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Summary

  1. Almost two million cigarettes seized at port
  2. Man appears at Chelmsford Crown Court, charged with murder and attempted murder
  3. Inquest hears lorry driver was killed in a crash as he left M25 in Essex at twice the recommended speed
  4. Updates on Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Jodie Smith and 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 morning with the latest news for the county. 

Have a great evening. 

Weather: Clear with a touch of frost possible overnight

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

It'll be dry and sunny this evening with light winds. Staying dry overnight, too, with mostly clear skies.

This will allow temperatures to fall and a touch of grass frost is possible.

Minimum temperature: 5C (41F).

Weather map for the East
BBC

Tomorrow will be another fine day with sunny spells. Turning a little cloudy later but staying dry. 

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

Sussex press for victory

Essex 320 & 253-7 v Sussex 360 & 288

BBC Sussex's Adrian Harms at Hove:

"Suddenly two quick wickets as Essex look to chase down the target and Sussex are back in the driving seat and pressing for victory.

"The new ball has been taken and the hosts need three more wickets. Alastair Cook stands in their way - dropped on one, he is now 123 not out." 

Five budgies put down after being found dumped in Epping alleyway

Five budgies have had to be put down after they were discovered dumped in an alleyway in Epping, the RSPCA says.

Budgies
RSPCA

A member of the public came across the birds off Rayfield on Sunday. It comes just a few months after four birds were found abandoned in the same spot.

An RPSCA spokeswoman said: "The budgies were in a really bad way. Sadly, the vet assessed them and decided that the kindest thing to do was to put the budgies to sleep to end their suffering."

Police explain 999 no show at Lidl

Your Thurrock

A senior Essex Police officer has set the record straight over their attendance at a 999 call to a shop where shoplifters had confronted staff with a knife.  

Car driven at group of men carrying knives in Clacton

Essex Police is investigating a large disturbance in Clacton, where a car is believed to have been driven towards a group of men carrying knives. 

Melbourne Road
Google

The altercation happened in Melbourne Road on Monday night. The car struck two parked vehicles before a fight broke out between the two groups, consisting of seven men.

The force says it searched the area and is now looking to locate those involve. No-one is believed to have been injured.

Headlines: Colchester double murder trial jury sent home... Dumped budgies put down

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories for Essex this afternoon: 

  • The jury in the trial of a teenager accused of murdering two strangers in Colchester has been sent home for the day
  • Five budgies have had to be put down after they were discovered dumped in an alleyway in Epping
  • There has been a slight increase in the number of people out of work and claiming benefits in Essex

Your pictures: The sun is shining on Mersea Island

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

You could be mistaken to think this was taken far far away, but actually Alan Conran has sent it to us from Mersea Island.

Beach huts on Mersea
Alan Conran

He says: "Not as warm as yesterday, breeze has a chill to it but the sun is shining nonetheless."  

If you've got a photo you'd like to share with us, you can email it, tweet it, or post it on our Facebook page.

It's 100 runs for Alastair Cook

BBC Sport

England captain Alastair Cook has topped 100 runs in Essex's second innings against Sussex.

It took him 189 balls and included 11 fours - and all after Danny Briggs dropped him at slip early in his innings. 

Essex need another 126 for victory. You can follow updates here.

Alastair Cook
Getty Images

Jury sent home for the day in Colchester double murder trial

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

The jury in the trial of a teenager accused of murdering two strangers in Colchester has been sent home for the day. 

Judge Robin Spencer QC says he has about "10 minutes" left of summing up to do when the case resumes at Guildford Crown Court tomorrow. 

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, is on trial for the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in 2014. He denies the charges but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. 

Robson Green spotted filming in Clacton

If you were taking a stroll along Clacton seafront yesterday you might have seen TV star Robson Green filming a new television series. 

Robson Green
Tendring District Council

The Solider Solider actor visited the north Essex town as part of a series about coasts around the UK. He spent time with mods and rockers to discuss their rivalry in the 60s and 70s. 

The show is scheduled to be broadcast on ITV later this year. 

Jury yet to retire in Colchester double murder trial

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

The jury in the trial of a teenager who is accused of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester in 2014 is yet to retire to consider its verdict.

Sketch from inside Guildford Crown Court
BBC

The judge has spent today summing up the case inside Guildford Crown Court. 

The 17-year-old boy, who can't be named, has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but denies murder.   

Bopara reaches 10,000-run landmark

Quite an achievement - congratulations Ravi Bopara!

