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Summary

  1. Updates for Friday, 10 March, 2017
  2. Leigh food blogger wins libel case against Apprentice contestant
  3. Motorist's car was crushed in 'act of God'
  4. Head teachers write to MPs over schools funding
  5. Defective train track causes delays

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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John 'Goldfinger' Palmer: Paramedics' concerns ignored

A paramedic called to treat a notorious criminal gunned down in his garden in Essex raised doubts about the cause of his fatal injuries, a report said.

John "Goldfinger" Palmer, who previously ran a jewellery business in Bristol and lived in Bath, was initially thought to have died from natural causes in 2015. It took a week to establish he had been shot six times.

A case review revealed a paramedic told police he doubted the conman's wounds were from recent keyhole chest surgery.

But police officers at the scene were "not concerned", the report said.

John 'Goldfinger' Palmer
PA

Severe disruption: M25 Essex clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex clockwise severe disruption, at J31 for A1306 affecting J29 for A127.

M25 Essex - Queuing traffic for five miles on M25 QE2 Bridge clockwise at J31, A1306 (West Thurrock), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. Travel time is about 20 minutes. Congestion to J29, A127 (Romford).

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

Insurance wrangle over wall collapse during Storm Doris
The bricks came down during last month's Storm Doris.

Severe disruption: M11 Essex southbound

BBC News Travel

M11 Essex southbound severe disruption, between J8 for A120 and J7 for A414.

M11 Essex - Lane closed and slow traffic on M11 southbound between J8, A120 (Bishops Stortford) in Birchanger and J7, A414 (Harlow) in Hastingwood, because of a broken down vehicle.

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, at J28 for A1023 Brook Street.

M25 Greater London - One lane closed and slow traffic on M25 clockwise at J28, A1023 (Brook Street Roundabout), because of a broken down lorry.

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

Severe disruption: M11 Essex southbound

BBC News Travel

M11 Essex southbound severe disruption, between J8 for A120 and J7 for A414.

M11 Essex - One lane closed on M11 southbound between J8, A120 (Bishops Stortford) and J7, A414 (Harlow), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: A414 Essex westbound

BBC News Travel

A414 Essex westbound severe accident, between Canes Lane and Hastingwood Road.

A414 Essex - A414 Canes Lane in Hastingwood closed westbound between the Canes Lane junction and the Hastingwood Road junction, because of a multi-vehicle accident.

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

National League

Solihull hit back from three goals down inside the first 25 minutes to earn an incredible draw against Braintree.

Read more
Football

Billy Bodin and Rory Gaffney score the goals as Bristol Rovers beat Southend to boost their League One play-off hopes.

Read more
Football

Portsmouth boost their hopes of automatic promotion from League Two with an impressive win at play-off chasers Colchester.

Read more
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Strange red cards, a penalty hero and Burton breaking new ground - BBC Sport rounds up Saturday's Football League action.

Read more

Severe disruption: M11 Essex northbound

BBC News Travel

M11 Essex northbound severe disruption, between J6 for M25 and J7 for A414.

M11 Essex - One lane closed on M11 northbound between J6 M25 and J7, A414 (Harlow), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J27 for M11 and J26 for A121.

M25 Essex - One lane closed on M25 anticlockwise between J27 M11 and J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: A11 Cambridgeshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A11 Cambridgeshire southbound severe disruption, between A1307 Cambridge Road and M11 J9.

A11 Cambridgeshire - A11 closed southbound between Four Went Ways in Babraham and the M11 J9 junction in Great Chesterford, because of roadworks.

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

Severe accident: A127 Essex southbound

BBC News Travel

A127 Essex southbound severe accident, between Priory Crescent and B1015 West Street.

A127 Essex - A127 Victoria Avenue in Southend-On-Sea closed and queuing traffic southbound between the Priory Crescent junction and the B1015 West Street junction, because of an accident.

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

Our live coverage from across the day

Kate Scotter

BBC News

Farewell from the BBC Essex Local Live team for this week. 

