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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 21 April, 2017
  2. Weather: Pleasantly warm in the sunshine
  3. Five jailed for killing Harwich man
  4. Inquest opens and adjourns into travellers' site fatal shooting
  5. Cricket: Essex take on Middlesex at county championships
  6. Man appears at court over shooting at travellers' site

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's it for another week from the Essex Live team, although any breaking news over the weekend will still appear here.

Before we go, here's a reminder of some of the stories we've been looking at since 08:00:

  • Two people have been sent to prison for life for the murder of Michael Beckwith, and three other people have also received custodial sentences
  • A man has appeared in court in connection with a fatal shooting at a travellers' site
  • Former public toilets will have a new lease of life as a recording studio 
  • A food blogger has announced she is to stand in the general election

Scroll down for more on these and other stories.

If you're running in the London Marathon we wish you well - and it's good luck to Basildon's Stuart Bingham who's 9-7 down going into this evening's final session of his World Snooker Championship second round match against Kyren Wilson.

Kyren Wilson and Stuart Bingham
PA

Weather: Cloudy with bright spells and much cooler

BBC Weather

A largely cloudy night with some patchy light rain pushing down from the north. The winds becoming light and variable and lowest temperatures around 6C (43F). 

Weather graphic
BBC weather

Once the last of any overnight rain has cleared, Saturday will be relatively cloudy with odd showers feeding southwards. There should be some bright or sunny spells and a top temperature of 13C (55F).

A cold start to Sunday with a touch of frost in places, it’ll then be largely dry with some brightness and sunshine at times and the small chance of a shower. Temperatures again reaching around 13C (55F) at best.

BBC Weather has more local forecasts.

Beautiful blooming bluebells brighten the day

It may be a bit grey out there today but spring is still in full swing, with carpets of bluebells springing up.

It's staying mainly dry for the rest of the day with some sunny spells...feeling pleasantly warm in the sunshine with only light winds. 

Maximum temperature: 15C (59F).

Thank you to our BBC Weather Watcher judy for this photo. 

Tiptree Heath
BBC

Have you ever wondered how you can become a candidate in the election?

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

If Theresa May's recent announcement of a snap election in June has made you yearn to be an MP, here are a few guidelines for you to consider.

You can't stand if you're:

  • Under 18
  • A member of the police forces
  • A member of the armed forces
  • A civil servant, a judge or a peer
  • You're subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order or a debt relief restrictions order
House of Commons
BBC

If none of those conditions preclude you, and you're either a British citizen, a citizen of the  Republic of Ireland or a commonwealth country (with certain provisos) then you're over the first hurdle, and will need to consider these regulations:

  • You need a completed set of nomination forms and a deposit of £500 
  • You also need an election agent
  • You probably want to plan and run a campaign

There - it's almost as simple as that. So what's stopping you? I'm off now to see how much money is in my piggy bank.

Severe disruption: M11 Essex southbound

BBC News Travel

M11 Essex southbound severe disruption, at J6 for M25.

M11 Essex - M11 lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J6 M25, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Horse rescued from pond

Firefighters helped to rescue what's been described as a "large" horse from a pond in Great Cornard near Sudbury this morning.

The animal, which was stuck in four foot (1.2m) of water at New Farm, off Joes Road, had to be sedated before the rescue could be carried out.

It was then moved to a paddock, apparently none the worse for its ordeal.

Pixie Lott reminisces about Essex school days

Essex singer Pixie Lott has been telling BBC Essex about her days at a performing arts school in Chelmsford. Here's the full interview with the singer:

Blogger to stand in general election

A food blogger from Southend is set to stand in the general election.

Jack Monroe, who recently won a libel case against newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins, has not yet announced which party she will stand for, and has said she is still "crunching" as to whether it will be Rochford and Southend East or Southend West.

View more on twitter

'Take the leg away, and he will run another marathon'

#Get Inspired

Seven inspiring runners taking part in the London Marathon on Sunday
BBC

Those were the words of Denise Arthey to doctors after she and her husband Chris were involved in a road accident while on holiday.

Chris and Denise are just some of the thousands of inspiring runners who will be taking part in the London Marathon on Sunday. 

