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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Our local coverage across the day

We're drawing to a close with our live coverage of what's been happening around Norfolk for today and this week.

You can find out what's been going on by scrolling back, the whole week's news coverage is there for you to peruse too. 

If you're looking for something to do outdoors this weekend you might want to take a walk among the bluebells in one of Norfolk's most ancient woods. 

Have a peaceful weekend. The team are back on Monday. 

Our live coverage across the day, and the week

It's that time on a Friday when we reluctantly switch off our computers and head home, to recharge our batteries ready for a resumption of live coverage on Monday morning.

Among the cornucopia of delights we've brought you today has been:

  • A massive financial boost which will enable the Winerack on Ipswich Waterfront to be completed
  • A look-ahead to Record Store Day on Saturday
  • A happy ending to a story about a horse who found himself stuck in a pond

If you're running in the marathon on Sunday we salute you, and wish you well.

If like the rest of us your weekend plans involve a little less exercise, then enjoy, and don't forget to join us again next week.

Impression of view from Winerack penthouse flat
Daniel Fisher

Our live coverage across the day

That's it for another week from the Essex Live team, although any breaking news over the weekend will still appear here.

Before we go, here's a reminder of some of the stories we've been looking at since 08:00:

  • Two people have been sent to prison for life for the murder of Michael Beckwith, and three other people have also received custodial sentences
  • A man has appeared in court in connection with a fatal shooting at a travellers' site
  • Former public toilets will have a new lease of life as a recording studio 
  • A food blogger has announced she is to stand in the general election

Scroll down for more on these and other stories.

If you're running in the London Marathon we wish you well - and it's good luck to Basildon's Stuart Bingham who's 9-7 down going into this evening's final session of his World Snooker Championship second round match against Kyren Wilson.

Kyren Wilson and Stuart Bingham
PA

Weather: Cloudy with bright spells and much cooler

BBC Weather

A largely cloudy night with some patchy light rain pushing down from the north. The winds becoming light and variable and lowest temperatures around 6C (43F). 

Weather graphic
BBC weather

Once the last of any overnight rain has cleared, Saturday will be relatively cloudy with odd showers feeding southwards. There should be some bright or sunny spells and a top temperature of 13C (55F).

A cold start to Sunday with a touch of frost in places, it’ll then be largely dry with some brightness and sunshine at times and the small chance of a shower. Temperatures again reaching around 13C (55F) at best.

BBC Weather has more local forecasts.

Government cash to help hospitals cope with winter pressures

Cleah Hetherington

BBC Radio Suffolk

The West Suffolk Hospital (pictured), and the James Paget, which serves patients in the north of the county, are each going to receive £1m of government funding to help them cope with winter pressures.

Ipswich Hospital will receive just over £495,000.

The money was announced in the Budget last month. 

West Suffolk Hospital
BBC

Local writer in running for top fiction prize

Cath Saunt

BBC Radio Norfolk

A Norwich writer has been nominated for a £30,000 literature prize. 

Richard Lambert is one of six people selected for the Sunday Times EEG Short Story Award for The Hazel Twig and Olive Tree. 

He's the only Brit - an Irish author's also been shortlisted and the other four runners are American.

Mr Lambert says he's been writing since he was a child but began properly at the age of 30. 

He says the competition has really helped boost his confidence. 

"I think they got over a thousand entries from published writers. I was on the long list first and about a month ago I got to that shortlist which is really amazing."

Mr Lambert moved to Norwich to study at the University of East Anglia on its Creative Writing Course which has a long list of internationally famous alumni. 

Beautiful blooming bluebells brighten the day

It may be a bit grey out there today but spring is still in full swing, with carpets of bluebells springing up.

It's staying mainly dry for the rest of the day with some sunny spells...feeling pleasantly warm in the sunshine with only light winds. 

Maximum temperature: 15C (59F).

Thank you to our BBC Weather Watcher judy for this photo. 

Tiptree Heath
BBC

MPs on the forthcoming general election

Mariam Issimdar

BBC News

Back to election news now and Chloe Smith, the current MP for North Norwich, says Brexit will be a keen issue for voters: 

"What I've been hearing from consitituents are those meaty concerns about getting the best deal for Britain and the area from Brexit.

"That is actually a local issue as much as a national and international one because it comes down to people's jobs," said Ms Smith.

Chloe Smith Consevative MP, Norwich North
BBC

Meanwhile UKIP is urging voters to vote tactically for the Conservative Party to remove the present incumbent for North Norfolk, Norman Lamb, who supported 'Remain' in the Brexit referendum.

Mr Lamb says he's never taken any election for granted. 

