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Essex Chronicle stories feed from registered users of the site and Northcliffe Media editorial

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    new social media network - pitching itself as an anti-Facebook - is growing in popularity, according to technology experts.

    Ello, currently in an invites-only beta stage, carries no advertising, and boasts a minimalist template style - in stark contrast to developments on the dominant social media platform.

    It intends to make money by selling advanced features to current users rather than hosting adverts.

    In a statement, the website says: Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads.

    "You are the product that's bought and sold.

    "Collecting and selling your personal data, reading your posts to your friends, and mapping your social connections for profit is both creepy and unethical.

    "Under the guise of offering a 'free' service, users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy.

    "We also think ads are tacky, that they insult our intelligence and that we're better without them."

    The site's minimalist style is also in direct contrast to Facebook, with large pictures complemented by small text and a black and white colour theme.

    However, with a minimal style comes a lack of options. It appears all you can do is post pictures and make comments, with a long way to go until it matches the interactivity of Facebook and Twitter

    Ello: Could new social network be alternative to Facebook?


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    Braintree MP Brooks Newmark has resigned as a government minister over tabloid allegations about his private life.

    According to reports, the Sunday Mirror has obtained pictures, said to relate to social media, and will publish the details in tomorrow's edition.

    Mr Newmark was only handed the role of minister for civil society in July during the summer cabinet reshuffle. His place will be taken by Rob Wilson.

    In a statement, made after his resignation was accepted, he said: "I have decided to resign as Minister for Civil Society having been notified of a story to be published in a Sunday newspaper.

    "I would like to appeal for the privacy of my family to be respected at this time.

    "I remain a loyal supporter of this Government as its long term economic plan continues to deliver for the British people."

    It comes as a blow to the Conservatives, hours after MP Mark Reckless announced he was defecting to UKIP, forcing a by-election in Rochester and Strood.

    Braintree MP Brooks Newmark resigns as minister over tabloid revelations


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    CLARETS striker Michael Cheek believes that the side's resounding 6-0 FA Cup victory over Worthing on Saturday could inject some real confidence into their displays in the Vanarama Conference South.

    Cheek netted a treble, along with goals from Evans Kouassi, Mark Hughes and substitute Sam Gregory, as Chelmsford posted their first back to back victories of the season so far.

    On his hat-trick, Cheek told the Chronicle: "I think it's my first one in the cup. I've only scored one other for the club. I've got to be the top scorer in the FA Cup surely!

    "The build-up play for my second was brilliant. I was surprised that Luke [Callander] cut it back to me to be honest. I saw the look up he gave me and I got myself in the right place at the right time."

    After scoring his first with a penalty kick on 21 minutes, he offered up the next spot kick, awarded just three minutes later, to strike partner Evans Kouassi, who slotted him home.

    That saw the hat-trick hero ribbed by team-mates for not scoring more. He explained why he hand the ball over for the second penalty kick.

    "It was more the fans than anything. They were screaming for Evans to take it. He wanted the first one as well. He needs to get goals, so do I to be fair, but it's good to get the ball rolling for him," he said.

    "It is a confidence boost. They [his team-mates] were moaning at me that I didn't take the penalty though. Even though I scored three they're saying that it should have been four! I can't win!

    "For me it gives me confidence, but as a team it's our first back to back wins of the season. So we'll be confident going into Saturday and back into the league."

    Cheek paid tribute to strike partner Kouassi, who looked bright before going off with a hamstring injury before half-time. He was replaced by Callander, who also impressed during his display, setting up a number of the goals.

    "He gives us something different Evans. He's very quick obviously. Luke is a very different type of player, but it's definitely positive having Evans coming in," explained the forward.

    On the battling Ryman League Division One South visitors, Cheek added: "They kept going all the way through the game. I thought their number 10 was decent and caused us problems all game. They didn't give us a moment's rest."

    Cheek also praised young goalkeeper Niklas Freund for his calm display. The youngster was deputising for the suspended Nicky Eyre, with his father, former Spurs and Germany midfielder Steffen Freund watching from the stands.

    "Nicky is going to find it difficult to come back in now," he admitted. "Niklas has had two solid games and played very well. He didn't have much to do today, but he was there and ready."

    The striker is hoping for a smaller side to be drawn against them in the FA Cup, third qualifying round, before potentially drawing someone bigger if they make it through.

    He said: "Let's perhaps keep the opposition small at the moment and then in the next round, more teams come in and we'll see who we get if we get through."

    Chelmsford's hat-trick hero Cheek: 'We'll take this confidence into the league'


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    CLARETS boss Mark Hawkes has backed Michael Cheek to make it in the professional game if he wants it enough.

    Cheek grabbed a great hat-trick as Chelmsford saw off Worthing 6-0 in the FA Cup, second qualifying round on Saturday. The other goals came from Evans Kouassi, Mark Hughes and substitute Sam Gregory as the Clarets eased into the next round.

