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

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    Former teachers and colleagues of Ashley Woolley have told of their devastation after learning of the Chelmsford man's tragic death yesterday.

    The teenager, also known as Ash, by friends died in Broomfield Hospital last night, hours after he was fatally stabbed in Oaklands Park yesterday afternoon.

    The circumstances behind his death are currently unclear but two people were arrested earlier last night and are currently in custody.

    Ashley attended The Boswells School and left in 2012 following the successful completion of his GCSEs. 

    Headteacher Paul Banks, said: 'We were devastated to learn of the tragic death of Ashley this morning.

    "Ashley was a very popular member of The Boswells School community and was well liked by peers and staff alike." 

    "We are all totally shocked at this news and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time."

    Police are continuing to appeal for any witnesses to contact detectives on 101 or to email scdappeals@essex.pnn.police.uk

    Boswells School 'totally shocked' by death of Ashley Woolley


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    More than 1,500 reports of domestic abuse against men were recorded in Essex in the first six months of this year, according to figures.

    The figures, revealed after a Freedom of Information request by anti-abuse charity the Mankind Initiative, are the highest since 2012.

    Between January and July 2014, Essex Police received 1,567 reports of domestic violence against men. 

    In the whole of 2012 the figure was just 1,438.

    Domestic violence victim Ian McNicholl, was abused by his ex-wife Michelle Williamson for over a year before being rescued by an anonymous call to the police in 2008.

    He said: "After I was taken from my home I was made homeless for 18 months while my ex-wife lived in my house.

    "There are many reasons why men might not want to come forward when they are abuse victims. There is a real lack of support for male victims.

    Mr McNicholl said that an increased trust in police could be partly the reason for reports soaring this year, but did not rule out increasing domestic abuse.

    He said: "In my case the police blatantly made mistakes, but I think things are getting better and people are willing to come forward more.

    "If you look at the same reports for women you'd see the same rise. I think there is a bit of both."

    Detective Chief Inspector Tom Simons said: "Essex Police will not tolerate domestic violence, regardless of gender, and victims are encouraged to come forward and report incidents.

    "In June the force launched its biggest ever domestic abuse campaign.

    "Essex Police engaged with victims to create empowering and relevant content to raise awareness and encourage victims to come forward.


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    It's the last weekend before Christmas, so if you're not up to your eyeballs in Christmas shopping (or wrapping), there's plenty to do in Essex.

    Why not take the youngsters out to have fun this weekend, providing you have everything done!

    See the full list belowUPDATEDue to Thursday's tragedy at Oaklands Park one of the events which had been published below, has been cancelled and removed from the list.

    SANTA AT THE ZOO COLCHESTER ZOOColchester Zoo, Maldon Road, Stanway, Colchester, CO3 0SL. Thursday, December 18 through to Wednesday, December 24. 9.30am – 4.30pm. Tickets: Adults and kids over 3 £14.24 (when bought online).

    Visit www.colchester-zoo.com

    Where better to meet Santa than surrounded by all the animals of the world? As well as meeting Father Christmas in his Enchanted Grotto, you can also meet his reindeer, enjoy a mini staff pantomime and rock with Rudolph to some favourite Christmas tunes. Make some tasty treats in The Elves' Kitchen and make xmas crafts in their busy workshop. Each paying child will get a gift from Santa.

    CHRISTMAS FUN MARSH FARM ANIMAL ADVENTURE PARKMarsh Farm Road, South Woodham Ferrers, CM3 5WP. Thursday, December 18 through to Wednesday, December 24, from 1am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £10, children £24.95.

    Visit www.marshfarm.co.uk

    Collect your Elf passport and then make your way around the farm, meeting some fabulously festive guests along the way. There's the real reindeer, Mother Christmas making gingerbread men, a magic Elf, and of course, the man himself. You'll get a wonderful build-a-bear gift and the chance to decorate a cookie.

    FUN ON THE FARM BARLEYLANDS FARMBarleylands Road, Billericay CM11 2UD. Thursday, December 18 through to Wednesday, December 24. Tickets: Adults £6, children 2-16 £12.95, under 2s £10.35.

    Visit www.barleylands.co.uk

    The magic of Christmas returns to Barleylands where young visitors will get to meet Father Christmas in his grotto and much more. Play a seasonal snowball game, have a family photo taken in the sleigh, follow the golden reindeer to the elves; toy shop where children can pick their own gift. And there's Christmassy crafts too.

    MEET SANTA FATHER CHRISTMAS AT CRESSING TEMPLECressing Temple, Witham Road, Braintree CM77 8PD.

    Saturday , December 20 and Sunday, December 21, 11am – 3pm. Cost: £9.99 including a prize and the cost of one adult ticket. Additional adults tickets are £2. Pre booking essential – call 0845 6037624

    Come and see Santa in his magical Christmas grotto for the whole family to enjoy. Meet Father Christmas and his reindeer friends and see the elves at work as they magically prepare for Christmas.

    Visit www.visitparks.co.uk/ places/cressing-temple to find further information.

    ALL ABOARD STEAM WITH SANTAColne Valley Railway, Castle Hedingham, Essex. Saturday, December 20 and Sunday, December 21. Various times from 10.45 am – 3.30pm. Tickets: Adults £10, children £9, all kids under 3 £3.50.

    Visit www.colnevalley railway.co.uk

    Hop on board this lovely old train as it gently steams along the one-mile track. Just when the kids are at their most excited, Santa appears with a gift and personal chat to each child. Light refreshments are available. Visitors can also have extra rides in the Diesel Railcar and view the miniature and garden railways.

    SAVE SANTA SAVE CHRISTMAS TRAILWeald Country Park, South Weald, Brentwood CM14 5QS. Every day until December, 31. 10am – 4pm. Tickets: £3 per booklet.

