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  1. Updates on Friday, 13 May 2016
  2. Former milkman Brett Rogers is sentenced to 32 years in prison for murdering his mother and her friend
  3. Gillian Phillips, 54, and David Oakes, 60, had more than 40 stab wounds each when police found them in Stansted Mountfitchet in 2015
  4. Judge Philippa Whipple QC said the 23-year-old had murdered his mother in a "brutal and sustained attack"
  5. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Monday

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. If you've missed anything during the day, take a scroll back down the page.

We'll be back on Monday morning with the latest news for the county.

Have a great weekend. 

Weather: Skies clearing overnight, with a bright day tomorrow

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

It will be an increasingly cloudy evening, but soon giving way to clearer skies through the night. 

It will turn chilly, and should stay dry for most, although a few showers could spread in from the North Sea by dawn. Minimum temperature: 6C (43F).

East of England

Tomorrow will be mainly dry, but feeling rather cool with patchy cloud and sunny spells.

Stay up-to-date with the weekend forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

Firefighters rescue newborn foal that got stuck in the mud

A newly born foal has had something of a sticky beginning to life - after it became stuck in mud at Tilbury Fort this afternoon and had to be rescued by firefighters.

Foal being rescued
Essex Fire and Rescue

Essex Fire and Rescue said the newborn, which got into trouble at about 13:00, was swiftly reunited with its mother after a quick wash.

Both animals are doing fine. 

In the news: Brett Rogers sentenced to 32 years... Husband's tribute to Westcliff flat fire victim

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories for Essex this afternoon:

  • Brett Rogers has been jailed for at least 32 years for stabbing his mother and her friend to death in Stansted Mountfitchet while he was on licence after attacking his father  
  • The husband of a pregnant woman who died after a flat fire in Westcliff-on-Sea has described her as "amazing, beautiful and gentle"
  • A baby foal has been rescued after it become stuck in the mud at Tilbury Fort this afternoon

Danny Cowley confirmed as manager of Lincoln City FC

Glenn Speller

BBC Essex sport

In the last hour it has been confirmed the former Braintree Town manager Danny Cowley has joined Lincoln City FC.

Danny Cowley
Getty Images

BBC Essex first broke this story on Wednesday morning and the news has been rubber stamped in the last few minutes. 

Cowley led Braintree to the National League play-offs this season and a third placed finish. Braintree are advertising for a new boss. 

Westcliff flat fire: Husband pays tribute to 'amazing, beautiful and gentle' wife

The husband of Khabi Abrey, 30, who died while 32-weeks pregnant following a flat fire in Westcliff-on-Sea on Saturday has described his wife as "amazing, beautiful and gentle".

Stuart and Khabi Abrey
Essex Police

Stuart Abrey, 37, said: "I didn’t know a human could be so pure and perfect. She is literally an angel.

"Her full name Bokhabinyana means ‘radiance’ and she literally shone love everywhere she went", he added. 

Lillo Troisi, 47, of Balmoral Road, has been charged with her murder. 

Man remanded in custody over Westcliff flat fire death

A 47-year-old man has been remanded in custody after being charged with murdering a pregnant woman in Westcliff-on-Sea.


Lillo Troisi, 47, of Balmoral Road, appeared via video link at Chelmsford Crown Court. He spoke only to confirm his name and that he understood today's proceedings.

Khabi Abbrey, 30, was 32-weeks pregnant when she died following the blaze on the ninth floor of Grampian flats in Balmoral Road on Saturday night. 

Sale of former Britvic factory

Chelmsford's derelict Britvic factory has been sold, the city's council has announced. 

The site on Westway closed more than two years ago, ending the soft drink company's long association with Chelmsford. 

It has been bought up by Aberdeen Asset Management for an undisclosed fee and is likely to be developed into a new retail and business park.


Brett Rogers' murders: That's all from Chelmsford Crown Court

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Sentencing of Brett Rogers at Chelmsford Crown Court has now finished.

