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

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    Whitehall has emphatically rejected the county highways boss's latest pleas for a ban on lorries overtaking on the A12.

    Rodney Bass, Essex County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, demanded an immediate ban last  Wednesday (January 21) following an A12 crash in Galleywood involving HGVs that morning.

    Cllr Bass has repeatedly pushed for the 6am to 8pm ban for more than seven years as a solution to our traffic woes on the notorious trunk road, but has been repeatedly rebuffed by the Highways Agency, which imposes government legislation.

    Highways Agency asset development manager Andy Jobling told the Essex Chronicle: "We are committed to getting the best use out of the road network and restricting heavy vehicles from overtaking can make journeys more reliable and improve safety.

    "However, this solution is not appropriate for all sections of our network.

    "Preventing lorries from overtaking requires all lorries to travel at the same speed as the slowest vehicle.

    "This can result in long lines of unbroken traffic in lane one, preventing other drivers from joining or leaving the road.

    "We have previously investigated a lorry overtaking trial for the A12, but due to the frequency of junctions believe this would not provide an effective method of reducing congestion.

    "We do not believe this treatment would reduce congestion on this route and have no plans to introduce a lorry overtaking ban on the A12."

    Cllr Bass asked for urgent action when a lorry overturned, after colliding with a second lorry, forcing the two-hour closure of the London-bound A12 stretch between Howe Green and Galleywood.

    It caused tailbacks to Witham at junction 21.

    Cllr Bass said: "We are disappointed and frustrated that people are being held up and the Essex economy is being damaged by incidents involving lorries and sheer bad driving for which there is no justification."

    At present, lorries exceeding 7.5 tonnes are banned from surpassing 50mph on dual carriageways and 60mph on motorways, and ordinarily drivers concede to staying in the slow lane.

    When asked by the Chronicle why he refuses to give up his pleas to the Highways Agency, he said: "Because we continue to have the problems we had on Wednesday on the A12.

    "It happens three times a week and it generally involves HGVs and we will go on making those pleas until the Highways Agency acts."

    Essex Police are yet to establish the cause of Wednesday's crash.

    The Highways Agency is, however, considering a ban on lorries overtaking on the M11.

    The motorway witnessed two collisions in the same spot northbound near its M25 junction on Friday morning, including a crash involving a crane and a coach.

    Mr Jobling said the Agency could implement the ban during the next financial year following its trial.

    "The results showed it was beneficial to road users as it reduced congestion and improved journey times," said Mr Jobling.

    Cllr Bass said the county council was considering a heavy goods overtaking ban on the A130, which runs between Chelmsford and Basildon.

    Lorry overtaking ban 'not appropriate' for A12 because of number of junctions

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    Two men arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a woman close to Tesco in Maldon have been released without charge.

    The pair, from Maldon and London, was detained yesterday (January 27) three days after a victim in her 20s said she was attacked while walking away from the Fullbridge supermarket in the underpass at Mill Lane between 5.45pm and 6.15pm.

    Officers remain at the scene carrying out searches and following up calls from members of the public.

    DCI Simon Werrett said: "We are grateful for the continued support of the local community. 

    "We have received a substantial number of calls from members of the public which we are following up over the next few days.

    "It is likely that the person responsible would have returned home with a muddy Superdry coat or trousers. If anyone saw this, I'd like to speak to them."

    Anyone with any information is asked to contact detectives at Chelmsford on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

    Pair arrested over alleged Maldon sex attack released without charge

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    Tonight's National Lottery is a quadruple rollover and it simply MUST be won.

    The jackpot is a phenomenal £14.7million, and is the last chance for players to win such a sum before it starts all over again.

    If you missed Wednesday's draw, the Thunderball numbers are 2, 8, 9, 18, 36, and the Thunderball number 5.

    And the Lotto numbers are 4, 8, 19, 35, 44, 49, and the bonus ball 17.

    So have you bought your ticket yet? Play here and good luck!