We'll be back again on Monday with all your news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00.

Before we go, here's a quick recap of some of the stories we've covered today:

  • A Leigh food blogger wins £24,000 in libel case against a Daily Mail columnist
  • Motorist's car was crushed in an "act of God", insurers say
  • Money kept from a WW2 air disaster fund is to be spent 77 years on

Scroll down for more... and have a great weekend.

A120 campaign wins support from The U's

A football club has given its backing a campaign to build a new A120 dual carriageway.

The proposed options
Essex County Council

The  consultation  on the route options for the A120 between Braintree and the A12 closes on Tuesday.

There are five proposed options.

The campaign has won support from  Colchester United 's head coach John McGreal and current captain Chris Porter. 

Matt Hudson, the club's media manager, said: "We were pleased to be able to back the campaign. 

"The club has a great location adjacent to the A12, which has helped us build a strong business over the last nine years, and efforts to improve other parts of the road infrastructure can only be of benefit to the stadium, our business visitors and match-day supporters."

Evening weather update: Foggy tonight, bright tomorrow

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It will be a largely cloudy night with some patchy mist, fog and drizzle. It will also be very mild, with lows of 7C (45F).

Weather forecast
BBC

Any mist and fog will clear on Saturday morning and, after a mainly cloudy start, we should see some brightness and sunshine developing.

In the best of any sunshine, temperatures could climb as high as 18C (64F).

There'll be a light wind between the south-west and south-east.

Find the latest weather where you live on the  BBC Weather website .

Man in 80s dies in two-vehicle crash

A man in his 80s has died after two cars crashed in Little Easton near Stansted Airport.

The collision between a Ford Fiesta and a stationary Volkswagen Golf happened just before 10:50 on the B184, near Woodside Way. 

Essex Police, ambulance crews and an air ambulance attended. 

The driver of the Fiesta, from Thaxted, was treated by paramedics, but died at the scene.

The road was closed while forensic examinations took place but it is due to re-open this afternoon. 

Bridges 'not fit' for heaviest lorries

Essex County Council has 160 bridges which are not suitable for heavy vehicles, a study has found.

Bridge at Walton on the Naze
Google

The RAC Foundation discovered 2,512 council-maintained bridges in the UK  are not suitable for 44 tonne vehicles .

Essex has the third highest number  of sub-standard bridges behind Devon County Council (249) and Somerset (210).

Councils currently have plans to repair just 416 of them nationally, blaming a shortage of funds and a lack of skills. 

RAC Foundation director, Steve Gooding, said: "In the face of growing traffic volumes and ageing infrastructure the danger is that without an adequate long-term funding settlement we will see more rather than fewer bridges with weight restrictions, with the backlog bill getting bigger all the time."  

Our picture shows the bridge over the railway between Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze.

Blogger's joy at libel case win

A blogger has taken to social media to express her joy at winning a long-fought libel case.

Jack Monroe, from Leigh-on-Sea, has  won £24,000 in damages against Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins  after a row on Twitter. 

Jack Monroe
PA

After the High Court ruling, Ms Monroe said on Twitter: "It's taken 21 months but today the High Court ruled that Hopkins statements to/about me were defamatory.

"I sued her for libel, and I won."

The case arose after Twitter users highlighted the daubing of a London memorial to the women of World War Two with profanities directed at the Conservative Party during an anti-austerity demonstration.  

Ms Monroe said two tweets posted by Hopkins "defamed" her.

Jonathan Price, for Hopkins, said Ms Monroe's Twitter handle had been used "mistakenly". 

View more on twitter

Blogger wins £24k damages over Apprentice star's Twitter libel

A food blogger has won £24,000 damages in a libel case against Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins.

Katie Hopkins
PA

As we reported earlier, Jack Monroe, from Leigh-on-Sea, sued Hopkins over two war memorial tweets she said caused "serious harm" to her reputation.

