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  1. Essex Live signing off

    That's it for our live updates for the day - and for the week.

    If you're just joining us, scroll down to find out what's been happening across the county.

    We'll leave you with this bright and sunny photo taken in Manningtree - let's hope the weather is kind over the bank holiday weekend.

    Whatever you're doing, have a great time - we'll be back at 08:00 on Tuesday.

  2. The bank holiday weather forecast

    Julie Reinger

    BBC Look East weather

    Apart from a few isolated showers, tonight will be mostly dry with clear spells.

    Temperatures could fall as low as 3C (37F) although they'll rise by the end of the night.

    Weather graphic for 05:00 Saturday

    A largely fine and dry day tomorrow, with sunny spells and just the chance of an isolated shower.

    Temperatures rising to 14C (57F) - although it could be a little bit warmer in the best of the sunshine.

    Another dry day on Sunday, although cloud will increase from the south west later... rain isn't expected until the evening.

    As for bank holiday Monday... it's still uncertain, but potentially we could have some rain, followed by sunshine and showers, with temperatures hitting 17C (63F).

  3. Guilty verdict 'a warning to other drivers'

    Laurence Cawley

    BBC News

    A detective has warned motorists to rest and take breaks when travelling long distances after a lorry driver was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

    As we've reported, a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court found Roger Sharratt, 52, of Bagots Oak in Staffordshire, guilty of two counts of the offence.

    Geoffrey Mills, 53, and Eleanor Joy Mills, 45, were killed in the collision which happened on the M11 near Harlow in May 2014.

    The court heard Sharratt was driving at 55mph (89kph) using cruise control and failed to react to the slowing traffic as he was likely to have been asleep. 

    He had only slept for three to four hours the night before the collision, it was heard.

    Det Insp Scott Egerton said: "Although this has been a complex case involving medical experts, Mr Sharratt drove dangerously. 

    "He was in charge of a heavy goods vehicle and fell asleep. 

    "This case must serve as a warning to all drivers of the need to rest and take breaks when driving long distances. 

    "Mr Sharratt failed to do this and caused the most serious of crashes."

  4. Man guilty of double-death M11 pile-up

    Laurence Cawley

    BBC News

    A lorry driver who fell asleep at the wheel has been found guilty of causing a couple's death in a crash on the M11.

    The crash scene from 15 May

    Roger Sharratt, 52, of Bagots Oak in Staffordshire, had denied two counts of causing death by dangerous driving in May 2014.

    Geoffrey Mills, 53, and Eleanor Joy Mills, 45, were killed in the collision which happened near Harlow.

    The court heard Sharratt was driving a lorry northbound along the M11 when he went into the back of a black Jaguar XF car.

    The Jaguar then collided with a silver Toyota Auris, pushing it under the back of a horsebox containing five horses.

    The Toyota, carrying Mr and Mrs Mills, burst into flames and further collided with a white Vauxhall. 

    Sharratt, who was found guilty by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court today, will be sentenced on 2 June.

  5. New-look station is officially opened

    A multi-million pound upgrade to Ingatestone station has been officially completed.

    Ingatestone station

    The £2.4m scheme has seen the restoration and repairs to station buildings and platform canopies. 

    A new waiting room has been installed, the toilets have been improved and both platforms have been resurfaced and repaired, including widening them in places and improving the drainage.

    The new-look station was opened by members of the Railway Heritage Trust and Greater Anglia.

  6. Profits boost at Co-op

    The region's biggest independent retailer has seen profits rise after investing heavily in its stores.

    The East of England Co-op has 120 shops in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.  

    However, the group also saw its pay bill rise after the National Living Wage was increased.

    Spokesman Doug Field says they estimate it will cost them nearly £4m over four years.

    Quote Message: But we're an ethical retailer and we're paying the National Living Wage regardless of age to all our employees, including the under 25s who comprise 25% of our workforce." from Doug Field East of England Co-Op
    Doug FieldEast of England Co-Op
  7. Car park to make way for new housing

    A city car park will close in a month's time to make way for new housing.

    Wharf Road car park

    Wharf Road car park, near the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford, will close on 28 May. 

    The brownfield site had been earmarked by Chelmsford City Council for regeneration for the past 13 years while it was used as a car park. 

    Taylor Wimpey is set to build a development of 421 new homes, known as Chelmer Waterside.

    The plans were given the go-ahead last month. 

  8. Blues lodge fresh plans for new stadium

    Fresh plans for Southend United Football Club's new stadium are to be lodged today.

    Fossetts Farm

    Blues chairman Ron Martin said it is hoped the move will be completed within two years.

    The club was first given permission to build the 22,000-seater facility back in 2008. 

    Mr Martin told last night's annual meeting that Sainsbury's - a development partner in the original plans - is no longer involved in the scheme.

    The plans are being lodged with Southend Borough Council.

  9. Witness appeal after car damaged and driver punched

    A driver has been assaulted and his car damaged in an attack in Billericay.

    Officers have just released details of the incident which happened nine days ago.

