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  1. News, sport, travel, weather and other updates resume on Wednesday at 08:00

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

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That's all from us today

Thanks for joining us on Essex Live today - we'll be back tomorrow morning from 08:00. 

You can now scroll back through the stories we've covered today, including the Ronald King murder trial, the teachers' strike and councils profiting from parking machines that don't give change. 

Have a great evening. 

Your thoughts: Teachers' strike is 'double standards'

Paul sent us an email regarding the teacher strike today, which closed over 100 schools in Essex.

He's not feeling too sympathetic with those who took action...

Weather: Feeling fresher overnight, dry with some sunshine Wednesday

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Any isolated showers will soon die away to leave a generally dry night with clear spells. 

It will be a fresher night than of late, with temperatures perhaps dipping to single figures in places.

Minimum temperature: 11C (52F).

Weather map

Tomorrow will start fine with some sunshine and although cloud amounts should gradually increase, it should stay dry into the afternoon. Highs of 20C (68F).

Get the latest forecast at BBC Weather.

First look at c2c's new train fleet

If you're a c2c customer, you may be wondering what's happening with those new trains you were promised.

Well, today the south Essex rail operator has released the first pictures of its new carriages in production.

New c2c train

The 24 new carriages are being built in Derby and are scheduled to be in service by the end of the year.

New c2c train

The new trains have wider seats, arm rests and personal reading lights. 

New c2c train

In each four-carriage train there will be 225 seats, providing 13,500 extra chairs for peak-time commuters every week. 

Ronald King murder trial finishes for today

The first day of Ronald King's trial has come to an end. It will resume tomorrow at Chelmsford Crown Court where we will once again bring you live updates. 

To recap what we've heard so far today: 

  • Jurors were told the 86-year-old shot his wife, who had dementia, at point-blank range after telling care home staff she "had suffered enough"
  • After the shooting, the court was told Mr King turned the gun on himself, but told staff "I cannot do it"
  • Ronald King admits shooting Rita King, 81, but denies murder

You can read the full story here. We'll now take a look at stories happening elsewhere in the county. 

Prosecution ends opening speech

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

Ending his opening speech, prosecutor Andrew Jackson told Chelmsford Crown Court: "This is a terrible tragedy, but Mrs King was being cared for at the care home. He [Ronald King] felt a great deal of guilt about not being able to care for her at home.

De La Mer House

"Many people have to, and do, cope with the consequences of a loved one suffering from dementia. People cope by loving, and caring, and by expressing those emotions.

"He took the life of his wife at a time when she looked forward to seeing him and needed his care and his support."

Ronald King, 86, admits shooting Rita King, 81, dead and told police he intended to kill her, but he denies murder. The trial continues. 

Ronald King picked up loaded revolver on Boxing Day, court told

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said at 10:00 on Boxing Day, Ronald King had arranged a taxi to collect him from De La Mer House where he was staying with his wife Rita.

He told a member of staff he was going to pick something up and took a taxi to the couple's home at Cedar Close. 

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Mr King told the taxi driver to wait as he wanted to pick something up he had forgotten. That was a loaded Enfield service revolver.

The loaded gun was carried in a Hessian bag, wrapped up in a yellow duster which the 86-year-old took to the care home, jurors were told. He shot her two days later.

'I've just shot my wife. She had suffered enough'

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

Jurors heard when Ronald King left the care home lounge he told staff: "I've just shot my wife. She had suffered enough".

The court then heard the 86-year-old raised the gun to his own head, but said: "I cannot do it." 

De La Mer House

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said Rita King was shot once in head, through the eye, killing her "almost instantaneously".

Gun used to shoot Rita King belonged to her father, court told

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

The 1934 Enfield revolver used to shoot dead Rita King at her care home in Walton-on-the-Naze in December belonged to her father, Chelmsford Crown Court has been told. 

Jurors heard there were two other residents in the lounge at De La Mer House care home where the 81-year-old was killed on 28 December, but they are too frail to give evidence. 

Dementia meant Rita King unable to enter into a 'suicide pact'

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

The trial of Ronald King is back under way.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson told Chelmsford Crown Court Rita King wouldn't have been able to enter into a "suicide pact" as her dementia made her unable to retain information.

