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

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    People in Essex have been warned to brace itself for a bitterly cold few days - with overnight temperatures set to plunge as low as -4C at the start of next week.

    A blast of cold air is forecast to sweep through the country from tonight, and the Met Office has issued a weather warning for potential snow in the north of the country,

    Parts of Essex recorded their coldest temperatures of the year, according to the Essex Weather Centre.

    Meanwhile, wet weather will spread in a south easterly direction, affecting Essex on Sunday.

    However, despite the cold weather, it will remain clear and dry for these parts on Friday and Saturday.

    Across the rest of Britain, temperatures is expected to drop to as low as -6C tomorrow night, making some parts of the country colder that Moscow.

    An inch of snow is forecast to fall on high ground over 200m in the south west, west and north west tomorrow, with up to four inches in western Scotland.

    Snow in Essex?  Temperatures set to plummet as Met Office forecasts freezing weather


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    SIX people are being hunted by police for questioning in connection with an incident of theft from a city shop.

    Between 12.20 and 12.32pm on November 13, six people entered the Premier Store in Upper Bridge Road, Chelmsford.

    The men distracted the cashier by asking various questions about the items, while one of the women entered the stock room and appeared to steal a four-figure sum of cash, 20 bottles of spirits and various brands of cigarettes and tobacco.

    Police have now released six CCTV images of people they want to speak in connection with the thefts.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Ross Ashcroft at Chelmsford CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

    Pictured: Do you recognise these people over Premier Stores distraction thefts?


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    A BRAZILIAN student with mental health issues fled Broomfield Hospital and hanged himself with a garden hose.

    Paulo Henrique Dias Junior, 34, was found at a business premises at Montpelier Farm, Blasford Hill, Little Waltham, just hours after escaping from the hospital earlier this year.

    At an inquest into his death at Essex Coroner's Court, in Chelmsford, on Thursday (November 27), coroner Eleanor McGann recorded a verdict of suicide.

    Mr Dias was studying postgraduate business at the University of Essex in Colchester when he arrived at Stansted Airport on May 14 this year, after travelling from his halls of residence.

    Described as "mentally unstable" at the time, the inquest heard Mr Dias told airport staff on May 14 that he "wanted to die" as a result "of the crimes committed in Brazil" and he had told people he was "a criminal in my country and I intend to die".

    Essex Police said they were alerted to him and his "mentally unstable condition which caused concern" and, as a result, he was taken to Broomfield Hospital by ambulance.

    Yet 90 minutes later he ran off, sparking a six-hour manhunt in the hospital's grounds with a police helicopter launched to help look for him, at roughly 2.30am.

    At 8.30am Essex Police received a call from a member of the public who had found Mr Dias hanging in a barn.

    The inquest heard that Mr Dias had taken a length of garden hosepipe from a nearby property and wrapped this around the roof of a barn.

    He had arrived at Stansted Airport at about 11pm the night before and the inquest heard that Mr Dias had told hospital staff that "he wanted to return to Brazil", but later asked them to give him a lethal injection in order to kill him.

    Coroner Eleanor McGann said at the inquest: "Suicide has a very high burden of proof, beyond reasonable doubt. When I put all of this together I am satisfied, so I'm sure that Paulo Henrique Dias Junior took his own life."

    His father, Paulo Henrique Dias Senior, was left confused after his death, saying that his son was having the best time of his life and had been told he could spend another year at the University of Essex.

    Apparently Mr Dias Junior had last visited Brazil in February and was looking forward to returning to watch the World Cup games with friends and family.

    He said: "My son was not addicted to anything, he had healthy habits, practised exercises and was active."

    His mother Luciméia Maria de Oliveira said at the time: "My son told me on Tuesday he was happy, excited.

    "I saw the look on his face on the computer. There was nothing wrong with my son."

    If there's something troubling you, or you feel you need support, contact The Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90

    University of Essex student found hanged spoke of 'crimes committed in Brazil'


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    Have you bought your ticket yet? The estimated jackpot for tonight's Euromillions draw is £11million.

    Winning that amount of money would make for the perfect Christmas - let alone a perfect year ahead, although the biggest jackpot ever won in the contest is £161 million.

