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  1. Essex man arrested over couple's murders
  2. Essex MPs pay tribute to Jo Cox
  3. On this day: 'Babes in wood' murders
  4. Updates on Friday, 17 June 2016

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All times stated are UK

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Have a good weekend, everyone

That's all for another week on Local Live in Essex. Join us again on Monday from 08:00

Babes in the Woods: The initial search

Some 600 officers searched the Enflied area for Susan and Gary.

They interviewed 15,000 people and searched 4,356 homes.

There was speculation the children had run away together.

There was no initial indication that they had been abducted or come to any harm.

The missing children poster

Babes in the Woods: The truth

After four years of painstaking police investigation, detectives broke down Jebson's story and he confessed.

During the trial at the Old Bailey, families of the victims heard how Susan and Gary were last seen playing happily playing near their Enfield homes.

Jebson had been driving in the area and enticed the children into his car. He later strangled both children and dumped their bodies in a hide he had built in the woods. He died last year in prison.

Old Bailey

Babes in the Woods: The prisoner with information

We're returning to the story we told you about earlier now.

On this day in in 1970, the bodies of two children have been found in a shallow grave in a wood at Waltham Abbey in Essex.

Susan Blatchford, was aged 11, and Gary Hanlon, aged 12.  

Coroners COurt

The inquest in the case returned an open verdict - because scientific tests at the time could not tell if the pair had died from exposure or foul play.

The case was eventually reopened in 1996 after paedophile Ronald Jebson, serving a jail sentence for the murder of eight-year-old Rosemary Papper, told a prison officer he knew who had murdered the children.

He tried to implicate Rosemary's parents but detectives disproved his story and became convinced Jebson himself was the killer.

Paint thrown over new underpass artwork

A new piece of artwork in an underpass in Chelmsford's Central Park has been vandalised before it was even finished.

Green paint was thrown all over part of it, covering up a butterfly and other parts of the mural.

Mural before and after vandalism repaired
Chelmsford City Council

Chelmsford Council has posted pictures of the damage on Twitter, and the quick work its "amazing artist" Eyesaw has done to repair it.

Ingatestone railway station

A human leg and foot thought to belong to a person struck by a train in 2014 are found under a station platform.

Read more

Paperless tickets: Watch how it works

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Passengers using Abellio Greater Anglia trains can now travel without a paper ticket on a number of routes. The company has installed barcode readers. It means e-tickets can be scanned direct from mobile devices.

Greater Anglia introduces paperless tickets

Paperless train tickets en route after £3m investment

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Abellio Greater Anglia has launched paperless train tickets.  

Passengers can already buy tickets via their smart phones, but now the train operator has installed barcode readers at gates so they can scan them as they pass through.

Greater Anglia train

The company says the investment will help reduce queues at ticket machines and gates, although the technology is not yet in place at London Liverpool Street.

A spokesperson said the new technology would enhance the system but would not replace traditional ticketing. For those without smart phones, tickets can still be purchased at stations in the usual way.

Weybread: What we learned from the police press conference

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Suffolk Police's press conference was chaired by Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes, who revealed the following details about the investigation:

Suffolk Police HQ
  • Ali Qazimaj, 42, from Tilbury, Essex, has been arrested on suspicion of the murders of Peter and Sylvia Stuart
  • He was detained in Luxembourg City in the very early hours of this morning after a hostel worker recognised his picture from appeals issued by police
  • Extradition details are "still being worked through"
  • Detectives say they have "no expectation of finding Sylvia alive" but continue to search areas in Suffolk, Essex and Tilbury to try to find any trace of her

Weybread: The extradition process

Jodie Smith

BBC News

Ali Qazimaj was arrested in Luxembourg using a European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

This is a way of extraditing those wanted in relation to significant crimes between EU member states, where they will face prosecution or to serve a prison sentence for an existing conviction.

It's now up to Mr Qazimaj to decide if he will appeal against the EAW - if he does not contest it, Suffolk Police will have 10 days to send its officers to Luxembourg and bring him back to the UK.

Weybread: Luxembourg City hostel worker called local authorities

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

We've heard Ali Qazimaj was arrested in Luxembourg in the very early hours of this morning after a hostel worker in the country's capital city called police.

Luxembourg City

The staff member identified Mr Qazimaj, who police had been searching for since 6 June, after seeing pictures of him on the internet.

"We're not sure what made her suspicious," Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes told the press conference. "All we know is that she called the authorities."

Weybread murders probe: Suspect was arrested in Luxembourg

Map showing Weybread and Luxemboug

Ali Qazimaj questioned on suspicion of double murder

Ali Qazimaj, who was wanted in connection with the Weybread investigation, has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of both Peter and Sylvia Stuart.

The force only confirmed last night that the search for Mrs Stuart, who disappeared after her husband was stabbed to death, had become a murder inquiry.

Suffolk Police said officers were working with the National Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service and authorities in Luxembourg to organise Mr Qazimaj's extradition.

Syliva and Peter Stuart
Diss Express

Weybread: What happens now?

