Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 29 April 2016
  2. A teenager who stabbed James Attfield and Nahid Almanea to death in random attacks in Colchester is detained for a minimum of 27 years
  3. Almost 7,000 weapons have been handed in to Essex Police as part of a knife amnesty launched 16 months ago
  4. Updates resume at 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage through the day

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

We'll back on Tuesday with the latest news for the county from 08:00.

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend. 

Weather: A cold night, then more showers later tomorrow

Chris Bell

BBC Look East weather

Any showers should die away through this evening. 

Cloud will then break up allowing temperatures to fall, leading to a light frost - particularly for rural areas. Minimum temperature: 2C (36F).

Weather
BBC

After a sunny start for most tomorrow, a few scattered showers will develop mainly during the afternoon. It should feel pleasant in any sunshine, with winds staying light.

You can stay up-to-date with the latest at BBC Weather.

The weird weather of Essex

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

The weather has been a bit odd in Essex this afternoon...

Here in Chelmsford we've been basking in sunshine, but about 15 miles down the road in Hutton they've seen a light dusting of snow!

Chelmsford v Hutton
BBC/Weather Watchers Gripper

If you're heading out and wondering if you need to pack a scarf, pair of shorts or an umbrella, we'll have a full weather forecast for you shortly. 

BreakingMan arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after woman found burned in Harlow woods

A 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a woman was found badly burned in a Harlow woodland yesterday.

The 30-year-old was discovered in Fesants Croft at about 16:55. Her injuries are described as "life-changing".

The man remains in police custody where he is currently being questioned. 

Fesants Croft
Google

Watch: 7,000 weapons handed in to Essex Police in knife amnesty

Richard Smith

BBC Essex

Almost 7,000 knives have been handed in during an amnesty in Essex since January 2015.

Only Cowards Carry is running the campaign with Essex Police. 

Toni Knight from the weapon awareness charity described to me some of the knives that had been binned.

In the news: Colchester double killer detained for minimum of 27 years... Bus crashes on Mersea Island

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here's a look at the latest headlines for Essex: 

  • James Fairweather has been detained for a minimum of 27 years for murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester two years ago
  • A bus has crashed on Mersea Island injuring at least two people, police say
  • A teenager is facing a £2,117 bill for her mother's funeral following a benefits dispute with the government  

Two injured in Mersea bus crash

A bus has crashed on Mersea Island injuring at least two people, police say. 

Emergency services attended Mersea Road after the vehicle entered a ditch earlier this afternoon. 

There are no reports of any serious injuries. The road remains partially blocked

Mersea Road
Google

James Fairweather sentencing: Read the full story

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

We're going to take a look at some other news stories happening around Essex shortly. 

In the meantime, you can read the full story on James Fairweather's sentencing here.

A recap on today's Fairweather sentencing

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

A recap on this afternoon's sentencing of James Fairweather at the Old Bailey:

  • The 17-year-old has been detained for a minimum of 27 years for the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester in 2014
  • The teenager wore a long black leather coat and was supported by his parents who sat in the well of the court
  • The mother of victim James Attfield, Julie Finch, said: "James Fairweather is a monster in our eyes - and we will never be able to forgive him"
  • Judge Mr Justice Robin Spence described the killings as "brutal, relentless and cowardly"
  • Fairweather appeared to mouth "I don't give a s***" towards his parents as he was sent down

Judge: 'I have no doubt the way James Attfield screamed in pain when he was stabbed through the eye excited you'

Gareth George

BBC Look East

Continuing his sentencing of James Fairweather, 17, for the Colchester double murders, Judge Mr Justice Robin Spence added: "I have no doubt the way James Attfield screamed in pain when he was stabbed through the eye had remained with you and excited you."

The Old Bailey also heard Fairweather was "turned on" by serial killers and researched Ian Huntley, Myra Hindley and Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, of whom he had a picture on his phone.

Judge: Colchester killings caused 'fear and anxiety in the town'

Gareth George

BBC Look East

During sentencing this afternoon, Judge Mr Justice Robin Spence said the killings in Colchester caused "fear and anxiety in the town". 

"The terror which you had created lasted for almost another year until you were eventually arrested on 26 May 2015," he said. 

"You told one of the psychiatrists, Dr Joseph, that during that period of 11 months you spent your time thinking of killing and raping and watching pornography every day."

999 transcript of Fairweather arrest: Part two

Transcript
BBC

Community of Colchester 'helped bring killer to justice'

Assistant Chief Constable, Steve Worron, thanked the community of Colchester for helping to bring killer James Fairweather to justice. 

Steve Worran
BBC

"Residents listened to our community reassurance advice and appeals," he said.

"Tensions in the town did dissipate and confidence returned over time and that was due to the strength and resilience of the local people, minority groups, businesses and partnerships working together in Colchester." 