    Here how to enter tonight's draw

    • You can play online every day from 8am (sometimes earlier) until 11pm. Remember that EuroMillions ticket sales close at 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Fridays for that evening's draw.
    • Tickets are available again for the next draw from 9pm.
    • Select five numbers from 1-50 and two Lucky Star numbers from 1-11, or pick Lucky Dip® for a random selection. 
    • You also get an automatic UK Millionaire Maker entry with every line of numbers you play. 
    • You can play up to seven lines of numbers on each play slip and buy up to 10 play slips at a time. Then, choose the draws and weeks you'd like to play. 

    Euromillions draw on Friday, December 5:  How do I enter?


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    CHELMSFORD headed into the final home game of the opening half of the season confident of continuing their good form against a visiting team yet to register a point.

    The game opened up as a cagey affair, with nerves getting to the home side.

    It was perhaps the pressure of following every other team in the league in taking three points from Wisbech that got to Chelmsford in the opening exchanges.

    Some early strikes found an opposition keeper in fine form when dealing with anything in the air. It was not until the 25th minute that the deadlock was broken.

    Tom Fanger's first appearance in the first team for more than two seasons was welcomed when he scored from a penalty corner.

    Having been in prolific form for the second XI all season from set-pieces, he carried this over soon after to double his tally and Chelmsford's lead.

    Half-time arrived and although the game was close, Wisbech had created almost nothing in front of goal. With a bit more composure, Chelmsford knew the game was there for the taking.

    Harry Rayner took the lead to three from the penalty spot, while returning player-coach Dillet Gilkes got the first open-play goal during his brief cameo to take the scores to 4-0.

    With Chelmsford finding easy ways to score, Wisbech began to lose their composure. Some agricultural tackles followed, and while there were a flurry of green cards, nobody spent any time off the pitch.

    The fifth goal came from Matt Lewis, scoring his first of the season for the side, slotting home from close range through the keeper's legs.

    Tom Woollatt got the sixth with a deflection at the back post, while Alex Rumbold nailed the seventh into the bottom corner past a motionless defence.

    The eighth was the fiercest of the lot, with Sam Rayner having time and space to rifle a bullet of a shot into the roof of the net off his reverse.

    A convincing win for Chelmsford, although the 8-0 scoreline could have been much greater if the team had performed in the first half like they did in the second.

    Chelmsford are only four points off the leaders and have one more outdoor game before the winter break, away to Felixstowe, in two weeks' time.

    Next week Chelmsford take up indoor action.

    Chelmsford's men smash in eight ahead to dispatch Wisbech


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    CHELMSFORD Chieftains had another decent weekend as they recovered from a 5-1 defeat by Guildford Flames in the English Challenge Cup on Saturday to beat Bracknell Hornets 4-0 at home in the league on Sunday.

    And although they lost on Saturday against Flames, who play a level above the Chieftains in the Premier Division, it was not a walkover for the home side.

    The Flames were made to work hard for the entire 60 minutes to secure the points.

    The Chieftains can also be proud of the fact that they are using this competition to give some of their stars of the future valuable experience.

    One of the rookies was rewarded with the man-of-the-match award at the end of the game.

    Young Brandon Ayliffe plays his hockey for the U18 side, part of Chelmsford's Ice Hockey Academy, and it's great to see the future for the Chieftains looks bright.

    Danny Hammond scored the Chieftains' solitary goal.

    On Sunday it was back to NIHL Division One South action and Chieftains were without a full bench due to injury and youngsters being unavailable because of U18 commitments.

    On paper it looked like an easy home win for the Chieftains, but the Hornets worked hard and, with the home side's lines struggling to gel, the fans began to wonder if that opening goal was going to come. It did eventually, but not until 29min 12sec, when Bailey Chittock set up Matt Turner, who finished the move, and at last the home fans had something to celebrate.

    Another strike from Turner, a brace from Ross Brears and a shutout from netminder Euan King completed the job, giving the Chieftains maximum points to keep the pressure on Streatham Redskins, who are now top of the table but only on goal difference, with Chieftains having two games in hand.

