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  1. Updates on Tuesday, 15 March 2016
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates resume at 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our local coverage across the day

That's it from the team today.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with your local news, sport, travel and weather. 

Keep us posted with what's going on where you live via email, Twitter or Facebook.

Speedway: Zach Wajtknecht joins Lakeside Hammers

The Lakeside Hammers have added Zach Wajtknecht to their squad.

However, he will spend this season riding for Birmingham and Somerset as he continues to develop his career in speedway. 

Zach Wajtknecht
Claire Swatman

Faster 999 response could have saved seven-year-old Basildon girl, Malaika Adam, says coroner

Basildon Echo

A faster response from the ambulance service and a 111 call centre could have saved the life of a girl who died from appendicitis, an inquest has heard.

Weather: Cloudy and misty overnight

BBC Weather

Cloudy and misty this evening and much of the night with some light rain or drizzle spreading. 

Temperatures falling to around 5C (41F). 

Weather map

BBC Weather has more details. 

Headlines: Trial of two in alleged acid attack told assault was 'unprovoked'... Comedian Russell Brand posts video opposing Lower Thames Crossing

Mariam Issimdar

BBC Local Live

The main news stories this evening: 

  • The trial of two people over an alleged acid attack in Thundersley almost two years ago has been told it was an "unprovoked" assault
  • Grays-born comic, Russell Brand has made a video opposing the new Lower Thames Crossing

Acid victim required skin grafts, court told

BBC Essex

A man spent 24 days in hospital following an attack involving "extreme" acid, requiring skin grafts to treat third-degree burns, a court has heard.

Ashley Russell, 30, of Sunnedon, Basildon, and Christina Storey, 32, of Brook Court, Rayleigh, each deny throwing a corrosive fluid at Darren Pidgeon, then 29.

The trial at Basildon Crown Court has also been told Mr Pidgeon had become trapped down a cul-de-sac by the car carrying the two defendants and after they blocked him in the road, Mr Russell sprayed liquid at the victim through his open car window. 

Russell Brand posts video opposing Lower Thames Crossing

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Comedian and campaigner Russell Brand has made a video opposing the planned new Lower Thames Crossing.

Russell Brand

The Grays-born comic has posted it on Facebook. saying he got involved because his family still lived in the town.     

A consultation is currently under way on the proposed road which could run from the M2 to the M25 in Essex, tunnelling under the Thames east of Gravesend, Kent.   

Stansted celebrates 25th anniversary of royal opening

Stansted Airport is celebrating today's 25th anniversary of the official opening of its terminal building by the Queen.

Queen opening new terminal in 1991
Stansted Airport

Some quick facts about Stansted:

  • In 1991 it handled 1.1 million passengers per year; today that figure is 23 million
  • 11,600 staff employed today on-site
  • Top five destinations are Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Rome and Barcelona

Acid trial hears man targeted 'for no obvious reason'

Jo Black

BBC News

The trial of two people, accused of spraying acid at a man in Thundersley, has heard that he was targeted "apparently by a complete stranger" and "for no obvious reason".

Darren Pidgeon, 27, from Rayleigh was left with life-changing injuries after the attack in 2014.

Ashley Russell, 30, from Basildon, and Christina Storey, 32 from Rayleigh, both deny conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, while Ms Storey denies a further charge of committing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice.

Weather: Lingering cloud this afternoon

BBC Weather

It's been a cloudy morning in Essex as this picture of Thorpe Bay, taken by Weather Watcher, Ray of Sunshine, shows.

The cloud is set to linger through this afternoon with some brighter spells.

Thorpe Bay
BBC Weather Watchers / Ray of Sunshine

Feeling rather chilly this afternoon in the northeasterly breeze, with a top temperature of 10C (50F). 

BBC Weather has more local forecasts.

Two appear in court to face trial over 'acid attack' on Rayleigh man

Richard Smith

BBC Essex

The trial has begun at Basildon Crown Court of two people charged in connection with an alleged "acid attack" in Thundersley.

Darren Pidgeon

The victim, 27-year-old Darren Pidgeon from Rayleigh, has been left with life-changing injuries since the incident in June 2014. 

Ashley Russell, 30, of Basildon, and Christina Storey, 32, of Rayleigh deny conspiracy to commit grevious bodily harm. Ms Storey denies a further charge of committing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice.

Headlines: Trial under way in connection with an alleged 'acid attack' in Thundersley... Consultation to take place on A127 improvements

Mariam Issimdar

BBC Local Live

The main news stories this lunchtime:

Anglia Ruskin reveal news vice chancellor

Chelmsford-based Anglia Ruskin University has a new vice chancellor.

