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

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    ESSEX County Council is fighting a tribunal hearing which ruled its top lawyer had praised Hitler in front of staff.

    The council solicitor, Phillip Thompson, implicated in the case, will step down as president of Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) in the interim.

    At a governance conference at Stansted Airport on Wednesday last week, the authority's head of legal services, said: "A few weeks ago I mentioned an employment case decided against my authority in which I had been named.

    "My authority has lodged a notice of appeal and I have decided to stand aside from my role as president of LLG while the case progresses, lest it distract from the work of LLG."

    Mr Thompson was heavily criticised following the tribunal brought by black ex-employee Evelyne Jarrett in September.

    It found she was unfairly dismissed by Essex Legal Services (ELS) – which is overseen by the county council – and discriminated against on the grounds of race.

    It was alleged that her boss, Mr Thomson, "did make inappropriate references to Hitler, that good practices could be learnt from his management techniques," as well as earning himself the nickname Piggy Eyes for the way he ogled women.

    Ms Jarrett, an experienced solicitor herself, worked as team manager at the Chelmsford offices for two-and-a-half years but was made redundant in April 2012. She claimed her dismissal followed racial discrimination, harassment and victimisation from her managers.

    Upholding these claims in a written decision, tribunal judge Martin Warren said: "Any positive reference in the workplace to Hitler has the potential to be highly offensive to any person of ethnic minority origins because of his responsibility for the murder of millions of such people and for pronouncements of belief in the superiority of people from one race over people from another, or any other.

    "There was a culture of attributing inappropriate nicknames: starting with Mr Thomson as 'piggy eyes' (an apparent reference to the way he looks at women). The claimant referred to as "Evil Lyn" which she understandably found very offensive."

    Ms Jarrett, who now lives in Bedford, has since called for an independent investigation into ELS and the actions of the senior management team. Bev Cullen, LLG vice-president and assistant county solicitor at Lancashire County Council, will now take over as president, with Mr Thomson remaining on the board.

    'Hitler' lawyer quits national role to fight tribunal claims

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    TAKING up the baton of headship at one of the most successful secondary schools in the country could be a daunting prospect.

    But Tom Carter, who has just been appointed 32nd head of King Edward VI Grammar School, is confident he can continue moving the school onwards and upwards.

    "It is an amazing opportunity to have the chance to lead this school which I love," he said. "It's a wonderful place and a great privilege to be its head teacher.

    "There are significant challenges ahead for any school in the next few years, but I am filled with optimism when I reflect on the people – students, staff, parents, governors and many others – who give so much to KEGS. I am looking forward to what the future has in store."

    Mr Carter has two main challenges in mind. Firstly the "pace of the change to curriculum and exams" being introduced, and secondly, funding. Whereas the school used to greatly benefit from subject specialist cash, this stream has now been stopped by the Government.

    He said: "We all appreciate that it does not have an endless pot of money.

    "But it's going to be challenging for us, especially the changes to sixth-form funding, which particularly hits schools like KEGS, where it is usual for students to take between four and six A levels."

    But Mr Carter says the school's sixth form numbers will remain steady and could even increase.

    He has already introduced a couple of changes to the school in Broomfield Road. To recognise pupils' strong interest in programming, the school has this term introduced computing as a GCSE and is looking at adding the subject as an A-level option.

    It is also encouraging new blood for its orchestra and ensembles by offering 40 of the youngest pupils a chance to learn a musical instrument for free for a year.

    Originally from Surrey, Mr Carter moved to Essex in 1996. He and his wife now live in Brentwood with their two teenage sons.

    After studying maths at Cambridge University and an MBA at Warwick, Mr Carter went into the business world before deciding to become a teacher.

    He explained: "I enjoyed business a lot and had some excellent experiences, travelling to different places. But there comes a point where you have to decide what you really want to do in life and I had been considering teaching for a while. I made the switch and have never regretted it."

    After taking a teaching qualification, Mr Carter joined Westcliff High School for Boys. After five years he moved to KEGS as head of maths and then became deputy head in 2007.