Read more about there story here and follow the live text commentary on this website from 08:25-16:00 BST on the day.

If you're taking part in the race - or know someone who is - let us know by using the #GetInspired on social media and we could feature your message!

Snooker: Wilson edging it with two-frame lead

Kyren Wilson and Stuart Bingham
Getty Images

Kyren Wilson of Kettering (left) has a two-frame lead over Basildon's Stuart Bingham following the daytime session in Sheffield.

The pair will begin the final session of their second-round World Snooker Championship match at 19:00, with Wilson 9-7 up in the best of 25-frame match.

The match is live on the BBC Red Button. Full coverage details here.

Christian Walton

Southend United goalkeeper Christian Walton is hoping for the unusual accolade of promotion with three clubs in the same season.

Read more

Michael Beckwith's murder was a 'violent and cowardly attack'

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

The judge sentencing a man and a woman found guilty of murdering a Harwich man has said their attack was "violent" and "cowardly".

Michael Beckwith's former girlfriend Rebecca Ryan, 22, of Hilltop, Weeley, and Scott Swift, 27, of Station Road, Dovercourt, have been jailed for life.

Sentencing them at Chelmsford Crown Court, Judge Charles Gratwicke said: "It was a violent, cowardly attack in which Michael Beckwith stood no chance.

"He'd done you Swift no harm at all. He had the misfortune at one stage or another of replacing you in the affections of Rebecca Ryan.

"It was not a spur of the moment attack, he delivered himself into the the trap you and Ryan had set for him."

Ryan and Swift's accomplice Joseph Smith, 18, of Canning Street, Harwich, was imprisoned for 12 months for manslaughter.  

Triston and Enderlein Biddlecombe, from East Street, Harwich, were jailed for two and a half years for assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice.

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 - Stationary traffic on M25 clockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of a broken down car and a rolling road-block.

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

Are you running in London this weekend?

#GetInspired

Meet Fran - she's just one of the many thousands who will be taking on the London Marathon this weekend.....

London Marathon 2017: Beating the bullies, Fran's inspiring story

If you're taking part in the race - or know someone who is - let us know about it using the #GetInspired hashtag on social media and we could feature you in our live text commentary or messages on the TV coverage during the day. 

Michael Beckwith murder: Thirty months in prison for Biddlecombes

A man and a woman have been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for their role in the killing of Michael Beckwith.

Triston and Enderlein Biddlecombe, from East Street, Harwich, were found guilty of assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice.

As we've reported, Rebecca Ryan and Scott Swift have been jailed for life for murder and Joseph Smith has been imprisoned for 12 years for manslaughter.

More to follow.

Snooker: Wilson leads Bingham - just

Kettering's Kyren Wilson is leading Basildon's Stuart Bingham 8-7 as we come to the end of their morning session in Sheffield.

The final session in their second-round match at the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible begins at 19:00.

Wilson hit a 110 break with no response in the 10th frame. There's one frame of this session left.

Follow the snooker results at BBC Sport.

BreakingMichael Beckwith murder: Twelve years for Joseph Smith

A teenager convicted for his role in the killing of Michael Beckwith has been jailed for 12 years.

Joseph Smith, 18, of Canning Street, Harwich, was found guilty of manslaughter.

As we just reported, Rebecca Ryan and Scott Swift have been jailed for life for murder.

More to follow. 

BreakingMichael Beckwith murder: Life imprisonment for Rebecca Ryan

The former girlfriend of a murdered Harwich man has been sent to prison for life.

Rebecca Ryan, 22, of Hilltop, Weeley, has been told been told she must serve a minimum of 17 years.

Her co-defendant Scott Swift has also been jailed for life, and told he must serve at least 24 years.

More to follow.

BreakingMichael Beckwith murder: Life imprisonment for Scott Swift

A man convicted of murdering Harwich man Michael Beckwith has been jailed for life.

Scott Swift, 27, of Station Road, Dovercourt, has been told he must serve a minimum of 24 years.

More to follow. 

Ex-boyfriend's murder 'was supposed to be some kind of a beating'

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

The former girlfriend of a man who was murdered with metal poles "did not expect weapons to be used", a court has heard.

