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

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    HEYBRIDGE Swifts were unable to build on their impressive Needham Market victory last week with a 2-1 defeat to Cheshunt on Tuesday night.

    An early 12th minute lead for Cheshunt when Tajbakhish and Adam Bolle combined with Allen Bossman slotting home an easy finish at the far post.

    Within a minute Heybridge were forced into a change when striker Billy Hunt got injured, Tom Holdstock the natural replacement up front.

    Cheshunt were denied a second on 24 minutes when Arian Tajbakhish floated a free kick straight in, only to find keeper Danny Sambridge had been fouled in the box by Bolle.

    Heybridge went two down just after the half hour mark, a fine goal from Bolle on the edge of the box to turn onto the ball and bury into the corner on 33 minutes after Heybridge had failed to clear Bossman's cross.

    The scoreline needed a response and it got it when captain Liam Springett curled in a corner from the left unaided and beyond the stretching keeper Glenn Williamson to narrow the arrears with ten minutes of the half to play but that's almost where Swifts' attacking prowess ended as they failed to muster more than a couple of efforts in the second half.

    Bossman curled wide on 71 minutes whilst three minutes later he mis-kicked on the right of the box after a good run through the defence by Tajbakhish.

    Cheshunt sub Jermaine Osei had the shot of the night which brought the save of the night when he pulled back into the area after a run on the left before firing into the air where Sambridge made a flying tip over the bar with nine minutes remaining.

    Daniel Lopes tried from range for Heybridge as the game entered stoppage time but keeper Williamson saved.

    Deep in stoppage time there was time for one more chance as Nikki Beale was denied by the bar with his cross come shot from the left just out of reach from the keeper before clipping the centre of the bar and rebounding to safety.

    It was a second half to forget for Heybridge who slipped a place to 15th in the Ryman One North.

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    Arsenal are facing a midfield injury crisis with Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey now expected to be sidelined for a month, missing out on tonight's Champions League group stage clash with Galatasaray.

    Jack Wilshere will be in tonight's squad for the must-win Group D game, but Abou Diaby is likely to miss out with a hip problem.

    Defender Matheiu Debuchy is a long term absentee, along with Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud.

    Manager Arsene Wenger has previously spoken of the importance of winning home games in the Champions League so the pressure is on the Gunners to get off to the perfect start after the disappointment in Dortmund, when they suffered a 2-0 defeat.

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray is on Sky Sports 5HD from 6pm, kick off at 7.45pm

    What channel is Arsenal vs Galatasaray on tonight and what time is kick off?

    0 0

    INJURY-RIDDEN Braintree Town held Conference Premier leaders Barnet to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday night.

    With manager Alan Devonshire down to just eleven fit first team players following striker's Michael Bakare road accident, the Iron turned in an outstanding display at Cressing Road.

    It was a gutsy, workmanlike 90 minutes performance before a crowd of 1,167 that delighted Devonshire who praised his players for "putting in a magnificent shift"

    He went on: "I knew we would be up against it as I was down to the bare 11 first team players following Michael's injury.

    "We still had to have players out there with knocks but really they shouldn't play but I've six first teamers injured and I had no alternative," he explained. "What a problem I am going to have when they are all back fit again - but it will be a major relief and a nice problem too."

    He went on: "I felt we gave them too much respect in the first 20 minutes and didn't get going but we sorted it out a half time and I think we were far the better side in the second half.

    "Their defence couldn't handle our pace going forward, we created several good goal scoring chances and should have won the game," he continued. "But it's another clean sheet, another point towards my 50 point season target and I'm really proud of the players for the way they worked hard tonight against the league leaders and on Saturday against the second placed team FC Halifax."

    Devonshire added: "We now go up to Gateshead on Saturday and I will be looking for a win, probably with the same team with the only one possibly coming back from injury in time is Dan Sparkes."

    Against full-timers Barnet the Iron players struggled to get going in that first 20 minutes and it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead on 12 minutes with their tall striker John Akinde rising above the Iron defence to head home from a Curtis Weston right wing cross.