View more on twitter

Travel: Rail delays of 25 minutes to and from Stansted Airport

There are delays on trains to and from Stansted Airport this afternoon due to an earlier signalling problem.

View more on twitter

Marsh Farm booze bid postponed after unprecedented number of people voice concerns

Essex Chronicle

Essex Chronicle

An animal adventure park's application to sell alcohol has been temporarily put on hold after an unprecedented amount of people opposed the plan.

Essex police and crime commissioner candidates battle it out

If you had a look at our Essex Live page yesterday afternoon, you would have seen it was a bit different to normal - we brought you coverage of a special police and crime commissioner debate.

Police and crime commissioner candidates
BBC

If you didn't get chance to join us, why not have a look at the coverage by scrolling back down the feed or watching some of the debate back on Facebook?

Five candidates are in the running for the position on 5 May. They are: Bob Spink, UKIP; Martin Terry, Independent; Roger Hirst, Conservative; Kevin McNamara, Lib Dems; and Chris Vince, Labour.

Weather: A dry and sunny afternoon

BBC Weather

We'll enjoy some more sunshine through the afternoon, though it will feel a bit cooler in coastal spots as a brisk easterly wind picks up.

Thursday afternoon forecast
BBC

Later on, it'll stay dry overnight with clear spells. But it will get rather chilly with a touch of grass frost likely in some places tomorrow morning.

Check the latest forecast for your part of Essex on the BBC Weather website.

Cigarette smuggling attempt 'would have cost government £750k'

Border officials who seized almost two million cigarettes at Harwich International Port say "people tempted by cheap cigarettes and tobacco should think again".

Cigarettes
Border Force

Two separate smuggling attempts have been made in the last six days - the first included 1.3 million cigarettes and the second 400,000.

Charlotte Mann, Border Force assistant director at Harwich, said had the attempts been successful, the Treasury would have lost £750,000 in unpaid duty and VAT.

WICKET Bopara (c Machan b Shahzad 28)

Essex 320 & 80-3 v Sussex 360 & 288 - lunch

BBC Sussex's Adrian Harms at Hove:

"A wicket on the stroke of lunch has shifted the balance back in favour of Sussex, with Ravi Bopara splendidly caught by Matt Machan, diving at deep square leg

"Sussex will rue dropping Alastair Cook when he had scored just a single, but with 249 needed in 66 overs all three results are still possible."

Latest headlines: Jury in Colchester murders trial due to be sent out... More than a million cigarettes seized at port

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories we're looking at this morning:

  • The jury in the trial of a teenager accused of two murders in Colchester is expected to be sent out later today
  • More than a million cigarettes have been seized in Harwich
  • Southend United's slim play-off hopes were extinguished by a 1-0 defeat at home to Oldham Athletic  

Slight rise in Essex unemployment

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

There's been a slight rise in the number of people out of work in Essex, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Last month, almost 16,500 people were claiming benefits, about 100 more than in February.

Nationally, UK unemployment rose by 21,000 to 1.7 million between December and February.

Four men due to be sentenced over Basildon manslaughter

Four men are due to be sentenced today after admitting the manslaughter of a man, who was found with stab wounds in woodland in Basildon. 

Ahmed Musse, who was 32, died in hospital in August last year. 

The four men, who are currently in custody, are scheduled to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court. 

Chelmsford Crown Court
BBC

Police investigate fishing boat fire

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Police are investigating after a fire on a fishing boat in Harwich.

Essex fire crews were called to Wellington Road at about 23:15 on Tuesday, and found a small fishing boat was on fire on the beach.

More than a million cigarettes seized at port

Almost two million cigarettes have been seized by border officials at Harwich International Port in the space of six days.

Seized cigarettes
Border Force

Officers found 1.3 million cigarettes hidden inside a shipment of ovens when they X-rayed a lorry from the Hook of Holland on Thursday.

They then found 400,000 concealed inside packets of laminate flooring yesterday morning.

Relative of diabulimia death woman says diabetics with eating disorders need more support

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

A man whose sister-in-law died after skipping insulin to lose weight has said the government needs to do more about diabetics with eating disorders.

Lisa Day and Matthew Edwards
Matthew Edwards

Lisa Day (pictured) died in September last year, aged 27. Matthew Edwards, from Saffron Walden, says current healthcare services aren't able to deal with people who have so-called diabulimia, and it "really does fall in between the gaps of what the NHS can offer".

The Department for Health says £150m is being invested to develop community eating disorder services targeted at young people, with other support for children with diabetes.

