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  1. Updates for Friday, 2 June, 2017
  2. Ambulance crews 'feel vulnerable" to assault over drugs
  3. Farage accuses Carswell of damaging party
  4. Coot shot with arrow treated at animal hospital
  5. Crossrail project disruption 'forcing businesses to close'
  6. Striker Sammie looks forward to injury-free season at Colchester

Live Reporting

By Patrick Byrne

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

That's it for another week from the Essex Live news team on Friday so goodbye and have a great weekend.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday, bringing you the news, sport, travel and weather updates as they happen.

Scroll down to see the news and sport we have covered today as well as the warnings about weather to come overnight.

If you have any photographs from around the county that you'd like to share, or if there's anything happening that you'd like us to know about, you can contact us by clicking on the "Getting involved" button at the top of the page.

Fatal crash driver on M11 jailed for three years

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A lorry driver who fell asleep at the wheel has been jailed for three years.

He was found guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving in a crash on the M11 in April.

Roger Sharratt, 52, of Bagots Oak in Staffordshire, had denied the charges at a court appearance in May 2014.

Roger Sharratt
Essex Police

Geoffrey Mills, 53, and Eleanor Joy Mills, 45, were killed in the collision, which happened near Harlow.

Police said Sharratt was driving a lorry northbound along the M11 when he went into the back of a black Jaguar XF car.

The Jaguar then collided with a silver Toyota Auris, pushing it under the back of a horsebox containing five horses.

The Toyota, carrying Geoffrey Mills and Eleanor Joy Mills, burst into flames and further collided with a white Vauxhall.

Police said Sharratt was driving at 55mph using cruise control and failed to react to the slowing traffic as he was likely to have been asleep.

Council puts key agencies 'on alert' for flash flooding

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

After a yellow warning for heavy rain was issued by by the Met Office for many parts of eastern England, Southend Borough Council has put key agencies and emergency services on standby.

The weather has already deteriorated in the west of the county as our Weather Watchers picture from Hatfield Heath shows.

But places further east have been advised to expect heavy showers and thunderstorms before fresher and drier weather follows overnight.

Hatfield Heath

Andy Lewis, acting chief executive, said: "Residents and businesses in Southend are very aware of the disruption that flash flooding can bring.

"We hope local residents and businesses will be reassured that we are working closely together and poised to respond if necessary."

A spokeswoman from Anglian Water said: "To ensure our Southend pumping stations are in full working order Anglian Water teams are on the ground checking pumping station equipment and removing debris from the screens on the Prittle Brook.

"We have teams on standby in anticipation of lightning strikes and power outages that may affect our pumps."

Sport: Southend United denies report stadium talks had 'stalled'

BBC Sport

Southend United FC has denied a local press report that talks over plans for a new stadium have stalled.

The report in the Echo claimed the club and its financial backer had failed to reach a "satisfactory agreement".

Southend United had lodged a planning application with the borough council for the stadium at Fossetts Farm last month.

Southend United

The Blues issued a statement in response that it would not make a detailed comment at this time.

But they did say "the Echo article is wholly misleading, the content is incorrect in innumerable ways and that the stadium plans are in no way affected and remain entirely on track as planned.

"The club will be commenting further, and specifically in regard to the Echo reporting, next week."

Stringer signs three for next season at Clarets

BBC Sport

Former Southampton and Southend United striker Lee Barnard has joined Chelmsford City FC.

The frontman has been at Essex neighbours Braintree most recently but says he can't wait to get started for the Clarets.

"I'm delighted. It's a big club, a local club for me, and I'm really excited to get started now," he said.

Lee Barnard
Getty Images

"I've spoken to Rod Stringer before, I know about the Club, it's ambition, and it's something that I want to be a part of.

"I'm 32 now, even at my age I want to win things and do well. The whole thing about Chelmsford is going in the right direction and I'm pleased to be a part of it."

He's one of three new signings made in the past 24 hours by manager Rod Stringer.

Defender Paul Rodgers, 27, who came through the youth system at Arsenal, joins from Bishop's Stortford and Michael West, a 26-year-old midfielder, joins the Clarets from Crewe.

