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  1. Harlow man admits Robert Halfon MP Twitter shooting threat
  2. Braintree District Council applies for Great Notley travellers court injunction
  3. Updates on Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

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Severe disruption: M25 Greater London anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J29 for A127 and J28 for A12.

M25 Greater London - Stationary traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J29, A127 (Romford) and J28, A12 (Brook Street Roundabout), because of a broken down lorry and all traffic being temporarily held.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Reece Hall-Johnson

Grimsby Town sign ex-Norwich City defender Reece Hall-Johnson from Braintree Town until the end of the season.

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CCTV image released in Colchester rape investigation

Police investigating a rape in Colchester have released a CCTV image of two men they believe spoke to a woman in the early hours of Sunday, 1 October, just before she was attacked.

The woman, in her 20s, was approached by a man as she walked along Layer Road between 03:07 and 03:30. The man then hit her over the head and sexually assaulted her.

CCTV image of potential witnesses
Essex Police

Det Con Kelly Blackwell said: "This was a really frightening attack in a public place.

"It’s really important we speak to the two men pictured as they could hold some key information.

"These kinds of attacks are really rare and it’s essential we find the person responsible.

"If you’re one of the men in the picture or you recognise them, please get in contact with us."

The woman is being supported by specialist officers.

Crews tackle blaze in Ipswich

Luke Deal

BBC Radio Suffolk

Firefighters were called to an address in Foxhall Road in Ipswich on Sunday afternoon, to a blaze that had spread to a block of flats.

Crews from Ipswich, Woodbridge and Colchester spent just over an hour the fire, which broke out at about 16:45.

We understand no-one was hurt in the fire.

Exterior of Foxhall Road flats
Burnt fence

Call for Canvey Island to have 'more say' in its future

Should Canvey Island have its own local authority at district level?

Some residents, as well as town councillors, say they're fed up with being run by Castle Point Borough Council.

Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independents, said: "They always outvote us on the Island and we feel that's very unfair democratically.

"We would like to petition the Local Government Association and the Boundary Commission to make it more equal, so Canvey councillors and Canvey has a bigger say in its future."

We'll put a call in to Castle Point to get their reaction to the comments.

What do you think? You can share your views with us, via the "Get involved" link at the top of this page.

Possible 'mistaken identity' during armed robbery

A woman in her 20s was confronted by armed robbers in her home in Colchester last week.

The incident happened on Avon Way in Greenstead, when the woman told officers that two men had entered her home with knives and what's believed to be a firearm.

One of the suspects held the victim as the other attempted to take her television, but they left empty-handed after the incident, which happened on Wednesday afternoon.

Detectives say it was a particularly terrifying for the woman to be confronted by armed intruders in the middle of the day, but they also believe it to be a case of mistaken identity.

Severe accident: M11 Essex southbound

BBC News Travel

M11 Essex southbound severe accident, between J9 for A11 Saffron Walden and J8 for A120.

M11 Essex - Slow traffic on M11 southbound between J9 A11 Saffron Walden and J8, A120 (Bishop Stortford), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J10, A505 (Duxford).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: A126 Essex both ways

BBC News Travel

A126 Essex both ways severe accident, between Whitehall Lane and Bridge Road.

A126 Essex - A126 East Thurrock Road in Grays blocked in both directions between the Whitehall Lane junction and the Bridge Road junction, because of a serious accident involving two vehicles.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M25 Essex clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex clockwise severe accident, after J26 for A121.

M25 Essex - One lane closed on M25 clockwise after J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of an accident involving a car.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: A13 Essex eastbound

BBC News Travel

A13 Essex eastbound severe accident, between A176 Nether Mayne and A132 South Mayne.

A13 Essex - A13 in Basildon closed eastbound between Five Bells Interchange and Pitsea Flyover, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Robert Lewis is left concussed in a collision while refereeing Charlton v Doncaster

Adam Williams

BBC Sport

An injured referee and Bolton finally taking three points are among five things you may have missed in the EFL.

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Nick Powell

Wigan go top of League One as two goals in the last six minutes seal a home victory over Southend United.

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Jamie Devitt comes off the bench to score the winner as Carlisle chalk up a fourth away league win of the season at Colchester.

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Terminally ill fashion designer's catwalk dream
Joe Jervis, 22, showcased his work during Chelmsford's Disability Fashion Week.
Sir Teddy Taylor: Funeral held of Conservative MP
Conservative MP Sir Teddy Taylor died aged 80 last month.
statement of one of the victims

Two men are arrested by police investigating alleged historical abuse at a boarding school in Essex.

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Severe disruption: A11 Essex northbound

BBC News Travel

A11 Essex northbound severe disruption, between M11 J9 and A1307 Cambridge Road.