Rebecca Ryan and Scott Swift
Essex Police

Five people are being sentenced for the roles they played in the murder of Michael Beckwith at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The 44-year-old suffered 17 blows to his head, arms and legs when he was attacked in a remote part of Harwich.

His former girlfriend Rebecca Ryan, 22, of Hilltop, Weeley, and Scott Swift, 27, of Station Road, Dovercourt, pictured, were found guilty of murder.

During mitigation, Ryan's lawyer said she did not know weapons were going to be used against Mr Beckwith.

Swift's lawyer said there was "no intent to kill" and it was "supposed to be some kind of beating".

The hearing continues.

Son's murder had 'massive impact' on mother

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

A murder victim's mother had a heart attack in the lead up to the trial, a court heard.

Michael Beckwith
Essex Police

As we've been reporting, five people who were convicted for the roles they played in the murder of Michael Beckwith, pictured above, are being sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Mr Beckwith, 44, was killed when his ex-girlfriend Rebecca Ryan, 22, of Hilltop Rise, Weeley, lured him to a remote part of Harwich and he was attacked with metal poles.

Prosecution lawyer Amjad Malik told the court the death of her son has had a "massive impact" on Mr Beckwith's mother Iris.

The hearing continues.

Recording studio to be set up in former public toilets

A scheme to set up a recording and mixing studio in former public toilets in Walton has been given the green light.

Walton toilet block
Tendring District Council

Paul Hepworth is looking to take over the site in Station Street. 

He told Tendring District Council's planning committee he wanted to carry out the project in the area where he grew up. 

Mr Hepworth said he would carry out a conversion with measures to be put in place to keep noise levels down to an absolute minimum.

“There is a rich heritage of music in this area and I want to build on that for all ages,” he said.

“It will be something very different which will benefit the Tendring area.”

The public toilets closed in 2003 and were replaced elsewhere in the town.

The plans were approved by the planning committee. 

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 - Slow traffic and one lane closed on M25 anticlockwise between J27 M11 and J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of a broken down car.

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

Weather prospects for Sunday's marathon

Man appears in court over fatal shooting

A man charged in connection with a fatal shooting at a travellers' site has appeared at court.

Hugh Doherty
Essex Police

Levi Draper, 27, of Cranfield Park Avenue, Wickford, has been charged with murder, attempted murder, possession of a firearm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

The charges relate to an incident on Sunday at Cranfield Park Avenue during which 45-year-old Hugh Doherty, pictured above, died after suffering a gunshot wound.  

Mr Draper appeared via video link at Chelmsford Crown Court. He will appear at the same court on 29 June.

Harriet Crittenden, 25, of Cranfield Park Avenue, Wickford, has been charged with attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

She will appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on 18 May.

VIDEO: Tories 'ready' for MP race

The Conservative candidate for Clacton at the last General Election, Giles Watling, has said his party has been "ready for some time" to fight once again for the seat.

It comes after former UKIP - now independent - MP Douglas Carswell said he would not be standing for the 8 June election. 

View more on twitter

Will one Cook be enough to spoil the Middlesex broth?

BBC Sport

Essex are starting their third County Championship match of the season. 

They're playing the defending county champions, Middlesex, at Lords. 

Middlesex and Essex have not played against each other in the County Championship since 2011.

In that summer, Middlesex won a low-scoring game at Lord's by eight wickets before the return game at Chelmsford was drawn.

Now the two sides meet again after Essex won Division Two last season, but how will they fare against the 2016 champions, having achieved one win and one draw so far?

Opener Alastair Cook, fresh from his 110 in last week's win over Somerset, is likely to be a key figure at Lord's, a ground where he has made four of his 30 Test centuries - but will one Cook be enough to spoil the Middlesex broth? 

Follow live updates here

Alastair Cook
Getty Images

Snooker: It was 20 years ago today...

BBC Sport

On 21 April, 1997, Chigwell's Ronnie O'Sullivan notched up one of the greatest achievements in sporting history, making a maximum 147 break in the fastest time ever recorded.

It took "The Rocket" just five minutes and 20 seconds to clear the table against Mick Price in the first round of the World Championship in Sheffield, earning himself a cool £147,000 in prize money.

No-one has even come close to matching that since.

