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  1. M11 closed after 40 tonnes of wood catch fire on lorry
  2. Police continue to question a man over a fatal fire in Westcliff-on-Sea
  3. Man left with life-changing injuries after being 'shot while sat in a van' in Stanford-le-Hope
  4. More than 600 people from Essex are on the run after skipping bail
  5. Updates on Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

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

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

Have a great evening. 

Dumped trolleys, bicycles and a motorbike pulled from the River Chelmer

Six shopping trolleys, eight bicycles and a motorbike were just some of the items dragged from the River Chelmer during a recent clean-up operation.

River clean-up
Chelmsford City Council

Chelmsford City Council required a winch to pull some of the more bulkier items out of the water on Friday.

Tools and other smaller items were also recovered.

Weather: Showers easing to leave a dry night

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Any isolated showers will quickly ease through this evening, leaving the night largely dry with clear spells. However, we may have the odd shower passing westwards during the early hours. 

Minimum temperature: 12C (54F).

Weather for the East of England

Tomorrow will be a mainly dry day across Essex, with some good sunny spells, especially through the afternoon.

Stay up-to-date with the latest forecast here

In the news: Westcliff flat fire victim named... Hurst leaves Southend United

Ian Puckey

BBC Essex

If you're just joining us, here are the top stories for Essex:

  • Essex Police has named an expectant mother who died following a flat fire in Westcliff as Khabi Abrey  
  • Investigations are continuing after a man was shot and suffered life-changing injuries in Stanford-le-Hope
  • Kevan Hurst has left Southend United after failing to secure a new deal  

Rolling road block under way as one M11 lane reopens

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

A rolling road block is under way on the northbound M11, between J7 and J8, to allow for a closure to be lifted. 

One lane will remain closed into this evening while repair work takes place following an earlier lorry fire. 

You can find regular travel updates here

Flat fire victim died from 'inhalation of fire fumes'

An expectant mother who died following a flat fire in Westcliff-on-Sea on Saturday has been named as Khabi Abrey.

Balmoral Road flats

A post-mortem examination says the 30-year-old died from complications arising following the inhalation of fire fumes. Her unborn baby died of cardiac arrest due to Mrs Abrey’s inhalation of fire fumes.

A 47-year-old man from Westcliff arrested as part of the force's murder investigation remains in custody.

BreakingWestcliff flat fire victim named

Essex Police has named an expectant mother who died following a flat fire in Westcliff as Khabi Abrey. 

More to follow.

World's biggest pumpkin: Essex man seeds title hopes

The UK is a hotbed for world-beating vegetable whoppers, but has never held the prestigious title of the planet's plumpest pumpkin.

That could be about to change thanks to Michael Oliver, from Essex, who has sown a very special seed. It was bought at auction for a record-breaking £1,250 from Suffolk-based Thompson and Morgan.

The seed came from the world's current title-holding pumpkin, which tipped the scales at 165 stone (1,048kg).

M11 trapped traffic now released

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Traffic trapped on the northbound M11 at J8 after a lorry fire has now been released, police say. 

Recovery of the vehicle, which caught on fire at about 11:00, is now under way. There are no reports of any injuries. 

It's hoped one lane will open to traffic shortly. Updates as we get them.

Forensic team remains on site of Stanford-le-Hope shooting

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

A forensic team is continuing its work at the site of last night's shooting in Stanford-le-Hope.

Here's what we know so far:

  • A man suffered life-changing injuries after he was shot while sitting in his van in London Road at about 19:00
  • Essex Police said the gunman was reported to have driven off at speed in a silver Mercedes C-Class car
  • The victim is believed to be a man in his 50s who lives in the area
  • No arrests have been made

M11 clarification: Lorry wood wasn't part of fire

Contrary to earlier reports, 40 tonnes of wood that was being towed by a lorry which caught on fire on the M11 was not part of the blaze.

We believe the trailer was detached from the cab before the fire could spread.

Ambulance service was not called to M11 lorry fire

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

The East of England Ambulance Service has told me it did not attend today's lorry fire on the M11. 

There are not reports of any injuries. The road remains closed. 

Kevan Hurst leaves Southend United

Glenn Speller

BBC Essex Sport

News just in, Kevan Hurst has left Southend United

Kevan Hurst
Getty Images

The midfielder was released today as he was not offered a new contract by the club.

He spent four years with the Blues and was a major part of their League Two play-off win last season. 

Weather: Outbreaks of rain expected throughout the afternoon

BBC Weather

It will remain humid during this afternoon, with outbreaks of rain at times. These showers could possibly be heavy and thundery. 

Maximum temperature: 20C (68F).


