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  1. Updates on Thursday, 2 June 2016
  2. Sentencing begins of a man who killed an Essex teacher and sexually assaulted her dead body
  3. Death of grooming suspect referred to police watchdog
  4. Prime Minister attends Rainham Marshes to make the environmental case for Britain staying in the EU
  5. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Friday at 08:00

Live Reporting

By Nic Rigby

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage through the day

Thanks for joining us on today's Essex Live page.

We'll be back at 08:00 tomorrow morning to bring you the very latest news stories from across the county.

Have a great evening!

Weather: Mild night in store, another cloudy day tomorrow

A mild night ahead, especially if you happen to be in built-up areas. The odd spot of rain can't be ruled out but it should stay dry for the most part.

Tomorrow's set to be mostly cloudy with a little showery rain spreading from the east, so if you were hoping for summer you're not in luck. Highs of 15C, that's 59F.

You can always check the latest forecast for where you live on the BBC Weather website.

Weather map

Basildon learner fails test 30 times... yes, 30 times

It's emerged a learner driver from Basildon failed her driving test 30 times, making her one of the worst drivers in England. 

L plates

The candidate is 53 years old, according to information released by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. 

The least successful learner driver, a 38-year-old Liverpool man, took 39 attempts to pass the test. The figures date back to 2006.

More needs to be done for dementia families, say victim's daughters

The daughters of a man with dementia whose body was not found for three months after he went missing say more support is needed by families.

An open verdict was recorded at the inquest into the death of 82-year-old Gordon Wilson, a former headteacher from Leaden Roding, near Chelmsford, who disappeared in October 2015.

After the inquest in Chelmsford, daughter Gillian Wilson said: "Dementia sufferers can tend to go wandering.

"We had to find out information about the condition ourselves. Health services should give more support to families of dementia sufferers."

Gillian and Lesley, daughters of Gordon Wilson, said more support should be offered to the families of people with dementia

Grooming arrest suspect found dead after video posted online

Earlier we told you about how police referred the death of a man they questioned about grooming and subsequently bailed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Police officers walking

We can bring you a bit more detail now - the man who was arrested was found dead days after a video of him being confronted by a self-proclaimed paedophile "hunter" was posted on social media.

The video was put on a Facebook page run by Christopher Wood from Essex, who describes himself as a "hunter" who wants to "make a stand" against the grooming of children online.

Mr Wood said the death had come as "shocking news" and he had removed the video "out of respect for his family".

Katie Locke murder: Killer to be sentenced tomorrow

Carl Langdell, who admitted murdering Buckhurst Hill teacher Katie Locke, is now mid-way through a two-day sentencing hearing at St Albans Crown Court.

Carl Langdell
Hertfordshire Police

The court's been hearing about how he photographed and sexually assaulted her dead body after strangling her at a hotel on Christmas Eve.

Her body was found dumped in a bush near a skip in the hotel grounds.

Former headmaster 'full of character'

Senior Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said headmaster Gordon Wilson "sounded a delightful gentleman, full of character".

The inquest into the death of Mr Wilson, whose body was found in January in Sible Hedingham, took place earlier in Chelmsford.

An open verdict was recorded.

Gordon Wilson
Essex Police

Cause of former headmaster's death cannot be established

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

A coroner has ruled that the cause of a former headmaster's death cannot be established.

The body of 82-year-old Gordon Wilson, who had vascular dementia, was found on 25 January after he went missing from his home in Leaden Roding, near Dunmow.

Mr Wilson, who had been a headmaster at Shawlands Academy in Glasgow, moved from Scotland to Essex 11 years ago.

Senior Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded an open verdict in the case.

BreakingGordon Wilson inquest: Open verdict recorded

Gareth George

BBC Look East

An open verdict has been recorded by a coroner in the case of a man who went missing last October.

The body of Gordon Wilson, who had vascular dementia, was found on 25 January after he went missing from his home in Leaden Roding.

Gordon Wilson
Essex Police

Katie Locke murder: Teacher met her killer on online dating site

Katie Locke, a 23-year-old teacher from Buckhurst Hill, met the man who killed her on online dating site, Plenty of Fish.

Katie Locke
South Beds News Agency

Carl Langdell, 26, is being sentenced for murder, which he admitted during a hearing in March.

Miss Locke told a friend she'd been talking to him for about two weeks before they went on their first date on Christmas Eve last year. He'd claimed to be a lawyer but had actually spent two years increasingly suffering from mental illness.

Buckhurst Hill teacher's body was assaulted by killer, court hears

A teacher from Buckhurst Hill was strangled to death by a man she was on a first date with, and he went on to photograph and sexually assault her dead body, a court heard.

Katie Locke
Hertfordshire Police

Katie Locke, 23, died at a hotel in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, last Christmas Eve.

Her killer, 26-year-old Carl Langdell, is being sentenced for murder at St Albans Crown Court.

Change to close gender pay gap at Essex University

Nic Rigby

BBC News

The pay gap between female and male academics at Essex University is being closed.

Essex University
Geograph/Terry Joyce

Across the university system, female professors earn on average about 10% less than their male counterparts.

Essex University is giving women professors a one-off salary hike to wipe out the gender pay gap by October.

Vice-chancellor Prof Anthony Forster, said: "Treating our staff with equal respect and dignity is at the very core of our values."

Essex bowler suffers groin strain

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Essex bowler Graham Napier is facing up to 10 days on the sidelines after suffering a groin strain.

Graham Napier
Getty Images

He picked up the injury during the County Championship match at Northants earlier this week, and has been advised to rest by medical experts.

Napier is targeting a comeback for the game against Middlesex later this month.