Archive: Rocket's fastest 147

O'Sullivan is competing in this year's event, and currently leads Shaun Murphy 6-2 in the second round.  

Man died from gunshot wound to the chest, inquest hears

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

A man who was killed at a travellers' site died from a gunshot wound to the chest, an inquest has heard.

Travellers' site in Wickford
BBC

Hugh Doherty, 45, died at his home on Cranfield Park Avenue, Wickford, on 16 April. 

His sister was stabbed during the incident but is in a stable condition.

The inquest at Chelmsford Coroner's Court was adjourned for a date yet to be fixed.

Levi Draper, 27, and Harriet Crittenden, 25, both of Cranfield Park Avenue, have been charged in relation to the incident. 

Mr Draper is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court today. Ms Crittenden is due in court on 18 May.

Are you taking part in the Virgin London Marathon?

It's the London Marathon this Sunday.

Tens of thousands of runners are making their final preparations ahead of tackling the 26.2-mile (42km) distance.

We want to hear from you if you're taking part.

Click "Get involved" above and tell us how you're feeling, why you wanted to take part and what you're looking forward to most about the day.

Among those taking part are:

  • Joanne Reed, 43, from Chelmsford, who is running in aid of CLIC Sargent. Her daughter Jessica contracted a rare form of cancer aged one. She was given a 20% chance of survival but pulled through. 
  • Judy Burston, 80, from Basildon, who is running for the Stroke Association in memory of her brother.
  • Andrew Speed, 32, from Elsenham, who is running for St Clare Hospice after both of his parents passed away from cancer within two months of each other. 
London Marathon
PA

VIDEO: What's the verdict on Douglas Carswell's time as Clacton MP?

Clacton MP Douglas Carswell yesterday announced he was not going to seek re-election at the General Election.

He was the only UKIP candidate to be elected as an MP at the 2015 poll. He quit the party last month after falling out with its leadership. 

The 45-year-old said he would be backing the Conservative candidate for Clacton.

But how do the people in his constituency rate him?

View more on twitter

Five face sentencing over Michael Beckwith's murder

A woman who lured her former boyfriend to his death will be sentenced for murder today.

Rebecca Ryan and Scott Swift
Essex Police

Michael Beckwith, 44, was attacked by two men with metal poles after arranging to meet ex-girlfriend Rebecca Ryan, 22.

The attack took place in Barrack Lane, Harwich, last July.  

A jury at Chelmsford Crown Court found Ryan and Scott Swift, 27, (both pictured above) guilty of murder. Joseph Smith, 18, was found guilty of manslaughter.

The trio will be sentenced this morning.

Triston and Enderlein Biddlecombe, from East Street, Harwich, will also be sentenced for assisting the offenders.

They were found guilty of washing clothes and providing a false alibi, but not guilty of burning clothes. 

Accrington

Phil Shepka

BBC Sport

With three games to go, 10 League Two teams are still in with a realistic shot at the play-offs.

Read more

Friday's weather: Pleasantly warm when the sun breaks through

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Today's likely to be the warmest day of the week, although it will be rather cloudy. 

We’re into warmer air now, so it should feel pleasantly warm in any sunshine that appears. 

The cloud will gradually thin and break during the morning, and that will really help to lift the temperatures, giving us highs of about 15C (59F).

Watch my full regional forecast here:

Welcome back to our live coverage

Kate Scotter

BBC News

Good morning Essex. 

It's Friday and we're here all day with all your news, weather, sport and travel.

Today we'll have news of the sentencing of the five people convicted for their roles in the murder of 44-year-old Michael Beckwith.

The keen fisherman was attacked with metal poles in Barrack Lane, Harwich.

We'll bring you updates on that as soon as we get it.

First, let's see what the weather's got in store.

West Bergholt
BBC

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 slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of a broken down van.

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

Severe accident: M25 Greater London anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London anti-clockwise severe accident, between J28 for A1023 Brook Street and J27 for M11.

M25 Greater London - One lane closed on M25 anticlockwise between J28, A1023 (Brook Street Roundabout) and J27 M11, because of an accident.

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

Driver jailed for steam engine bus crash
A lorry driver has been jailed for 18 months for causing a crash involving a bus and a low-loader carrying a steam engine.