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  1. Updates for Friday, 24 March, 2017
  2. Murder inquiry arrest as man dies two days after brain injury
  3. Appeal over missing boy of 13 from Frinton
  4. Essex's McFly star pops into school for Comic Relief
  5. Refuse collectors find snakes in rubbish in Chelmsford
  6. Planning inspector says 350 can be built in Braintree

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Harlow New Town

It was one of the UK's first post-war towns and credited as having the first modern high-rise flats.

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Essex Live signing off

Kate Scotter

BBC News

Goodbye from us here for another week, join us again from 08:00 on Monday.

Before we go, here's a quick look at some of the stories you can scroll down to:

  • A murder inquiry is launched after man dies two days after a brain injury
  • Council says there is a "ticking time bomb" of child obesity in Essex
  • A restaurateur is accused of attacking a woman with a stiletto

Have a great weekend. Don't forget it's Mother's Day and the clocks go forward.

Weather: Chance of frost tonight, but sunshine tomorrow

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It will be a dry night with mainly clear skies and possibly a few fog patches. 

There could be a touch of frost in sheltered spots, with a low of 2C (36F).


After a chilly start, Saturday should be fine and dry with long spells of sunshine. 

There'll be a light to moderate north-easterly wind and inland temperatures could reach about 14C (57F).

There's more at BBC Weather .

Planning inspector quashes 350 homes decision

A planning inspector has quashed a decision to refuse planning permission for 350 new homes.

          The houses are planned for a greenfield site off Western Road

Braintree District Council previously rejected Gladman Developments' proposals for land off Western Road in Silver End, near Witham.

It said the development, which includes a children's play area and open space, would pose an "unjustified intrusion" into the countryside and would be "harmful to the rural setting of the village".

In his  report , government inspector David Prentis said any "moderate harm" caused to the landscape would be outweighed by the "benefits" of new housing, affordable homes and the play area. 

Braintree District Council said it was "disappointed" with the decision. 

Future of derelict Victorian village hall looking brighter

Nic Rigby

BBC News

The future of a derelict 19th Century church hall could be secured by local people after Brentwood Borough Council pledged to try and bring it back to life.

Leader of the Brentwood council Louise McKinlay
Brentwood Council

Herongate Church Hall, which was later used as the village hall for many years, has fallen into a dilapidated state.

The council is the custodian trustee of the building and is looking at the options for it with the local parish council, including bidding for lottery money.

Brentwood council leader Louise McKinlay (pictured in front of the hall) said: "We have been approached by an interested party that wishes to see the hall rejuvenated. 

"This is clearly an opportunity to start to seriously look at what the hall means to residents, and how they would like to see it used in future.

"The Hall could be a special gem in the heart of Herongate."

The Charity Commission has already indicated it is happy to appoint the borough council as sole trustee, and council officers will now research and report on the various options.

'Tired' rail worker nearly hit by train

Sue Paz

BBC News

A "tired" rail worker from Essex, who had been sleeping in his car to avoid a commute, was narrowly missed by a train while working on a track, a report has found.

Rail near miss
Rail Accident Investigation Branch

It happened near Shawford station, Hampshire, last June, when the train was travelling at 85 mph (137 km/h).

The accident report said the worker became distracted while on the line.

It said his alertness and decision-making were likely to have affected after sleeping in his car for a week to avoid a daily commute from Essex.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the worker was uninjured but had been left "badly shaken".  

McFly star visits school that's squeezed a year into a day for Comic Relief

McFly drummer Harry Judd called in to share in a challenge devised by pupils at St Gregory's Primary School in Sudbury for Red Nose Day.

They decided to cram their favourite bits of the year into one day - so they've been celebrating Easter, sports day and fitted in a Christmas lunch too.

Harry Judd with pupils from St Gregory's primary school

Harry, who was a prep school pupil at the private  Old Buckenham Hall  near Lavenham and Dame Bradbury's in Saffron Walden, embraced the festive theme and explained that the  website Pinterest  had a competition for him to come to a school and surprise everyone, and St Gregory's won: "We did a little bit of Let It Snow and I played along on the drums.

"It's a happy time and I'm happy to be here."

Gaffer's only disappointment is lack of new stadium

BBC Sport

The Southend United manager Phil Brown says the only disappointment of his time at the club is they're not yet in a new stadium. 

The Southend United manager Phil Brown
Getty Images

Tomorrow's League One match at AFC Wimbledon marks four years in charge for Brown .  

Severe accident: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe accident, between J30 for A13 Lakeside and J29 for A127.

M25 Essex - Stationary traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J30, A13 (Lakeside) and J29, A127 (Romford), because of an accident involving lorry and a car and a rolling road-block.

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

To all you mums out there


With Mother's Day coming up on Sunday, let Ironman athlete Jon Alexander tell you the story of his mum, Sue, and how she has always been his inspiration....

Ironman is now his mum's biggest fan

You can find out how to get into triathlon with our Get Inspired guide.

