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Summary

  1. Top stories on Monday, 4 April 2016
  2. A Colchester road worker has exclusively told BBC Essex they're constantly subjected to abuse by motorists - and claimed one of his colleagues was threatened with a knuckle duster
  3. Police have accused the Essex murderer Jeremy Bamber of "circumnavigating the formal process" of appeal by using the media and websites to fight his conviction
  4. A road in Chelmsford has been named after a soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2010
  5. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's it from us at Essex Live today - thanks for stopping by. 

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with the latest news for the county.

Have a great evening. 

Weather: Patchy cloud overnight with showers tomorrow

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

Any showers will die away during the early evening to leave patchy cloud in places overnight and mist. Minimum temperature: 5C (41F).

Weather map for Essex
BBC

Tomorrow will be dry with variable cloud and some sunshine likely. A few light showers are possible in places.

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

Dogs killed after eating food riddled with rat poison in Brentwood and Wickford parks

Brentwood Gazette

A dog has died after eating food laced with rat poison in a bush during a walk in a Wickford park, while a Brentwood dog's death was shrouded in mystery after a suspected poisoning.

Leigh-on-Sea assault CCTV released

Recognise these men? Essex Police wants to speak to them after an assault in Leigh-on-Sea last month.

CCTV
Essex Police

The force says two men tried to punch and chase a man in his 30s in Marine Avenue on the evening of 7 March. 

Anybody with information is asked to call 101. 

Hockley blind-fitters slogan 'takes the mickey' out of disabled people

BBC Essex

Do you think the slogan on this blind-fitting van is offensive or a clever play on words? 

Well, one organisation that helps those who are visually impaired thinks it "takes the mickey" out of disabled people.

Van driven in Hockley
Tim Gillett

Paul Atkins from Support for Sight told BBC Essex he was "shocked" when he heard about the van, adding "I've had to to deal with these types of comments all of my life".

But the boss of CK Blinds in Hockley, Ryan Sanderson, said the family-run business had been operating for eight years and only received "one complaint" about the "tongue-in-cheek" slogan. 

Headlines: Two Essex men jailed over museum art thefts... Four charged over Maldon teenager kidnap

Here are the top stories in Essex this afternoon: 

  • Two Essex men have been jailed for their part in a multimillion-pound plot to steal rhino horn and Chinese artefacts in museum raids across England
  • A man and three boys have been charged with kidnapping a teenager in Maldon last month  
  • A 15-year-old boy from Chelmsford who released a poignant song about his nan who has advanced dementia has been recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron  

What caused last night's thunderstorm across Essex?

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

A warm and sunny Sunday afternoon soon turned into a thundery evening yesterday, didn't it? 

But what caused the dramatic change in the weather? I've been taking a look... 

Woman injured in Epping M25 crash dies

One of three women injured in a crash on the M25 in Essex last week has died.

M25
Google

A 34-year-old from Leicestershire suffered life-threatening injures after a Nisson Note and a lorry crashed on the clockwise carriageway in Epping on 29 March. 

Essex Police said she died at the Royal London Hospital on Saturday. A 61-year-old man from Telford was arrested and is on bail pending further enquiries until 27 June.

Six more people being sentenced over museum raids tomorrow

Jo Black

BBC News

A further six defendants will be sentenced tomorrow at Birmingham Crown Court over the museum raids.

Detectives say the Chinese artefacts stolen were worth about £18m but could have fetched up to £57m, and the case dwarfed the more high-profile Hatton Garden heist in London. 

You can read the full story here.

Men jailed for museum raids

Jo Black

BBC News

Seven members of an organised crime gang who arranged for precious artefacts to be stolen from museums and auction houses across England have been sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court.

The plots saw multi-million-pound items including Chinese jade and rhino horn taken from sites including the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and an attempted theft at Norwich Castle Museum. 

The jailed men were:

  • Danny Flynn, 45, of Orchard Drive, Smithy Fen, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, jailed for four years
  • Paul Pammen, 49, of Alton Gardens, Southend, Essex, jailed for five and a half years
  • Donald Chi Chong Wong, 56, of Clapham Common South Side, London, jailed for five and a half years
  • Daniel "Turkey" O'Brien, 45, from Smithy Fen, Cottenham, jailed for six years and eight months
  • Richard "Kerry" O'Brien Junior, 31, of Dale Farm, Oak Lane, Billericay, Essex, jailed for five and a half years
  • Alan Clarke, 37, of Melbourne Road, Newham, London, jailed for five and a half years
  • John "Cash" O'Brien, 68, of Fifth Avenue, Wolverhampton, jailed for five years and three months

BreakingMembers of museum raid gang jailed

Seven men from Cambridgeshire, Essex, London and the West Midlands, who were part of an organised crime gang, have been jailed for their roles in stealing artefacts worth up to £57m from museums across England, including in Norwich and Cambridge.

Four charged over Maldon teenager kidnap

A man and three boys have been charged with kidnapping a teenager in Maldon last month.