Rikki Clarke has rejoined his first county Surrey, from Warwickshire

With the 2017 county season in full swing, keep up to date with the latest signings, departures and rumours ahead of next season.

Read more

Prime minister 'weather cock and not a signpost', Farage claims

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Relaxing with his trademark British pint of beer in his hand during a campaigning visit to Clacton, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage accused the prime minister of being a "weather cock and not a signpost".

His confidence in Theresa May's ability to deliver on Brexit is falling by the day, he said.

Nigel Farage with pint
Victoria Jones/PA Wire

He had joined the party's candidate for Clacton Paul Oakley for a morning of campaigning just as the news broke that Tory candidate Craig Mackinlay, who beat him to the South Thanet seat two years ago, had been charged over allegations relating to his 2015 election expenses.

Mr Farage described Margaret Thatcher as a signpost who knew the direction to take, but likened the current Prime Minister to someone who "blows around in the wind".

Weather: Heavy rain after bright morning

BBC Weather Watchers

In a matter of a few hours early morning skies full of fine weather promise have disappeared and parts of the county were plunged into rainy gloom by lunchtime as out BBC Weather Watchers' pictures reveal.

Great Chesterford

Expected heavy downpours could lead to surface water flooding and difficult driving conditions in places.

The heavy showers will ease overnight though lighter rain is likely at times.

Maximum Temperature: 24C (75F)

More details from BBC Weather.

Sport: Striker Sammie looks forward to injury-free season at Colchester

BBC Sport

Colchester United striker Sammie Szmodics wants an injury-free season after breaking his leg playing at Crewe earlier this year.

He says he's now looking forward to returning to training after being given the 'all clear' by doctors.

Sammie Szmodics
Getty Images

Immediately after leaving hospital on Thursday morning, he told the club's website: "I'm buzzing. I've had four or five x-rays now and thankfully, we now know the fibula has completely healed.

"I can crack on with my running and the summer work and then look forward to pre-season again," the 21-year-old said.

"I've had two really bad injuries in the past year but I'm raring to go again.

"One of my main goals this coming season is to be completely injury-free and have a first ever professional season without getting injured all the way through."

Cricket: Wagner to leave this month but date not set

BBC Sport

Essex's overseas player Neil Wagner is to leave the club this month but has said he's loved every minute of his spell at the County Ground in Chelmsford.

Neil Wagner
Nick Wood/Getty Images

The New Zealand Test left-armer has been signed for just the first half of the season.

He is leaving this month to accommodate the arrival of Mohammad Amir, fresh from Pakistan duty in the Champions Trophy.

Wagner's exact departure date depends on the club's progress in the Royal London Cup.

Coot shot with arrow treated at animal hospital

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A coot that was shot with an arrow through its skin under one wing is being treated for a badly infected wound at South Essex Wildlife Hospital and may need surgery.

Injured coot

The bird was spotted by a member of the public walking his dog by a lake next to Mollands Lane, in South Ockendon on Monday, who called the RSPCA.

The charity has asked anyone with information about what happened to contact them.

RSPCA inspector Clare Dew and South Essex Wildlife Hospital vet Tom Linsel paddled out to the middle of the lake to catch the injured bird.

Animal collection officer Joe White said: "This is a horrifying incident that highlights the cruelty of some people.

"We suspect that this poor bird was shot some days ago and has been suffering ever since," he said.

The penalties faced if caught deliberately injuring a wild animal can be up to six months in prison and a £5,000 fine if found guilty under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, the RSPCA said.

Farage to support Thanet fight

Simon Dedman

BBC Essex political reporter

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, campaigning in Clacton for the party's candidate Paul Oakley, took time out to discuss Conservative candidate Craig Mackinlay, who has been charged with allegedly breaking election spending rules.

Mr Mackinlay is seeking to retain his seat in Thanet South, which he won by beating Nigel Farage in 2015. Mr Farage said it would be unlikely that many residents in Thanet South would vote for him and it would then be a straight fight between Labour and UKIP, so he said he would be heading there to offer his support.

View more on twitter

Man charged with betting shop robberies

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A man has been charged with two robberies at bookmakers in Hertfordshire and Essex,

A female worker was sprayed in the face during one of the incidents, at the Coral store in Elizabeth Road, Bishop's Stortford, on the evening of Monday, 29 May.