Jurors heard the 81-year-old could make "simple decisions" about what she wanted to eat or drink, but was unable to make big or far reaching decisions.

Mr King, Rita King's husband, denies murder.

Rita King

Another murder case heard before Ronald King trial restarts

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

Before the restart of the Ronald King trial, Chelmsford Crown Court has just had another short hearing regarding a separate murder case.

Maldon scene

Javid Ahmed, 25, of Fambridge Close, Maldon, pleaded not guilty to murdering Amina Begum in Maldon in March.

A trial has been scheduled for 13 September. 

Essex break an 83-year-old record

Ben Fryer

BBC Essex sport

An interesting quirk to the Essex innings today. Their 569 against Kent is the highest score they've ever made without a batsman hitting a century. 

It beats the total of 560 they scored in a match against Sussex 83 years ago.

County Ground
Getty Images

The game continues... follow live commentary here.

Ronald King was brought into court 'trembling'

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

Ronald King, 87, was brought into Chelmsford Crown Court in a wheelchair. He wore a blue shirt and grey trousers. 

He was visibly trembling and struggling to hear. Mr King was handed headphones and a stick to steady himself. 

He gave a brief thumbs up to family members in court. The trial will continue shortly having been adjourned for lunch.

Mr King shot wife Rita because of dementia, court hears

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

During the opening statements at Chelmsford Crown Court, jurors heard Ronald and Rita King were a childless couple who had lived in Ilford until 2012 when they moved to Walton. 

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said shortly after the couple moved to the north Essex town, Mrs King began showing signs of dementia and she was admitted to the De La Mer House care home.

The court was told Mr King shot his wife because he could no longer bear to see her suffering from dementia.

De La Mer House

Walton care home murder trial a 'sad and tragic' case

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

The trial of Ronald King, accused of murdering his wife at a care home in Walton-on-the-Naze, has begun. 

Chelmsford Crown Court

So far, prosecutor Andrew Jackson told the jury at Chelmsford Crown Court there was "no dispute" that the 87-year-old had shot his wife, Rita, 81, to whom he had been married for almost 50 years. 

He said Mr King admits shooting his wife dead, but denies it was murder. The defendant has pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing ammunition without a certificate.

Mr Jackson described the case as "sad and tragic" and said the pair were an "extremely devoted couple".

More to follow.

Retailers Association says drivers should pay parking charges on departure

Now, back to a story we told you about earlier that councils across Essex have profited tens of thousands of pounds from car park pay and display machines that don't give change.

Pay and display

The British Independent Retailers Association has now called for a move towards car park ticket machines where drivers can pay on departure, saying the pay and display method has "few, if any, advantages" over this system.

Chief executive Alan Hawkins said: "The consumer doesn't have to predict his time of shop and isn't therefore inhibited by having to leave too early or overcharged by having to guess too long."  

If you're just joining us...

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Here are the top stories for Essex at lunchtime: 

  • The trial of Ronald King, who is accused of murdering his 81-year-old wife in a Walton care home, has begun
  • More than 100 schools are closed in the county as some teachers walk out in a national dispute over pay and workloads
  • Councils across Essex brought in thousands of pounds from pay and display machines that didn't give change in 2015  

Weather: Mainly dry with sunny spells

BBC Weather

It's been a rather dull morning hasn't it, with some sunshine poking through the clouds...

Thorpe Bay

For the rest of today it will stay dry with light winds and some warm sunny spells developing. Maximum temperature: 21C (70F).

You'll find the latest forecast at BBC Weather.

About 150 people turn up for Chelmsford teacher strike rally

About 150 people have turned out for a National Union of Teachers' rally in Chelmsford this lunchtime, campaigning for better pay for teachers and improved workload.


Newcastle United travel to Southend

Southend United have just announced an exciting pre-season friendly. 

Newcastle United, along with former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez, will travel to Roots Hall on 26 July. 

There are set to be some high-profile names in attendance for the 19:45 kick-off. 

