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Summary

  1. Queen's 90th birthday celebrated across the county
  2. The jury in the trial of a teenager accused of two murders in Colchester has been sent out to consider its verdict
  3. Essex Police says it made almost 40 arrests for drug-driving in the county last month
  4. The Essex actress Vicki Michelle has paid tribute to Victoria Wood, who has died at the age of 62
  5. Updates on Thursday, 21 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's it from Essex Live today - thanks for joining us.

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

Have a great evening.

Billericay town crier celebrates Queen's 90th birthday

"Oyez, oyez!"

Jim Shrubb, the Billericay town crier, has been on special duties outside Buckingham Palace today. He took part in a joint cry to mark the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations. 

Jim Shrubb
Jim Shrubb

Mr Shrubb, who was one of 16 criers gathered outside the gates of the palace, said the atmosphere was "tremendous" and that the criers were well-received by the thousands of tourists around them. 

Weather: Becoming cloudier and cooler into Friday with some rain

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

It will remain dry this evening, with the easterly wind continuing. Cloud will thicken through the night to perhaps bring a little light rain across the Thames Estuary by dawn.

Minimum temperature: 6C (43F).

Weather
BBC

Tomorrow will be rather cloudy with intermittent rain starting the day in the far south, but likely to become more widespread later.

You can find a full forecast for wherever you are here.

Jaywick bungalow fire now treated as arson

A fire at a bungalow in Jaywick yesterday afternoon is now being treated as arson by Essex Police.

Emergency services were called to Lake Way shortly after 15:45 yesterday. The blaze is believed to have been started in the living room.

Det Con Dave Brooks said: "Fortunately there was no-one at home at the time; however, the fire caused extensive damage and the property is uninhabitable."

Lakeway Jaywick
Google

Ali Carter back in World Snooker Championship action tonight

BBC Sport

Chelmsford's Ali Carter will play his second-round match in the World Snooker Championship tonight. 

Ali Carter
PA

He's playing Alan McManus at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. 

In the first round Carter beat Essex rival and defending champion Stuart Bingham. 

Headlines: Jury sent home in Colchester double murder trial... Student hits deer on driving test - and passes

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories for Essex:

  • The jury in the trial of an Essex teenager accused of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester two years ago has been sent home for the evening  
  • Five men have today been jailed for 12-and-a-half years each over the death of a man found in a Basildon woodland with stab wounds
  • A sixth-form student from Essex has passed his driving test at the first attempt, despite hitting a deer

Ahmed Musse death: Family 'satisfied' with court sentences

The family of Ahmed Musse have released a statement after five men were jailed for 12-and-half-years each following his death in August last year. 

Woodland
BBC

In it, they say they are they are "pleased that the court has recognised that the blame is shared by all those that knew a knife was present when they set out as a group to rob Ahmed".

They add: "We are satisfied that the court has passed sentences that reflects the actions of the defendants and have chosen not to focus on negative feelings towards them".

Basildon stabbing: The jailed men

Four men admitted the manslaughter of Ahmed Musse, who was found in a Basildon woodland with stab wounds and later died.

They are:

  • Hussein Ahmed, 23, of Bacon Street, London
  • Mohammed Ahmed, 23, of Jamaica Street, London 
  • Abdul Salah, 20, of York Avenue, Hayes
  • Jake Rowlands, 26, of no fixed address

All were jailed for 12-and-a-half years each. A  fifth man, Gary Goodwin, 36, of Princes Close, Laindon, received the same jail term after admitting conspiracy to rob Mr Musse.

Jury sent home in Colchester double murder trial

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

The jury in the trial of an Essex teenager accused of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester two years ago has been sent home for the evening.

Guildford Crown Court
Google

The seven women and five men have been considering their verdict for much of the day. They will resume deliberations in the morning. 

The 17-year-old boy, who can't be named for legal reasons, has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but denies murder. The case is being heard at Guildford Crown Court.

Five jailed over Basildon stabbing death

Five men have today been jailed for 12-and-a-half years each over the death of a man found in a Basildon woodland with stab wounds.

The five killers
Essex Police

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

Abdul Salah, Hussein Ahmed, Jake Rowlands, Mohammed Ahmed and Gary Goodwin (left to right) were jailed at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Warning to drivers after rise in deaths on Essex roads

Basildon Echo

Drivers are being warned to concentrate on the road after a rise in the number of deaths on Essex roads. 

Southend fans 'haven't seen the best of' striker this season

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Southend United striker David Mooney accepts fans have not seen the best of him this season.

David Mooney
BBC

Mooney has scored seven times during an injury-plagued campaign. He has returned to training after seven weeks out with an ankle injury.

"Hopefully next season I'll come back bigger and stronger to show the fans what I'm really about," he told BBC Essex Sport. 

Student hits a deer on his driving test... but still passes

Your driving test can be a nerve-wracking time - but spare a thought for this sixth-form student from Colchester who passed his at the first attempt, despite hitting a deer.

Tom Lo
Coggeshall Driving School

Tom Lo, 17, said he was in a 60mph zone when the animal ran in front of his car. "I hit my brake but unfortunately the deer was killed," he said.

"I pulled over after the incident and my driving instructor had a look at the car and checked the deer. He said there was nothing we could do and that it wasn't my fault, so I was told to continue my test."

Headlines: Man attacked with stun gun... Jury retires in Colchester double murder trial

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories for Essex this lunchtime:

  • An 18-year-old man has been attacked with a stun gun, robbed and assaulted with a baseball bat in South Woodham Ferrers
  • The jury in the trial of a 17-year-old boy accused of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea has retired to consider its verdict
  • The Queen's 90th birthday is being celebrated across the county  

BBC Essex praised in the House of Commons

BBC Essex

BBC Essex was praised in the House of Commons today. 