Professor Iain Martin
Anglia Ruskin university

Prof Iain Martin has taken over from Prof Michael Thorne, who's retiring after being in the role for almost 10 years.

Prof Martin was previously deputy vice chancellor of the University of New South Wales in Australia.  

All Saints announce Southend gig

One of the biggest girl groups of the 1990s, All Saints, have announced they are playing in Southend as part of a new tour. 

All Saints

The band - who sold more than a million copies of their Brit Award-winning hit single "Never Ever" - will be at the Cliffs Pavilion in October. 

All Saints, who had five number ones. will also be playing at this year's V Festival in Hylands Park, Chelmsford.

Colchester United Under-21s win 2-0 over Bristol

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Colchester United’s Under-21s continued their decent run of form with a 2-0 win against Bristol City last night.


Drey Wright and Louis Dunne, who made his debut for the first team in Saturday’s draw with Wigan, netted for the U’s.  

Teenager continues to be questioned about Harlow murder

Detectives are continuing to question a teenager, arrested on suspicion of murdering a man in Harlow.

Hassan Abdi Mohammed
Essex Police

Hassan Abdi Mohammed, 48, was found stabbed on a pathway in the town earlier this month.

An 18-year old man was arrested in Edmonton, north London, on Friday night and remains in police custody.

Police campaign on child sexual exploitation

Essex Police says child sexual exploitation can happen to any person of any background:

View more on twitter

Police release name of driver killed in crash

Essex Police have released the name of a motorist who died following a road crash near Brentwood.

Raul Espi, 36, from Southend, was driving a car which collided with a truck in Great Warley in February. 

He died from his injuries last week. 

Motorcyclist injured in Halstead

Jodie Smith

BBC News

A motorcyclist has been taken to Colchester General Hospital for further treatment after injuring his foot in a crash which closed the main A131 road through Halstead.

Crash site

Police said they were called to Mount Hill at the junction with Ramsey Road by paramedics just after 06:00 this morning.

Essex Fire and Rescue closed the road for about two hours and paramedics treated the motorcyclist, in his 50s, at the scene before transferring him to hospital. 

Sport: Braintree Town face big test in promotion quest

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Braintree Town face a big test tonight in their quest for promotion from the National League.

Getty Images

The Iron are at home to fellow play-off chasers Gateshead. 

There’s commentary of the match on the BBC Sport website from 19:45.

Essex Police consider increasing patrols after road deaths and serious injuries rise

Police are looking at increasing patrols on some Essex roads after new figures showed that February saw the highest number of deaths and serious injuries in crashes of any month for the past nine years.

Ten people died as a result of collisions last month; 67 were seriously injured.   

Essex Police

Travel: A127 westbound delays at Southend

BBC Travel

There are problems on the A127 Southend Arterial Road at Basildon where the westbound exit slip road is partially blocked, with queuing traffic at Nevendon due to an accident involving three vehicles.

Congestion to Dick Turpin Junctions.  

BBC Travel has more details.

Stansted Airport celebrates 25 years

Stansted Airport is celebrating today, marking the 25th anniversary of its terminal building's official opening by the Queen. 

Stansted Airport

It has served more than 350 million passengers since, and seen 3.2 million flights to and from the airport.  

Councillors to discuss proposed upgrade to A127 at Southend

Southend councillors are due to discuss plans for improvements to a major road junction near the town today.

Southend Borough Council wall

They are looking at options for Kent Elms on the A127, where proposals include a new footbridge for pedestrians and extra lanes for motorists. 

A consultation is due to start next Monday, with roadworks taking place later this year.

Weather: Cloudy with some bright spells later

BBC Weather

A cloudy start with some sunny spells as well but a north-easterly breeze will keep temperatures around 10C (50F).

BBC Weather has more local details.  

Headlines: Police look at increasing road patrols... Improvements possible to A127 near Southend

Mariam Issimdar

BBC Local Live

The main news stories: 

  • Police looking at increasing patrols on some Essex roads after new figures showed February having highest deaths and serious injuries in crashes for nine years
  • Councillors are to discuss plans for improvements to the A127 near Southend

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage for Essex

Mariam Issimdar

BBC Local Live

Hello and welcome to Tuesday's Essex Live. 

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

We're always interested in what's happening in your part of Essex, so If there's anything you wish to share, contact us on email or Twitter