from BBC News for Birmingham and the Black Country
In a Dudley hospital and struggling to breathe a pregnant nurse calls on people to stay at home.
The huge events venue in Birmingham is “committed to playing its part”, bosses say.
The manager of Birmingham’s New Street station says it was a “no brainer” to offer it to the NHS.
A 40-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, according to West Midlands Police.
A 15-year-old boy has been charged with wounding after a teenager was seriously injured in a stabbing.The victim, also 15, was knifed on Grantham Road, at the junction with Webster Close, in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham on Monday.He was taken to hospital after the incident, at about 15:00 GMT, where he remains in a serious but stable condition, police said.The defendant is due to appear before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court later.Latest news from the West MidlandsFollow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone
Four men arrested in connection with a fatal stabbing which police believe is linked to the county lines drugs trade have been released.Nasir Patrice, 17, died at the scene on Tachbrook Road in Leamington Spa after the knife attack at about 11:00 GMT on 15 January.A post-mortem examination revealed the teenager from Birmingham died from a stab wound to the chest.An 18-year-old, who was injured in the attack, was arrested in hospital.He was held by Warwickshire Police on suspicion of murder and has since been released on police bail, along with a 33-year-old man from Leamington Spa and a 17-year-old from Coventry who were also arrested on suspicion of the same offence.Another 18-year-old from Birmingham, who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, has also been bailed.Latest news from the West MidlandsCh Supt Ben Smith said the force was now in a position to confirm that a main line of inquiry was that the stabbing was linked to county lines drug dealing.County lines is the term used to describe criminal gangs who exploit vulnerable people, including children, to move illegal drugs from big cities to more rural locations.”This is a national issue faced by smaller counties such as Warwickshire,” he said.A week on from the attack, the force is appealing for witnesses particularly regarding a suspect detectives have been seeking since Nasir was killed.He is described as a young black male, believed to have sustained a leg injury, who was last seen in Warwick within half-an-hour of the attack.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone
A homeless man says his “dream came true” after he was given a free a ticket to watch his boyhood team play for the first time.West Bromwich Albion fan Mark Whitehouse, known as ‘Snarka’, won tickets to Monday’s Championship game against Stoke City in a raffle organised by Birmingham homeless charity Outreach Angels.But as he is already a season ticket holder, he donated it back to the charity, who took Sean along to the match.
A Twitter post about the gesture has been widely shared, with work now being done to rehome Sean, and also get him a season ticket.”I’ve never ever met Sean,” said Whitehouse, who has had television companies from as far as the United States of America getting in touch with him about the story.He told BBC Sport: “I bought a few strips in the raffle and said to the charity if we win, give it to a local Albion fan.”Sean was also given an Albion shirt and scarf and £20 to spend at the game, which the Baggies lost 1-0.Now a charitable foundation set up by former Baggies striker Geoff Horsfield is trying to find him accommodation, while fellow fans have raised more than £1,000 to get Sean a season ticket at The Hawthorns for next season.”It sort of snowballed. All I’ve done really is give a couple of tickets away,” Whitehouse said.”Now he might get rehomed and receive medical attention.”I do quite a bit of charity work – we’re all only a couple of missed bills away from being homeless.”View more on twitter
Aston Villa Women have appointed former England forward Eniola Aluko as their first sporting director.The 32-year-old, who retired as a player last week after spells at Birmingham City, Chelsea and Juventus, will oversee the club’s women’s team.Villa are three points clear top of the Championship and are aiming for promotion to the Women’s Super League.
“I feel it’s something that I’m ready for at this point in my career,” Aluko told the Villa website.”I’ve always been passionate about the women’s game, its development and setting cultures that drive excellence.”I’ll be helping to create a successful club in Aston Villa Women, and obviously I’m back home in Birmingham where it all started for me. I’m excited for this next step.”‘She is an inspiration and inspiring role model’
A police chief has said he is “deeply sorry” for failings that led to a nurse’s rape and murder.Chief Constable Dave Thompson said West Midlands Police “failed to protect” Lisa Skidmore before she was killed. Ms Skidmore, 37, was killed by convicted sex offender Leroy Campbell at her home in Bilston, Wolverhampton.Her sister Alison Parker has said “a lack of competency” and “catastrophic failings” by agencies contributed to her death, in November 2016.Campbell raped and murdered Ms Skidmore before attacking her 80-year-old mother and setting fire to the property in an attempt to destroy evidence, four months after he was released from prison.He had “disclosed to probation he was experiencing low mood, negative thoughts and feelings that had led to his previous offence,” but this “key information” was not shared, Ms Skidmore’s inquest heard.Sex offender manager Sgt Sophie Clement also told the hearing she alerted police about her concerns after a visit to Campbell a month before the murder.An inquest jury concluded she was failed by police and the probation services.One probation worker has been sacked for gross misconduct over the case.Mr Thompson apologised to Ms Skidmore’s brother and sister during a Strategic Policing and Crime Board, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.He said her death, and the identification of her attacker, was among the “saddest” days in his 29 years of policing.’Our sister should still be alive'”West Midlands Police and the probation service are here to protect the public, and it’s very clear that didn’t happen in this case and your family weren’t protected,” he said.”Lisa should not have been murdered, or her mother attacked. Leroy Campbell should never have been in the position to repeat this crime.”Latest news from the West Midlands”What I want to say to Lisa’s family is that I am sorry that we as West Midlands Police failed to protect your family, deeply sorry,” he added”Nothing can change what’s happened, but we must ensure the police and probation service work together to ensure cases like this are prevented.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.
Uber is expected to have its licence extended in Birmingham next month amid uncertainty over the private hire firm’s future in London.Transport for London (TfL) told Uber in November it would not be granted a new licence after repeated safety failures.The licence in Birmingham is due to expire at the end of January, but the city council says it is likely to be renewed.The authority said it would however be monitoring the situation in London.TfL revoked Uber’s licence in London after claiming unauthorised drivers uploaded their photos to other Uber driver accounts. It meant at least 14,000 fraudulent trips were made in London in late 2018 and early 2019.Uber has previously said the decision to revoke its London licence was “extraordinary and wrong.”The company has been allowed to continue operating in London while it appeals against the banning order. A case is expected to be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this summer.Uber, which has operated in Birmingham since 2015, currently has a licence in the city until 31 January.A final decision is yet to be made, but a council spokesman said it is “likely to be renewed.”The spokesman added that if Uber loses its appeal and the banning order comes into force in the capital then it would be a “matter of concern.”The BBC has contacted Uber for comment.TfL said the taxi app was not “fit and proper” as a licence holder despite making a number of positive changes to its operations.Helen Chapman, director of licensing at TfL, said: “While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.”Uber initially lost its licence in 2017, but was granted two extensions.Latest updates from the West MidlandsFollow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.