    National Lottery quadruple rollover: Lotto must be won on January 28

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    A man was rushed to hospital after it is believed a roof had collapsed on him this morning (January 28).

    The victim, in his 50s, sustained chest and leg injuries in the incident, which happened in Coombe Road in Southminster at around 8.45am.

    One neighbour said the ambulance was hampered by parking on the road. 

    An East of England Ambulance spokesperson said: "We sent an ambulance crew, rapid response vehicle, and the Essex Air Ambulance is also in attendance.

    "They are treating a man in his 50s who has suffered chest and leg injuries and are still on scene."

    Man hurt after suspected roof collapse in Southminster

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    Lego patented their eponymous plastic brick, today.   That's a cue for ten questions.
    Q1)Lego patented their famous plastic bricks on the 28th January: of which year of the 1950s?
    Q2)The company is based in the town of Billund.   Billund is in which European country: Denmark, Sweden or Norway?
    Q3)In which year of the 1940s did Legi start making the bricks?
    Q4)The name, 'Lego,' is from a phrase in the company's native language.   That means what: 'I build,' 'play well,' or 'stabbing pain in the foot'?
    Q5)Billund, Windsor, Günzburg, and Nusajaya, are all home to Lego theme parks. These parks all share what name?
    Q6)My four year old nephew has some of the bricks Lego makes for young children.   What brand name has Lego given these bricks?
    Q7)Lego also sell a range of advanced construction sets: with gears, axles, and, in some sets, electric motors.   What do Lego call these: Lego Technics, Lego Botnics or Lego Electrics?
    Q8)Lego also sell a range of sets: based on which DC Comics character?
    Q9)One of the largest Lego models ever built had over five million parts: and was displayed in Times Square, in New York.   It was a life sized model of what: the TARDIS, the Enterprise, from 'Star Trek' or an X-wing from 'Star Wars'?
    Q10)Finally … 2014 saw the release of 'The LEGO Movie.'   Which US studio was the film's distributer: Disney, Warner Brothers or Universal?
    Here's last week's questions and answers …

    Q1)21st January was the date of the very first Monte Carlo Rally.   In which year: 1910, 1911 or 1912?
    Q2)The rally starts in various locations: it finishes in which city?
    Q3)Town, city, ward: call it what you will.   But the Rally's finishing point is in which small city-state?
    Q4)The rally was originally organized by its then hereditary Prince: Albert 1st.   Who's the current Prince?
    Q5)The first winner of the Rally — Henri Rougier — drove a Turcat-Méry.   Turcat-Méry ceased production, when: 1927, 1928 or 1929?
    Q6)The 1966 Rally saw controversy: when the first four cars were ruled ineligible for having the wrong kind of what: headlamp bulbs, brakes or indicators?
    Q7)Three of those four cars were Mini Coopers.   The other was what: a Jensen FF, a Ford Cortina or a Nissan Sunny?
    Q8)The Rally goes through the Col de Turini.   The Col is a special stage with lots of what: hairpin bends, forest tracks or a mountain region?
    Q9)The winner of the 2014 Rally — the most recently held, at the time of writing — was Sébastien Ogier.   Who was he driving for: M-Sport WRT, Volkswagen Motorsport or Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT?
    Q10)Finally … the film, 'Monte Carlo Or Bust' saw its UK release when: 1968, 1969 or 1970?
    A2)Monte Carlo.   Obviously …
    A3)Monaco.   (I could never work out if it's mo-NA-co or MON-a-co.)
    A4)Albert 2nd, eldest son of Prince Ranier and Grace Kelly.
    A6)Headlamp bulbs.
    A7)Ford Cortina.
    A8)Hairpin bends.
    A9)Volkswagen Motorsport.
    If you'd like a frequent challenge, you can visit Nik Nak's Old Peculiar, and try the Daily Teaser: today's is at the top.
    If you need quiz questions in a hurry, you're also welcome: you'll find the free Friday Questions Sets — covered by the Creative Commons License* — very handy.
    Movie fans are welcome, too: as are Dr Who fans.   I tend to write about them, too.
    Following me on Twitter — I'm @Cuddy2977 — will help: as I tend to tweet these things.
    If you enjoy what I do, and wish to contribute, feel free to click the PayPal Donate button in the <a href="">Old Peculiar</a>'s sidebar.   Every penny is gratefully received.

