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

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    Hylands School in Chelmsford has said it swiftly co-operated with police after a 32-year-old teaching assistant's affair with a pupil came to light.

    Married Charlotte Parker, 32, of Ravens Lane, Billericay, was handed a one year suspended sentence after admitting to four counts sexual activity while in a position of trust with a 14-year-old boy and to making indecent images of a child.

    Basildon Crown Court heard yesterday (October 13) how the pair exchanged around 3,000 WhatApp messages after meeting at the school.

    The relationship was only discovered after the student confided to a family friend, who in turn arranged a discussion with his parents who subsequently contacted police last September.

    A spokesman for Hylands: "The safety of our pupils is our priority and we take safeguarding very seriously.

    "This is an isolated incident which has been dealt with according to all correct procedures.

    "As soon as the incident came to light, the academy acted to ensure the ex-member of staff had no contact with pupils and was not allowed on to school premises.

    "The police were informed and full cooperation given to ensure full resolution."

    Hylands School: Charlotte Parker's relationship with pupil was an 'isolated incident'


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    Firefighters cut a man from a car that had over turned in Chelmsford last night (October 13).

    The incident happened following a two-car collision at around 8pm in Beeleigh Link in Chelmer Village.

    Fire crews released the man, who is in his 30s, by 9.05pm using one set of cutting equipment and he was left in the care of the ambulance service.

    He was taken to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford for further treatment with a suspected broken arm but it is not thought he had any other injuries that were serious or life changing.

    Man cut free from overturned car in Chelmsford


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    OLD paper tax discs are fetching thousands of pounds in online auction sites.

    Since October 1 the DVLA began a new system where drivers no longer had to display a physical tax disc, instead police and other authorities check a car's tax through an online database.

    Now tax disc collectors, called velologists, have started offering huge sums of money for driver's old paper discs.

    Some have fetched as much as £1,000 on eBay, with others reaching £100, and some regularly selling for £30 or £40.

    Interest in expired tax discs has grown over the last 10 years and experts say that now they are no longer going to be issued their value to collectors will greatly increse.

    "Because there are so many of the current year tax discs in existence, the best tip is to keep your disc in pristine condition and store it safely," said Tony Hill, velologist and author of Trade and Collect Tax Discs.

    "Any tax disc in poor condition will be worth a fraction of the same date in very good condition."

    Tax discs that are still in the perforated letter from the DVLA seem to be selling for the most amount of money.

    Car tax disc changes: Paper tax discs selling for thousands of pounds on eBay


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    Hallowe'en isn't just a time to switch off the lights and dodge the trick-or-treat-ers, its a chance to for all the family to gather and get frightened together.

    Plenty of places across Essex are joining in with the fun this year, especially as the festitives coincide with half-term

    Take your pick from the selection below:

    Witches and Wizards Week, Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, South Woodham Ferrers, CM3 5WP

    Saturday October 25 – Friday October 31. Daily 10am – 5pm, late night opening Thursday 30th and Friday 31st October until 7pm

    Tickets: £9.99 online discount, £11.50 on the day, free for under 2s and annual pass holders

    A family fun daytime event will have your little monsters entertained! With walkabout entertainers, Story Telling, Pumpkin Carving, and Free spooky Craft activities, plus all the fun of the farm.

    Gothic Falconry, Audley End House and Gardens, London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4JF

    Saturday October 25 and Sunday October 26, 11am – 5pm

    Tickets: £9.20 for 5-15 years, £15.40 for adults, £13.90 for concessions

    Witness graceful hawks, elegant owls and fearsome falcons in flight as our expert falconers demonstrate the art of training, exercising and hunting with birds. Hear revealing tales of gothic tragedy and superstition whilst these amazing birds swoop overhead.

    Halloween Half Term Festival, Old MacDonalds Farm, Weald Road, Brentwood CM14 5AY

    Saturday October 25 – Sunday November 2, 10am-5pm

    Tickets: £13.50 for 2-15 years, £14.50 for adults, free for under 2s

    There's a host of haunted happenings at the farm including Creepy Creative Activities, pumpkin carving, spooky rides and ghost stories. Free entry for one child in fancy dress on October 31st per paying adult. Discounted booking online.

    Great Halloween Pumpkin Hunt, Beth Chatto Gardens. Elmstead Market, Colchester CO7 7DB

    Saturday October 25 to Sunday November 2, 9am- 4pm

    Tickets: Under 14s free, £6.95 adults

    Intrepid Halloween hunters can get a map from the Nursery shop and use it to find the hidden pumpkins within the Gardens. Collect all the stamps on your way round and then take your map to the Tea Room for a tasty Halloween treat.

    Halloween Train, Manningtree Station, CO11 2HH (tickets available from The Deli and Cafe, 21 High Street, Manningtree, CO11 1AG)

    Sunday October 26, 4.26pm or 5.26pm

    Tickets: £5.50 per adult and £2 per child

    Join in the spooky fun on the annual Halloween train. Jump on board and enjoy the haunted delights as the crew of mummies and ghosts tell family Halloween tales, paint faces, name the spider and lead other fun activities. There will be prizes for the most creative fancy dress.