A11 Essex - Slow traffic on A11 Saffron Walden northbound between the M11 J9 junction in Great Chesterford and Four Went Ways in Babraham, because of an earlier vehicle fire. All lanes have been re-opened.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M11 Essex northbound

BBC News Travel

M11 Essex northbound severe accident, between J8 for A120 and J9 for A11 Saffron Walden.

M11 Essex - Queuing traffic on M11 northbound between J8, A120 (Bishop Stortford) and J9 A11 Saffron Walden, because of an accident involving four vehicles earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M25 Greater London clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London clockwise severe disruption, between J25 for A10 and J26 for A121.

M25 Greater London - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of a broken down van.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M25 Essex clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex clockwise severe accident, before J27 for M11 affecting J26 for A121.

M25 Essex - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on M25 clockwise before J27 M11, because of an accident involving three cars. Congestion to J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Dog becomes bereavement support officer at funeral home
An Essex funeral director says bereavement support dog Otis is making a big difference.

Robbery at village post office

A four-figure sum of money has been stolen from a post office in Lawford.

A man entered the Waledgrave Way business at 12:30 yesterday, and demanded money from staff.

He ran behind the counter and pushed a member of staff before grabbing the cash from the till before running out towards Long Road.

The victim was unhurt.

The suspect is described as white, in his mid 20s, about 5ft 5ins (165cm) tall, of slim build and clean shaven.

The post office in Waldegrave Way

Unlicensed use of drone

A man has been given a community resolution for using a drone without a licence.

It happened on Saturday, 12 August when the Tornado steam train came to Kirby Cross.

The man was flying the drone within 50m of other people and property, out of their control.

The 28-year-old, who was also selling the images he had taken in a local shop, was reported on Sunday, 1 October.

A drone in flight
Getty Images
In July, the government announced plans to bring in drone registration

It was the first drone incident Essex Police has dealt with. Along with British Transport Police, they are clamping down on the illegal use of drones.

Network Rail spokeswoman Wendy Welsh said if a train was in collision with a drone, it could cause a serious accident.

"A drone could fly into and damage vital equipment such as overhead wires or pylons, costing thousands to repair and causing hours of delays", she said.

Only our team of highly-trained authorised pilots and specialist approved contractors are permitted to fly drones near the railway... it's just too dangerous for anyone else to do so and you could face a penalty of up to £2500."

Wendy WelshNetwork Rail

Funeral of former MP Sir Teddy Taylor

The funeral of the former Rochford and Southend East Conservative MP Sir Teddy Taylor is to be held in Southend today.

The Scottish born MP died last month, aged 80.

He was a long time advocate of Britain leaving the EU and represented Southend East for a quarter of a century following a by-election in 1980.

The funeral will take place at St Mary's Anglican Church in Prittlewell.

Sir Teddy Taylor

Witness appeal after Maldon betting shop robbery

A four-figure sum of money was taken in a robbery at a betting shop in Maldon yesterday.

Three men, dressed in black and wearing balaclavas, had gone to the bookies on The Street at about 20:00.

Two of them, one armed with a hammer, went inside and demanded the money, before all three left the scene on foot.

No-one was injured.

Essex Police are asking for anyone with information to contact them on 101 or Crimestoppers.

Bounty reps 'monitored by midwives'

Bounty has a contract with hospitals in Essex, paying for access to maternity wards to sell products to new mums.

A spokesman for the Basildon, Broomfield and Southend hospitals says the Bounty reps were monitored by their midwives.

He said the trusts receive a nominal fee per birth, and this money is reinvested directly back into maternity services.

The heads of midwifery agree on the services and products on offer to ensure it all meets the needs of the women and their families. He continues by saying they find the existing Bounty reps "very professional and friendly".

Basildon University Hospital

Colchester Hospital also has a contract with Bounty, and says reps have to ask the ward sister if it is OK to approach women, adding that permission is not given if the baby or mum is unwell and that parents can opt not to meet the rep at all.

Colchester General Hospital

Most mums 'enjoy the Bounty rep visit'

"Bounty reps" have contracts with hospitals across the country, and are allowed to approach new mums after they've given birth with the offer of products, photos and other services.

Katy Pearson, a journalist, experienced the sales pitch after she'd given birth and feels they shouldn't be allowed on maternity wards.

In a statement, Bounty says they've provided the service for over 55 years, providing mums with free packs containing valuable health information, advice from leading charities, product samples and money-off coupons.

A newborn baby boy has his hair washed
Getty Images
A newborn baby has his hair washed for the first time

The statement continues as follows:

"Independent research confirms the vast majority of mums enjoy the Bounty lady visit and free packs. Every mum is offered a pack irrespective of whether she chooses to join Bounty.