    Enjoy the week, folks.

    *        All that means is that you're free to copy, use, alter and build on each of my quizzes: including the TeasersGazette Teasers and the Friday Question Sets.   All I ask in return is that you give me an original authors credit on your event's flyers or posters, or on the night: and, if you republish them, give me an original authors credit AND republish under the same license.   A link back to the site — and to the Chronicle's, if that's where you've found these — would be appreciated: as would pressing my donate button, here.   Every penny is gratefully received.

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    Tesco's Homeplus store in Chelmsford will be among 43 unprofitable stores to close, it has been confirmed.

    The Parkway facility, which sells clothing and non food goods, will shut from March 15. 78 jobs will be affected.

    Managers were told first thing this morning, before summoning staff to deliver the bad news.

    The troubled supermarket chain announced a series of cutbacks and savings earlier this month after a disastrous last 12 months, including a fall in like for like Christmas sales, increased competition from budget supermarkets, and accounting blunders.

    The Tesco Express in Heybridge will also close, putting 22 jobs at risk.

    Tesco chief executive, Dave Lewis said the stores to close were its most unprofitable. Workers affected could be offered alternative roles within the firm

    He said: "It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that our Chelmsford Homeplus and our Heybridge Express store are two of the 43 stores we plan to close.

    "The decision to close these stores has been exceptionally difficult to take. I recognise it will affect many hard working colleagues, our customers and the local community.

    "I would like to thank all our customers who have shopped in the stores. 

    "We will continue to do our best to serve them through our local stores in Chelmsford and Maldon and our dotcom service."

    Tesco to close unprofitable stores in Chelmsford and Heybridge

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    Police are trying to trace two tricksters who followed a 79-year-old man home, stole his cash and took his red Jaguar car.

    A man and woman are suspected of following the pensioner in a blue car from Morrisons supermarket in Maldon in a blue car to his Runsell Lane home in Danbury at about 1.30pm on Friday, January 9.

    The suspects tricked their way inside and stole a three-figure sum and bank cards.

    The car they took was later found abandoned along the road.

    The woman, pictured above in an e-fit, is described as white, aged in her late 20s or early 30s, 5ft 6in tall, of medium build with straight dark brown shoulder-length hair. 

    She wore a dark anorak, light jeans and black boots. 

    The man is described as white, of similar age, tanned, 6ft 2in tall, medium build, with short cropped black hair wearing dark clothing.

    Anyone with information, or who recognises this e-fit (pictured) of the female suspect, can cCall Pc Chris Abbott at Chelmsford CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on: 0800 555 111

    Tricksters follow pensioner, 79, into Danbury home to steal cash and Jaguar

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    Do you have your own unique recipe for National Breakfast Week? Or perhaps you want to try something different from the usual full English.

    You showed how much you loved a decent breakfast with your response to our previous story, but what if you want to make your own?

    Post by The Essex Chronicle.

    If you'd like to refresh your cooking skills or try something new, these recipes courtesy of Essex chef Jamie Oliver will certainly be worth your efforts.

    Bircher Muesli

    Prepare this breakfast the night before, and you'll be in for a delight the next morning.

    • The main ingredients consist of oats, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds with milk, maple syrup, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix all of these ingredients thoroughly and cover it before putting it in the fridge.
    • The only preparation required for the next morning is chopping the pears into chunks, sprinkling over the cinnamon and adding the sour cherries.

    This breakfast is packed to the brim with energy, setting you up for the rest of the day.