    Using the long throw-in specialist Sam Muggleton the Iron defence always looked vulnerable when put the ball high into the penalty area but they home defenders soon learnt to cope with Barnet's direct approach.

    The Iron did get the ball in the Bees' net on the half hour when Simeon Akinola flicked in Ryan Peters' scuffed shot, but the linesman's flag was raised for offside and they stayed 1-0 behind.

    On 36 minutes the Iron equalised with a well worked goal thanks to a curling right wing cross from Chez Isaac which found the head of Jordan Cox who nodded the ball into the far right hand corner of the net giving keeper Graham Stack no chance.

    The Iron certainly deserved to be level at the interval and from the restart they took the game to their visitors and put in an incredible commanding second half display.

    With end-to-end play the Iron now looked better on the ball, had more composure and with Akinola and Cox finally dragging their markers everywhere it allowed both James Mulley and Dan Walker to break through from either wing.

    First Mulley, then Walker and then Akinola all raced clear through on goal only to put in weak finishing shots which keeper Stack had no problem dealing with while up at the other end Iron keeper Nick Hamann only had one real difficult shot to cope with 12 minutes from time courtesy of a Weston pile driver.

    Mitch Brundle moved up for a corner only to head over and then Akinola was desperately unlucky to see his drive charged down by a defender at the last moment.

    The Iron's best chance for a winning goal came on 77 minutes when Akinola sent a right wing cross into the box to Cox who, with the goal gaping in front of him, had two strikes to put the ball in the net but failed.

    In the dying second of the game Akinola almost snatched a late winner but his final shot on the run was well saved by Stack.

    So it was a draw and a point each for both sides in a game that was highly entertaining to watch and a result that pleased the home fans more than the visiting spectators.

    Braintree Town: Hamann; Peters, Habergham, Massey, Brundle; Mulley, Isaac, Davis, Walker; Cox, Akinola. Unused subs: Pentney, Case, Smith, Moore.

    Referee: Wayne Barratt.

    0 0

    An elderly woman was taken to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford after injuring her ankle in a fall.

    East of England Ambulance Service paramedics and the air ambulance rushed to Melbourne Avenue at around 3.15pm yesterday (September 30).

    A spokesman said the pensioner, in her 80s, suffered a fall. The air ambulance was despatched because of concerns for her welfare. It landed in Melbourne Park.

    Crews left the scene at about 4.20pm.

    Air ambulance called to Melbourne Park after pensioner is hurt

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    Channel 4's televised profile of Paedophile Hunter Stinson Hunter will show the moment he exposes a potential online paedophile after posing as an underage girl.

    The 31-year-old vigilante, whose real name is Keiron Parsons, leads a team of adults dedicated to entrapping men and women who target underage boys and girls using chatrooms.

    The show has come under fire from police forces who say it is but the documentary makers claim their actions result in more convictions of paedophiles for online offences than racked up by official authorities.

    Mr Hunter, from Nuneaton in Warwickshire, and his team will be shown on the film confronting those who are caught out on their way to meet a boy or girl.

    The programme makers also say they hope the film will highlight the lack of resources available to some forces to monitor online grooming.

    The Paedophile Hunter will be shown on Wednesday, October 1 at 10pm on Channel 4.

    Video: Paedophile Hunter Stinson Hunter is ' new kind of vigilante'

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    A DAMNING new report into a scandal-hit Braintree care home published today (October 1) reveals it still has serious failings in the care of old elderly residents.

    The Care Quality Commission's (CQC) 39-page report into their three-day visit to the Old Deanery Care Home in July concluded the home was meeting standards in just one of nine categories.

    Inspectors' concerns at the home included:

    • People's privacy, dignity and independence were not always respected and people's views and experiences were not always taken into account. 

    • Before people received any care or treatment they were not always asked for their consent and the provider did not always act in accordance with their wishes.

    • Care and treatment was not planned and delivered in a way that was intended to ensure people's safety and welfare.

    • People who use the service were not always protected from the risk of abuse, because the provider had not taken reasonable steps to identify the possibility of abuse and prevent abuse from happening.