Rafa Benitez
Getty Images

Show jumper talks about his hopes for the Rio Olympics

James Burridge

BBC Look East

Essex show jumper Ben Maher has spoken to me about his hopes for the Rio Games after being named in Britain's Olympic squad.

The 2012 gold medallist, from Elsenham, has declared two horses for the Games - Diva II and his new ride Tic Tac. 

It will be the 33-year-old's third Olympics, having also competed in Beijing in 2008. 

Walton-on-the-Naze care home murder trial due to begin

The trial of an 86-year-old man accused of shooting dead his wife in a care home in Walton-on-the-Naze is due to begin today.

Rita and Ronald King

Rita King, 81, who was believed to have dementia, was killed at De La Mer House on 28 December. 

Her husband, Ronald King, denies murder. His trial is due to begin later at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Tribute to Manningtree road crash victim who had a 'heart of gold'

The family of a 20-year-old man who died in a crash in Manningtree last week has paid tribute to a "thoughtful young man who had a heart of gold".

Jamie Johns, from Clacton, died after a Fiat Punto crashed with a Volvo tipper truck on the B1035 last Thursday morning. 

Jamie Johns
Essex Police

He will be deeply missed by his family, fiancé, friends and all who knew him. His passion was for motorbikes, riding them and he had his dream job of working in the industry. He loved life and enhanced so many people's lives with his warm personality and customary smile."

Jamie Johns' family

Essex councils find parking machine change adds up

Matt Precey

BBC Look East

It's a lot of change...

Councils across Essex brought in thousands of pounds from pay and display machines that didn't give change in 2015.

Pay here at machine

The chief beneficiary was Chelmsford Borough Council which made £22,313. Elsewhere, Colchester Borough received £20,000, Castle Point District Council £5,406 and Basildon Borough £2,876.

There are no figures for Braintree District Council for 2015, but in 2013/14 the authority made £22,022.

The big exception was Maldon District Council, which didn't make any surplus income due to the use of linear tariffs, where any overpayment results in additional parking time for the extra money inserted.

'Rotten egg' smell is keeping us indoors

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Here's a story that caught our eye in the Echo this morning.

Disgusted residents have taken to wearing face masks outdoors to combat an unpleasant smell coming from a lake on Canvey, the paper reports.

Read the full story here.

Weather: Becoming mainly dry with sunny spells

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

It'll be breezy this morning with outbreaks of light rain and drizzle clearing. The rest of the day will then be dry with some warm sunny spells and light winds. 

Maximum temperature: 21C (70F).

You can get more at BBC Weather

Why are some teachers on strike today?

Just over 100 schools are closed today in the county and others face disruption, as members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) stage a one-day strike over school funding.

School pupils

NUT acting leader Kevin Courtney said school budgets were not keeping pace with rising costs. Regional marches and rallies in support of the strike have been organised, which is also about pay and workloads.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the strike was "unnecessary" and "harmful".

About a quarter of NUT members voted in the strike ballot - of those who voted, 91% supported strike action.

School closures are a 'tragedy', says Essex headteacher

One Essex headteacher says it's a "tragedy" he has had to close his school today, but he fully supports the staff taking action. 

Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew, who is in charge of Brentwood High School and a few years ago was featured on Channel 4's Educating Essex, said: "I look at people in my school who are on strike today and these are not some sort of radical revolutionaries who are looking for a fight with the government. 

"These are passionate, dedicated and committed teachers.

"We find ourselves in a situation at the moment, where it seems to be impossible for teachers to find solutions to problems of government funding cuts," he said. 

Is your school closed today?

More than 100 schools are closed in Essex today as some teachers walk out in a row about pay, workloads and school funding.

If you'd like to know how your child's school is affected, you will find a full list on your local authority website:

Snippets of school closures
Southend Borough Council/Essex County Council

Welcome to Essex Live

We start this morning by looking at how a national teachers' strike is affecting schools across the county. 


If your child's school is closed, we'd love to hear how it's affecting you and whether or not you support the teachers' action. 

Plus, if you're a teacher, are you taking part in today's strike? 

Send us an email, tweet using #esxlive or visit our Facebook page.