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Pictures: Firefighters tackle blaze at disused college

Fire engines on the scene Credit: Twitter/@WestMidsFire

30 firefighters tackled a blaze at a disused college in Smethwick last night.

A firefighter tackles the blaze Credit: Twitter/@WestMidsFire

The fire was at the old Smethwick College building on Crocketts Lane, and firefighters say they managed to put it out successfully.

The service was called just after 9pm last night Credit: Twitter/@WestMidsFire
  1. Chris Halpin

Lovers jailed for 'body in suitcase' canal murder

A man who murdered his friend and then dumped his body in suitcases in a canal, is beginning a prison sentence tonight.

Lorenzo Simon is thought to have used Michael Spalding for slave labour to decorate his flat in Smethwick and killed him once he'd finished. He enlisted the help of his girlfriend Michelle Bird to dispose of the suitcases, which were weighed down with broken paving slabs.

One was later found by a Canal & River Trust contractor after it floated to the surface. Chris Halpin reports.


Man found guilty of murdering his friend

A man has been found guilty of murdering his friend.

44-year-old Lorenzo Simon murdered Michael Spalding, 39, in Oxford Road in Smethwick, before chopping up his body, stuffing it inside suitcases and then throwing them in the canal.

Lorenzo Simon will be sentenced next week Credit: West Midlands Police

The body was discovered on 12 May last year.

Simon will be sentenced next week. His girlfriend, Michelle Bird, was acquitted of murder, but has previously admitted assisting an offender.

Michael Spalding's body was found in May last year Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)

Moment toddler shares a high five with the Duchess

This is the beautiful moment a Midland tot bounded up to Kate Middleton - and shared a high five.

The toddler - clearly not put off by the visitor's lofty status - set off a blaze of camera flashes from photographers covering the Royal appearance.

The moment was caught on video by our reporter.

The Duchess of Cambridge was visiting the West Midlands on Wednesday as part of her charity work supporting vulnerable children.

Kate, who is seven months pregnant with her second child, went to Action for Children’s Cape Hill Children’s Centre in Smethwick and a pottery factory in Stoke-on-Trent which creates designer mugs to raise funds for a children’s hospice.

In Smethwick the Duchess, 33, met families who have faced difficult circumstances, such as domestic violence or serious health problems, and learn how Action for Children has helped them.


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