    Over the past couple of years he has been associate head, standing in for Tom Sherrington when he undertook his extensive outreach work, and took over as acting head when Mr Sherrington left in the summer.

    Mr Carter claims he did not have this goal in mind when he switched career. He said: "I wanted to be as good a teacher as I could. Throughout my career I have tried to take the viewpoint that we do our jobs as best we can and see where that leads us. Things have come up in my career and I have been able to move on."

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    MOTORISTS are set to face delays when two schemes to improve one of Braintree's most congested roundabouts begin this month.

    A £75,000 project at the Marks Farm roundabout, where the A120, the A131 and Coggeshall Road meet, is due to start this month, with lane closures and temporary speed limits to be imposed.

    This will be followed by a second scheme to ease traffic to include changes to traffic signs and road markings at the junction and on the approach roads, as well as minor changes to the kerb on the A131.

    Councillor Lady Newton, cabinet member for planning and property at Braintree District Council, said: "With continued growth in housing and the local economy within the district it is important that the road infrastructure is up to standard, and as members of the Haven Gateway Partnership A120 campaign we continue to actively lobby for improvements to the A120 and Galley's Corner and Marks Farm roundabout."

    Previous improvements to the roundabout were made in October 2011 to relieve congestion on the westbound A120, adding additional width to the B1256 Coggeshall Road.

    However, new traffic data collected by the Highways Agency shows that since opening there have been safety concerns about the new layout and significant new congestion on the A131 approach.

    These new additional safety improvements to the Marks Farm roundabout will be funded by supermarket Tesco as a condition for its planning approval for store improvements, and are designed to allow for safe access the store.

    Work will begin once funding has been approved, thought to be before the end of November.

    During the works the existing road markings will be replaced with a new layout. New signs will be installed on the verges to clarify the changes and there will be a change to the kerb on the A131 stretch leading up to the junction.

    The Highways Agency says the aim of the scheme is to change the way drivers use the roundabout to make it safer and reduce the risk of accidents.

    However, the work will not resolve the bigger problem of the high levels of queuing traffic on the A131 approach to the roundabout. The agency added that it is looking to bring forward bigger changes at some point in the future.

    In January £650,000 of improvements were made to another roundabout on the A120, Galleys Corner, but motorists are still suffering high levels of congestion and regular accidents.

    Braintree District Council leader Cllr Graham Butland has long campaigned for the dualling of the A120. He said: "The A120 needs more than a couple of inches added to the roundabout, the only long term solution would be a new line for the A120 from Panners Farm to the A12 near Marks Tey."

    £75k Marks Farm improvement project to bring roads 'up to standard'

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    IT CAN be hard enough to cover the cost of Christmas as it is, what with presents, decorations, alcohol and food for the whole family. 

    But now it seems some festive favourites are less value for money than in previous years, with some weighing less, but costing more. 

    Here are 6 of the worst culprits: 

    1. Quality street

    A box of Quality Street chocolates has gone down from 1kg in 2011 to 820g in 2013 and 780g this year - but now costs 13p (8 per cent) more.

    2. Roses

    A box of Cadbury's Roses chocolates has risen 24p (13 per cent) in price, but fallen in weight by 70g compared to last year.

    3. KP Peanuts

    This year's bags were found to be 450g - 50g lighter than last year's 500g - but had gone up in price by 16p.

    4. Box of Cadbury's Heroes

    The chocolates are down 27g compared to last year, but up 12p in price

    5. Orange's Segsations

    Orange's individual chocolates are down 30g in weight, but have still risen 33p in price

    6. Asda Chocolate Coins

    Although still only £1, it seems you get less chocolate currency for the money with a bag now weighing 15g less

    The results came from research carried out by on behalf of The Observer. 

    6 Christmas goodies where you get less for your money than last year

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    We could be facing one of the wettest winters on record, according to the Met Office. 

    Experts have warned that Britain could be facing unprecedented levels of rainfall amid claims that conditions are in place for a number of severe Atlantic storms. 

    Much of the country has faced heavy rainfall in recent days, with some flood warnings even in place.