    Spooky Secret Island, Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey EN9 1JX

    Sunday October 26– Sunday November 2, 10am-5pm

    Tickets: £9.50 adults, £8.50 3-15 years, £9.50 concessions, free under 3s

    It's going to get horribly spooky when Dr Gore takes to the Mad Lab for a gruesome series of experiments. Professor Nitrate's evil twin Dr Gore will be hosting science shows and cooking up some horribly horrific experiments in his crazy Mad-Lab.

    Little Frankenstein – Lempen Puppet Theatre Company, Creative Arts Live, Colchester Institute, Sheepen Road, Colchester CO3 3LL

    Monday October 27, 11.30am & 1.30pm

    Tickets: £5, aged 5+

    Semi famous puppeteer Frank Stein has had enough with his badly made puppets. They stop him from achieving his great potential as a performer. Taking inspiration from his most infamous ancestor, the scientist Dr Frankenstein, and with the help of the audience he creates a new real live puppet that is destined to change this live forever! A gentle horror for little horrors!

    Frightening Fairy Tales and Spooky Stories, Audley End House and Gardens, London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4JF

    Monday October 27 – Friday October 31 2014, 11am – 4pm

    Tickets: £9.20 for 5-15 years, £15.40 for adults, £13.90 for concessions

    Grab your cloaks and steady your nerves as you come face to face with the dark side of children's tales. Chilling storytellers delve into the fables of the Brothers Grimm and reveal the terrifying truth behind the bedtime fairytales you've grown to love. Show off your spook-tacular costumes and frighten the fearless staff.

    Pumpkin Fest, Barleylands Craft Village, Barleylands Road, Billericay CM11 2UD

    Monday October 27 2014 to Friday October 31, 10am-5pm on Monday 27th - Wednesday 29th, 10am to 4.30pm on Thursday 30th - Friday 31st October.

    Tickets: £10 for adults, £9 for 2-15 years and over 60s, under 2s free

    Join in a spooky half term PumpkinFest. Every child gets a free pumpkin, plus there's pumpkin carving, a pumpkin trail, biscuit decorating, new 'Dead Pin Bowling' and slithery snakes and creepy crawlies galore.

    Go Live! Creatures of the Dark, Colchester Natural History Museum, Hinxton, Colchester CO1 1DN

    Wednesday October 29, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm

    Tickets: £3 for 3 years and over, under 3s free

    Halloween is linked with bats, creepy crawlies and things that go bump. Here's a chance to meet some of these creatures, including a giant fruit bat, big spiders, a scorpion and a barn owl.

    Spooky Fun, Cressing Temple, Witham Road, Braintree CM77 8PD

    Wednesday October 29 to Friday, October 31, 11am – 3pm

    Tickets: Over 2s 7.95

    Venture around the walled garden to find some mysterious monsters or join the ghost trail. Ghostly arts and crafts will keep children busy, while storytelling, a magical magician, pumpkin throwing, and a creepy insect marquee will all set the scene for this spooktastic seasonal fun. Wear fancy dress as there will be a costume competition each day.

    Fright Fantastic, Adventure Island, Southend SS1 1EE

    Saturday October 25 – Saturday November 1, 11am-8pm

    Tickets: £11-£21 (three band types available)

    Family friendly fund with The Trick or Treat Door, Black Screams, Over the Hill, Horror Hunts, and more.

    Shriek Week, Colchester Zoo, Stanway, Colchester CO3 0SL

    Saturday October 25 2014 – Sunday November 2, 9:30am-4:30pm

    Tickets: £20.99 adults, £14.99 3-14 years, £18.99 Over 60s, 10% discount online booking

    This spine-chilling event is back and is planned to be better than ever with spook-tacular events suitable for all ages. Listen to tales from the crypt, have fun on the pumpkin train trail or come face to face with ghostly ghouls in the Haunted Mansion.

    The Cursed (age 12 and over), Wat Tyler Country Park, Essex

    Friday 24, Saturday 25, Wednesday 29, Thursday 30, Friday October 31, Saturday, November 1, 6.30pm-10:30pm every 15 minutes

    Tickets: £16.95

    Cursed is a collection of sad souls that appear at around October in a place with more than its fair share of restless souls from across the centuries. Around one hour of walking terrifying mazes, screaming in panic rooms and encountering scare makers as you pass through to the other side.

    The Haunted House (4-11 years), Wat Tyler Country Park, Essex

    Thursday, October 30 and Friday October, 10am-2pm

    Tickets: £3 per child

    Take a walk through Essex's haunted house, only for the most heroic children and bravest parents

    Fright Night, Hylands House, London Road, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ

    Thursday October 30, 4-6pm, 7-9pm

    Tickets: £10 adults, £7 children, under 3's free, all £10 on the door if available

    Designed for families the event includes a spooky trail, walkabout entertainment, a bespoke 3D projection show on the front of the house and a spectacular firework finale.

    Spooky Bat Hunt, Thorndon Country Park, Brentwood CM13 3RZ

    Saturday October 25 – Sunday, November 2, 10.30am-2.30pm

    Tickets: £3 per trail guide

    Pick up a trail guide from the Pavilion Cafe and lead yourselves around the woods. Enjoy the spooky batty fun. Suitable for families. No need to book.