To recap, the 23-year-old has been jailed for a minimum of 32 years for murdering his mother and her friend at a home in Stansted Mountfitchet in July 2015. 

Coming up.... a look at some other stories happening in the county.

Brett Rogers killings: David Oakes had recently undergone treatment for cancer

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

David Oakes, 60, who was murdered by former milkman Brett Rogers, had recently undergone treatment for cancer, the court heard.

David Oakes
Essex Police

In a statement read out at Chelmsford Crown Court Mr Oakes' daughter, Louise Wyllie, said she had "lost the chance to rebuild a relationship with her father".

Mrs Wyllie had recently married and hoped her first year of marriage would be a "happy one - but it was not". 

Rogers is now beginning a 32-year prison sentence for the murders of Mr Oakes and Gillian Phillips.

Brett Rogers ended lives of mother and friend in a 'brutal way'

Essex Police said Brett Rogers "failed to admit his responsibility for abruptly ending the lives of his mother and her friend is such a brutal way", following this afternoon's sentencing. 

Mrs Phillips had welcomed her son back in to her home despite his violent past. She was murdered in her own home; the place where she should have been safest, and by someone who she should have been able to trust."

Det Ch Insp Morgan CroninKent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate

Brett Rogers' sentencing: 'Your footprint was on your mother's face'

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

Continuing after the sentencing of Brett Rogers, Judge Philippa Whipple QC said: "The evidence against you was overwhelming. Your footprint was on your mother's face." 

She added that the only surprise in the case, which last just over a week, was that the 23-year-old did not admit to the crimes.

Rogers murdered his mother in a 'brutal and sustained attack'

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

Upon handing the sentencing to Brett Rogers, Judge Philippa Whipple QC said the 23-year-old had murdered his mother in a "brutal and sustained attack".

Flowers in memory of Gillian Phillips

Gillian Phillips, 54, was found with at least 41 stab wounds, some of which penetrated the bone base of her skull.

"One image that will stay in the mind of anyone involved in this case is that of the reconstruction of your mothers face showing that stamp injury attributed to your shoe on her left check", she said.

Brett Rogers 'looked on the verge of tears' as he was sentenced

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

Wearing a grey zipped fleece, Brett Rogers looked on the verge of tears as he was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court. 

He will spend at least the next 32 years of his life behind bars for killing his mother and her friend in July 2015.

Stansted Mountfitchet double murder: A minimum of 32 years in prison for Brett Rogers

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

Former milkman Brett Rogers has been sentenced to a minimum of 32 years behind bars for murdering his mother and her friend in Stansted Mountfitchet.

Chelmsford Crown Court

The 23-year-old was found guilty of the double murders at Chelmsford Crown Court earlier.

We'll hear comments from the judge shortly.

BreakingBrett Rogers sentenced to 32 years behind bars for double murder

Brett Rogers has been sentenced to 32 years in prison for the murder of his mother and her friend in July last year.

More to follow...

Brentwood Preparatory School closes after 120 children come down with vomiting bug

A school in Brentwood is closed today after 120 pupils came down with a vomiting virus. 

Brentwood School

The Brentwood Preparatory School, which caters for children aged between three and 11, first became aware of the outbreak on Wednesday, when 40 pupils were absent. 

In total, 120 children, five teachers and 10 teaching support staff were affected. A thorough deep clean has now taken place and the school will reopen on Monday. 

The Senior and Sixth Form remain open.

Quiz: How Eurovision are you?

If you're sat at your desk, perhaps bored on a commute - and in need of a bit of procrastination - why not get into the Eurovision mood early? Well, it is nearly the weekend.

Find out just how 'Eurovision' you are with this BBC probing quiz


Off-duty police officer stabbed in hand while tackling man

An off-duty Essex Police officer has been stabbed in the hand while challenging a man who was acting suspiciously in Rayleigh. 

Bardfield Way

The officer, who was walking his dog at the time, was treated in hospital after the incident in Bardfield Way on Saturday evening. 