    "I think it's important, particularly for strikers, to score in all games they play in, especially getting a hat-trick," Hawkes told the Chronicle.

    "I think now Michael has played about 30 games for the club and he's probably scored about 18/19 goals, which is a good return.

    "He's still relatively young, only 22 and still has a big future in the game in front of him if he believes in himself. We keep drumming it into him to work hard. I've seen strikers go from non-league to professional football and they haven't had much more ability than Michael.

    "It's there if he wants it, but you can't knock it into him. If the lad wants it himself he can make it."

    Kouassi went off with a hamstring injury just before the break, but Hawkes was hopeful he will recover quickly.

    He said: "We'll assess it again on Monday night when we come into training. I don't think he's pulled it, just hopefully a minor strain in there. So we'll see. Perhaps he'll just miss one game or not much more."

    Luke Callander impressed when he came on for Kouassi and the Clarets boss believes that having competition up front has kicked his front line up a notch or two.

    "Luke came off the bench and did very well. He played an hour, worked very hard, and I think he created three of the goals from his build-up play. He did everything but score. He put in a better shift than he has done in recent games," he said.

    "Michael and Evans played very well last week and that's put him on the back foot. He knows what's required. We've got three great strikers.

    "Competition breeds confidence. The ones with the possession of the shirts have to make sure they keep doing it as there's boys ready to take that opportunity. Very early on we only had the two lads up front and it became a little stale for them with no pressure, knowing that if we were playing two up front they'd both play. Now we've got competition up there. It's healthy for the club."

    Gregory also came off the bench to bag a late goal, and Hawkes was delighted for him.

    "I'm pleased for Sam– it's his first goal for the club," he said. "I think he got a hat-trick in mid-week for the academy as well.

    "He didn't have the greatest time for the last month out on loan at Maldon, but he was ill for a couple of weeks of that. Obviously they've also lost their manager so it was a bit up and down for him there, but he's come back and has got work to do.

    "It's good to have him back around and I'm pleased he's got his goal."

    The City manager also spoke about the importance of the FA Cup for sides like Chelmsford.

    "The FA Cup is special. It's the biggest cup competition in England. Every team gets the chance to enter. You have to make days like this really great because although we could go another couple of rounds, we're not going to win the FA Cup," he explained.

    "Perhaps if we get a couple of favourable draws and some home games, then why not get a Football League club here? There's still some work to do and we've come through well today."

    He added: "Every non-league club needs extra finance. It doesn't matter if you're Chelmsford City or anyone else, the money's always welcome. That's what the FA Cup brings to non-league football, a bit of prize money, extra revenue that they wouldn't necessarily have."

    On the game itself, he went on: "We scored six goals and some good ones towards the back end of the game. I wouldn't say we were under any real type of pressure. We gave the ball away sloppily on a couple of occasions and put ourselves under a bit of pressure, which we have to sort out.

    "I don't think our goalkeeper has made a really meaningful save. He's palmed one over the bar, but it was regulation from long distance. They were still a good side, but I just think we had a little bit too much for them."

    It is back to league action next weekend with a trip to St Albans on Saturday and then a home derby against Concord Rangers on Monday.

    "St Albans away is going to be difficult. They like to keep the ball on the deck and pass it. It's a nice pitch down there and it'll suit us as well," said Hawkes.

    "In between that and Monday night you go to almost the opposite with Concord, who like to play direct and are a big, physical side. It's two games in the space of three days and very different ones."

    The Clarets boss feels that the Saturday/Monday fixtures could benefit his side.

    He explained: "We train Monday nights anyway, so for us to play on a Monday night perhaps gives us a bit of an advantage because there's probably not many sides that play Saturday and Monday. They mainly play Saturday and train on a Tuesday and Thursday so our boys get a good rest from Monday night to Thursday night and then we go again. So I think that helps us out a bit."

    Hawkes backs Chelmsford City striker to have a future in the professional game


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    Braintree MP Brooks Newmark has resigned from his position as minister for civil society over allegations he sent sexually explicit images of himself to an undercover reporter.

    The father of five reportedly used social media to send the images to the reporter, who was posing as a female activist, according to the Sunday Mirror. In one of them, the 56-year-old is said to have sent an image exposing himself while wearing paisley pajamas.

    In a statement made after his resignation was accepted, he said: "I have decided to resign as Minister for Civil Society having been notified of a story to be published in a Sunday newspaper.

    "I would like to appeal for the privacy of my family to be respected at this time.

    "I remain a loyal supporter of this Government as its long term economic plan continues to deliver for the British people."

    Mr Newmark was only handed the role of minister for civil society in July during the summer cabinet reshuffle. His place will be taken by Rob Wilson.

    The resignation comes one day before the final Conservative Party Conference ahead of next year's general election, and along with news that Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, has defected to Ukip.

    Update: Braintree MP Brooks Newmark resigns as minister over 'X-rated messages'


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    CASES heard by Chelmsford and Colchester magistrates from Tuesday August 26 to Tuesday September 2.