    Tea & Sympathy Halloween Party (over 21s), Lightship, King Edwards Quay, The Hythe, Colchester, CO2

    Saturday October 25, 8pm – 1am

    Tickets: £10, alittlesympathy@gmail.com

    There will be tales of horror in The Candlelit Crypt, devilish fire performance from Fyreflies, mad-dame Kelly Tarot readings, Halloween-inspired Jam Jar cocktails and gourmet burgers from Burger and Beyond. Dress code: think Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd.

    More information from Visit Essex, and Essex Days Out

    Half-term Hallowe'en horrors: 18 places to go in Essex this year


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    The contestants hoping to impress Sir Alan Sugar in the forthcoming series of The Apprentice have been revealed for the first time.

    Among them is Essex man Daniel Lassman, 27, who works as the director of a pub quiz company and runs and plans events for a number of companies and individuals. He is hoping to start off his quest to scoop the £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar in style.

    Describing himself as "motivated, determined and always playing to win," he is confident that he can be the best and Daniel will be competing against 19 other business-minded people with backgrounds in law, social care, marketing and management over 12 weeks to gain the coveted prize.

    "I will out-sell them, I will out-class them and I will perform the best just by being me," he said.

    Other candidates include a 25-year-old London-based personal brand business owner, a fashion interior designer and a fitness entrepreneur.

    But it won't be easy for any of them – this year, the series is entering its tenth year and Lord Sugar has a surprise up his sleeve: "On this special occasion I'm going to start things off a little bit differently. What I've decided to do is to kick off with 20 candidates, 10 boys and 10 girls. That's the good news," he will say to candidates on their first day in the boardroom.

    "Here's possibly not such good news. The process will still last 12 weeks. That means that on certain occasions I may decide to dispose of more than one candidate at a time. Be prepared."

    Offering advice to the new crop of hopefuls, we can reveal that he will say: "This deal is all about getting a £250,000 injection into a company that both of us will own on a 50/50 basis. I won't be working, you will be working. I will be advising and mentoring."

    The 2014 contestants

    Chiles Cartwright, 35, a company director from Shropshire

    Daniel Lassman, 27, the director of a pub quiz company from Essex

    Felipe Alviar-Baquero, 33, a lawyer from Kent

    James Hill, 26, a multiple business owner from Chesterfield

    Mark Wright, 24, a sales manager in digital marketing from London

    Robert Goodwin, 25, a marketing manager from East Sussex

    Sanjay Sood-Smith, 27, a senior manager in banking from London

    Scott McCulloch, 24, a clinical development strategist from East Kilbride, Scotland

    Solomon Akhtar, 22, a technology entrepreneur from London

    Steven Ugoalah, 25, a social worker from London

    Bianca Miller, 25, owner of a personal branding company from London

    Ella Jade Bitton, 23, a Business Management graduate from Hertfordshire

    Jemma Bird, 26, an operations manager from the West Midlands

    Katie Bulmer-Cooke, 27, a fitness entrepreneur from Sunderland

    Lauren Riley, 28, a solicitor from London

    Lindsay Booth, 29, the owner of a swimming academy, from Leicester

    Nurun Ahmed, 36, a marketing officer and fashion retailer from Peterborough

    Pamela Uddin, 23, an assistant brand manager from Dublin

    Roisin Hogan, 32, an accountant from Dublin

    Sarah Dales, 32, a former PA and hypnotherapist from London

    The series will kick off Tuesday and Wednesday (October 14 and 15) with a double bill, before being shown once a week on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC One. 

    What time is the Apprentice on tonight? Meet Essex man Daniel Lassman and the contestants


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    A NEW fuel price war is set to bring refilling costs down to a four-year low after ASDA, Tesco and Sainsbury's announced they would cuts costs at the pumps from today.

    ASDA started the second round of cuts, just a fortnight after supermarkets cut prices by as much as 5p a litre.

    From today Asda will cut diesel by up to 2p a litre to 126.7ppl and unleaded petrol will fall by 1p a litre to 123.7ppl.

    Sainsbury's, who announced in September it would cut diesel and petrol prices by 5p a litre across all its stations, responded with a drop of 1p a litre of unleaded and 2p for diesel across its 295 forecourts.

    will be cutting the price of diesel by up to 2 pence per litre and unleaded petrol by 1 pence per litre across its 295 forecourts, providing customers with fantastic value when they fill up at Sainsbury's.

    Tesco also announced yesterday it would match the price cuts.

    The cut is in addition to savings customers can make through the supermarket's Fuel Save promotion, which can be worth up to 20p off a litre.

    Tesco Fuel director Peter Cattell said: "As Britain's biggest fuel retailer this means more motorists can make real savings.

    We also offer Clubcard points and savings through Clubcard Fuel Save, which saves our customers up to 20 pence per litre."

    The fall is partly down to a drop in the global price of crude oil  since August has been slowly falling over the last few months, w

    Supermarket price war to slash petrol costs to four-year low


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    A woman found dead in a property in Burnham-on-Crouch has been named as 53-year-old Lindy Barker.