Alastair Cook

Former England Test captain Alastair Cook is available for Essex's three opening County Championship games of the season.

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Donkey celebrates play in Harlow

Nic Rigby

BBC News

To celebrate Harlow's 70th birthday we'll be posting a number of photographs from the town's past.

Here's a picture of the town's sculpture Donkey by Willi Soukop, unveiled in Harlow in 1955. It is sited at Pitmans Field, off Monkswick Road. 

Donkey by Willi Soukop
Historic England

The Grade II-listed artwork has been regularly sat on by children through the years and was designed to encourage children to explore art through play.

A number of events are planned over the weekend and further details are on the council's  website.

Colchester United check Garvan's fitness

BBC Sport

Colchester United will check on the fitness of Owen Garvan (pictured) before confirming their squad for tomorrow's League Two match at home to Luton .

Owen Garvan
Getty Images

The midfielder's been carrying a knee injury. 

Defender Richard Brindley's pushing for a start after returning to action during the 2-0 defeat at Crewe last weekend.  

Harlow New Town celebrates 70 years

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Harlow is celebrating its 70th birthday as a New Town over the weekend, so we'll be publishing a few pictures illustrating the history of the town to celebrate it.

We'll start with the two photos of the town's main shopping centre in the late 1950s. 

Main Harlow shopping centre 1958
Getty Images
Stow shopping centre
Getty Images

A number of events are planned over the weekend and further details are on the council's  website.

Harlow investment set to create 500 jobs

Nic Rigby

BBC News

About 500 jobs are due to be created in Harlow after Essex County Council announced it was investing £2.5m in a new medical technology centre.

Harlow Enterprise Zone

The money will go toward Anglia Ruskin University ’s £5m new MedTech Innovation Centre within a new science park in the Harlow Enterprise Zone (pictured).

Kevin Bentley, Conservative deputy leader at the council, said: "If the government wants to deliver on its ambitious industrial strategy then they need look no further than Essex, where the council and its partners are already significantly ahead of the game.

"Public Health England has already put its faith in the county by pledging to move its facilities to Harlow, along with 2,500 jobs by 2024.

"Now this historic deal to create a much-needed centre for business innovation cements Essex’s potential to become the UK’s life sciences and healthcare capital, whilst boosting jobs and economic growth."

Restaurateur accused of attacking a woman with stiletto in Basildon club

A restaurateur accused of attacking a woman with a stiletto shoe in a nightclub has denied inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Unit 7, Basildon

Southend Crown Court heard that Natalie Jeffery, 23, allegedly struck Sophie Roberts in the face at Unit 7 (pictured above) in Basildon, Essex.

Ms Roberts, in her 20s, suffered facial injuries in the incident which happened at about 03:00 on 18 September 2016.

Ms Jeffery, of Tantelen Road, Canvey Island, pleaded not guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.

The defendant spoke only to confirm her name and her not guilty plea during the brief hearing.

She was bailed to appear for trial at the same court in August.

Judge Ian Graham told Jeffery the trial was expected to last two to three days.

Nurse suspended over school uniform request to patient

Laurence Cawley

BBC News

A mental health nurse who asked a patient to return to her next appointment wearing her school uniform has been suspended .

North Essex Partnership Trust

Gary Snape was working for North Essex Partnership Trust (Chelmsford main office pictured) when he committed a string of patient care failings.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council  conduct panel  heard Mr Snape had also "inappropriately" asked a patient to tie material around her body.

The panel suspended Mr Snape from working as a nurse for six months.

The FA People's Cup is back!


It's the semi-finals stage of the FA People's Cup this weekend and you'll be able to keep up with all the action on our live text pages from 10:00-18:00 on Saturday and Sunday. 

There'll be loads more cracking goals like these ones, analysed by the Football Focus team after the first round.

People's Cup goals analysed by the pros

Cruising for a Bruising

Essex boys Richard and Tony share the story of their families and their motors.
Documentary series telling original stories about real lives in Britain today. 

3/6. Cruising for a Bruising

Essex Boys and their motors are inseparable, from the gold-flecked paint work to TV screens, huge speakers and tinted windows. 

But what happens when girls get involved, rivalries occur and a lovingly souped up car ends up at the wrong end of a baseball bat? Two friends from Benfleet talk about their families, their cars, and the Southend On Sea cruise scene.

Red Nose Day helps Maldon carers

An Essex teenager has been praising a local charity that's helped him care for his mother and brother.

View more on twitter

Action for Family Carers , which is based in Maldon, gets its funding from Comic Relief .

Various events are taking place across Essex, raising money on Red Nose Day.

Will, 15, from Great Baddow, told BBC Essex that help from the charity is, in turn, helping him with his caring duties.    

Isis trying to divide people, says Essex group

Chelmsford Muslim Society says the so-called Islamic State group is trying to divide Muslims:

View more on twitter

Two arrested after police pursued car on M25 near Epping

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of drugs offences after a car failed to stop for police on the M25 near Epping.