    Attention now turns to this Sunday's big pre-Christmas game against arch-rivals London Raiders.

    Romford Raiders, as they were previously known, may now play in Lee Valley after being rebranded, but in the eyes of Chieftains fans it is the still the same "old enemy".

    Chieftains and Raiders have been going head-to-head since the Riverside opened more than 27 years ago and, as always, a win in a "local" derby feels great if you are a fan of the victorious team.

    In the summer it looked bleak for the Raiders as they struggled to find a new team owner, but they pulled through. In recent weeks, even with the loss of a couple of star players, they need to be respected.

    Chieftains own the bragging rights after a tough 6-4 win in Lee Valley last month but the Raiders will be eager to reverse that and give their supporters an early Christmas gift.

    At present Chieftains are flying high while the Raiders are stuck in the doldrums. However, forget the table, this game isn't about league points, it's about victory in the derby.

    On Saturday Chieftains travel to Milton Keynes to face the Lightning in the English Challenge Cup.

    Sunday's big derby faces off at 6.30pm at Riverside Ice and Leisure.

    It's the Chieftains' final home game before Christmas, but there will not be a message of peace and goodwill from either coach in the pre-game instructions.

    Angry Chelmsford Chieftains  swat away the  Hornets


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    DAVE MESSHAM predicts Chelmsford will be on everybody's mind during the winter break after an impressive four points against the top two.

    A Jess Bryan goal gave them a 1-0 win over St Albans the previous week before Kate Taylor rescued a point in their 1-1 draw against league leaders East Grinstead to end the first part of the season as one of the in-form teams in the division.

    They go into the winter break unbeaten in five and the Chelmsford ladies' coach is pleased to be causing concern among the league's elite.

    "I think we're going to be the chat of the league really. We've dropped a few points against teams where we should have taken them, but I think, after beating St Albans and drawing with East Grinstead, teams are now going to have to really start thinking about what happens when they play us and what their plans are," said Messham.

    "To take away four points from the top two teams is a huge effort from the girls really.

    "We targeted the St Albans game as a chance for three points and we did the same for the East Grinstead match but we were happy to walk away with a point.

    "We've been pleased with the last two weeks and the run of form that we've been coming up to.

    "I think it's a true testament to the girls really because they've trained and worked hard.

    "We've had to adjust a few things to manage injuries so we've had people playing in different positions that they wouldn't normally play in but that just shows the strength in depth we have in the team."

    With the second half of the season not starting until February, Messham has a chance to mull over their mid-season progress and admits they're hitting the right notes to reach their objective.

    "If we had taken those six points in the last two games then it would have taken us up the league and tied for second but I do think that where we are is a good achievement, especially with a new team for me and for the girls working with a new coach," said Messham.

    "We're happy with mid-table as that was one of our targets for the Christmas break but we're looking to push the top teams by the end of the season."

    Chelmsford Ladies will be talk of the winter break says coach Messham


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    Russell Hobbs has issued an urgent recall after customers complained they had been left burned after their irons caught fire.

    The fault was laid bare in a BBC Watchdog investigation, which was broadcast last night. The electronics firm has since announced it is recalling 15 different steam irons.

    They have the following codes: 15081, 18651, 18720, 18741, 18742, 18743, 19220, 19221, 19222, 19400, 19840, 20260, 20280, 20550-10, 20560-10.

    If you have one of the above models, you need to check the five-digit batch code. If the code starts with 045 through to 365 and ends with 12 or starts with 001 through to 195 and ends with 13, then you have an affected iron.

    Tim Wright, the company's vice president, admitted to Anne Robinson that they first knew about the problem 18 months ago.

    "We recognised that we had a flex in our irons which is actually UK and European compliant, but in certain special occasions was causing an issue.

    "So we amended that then, we worked with trading standards and we have been monitoring the situation. Every individual that has contacted us we have worked with to reach an amicable resolution and then product was recalled.

    To make further inquiries Freephone 0800 307 7616, or 0333 103 9663 if you are calling from a mobile.

    Russell Hobbs irons recalled after Watchdog expose: Is your iron unsafe?