Hopkins, who rose to prominence as a contestant on the BBC's The Apprentice show, posted a message in May 2015 asking if Ms Monroe had "scrawled on any memorials recently".

Ms Monroe said that meant she had either vandalised a war memorial or "condoned or approved" of it.

The case arose after Twitter users highlighted the daubing of a London memorial to the women of World War Two with profanities directed at the Conservative Party during an anti-austerity demonstration.  

Jonathan Price, for Hopkins, told the High Court judge her case was "this relatively trivial dispute arose and was resolved on Twitter in a period of several hours".  

Air disaster fund to be spent 77 years on

Returning to our story about a disaster fund, set up following the first World War Two civilian deaths on the British mainland, finally being spent ...

Crash site in Clacton on 30 April
Tendring District Council

The money was collected after a German Heinkel aircraft crashed in Victoria Road, Clacton, on 30 April, 1940.

The fund continued to help residents affected by enemy raids, but was banked and forgotten about following the war.

Tendring District Council  has now decided to use the remaining £1,700 on improvements to a memorial site.

Michael Talbot, the council's cabinet member for environment, said: "It is our aim to have something ready for the 77th anniversary of the Heinkel coming down on 30 April, although we may have to add the memorial stone at a later date."

A bench currently at the memorial site
Tendring District Council

It all started so brightly, but clouds are moving in

Cloud will increase this afternoon. Most places will stay dry in Essex, but there may be a spot of drizzle over the hills.

Brighter spells are possible in the west later, but it'll be cloudy in the east. Maximum temperature 11C (52F). For more precise details for where you are, go to BBC Weather

Colchester sunrise
BBC

Many thanks to BBC Weather Watcher  North Essex Hammer for sending this photo of the sunrise over Colchester this morning. 

Location, Location, Location: Police station to be sold

Waltham Abbey police station is to be put up for sale as Essex Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex  cut costs.The front counter of the station on Sun Street was closed to the public in November 2011. The police station itself later closed in September 2016.It is one of several to be sold as the force's estate is reduced from 80 to 30 buildings.

The estate costs £10m a year in running costs, but the force said the buildings would require £30m of maintenance work to bring them up to standard. 

Acting Ch Insp Lewis Basford, district commander for Brentwood and Epping Forest, said: "Whilst I understand people are attached to their police stations, as they are an important part of the community, effective policing is not reliant on buildings as it is my officers that catch criminals, prevent and detect crime and support victims."

View more on twitter

Burglar, who brandished a meat cleaver and assaulted officer, is jailed

A 23-year-old burglar who brandished a meat cleaver and assaulted a police officer has been jailed for 10 years. 

James Preston, from Bardfield Road, Colchester was appearing at Ipswich Crown Court where he had already admitted a number of burglary offences and possession of bladed weapon, after incidents just up the A12 in Suffolk.

James Preston
Suffolk Police

Preston admitted a burglary in East Mill Green, Bentley, and an attempted burglary at a property in Capel Road, Bentley, all during a crime spree on 1 February.

It was whilst the Capel Road burglary was in progress that officers were called, and they managed to detain him after he "fled the scene on foot" towards the A12.

The defendant also admitted an aggravated burglary with intent at an address in Pound Lane, Capel St Mary, possessing a meat cleaver, and assaulting a police officer.

Chief executive praises hospitals for tobacco-free policy

Two hospitals in East Anglia have been praised for becoming smoke-free.

No smoking sign at Ipswich Hospital
BBC

In his  blog , Duncan Selbie, the chief executive of Public Health England , said lessons are to be learned from Ipswich and Colchester hospitals.

The two trusts officially became tobacco-free on Wednesday.

Mr Selbie said: "They are based in two of the largest towns in East Anglia, making them the main port of call for thousands of people, both as a workplace and for treatment.

"The decision to take the final step and go tobacco-free has not been taken lightly but with joint chief executive Nick Hulme keen to improve the health of his staff, patients and anyone who visits the sites, this was an important step forward in combating the detrimental effect of smoking on the population, community and the NHS."

