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  1. Updates on Friday, 28 July 2017
  2. Man jailed for driving car into pregnant woman
  3. Pitsea tower blocks fail fire safety tests
  4. Staff shortages blamed for Chelmsford Prison violence
  5. Knife crime crackdown sees 40 arrests in a week
  6. Road flooded after burst water main

Live Reporting

By Stuart Bailey

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Stuart Bailey

BBC News

That's it for another week of live updates.

You can scroll back on this page to catch up with any Essex stories you may have missed, including:

  • Man jailed for driving car into pregnant woman
  • Pitsea tower blocks fail fire safety tests
  • Staff shortages blamed for Chelmsford Prison violence
  • Knife crime crackdown sees 40 arrests in a week
  • Road flooded after burst water main

We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel for the county from 08:00 on Monday.

Have a good weekend.

Severe accident: M25 Essex clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex clockwise severe accident, after J27 for M11 affecting J25 for A10.

M25 Essex - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise after J27 M11, because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder. Congestion to J25, A10 (Enfield).

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

Norfolk Euro MP in bid to become UKIP deputy leader

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

Nominations close today in the latest election to choose a leader for the UK Independence Party, an election which could see one of the East of England's MEPs become deputy leader.

Norfolk farmer Stuart Agnew is the running mate of Anne Marie Waters, a controversial candidate who's seen as one of the favourites to win.

Ms Waters has made a number of disparaging comments about muslims and ethnic minorities and there is pressure on the party leadership to prevent her from standing.

But Mr Agnew says he expects her to be allowed to stand and he's praised her for her "real courage" in being prepared to talk about issues which he says, other people arn't prepared to confront.

"There is an increasing element of people who are beyond the law in this country," he said.

"Well we say we have our own way of life and culture in this country and we want to keep it."

He said it was "really really frustrating" that some people regarded such views as racist.

Nominations for UKIP's fourth leader in a year close at 5pm. The list of those standing probably won't be made public until next week.

Stuart Agnew MEP
European Parliament
Stuart Agnew MEP
Anne Marie Waters
Leadership contender Anne Marie Waters

Man jailed for driving car into pregnant woman

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A man who ran over a pregnant shop-worker and left her with life-threatening injuries has been jailed for three years.

Vinisha Ajanraj, 32, was working in an off-licence on London Road, Leigh on Sea, at around 17:00 on Monday, 27 March when she suspected three men of using a stolen credit card.

She chased the group after they went behind the till, took the card back and ran out of the shop with some goods.

They got into a car driven by Rico Dupres which was then reversed into Mrs Ajanraj - who was 27-weeks pregnant at the time - leaving her in intensive care with serious internal injuries.

Rico Dupres.
Essex Police

Dupres, 25, of Anderson Close, London pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving.

Mrs Ajanraj, who has since given birth to a healthy baby girl, said: "I am still unable to walk and am in constant pain every day. My family and I are also suffering financially.

"I think those responsible for my injuries are very cruel and it upsets me greatly that anyone could do this to another human being."

Afternoon weather: Cloudy and drizzly

BBC Weather

Cloud will continue to thicken and it will become breezy, with some oubreaks of rain.

There will be the occasional bright spell too, but it will feel cool for late July.

A top temperature of 19C (66F).

Forecast for Southend.

In pictures: Prince William's final air ambulance shift

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

As we reported yesterday, The Duke of Cambridge completed his final shift for the East Anglian Air Ambulance last night.

Prince William joined the emergency service two years ago, but is leaving to concentrate on royal duties on behalf of the Queen.

Here are some photos from his final day with the service:

Prince William.
Getty Images
Prince William.
Getty Images
Prince William.
Getty Images
Prince William.
Getty Images
Prince William.
Getty Images
Jermaine Pennant

Billericay Town are set to sign former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant on a two-year deal.

Read more

Pitsea tower blocks fail fire safety tests

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Parts of cladding on two tower blocks in Pitsea have failed fire safety tests.

But Genesis Housing Association - which manages Cleves and Aragon Courts - says it won't be removing it until new government guidance is published.