    Ingredients: 100g oats, 2 tablespoons whit chai seeds, 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, 350ml milk, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, a dash of all vanilla extract, a squeeze of lemon juice, 2 ripe pears, 1 pinch of ground cinnamon, a small handful of dried sour cherries/cranberries.

    Mexican Breakfast

    Perhaps you are suffering from the night before; well this dish has been hailed as the hangover cure.

    • Once you've added the oil to the frying pan add garlic, onion, peppers, fresh and dried chillies, bay leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. While cooking keep stirring for 15 minutes, this will caramelise the vegetables.
    • Add the tinned tomatoes and bring to boil. Once boiled, turn it down to medium heat and cook for a further 5 minutes. When the tomato sauce has become a stew see if it needs any more salt or pepper.
    • Slice your tomatoes and place them over the top of the mixture, then using a spoon make some room for your eggs. They should poach in the delicious tomato stew you've just created. One note of caution, crack them in as quickly as possible as this will ensure they all cook for the same amount of time.
    • Sprinkle the seasoning from a distance, then put the lid on and cook the eggs for 3 to 4 minutes. While you are waiting, warm your tortillas in the oven at 180C or microwave them for a few seconds.
    • When you have checked your eggs are done, turn off the heat and combine your tortillas with a bit of grated cheese.

    Tuck into the Mexican Breakfast and hopefully you can say goodbye to that horrific hangover.

    Ingrediants: Olive oil, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 red peppers, 2 fresh red or orange chillies, 1 large dried chilli, 3 fresh bay leaves, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, 2 lots of 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, 2 large tomatoes, 6 large eggs, 6 tortillas and 150g grated cheese.

    Stuffed French toast

    • You'll need to mix bananas, honey and pecans and then add then divide it between two slices of bread. Leave a bit of room at along the edges of the bread so you can dip your bread into an eggy mixture.
    • To make the mixture heat up a frying pan and crack the eggs into a bowl and then beat in the milk. Once you've slathered the bread on both sides, and you've added some butter to the frying pan; fry the sandwich for 3 to 4 minutes turning it over as you see fit.
    • Finish it off dust with icing sugar and then cut your sandwich in half.

    Ingredients: 3 bananas, 2 tablespoons of runny honey, 100g pecan nuts, 4 slices of bread, 4 free-range eggs, 1 teacup of milk, 1 knob butter, sprinkle of icing sugar.

    Purple smoothie

    • If you aren't feeling particularly hungry, but still want one of your five a day, a smoothie seems suitable.
    • Cut the pears into quarters after removing the stalks, and discard the cores. Place the pears and blueberries in a liquidiser, then pour in the apple juice. Make sure the lid is firmly attached and your smoothie is good to go.
    • A really quick option and you can take it out the door with you, if you are performing the mad morning dash.

    Ingredients: 2 pears, 150g frozen blueberries, 100ml fresh apple juice.

    Eggy crumpets

    • Whisk your eggs in a bowl adding salt and pepper with the chopped chilli. Soak your crumpets into the eggy mixture. Add the crumpets to a frying pan, until they are golden.
    • Add some sides of bacon with brown sauce or trickle with maple syrup for a sweeter option.

    Ingredients: 2 large eggs, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, 1 fresh chilli, olive oil, 4 round crumpet with bacon, brown sauce or maple syrup.

    If you can't keep your secret breakfast recipe to yourself any longer, share it on our facebookpage or tweet us @EssexChronicle

    National Breakfast Week 2015: 5 alternative recipes to try, by Jamie Oliver

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    House prices in Chelmsford went up by nearly a fifth year on year in 2014. 

    According to figures produced by Balgores Property Group the average house price in the city went from £242,681 in 2013 to £288,790 in 2014, an increase of 19 per cent. 

    Despite the increase the birthplace of radio is still one of the cheaper commuter hotspots in Essex, with just Romford and Basildon less expensive.