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Ali Qazimaj was arrested earlier today in Luxembourg and a European Arrest Warrant was granted.

He's in custody now, and Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes said Suffolk Police was now involved in extradition proceedings.

Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes

He said it was for the Luxembourg authorities to decide which court it would go before.

The detail was still being worked through, Det Ch Supt Parkes added.

Weybread: 'No expectation of finding Sylvia alive'

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

During the press conference, Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes said he had "no expectation of finding Sylvia alive".

Sylvia and Peter Stuart
Suffolk Police

Earlier today, police revealed they were treating the 69-year-old's disappearance as murder.

Search continues for Sylvia Stuart

Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes said efforts are to continue to find Sylvia Stuart, who has been missing from her home in Weybread for two weeks.

Weybread: Search still under way for Sylvia Stuart

Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes said police were still searching for Sylvia Stuart following the arrest of suspect Ali Qazimaj, who is from Tilbury in Essex.

Simon Parkes

The 42-year-old was found at a hostel in Luxembourg after a staff member recognised him and called police.

Det Ch Supt Parks said a "huge amount of work" had gone into locating Mr Qazimaj.

BreakingWeybread: Essex suspect Ali Qazimaj arrested

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Suffolk Police says Ali Qazimaj has been found in Luxembourg and has been arrested.

He is now in custody.

Ali Qazimaj
Suffolk Police

Weybread: Watch the press conference live

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Here's the room at Suffolk Police HQ where the press conference will be held.

We'll be streaming it live on the BBC Suffolk Facebook page as well as providing regular updates on this live page.

Press conference

Weybread: Press conference starting shortly

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

I have arrived at Suffolk Police headquarters in Martlesham Heath ahead of a press conference at 15:00.

Police have told us Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes will provide a "significant update" on the investigation into the murder of Peter Stuart in Weybread, and the disappearance of his wife Sylvia.

We'll bring you more as we get it.

Headlines: Tributes continue for MP Jo Cox... Update due on Weybread murder probe

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

  • Essex MPs have been paying tribute to Jo Cox, who was fatally stabbed and shot in her West Yorkshire constituency yesterday
  • Police in Suffolk are due to hold a press conference with a "significant update" on the Weybread murder investigation

Singer Ed Sheeran spotted at Essex lunch spot

Jodie Smith

BBC News

Brentwood has a bit of a reputation for celebrity spotting (usually of the Towie variety), and today is no exception.

These ladies at Brentwood Kitchen were very pleased to see singer Ed Sheeran pop by earlier, and took a top notch selfie to remember his visit.

View more on twitter

Human remains found under train station platform

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

Police are investigating after a railway contractor found a human leg and foot under the platform at Ingatestone railway station.

The discovery was made at 09:20 yesterday.

The remains are understood to belong to a person who was hit by a train at the station in 2014.

Ingatestone Station

British Transport Police officers say they are in contact with the person's family and keeping them updated with developments in the case.

The remains have been removed from the scene and the coroner has been informed.

Yellow warning of rain for Essex (again)

Jodie Smith

BBC News

By now, you'll be used to hearing the words "yellow warning of rain" what with all the not-so-lovely weather we've been having.

So it won't surprise you to learn there's another one in place for Essex for the rest of today until 22:00 tonight, meaning we should be aware severe weather is possible and could lead to travel delays or other disruption.

The Met Office says showers will become more widespread this afternoon, and in some places 20-30mm of rain could fall in an hour. Stay safe out there everyone.

Met office website screenshot
Met Office

Police HQ water leak affects non-emergency 101 number

A water leak at Essex Police's headquarters in Chelmsford has affected some of the systems there.

Essex Police HQ

The force says although systems are operational, there might be slight delays for people calling 101 with non-emergency calls.

"Engineers are on site and contingencies are in place to prioritise the most urgent calls," police said on their website. 999 calls are not affected.

Weybread murder probe: A timeline

Sylvia and Peter Stuart were reported missing from their home in Weybread, Suffolk, on 3 June. Since then there have been a number of developments:

  • Later that day: Peter Stuart's body was found near their home. He had multiple stab wounds
  • 5 June: A man from Leicester, later identified as Steve Paxman, son-in-law to the Stuarts, was arrested on suspicion of murder
  • 6 June: Ali Qazimaj (pictured) from Tilbury, Essex named as a suspect. Steve Paxman released on bail
  • 7 June: CCTV images released of Mr and Mrs Stuart at a farm shop in Pulham Market on 29 May. Police say they believe Mr Qazimaj boarded a ferry to Calais on Saturday night
  • 16 June: Police expand the search for Sylvia Stuart to roadsides between her home and Mr Qazimaj's home in the Tilbury area

Ali Qazimaj
Suffolk Police

Weybread: One of two big questions expected to be answered

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Suffolk Police's "significant update" at 15:00 this afternoon should answer one, or both, of two major questions.

Question one: Have police found Sylvia Stuart two weeks after she was first reported missing? 

Or, have they found Ali Qazimaj, who is suspected of killing Peter Stuart and in being involved in the disappearance of his wife?

