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  1. Plans to fine rough sleepers if they cause anti-social behaviour in Chelmsford have been scrapped by councillors
  2. A Southend pub which saw part of its ceiling collapse earlier this week has reopened
  3. A man was airlifted to hospital after being found with serious head injuries in Chelmsford
  4. Updates on Friday, 8 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    That's it from us at Essex Live this week - thanks for joining us.

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

    Have a great weekend. 

  2. Weather: Cloud and rain overnight

    Dan Holley

    BBC Look East weather

    A dry evening to start with some clear spells. However, cloud will thicken from the west through the night and there will be outbreaks of rain during the early hours. 

    Minimum temperature: 6C (43F).

    Weather map for Essex

    We will have a cloudy start on Saturday with some patchy rain, but this will quickly clear through the morning with a mixture of sunshine and showers following.

    Get the latest local forecast from BBC Weather.

  3. CCTV released after woman sexually assaulted on Laindon train

    CCTV has been released of a man police wish to question after a woman was sexually assaulted on a train travelling through Laindon.


    British Transport Police say the victim was touched inappropriately by a man sitting opposite her before he moved onto another carriage.

    The incident, which happened on 13 February, has been described as "unacceptable behaviour" by the force.

  4. Couple offers to donate £100,000 to save Finchingfield Bridge

    Braintree & Witham Times

    Generous village residents have offered to donate £100,000 to save their historic bridge.  

  5. Headlines: Dead horse dumped in Harlow field... Lone cow delays c2c rail service

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    Here are the top stories for Essex:

    • Essex Police is investigating after a dead horse was found dumped in a field near Harlow
    • Rail services were delayed for a time between Benfleet and Leigh-on-Sea after a lone cow wandered onto the tracks
    • A Southend pub which saw part of its ceiling collapse earlier this week has reopened
  6. Why politicians shouldn't do quizzes

    This week two politicians both flunked questions on a quiz about London - the city they hope to become mayor of in May. 

    Boris Johnson

    But it isn't the first time a politician has stumbled in this way. You might remember Boris Jonhson failed to name the Conservative candidate in the 2014 Clacton by-election.

    But does a politician's general knowledge really matter? Our friends at BBC London have been looking back at some similar slip-ups.

  7. Dead horse dumped in Harlow field

    A dead horse has been found dumped in a field near Harlow.

    Dumped horse

    Police were called shortly before 07:50 following reports it was left in Carters Green in Matching. 

    Officers say the horse has since been moved and disposed of by a local farmer.

  8. Travel: One lane closed on anticlockwise M25

    BBC Travel

    One lane is closed due to an accident involving two cars on the anticlockwise M25, between J31 for the Dartford Tunnel and J30 for Lakeside. 

    The crash is affecting traffic approaching the tunnel in Kent.

  9. Southend pub reopens after ceiling collapse

    A Southend pub which saw part of its ceiling collapse earlier this week has reopened today. 

    Ceiling collapse

    A section of the roof came down at the recently refurbished The Alex in Alexandra Street on Tuesday evening. Nobody was injured.

    A spokesman from the pub said an independent structural engineer has carried out the necessary safety checks. 

  10. Lone cow wanders onto Essex train tracks

    Jack Warren

    BBC Local Live

    A lone cow caused problems on c2c services between Benfleet and Leigh-on-Sea earlier today after it wandered onto the track. 

    The Essex rail operator said trains were forced to run at a "reduced speed" while Network Rail coaxed the animal back into a nearby field. 

    It's not the first time this week escaped cattle has caused delays. On Monday about 30 cows ran onto a busy stretch of road in Colchester. 

  11. Matt Dixon: Essex fast bowler plans 10 to 15 years with county

    BBC Sport

    New signing Matt Dixon plans to embark on a long career at Essex, having signed a two-year contract in March.

    Matt Dixon

    The 23-year-old Australian seamer has a British passport and therefore does not count as an overseas player.

    "This has been a long-term career move to hopefully make as good a career as I can," Dixon told BBC Essex.

  12. Weather: Sunny spells and showers this afternoon

    BBC Weather

    There will be sunny spells and patchy cloud around this afternoon with perhaps the odd shower at times. 

    It may feel rather pleasant in the sunshine, but rather chilly as the showers pass through and the breeze picks up. 

    Maximum temperature: 13C (55F).

    Weather chart for Essex

    You can get the latest weather updates for wherever you are here.

  13. Headlines: Rough sleeper fine plans scrapped... Essex rail delays after man hit by train

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    Here are the top stories in Essex this lunchtime: 

    • Plans to fine rough sleepers if they cause anti-social behaviour in Chelmsford have been scrapped by councillors
    • Rail travellers have been facing disruption after a man was hit by a train between Manningtree and Ipswich
    • A man was airlifted to hospital after being found with serious head injuries in Chelmsford
  14. Binman's doorstep apology to resident after he is spotted taking a pee on her street

    Daily Gazette

    A "busting" binman spotted taking a pee in the street on his round was hauled in front of the residents he upset and made to say sorry.  

  15. c2c services delayed due to 'animals on the line'

    Those travelling on the c2c line this afternoon may be surprised to hear their train is delayed because of "animals on the line"... 

    View more on twitter
  16. Chelmsford City rough sleepers fine plans scrapped

    Plans to fine rough sleepers if they cause anti-social behaviour in Chelmsford have been scrapped by councillors.

    Rough sleepers

    The local authority was considering the proposals as part of a Public Spaces Protection Order in the city centre. 

    However, following pressure from local residents, the element concerning the homeless has now been removed.

  17. Chelmsford racecourse says interest from National unlikely to boost attendances

    It may be one of the biggest events in the horse racing calender, but Chelmsford City racecourse isn't expecting to a see a jump in attendances because of the Grand National.

    Grand National

    Tomorrow millions of pounds is expected to be bet as punters try to pick the winner of the 17:15 annual race at Aintree.

    The added interest in the sport isn't likely to benefit the Essex course though, manager Fraser Garrity told BBC Essex. "I can't say hand on heart that it doubles our attendance". 

  18. Identical twins face each other in Essex Cup Final

    Sibling rivalry will be put to the test this weekend when two identical twins face each other on different teams in the Essex Cordell Under 13s Cup Final.

    Kirean and Luke

    Kirean and Luke, who play for Hullbridge Sports and Leighwood United respectively, will go head-to-head on Sunday - leaving their parents with the difficult decision of who to cheer on. 

    Dad Terry said: "I'll be proud whatever happens... but I will have to support my wife as she will be a gibbering wreck!"

  19. Your pictures: Sunny spells in South Benfleet

    BBC Weather Watchers

    Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher "youcantbecirrus" for sending us this photo from South Benfleet earlier this morning. 

    South Benfleet

    They reported sunny spells with temperatures at about 8C (46F).

    If you've got a picture of Essex that you want to share you can send us an email, a tweet, or visit our Facebook page.

  20. Relegation could have 'severe consequences' on Colchester squad

    Tom Croasdell

    BBC Essex Sport

    Colchester United manager Kevin Keen says relegation could have severe consequences on the players he'll be able to keep next season.

    Kevin Keen

    The U's are 10 points from safety in League One with six games to play.

    Keen told BBC Essex that even those players in contract, like George Moncur and Gavin Massey, may be "difficult to hold on to".