    Visit www.visitparks.co.uk/ places/weald-country-park

    Kids and grown-ups need to go on a mission to save Christmas. Grab a trail booklet from the visitor centre and follow the clues around the park to find all the presents that Jack Frost has stolen. This is a self-guided trail so you can start it any time. Suitable for under 12s. Remember to dress warmly for winter. No need to book.STORYTELLINGElves and the Shoemaker and Other Stories Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester

    Tuesday, December 23, from 10.30am to 1.30pm (tickets £4.95)

    A magical new Christmas show from Silly Boys (creators of The Tallest Horse On Earth) and co-produced by Colchester Arts Centre, this is a hilarious, wacky and heartwarming take on some of the world's favourite fairytales. Re-imagined using puppetry, live music and a giant dose of silliness! The perfect Christmas treat for all the family.

    7 festive things to do in Essex this weekend


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    BROOMFIELD Hospital's accident and emergency department was stretched to breaking point on Friday, with ambulances lining up outside and elective surgeries cancelled due to the number of patients.

    But hospital chiefs said Friday's situation was not out of the ordinary, and that the casualty department had suffered from similar problems at least once a day over the past two weeks.

    In the past few months, accident and emergency has seen an increase of patients of 27 per cent, with many of them not requiring any urgent medical treatment, according to the hospital's medical director, Dr Ronan Fenton.

    The overcrowding has left Broomfield urging patients to seek alternatives to A&E, such as 111, GP surgeries or walk-in centres, where possible.

    "In 2013, a busy day in casualty would be 220 people, with about 50 ambulances," said Dr Fenton.

    "Over the past few months, we are seeing 280 people in A&E and about 80 to 90 ambulances.

    "That is a quantum shift in people coming through the doors. It's not cold, we haven't seen an increase in one or two particular illnesses, but what we have is an increase of seven to 10 per cent in people coming to A&E.

    "We have a conversion of about 30 per cent coming in to hospital from A&E, which means hospital beds become full with people who weren't necessarily expected to be there.

    "That impacts on elective surgery, so for example an elective hernia operation will need to be re-scheduled.

    "We will always do emergency operations, but the increase in numbers does have a knock-on effect on elective operations."

    On just one day over the past few months, 33 patients had their elective operations cancelled at Broomfield, while Dr Fenton said that in around 12 per cent of cases the four-hour turnaround time for patients to be seen, investigated and treated was being breached.

    According to recent figures from the British Medical Association, Broomfield Hospital is not alone, with hospitals up and down the country experiencing a similar rise in patients visiting casualty departments.

    Dr Paul Flynn, consultant committee chairman from the BMA, suggested chronic underfunding was contributing to the problem.

    He said: "Despite frontline staff working as hard as possible to meet the rising demand, pressure on the NHS is continuing to increase, with the latest figures showing a significant rise in the number of patients visiting A&E, and a substantial drop in the number of patients being seen within four hours," he said.

    "Last week there were over 110,000 emergency admissions to hospital, one of the highest since records began, and nearly 30,000 more patients visited A&E compared with this time last year, but only 91.8 per cent of patients were seen within four hours, significantly below the target of 95 per cent and down on figures from this time last year, of 94.8 per cent.

    "This is the result of years of underfunding, and will not be turned around overnight, despite politicians' promises to commit additional money to the NHS or the recent announcement of £300m to alleviate winter pressures, which is in fact money taken from other over-stretched services and falls far short of what's needed."

    Other hospitals in Essex are also feeling the pressure, with Colchester General last month declaring a "major incident" and only patients with life-threatening illnesses were accepted into A&E, although the casualty department has reported a decline in patients since returning to normal, with its adjacent walk-in centre reporting an increase in numbers.

    But while Colchester's walk-in centre has alleviated the pressure from its casualty department, Springfield's walk-in centre is set to close for good in March, prompting fears from local residents that Broomfield A&E will be under even more strain.

    But Dr Fenton said since Springfield's walk-in centre had not acted as a deterrent for people going to A&E, he did not expect its closure to bring about a sizeable increase in patients seeking treatment at Broomfield.

    He saidd: "We are working with GP colleagues to provide more GP services here on site, which will almost act as a filter for A&E and take the pressure off us, because patients requiring non-urgent treatment will be able to go next door to the walk-in centre.

    "With Springfield's walk-in centre closing in March, it could well create an increased footfall here, but we will anticipate that, and the plans are that we are looking at what will transfer to us and we plan to have a facility here."

    However, despite plans to develop more walk-in centres, Dr Fenton explained that people's attitudes to using casualty departments needed to change more than anything.

    He said. "If another 100 people came through the door, we would see them and keep them safe. But people need to see themselves as part of the system.

    "If they don't need urgent medical treatment, there are places they can go for help other than A&E."

    Broomfield at breaking point: Why was the Chelmsford hospital's A&E department so stretched?


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    A MAN so drunk he lost consciousness and had fellow pub-goers scrawl on him, was then punched in the face by a fellow drinker who did not like him.

    Joe Hawkins, 21, of Longshots Close, Chelmsford, struck Liam O'Keefe during a drinking binge in the Wheatsheaf pub in New Street on Friday, November 21.

    Chelmsford Magistrates' Court heard on Friday Mr O'Keefe had been drinking in the pub and had taken himself off to a booth to fall asleep.

    Fellow revellers then took it in turns to draw on his face while he was unconscious.

    Bar staff said to Hawkins that the sleeping man "might not be happy with that", to which the defendant replied, "he's a ****" and punched the victim in the face.

    Hawkins then left the premises and went to the Golden Fleece in Duke Street, where he was arrested by police.

    He told officers he thought he saw Mr O'Keefe coming around to hit him and so he launched a pre-emptive strike.