    Sent to prison


    SIMON DEREK COLLINS, 43, of Swiss Avenue, Chelmsford, was sent to prison for a total of 22 weeks. He was given six weeks for assaulting Yenyee Collins by beating her at Chelmsford on June 4. 

    It was a serious offence involving the defendant head butting the victim, who was particularly frail. 

    He was given two weeks concurrent for damaging a wooden bookcase, glass ornaments and a picture frame valued at £250 belonging to Marian Collins at Chelmsford on August 6 and 16 weeks consecutive for assaulting Marian by beating her at Chelmsford on or about July 1.

    Suspended sentence

    RUSSELL EDWARD CAMPION, 45, of Ramblers Way, Burnham on Crouch, was given an eight week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for driving along Hall Road in Asheldham on August 10 while disqualified and without insurance. 

    He was disqualified for 18 months and must carry out 80 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay an £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

    Assault


    JOHN TERENCE KILLICK, 47, of West Avenue, Chelmsford, was given a community order for assaulting Mark Mixture by beating him at Chelmsford on July 30. 

    He also pleaded guilty to beating Theresa Woods and harassing her between June 27 and July 30 by sending abusive and insulting facebook and text messages. 

    The defendant must attend appointments with a responsible officer, carry out 250 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months and was given a restraining order forbidding him from contacting either of the victims and must not go to Milton Place in Chelmsford. 

    He was ordered to pay compensation of £175 and £125 respectively, a £60 victim surcharge and £120 costs to the CPS.

    KEVIN JOHN MARTIN, 36, of Towncroft, Chelmsford, was given a community order for assaulting a door supervisor by beating him at Chelmsford on August 10. 

    The defendant must carry out 40 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay £60 compensation, plus a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    DAWIDE TOMASZEWSKI, 25, of Warwick Crescent, Maldon, was given a community order for assaulting Liwia Bien by beating her at Colchester on July 16. 

    The defendant must participate in the Domestic Abuse programme for 28 days, carry out 150 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, and was given a restraining order not to contact Liwia. 

    He must pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    DEAN CHARLIE LLEWELLYN, 20, of no known address, was committed to detention in a young offenders institution for 21 weeks for an appalling attack on a young girl holding a baby at Chelmsford on July 4. 

    He also caused £73.50 of damage to a Police Station holding cell.

    DAVID ANDREW SMITH, 47, of Bridge Street, Witham, was given a community order for assaulting Sonia Smith by beating her at Witham on July 26. 

    He was ordered to participate in Building Better Relationships for 40 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, and carry out 60 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months. 

    He must pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS. He had also caused £5 worth of damage to a pair of sunglasses belonging to the victim.

    Breach of order


    RIKKI O'SULLIVAN, 27, of Eves Crescent, Chelmsford, was fined £85 for breaching a Domestic Violence Protection Order imposed on August 26 by Chelmsford Magistrates' Court by sending messages on Facebook.

    Criminal damage


    DARYL VICKERS, 40, of Holmans, Boreham, was fined £280 for damaging doors to the value of £743 belonging to North Chelmsford NHS Healthcare Centre in White Hart Lane, Chelmsford, on April 8. 

    He must pay £743 compensation, a £28 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    WAYNE CHRISTOPHER SHANE SPURDENS, 34, of Wood Road, Heybridge, was ordered to pay £200 compensation for damaging a glass window to the value of £200 belonging to Julie Spurdens at Braintree on August 12. 

    He must also pay £50 costs to the CPS.

    ASHLEY DAVID WILSON, 24, of John English Avenue, Braintree, was given a community order for damaging a toaster to the value of around £30 belonging to Patricia Wilson at Braintree on August 14. 

    He was ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS. 

    He was also given a restraining order forbidding him from going to Evelyn Wood Road in Cressing.

    Drugs - possession


    KEITH DARREN LAMB, 18, of Felbrigg Close, Great Notley, was given a conditional discharge for 18 months for possessing 25 grams of cannabis, a controlled class B drug, at Braintree on July 16. He must pay a £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS. He must also forfeit the drugs and have them destroyed.

    BEN LEWIS SIMPSON, 18, of Main Road, Boreham, was fined £147 for possessing four grams of cannabis a controlled class B drug, at Chelmsford on August 14. He must pay a £20 victim surcharge, £85 costs to the CPS, and forfeit the drugs and have them destroyed.

    Failed to comply


    JAMES THOMSON, 34, of Thames Avenue, Melbourne, was ordered to attend appointments with a responsible officer for an additional six months, in addition to the original requirements of a community order imposed on May 30, 2013. 

    He had failed to attend two appointments on January 16 and February 6. He must pay £50 costs.

    STEVEN DE FRAINE, 43, of The Street, Heybridge, was ordered to carry out an additional 20 hours of unpaid, supervised work, in addition to the original requirements of a community order imposed on March 26. 