John Whittingdale
BBC

Culture Secretary and Maldon MP John Whittingdale told peers he was a "big fan" of the station, adding: "I would be sorry if it suffered cuts and I don't think that it's necessary."

The comments came during Culture Questions when Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck claimed that the BBC's 39 local radio stations were under threat.

The Queen at 90: Essex woman shares same birthday

Richard Smith

BBC Essex

Meet Olive Waller from Chelmsford. 

Just like the Queen, she is celebrating her 90th birthday today - and I've been to meet her.

Your picture: Nice afternoon in Tollesbury

BBC Weather Watchers

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

Tollesbury
BBC Weather Watchers/pepperpot

They reported sunny spells with temperatures at about 8C (46F). 

You can share your photos with us via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

Staff member injured in Southend arcade robbery

An arcade worker was hurt in an attempted robbery at an amusement arcade in Southend on Tuesday evening, police say.

Two staff members at Stardust Amusements were threatened with a knife by two men, before one of the workers was punched and kicked. 

The suspects left the scene on Marine Parade empty-handed. A 37-year-old man received treatment for facial injuries. No arrests have been made.

Stardust
Google

Flashback to the Queen's last Essex visit in 2014

BBC Look East

Did you visit Chelmsford in May 2014 when the Queen last came to Essex? 

We've pulled out an archive news report from the time she and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a service at the city's cathedral to mark 100 years of the Chelmsford Diocese.

Weather: Warm, dry but increasingly cloudy

Mainly dry this afternoon with some pleasantly warm sunny spells, although sunshine will become increasingly hazy as high cloud edges in from the south. 

Maximum temperature: 14C (57F).

Weather
BBC

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

Stun gun used on driver in South Woodham Ferrers

An 18-year-old man has been attacked with a stun gun, robbed, and assaulted with a baseball bat in South Woodham Ferrers last night, police say. 

Creekview
Google

The victim was driving a red Ford Fiesta when a man stopped the vehicle at Creekview Road at about 23:30. A second man then opened the passenger door and fired the stun gun. 

The men stole the car and a mobile phone after the victim, who suffered head injuries, was assaulted when he fell to the floor.

John Whittingdale 'still believes' in freedom of press after escort relationship story

Culture Secretary and Conservative MP for Maldon John Whittingdale says he still believes in freedom of the press, despite having had his faith tested "to the utmost".

John Whittingdale
BBC

He has faced calls to withdraw from decisions about press regulation after it emerged he had had a relationship with a sex worker.

Making his first Commons appearance since the story broke, Mr Whittingdale made clear his views had not changed, saying: "I still believe press freedom is a vitally important component of a free society."

Jury out in Colchester double murder trial

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

The jury in the trial of a 17-year-old boy accused of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea has been sent out to consider its verdict.

Nahid Almanea and James Attfield
BBC

The teenager, who cannot be named, denies murdering the pair in 2014, but admits manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility. 

The jury at Guildford Crown Court has been given DVDs of police interviews conducted after his arrest in May 2015, as well as all the evidence in jury packs.

BreakingJury sent out in Colchester double murder trial

The jury in the Colchester double murder trial has been sent out to consider its verdict.

Vicki Michelle pays tribute to Victoria Wood

Essex actress Vicki Michelle has paid tribute to Victoria Wood who died at the age of 62.

Vicki Michelle
Getty Images

Wood's publicist said the star "died peacefully at her north London home with family" yesterday.

Vicki Michelle, who lives in Chigwell and played Yvette in the 80s comedy series 'Allo 'Allo, told BBC Essex: "I just have fond memories of her being normal, funny, and talented. It's such a shock."

The Queen's visits to Essex

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Happy birthday to the Queen, who turns 90 today. As celebrations take place around the country, we've been looking back at some of the times she has visited us here in Essex. 

The Queen in Maldon
BBC
  • In 1988 she performed the first official opening of the new extension at Essex County Council's headquarters in Chelmsford
  • In 1991 she opened the QEII Bridge - I wonder if she had to pay the toll? 
  • In 2004 the Queen visited Harwich which was marking the 400th anniversary of receiving its Royal Charter 
  • Her last visit was in 2014 when she and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a service at Chelmsford Cathedral to mark 100 years of the Chelmsford Diocese

Sadie Nine is certainly celebrating the Queen's birthday

Do you think BBC Essex presenter Sadie Nine has gone slightly overboard with celebrations for the Queen's birthday today?

Sadie Nine
BBC

Judge to continue summing up Colchester double murder trial

The judge in the trial of a teenager accused of two murders in Colchester will finish summing up the case to the jury later. 

Colchester murder trial illustration
BBC

James Attfield and Nahid Almanea were stabbed to death in 2014. A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, denies murder but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. 

His defence says he was suffering psychosis at the time of the killings, but prosecutors argue he was lying about hearing voices that told him to make sacrifices.  

Travel: London-bound A127 partially blocked at Progress Road

Weather: Warm, dry but increasingly cloudy

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It will be another mainly dry day with some pleasantly warm sunny spells, although sunshine will become increasingly hazy as high cloud edges in from the south. 

Maximum temperature: 14C (57F).

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

Headlines: Judge to continue summing up Colchester double murder trial... Police make 40 drug driving arrests

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories for Essex this morning: 

  • The judge in the trial of a teenager accused of two murders in Colchester will finish summing up the case to the jury later
  • Essex Police says it made almost 40 arrests for drug-driving in the county last month
  • The Essex actress Vicki Michelle has paid tribute to Victoria Wood who has died at the age of 62

Welcome to Essex Live

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to Essex Live.

Until 18:00 we'll bring you all the latest news for the county. 

If you'd like to share a story with us you can email, tweet or visit our Facebook page.