    • There were not enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people's needs.

    • People were not always cared for by staff who were supported to deliver care and treatment safely and to an appropriate standard.

    • The provider did not have an effective system to regularly assess and monitor the quality of service that people receive.

    • People were not protected from the risks of unsafe or inappropriate care and treatment because accurate and appropriate records were not maintained. 

    Sue Howard, the CQC's interim chief inspector of adult social care, said: "When our inspectors visited they were concerned at what they found. 

    "Every care provider has a duty to ensure their services are safe, effective, caring, well led, and responsive to people's needs and this inspection highlighted a number of shortfalls in the service being provided at this home. 

    "Eight out of the nine regulations our inspectors looked at were not being met and we have warned the provider, Anglia Retirement Homes Limited, and demanded it makes immediate improvements in relation to the care and welfare of people who use services and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision by 7 October. 

    "We are working closely with the local authority with regard to the safety and welfare of the people who were living at this service at that time. We continue to monitor the situation with regard to the home and will carry out further unannounced inspections to check on whether the necessary improvements have been made.

    "Although our legal processes do not allow us to go in to further detail at this time, we are taking further action with regard to the provider following the findings of our inspection. All CQC's action is subject to appeal.

    "As the independent regulator of health and care services in England, we would urge anyone who has concerns about any registered service to contact us immediately".

    Over November, an undercover BBC Panorama reporter filmed alleged abuse by employees on dementia suffers that resulted in eight workers being sacked and three being charged for alleged assault.

    Care watchdog CQC slams Old Deanery care home and demands action to improve standards

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    A MOTHER murdered by her convicted killer ex-partner begged police for help days before she was strangled in her home, an inquest into her death heard.

    Maria Stubbings, 50, called police on December 11, 2008, asking for a restraining order against Marc Chivers, saying she was scared of him as he was "hovering around and I can't get rid of him".

    Tapes were played to the inquest in County Hall, Chelmsford, on Monday of her calls to police reporting he had broken into her house and taken a handbag, a watch and medication.

    The call was initially graded as requiring a "prompt response" from officers, which required them to visit Ms Stubbings within 20 minutes, but was downgraded so that it only needed between 24 and 48 hours' reaction time.

    Despite Chivers being described as "a dangerous man", the incident was downgraded two minutes later by dispatch officer Susan Rees because the incident happened in the morning and it was reported at 11.44pm. Ms Stubbings had changed her locks and Chivers had left the area.

    This meant officers did not visit until the next day.

    But the court heard that because Ms Stubbings' house number was recorded incorrectly, none of the previous domestic violence incidents were flagged up to call handlers.

    The jury also heard how vital checks on Chivers' background were also not carried out because understaffed police and civilian staff operating the Force Information Room did not have enough time to carry out the searches and he was rated as not "wanted or missing".

    The incident was therefore treated as a burglary and not domestic abuse by officers who picked it up the next day and told Ms Stubbings over the phone they could not come to her home.

    Ms Rees told the inquest: "If I had more information it would have been very different, I didn't have any back-up and with around 50-60 jobs during a busy Friday night, we didn't have time to do it, we have had more training but there are still times now that we don't have the information or the resources."

    The jury, which has been sitting since Monday, September 15, also heard that when officers went to visit Ms Stubbings and saw dirty footprints leading to her bed, as she had described in calls to police, they did not conduct a search of her home and left after receiving reassurances from her that Chivers was not there.

    The next day, PCSOs discovered Chivers with Maria's 15-year-old son Bengi in a car with two other boys at Hylands Park.

    Detective chief superintendent Tracy Hawkins, who ran the Essex Police Domestic Abuse and Hate Crime Unit at the time, authorised the removal of Maria Stubbings' panic alarm on Wednesday, September 10, after Chivers was released from jail for assaulting her.

    Giving evidence she told coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray that officers should have searched Maria's home, adding: "The decision to remove the alarm should have been reviewed after Chivers was released from prison.

    "Everyone in Essex Police was devastated by this tragedy, we're human beings, it's dreadful and we totally accept mistakes were made."