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    Arsenal are reportedly set to swoop for Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin in a bid to thwart interest from Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

    Liverpool are also rumoured to be lining up a bid for the £15million rated midfielder

    It comes after the 26-year-old Frenchman threatened to leave in the summer in the wake of interest from Spurs before deciding to see out the season at St Marys. He recently declared himself open to the possibility of leaving at the end He said: "A career passes quickly and I want to play for a big club. Today I am at Southampton, it's going well. "We'll see at the end of the season if [a transfer] will happen. "If we have qualified for the Champions League, I will make the choice."

    Arsenal line up bid for Southampton midfielder after interest from Tottenham


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    Youngsters have been left upset after the last gasp cancellation of a Disney princess ball in Chelmsford by Precious Princess Parties.

    The youngsters had been promised a day of fancy dress fun, with appearances by Frozen's Elsa and other Disney princesses this Sunday (December 7) and the following Sunday (December 14) at the Saracen's Head Hotel in the High Street. 

    But Precious Princess Parties, which recently failed to show up for a charity event, cancelled at the last minute.

    And the organiser, Daisie, now claims threats forced her to cancel the £30-a-ticket party because of threats made towards her and the events.

    Hundreds of angry parents took to Facebook to complain. Roberta Hogger posted: You now have got yourself a horrible reputation for a lot of people who trusted you with their kids dreams and their money, can you now refund straight away.

    Rebecca Davidson added: "Why ask for people's details to refund them if you're not going to bother? We all need our money back so we can arrange other stuff for our children at short notice before birthdays, events etc, just do the right thing and give people their money back."

    In a response on her Facebook page, Daisie described herself as a "young girl that started a business that she loved", and denied stealing from customers.

    She said: Unfortunately on times I have had to cancel, but these have all been fully refunded. I have never deceived anyone nor stolen anything from anyone.

    "Due to the threats recently towards myself and the balls, I have been advised that the balls cannot go ahead due to everyone's safety but above all the children's safety, as you all understand the children come before anything else."

    But some parents failed to give up on the dream day for their children, with one mum saying she was planning to organise a replacement ball on December 14 at the Saracens Head.

    Toni Croft posted: "I'm currently in talks with the necessary people for this to happen, it will be a small charge £10 per child to cover costs. I did message Daisie to take over the ball but she told me no!"

    Ms Croft has already been inundated with people offering to help her with the ball.

    Parents' uproar over last minute axing of Frozen ball by Precious Princess Parties


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    A MAN has been charged with possessing heroin after he was arrested following the death of a man in Witham in August.

    Benjamin Poulter, 29, of Broadway, Silver End, was charged on Monday, November 24, when he answered bail.

    He will appear at Colchester Magistrates Court on December 9.

    Two other people, a 46-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, both from Witham, were released from their bail with no further action to be taken.

    The death of Nick Colyer, 36, at the house in Bronte Road, has been established as non-suspicious.

    Man charged with possessing heroin after Witham death


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    The police watchdog is to investigate Essex Police response to events leading to the death of a 28-year-old man who was struck and killed while walking along the A12 near Chelmsford.

    The force received three 999 calls between 3am and 3.40am on October 30, indicating three different locations for a pedestrian on the carriageway.

    The Independent Police Complaints Commission said officers in a police vehicle then searched a stretch of the A12, but were unable to find him.

    After another emergency call, officers discovered a body on the road between Chelmsford and Hatfield Peverel. It was later identified as that of Kyle Brooks, from Harlow. He had been struck by a number of vehicles.

    An inquest at Essex Coroner's Court in Chelmsford was opened and adjourned on November 5.

    An IPCC investigator has since met with Mr Brooks' family to explain the body's role and how the investigation will progress.

    IPCC Commissioner Mary Cunneen said: "I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family of Mr Brooks at this difficult time. 

    "We will be examining communication between police call handlers and the officers who conducted the search, and whether Essex Police's response was adequate on the basis of information available."

    Essex Police to face IPCC probe over A12 death of Kyle Brooks


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    A quad biker was hospitalised after colliding with two cars while allegedly driving without insurance or a licence.

    Police were called to Moulsham Street in Chelmsford, to a spot just outside The Anchor pub, at about 10.15pm on Wednesday, December 3.