We'll be reporting live from the press conference.

Breaking'Significant' update expected on murder investigation

 A "significant update" on the investigation into the murder of Peter Stuart and the disappearance of his wife Sylvia is to be given at a Suffolk Police press conference at 15:00 this afternoon, police say.  

Officers have been carrying out searches between the Stuarts' home and Tilbury, Essex, where suspect Ali Qazimaj lived.  

Jo Cox letter 'will be treasured'

Jodie Smith

BBC News

The news of MP Jo Cox's death has deeply affected many of us, and many callers into BBC Essex have been saying how sad they are today.

My colleague Stuart Woodward shared this letter Jo sent to his niece Lucy after visiting her Brownie camp last month.

Jo Cox letter

"Lucy will treasure that letter and, in years to come, she'll look back and think of a lady who gave her life to fight for what she believed in and took time out of her busy life because she cared about little girls as well," the Facebook post read.  

Chelmsford's Rebecca Gallantree celebrates Olympic selection

Moped rider killed in car crash

A moped rider has died after colliding with a white Vauxhall Corsa in Chelmsford.

The 64-year-old man from Ingatestone was fatally injured at 22:45 BST on Thursday on the Hatfield-Peverel bound carriageway of the A138 near the Boreham interchange.

The driver of the Vauxhall, an 18-year-old man from Chelmsford, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.


Chelmsford diver named in Team GB squad for Rio

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex Sport

Chelmsford's Rebecca Gallantree has been named in the Team GB diving squad for the Rio Olympics.

Rebecca Gallantree

Gallantree, 31, will compete in the women's three metre and three metre synchronised event with partner Alicia Blagg.

The pair won gold at the Commonwealth Games and silver at the recent European Championships.

The Rio Olympics will be Gallantree's third.

Nurse signed out medication for fake patients

An Nursing and Midwifery Council disciplinary panel heard there were "37 suspicious incidents" when capsules of Fentanyl were signed out for fake patients.

Basildon Hospital

The panel heard how Ronnie Gutierrez, sacked by the hospital, had found work in a care home where his skills were highly rated and on one occasion acted in a manner which "probably saved" a resident’s life.

As a result, he will be placed on a conditions of practice order, part of which means he must be "supervised by a registered nurse at all times when involved in the ordering, accessing, checking, administration and disposal of controlled drugs".

Basildon Hospital nurse stole medication

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

A nurse who stole drug capsules from a hospital and falsified patient names will be allowed to practise - though under stringent conditions.

Basildon Hospital

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard Ronnie Gutierrez worked at the Basildon Hospital when the thefts occured. 

He was convicted of theft in 2015 after admitting the charge at Basildon Magistrates' Court.

Babes in the Woods: The parents and their wait

Gary's parents Frank Hanlon, a painter and decorator, and his wife, Beryl, sat up all night waiting for their son's return.

In a nearby street, the parents of Susan, Lionel Blatchford, a laboratory assistant and his wife Muriel were also waiting in vain.

A massive police hunt was launched for the children under the leadership of Det Ch Supt Leonard Nipper Read, the man who brought the Krays to justice.

Babes in the Woods: The last sighting

The day Susan and Gary disappeared Susan had called at Gary's home at about 16:30 and asked him to go for a walk.

They were last seen about an hour later walking across a field together, but after that the trail went cold.

Rag out

When the bodies were found on 17 June 1970, arc lights were set up at the scene while a Home Office pathologist and forensic science experts got to work.

A full examination of the scene by the police was postponed until first light.

The children's bodies were found huddled together under bracken and twigs. 

Remembering the Babes in the Woods: Found by a dog walker

It was during the evening when the bodies of two children were found in a shallow grave on 17 June 1970 in a wood at Waltham Abbey in Essex.

At the time Susan Blatchford, aged 11, and Gary Hanlon, 12, had been missing for 10 weeks.

Susan and Gary, both from Enfield in north London, were last seen on 31 March playing together near their homes.

The bodies of the girl and boy were found by a man taking his dog along the edge of Epping Forest, about six miles from where the missing children lived.

A plimsoll and other clothing were found by police dogs.

map of Enfield and Waltham Abbey

On this day...

Susan Blatchford and Gary Hanlon were last seen on 31 March

In 1970 the 'Babes in the wood' bodies were found in a shallow grave in Waltham Abbey in Essex.

Those bodies were confirmed as Gary Hanlon and Susan Blatchford.

During the course of the day we will be remembering their story, one whose conclusion - the conviction of a paedophile - came about 30 years later.

Extra clinic rooms at hospital's children's department

Five extra clinic rooms have now opened at Colchester Hospital's Children’s Outpatient Department.

The £120,000 extension means there are 14 outpatient clinic rooms.

Inside one of the rooms
Colchester Hospital

Heavy showers with potential thunder

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

The weather for Essex:

  • Heavy showers during the morning
  • These may well produce some thunder later with the potential for localised downpours
  • Fewer showers the more east you are
  • Maximum Temperature: 18 Deg C (64 Deg F)

Getty Images