    An inquest into her death was opened at Essex Coroner's Court in Chelmsford today (October 16) .

    Police and ambulance crews were called to a home in Glendale Close at about 8.35pm on October 8.

    An Essex Police spokeswoman said: "A woman in her fifties was found deceased.

    "Police are investigating the circumstances that leading up to her death and are liaising with Her Majesty's coroner.

    "The woman's next of kin have been informed."

    The death is not being treated as suspicious.

    Woman, 53, found dead in Burnham-on-Crouch is identified


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    A LONG-STANDING GP sexually assaulted a young mother during an impromptu abdominal examination, a court heard.

    Dr Olakunle Arowojolu, 54, allegedly left the woman "frozen with fear" on the consultancy bed at the North Chelmsford NHS walk-in centre in Springfield beside Sainsbury's supermarket.

    The Nigerian ex-pat, who was also a partner at Kelvedon and Feering Health Centre, is standing trial at Chelmsford Crown Court charged with one count of sexual assault.

    Standing before the jury on Monday, the victim claimed "white-coat syndrome" made it difficult for her to resist the alleged attack.

    "I felt panic because I knew it was not an accident, I knew what he was doing," said the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

    While on shift for private firm Primecare, which provides out-of-hours GP cover for NHS centres, Dr Arowojolu approached the woman at about 12.40am on Monday, July 22, last year.

    A conversation about the woman's stomach, who was concerned it was elasticated after having two children, ensued, before Dr Arowojolu allegedly invited her into a consultancy room.

    Once inside, where they stayed for seven minutes, the woman claims he spread paper roll over the examination bed, told her to lie down and pulled the privacy curtains closed.

    She claims Dr Arowojolu, of Tollgate Drive, Stanway, proceeded to place his left hand around her back and his right hand at the base of her stomach, before helping her through repeated sit up exercises.

    Yet crucially, the prosecution claims he slipped his hand below her knickers during the exercises, placing three fingers around and over her vagina.

    Giving evidence, she said: "At first I was shocked.

    "It felt like ages and I kind of froze, asking myself how is this happening? But as he continued to make me do the sit-ups his fingers were getting lower and lower until the whole of the top parts of his fingers were touching. Several times I said 'no, stop, stop, I don't want you to'.

    "But he was just smiling and carrying on. After about seven or eight times I said 'it's hurting my stomach, my stomach is hurting', and he did stop."

    After standing up however, she claims Dr Arowojolu talked her back on to the bed to continue the exercise.

    "It's white-coat syndrome, you do what they tell you, they're respectable people," she said under scrutiny from defence barrister David Morris.

    During the second series of exercises, the woman claimed he rubbed around her breast with his left hand and returned his hand firmly under her knickers.

    "At one point he said 'yes, it's nice'," she said, before explaining Dr Arowojolu stopped after sensing her panicked voice.

    After the two left the room, the doctor left the centre, while the victim claims she rang her husband.

    Dr Arowojolu was arrested about six hours later and swabs, which proved inconclusive, were taken from the defendant.

    Giving evidence Dr Arowojolu vehemently denied touching her genitalia and denied the second occasion, in which the victim returned to the bed, ever happened.

    Dr Arowojolu qualified as a doctor in June 1982, moved to the UK in July 1995, gained his diploma in family planning in 2000 and became a specialist GP in 2004.

    The court heard he worked at the Kelvedon and Feering Health Centre from 2005, became one of its three full partners in July 2012, but retired voluntarily from the centre on August 1, 2014 - more than a year after the alleged incident.

    The trial continues and a jury is expected to return a verdict before tomorrow (October 17).

    GP 'sexually assaulted woman at North Chelmsford walk-in centre while she did sit-ups'


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    The big day is nearly here, but if whether you're running or taking part in the Chelmsford Marathon, there may be some things you may forget.

    What should you do, how should you prepare, and what should you eat?

    We've got it all covered below

    1 Make a checklist of all the things you will need, including running gear, snacks, drinks, and your race number

    2 Prepare your snacks and meals and stick to a plan that has worked for you in the past to avoid any "runner's tummy" incidents while participating

    3 Cut toenails neat and short, with no sharp bits, to avoid them from hitting the front of your shoes, leading to bloody or black toenails

    4 Review the course map to know where there'll be water stops and potentially challenging sections such as steep inclines so you know exactly what to expect.

    5 Carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source during high intensity activity, so you should have 8-10g of carbohydrate per kilo of your weight per day, spread throughout your meals, in the last three days before the race. Recommended foods include wholegrain pasta, rice, porridge, potatoes, and certain fruits and vegetables.

    6 Avoid gas-inducing carbs like broccoli, cabbage, beans or too much fruit as they will likely lead to discomfort when running.

    7 Rest and stay off your feet for the last three days before the race and drink plenty of water.

    8 Don't do anything new in the last few days – don't try new foods, clothing or equipment (all of which should have been tried and tested if it is to be used in the race), or deviate from a set plan in any way as change poses potential health risks.

