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  1. Closing updates on Friday, 19 February 2016
  2. Four Polish lorry drivers plead guilty to an immigration offence following the discovery of 68 suspected illegal immigrants
  3. Six-foot (1.8m) sinkhole closes road to traffic in Clacton
  4. Conservative MP for Colchester, Will Quince, says he'll be voting for Britain to leave the European Union
  5. Plans for a large retail and leisure park near Colchester have been rejected

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Updates for Essex Live have finished for this week - thanks for joining us. 

    We'll be back on Monday morning from 08:00 with the latest news for the county. 

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Lorry driver admits charge over cyclist death

    An Essex lorry driver has admitted killing a cyclist who died in an accident at a busy junction in central London.

    French-born mother-of-two Claire Hitier-Abadie, 36, collided with the construction vehicle during the morning rush-hour in Victoria on February 19 last year. 

    Alan Warwick, 61, of Rayleigh, Essex, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving at Southwark Crown Court.

  3. Weather: Patchy rain clearing overnight

    Dan Holley

    BBC Look East weather

    Cloudy with patchy rain at times this evening, but this will gradually ease overnight with a few clear intervals developing later.

    Staying breezy, but much milder than last night with temperatures only falling to 5C (41F).

    Weather map for the East of England at 05:00

    Saturday will start dry and perhaps bright, but it will be rather cloudy for much of the day. Temperatures reaching as high as 12C (54F).

  4. Colchester to resettle 50 more Syrian families over next four to five years

    Daily Gazette

    Colchester is to welcome 50 more families of Syrian war refugees.

  5. Football: Braintree sign Millwall goalkeeper Tom King

    BBC Sport

    National League side Braintree Town have signed Millwall goalkeeper Tom King on a 28-day emergency loan.


    The 20-year-old ex-England Under-17 player joined the Lions after he left Crystal Palace in the summer of 2014.

    King spent time on loan at Braintree's National League rivals Welling earlier this season, making 20 appearances.

    Braintree sign Millwall goalkeeper King


    National League side Braintree Town sign Millwall goalkeeper Tom King on a 28-day emergency loan.

    Read more
  6. Your pictures: Rayleigh Windmill on a winter's afternoon

    BBC Weather Watchers

    Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher, youcantbecirrus, who sent us this photo of Rayleigh Windmill earlier today. 

    Rayleigh Windmill

    The 68ft (20.7m) Grade II listed tower mill, built about 1809, is the highest in Essex.

    If you'd like to find out more about becoming a BBC Weather Watcher - click here

  7. Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan into Welsh Open semi-finals

    BBC Sport

    Chigwell's Ronnie O'Sullivan is into the Welsh Open snooker semi-finals. 

    Ronnie O'Sullivan

    The Essex player beat Mark Selby 5-1 in Cardiff a short while ago. 

    He will play for a place in the final tomorrow against either Joe Perry or Ben Woollaston.

  8. Headlines: Lorry drivers admit immigration offence... Dumped puppy found locked in cage

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    Here are the latest stories from the Essex newsroom: 

    • Four Polish lorry drivers have pleaded guilty to an immigration offence following the discovery of 68 suspected illegal immigrants inside lorries
    • The RSPCA is investigating after a 12-week-old puppy was dumped in a garden near Chelmsford
    • A man remains in hospital with serious head injuries this afternoon after he was found in Southend this morning
  9. Clacton's Gilbey family back on the Gogglebox

    BBC Newsbeat

    Linda, Pete and George Gilbey, from Clacton, are returning to Channel 4's Gogglebox tonight.

    Linda, Pete and George

    The family were removed from the show when George (pictured centre) signed up for Celebrity Big Brother in 2014, breaking their contract.  

    The news comes as we learned that George is going to be a dad. In a recent interview with Heat magazine he told them: "I feel like the cat that got the cream". 

  10. Three teenage boys robbed of bikes by 'armed' men

    Three teenagers were robbed of their bikes in Colchester after being threatened with what is believed to have been a gun, police say.

    Flagstaff Road

    The boys, two aged 15 and a 16-year-old, were targeted by three men in Flagstaff Road at about 20:25 on Tuesday.

    The suspects rode off towards Abbey Fields after the three bicycles were handed over. Nobody is believed to have been injured.

  11. Ronnie O'Sullivan plays in Welsh Open snooker quarter-finals

    BBC Sport

    Chigwell's Ronnie O'Sullivan is currently in action in the Welsh Open snooker quarter-finals.


    He is taking on Mark Selby in the best of nine frames match - you can watch Ronnie in action here.