"I've been very clear all the way through that I accept the outcome of the referendum. 

"It's terribly important we negotiate a deal that protects the economy that ensures our exporters can trade across the single market that protects jobs that ensures that we have the money to fund our public services. 

"And I think people will see that we don't want a one party state, particularly when we also have critical issues like the state of our NHS," says Mr Lamb. 

Norman Lamb, Lib Dem MP for North Norfolk
PA

Former boss looks to win Championship at Carrow Road

Jay Lawrence

BBC Radio Norfolk

Norwich City supporters will have to decide whether to applaud former manager Chris Hughton this evening.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton
Getty Images

He brings his Brighton team to Carrow Road having clinched automatic promotion to the Premier League. The Seagulls need one more win to guarantee the Championship title. 

Hughton was sacked as City manager three years ago with the team on the brink of relegation from the top flight. He says Brighton have all the motivation needed to win tonight.

"We've achieved what we wanted to achieve and that [promotion] of course has been by far the biggest thing we wanted to achieve this season. 

"But we're in the business of competition - and competition means trying to win what you can - so the next big challenge has got to be winning it now."

Have you ever wondered how you can become a candidate in the election?

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

If Theresa May's recent announcement of a snap election in June has made you yearn to be an MP, here are a few guidelines for you to consider.

You can't stand if you're:

  • Under 18
  • A member of the police forces
  • A member of the armed forces
  • A civil servant, a judge or a peer
  • You're subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order or a debt relief restrictions order
House of Commons
BBC

If none of those conditions preclude you, and you're either a British citizen, a citizen of the  Republic of Ireland or a commonwealth country (with certain provisos) then you're over the first hurdle, and will need to consider these regulations:

  • You need a completed set of nomination forms and a deposit of £500 
  • You also need an election agent
  • You probably want to plan and run a campaign

There - it's almost as simple as that. So what's stopping you? I'm off now to see how much money is in my piggy bank.

Horse rescued from pond

Firefighters helped to rescue what's been described as a "large" horse from a pond in Great Cornard near Sudbury this morning.

The animal, which was stuck in four foot (1.2m) of water at New Farm, off Joes Road, had to be sedated before the rescue could be carried out.

It was then moved to a paddock, apparently none the worse for its ordeal.

Pixie Lott reminisces about Essex school days

Essex singer Pixie Lott has been telling BBC Essex about her days at a performing arts school in Chelmsford. Here's the full interview with the singer:

Blogger to stand in general election

A food blogger from Southend is set to stand in the general election.

Jack Monroe, who recently won a libel case against newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins, has not yet announced which party she will stand for, and has said she is still "crunching" as to whether it will be Rochford and Southend East or Southend West.

View more on twitter

Dozens of drivers due in court over speeding charges

Forty drivers are due before magistrates in Ipswich today charged with speeding on the Orwell Bridge.

Orwell Bridge speed signs
BBC

It's claimed one driver broke the speed limit nine times in a 25 day period.

Thousands of drivers have been clocked speeding on the stretch of road since a 60mph limit and average speed cameras were introduced to try to improve bridge safety.

Taxi firm fears being targetted after arson attacks

Mariam Issimdar

BBC News

Operators of a taxi firm in Gorleston think they are being targeted after a series of suspected arson attacks. 

Lesley Martin and Roly Kitchen
BBC

Ocean Cabs on Riverside Road has lost two taxis and three cars belonging to customers over the past week. 

The owners say as a result they could be forced out of business.

One of them is Lesley Martin. She doesn't think the attacks are random.

"Because it's us all of the time it does look like we're being targetted. You try not to think like that but it's difficult not to at times."

Norfolk Police says it's investigating two separate, but linked arson incidents, which happened in March, resulting in five vehicles being damaged. 

Award for McCarthy from League Managers Association

Denmark: Swardeston aiming high

Jay Lawrence

BBC Radio Norfolk

Swardeston's Lewis Denmark says the team's priority this summer is to go one better in a national competition.

The East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) Champions were losing finalists in the ECB 45 over tournament. They were successful elsewhere, however, as they managed to win the National T20 title in a memorable day at Derbyshire's County Ground.

Swardeston celebrate winning the Club Twenty20 Final
Getty Images

Tomorrow Denmark and his teammates begin their quest to win a sixth consecutive EAPL title at home to Horsford.

"We're really looking forward to an exciting season. Obviously last year we had a really successful season, but this year we're looking to do one better.

"Obviously we lost out in the big national 45 over final, so this year that's our main target, along with trying to retain the EAPL for the sixth year in a row"

Tributes paid as victim of fatal crash named

A man who died following a collision on the A140 on Saturday afternoon has been named by police.