    9 Get hydrated the previous day. Do not wait until on the day when it's too late

    10 A few hours before you run your marathon, eat a meal high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat such as porridge with fruit or a peanut butter bagel - but not too large in size. This will give your body all the nutrients it needs for the next few hours. Just before the race starts, you could have a snack like a cereal bar, sports drink or low fat yoghurt.

    11 Walk around a bit in the half hour before the start, and stretch, but don't do too much in order to preserve glycogen stores.

    12 Drink 90-180ml of water every 15-20 minutes of the marathon to replenish fluid levels.

    13 Sports-designed isotonic drinks, cereal bars and certain fruits are ideal to provide fuel every 45-60 minutes. Recommended foods include Lucozade Sport, bananas and oranges, dried fruit, jelly sweets (to keep blood sugar levels up) and special K cereal bars.

    14 Refuelling afterwards is essential, so eat or drink 200-300 calories of carbs and protein within an hour in order to refuel and repair muscles. Chocolate milk is a good source of both, or a smoothie with lots of fruit (frozen berries with oats, or pomegranate juice with soya, banana and honey are recommended).

    Chelmsford Marathon 2014: 14 essential things to remember if you're taking part


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    JUST three weeks after receiving an award from Prince Harry for his courageous battle against cancer, "inspirational" Laughlin Whiteley, died in hospital at the weekend after catching a severe lung infection.

    Seven-year-old Laughlin, known as Lockey, died at 6.30pm on Saturday (October 12) at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

    It was only a few weeks after his family learned his cancer had returned after twice beating the disease before.

    The sudden death of the Burnham-on-Crouch youngster has led to an outpouring of grief from those who have followed his brave fight against both a brain tumour and leukaemia, as his family shared their story to raise more than £10,000 for charity.

    Posting on social media, Lockey's mum Andrea Poyser wrote: "Laughlin passed away this evening.

    "He was surrounded by his mummy and daddy. Pain free, fly high my angel of sunflowers. You brave strong warrior, I know you have entered heaven and are surrounded by love.

    "We are taking you home now my brave son to be at home where you belong."

    She later wrote: "Laughlin's spirit lives on, it truly does. I miss his little voice in the morning. He is now in his room with his world around him. I've been wanting him home with us for over nine weeks and now John and I brought him home last night."

    On Monday, September 22 Laughlin managed to make it to the ceremony for the annual WellChild awards, where he was awarded the Most Inspirational Child of the Year award, meeting Prince Harry. This was despite suffering a relapse of the blood cancer, and being treated in Great Ormond Street Hospital at the time.

    Lockey had first been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011 but, following successful treatment, it was found he had treatment-related acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) last November, which he beat once again in April this year following a stem cell transplant.

    Family friend Michelle Richardson, who was part of the Unlock a Life for Lockey charity, which promotes stem cell donation and raises money for families of children going though cancer, said: "He was courageous, inspirational, and always looked on the bright side, he was always making people laugh.

    "On his last day he was saying 'I love you mum, I love you daddy, I love you nan and granddad' and when the nurses came in he threw his arms up and said 'welcome'."

    The family has raised more than £10,000 for cancer charity Brain Tumour UK in the past two years, and a separate £2,000 for Delete Blood Cancer UK in the past year from donations to Unlock a Life For Lockey.

    The youngster also devised the charity's craft boxes. Full of play, art and craft activities, they are given to children undergoing cancer treatment, as they can be in hospital for weeks.

    "It was Lockey's idea, he wanted to help other children," added Michelle.

    "I don't know another family in the world like it; they are incredible. The funeral will be a celebration of Lockey's life."

    A memorial service open to the public will take place on Saturday at 6.30pm, at Millfields, in Burnham, while a Book of Condolences will also be placed in Creeksea Church.

    The next Unlock a Life for Lockey event is a ball to be held at Stockbrook Manor Country Club, Billericay, on Saturday, February 7.

    For more information, or to make a donation go to www.unlockalife forlockey.co.uk

    Grief as 'inspirational' Laughlin 'Lockey' Whiteley succumbs to lung infection


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    The route for the first Chelmsford marathon has been altered slightly at the eleventh hour due to "severe weather" and flooding.

    Organisers the J's Hospice told runners this afternoon (October 16) that two miles of grass-surface running in Hylands Park will be removed from the course.

    An equal distance of tarmac-surface running, all in Central Park, will replace it for when about 1,900 take to the streets this Sunday (October 19).

    In an email sent to participants, the J's Hospice development manager Tony Smith said: "Due to the severe weather conditions in the past couple of days and parts of the course becoming flooded it has been determined that, in the best interest of runners, the route will be slightly altered."

    A new race map is being drawn up to give to runners as soon as possible.

    The email continues: "The course is still officially measured and accurate for a multi-terrain marathon.

    "Although the weather is looking good for the event day, your safety is the main priority and therefore changing the route was the best option.

    "We really hope you enjoy the revised course."

    Chelmsford Marathon route in Hylands Park tweaked at eleventh-hour due to flooding


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    A GP working in Chelmsford has been convicted of sexually assaulting a young mother during a spur-of-the-moment abdominal examination at the walk in centre near Sainsbury's.

