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Summary

  1. Updates on Monday, 11 July 2016
  2. Ronald King guilty of manslaughter in care home murder trial
  3. Health bosses consider cutting IVF and other treatments
  4. Essex Cricket boss hopes for T20 future compromise
  5. Arrests in Essex after man threatened with machete
  6. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's all from us for today, but we'll be back tomorrow from 08:00.

If you'd like to get in touch in the meantime, you can email us here. Have a good evening.

Weather: Showers to end the day

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

Sunny spells and showers to end the day, some of these heavy and possibly thundery. Tonight will be largely dry with a very small risk of showers and the winds easing. Temperatures expected to fall to around 13C (55F).

Weather graphic shows highs of 15C tomorrow morning
BBC

There’ll be some sunshine tomorrow, but also more showers and with light winds these could be slow-moving, with torrential and thundery downpours. Highs of 20C (68F).

Get more on the forecast where you live from BBC Weather.

Wanted man 'likely to be with missing woman'

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

A man wanted by Essex Police is likely to be with a missing 19-year-old woman from Benfleet, the force says.

Charlottle Leskos and Vegim Sokoli
Essex Police

Detectives initially said they wanted to find 20-year-old Vegim Sokoli for breaching court bail conditions. 

Officers have since revealed he's likely to be in the company of 19-year-old Charlottle Leskos, who was reported missing by her family. They're anxious to hear from her, police said.

Essex hope Olympic Stadium could host T20 games in 2018

BBC Sport

Essex hope to host T20 cricket matches in the Olympic Stadium in 2018, says chief executive Derek Bowden.

Essex have been in talks for a number of years regarding the stadium, home of football club West Ham from August.

Inside Olympic Stadium in London
Getty Images

"The objective is to play cricket there in 2018, probably play two or three home T20 games in a two-week period," Bowden told BBC Essex.

"There may also be an England women's or even men's game or some invitational games as well as recreational cricket."

Golf: Southgate discovers Open tee-off time

Ged Scott

BBC Sport

Southend's Matt Southgate has been handed an afternoon tee-off time when he makes his second Open appearance on Thursday.

In Monday's draw, the 27-year-old Essex golfer was paired with American Marco Dawson and Japan's Yosuke Tsukada at Royal Troon.

Matt Southgate
Getty Images

They are due to tee off on the Ayrshire coast course in the 145th Open Championship at 15:21, with a start time of 10:20 for Friday's scheduled second round.

Southgate's only previous Open experience came at Royal Liverpool in 2014, when he missed the cut.

Two hundred motorists arrested during summer campaign

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Essex Police have revealed that almost 200 motorists were arrested during their Summer Anti-Drink and Drug Driving campaign

Breathaliser test
BBC

Adam Pipe, the force's casualty reduction manager, says the results are "worrying". 

He's concerned that drivers are continuing to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs. 

Weather Watchers: Blue skies in Clacton

BBC Weather Watchers

It's been looking like quite a lovely day at Clacton-on-Sea today, according to our Weather Watchers.

Blue skies over shoreline at Clacton-on-Sea
BBC

We'll have the overnight forecast for you before we close at 18:00.

Alzheimer's Society says more funding and support needed for dementia

During Ronald King's trial Chelmsford Crown Court heard his wife Rita's dementia left the couple struggling at home before she moved to De La Mer House.

The Alzheimer's Society estimates that 850,000 people in the UK currently have dementia - but that number is set to rise to more than a million in the next decade. 

Hands
Science Photo Library

Kathryn Smith, director of operations at the charity, said it often gets calls from family members "at the end of their tether". 

"It doesn't seem fair that cancer is funded by the NHS but dementia, despite being a physical illness, is supported more by social services and families are often left to pick up the pieces. 

"There is not enough funding for care and finding out about the support that does exist can be a minefield," she said.

Care home staff struggled to deal with shooting aftermath

The manager of De La Mer House, where Rita King was shot dead, said it had taken her staff a long time to come to terms with what happened. 

