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Summary

  1. Updates on Monday, 11 April 2016
  2. The murder trial of a teenager who admitted the manslaughter of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea started today
  3. Ahmed Musse: Four admit manslaughter over Basildon woodland stabbing
  4. Essex hospitals pay £135m in medical negligence compensation since 2010
  5. Max Whitlock, from Basildon, beats Louis Smith at British Gymnastics Championship
  6. 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 joining us.

We'll be back tomorrow morning from 08:00 with the latest news, sport, travel and weather for the county. 

Have a great evening. 

Kitten dumped in Ikea car park with heartbreaking note

A five-month-old kitten has been found dumped in an Ikea car par with a heartbreaking note attached, the RSPCA says.

Kitten and note
RSPCA

Vinnie was discovered at the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Grays last Wednesday. A letter attached said: "My mummy loves me very very much but she cannot keep me for personal reasons". 

A member of the public found the grey and white youngster, thought to be half-Bengal, who will be taken to an RSPCA branch in Havering where it's hoped he'll be re-homed.

Weather: Mainly dry before heavy showers Tuesday

BBC Weather

Rather cloudy this evening with the rain soon clearing to the north. Behind this, it will become dry for a time before further showery outbreaks of rain push up from the south.

Minimum temperature: 7C (45F).

Weather map for Essex
BBC

Tomorrow, any residual rain will soon clear to leave a mainly dry and increasingly bright morning.

You can find a detailed forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

Headlines: Jurors 'must decide' if Colchester stabbings were murder... Kitten dumped in Ikea car park

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories for Essex this afternoon: 

Guildford Crown Court
BBC
  • A judge has told jurors they must decide whether a 17-year-old boy accused of murdering two people in Colchester in 2014 "was suffering from diminished responsibility at the time"
  • England Test captain Alastair Cook struck a century for Essex against Gloucestershire at Chelmsford in his first Championship innings of 2016
  • A five-month-old kitten has been found dumped in an Ikea car park in Grays with a letter attached

Essex rail 10-week improvement plan completed

If you've tried using a train in Essex over the past 10 weeks, chances are you're journey was disrupted as engineers upgraded several routes between London and Colchester and London and Southend. 

Rail works
Network Rail

The work has now been complete. Here are just a few of the improvements that have been made: 

  • More than 16km (9.9 miles) of new overhead lines
  • Replacing more than 3.5km (2.17 miles) of news track laid 
  • Station platform extensions at Brentwood, Chadwell Heath, Gidea Park, Goodmayes and Harold Wood

Travel: A130 partially blocked due to four-vehicle accident

View more on twitter

You can find regular travel updates for the county from BBC Travel.

Essex v Gloucestershire: Alastair Cook scores century

BBC Sport

England Test captain Alastair Cook struck a century for Essex against Gloucestershire at Chelmsford in his first Championship innings of 2016.

Alastair Cook
Getty Images

The 31-year-old left-hander reached his 52nd first-class century off 182 balls.

Cook shared a second-wicket stand of 222 with Tom Westley, who also scored a ton, before being trapped lbw by off-spinner Jack Taylor for 105.

Stuart Bingham: O'Sullivan still not the greatest

BBC Sport

Ronnie O'Sullivan must match Stephen Hendry's World Championship title haul to be considered snooker's greatest player, according to Basildon-based reigning world champion Stuart Bingham.

Stuart Bingham and Ronnie O'Sullivan
Getty Images

Hendry, who retired in 2012, has seven Crucible titles to his name, while O'Sullivan, from Chigwell, has won snooker's showpiece event on five occasions.

"Ronnie is the best player to ever pick up a cue," Bingham, 39, told the BBC, "but to be the greatest player you have to beat the records."

Jurors 'must decide' if James Attfield and Nahid Almanea killings were murder

Gareth George

BBC Look East

A judge has told jurors they must decide whether a 17-year-old boy accused of murdering two people in Colchester in 2014 "was suffering from diminished responsibility at the time". 

Judge Robin Spencer QC said there was "no dispute that he killed those two people". 

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder but admits manslaughter. The trial at Guildford Crown Court continues.