    Mr O'Keefe was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured nose and had no recollection of the night's events.

    It was only due to the bar staff witnessing the assault that police were able to arrest the defendant.

    He was charged with assault by beating and pleaded guilty at court on Friday.

    Hawkins, who represented himself, told the court: "It was a very stupid action from me, it was taken in self-defence as I didn't know whether he was going to attack me, I just panicked."

    He was given a one-year supervision requirement, ordered to undertake a 12-day medium alcohol requirement intervention, pay £100 compensation to his victim and £145 costs.

    Hawkins will also be tagged from 9pm to 5.30am to stay at his home address for three months.

    Unconscious man was drawn on at The Wheatsheaf in Chelmsford and punched


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    Teenage cadets in Essex have been told not to wear their military uniforms in public amid fears of a terrorist attack.

    Letters were issued to schools in the county, containing the warning, but King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford, which runs a cadet force, refused to comment.

    Similar guidance was passed nationally to servicemen following the murder of 25-year-old Fusilier Lee Rigby, who was hacked to death in the street near his barracks in Woolwich last year.

    MI5 says the current threat to the UK from international terrorism is severe.

    This was last updated in August, when it was upgraded from substantial.

    Essex Police also declined to comment.

    Cadets in Essex told not to wear uniforms in public over terrorism fears


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    A SCHOOL pupil was left pinching himself after pitting his wits against the greatest chess player at the House of Lords.

    King Edward VI Grammar School's Daniel Gallagher was one of four lucky school children chosen to play 15-time world champion Garry Kasparov as part of the sixth London Chess Classic.

    The event was hosted by charity Chess in Schools and Communities and aims to increase children's educational attainment by teaching chess in state primary schools and inner-city communities.

    The 14-year-old was also joined by MPs Jesse Norman, Rachel Reeves, David Mowat and Yasmin Qureshi, as well as Lord Lyndon Harrison, as they all simultaneously tried to beat the Russian grandmaster.

    And while none were able to take down Kasparov unsurprisingly, Daniel insists it was a dream come true to play against one of his idols.

    "I've been playing chess for a few years now and I like the way that it's all about skill and there's no luck involved," he said.

    "In other games you can be lucky and win but in chess it's all about your skill and if you play well then you will win.

    "I think that generally it's more useful than spending your time playing computer games because it helps your thinking and helps your grades at schools.

    "It's quite mathematical and there is quite a lot of logic involved and lots of strategy goes into playing a match.

    "I loved the coaching here and having the chance to learn a few new things and seeing everyone here playing.

    "It's something that I want to keep doing for a long time and I'd like to become a title player one day."

    And Kasparov believes the youngster showed the benefits of playing chess from an early age and admitted Daniel certainly gave him something to think about.

    "This is a great initiative and I have been promoting this idea of having chess as part of the education system around the world," Kasparov said.

    "The benefits of kids playing chess at an early age is quite obvious. It improves their communication skills, it helps them to appreciate the big picture, to see the outcomes of their actions, they can recognise patterns.

    "Overall, it helps their concentration and sense of logic, and those are very important qualities for their success in school. Having chess in the early days is important because it adds an extra tool to help kids get through modern education."

    KEGS pupil takes on 15 time champion Garry Kasparov at the House of Lords


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    CHELMSFORD Hockey Club's men's player-coach Dillet Gilkes has warned his players not to overindulge in the festive break so they come back fit and ready.

    Gilkes was involved as his side overcame Felixstowe 7-2 in their final East Premier A match before the winter break and expects his players to be professionals during their time off.

    "I told the guys, of course to enjoy the Christmas break but also to be sensible because you don't want to be starting over and it's not pre-season in January," said Gilkes.

    "I didn't welcome the break because we'll have to rebuild momentum, but I guess it's the same for all teams. We just have to be more prepared than others.

    "I stressed and emphasised to the guys that we've got Wapping after the winter break so, not to put too much pressure on the guys, but that game is a big one.

    "They're one of the few teams that will be challenging for the top spot so I wanted to make sure that they knew it was going to be an important game."

    The Trinidad and Tobago international is also hoping to use an indoor facility over the next month to keep fitness levels up.

    "I'm going to have a chat with the manager because with the weather conditions in England you can never guarantee the pitches won't be frozen, so we're going to see if we can have an indoor space, so we can still keep physically fit," revealed Gilkes.

    "Even though we don't get out on the hockey pitch we'd still be fit enough to restart the season.

    "I told the guys on Saturday we'd probably start a few days after the New Year so it's not too much of a holiday or rest."

    The win on Saturday was their third in a row and leaves them just three points behind top place with all to play for, but Gilkes states his team cannot afford to lose ground and is content with their progress this season.

    "The teams we've played in the past few weeks, if you look at the table, are all near the bottom but you need to win those games," he said.

    "I don't think any of the top teams can afford to slip up against those teams at the bottom.

    "I wouldn't say we've been better than expected, there's definitely room for improvement.

    "The performances have been there for quite some time and you always want do better in the games that we've lost but we've done reasonably well. "

    Chelmsford men's hockey coach warns players to have a sensible Christmas


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    Chelmsford and Uttlesford have named among the 50 best places to live in the country.

    The areas are Essex's only contributions to this year's Halifax Quality of Life survey, which is dominated by places in the Home Counties, and south east of England.

    Uttlesford boasts the biggest and most expensive homes in the region and in the country, and comparatively wealthy residents, with average weekly earnings of £819 and an employment rate of 84 per cent well above the national average of £608 and 74.4 per cent.

    Life expectancy is almost 82 years.

    Chelmsford was awarded top marks for its quality of life, its schools, and the choice of retail outlets with KEGS and Chelmsford County High School for Girls highlighted for achievement.

    The city's average life expectancy is 80 for men and 84 for women. Average weekly earnings are £519.60 - above the national average.