Austrin McKenna
Contributed

Austrin McKenna, who was also known as Sam, was 51 and came from Wetheringsett.

He died in Ipswich Hospital after being seriously injured in a three-vehicle collision between Little Stonham and Mendlesham.

Paying tribute, his family said: "Aus was a unique soul who lived life to the full."

They added that he was able to put people at ease and was generous, kind, gentle, loving, sensitive and thoughtful.

He was married with one son.

Ryman League: Leiston preparing for final push

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Leiston will secure a place in the Ryman Premier Division play-offs if they win at Enfield Town tomorrow on the last day of the regular season.

Leiston FC
Leiston FC

Needham Market - who host Billericay Town - also have a slim chance of finishing in the all-important top five, although that requires other results to go their way. 

Lowestoft Town round off their campaign at home to Harrow Borough while relegated AFC Sudbury are at Canvey Island. 

In the North Division, Bury Town head to Great Wakering Rovers.

Record Store Day: Live music, hunt the record... and vinyl galore

Richard Haugh

BBC Introducing in Suffolk

Record Store Day
Record Store Day

Independent record shops around the country are gearing up for the 10th Record Store Day tomorrow - with limited edition releases galore tempting people to part with their money.

To celebrate the day, some of our local shops are hosting live performances - with Tram in Ipswich kicking things off tonight with sets from Bessie Turner and Marc Newby.

Tomorrow, they have live music from Jack Rundell, Strike the Sun and Sorrdes (the artist formerly known as Deadpoole).

Meanwhile, Vinyl Hunter in Bury St Edmunds is promising coffee and bacon rolls for those queuing to get their hands on the new releases. They've written a detailed post on what to expect

As for live music, they'll be hosting SIAH and Saltfen, who are releasing a split 7" flexi disc.

View more on facebook

But back in Ipswich, Out of Time Records is taking a different approach to the day and is offering a £10 voucher to any one who can find a record they've desperately been trying to get rid of.

View more on facebook

Green Party faces a tough election

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

Earlier we told you the Green Party leadership were in the county to launch their local and general election bids.

Green Party deputy leader, Amelia Womack (centre) with local contenders
BBC

The party knows that this year's local and general elections will be the toughest they've had to face for some time, despite them becoming a a major feature of political life in Norfolk over the past 15 years. 

They are the main opposition on Norwich City Council and were part of the so-called "rainbow alliance" which ran the county council for four years. 

But in recent years it's started to become a struggle. Austerity has taken attention away from Green issues while Labour's move to the left, first under Ed Miliband and now Jeremy Corbyn, has appealed to some of its supporters.

The Greens have started losing seats to Labour on the City Council and earlier this year one of its county councillors defected to the Conservatives. 

This year's general election will probably be all about Brexit. The Greens will need to shout loud to make their voice heard. 

Michael Beckwith murder: Thirty months in prison for Biddlecombes

A man and a woman have been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for their role in the killing of Michael Beckwith.

Triston and Enderlein Biddlecombe, from East Street, Harwich, were found guilty of assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice.

As we've reported, Rebecca Ryan and Scott Swift have been jailed for life for murder and Joseph Smith has been imprisoned for 12 years for manslaughter.

More to follow.

BreakingMichael Beckwith murder: Twelve years for Joseph Smith

A teenager convicted for his role in the killing of Michael Beckwith has been jailed for 12 years.

Joseph Smith, 18, of Canning Street, Harwich, was found guilty of manslaughter.

As we just reported, Rebecca Ryan and Scott Swift have been jailed for life for murder.

More to follow. 

BreakingMichael Beckwith murder: Life imprisonment for Rebecca Ryan

The former girlfriend of a murdered Harwich man has been sent to prison for life.

Rebecca Ryan, 22, of Hilltop, Weeley, has been told been told she must serve a minimum of 17 years.

Her co-defendant Scott Swift has also been jailed for life, and told he must serve at least 24 years.

More to follow.

BreakingMichael Beckwith murder: Life imprisonment for Scott Swift

A man convicted of murdering Harwich man Michael Beckwith has been jailed for life.

Scott Swift, 27, of Station Road, Dovercourt, has been told he must serve a minimum of 24 years.

More to follow. 

Ex-boyfriend's murder 'was supposed to be some kind of a beating'

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

The former girlfriend of a man who was murdered with metal poles "did not expect weapons to be used", a court has heard.

