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  1. All today's news

    That's all from the Essex Live team for today and for the week. Our main stories included the following:

    Any breaking news will be added to the site and we'll be back on Monday at 08:00.

  2. Overnight weather: Dry at first with patchy rain later

    Julie Reinger

    BBC Look East weather

    A dry start to the night across the BBC East region with clear spells, but patchy rain will eventually spread in from the north-west. 

    The winds will pick up to a moderate-to-fresh south-westerly, and temperatures will drop to 3C (37F).

    Overnight weather map

    Saturday will be blustery with a fresh, occasionally strong, south-westerly wind. 

    Early rain will clear eastwards and it should then become drier and brighter, before more rain spreads in from the north-west. 

    Highs of 10C (50F).

    Get the full forecast where you are from BBC Weather .

  3. Pedestrian, in 30s, dies after St Valentine's Day road crash

    Police have renewed their appeal for witnesses after a pedestrian died nine days after a road crash in Chelmsford. 

    A woman, in her 30s, was crossing Roxwell Road near the BP garage when she was in collision with a red Citroen C2 on 14 February, just after 19:00. 

    She was seriously injured and flown to hospital, but died yesterday.

    Essex Police is asking for witnesses, especially if they've got dashcam footage.

  4. Third arrest in armed shop robbery inquiry

    A third man has been arrested in connection with the armed robbery of a post office near Braintree which we covered earlier this week .

    Cressing store and sub-post office

    The sub-post office at Cressing was held up by two men, one with a gun, on Tuesday at 12:30.

    A 26-year-old from Tiptree was picked up in Southminster at 11:30 today and he's now in custody.

    Two other men, aged 49 and 19 and also from Tiptree, were arrested earlier this morning.

  5. Claim: Tax rise result of council 'not controlling finances'

    As Southend Borough Council leader John Lamb blames government funding cuts for the council tax rise, one of his opponents says they need to "control" their finances. 

    The tax is going up 5% from April, which is an extra £50 a year for the average household. 

    Meanwhile, Independent councillor Ron Woodley says it's not all Whitehall's fault, and that the local authority needs to look at itself.

    "They're not helping themselves by not controlling their finances, by overspending on employees' costs and other costs by £4.2m over this year's budget," he said.

    "Going into next year, they've got unsupported borrowings of up to £63m in the next four years."

  6. Dig deeper: Council tax to rise in Southend

    Council tax payers in Southend face a 5% hike in their bills, meaning from April, the average household will have to pay an extra £50 a year. 

    Tory council leader John Lamb blames cuts in government funding for the rise.

    He said: "A number of Conservative boroughs are all saying the same thing. 

    "They need to put more funding into adult social care and ourselves. It is a big problem.

    Council tax bill

    "No one wants to put council tax up or the cost of adult social care. We are not getting the funding, despite what people in the treasury may say. 

    "I've told our MPs this and it is only right that I speak truthfully that what is being done is not right." 

  7. Arrest after post office 'axe' armed robbery at Sible Hedingham

    A man's been arrested on suspicion of armed robbery, after staff at a post office near Sible Hedingham near Halstead were threatened with axes. 

    Four suspects made off from the store on High Street in Great Yeldham with cash last month. 

    The 20-year-old who was arrested is still in custody. 

  8. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M11 Cambridgeshire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M11 Cambridgeshire southbound severe accident, between J10 for A505 and J8 for A120.

    M11 Cambridgeshire - Heavy traffic and one lane closed on M11 southbound between J10, A505 (Duxford) and J8, A120 (Bishops Stortford), because of an accident.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  9. The big question: Who will be match-fit tomorrow?

    Southend United are hoping to have Anton Ferdinand fit to return to the side at Gillingham tomorrow. 

    Ferdinand is pictured below leaving the pitch with physio Ben Clarkson during the match against Northampton Town at Roots Hall last Saturday.

    Anton Ferdinand and physio

    Midfielder Will Atkinson's available after serving a three-match suspension, but the game will come too soon for David Mooney and Stephen McLaughlin to be considered. 

    Meanwhile,  Colchester United  are assessing the fitness of Craig Slater for tomorrow's League Two match at home to Hartlepool. The midfielder missed Tuesday's win over Wycombe.    

  10. Essex lottery win: The stuff that dreams are made of

    An Essex pub landlady has told how she shouted "someone tell me if this is true or not" after checking their syndicate's lottery ticket which made them £187,000 better off.

    Emma Crawford, who runs the Kings Arms in Orsett, had to run the EuroMillions ticket scanning function twice before she really began to get excited about the win.

    She'd been preparing a roast chicken for Valentine's Day when she decided to check a pile of tickets she'd left in the upstairs of the pub. 

    Sydicate winners

    She said: “Although I’m the syndicate leader, I’ve got a bit of a reputation for being a bit slow at checking our tickets, sometimes not getting around to it until a few months later! 

    "There was a stack of tickets on the side in the kitchen and I popped the chicken in the oven, picked up my phone and scanned the top ticket all in one move. It just so happened the top ticket was worth £187,109.80!”

    She said she ran downstairs and burst into the bar, saying: ‘Someone needs to tell me if this is true or not!"

    The syndicate of sixteen are each £11,694.36 better off after their ticket matched five numbers and one lucky star in the EuroMillions draw on 10 February. 

    Sydicate winners
  11. Calm after the storm: A closer look at some of Bentleigh Court's problems

    Richard Smith

    BBC Essex

    So here's a closer look at what things look like at Bentleigh Court in Colchester.

    Part of the roof - which is a flat roof - has been raised up at a 45-degree angle, so it looks a little like a half-opened can of fish.