    The village of Hart in Hampshire came in at number one, followed by Elmbridge, based in Surrey's stockbroker belt.

    The report uses statistics from various sources to come up with an overall measure quality of life. Its sources include Office for National Statistics data, government figures and data from the Met Office.

    Halifax economist Martin Ellis said: 'A regional comparison shows many areas in southern England score strongly in categories such as the labour markets and health.

    'Northern areas tend to perform well on education and lower house prices in relation to earnings.

    "In Scotland and Wales, several areas enjoy low traffic flows and burglary rates."

    Chelmsford ranked in the top 50 places to live in the UK - Halifax Quality of Life Survey


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    A teenage boy has been charged with the murder of 18-year-old Ashley Woolley, who was stabbed to death on Thursday (December 18).

    Police were called to Oaklands Park, Moulsham Street, just after 3.15pm after Mr Woolley, who lived in Chelmsford, was stabbed.

    He was taken by ambulance to Chelmsford's Broomfield Hospital where he later died. 

    A murder investigation was launched by detectives from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate and two arrests were made in the early hours of Friday.

    A 17-year-old boy from Chelmsford, who cannot be named for legal reasons has now been charged with murder. He gas also been charged with threatening a person with an offensive weapon in a public place.

    He appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court this morning and was remanded in youth custody to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, December 22. 

    A 19-year-old man from Maldon who was also arrested in connection with the investigation has now been released from custody without charge.  

    Teenage boy charged with the murder of 18-year-old Ashley Woolley


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    A 22-year-old fencer has been jailed for four years for causing the death of 18-year-old William Andrews when the van he was driving crashed into a tree in Bicknacre.

    Nicholas Weston, from Pedlars Path, Danbury, was sentenced  at Chelmsford Crown Court, yesterday, Friday December 19, after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and also causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

    The court had heard that Weston lost control of his Ford Escort van which struck a tree at Leighams Road, Bicknacre shortly after 9:30pm on Saturday, September 28, 2013.

    One of four passengers, 18-year-old William Andrews from Shirebourn Vale, South Woodham Ferrers, died at the scene. 

    Another passenger, Joshua Cumberland, now aged 19, from Drywoods, South Woodham Ferrers, was seriously injured.

    In addition to the jail sentence, Weston was also disqualified from driving for eight years and told he would have to pass an extended test at the end of his disqualification.

    DS Catherine Offord of the Essex Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said after the hearing: "This was a very tragic incident and my thoughts are with William's family, especially on the approach to another Christmas without their son.

    "Nicholas Weston made the conscious decision to drive whilst over the prescribed limit that evening and that ultimately affected his ability to drive the van.

    "He carried his passengers in a dangerous manner and sadly this resulted in the death of William and Josh being seriously injured."

    She added: "This is yet another reminder of the dangers of drink-riving as it affects the driver's ability to comprehend and react.

    "Essex Police is actively running a Christmas campaign against drink-driving but drinking and driving is not acceptable at any time of the year.

    "I would also like to make people aware that dangerous driving is not restricted to the manner of driving but also to the manner in which passengers are carried.

    "Nicholas Weston carried his passengers in a vehicle which was not designed to carry them and they had no seatbelts to restrain them as they travelled in the rear of his van.

    "Accepting that they all got in there of their own accord it is a warning to drivers that the responsibility still falls on them when such consequences occur".

    22-year-old man jailed for four years following fatal crash in Bicknacre


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    A 12-year-old girl has gone missing from her home near Southend.

    The family of Tina Mackenzie, from Great Wakering, called police after their daughter failed to return home at 8pm yesterday (Friday, December 19).

    She was last seen outside Future College at Southchurch Boulevard, Southend on yesterday evening.

    Tina's mother Penny Mackenzie has told police of her concerns for Tina as she has grown up in Great Wakering and is not considered to be street-wise around Southend. 

    Tina is 5ft 5in tall, of slim build and has straight light brown shoulder-length hair. She has brown eyes and a pale complexion.

    When last seen she was wearing stone-washed blue jeans, a black vest top and a burgundy-coloured leather jacket.

    Anyone with information about Tina should contact the Canvey duty sergeant on 101 or if she is seen in the street call 999 immediately. 

    12-year-old girl from near Southend missing


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    The heartbroken family of Ashley Woolley, stabbed to death in Chelmsford on Thursday (December 18), have paid tribute to their son, who was days away from his birthday.

    The 18-year-old's father was wrapping his Christmas presents on the afternoon he was discovered fatally injured in Oaklands Park.

    His family have today released a statement to thank those who have supported them in the wake of their loss, including those who set up a Facebook page in his memory and who laid flowers and tributes close to the scene.

    The statement reads: "Thank you to everyone who has shown care and compassion for our son Ashley as it means so much to us as a family. 

    "Ashley was born and raised in Chelmsford and he lived life to the full. He enjoyed, amongst other things, Free Running, which would fill us with fear in case he broke something.

    "Ashley's ambition in life was to finish college and to go on to university along with his loving girlfriend Charlotte who was always there to help and support him and she is devastated by the loss of Ashley. 

    "Ashley's amazing smile would light up any room that he came into and he leaves behind a loving family who have lost a part of them that can never be filled.

    'Humbling'

    "At 3pm on that tragic day Ashley's dad Trevor was wrapping Ashley's presents ready for Christmas but now sadly we will never see the pleasure of him opening these presents as well as the presents he would have received from his family.

    "Ashley would not want any of us to be sad but at this time it's impossible not to be.

    "We would like to thank Ashley's many friends and family that have made fantastic comments on a Facebook tribute page set up by Ashley's best friend in memory of our son.

    "We, the family, would also like to thank all of Ashley's friends who turned up to remember him at the place where he was sadly taken from us.

