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  1. Updates on Thursday, 21 July 2016
  2. Ex-magistrate ordered to sign sex offenders' register
  3. Pensioner deaths suspect from Tilbury extradited from Luxembourg
  4. Local nurse said he was a doctor, says NHS trust
  5. Official opening of £1m lagoon in Southend

Live Reporting

By Nic Rigby

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

David Keller

BBC News

Thanks for joining us on Essex Live today - we'll be back with the latest news, sport, weather and travel at 08:00 tomorrow.

Today we've covered the extradition of a Tilbury man who was arrested in Luxembourg on suspicion of murdering two pensioners in Suffolk. He's now in custody on UK soil.

We've also heard harrowing details from court of a former magistrate who posed online as a child to engage in sexual fantasy, and reported from the trial of a man accused of murder in Canvey.

Scroll below to read more. Will see you again after some shut-eye.

Overnight weather: Staying dry with clear spells

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

It will be a mostly fine end to the day, with sunny spells. Turning a little cloudy in places with the small chance of an isolated shower. 

Most places staying dry overnight with clear spells, and lows of 16C (61F).

Friday's weather map

Tomorrow will start dry with sunny spells, with cloud building during the day. Mainly dry, with a top temperature of 24C (75F).

Get more on the forecast where you live, from BBC Weather.

Former magistrate's sentence adjourned by Ipswich Crown Court judge

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Former magistrate Vincent Copeland of Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, had referred himself to a self-funded Lucy Faithful foundation treatment programme, said Maria Dineen, defending.

The 60-year-old's life had fallen apart 15 years ago when he lost his partner in tragic circumstances.

He retired on ill health grounds, but later worked voluntarily as a lay magistrate and school governor.

However, online he shared indecent images and in June he admitted three charges of making indecent images of a child, for which he will be sentenced in September.

Judge David Goodin told the defendant at Ipswich Crown Court: "Your offending is horrid and nobody knows that better than you." 

Copeland has been ordered to sign the sex offenders' register and has an interim sexual harm prevention order. His case will now be assessed to see if there could be an alternative to prison.

Former magistrate 'felt shame' for what he had done

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Five movie clips and two still photographs were found on Vincent Copeland's computer by police. 

David Patience, for the prosecution at Ipswich Crown Court, said Copeland had been talking online with other adult males and often posed as a child having fantasy chats online, but had never touched a child. 

Ipswich Crown Court

He received a message online after sharing the video clips saying his account had been suspended. He then disposed of his computer.

Mr Patience told the court: "He [Copeland] felt shame for what he had done and said it was a relief to get it off his chest."

Former magistrate had 'fantasy chats' online while posing as a child

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Sentencing has been adjourned for former magistrate Vincent Copeland, who has admitted three counts of making indecent images of a child.

Copeland, 60, of Leigh-on-Sea, who was also a former teacher, school governor and choir master, had posed online as a child and had "fantasy chats" with children, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

The 60-year-old was caught after officials in the United States contacted the authorities in the UK about his online activity, and police went to his house.

Colchester Good Samaritan forgives homeless man who took her car

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

A woman from Colchester says she felt betrayed by a 42-year-old homeless man she gave shelter to, who has been jailed for taking her car.

Carmen Spencer

Carmen Spencer, of Thorrington, provided accommodation for homeless builder Jorge Lopes Monteiro, from Portugal.

She also gave him money in exchange for him doing some decoration and flooring work.

Later when she asked him to leave, he stole her car. Monteiro admitted taking the vehicle without consent and driving without a licence. He was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail at Colchester Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Ms Spencer said: "My feelings are of a big betrayal. He did not show any remorse in court."

Accused seen walking near Essex flats where body found

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

We've been covering the Chelmsford Crown Court trial of Anthony Ayres, who denies murdering Kelly Pearce, 36, found dead in a flat on Canvey Island.

The flat where Kelly Pearce, 36, found dead

The court was shown CCTV of Mr Ayres walking in the streets near the flat where Ms Pearce's body was found. 

It shows him walking back and forth. He said the reason for this was that he was looking out for police or drug dealers to make sure it was safe to go to the flat.

The trial was adjourned until Friday.

Ali Qazimaj due before magistrates in Ipswich tomorrow

Ali Qazimaj, 42, has been extradited from Luxembourg and will tomorrow be formally charged with the murders of Weybread couple Peter and Sylvia Stuart.

Ali Qazimaj
Suffolk Police

Mr Qazimaj, from Tilbury in Essex, was detained on a European Arrest Warrant in Luxembourg on 16 June.