    Ms Stubbings was found throttled with a pink dog lead by the convicted murderer around eight days later in her home in Pitfield, Chelmsford.

    Chivers had previous assault convictions against her, and had been charged with a sexual assault since being deported to the UK after serving a life sentence for murdering his former girlfriend in Germany.

    It is thought Maria may have died up to three days before her body was discovered by police officers under a pile of coats in her downstairs toilet on December 19.

    The inquest, which is expected to last five weeks, continues.

    Marai Stubbings begged cops for help days before ex-boyfriend strangled her

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    DETECTIVES investigating the attempted rape of a woman in Braintree have released this CCTV image of a man they want to question.

    The woman, in her 40s and from the town, met a man at The Lounge pub and had gone outside with him when he subsequently attacked her.

    She managed to fight him off and call the police, who are treating the inquiry as a rape investigation. And although the victim was unharmed, she remains badly shaken and is still frightened of going out on her own.

    DC Andrew Crouch of the North Sexual Offences Investigation Team said: "This was a vicious and unprovoked attack by a man the victim had only just met at The Lounge. She doesn't know him at all.

    "The woman had been out with friends and they arrived at The Lounge at about midnight.

    "We believe that the suspect had been at the Lounge some time before the woman arrived.

    "We believe that other people at The Lounge might know who the suspect is and his name."

    The incident happened at about 1.55am on Saturday, July 12, in an alleyway behind The Lounge in Market Place. The suspect is described as white, about 5ft 9in tall, of medium build and he was wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt with a printed image on the front.

    Anyone who knows the man in the CCTV picture should contact DC Crouch or his colleagues at the SOIT North office on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

    Woman fights off stranger who attacked her near pub

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    WITHAM Town boss Garry Kimble slammed referee Nigel Phillips' performance in his side's 3-1 defeat to Maidstone United on Tuesday night.

    Mr Phillips waved away a big penalty shout for Town and gave Maidstone a penalty of their own in the second half.

    Kimble was also not happy that the referee handed Witham five yellow cards during the game.

    The manager said: "To be fair I think the referee has spoilt the game. He has booked five of our players and only one of theirs. And the turning point was that we should have had a penalty and he didn't give it. It was a blatant penalty.

    "No disrespect but I think that was the worst referee performance I have seen so far this season. We deserved to go in level but that decision was the turning point and I think in the second half the referee bottled it.

    "I just don't get how he can book five of our players and I don't think there was a bad challenge in the game"

    Lee Townrow equalised for Witham just before half-time after Frannie Collin had put the visitors in front.

    But Collin added his second of the game from the penalty spot, with Jay May sealing the win with a third.

    Kimble said: "They are a strong side and I think that they will win the league. They are physically strong, big and powerful all the way through the side. No one had really clear-cut chances in the first half, but if we had gone 2-1 up then I think we would have held on, but we got deflated.

    "They seemed to play like Cambridge United back when I was a player, it was just route one and putting it into the corner. But they played to their strengths and are sitting top of the league. But our wide-men didn't quite penetrate them but fair play to their full-backs because they did a job on our guys."

    Witham, who slipped down to 18th in the Ryman Premier, travel to Leatherhead on Saturday.

    Kimble said: "Leatherhead away is going to be another tough game. They won tonight and we don't have [Bradley] Stopher on Saturday because he is unavailable so we are really down to the bare bones." 

    Witham boss slams referee after Maidstone defeat

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    A man has admitted to growing cannabis in his house in Writtle.

    Brian Neal, 31, received four months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and a supervision order after police discovered 30 cannabis plants being cultivated in his loft on September 3

    Equipment for hydroponic cultivation, a method of growing plants, was also discovered.

    He pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Thursday, September 18 to the production of class B drugs , and was sentenced at the same hearing.

    He was also ordered to destroy all associated equipment, pay £85 costs, and an £80 victim surcharge.

    Man spared jail after Writtle cannabis factory discovery

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    Witham singer-songwriter Olly Murs, 30, will release his new album 'Never Been Better' on November 24.