As we reported on Tuesday, it is not yet known if the victim has suffered permanent eye damage and police said they were working to establish what the substance was.

A 51-year-old has been charged with two counts of robbery.

The second charge relates to a robbery at Jennings bookmakers in Clacton-on-Sea on 14 May.

The man is due to appear at Hatfield Remand Court today.

Ambulance crews 'feel vulnerable" to assault over drugs

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

After an East of England Ambulance Service paramedic was attacked and threatened with a knife while on duty in Jaywick earlier this week by a man demanding drugs, another staff member said the situation was always at the back of the minds of crew members.


Dil Patel believes most crews can feel vulnerable because ambulances carry drugs which are needed to help patients.

"You do have training on how to face threats, the risks involved and what to do in the case of attack.

"The drugs we have are locked away and are accessible when we need them but we no longer carry them on our person.

"There is always a risk of attack or assault by people wanting these drugs," he said.

Call for action on ambulance attacks

Violence against medical staff should be made a specific criminal offence, according to The Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

An East of England Ambulance paramedic had a knife held to his neck in Jaywick by someone demanding drugs.

RCN spokesman Tony Durkin told BBC Essex that protection of crews was not all about punitive action.

NHS logo

"The vast majority of physical assaults on staff are by people who are victims of drug addiction.

"Even though we work extraordinarily well with other emergency services it is really difficult to get a prosecution if the person is physically unwell because of their addiction," he said.

Farage accuses Carswell of damaging party

Former UK Independence Party leader and founder member Nigel Farage has told BBC Essex that ex-Clacton MP Douglas Carswell damaged the party by "not really believing" in UKIP.

View more on twitter

Crossrail project disruption 'forcing businesses to close'

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

The Crossrail project has had a huge impact on the town of Shenfield which will be a major terminus on the £15bn project to east transport across the south of England.

But the project has not been a positive experience for all.

Shenfield shopping

One shop owner has told BBC Essex the disruption caused by the work has forced some businesses in Shenfield to close.

Up to 900 people a day have been working on the new train line, which will eventually link the town to Heathrow via central London.

Kay Thurgood runs a gift shop and says shoppers aren't coming.

"We've lost an enormous number of car parking spaces and if you don't have places for people to park you do not have customers.

"Over the past two-and-a-half years we've lost 20% of our footfall and this has forced many businesses to close," she said.

Crossrail, TFL and Network Rail said no-one was available to comment but work in Shenfield's due to finish by the end of the summer.

Seat belt crackdown nets more than 100 motorists

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

More than 100 drivers were caught at the wheel on Essex roads without a seat belt in a crackdown on Wednesday and three men were arrested on suspicion of drug driving.

Police carried out the operation in Waltham Abbey "as part of a dedicated operation to help to reduce those killed and seriously injured," a spokesman said.

View more on twitter

In addition to 108 drivers dealt with for failing to wear a seat belt, 49 others were found using their mobile phone, including a driving instructor using a mobile phone whilst supervising a learner driver.

A further 71 drivers were stopped and dealt with for driving in excess of the speed limit.

"Officers arrested three drivers, a 49-year-old man from London, a 32-year-old man from Hertfordshire and a 29-year-old man from London, on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs," the spokesman said.

Four drivers were also found to be driving without valid insurance and each driver had their car seized under Section 165.

A further four drivers were found to be driving without a valid MOT and one driver was found to be driving without a valid licence.

Weather: Hot and humid with threat of thunderstorms

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Hot and humid conditions will trigger heavy showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon in many places.

Not all areas will get them but where they do it could lead to surface water flooding and difficult driving conditions.

Heavy showers will ease during the evening but more are possible during the early hours near to the coast.

Minimum Temperature: 15C (59F)

More details from BBC Weather:

Welcome to Friday's updates for Essex

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Good morning from the team bringing you the live news page for Essex.

Between now and 18:00, the team here will bring you the news, sport, travel and weather updates as we get them.

Here are a couple of stories we'll be following up.

The East of England Ambulance Service tells BBC Essex how it is keeping staff safe after a paramedic was assaulted in Jaywick.

