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  1. Anti-tank rockets found at bus stop
  2. Multi-vehicle crash blocks the A12
  3. Updates on Friday, 1 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

That's it from us at Essex Live this week - thanks for joining us.

We'll be back on Monday morning with the latest news for the county. 

Have a great weekend. 

Weather: It'll be a dry night, with some sunshine tomorrow morning

Chris Bell

BBC Look East weather

It will be cold and dry overnight with clear spells, leading to a touch of ground frost in sheltered areas. There may also be some mist or fog patches forming in prone locations. 

Minimum Temperature: 4C (39F).

Weather map for East

The mist or fog patches will clear quickly to leave a sunny morning with clear blue skies for some. As we go through the day though, skies will become cloudier with rain arriving during the evening.

Headlines: Maldon death tribute to 'lovely and gentle person'... 'Van' Gogh creates art to 'put smiles' on drivers' faces

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories for Essex this afternoon:

  • The children of a woman who was found dead in Maldon last month have paid tribute to a "lovely and gentle person"
  • Essex Police is appealing to find the person who left six anti-tank rockets at a bus stop in Coopersale
  • The man behind artwork drawn into the dirt of vans around Essex says he did it to "put smiles" on the faces of delivery drivers

Graham Gooch: Ex-England batsman looks forward to 'new era' at Essex

BBC Sport

Essex's new head coach Chris Silverwood can bring success back to the club after years of "flat-lining", according to ex-opening batsman Graham Gooch.

Chris Silverwood
Getty Images

The county has not won any silverware since 2008 when they won the One-Day Cup and Division Two of the Pro40.

"He's a very balanced guy, he's passionate about leading Essex into a new era... I'm confident he can start something special for Essex," former England opener Gooch told BBC Look East.

Six live anti-tank missiles were blown up in a nearby field

Six anti-tank missiles found behind a bus stop in Coopersale were blown up in a nearby field.

Essex Police says the World War Two rockets were found on Tuesday evening in Epping Road. 

The Army Explosives Ordnance Disposal Unit confirmed the devices were live and they were destroyed.

Six anti-tank rockets
Essex Police

Police front counter closures will have 'no effect' on police's ability to respond

Today's closure of six Essex Police front counters will have "no effect" on the force's ability to respond to calls for help, the assistant chief constable says.

Assistant Chief Constable Maurice Mason
Essex Police

Members of the public will no longer be able to use South Ockendon, Brentwood, Loughton, Epping, Rayleigh and Canvey stations from today. Nine others in the county have already closed. 

Assistant Chief Constable Maurice Mason said: "I want to reassure people living in those towns that the commitment to keep them safe remains our absolute priority."

Stuart Bingham defeated in China Open quarter-final

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Basildon's Stuart Bingham is out of the China Open Snooker after losing his quarter-final. 

Stuart Bingham
Getty Images

Bingham was defeated 5-1 by fellow Englishman Ricky Walden.

He now flies back to the UK to defend his World Championship title in Sheffield later this month.

Police dog catches suspected Southend burger van thieves

It was a busy start for Essex Police dog Studs this morning after four suspects were caught trying to break into a Southend burger van.

Police dog studs
Essex Police

Officers, including a dog unit, were called to Aviation Way just after 01:00. On arrival they found three people trying to force open the shutters of S & G Lunchbox. 

A Ford Fiesta laden with drinks, chocolate and frozen burgers was discovered nearby. Two women, aged 48 and 42, plus two men, aged 24 and 24, have been arrested. 

'Van' Gogh of Essex shares more van art with us

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

A man we've dubbed the "Van" Gogh of Essex, or Mr Konjusha as he is now known, has shared more of his van artwork with us. 

Two pieces of van art
Mr Konjusha

The 22-year-old from East London, who works at a warehouse in Essex, turns dirty vehicles into works of art to "put smiles" on the faces of delivery drivers. 

"Sometimes they can be a bit grumpy in the mornings when I speak to them, so I just thought I'd do something to cheer them up," he said.

Maldon death: Family tribute to 'dear mum'

The family of a woman who was found dead in Maldon last month have paid tribute to a "lovely and gentle person".

Murder scene

Amina Begun 47, of Fambridge Close was discoverd by police in Fambridge Close on 24 March. She was declared dead at the scene. Javid Ahmed, 25, of the same address, has been charged with her murder.

In a statement, her children said: "Our whole family are devastated by the loss of our dear mum... She cared for and adored her children and her wider family." 

Weather: Cloud will thicken through the afternoon, but it'll be staying dry

BBC Weather

Skies will become hazier from the west through the afternoon as cloud begins to thicken. It'll remain dry, though it will become rather breezy later. 

Maximum Temperature: 13C (55F).

Weather chart for the rest of the day

You can stay up-to-date for the latest weather forecast here.

National Living Wage 'forces' Essex nursery owner to increase prices

A Sible Hedingham nursery owner says she is having to put her prices up to in order to cover an increase in staff wages.

Helen Palmer

From today anyone aged 25 and over must be paid at least £7.20 an hour as the National Living Wage is introduced.

Helen Palmer, who runs Cheeky Monkey's Day Nursery, said: "Our parents are the people paying our fees, so if you put up our bills we have to put up our prices in order to pay our staff." 

Police appeal to find person who left anti-tank rockets at bus stop

Essex Police is appealing to find the person who left six anti-tank rockets at a bus stop in Coopersale.

Essex Police

The missiles were discovered on the B181 Epping Road at about 16:55 on Tuesday. 

The force has confirmed it is not an April Fool's joke and asks anybody with information to call 101. 

We've tracked down the 'Van' Gogh of Essex!

