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  1. Updates for Friday, 23 June, 2017
  2. Stepson jailed over hitman murder bid
  3. Prince Charles marks 40th anniversary of appointment as Colonel-in-Chief
  4. Driver in fatal crash at Thorrington named by police
  5. What do Essex people think of Brexit one year on?

Live Reporting

By Patrick Byrne

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

That's it from the Essex Live team on Friday, so goodbye and have a good weekend hopefully in the sunshine.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday, bringing you the news, sport, travel and weather updates as they happen.

Today we covered the Prince of Wales' 40th anniversary of his appointment as Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment.

Also we brought you news of the jailing of Flash Day, who hired a hitman who failed to kill his stepfather over the inheritance of a family home.

And the end of an era for Ravens, the Southend independent department store which announced it was closing after 120 years in business.

Please scroll down for more details and further stories.

If there's anything happening that you'd like us to know about, you can contact us via the "Getting involved" button at the top of the page.

Evening forecast: Overcast night

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It'll be a rather cloudy night with an odd spot of rain and moderate west to south westerly winds. It’ll be mild with temperatures falling to around 15C (59F).

Weather forecast

Saturday will remain rather cloudy, with some very patchy light rain in the morning. A few bright or sunny spells should eventually develop and there may be a few afternoon showers too.

There’ll be a mainly moderate south-westerly wind and highs around 23C (73F).

Corringham motorbike crash shows 'van escape'
Police release CCTV footage following a crash which caused a woman to have part of her leg amputated.

Council gets tough on environment in new four-year contract

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Discounts for early payment of fines are to be abolished by Thurrock Council as part of a new tougher environmental policy.

The council is planning a cleaner, greener and safer environment within the borough and is increasing the value of fine tickets and reducing the minimum age at which offenders can be issued with them.

Thurrock Council

The new contract lasting four years was unanimously agreed by the borough's cabinet on Wednesday.

Bike crash footage shows 'van escape'

A motorbike was loaded into a van after a crash that caused a woman to have part of her leg amputated, police said.

Officers are appealing for information and have released footage of the aftermath of the crash between two motorbikes in The Manorway, Corringham, at about 21:15 BST on 14 June.

The motorbike and the van were both using false number plates and the company the van belonged to no longer exists, officers said.

Three people – a 17-year-old boy and two men aged 28 and 29 – have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Para's Red Devils put on spectacular display for Prince

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

The Parachute Regiment's freefall display team, the Red Devils, put on a spectacular performance to mark the visit of Prince Charles to the Merville Barracks in Colchester today.

The Prince of Wales was celebrating the 40th anniversary of his appointment as Colonel-in-Chief to the regiment.

He spoke of his "immense pride" to be "part of the military family".

Parachute landing

Independent department store to close after 120 years in town

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

One of the oldest department stores in Southend is to close at the end of October after 120 years in the town.

Ravens, in Clifftown Road, has seen four generations of the same family at the helm.

Current managing director Neil Raven said he reached the age of 60 and decided to retire.


Explaining the closure of the shop to the 16 staff who would lose their jobs was one of the "hardest decisions he had ever had to make".

He has sold the premises to an undisclosed buyer who declined to continue the business. He said: "My family and I are proud to have been a part of Southend's history.

"It is a sad occasion but everyone has shown great support for our decision."

Severe disruption: A12 Essex westbound

BBC News Travel

A12 Essex westbound severe disruption, between J26 A1124 Essex Yeomanry Way and J25 A120 Coggeshall Road.

A12 Essex - Very slow traffic on A12 Colchester Bypass London-bound in Eight Ash Green between J26, A1124 (Eight Ash Green) and J25, A120 (Marks Tey), because of a rolling road-block.

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

'Angry and greedy' stepson planned 'horrific murder'

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A man who hired a hitman to kill his 70-year-old stepfather has been jailed for life.

Flash Day, 46, of Rose Allen Avenue, Colchester, planned the murder in an "horrific act born out of sheer greed," Det Insp Al Pitcher, of Essex Police, said.

