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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Essex Live signing off

That's it for our live updates for the day - and for the week.

If you're just joining us, scroll down to find out what's been happening across the county.

We'll leave you with this bright and sunny photo taken in Manningtree - let's hope the weather is kind over the bank holiday weekend.

Whatever you're doing, have a great time - we'll be back at 08:00 on Tuesday.


Our live coverage has now come to an end for the day:

That's all from the Norfolk Live team for the day - and for the week.

We'll leave you with this photo of blue skies over Sheringham - let's hope the fine weather continues over the bank holiday weekend.

Whatever you're doing, have a great time - we'll be back at 08:00 on Tuesday. 

Blue sky over shrubs

Suffolk Live signing off

That's it for our live coverage for the day and the week.

If you're just joining us, scroll down to find out what's been happening across the county - you can also check out our local election debate which was held this morning, with the leaders of the main parties at the county council.

We'll leave you with this beautiful photograph of bluebells in Freston Wood - let's hope we all get some sunshine over the weekend so we can get out and about and enjoy our county.

Bluebells in Freston woods
Julia Walshaw

The bank holiday weather forecast

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

Apart from a few isolated showers, tonight will be mostly dry with clear spells.

Temperatures could fall as low as 3C (37F) although they'll rise by the end of the night.

Weather graphic for 05:00 Saturday

A largely fine and dry day tomorrow, with sunny spells and just the chance of an isolated shower.

Temperatures rising to 14C (57F) - although it could be a little bit warmer in the best of the sunshine.

Another dry day on Sunday, although cloud will increase from the south west later... rain isn't expected until the evening.

As for bank holiday Monday... it's still uncertain, but potentially we could have some rain, followed by sunshine and showers, with temperatures hitting 17C (63F).

Guilty verdict 'a warning to other drivers'

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

A detective has warned motorists to rest and take breaks when travelling long distances after a lorry driver was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

As we've reported, a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court found Roger Sharratt, 52, of Bagots Oak in Staffordshire, guilty of two counts of the offence.

Geoffrey Mills, 53, and Eleanor Joy Mills, 45, were killed in the collision which happened on the M11 near Harlow in May 2014.

The court heard Sharratt was driving at 55mph (89kph) using cruise control and failed to react to the slowing traffic as he was likely to have been asleep. 

He had only slept for three to four hours the night before the collision, it was heard.

Det Insp Scott Egerton said: "Although this has been a complex case involving medical experts, Mr Sharratt drove dangerously. 

"He was in charge of a heavy goods vehicle and fell asleep. 

"This case must serve as a warning to all drivers of the need to rest and take breaks when driving long distances. 

"Mr Sharratt failed to do this and caused the most serious of crashes."

Investigation after gas pipeline breaks

Tim Addicott

BBC Radio Norfolk

An investigation is underway after one of the Bacton Gas Terminal pipelines broke in two.

The section of pipe on the bed of the North Sea has split around 17.5km (10 miles) from shore.

Operators of the terminal say it was a low pressure line and not flowing gas when the problem occurred, having been isolated at the end of 2016.

It happened over a week ago but fisherman say they weren't informed. One of them, Melvin Robinson, says they only found out today.

It's an area that's heavily fished... but because we've heard nothing about it, it could have been a disaster... we could have had vessels damaged and we still don't know if it's safe for us to go fish there or not."

Melvin RobinsonFisherman

Travel: Delays inevitable, but A14 fully open again

Meet your local bobby on a bus

We've had "bobbies on the beat" but what about "bobbies on a bus"?

PCSOs Darren Smith and Michala Benton will be boarding the Number 11 Konnect bus service weekly, to meet passengers and listen to any concerns they may have.

On Tuesday, they'll be holding a surgery on the bus when it departs from Dereham market place at 10:25.

The route will take them through Toftwood, Shipdham, Watton, Saham Toney, Ashill, Holme Hale, Necton and Sporle before arriving in Swaffham.

Travel: One lane reopens on A14 at Bury St Edmunds

Man guilty of double-death M11 pile-up

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

A lorry driver who fell asleep at the wheel has been found guilty of causing a couple's death in a crash on the M11.

The crash scene from 15 May

Roger Sharratt, 52, of Bagots Oak in Staffordshire, had denied two counts of causing death by dangerous driving in May 2014.

Geoffrey Mills, 53, and Eleanor Joy Mills, 45, were killed in the collision which happened near Harlow.

The court heard Sharratt was driving a lorry northbound along the M11 when he went into the back of a black Jaguar XF car.

The Jaguar then collided with a silver Toyota Auris, pushing it under the back of a horsebox containing five horses.

The Toyota, carrying Mr and Mrs Mills, burst into flames and further collided with a white Vauxhall. 

