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  1. Killer Ayres handed whole-life tariff for murdering Canvey Island mother
  2. Police issue warning after bogus officers steal vans on M11 and M25
  3. Essex Police stops two drivers playing Pokemon Go
  4. Colchester MP considers Britain's Got Talent audition
  5. Updates on Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

That's it for BBC Essex Live today.

Here are the top stories we've covered: 

  • A man has been handed a whole-life tariff for the murder of Kelly Pearce on Canvey Island last year
  • Two vans have been stolen after drivers were pulled over by men pretending to be police officers on the M25 and M11
  • Two drivers have been stopped after they were spotted playing Pokemon Go at the wheel in Essex last week
  • Colchester MP Will Quince has agreed to audition for Britain's Got Talent if £1,000 is raised for local charities

Join us again from 08:00 on Wednesday.

Weather: Rain overnight, gradually clearing Wednesday

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

A cloudy but mostly dry evening with only limited bright or sunny spells. Then more widespread - but mostly light - rain and drizzle will spread east around dawn. It will feel humid, too. 

Minimum temperature: 17C (63F).

East of England

Some light rain is likely at first tomorrow, before gradually easing away by midday. Highs of 21C (70F).

Get your local forecast from BBC Weather.

One from the vaults: Churchill wins Woodford 71 years ago

Town clerk Trend Binks holds up a sign declaring the results of the poll in the Woodford constituency in Essex, 26 July 1945.

Churchill wins constituency
Getty Images

The result gave an overwhelming victory to Winston Churchill (1874-1965), but his party lost the General Election to Labour.

The Essex man who claims to have suffered from 'bore out'

BBC News Magazine

Is there such thing as "bore out"? It's boredom's equivalent of burnout.

Well, one man who certainly thinks so is Steve Coster from Leigh-on-Sea. He quit his £40,000-a-year job as an insurance broker as it was so dull that, he says, it made him depressed. 

Steve Coster
Steve Coster

His admission comes as a Frenchman tries to sue his former employer for being "killed professionally through boredom" as an executive in a perfume business.

Mr Coster, who has since retrained as an acupuncturist, said: "I remember clearly one morning I woke up and just couldn't get out of bed. I just couldn't face it. I phoned up my boss and said, 'I'm not coming in.'

"She asked why, and I said, 'I just can't.' I didn't even bother to make up an excuse."

Read more here.

Olly Murs pays to get Coggeshall Town's showers fixed

Pop star Olly Murs has paid to have the showers at a non-league football club fixed, after declaring them "dreadful" to use.

Olly Murs

The Essex singer has enjoyed a successful career in the music industry but said football was his first love.

He has played for Coggeshall Town but was not impressed by the facilities.

"I said 'Listen, let me put some money in and get it sorted,'" he said. "I rang up my plumber and said 'Can you sort the showers out?' and he has." 

Read the full story here.

'Review of procedures needed' after Kelly Pearce murder, says PCC

The police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Essex says procedures need to be reviewed after a convicted killer murdered a Canvey Island mother.

Roger Hirst

Anthony Ayres, 49, was on licence when he killed Kelly Pearce, 36, following his release from prison for murder in 2012. 

"When Ayres was previously found guilty of murder in 1994, it was reported that the judge described him as representing a serious danger to women," PCC Roger Hirst said. 

"We need to understand why the monitoring arrangements put in place in this case were ineffective," he added.

'Fake policemen' wearing body armour to deceive victims

Essex Police says suspects purporting to be police officers to steal vans on Essex motorways are even wearing body armour to deceive victims. 

In a direct response to these incidents occurring a direction has been given to our officers that they should not, unless in emergency circumstances, be in an unmarked car and attempt to stop a driver."

Det Ch Insp Stuart SmithKent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate

Anybody who is signalled to stop by someone in an unmarked car is asked to call 999 immediately.

Vans pulled over and stolen by 'fake policemen' on Essex motorways

Two vans have been stolen after drivers were pulled over by men pretending to be police officers on the M25 and M11.


In the first incident, on Saturday, three men, one of whom was carrying a gun, in a silver Ford Mondeo equipped with blue flashing lights stopped a vehicle on the M11. Two of the men got into the van before both vehicles drove off.

The second incident happened in similar circumstances between J28 and J27 on the anti-clockwise M25 on Monday afternoon. 

Essex Police is now warning motorists not to pull over if requested to do so by anything other than a marked police vehicle.  

More details on Pokemon Go drivers caught playing behind the wheel

Earlier we told you that two drivers had been caught behind the wheel playing Pokemon Go by Essex Police last week. 

