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Our live coverage across the day

That's it for our live updates for this sunny Friday, and indeed for the week.

Thank you for your company, join us again on Monday when we'll be bright-eyed and bushy tailed from 08:00.

Here's a quick look at some of the stories we've been covering today:

  • Suffolk Police is set to recruit detectives
  • A former charity treasurer is jailed for fraud
  • An unexpected visitor swoops through an open door at a police station

Scroll down to read more on these stories and other Suffolk news.

Have a splendid weekend.


Our live coverage across the week

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

That's it from the Essex Live team for this week so goodbye and enjoy the weekend whatever the weather brings us.

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

Today we've covered a wide range of stories and here are some of them.

  • 'Home care will continue' as provider prepares to pull out in November, county council leader says
  • Firefighters visit high-rise flats to reassure residents with safety fears after the Grenfell Tower tragedy
  • An ambulance driver is found not guilty of causing death by careless driving

For details of these stories and more just scroll down the page and if you want to comment use the "Get involved" button at the top of the page.

Our live coverage across the day

Another week has come to an end of our Local Live service for the county.

Today's highlights have included:

  • Middlesbrough lure Jonny Howson from Norwich City
  • Lightning closes rail services on the Norwich-Cambridge line
  • Arts and entertainment take centre stage for the Lord Mayor's Celebration in Norwich

Scroll down to read more on these.... and join us again when our regular updates return at 08:00 on Monday.

Weather: Cloudy with possibility of sharp showers

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Cloud will develop from the north west bringing a small chance of isolated sharp showers across the BBC East region tonight.

But it will remain dry for many areas with clear spells later.

Weather chart

Light rain or drizzle is possible across western counties later as the temperature falls to 12C (54F) in places.

Saturday will be another dry day with sunny spells and some cloud and it will be cooler on the coast.

Maximum temperature: 23C (76F)

More details from BBC Weather:

Rail line reopens after lightning strike

Greater Anglia is reporting that the Norwich-Cambridge line is now open again.

It had been closed following a lightning strikes on overhead cables between Attleborough and Thetford in Norfolk and between Shippea Hill and Ely in Cambridgeshire.

However, delays are expected as services get back to normal.

View more on twitter

Fire crews putting out a crop fire

Fire crews are at a crop blaze in Badingham near Framlingham.

They were called out at about 16:15 and found about 40 acres of field "well alight".

Two fire vehicles and a water carrier have been at Wood Farm.

Norfolk MPs' bid for committee chairmanships

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

Two of Norfolk's MPs want to lead influential parliamentary committees.

Richard Bacon, the MP for South Norfolk, has put himself forward to chair the House of Commons Treasury Committee, while Norman Lamb (North Norfolk) wants to lead the Science and Technology Committee.

Elections for the posts will be held among MPs next week.

Select committees have become a very influential part of parliamentary work.

They investigate topcs of concern and they have the power to call anyone as a witness.

Their reports often influence and sometimes change government policy.

Witham armed robber jailed for 15 years

Tom Croasdell

BBC Essex

A man who robbed a cash delivery van in an armed raid in Witham, stealing £235,000 in cash, has been jailed for 15 years.

Joe Turner, 29, wearing a balaclava, was one of a gang armed with a shotgun who attacked two security guards at the Asda store in Highfields on the morning of 14 December 2016 as they stopped to refill an cash machine.

Joe Turner
Essex Police

One guard was forced onto his knees and the other was ordered to remove money from their security van.

The men then made off in a BMW 4x4 driven by a third man and later found abandoned in Speedwell Close, Witham.

DNA and fingerprints found inside this vehicle were linked to Turner, of Vincent Road, Dagenham who was arrested on 4 April 2017 and later charged.

He pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon at Chelmsford Crown Court last week.

He returned to the court today and was jailed for a total of 15 years.

Lowestoft legend set for testimonial take #2

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Micky Chapman (right) says there is no chance of him appearing in the dugout tomorrow when Lowestoft Town face Norwich City in a testimonial match for the former player and manager.

Ady Gallagher and Micky Chapman
Lowestoft Town FC

This fixture was called off a year ago because of heavy rain, but has been rearranged for a 15:00 kick-off, with tickets available on the gate.

Ady Gallagher's side go into the match off the back of a 3-0 win over Waveney FC at the Amber Dew Events Stadium earlier in the week.

"While it's my testimonial, it's also an important pre-season match for both teams, and I certainly won't be getting in the way of Ady and his assistant Dale Brooks," Chapman told us.

The club legend's most memorable moment in the Lowestoft dugout came in 2014, when the Suffolk side won promotion to the National League North.