    And the latest three-month outlook from the Met Office, which covers November to January, suggests that the next three months will be wetter than average, with weather fronts coming in from the Atlantic ocean, bringing stormy conditions.

    Met Office warns that Britain could face wettest winter ever

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    CHELMSFORD City have made their second signing in three days after bringing in striker John Sands from Canvey Island.

    Sands, 27, scored 24 goals in 47 games for the Gulls after joining them from Bury Town in October last year.

    The front man's move comes after the Clarets signed Aston Villa keeper Bradley Watkins on a three-month loan on Friday.

    The 20-year-old had a brief loan spell at Tranmere Rovers last season but failed to make an appearance. He made 12 appearances for Villa's U21s last season.

    Watkins replaces Tony Thompson, who has been recalled by parent club Rotherham United, after playing his final game for City in Saturday's 5-1 defeat at Whitehawk.

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    Arsenal are reportedly interested in striking up a deal with West Ham for Winston Reid in the January transfer window.

    The West Ham centre-half has been in fine form this season, helping his side on their way to fourth in the league.

    The New Zealand international is in the final year of his contract and it seems the player is reluctant to sign a new deal in the hope of playing European football.

    With his contract well into his final year Arsenal will be hoping to get the 26-year-old on the cheap at a reported £6 million - much cheaper than potential target Mats Hummels.

    Arsene Wenger's hesitancy in buying another defender in the summer has left him light at the back with Nacho Monreal filling in for the injured Laurent Kosieclny for the past month.

    Reid was named captain of the All Whites last year following Ryan Nelson's retirement and has represented his country on 19 occasions.

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    CHELMSFORD kept up the pressure on London Two North East leaders, Norwich, to record a comprehensive 43-17 win against an injury-hit Holt side, who despite their problems on the field contributed to an entertaining game.

    The difference between the two sides on the day was the pace of the Chelmsford backs, and whilst the pack is not one of the heaviest in the league the set piece play from the forwards gave the three quarters a good supply of ball and three tries in each half, coupled with five conversions and a penalty from fly half Simon Hoult, saw the home side record their seventh win out of eight matches.

    Chelmsford were unlucky not to go ahead within two minutes. The home side kicked off with the ball going straight into touch, but from the resultant scrum the Chelmsford pack took one against the head and a blindside break by scrum half Ben Bailey saw the ball fed down the backline, but wing Jack Acorn was bundled into touch by the corner flag.

    Chelmsford, however, made amends several minutes later when Holt were penalised for handling in the ruck and Simon Hoult kicked the penalty from just outside of the 22 metre line.

    The lead was increased a few minutes later when prop Miles Pitcher went over for an unconverted try in the corner after Holt had knocked the ball on near their line to give them an 8-0 lead.

    On the ten minute mark, Chelmsford scored their second try when Hoult made a good break from his own half, he then fed Acorn, who in turn had centre Adam Cunnah in support and he touched down in the corner for a well taken try. Hoult added the extras to take them into a 15-0 lead.

    Holt hit back with two tries themselves, following some indiscipline from the home side and some handling errors. Chelmsford were penalised on their 22 metre line and a quick tap penalty was taken, flanker Jack Venn was then penalised for coming round offside and was subsequently yellow carded.

    Another quickly taken penalty resulted in Holt's first try to reduce the lead to 15-5 and then Holt took advantage of the sin binning to break from the scrum and score another unconverted try near the corner to bring the score to 15-10.

    Chelmsford gradually began to resume their composure and after Holt were penalised for pulling the scrum down near to their line, the ball went through the phases and from one of these Hoult put Acorn away for a try in the left hand corner and with the successful conversion from near the touchline, Chelmsford now leading 22-10.

    With the slope in their favour in the second half, Chelmsford began to impose their superiority on the game and within the first minute, Hoult made a great break and beat several would be tacklers to score an excellent individual try, which he duly converted to take Chelmsford into a 29-10 lead, securing a bonus point.

    Coach Eddie Gooby then ran the changes, with Acorn being replaced by Lee Cunnah and prop Steve Prest, replaced by Dean Lester.