"Data is only shared with partners when mum gives permissions and mums can choose to be removed from the database at any time.

"There's a strict Code of Conduct to safeguard privacy and dignity, reviewed regularly with the NHS stakeholders and an independent advisory board."

Concerns over 'sales reps' on maternity wards

A writer and blogger who gave birth to her son at Southend Hospital 18 months ago, says commercial sales reps shouldn't be allowed on maternity wards.

The "Bounty reps" pay for access to hospital wards, to sell new mums products and services.

Katy Pearson experienced the sales pitch after she'd given birth.

She says she assumed that if somebody's walking around the ward unchecked, they're something to do with the hospital.

"They've got this pack, offer to take photos, they're quite persistent... you feel your privacy has been invaded.. you've got a tiny tot, just given birth and you don't need a complete stranger at your bedside," she said.

Newborn baby in yellow jumpsuit sleeps in it's mum's hands
Getty Images
A newborn baby sleeps in its mother's hands

Katy says if the reps were on the hospital's reception, and the onus was on the mums to go to them, it could be a useful service.

They shouldn't be able to just wander up to your bedside... you're at your most vulnerable physically and emotionally at that point and they're just taking advantage for commercial gain. They're not charities, they're doing it to make money."

Katy PearsonWriter and blogger

Severe disruption: M25 Essex clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex clockwise severe disruption, between J27 for M11 and J28 for A12.

M25 Essex - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M25 clockwise between J27 M11 and J28, A12 (Brook Street Roundabout), because of a lorry having a tyre changed.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Ipswich critical burns victim 'set himself on fire'

A 44-year-old man is in a critical condition in hospital after sustaining serious burns during an incident in Ipswich last night.

Police said emergency services were called to an address in Nansen Road at around 23:10 to reports a woman had been assaulted, and a man had then set himself on fire.

The man was initially taken to Ipswich Hospital, but has since been transferred to the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford where he remains in a critical condition.

The woman sustained minor injuries during the incident.

It's believed the two people are known to each other.

Legionella risk leads to Lawford residents being moved

People have been asked to move out of a sheltered housing scheme in Lawford near Manningtree because of a potential risk of legionella at the site.

Water samples have been taken for analysis after routine tests by Tendring District Council showed that hot water at Honeycroft was cooler than it should be, and the cold water was warmer than it should be - providing the conditions in which legionella bacteria can grow.

The bacteria can cause Legionnaire's Disease.

Honeycroft housing scheme
Tendring District Council

The risk involves the main building at Honeycroft - the bungalows are on a different water supply and are not affected.

Temporary council-owned accommodation is being provided for the 12 residents affected by the risk.

Council spokesman Paul Honeywood said the move was a "precautionary measure" and stressed that legionella has not been found, and no-one has become ill.

We are talking about vulnerable members of the community who need to be properly protected and we feel we need to take these steps now, rather than wait for the test results to come back."`

Cllr Paul HoneywoodTendring District Council

'Stressed' mature moggy pretty 'purrfect' after RSPCA makeover

Helen Burchell

BBC News

An elderly cat who "really wasn’t looking her best" when she was first rescued by the RSPCA has undergone an "amazing transformation" after treatment from the charity's vets - and beauty parlour.

Mature moggy Rosie, 12, had been living in a menagerie including owls, tortoises and dogs at her home in Brightlingsea - and it had all been a bit too much for her.

Rosie the cat
Rosie wasn't so pretty when she arrived...

An untreated skin condition had left her with red-raw, itchy skin and patchy fur which the charity believes had worsened because of the "severe stress" she was suffering.

But, there's nothing quite like four months' of steroids and antibiotics to help a forlorn feline look and feel her best, and just take a look at the difference:

Rosie the cat
...Rosie's pretty "purrfect" now

"She was shy and uncomfortable when she was found, but now she’s very friendly and loves a fuss," says Deborah Satchell, centre manager at the RSPCA's Danaher centre at Wethersfield near Braintree, which is Rosie's temporary home.

"She’s a lovely older lady that needs lots of cuddles." [Don't all of us older ladies?]

"She’s so easy going and likes a nice comfy bed," Ms Satchell adds.

Rosie is now looking for a new home and would prefer a quiet place - and, although she may need a little bit of time to settle in, she will soon make a lovely companion, the charity says.

Rosie - before and after treatment

Rosie's had all the treatment she needs for now, but does require a special diet to maintain her coat's good condition, and keep this pretty pussycat in the pink.

Stansted Airport terminal

More than 2.45 million passengers travel through the airport, breaking a record set 10 years ago.

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