However, having made close to 500 appearances as a player for the club, Chapman admits it is hard to think of one particular standout for him on the field.

"I used to get butterfiles every time I played for Lowestoft, from a young lad right up until the day I stopped playing," he told us.

"Every moment was special, and it was an absolute privilege to be at the club as both a player and a manager."

Officers rescue 'over heating' dog from locked car

It seems some dog owners are still unaware of the dangers of leaving pets inside locked vehicles during the height of summer, but these police officers in Chelmsford came to the rescue of this grateful dog.

View more on twitter

Police patrol Norwich a week after a rape in a bid to find witnesses

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Police checks will be carried out tomorrow night one week after a woman was raped in a suburb of Norwich.

Officers will be patrolling Yarmouth Road in Thorpe St Andrew in a bid to trace any potential witnesses to the attack which happened last Saturday between 21:45 and and 22:00.

Thorpe St Andrew

Det Insp Neil Stewart hoped the checks would trigger the memories of potential witnesses.

"Yarmouth Road is one of the main routes into Norwich and there are several places to eat and drink," he said.

"I'm hopeful we will capture people who visit the area regularly who may have seen something last Saturday night which initially doesn't seem important, but, on reflection, could be relevant to our inquiry."

Village supermarket staff threatened with hammer by raider

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Two men who robbed a village supermarket near Dunmow are being sought by police.

One of the men climbed over the counter at the Co-Operative in Hallett Road, Flitch Green, on Wednesday morning and demanded money from three staff members.

The other pushed one of the victims and threatened him with a hammer. They stole a four-figure sum of cash, police said.

Two men and a woman were left shaken but unharmed.

The raiders were described as white, about 5ft 8ins tall and had their faces covered. One wore a grey tracksuit, the other a black tracksuit. Both wore baseball caps and hooded tops.

Ipswich ready for first summer friendly

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

A handful of new signings are expected to feature for Ipswich Town in their first pre-season friendly of the summer this weekend.

Ipswich Town in training

Mick McCarthy's side have been training at Carton House in Ireland this week, and face Premier Division side Drogheda United tomorrow afternoon.

For travelling Town fans, it could be a first opportunity to see Joe Garner, Tom Adeyemi and Bersant Celina in action for their new club.

Jordan Spence and Emyr Huws also joined Ipswich last month, but are familiar faces, having spent time at Portman Road on a short term deal and on loan respectively last season.

One player who is not a part of the trip is Town's 18-year-old midfielder Andre Dozzell.

The youngster is currently on international duty with England's Under-19s at the European Championships in Georgia.

Dozzell has played every minute so far in wins against Bulgaria and Holland, but may be rested for tomorrow's match with Germany, given that England have already qualified for the semi-finals.

Hawkins hopes for successful Witches road trip

Graeme Mac

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins knows his side's impressive home form this season could count for very little, if his riders do not make the most of their opportunities on the road.

Ritchie Hawkins
Stephen Waller

He was speaking following a dominant 60-32 victory over Scunthorpe Scorpions last night at Foxhall, which moves the Witches up to second in speedway's Championship table.

The Suffolk side race at Berwick Bandits tomorrow, and are on their travels again on Sunday when they will visit Newcastle Diamonds.

While undoubtedly happy with eleven consecutive home wins this season, Hawkins says the Witches away form will be key to any play-off success or silverware at the end of the campaign.

"We were looking at trying to pick up between seven and 10 points from these three meetings as a whole, and we have three already after last night," the 33-year-old told us.

"We have to see Berwick as a big opportunity to get a win, but we also did well at Newcastle the last time we were there, and we had a few off-track issues at the time as well.

"Certainly if we get a win tomorrow it will give everyone a boost into Sunday."

Free events in Ipswich celebrate world music and culture

Two free events celebrating world music will be held in Ipswich this weekend.

Dele and Lokkhi Terra at Global Rhythm
Peppery Productions

Global Rhythm at Christchurch Park tomorrow will include meditation sessions, pop print workshops, a community picnic plus radio and music tents.

It will be held from 13:00 until 19:00.

Then on Sunday, Christchurch Park will play host to the Indian Summer Mela.

Running from 12:00 until 18:00, it will offer a celebration of Asian culture, featuring performances of Indian dances, songs, music and workshops.

India Summer Mela
Ipswich and Suffolk Indian Association

From the archives: Kett's Rebellion - Norwich 1549

Some 586 years ago this month, British tanner Robert Kett led a rebellion.

Kett's Rebellion
Getty Images

This pictures shows him and his followers in what was known as Kett's Rebellion on Mousehold Heath, which overlooked the city of Norwich.