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

Engineers to assess damage on M11 once trapped traffic has been released

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Adam Pipe from Essex Police tells me Highways England will assess the state of the 200 litre diesel spill once trapped traffic has been released. 

A coconut matting has been placed on the floor to soak up the spillage and "it seems to be working", said Mr Pipe, who works as casualty reduction manager.

He said people who have been stuck should now return to their cars as it's likely they will be moving shortly. 

Essex Police: Trapped traffic now moving - M11 northbound J8 remains closed

'No word' if M11 will need resurfacing

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

I have just spoken to our travel reporter Barry Lewis about the northbound M11 closure at J8. 

He said: "We've had no word as to whether it will need resurfacing. There is a lot of trapped traffic up towards the closure and a queue for a few miles northbound on the M11, and on the A120 around Birchanger there's heavy traffic."

"Also slow towards the motorway from Stansted."

M11 major clean-up operation continues...

There's quite a clean-up operation under way on the northbound M11. Not only did a lorry pulling 40 tonnes of wood catch fire just after 11:00 - it spilled its diesel on to the carriageway too. 

Essex Police says it hopes to open a lane for trapped traffic soon.

Essex Police

M11 northbound diversion in place

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

As police try to clear trapped traffic on the M11 northbound a diversion is in place for motorists in the area. 

Drivers are advised to follow the circle symbols through the A120, A10 and the A505. 

Police try to clear stuck M11 traffic

Essex Police says it is working to clear traffic stuck because of the M11 northbound closure. 

It says it has about four miles of traffic to clear, as both lanes remain closed between J8 at Bishops Stortford and J9 for Saffron Walden.

You can find regular travel updates here

Earlier fire
Essex Fire and Rescue

Essex Police: Do not block M11 hard shoulder

M11 still closed after lorry catches fire and spills diesel

The northbound M11 remains closed after a lorry pulling 40 tonnes of wood caught fire between Bishops Stortford and Saffron Walden earlier. 

Fire on the M11
Essex Fire and Rescue Service

Station officer Paul Curtis, of Saffron Walden Fire Station, said: "The quick actions of the driver prevented the fire from spreading further, which also prevented a lengthy motorway closure."

Stanford-le-Hope shooting cordon remains in place

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

A cordon remains in place in Stanford-le-Hope this lunchtime after a man was shot in his van here yesterday. 


The victim suffered life-changing injuries after he was shot in London Road at about 19:00.

No arrests have been made.

On-the-run conman from Colchester traced to Spain

Craig Lewis

BBC News

A serial conman wanted by police in Essex and Norfolk for a £21,000 fraud in the UK is being held in a Spanish jail.

Norman Fowler went missing in 2014 after being sentenced to nine months in jail at Norwich Crown Court.

The 38-year-old, from Colchester, later moved to Alicante, where he is being held in custody while on remand for unrelated gun licensing matters.

Money raised 'to thank' James Fairweather tip-off woman

Jodie Smith

BBC News

A crowdfunding page has been set up to raise money for a woman who missed out on a £20,000 reward, despite tipping off police about a double murderer. 

Michelle Sadler
Michelle Sadler/Facebook

Michelle Sadler was told she was not eligible to receive Crimestoppers money after she told police James Fairweather was hiding in bushes in Colchester.

As first reported in the Colchester Gazette, Crimestoppers said rewards were only given to people who rang its number rather than the police. Fairweather was given two life sentences for the murders in April. 

Megan Rowley, who set up the JustGiving page, said she wanted to "give people the chance to thank" Mrs Sadler.

In the news: Lorry fire closes northbound M11... Money raised 'to thank' James Fairweather tip-off woman

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

Here are the latest stories for Essex this lunchtime:

  • The northbound M11 at Bishops Stortford is currently blocked due to a lorry fire and diesel spillage
  • A crowdfunding page has been set up to raise money for a woman who missed out on a £20,000 reward for a tip off about a double murderer
  • Plans to create a new M11 junction at Harlow have been unveiled today  

Diesel spill after lorry fire causes further delays on northbound M11

Essex Police says it is assisting Highways England in dealing with a diesel spillage on the northbound M11. 

Diesel spill
Essex Police

The road is currently blocked northbound, between J8 at Bishops Stortford and J9 for Saffron Walden.  

Essex 'most wanted' skipped bail in November

One of Essex Police’s "most wanted" skipped court bail in November.

Tony Price
Essex Police

Tony Price, 23, whose last known address was in Maldon, features on the force’s ‘Wanted’ page.

He is among 646 people on the run having failed to appear at court in the Essex area.

Rodney Bass: New M11 junction at Harlow essential

Plans to build a new M11 junction at Harlow are "essential" to provide homes and jobs, according to the councillor responsible for infrastructure at Essex County Council. 