Fairweather mouthed 'I don't give a s***' as he was sentenced

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

Teenager James Fairweather mouthed "I don't give a s***" towards his parents as he was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years for the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea at the Old Bailey this afternoon.

Mr Attfield's family left the court in tears.

999 transcript of Fairweather arrest: Part one

David Keller

BBC News

Essex Police has just released an extract of the 999 call made to the control room on the morning James Fairweather was arrested.

transcript
BBC

How Fairweather came to be arrested

Fairweather was arrested in May 2015 after a dog walker saw him hiding in bushes, near the same spot he had attacked his second victim.

The teenager, who was wearing latex gloves and carrying a knife, told police he was "going to get my third victim, but there was no-one about". 

Fairweather
Essex Police

Officers had questioned and released Fairweather shortly after Ms Almanea's death, as one of 70 people interviewed with a history of knife crime.

Colchester murders of a 'ferocious nature' and had a 'massive impact' on the town

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Following the sentencing of James Fairweather, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Worron said the killings were of a "ferocious nature" and had a "massive impact on the Colchester community, striking fear and tension among the town's residents for 14 months".

Steve Worron
BBC

"No sentence will ever bring James and Nahid back and it will not stop their families from grieving every day," he added.  

Colchester murders: The second victim

Saudi Arabian student Nahid Almanea, 31, was stabbed with a bayonet as she walked to the University of Essex campus on 17 June 2014.

Her brother, Raed Almanea, said in a statement read at the Old Bailey today, that he felt a personal blame at not being able to save her. 

Nahid Almanea
Essex Police

Colchester murders: The first victim

Father-of-four James Attfield, who was registered disabled following a car crash, was stabbed more than 100 times on 29 March 2014 - initially while he was asleep in the town's Castle Park.

The 33-year-old was still alive when he was found, but died as paramedics tried to save him.

James Attfield
Essex Police

Colchester murders: Timeline of events

Here's a timeline of events from one of the "biggest murder investigations" in Essex:

Slide 1
BBC
Slide 2
BBC

Judge: Killings 'brutal, relentless and cowardly'

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

Handing down two life sentences to 17-year-old Fairweather, Judge Mr Justice Robin Spence described the killings as "brutal, relentless and cowardly". 

"I have no doubt you relished the sense of power and control it gave you," he said. 

Video: Fairweather describes murdering first victim

Following the guilty verdict last week, police released a video of their interview with James Fairweather, in which he described stabbing his first victim James Attfield.

He says: "The voices were talking to me: 'You need to make a sacrifice or we're going to come and get you'."

He said he was suffering from psychosis, but the court heard a psychiatrist cast doubt on the claims.  

Teenage killer detained over Colchester murders

A teenager with a fascination for the Yorkshire Ripper has been sentenced at the Old Bailey to a minimum of 27 years behind bars, for the 2014 murders of two strangers in Essex.

James Fairweather
Essex Police

Last week, James Fairweather, 17, was found guilty of the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester.

BreakingJames Fairweather sentenced to minimum of 27 years for James Attfield and Nahid Almanea killings

A teenager who murdered James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester in 2014 has been detained for a minimum of 27 years.

More to follow shortly. 

Canvey Island teenager faces £2,117 bill for mum's funeral

A teenager is facing a £2,117 bill for her mother's funeral following a benefits dispute with the government.

Chantelle Fitzgerald and brother Shane
BBC/Laurence Cawley

Chantelle Fitzgerald, 18, of Canvey Island, lost her mother in August and thought the state would cover the cost.

However, the Department for Work & Pensions said it would not pay and the funeral directors have issued their bill to her. A family friend called it "disgusting" and has launched a fundraising appeal.

Passer-by saves couple from brutal attack in Southchurch Park

Southend Echo

A brave passer-by saved a couple and their Westie from a very brutal attack by two 'strong' Staffordshire bull terriers.  

Fairweather had previous conviction for knifepoint robbery

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

Earlier today the Old Bailey heard Fairweather had a previous conviction in 2014 for a knifepoint robbery of a shopkeeper, where he demanded money from the till, a lighter and pack of cigars. 

The 17-year-old also had a conviction for criminal damage on a house in 2013.

Essex Police stats on Colchester double murder

As we await the sentencing of James Fairweather, we're looking back at "one of the biggest investigations" ever carried out by Essex Police. 

The force spent £2.6m on investigating the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester.

Some 3,000 personal attack alarms were issued to people who felt vulnerable and a large number of extra officers were drafted in to the area.

Scale of murder investigation
BBC

Fairweather sentencing expected from 14:00

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

Judge Mr Justice Robin Spence has told Fairweather that had he been an adult he could have faced a whole life sentence for the two murders carried out with a "substantial degree of premeditation" with "sadistic" features.