    Olly Murs,was the runner-up in the sixth series of The X Factor in 2009, and since then he has created three multi-platinum albums with four number 1 singles.

    With three multi-platinum albums, four number 1 singles and countless sold out arena tours under his belt, Olly Murs steps back in the ring and comes out swinging on his most impressive album yet.

    Highlights include 'Let Me In' written by Olly and Paul Weller, 'Up' featuring Demi Lovato, 'Beautiful To Me' and the Ryan Tedder gem 'Seasons'.

    "I know I say it every time I make a new album but it's true, your experience grows, your outlook changes," Olly admits. 'Never Been Better' features the best vocals Olly has ever recorded while his songwriting sparkles.

    "With every album, you take more risks," Olly says. "I'm 30 now and I was 26 when I did the first album.

    "It's been two years since 'Right Place Right Time' – though it doesn't feel like it.

    "So this is me, two years on, and I think the new record reflects that. I think this album is my 'I mean it' album. It's time to come out of my shell and get a bit more serious."

    The first single released will be 'Wrapped Up' featuring Travie McCoy which is out on November 16.

    ​Witham X Factor star Olly Murs to release fourth album next month

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    ESSEX have been handed a huge blow with the news fast bowler Tymal Mills will leave the club.

    The 22-year-old has decided to let his contract run out and leave the Essex County Ground at the end of the season.

    The club say they offered Mills a generous new deal, but he will pursue his career with another county, with Worcestershire, who pipped Essex to promotion to LV= County Championship Division One this season, rumoured to be his destination.

    Mills, who only started playing cricket when he was 14, made his first class debut for Essex aged 19, playing in the three-day tour match against Sri Lanka in 2011.

    He was tipped for a bright future by Essex's head coach Paul Grayson, with wicketkeeper James Foster saying he was the fastest bowler he had ever kept to.

    During England's humiliating Ashes series defeat in Australia, section of the national media called for him to drafted into the team, with his 90mph bowling seen as a answer to Mitchell Johnson's raw pace. 

    However, Mills endured an injury-hit 2014 season with a troublesome back injury limiting him to just 12 matches. His last appearance for Essex came in August against Hampshire in the Royal London One-Day Cup, where he retired hurt after just 2.2 overs.

    Grayson said, "We are of course disappointed that Tymal has decided to leave the club, especially as he is one of our own from the Essex Academy.

    "There was an attractive new contract offer on the table for him but he has decided to reject and continue his career with a new club."

    Mills said: "It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to leave Essex CCC. I want to thank the club for giving me my introduction into professional cricket and in particular to John Childs, for my time spent on the Academy, and then Chris Silverwood, who has helped me no end since turning professional.

    "I am excited for the next chapter in my career and wish the club all the best moving forward."

    Mills is the second talented young player to opt to leave Essex this season with wicketkeeper Ben Foakes joining Surrey when his contract expires.

    Fast bowler Tymal Mills opts to leave Essex

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    The man found brutally stabbed to death in his own flat in Broomfield Road has been named by friends as 39-year-old Colin Evans.

    The volunteer and resident at homeless charity Sanctus was found collapsed in the property at about 8.30am yesterday (Tuesday, September 30).

    Detectives are still questioning a 29-year-old man in custody, arrested on suspicion of murder, as of 3pm this afternoon.

    Mr Evans, originally from the east end of London and previously of St James Road, Braintree, was already known to police after racking up more than 80 convictions.

    These included counts of threatening behaviour, burglary, criminal damage and cannabis possession.

    He was also handed a five-year ASBO in 2010 which barred him from a list of roads in Braintree and the town's Jobcentre Plus.

    Yet after first falling into life sleeping rough in the streets of Chelmsford, friends have told the Chronicle how he was turning his life around.

    He started volunteering at Sanctus café, which also has accommodation for the homeless above, when he first visited the refuge for free hot meals in December 2011.

    He went on to help serve teas, run errands, mop floors, redecorate the café and was starting to buy collectables for his own car boot sale business.

    His turnaround was cut tragically short however when he was found dead in the same room as his beloved seven-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Sweep.