"It was very tough, a huge ordeal," Julie Curtis said.

Julie Curtis
BBC

"We deal with people dying on a daily basis - thank goodness, not under these circumstances. We had to carry on, even on the day it happened. 

"My two senior carers weren't well afterwards - one of them didn't sleep for nine nights straight."

Rita King manslaughter: How it's being reported

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

This morning 87-year-old Ronald King admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility for killing his wife Rita King at an Essex care home in December.

Ronald King's WW2 Enfield service revolver
Essex Police

Unsurprisingly, this case has always attracted a lot of attention - and today's surprise plea is no exception - here's how other media are reporting it:

  • The East Anglian Daily Times said the murder trial had "dramatically ended early" after new medical evidence came to light  
  • ITV News have said medical experts said King was suffering from paraphrenia, a progressive late onset mental illness which was diagnosed after an MRI scan just before the start of his trial

Ronald King MRI scan 'showed brain damage'

The condition Mr King was suffering from at the time of his wife's killing was paraphrenia, which is characterised by paranoid delusions. 

Psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph told the court the results of an MRI brain scan, which only became available last week, "appear to show significant brain damage pathology.

"He clearly knew what he was doing, he was able to exercise self control, he’d been thinking about it for two weeks... the area where there was substantial impairment was his ability to form a rational judgement," he said.

Ronald King trial: New medical evidence prompted manslaughter plea

Richard Smith

BBC Essex

I've been to Chelmsford Crown Court today for what we thought was going to be a continuation of Ronald King's trial for the murder of his wife Rita.

This morning, the prosecution called a psychiatrist who said evidence from an MRI scan showed Mr King had a mental illness at the time of the killing in December last year. This was not known at the start of the trial. 

It meant that the prosecution said it would accept a plea of manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility.

The jury was directed by the judge to find King not guilty of murder, but instead - guilty of manslaughter.

Police pay tribute to the Kings' families

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Essex Police have paid tribute to the families of Ronald and Rita King during the investigation into Mrs King's death.

Det Insp Alan Pitcher said: "I would like to pay tribute to Ronald and Rita's families for the support they have provided to our investigation and the dignity they have shown throughout.

"This is a particularly sad and tragic case and my thoughts are very much with them at this time."

The force has also asked people to continue to respect the families' privacy.

Rita King manslaughter: Family 'shocked and deeply saddened'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The relatives of 81-year-old Rita King, shot dead by her husband Ronald King in a Walton-on-the-Naze care home, has said the tragedy "has had an impact on the whole family".

Del La Mer House, Walton-on-the-Naze
Google

In a statement after 87-year-old King admitted manslaughter, the family said: "We are a large but close family.  

"We would never have imagined what happened to Rita. It has shocked us all and left us deeply saddened.

"We know her last months in the De La Mer home were happy and she was well looked after.

"She used to love sitting watching the birds, especially when they used the bird bath. We are sure she still watches them now she is at rest."

Ronald and Rita King case: What happened...

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

In case you're just catching up with this case - this is what happened:

  • Rita King, 81, who had dementia, was shot dead at De La Mer House in Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex on Monday 28 December 2015
  • Her husband, Ronald King, of Cedar Close in the town was charged with her murder
  • A post-mortem examination found the provisional cause of her death was a gunshot wound to the head
  • Essex Police said the bullet came from what was believed to be a 1934 Enfield revolver which was found at the scene
  • In January he paid his respects privately ahead of her funeral, but did not attend the service at Weeley Crematorium
  • In March, King pleaded not guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court to murdering his wife
  • His trial began on 5 July 2016
  • On 11 July he admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility 

Ronald King trial: What the jury heard

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Rita King, 81, died at De La Mer House in Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, on 28 December last year. 

She was shot dead at point-blank range by her husband Ronald, 87, who denied murder - but this morning has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The plea was accepted by the jury.