    Jurors at Chelmsford Crown Court found Dr Olakunle Arowojolu, 54, guilty of sexual assault this afternoon (October 16) following 100 minutes of deliberation and a four-day trial.

    The Nigerian expat, also a former partner at Kelvedon and Feering Health Centre, stood accused of assaulting the woman at the North Chelmsford NHS walk-in centre in Springfield.

    After the jury returned the verdict, the mother of the victim broke into tears while her father shouted "result".

    The defendant's friends and family, about five of them sitting in the public gallery, wailed in agony, some of them humming, while Mr Arowojolu broke into a series of whispers in a foreign language.

    Speaking to the jury earlier this week, prosecutor Carolyn Gardiner said: "She was scared and described to the police as being frozen in fear."

    Mr Arowojolu is said to have sexually assaulted the woman during a night shift at the centre at about 12.40am on Monday, July 22 last year.

    He invited the woman, who had been sitting in the reception area, into a consultancy room for an impromptu examination following a discussion about her stomach.

    Once inside however, for a total of seven minutes, he slipped his hand below her knickers during a series of sit-up exercises. The court heard he placed three fingers around and over her genitals and also rubbed around her breast with his left hand.

    "At first I was shocked," she said, while giving evidence to the jury this week.

    After the two left the room, he left the building, but was arrested about six hours later.

    It also emerged Mr Arowojolu faced one allegation of inappropriately touching a patient's nipple with a stethoscope in 2010 – but police dropped the case.

    Mr Arowojolu denied ever sexually assaulting the woman at the walk-in centre last year, and said he carried out the spontaneous abdominal exam because he could see she was concerned.

    The doctor, of Tollgate Drive, Stanway, was allowed to leave the dock on bail today but must return to court during the week of Monday, November 10, to be sentenced.

    Sexual assault of this nature carries a maximum 10-year jail term.

    The victim's mother told the Chronicle upon leaving court today: "Justice has been done."

    GP Olakunle Arowojolu guilty of sex assault on woman during abdominal exam at North Chelmsford walk-in centre


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    Football fans looking forward to the Barcelona vs Real Madrid game are set to miss the first 15 minutes because of broadcasting rules.

    The eagerly-awaited clash, which kicks off at 5pm, is expected to feature former Liverpool talisman Luis Suarez when it airs on Sky Sports on October 25.

    But, a screen 'blackout' of live games between 2.45pm and 5.15pm, means viewers will have to wait to see any action until then.

    The rules were put in place so as to not affect attendances at grounds for 3pm kick offs.

    Suarez, who collected the Golden Boot Award yesterday, has missed the start of the season after he was suspended for biting Italy's Giorgio Chellini in this summer's World Cup.

    Luis Suarez's El Clasico debut for Barcelona to be unavailable for first 15 minutes


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    A SPORTS bar's opening night ended in acrimonious circumstances when a mass brawl left three men in hospital with head and facial injuries.

    The fight began around 12.40am on Sunday morning in Bar Sport, High Street, Braintree, and spilled out into the road.

    A 26-year-old is still in Broomfield Hospital after suffering serious injuries, but is now in a stable condition.

    High Street was closed into Sunday evening while police forensic experts carried out investigations at the scene and was only reopened at 6.15pm.

    Thomas Potts, national operations coach at Bar Sport, said: "We are assisting police with their inquiries and while there's an ongoing investigation we can't comment any further on the incident."

    The bar, formerly The Silkworm, has undergone a six-week £300,000 facelift to include 15 different beers, two pool tables, table football, a dart board and 30 TVs showing sport from all over the world, including American football, boxing and football.

    The bar is being run by franchisee Steve Winder with the support of his father Richard and 20 employees.

    On opening the new bar Steve, 22, said: "When this opportunity arose to run a Bar Sport franchise I knew I had to take it.

    "My father Richard has been running a franchise for the past 17 years and will be there to support me as well as the Bar Sport franchise team.

    "I am a huge sports fan and the opportunity to combine my love of sport into a viable business is so exciting. It has been a lot of hard work but I can't wait.

    "I am incredibly excited to be bringing something different to Braintree and I know there is a real buzz about the opening.

    "As well as being a haven for sports fans, I also want it to be a venue for everyone so we will be hosting regular music and entertainment nights.

    "We also want to be a part of the community and will be sponsoring local sports teams."

    On Thursday night, fire-eaters and dancers from the Monster Mad Crew entertained punters during a VIP look at the new bar and grill then there was a ticket-only event on Friday, ahead of Saturday's opening.

    Bar Sport was one of the first American style bars in the UK when it was set up in the West Midlands in 1998.

    Braintree is the fourth in the franchise, with others planned in Southampton, Portsmouth, Derby and Nottingham, and will have a late license to stay open until 2am at the weekend.

    Mr Potts added: "We chose Braintree because it's a town that's expanding and developing and we want to be a part of that.

    "We will show pretty much any big sporting event that is happening and of course football at the weekend is a massive part of our sporting calendar."

    An Essex Police spokesman said the investigation into what happened is still ongoing.

    Anyone with information should call Braintree CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

    Brawl at Bar Sport in Braintree was during its opening weekend


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    A BRAINTREE dad has appeared in court charged with kidnapping his estranged wife's cat from her home in Kent.