    The victim, a 52-year-old man, was driving in a grey Renault Megane on the High Street shortly after 17:00 on 19 April, when a scooter rider kicked the vehicle several times, causing dents and kicking the wing mirror off.

    Further along the street, when the vehicle was in stationary traffic at the Radford Way junction, the scooter rider continued to kick the car, and a second scooter rider then pulled in front of it.

    The victim was punched in the face by one of the riders when he got out of the car to speak to them.

    The scooters, which had earlier been riding in convoy with a third person, then rode off.

  10. Disruption on the trains has ended

    Greater Anglia says its service should be back to normal, after problems on the line at Witham.

  11. Mother 'feels responsible' for daughter's grooming

    Katy Lewis

    BBC Local Live

    A mother from Essex has said her daughter was manipulated so much by a man who groomed then abused her that she felt responsible for what happened.

    Generic abuse

    Laura - not her real name - told BBC Essex that with hindsight all the signs were there. 

    "My daughter stopped eating so [there were] issues around anorexia, self-harming, which I didn't know until she then came out and was telling me that that was her release," she said.

    "[There was] locking herself away a lot, [but] lots of teenagers do that, they go in their bedrooms and shut the doors."

  12. Conservative MP's aide denies rape

    An aide for the Conservative MP Craig Mackinley has denied raping a woman at the Palace of Westminster last October. 

    Samuel Armstrong, who is 23 and from Danbury in Essex, has been suspended as chief of staff to the South Thanet MP. 

    He appeared at Southwark Crown Court this morning - his trial has been set for December.

  13. Saturday's League football round-up

    BBC Essex

    Southend United defender Adam Thompson (pictured) says no one's more disappointed about their recent form than the players.

    Adam Thompson

    The Blues go into Sunday's final League One match of the regular season against Bury having lost four of their last five. They need a win - and hope Millwall don't beat Bristol Rovers - in order to reach the play-offs.

    Meanwhile, Colchester United coach John McGreal says his players can't get distracted during tomorrow's League Two match at Leyton Orient.

    The home fans at Brisbane Road are planning a protest against Orient's owners after their relegation from league football last Saturday.

    The Us must win to take their play-off challenge into the final game of the season.

  14. Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be.....


    Images from the 2017 FA People's Cup

    ....there'll be just under a hundred teams taking part in the FA People's Cup finals this weekend hoping to book their trip to Wembley.

    Each of the winners in the 16 categories in the free five-a-side competition will win tickets to the FA Cup final on 27 May, where they will be presented with their trophies.

    You can catch up with what's been going on in the competition here - and you'll be able to follow live coverage from the finals in Birmingham on Sunday and Monday.

  15. Clear up of 'worst fly-tipping incident' is under way

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    Rubbish which was fly-tipped on a field near a church in Laindon will start to be cleared up today.

    Staff from Basildon council are working to clear the land adjoining St Nicholas Church. 

    Fly-tipped rubbish

    It is hoped the work will be completed by the end of the day. Gary Edwards, from the council, said: "The amount of waste left behind in St Nicholas Lane, totalling between 30 and 40 tonnes, is among the worst fly-tipping incidents we have known in the borough."Fly-tipping is an environmental crime and dumping on this scale will take significant time and resources to clear." Mr Edwards says the cost of the clear-up is likely be "between £6,000 and £7,000 of public money".  

  16. Quantity of ecstasy 'could have killed teen' on its own

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    An inquest into the death of 15-year-old Sherie-Lea James, who died after taking a cocktail of drugs, heard the quantity of ecstasy in the cocktail, which also contained cocaine, was such that it could have killed her on its own.

    Det Chief Insp Stephen Jennings, from Essex Police, said: "The levels of the MDMA were considerably higher but that, with the combination of the cocaine, was the cause of death."

    Essex area coroner, Eleanor McGann, said: "This is very sad. A young girl who just thought she was enjoying herself - but sadly there are many young people who take these drugs thinking it's just a bit of fun." 

    She recorded a conclusion that Sherie-Lea's death was drug-related.

    Sherie-Lea's mother and one of her brothers attended the inquest but made no comment afterwards. 

    Ms McGann told them she hoped they would be able to remember how Sherie-Lea was in life rather than "just thinking about the sad circumstances of her death".

  17. Schoolgirl died after taking lethal drugs cocktail

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    A schoolgirl died after taking a lethal cocktail of ecstasy and cocaine at a party in South Ockendon, an inquest has heard.

    Sherie-Lea James, 15, who survived liver cancer as a toddler, went into cardiac arrest after taking the drugs, Essex Coroner's Court in Chelmsford was told.

    She was taken to Basildon University Hospital where she died last September.

    A post-mortem examination concluded that she died of MDMA intoxication, more commonly known as ecstasy, with cocaine.

    Det Chief Insp Stephen Jennings, from Essex Police, said nobody had been charged with any offence leading to Sherie-Lea's death.

    Two people were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter but face no further action.

  18. Disruption on trains

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    There are delays on the trains around Witham, with all lines currently blocked.

    View more on twitter

    Greater Anglia say to expect cancellations, delays of up to 90 minutes or revised services.

    Disruption is expected until 16:00.