  12. Chelmsford car park cleared of unauthorised traveller encampment

    An unauthorised traveller encampment that occupied a car park in Chelmsford for nearly a month has been cleared. 

    Wharf Road car park

    The Wharf Road long stay car park had been closed while Chelmsford City Council seeked a possession order to evict about seven caravans.

    PC Alan Conran from Essex Police tweeted the travellers had moved on following a "peaceful resolution". The local authority says a "comprehensive clean-up" is now under way.

  13. Harwich immigrants: Home Office 'pleased' with Polish lorry drivers' admission

    The Home Office says it's "pleased" four Polish lorry drivers have admitted immigration offences following the discovery of 68 suspected illegal immigrants at Harwich Port last year.

    Chelmsford Crown Court

    Dariusz Mokrogulski, 45, Dariusz Drozdz, 40, Grzegoez Czechowski, 39, and Radoslaw Cwikla, 39, pleaded guilty to conspiring to facilitate illegal entry of non-EU citizens into the UK during a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court.

    “People smuggling is a vile trade and as this investigation demonstrates we are determined to bring those responsible to justice", a Home Office spokeswoman said.

  14. Basildon One Stop shop robbed in armed raid

    Armed robbers have raided a Basildon shop and stole cash after threatening staff with a hand gun, police say.

    One Stop store in Basildon

    The One Stop Store in Marsh View Court was targeted by two men at about 22:50 last night. 

    The shop worker was not injured but has been left shaken after the incident. The suspects are both described as about 5ft 9in (1.75m) tall and wearing dark clothing, scarves and white gardening gloves.

  15. Clacton street remains closed after sinkhole appears

    Wellesley Road in Clacton-on-Sea remains closed this afternoon after 6ft (1.8m) deep sinkhole appeared earlier. 

    Essex County Council says maintenance crews are working to fix the problem.

    Video content

    Video caption: A sinkhole has appeared in a busy Clacton street.

    You can stay up-to-date with the latest travel for Essex here

  16. Lorry drivers plead guilty over 68 immigrants found at Harwich Port

    Four lorry drivers have pleaded guilty to an immigration offence after 68 suspected illegal immigrants were found inside lorries at Harwich Port last year.

    Harwich Port

    The Polish men each admitted one offence of conspiring to facilitate illegal entry of non-EU citizens into the UK at Chelmsford Crown Court today. 

    Dariusz Mokrogulski, 45, Dariusz Drozdz, 40, Grzegoez Czechowski, 39, and Radoslaw Cwikla, 39, have been bailed and are due to be sentenced next month.

  17. Football: Southend United look to resign Stephen Hendrie on loan

    Victoria Polley

    BBC Essex Sport

    Southend United manager Phil Brown says he's in talks to bring defender Stephen Hendrie back to the club on loan. 

    Stephen Hendrie

    The West Ham United player has been with the Blues for the last month, but his loan deal expired on Tuesday.

    "I'm in talks to extend the loan, whether that's a possibility to start again on Monday we'll have to wait and see", Brown said.

  18. Weather: Cloudy with patchy rain this afternoon

    BBC Weather

    There may be some sunny spells to begin with this afternoon though skies will cloud over with patchy light rain arriving later. 

    The winds will also strengthen through the day, making it feel that bit cooler by the late afternoon. 

    Maximum temperature: 9C (48F).


    Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher, Steve B, who took this great photo in Tilbury earlier today. His "nowcast" reported sunshine with temperatures at about 1C (33.8F).

  19. Lunchtime headlines: Lorry drivers plead guilty to immigration offence... Sinkhole closes Clacton road

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    Here are your top stories for Essex this lunchtime: 

    • Four lorry drivers have pleaded guilty to an immigration offence at Chelmsford Crown Court after 68 suspected illegal immigrants were found inside lorries in July last year
    • Conservative MP for Colchester, Will Quince, says he'll be voting for Britain to leave the European Union  
    • A sinkhole measuring about 2m (6.5ft) deep has closed Wellesley Road in Clacton
  20. Puppy covered in excrement found dumped in cage

    A 12-week-old puppy has been dumped in the garden of a stranger in Boreham, the RSPCA says.

    Willow in her cage

    The husky-German Shepherd cross, who has since been named Willow, was found covered in excrement inside a cage measuring 2ft (0.6m) by 3ft (0.9m) on Wednesday. 

    The RSPCA said: "She is a lovely girl and just wants cuddles all the time. We hope someone might come forward who recognises her or who knows why she was left in this garden."