Murder scene

Day was angry about not being the sole inheritor of John Sales's home, Chelmsford Crown Court heard at his trial last month.

He hired hitman Ryan Hynes, 22, who stabbed Mr Sales 11 times in the face, head, neck, chest, shoulder and back. Hynes was jailed for 17 years and three months.

The pensioner managed to dial 999 and officers arrived to find him critically injured on his doorstep.

He was taken to hospital and placed in an induced coma. He needed five operations and requires continuing medical treatment.

Day had denied conspiracy to murder but, having been found guilty, must serve 25 years before being considered for parole.

A 17-year-old girl found guilty of perverting the course of justice was given a 12 month rehabilitation order.

BreakingMan who hired hitman to kill 70-year-old stepfather jailed for life

Flash Day, 46, of Colchester, who hired a hitman to kill his 70-year-old stepfather has been jailed for life to serve a minimum of 25 years before being considered for parole.

Driver in fatal crash at Thorrington named by police

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

A driver killed in a crash with another car at Tenpenny Hill in Thorrington, shortly before 14:15 on Tuesday has been named by police as Shane Scott, 21, of Colchester.

Three men being treated at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge include an 18-year-old with a life-threatening condition, a 21-year-old and 20-year-old both seriously injured, police said.

A 15-year-old boy suffered serious injuries and remains in Colchester hospital and a 35-year-old man was discharged from the hospital after treatment for minor injuries.

Parachute regiment stands in line to welcome Prince of Wales

Representatives of the four battalions that make up the Parachute Regiment lined up to welcome Prince Charles, their Colonel-in-Chief, at Merville Barracks in Colchester to begin celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the Prince's appointment.

View more on twitter

Prince Charles marks 40th anniversary of appointment as Colonel-in-Chief

All four battalions of the Parachute Regiment will be represented at a parade to mark the Prince of Wales's forty years as Colonel-in-Chief.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe disruption, before J27 for M11 affecting J29 for A127.

M25 Essex - Slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise before J27 M11, because of an earlier overturned car. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J29, A127 (Romford).

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

Brexit Britain: Download our special podcast

Louise Birt

BBC Essex

Ken the fish merchant had spotted someone he knew. Shouting and waving, he raced off down the seafront in Brightlingsea after him at a speed which belied his 83 years, with our sound engineer Kasel and producer Clare in hot pursuit. They were recording the first in our series of Brexit Britain and wanted to catch every conversation and thought Ken had for a whole day.

ken 2

Brexit Britain was born on June 24th 2016, after the EU referendum. I was driving home listening to Dave Monk presenting our drive time show. I was a bit light-headed because we'd all worked all night as the results came in.

It turned out 62% of Essex had voted for Brexit and on air, emotions were running high. Dave took two calls in quick succession. One of them was a woman from Grays who was delighted. "Today is one of the happiest days of my life," she said. "It's not quite my wedding day levels of happiness, but it's up there." The second caller was from a man in Chelmsford who broke down in tears. "I can't believe this has happened. It's a huge mistake for this country," he told Dave.

The polarised views of our audience on Brexit had long been clear and the desire to talk about the process has continued for the 12 months since the vote. It struck me that most of the debate in the media is focused around politicians and experts. With months of negotiations and complex detail to be worked through, they were the people in the know. But what of those people in Essex who'd helped make it happen? And those who were distraught at the result and worried for the future? The idea for a series of mini documentaries was born. Instead of using a professional broadcaster to narrate, we wanted to use our listeners.


We researched hard to find the right contributors. We wanted a spread of leavers and remainers right across Essex, all different ages, backgrounds and occupations. The final list included a shed builder, a teaching assistant, a barmaid and many more. None of them had ever done anything like it before. We spent a day living their lives with them and recording their thoughts and conversations. Syed, the taxi driver was picking up fares as well as talking to us. They were all brilliant and the sounds of their lives are so evocative. Someone remarked on listening to the first podcast with Ken remarked to me that he could "almost smell the fish." That was exactly what we wanted to achieve.