    A blue and black quad bike was in collision with a grey Ford Kuga and a red Renault Megane.

    Officers say the biker had no insurance and no licence and reported him for driving offences before confiscating the bike.

    Yet he was taken to Queen's Hospital in Romford suffering a serious head injury. 

    No-licence quad biker hospitalised after Moulsham Street crash


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    Essex Police have renewed appeals in a bid to track down 24-year-old Luke Ratcliffe and missing teenager Courtney Anderson, 16.

    Ratcliffe, who previously lived on the Westlands Estate in Chelmsford but more recently lived in east London, is wanted on suspicion of breaching a harassment order.

    The order was issued at Chelmsford Crown Court on August 14, 2014.

    He is described as 6ft 1ins tall, of heavy build, with ginger hair and of a spotty complexion.

    He is believed to be in the Barking, Newham, Forest Gate or Stratford area.

    Police believe he is with Courtney Anderson who has been missing since October 17 and has repeatedly fled home with Ratcliffe.

    In a previous interview with the Chronicle her mother Sharon Franklin, of Norfolk Drive, Chelmsford, said she was scared she'd never see her daughter again.

    Anyone who knows either of their whereabouts is asked to contact police at Chelmsford on 101.

    Police renew appeal to find Luke Ratcliffe and Courtney Anderson, 16


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    A MAN involved in a serious collision near Braintree earlier this year that left a woman paralysed has been summonsed to court to face charges.

    Benjamin Hagon, 36, of Acorn Avenue, Halstead, was the driver of a black Mercedes convertible which was involved in a collision with a black Ford KA on the A131, Halstead Road, High Garrett, on Sunday, February 9.

    The woman in her 20s was airlifted to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridgeshire with life-threatening injuries and was in a coma for three months.

    The driver of the Mercedes and a passenger from the Ford were taken to Broomfield Hospital, in Chelmsford, for treatment and later released.

    Hagon will have to answer charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, dangerous driving and drink driving at Colchester Magistrates Court on December 16.

    Man to face charges of dangerous and drink driving after crash that left woman paralysed


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    Buying perfect presents, cooking a top turkey and keeping the whole family happy – it's not surprising that Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year.

    There are only three weeks to go til 25 December and for many of us, the stress of the festive season has already started to creep in.

    Before you start drowning in a pile of presents, wrapping paper and sprout peelings, have a quick peek at our handy guide to stave off the December madness.

    Here are 10 quick things you can do NOW to make your Christmas calmer:

    1. Quickie cards

    Christmas cards have been in the shops for weeks. Buy yours now and you should get a three for the price of two deal. Start writing them too - even if you do two or three per night, it'll save you loads of time and stress in December. And do you really have to write an essay to the people you see all the time? Loads of people just put 'Dear Chrissie' at the top and 'Love from Bob and Sue' at the bottom.

    2. Plan your presents

    Write a list of everyone you need to buy for, any ideas you have for them and your budget. This will help organise your mind and if you know what you're looking for, you can start looking out for deals now. Keep the list in your bag and tick things off as you go. Start noting down now what your kids are keen on and pop it onto your list everytime they say 'I want that!' at the TV.

    3. Keep your eyes peeled for food deals

    Savvy shoppers will know that many festive foods are cheaper the earlier you buy them. Keep an eye out for cheap deals on giant tins of sweets, snacks and sparkling wine. If you panic buy on Christmas Eve, there won't be an offer in sight.

    4. Do a deal

    Toy shops will be doing deals already to encourage parents to spend, spend, spend. If you've got your present list done (see point 2), you can take advantage of 'three for the price of two' toy offers as soon as they crop up. Yes you have to be a bit organised but it'll save you loads of cash. Sign up for newsletters from all the toy shops, department stores and supermarkets so you'll get first dibs at the bargains.

    5. Sort out your baubles

    Don't waste time the week before Christmas untangling fairy lights and sorting through broken baubles. Get up into the loft and do an inventory now, throw out the rubbish bits and make a list of what you need to buy.

    6. Get baking

    It takes time to make a good Christmas cake or pudding, so don't leave it til late December when the rush sets in. They generally taste better the longer they're left anyway. Some recipes say you can freeze them up to a year ahead. (Or, if you really want to reduce the stress of course, just buy one.)