    It was now a question of how many points Chelmsford would register against a Holt side who were now on the back foot.

    On the 55th minute the home side scored their fifth try when from a catch and drive, hooker, Dave Hyett, in his second spell with the club, dived over for a try which was again converted by Hoult.

    The home side were unlucky not to score minutes later when the referee deemed that the ball was held up on the Holt line. Not to be outdone, replacement wing Luke Cunnah made a good break down the blind side wing and fed the ball to centre Jamie Morrish and with second row, Nick Crouch, in support, he touched the ball down in the corner to record the home side's sixth try. Hoult converted this to make the score 43-10.

    Not to be outdone Holt were rewarded with their efforts in the last ten minutes of the game, when they scored a try underneath the posts in the final minute of the game, converted, Chelmsford ran out worthy winners by 43-17.

    Coach Eddie Gooby was full of praise for his squad after the game: "After a few difficult weeks with training and a few players missing again from the match day squad, I was worried that the pack had not trained hard enough together to become a tighter unit to play in these wet conditions, but the pack put in a fantastic performance to give our backs some quality ball.

    "We played some fantastic rugby and scored a number of good team tries. What was pleasing for me was the fact we did not allow Holt to play their strong forward based game and constantly put them on the back foot and counter attacked really well on turnover ball.

    "We know over the next few weeks that we have some really tough games against teams who thrive in the wet and muddy conditions, so we have to dig deep into our reserves to maintain our winning run, starting next week against a tough Enfield team."

    The kick off for the game at Enfield will be 2.30pm.

    Chelmsford cruise to comprehensive win over Holt

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  • 11/17/14--02:53: Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews


    The Balham Alligators, "Bayou-Degradable" (Proper PRPCD021)- The Alligators' tasty melange of musical styles was all the rage in London's pubs and clubs during the early eighties,leaning heavily on the creative contribution of singer,pianist and accordion ace Geraint Watkins. This impressive 2CD anthology captures their unique fusion of rock,blues,cajun and country music at its most infectious and appealing , including covers of everything from Bonnie Raiit's "Love Has No Pride" to Chuck Berry's "Johnny B.Goode" and the Chris Montez hit "Let's Dance," all of them delivered with the maverick charm which always made these irascible characters' live gigs such an unforgettable experience.

    Don McLean,"Live in Manchester" (Wienerworld WNRCDV 5076)- This engaging throwback to the golden age of the singer-songwriter was recorded at Manchester's now sadly defunct Free Trade Hall in October 1991. The American troubadour regaled his adoring audience with some choice album tracks before revisiting the tuneful gems which captured the hearts of record buyers on both sides of the Atlantic during his commercial heyday in the early seventies, including "Vincent," "And I Love You So" and his epic pop anthem,"American Pie," which is apparently the longest song to ever top the U.S. singles charts.

    Lucinda Williams,"Back Where The Spirit Meets The Bone" (Highway 20 Records)- Lucinda Williams' highly personal approach to quality control has meant that she's never been the most prolific of performers, which makes it all the more surprising that the alt country legend should have released the first double album of a career which now spans more than four decades. Lucinda's cracked and deeply vulnerable vocals lend added poignancy to a collection of songs which radiate genuine warmth and humanity, with "When I Look At The World," "Temporary Nature" and a fine cover of the late J.J.Cale's "Magnolia" emerging as three of her most affecting contributions.

    Yardbirds, "Making Tracks" (Wienerworld WNRCDV5078)- This mildly diverting audio-visual package was recorded at four separate locations on the Yardbirds' American tours of 2010 and 2011. The band's original rhythm section of Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja supplied the firm foundations for newly minted re-treads of golden oldies such as "For Your Love," "Shapes of Things" and "Heart Full of Soul," with youthful lead guitarist Ben King striving manfully to fill the shoes once occupied by rock greats such as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.

    Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

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    The underpass linking both sides of Moulsham Street in Chelmsford is currently closed due to flooding (November 17).

    The water in the Parkway subway is being cleared, but pedestrians are advised to find alternative crossing places in the meantime.