    "It was very humbling for the family to see all the people that turned up to lay flowers and tributes to Ashley and made us realise how much our son was loved and respected.

    "Ashley would have been 19 years old on December 30 and this is a birthday that we will never see. It was planned on his birthday that Ashley's dad was going to give him the gift of driving lessons.

    "Ashley leaves a brother Paul who we know he loved very much and who was a major part in Ashley's life."


    A 17-year-old boy from Chelmsford, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with murder and with threatening a person with an offensive weapon in a public place.

    He is remanded in youth custody to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday (December 22).

    Fatal stab victim Ashley Woolley's family pay heartfelt tribute to 'loved and respected' son


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    Somebody very lucky is going to have a fantastic Christmas, thanks to the National Lottery! The button has been pushed by Professor Green for Saturday, December 20, the last regular draw before the festive period.

    The jackpot for tonight's National Lottery draw is £4.1 million after Wednesday's quadruple rollover was still unclaimed, and so shared among five winners.

    Not exactly loose change though and it could be yours if you entered in time for today. 

    Ready? Tonight's Lotto numbers are 18, 23, 32, 42, 40, 22 and the bonus ball is 28.

    The Thunderball numbers were 12, 29, 2, 32, 1, and the Thunderball itself was 3.

    Good luck!

    If you need a reminder of Wednesday's numbers, they were 2, 19, 24, 33, 35 and 46 and the bonus ball was 12

    Fifty people have also won £20,000 each after being entered into the Lotto raffle.

    And remember, 500 lucky winners will each bag £20,000 in this years special festive Lotto raffle.

    Boxing Day is a EuroMillions Mega Friday, with 10 guaranteed UK millionaires, each also winning a luxury trip to see the spectacular Northern Lights in Canada.

    And the winners will also get the chance to jet off to see the stunning Northern Lights in Canada with three guests!

    National Lottery results: Lotto and Thunderball draw numbers on Saturday December 20


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    CASES heard by Chelmsford and Colchester magistrates from Thursday, November 20 to Thursday, December 1.

    Suspended sentence

    WARREN PENNOCK, 23, of Yew Close, Witham, was given a 26 week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. 

    He was found guilty of assaulting a woman at Witham on June 21, causing actual bodily harm to a vulnerable victim. 

    The defendant had shown a lack of remorse and denied the offence to probation. 

    He was ordered to participate in an accredited programme for 29 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer, pay £200 compensation, an £80 victim surcharge and £650 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

    KYE DANNY WARD, 38, of Christy Avenue, Chelmsford, was given a 24 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for trespassing in Mimosa Beauty salon in Broomfield Road, Chelmsford on August 3 with intent to steal.

    The defendant must have treatment for drug dependency for nine months and attend appointments with a responsible officer. He must pay £500 compensation, an £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    KYE DANNY WARD, 38, of no fixed address, was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, consecutive, for trespassing in another property in Broomfield Road between November 9 and 11 and stealing £30 cash and gold teeth to the value of £230, and an unknown amount of cash between November 11 and 13. 

    He was ordered to have treatment for drug rehabilitation for nine months, attend appointments with a responsible officer, and pay £230 compensation.

    RICHARD ANTHONY MAYERS, 42, of Holkham Avenue, South Woodham Ferrers, was given a four month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for making off at Broomfield Hospital without having paid a £32 taxi fare at Chelmsford on September 8.

    He must pay £32 compensation. He was also given four months concurrent, suspended for 12 months, for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or disorderly behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress, and committed the offences while subject to a 12 month conditional discharge order imposed on March 7. 

    He must pay a £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS. He was given concurrent sentences for the original offences of theft, receiving stolen goods and possessing drugs. He must participate in an accredited programme for 19 days and attend appointments with a responsible officer.

    JOHN KURZYNSKI, 59, of South Street, Braintree, was given a four week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for using threatening, abusive or insulting words and behaviour towards another person at Braintree on June 27, in breach of an anti social behaviour order made on July 13, 2012. 

    He must attend appointments with a responsible officer, pay an £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS. The original community order was revoked and he was given four weeks consecutive for the offence of entering Market Square in Braintree while intoxicated in breach of an asbo on October 8, 2013.

    Criminal damage


    HAYDEN BALDWIN, 19, of Rosemary Avenue, Braintree, was fined £75 for causing £200 of damage to a vehicle belonging to another person at Braintree on November 5. He must pay £50 compensation, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    STEVEN JOHN WARD, 35, of Lavender Cottages, Blackmore End, was fined £300 for damaging an external door to the value of £1,098 belonging to another person at Great Notley on October 23. 

    He must also pay £500 compensation, a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Criminal justice - failed to comply


    RICARDO BOUCHENGA, 21, of no known address, was fined £15 for failing to comply with a community order imposed on November 19 by not attending an initial appointment the following day. He must also pay £50 costs.

    NANCY ANNA LAMB, 39, of Calamint Road, Witham, was given a new community order for failing to attend two appointments on October 23 and November 6 in accordance with a community order made on May 14. 

    She was placed under a curfew for 15 weeks with electronic monitoring and must pay £50 costs.

    CHARLIE DANIEL STURDY, 19, of Penny Royal Crescent, Witham, was ordered to participate in the Bridge Project for five days in addition to the original requirements of a community order imposed on October 8. He had failed to attend two appointments on November 13 and 6.

    Criminal justice - assault


    LEWIS MCFREDRIES, 22, of Marlowe Close, Maldon, was given a community order for assaulting two people, one being a Police Constable, at Maldon on October 5. 

    He was ordered to have treatment for alcohol dependency for six months and was placed under a curfew for three months, with electronic monitoring, and must attend appointments with a responsible officer.

    He must pay a £60 victim surcharge and £75 compensation.