    7. Make a boredom-busting activity box

    Have a handy box of festive activities to keep the kids quiet (that's yours and other people's visiting cherubs). Pick up some cheap Christmas colouring books, activity books, stickers and craft sets from supermarkets and cheap book shops to amuse the children while you get on with making Christmas happen. One of those paper table cloths that are covered in pictures to colour in are great for keeping them busy.

    8. De-junk your fridge freezer

    In the run-up to Christmas your fridge and freezer will be stretched to capacity. So make your life easier by clearing them out now. If you get rid of the ancient fish fingers and dregs of frozen peas, there'll be more room for that juicy turkey and all the trimmings.

    9. Start a schedule

    Print out a schedule of everything that needs doing and when you want to do it by. Stick in onto your fridge and keep referring back to it. Most people can't remember everything in their head. Write it down and get it done.

    10. Prepare for emergencies

    We've all been there. A friend or relative turns up at the door with a gift and you've got them… a big, fat nothing. Banish this horror by buying a few simple gifts (think photo frames, nice chocolates, booze, a children's book), wrap them and stick on a blank label. Then you can run upstairs and scribble a message on when those dreaded gift-bearers turn up on your doorstep. Also keep a supply of batteries and a list of numbers you might need over the holidays, such as emergency doctors, dentists and chemists. Make sure you know the opening hours of your local supermarkets too so you're not driving around frantically on Christmas Eve wondering how you can get pigs in blankets at midnight.

    Christmas 2014: 10 things you can do NOW to make it easier


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    Distraction thieves stole an iPhone 6 from a customer at Costa Coffee in the Meadows Shopping Centre in Chelmsford yesterday.

    The incident, which happened between 12.00 and 12.30pm involved two men, who side-tracked the victim with a leaflet before stealing his phone.

    Police are currently looking for the men in the CCTV footage in connection with the theft.

    Investigating officer Pc Matt Dalby said: "I am asking anyone who recognises the men in this image to contact me. I would also like to remind people to be vigilant and mindful of distractions, especially over the Christmas period."

    Anyone with any information is asked to contact Pc Dalby at Chelmsford police station on 101. People can also give information to the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

    Distraction thieves hit Costa Coffee in Meadows Chelmsford


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    It may be only 20 years ago but Chelmsford in 1990s was a very different place.

    Here we take a nostalgic trip down memory lane with 19 things that show you were raised in Chelmsford in heady days during the 1990s.

    They are the sorts of things you might remember from your youth in this great city, when it was just a humble town.

    Have we got it right, or are there more which should grace this list?

    1. You used to go to Megazone in New Writtle Street, which has now been flattened and replaced with some posh houses.

    2. On at least one occasion in your early teens, you sat on the old concrete planter outside McDonald's in the High Street with a group of your friends.

    3. You used to think the Zeus nightclub lights in the sky were cool.

    4. You remember when Next in the High Street used to be Menzies.

    5. Andy's Records - remember that?

    6. Pat, the bouncer at Dukes, and the other one who wore Timmy Mallet-esque glasses, who occasionally worked at Zeus too.

    7. When Primark was C&A.

    8. You remember the old bus station and its indoor depot

    9. You used to buy cheap computer games from Special Reserve on Broomfield Road, which is now Options hairdressers

    10. You once bought an eight-pack of Happy Hardcore tapes from that record store on Duke Street, of which the name escapes me

    11. You topped up your school pencil case with goodies from Hussey and Greaves on Moulsham Street, which is now a Tesco Express

    12. You remember Butterflies, the café in High Chelmer, when it was known locally as the precinct

    13. When the buses were run by Eastern National and were green and yellow

    14. You remember when Heart FM was called Essex FM

    15. You used to watch Robot Wars, and those kids from KEGS had a robot on it

    16. You went to the Chelmsford Spectacular, which died in 2004 as the V Festival got bigger

    17. You remember the Beacon shop on the Army and Navy roundabout, when you could actually drive over relatively hassle free 

    18. You remember when the drive-thru KFC in Broomfield Road was the Clockhouse pub 

    19. When the area where the Meadows stands now was an open market

    19 reasons that prove you grew up in Chelmsford in the 1990s


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    Feeling lucky? Made any big spending plans? People taking part in Saturday's National Lottery draw are in with a chance to scoop an incredible £5.3million.

