Thanks for joining us today - we'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 tomorrow.
- Updates on Thursday, 14 April 2016
- Drawing of a dagger found in the cell of a boy accused of murdering two people, court hears
- Four people arrested on suspicion of killing Vilson Meshi in Basildon are released from bail without being charged
- A cat is left with 30 pellet wounds after shotgun attack
- A 37-year-old man from Colchester is charged with the murder of a 22-year-old woman in Sheffield
- News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Friday at 08:00
An Essex Police dog handler has been injured after the vehicle he was in was rammed in Ingatestone.
PC Alan Conran tweeted to say units from across the county had been called after the dog unit was rammed "following a pursuit".
He said he understood the dogs had not been injured, but the handler had been hurt, and that three suspects were in custody.
I've been looking at the level of delays in our county's A&E department, as national figures hit record levels in February.
The worst trust in the county was Mid Essex, which runs Broomfield Hospital, which managed to see 73.1% of its emergency patients within four hours. Basildon saw 81%, while Colchester saw 76.7%.
The best was Southend, which saw almost 82% of patients within the target time.
The national target is 95% of patients within four hours.
BBC Look East weather
Scattered heavy showers and thunderstorms will head north-eastwards, becoming more isolated and fading away during the evening.
Cloud thickening from the south overnight will bring further spells of rain. Lows of 4C (39F).
Tomorrow will be cloudy with spells of rain, which will gradually clear before the risk of further heavy showers later. Top temperature: 13C (55F).
Get more on the forecast where you live, from BBC Weather.
The inspector leading the Vilson Meshi murder inquiry says police are "committed" to finding the 30-year-old's killers, after four suspects were released from bail without charge today.
Mr Meshi died from smoke inhalation. His body was found in the back of his burned-out Audi A4 at Pincey Mead, near Pitsea Road, Basildon on 27 February.
All four boys, from Basildon, arrested over the murder will not face any further action. Police are still trying to find a person spotted on CCTV in the same area where Mr Meshi was found dead just hours later.
Det Ch Insp Stephen Jennings said: "I urge everyone to have a look at the CCTV and see whether they recognise the person captured."
The owner of a cat which was left with 30 pellet wounds after being shot said it was "heartbreaking" his pet had been so badly injured.
Three-year-old Puss-Puss was left with shotgun pellets in her torso, paw and left eye after being shot near her home in Ardleigh.
Owner Doug Taw said: "I just can't think what sort of person could have done this to her. It is a miracle she survived but it's going to take a lot for her to get back to her normal self, and she will obviously always bear the scars now."
Three 16-year-old boys and a 15-year-old arrested over the murder of a man whose body was found in a burned-out car will face no charges and have been released from bail, police have said.
Vilson Meshi, 30, was discovered dead in the back of his Audi A4 at Pincey Mead, near Pitsea Road, Basildon just before 17:00 on 27 February.
Essex Police says it still wants to trace a person caught on CCTV in the area at 02:15 that day. They were wearing a hooded top, riding a bike and trying to open car doors.
All suspects arrested on suspicion of the murder of Vilson Meshi in Basildon have been released from their bail without charge, Essex Police says.
An 86-year-old driver has had his licence revoked after failing an eyesight test during a road safety operation in west Essex.
Police carried out stop-checks in Loughton, Epping and on the M11 yesterday. They stopped the man after becoming concerned about the way he was driving.
After he failed the test, officers used the DVLA's fast track procedure to apply for his licence to be revoked immediately.
The trial of the teenage boy accused of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester has heard he admitted having violent sexual fantasies.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, denies murder but admits manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility.
A psychiatrist told Guildford Crown Court the boy had admitted watching violent films and pornography, to being obsessed with serial killers and to being turned on by the idea of serial killers.
New figures show delays at Essex A&E departments are worse than the national average, which itself sank to a new low for the second month in a row.
Figures for February from NHS England show just under 88% of patients across the country were dealt with within four hours - the target is 95%.
Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust saw the highest number of delays - over a quarter of patients were not seen within the prescribed time.
Vets who treated a cat with 30 pellet wounds from a shotgun say it was a "miracle" she survived.
Puss-Puss, who was seen injured after gunshots were heard near her home in Ardleigh, has a detached retina and will have to have an eye removed.
RSPCA inspector Adam Jones said she had an "extraordinary number of pellet wounds all over her body and head". Vets said two had just missed her spinal cord.
A 17-year-old boy accused of murdering two people in Colchester made claims he was possessed by the devil and that his actions were being controlled by him, a jury has been told.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in 2014.
Guildford Crown Court has heard evidence from psychiatrist Dr Simon Hill, who is currently caring for the defendant. He said the teenager had reported voices telling him to strangle and rape female patients.
A 17-year-old boy has been seriously injured in a crash involving an off-road motorbike in Grays.
Police say the teenager is being treated for head injuries at the Royal London Hospital and his condition is "critical".
His pillion passenger, a 16-year-old boy, suffered a fractured knee in the crash, which happened near King Edward Drive at about 18:10 on Tuesday.