Detectives say the suspect, who would have been covered in a lot of blood, is described as white, aged in his early 20s, about 6ft (1.8m) tall, and was wearing a grey hooded jumper and grey jogging bottoms.

In the news: Brett Rogers sentencing at 14:00... Vomiting virus closes Brentwood Prep School

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

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

  • Former milkman Brett Rogers, who was found guilty of murdering his mother and her friend in Stansted Mountfitchet, will be sentenced at 14:00 this afternoon
  • A school in Brentwood is closed today after 120 pupils came down with a vomiting virus 
  • A 47-year-old man has been remanded in custody after being charged with murdering a pregnant woman in Westcliff-on-Sea

Weather: Bright afternoon but feeling cooler

BBC Weather

It will be bright in Essex this afternoon, with some sunny spells. However it will be a little cooler than previous days, particularly in the brisk northerly breeze. 

Maximum temperature: 21C (70F).

Weather for Essex

You can get the very latest forecast from BBC Weather.

More on Brett Rogers double-murder verdict later

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

We're going to take a break from our coverage of the Brett Rogers double-murder verdict for now. 

We'll be back at Chelmsford Crown Court at 14:00 for the sentencing. 

Coming up... a look at some of the other stories taking place in Essex today.

Rogers committed murders four months after he was released from prison

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

Brett Rogers committed the double murder just four months after he was released from prison for a previous attack on his father Peter.

Brett Rogers
Essex Police

During the trial, which lasted just over a week, Rogers, who had claimed somebody else had sneaked into his mother's home and committed the murders, attacked the security guards beside him in the dock.

The jury at Chelmsford Crown Court also heard the 23-year-old was found at his mother's home in Bentfield Gardens in July 2015 laughing and covered in blood.

Rogers sat 'unmoved' as double-murder guilty verdict is read out

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

As I watched from the press bench Brett Rogers sat unmoved as he was convicted of killing his mother and her friend at Chelmsford Crown Court this morning.

The 23-year-old looked straight ahead as the double-murder verdict was read out. 

Rogers to be sentenced this afternoon for double murder

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

Brett Rogers, 23, will be sentenced for the murder of his mother and her friend later this afternoon. 

Chelmsford Crown Court

He was found guilty on both counts of murder by a jury of eight women and four men and Chelmsford Crown Court just after 11:00.

We're expecting that sentencing to take place here from about 14:00.

Brett Rogers found guilty of murdering mother and friend in Stansted Mountfitchet

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

Former milkman Brett Rogers, 23, has been found guilty of murdering his mother and her friend. 

Bentfield Gardens

Gillian Phillips, 54, and David Oakes, 60, had more than 40 stab wounds each when police found them in Stansted Mountfitchet in 2015. 

Mrs Phillips' son Brett Rogers denied the murders, but was found guilty by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court a few minutes ago.

BreakingBrett Rogers found guilty of double Stansted murder

A former milkman has been found guilty of murdering his mother and her friend by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court. 

More to follow...

Woman banned from keeping animals after abandoned cats 'found eating rubbish'

A 21-year-old woman has been banned for keeping animals for three years after abandoning a cat and four kittens at a property in Colchester.

Abandoned cat

The animals were reported by a member of the public to the RSPCA in August last year. Upon arrival inspectors found some of the cats were eating rubbish, Colchester Magistrates' Court heard. 

Lisa Tebbs, of Bourne Court, pleaded guilty to two offences under section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which deals with the duty of a person responsible for an animal to ensure its welfare.

She was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

'No surprise' the Cowley brothers caught the attention of other clubs

Glenn Speller

BBC Essex Sport

Back to our story now about the Cowley brothers leaving Braintree... and it's no surprise they've caught the attention of other clubs after three promotions with Concord and a stunning third-place finish with Braintree on one of the National League's smallest budgets.

Getty Images

The slight surprise is it being Lincoln who've managed to snare them. Other clubs were rumoured to be interested with Tranmere and Notts County in the frame, but it's Lincoln who showed the courage of their convictions and put money on the table. 