BREXIT BRITAIN is available to download and will be updated weekly. There's no charge - it's part of your licence fee. The first one is Ken, the fish merchant.

Football: Left back Jordan returns to Beach Boys

BBC Sport

After a loan period in 2016, left back Jordan Brown has rejoined Concord Rangers from Welling United.

Jordan Brown
Concord Rangers

The former West Ham youth player said that he has reached a time when he needs regular football which he hopes to get with the Beach Boys.

The club has also announced club legend Tony Stokes is moving to Bowers & Pitsea.

Severe disruption: M25 Greater London anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Greater London anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J25 for A10 and J24 for A111 affecting J26 for A121.

M25 Greater London - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) and J24, A111 (Potters Bar), because of a broken down vehicle. Congestion to J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey).

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

Police ready for 'challenging events' but concerned over local cover

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Police would face "real challenges" tackling a repeat of the 2011 riots following years of budget cuts, the West Midlands Police chief constable has warned.

But the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex has said the county's force has the resources to deal with major incidents like violent disorder.

Roger Hirst

Roger Hirst has admitted that cuts and preparation for "challenging events" do mean less money for community policing.

He's planning to double the number of volunteer officers, or "specials", to 700 over the next four years.

"We do have resources to deal with individual events but my concern is that this ability can be at the expense of community policing and making sure we are in touch with cities, towns and villages across our our county," he told BBC Essex.

What do Essex people think of Brexit one year on?

Ian Puckey

BBC Essex Political Producer

As Europe cautiously welcomes Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to allow EU citizens to stay in the UK, BBC Essex launches an exclusive series of documentaries featuring local views about Brexit one year on from the vote.


A year ago today, 62% of people in Essex voted for Brexit and the strongest leave support was in Castle Point and Thurrock.

The highest remain vote in the county was in Uttlesford where 49% wanted to remain in the EU.

The Brexit Britain podcast meets people across Essex who gave us their personal views on leaving the EU.

There are no politicians and no experts. They range from a fish merchant in Brightlingsea to a teaching assistant in Harlow and a taxi driver in Chelmsford.

They're all recorded on location. It's available for free to download from your laptop, mobile or tablet.

Search Brexit Britain on iTunes or any podcast provider.

Weather: Cloudy and cool but remaining mostly dry

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Dry, cloudy and breezy with a few sunny spells possible throughout the day.

It's going to feel cooler and fresher than in recent days.

Maximum Temperature: 22C (72F)

More details from BBC Weather.

Good morning from Essex Local Live

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Welcome to another day of rolling news, weather, travel and sport for the county.

We're here until 18:00 bringing you everything that happens.

The Prince of Wales is celebrating 40 years as Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment and we'll be at Merville Barracks in Colchester.

And you can drop us a line - we love to hear from you - get in touch with the team by email, Twitter and Facebook.

The weather was much fresher overnight and I hope you all got a restful sleep as the temperature returned to a more normal level.

Stay here for a full weather forecast coming shortly.

Have a lovely day.

Goodbye from Essex Local Live

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

That's it for another day of rolling news from across the county - thanks for your company.

We'll be back to do it all again from 08:00 tomorrow morning.

Don't forget you can still get in touch - just drop us a line on our email, Twitter and Facebooklinks.

I'll leave you with this sprinkly-talc sky over Tilbury - from our Weather Watcher Philbury.

Have a lovely evening.

Mohammad Amir

Pakistan seamer Mohammad Amir says he wanted to play county cricket to help him become a more complete bowler.

Read more

Watch: First Elizabeth Line train makes first official journey

Rail passengers have travelled on a train built for the Elizabeth Line for the first time.

It left London Liverpool Street for Shenfield, Essex, this morning.

The train was travelling from Liverpool Street to Shenfield

Lifting the heatwave: Your pictures

BBC Weather Watchers

It looks like the heatwave has finally lifted. Now we need the wet stuff.

Once again our Weather Watchers have been out and about capturing the changing skies today.

