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  1. Updates for Tuesday, 9 February 2016
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates resume at 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Jodie Smith

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage through the day

    That's it for our Essex Live page today, but you can scroll down the page if you want to catch up on Tuesday's news.

    We'll be back tomorrow morning from 08:00.

  2. Weather: Possibility of overnight showers, drying out tomorrow

    Alex Dolan

    BBC Look East weather

    The risk of showers continues, some of them heavy, possibly with some sleet mixed in.

    Blustery at times through the night, too, with lows of 2C, 36F.

    Wednesday's weather

    Tomorrow's set to be rainy at first in some places, but the showers should clear by late morning leaving sunny spells and a chilly breeze.

  3. Midfielder Ryan Leonard out with knee injury

    Glenn Speller

    BBC Essex Sport

    Southend United midfielder Ryan Leonard has been ruled out for up to three months with a knee injury.

    Ryan Leonard

    He was involved in a heavy challenge during Saturday's Essex derby victory over Colchester - it resulted in the U's Alex Gilbey being sent off.

    The 23-year-old is being treated for knee ligament damage.

  4. Online safety campaign launched in memory of murdered teen

    The mother of a teenager murdered in Grays by an internet predator has launched a new internet safety campaign in memory of her son.

    Breck Bednar and his mother Lorin LaFave

    Breck Bednar was stabbed to death by 18-year-old Lewis Daynes in 2014. His mother, Lorin LaFave, started The Breck Foundation in his memory.

    To tie-in with Internet Safety Day, she's now launching a new campaign called No Tech 4 Breck to raise awareness of the possible dangers of technology.

  5. Men guilty over taxi drugs haul

    Today a Woolwich Crown Court jury found two men guilty after £70m-worth of cocaine was found in a taxi near Tilbury docks last July.

    Danny Hannaway, 25, of Lea Road, Grays, and Danny O’Sullivan, 32, of Oxwich Close, Corringham, Stanford-Le-Hope, were found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.  

    Woolwich Crown Court

    Three men were cleared of the same charge: Robert McGowan, 46, of no fixed address; John Parish, 29, of Fanton Chase, Wickford; and Neil Jacques, 41, of Avondale Road, Rayleigh.

    Greg Spiers, 48, of London Road, Billericay, and Tony Rees, 31, of Cecil Avenue, Chafford Hundred, had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs. The guilty parties will be sentenced on 12 February.

  6. Headlines: Police looking into QE2 closure improvements... Men convicted over £70m cocaine find

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    Here are this evening's top Essex news stories:

    • Essex Police says it will look into possible improvements to procedures after lengthy delays in Thurrock yesterday following the closure of the QE2 Bridge
    • A number of men have been convicted after cocaine worth £70m destined for sale in London and the home counties was seized in Essex  
    • A Braintree woman says her family is fortunate to have escaped a fire at their home in Braintree, which is thought to have been started by a remote-controlled car battery
  7. Cocaine racket involving Brentwood man 'off the scale'

    A man from Brentwood has been jailed for his part in a £33.5m cocaine smuggling racket described by an Old Bailey judge as "off the scale".

    Mark Dowling

    Mark Dowling (pictured), 43, of Surman Crescent, Brentwood, took delivery of drugs from pilot Andrew Wright, nicknamed Biggles, who used his aerial photography business to front the operation.

    Dowling was jailed for 24 years at the Old Bailey after admitting drugs offences and money laundering charges.

  8. Sible Hedingham: Police release e-fit of man 'who could have valuable information'

    Charlie Jones

    BBC Local Live

    Police investigating an aggravated burglary in Sible Hedingham during which a homeowner was shot have released an e-fit of a man "who could have valuable information".

    e-fit of man police want to speak to

    The victim, named locally as insurance executive Timothy Mardon, was left with "life-changing" leg injuries following the raid on his home early on Saturday morning.

    Det Insp Rob Kirby said officers wanted to speak to a man seen sitting in the driver's seat of a car parked up in a lay-by on Wethersfield Road in the hours before the burglary.

  9. Men found guilty following £70m cocaine haul

    David Keller

    BBC News

    A number of men have been convicted after cocaine worth £70m destined for sale in London and the home counties was seized in Essex.


    About 200kg (440lb) of "high-purity" cocaine was found in holdalls in the boot of a white taxi on the A1089 near Tilbury Docks in July.