    Chelmsford's Parkway subway closed due to flooding

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    SECURITY staff were threatened by a hooded man with a metal bar during a supermarket burglary in which cigarettes were stolen. Three men forced their way into Morrisons in Dickens Way, Newlands Spring, Chelmsford at 2.15am this morning (November 17). A glass panel was removed from a door before night staff were threatened by a man brandishing a metal bar. The cigarette kiosk was broken in to and a quantity of cigarettes stolen. No one was injured. Police say the first suspect is described as white, 5ft 7ins tall, wearing a black hooded top, dark trousers and black shoes. He was thought to be in his 30s. The second was about 5ft 9ins tall, also white, again thought to be in his 30s, wearing a light-coloured hooded top. The third was a similar height to the other two wearing a dark hooded top, black scarf or balaclava over the lower part of his face. It is believed they were using a white Transit-type van to flee from the scene.

    Burglar threatened security guards with metal bar in Morrisons burglary

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    The solitary goal from Truro City was enough to overcome the ten-men of Witham Town in the FA Trophy 2nd qualifying round.

    Town's goalkeeper Martyn Guest was sent off early in the second half when he brought down Ryan Brett in the box but the resulting penalty was missed.

    Craig Duff prevented the game reaching extra time after latching onto an Isaac Vassell through ball.

    The visitors dominated much of the first half but Guest kept Witham in with a shout after saving from Ryan Brett and Duff.

    Town had attempts of their own to take the initiative in the game but Ellis Brown and Connor Mead shot wide from good positions.

    Just four minutes into the second half the home side was reduced to ten men when Guest hauled down Brett, meaning Brad King was put in goal, but Duff sent the resulting spot kick over the bar.

    Witham were trying to balance defence with attack to but were unable to establish any real pressure against an in-form Truro side.

    The breakthrough came on the 78th minute when stand-in goalkeeper Brad King palmed a save into the path of Duff to score the winning goal.

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    CHELMSFORD City will face fellow Conference South side Bishop's Stortford in the FA Trophy third round qualifying draw.

    The Clarets will make the short trip to ProKit UK Stadium on Saturday November 29 with the winners picking up £4,000 from the FA's prize fund. 

    The two teams have already met this season, with City winning a five-goal thriller 3-2 at Stortford to secure their first victory of the season.

    FA TROPHY: Chelmsford City drawn away to Bishop's Stortford

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    HEYBRIDGE Swifts will have to travel to Conference North side Oxford City in the FA Trophy third round qualifying, if they manage to win at Lewes on Wednesday night.

    Saturday's second round qualifying clash at the Ryman Premier side was called-off because of a waterlogged pitch.

    The winners of Wednesday's game will pocket £3,250 in prize money, with £4,000 on offer for the winners of the third round qualifying stage.

    If Swifts get through the trip to Oxford will be on Saturday November 29.

    FA TROPHY: Heybridge Swifts and Lewes drawn away to Oxford City

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    Music teachers are "very worried" school orchestras could be on their way out due to a lack of interest from pupils, according to one head of department.

    Mike Cosadinos, head of music at Hylands School, Chelmsford, explained that despite the subject being very popular at the school, he could only "scrape together two or three brass players and maybe half-a-dozen saxophonists" for musical performances.

    "Music teachers, such as me, are very worried," he said.

    "Interest in orchestral instruments has dropped severely over the years, particularly in mixed comprehensive schools like ours.

    "When I started teaching 15 years ago we used to talk about oboe and bassoon players being a dying breed. The same can now be said for violinists and even trumpet players. We have to go to new lengths to encourage and persuade students to consider taking up these types of instruments."

    Mr Cosadinos explained that his concern comes in the face of rising popularity for music at the Writtle Road school. "Only last night we had our annual Rock Concert with 18 bands performing. This is one of six annual concerts that we hold, not including performances in neighbouring primary schools and for events such as the recent Chelmsford Marathon.

    "Everyone wants to play a guitar, drums or sing and the problem is the traditional way of teaching these instruments doesn't necessitate the study of staff notation.