The force has sent us some more details on those incidents: 

Someone playing Pokemon Go
  • On Thursday, a 27-year-old London man was spotted playing the game while driving on the Lakeside Retail Park, Thurrock. He was given a ticket and could have points added to his licence.
  • Then, on Friday during a road policing operation, a black Mini was spotted driving at 23:00 with no lights on in Cranes Farm Road, Basildon. A girls and three boys, all in their late teens, told officers they were looking for "Pokestops" when pulled over.

Southend take on Newcastle for the first time since 1993

So Blues fans, do you reckon your team is in with a chance of beating Newcastle tonight at Roots Hall? 

The last time the club met was in January 1993, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Southend's record against Newcastle

Essex Police uses lie detectors to help stop convicted sex offenders reoffending

Essex Police has today announced it is only one of four forces in the UK using polygraph tests - so-called lie detectors - to stop convicted sex offenders reoffending. 

Essex Police

The force says they are used alongside a "range of tools and tactics" to help assess whether or not somebody is likely to repeat a similar crime.

Det Ch Insp Jim Sandford said: "We have seen some participants tell us about reoffending during the pre-test interview and others make admissions after undergoing the polygraph."

In the news...

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

If you're just joining, here are the top stories for Essex Live:

  • Twice-convicted killer Anthony Ayres has been handed a whole-life tariff after he was found guilty of murder Kelly Pearce on Canvey last year
  • Two drivers have been stopped after being spotted playing Pokemon Go at the wheel in Essex last week
  • Rafa Benitez and his Newcastle United squad have landed at Southend Airport ahead of their pre-season friendly at Roots Hall tonight

Anthony Ayres verdict and sentencing summary...

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Here's what we've heard from Chelmsford Crown Court today:

  • Anthony Ayres has been convicted of murdering Kelly Pearce, 36, on Canvey Island in November last year
  • Ayres, 49, of Fairlop Avenue, who has a previous murder conviction, was handed a whole-life tariff, meaning he'll never be released from prison
  • Ms Pearce's mother, Lynn Wallings, said: "Since her death, I find it hard to smile or laugh or live with any sense of happiness"

Weather: Turning cloudy this afternoon

BBC Weather

Cloud will thicken through this afternoon allowing one or two showers to develop, but most will stay dry. 

Maximum temperature: 23C (73F).

Weather map for Essex

Get the latest lunchtime forecast for your area from BBC Weather.

Rafa Benitez and Newcastle squad arrive at Southend Airport

Ayres' whole-life tariff the 'right' decision, says Kelly Pearce's mother

Kelly Pearce's mother says the decision to never release Anthony Ayres from prison is the "right one". 

Kelly Pearce
Essex Police

Kelly will be missed by her mum Lynn, stepfather Richard, son Josh, sister Lisa and all her family. We know nothing can bring her back. The verdict today was the right one; at least now Kelly can rest in peace knowing that Anthony Ayres will be sent to prison for the rest of his life."

Lynn WallingsKelly Pearce's mother

Ayres a 'dangerous individual' who inflicted 'horrendous injuries' to Kelly Pearce

Ayres, who lived on Canvey, was arrested in Southend the day after he murdered Kelly Pearce on 19 November.

Det Insp Steve Ellis, who was the senior investigating officer, said: "Ayres is a dangerous individual who brutally attacked Miss Pearce, inflicting horrendous injuries. 

Anthony Ayres
Essex Police

"I would like to thank the family for their patience as we sought to locate Ayres and successfully bring him to justice.

"While the verdict cannot bring Kelly back, I hope this brings them a form of closure to their tragic loss.”  

Kelly Pearce's mother 'suffers nightmares' following murder

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

A statement from Kelly Pearce's mother has been released to the media. 

In it, Lynn Wallings says: "The past eight months have been the hardest of our lives. You read about murders in the papers, and see television programmes and documentaries, but at no point do you ever think it'll happen to your family.

"Since her death, I find it hard to smile or laugh or live with any sense of happiness. 

"Me and partner Richard suffer with nightmares and sleepless nights regularly. We suffer with anxiety and fear of how cruel the world can be," she said. 

Anthony Ayres gets whole-life tariff for Kelly Pearce murder

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

Judge Maura McGown has handed Ayres a whole-life tariff after he was found guilty of murdering Kelly Pearce a shortwhile ago, meaning he will never be released from prison. 

Fairlop Avenue

The judge told Chelmsford Crown Court: "You set about an attack of extreme brutality bordering on sadism.

"Kelly's life was blighted by drugs in recent years, but we heard she was fun, kind and with a warm-hearted personality". 

Ayres 'showed no emotion' as guilty verdict read out in court

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

Ayres showed no emotion as a jury unanimously found him guilty of murdering Kelly Pearce at Chelmsford Crown Court this afternoon.

Ms Pearce's mother Lynn Wallings gasped as the verdict was read out. 

Anthony Ayres guilty of 'frenzied' Kelly Pearce murder

Anthony Ayres has been found guilty of what prosecutors called the "frenzied" murder of Kelly Pearce on Canvey Island last year.