    DAMON MICHAEL ELLIS, 37, of Inglefield Road, Stanford le Hope, was given a 12 month conditional discharge for assaulting another person by beating her at Chelmsford on July 19. 

    He was given a restraining order not to contact the victim and must pay a £15 victim surcharge and pay £400 costs to the CPS.

    IGNACIO MASCARO, 39, of Gresley Drive, Braintree, was fined £300 for assaulting another person by beating her at Braintree on September 8. He must pay £125 compensation, a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    STEVEN PAUL DONOGHUE, 26, of Cripplegate, Southminster, was given a community order for assaulting another person by beating her at Heybridge on May 7.

    He was subject to a suspended sentence order imposed on August 15, 2012 for offences of burglary, arson and criminal damage. The defendant must attend appointments with a responsible officer, carry out 100 hours of supervised, unpaid work, within the next 12 months, pay a £60 victim surcharge and £500 costs to the CPS. 

    He was also given a restraining order not to contact the victim or go to Mayland Close in Heybridge.

    CHRISTOPHER GEORGE WILLIAMS , 27, of Hayes Chase, Wickford, was given a community order for assaulting another person at Chelmsford on May 23 and causing £100 damage to an internal door belonging to the victim. 

    He was ordered to participate in an accredited programme for 29 days, and attend appointments with a responsible officer. 

    He must pay £100 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £500 costs to the CPS.

    Drugs - possession


    ANTHONY BENJAMIN HILL, 23, of Forest Avenue, Chigwell, was fined £400 for possessing a quantity of cannabis, a controlled class B drug, and 5.71g of methylenedioxymethylamphetamine, a controlled class A drug, at Chelmsford on August 17. 

    He must pay a £40 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS in addition to forfeiting the drugs and having them destroyed.

    BEN EDWARD CRESSWELL, 43, of Queens Road, Braintree, was fined £110 for possessing 0.6 grams of diamorphine, a controlled drug class A drug, at Braintree on November 5. 

    He must pay a £20 victim surcharge plus £85 costs to the CPS and forfeit the drugs and have them destroyed.


    Drunk and disorderly


    THOMAS HINE, 21, of Tyrells Close, Chelmsford, was fined £100 for being drunk and disorderly in Springfield Road, Chelmsford, on November 6. He must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Fraud


    DEBORAH PEARCE, 46, of Edward Bright Close, High Street, Maldon, was fined £220 for making false statements at Maldon in November 23 last year by saying she was the only resident in a property in order to obtain a council tax reduction and housing benefit, when her adult son was living with her. 

    She must also pay a £20 victim surcharge and costs of £695.60 to the CPS.

    Harassment

    MARK FRANCIS WEBB, 43, of Evans Court, Halstead, was given a restraining order and fined £250 for harassing a woman at Braintree between September 10 and 21 on numerous occasions by text and email and phone. 

    He must not contact the victim and must also pay a £25 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Health and Safety offences

    RYAN ELLINGFORD, 30, of Grove Farm Road, Tolleshunt Major, was given a community order for contravening Gas Safety regulations by carrying out landlord gas safety checks without being competent to do so on April 22 last year. 

    He must carry out 140 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, and must pay a £60 victim surcharge and costs of £339.84.

    Prevention of crime

    JAMIE CUNLIFFE, 25, of Mumford Close, West Bergholt, was given a conditional discharge for 12 months for possessing an offensive weapon, namely a bottle of aftershave wrapped in a piece of cloth tied at one end, at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, on November 4. 

    He must pay a £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS, in addition to forfeiting the weapon and having it destroyed.

    Public order offences

    THOMAS ALBERT SCOTT, 23, of Tattersalls Chase, Southminster, was fined £100 for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour likely to provoke unlawful violence being used at Chelmsford on November 16.

    He must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Theft – shoplifting

    PAUL SPANSWICK, 44, of Guys Farm Road, South Woodham Ferrers, was given a community order for stealing six bottles of alcohol and a Darth Vadar figure to the value of £60 from ASDA in South Woodham Ferrers on October 23 while subject to a community order imposed on June 17 was in force. 

    The defendant must participate in an accredited programme for 19 days, and attend appointments with a responsible officer. He was fined £50 and must pay £60 compensation plus a £60 victim surcharge and pay £35 costs to the CPS.

    DEAN WALKER, 40, of Forest Road, Witham, was given a community order for two counts of stealing meat from Tesco on September 29. He had stolen £60 to £100 from the Braintree store and £40 from Witham. 

    He must carry out 60 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay £100 compensation and a £60 victim surcharge.

    THOMAS SPINKS, 27, of Winston Way, Halstead, was ordered to pay £250 compensation after pleading guilty to stealing various food items to the value of approximately £150 from Morrisons in Rayne Road, Braintree, on May 26. 

    He must also pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    DWAYNE JASON DORSETT, 26, of Begonia Close, Chelmsford, was given a community order for stealing an ice cream and sweets to the value of £6.02 from the Co-op at Chelmsford on November 2 while subject to a suspended sentence order imposed on August 20 for offences of handling stolen goods, possessing drugs and an offensive weapon. 

    He must carry out 100 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay £6.02 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    EGIDIJUS ZILINSKAS, 25, of no fixed address, was given a 12 month conditional discharge for stealing confectionery valued at £196.04 from Tesco Express in Chelmsford on November 26. He must pay a £15 victim surcharge.

    STEPHEN EDWARD CARTER, 57, of Bakers Lane, West Hanningfield, was given a community order for stealing food items to the value of £211.15 from Sainsbury's at Basildon on October 13. 

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

    MARK BRENDON HASTIE, 55, of Mount Road, Braintree, was given a 12 month conditional discharge for stealing a packet of peanuts to the value of £1.99 from Tesco at Braintree on July 24. 