Sharratt, who was found guilty by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court today, will be sentenced on 2 June.

New-look station is officially opened

A multi-million pound upgrade to Ingatestone station has been officially completed.

Ingatestone station
Greater Anglia

The £2.4m scheme has seen the restoration and repairs to station buildings and platform canopies. 

A new waiting room has been installed, the toilets have been improved and both platforms have been resurfaced and repaired, including widening them in places and improving the drainage.

The new-look station was opened by members of the Railway Heritage Trust and Greater Anglia.

Profits boost at Co-op

The region's biggest independent retailer has seen profits rise after investing heavily in its stores.

The East of England Co-op has 120 shops in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.  

However, the group also saw its pay bill rise after the National Living Wage was increased.

Spokesman Doug Field says they estimate it will cost them nearly £4m over four years.

But we're an ethical retailer and we're paying the National Living Wage regardless of age to all our employees, including the under 25s who comprise 25% of our workforce."

Doug FieldEast of England Co-Op

Travel: A14 likely to remain closed into rush-hour

Police have told us the closure of the A14 eastbound at Bury St Edmunds, following an earlier collision between J42 (A1302 Newmarket Road) and J43 (A143 Compiegne Way/Bury Central Interchange) is likely to continue into this evening's rush-hour.

They say they're still waiting for the recovery vehicle to arrive and there's been a spillage on the carriagway which needs to be cleared up before the road can reopen. 

Power surge hits council

Tim Addicott

BBC Radio Norfolk

Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth's town hall are continuing to be hit by phone issues caused by a suspected power surge.

Back up phone lines are up and running but there are far fewer than normal. People are being asked to only contact the authority if it is urgent.

It's also affecting computers at the Millennium Library in Norwich.

Rallying cry from Ipswich Town's David McGoldrick

NDR: Road closures

Here's the latest information we have on road closures, while work continues on the Northern Distributor Road.

A1151 Wroxham Road - from Tuesday, up to two weeks, a long stretch of this road close to NDR site will be reduced to one lane, controlled by traffic lights. This is for the diversion of a water main.

Salhouse Road - Temporary traffic lights remain in place at the NDR roundabout construction site - the road will close for up to two weeks from Monday, 8 May.

Reepham Road - Remaining closed until Friday, 5 May when Drayton Lane between Reepham Road and Hall Lane (Drayton) will also be reopened.

Buxton Road - The scheduled closure of Buxton Road, Spixworth, has been put back to Monday, 5 June, and reduced from three to two weeks.

35th anniversary of Tornado's arrival at Marham

This week marks the 35th anniversary of the arrival of the first Tornado aircraft at RAF Marham.

The first Tornado Squadron to be stationed at the west Norfolk base was 617 Squadron.

The Tornados have been on almost continuous service across the world ever since and are currently supporting operations over the skies of Iraq and Syria.

Tornado takes off from RAF Marham in August 2014

Illegal cigarettes found in Norwich raids

Thousands of illegal cigarettes have been seized in raids across Norwich.

Trading Standards officers, accompanied by police, council and two detection dogs, carried out inspections on six shops yesterday, seizing a total of 13,500 illegal cigarettes and 250g of illegal hand-rolled tobacco from four of the premises.

Plastic bags containing seized cigarettes and tobacco
Norfolk County Council

Trading Standards spokesman Brian Chatten says the inspections show there are retailers in the county who're making smoking more accessible to children by selling illegal tobacco at pocket money prices.

They put the health of young people at even greater risk and are also supporting the organised crime gangs who we know are linked to this criminal activity."

Brian ChattenNorfolk Trading Standards

Car park to make way for new housing

A city car park will close in a month's time to make way for new housing.

Wharf Road car park

Wharf Road car park, near the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford, will close on 28 May. 

The brownfield site had been earmarked by Chelmsford City Council for regeneration for the past 13 years while it was used as a car park. 

Taylor Wimpey is set to build a development of 421 new homes, known as Chelmer Waterside.

The plans were given the go-ahead last month. 

New monitoring service for expectant mums

A new service is being offered to mums-to-be after the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) secured £10,000 funding for portable foetal monitors.

Three cardiotocography monitors have been purchased and will be used at two bases from which the Broadland and Castle community midwife teams operate.

If there are any concerns following the monitoring, the women will be asked to come into hospital for further assessment. 

A pregnant woman

Blues lodge fresh plans for new stadium

Fresh plans for Southend United Football Club's new stadium are to be lodged today.

Fossetts Farm

Blues chairman Ron Martin said it is hoped the move will be completed within two years.

The club was first given permission to build the 22,000-seater facility back in 2008. 

Mr Martin told last night's annual meeting that Sainsbury's - a development partner in the original plans - is no longer involved in the scheme.