They were detained after a pursuit which ended with a vehicle colliding with a Ford Transit van. 

 No-one was hurt.  

Essex Chief Constable speaks out after officer dismissed

Nic Rigby

BBC News

The Chief Constable of Essex, Stephen Kavanagh, has spoken out against images of child abuse as "abhorrent to society" after one of his officers, based at Canvey Island, was dismissed from the force.

The Chief Constable of Essex Police Stephen Kavanagh

PC Clive Hansen, 53, of Benfleet, Essex, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court to a four-month prison term suspended for 12 months after admitting three counts of making indecent images of children and one count of possessing prohibited images.  

He was dismissed due to gross misconduct after a police disciplinary hearing at Chelmsford County Council.

Chief Constable Kavanagh (pictured above) said after the hearing: "The protection of public confidence in policing is vital if we are to face the scourge of child abuse imagery and other crimes in the modern age.

"Police officers should as part of their professional duties commit to the protection of the weak and the innocent.

"Every abuse image of a child re-victimises that vulnerable individual and is abhorrent to society.

"Those in positions of power are rightly expected by the public and colleagues to adhere to appropriate standards of behaviour.

"The creation and storage of such a large number of child abuse images by someone sworn to protect the public demands a clear message that I am confident will be supported not just by senior colleagues but all colleagues in Essex Police." 

Prayers sent to PC Keith Palmer's family

Essex Police sends thoughts and prayers to family of the policeman murdered in the terror attack in London on Wednesday.

View more on twitter

Stabbed man was 'banging on pub door' in early hours

Nic Rigby

BBC News

A man was stabbed in the early hours of this morning in Southend, but walked away after rejecting treatment from paradmedics, say Essex Police.

The Guildford Pub, Southend

Police say the victim, who was 33 and from London, was attacked in the Guildford Road at about 04:30.

Officers received a call saying he was banging on the door of The Guildford pub (pictured) calling for help.

He had been stabbed in the upper thigh, an ambulance was called, but he walked away from the scene after refusing treatment.

Essex Police said they have concerns for his welfare and are appealing for information.

Severe disruption: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J26 for A121 and J25 for A10.

M25 Essex - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Celebrity BB star says Essex non-league club 'fits bill' for him

BBC Essex

Ex-Tottenham footballer Jamie O'Hara has commented on his move to Billericay Town FC .

The former Wolves, Blackpool, Fulham and Gillingham player, 30, signed for the Essex Ryman Premier League club this week.

View more on twitter

'Ticking obesity time bomb' in Essex

Nic Rigby

BBC News

There is a "ticking time bomb" of child obesity in Essex, says a council report.

Child obesity generic image

It says a fifth of children in the Basildon, Castle Point, Tendring and Harlow districts are obese and urgent action is needed.   

Essex County Council says it's encouraging improvement schemes such as "the Daily Mile", where primary schools are taking children for a walk each day WITHIN school time.

View more on twitter

Refuse collectors find snakes in rubbish in Chelmsford

Essex refuse collectors were shocked after finding two snakes in some rubbish in Chelmsford.

Royal Python
Getty Images

The Royal Pythons (of the type pictured above) were discovered last week.

One had died; the other is currently being cared for by the South Essex Wildlife Hospital.

Power cuts in Kelvedon

A number of homes are without power this morning in Kelvedon. Engineers are working to restore supplies. 

Murder inquiry arrest as man dies two days after brain injury

A 50-year-old man from Southend has been arrested on suspicion of murder and other offences following the death of a man after a robbery near Rayleigh.


Timothy Smith, 57, was pushed during the robbery in The Drive, Hullbridge (pictured), at about 23:00 on 19 March.

He fell heavily on to a low wall and suffered a serious brain injury. He died two days later.

A arrested man has been detained on suspicion of murder, robbery and possessing a firearm.

Appeal over missing boy of 13 from Frinton

Nic Rigby

BBC News

A search is continuing this morning for a missing 13-year-old boy from Frinton-on-Sea.

Patrick Casey
Essex Police

Essex Police say Patrick Casey was last seen on Sunday lunchtime before leaving to meet a friend in Clacton.

There are now concerns for his welfare. The teenager is described as white, around 5ft 2in tall and of slim build.   

Weather: Cloudy at first, breezy with sunshine later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

This morning will be cloudy and breezy, but dry. The cloud will gradually break up during the afternoon, so it will become sunny and mild later with a high of 12C (54F).

There are more details on the BBC Weather website .

Good morning, Essex - it's Red Nose Day

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Welcome to our live coverage on a bright and bubbly Red Nose Day.

Lenny Henry with Red Nose

We'll keep you updated on some of the fund-raising events taking place across the county, but we'd love to hear from you as well - you can reach us via the "Get involved" link at the top of the page.

We'll be back soon with the day's weather.

Damon Albarn with Mistajam

Damon Albarn has exclusively shared two songs from the new Gorillaz album on Mistajam's Radio 1 show, and revealed it's a 'dark fantasy' inspired by Donald Trump.

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