Ronald King
Essex Police

The trial at Chelmsford Crown Court last just under a week - this is what the jury had been told:

  • Ronald King told care home staff his dementia patient wife "had suffered enough"
  • He shot her through the eye with her father's World War Two Enfield service revolver, using a bullet dating back to 1943
  • After the shooting King turned the gun on himself but told staff "I cannot do it"
  • The prosecution said there was "no dispute" King, who was born with a disability in his left arm, had shot his wife of 50 years
  • King said he considered shooting his older sister who is also a resident at the care home, describing her as "a living corpse"
  • He said he modified the bullets by cutting the fronts of them off after he remembered reading about a "dum-dum bullet" which "leaves a hole as big as your fist, there's no chance of getting better"
  • King told the court he still loved his wife and when he died their ashes would be mixed together  

Ronald and Rita King case 'particularly sad and tragic'

Essex Police has just released this photo of Rita King, who was shot dead by her husband at her care home in December last year.

Rita King
Essex Police

Mrs King, 81, died at De La Mer House in Walton-on-the-Naze on 28 December.

Her husband Ronald has today admitted manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility.

Det Insp Alan Pitcher, who investigated the case, said it was "particularly sad and tragic".

Care home murder trial: Husband admits manslaughter

The trial of Ronald King, who killed his wife in De La Mer House care home in Walton, has lasted just under a week.

Rita King, 81, who had dementia, was shot dead in the lounge of the home on 28 December last year.

Mr King, 87 denied murder but admitted killing his wife of almost 60 years. 

Today he has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility, a plea accepted by the jury.

Rita and Ronald King
PA / East News Press Agency

BreakingRonald King guilty of manslaughter in care home murder trial

A disabled pensioner on trial for the murder of his wife in a care home in Walton-on-the-Naze last Christmas has admitted manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility.

The jury accepted the plea.

More to follow...

'Setting sun blinds Stansted's facial recognition cameras', newspaper reports

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The Guardian has published a story about e-passport gates at Stansted Airport not working properly because the setting sun "blinds the hi-tech cameras" at border control.

The airport has a number of e-passport gates which use facial recognition cameras to scan incoming passengers. The paper says security guards were recently overheard discussing a "high rate of rejection because of the sunlight".

Sunset at Stansted
Getty Images

I've contacted the Home Office to find out more - a spokesman said it was "working with Stansted Airport to resolve this issue, which has no impact on border security or the experience for the vast majority of passengers passing through passport control."

Stansted said it couldn't comment as the equipment was owned by the Border Force.

Using girl as theft decoy 'absolutely disgusting'

The theft of a mobile phone by a man who used a little girl as a decoy has been described as "absolutely disgusting".

CCTV cameras at Baseo, an electronics store in Southend High Street, recorded footage of a man taking a Samsung Galaxy A3 worth £151, using the girl as a "visual decoy".

Adam Keys, who runs the shop's social media accounts, said: "The crime itself is enough, but to use a child to obstruct the view is something else completely. It's vile."

Baseo shop
Google

Man uses child as decoy to steal mobile phone

We've been speaking to Essex Police about a story first reported by The Echo - video footage has emerged showing a man using his little girl as a decoy to steal a second-hand phone from a shop.

Child used as decoy
Baseo

The newspaper reported that workers from Baseo in Southend High Street had posted the footage on Facebook in an effort to identify the man.

Police told us they were investigating the theft of a mobile phone, and described the suspect as "white, of a skinny build, in his mid to late 20s with dark hair".

Change of court in footballer leg amputation case

Emma Baugh

BBC Look East

We've had it confirmed in the last half-an-hour that the court case of a man charged in connection with a serious collision which led to an Essex estate agent and non-league footballer to lose his legs, will now be heard at Peterborough Magistrates' Court and not Cambridge Magistrates' Court as listed.

Newmarket Town player Shaun Whiter, 27, had the amputations following the crash near Newmarket on 1 July. His friend - Soham Town Rangers player Joey Abbs - was also seriously hurt. 