The plans are being lodged with Southend Borough Council.

Top crime authors descend on Norwich

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Some of the top names in crime fiction are coming to Norwich to take part in the fourth Noirwich Crime Writing Festival.

Val McDermid, Martina Cole (pictured), Mark Billingham, Stuart MacBride and Anthony Horowitz headline the festival.

Martina Cole, in blue shirt and blue jeans
Charlotte Murphy

The event, between 14 and 17 September, will cover all forms of crime writing.

The Noirwich festial, a collaboration between the University of East Anglia and the Writers' Centre, takes place at the Arts Centre, UEA and Jarrold. There'll also be fringe events across the city.

Rugby: Bury chairman hails 'coup' signing

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club has appointed former England Saxons player Jon Clarke as its new head coach. 

Jon Clarke

Clarke played for club sides Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors before hanging up his boots.

"The appointment is a real coup for the club," said chairman Mike Robinson. "Jon has not only played at National and Premiership level throughout his playing career, his coaching experience is also excellent, joining us from Championship club Rotherham Titans.

"His appointment shows how serious we are as a club about reaching greater playing heights and securing top class players and management."

More people holidaying at home

More of us are holidaying at home because of the low value of the pound, according to a survey. 

Brexit is "very good news" for the regional tourism industry, explains Pete Waters of Visit Norfolk, despite 10% of tourism businesses in the county saying they're worried about its impact on staffing levels.

"A weak pound leads to a double win... more people having domestic vacations and overseas visitors able to have more affordable trips... however Brexit hasn't happened yet so we don't know the long term impact."

Almost 70% of businesses saw an increase in turnover last year. 

One business that saw an increase in business was Wiveton Hall. Remember those eyebrows? After Desmond featured in the four-part "Normal for Norfolk" BBC Two series, they had the best season ever.     

Desmond MacCathy

Turnover was up 35%... we estimated 5% was down to good weather, but 30% down to the television series... it was the best season we've ever had."

Kim ColemanWiveton Hall business manager

Stars missing two riders for Somerset trip

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

King's Lynn Stars have been forced to bring in two guest riders for tonight's Premiership speedway trip to Somerset Rebels

Number one Chris Holder is ruled out because of his commitments at this weekend's Grand Prix in Slovenia. Belle Vue captain Craig Cook comes in as a guest. 

Chris Holder
Getty Images

The Stars are also without the injured Josh Bailey so Poole rider James Shanes comes into the line-up. 

Hockey: Player of the year honour for Harleston star

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Harleston Magpies top scorer Maria Andrews is celebrating being named the best player in their league this season. 

Her 17 goals in Conference East during the campaign also made Maria the division's top scorer. 

View more on twitter

Andrews, who is due to move to Loughborough University for next season, said: "It's an amazing feeling to know that all the other players from the other teams in the league voted for you.  I'm just honoured really." 

Darts: Wright sees off Taylor to progress

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Suffolk darts player Peter Wright has qualified for the Premier League play-offs.

Peter Wright
Getty Images

The 47-year-old from Mendham beat 16-times world champion Phil Taylor 7-3 in Birmingham last night.

"It's amazing where I've come to, I used to be 5/1 against Phil and I was odds-on today, but it's down to the hard work I've done," he told the PDC.

"I want to win my last two games and push for that top spot and challenge Michael, and then try and win the final at The O2." 

Witness appeal after car damaged and driver punched

A driver has been assaulted and his car damaged in an attack in Billericay.

Officers have just released details of the incident which happened nine days ago.

The victim, a 52-year-old man, was driving in a grey Renault Megane on the High Street shortly after 17:00 on 19 April, when a scooter rider kicked the vehicle several times, causing dents and kicking the wing mirror off.

Further along the street, when the vehicle was in stationary traffic at the Radford Way junction, the scooter rider continued to kick the car, and a second scooter rider then pulled in front of it.

The victim was punched in the face by one of the riders when he got out of the car to speak to them.

The scooters, which had earlier been riding in convoy with a third person, then rode off.

Speedway: Mountain returns to Fen Tigers action

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Mildenhall Fen Tigers welcome back their number one rider Connor Mountain for tonight's National League meeting at Belle Vue Colts.

Connor Mountain
Stephen Waller

The West Row side will be at full strength as they aim for a fourth consecutive win in all competitions.

“The last three performances by the boys have been impressive, but they have now set themselves a high standard and nothing less than that effort and commitment will be accepted," said team manager Robert Henry.

Canaries told to expect intimidating Elland Road

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norwich City make their final away trip of the season this weekend when they go to Leeds United. 

It's a huge game for the Yorkshire club because a defeat would end any hopes of them finishing in the play-offs. A draw would mean Leeds would be relying on results elsewhere. 