It's a risk for the brothers with Lincoln's budget by no means the biggest and they're now at a club with higher expectations. But, knowing the amount of detail they go into and hard work they put in, I would expect them to be a success.

Samaritans look to raise £17k after fundraising van destroyed in fire

A Samaritans' van destroyed in a fire last month could cost over £20,000 to replace, according to the charity's deputy director in Chelmsford and Mid-Essex.

Chelmsford and Mid-Essex Samaritans

The "SamVan" has been used for fundraising at events such as V-Festival for the past 20 years. Although £4,000 has been paid out through insurance, the charity predicts a new vehicle could cost £21,000.

"We need it to look after people", said Kim Hodges. "We are desperate for funds to replace our much needed and loved van."

Jury to continue considering verdict of double-murder accused Brett Rogers

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

The jury in the trial of a former milkman who is accused of murdering his mother and her friend in Stansted Mountfitchet last summer will continue to consider its verdict this morning. 

Stansted murder scene

Brett Rogers, 23, of Bentfield Gardens in the village, denies stabbing Gillian Phillips and David Oakes at her home last July.

The jury will continue deliberations at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Braintree Town chairman 'supports' Cowley's decision to resign from the club

Braintree Town chairman Lee Harding says he "supports" manager Danny Cowley's decision to resign from the club.

Lee Harding

Cowley, who helped the Iron reach the National League play-offs, left the club yesterday along with his brother Nicky. It's expected they'll join Lincoln City later today.

Mr Harding told BBC Essex: "If they decide the package they're being offered is worthwhile giving up what they do in their day job then it's a big step for them and I hope they get it right."

Danny Cowley resigns as Braintree Town manager

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex sport

Braintree Town manager Danny Cowley and his assistant Nicky Cowley have resigned from their roles

Danny Cowley
Getty Images

The brothers are expected to be unveiled as the new management team of National League rivals Lincoln City later today.  

The pair led part-time Braintree to the play-offs in his first season in charge, where they lost to Grimsby.

Man in court charged with murder over Westcliff flat fire

A 47-year old man is due in court later charged with murder and arson following a fire in Westcliff-on-Sea in which a woman and her unborn baby died. 

Tributes at flats

The blaze at the Grampian flats in Balmoral Road broke out late on Saturday night. Expectant mother Khabi Abrey, 30, died two days later. 

Lillo Troisi, who's unemployed and from Balmoral Road, will appear at Chelmsford Crown Court charged with murder and two counts of arson. 

Weather: Generally dry but becoming cooler over the coming days

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

A cloudy and grey start for some places. This cloud will lift and break to give some bright spells through the day. A little cooler than previous days, especially as a northerly breeze develops later on. 

Maximum temperature: 20C (68F).

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

Officers sacked over A12 road death 'lies'

Two Essex Police officers, who lied about their search for a pedestrian on the A12 who later died, have been sacked.

A12 near Hatfield Peverel

Kyle Brooks, from Harlow, was struck by vehicles on the A12 near Hatfield Peverel in October 2014. 

Stanway-based PC Joanne Jeggo and PC John Simpson attended after reports came in of a man walking on the road.The two officers had made false statements about seeking more information about the man's whereabouts, a misconduct panel heard.

In the news: Officers sacked over A12 road death 'lies'... Man in court over Westcliff flat fire

Sonia Watson

BBC Essex

Here's a first look at the top stories from Essex this morning: 

  • Two Essex Police officers have been dismissed for lying in connection with the death of a 28-year-old pedestrian
  • A 47-year old man is due at Chelmsford Crown Court later charged with murder and arson following a fire in Westcliff-on-Sea in which a woman and her unborn baby died
  • The jury in the trial of a 23-year old man, accused of murdering his mother and her friend in Stansted Mountfitchet last summer, will continue to consider its verdict today

Welcome to Essex Live

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Welcome to Local Live on Friday 13 May (unlucky for some, but hopefully not us). 

We'll be here until 18:00 with the latest news for the county.

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