    Then in the car park behind, I can see a really big chunk of building materials, and more bricks and bits of metal and roof fixings on the lawns. 

    The flat roof coming off at Bentleigh Court

    The building, with 30 flats, was evacuated yesterday after Storm Doris swept across the UK.

    The flat roof coming off at Bentleigh Court
  12. Care still required on roads today in Doris' aftermath

    Essex Fire and Rescue service say great care is still needed on the county's roads today, despite Doris having blown herself out. 

    The force was called to 120 incidents, which were mainly fallen trees throughout the storm yesterday, and in the hours afterwards. 

    Nigel Dilley, emergency planning divisional officer from the fire service, said: "We gave out advice yesterday about don't drive unnecessarily, slow down and allow for extra time, that sort of continues really - just having a heightened awareness for the next few days, because there are still trees in precarious positions."

    Tree down in Epping
  13. Trains going between Harlow and Roydon: Cancelled, delayed or revised

    Greater Anglia says due to a fallen tree blocking the line, trains are affected between Harlow and Roydon.

    View more on twitter
  14. Structural checks for Bentleigh Court today

    Richard Smith

    BBC Essex

    Structural checks will be carried out on flats in Colchester before the decision is taken on when residents will be allowed back home. 

    Bentleigh Court was evacuated yesterday afternoon, when Storm Doris caused the roof to be damaged, meaning residents spent the night in hotels or with friends and family. 

    Liam Gillen from Colchester Property Services

    Liam Gillen from Colchester Property Services (pictured), said: "Making sure that nothing else is going to come off the roof, making sure what is up there is going to stay there. 

    "And as the day goes on contact will be made with the residents as to what the situation is, and I suppose, trying to look at a timescale as to how long it'll be before people can come back. 

    "It's all down to safety, the building has to be safe. 

    "There is work to be done which is visible, and all of that needs to be taken care of before anyone comes back, but I'm pretty sure that will happen fast. 

    "There's a lot of people coming today who'll make decisions and make it happen."

  15. Resident talks of a 'loud bang' and 'load of bricks coming off the roof'

    Richard Smith

    BBC Essex

    Residents at 30 flats in Colchester are still waiting to hear when they'll be allowed back home. 

    Bentleigh Court was evacuated yesterday afternoon, when winds of up to 70mph (110km/h) caused damage to the roof of the four-storey building.  

    Bentleigh Court this morning
    Bentleigh Court this morning

    Kelly Bechay-Gerges lives there, and told me: "First we heard a bang, and we wondered what it was, and I looked out of the window and there was loads of bricks coming off the roof. 

    "And then we had the firemen come round to say the building was getting evacuated. 

    "We went outside the front door and we saw the mess, and the firemen told us to get our personal belongings and get out."

  16. Envelope update

    Severe congestion: M25 Essex clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Essex clockwise severe congestion, on the QE2 Bridge affecting J31 for A1306.

    M25 Essex - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise on the QE2 Bridge. Congestion to J31, A1306 (Thurrock Services).

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  17. Royal tweet for Max

    In case you missed it during Storm Doris yesterday, Basildon's Olympic champion gymnast Max Whitlock was at Buckingham Palace to collect his Member of the Order of the British Empire medal.

    The Royal Family tweeted their congratulations:

    View more on twitter
  18. Where do prison escapees go?: Prisoner reveals why inmates flee jail

    Laurence Cawley

    BBC News

    A former prisoner who served time in HMP Chelmsford in Essex has lifted the lid on some of the reasons inmates flee prison to 'go on the run'. 

    Phil Aldis, who has also previously been jailed at HMP Wayland in Norfolk. said relationship breakdowns, sick family members or desperation at being in prison are to blame. 

    He was speaking to the BBC as part of an investigation into where people fleeing lawful custody go and why. 

    
          The faces of some England's offenders who have fled lawful custody in the past three years

    There were 13 prison escapes and 105 cases of absconding in 2015/2016 across the UK. Our composite picture above shows the faces of some of those who have fled lawful custody in the past three years.

    Mr Aldis said: "There is not a lot of support in prison. Prisoners do not like speaking to anybody about emotional stuff because they are very worried about being seen as weak.

    "Prison can be an extremely lonely place and you keep your emotions bottled up and that causes frustration and desperation."

  19. Colchester: No lights on at Bentleigh Court this morning

    Richard Smith

    BBC Essex

    Residents are yet to return home and Bentleigh Court is sealed off by a temporary metal fence this morning. 

    Not one of the 30 flats in this four-storey block has a light on this morning. 

    Scene at Bentleigh Court in Colchester

    With a police cordon across Greenstead Road lifted, it's possible to see more damage to the flat roof. A large section has been peeled back and juts over the grass area below.

    A police cordon surrounds the larger pieces of debris behind the block.

    This morning it's been reported that part of the roof had crashed into St Andrews Avenue - which is adjacent to the block.

    Of the flats, 25 were occupied at the time the building was evacuated.

    Yesterday residents were given letters advising them to contact the block's managing agent to see how long the situation would last. It also said insurance would cover "reasonable expenses" of people who needed to use hotels or bed and breakfasts overnight.

    Scene at Bentleigh Court in Colchester
  20. Police search for witnesses to fatal car collision

    Essex Police is looking for people who may have seen a man before he was hit by a car near Southend earlier this month.

    Officers have been investigating after a Ford Fiesta collided with the victim, who was lying in Poynters Lane in Shoeburyness, on 4 February.

    Anthony Lewis, who was 46 and from Tilbury, died at the scene.