    He had failed to attend three appointments in June, July and August. He must pay £50 costs.

    BRADLEY STAINES, 18, of Willow Walk, Tiptree, was ordered to participate in Education, Training and Employment for 10 days in addition to the original requirements of a youth order imposed on October 28, after failing to attend three appointments in April and May. 

    He must pay £50 costs.

    JAMIE LEE ERNEST MARSH, 21, Kings Road, Chelmsford, was fined £50 for failing to attend three appointments in July and August according to a community order imposed on December 13. 

    He must also pay a £20 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

    Harassment


    JAMIE LEE BARKER, 35, of New Manor Crescent, Southminster, was given a community order for harassing Katie May at Chelmsford on June 21 by repeatedly entering the Tesco store in Chelmsford to talk to her. 

    The defendant was prohibited from entering the Tesco Express store at Duke Street, Chelmsford, for two years.

    He must participate in Building Better Relationships for 29 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer and was given a restraining order not to contact Katie or go within five metres of the Tesco store. 

    He must pay £150 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £200 costs to the CPS.

    Social Security offences


    HOLLY GIBSON, 23, of Reed Meadows, Braintree, was given a conditional discharge for 12 months for failing to notify Braintree District Council of a change of circumstances which would have affected her entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit between January 9, 2012 and March 23 this year. 

    She must pay a victim surcharge of £15 and costs of £267.75.

    Theft – shoplifting


    DARREN PAUL MIMMS, 34, of Home Mead, Galleywood, was given a conditional discharge for 12 months for stealing five DVDs valued at £40 from the Co-op in Duke Street, Chelmsford, on August 8. He must pay a £15 victim surcharge.

    SCOTT DAVID HOLLEY, 24, of Kings Road, Chelmsford, was given a community order for stealing a pasty and case of lager to the value of £7.75 from Premier Convenience Store in Chelmsford on February 8. 

    The defendant must attend appointments with a responsible officer, carry out 60 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay £7.75 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS. 

    He also pleaded guilty to assaulting Matthew Hodges at Chelmsford on February 8 and was fined £120 plus £120 compensation, and of using threatening behaviour that was racially aggravated. 

    He was fined a further £100 and ordered to pay a further £100 compensation.

    JULIAN ANDREWS, 43, of Nelsons Gardens, Chelmsford, was given a community order for stealing three pairs of sunglasses, valued at £210, from Boots in Chelmsford on August 12, together with Luke Davey. 

    He was ordered to have treatment for drug dependency for 12 months, attend appointments with a responsible officer and pay a £60 victim surcharge.

    IAN STUART FLITT, 54, of Howard Close, Braintree, was given a 12 month conditional discharge for stealing a bottle of Disaronno, to the value of £14, together with Stuart Flitt, from Sainsbury's at Braintree on June 27. 

    He must pay £14 compensation, plus a £15 victim surcharge and £40 costs to the CPS.

    STUART IAN FLITT, 29, of Munro Road, Witham, was given a conditional discharge for 12 months for stealing a bottle of Disaronno valued at £14 from Sainsbury's in Braintree on June 28. 

    He had also taken a bottle from Sainsbury's in Braintree on June 27, together with Ian Flitt, and was in possession of a quantity of cannabis, a controlled class B drug, at Witham on August 15. 

    He must pay £14 compensation, a £20 victim surcharge, £40 costs to the CPS and the drugs are to be forfeited and destroyed.

    ROBERT DAVID MARK PALMER, 41, of Victoria Crescent, Chelmsford, was given a community order for stealing alcohol to the value of £124.98 from Tesco in Chelmsford on August 16. 

    The defendant must participate in Education, Training and Employment for 25 days, and was placed under a curfew for two months, with electronic monitoring. 

    He must have treatment for drug dependency for six months, and must attend appointments with a responsible officer, pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Drink-driving

    JAMES PETER WOOD, 43, of Waltham Road, Boreham, was disqualified from driving for 44 months for driving along Springfield Road in Chelmsford on August 9 after he had been drinking. 

    The alcohol measured 85 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than double the limit. 

    He was fined £415 and must pay a £42 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS. 

    He also pleaded guilty to driving without a valid driving licence, no insurance and exceeding the 30mph speed limit.

    DEAN BASTONE, 40, of Stebbens Way, Heybridge, was banned from driving for 22 months for driving a van at Heybridge Basin on August 10 after he had been drinking. 

    His breath contained 88 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than two and a half times the limit. 

    He was fined £265 and must pay a £27 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    DAVID KINNIBURGH, 66, of The Green, Finchingfield, was disqualified from driving for one year for driving along the A120 at Braintree on August 13 after he had been drinking. 

    The alcohol measured 54 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than one and a half times the limit. He was fined £320 and must pay a £32 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Driving offences - no licence or insurance


    TERRY WEBB, 32, of Bryony Close, Witham, was given six penalty points for driving along Freebournes Road at Witham on January 22 with a provisional licence, unsupervised, and without displaying L plates. 