James Attfield and Nahid Almanea deaths: Murder trial begins

The trial of a teenager accused of murdering two people in Colchester in 2014 is under way at Guildford Crown Court.

Nahid Almanea and James Attfield
Essex Police

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has admitted killing James Attfield and Nahid Almanea on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but denies murder.

The boy was 15 when he stabbed Mr Attfield in the town's Castle Park. Three months later he knifed Saudi student Nahid Almanea as she walked from her student accommodation along the Salary Brook Trail towards the University of Essex.

Four admit manslaughter over Basildon woodland stabbing

Four men have admitted manslaughter over the death of a man who was found in woodland with stab wounds.  

Police searching woodland
BBC

Ahmed Musse, 32, died in hospital after he was found with leg wounds at Sporhams, Basildon, at about 22:00 on 26 August last year.

He was described by his family as "a cherished son, brother, uncle, cousin, fiancé and friend". The four men will be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on 19 April.

Essex railway sign mistake spotted

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Take a look at this sign at an Essex railway station - notice anything unusual? 

Sign
Twitter/@stephengunshon

The mistake on the board, which should read "South Woodham Ferrers" and not "Fernes", was spotted by Stevie Gunshon, who tweeted: "this town name is wrong". 

Greater Anglia responded that the error had been reported and the sign will be changed.

Weather: Cloud increasing this afternoon

BBC Weather

Cloud will thicken from the south through the course of the afternoon, with some rain arriving later. This rain may be heavy in places. 

Maximum temperature: 15C (59F).

Weather map for Essex
BBC

You can stay up-to-date with the latest forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

Your pictures: Sunny start in Tollesbury

BBC Weather Watchers

Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher "pepperpot" who sent us this great photo from Tollesbury earlier today. 

Tollesbury
BBC Weather Watchers/pepperpot

They reported sunny spells with temperatures at about 10C (50F).

If you've taken a great picture from the county we'd love to see it. You can email us, tweet us, or visit our Facebook page.

Essex ambulance call-outs up by 25% in March

March was a busy month for ambulance staff in Essex as they saw an increase in calls by almost 25%.

Ambulance figures
BBC

The most common calls were for falls and patients with breathing difficulties and chest pain.

Bosses say they're facing an "unprecedented demand" for their services.   

A record-breaking year for Stansted Airport

More than 23 million people passed through Stansted Airport last year - it's busiest since 2008.

Stansted Airport
BAA Ltd

The north Essex terminal says the record-breaking figure was down to a high number of passengers choosing to use it during winter. 

Last month 1.8 million travellers used the airport, an increase of just under 25% on the previous year. 

Headlines: Essex NHS trusts pay £135m in compensation... Teenager arrested over Braintree park stabbing

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories for Essex this lunchtime:

  • Hospital trusts in Essex have paid out more than £135m in medical negligence claims in the past five years
  • A teenager has been arrested in connection with a stabbing at a Braintree park on Saturday which left a man with serious injuries, police say
  • The trial of a 17-old boy who is accused of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester two years ago is due to start in Surrey today

BBC Essex teams up with Clacton Airshow

BBC Essex

It quite an exciting day here at BBC Essex as we've announced that we're teaming up with the Clacton Airshow this summer to help put on the two-day event on the 25 and 26 August.

Red Arrows
BBC

The Red Arrows are among the display teams taking part. 

We'll also be launching a separate radio station called Radio Airshow, with commentary on the displays on 729MW.

Colchester Hospital meningitis mistake: Essex mother can 'never forgive'

A mother from Essex says she'll never completely forgive Colchester Hospital after it failed to spot meningitis in her daughter.

After admitting liability the hospital paid out £5.5m in compensation to the family - the case was one of more than 1,300 claims against Essex NHS trusts for medical negligence in the last five years, a BBC Essex Freedom of Information request has found.

The hospital has apologised to Ellie's family, saying it has learned lessons from the incident. 

Day two: Essex v Gloucestershire

BBC Sport

Day two of Essex's County Championship match against Gloucestershire is under way. 

County Ground
BBC

The Eagles are currently in bat - a short whole ago the score stood at 59 for 1.

You can follow live coverage of the game here.

Teenager arrested over Braintree park stabbing

A teenager has been arrested in connection with a stabbing at a Braintree park on Saturday which left a man with serious injuries, police say. 

