replace electricity cables and the gas main.

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