The protest against the enclosure of land, when common land became private property, began at Wymondham on 8 July 1549.

The rebels were defeated by an army in August.

Video: Ella's 20-day poetry charity challenge

A six-year-old girl is reading and writing 20 of her own poems in 20 days.

Ella Brown, from Rattlesden, near Bury St Edmunds, has so far raised £600 for East Anglia's Children's Hospices and the health and outreach charity Yellow House.

She says she enjoys creative writing and it is something special to share.

Rattlesden schoolgirl's 20-day poetry charity challenge

Goats bring 'feel good factor' to yoga

A new craze which is grazing its way across the nation is about to reach Suffolk this weekend.

Goat yoga

Goat Yoga will be held at Skylark Farm, Bawsdey, on Sunday.

Participants practice yoga whilst in a field of baby goats, and are encouraged to sit with and pet the goats, which organisers say "increases the release of the feel-good hormones in the body making people feel relaxed and at ease".

The sold-out class will be taken by yoga teacher Diana Malone.

Squatters take over 'unlocked' former Job Centre building

Robby West

BBC Look East

Squatters have taken over the four-storey former Job Centre, Regent House, in Basildon claiming they've moved in due to lack of housing.

Closed over a year ago, the building now houses four squatters and three dogs.

Tom Keys

Tom Keys said he gained access to the building through the old staff entrance door which was unlocked and protected only by a catch he was able to push open.

He does not feel he has done anything wrong as he was homeless and said: "Everyone deserves a roof over their head."

He had been in another squat and discovered Regent House as he was looking for somewhere else to live.

Basildon councillor Kerry Smith said incidents like this are due to the government not allowing councils to borrow money to build houses.

Telereal Trillium, which currently owns the building, is now attempting to regain possession.

Weather: Strange cloud formations herald muggy night

BBC Weather Watchers

Our BBC Weather Watchers have pictured some strange cloud formations over the county today heralding another dry night.

The skimpy cloud of the day will thicken as twilight arrives and a few spots of rain are possible in the early hours.

For some it may be another uncomfortable muggy night for sleeping.

Minimum temperature: 17C (63F)

More details from BBC Weather.

Chadwell St Mary
Bishop's Stortford

Weekend treat for classic car lovers

There's a treat for classic car lovers this weekend....

The Heveningham Hall Councours d'Elegance will feature 50 of the most prominent pre- and post-war cars in history.

It kicks of with a tour around Suffolk ahead of a rally at the hall over the weekend.

The Suffolk Border Tour started at Thelnetham, near Diss, later this morning and finishes at Heveningham Hall this afternoon.

Max Hunt, chairman of the judging panel, said: "There really is something for everybody, including planes now as well. You might even find a few bikes in there too."

Car show at Heveningham Hall
Heveningham Hall

Fire service staff visit high-rise block residents over safety concerns

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Fire service staff are visiting residents living in 4,725 individual flats in high-rise buildings across the county to reassure them of their safety following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London.

Technical fire safety officers have been carrying out full checks on high-rise flats in Essex, and have already completed 56 audits with no related fire safety issues flagged up.

Grenfell Tower
REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Essex fire crews, community teams and volunteers are also giving residents fire safety advice.

They have visited 95 blocks to meet residents of 4,725 individual flats.

Acting Chief Fire Officer, Adam Eckley, said: "Since the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower we have received lots of questions from concerned residents who live in high-rise buildings.

"Over the coming weeks, we will continue to visit the remaining high-rise flats to reassure the residents and give them fire safety advice," he said.

New Norfolk firefighters at passing out parade

Nic Rigby

BBC News

The hard work of Norfolk’s newest full-time firefighters has been celebrated at a passing out parade.

Senior Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service staff, friends and families of the new recruits gathered at the Training Centre in Bowthorpe today.

New recruits passing out
Norfolk County Council

Over the last 12 weeks, they have been through a rigorous practical and written training plan to learn the key skills of the job.

Their training will now continue as they join their watches in Carrow (Norwich), Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn, where they will be in development for the next couple of years.

Towerblock exercise
Norfolk County Council

As well as learning how to use the equipment and breathing apparatus as part of their course, they have taken part in activities including:

  • Simulating a high-rise tower block fire (pictured above)
  • Training with MOD fire colleagues at RAF Mildenhall (pictured below)
  • Mock road traffic collisions
  • Water rescue

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: "It’s great to see these people starting their career ladders to this new and exciting job.

"Their work in keeping the communities of Norfolk safe is so worthwhile and valuable to all of us and I wish them well in their new roles."