£43,000 model patient will 'vastly improve care'

A hospital has bought a £42,725 hi-tech manikin to help staff improve their skills.

Dr Alexander Philip and Leonie Lowe with the manikin SimMan
Colchester Hospital University

Colchester General Hospital 's new patient simulator can make noises when in pain, bleed, shed tears, has blood pressure that can rise or fall and its lips turn blue when deprived of oxygen.

Senior doctor Andrew Eldridge said the manikin, known as a SimMan, was "much more than a lump of plastic".  

He said: "What’s important is what’s inside it and the supporting computer technology which allows us to rehearse both common clinical scenarios and critical incidents to improve real patient outcomes.

"We’ve only just started using SimMan but I genuinely believe it gives us the potential to vastly improve the care we deliver."

Colchester Catalyst Charity  provided £10,000 of the cost with the remaining £32,725 coming from the Postgraduate Medical Centre Charitable Trust Fund at Colchester General Hospital.

Forgotten air disaster fund was originally worth £243

A fund, which was forgotten about after World War Two, was re-discovered during an office move.

Heinkel 111 bomber
PA

As we've been reporting , a fund set up after a German Heinkel aircraft crashed in Clacton in 1940 is finally going to be spent.

After 1946, the fund was put into a Post Office Saving Bank Account, where it remains to this day. 

The amount of £243, 13 shillings and six pence held in the account in 1950 is now worth around £1,700. 

The account documents were discovered in Clacton Town Hall during an office move four years ago.

Together with a £10,000 contribution from Tendring District Council, it will be used to improve landscaping around an existing memorial bench.

The ledge for the fund found during an office move
Tendring District Council

'Conservative plant' MP denies knighthood lobby against Farage

UKIP's only MP has denied he lobbied against a knighthood for the party's former leader Nigel Farage.

Douglas Carswell
PA

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme  earlier this month, Mr Farage said he "doesn't particularly" want a knighthood.

He denied his public feud with Clacton's UKIP MP Douglas Carswell had anything to do with him not being granted a title.  

But he added: "Whether I would have got one or not I’ve no idea but the point is, he [Douglas Carswell] will do anything he can to damage leading figures in the party. He is working for the Conservatives, it’s plain for all to see.” 

Speaking at the opening of UKIP's new office in Pontypool in Wales, Mr Carswell said: "I didn't express a view at all. It's not for me to make these [calls]." 

Judge to rule on writer's damages claim

A writer, who is claiming damages from controversial newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins, finds out the result of her High Court action today.

Katie Hopkins
PA

Jack Monroe, a food blogger from Leigh-on-Sea, sued Ms Hopkins (pictured) over tweets she said caused "serious harm" to her reputation. 

The 28-year-old has asked a judge in London to find that she was defamed by the former contestant on The Apprentice. 

Following a recent hearing, Mr Justice Mark Warby is due to announce his findings. 

Defective train track causes disruption

Rail passengers in on the East Anglian mainline face delays due to a defective track between Stratford and Liverpool Street in east London.

Greater Anglia said services may be cancelled or delayed by up to 20 minutes.

It said the disruption is expected to last until the end of the day. 

View more on twitter

Head teachers call on MPs to support schools

Head teachers are calling on the county's MPs to intervene and lobby the Chancellor of the Exchequer over schools funding.

Shenfield High School
Google

It comes after Shenfield High's head criticised one of the state comprehensive's most famous former pupils, Chancellor Philip Hammond, for neglecting schools like the one he went to .

BBC Essex political reporter Simon Dedman has seen letters being sent to MPs.

He said: "I'm told every secondary school in Essex will send one calling on MPs to step up and end what they describe as schools having to make far-reaching cuts to services which are at breaking point. 

"School heads have told me it's getting to the point where curriculums could get scaled back."

The government has said it is investing in education so all pupils prosper.