    Jonathan Brewster, 45, of Notley Road, appeared at Maidstone Magistrates' Court charged with taking ginger moggy, Marmie, from his wife Tracy Brewster's house in Barming, near Maidstone.

    He denied the charge of "catnapping" at the hearing on September 29.

    Since Marmie went missing on July 21, Mrs Brewster has mobilised an army of volunteers to search Kent and Essex for her beloved pet.

    "I am brokenhearted and have been since the day he went missing. I will never stop searching for Marmie," she told the Chronicle.

    "This will be endless for me, not knowing where my best friend is.

    "I just want him back or some sort of closure."

    Since Marmie, which is short for Marmalade, went missing, Mrs Brewster says she has been prescribed antidepressants, lost her job as a nanny and two stone in weight.

    She says she is even prepared to sell her home to search for her beloved cat full-time.

    "Marmalade had been the family pet for 13 years, my kids and parents are all really worried, I can't sleep at night because I can't bear to think about where he is," said 52-year-old Mrs Brewster, who has two grown-up children from a previous relationship.

    "He's like a dog, he follows me around everywhere. He's been with me for 13 years and seen me through a lot of tough times.

    "He could be in Kent, Essex or anywhere. There's nothing worse than this, not knowing where he is just awful. If I had a body I could put it to rest but with this there's no closure," added Mrs Brewster.

    "It's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

    "However, I'll search everywhere, I won't stop until I feel I've exhausted every possibility."

    A Facebook group called Find Marmie has over 2,600 likes and tweets about the campaign offering a £1,100 reward for information have been supported by author Pam Ayres, Made In Chelsea star Lucy Watson and a number of soap stars.

    The group marched through Maidstone town centre last Wednesday to raise awareness of the search and plan to head to Essex should Marmie remain missing.

    Jonathan Brewster says he has had death threats and tried to get his address withheld in court – a request that was turned down by magistrates.

    He will now face a trial at Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court in January.

    Volunteers in search for missing pet Marmie as estranged husband accused of 'catnapping'


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    THE proud brother of Bicknacre teenager James Graham believes the singing sensation can bounce back from a cold to give his all at the second X Factor live show this weekend.

    James and his eight-piece boy band Stereo Kicks were voted through on Sunday, on the day of his 18th birthday, after performing Katy Perry's Roar on the Saturday night show.

    However, a bug has swept through the X Factor house and on Tuesday James was placed on "voice rest", given a sign to wear to warn people, a nasal spray and a steamer after visiting a doctor.

    James was on strict instructions therefore not to give the Chronicle an interview, but 20-year-old Ben happily stepped in this week.

    "It's not ideal," said Ben.

    "If you get one person ill, it's going to go round. I know a couple of people in the house have a cold but I think it's just James who's quite badly affected, but luckily the doctor says he should be fine for Saturday.

    "He is literally on voice rest. I don't think he is allowed to say anything.

    "Mum phoned him and because he was told not to talk she was just talking straight at him, which is how it is a lot of the time so it didn't make much difference."

    After the band performed in front of hundreds in Wembley and millions sitting at home, with James opening and closing the song with a solo, chief judge Simon Cowell said: "This is exciting for me because I am seeing something really good here."

    James entered the competition as a solo singer, but after producers stitched together the makeshift band, they've sailed through each round.

    "I thought he did brilliantly," said Ben, an Open University history student who chatted with his brother backstage before the singer was whisked off for an early night.

    "The song is not my cup of tea but I thought they did fantastically with it.

    "I am so proud of James, he always does well. I always think I couldn't stand up and sing with such confidence like that but after seeing him perform so much I'm quite confident in James because his voice just doesn't seem to waver."

    The pair grew up together with parents Paula and David and both played football for Focus Ferrers where dad David coached.

    "Who's better at football? I will go with myself, he already has the singing over me so I have to have something," joked Ben.

    The two attended Priory Primary School and The Sandon School, where Ben could keep an eye on his little brother.

    "But James doesn't need protecting," said Ben.

    "He has a strong enough personality to look after himself. The thing with James is he is a nice lad, so he is always one who gets on with people and doesn't have enemies."

    Despite proving his skills from an early age, winning a Year 6 talent show and Maldon's Got Talent in 2012, Ben never thought his brother's rise to fame would be so meteoric.

    He added: "You've got to hope they can win, otherwise there is no point being in it," said Ben.

    Stereo Kicks star James put on voice rest to be fresh for X Factor


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    CHEF Jamie Oliver has reportedly defended his decision to employ a convicted child rapist at one of his restaurants. 

    David Mason,24, has been given a job as an apprentice chef at Jamie's Fifteen restaurant, despite a conviction for forcing himself on a 12-year-old girl while they played computer games. 

    Mason, from Feltham in West London, was 19 when he raped the girl and was sentenced to four years in a young offenders' institution after admitting the crime.

    He served two years and spent two more doing probation work before he started the year-long apprentice programme six weeks ago.

