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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 14 July 2017
  2. Thirteen men convicted at end of Southend football hooliganism trial
  3. Rowdy off-duty police officers were 'argumentative and belligerent', says superior

Live Reporting

By Orla Moore

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Thanks Essex, and goodnight

    That's it from the Essex Live team for this week so goodbye, and enjoy your weekend.

    Thanks for your company, and hopefully you'll join us again from 08:00 on Monday, when we'll bring you more news, sport, travel and weather updates as they happen.

    Today we've been covering the conviction of 13 men who attacked football fan Simon Dobbin after a match at Southend United.

    Scroll down the page to follow that story as it happened, and if you want to comment about anything at all, use the "Get involved" button at the top of the page.

  2. Chinchillas and cornsnakes in airing cupboard fire

    Firefighters are trained to save animals from burning buildings and tricky situations, which is just as well as on Thursday afternoon they were faced with... 10 corn snakes and two chinchillas in a third floor flat fire.

    An electrical fault caused a fire in the airing cupboard of the flat in Holden Close in Braintree.

    The unusual pets were being kept in the living room, and as the flat was smoke-logged, Essex Fire and Rescue officers had to use ventilation fans to keep the safe from harm.

    The service praised the flat owner for closing all the internal doors once her smoke alarm went off, helping protect the rest of the flat and her precious pets from damage.

    Sadly, firefighters were too busy flighting the fire to take photographs, so here's a chinchilla and a corn snake in case you're not familiar with them. They are looking happy because they were not involved in the fire.

    Chinchilla and corn snake
  3. Woman suffers serious head injury after M25 crash

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    A woman in her 30s has been airlifted to hospital in a life-threatening condition after a serious crash on the M25 earlier this afternoon.

    The crash, between a silver Kia Sportage and a lorry happened between junctions 29 and 30 around 14:00.

    The woman, in her 30s, has suffered a serious head injury, say the ambulance service.

    The clockwise carriageway remains closed with delays in the area. The anti-clockwise road is unaffected.

  4. Simon Dobbin: 'Heartbreaking' CCTV released

    The wife of a man who was left with permanent brain damage following an attack by Southend United fans said it has been "devastating" watching CCTV footage played to the court.

    Thirteen men have been convicted over the attack on Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin who has been unable to walk or talk since the incident in Southend in March 2015.

    Video content

    Video caption: Simon Dobbin: CCTV shows victim dancing in pub before attack

    Nicole Dobbin, who lives with her husband in Mildenhall, Suffolk, said: "It's heartbreaking, especially just recently going through the court and seeing the CCTV footage of Simon dancing and singing in the background, that's something we will never have.

    "Simon was always the life and soul of a party, he was very family orientated, we did everything together, the only times we didn't socialise is when he was at a football match or we were at work, otherwise we were always together. We don't have that anymore and we will never get that back."

  5. Video content

    Video caption: Simon Dobbin: Heated arguments heard outside court after verdicts

    Heated arguments were heard outside a court after 13 men were convicted over an attack on a football fan.

  6. Fancy getting into motorsport?

    #GetInspired

    Here's Red Bull team principal Christian Horner giving you five reasons why motorsport could suit you....

    Video content

    Video caption: Red Bull Formula 1 Team's Christian Horner: five reasons to take part in motorsport

    And if you want to look into it further, take a look at the Get Inspired guide.

  7. Air ambulance at crash closes M25

    The M25 has been closed to allow the air ambulance to land at the scene of a crash..

    There's been a serious single-car accident clockwise between junction 29 for Basildon and junction 30 for Thurrock services, Highways England says.

    View more on twitter

    Essex Fire and Rescue is at the scene as well as the Essex air ambulance.

    Diversions are in place and you can find them by following the link on the tweet above.

  8. Simon Dobbin attack: Photos of attackers released

    the defendants

    Police have released photos of the thirteen men who attacked football fan Simon Dobbin, 44, leaving him with permanent brain damage.

    The men were all found guilty of various offences in relation to the attack in March 2015 and will be sentenced on Monday.

    The jury at Basildon Crown Court heard Mr Dobbin and his friends had gone to the afternoon's football game and then spent the evening at the Blue Boar pub, where they watched the England vs France rugby match.

    But when a group of Southend fans entered the pub, the U's fans decided to head home, fearing they would be targeted.

    When they reached Prittlewell train station, Mr Dobbin and some of his friends became separated from the rest of the group when they took a wrong turning.

    As they passed The Railway Tavern around 19:15, a large group of around 25 men came out of the pub and set upon them in East Street.

    Mr Dobbin was knocked unconscious and suffered swelling on the brain.

    He was put in an induced coma and spent four months in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, followed by and eight months in rehabilitation.

    He returned home to Mildenhall, Suffolk, in March 2016 but needs 24-hour care.

  9. Video content

    Video caption: Simon Dobbin: Ferocious attack left fan unable to walk or talk

    Thirteen men have been convicted over an attack on Simon Dobbin, a Cambridge United fan.

  10. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J30 for A13 Lakeside and J29 for A127.

    M25 Essex - Queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J30, A13 (Lakeside) and J29, A127 (Romford), because of a rolling road-block.

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

  11. M25 cleared of caravan chaos

    It's all back to normal on the M25 after this morning's caravan catastrophe - whatever "normal" is for the M25 on a Friday afternoon...

    Two lanes clockwise at junctions 26 and 27 were closed for a while after a caravan overturned, but that's all been cleared and all four lanes are now open, Highways England says.