Colchester Community Stadium

Colchester United goalkeeper Dillon Barnes signs a three-year contract with the relegated League One club.

Read more

David Cameron highlights EU green policy at nature reserve

Nic Rigby

BBC News

The prime minister has been at Rainham Marshes on the Essex border to put the environmental case forward for Britain staying in the European Union. 

David Cameron at Rainham

He was joined by wildlife charities the RSPB and WWF in warning voters there could be years of uncertainty in the event of Brexit. 

He said: "EU membership underpins many crucial environmental protections in the UK while amplifying our voice in the world on vital issues like cutting global emissions."

But Vote Leave campaigners argue the UK can work unilaterally to improve the environment.

They say directives from the EU are "rigid" and without being part of the bloc, the focus could be on finding "new, interesting ways" to protect the environment.

EU referendum Facebook Live: Time to ask your questions

Our BBC East political team of Andrew Sinclair and Tom Barton will be hosting a Facebook Live event tonight, answering your questions on the EU referendum in the East from 18:45.

You can ask questions via Facebook comments during the broadcast, but if you'd like to get in early, you can post them here.

Facebook Live invitation

Three deny burglary at shooting incident mansion in Sible Hedingham

Gareth George

BBC Look East

Three men have denied carrying out a burglary at an Essex mansion in which a businessman was shot.

The Old Rectory, a mansion in Sible Hedingham, Essex

Charlie Simms, Kalebh Shreeve and Christopher Bergin, all in their 20s, pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated burglary, wounding with intent, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and possession of a firearm at the time of committing an offence.

The charges are in connection with a break-in at the Old Rectory, a mansion in Sible Hedingham, on 6 February. Businessman Timothy Mardon was shot in the leg.

Christopher Bergin and Kalebh Shreeve, both from Sible Hedingham, appeared in person at this morning's hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court. Charlie Simms, from Great Yeldham, appeared via a video link from Norwich Prison. 

The three men were remanded in custody and will go on trial on 17 October.

Essex newspaper round-up

Nic Rigby

BBC News

The Colchester Gazette has a story about a shopping centre car park that could become free to "ignite regeneration" in Witham. 

The Essex Chronicle says an Essex author is unveiling a memorial to the county's First World War heroes at ceremony in northern France.

Meanwhile, the Basildon Echo is running a story saying speed cameras on the A127 are catching more speeding drivers than ever before.

BreakingDeath of grooming suspect referred to police watchdog

Nic Rigby

BBC News

The death of a man arrested by Essex Police on suspicion of grooming and then released on bail has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

A 44-year-old man was arrested on 28 May and then bailed. Three days later he was declared dead at an address in Harlow.

The force, which referred the case to the IPCC, are not treating the death as suspicious. A police spokesman said: "We are aware of videos filmed and published by a third party circulating on social media purporting to show an encounter between the arrested man and a member of the public but cannot comment further at this stage."

Essex cricket team 'top class', says coach

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex sport

Essex coach Chris Silverwood (pictured) says the team's performance in the seven wicket win at Glamorgan in the T20 Blast last night was "'top class". 

Chris Silverwood
Getty Images

The Eagles chased down 140 with 22 balls to spare.

More investment in Chelmsford prison needed, claims POA

The general secretary of the Prison Officers Association says more staff investment is needed at Chelmsford prison.

Chelmsford prison

It comes after BBC Essex revealed yesterday the jail hasn't acted on all the recommendations put forward after 12 inmates took their own lives in the past five years.

Steve Gillan says it's seeing the consequences of government cuts to funding. The Ministry of Justice says it has invested more than £1bn to improve systems.

Homes 'damaged by tree collapse'

Nic Rigby

BBC News

The wet and windy weather in Essex over the past few days appears to have taken its toll in Paglesham.

We've seen this sad story in the Echo this morning which says three historic cottages in the village, near Southend, were badly damaged when an 80ft (24m) tree crashed on top of them. 

The paper says the owners of the homes have been forced to live in temporary accommodation after firefighters deemed the cottages structurally unsafe.

Safety concerns raised after fatal flat fire

Concerns have been raised about safety and security at tower blocks near Southend after a pregnant woman and her unborn baby died in a fire.

Floral tribute at scene of fire
Chris Flynn

About 40 people from the Balmoral Road area of Westcliff went to a meeting last night which heard calls for more fire alarms and extinguishers - with one woman saying she'd like to see the blocks demolished.

Terry Brown, chair of the local residents association, says the deaths of Khabi Abrey and her unborn baby, following the fire at Balmoral Road flats last month, have really affected people.

Towie star thanks fans from hospital bed

Nic Rigby

BBC News

The Only Way is Essex star Jake Hall, who was reportedly stabbed in a Spanish nightclub, has thanked fans for their support from his hospital bed. 

The 24-year-old posted a message to his followers on Twitter

Instagram/Jake Hall
Jake Hall

He's pictured sitting up in bed and connected to various machines. 

Hall tweeted: "Thank you so much for everyone's amazing support and getting me through this. I'm getting better thank to everyone. Can't get rid of me that easily."

Weather: Cloudy at first, but brightening up with sunny spells

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

A cloudy start to the day with a little drizzle in places.

It will slowly brighten up from the west with some sunny spells developing, although coastal areas may stay rather cool and cloudy. 

Maximum temperature: 16C (61F). BBC Weather has the latest.

Good morning and welcome to Essex Live

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Today we hear The Only Way is Essex star and former non-league footballer Jake Hall, who's believed to have been stabbed in Marbella, has taken to Twitter to say he's getting better.

More on that shortly, plus a look at other stories happening around the county.