    A post mortem examination is yet to take place on Mr Evans' body.

    Essex Police remain at the city council car park behind the flats, which also lies behind The Ship pub, and at the cordoned off Central Park skate park.

    Railway Street has been reopened after it was cordoned off yesterday.

    Anyone with information is urged to call Chelmsford detectives on 101.

    Man found dead in Chelmsford flat was charity volunteer Colin Evans

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    Forensic officers have spent the day examining evidence in the cordoned-off Central Park skate park in connection with the investigation into the death of Colin Evans

    Two officers were spotted this afternoon (Wednesday, October 1) scanning a collection of objects, which included  water bottles, a bottle of tomato ketchup, a stereo and a lantern, laid out on a half pipe.

    The entire skate park was cordoned off from around 7.45pm yesterday (September 30) after 39-year-old Mr Evans was found dead at about 8.30am in his flat at homeless charity Sanctus in Broomfield Road.

    Essex Police has remained tight lipped as to why they have chosen to examine evidence at the skate park.

    "The area has been cordoned as part of a forensic investigation in connection with the murder investigation," a police spokesman said.

    "We are not willing to go into the ins and outs but all we can say is it's been cordoned-off to capture any forensics opportunities."

    A 29-year-old man is still being questioned in police custody on suspicion of murder.

    Anyone with information should call detectives at Chelmsford police on 101.

    Pictures: Forensics officers examine Colin Evans murder probe evidence as Central Park skate park remains closed

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    LOOTERS targeted the charred remains of the King's Head in Bradwell-on-Sea after a fire ripped through the historic pub.

    On Friday afternoon, a blaze engulfed the pub when an industrial fryer caught alight while the publicans were watching the Ryder Cup golf tournament on TV.

    Although landlord and landlady Mick and Kay Clay, along with daughter Natalie, escaped the building unharmed, they are homeless and are staying temporarily in another villager's home nearby.

    And Mr Clay this week revealed thieves have targeted the pub, stealing wine and spirits.

    "I can't believe people have been in there nicking things but I'm not angry about it," he told the Chronicle.

    "I suppose it's enterprising for someone. One man's loss is another man's gain."

    Mr Clay, 55, who lived in the upstairs of the pub with wife, Kay, and daughter Natalie, 16, said his family had been "devastated" by the accident.

    He added: "I left the home with 30p in my pocket, not even a pair of shoes. We lost money and jewellery, everything, but the main thing is that my daughter lost all of her GCSE school work, iPad, laptop everything.

    "I need to find work soon as a chef and I'm not sure if we will ever go back into the pub industry. We loved the pub, we tried to make it safe and friendly for everyone to enjoy. We're heartbroken."

    The pub is owned by Punch Taverns but the Clays had recently agreed to buy it, with the ownership due to be transferred next Monday.

    Mr Clay had earlier cleaned out the industrial fryer, refilled it and then went upstairs to watch the Ryder Cup, propping open a fire door.

    He added: "The idea with the fryer is to leave it alone while it works, we always do, and it's built for that so we didn't think much of it, it's a £1,000 bit of kit, not a chip pan. We think it must have been something to do with the thermostat."

    Mr Clay says that his daughter, Natalie, spotted the blaze as she went downstairs and that, despite his efforts with a fire blanket, it was already too powerful.

    Mr Clay, who has worked at the pub for the past 12 years, added: "I can still see the bright yellow light of the fire. I ran downstairs and couldn't get anywhere near it so we got out while we could.

    "A lot of people in the village have showed their support and I'm very grateful to them."

    An investigation into the fire found it was caused accidentally.

    Villagers watched from the grounds of St Thomas' Church just over the road as firefighters tried to save the pub, after encountering a number of problems with water pressure and having to use water from a nearby pond.

    A local farmer also helped by supplying water.

    Punch Taverns said it currently had no idea if or when the pub would reopen, but was working with everyone involved to find a way forward.

    'Ryder Cup fire' pub Kings Head is targeted by looters

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    THE death of a "charismatic" father-of-two who was killed as he rode his motorbike through Witham is being investigated by police.