Hurrels Lane
Google

A 17-year-old boy was found dumped in Hurrels Lane, Little Baddow, at 00:30 on 27 March with serious injuries including a fractured leg, stab wounds and broken teeth.

A man, 19, from Boreham, a boy, 17, from Hatfield Peverel and two other boys, aged 15 and 16, both from Boreham, have been charged with kidnapping, GBH and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon.

Teenager who released song for his nan who has dementia gets Point of Light award

A 15-year-old boy from Chelmsford who released a poignant song about his nan who has advanced dementia has been recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Harry and his nan Maureen
Alzheimer’s Research UK

Harry Gardner said he was "so shocked" by how his nan Maureen McGuinness, 76, had deteriorated after a recent visit that he immediately went home and wrote a song, Not Alone.  

Mr Cameron said Harry's song was a "wonderful tribute to his grandmother" and he was "delighted to recognise Harry as the UK's 510th Point of Light".

New Chelmsford viaduct opens to motorists

A £32m road bridge has been opened to motorists in Chelmsford today.

Chelmer Viaduct opens to traffic
Highways England

The 900m (2,953ft) A138 Chelmer Viaduct, which has taken 13 months to build, will have three lanes of carriageway, a shared pedestrian and cycleway and a footpath once fully complete later this month. 

Allstair Stout from Highways England said the new road will "prevent further disruption in the area". 

Girl, 12, assaulted on way to school in Colchester

A 12-year-old girl has been assaulted on her way to school in Colchester, police say.

Cowdry Avenue
Google

The St Helena School pupil was walking along Cowdray Avenue on 23 March when she was pushed, punched and kicked by two boys aged about 14.

The girl required hospital treatment after she was left with a bloodied nose, swollen lip and bruised ribs.

Weather: Cloudy with occasional showers, and some sunshine too

BBC Weather

Although there will be some sunny breaks this afternoon, it will be rather cloudy with a few showers. 

Some of these may be heavy, with the odd rumble of thunder possible. 

Maximum temperature: 13C (55F).

Weather chart for Essex
BBC

Get the latest forecast for wherever you are here.

Teacher battles council over £1,400 homemade garage made from shipping container

Daily Gazette

An art and design teacher is battling with council planners over a homemade garage in his back garden.  

Delivery driver robbed of three-figure sum and pizzas by armed men

A delivery driver was robbed of a three-figure sum of cash and pizzas by men armed with hammers and what appeared to be a gun in Brentwood.

St Stephens Crescent
Google

A 32-year-old man was making a delivery in St Stephen's Crescent early on Saturday when he was approached by a group of seven or eight men.

A man, 18, and 17-year-old boy have been questioned as part of the investigation and bailed until May. A third teenager remains in custody.

£5,000 reward offered in Vilson Meshi murder probe

A £5,000 reward has been offered by charity Crimestoppers for information over the murder of a 30-year-old man in Pitsea.

Vilson Meshi
Anthony Chooah

Vilson Meshi (pictured) was discovered in a burned-out car at Pincey Mead near Pitsea Road, on 27 February. A post-mortem examination found he died from smoke inhalation.

Three 16-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy, all from Basildon, are on bail following their arrests on suspicion of murder.

Road workmen 'shot at with air rifles'

A safety adviser for road workers says he has dealt with a number of staff who have been abused - with one man being "shot at with an air rifle".

Pat Sheehan
BBC

It comes as BBC Essex is told workmen are constantly subjected to abuse by violent motorists. CCTV warning signs have even been erected at one site in Wivenhoe. 

Pat Sheehan (pictured), from Colas, said: "There are a number of issues like people being punched, shot at, threatened with guns and knives, you name it it has happened".

Headlines: £5,000 Vilson Meshi murder probe reward offered... Weekend train sickness cancellations 'not surprising'

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories from the Essex newsroom this lunchtime:

  • Charity Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information about the murder of Vilson Meshi near Basildon
  • The cancellation of almost 20 trains across the East of England over the weekend was not "overly surprising", says the chairman of the Essex Rail Users Federation
  • CCTV cameras have been put up over roadworks after staff were repeatedly threatened by motorists, including by a man with a knuckleduster  

Colchester United 'going in the right direction'

BBC Sport

Colchester United are "going in the right direction" following their 0-0 draw against sixth-placed Millwall, according to manager Kevin Keen.    

Kevin Keen
Getty Images

The U's are now three games unbeaten in League One, but remain seven points from safety with six matches to play.

"The players are playing with heart and soul and they're having a right go," Keen told BBC Essex.

Southend boss regrets missed chances in Blackpool defeat

BBC Sport

Southend United boss Phil Brown was left bemoaning his side's lack of attacking quality after defeat at relegation-threatened Blackpool all but ended their League One play-off push.  

Phil Brown
Getty Images

Saturday's 2-0 loss at Bloomfield Road left the Shrimpers eight points outside the play-offs with six games remaining.

"I can't fault the effort, what I can fault is the quality in the final third," Brown told BBC Essex. "When you step up a division you need to step up your quality."

Colchester United 'going in the right direction'

BBC Sport

Colchester United are "going in the right direction" following their 0-0 draw against sixth-placed Millwall, according to manager Kevin Keen.  