This was Glemsford on the Suffolk-Essex border this morning - taken by Sharongellyroo:


Weather Watcher Fitzy caught this darkening scene over Shoeburyness:


And the sky over Great Chesterford looks more like an artist's sketch - thanks to Ebb and Flow for this one:


Elizabeth line trains: What's so good about them?

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

EL train 1

Commuters were today given their first chance to travel on the new trains that will serve the Elizabeth line when the new rail tunnels open through central London in December next year.

The train, part of a fleet of 66 that will run on the new line, is now operating a passenger service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield on the TfL rail route.

Here's a few facts about the new state-of-the-art carriages:

  • Eleven trains will be introduced on the route by the autumn
  • They'll be 160 metres long and made up of seven carriages
  • They can carry up to 1,500 passengers
  • They're air-conditioned
  • Wheelchair spaces and areas for buggies and luggage
  • CCTV for passenger safety
  • Clever braking system means they'll use up to 30% less energy than older trains

Man suffers burns after gas heater explosion

A man has been airlifted to hospital with serious burns after a gas heater exploded.

Essex and Herts Air Ambulance

The East of England Ambulance Service was called to Debenham Road in Stonham Aspal at about 10:15 today.

The man in his 20s had burns to his face and arms in the explosion.

The Essex and Herts Air Ambulance took him to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.

His condition is not believed to be life-threatening, the ambulance service said.

New trains preparing for service from Shenfield

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Ever wondered how trains are built? Check this out:

View more on youtube

This is the team at Bombardier making the new Elizabeth line trains. They're entering service from this month, starting with the Shenfield to Liverpool Street journey.

The Elizabeth line will eventually run from Reading and Heathrow in the west across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, through 40 accessible stations.

When fully open in 2019, it'll carry over half a million passengers per day.

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir officially signs for Essex

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

The countdown has begun to Pakistan star Mohammad Amir's debut for Essex County Cricket.

The 25-year-old fast bowler is proving to be something of a talisman for the county already, on the day they look set to overcome Warwickshire in the county championships.

View more on twitter

Amir was mired in controversy back in 2010 when he was found to have delivered pre-arranged 'no balls' at Lord's during Pakistan's tour of England.

He was jailed for six months and banned from international cricket for five years.

Efforts to move on group of travellers from Clacton park

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Council officers are working on moving a group of travellers who pitched up on park land near Clacton overnight.

A total of seven caravans and eight other vehicles arrived at Brook country park just off the A133 and moved on to the land owned by Tendring District Council.

Tendring DC

Officers are working with the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit (ECTU) to deal with the incursion.

They'll serve a so-called Direction to Leave, which gives the travellers 24 hours to move on, otherwise an eviction court date is set.

Should they not do so, then the ECTU will look to secure a court date and go through the process of having the group evicted. That procedure normally takes around seven to ten days.

Paul Honeywood, council cabinet member for housing, said: "It appears at this stage that they turned up very late last night and 'found' their way on to the country park.

“TDC staff will be monitoring the situation very closely."

Simon Harmer

South African spinner Simon Harmer takes 8-36 for a match haul of 14 wickets as Essex beat Warwickshire by an innings.

Read more

Council condemns fly-tip discovered in cemetery

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

This was the scene captured by a local resident visiting St Osyth cemetery at teatime yesterday.

Household waste, tree cuttings, a child’s bike and empty beer bottles were dumped next to graves and headstones.

Tendring DC

A gate lock had even been broken to gain entry, according to Tendring District Council.

Cabinet Member for Environment, Michael Talbot, said that fly-tipping is the "scourge of our rural areas."

"Virtually everywhere has been affected across Tendring," he said.

Cllr Talbot revealed that there have been more than 1,400 incidents of fly-tipping in the district in the last 12 months alone.

"Nowhere is sacrosanct, even cemeteries and burials grounds, and I am aware there was a similar incident at Wrabness Burial Ground only recently."

Local councillor John White confirmed the lock was broken in the incident.

"This is extremely upsetting for those who have relatives in the cemetery and it is to be condemned."