    He must pay a £15 victim surcharge and £150 costs to the CPS.

    JUSTIN MARK BAKER, 30, of Scott Road, Bishops Stortford, was given a conditional discharge for two years for three counts of theft from Stansted Airport. 

    He pleaded guilty to stealing chocolate and other food items to the value of £172.58 from WH Smith on April 27, lighters and other consumable items of food and drink valued at £99.29 from The Spar Store on June 18, and a holdall bag valued at £14.99 from WH Smith on June 21. He must pay compensation of £172.58, £99.29 and £14.99.

    Theft – other

    ANTHONY DORRIAN, 28, of Readers Court, Chelmsford, was given a community order for taking a vehicle without the owner's consent at Chelmsford on July 19. 

    He also pleaded guilty to driving along Baddow Road without insurance or a valid licence and was disqualified from driving for nine months. 

    He was fined £75 and must pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS. He must participate in an accredited programme for 19 days and attend appointments with a responsible officer.

    DANIEL GEORGE BATT, 33, of Coprolite Street, Ipswich, was fined £100 for dishonestly making off without paying £15 for fuel at Witham on August 7. 

    He must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS. He was also fined £300 for committing the offence while subject to a suspended sentence order.

    No proper control

    LEE DAVID KOPPIT, 36, of Childerditch Street, Little Warley, was given three points for driving on to the slip road of the A12 from the A130 at Chelmsford on January 29 without having proper control of his vehicle. 

    He was using an ipad whilst driving, it was dark and wet with heavy traffic. He was fined £167 and must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £90 costs.

    Drink-driving

    SAIF UR REHMAN, 25, of Rayne Road, Braintree, was banned from driving for 12 months for driving along Springfield Road in Chelmsford on September 12 after he had been drinking. 

    The proportion of alcohol measured 107 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, more than the legal limit. He was fined £200 plus a £20 victim surcharge and must pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    DEAN VICTOR FLETCHER, 45, of Abbey Lane, Coggeshall, was fined £1,000 and disqualified from driving for 22 months for driving along Coggeshall Road at Kelvedon on November 7 after he had been drinking. 

    The alcohol measured 87 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, just under two and a half times the limit. He must pay a £100 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    SHAUN WILLIAM KNEVETT, 44, of Millfields, Writtle, was fined £700 and banned from driving for 12 months for driving a van along London Road at Abridge on November 12 after he had been drinking. 

    The alcohol in his breath was 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than one and a half times the limit. He must pay a £70 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    SURYAKANT PATEL, 37, of Springfield Road, Chelmsford, was given a community order and banned from driving for two years for driving along Tindal Street in Chelmsford on November 16 after he had been drinking. 

    The alcohol measured 99 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than two and a half times the limit. 

    The defendant must carry out 100 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay a £60 surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Speeding

    JYOTA KWABENA DEAN, 33, of Hemberton Road, London, SW9, was given a 12 month driving ban due to repeat offending. He was fined £400 for driving along the M11 at Stansted at speeds of between 90 and 95mph, in excess of the 70mph speed limit. 

    He was also fined £200 for driving without a valid driving licence as it had been revoked. He must also pay a £40 surcharge and £90 costs.

    Named and shamed: a round up of cases heard by Essex magistrates


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    A TREE voted the most loved in Chelmsford is under threat of being torn down to make way for a shopping centre revamp.

    Plans to improve the "dated" Exchange Way entrance to the High Chelmer Shopping Centre into a food quarter would involve cutting down a large London Plane tree, thought to be hundreds of years old.

    The tree was selected by representatives of the city centre's community and groups as Chelmsford's favourite tree as part of National Tree Week, which ran from November 29 to December 7, 2014.

    "We wanted to draw attention to the fact that the tree is scheduled for the chop," explained Simon Mouncey, 47, who lives in Chelmsford and is a member of Transition Chelmsford community group.

    "No one knows how old any tree of this type is because they never die. If anything were to happen to this tree I think there would be a curse on Chelmsford."

    LaSalle Investment, which owns High Chelmer, has been given permission to fell the tree from the city council once alternative planting is in place. A tree preservation order is not in place.

    But Mr Mouncey said: "We think there is still the possibility of saving it.

    "The reality is that this is a healthy tree, it's not in the way of services or utilities under the ground, so there is no reason to cut it down, apart from the make room for a few coffee tables. If we lose this tree, we will lose lots more because the developers will think that people don't care about the trees here.

    "The city has lost so many trees already – we need to make a stand. In the last nine to ten years, we have lost 450 mature trees within a half-a-mile radius of the city centre."

    "We want the council to have a tree strategy, like London has," added Mr Mouncey.

    "There has been a lot of effort to achieve this over the years, but the current administration doesn't have any ideas or imagination. The county council measures Chelmsford in terms of the number of people who come here to shop, the number of high-profile shops they can bring here, and the number of cranes in the sky."

    A spokesman for Chelmsford City Council said: "La Salle Investments have secured planning permission for the provision of a new restaurant quarter in High Chelmer.

    "The proposals include the loss of the London Plane tree subject to replacement trees being provided that will complement the new public realm works.

    "A planning condition has secured details of the replacements to be planted."

    Outrage over threat posed to High Chelmer tree by revamp plans


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    A COLLECTIVE campaign to help Essex residents slash their energy bills has seen more than 800 people sign up as it returns for the second time.

    The Essex Energy Switch initiative allows fellow Essex residents to join together and use their collective power to enter an energy auction.

    Suppliers then bid against each other to offer the lowest rate for gas and electricity contracts.

    The more people who register, the better the price offered is likely to be, although usage and the amount residents already pay will also play a part in the calculation.

    Councillor Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure, joined the energy switch himself, along with other members of the council, when the scheme was launched in January.