    Here's what it looks like at the moment - that's a lot better, right?

    M25 in Essex
  12. Cultural schemes benefit from funding boost

    It's hoped more people will be able to get involved in the arts in this county after a £153,500 boost was given to 11 organisations.

    Those benefiting from the county council's cultural development strategic fund include Colchester Arts Centre which will get £15,000 to help make its workshops and performances more accessible.

    Colchester Arts Centre

    Orchestras Live will get the same amount to support its work with people with special needs, while Signals Essex Media Centre gets £27,000 towards its digital skills workshops.

    "It is vital that we help to preserve cultural organisations in Essex as they have a positive impact on the lives of local residents, and make Essex a fun and exciting place to live," said Sue Barker, councillor for culture, communities and customers.

    "I am heartened by the level of pride that people take in their local community,” she added.

  13. Simon Dobbin attack: CPS statement

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has released a statement after thirteen men were convicted of various offences in relation to an attack after a football match that left Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin with brain damage.

    The men were part of a gang which set out to ambush U's supporters following a match in Southend in March 2015.

    Douglas Mackay, from the CPS said: "These men set out on that Saturday with the intention of getting involved in the most horrific violence.

    "Their victims were chosen at random and were entirely innocent," he said.

    Simon Dobbin

    "The jury agreed with the prosecution that each of these men played an active part in planning or carrying out this shocking attack.

    "Mr Dobbin and his family have been through an unimaginable ordeal. I can only hope these verdicts bring some sense of justice for them."

    During the trial at Basildon Crown Court, the jury heard that the attackers scouted out locations as they planned the attack in revenge for a fight earlier in the day in which Mr Dobbin, 44, had no involvement.

    They ambushed a small group of Cambridge United supporters and during the violence Mr Dobbin was kicked and stamped on repeatedly.

    All of the men have been remanded in custody to face sentencing on Monday.

  14. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M25 Greater London clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Greater London clockwise severe accident, between J29 for A127 and J30 for A13 Lakeside affecting J27 for M11.

    M25 Greater London - Delays and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J29, A127 (Romford) and J30, A13 (Lakeside), because of an accident involving a lorry and a car earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion on halfway to J27 M11.

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

  15. Simon Dobbin attackers are 'hooligans', says lead officer

    The police officer in charge of the investigation into the attack which left Simon Dobbin with brain damage, has called the thirteen men convicted "a pack of animals".

    Earlier today, eight of those men were found guilty of violent disorder, alongside one man who had already pleaded guilty to the charge. Three men were found guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder, with one man found guilty of hiding the group.

    Det Ch Insp Martin Passmore, from Essex Police, said the group "were not football fans".

    "I think they're hooligans," he said.

    "These are individuals that are mainly spending their time in pubs and drinking and looking for the opportunity to have fights with other so-called football fans/hooligans.

    "I haven't seen any remorse in this case at all.

    simon dobbin

    "Whether some of them might have great regrets about what happened that night there's some indication perhaps from some of the telephone work that we've done that would indicate that, but you could also say that that's fear. That's fear of conviction. That's fear of being caught."

    If it hadn't been down to thorough police work, the convicted men "would have been running off laughing," he said.

    "They knew that an individual was going to be taken away into hospital and there was some concern also from some of them of how serious this actually was, and yet they can still send text messages about 'how proud I am' and 'how proud we are of what we've done' - it's just unbelievable."

  16. M25 caravan recovered after overturning

    The caravan which caused chaos on the M25 earlier was recovered about an hour after it overturned, closing two lanes of the road between the junctions for Waltham Abbey and north-east London.

    View more on twitter

    But with one lane still closed as they clear debris, Highways England is warning of delays well into the afternoon.

  17. Simon Dobbin attack: Victim trending on Twitter

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    Since the verdict has come in to the attack on Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin, which found 13 men guilty of various offences, his name has been trending on Twitter across the United Kingdom.

    Trending list
  18. Wife of football hooliganism victim talks of a man 'trapped' in his body

    The wife of Simon Dobbin has been reacting to the news that all 13 men charged with the football hooliganism that left her husband brain-damaged have been convicted of either violent disorder, conspiracy to commit violent disorder or assisting offenders.

    Emily, Simon and Nicole Dobbin
    Image caption: Simon Dobbin with his daughter Emily and wife Nicole

    Nicole Dobbin said it has been "heartbreaking" watching CCTV footage shown to the court of her husband dancing and singing in the background because he will never be able to do that again.

    "Simon was always the life and soul of a party, he was very family orientated, we did everything together, the only times we didn't socialise is when he was at a football match or we were at work, otherwise we were always together. We don't have that anymore and we will never get that back."

    Mrs Dobbin said her husband is aware of his friends and family, almost as if he is "trapped" in his body.

    However, he cannot walk or talk and is fed through a tube.

    He is linked to a suction machine, so he does not choke himself to death.

    "I don't know how I've stayed strong," said Mrs Dobbin.

    "There have been times when I lay in bed and think about the man I've lost, and the plans we had for the future will never happen, but hopefully we'll be able to make new plans."

    Defendants in the Simon Dobbin football hooliganism trial
    Image caption: Artist's impression of the defendants at Basildon Crown Court

    She urged those who go to football matches to "cause trouble", to think twice.

    "In my eyes, I'm lucky I've still got Simon, obviously not the way he is, we're not lucky about that, but the next person, one punch can kill," she said.