Kevin Keen
Getty Images

The U's are now three games unbeaten in League One, but remain seven points from safety with six matches to play.

"The players are playing with heart and soul and they're having a right go," Keen told BBC Essex

Kevin Keen

Colchester 'going in right direction'

Colchester United are "going in the right direction" after their 0-0 draw against Millwall, says manager Kevin Keen.

Read more

Southend boss regrets missed chances in Blackpool defeat

BBC Sport

Southend United boss Phil Brown was left bemoaning his side's lack of attacking quality after defeat at relegation-threatened Blackpool all but ended their League One play-off push.

Phil Brown
Getty Images

Saturday's 2-0 loss at Bloomfield Road left the Shrimpers eight points outside the play-offs with six games remaining.

"I can't fault the effort, what I can fault is the quality in the final third," Brown told BBC Essex. "When you step up a division you need to step up your quality."

Phil Brown

Attacking quality cost Southend - Brown

Southend boss Phil Brown bemoans his side's attacking quality after Blackpool all but end their League One play-off push.

Read more

Greater Anglia weekend sickness cancellations not 'overly surprising'

The cancellation of almost 20 trains across the East of England over the weekend was not "overly surprising", says the chairman of the Essex Rail Users Federation (ERUF).

Greater Anglia
BBC

Disruption was seen at several stations including Chelmsford, Norwich, Cambridge, Lowestoft and Ipswich due to sickness among rail staff. Abellio Greater Anglia apologised for any disruption caused.

Derek Monnery from the ERUF told BBC Essex: "The Easter holidays plus a bit of sickness is enough to top the system over". 

Alastair Cook to play in Essex pre-season friendly today

England captain Alastair Cook will play for Essex in their final pre-season friendly against Middlesex in Chelmsford, which starts this morning.

We'll bring you updates throughout the day.

View more on twitter

Bamber appeal letters 'ill-conceived', says Essex Police

Police have accused Essex murderer Jeremy Bamber of "circumnavigating the formal process" of appeal by using the media and websites to fight his conviction.

Jeremy Bamber
PA

Bamber has always denied the killings and his supporters have called for evidence to be disclosed. 

Police say there's never been anything to suggest he was wrongly imprisoned. The 55-year-old is serving a whole life term for killing five members of his family in Tolleshunt D'Arcy in 1985. 

Sentencing taking place over museum raids

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Sentencing begins today of 13 men involved in museum raids across the country, including at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and Norwich Castle.

Rhino head
BBC
Chinese jade
Fitzwilliam Museum

Men from Cambridgeshire, Essex, Kent, London, the West Midlands and Northern Ireland were convicted of conspiracy to burgle in February, after high-value items including Chinese jade and rhino horn were stolen.

The hearing is due to take place over two days at Birmingham Crown Court.

How did our Essex sides do over the weekend?

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Too busy enjoying the Essex sunshine over the weekend to notice the football scores? Don't worry, we've got you covered...

A football
BBC
  • Play-off chasing Southend travelled 270 miles to Blackpool but were defeated 2-0
  • League One strugglers Colchester United had to settle for a point against play-off hopefuls Millwall in a game that ended goalless 
  • There was no luck for Braintree in the National League either as they were beaten 3-1 at Macclesfield Town

Essex road worker 'threatened with knuckle duster'

BBC Essex

Being stuck in a roadworks can be frustrating at times, but one Essex workman has told BBC Essex they're constantly subject to abuse by violent motorists.

Signs have been erected at the Wivenhoe roadworks warning people that aggressive behaviour will be reported to the police.

One worker, who only wants to be known as Tim, said a colleague had even been threatened with a knuckle duster. 

Chelmsford road named after killed soldier Scott Hardy

A road in Chelmsford has been named after a soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

L/Cpl Scott Hardy, of the 1st Battalion of The Royal Anglian Regiment, was caught in a blast in Helmand province, along with Suffolk's Pte James Grigg, who also died.

Father, Ian Hardy, spoke of his pride towards his son as he unveiled the road sign for Hardy Close on Saturday.

Headlines: Essex road worker 'threatened with knuckle duster'... Chelmsford road named after fallen soldier

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

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

  • A Colchester road worker has exclusively told BBC Essex they're constantly subjected to abuse by motorists - and claimed one of his colleagues was threatened with a knuckle duster
  • Police have accused the Essex murderer Jeremy Bamber of "circumnavigating the formal process" of appeal by using the media and websites to fight his conviction
  • A road in Chelmsford has been named after a soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2010

Weather: Cloudy with occasional showers, but brighter later

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

Although there will be some sunny breaks today, it will be rather cloudy with a few showers. Some of these may be heavy, with the odd rumble of thunder possible. 

Maximum temperature: 13C (55F).

You can stay up-to-date with the latest weather throughout the day here.

Welcome to Monday's Essex Live

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to Essex Live - hope you had a great weekend. 

Join us until 18:00 for the latest news, sport, weather and travel for the county. 

If you'd like to get in touch you can email us, tweet us, or visit our Facebook page