Work on the massive Crossrail project has brought problems for Shenfield - a major terminus - and we look at how residents and businesses are coping.

It is a bright and sunny start to the day but there may be thunderstorms on the horizon - more on that next from Elizabeth Rizzini.

Walton Wanderer

Our live coverage across the day

That's it for today's live feed across Essex.

Highlights have included:

  • Jeremy Corbyn parodies his opposite number's "strong and stable" line in Pitsea
  • A paramedic is attacked in Jaywick
  • 'Hating' tweets lead to the cancellation of a football friendly between two Essex non-league clubs

Scroll down for all these.. and you can also follow the BBC Essex general election debate which took place in Thurrock this morning.

Promoter explains why he postponed weekend card

Cleah Hetherington

BBC Radio Suffolk

The boxing promoter behind Saturday's postponed card at Braintree Leisure Centre says he had no choice but to cancel.

A combination of injuries to boxers and other problems meant some of the top fights couldn’t go ahead.

Billy Bird

Two Suffolk boxers, Ipswich's Fabio Wardley and Billy Bird from Sudbury (pictured), had been due to fight on the night.

Mervyn Turner from Shamrock Boxing Promotions says he wasn't prepared to put on a below-par show for fans.

“We had a fluke set of circumstances that just meant we could not provide a quality product and, if we can’t do that, I don’t want the public turning up and being short-changed," he said.

"I won’t do it.”

Corbyn's 'weak and wobbly' quip in Pitsea

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paraphrased Theresa May's "strong and stable" line while out campaigning in south Essex in the Basildon South & Thurrock East constituency.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

After a hard day's work, these two from the Norfolk and Suffolk Police Dog Unit found the ideal way to cool off - dipping more than just their toes in the water.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Army and Navy flyover could be set for improvements

The deputy leader of Essex County Council, Kevin Bentley, says highways bosses are hoping to make improvements to one of the county's busiest junctions.

He's looking at options for the one-lane Army and Navy flyover in Chelmsford.

Army and Navy

One of the possibilities is widening the road so it can take traffic in both directions at the same time.

Several collisions have been seen on the structure.

"In the short term, we are doing lots of work alleviating the roads around the Chelmsford area, and that's been out for consultation for some time," he said.

"In the long term we would like to improve the Army and Navy."

Severe disruption: M25 Greater London clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London clockwise severe disruption, at J28 for A1023 Brook Street.

M25 Greater London - Broken down lorry on M25 clockwise at J28, A1023 (Brook Street Roundabout). On the hard shoulder. Traffic is coping well.

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

Concord Rangers chairman doesn't want to comment on friendly cancellation

Earlier we reported about Billericay Town's friendly against Concord Rangers of Canvey Island being cancelled after "negative comments" were made on Twitter.

Billericay's owner and manager Glenn Tamplin tweeted a statement saying comments made by Concord's chairman were personal to him, and the club didn't want their fans being exposed to "such open negativity".

We've asked Concord Rangers' chairman Ant Smith if he wanted to make a comment on the cancellation, or Mr Tamlin's remarks - he declined.

Video and snaps show Tilbury power station demolition in progress

We've seen these cracking pictures on Twitter of part of Tilbury power station being demolished.

User @pastthepier2016, who captured the images from across the river in Kent, captioned them: "3,2,1 Boom. Another part of Tilbury power station comes down."

Tilbury power station demolition
Twitter / @pastthepier2016
Tilbury power station demolition
Twitter / @pastthepier2016
Tilbury power station demolition
Twitter / @pastthepier2016
Tilbury power station demolition
Twitter / @pastthepier2016

And here's the video:

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M11 Essex southbound

BBC News Travel

M11 Essex southbound severe accident, between J7 for A414 and J6 for M25.

M11 Essex - Three lanes closed and very slow traffic on M11 southbound between J7, A414 (Harlow) and J6 M25, because of an accident involving two cars and a caravan.

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

'Getting the right deal will be challenging', Corbyn tells Pitsea audience

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn has told an audience in Pitsea that a government under his leadership would take negotiations seriously and come away with a deal that worked for all of Britain.