Fire recruits training with Mildenhall firefighters
Norfolk County Council

MP predicts fishing port's brighter future with Brexit

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

The MP for Lowestoft says the number of fishing boats using the port could more than double after Brexit - currently only about a dozen inshore vessels use the harbour, which had moorings for 1,000 boats in the 19th Century.

Lowestoft fish market
Lowestoft's fish market

Waveney MP Peter Aldous says the government's new fishing bill will revive the local fishing industry and he predicts that trawlers will return to the port.

"Lowestoft stands out as the capital of the southern North Sea and that's probably a crown we've lost over the last 30 or 40 years. We've got to regain that crown," he said.

Mr Aldous, Conservative, also hopes that in the future the port will be more integrated with the town centre "and not locked away behind a busy road and fences".

He's been outlining his vision of the town's future to the Sunday Politics programme.

You can hear more of his thoughts on Sunday at 11:00 on BBC1.

Elena Baltacha's tennis academy helps 6,000 children a year

More than 6,000 primary school children a year are being helped by a tennis academy set up by a former Suffolk player, the organisation said.

Elena Baltacha
Getty Images

The Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis was set up just before the former British number one died three years ago.

It has won support from patron Judy Murray and current British number one Johanna Konta.

Baltacha, who was best known as Bally, died from liver cancer aged 30 at her Ipswich home.

Her husband Nino Sevorino, the academy director, said she would have loved to have seen the academy grow.

"This is what we dreamed of when we were travelling around the world," he said.

"She would have loved every second of it. On one side, it's heartbreaking, but I always feel Bally next to me."

Follow the BBC's Wimbledon coverage here.

Mural pays tribute to radio inventor Marconi and his company

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

A mural has been unveiled at Chelmsford railway station to mark the contribution made to the city by Giuseppe Marconi who was credited with the invention of radio and the company he built up which became a leader in aerospace technology and communications.

Marconi mural

"He was a tremendous influence in his time and up to today in space exploration and the development of worldwide communications, " Jude Deakin, councillor for the Marconi ward in Chelmsford said.

"Without his wireless invention we would not have the worldwide communications network that we have now.

"It's also a striking mural that the city and county councils as well as the railway have got involved with.

"People want to see more of this type of heritage activity and this is a very good first step."

Portrait wins Norfolk-wide VIth forms art competition

The winner of the first Norfolk Sixth Forms and Colleges Art Competition has been announced.

The winning painting
Lexie Cox

Lexie Cox (pictured below), of Reepham High School and College, took the prize with a portrait (acrylic on board, pictured above), with Amy Nash (Dereham Sixth Form College) taking the runners-up prize with a digital drawing.

A-Level art students from 15 sixth forms and colleges across the county took part in the competition and their works are on display to the public at Duke Street Gallery, Norwich University of the Arts (NUA).

Lexie Cox
Norfolk County Council

County council adviser for 14-19 development Robert Rickard, who co-ordinated the event, said:

"The standard of work was remarkable - it’s clear we have some real talent across the county."

Norfolk Sixth Forms and Colleges Art Exhibition is run by Heads of Art and NCC, in partnership with Royal Norfolk Show and NUA.

Man charged with dangerous driving over fatal crash

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A man from Tiptree has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving after a fatal crash between a Mercedes and a Ford Transit van.

The 31-year-old man was charged in connection with the death of Mischa Bond, from Tiptree, who died after the collision in Witham Road, Tolleshunt Major on 13 January 2016.

He is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on 2 August.

Ambulance driver cleared of causing death of 77-year-old pedestrian

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

An ambulance driver on an emergency call whose vehicle hit and killed a man on a pedestrian crossing has been found not guilty of causing death by careless driving.

Faye Parson, 41, was responding to a 999 call on 4 February last year when she collided with Michael Daly, 77, in Danbury near Chelmsford. He died later.

Faye Parson

Chelmsford Crown Court heard that according to the ambulance's data recorder Ms Parson had been driving at 29mph (46.5km/h) - under the 30mph speed limit.

The defendant, of Church Street, Braintree, pulled into the wrong lane to overtake a queue of traffic as she approached the crossing, the court was told.

Dentist Mr Daly was crossing the A414 Main Road on his way home from his surgery when he was hit.

BreakingFatal collision 999 call ambulance driver not guilty

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

An ambulance driver has been found not guilty of causing death by careless driving over the death of a 77-year-old man on a pedestrian crossing while on a 999 call at Danbury in Essex.

More to follow.

Unexpected 'intruder' at police station

A police force that warns people against leaving their doors and windows open had an unexpected visit from a baby seagull after they did exactly that.

