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Live Reporting

By Patrick Byrne

All times stated are UK

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  1. 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.

  2. 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:

  3. 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

    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.

  4. 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
  5. 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.

  6. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M11 Essex northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M11 Essex northbound severe accident, between J6 for M25 and J7 for A414 affecting J4 for A406.

    M11 Essex - Slow traffic on M11 northbound between J6 M25 and J7, A414 (Harlow), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J4, A406 (Woodford).

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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
  9. 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

    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.

  10. 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."

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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
  15. 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.

  16. 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.