Man charged with murder and attempted murder remanded in custody

Richard Smith

BBC Essex

A man has appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court, charged with murder and attempted murder.

Craig Bird, 31, of no fixed address, nodded to confirm his name during a brief hearing.

Pines Road, Chelmsford
BBC

The court was told that he was arrested on 17 April after police were called to an address at which one person was found dead and a second injured. He was charged the following day.

Mr Bird was remanded in custody. A further hearing is due to take place on 29 June.

Lorry driver killed going twice the recommended speed

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

An inquest has heard a lorry driver was killed in a crash as he left the M25 in Essex at nearly twice the recommended speed.

M25 junction with M11
Google

The articulated HGV overturned on a bend where the M25 meets the northbound M11 in January.

Chelmsford Coroner's Court heard the Bulgarian driver, Mitko Mitov, who was in his 50s, was travelling at 56mph on a section where the recommended speed was 30mph. The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.  

Cricket: Essex chase unlikely victory

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Essex's County Championship match at Sussex is set for an exciting finish after Graham Napier's five-wicket haul gave them hope of an unlikely victory.

Sussex opener Chris Nash hit 92 and Matt Machan made 47 as the hosts raced to 165-2, but Napier (5-86) dismissed the pair as they fell to 242-9.  

The home side will resume their second innings this morning on 282 for 9, a lead of 322 runs.

Graham Napier
Getty Images

Colchester murders: Jury due to be sent out

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

The jury in the trial of a Colchester teenager accused of murdering two people is expected to be sent out today.

Nahid Almanea and James Attfield
Essex Police

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has denied the murders of James Attfield (pictured right) and Nahid Almanea, but has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, saying he was suffering from psychosis.

Yesterday, Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, said a forensic psychiatrist who assessed him earlier this year had cast doubt on the boy's claims. But defence barrister Simon Spence QC told the jury three separate psychiatrists for the defence suggested the "voices" the defendant heard had compelled him to act on his fantasies of killing.

Duke of Cambridge concentrating on family and air ambulance duties in the East

The Duke of Cambridge has rejected criticism of his commitment to his royal duties, saying he's concentrating on his family, and on his job as a pilot with East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Prince William in Leighton Buzzard
BBC

In a BBC interview, ahead of the Queen's 90th birthday tomorrow, Prince William said he was "absolutely willing" to take on more responsibility when the time came.

He said: "When the Queen decides that she's going to hand down more responsibilities, I'll be the first person to accept them."

Colchester United on brink of relegation

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Colchester United are on the verge of relegation from League One after being held to a 1-1 draw at Crewe last night.

George Moncur's penalty put the visitors ahead in the second-half, but the Us conceded an equaliser in injury time.

The result leaves Colchester eight points from safety with three games to play.

Southend United's play-off hopes dashed

BBC Sport

Southend United's slim play-off hopes were extinguished by a 1-0 defeat at home to Oldham Athletic.

Oldham's Curtis Main fired home after the hour mark as he latched on to Jonathan Forte's pass to seal victory for the Latics.

It means Southend remain in 13th place in League One.

Man in court on Chelmsford murder and attempted murder charges

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

A man is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court later, charged with murder and attempted murder.

Craig Bird, 31, of no fixed address, was arrested after Colleen Westlake, 48, was found dead, and a 59-year-old man seriously injured at a property in Pines Road in the city at 01:30 on Sunday.

Pines Road murder scene
BBC

Today's weather: Dry and sunny

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

Today is sure to be dry with long sunny spells and will feel pleasant in the sunshine, although it will be cooler in exposed areas as a brisk easterly wind picks up.

Maximum temperature: 13C (55F).

Get the detailed forecast where you live at BBC Weather.

Travel news: Disruption on M11

BBC Travel

There's heavy traffic on the southbound M11 around J6 for the M25 due to over-running roadworks but all lanes have been re-opened.

Get the latest updates from BBC Travel.

Latest headlines: Jury in Colchester murders trial due to be sent out... Man due in court over Chelmsford murder

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories we're looking at this morning:

  • The jury in the trial of a Colchester teenager accused of murdering two people is expected to be sent out today to reach a verdict on the case
  • A man is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court later, charged with murder and attempted murder of a man and women in the city at the weekend
  • An inquest has heard a lorry driver was killed in a crash as he left the M25 in Essex at twice the recommended speed

Welcome to today's live page for Essex

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome. Thanks for joining us on our Essex Live page where we'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel for the area until 18:00.

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