    He was also driving without insurance. He was fined £600 plus a £60 victim surcharge and must pay £90 costs.

    DEBORAH MITCHELL, 53, of Eastern Crescent, Chelmsford, was given six points for driving a vehicle at The Ship public house, Railway Street in Chelmsford on December 20 without insurance. 

    She was fined £600 plus a £60 victim surcharge and £90 costs.

    Speeding

    JENNA SMITH, 27, of Summerhill, Althorne, was given three penalty points for driving at 51mph along the A12 at Hatfield Peverel on November 24, in excess of the 40mph temporary speed restriction. 

    She was fined £37 and must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £90 costs.

    ROBERT GAMMACK, 32, of Goodwin Close, Chelmsford, was given three points for driving along the A12 at Hatfield Peverel on October 28 at 52mph, in excess of a 40mph temporary speed restriction. 

    He was fined £200 plus a £20 victim surcharge and £90 costs.

    WARREN DEREK BOOTY, 23, of Gibson Vale, Broomfield, was given six points for driving in excess of the 30mph speed limit along Springfield Road in Chelmsford on August 9. 

    He also pleaded guilty to failing to stop when requested by a constable in uniform. He was fined £185 plus a £37 victim surcharge.

    Who's been in court? A round up of cases heard by Essex magistrates


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    A STUDENT hanged himself in his halls of residence as he struggled to overcome the childhood sex assault that "blighted" his life, an inquest heard.

    Tyler Duchar-Clark, 19, from Braintree, was found in his Portsmouth University room at about 6pm on Sunday, February 2.

    An inquest in Portsmouth on Monday (September heard the kind, well-liked and "clever" teenager suffered from severe depression after he was sexually assaulted, aged 11, by two men.

    Giving evidence, Hampshire police detective constable Mark Brockman said Mr Duchar-Clark informed Essex Police of the childhood incident but did not want to prosecute.

    Mr Brockman said: "It seems that Tyler was a well-liked and clever man, but due to the horrific incident he suffered as a child he couldn't see how people thought of him and decided to end his life."

    University counsellor Amanda Baker said Tyler told her about the historic incident and his ongoing depression, for which he was taking anti-depressants.

    She told the inquest, however, he was looking forward and had not expressed any suicide plans.

    She said he suffered severe homophobic bullying at secondary school but not at university.

    She said: "He felt his depression was linked to the horrible experience he had gone through.

    "It became clear the historical things were the things he was most troubled by."

    Fellow student Chris Bray, who had begun a relationship with Tyler, found him in the James Watson Hall room about three days after he was last seen.

    Mr Bray told the inquest: "Most of the time he was funny, he was kind, but he did have his demons."

    His father Paul said his son struggled with depression since he was a teenager, although it had been misdiagnosed as ADHD and Asperger syndrome.

    Paul said: "At university, he was the best I had known him for a considerable period of time, he seemed so happy in himself, I looked at him and thought 'he's a grown boy, a man'."

    Friends and teachers from Tyler's school days at Tabor Academy and Chelmsford College, where he studied media studies, were quick to pay tribute to the teenager after his death.

    Tyler, who stood as the Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) officer for the university's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender society, was described by friend Jon Robson as "mature beyond his years".

    Coroner David Horsley recorded a verdict that Mr Duchar-Clark took his own life while suffering severe long-term depression.

    Mr Horsley said: "It's quite clear to me that Tyler had gone through a very traumatic experience very early in his life, which at first he was reluctant to talk about, and we can understand how that sort of thing can blight someone's life."

    Tragic hanged ex-Chelmsford College student Tyler Duchar Clark failed to get over sex abuse


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    MORE than 80 years after doctors told him he was lucky to survive a serious motorbike crash, a former Chelmsford milkman is celebrating his 100th birthday.

    Cyril Reilly was surrounded by four generations of his family to mark the milestone occasion at Okeley Care Home, in Corporation Road, Chelmsford.

    The pensioner, who has lost a son and his wife in recent years, puts his longevity down to "hard work and good living".

    "I do feel like I've achieved a lot in my life and I feel very lucky to have had the life I have," he said.

    "I don't know what I'll do if I get to celebrate my 101st birthday but it's just been nice to have my son and grandkids here. I've enjoyed myself. That's all I needed really."

    Doctors were unsure if a young Cyril, born in Ongar, would even make it to his 18th birthday when, 83 years ago, he crashed his motorbike while riding with friends, leading to several operations, and long-term injuries which prevented him signing up for the Army during the Second World War.

    "They took away some of my left shin to put in my back. I was treated for lumbago at first but they realised it was more serious. I was in and out of hospital for two-and-a-half years for my injuries and never passed for the army because of them," said the former choir singer, surrounded by 46 birthday cards as well as the much-coveted card from the Queen.