"We in Labour understand that getting the right deal - one that secures our country's interest for the long term - will be challenging," he said.

"Labour is ready. Ready to deliver a deal that gives British business and British society the chance to thrive in a post-Brexit world."

He also pledged to guarantee the right to remain in the UK for EU nationals already living here:

View more on twitter

Paramedic has knife held to throat in 'appalling incident' in Jaywick

A paramedic had a knife held to his throat by a man who demanded drugs in Jaywick, leaving him with injuries to his neck and arm.

The East of England Ambulance Service says it was an unacceptable assault. Essex Police has described it as an "appalling incident".


It happened while the paramedic was working in Brooklands just before 23:45 last night.

The man held a Stanley knife to his neck and demanded drugs, which the paramedic refused to give him.

The East of England Ambulance Service said under no circumstances was it acceptable to assault its staff in the line of duty.

The suspect is described as white, around 6ft (1.8m) tall and of medium build.

Jeremy Corbyn arrives in Pitsea

BBC Essex's political reporter, Simon Dedman, is in attendance and said there was a big reaction to the arrival of the Labour leader.

Pitsea is part of the South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency where John Baron is defending the seat he won in 2010 and 2015.

View more on twitter

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 and slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J27 M11 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 disruption: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe disruption, at J26 for A121.

M25 Essex - M25 exit slip road partially blocked anticlockwise at J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey), because of a broken down lorry. Traffic is coping well.

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

Essex football friendly called off after social media comments

Billericay Town have cancelled a pre-season friendly against fellow Essex non-league side Concord Rangers after what's been described as "negative comments on social media".

The game was scheduled to take place next month.

Concord Rangers play in the National League South division, while Billericay are below them in the football league pyramid in the Ryman Premier.

Billericay's owner and manager, Glenn Tamplin, sent this reply to a tweet from Ant Smith, who's chairman of Canvey-based Concord:


In a statement on Twitter, Billericay Town said: "In light of these personal, negative comments, directed at Glenn Tamplin... we do not feel it appropriate to expose our travelling supporters to such open negativity, particularly when the fixture was pitched as a pre-season 'friendly'."

Pets die in house fire

Essex Fire and Rescue say a house fire in which four pets died started accidentally.

The blaze broke out in the kitchen of the property in Eastern Road, Brightlingsea, yesterday evening.

Two cats and two rabbits died in the blaze. Crews say they believe the fire started from cooking which had been left unattended.

Eastern Road

Rail operator criticised for out-of-order toilets

The Essex rail operator Greater Anglia has been criticised for putting on a service during rush hour where toilets were out of order.

It's claimed some passengers had to urinate in bottles on the service between London Liverpool Street and Norwich last month.

Greater Anglia says it's unacceptable and has apologised. Zarvin Wildley, a director at a law firm, was on the train:

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Jeremy Corbyn to make speech in Basildon later

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will appear in Basildon later, where he's expected to say Theresa May's approach to Brexit risks "a jobs meltdown".

Jeremy Corbyn

Mr Corbyn will say Mrs May has left the UK isolated and marginalised in Europe and that she has "needlessly alienated" other EU countries.

As a result the risk of Britain "crashing out" of the EU without a deal, he will say, is now much greater.

Mrs May is returning to her key election message in a lunchtime speech - saying only the Conservatives can secure a successful Brexit, while the Lib Dems are hosting a rally discussing the impact of Britain's exit from the European Union.

Brexit was a major topic of discussion during BBC Essex's debate from the Thurrock constituency this morning.

Four teens due in court after memorial garden for seven-year-old girl was vandalised

Four teenagers are to appear in court after a memorial garden was damaged at a Norwich school last month.

The garden, at Valley Primary Academy, was planted in memory of Summer Grant.

The seven-year-old girl was killed in March 2016 when a bouncy castle was blown away in high winds at a funfair in Harlow, Essex.

Four suspects, aged 16-18, have been reported to court for criminal damage. The date for their appearance has not been fixed yet.

Summer's father described whoever was responsible as being the "scum of the Earth".

Summer Grant
Family photo

Two people, from Cambridgeshire, were arrested by Essex Police last year on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence and they're due to answer police bail later this month.