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Man who strangled ex-wife due to be sentenced today

Luan Leigh was strangled to death by Andrew Leigh in June Credit: BPM Media

A man from Sutton Coldfield who drugged his ex wife before strangling her to death is due to be sentenced today.

43 year-old Andrew Leigh murdered his wife of 22 years, Luan, at her home in Pype Hayes Birmingham in June. The jury at Birmingham Crown Court was told Leigh was a controlling man who refused to accept their marriage was over.

Much criticised Magical Journey Christmas experience closes its doors

Credit: BPM Media

The Magical Journey Christmas attraction at the Belfry in Sutton Coldfield has closed today.

They've blamed the loss of a key financial backer in its final week and organisers say they've been left with no other option.

Families booked to attend are being told to contact their debit or credit card provider for a refund.

We are truly sorry. After all we've been through having to shutdown in the final week is devastating. Although we had quite the time of it in the press and on social media, feedback was great with over 600 four and five star reviews. However, today a key financial backer has dropped out leaving us in the lurch. We have tried desperately over the last few hours to find a replacement but to no avail.

– Magical Journey organisers

ITV Central viewers have already been in touch with their reaction after receiving emails from the organisers.

We have now all received an email saying it is closing down and we cannot get a refund from them - we have to claim it back ourselves. Not only is this time consuming and costly to us with phone calls etc. some people can't afford to take their children elsewhere when the Magical Journey cost so much. We all have to face the issue of finding somewhere to take our children this late in the day when places are booked up.

– Hayley Bailey

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Mitchell admits to 'bad language', but denies 'pleb' insult

Former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell has admitted to occasionally using “bad language” in conversation, but denied having used the word “pleb”.

The MP told the High Court today he could be “impatient” when he felt he was being hampered from going about his business.

I even admit that I can be - or at least that I can appear to be - rude on these occasions.

To the best of my recollection, I have never called anybody a 'pleb', however, let alone a policeman.

Since the incident I have thought long and hard about this and cannot recall a single instance when I have called anybody a 'pleb'. It just isn't a word I use.

– Andrew Mitchell MP
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The Sun claims 'plebgate' story was 'substantially true'

The legal team arguing on behalf of The Sun newspaper has claimed an article published accusing former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell of a foul-mouthed rant at the gates of Downing Street was 'substantially true'.

News Group Newspapers (NGN) is relying on an account given by PC Toby Rowland, who said that Mr Mitchell had demanded and been denied the right to leave via the main gates.

Andrew Mitchell arriving for a Cabinet meeting at No 10 Downing Street on his bicycle Credit: PA

He then lost his temper, PC Rowland claims, saying: "Best you learn your f**king place - you don't run this f**king government - you're f**king plebs."

The Sutton Coldfield MP stood down as whip a month after the reports. He denies “demanding” to use the gates or using those words – though admits muttering under his breath: “I thought you guys were supposed to f**king help us". He has apologised for swearing.

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Court told police 'lies' ruined 'outstanding' minister's career

The barrister representing former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell has told the High Court that police officers' "lies" destroyed the "outstanding" minister's 27-year political career.

ITV News political correspondent Libby Wiener is at the hearing:

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Plebgate police's 'web of lies' outlined at High Court

Police officers were today accused of spinning a “web of lies, deceit and indiscipline” which led to the resignation of former government minister Andrew Mitchell over the so-called ‘plebgate’ scandal.

Representing Mr Mitchell at the High Court, James Price QC today opened the Sutton Coldfield MP’s libel action against News Group Newspapers (NGN) over the story.

Former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell is suing News Group Newspapers over the story Credit: PA

The court heard Mr Mitchell, the former chief whip, and his family were subjected to an “unpleasant and vitriolic” press campaign as a result of the allegations, which were leaked to The Sun by officers in September 2012.

Mr Mitchell claims the piece portrayed him as guilt of launching a grossly offensive and arrogant attack at Downing Street police officers two days earlier, branding them "f**king plebs" and"morons".

Read: Plebgate officer sacked over press leaks

Woman rescued by firefighters after blaze in Sutton Coldfield

Fire at Cumberland Walk, Falcon Lodge. Credit: Erdington Fire station

A 30-year-old woman from Falcon Lodge, Sutton Coldfield, had been rescued by fire crews after she was trapped in her bedroom by the blaze.

Firefighters arrived at the scene at around 8am this morning and broke down the front door before finding the woman trapped in her bedroom.

She was rescued and taken to Good Hope Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Crews also rescued her dog but it sadly died after failed attempts to revive it.

Officers said the fire was probably caused by a cigarette which had not been put out properly and set the sofa in the living room on fire.

A woman was rescued from her bedroom after a fire started in the lounge. Credit: Erdington Fire station

Council release statement over housing protest

Current projections show that there will be a need for more than 80,000 homes in Birmingham by 2031 as a result of an anticipated population increase of 150,000.

As required by law, we have carefully looked at all available sites for housing and the BDP offers the best possible solutions to the challenging situation we face.

– Birmingham City Council Statement

Sutton Coldfield already at 'saturation point' says organiser

Suzanne Webb, organiser of the Sutton Coldfield protest, expressed her frustration at the lack of open space in the area which she believes is already at 'saturation point'.

She told ITV News Central that the protest walk today is about the community coming together and protesting against the plans to build six thousand new homes.

Council bosses say the land, off the A38 near Walmley, is needed to meet the growing demand for housing in Birmingham.

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