    Tony Dredger, nicknamed "Soapy", was riding his Triumph bike along Chipping Hill, towards Powers Hall End, when he collided with a blue Hyundai 120 coming in the opposite direction, at around 7pm on Sunday, September 28.

    Paramedics and police officers attended the scene and an air ambulance landed to give emergency care.

    Martin Ellis, who lives on Chipping Hill and was one of the first on the scene, helped hold drip bags for paramedics tending to Mr Dredger.

    "We were watching TV and we heard an almighty crash and a screech of brakes, so I rushed out to help when I saw what had happened," he said.

    But they were unable to save the 54-year-old and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

    "It was terrible and an absolute tragedy. A contributing factor must be that the street lights are out on this road, it's pitch black all along to the bridge, it's so dangerous.

    "I've e-mailed the council before and nothing was done about it. I e-mailed them again telling them there's now been a fatal accident and they need to hurry up."

    Mr Dredger, who worked as a mobile mechanic, was well known in the Witham motor industry.

    Gary Coxell, who runs Automotive Services in Witham, said his friend and colleague of four years will be greatly missed.

    "You couldn't wish for a better mate, nothing was too much trouble for him," said the 43-year-old.

    "Tony will be greatly missed in the motor-trade community, he was so well liked, he would always come round for a chat and would always offer to make a cup of tea.

    "He was very charismatic, always cracking jokes, full of life and energy. It's tragic what happened, all of us here still can't believe he's actually gone. It doesn't make sense, no one knows what happened, he wasn't a risk-taker."

    Originally from Brentwood, Tony lived in Humber Road, Witham, with his wife and was a keen motorcyclist and a regular at Ace Café in London, a reunion hotspot for bike fans.

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

    Police probe cause of Chipping Hill death crash as friends pay tribute

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    HUNDREDS of ale fans flocked to Witham for a two-day festival at the weekend.

    Witham Public Hall hosted the event for the second time on Friday and Saturday, with 34 beers, five ciders and two perries enjoyed by more than 500 people.

    Real ales from across Essex and Suffolk were available, with the most popular and first to sell out being a beer called No Name, brewed in Witham in the back of the Woolpack in Church Street.

    Public Hall event manager Graham Green said: "It was very successful, numbers were slightly up from last year, there was lots of good beer and smashing food and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves."

    The drinks were complemented by Witham restaurant Hold The Anchovies, which provided handmade sausage rolls, scotch eggs, dumping and ale stew as well as pulled pork.

    More than 25 volunteers helped organise the beer festival, which was supported by the Chelmsford and Essex Camra group, and the trustees of the Public Hall, who organise the event, plan to hold another beer festival next year.

    All proceeds from the event go back into funding the hall and helping to put on events, including Witham Operatic Society and Johnny Cash tribute acts.

    Ale fans make their pint at Witham Public Hall festival

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    THE devastated best friend of a charity volunteer found stabbed to death in his flat has paid tribute to the serial convict who was 'turning his life around'.

    Robert Brown discovered pal Colin Evans, 39, in his home above Sanctus, a café for the homeless, in Broomfield Road, at about 8.30am on Tuesday.

    Despite Colin's blighted past living rough on the streets of Chelmsford, and his 80-plus previous convictions, Mr Brown said Colin was finding his feet thanks to the Sanctus accommodation.

    "He was a really nice fella," said Mr Brown, 53, of Arnhem Road, Chelmsford, who affectionately describes Colin as a "modern day Fagin".

    "He would give you the shirt off his back if you wanted it, if your feet were colder than his he would let you have his socks.

    "He was grumpy some days, happy other days but overall a happy-go-lucky type of bloke and he certainly didn't deserve this.

    "I'm gutted, absolutely gutted."

    Colin, originally from the East End and an ex-Braintree resident, had previous convictions for threatening behaviour, burglary, criminal damage and cannabis possession.

    Yet Robert said he had become part of the furniture as a friendly volunteer at Sanctus, leaving his plagued past, much of it spent sleeping rough on the streets, well behind him.

