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Summary

  1. Ex-teacher charged with child sex offences
  2. Nigel Farage in Clacton on EU referendum trail
  3. Man dies in Basildon roundabout crash
  4. West Ham fan looking for home for 4m Irons badge
  5. Local Live resumes at 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all for today

Thanks for following our live coverage across Essex today. Here are the top stories we've covered: 

  • UKIP leader Nigel Farage has visited Clacton two days ahead of the EU referendum
  • A former teacher at an all girls school in Essex has been charged with sexual touching of a girl under 18 and possessing indecent images of children
  • An Essex Police photo encouraging people to use seatbelts has prompted hundreds of comments online, with the majority of posts being about the "gorgeous" officers  

We'll be back tomorrow morning from 08:00. Have a great evening. 

Prosser joins Colchester United as Moncur leaves

BBC Sport

It's been an afternoon of comings and goings at Colchester United today. 

Former Southend United defender Luke Prosser has joined on a two-year contract following his release from the Blues. 

Meanwhile, Barnsley has signed U's midfielder George Moncur for an undisclosed fee, reported to be about £500,000.

Midfielder Alex Gilbey has also gone to Wigan on a three-year deal for an undisclosed compensation fee. 

Weather: Risk of patchy rain overnight

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Some fine weather to end the day, but gradually it's turning cloudy from the west with the risk of patchy rain overnight.

Lows of 14C (57F).

Weather map
BBC

Tomorrow, any early rain will clear but it will remain rather cloudy with some outbreaks of light rain. Humidity continuing to rise with the risk of scattered thunderstorms. Maximum temperature: 22C (72F).

You'll find the latest forecast at BBC Weather.

Southend Pier train out of action 'for at least 12 weeks'

If you're planning a trip down the world's longest pleasure pier you best take your hiking boots. 

The train which runs the length of the Southend attraction is out of action for at least 12 weeks while repair works are undertaken. 

Southend Pier train
BBC

With the summer season upon us this is very disappointing news, but of course safety must come first."

Councillor Ann HollandSouthend Borough Council

Southend Borough Council said should there be an emergency, buggies would now be used for evacuation instead. 

Magpie saved from cat attack becomes man's 'best friend'

When Peter Redwood, 21, from Rayleigh, was handed a two-week-old magpie saved from a cat attack, he never thought they would become best friends.

Now seven weeks old and fighting fit, Pica has become attached to his new companion, so much so they're now room-mates.

Man released without charge after A127 crash that killed 13-year-old boy

A man arrested after a crash on the A127 where a 13-year-old boy died has been released without charge, police say. 

A127
Google

Joseph Sheridan, of Wickford, was involved in a crash with a BMW on the Southend-bound carriageway in Basildon on 15 February. He later died in hospital. 

A 31-year-old driver, from Southend, was originally arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

The incident is now being passed to the coroner and an inquest will be held in due course.

Nigel Farage samples Harwich whelks while talking about UKIP's latest anti-EU poster

Simon Dedman

BBC Essex political reporter

Nigel Farage has travelled around north Essex today as he launched his latest anti-EU poster. I caught up with him while he sampled the whelks in Harwich, which he said were "lovely". 

Farage eating whelks
BBC

"Today's poster is about the fact that one in four of our primary schools are full," Mr Farage said. 

"The point here is how can you provide health care provision, education, any of that, if you haven't got a clue what the population will be in a few years time?"

Remain campaigners say if we left the EU it would still impose freedom of movement laws upon Britain in order for trade to continue.

You can read all the arguments for and against Britain remaining in the EU here

Dan bought the West Ham sign... but didn't tell his girlfriend

When you spend £2,500 on a 4m (12ft) West Ham badge, you have to have a pretty understanding other half - especially if you don't tell them beforehand. 

West Ham sign
Dan Cairns

Dan Cairns, from Brentwood, said his girlfriend got a "bit of a shock" when he turned up at the house with the giant sign. 

Luckily for Dan, they're still together.

Girl in care's address 'disclosed in error' by Essex County Council

A woman whose daughter was taken into care was mistakenly given details of the child's new address.  

Family
BBC

A "para-legal" at Essex County Council sent the woman documents containing the names and address of a couple who had been earmarked to adopt the girl.