    Both Brentwood and Hornchurch, as well as the pricey Upminster, where the average price has gone up by 16 per cent to £462,166, are way ahead in terms of property values. 

    One of the reasons behind Chelmsford's position could be the large amount of affordable housing being built in the city. 

    However the cheapest commuter town is Basildon, with an average house price of jut £216,856. 

    This may not be the case for long however, as prices increased by 20 per cent year from 2013 to 2014. 

    James Gibbon, Director of Balgores Property Group said: "It is the second year in a row that Basildon has been named best for commuters and it's no surprise that it is so attractive to commuters. 

    "Property prices remain low, compared with other towns in Essex and it is benefiting from huge investment and regeneration.

    "Basildon also has main road links with the A127 and the A13 into London; three railway stations going into the City; colossal redevelopment by the council; and large investment in the area, bringing new employers and new jobs."

    Chelmsford house prices went up by nearly a fifth in 2014

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  • 01/28/15--08:34: Mid Essex Mind STaR Service
  • Mid Essex Mind STaR Service 

    Mid Essex Mind was established in 1974 and is affiliated to National Mind, a leading mental health charity. We are dedicated to improving the lives of people who are experiencing mental health problems by providing well-respected services, high quality information and advice and positively campaigning to promote and protect good mental health for everyone. We provide support to individuals, carers and families through a wide range of diverse services, both in partnership with and on behalf of NHS and voluntary sector organisations.

    The Mid Essex Mind Support Time & Recovery (STaR) Service is rolling out a new community support programme in January 2015, designed to enable people to access the Mid Essex IAPT Service by way of self-referral. The programme has been designed by the Mid Essex Mind STaR service and is focused on local people living in communities in Mid Essex who are struggling to manage day to day problems and are experiencing anxiety, stress and depression as a consequence.


    Drop-in Mid Essex Mind STaR IAPT Self-Referral Support & Information days will be run by non-judgmental, compassionate and motivated Mid Essex Mind STaR workers. The STaR workers will act as enablers, helping members of the public apply for much needed support from the IAPT service. They will be able to discuss their needs with the STaR workers and will be told what to expect if they are successful following their self-referral to the IAPT service.


    Our Self-Referral Support & Information days will be at:

    Mid Essex Mind
    Villa 1

    St Peter's Hospital

    Spital Road


    Essex. CM9 6EG
    Open from 10:00 until 16:00 on: 
    Friday 30th January
    *Additional dates to be advised

    Mansard House
    107-109 New London Road
    Chelmsford. CM2 0PP
    Open from 9:30 until 16:30 on:
    Wednesday 4th February
    Wednesday 4th March
    Wednesday 1st April
    Wednesday 6th May
    Wednesday 3rd June
    Wednesday 1st July
    Wednesday 5th August
    Wednesday 2nd September
    Wednesday 7th October
    Wednesday 4th November
    Wednesday 2nd December

    Witham Library

    18 Newland Street


    Essex. CM8 2AQ

    Open from 9:30 until 16:30 on: 
    Tuesday 20th January
    Tuesday 3rd February
    Tuesday 17th February
    *Additional dates to be advised

    Braintree Library 

    Fairfield Road


    Essex. CM7 3YL 
    Open from 9:30 until 16:30 on:
    Friday 6th February
    Friday 6th March
    Monday 6th April
    Wednesday 6th May
    Saturday 6th June
    Monday 6th July

    Maldon Library
    Carmelite House

    White Horse Lane


    Essex. CM9 5FW
    Open from 9:30 until 16:30 on:
    Thursday 12th February

    *Additional dates to be advised
    For more information about our STaR service and all other services provided by Mid Essex Mind please visit our website: or call 01621 853211

    Mid Essex Mind, Villa 1, St Peters Hospital, Spital Road, CM9 6EG   Email:   Telephone: 01621 853211

    Mid Essex Mind is a registered Charity No. 1047965




















    Mid Essex Mind STaR Service

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    MORE than 500 youngsters from 32 schools across Chelmsford and the surrounding area tackled the third round of the Pope and Smith Primary Schools Cross Country League.