Garry Monk
Getty Images

The Leeds manager Garry Monk has been linked with the vacant head coach role at Norwich City this week. He's warned the Canaries that his side will want to finish the season on a high in front of their home fans. 

"One of the objectives at the start of the season was to make teams fear coming to Elland Road and we need to do it one more time,"  Monk told BBC Radio Leeds. 

Man charged in connection with church lead theft

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

A 20-year-old man from Norwich has been charged with attempted theft relating to an incident in Coltishall earlier this week.

At around 21:30 on Wednesday, officers were called to St John's church following reports of suspicious activity.

They found a man on the church roof. 

He's now been charged with theft and being in possession of a bladed article.

Another man, in his 30s, and a woman in her 20s, were also arrested but have now been released. 

St John's church in Coltishall

Body of man discovered in property

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Investigations are continuing into the circumstances of the death of a man in Norwich.

Police were called to a property in Normanie Tower, on Rouen Road, at around 21:00 yesterday, following concerns for the safety of a resident.

On arrival, they discovered the body of a man in his 20s.

A post mortem examination is to be carried out to establish the cause of death, but officers don't believe their are any suspicious circumstances.

Normandie Tower

Disruption on the trains has ended

Greater Anglia says its service should be back to normal, after problems on the line at Witham.

Disruption caused by trespassers on the track earlier today between Shenfield and #Witham has now ended. JS

Museum in running for national title

The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in Newmarket is in a short-list of five in the running to be named the UK's Museum of the Year.

National Heritage Centre for Horseracing
Marc Atkins

Officially opened by the Queen in November, this complex is home to the National Horseracing Museum, the Fred Packard Museum and Galleries of British Sporting Art, and a yard for the Retraining of Racehorses charity.

It is also home to two of the Queen's former racehorses and a virtual Clare Balding.

Also shortlisted are:

The winner will receive a £100,000 award.  

Family lose £300,000 in scam

People in Norfolk are being encouraged to be careful of scam mail after a local family lost £300,000.

The scam said a lottery winner was looking to share their winnings with deserving people. It then asked for details and money to cover continuing legal costs. 

Stephen Maunder, a community protection office from Norfolk Trading Standards, is calling on people to become "friends against scams".

What you'll get from that is a little bit of an understanding of what are the main scams, the common scams, how scams work and how they approach you and try to get information from you, and how you can spot somebody who could be becoming a scam victim."

Stephen MaunderNorfolk Trading Standards

A mostly dry afternoon ahead

Most places will remain dry, with some sunny spells.

There's a chance of a few light showers.

Temperatures reaching 12C (54F).

Blue flowers in a field

It's not looking too bad for the bank holiday weekend - Saturday will be mostly dry, with temperatures hitting 13C (55F).

Bright and breezy is the theme for Sunday, with the chance of rain later in the day.

Norfolk Live: Normal service resumes

Caroline Kingdon

BBC Local Live

Welcome back to our regular news updates... we're starting a little later than usual due to our coverage of the local election debate.

We're now here until 18:00, and we'll begin with this afternoon's weather prospects.

Hadleigh fire photograph

We brought you news earlier of a fire on an industrial estate in Hadleigh.

Many thanks to Richard Vango, who's emailed us this photograph taken at the scene earlier: 

Hadleigh fire
Richard Vango

Ambulance takes six hours to reach 86-year-old

A man from Ipswich says he's appalled it took an ambulance six hours to reach his 86-year-old mother-in-law, who was left lying on the floor at her sheltered accommodation.


Paul Copping said: "The warden, a carer and my stepdaughter phoned 999 six times to try and get an ambulance there and all they could say was that it was 'on its way'. 

"For an 86-year-old woman, in severe pain, who'd soiled herself, I think that's absolutely disgusting."

Betty Versey, who had fallen at her sheltered accommodation, was found by a warden who raised the alarm just after 14:00 on Wednesday, but it was 20:30 before an ambulance arrived.

She's now being treated in hospital.

In a statement from the East of England Ambulance Service, a spokesman said: "We received a call at 14:28 and it was categorised as a serious call given the information we had. 

"Unfortunately, we were not able to dispatch an ambulance until 19:27.

"We’d really appreciate the opportunity to discuss this case with the patient or her family to help with further questions or concerns they have."

Mother 'feels responsible' for daughter's grooming

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A mother from Essex has said her daughter was manipulated so much by a man who groomed then abused her that she felt responsible for what happened.

Generic abuse

Laura - not her real name - told BBC Essex that with hindsight all the signs were there. 

"My daughter stopped eating so [there were] issues around anorexia, self-harming, which I didn't know until she then came out and was telling me that that was her release," she said.

"[There was] locking herself away a lot, [but] lots of teenagers do that, they go in their bedrooms and shut the doors."