Details of the error emerged in a ruling on the case at a family court hearing at Chelmsford, where the woman mounted an unsuccessful attempt to block her daughter's adoption.

The council said it had apologised and was reviewing its service, systems and processes.

Police tight-lipped about officers' selfie

Richard Haugh

BBC News

The selfie of Sgt Kayleigh Webster and PC Daryl Jones has been a hit online and is currently Essex Police's profile photo on Facebook.

I phoned the force earlier to talk about the photo, and asked whether it led to a surge in interest in the page and if it was likely to encourage more people to buckle up.

"The purpose of the photo is to promote safer driving and using seatbelts," is all a spokeswoman would say.

Luckily Sgt Webster was more forthcoming on Twitter:

View more on twitter

Two cautioned after laser shone at aircraft

Two men have received police cautions after admitting shining a laser at a commercial airliner flying into Stansted Airport and a police helicopter.

Laser
BBC

The pair were arrested on Sunday after a National Police Air Service pilot, based at Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk, reported a laser being shone at the helicopter while over Braintree, police say. 

A man, 19, from Chelmsford, and a 19-year-old man from Braintree were detained on suspicion of shining a light at an aircraft in flight so as to dazzle or distract the pilot. 

Both admitted the offence in custody and were issued with a caution.

Two bailed in Great Baddow murder investigation

Over the past couple of days we've been reporting on Essex Police's murder investigation after a pensioner was found dead in Great Baddow on Saturday. 

Murder scene
BBC

Two men and a woman were detained on suspicion of murder following the discovery of Brian Hurry, 78, at a property on Bramwoods Road.

Today the force said two people had been bailed. A 24-year-old man from Chelmsford remains in custody.

Szmodics signs new Colchester deal

BBC Sport

Some positive news for Colchester United fans now. 

Forward Sammie Szmodics has signed a new three-year contract with the League Two club.  

Sammie Szmodics
Getty Images

The 20-year-old has played 51 times for the U's since coming through their ranks and had a loan spell at National League side Braintree last term.

But he has not appeared since December 2015, missing the final few months of last season after ankle surgery.

If you're just joining us...

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good afternoon, here are the top stories we've covered on Essex Live so far today: 

  • UKIP leader Nigel Farage has visited Clacton to unveil his latest anti-EU poster two days ahead of the European referendum 
  • A former teacher at Westcliff High School for Girls has been charged with offences including sexual touching and making incident images of children
  • A Brentwood man has paid £2,500 for a 4m (13ft) West Ham sign which was taken from the towers on the side of the old Boleyn Ground

Weather: Dry this afternoon with spells of warm sunshine

BBC Weather

Good news if you're off out on your lunch break. 

It'll stay dry and warm this afternoon with sunny spells. Maximum temperature: 22C (72F).

You'll find the latest forecast here

Weather
BBC

New anti-EU UKIP poster unveiled in Clacton

Simon Dedman

BBC Essex political reporter

...and this is the reason Nigel Farage has come to Clacton today. He's just unveiled UKIP's new anti-EU poster, warning about oversubscribed schools.

New UKIP poster
BBC

Earlier this week Mr Farage caused some controversy after he unveiled a billboard that showed a long queue of migrants with the words "breaking point".

Farage mobbed by UKIP supporters as he walks through Clacton High Street

Simon Dedman

BBC Essex political reporter

Farage
BBC
Farage supporters
BBC

Nigel Farage has close brush with tree as 'Brexit bus' pulls up

The UKIP leader was greeted with cheers as he pulled in on his purple "Brexit bus". 

Watch out for that tree, Nigel...

View more on twitter

UKIP activists await arrival of Nigel Farage in Clacton

Simon Dedman

BBC Essex political reporter

About 100 UKIP activists are currently waiting for the arrival of Nigel Farage in Clacton. 

The party leader is heading to north Essex to unveil his latest anti-EU poster.

UKIP activists
BBC

Cricket looking a bit more likely today...

The conditions down at the County Ground in Chelmsford were more suited for swimmers than cricketers yesterday... 

Big puddle on the ground at Chelmsford
Richard Rae

Torrential rain meant no play was possible between Essex and Leicestershire.  