The sentence is expected to be passed in about 20 minutes time at the Old Bailey.

Relatives of murdered woman speak of their sorrow

Relatives of a woman killed by a double-murderer have spoken of their sorrow at her death.

James Fairweather
Facebook

James Fairweather (pictured) was last week found guilty of the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester in 2014. Miss Almanea's relatives were represented by Saudi embassy officials. 

Her brother, Raed Almanea, described in a statement read to the Old Bailey today his feelings of personal blame at not being able to save her. They were both studying in the UK at the time. 

On the day of her murder, he said: "I was full of optimism but came back in the evening full of grief and sorrow." 

Braintree Town's Danny Cowley: The PE teacher on verge of Football League

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex sport

By day, brothers Danny and Nicky Cowley teach boys physical education at The FitzWimarc School in Rayleigh. But in evenings and weekends, the pair are pulling off a "miracle" in the National League.

Danny and Nicky Cowley
Ben Fryer

Danny (left), assisted by Nicky (right), has led part-timers Braintree Town to the verge of the National League play-offs, above former Football League clubs Tranmere, Wrexham and Macclesfield.  

"Every morning I enjoy going to work, whether it's at school with the pupils or whether I'm at Braintree Town with the players," he told BBC Essex. "It's only work if you don't enjoy it and I love what I do."  

In the news: James Fairweather to be sentenced this afternoon... Knife charity 'proud' of Essex weapon amnesty results

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories for Essex this lunchtime: 

  • An Essex teenager convicted of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester two years ago is being sentenced at the Old Bailey
  • The charity, Only Cowards Carry, says it's proud of a local knife amnesty which has led to almost 7,000 weapons being handed in
  • Prosecutors are to review a decision not to charge two men in connection with the death of a man near Billericay last summer at the request of the victim's family

Murder victim's mother 'lost home', court hears

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

A court has been hearing impact statements from the families of the victims of a Colchester double-murderer.

James Attfield
BBC

James Fairweather, 17, was last week found guilty of the murders of James Attfield (pictured) and Nahid Almanea in the town in 2014. 

Mr Attfield's mother Julie Finch described how her son's killing had forced her to give up work, which meant the family had to sell their home. The defence will now offer pleas in mitigation.

Weather: Turning cloudier this afternoon with some showers

BBC Weather

It will become cloudier this afternoon with a few showers likely. The showers may be heavy with a risk of hail, and it will be feeling cool in the breeze. 

Maximum temperature: 12C (54F).

Weather
BBC

You can get the latest forecast for your area here.

Only Cowards Carry founder hails amnesty bins a 'great success'

Amnesty bins in Essex that collected nearly 7,000 weapons in 16 months have been hailed a "great success" by a weapons awareness charity.

Caroline Shearer
BBC

Caroline Shearer founded Only Cowards Carry a few months after her son Jay Whiston was stabbed to death at a party in Colchester in 2012.

"This is not the end. It is the beginning of safer communities. This is not going to be a single-handed mission. Everyone has to, and is, pulling together," Ms Shearer said. 

Ricci Gallagher death: Prosecutors review dropped murder charge decision

Prosecutors are to review a decision not to charge two men in connection with the death of a man near Billericay last summer at the request of the victim's family. 

Ricci Gallagher, 46, died at a farmhouse in Little Burstead that was owned by Richard Glanville (pictured); the former chief finance officer for fashion brands Oasis, Coast and Warehouse. 

The Crown Prosecution Service says the charging decision will be reviewed under the "victim's right to review" scheme. Yesterday, Essex Police said they'd closed the murder investigation.

Richard Glanville
Getty Images

Services begin running between Liverpool Street and Shenfield

Some services are now running between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield following an incident at Romford. 

View more on twitter

'No estimate' as to when Greater Anglia line will reopen

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

There is currently no estimate when lines between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield will reopen, says Greater Anglia

Emergency services are currently dealing with an incident on the tracks.

Tickets are currently being accepted on c2c. More details as we get them. 

Travel: Lines blocked between Liverpool Street and Shenfield due to emergency incident

Due to emergency services dealing with an incident between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield all railway lines are currently blocked. 

View more on twitter

Police chief 'committed' to tackling violent and gang-related crime

The chief constable of Essex Police says getting nearly 7,000 weapons off the streets of our county shows how committed the force is to tackling violent and gang-related crime.

Stephen Kavanagh
BBC

We're determined to make sure that some of these confused, stupid young people who think they should be carrying knives are educated out of it... People need to know that if they're caught carrying a knife in this county then they're going to end up in one of my cells."

Stephen KavanaghChief constable of Essex Police