    Seven men were charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs and this afternoon, two have been found guilty, while three were cleared by a jury at Woolwich Crown Court. Two others already admitted their guilt. More details to follow.

  10. QE2 closure leads to discussions over procedures

    Ian Puckey

    BBC Essex

    Essex Police, Highways England and Thurrock Council are to discuss possible improvements to procedures after lengthy delays in Thurrock yesterday, following the closure of the QE2 Bridge.

    Queuing traffic

    Highways England shut the crossing for almost 12 hours because of high winds. 

    Thurrock's district commander Ch Insp Lee Norris says he'll be working with other agencies to see what can be done for the next occasion when the bridge needs to be closed.

  11. Flat 'full of rubbish' sells for £22k over asking price

    Gavin Fischer

    BBC Essex

    A flat in Westcliff marketed as "not for the faint-hearted" and "full of rubbish", mould and fleas has sold for £22,500 more than the asking price.

    Living room

    Rob Kahl from estate agents Scott & Stapleton said he didn't mince his words when advertising the flat as he thought it "seemed only fair" to forewarn buyers.

    The flat, which was put on the market on Friday for £125,000, sold yesterday for £147,500 after 25 viewings took place over the weekend.

  12. Colchester's North Hill to become giant water slide in new fundraiser for Cancer Research UK

    Daily Gazette

    Colchester's North Hill will be turned into a giant water slide to raise money for charity.  

  13. Brentwood man jailed over £33m cocaine smuggling racket

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    An Essex man has been jailed for 24 years for his part in smuggling more than £33m-worth of cocaine into the UK.

    Cocaine in suitcase

    Mark Dowling, 43, of Surman Crescent, Brentwood, was sentenced along with two other men following a hearing at the Old Bailey. He admitted conspiring to import class A drugs, money laundering charges and supplying class A drugs.

    More than 250kg of cocaine were airlifted into the country in 2014.

  14. Man charged over Southend football violence

    Essex Police say they have charged a man following violent scenes at the Roots Hall stadium on Saturday in the Southend v Colchester derby.

    A handful of football fans spilled onto the pitch towards the end of the match and some appeared to throw punches at rival supporters.  

    Police said Mark Coshever, 39, will appear before magistrates in Southend on 24 February.  

  15. BreakingMan charged with football match assault

    Police have arrested and charged a man with affray and pitch invasion following an assault at Southend United's ground on Saturday.

    More to follow.

  16. Calls for new Thames crossing renewed after QE2 bridge closure

    Claire Sawyer

    BBC Essex

    Calls for a new Lower Thames crossing have been renewed after some drivers found themselves stuck in their cars for up to 11 hours yesterday. 

    High winds from Storm Imogen led to the closure of the QE2 bridge - and huge tailbacks on the M25 and local roads.

    One driver, Jenny Simpson, said there was a lack of information. "Nobody was even walking along giving directions to people or helping to see if anybody was OK," she said.

    Jenny Simpson
  17. Weather: Showers in places, feeling chilly

    BBC Weather

    A few isolated showers around this afternoon, but lighter winds compared to yesterday. Feeling chilly with highs of 7C, that's 45F.

    Tuesday's weather
  18. Headlines: Renewed Thames crossing calls after 11-hour delays... British Airways launch Stansted routes

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    Here's the stories we're looking at this lunchtime:

    • Calls for a new Lower Thames crossing have been renewed after some drivers found themselves stuck in their cars for up to 11 hours yesterday
    • A bus driver whose vehicle was hit by a steam engine has met the aircrew who saved his life
    • British Airways says it will start flying from Stansted Airport this summer
  19. Southend midfielder Wordsworth 'ready and willing' for injury return

    Ben Fryer

    BBC Essex Sport

    Southend United midfielder Anthony Wordsworth says he's "ready and willing" to step into the Blues' starting XI for next Saturday's game against Scunthorpe.  

    The 27-year-old came off the bench and scored in last weekend's victory over Essex rivals Colchester.  

    He'd only just returned to the squad after a three-month injury lay-off.

  20. British Airways to start flying from Stansted

    Jodie Smith

    BBC News

    British Airways has announced it's going to start flying from Stansted Airport later this year for the first time.

    Stansted Airport

    The airline will operate routes on BA CityFlyer to Faro, Malaga, Palma and Ibiza from 28 May.

    Stansted's managing director Andrew Harrison said he was "delighted" as the airport had been focussing on "attracting a wider choice of airlines".