Thankfully it looks a tad brighter today, so the home side will resume play on 266-9 at 11:00.

View more on twitter

You can follow live coverage of the match here

Pupils, parents and school to be supported by social workers over the next couple of days

The councillor for Children and Learning at Southend Borough Council says social workers and education psychologists are offering support at the school today and tomorrow. 

"We will continue to support the school, parents and pupils in the coming days and weeks and would encourage anyone who is affected by this news to speak to the police or the school, get in touch with our First Contact Team on 01702 215007 or call the NSPCC Helpline number on 0808 800 500," James Courtenay said. 

School took 'immediate action' following teacher arrest

The headmaster of Westcliff High School for Girls says Colin Bell was "immediately suspended" upon arrest.

"All the relevant safeguarding processes and procedures were followed by the school," Dr Paul Hayman said.   

This immediate action was taken to safeguard pupils, which is clearly of paramount importance to the school and our governing body."

Dr Paul HaymanHeadmaster of Westcliff High School for Girls

Teacher suspended from school following arrest last year

Colin Bell, 44, of Rebels Lane, Great Wakering, was a teacher at Westcliff High School for Girls up until his arrest by police in August 2015. 

Westcliff High School for Girls
Google

Today the force says Mr Bell has been charged with four counts of sexual touching of a girl aged under 18, two counts of making indecent images of children, one count of possession of extreme pornographic images and one count of possession of prohibited images of children.

He has been bailed and will appear at Southend Magistrates' Court on 29 July. 

BreakingFormer Westcliff High School for Girls teacher charged with sex offences

A former teacher at Westcliff High School for Girls has been charged with a number offences including sexual touching and making incident images of children. 

More details to follow. 

Police officers' selfie proves popular

Richard Haugh

BBC News

A police photo encouraging people to use seatbelts has prompted hundreds of comments online... with the majority of posts being about the "gorgeous" officers.

Sgt Kayleigh Webster and PC Daryl Jones
Essex Police

The selfie of Sgt Kayleigh Webster and PC Daryl Jones was posted on Essex Police's Facebook page on Sunday, and has since gained coverage in The Mirror, Unilad and The Daily Mail.

"PC Daryl Jones can arrest and punish me anytime"... is one of the more repeatable comments made.

Is this West Ham's biggest fan?

When Dan Cairns from Brentwood was three years old he was bought his first West Ham shirt.

Dan and the sign
Dan Cairns

More than 30 years on, his love for the club has grown so much he paid £2,500 for a 4m (13ft) Irons logo which was stuck to the towers on the side of the old Boleyn Ground. 

It's so big Dan had a lorry deliver it to his house. He's now looking for somewhere in Essex to put it "so I can see it, and other fans can get enjoyment and take pictures with it". 

Nigel Farage heads to Clacton to launch new poster

UKIP leader Niger Farage is heading to north Essex today to launch his latest anti-EU poster.

Farage and poster
PA

On Sunday, Mr Farage unveiled a billboard that showed a long queue of migrants with the words "breaking point". A number of politicians attacked the poster, with George Osborne saying it had "echoes" of 1930s' literature.

The UKIP leader, who will visit Clacton and Harwich on the "Brexit Bus", defended it, saying it was "the truth". More on this later.

Weather: Mostly dry today with spells of warm sunshine

BBC Weather

The majority of places will remain dry today with warm and sunny spells. There is a small chance of light afternoon showers developing. 

Maximum temperature: 22C (72F).

You'll find the latest forecast for your area at BBC Weather

Man, 25, dies after Basildon roundabout crash

A 25-year-old man from Canvey has died after the car he was in went into a roundabout and struck a tree in Basildon.

He was a passenger in a red BMW which crashed at about 22:30 last night.

Broadmayne junction with Uppermayne
Google

It happened on the Broadmayne junction with Uppermayne. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The driver, a 22-year-old man from Basildon, received serious, but not life-threatening injuries. 

The road was closed until about 05:30 this morning.

Welcome to Essex Live

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good morning. 

We start today with news just in from Essex Police that a 25-year-old man has died following a car crash in Basildon last night. 

More details to follow.