    Cyril moved to Chelmsford during the 1940s where he met and married his "very caring" wife Joan, who he was with for 67 years until her death in 2011.

    Living in Springfield Road, the father-of-two was a great fan of cricket and football, as well as enjoying gardening.

    Life for grandfather Cyril has, however, at times been blighted by tragedy after the loss of a sister, and the death of his son from a brain tumour at the age of 65.

    But there was only celebration in the air at his 100th birthday party on August 27 with son David, grandson Nathan, and great-granddaughter Annaliese all flying in from New Zealand to share the day with him, and staff at the care home, crafting a 'milk float' cake complete with milk bottles to commemorate his career as a milkman.

    Doctors told Cyril he was lucky to survive a motorbike crash. Here he is 80 years later!


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    A CONSERVATION scheme to save the kestrel has been widened across Essex.

    The Essex Birdwatching Society programme, based in Chelmsford, builds and places nestboxes at strategic locations in an attempt to combat the declining numbers of the bird of prey's population.

    This month the society delivered its latest box to a private site in Wickham Bishops, as part of plans to extend the scheme further afield across the region.

    Louise Sykes, secretary at the EBwS, said: "It's been a really good year for kestrel breeding, as the mild spring weather ensured that the birds had suitable habitats and food sources all year long.

    "We are now installing new nestboxes across Essex and hope to have some located in primary schools, in order to teach children about the importance of nature conservation."

    Harsh winters in 2012 and 2013 severely depleted the national kestrel population prompting intervention from local twitchers.

    The fate of the birds hinges upon finding a steady supply of food and shelter, and so the specially-constructed nestboxes help to protect their eggs from external risk factors, such as bad weather conditions and larger predators.

    In addition to the installation at Wickham Bishops, the Essex Birdwatching Society has arranged for four additional boxes to be installed at sites in Wethersfield, Brightlingsea, Roydon and Southend.

    Steve Baines, who installs the boxes and monitors their success rates, said: "Kestrels like to nest in tree holes or building ledges, so a box placed in large trees in isolated areas such as farm land will make an ideal home."

    The society has already bred kestrels successfully at 12 spots in and around Chelmsford, and this year alone the boxes ensured that 45 baby birds survived into adulthood.

    The EBwS raised £1,500 at its annual Birds of Prey conference in March, which funded the kestrel nest box programme.

    Mr. Baines added: "With this year being so successful, I plan to put up even more nestboxes over the winter. I only hope that next year will be just as good as this one."

    You can find out more about the work of the EBWS at www.ebws.org.uk.

    Save the Kestrel: Essex Birdwatching Society in rescue bid after winter takes its toll


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    THE Boswells School's Year 8 boys' rugby team have been crowned Essex County Champions.

    They travelled to New Hall for the annual Essex Rugby Sevens tournament and were victorious in the pool matches, beating Coopers Coborn School 7-0, New Hall A 42-0, and Sweyne Park School 35-7 to finish top in their qualifying group.

    In the semi-final of the cup competition they met the runners-up of the other pool and beat William Edwards School 35-0.

    In the final they met Coopers Coburn School again and clinched the trophy with a 21-0 victory.

    Head of boys' PE Steve Sims was delighted with the victory and the quality of the performance shown by the boys.

    He said: "Overall it was an excellent day and the boys have performed above and beyond expectations that resulted in Boswells winning a county title in rugby for the first time in over a decade.

    "Once again I am very proud of the achievements of every player."

    Boswells Schoolboys secure county rugby  title


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    Braintree MP Brooks Newmark has spoken of his regret over the sex text tabloid scandal which has cost him job as a cabinet minister.

    The 56-year-old dad-of-five was forced to resign after the Sunday Mirror informed him it would publish revelations into alleged explicit WhatsApp he sent to an undercover male reporter posing as a female activist. 

    He told the BBC: "I have no-one to blame but myself. I have hurt those I care about most."

    Mr Newmark was given the role of minister for civil society in July during the summer cabinet reshuffle. His place will be taken by Rob Wilson.

    In a statement last night, he said: "I have decided to resign as Minister for Civil Society having been notified of a story to be published in a Sunday newspaper.

    "I would like to appeal for the privacy of my family to be respected at this time.

    "I remain a loyal supporter of this Government as its long term economic plan continues to deliver for the British people."

    'I have no-one to blame but myself' says Braintree MP Brooks Newmark after sex scandal


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    Def Leppard will perform the pre-game show at Wembley as the stadium prepares to host the first NFL International series game between the Oakland Raiders and the Miami Dolphins.

    It is the ninth fixture to be played in London since 2007.

    Miami touched down in Britain only on Friday, but the Raiders have been here since Monday aiming to get familiar with their new surroundings as they try to kick-start their season after three defeats on the bounce.

    Meanwhile, Def Leppard's lead singer, Joe Elliott, said: "I know what the atmosphere in the ground is like for 'our' football so I'm really looking forward to performing there before the NFL game and of course soaking up the excitement of the actual match. I can't wait."

