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  1. Updates on Friday, 16 December
  2. Man who attempted to rob Andy Carroll in court today
  3. Ambulance service holds a 'Twitterthon' into its workings on 'Black Friday'

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's it for today

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    That's the end of our regular updates for Essex for another week.

    Here are some of the stories we've covered today:

    • The owner of a restaurant who decided to ban under-fives told us she has been stopped in the street and labelled a "disgrace to motherhood".
    • The mother of murdered Theydon Bois woman Maria Byrne spoke of her killer's "web of lies" about what had happened to her.
    • And the family of a 100-year-old woman who died after a collision in Shoebury last month paid tribute to her.   

    Any breaking stories will appear here overnight. Otherwise we'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel for the county from 08:00 on Monday morning.

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Ambulance Twitterthon: Community-based medics praised

    You can follow the work of the East of England Ambulance Service into "Black Friday" evening - which is expected to be their busiest night of the year.

    The NHS service's social media team is praising the work of community first responders (CFRs):

    View more on twitter
  3. Weather: Fog forming overnight and lingering tomorrow

    Julie Reinger

    BBC Look East weather

    It'll be a dry night with some clear spells across the eastern region with mist and fog forming quite extensively, there's an expected minimum temperature of 5C (41F).


    The mist and fog will gradually clear tomorrow morning, although it may linger in some parts into the afternoon, with temperatures likely to reach 9C (48F).

    There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

  4. Chelmsford MP to discuss rail disruption in Parliament

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    Chelmsford MP Sir Simon Burns says he's so fed up with problems on trains through the city recently that he wants to raise it in Parliament next week.

    He said: "What we have seen over the past three weeks is frequent disruption to the service - whether it's the breakdown of a freight train or one of Greater Anglia's trains or damaged overhead cables.

    "It's been one thing after another which has caused frequent disruption to commuters during the rush hours. 

    "It's deeply frustrating for them if they can't get home.

    A seat on a newly-refurbished Greater Anglia Trains carriage.

    "The rail infrastructure has been upgraded over the past decade, but the problem with the rolling stock, particularly Greater Anglia's, is that it's up to 30 years old and is more prone to breaking down."

    As we reported earlier, the company has unveiled its new-look trains today which are being gradually introduced over the next three years.

  5. Kamara could return to Colchester squad tomorrow

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    Glen Kamara could come back into the Colchester United squad for tomorrow's League Two game at home to Notts County.

    He could take the place of Sammie Szmodics, who has suffered a setback in his recovery from an ankle injuy.

    Meanwhile, striker Chris Porter could be back from his hamstring injury before the turn of the year. 

    He's been out for six weeks.

  6. Audio: Mother of Maria Byrne speaks of son-in-law's 'web of lies'

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    Darren Byrne, 40, is beginning a life sentence for murdering his wife Maria at their home in Theydon Bois.

    He'll have to serve at least 24 years in jail.

    Maria's mother Linda Biggs has described how he repeatedly lied about what had happened to her..

    View more on twitter
  7. New-look trains unveiled by Greater Anglia

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    Greater Anglia Trains have been showing off their newly-refurbished carriages in Chelmsford.

    View more on twitter
  8. Ranger must 'repay the faith' shown by his club

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    Southend United manager, Phil Brown, says striker Nile Ranger needs to repay the faith the club has shown in him, if he's selected for tomorrow's League One trip to Oldham.

    Nile Ranger

    Ranger has appeared on court this week on a charge of fraud and money laundering, which he's pleaded not guilty to. 

    The club says it'll continue to "fully support" him and he'll still be available for selection.

    Brown said the whole squad needs to stick together: "It's important that, when big players have problems off the field, the rest of the group tightens-up. And that's exactly what they've shown in the past few days. 

    "I've witnessed them getting on with their jobs."

    Meanwhile, midfielder Will Atkinson believes he's fit enough for tomorrow's game having missed last week's win over Coventry with an abdominal strain.

  9. Your photos: Glimpses of Essex sunshine

    BBC Weather Watchers

    There's quite a lot of cloud around this afternoon but the county's BBC Weather Watchers have captured some bright skies already today.

    Thanks to Nik for this beautiful photo of sunrise over Boxted, near Colchester:

    Sunrise over a misty field in Boxted

    Joan's view captured some breaks in the cloud over Canewdon:

    Breaks in the cloud over Canewdon in Essex.

    Though it seems to have turned much cloudier over Walton-on-the-Naze this lunchtime. 

    This photo was taken by Karry:

    Cloudy skies over a field near Walton-on-the-Naze.
  10. Tribute paid to 'inspirational' 100-year-old

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    The family of a 100-year-old woman who died after a collision in Shoebury last month has paid tribute to her. 

    Joan Roskilly was hit by a minibus just before 13:50 on Tuesday, 29 November on a pavement outside Asda in North Shoebury Road. 

    100-year-old Joan Roskilly

    She was born in London and had moved to Southend in her later years, having also lived in Canada.

    A tribute from her family read: "Joan Roskilly. A treasured grandmother and great-grandmother. 

    "An inspiration to family members and champion bridge player. An immeasurable loss to both family and friends." 

    Police are continuing with their inquiries into the collision. 

  11. Fish donated to Colchester's Castle Park

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    Last month we reported that 45 fish had died at Castle Park in Colchester after their tank was slashed.

    They were in the temporary container while their pond was being cleaned.

    Three large koi carp, similar to the one pictured here, were taken from the tank and subsequently died.

    They were about 30 years old and park staff were said to be "very upset" by the incident.

    But now they've announced that four Koi Carp have been donated by "local families and benefactors" and will be joining the pond on Monday.

    Koi carp

    Councillor Annie Feltham said:"We are extremely touched by the generosity of those who have donated these beautiful fish to Castle Park. 

    "The fish are a unique and well-loved feature and we really appreciate this compassionate gesture."

    The park is expecting to receive two more Koi in January, which have been donated by a business in Great Bromley.

    An 18-year-old has been charged with theft and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal in connection with the incident.

  12. Girl raises money for burns unit

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    A 10-year-old girl has raised £1,100 for the hospital unit which saved her mum's life.

    Laura Jones, 32, of Napier Close, Basildon, suffered 40% burns when a patio heater exploded at her home in April last year.

    She was put on life support at Broomfield Hospital and spent two months in intensive care. She is still being treated at the St Andrew's Centre for plastic surgery and burns.

    Laura’s daughter, April, organised a 5km run with about 20 friends and family members to raise money for the team.

    April (centre) and her mum (far left) presented the cheque to hospital staff
    Image caption: April (centre) and her mum (far left) presented the cheque to hospital staff

    April said: "I wanted to help other people and say a massive ‘thank you’ to all of the people who helped my mum."

    Consultant plastic and burns surgeon Mr Naguib El-Muttardi added: "We would like to thank April and her family for the donation – she’s a very special young lady."

  13. Man arrested over security van robbery

    Stuart Bailey

    BBC News

    A man has been arrested in connection with the armed robbery of a security van in Witham during which a six-figure sum of money was stolen. 

    The 34-year-old from Romford was arrested in Billericay High Street at 22:30 last night.

    Asda in Witham.

    Police were called to reports of two security guards being robbed at gunpoint outside Asda in Highfields Road at 08:40 on Wednesday.

    They have again appealed for witnesses to contact them.