    Nobody correctly guessed Wednesday's winning numbers so the draw is a rollover.

    Plus, 50 Lotto raffle winners are in with a chance to win £20,000 each.

    You can watch the action unfold on BBC One from 9.50pm. Host Jenni Falconer will present a performance by classical music star Katherine Jenkins.

    What would you do if you won all the cash on offer? Why not try our Christmas section out for size for plenty of gift ideas as the big day approaches.

    National Lottery draw on December 6 2014:  Katherine Jenkins to reveal winning Lotto numbers


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    A PENSIONER who watched in horror as her beloved pet was mauled to death by another dog in an attack which also left her in hospital has called the suspended sentence for the person in charge of the animal an "insult".

    When Sandra Lester, 71, saw a large "bullmastiff type" dog running towards her from nearby Murchison Close, Chelmsford, she instantly picked up her Yorkshire terrier Tululah to keep her safe.

    But the unleashed and unmuzzled dog knocked her to the ground, latched on to Mrs Lester's pet and shook the terrier until it lay dead on the road.

    The dog also bit Sandra so badly she needed 45 stitches to her hands, spending five days in hospital after the attack.

    On Wednesday, Laura Horning, 33, of Wordsworth Court, Chelmsford, pleaded guilty to allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place and cause injury.

    Horning received a two-year conditional discharge, two years disqualification from owning a dog and was ordered to pay fines totalling £260.

    "I'm the victim here. I'm not the same person I used to be," Mrs Lester told the Chronicle.

    "I used to be more like 50 than 70. I can't ride my bike now or make a cup of tea because of my hand. I'm afraid to leave the house some days.

    "I love spending time with my grandchildren and they've noticed the change in me. I still cry with them and think to myself that I wish I could have saved her.

    "The sentence is an insult. We were the victims and, to me, the sentence isn't fair.

    "She was such a dear little dog, there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about Tululah.

    "I still have flashbacks of the dog hitting me from behind, the feel as it bit down into my fingers and the sound of the crunch as it put its jaws around my dog."

    The former Mencap volunteer and foster carer had been walking Tululah alone at 9.30am on September 18 last year.

    As she left the playing field at the back of St Peter's College she noticed two women shouting as they tried to control a large dog which had escaped from a nearby property.

    The court had heard that Horning was taking the dog to a friend's house.

    The grandmother said: "The dog hit me from behind. It was so powerful, it must have weighed six stone and I went down trying to hold my little dog out the way.

    "I heard its jaws crunch her and then I heard her scream before it shook her, and then threw her down on the ground. The sound of her scream will live with me until the day I die.

    "My hands were pouring with blood and I knew if I didn't get help soon I could lose a finger."

    Neighbours ran out to help Mrs Lester, who needed stitches, suffered a fractured thumb where a tooth had ground through the bone, and has since had bouts of surgery and treatments.

    But according to Mrs Lester, as the dog ran riot, the guardians of the dog did not seem too interested in her wellbeing.

    "I was lying on the floor being savaged by this dog and all I could hear was the lady screaming abuse at me," said Mrs Lester. "They were swearing whilst I was saying 'please help me' but they seemed to be more worried about their dog. In my opinion they were very irresponsible.

    "They didn't come to help until the dog had completely calmed down.

    "My hand was savaged. My fingers were hanging off. I was wearing my mother's wedding ring which I can't wear any more.

    "Then in the ambulance I fainted through shock."

    Mrs Lester is afraid to get a new dog in case the same happens again, and has seen psychotherapists on a number of occasions to help her get over her fears.

    She said: "We need to change the laws on people who keep these dangerous dogs. Some people just don't know how to keep these large dogs and it's putting people in danger."

    The dog is subject to a destruction order, but as the owner was not present, they can appeal against the order.

    Sentence for Chelmsford dog attack ordeal 'an insult' says victim, 71


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