    A limited number of tickets are still sale but the stadium said they were selling fast.

    Oakland Raiders vs Miami Dolphins is live from Wembley Stadium and will be televised on Sky Sports 2 HD from 5.30pm.

    What time does the NFL game between Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins start tonight?


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    October brings with it changes to the UK road tax system. So wave goodbye to your round paper tax disc and say hello to online registration. Here are the top five things you need to know about the new tax rules.

    Goodbye paper disc

    As of next week, there will be no need to display a paper disc in your car, instead a new computerised road tax system will be in place, which is intended to be more streamlined and save UK businesses money in admin fees.

    Hello computer database

    As the paper disc goes out, the electronic road tax database comes in. The new system will keep track of who has paid, and use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to track all cars that haven't paid.

    Hefty fine

    Anyone who hasn't paid their road tax will face fines of up to £1,000. ANPR will catch out those who haven't paid, and police will be able to track them down via the Police National Computer System.

    Pay online

    Instead of all that fiddly paperwork, drivers will need to pay their road tax online, on the DVLA website, and a direct debit option will be available. Those without internet access can pay at post offices.

    Buying used cars

    Anyone buying a used car will need to register for road tax immediately – as vehicle tax won't be transferred with the car anymore. Sellers can claim back any unused months on the tax, but will face a fine if they don't tell the DVLA about the change of ownership straight away.

    Car tax disc changes: The top 5 things you need to know


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    Richard E Grant will make his Downton debut this evening (September 28) and will immediately set the pulses racing.

    Appearing as art historian Simon Bricker, he takes a shine to Cora while discussing a painting.

    Meanwhile, Carson and Lord Grantham don't take kindly to the arrival of a wireless in the house, making them appear somewhat out of touch in contrast to the smooth talking Bricker.

    Elsewhere, Lady Edith announces she wants to provide financial support for her illegitimate child, Barrow faces life alone after the departure of Jimmy, the police pay the downstairs quarters a visit, and teacher Sarah Bunting continues to make waves upstairs.

    Downton Abbey episode 2 is on ITV at 9pm

    Richard E Grant on Downton Abbey: Series 5 Episode 2 preview


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    Police are appealing for the public's help to trace a heavily pregnant woman missing from Colchester General Hospital.

    Pham Flu Ha, believed to be a Vietnamese national, is believed to have left the hospital at around 10pm last night (September 27) after being admitted to hospital that morning. Police are concerned for her welfare and that of her unborn child.

    She is thought to be aged between 16 and 19-years-old and speaks very little English.

    When admitted to hospital she was wearing black leggings and a grey zip-up top with black sleeves.

    Anyone with any information on her whereabouts should contact police at Colchester on 101.

    Police appeal after heavily pregnant woman goes missing from Colchester General Hospital


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    An elderly man was punched to the floor by a heavily built cyclist after challenging him when he rode through a crowd of people.

    Police said the 70-year-old victim was waiting for a bus in Parkway at around 4.55pm on September 17 when the attack happened.

    The man on the bike punched the victim in the face during the confrontation before riding off. The pensioner was knocked to the ground and was helped by other members of the public.

    He was treated in hospital for the facial injuries as well as a fracture to his leg.

    The suspect is described as white, of heavy build, 30-40-years-old. He wore a white t-shirt.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Pc Karyn Daniels at Chelmsford police station on 101.

    Man, 70, punched in the face by cyclist in Parkway, Chelmsford while waiting for bus


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    Could Essex's James Graham be in the next One Direction? The 17-year-old from Westerwings, Bicknacre, has got through X-Factor's six seat challenge with his new eight piece boy band.

    The band, which is as yet unnamed, wowed judges with their rendition of Leona Lewis' song Run.

    Graham's group is the largest group in the competition. The judges created two new groups from solo acts that didn't make into the solo stages of bootcamp.

    The new groups were potentially going to be smaller, but Simon explained: "When we saw you as eight people, this is no word of a lie, every single one of us said 'none of this band can leave.'

    "This is something different. It's nice to do something different."

    The band is made up of music studio volunteer James Graham (17), Reece Bibby (15), Tom Mann (20), Casey Johnson (19), Jake Sims (19), Charlie Jones (14), Barclay Beales (18) and Chris Leonard (18), each of whom failed to make it through to bootcamp as solo artists.

    Graham impressed the judges with Adele's I Can't Make You Love Me in the arena auditions and James Morrison's You Give Me Something in the room auditions.

    Billericay's Lauren Platt, 16, also got a seat and will be heading off to the judges houses in the female solo artist category, mentored by Cheryl Cole. 

    X Factor: Bicknacre's James Graham  goes through to judges' houses as part of new boy band


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    A HAPPY, energetic toddler, it is hard to believe that Joshua Newman has overcome six cardiac arrests, 16 blood transfusions, three major operations and a life-threatening bowel condition – all before he turned six months old.