Rebecca Ryan and Scott Swift
Essex Police

Five people are being sentenced for the roles they played in the murder of Michael Beckwith at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The 44-year-old suffered 17 blows to his head, arms and legs when he was attacked in a remote part of Harwich.

His former girlfriend Rebecca Ryan, 22, of Hilltop, Weeley, and Scott Swift, 27, of Station Road, Dovercourt, pictured, were found guilty of murder.

During mitigation, Ryan's lawyer said she did not know weapons were going to be used against Mr Beckwith.

Swift's lawyer said there was "no intent to kill" and it was "supposed to be some kind of beating".

The hearing continues.

Father raises petition to ban speeding drivers who kill

Mariam Issimdar

BBC News

A father whose daughter was killed by a speeding driver is calling for a lifetime ban for motorists convicted of death by dangerous driving.

Rebecca McManus
West Midlands Police

Rebecca McManus, 21, had just graduated from the University of East Anglia when she was killed by a motorist in 2014 while waiting at a bus stop in Birmingham. 

The car was racing another and was being driven at more than 100 miles per hour. 

Sukvinder Mannan was jailed for eight years and disqualified from driving for ten years at Wolverhampton Crown Court in 2015. 

Rebecca's father Gerard McManus is asking people to sign a petition to ensure anyone convicted of death by dangerous driving is banned from the roads for life. 

The online petition has a quarter of the 10,000 signatures needed for a government response.

Son's murder had 'massive impact' on mother

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

A murder victim's mother had a heart attack in the lead up to the trial, a court heard.

Michael Beckwith
Essex Police

As we've been reporting, five people who were convicted for the roles they played in the murder of Michael Beckwith, pictured above, are being sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Mr Beckwith, 44, was killed when his ex-girlfriend Rebecca Ryan, 22, of Hilltop Rise, Weeley, lured him to a remote part of Harwich and he was attacked with metal poles.

Prosecution lawyer Amjad Malik told the court the death of her son has had a "massive impact" on Mr Beckwith's mother Iris.

The hearing continues.

Recording studio to be set up in former public toilets

A scheme to set up a recording and mixing studio in former public toilets in Walton has been given the green light.

Walton toilet block
Tendring District Council

Paul Hepworth is looking to take over the site in Station Street. 

He told Tendring District Council's planning committee he wanted to carry out the project in the area where he grew up. 

Mr Hepworth said he would carry out a conversion with measures to be put in place to keep noise levels down to an absolute minimum.

“There is a rich heritage of music in this area and I want to build on that for all ages,” he said.

“It will be something very different which will benefit the Tendring area.”

The public toilets closed in 2003 and were replaced elsewhere in the town.

The plans were approved by the planning committee. 

Weather prospects for Sunday's marathon

Ipswich have 'no chance' of signing Tom Lawrence - McCarthy

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich fans can forget about seeing leading goalscorer Tom Lawrence in a Town shirt next season, according to manager Mick McCarthy.

Tom Lawrence
Getty Images

The 23-year-old has been a revelation during his season-long loan deal from Leicester City, scoring 11 goals and assisting another nine.

"For one, I think Tom will have his heart set on the Premier League and I think that he'll get that," said McCarthy. "If they were going to sell him there'll be a lot of takers." 

"Tom's been brilliant and we've all loved him, everybody has really appreciated what he's done but I think he's got his heart set on Premier League football and why wouldn't he, so I'd say it's not a chance."

Man appears in court over fatal shooting

A man charged in connection with a fatal shooting at a travellers' site has appeared at court.

Hugh Doherty
Essex Police

Levi Draper, 27, of Cranfield Park Avenue, Wickford, has been charged with murder, attempted murder, possession of a firearm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

The charges relate to an incident on Sunday at Cranfield Park Avenue during which 45-year-old Hugh Doherty, pictured above, died after suffering a gunshot wound.  

Mr Draper appeared via video link at Chelmsford Crown Court. He will appear at the same court on 29 June.

Harriet Crittenden, 25, of Cranfield Park Avenue, Wickford, has been charged with attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

She will appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on 18 May.

VIDEO: Tories 'ready' for MP race

The Conservative candidate for Clacton at the last General Election, Giles Watling, has said his party has been "ready for some time" to fight once again for the seat.

It comes after former UKIP - now independent - MP Douglas Carswell said he would not be standing for the 8 June election. 

View more on twitter

Care home 'regrets' poor report by watchdog

Mariam Issimdar

BBC News

A care home which has been rated as requiring improvement overall by the health watchdog says it "regrets" falling below standards. 

Courtenay House in King's Lynn was identified by the Care Quality Commission as having problems after an unannounced inspection in February.