    However, despite criticism of the decision a spokesman for Oliver last night is reported to have said: "He was completely honest about his past when he applied and we decided that, as he'd served his sentence, he should be allowed a place on the programme.

    'It is not unusual for us to work with people who want to try to turn their lives around. David spent two years in prison and two years doing probationary work with the Prince's Trust, so four years of punishment.

    'We took great care deciding whether he was appropriate and he is six weeks into the course and doing very well.'

    Jamie Oliver is set to open his brand new Jamie's Trattoria restaurant in Chelmsford High Street on Monday (October 20). 

    Jamie Oliver defends decision to give restaurant job to convicted child rapist


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    AS LEADERS of both Essex County Council and the governor of the Jiangsu Province, in China sign a momentous agreement hoped to boost trade, and create an official partnership between the regions, here are the top 14 facts you need to know about our new trade partner.

    1. It is the most densely populated of all China's provinces with 79.2 million residents across 102,600 km2, making around 772 persons per km2 compared to Essex's 471 per km2.

    2. It has 106 areas akin in status to our counties, and these are classified further into 13 cities. 

    3. It is known as the "country of fish and rice" and the "land of rivers and lakes".

    4. It stretches along both banks of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and also borders the Yellow Sea in the east.

    5. It makes up just 1.06% of China's total territory.

    6. The capital city is Nanjing , which was the capital of China for several periods throughout history.

    7. It has two main linguistic regions with the southern part speaking Wu, while the northern part is Mandarin speaking.

    8. The local cuisine is similar to that serviced up in Shanghai, with recipes using soy, ginger, sugar and Shaoxing wine. 'Dazha crab' is their specialty.

    9. It gets even more rain than us, with an estimated 724 - 1,120 mm of rainfall per year.

    10. Their coastline is often visited by destructive typhoons (also known as tropical cyclones) between late summer and early autumn.

    11. Pingtan, form of storytelling accompanied by music, is very popular in Jiangsu.

    12. With more than 14,000 miles of inland waterways, it carries more than a quarter of its goods by water.

    13. It is the birthplace of kunqu, one of the oldest forms of Chinese opera

    14. A product popularly sold in the Nanjing area is a zhijing– handwoven silk – and particularly cloud brocades, which use every shade of colour to portray the clouds of sky at sunset. 

    14 things you need to know about Essex's new trade partner, the Jiangsu Province


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    AN HISTORIC agreement between China and Essex to boost trade links capped off a high-profile business campaign that will see the county's business leaders heading to Downing Street.

    Li Xueyong, governor of Jiangsu Province, was at County Hall on Friday for the signing of the official partnership between Jiangsu and Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

    Essex County Council deputy leader Councillor Kevin Bentley said: "Li Xueyong is the most senior politician in the Jiangsu Province and he does not often travel overseas.

    "The fact that he came to Essex is testament to how importantly he views our county and our special relationship which has been built up over the past 25 years.

    "There are 80 million people in Jiangsu and they view Essex as one of the foremost places to do trade in the world.

    "There are lots of companies in Jiangsu Province which want to branch out and open offices in Essex, and we have lots of businesses ready to go into China."

    The East of England-Jiangsu Joint Committee Agreement will see members meeting once a year to arrange joint projects between Jiangsu and the three counties, focusing on trade, investment, education, culture and tourism.

    Friday's agreement was the pinnacle of Essex Means Business week, run by Essex County Council in partnership with the Essex Chronicle.

    It went so well that a delegation to 10 Downing Street is being planned to show Prime Minister David Cameron what the county has to offer.

    Cllr Bentley said he was working with Witham MP and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Priti Patel to make the visit happen.

    "The Essex Means Business campaign was a tremendous success," he said. "A group of councillors, including myself, visited many different companies from different sectors all over the county and we were so impressed, once again, with the incredible diversity of Essex businesses."

    The week also saw councillors visiting a selection of companies from across the county to highlight their diversity and achievements. There was also a push for apprenticeship schemes and training to make sure that the future generations have the necessary skills to drive the Essex business community forwards.

    "Essex Means Business is about much more than just a week of campaigning," Cllr Bentley added.

    "It will continue long into the future and the Downing Street visit is just one example of that.

    "I am grateful to the Essex Chronicle for their coverage and continued support in always promoting Essex businesses."

    To find out more about Essex Means Business, visit www.essex.gov.uk or follow #EssexMeansBusiness

    Historic deal signed as Chinese boost links with Essex


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    This is the moment a man was arrested outside a primary school on suspicion of trying to steal an expensive bicycle.

    The suspect, dressed in a tracksuit and baseball cap, could be seen being escorted into a police car in Victoria Road outside Chelmsford Cathedral School at about 3pm yesterday (October 16).

    Today (October 17) Essex Police confirmed a 35-year-old man had been charged in connection with an alleged theft.

    A spokesman said: "A man will appear before magistrates today after he was arrested by police yesterday.

    "Lee Owen, 35, of Hazebrouck Road, Faversham, Kent, was arrested on suspicion of theft of a high value pedal cycle from Tesco in Springfield Road and another bike the same in day in Chelmsford."

    Pictured: Man arrested outside Chelmsford Cathedral School in Victoria Road over Tesco bike theft


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