Stroke treatment pioneered in Southend gets NHS investment

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

A surgical treatment for stroke patients which was set up from scratch by a Southend surgeon is to be rolled out across the NHS.

About 8,000 stroke patients a year will now benefit from a massive expansion in the number of hospitals offering so-called 'mechanical thrombectomy'.

The procedure involves surgically removing a blood clot in the brain that hasn't responded to clot-busting drugs.

And Southend Hospital has been carrying it out under the steady hand of Professor Iris Grunwald since 2013.

Southend was the first district hospital in the UK to set up such a service from scratch. The team will help in the national roll out.

Prof Grunfeld (left)
Southend Hospital

Professor Grunwald said: "Stroke simulators are very expensive and scarce across Europe.

"We are the only site in the UK to offer such specialised thrombectomy courses. We are one step ahead of the announcement, already treating patients in the wider area, this has such a positive impact on patients’ lives."

Appeal for information after motorcycle crash that left woman seriously hurt

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Police in Essex investigating a motorcycle crash in which a woman was seriously injured have released CCTV footage from the minutes after the incident.

Two motorcycles collided on the Manorway in Corringham on 14 June - at about 21:15.

One of the riders, a woman in her 20s, suffered serious injuries and had to have part of her leg amputated.

The footage appears to show a group loading the motorcycle on to the back of a van.

View more on twitter

Det Insp Scott Egerton, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "We are still looking to identify and locate the people involved in this incident and I would urge anyone who recognises those in the footage to come forward.

"We also still want to identify where the van and the motorbike are.

"The number plates used on the motorbike and the van are false and the company the which the van belonged to no longer exists."

Three people – a 17 year-old boy and two men aged 28 and 29 – have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. They have all been released under investigation.

Have you seen missing Jamie?

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for a teenager who hasn't been in touch with his family since Sunday.

Jamie Lee Eacott, 15, from Cottingham, went to stay with friends on Monday, 5 June but failed to return home.

The last time he was in contact was on Sunday, 18 June.

Jamie has links to the Rainham area. He has a scar on his right eyebrow. He was last seen wearing a blue Nike tracksuit.

jamie lee eacot
Essex Police

Basildon offers support for Grenfell Tower families

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

A Basildon councillor has written to the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council to offer the borough's support following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Gavin Callaghan, chairman of the policy and resources committee, wrote: "On behalf of people across the whole of the Basildon Borough we send our heartfelt condolences to all those who have lost loved ones and their homes."

He goes on to say he has asked Basildon Council officers to contact their counterparts in Kensington and Chelsea to offer any support they can, including finding any temporary accommodation that may be available for those affected by the fire.


Greater Anglia delays on Stansted line

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Elsewhere in the county: What the papers say

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

  • Council bosses in Colchester are appealing to residents to be patient as a new waste collection scheme gets under way - according to the Gazette. Zone wardens have been dispatched to Meander Mews and Reed walk to clear up the excess black bags and advise residents about recycling.
  • The Harlow Star on Essex Live says supermarket giant Tesco has apologised to local motorists after reports of cars losing power and breaking down after filling up in Church Langley Way at the end of May. Tesco has agreed to cover costs.
  • And here's the front of today's Saffron Walden Reporter:

Jeff Brazier: Hospice bereavement service 'essential'

A grief service specifically for the children and young relatives of patients has been launched in Essex.

A new children's bereavement service is now available at St Clare Hospice in Hastingwood, helping younger family members and friends cope.

The keynote speech was delivered by television presenter Jeff Brazier, who raised his two sons after the loss of their mother, Jade Goody, in 2009. She had been cared for at St Clare Hospice in her final weeks.

Mr Brazier has also written a grief survival guide with help from St Clare staff.

He said: "My own personal experience has shown me just how essential this type of specialist care and support is.

"Grief can happen to anyone, at any point in life; but for children, who may be less well-equipped to cope with it and manage the effects, the need for support is even greater."

St Clare Hospice

The Children’s Bereavement Service has been funded by a major grant from BBC Children in Need, as well as the Clara E Burgess Trust and Charles S French Trust.