Fire monitors will be patrolling the site 24 hours a day.

Cleves and Aragon Courts in Pitsea.

A spokesman for Genesis Housing Association said: "In the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, Genesis Housing Association carried out tests to the cladding materials on blocks of six storeys and above across its portfolio.

"The tests have shown that parts of the external cladding used in panels on portions of Cleves and Aragon Court in Pitsea have failed the new test set by Government.

"Genesis has taken all appropriate actions recommended by the Ministers and the fire brigade including placing 24-hour fire monitors on-site to patrol and reassure residents, made sure that all relevant Fire Risk Assessments are up to date and all fire precautions are in place and functioning effectively.

"We are not currently planning to remove the cladding from the buildings until updated Government guidance is provided by the Department for Communities.

"We have written to residents to reassure them that their safety is – and will remain - our top priority. We will continue to keep them informed throughout this process and thank them for their continued patience."

Your pictures: Sunny spells

BBC Weather Watchers

It's been a decent day so far with some sunshine breaking through the cloud, as captured by our BBC Weather Watchers.

Clouds in North Fambridge.
Clouds in Great Chesterford.
Blue skies in Frinton on Sea.
Welcome to Braintree sign.

BBC at Cambridge Folk Festival

Your BBC Local Radio station is broadcasting live from the Cambridge Folk Festival on Sunday evening.

Sue said: "This is the third year we've broadcast live from Cherry Hinton.

"The festival is a real mixed bag of music and people. It's family-orientated and I love that you can go on a journey of discovery."

Sue Marchant's show runs from 19:00 until 22:00 on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, BBC Essex and BBC Radio Suffolk.

She'll have interviews and music from Nikhil D'Souza, Hayseed Dixie, Frank Turner, Midnight Skyracer, River Matthews and more.

Cambridge Folk Festival food stalls

Pair deny killing man who died after Hullbridge robbery

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Two men have pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of a man who suffered fatal head injuries during an alleged robbery in Hullbridge.

Timothy Smith, 57, died two days after the incident which happened in The Drive on 19 March.

The Drive, Hullbridge.

Andrew McVicar, 33, of Dewsgreen, Basildon and Colin Garrod, 50, of Crowborough Road, Southend appeared at Basildon Crown Court yesterday.

They denied manslaughter and robbery and are due to stand trial on 8 January 2018.

A127 flooding delays set to continue for 'a few hours'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

There are still long delays on the A127 near Rayleigh after a burst water main this morning.

One lane is closed on the London-bound side because of flooding.

A spokesman for Essex and Suffolk Water said engineers were called at about 08:00 and that repairs were likely to take 'a few more hours'.

Congestion near Rayleigh.

Chelmsford MP 'concerned' about prison violence

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

The Conservative MP for Chelmsford, Vicky Ford, says she's "concerned" about the level of violence at Chelmsford Prison.

Figures released yesterday by the Ministry of Justice showed there were 122 reports of attacks on staff and inmates last year, which is an all time high.

Chelmsford Prison.

I've asked to go and visit the prison. There is concern - not serious concern - but there is concern. An extra £100m has been put in place for new prison officers, to have 2,500 by the end of the next year. Already 500 are in place but they need to be properly recruited and trained."

Vicky FordMP for Chelmsford

McEvoy shares leads at European Open

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

The Shoeburyness golfer, Richard McEvoy, shares the lead after the opening day of the European Open in Hamburg.

He carded six birdies in an opening round 66 to finish alongside the American Julian Suri on six under.

Play is just getting under way on day two.

Richard McEvoy
Getty Images

Essex batsman Tom Westley's Test debut 'highs and lows'

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

England will resume on 171-4 on day two of the third Test against South Africa at the Oval at 11:00.

Essex batsman Alastair Cook is 82 not out while his county colleague, Tom Westley (pictured), made 25 on his Test debut yesterday.

Tom Westley.
Getty Images

Westley said it was a day of highs and lows: "The proudest moment of my life was getting my cap this morning and it was exciting batting for the time that I did.

"But it was equally frustrating then getting out just after lunch having got a start.