Rodney Bass quote
Essex County Council

Plans for junction 7a were unveiled by the authority this morning. 

Do you live in Harlow? What do you make of plans to create an extra M11 junction in your town?

Send us an email, tweet or visit our Facebook page.

Nick Alston describes PCC job as a 'privilege'

Nick Alston, the outgoing police and crime commissioner for Essex, has described his time in the role as a "privilege".

He will be replaced by fellow Conservative Roger Hirst, who was elected last week. 

Mr Alston appeared on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme. 

Travel: Lorry fire causes delays on northbound M11

A lorry fire is causing delays on the northbound M11 between J8 at Bishops Stortford and J9 for Saffron Walden.

The road is currently blocked.

View more on twitter

Plans to create new Harlow M11 junction unveiled

Plans to create a new M11 junction at Harlow have been unveiled today. 

M11 J7a plans
Essex County Council

Essex County Council is planning to create junction 7a in a bid to improve congestion and access to the west Essex town. 

The consultation will run until 6 July. If you'd like to see the proposals, they will be on display at a series of public exhibitions along the Gilden Way/Sheering Road route.

Cricket: Aaron Beard on coming through the ranks to Essex

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex sport

Essex's Aaron Beard says coming through the ranks in club cricket has been a major part in his career.

Aaron Beard
Getty Images

The teenager made his first-class debut for Essex this week, taking five wickets in the tour match against Sri Lanka. 

Beard, who started playing at Writtle before joining Chelmsford, said: "It's a great place to be with a great bunch of lads who help you all the time."

'Happy retirement'... Police chief pays tribute to Essex PCC on his last day

Today is Nick Alston's last day as the police and crime commissioner for Essex, and the chief constable of the force has taken to social media to pay tribute to him. 

Stephen Kavanagh tweets

Stephen Kavanagh tweeted Mr Alston "held me to account during the most difficult time for policing in generations".

Adding, he "has put in place better solutions that have helped victims".

Mr Alston will be replaced by newly-elected Conservative Roger Hirst following last week's election.

Police still searching suspect who skipped bail in 1998

Essex Police is still searching for a suspected criminal who skipped bail in 1998.

Outstanding warrants

The details were revealed as part of a series of Freedom of Information requests, which found there were more than 600 outstanding warrants in Essex.

The warrant from 1998 related to a burglary offence.

Double-murder accused Brett Rogers claims 'mystery man' responsible for killings

A man accused of the murder of his mother and her friend has claimed they were fatally stabbed by a mystery stranger while he was at the shops.

Bentfield Gardens, Stansted Mountfitchet

Brett Rogers, 23, from Stansted Mountfitchet, denies murdering Gillian Phillips, 54, and David Oakes, 60, at Ms Phillips's home in the village.

He told Chelmsford Crown Court the pair were attacked while he was at the supermarket for five minutes last July. The trial continues today.

More than 600 people from Essex on the run after skipping bail

More than 600 people from Essex who skipped bail while facing, or having been convicted of, charges including arson and sexual assault are on the run, a BBC investigation has found.

Highest number of outstanding court arrest warrants

They are among over 13,000 suspected and convicted criminals subject to outstanding arrest warrants in England.

In total, 646 warrants are outstanding in the county, while 1,340 out of 1,574 issued were successfully executed last year.

Man continues to be questioned over Westcliff fatal flat fire

Police are continuing to question a man on suspicion of murder after a fatal fire in Westcliff-on-Sea, which claimed the lives of a woman and her unborn baby.

Tributes at flats

The blaze happened on the ninth floor at a block of flats in Balmoral Road on Saturday evening. Officers are trying to establish if the fire was a targeted attack. 

Det Ch Insp Marina Ericson said: "This is an important development in our inquiries but this is very much a continuing investigation."

Police appeal for witnesses in Stanford-le-Hope shooting

Police are appealing for anybody who witnessed a shooting in Stanford-le-Hope last night to come forward.

Map of Stanford-le-Hope

A man in his 50s suffered life-changing injuries when he was shot while sitting in his van in London Road, at about 19:00. The road remains cordoned off.

Det Insp Al Pitcher said: "At this time of night there would have been a lot of people, including motorists heading home, in this area and we would appeal for anyone who saw what happened to get in touch."

Stanford-le-Hope road cordoned off after shooting

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

London Road in Stanford-le-Hope remains closed this morning after a shooting last night. 

Stanford-le-Hope shooting
Owen Ward

Essex Police says the motive for the attack, which happened at about 19:00, has not been established, but there appears to be "no threat" to the wider public.

It's thought the road will be closed all morning while forensic investigations continue.