    "We cover these skills as part of our curriculum, but like any language, if you are not using it every day you lose it again very quickly."

    Mr Cosadinos admitted that the cost of musical tuition to parents was certainly partly to blame for the demise of pupils playing instruments.

    He said: "When I was at school, instrument lessons were free and, by charging for them, a large number of pupils are excluded on the basis of their parents' income.

    "We could also put it down to the changing tastes of the nation, but unless something is done soon we will lose our orchestras.

    "At Hylands School, music is thriving, but our next focus will be on how to open the eyes of our students to instruments other than the guitar and drums. I hope other schools will do the same before it's too late."

    Concern over future of school orchestras as Hylands teachers fear pupils are no longer interested

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    THE Met Office has issued a yellow severe weather warning for Essex as icy fog threatens to disrupt this morning's commute.

    Patchy fog formed as night fell last night across southern and central England, East Anglia and east Wales.

    By this morning the persistent fog has reduced visibility to less than 100 metres.

    The Met Office has warned the public to expect possible disruption to transport due to the freezing fog and icy patches on roads.

    However this fog could clear by around 10am as cloud and wind from the Channel move across southern England and disperse the cold weather front.

    A maximum temperature of 8 degrees Celsius is predicted for this morning, with a minimum of 6 degrees by the evening.

    Trains passing through White Notley are expected to be delayed between Witham and Braintree due to a signalling fault.

    There have also been flood warnings for the River Chelmer from Great Dunmow to Rivermead Campus in Chelmsford and from the A138 in Chelmsford to Maldon.

    Riverside properties in Chelmsford, including the cricket ground, could also be hit by rising water levels.

    The rivers Pant, Brain, Wid and Can have also been placed in a high alert by the Environment Agency.

    Severe weather warning issued for Essex as icy fog hits the county

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    THE Royal Bank of Scotland has had to apologise for senior executives giving "incorrect" evidence to a Treasury Select Committee earlier this year.

    The bank's directors appeared before minsters in June and denied that their Global Restructuring Group (GRG) deliberately bankrupted small firms to earn the state-owned bank extra money.

    When directly asked by committee chairman, Andrew Tyrie, bank bosses repeatedly said that GRG was not a money-making part of the bank

    Mr Tyrie branded the evidence as "unacceptable" and letters released this week reveal that RBS chairman Sir Philip Hampton said some of the evidence "lacked clarity", by stopped short of saying anyone from RBS had deliberately lied to MPs.

    For months there have been allegations that some viable companies were deliberately forced to close by GRG in order to prop-up the ailing bank.

    It means hundreds small business owners were forced to close when "support fees" were added to their loan repayments.

    RBS apologises for giving

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    OVER 28,000 people reported an incident of domestic abuse in Essex last year.

    These figures have been revealed as a new domestic abuse awareness campaign was launched yesterday, signalling the start of domestic abuse awareness fortnight.

    Domestic abuse survivor Hayley Lowles from Chelmsford was almost killed following a horrific attack by her ex-partner Matthew Sargent, of Basildon, who is serving a minimum of 16 years in prison having been convicted of attempted murder in May 2014.

    She said: "For every year that I wanted to leave or find help, there was always a reason to stay. Before you know it one year becomes two, two become three. When I think about it now I feel so silly.

    "Matt was always on self-destruct around Christmas. He would wait until the last minute when I thought everything was perfect - I had bought his and his children's Christmas presents, my family had bought for them all too - and then bang. 

    "He would go missing for one or two days, he would steal all of the food money or he would trash my home. I'd be thinking 'Oh my God, I can't let everyone down. His children will be so disappointed'. Not once did I think about myself. The same would happen on birthdays for everyone, too.

    "My abuse was always emotional. It only got physical once, but as you can see from my court case that once was enough to cause me significant damage. It only takes once for you to be in the way or to say the wrong thing and the consequences could be fatal."

    She added: "I didn't appreciate the help that was out there. I can even remember my midwife asking me if my relationship was a happy one and I lied to her. She would have helped me, not judged me and that's what I needed to think instead of the negative thoughts that had started to take over.