"So, mixed emotions but hopefully the guys are in a relatively good position".

Staff shortages blamed for Chelmsford Prison violence

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Yesterday we reported that assaults on staff and inmates at Chelmsford Prison last year were at an all time high.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice showed there were 122 reports of attacks in 2016 compared with 80 in 2015.

Nick Adams from the Independent Monitoring Board doesn't think the prison has been safe over the last few years and is blaming it on a shortage of staff: "2016, we hope, was an absolute low point.

"As far as Chelmsford is concerned, things can only get better.

"If the government follows through on this, there's money there and prison officers can be recruited and retained then things should improve."

Prison worker locking a door.

A former inmate at Chelmsford Prison said: "In an ideal world we need more staff but I understand it's easier said than done especially with budget cuts.

"In Chelmsford, when there wasn't enough staff, you'd all be locked up in your cells much longer, which annoyed everyone."

Hacker, 20, who made £380k has jail term cut

Computer hacker Adam Mudd has had his jail sentence reduced at the court of appeal.

He had developed and sold malware which led to attacks on public institutions.

Mudd, 20, of Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, made £380,000, but the victims of the software had to spend millions defending themselves against the estimated 1.7 million attacks.

Adam Mudd

Victims of the attacks included the University of Cambridge, University of Essex in Colchester, University of East Anglia in Norwich and several local councils. An attack was also made on West Herts College in Watford where Mudd was a student.

Mudd admitted creating the malicious software and was jailed for two years at the Old Bailey in April.

He successfully appealed against the length of the sentence and the Court of Appeal has reduced it to 21 months.

Essex knife crime crackdown sees 40 arrests in a week

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

A sword, a machete and an iron bar were among about 20 items seized by Essex Police during a week-long campaign to tackle knife crime.

Officers carried out raids on properties and roadside checks - arresting 40 people - between Monday, July 17 and Saturday, July 22.

A selection of knives seized by Essex Police.
Essex Police

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: "I don’t want the communities of Essex or those who carry knives to be under any illusions - our work to tackle this is does not stop now the week of action is over.

"Our officers continue to work every day to take knives off the streets of Essex and put those who carry them illegally in prison."

A machete seized by Essex Police.
Essex Police

Road flooded near Rayleigh after burst water main

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Flooding on the A127 near Rayleigh is causing long delays on the London-bound side.

The water is up to a foot deep in places and a burst water main is being blamed.

BBC Essex reporter Tim Gillett was there and said: "Muddy water with stones and bits of debris have been flowing out of a property on the side of the A127 and only the middle of the road is passable.

"Cars are having to slow down to pass through the water, which is about a foot deep and flowing fast."

Friday's weather: Mainly dry, becoming more cloudy later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

A few changes in the forecast for today.

It's looking mostly dry until we get to this evening, maybe a few stray showers at times and it'll still be quite breezy as well.

The best of the sunshine is likely to be this morning, before the cloud thickens from the west as we head into the afternoon.

Top temperature across the BBC East region: 20C (68F).

Watch my full regional forecast here:

Good morning

Stuart Bailey

BBC News

Hello and welcome to Friday's live updates for Essex.

It's 28 July and we'll be here until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel for the county.

A full weather forecast is on the way shortly.

Sunrise in West Bergholt.

You can get in touch by email, Facebook or Twitter.

Brendon McCullum

Kent win a rain-affected T20 Blast match against Somerset, while Brendon McCullum is in devastating form as Middlesex beat Essex.

Read more

Our live coverage across the day

That's it for another day of live updates, thank you for your company.

We'll be back again from 08:00 tomorrow, with all the news, sport, travel and weather for the county.

Until then, here's a quick recap of some of the stories we've been covering - scroll down for more:

  • Boy corrects national museum's dinosaur error
  • Teenager says death punch was "to defend friend"
  • Figures rise for assaults on staff and prisoners at Chelmsford Prison.

Have a great evening. Those dark clouds captured in the BBC Weather Watchers picture below look pretty ominous!


