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  1. Updates on Thursday, 17 March 2016
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

That's it from the team today.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with your local news, sport, travel and weather. 

Keep us posted with what's going on where you live via emailTwitter or Facebook.

Couple from Leigh-on-Sea celebrating £1m lottery win

A couple from Leigh-on-Sea are celebrating after winning the £1m top prize on a Monopoly Millionaire Scratchcard.

Camelot say they have already started hunting for a dream home for themselves and their three young children.


The couple will share more details about their win tomorrow morning at a press conference at the Sands Bistro in Southend.

Brown remains focused on Southend task

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Southend boss Phil Brown said he will not be taking his "eye off the ball" despite speculation linking him with former club Bolton.

Phil Brown

"I have had no approach from Dean Holdsworth," he told BBC Essex.

"I have sat the players down this morning. We have spoken about the speculation and newspaper headlines, which inevitably you have to print.

"Speculation can take our players and my eye of the ball and that's the last thing that you need at this stage of the season."

Warning over releasing untrained doves at weddings and funerals

David Keller

BBC News

The RSPCA says it's worried about a growing trend to release untrained doves at weddings and funerals. It has asked that people only use reputable companies instead of buying birds online, as untrained doves will struggle to survive in the wild. 

Wedding doves
Getty Images

Kathy Anderson, owner of True Dove Ways in Essex which supplies trained birds for special occasions, said it's a "really terrible problem".

"These poor little birds can't get home and they don't know how to look after themselves," she said.

Metal detectorist discovers unexploded bomb in Brentwood field

Brentwood Gazette

A metal detectorist discovered an unexploded bomb in a field in Navestock.

Weather: Turning cloudier with some drizzle

BBC Weather

It will turn cloudier this evening as low cloud spreads across the East. The cloud may bring the odd spot of light drizzle, but most places will stay dry.Minimum temperature: 1C (34F).

weather map

Headlines: Electricians rigging meters for criminals... Man has ammonia thrown in face

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Here are the top stories we are covering this evening:

  • Some electricians are breaking the law by rigging meters for criminals, BBC Essex has learned
  • It is believed a man had ammonia thrown in his face in a "targeted" attack in Harwich
  • Harlow Council has issued advice about the area dog walkers should avoid following an outbreak of a deadly tick disease

Days are now longer than nights

If you've been craving longer days, take comfort from our weather forecaster Dan Holley...

View more on twitter

Crystal Lane competing in World Para-cycling track championships

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Chelmsford's Crystal Lane competes on day one of the World Para-cycling track championships in Italy today. 

Crystal Lane
Getty Images

She takes part in the 500m time trial alongside Dame Sarah Storey. The event has a big bearing on selection for the Rio Paralympics later this year.  

Tributes to father who died in Witham crash

Richard Smith

BBC Essex

Tributes have been paid to a father-of-two who died in a road crash after a night out celebrating a new job.Adam Heath, 32, was a passenger in a car which hit a stationary HGV trailer in Witham last month. 

Adam Heath
Essex Police

His family says he was "an amazing dad" who had "a strong bond with his children". 

Cannabis dealer paid electrician to rig his meter

Robby West

BBC Essex

A former cannabis dealer from Southend has admitted he paid an electrician to bypass the meter on his cannabis farm, in a trend that experts fear is rising.

Professional electricians are sometimes helping criminals cheat meters, the BBC has learned. One said he's tampered with about 20 meters and has rigged them for cannabis factories.    

Harlow Council highlights area for dog walkers to avoid

Charlie Jones

BBC Local Live

Harlow Council has issued updated advice about an area of land to avoid, following an outbreak of the tick-borne disease babesiosis in the area.

Harlow Council

Dog walkers are warned not to exercise their pets on land off Third Avenue following "tick research work" carried out last Friday.

The council, which is marking off the area and placing further notices up, said it "cannot exclude the possibility of ticks ending up on other land".

Travel: M25 delays

BBC Travel

There's queuing traffic on the M25 Dartford Tunnel anticlockwise between J1a, A206 (Erith) and J31, A1306 (West Thurrock), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. 

Congestion to J2, A2 (Darenth Interchange).  

Video of last night's meteor

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Here is a video of the meteor which flashed across the sky above the UK last night.

Meteor flashes over UK sky

The UK Meteor Observation Network filmed it using its camera at Church Crookham in Surrey, at about 03:15, but it was sighted by more people along the east coast

McEvoy is leading Englishman in Indian Open

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Shoeburyness golfer Richard McEvoy is the leading Englishman in the first round of the Indian Open in Delhi. 

Richard McEvoy
Getty Images

He shot a one under par round of 71. American Daniel Im leads on seven under.      

Braintree manager 'delighted' to sign Sean Long

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex Sport

Braintree Town manager Danny Cowley (pictured) says he's delighted to have signed full-back Sean Long from Reading. 

Danny Cowley
Getty Images

He made his debut in Tuesday's draw with Gateshead. He’ll be at the Iron until the end of the season. 

Weather: Lots of sunshine this afternoon

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It will stay fine this afternoon with prolonged sunshine. Winds will ease as well and, in the sunshine, it should feel quite pleasant. 

Maximum temperature: 10C (50F).


Headlines: Electricians rigging meters for criminals... Updated advice for dog walkers on tick disease

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

  • Some electricians are breaking the law by rigging meters for criminals, BBC Essex has learned
  • It is believed a man had ammonia thrown in his face in a "targeted" attack in Harwich
  • Harlow Council has issued advice about the area dog walkers should avoid following an outbreak of a deadly tick disease

Man has ammonia thrown at him in 'targeted' attack

Tom Croasdell

BBC Essex

It is believed a man had ammonia thrown in his face during a "targeted" attack in Harwich. 

Main road, Harwich

Police were called to Main Road yesterday to reports three men were being chased by another group of men inside a car. It's believed a chemical was thrown in a man's face, but he wasn't badly hurt. Five men have been arrested.  

Electric shocks and fires - Risks of rigging meters

Robby West

BBC Essex

BBC Essex has spoken to qualified electricians who admit rigging meters and helping people run cannabis factories.   

stock photo of electrician

Alan Wells, of the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting, said risks included electric shocks and fires.

He said he was disappointed to learn some qualified electricians were carrying out illegal work.