In a statement, bosses at the home said:

"We regret the home is below the standards that we expect all of our homes to provide and we are carrying out an improvement programme. 

"We are also supporting staff with refresher training in our policies, procedures and practices to ensure good quality personalised care, as well as closer management oversight."

Inspectors also made positive comments about the home including the fact that people there felt safe.

Private woods to open to public

Mariam Issimdar

BBC News

The owners of an ancient private woodland are granting the public access to the hidden five-acre site to raise money for charity.

Norfolk bluebell wood
NBWBP

Located at Hainford, the 'Old Lady's Wood' has been marked on Norfolk maps since 1792.

For centuries it's been producing a carpet of bluebells, but was hidden from public view because of being landlocked by farm fields. 

The current owners, Andrew and Caroline Morton, who established a natural burial park in the woods last year, are opening it up to the public on a series of free open days beginning this weekend. 

Park warden Matthew Greaves said: “The bluebells look likely to bloom slightly earlier this year – the mild weather has pushed them on a little bit. The trees are very, very old but fortunately all but one survived February’s gales.”

Four distinct woodland and wildflower meadow habitats have been created at the 18-acre burial park, where almost 5000 saplings have been planted. 

The Mortons say they hope to increase the biodiversity of the site with the creation of three wildlife ponds.

Will one Cook be enough to spoil the Middlesex broth?

BBC Sport

Essex are starting their third County Championship match of the season. 

They're playing the defending county champions, Middlesex, at Lords. 

Middlesex and Essex have not played against each other in the County Championship since 2011.

In that summer, Middlesex won a low-scoring game at Lord's by eight wickets before the return game at Chelmsford was drawn.

Now the two sides meet again after Essex won Division Two last season, but how will they fare against the 2016 champions, having achieved one win and one draw so far?

Opener Alastair Cook, fresh from his 110 in last week's win over Somerset, is likely to be a key figure at Lord's, a ground where he has made four of his 30 Test centuries - but will one Cook be enough to spoil the Middlesex broth? 

Follow live updates here

Alastair Cook
Getty Images

Winerack funding: Your views

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

There's been a mixed reaction on our Facebook page, to news that £20m is going to be spent completing the building on the Ipswich Waterfront known locally as the "Winerack":

  • Tracey Godfrey writes: "Great news. I hope when it is finished that they keep the name 'The Winerack' as its address"
  • Adi Bennett posts: "More wasted money in Ipswich, so rich people can live .nice one"
  • Jose Lopez Lerena says: "Noooooo!!!! I will miss our particular Stonehenge... Unlikely!!! Great news!!!"

What do you think? We'd love to hear your thoughts - send us an email, or join in the Facebook conversation.

Impression of Winerack development
Daniel Fisher

Snooker: It was 20 years ago today...

BBC Sport

On 21 April, 1997, Chigwell's Ronnie O'Sullivan notched up one of the greatest achievements in sporting history, making a maximum 147 break in the fastest time ever recorded.

It took "The Rocket" just five minutes and 20 seconds to clear the table against Mick Price in the first round of the World Championship in Sheffield, earning himself a cool £147,000 in prize money.

No-one has even come close to matching that since.

Archive: Rocket's fastest 147

O'Sullivan is competing in this year's event, and currently leads Shaun Murphy 6-2 in the second round.  

Man died from gunshot wound to the chest, inquest hears

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

A man who was killed at a travellers' site died from a gunshot wound to the chest, an inquest has heard.

Travellers' site in Wickford
BBC

Hugh Doherty, 45, died at his home on Cranfield Park Avenue, Wickford, on 16 April. 

His sister was stabbed during the incident but is in a stable condition.

The inquest at Chelmsford Coroner's Court was adjourned for a date yet to be fixed.

Levi Draper, 27, and Harriet Crittenden, 25, both of Cranfield Park Avenue, have been charged in relation to the incident. 

Mr Draper is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court today. Ms Crittenden is due in court on 18 May.

Dog needs emergency surgery after fishing line accident

A dog owner from Trimley St Martin has been left with a vet's bill for hundreds of pounds, after her pet became tangled up in discarded fishing line.

Luna
Megan Bateman

Megan Bateman had taken Luna for a walk on the beach at Old Felixstowe near an area known as the dip, when she realised Luna was hurt.

The line was wound so tightly round her back legs she couldn't move, and the hook had gone through her hind leg.

Megan said: "I would just hope that people would take their rubbish away and not leave things on the beach so this kind of thing doesn't happen again in the future."

Luna needed emergency surgery, together with injections and a course of antibiotics.  

Hook and injury to leg
Megan Bateman