Prince begins last shift

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

The Duke of Cambridge has started his last shift for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Prince William joined the emergency service two years ago, but is leaving to concentrate more on royal duties on behalf of the Queen.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: A12 Essex southbound

BBC News Travel

A12 Essex southbound severe accident, between J22 B1389 and J21 B1389 Hatfield Road affecting J24 B1024.

A12 Essex - A12 partially blocked and queuing traffic London-bound between J22, B1389 (Witham North) and J21, B1389 (Witham South), because of an accident involving two vehicles. Congestion to J24, B1024 (Kelvedon North).

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

Cricket: Essex batsman makes 25 on England debut

Essex batsman Tom Westley made 25 on his England debut.

Together with his county colleague Alastair Cook, he helped England to an encouraging start, moving the home side to 62 for one at lunch on the first day of the third test against South Africa at the Oval.

He was caught at slip in the first over after the restart by the visitors' skipper Faf du Plessis.

Cook remains not out. There is a break in play due to rain with the score at 114-3.

View more on twitter

Charlie "knows his dinosaurs" and spotted an incorrectly labelled one at the Natural History Museum.

Read more
Boy spots Natural History Museum dinosaur gaffe
A young dinosaur fan noticed an incorrect image on a museum sign about Oviraptors.

Boy corrects national museum's dinosaur sign

A 10-year-old boy has corrected the Natural History Museum over a sign which was incorrect.

Charlie Edwards, from Canvey Island, was at the attraction when he noticed the description of a dinosaur did not match its image.

He had gone to the London venue as a birthday present and was nine at the time.

The museum has admitted the schoolboy was right and the sign is now being changed.

Charlie said: "The dinosaur was claiming to be an Oviraptor but it most likely looked like a little dinosaur that probably came from the Triceratops family."

The incorrect sign of an oviraptor at the Natural History Museum
Charlie Edwards
The incorrect sign of an Oviraptor at the Natural History Museum
An oviraptor
Natural History Museum
How an Oviraptor looks

Boy spots museum dinosaur gaffe

Boy spots Natural History Museum dinosaur gaffe
The Natural History Museum has admitted one of its dinosaurs was "wrong", after a 10-year-old boy spotted the error.
Charlie Edwards, from Canvey Island, Essex, noticed an incorrect image on a sign about Oviraptors.
His mother Jade Edwards said that due to his Asperger syndrome, he "will try and find out everything" about a subject when he likes it.
The museum was "very impressed with Charlie's knowledge," a spokesman said, and the sign will be corrected.

Severe accident: M25 Greater London anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London anti-clockwise severe accident, between J29 for A127 and J28 for A1023 Brook Street affecting halfway before J30 A13 Lakeside.

M25 Greater London - Queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J29, A127 (Romford) and J28, A1023 (Brook Street Roundabout), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to halfway, Lakeside.

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

Arkadiusz Jozwik death: Boy hit victim 'out of fear'

Debbie Tubby

BBC Look East

A 16-year-old boy accused of killing a drunk Polish man with a "superman punch" has told a jury he hit him "to defend my friend".

Arkadiusz Jozwik
Essex Police

The defendant, who was 15 years old at the time of the alleged attack and cannot be named for legal reasons, denies the manslaughter of Arkadiusz Jozwik.

Mr Jozwik, 40, who was known as Arek, had been with two friends outside a row of takeaway shops in Harlow, Essex, at the time of the incident, shortly after 23:30 on 27 August last year.

The defendant told Chelmsford Crown Court the Polish men were being "aggressive and loud" and urged him and his friends to fight them.

He said they grabbed one of his friends and used abusive language against him.

The defendant said he was "scared" and hit Mr Jozwik.

He said he did not mean to cause harm. After the blow, he said he ran off, adding: "I just felt like it was a big nightmare."

The trial continues.

Video: Duke of Cambridge 'looks forward to coming here every day'

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

Prince William will tonight leave his job as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance after two years.

Over the years he been spotted in playing fields and schools, attending some very injured people.

Here's the prince explaining the highs and lows of the job...