He arrived back in the UK earlier and was taken into custody at Martlesham Police Investigation Centre.

He is due to appear before magistrates in Ipswich tomorrow.

Peter and Sylvia Stuart were last seen in Norfolk on 29 June and were reported missing five days later.

Mr Stuart's body was found in woodland near their home. Mrs Stuart has yet to be found, but police believe she has also been killed.

Martlesham PIC
Suffolk Police

Barns damaged in blaze

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Essex firefighters say a blaze, which badly damaged two barns near Basildon last night, was started deliberately.

Crews were called to the scene in Oak Chase, Wickford. A digger - which was inside one of the barns - was also damaged. There are no reports of any injuries. 

One from the Vaults: Boys enjoy Skreens Park in Roxwell in 1937

Nic Rigby

BBC News

On this day in 1937, young boys were photographed balancing on a plank of wood on a lake at Skreens Park, Roxwell, near Chelmsford.

Young boys balancing on a plank of wood on a lake at Skreen's Park, Roxwell
Getty Images

The children were from the parish of St Luke's Tidal Basin, London, and were brought up to Essex by Canon Tinley. 

Skreens Park Activity Centre is still a popular attraction in Essex today. It is owned and operated by the Scout Council.

Second man charged in shop 'corrosive fluid' attack

David Keller

BBC News

A second man has been charged after "corrosive fluid" was thrown at a man inside a shop in Westcliff.

A 19-year-old man, from Southend, suffered chemical burns to his left arm, ear and hand during an altercation at a convenience store on North Road on 30 June.

Following enquiries by officers investigating gang activity in the area, a man was arrested in Southend yesterday. The 19-year-old has since been charged with throwing a corrosive fluid with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and a further charge of affray. 

He is due to appear at Southend Magistrates' Court.

Another man, 22, previously charged with possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and affray in connection with the same incident, will next appear at Basildon Crown Court on 4 August.

On this day: Golden Boy boxer caught on camera in Essex in 1965

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Nicknamed the Golden Boy, boxer Billy Walker was caught on camera training at the Elizabethan rectory at Fobbing, Thurrock, 51 years ago today.   

British boxer Billy Walker
Getty Images

During his career he had 21 wins, eight losses and two draws.

In 1967 he fought for the British title, losing to Henry Cooper. He also took up acting and featured in two Frankie Howerd films - Up Pompeii and Up the Chastity Belt in the 1970s.

Official opening of £1m lagoon in Southend

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Swimmers are getting their first dip in Southend's new £1m lagoon. 

The new lagoon
Southend Council

It's been opened this lunchtime after more than 14,000 tonnes of granite rock was placed in the estuary. 

Southend Borough Council is hoping the attraction will encourage more people to visit the resort.  

Ex-magistrate sentencing over indecent images adjourned

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

I've been to Ipswich Crown Court where the sentencing of a former magistrate who admitted child sex image charges has been adjourned.

Vincent Copeland, 60, of Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, who was also a choir master at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, admitted at court in June three charges of making indecent images of a child.  

He has already been ordered to sign on the sex offenders register, is subject to an interim sexual harm prevention order and will now be assessed to see if there is an alternative to prison by way of an internet sexual offenders treatment programme.

Sentencing will now take place on 8 September.

Accused 'was not in relationship' with woman killed in Essex

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

We've been covering the Chelmsford Crown Court trial of Anthony Ayres, who denies murdering Kelly Pearce, 36, found dead in a flat in Canvey Island.

The court heard Mr Ayres and Ms Pearce did have sex, but he said they were not in a relationship and she was also seeing other people. 

The jury heard they both took drugs, although Mr Ayres said he took them casually whereas Ms Pearce "had a habit". 

The trial continues.

Accused describes finding body of woman in Canvey Island flat

Charlotte Rose

BBC Essex

A man accused of the "frenzied" murder of a 36-year-old woman has told a court of the moment he allegedly found her body.

Kelly Pearce
Essex Police

Kelly Pearce (pictured above) was found with fatal throat wounds in a flat in Canvey Island on 19 November.   

Anthony Ayres, 49, of Fairlop Avenue in Canvey, who denies murder, told Chelmsford Crown Court: "It was horrible. I could hear my heart coming out of my chest. I was hyper-ventilating."

Mr Ayres said he thought she had been shot because there was "blood everywhere" and he could not see any specific injuries. The trial continues.

Local nurse said he was a doctor, says NHS trust

We've been following the news that an Essex health trust nurse is facing a disciplinary hearing.