    He said: "I just registered like everyone else and saved £250, so I would encourage everyone to give it a go. Attracting more than 500 members of the public to sign up within a week is a huge success, but we mustn't be complacent.

    "Anyone can register, whether a homeowner, tenant or small business owner, as long as they pay an energy bill.

    "We want as many people as possible to sign up to find out if they can save money on their gas and electricity bills.

    "The Essex Energy Switch is a fantastic opportunity for residents across the county to make savings."

    This month it was announced by energy companies that seven fixed price deals would end, with new tariffs costing up to £405 extra a year. Essex County Council has joined many district and county councils in tacking the 'big six' energy companies' soaring prices.

    Cllr Bentley added: "I would just urge anyone to have a look, it costs nothing to register, and could save you money."

    Earlier this year when the first Essex Energy Switch auction took place, more than 4,500 residents registered and those who switched their energy provider made an average saving of more than £200.

    As of yesterday, 807 people have registered for the second Essex Energy Switch when it was launched on Wednesday, December 3.

    To find out more and to register please visit www.essex.gov.uk/energyswitch

    Your chance to save £250 with the Essex Energy Switch campaign


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    THREE members of Chelmsford Shotokan Karate Club have passed their black belts exams.

    Emma Burke, 26, Romilly Pope, 11, and Aya Rainer, 14, travelled to Guildford in Surrey to be assessed by the Karate Union of Great Britain's examiners sensei Andy Sherry (ninth dan), the UK's first ever Shotokan black belt, and sensei Frank Brennan (seventh dan), a former world kumite and kata champion.

    The day started with the KUGB's black and brown belt course, this included Romilly plus six other eager students from Chelmsford.

    The class was spilt, so those taking their black belt examination later that day were put through their paces as a final preparation.

    A similar format followed for the black belt training. This time the black belts were split into two groups with second to seventh dan grades in one, including ten from Chelmsford, and the first dans with Emma and Aya in the other.

    Romilly was excellent throughout the exam and successfully passed her first dan black belt.

    In the second dan grading, Chelmsford candidates Emma and Aya were put through an even tougher test by the examiners, but both performed to the high technical standard expected and successfully passed.

    CSKC Instructor sensei Jane Naylor-Jones (fifth dan), who attended the day to both train and support the trio, was very pleased with all of them and said: "The KUGB set extremely high expectations so this is a fantastic achievement for Aya, Emma and Romilly.

    "This success is based on their hard work, passion and dedication to karate not only just recently but over a number of years. It is this commitment that we have seen in all of our students that has helped us to reach the final three for the Essex Chronicle's Team of the Year Sports Award 2014."

    Chelmsford Shotokan Karate train at Dovedale Sports Centre and Anglia Ruskin University.

    For more information phone Jane on 07973 672663 or visit their website at chelmsford-karate.co.uk.

    Delight as Chelmsford Shotokan Karate Club members pass black belt exams


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    A 12-year-old girl who sparked concern after she disappeared on Friday (December 19) has returned home. Essex Police said Tina Mackenzie, who had been missing from her home in Great Wakering, near Southend, is now safe and well. Hundreds of people on social media shared the police appeal to find her yesterday. Tina was found at an address in Shoeburyness last night (December 21)..

    Missing 12-year-old Tina Mackenzie found safe and well


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    ENGINEERS behind Chelmsford's controversial Flood Alleviation Scheme have seemingly paved the way to begin work on the divisive project after the courts granted access to a defiant farmer's land.

    Colchester Magistrates' Court district gave the Environment Agency (EA) warrant of entry to access Gary and Julie Sharp's farm in Stock.

    It wants to build a 465-metre long and three-metre high wall, sluice gates and a control building on the Sharps' land in Little Tressells Farm to operate the £12 million scheme.

    Despite the ruling, Mr Sharp has pledged to continue fighting, and is considering using a court injunction or a European Court of Human Rights appeal to veto the judge's verdict.

    Only last night the main players, Chelmsford City Council, the EA and Mr Sharp, were scheduled to meet for an around-the-table negotiation.

    "There is still a long way to go yet," Mr Sharp told the Chronicle before the meeting.

    "I will continue to fight my corner – I've said that all along. In the world we live in you can't expect someone to come along onto your land and put a structure on it. It's just mad."

    Mr Sharp claims the EA has never once explained how and where it will shift his 600 cattle from the 100-acre farm during the construction.

    "They have never to this day explained how they're going to move the livestock," said the father-of-two.

    "They haven't got a clue."

    The EA says work on Mr Sharp's land is essential to preventing potential flooding to 548 homes and 235 commercial properties.

    It adds the works would stop 500 million gallons cascading down the River Wid through Stock, Margaretting and into Central Park in the city centre.

    Preparation works for the scheme, first mooted more than a decade ago and given council permission in February 2013, have already cost about £1 million in taxpayers' money.

    Mr Sharp believes the venture, seemingly one step closer after the ruling on December 1, is unnecessary and a means of freeing up current flood-risk areas for development.

    Margaretting Parish Council, which city council leader Roy Whitehead met with last Thursday to discuss the scheme, has always opposed a project it fears will "drown the village".

    Council chairman Penny Savill said: "We're still not in favour of the scheme, but obviously it is out of our hands and it's now with the city council and the Environment Agency."

    In August the EA said it would start groundwork by the autumn and complete it by September 2015.

    This week, an EA spokesman said: "The issue with the landowner has not been fully resolved and because of that the preliminary work has not started but we still hope to start in the beginning of the New Year."

    Chelmsford City Council leader Roy Whitehead said last month the scheme was in doubt, but this week said: "It certainly is not a waste of time and especially from the point of view that it is our duty to protect our residents."

    Chelmsford flood scheme is green lit but farmer vows to fight on


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