Prince William leaves East Anglian Air Ambulance

Assaults on staff and prisoners at 'all time high'

New figures released by the Ministry of Justice show assaults on staff and prisoners at Chelmsford Prison last year were at an all time high.


The data shows there were 122 reports of attacks on officers in 2016 compared with 80 in 2015.

Six prisoners have also taken their own lives in the last two years.

Nationally, the figures show a rise in violence with 26,643 assaults in the year to March 2017 - 20% more than the previous year.

Of these, a record 7,159 were attacks on staff - equivalent to 20 every day.

Justice Secretary David Lidington said: "Boosting the frontline is critical to achieving safety and the number of prison officers we are recruiting is rising, with the number of new prison officers joining the service at its highest level since 2010."

U's chairman: 'We want to show football has a good side'

The chairman of Cambridge United has asked for fans to "come together" when his side face Southend United in a friendly on Saturday.

A league fixture at Roots Hall in March 2015 was the match which ended with Cambridge fan Simon Dobbin getting attacked and left brain-damaged after the game.

Twelve people have now been jailed for that attack with a 13th due to be sentenced next month.

All proceeds from the match will go to Simon and his wife Nicole to help improve Mr Dobbin's quality of life at home in Mildenhall.

Dave Doggett said he wants to show that "football has a good side".

View more on twitter

UKIP MEP leaves party front bench

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

One of UKIP's MEPs for the east of England, Patrick O'Flynn, is standing down from his party's front bench in an apparent row over the future direction of the party.

Patrick O'Flynn says he doesn't want to be economic spokesman anymore because he's worried that the party is becoming too right wing.

"I have always argued for UKIP to be at the common sense centre of politics, rather than defined as being on the right wing," he said in a statement.

"It is clear to me that UKIP's activist base wishes to go in a more libertarian, shrink-the-state and Thatcherite direction.

"It is regrettable that the more centrist approach argued by the likes of me falling by the wayside."

Mr O'Flynn, a former newspaper journalist, was one of the new breed of party activists who had influential contacts and made UKIP look more professional.

One of the party's "big hitters", he has often appeared on television debates and was seen by some as being a future leader.

He says he will stay on as an MEP and looks forward to seeing brexit being completed.

UKIP MEP Patrick O'Flynn
Patrick O'Flynn

Prince's last chopper shift: Service tweets thanks

Adam Jinkerson

BBC Local Live

So as we've mentioned, today will see the Duke of Cambridge work his last shift with the East Anglia Air Ambulance.

The night shift, which begins at 16:30, will bring an end to two years with the emergency service, which is a charity supporting the NHS East of England Ambulance Service.

Here are a couple of "thanks" on Twitter...

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Cricket: Essex batman to make England debut

Essex batsman Tom Westley is set to make his England debut today in the third Test against South Africa at The Oval.

Tom Westley
Getty Images

The selectors confirmed the 28-year-old will bat at number three in place of Gary Ballance, who broke a finger in the second Test.

The four-Test series is level at 1-1 following South Africa's 340-run win at Trent Bridge.

Westley has scored 478 runs at an average of 53.11, including two centuries, for County Championship leaders Essex this season. He averages 37.44 in his first-class career.

He hit 106 not out for England Lions against a full-strength South Africa bowling attack at Worcester last month.

Excitement builds for Clacton Airshow

Excitement is building for Clacton Airshow as organisers announce more acts to its line up.

RAF Tutor
Tendring District Council

The event, which is celebrating its 26th year and is one of the longest-running free airshows in the country, will be held on 24 and 25 August.

Titan the Robot will return to perform on the West Greensward three times on the Thursday and a further two acts will follow on the Friday.

RAF Tutor will also be back in the skies at the airshow.

Mick Skeels, Tendring District Council’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said that the overall line-up is really starting to take shape - with more announcements to come over the next few weeks.

“We are now less than a month away and the excitement is starting to build for what promises to be another high quality Clacton Airshow,” he said.

“It is a premier event on the calendar and pulls in flight fans from far and wide and they will not be disappointed with the programme of events on the ground and in the air."

BBC Essex will have commentary on both days on 103.5FM and 729 medium wave.