Bird at Ipswich police station
Suffolk Constabulary

The bird flew into Ipswich police station on Museum Street after a door was left open.

Officers posted a photo of it on Twitter, with the message: "In the warm weather we advise against leaving doors open to try and prevent intruders.

"We left ours open and had a little visitor."

An officer who looks after injured birds was drafted in to capture it.

View more on twitter

From the archives: Building Norwich City's ground in 1935

Some 82 years ago this month, the construction of Norwich City Football Club's new ground at Carrow Road was under way.

The construction of Norwich City FC's new football ground at Carrow Road, Norwich, 30th July 1935.
Getty Images

Young people showing their talents on Village Green Festival stages

A day before the Village Green festival gets under way school pupils and college students have been given the stages and facilities to demonstrate their talent, expertise and commitment to art, music and culture.

More than 4,000 of them are at Chalkwell Park in Southend and having a great time in the sunshine.

View more on twitter

Jury in ambulance driver fatal crash considering verdict

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

The jury in trial of an ambulance driver who denies causing death by careless driving has retired to consider its verdict.

Faye Parson was on a 999 call at Danbury when she hit a 77-year-old dentist on a pelican crossing.

The 41-year-old defendant denies the charge at the trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Fraudster's actions have 'affected faith in human nature'

The actions of a former charity treasurer who conned a disabled people's support organisation out of £200,000 were given "little thought".

As we've been reporting, Neil Payne has been jailed for four and a half years for fraud by abuse of position.

He had been a volunteer treasurer at DIAL Lowestoft and Waveney.

The 51-year-old, formerly of Rushton Drive in Carlton Colville, made 270 transactions between the charity's bank accounts and his own personal account.

Margaret Oldham, from the charity, said: "I thought Neil was a trusted friend and colleague of 15 years and his actions have seriously affected my faith in human nature.”

Det Con Andrew Thawley, officer on the case, added: "He appears to have given little thought to the effect this would have on not only those working for the charity but also their clients – often some of the most vulnerable in society, who rely on DIAL for support and advice.

"Margaret and the team at DIAL have, by contrast, shown their strength of character by battling to keep the charity going.

"We hope that today’s sentencing will help them continue to move forward – and that residents in Lowestoft and Waveney will rally round to support them and help them carry on the good work they do.”

Village Green gives pupils the chance to try Bollywood dance

More from the Village Green festival day for young people - showing the diversity of culture in Southend.

View more on twitter

BreakingMiddlesbrough confirm Jonny Howson deal

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Jonny Howson's transfer from Norwich City to Middlesbrough has moved a step closer.

Boro have confirmed they agreed a deal with the Canaries this morning and the midfielder is due to have a medical later.

View more on twitter

Howson was City's Player of the Year in 2015/16 and it's believed the Yorkshireman and former Leeds youngster wants to move closer to home.

Festival welcomes school and college performers

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

The Village Green festival at Chalkwell Park in Southend has again extended its activities a day before the main event to include performances exclusively by and for Southend schoolchildren.

This year today's events are in partnership with South Essex College and Southend Borough Council.

View more on twitter

Village Green: Next Generation is taking advantage of all the facilities set up for Saturday's programme and young people have the opportunity to showcase their music, film, visual art and performing talents on a full size festival stage, organisers Metal said.

"It is also a chance to try out all kinds of new skills through art, music and performance activities, journalism workshops and much more - through workshops with professional artists," a spokesman said.

Defrauded Lowestoft charity trustees had to pay wages 'our of their own pockets'

A charity for disabled people which was conned out of more than £200,000 has said it has been "living a nightmare".

DIAL charity
DIAL Lowestoft and Waveney

As we've reported, Neil Payne defrauded DIAL Lowestoft and Waveney out of the money over a six-year period.

The 51-year-old, who had been the charity's treasurer, has been jailed for four and a half years.

The charity has said it faces a "uncertain future" and needs funding to continue.

Margaret Oldham from the charity said: "We have all been living a nightmare, and this has not gone away completely yet.

"Without individual trustees loaning money out of their personal accounts to pay salaries for January and February 2017 he would have ‘killed’ a charity which is vital to hundreds of people with disabilities and which has been in existence for 30 years."

Payne admitted fraud by abuse of position.

Harford Manor School closed due to flooding

Harford Manor School in Norwich is closed today after major flooding caused by the storms yesterday afternoon.

Harford Manor School

Five classrooms, the hall and the toilets were all affected during the downpour which also resulted in an electrical fault. It happened after the children had gone home.

Staff hope to reopen on Monday morning.