    "Remember that you have to love yourself for others to love you and respect yourself for people to respect you. You are worth more and one day, hopefully today, you will see that and take the first steps to getting help.

    "I am now in a loving relationship. It's amazing to wake up every morning and not worry about what today has in store but be excited at what you may experience."

    With Christmas a month away, Essex County Council, Essex Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex are urging victims not to carry on suffering and instead act now and seek help.

    The campaign is also supported by public services across the county through the Essex Partnership.

    Over 28,000, while it is estimated that less than half of all incidents are reported.

    Victims often say that they decide against seeking help because of key events such as Christmas and birthdays.

    Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: "For many people Christmas is a period of celebration, where they can spend enjoyable time with their family and friends. However, sadly this is not the case for everyone, especially men and women who are experiencing domestic abuse.

    "Every Christmas at Essex Police we see a rise in the number of domestic abuse incidents, which is often contributed to by the added pressure of family life over the festive period. As always, we are working especially hard to identify suspected perpetrators and will ensure that we deal thoroughly and robustly with anyone who breaks the law.

    "There is so much help and support available to anyone experiencing domestic abuse whether they want to stay as safe as possible in the relationship or leave altogether. Our has a wide range of information about the support that Essex Police can provide, as well as details of lots of partner agencies and refuges working across the county."

    The 'Don't delay, act today' campaign will run until December 8 and will see a different aspect of domestic abuse being highlighted each day such as domestic abuse and men, children, older people, the LGBT community and ethnic minorities. We will also be speaking with survivors and telling their stories.

    Cllr Dick Madden, Essex County Council's cabinet member for children and families, said: "People often hold things together over Christmas for the sake of their families, clinging to the hope that they can make things better and that the person they love will change.

    "Sadly, all too often this is not the case and the abuse continues throughout Christmas and into the New Year.

    "There is no need for people to go on suffering because help and support is available."

    There will also be local information events as well as live tweeting from a refuge.

    To find out more about the support available to domestic abuse victims, visit

    To follow our campaign, search for #dontdelayacttoday #notodomesticabuse on Twitter. 

    Over 28,000 domestic abuse reports made to Essex authorities last year

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    SIX cars were vandalised in a spate of criminal damage incidents in the Boreham area.

    They happened over the weekend of November 15 and 16 when a blue Renault Clio, parked in Church Road, had its wing mirrors smashed off and front passenger door dented. This happened sometime overnight on Saturday, November 15.

    Also on the Saturday night, a grey BMW X1 parked in Lodge Crescent was damaged.

    A silver Kia Picanto parked in Juniper Road was scratched and had mud thrown over it, this happened sometime over night on Sunday, November 16.

    The wing mirrors of a blue Mazda Premacy parked in Butterfield Road were damaged; this also took place sometime overnight on Sunday, November 16.

    A white Fiat Panda, parked in The Chase, also had its wing mirrors smashed. This was overnight on Sunday, November 16. Another car, a blue Citroen C3, parked in Howards Close, also had its offside wing mirror ripped off.

    A red Ford KA, parked in the Chase, Boreham , also had its wing mirror smashed off sometime overnight on Sunday.

    PC Williams said: "This appears to be a small group who have caused needless damage to a number of vehicles."

    Police are investigating the incidents and ask anyone with any information to contact Essex Police on 101 and ask for PC Laura Williams.

    People can also give information to the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at

    Six cars vandalised during criminal damage spree in Boreham

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    Today's reports in France have suggested that Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho has handed in a transfer request with an interest to play in the Premier League.

    Monaco had their two Colombian pairing of Rademel Falcao and James Rodriguez leave in the summer leaving Moutinho disillusioned as to why Monaco didn't replace them.

    The news is certain to grab the attention of Arsene Wenger who has historically been interested in the midfielder but will face a hefty price tag if they are to get their man in January.

    A bid between £25-30 million is suggested to be enough to tempt the French side into considering offers but, if Arsenal progress in the Champions League, will have to be without the play maker in the latter stages having played for Monaco in this years campaign.

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