Broomfield Hospital

Kevin Michael O'Flanagan faces a claim that in September 2010 he "incorrectly described your occupation as 'orthopaedic practitioner' on your marriage certificate", according to the nursing regulator. 

He is also alleged to have described himself as "clinical lead - head & neck / oral & fascio maxillary surgery" on business social network LinkedIn for two years between 2012 and 2014, documents show.

Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust runs four sites, including hospitals in Chelmsford (pictured), Maldon and Braintree. 

A spokesman said: "We can confirm that Mr O'Flanagan did work for the trust, but due to the upcoming Nursing and Midwifery Council meeting in August, we are unable to make any further comment at this time."

Nurse at Essex trust alleged to have 'wrongly' claimed he was doctor

A nurse working at an Essex trust is facing a disciplinary hearing accused of claiming to be a surgeon for eight years - including on his marriage certificate.

Nursing and Midwifery Council
Nursing and Midwifery Council

Kevin Michael O'Flanagan is accused of dishonestly claiming to be a "surgeon and/or a specialist registrar", according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council. 

The medic, who worked for Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust (MEHT), is also alleged to have called himself "Dr Caven O'Flanagan" and used the name and title when he bought a concert ticket and a parking ticket.

According to its records he has been a registered nurse since 1985. He faces a five-day hearing next month over 12 charges, spanning a period from 2006 to 2014.

Former magistrate due for sentence over indecent images

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

I'm off to Ipswich Crown Court where former magistrate Vincent Copeland is due for sentence today.

Copeland, 60, of Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, who was choir master at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, admitted at court in June three charges of making indecent images of children.

He's due up at 12:00 today.

999 calls up in Essex as temperatures soar, reports newspaper

Nic Rigby

BBC News

The Daily Gazette and Essex County Standard is running this story that the region's ambulance service has literally become a hotline as Essex has sweltered in the sun

It reports the temperature topped 31C on Tuesday and saw an increase of about 600 emergency 999 calls for ambulances, compared to the cooler Tuesday before.

Top seaside hotspots for property in Essex and Suffolk

Nic Rigby

BBC News

A league table for the top hotspots for property prices in seaside towns has put two Essex towns and one Suffolk town in its top 10.

Oliver Mills/Geograph

Walton-on-the-Naze (listed 3rd) and Southend (pictured, 10th), in Essex, and Felixstowe (4th), Suffolk, have seen big increases in the value of homes in July 2016 compared to the same time last year, says property website Zoopla.

Homes in Walton-on-the-Naze rose on average by 10%.

The survey also found that homes in Aldeburgh and Southwold on the Suffolk coast were some of the most expensive - with an average house price of £490,182 and £434,618 respectively.

Ukulele Orchestra of GB heading for new festival in Billericay

Nic Rigby

BBC News

A new ukulele festival for Essex is taking place on Saturday with the internationally acclaimed Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (pictured).


The event UKEFEST Essex is taking place at Barleylands Farm in Billericay, between 10:00 and 22:00.

The Orchestra has in the past played Glastonbury, Sydney Opera House and The Royal Albert Hall.

Other classy uke acts attending the festival include virtuosos Phil Doleman and Ben Rouse and singer-songwriter Zoe Bestel (pictured below) from Scotland.

There will be stalls and workshops too.

Zoe Bestel
Zoe Bestel

Tilbury man due to be extradited over pensioner deaths

Nic Rigby

BBC News

A Tilbury man arrested on suspicion of murdering two Suffolk pensioners is due to be handed to UK authorities later.

Ali Qazimaj
Suffolk Police

He was detained in Luxembourg last month. Peter and Sylvia Stuart, from Weybread in Suffolk, disappeared at the end of May.

Mr Stuart's body was found a short time later. His wife is still missing and police believe she's no longer alive. 

Detectives traced 42-year-old Ali Qazimaj (pictured above) to Luxembourg where he was arrested. A decision to extradite him was upheld earlier this week and he'll be handed to British authorities today.

Today's weather: Dry and sunny, not as hot

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

If you've been wilting in the heat recently then it's good news - it will feel a little cooler today.

It will remain dry and sunny but it won't be as hot as recent days.

Maximum temperature: 24C (75F). 

Welcome to another hot Essex Live

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Morning - another hot day in store, but it is cooling.

Today we'll be covering the news that a Tilbury man - arrested on suspicion of murdering two Suffolk pensioners - is due to be handed to UK authorities later.

We'll also be looking at a new ukulele festival in Essex.

In the meantime, standby for a look at stories happening across the county, and probably some more weather chat too. 

Feel free to share your stories using #esxliveFacebook or email.