A 25-year-old man was stabbed in the back and hip at the King George's playing field about 18:00.

The 16-year-old boy was detained yesterday on suspicion of GBH and making threats to kill. He has been released on bail until 19 June pending further inquiries.

Funding for obesity cut by Essex County Council - despite countywide epidemic

Southend Echo

Funding for obesity in Essex is being cut despite a countywide epidemic.  

James Cleverly: Braintree broad daylight stabbing 'very rare'

Braintree is a "safe area" despite a stabbing in broad daylight in a local park, according to the Conservative MP for the town.

James Cleverly
BBC

On Saturday a 25-year-old man was left in a serious condition after the attack in King George's playing field. Essex Police believe the incident was a "targeted attack". 

James Cleverly MP told BBC Essex: "The police do take incidents like this very seriously, but it is very very rare in our part of the country." 

Searches continue after man, 25, stabbed in Braintree park

Searches are continuing for two men after a 25-year-old man was stabbed in broad daylight at a park in Braintree. 

Braintree
Google

The victim was left with serious injuries following the attack in King George's playing field just before 18:00 on Saturday, Essex Police said.

One man whose family witnessed the assault described it as a "frightening experience". Officers believe it was a targeted attack.

Steps taken to 'reduce litigation' says Department of Health

The Department of Health says it's taking steps to "reduce litigation" after BBC Essex uncovered that more than £135m has been paid out for blunders by NHS trusts in the county in the past five years.

Medical apparatus
BBC

More than 1,300 patients have taken action against an Essex hospital or mental health trust since 2010. 

A spokesman from the Department of Health said it is working to "improve patient safety" so "we can make the best use of NHS money to improve patient care."

Essex hospitals pay £135m in medical negligence compensation since 2010

Hospital trusts in Essex have paid out more than a £135m in medical negligence claims in the past five years.

NHS figures
BBC

Figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request by BBC Essex show more than 1,300 patients have claimed against an Essex hospital or mental health trust since 2010. 

Colchester Hospital was the worst in the county, paying more than £36m in compensation. More on this story throughout the day. 

Max Whitlock beats Louis Smith at British Championships

BBC Sport

Basildon gymnast Max Whitlock beat Peterborough's Louis Smith to take gold in the Masters event at the British Gymnastics Championships at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

Both posted huge pommel scores, but Smith had to settle for silver as his 16.1 was bettered by Whitlock's 16.325.

It was a re-run of November's World Championships final, which was also won by Whitlock.

Man suffers serious slash wound to the neck in large Loughton fight

A man in his 20s has suffered a serious slash wound to his neck during an assault in Loughton.

Loughton High Road
Google

Officers were called to reports of a fight involving about 40 people in the High Road during the early hours of yesterday morning. 

A 31-year-old man from Birmingham was arrested at the scene. The victim was taken to a London hospital where he remains in a serious, but not life-threatening condition.

James Attfield and Nahid Almanea deaths: Murder trial due to start today

The murder trial of a teenager who admitted killing James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester is due to start today at Guildford Crown Court. 

Nahid Almanea (left), James Attfield (right)
Essex Police

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stabbed James Attfield, 33, more than 100 times in Colchester on 29 March 2014. Three months later he stabbed 31-year-old Nahid Almanea 16 times as she walked towards the University of Essex.

The boy has admitted two counts of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility, but denies two counts of murder.

Headlines: Murder trial over James Attfield and Nahid Almanea deaths to begin... Residents shock at broad daylight Braintree stabbing

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories in Essex this morning: 

  • The murder trial of a teenager who admitted the manslaughter of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester starts today at Guildford Crown Court
  • Residents in Braintree have spoken of their shock after a 25-year-old man was stabbed in a local park
  • Police say a man in his 20s has suffered a serious slash wound to his neck during an assault in Loughton

Weather: Cloud increasing with rain spreading

Sara Thornton

BBC Weather

Many eastern parts will see a dry morning, but rain in the far west will spread slowly north-east to all parts by the late afternoon. It may be heavy in places. 

Maximum temperature: 15C (59F).

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

Welcome to Monday's Essex Live page

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to another week here on 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