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Remember yesterday we told you about a van that had been spotted in Chelmsford with an amazing picture drawn in its dirt? Well we've managed to track down the artist who has claimed responsibility. 

Van art

The 22-year-old man, known only as Mr Konjusha from East London, told me he works at a warehouse in Essex, and created the artwork to "put a smile on the delivery drivers' faces".

He said he started the van art murals three weeks ago and has since created about 10 - each taking 10 minutes to make. 

Travel: All lanes reopen on northbound A12

Mother of murdered Laura Davies wants to meet her daughter's killer in prison

Basildon Echo

The heartbroken mum of a murdered horse groom intends to visit her daughter's killer in prison to finally come to terms with the savage attack.  

Man sustains 'life-changing' injuries in Harlow bottle attack

A man has been left with life-changing injuries after he was attacked outside a bar in Harlow in the early hours of this morning.

Post Office Walk

Essex Police says the 22-year-old victim was assaulted near Bar 21 in Post Office Walk. He is now being treated in Broomfield Hospital. 

Officers are looking for three male suspects who are all described as white.

A12 crash involved seven vehicles

Long delays are continuing on the A12 this lunchtime after a crash involving seven vehicles.

Six miles of queues are reported on the northbound carriageway after the incident that happened at Kelvedon. 

Essex Fire and Rescue says nobody was trapped but crews helped clear the road. One lane is closed.

Headlines: Fifteen assessed in A12 crash... Man sustains 'life-changing' injuries in Harlow attack

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories from the Essex newsdesk this morning:

  • Paramedics have assessed 15 people after a multi-vehicle crash which blocked the northbound A12 this morning
  • A man has been left with life-changing injuries after he was attacked outside a bar in Harlow 
  • Six World War Two anti-tank rockets have been found behind a bus stop in Coopersale

Fifteen people involved in A12 crash

Paramedics have assessed 15 people after a multi-vehicle crash which blocked the northbound A12 this morning.

A12 at Kelvedon

The East of England Ambulance Service says most involved have been treated for minor injuries 

Three patients, two women and a man, are likely to be take to hospital. One lane remains closed following the crash at Kelvedon.

Travel: One lane to reopen on northbound A12

Essex Police is to reopen one lane on the northbound A12 at Kelvedon following a multi-vehicle crash.

View more on twitter

Woman plans £20k wedding for pet Chihuahua after meeting 'husband-to-be' in Essex

A woman spent £6,000 on a hen party for her dog, which she plans to 'wed' in a £20,000 wedding ceremony.

Helen Turner from Burnley, Lancashire, says her Chihuahua, Chi-Chi, met her 'husband-to-be' Harvey at a dog show in Essex three years ago.

She says they 'fell in love' and keep in touch via video-calling app FaceTime. Our colleagues at BBC North West went to meet the blushing bride. 

Travel: A12 northbound blocked by multi-vehicle accident

BBC Travel

A multi-vehicle accident has blocked the A12 Colchester-bound just before J24 for Kelvedon North. 

The latest travel updates for Essex can be found here

Police cordon at Coggeshall cash machine ram-raid scene

This was the scene in Coggeshall this morning after ram-raiders used a JCB to remove a cash machine. 

Ben Coode-Adams

Essex Police says it is investigating following the incident at Post Office on Market Hill at about 03:15.

The suspects are said to have put the machine inside a Land Rover before leaving.

Man dies after being hit by lorry on M25 hard shoulder

A man has died after he was struck by a lorry on the hard shoulder of the M25 last night, police say.


The anti-clockwise carriageway was closed for a time near Brentwood following the collision at about 21:00.

Police believe the driver hit a central reservation, pulled on to the hard shoulder, and as he got out of his car was hit by a passing lorry. Officers are now looking to trace the HGV driver who stopped briefly. 

WW2 anti-tank rockets found behind Coopersale bus stop

Six anti-tank rockets have been found behind a bus stop in Coopersale. 

Coopersale anti-tank rockets
Essex Police

Essex Police says it was called to Epping Road on Tuesday at about 16:55. 

The Army Explosives Ordnance Disposal Unit attended and disposed of the rockets nearby. It has been confirmed the missile were six live anti-tank rockets from World War Two.

BreakingSix anti-tank rockets found behind bus stop in Coopersale

An investigation has been launched after six anti-tank rockets were found behind a bus stop in Coopersale earlier this week. 

More details to follow. 

JCB used in Coggeshall Post Office ram-raid

Ram-raiders have used a JCB to remove a cash machine from a Post Office in Coggeshall this morning, police say. 

Post Office, Market Hill

Officers were called to the shop on Market Hill at about 03:15. Witnesses reported four suspects who had their faces covered. 

They are said to have left the scene in a Land Rover - taking the machine with them. 

Weather: A bright start but cloud increasing later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It will be a sunny start for most after any fog patches clear, but skies will become hazier from the west through the afternoon.

Maximum Temperature: 13C (55F).

Headlines: Man hit by lorry on M25 hard shoulder... Essex nursery struggles with National Live Wage introduction

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories from the Essex newsdesk this morning:

  • A man has died after he was struck by a lorry on the hard shoulder of the M25 last night
  • A Colchester woman who runs a children's nursery says she's having to put prices up to cover increased staff costs as the National Living Wage is introduced today

Welcome to Essex Live

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good morning and thanks for joining us for Essex Live. 

It's been a bit of a frosty start hasn't it - hope you didn't spend too long scraping your car. We'll bring you a full weather forecast for the day shortly, plus stay with us for the latest news, sport and travel updates for the county.

If you'd like to share any stories or pictures with us today you can email us, tweet us, or visit our Facebook page.