Kelly Pearce
Essex Police

The 36-year-old was found in a flat in Fairlop Avenue on 19 November. She died later in hospital.

Ayres, 49, of Fairlop Avenue in Canvey, denied murder - but has been convicted by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court a short while ago. 

BreakingAnthony Ayres found guilty of murdering Kelly Pearce

Anthony Ayres has been found guilty of murdering Kelly Pearce on Canvey Island by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court.

More to follow. 

More than 5,000 tickets sold for Southend United v Newcastle tonight

More than 5,000 football fans will descend on Southend later as the Shrimpers take on Rafa Benitez's Newcastle in a pre-season friendly. 

The club has told us so far it has sold 4,560 home tickets and 653 away seats.

The Championship side tweeted a little while ago they were flying down to Southend - a far cry from the five-hour coach journey...

View more on twitter

If you're heading down to Roots Hall tonight we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook or email.

House 'significantly damaged' in Tilbury barbecue fire

A house has been "significantly damaged" after a barbecue became out-of-control in Tilbury yesterday afternoon.

Map of Grays

The blaze spread to bushes, and then engulfed a car and the property in St Chad's Road, the fire service said. 

The vehicle is said to have been completely destroyed by the time the fire was put out at about 18:15.

A handy guide to hunting Pokemon in Southend

Back to the subject of Pokemon Go...

A handy guide has been put together to help those travelling down to Southend to catch 'em all. 

Pokestops in Southend

The seaside town is home to some rare digital monsters, apparently. 

Anyway, it's been put together by Love Southend, and you can find it here. Happy hunting.

A nice morning across Essex

BBC Weather Watchers

Great Chesterford

Your thoughts on the drivers caught playing Pokemon Go

Thanks to everybody getting in touch on Facebook about the two drivers pulled over by Essex Police for playing Pokemon Go behind the wheel. 

Pokemon Go Facebook comments

Jackie wrote: "Showing my age here but l can't understand why adults are doing this. Children yes, and l suppose the young adults who are doing it are the first generation to grow up having had a virtual childhood."

Penny said: "Yesterday two cars came around the corners on our side of the road and one car was driving straight towards us on our side of the road. Another car went straight through the red lights. All this happened on a short run from Shoebury to Southend. I don't know what they were doing but all of them seemed to be on their phones."

Stacey wrote: "This terrifies me. There's no hope for the future."

Candle causes Clacton bathroom fire

A man has been injured after a candle set fire to a bathroom in Clacton earlier this morning. 

Langdale Drive

The blaze, which is believed to have been started accidentally, happened in the first floor of the property in Langdale Drive at about 00:50. 

The county's fire service says a man suffered smoke inhalation and was left in the care of paramedics. It's advising people to take care when using candles, including trimming the wick.

Has the MP for Colchester got talent?

Could Colchester MP Will Quince be the next Paul Potts? 

Well, the Conservative has agreed to go on the ITV show if £1,000 is raised for local charities.

Getty Images

"A constituent tweeted 'If you enter Britain's Got Talent I'll put £250 to a local charity of your choice.' I jokingly said 'Make it £1,000 and then we've got a deal.' 

"He has now set up a crowdfunding page and it looks like he's going to do it - so I think I'm going to have to put my money where my mouth is". 

Here's Mr Quince singing for us back in January - what do you think? Buzzers ready...

Colchester MP performs song from Les Miserables

Weather: Bright spells with the chance of showers

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

This morning will start mainly dry with bright and sunny spells. Cloud will thicken into the afternoon allowing one or two showers to develop. 

Maximum temperature: 23C (73F).

Kate Kinsella has the outlook for the East of England on Tuesday, 26 July 2016.

Get your local forecast from BBC Weather.

Pokemon Go is a 'real distraction' for drivers

Essex Police says that playing Pokemon Go while driving is "highly dangerous". 

Adam Pipe
Essex Police

In-car distraction continues to be a major problem for us, and we know at the moment a significant number of road accidents are because of in-car distractions."

Adam PipeCasualty reduction manager for Essex Police

Essex Police pull over two drivers playing Pokemon Go in two days

It's the new craze that's not only swept the nation but the whole world. 

But Essex Police has revealed today that in the last week it has stopped two drivers playing Pokemon Go while behind the wheel. 

Pokemon Go

The first was on Thursday when a driver was caught driving at 20mph on a busy road in Grays playing the game, the second happened in the Basildon area on Friday night. 

If you've been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, here's all you need to know about Pokemon Go.

Welcome to Essex Live

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

In the words of Bob Marley, the sun is shining and the weather is sweet.

Pokemon Go

Our top story this morning: Essex Police has revealed it has dealt with two drivers in the last week playing the game Pokemon Go while behind the wheel.

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