Jan Adamec, 40, from Shetland Road, Haverhill, has been charged with two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. 

Basildon and Brentwood NHS funding changes: What could be stopped?

Other areas where Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group is considering withdrawing funding include:

  • Male and female sterilisation
  • Gluten-free prescribed foods - although pregnant woman will still be offered NHS prescriptions for them
  • Non-NHS travel vaccinations
  • E-cigarettes
  • Simultaneous joint replacements (where both knees, hips or shoulders are replaced at the same time)
  • Pain treatments like joint injections

Health bosses consider cutting IVF and other treatments

Some health services in Basildon and Brentwood are set to be scrapped in a bid to tackle a £14m deficit this year, local NHS bosses say.

Proposed changes include stopping offering IVF to newly referred couples, axing weight loss surgery, cosmetic surgery and withdrawing funding for a number of other treatments.

IVF
Science Photo Library

"We are legally required to balance our books and live within our means, so we have no choice but to take steps to tackle this deficit," the clinical commissioning group for the area said.

Essex Cricket boss hopes for T20 future compromise

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex sport

The chief executive of Essex Cricket Club hopes English Counties can come to a compromise over the future of T20 cricket. 

A city-based franchise competition, which exists in Australia and India, has been talked of with supporters saying it would boost revenue in the game. 

Essex cricket ground
Getty Images

Those against proposals fear it could be the end for smaller first class counties, whose revenue now depends on limited overs cricket. 

Derek Bowden thinks the answer may lie somewhere in between: "We have asked them to go away and not just look at what's good for cricket as a sport, but what's good for cricket financially and good for the development of the game over a 20 or 30 year period," he said.

Weather: Dry this morning, showers moving through this afternoon

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

Things are set to start off mainly dry and windy with sunny spells today, but scattered showers will develop later, some of them turning heavy so it'll be worth having a brolly handy.

Highs today of 22C, that's 72F.

Check the latest forecast for your part of the county with BBC Weather.

Driver reported for overturned lorry onion spill

A driver has been reported for careless driving after a crash in Southend where 25-tonnes of onions spilled onto the road, Essex Police said.

It happened in Priory Crescent last Wednesday morning - a lorry overturned going round a bend. 

It took seven hours to clear them up and to repair the road safety barrier.

Onions
Twitter: @lanesra69

Arrests in Essex after man threatened with machete

A story from the weekend, in case you missed it - two men have been arrested following a police chase which ended up in Essex after a man was threatened with a machete.

Police on road
Twitter: ‏@KENTSPECIALS

Armed response units and a helicopter were involved in the pursuit which started in Sussex, before heading through Kent and finishing on the M25 in our county. 

Two men have been detained on suspicion of various offences including drink-driving and making threats to kill.

Man due in court over footballer leg amputation case

A man is due in court today, charged in connection with a serious collision which led to an Essex estate agent, and non-league footballer, losing both his legs.

Shaun Whiter
David Lee

Shaun Whiter, 27, (pictured), had the amputations following the crash near Newmarket on 1 July.

His friend - Soham Town Rangers player Joey Abbs - was also seriously hurt. 

Jan Adamec, 40, from Shetland Road, Haverhill, has been charged with two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and will appear at Cambridge Magistrates' Court later.

Harwich beach sealed off after suspected grenade found

Part of Harwich beach had to be closed off yesterday after a member of the public found a suspected unexploded hand grenade.

The army's bomb disposal team were called to the scene.

Cordon in Harwich
BBC

The team said it was a dummy device, probably used for training, so it was taken away. 

The cordon was lifted in the early hours of this morning.

Welcome to today's live page for Essex

Jodie Smith

BBC News

Morning - we're going to bring you the latest news, sport and weather for Essex right through the day until 18:00.

We'll start off by bringing you updates on a suspected unexploded hand grenade which was found in Harwich yesterday.

Here's the cordon put in place while the device was investigated by experts.

Cordon in Harwich
BBC