Heavy, slow-moving showers are making their way across the county this afternoon, some heavy with a risk of hail and thunder.
The good news is there will be warm sunny spells in between the showers.
The rain will continue into the evening. Keep ahead of the showers by checking out the latest BBC Weather forecast for where you live.
Here are the stories we're covering this afternoon:
- A jury's been hearing about drawings taken from the cell of a teenager accused of two murders in Colchester
- A 37-year-old man from Colchester is appearing in court in Sheffield after a woman was stabbed to death in the city
- A 17-year-old boy is in a "critical" condition after a crash involving an off-road motorbike in Grays
The Essex Cricket captain Ryan ten Doeschate says the side still have things to work on despite making a winning start in the County Championship.
Essex beat Gloucestershire by 10 wickets at Chelmsford, but ten Doeschate's looking for them to be more ruthless with their first innings batting.
"Something we're a little bit disappointed about is how we had that position of control and threw it away to a degree," he said.
A yellow weather warning has been issued for the whole of the East of England.
The Met Office says heavy showers and thunderstorms are expected to break out this afternoon but they will slowly die out this evening.
It says not everywhere will experience them but where they do occur, people should be aware of standing water on roads and reduced visibility. Get the latest updates for the region at BBC Weather.
Maldon MP John Whittingdale has cancelled an appearance at a "Vote Leave" EU rally in Oxford at the weekend, the BBC understands.
Yesterday, Labour called for Culture Secretary Mr Whittingdale to withdraw from press regulation decisions, after news of his relationship with a sex worker.
Mr Whittingdale, who says he had not known the woman was a sex worker, said it had not affected his decisions.
A train cancellation in North Essex to be aware of if you're heading in that direction:
The trial of a 17-year-old boy accused of murdering two people in Colchester has heard a drawing of a dagger was taken from his cell at a young offenders' institution after his arrest.
The boy admits killing James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in 2014, but denies murder on grounds of diminished responsibility.
Guildford Crown Court heard one of the drawings collected from the cell showed a picture of a dagger and a face which was half-smiling, half-sad. The words "the man that no one understands" were written above.
An A&E nurse from Braintree has sent her EU leaflet from the government back as she is outraged the money wasn't spent on the NHS instead.
Fezile Lambert said the £9m cost of sending out the leaflets to every UK household was a "waste of money" and could have been better spent elsewhere.
The government said it had "a right and responsibility to provide information".
BBC Essex Sport
World Snooker Champion Stuart Bingham says he can't wait to start the defence of his title on Saturday.
Also in the draw for the Crucible is Chelmsford's Ali Carter, who saw off Dominic Dale in the qualifiers, but Braintree's Mark King hasn't made it after losing to Michael Holt.
Reigning champion Bingham, who is from Basildon, said: "I'm looking forward to going back this year. It's been nice to see my name on that trophy."
A biker from Brentwood who broke his leg after crashing into a deer says more needs to be done to control numbers of the animal in the area.
Tyler Enkel hit a deer while riding through Navestock, and says more people will be injured unless action is taken.
"The problem is, they've got no natural predators, so they're just going to breed and breed," he said.
A man has been charged with a string of offences after an aggravated burglary in Southend.
The Co-Op in Sutton Road was targeted on Monday night. Shortly afterwards, a man got into a nearby car and threatened the driver with a knife.
A 42-year-old man has been charged with kidnap, aggravated burglary, possession of a bladed article and three other burglaries. He is due to appear at Southend Magistrates' Court this morning.
Braintree & Witham Times
The trial of a 17-year-old boy accused of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester will hear more evidence from psychiatrists at Guildford Crown Court today.
The defence will call Dr Simon Hill, Dr David Ho and Dr Peter Misch. All three have assessed the defendant, who admits manslaughter but denies murder, and agree he is on the autistic spectrum.
They'll be asked whether they believe the teenager was suffering from psychosis at the time of the killings in 2014 and to what extent his mental state affected his ability to control his own actions.
Police in South Yorkshire say a man from Colchester has been charged with the murder of a 22-year-old woman in Sheffield.
Leigh-Anne Mahachi was found at a property in the city on Tuesday and died from multiple stab wounds.
A 37-year-old man from Colchester has been charged with her murder and will appear at Sheffield Magistrates' Court this morning.
A crash involving a car and a lorry has blocked a lane on the westbound A13 at Stanford-le-Hope. Congestion is back to the Five Bells junction.
You can get the latest information on the county's roads here.
BBC Look East weather
It's a mixed bag of weather in Essex today - things will start off dry and bright, but scattered, heavy, slow-moving showers will pass across the county later.
Some of the showers might bring thunder with them. It will feel warm today, though, with highs of 16C (61F).
Check the latest forecast for your part of the county here.
Here are the top stories we're looking at this morning:
- A court will today hear more evidence from psychiatrists in the trial of a Colchester teenager accused of two murders in the town
- A 37-year-old man from Colchester has been charged with murder after a woman was stabbed to death in Sheffield
- Weather: Possible showers with a high temperature of 16C (61F)