    The "miracle" toddler, from Writtle, who was born at 28 weeks, weighing just 1.14kg, spent his first five months fighting a congenital heart condition in Broomfield Hospital, and the Royal Brompton, in London, with doctors never sure if he would even make it.

    But after two major operations to repair his heart, one of which doctors had never before carried out on a child so small, the 21-month-old is now fully recovered, and "absolutely loves life".

    His ecstatic parents, Suzy and Alan, now want to give back to the "inspirational" doctors and nurses who saved their son by helping to raise funds for a state-of-the-art hybrid theatre at the London hospital.

    "Our life was tough and challenging but now it's time to give back and say thank you to them," said Suzy, 37.

    "Our one hope is for just one person out there to read the paper and say 'actually I've got some money that I want to give to charity, why not give it to the hospital'."

    The Chelmsford couple tried for eight years to conceive a child, undergoing countless rounds of IVF, and were told by doctors they would probably never conceive, before Suzy fell pregnant with Joshua in 2012, their "miracle baby".

    It was then at their 20-week scan that doctors discovered a narrowing of his aorta, and two holes in his heart, before Suzy went into labour 12 weeks prematurely.

    Joshua was born at Broomfield Hospital in December that year weighing only 2lb 7oz, and suffered four cardiac arrests before he was two hours old, leaving his anguished parents unable to hold him or see him.

    Suzy said: "Having waited eight very long years to become parents, here we now were alone in an empty delivery room looking at each other, stunned at what had just happened. It was a totally surreal feeling.

    "We just longed for another glimpse of our baby again and it was torture not being allowed to be near him."

    After his condition was stabilised, Joshua was taken immediately by Children's Acute Transport Service to the Royal Brompton, a specialist centre for heart and lung conditions, where on January 10, 2013, doctors had no choice but to operate, despite his tiny size.

    Suzy said: "As a parent you feel incredibly helpless. What words do you say to your baby not knowing if it is going to be the last time you are going to see or touch him? It's every parent's nightmare."

    After two hours they received the call that Joshua had survived the surgery, but just 11 days later he contracted a life-threatening bowel condition, and specialist gastroenterology surgeons arrived to rush him back into theatre.

    Then after 12 weeks spent in intensive care recovering, he returned to theatre once again for a final eight-hour repair on his heart using donor tissue, before finally being allowed to return home on May 11, 2013, where he has now been given a clean bill of health.

    Suzy said: "He absolutely loves life; he loves every day of his life, and has this big smile which just melts everyone's heart. He's my inspiration, he's my hero.

    "Today there are too many people who are quick to criticise the NHS and their staff. We can honestly say that our experience at the Royal Brompton helped us see the NHS at its very best and we will be eternally grateful to have this provision available in our country, as without this service and expertise we believe our son wouldn't be here today."

    To read more about the Royal Brompton Hospital's 'Hybrid Theatre Appeal' click here

    'Miracle' Writtle toddler Joshua Newman is loving life after winning health battle


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    A 54-year-old motorcyclist was killed yesterday in a collision with a car  in Chipping Hill, Witham.

    The air ambulance attended the accident, which occurred around 7.10pm, but the rider of a green Triumph motorbike, who is thought to be from Witham, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the road was closed for around three and a half hours.

    Police have appealed for anyone who witnessed the crash, or saw either the motorbike or the car, a blue Hyundai 120, before the accident to contact Dc James Lee at the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 101.

    Motorcyclist dies after collision in Chipping Hill, Witham


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    Disgraced Braintree MP Brooks Newmark, who sent sexually explicit texts to an undercover reporter posing as a "Tory PR girl", asked for "a naked full body shot", it has emerged.

    Mr Newmark resigned as minister for civil society this weekend after a Sunday newspaper informed Downing Street it would be publishing the story, and more information has since been released detailing the MPs involvement with "Sophie Wittams", a character created by the undercover reporter.

    The Twitter account for "Sophie" featured a picture of a Swedish model and updates about "fitty" politicians. The account followed Mr Newmark as well as several other Conservative MPs.

    The married father of five was sent a naked picture by "Sophie", to which he replied: "...resend without your hand in the way and legs parted and I will send something in return. That way we both have a secret".

    "Assuming it meets my request and I reciprocate you MUST swear on a stack of Bibles you won't show pics as I promise not to show pics of you? OK?"

    Mr Newmark did indeed respond with his own picture, exposing himself while wearing a pair of paisley pajamas.

    He later added: "I want a standing full body shot but you can cover up any modest bits you wish".

    The MP has since apologised for the scandal, telling the BBC: "'I have no-one to blame but myself. I have hurt those I care about most.

    'I am so, so sorry. But I just need time with my family."

    His resignation came a day ahead of the Conservative Party's last conference before the next general election, amid news that another MP,Mark Reckless, had defected to Ukip.


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