    "He'd got over his criminal past," added Mr Brown, who met Colin in Sanctus.

    "He had a roof over his head, he was no longer sleeping rough, he was looking for work, he was on his way up.

    "He'd finally got himself clear of sleeping rough and he was settling down and being Mr Normal.

    "He still looked rough and ready though, he was a modern day Fagin. That's what he looked like, rough around the edges.

    "But he never hurt anybody and never meant anybody any harm.

    "Sanctus were doing a lot for him, they helped him in a lot of ways, putting a roof over his head, even when they didn't have the flats available for him – he would still be there giving advice to other people sleeping rough."

    After discovering Colin's bloodied body, Robert remained in Chelmsford Police Station in New Street until about 5pm helping detectives with their investigation.

    "It was just upsetting finding him," he said.

    "It was his birthday on Saturday, his 40th, but all those plans for a party, a few drinks with some mates, it's not going to happen.

    "I miss him."

    Mr Brown has been left caring for Colin's seven-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, Sweep, who was also found in the flat.

    "It's my mate's dog, I have to look after him," said Mr Brown.

    In a statement made on behalf of everyone associated with Sanctus, the charity said it was "shocked and deeply upset by the horrible and brutal murder".

    The statement read: "Initially rough around the edges, over time Colin settled and developed friendly banter with everyone.

    "He became part of the Sanctus family, he was a selfless volunteer, a cheery face, happily serving teas, running errands, mopping floors, picking up a paintbrush and always offering to help.

    "As Sanctus expanded we were able to offer him accommodation and with the stability of a home, friends and hot meals, his personal development and growth was remarkable and exactly the reason why we have continued our service investing in the homeless and those in need, as people like Colin were our inspiration and proof that some people just need a chance and bit of a hand up to flourish, change their lives and contribute to society."

    It added: "It is enormously tragic that at a time when Colin was happy, settled and starting to build his life it was so brutally cut short.

    "His 40th birthday celebration had been planned for the coming weekend with Sanctus staff.

    "We cannot believe that our friend and brother, with such a good heart and such great potential, has been taken, before his time.

    "Rest in Peace Colin, you will be sorely missed and always remembered at Sanctus."

    A 29-year-old man is still being questioned by police on suspicion of murder while PCs remain manning an area in the car park behind the flat, which also sits behind The Ship pub.

    Meanwhile, forensics officers are examining evidence in the Central Park skate park nearby, which is cordoned off.

    Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact detectives at Chelmsford police station on 101.

    Friends and colleagues in shock over death of 'modern day Fagin' Colin Evans, found dead in Chelmsford flat

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    A Banksy mural which depicted a group of pigeons holding up banners has been removed from a wall on Clacton seafront after complaints that it was racist.

    The painting was scrubbed off by Tendring District Council officials after the complaint was received on Tuesday, after the anonymous artist posted pictures on his website.

    The birds were shown holding banners which read 'Go Back to Africa' and 'Migrants not Welcome'. 

    The artist is known for making provocative political statements through his work. UKIP is favourite to win a by-election in Clacton-on-Sea on October 8.

    Nigel Brown, from Tendring District Council, said: "The site was inspected by staff who agreed that it could be seen as offensive and it was removed this morning in line with our policy to remove this type of material within 48 hours.

    "We would obviously welcome an appropriate Banksy original on any of our seafronts and would be delighted if he returned in the future."

    Banksy mural removed from wall in Clacton for being 'racist'

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    A CHELMSFORD man has appeared in court accused of possessing indecent images and movies depicting a child and acts of bestiality. 

    Herbert Mead, 60, of Little Baddow Road, in Danbury spoke only to confirm his name and address at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court (October 1).

    Mr Mead, who walked with a crutch, is charged with the possession of four movies of a girl under the age of 13, and a further stash of films and images depicting sex acts with animals. 

    Mr Mead opted for the case to be dealt with at Chelmsford Crown Court, and was released on unconditional bail to re-appear there on December 22. 

    Chelmsford man in court over alleged stash of indecent images of animals and girl under 13

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