    The event, in its 12th year, was held at Chelmer Park in Chelmsford on Thursday last week.

    Despite the cold, wet weather and some of the young athletes losing their shoes around the muddy course, in the mud, the children thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the full conditions of the cross-country race.

    Winners were presented with a medal, with Poppie Gibson from Moulsham Junior School grabbing the Year 5 girls' title.

    Timi Adetunji, from Ingatestone and Fryerning School, won the Year 5 boys' race and Sasha Whiley, from Widford Lodge, took the Year 6 girls' crown.

    Aston Leaver, from Brentwood Preparatory School, continued his recent success by winning the Year 6 boys' race.

    Each race has two categories: big schools and small schools, based on how many children each school has.

    Schools that won races on the day were Heathcote School, which won the Year 5 girls' small schools title, and Long Ridings for Year 5 and Year 6 girls' big schools.

    Widford Lodge claimed the Year 6 girls' and boys' small school titles.

    Ingatestone and Fryerning won the Year 5 boys' small school race, while st newcomers Lee Chapel, from Basildon, won the Year 5 boys' big schools prize.

    All participating schools compete across four races, with Year 5 girls and boys competing over a 1200m course and Year 6 girls and boys over a 1500m course.

    Over the years the races have been extended to enable each child to develop their stamina and judgement of speed.

    The first 15 athletes in each of the races are invited to join the cross-country development squad which trains every Thursday at Chelmsford Sport and Athletics Centre. under the watchful eye of Chelmsford Athletic Club's coaches.

    For more information regarding the primary school cross-country races and other activities that are offered at Chelmsford Sport and Athletics Centre, call 01245 605666 or visit the website

    Mud, sweat and cheers for 500 Chelmsford schoolchildren

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    A man allegedly stabbed a young father to death in a flat in Braintree over a drug feud.

    Luke Eva, 24, of Avondale Road, Leigh-on-Sea, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today (January 28) charged with killing Michael Haastrup at a property in Cressing Road, at around 11pm on April 16 last year.

    The court heard how both men were involved in the drug trade and had a long running disagreement.

    Haastrup, also 24, and another man were visiting associate in Cressing Road, known as "Chinese Colin", and when Eva heard of this meeting he allegedly took a taxi to the flat to confront his rival.

    Jurors were told that allegedly a fight broke out between Haastrup, his friend, James McGowan and Eva in which punches were thrown and weapons such as sticks, pieces of wood and a hammer were used.

    The fight started in the flat, but as it spilled out into the road, Michael noticed the extent of his injuries and collapsed, saying he couldn't breathe.

    As he lay bleeding in the street he shouted to his friend, "tell my son I love him".

    Eva then allegedly fled the scene on foot to his girlfriend's house in Springfields, Braintree.

    Mr Haastrup, of Enfield, north London, was taken to Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, and was due to be transferred to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, but died in the early hours of the following morning, on April 17 at around 7.30am.

    A post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be a stab wound to the heart, that had also punctured a lung.

    The court also heard how Haastrup suffered a stab wound to his left thigh.

    Mr Haastrup – full name Prince Michael Adeboye Haastrup – was related to the Nigerian royal family and was also known "Jay" or "Black Jay".

    The defendant also went by a street name of "Jay" or "White Jay".

    Opening the prosecution's case, Karim Khalil QC told the jury: "We say the defendant stabbed Michael Haastrup twice, once to the left thigh and once to the left side of his chest and into the heart.

    "The defendant suffered no injuries at all. We say this is in truth, not a case of self-defence, this is a case of murder."

    Eva was arrested in Loughton on April 17 and has been in custody ever since.

    In June at Chelmsford Crown Court he pleaded not guilty to one count of murder.

