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Doc Brown brings his many talents to the Midlands

He hasn't even hit 40 yet, but Doc Brown has already forged three successful careers in different fields.

He started out as a rapper on the underground scene, before making a name for himself as a comedian. Now, he's playing DS Joe Hawkins in ITV's 'Law & Order: UK'.

ITV Central caught up with Doc Brown - Ben Bailey Smith - as his stand-up comedy tour reaches Birmingham Town Hall tomorrow night and Stratford's RSC next month.

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Trio who stole five guns while woman slept are jailed

Mark Simons sentenced to seven years and six months behind bars Credit: Warwickshire Police

Three men who crept into a Warwickshire house in the middle of the night and stole five guns have been jailed.

The burglary happened on April 8 in Clifford Chambers, close to Stratford upon Avon. The homeowner was asleep when they came in, but she woke to discover the trio in her house.

Mark Simons, 22, Raymond Kerridge, 49, and Lee Forbes, 31, sparked a major police operation in the wake of the crime.

Raymond Kerridge pleaded guilty to the burglary Credit: Warwickshire Police

Simons and Kerridge pleaded guilty prior to the trial at Warwick Crown Court. They were each sentenced to seven years and six months behind bars.

Lee Forbes was convicted following a trial, and was sentenced to nine years in prison; eight for the Clifford Chambers burglary and an extra 12 months for a dangerous driving matter and a burglary in Leicester.

A fourth man, 21-year-old Connor Kearney of Holly Walk in Stratford is charged with possession of a firearm and is due to appear in court at a later date.

"All burglaries have a massive impact on victims and this one was particularly frightening for the person who was home alone and awoke to three men in her house whose sole purpose was to steal firearms.

“The sentence has allowed the victim some closure and made her feel safer in her own home.

"This sends out a clear message to criminals that where firearms are stolen or used you will receive a heavy custodial sentence and Warwickshire police will do everything they can to bring those responsible to justice, and follow all leads to find lethal weapons."

– Detective Constable Collette O’Keefe

Witnesses needed after serious Stratford crash

Police seek witnesses after a car crash in Stratford yesterday Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Police are asking witnesses to come forward after a car accident in Stratford yesterday.

The crash involved two vehicles, a Silver Fiat Sedici and a black Ford Fiesta.

Both drivers were taken to hospital. The woman driving the Ford Fiesta was air lifted to Walsgrave Hospital because her injuries were serious. The man driving the Fiat received minor injuries and was taken to Warwick Hospital.

It happened on the B4632 on Clifford Lane, near Clifford Chambers at 7.45am.

  1. National

Up to 700 Brits 'fighting with Islamist militants'

MP for Stratford on Avon Nadhim Zahawi is on a visit to Kurdistan in northern Iraq Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Iraq-born Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has said that local leaders in northern Iraq estimate that between 500 and 700 Britons are fighting with the Islamist militants.

He told Channel 4 News that he was seeking further information after a high-ranking official told him one had been found "with a Liverpool Football Club membership card" and another carrying a different UK-related membership card.

Bulldog Bash returns to Stratford-upon-Avon after year out

More than 4,000 bikers are expected to attend the festival Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The Bulldog Bash returns to Stratford-upon-Avon today after a year out.

More than 4,000 campers are expected at the motorcycle and music festival which runs until Sunday.

The event includes drag strip demos, fairground rides, food and the custom show tent for bikes.

The festival has been held at Long Marston Airfield since 1987 and attracts bikers from across Europe.

The Bulldog Bash includes a number of biker-related events Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The Bulldog Bash has been hit by controversy over the years. In 2007 Hells Angel member Gerry Tobin was shot in the back of the head while riding home from the festival on the M40.

Seven members of rival gang Outlaws were sentenced to a total of 191 years in prison for his murder.

Warwickshire Police say they will have an increased police presence in the area during the festival and are warning people to plan their travel arrangements in advance.

Hells Angels Gerry Tobin was murdered in 2007 after the Bulldog Bash Credit: Warwickshire Police

While this year's event is expected to be smaller than previous years, the nature of the roads leading to Long Marston Airfield means that they can quickly become congested.

We are urging people to consider their travel arrangements during next week's event and if they do intend to travel allow themselves extra time.

– Chief Inspector Ian Whiting, Warwickshire Police

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Man with stoma bag defies doctors to become a model

Blake Beckford was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2003 Credit: SWNS

A bodybuilder from Stratford-upon-Avon who was forced to give up his career because of devastating bowel disease is now a fitness model - sporting an ileostomy bag.

Blake Beckford, 33, was preparing to compete in a bodybuilding competition when he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2003.

His condition meant he was constantly tired and needed to go to the toilet up to 20 times a day.

The condition stopped him from training and being a bodybuilder. In October he needed surgery to remove his entire colon.

Blake was determined to prove doctors wrong and build himself back up Credit: SWNS

Despite warnings from doctors that training could cause injuries such as hernias, he was determined to get back into shape.

Doctors also warned the father-of-one he would never be able to train at the level required to be a fitness model.

But determined to prove them wrong, he began a training regime in January, starting at a weight of 11st 12lbs.

Over the last six months he has bulked up to 13st 2lbs and has just appeared in ‘Men’s Fitness’ magazine.

Now a personal trainer, Blake hopes his progress will inspire others with stoma bags to have more confidence.

MORE: Worcester woman with Crohns disease becomes internet sensation

Police investigate death at GlobalGathering festival

Warwickshire Police are investigating the death of a 20-year-old man who became unwell at the GlobalGathering event in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Police say he was taken from the event to Warwick Hospital by ambulance around 11 o'clock last night. Despite attempts to save him, he was declared dead in the early hours of the morning.

His death is being treated as unexplained and a post-mortem is due to take place. The man's next of kin have been informed.

Scene of coffee shop smash in 2012 - driver found guilty

The crowded scene in Stratford-upon-Avon after the crash Credit: ITV News Central
The VW Touran smashed into two shop including a busy coffee shop Credit: ITV News Central
All three emergency services attended on 23 April 2012 Credit: ITV News Central

Man who smashed car into coffee shop found guilty

A former magistrate from Warwickshire, who smashed his car into the front of a coffee shop leaving several people seriously injured, has been found guilty of dangerous driving.

Alan Marks, from Shottery in Stratford-upon-Avon, claimed the crash was caused by a mechanical fault.

But Birmingham Crown Court heard during the trial that the 65-year-old mistakenly pressed the car's accelerator rather than the brake, and failed to control the Volkswagon Touran as it careered into a pedestrianised street.

The crash at the Costa Coffee in Henley Street left a shopper with a traumatic brain injury and another victim with multiple fractures.

Marks was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,200 in costs, after the jury took two hours to consider its verdict.

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