    At Chelmsford Crown Court this afternoon Eva, wearing a grey suit, black tie and white shirt, spoke only to confirm his name and then admit one count of carrying an offensive weapon, namely a knife.

    Haastrup, who grew up in Brixton, south London, became a father in December 2013 and at the time of his death had recently moved from Southend to Enfield with his girlfriend, Elizabeth Wade and their son, Eli.

    The trial continues.

    Braintree murder trial: Young dad was stabbed to death during alleged drug feud

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    Feeling lucky? Will somebody finally win the National Lottery this evening?

    Tonight's midweek Lotto jackpot is an amazing £14.7million, after it rolled over for the fourth time.

    If nobody wins this evening, the draw will simply start again in time for Saturday (January 31).

    So, are you ready? Check that ticket! Tonight's numbers are: 3, 4, 17, 24, 30, 34 and the bonus ball is 36.

    And don't be disheartened if you missed out this evening. Remember, this weekend it's Mega Friday - with a guaranteed 10 millionaires.

    Each will also win a first class two week trip around the world! Options include trips to Singapore, Sydney and New York, and other luxury locations, including Bangkok and Los Angeles, and Hong Kong and Miami.

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    A PUB manager says he isn't interested in renewing his lease if his appeal against a council sanction on hosting live music fails.

    Chelmsford city councillors have stopped Ian and Sian Wilson, the leaseholders of the Kings Arms in Broomfield, from hosting more than 18 music events per year following noise complaints.

    The decision shocked Mr Wilson who had already said at the meeting on Tuesday, January 13, that he was happy to work with neighbours to find a happy medium.

    "I was absolutely astonished when they came back with the decision, I thought they would come back with something to benefit everyone but they didn't at all," said Mr Wilson, who hosted 48 live music events last year.

    "We will appeal it and see what they say. If I'm stuck with 18 live events a year I will have to reconsider what we're doing because I won't be able to make money.

    "If I only had 18 events I would not be interested in renewing the lease, it would be impossible to make money."

    The Chronicle reported how councillors at the authority's licensing and regulatory committee ordered the 450-year-old venue to shut its back door from 10pm and stop playing live music at 11pm, both sanctions Mr Wilson thought reasonable.

    But the committee also said the venue could not host more than 18 events per year.

    Three households had complained, including Amy and Steve Fleming who live opposite, who said they cannot have friends round on Friday evenings through embarrassment.

    Mr Wilson offered to come to their home on a Friday and telephone his wife Sian from over the road, telling them how quiet the music needed to be.

    He claims the meeting was progressing amicably until Chelmsford City Council public health protection lead officer Joanne Grimley told the meeting the noise was excessive.

    Mr Wilson says he would have accepted the council restricting live events to as few as 36 per year.

    "We tried to bend over backwards to make everybody happy, but when we tried to help, we weren't given help back," said the father-of-seven.

    "We work with everybody in the community and have done for the last two years. We get on with everybody at the football club and the church and everybody loves coming into the pub."

    Ian and Sian took over the pub from Glen Page – and have since installed new central heating, re-tiled the toilets, and brought in new tables and chairs.

    Mr Wilson said: "It's more of a welcoming pub now and I don't think the council appreciate what a big part we have to play in the village."

    The landlord says his regulars are already putting together a petition supporting the pub in their appeal, and he says those who complained were even shocked by the council's verdict.

    He can apply for temporary permission for 10 more live music events per year, totalling 28.

    Brian Clouting, who lives next door and submitted one of the three complaints, said: "All we wanted was for them to keep the noise down and for it to be a little bit quieter. You don't want to be indoors watching TV and be able to hear the noise over the top.

    "I think so long as he keeps the music down that's all that matters."

    Councillor Philip Wilson, who chaired the committee hearing, said: "Our environmental health team wanted to limit it to 12. We thought that was too draconian and therefore decided to extend it out to 18.

    "He has the option of applying for 10 temporary notices a year so he could, if he wanted to, up it to 28 live music events, and the committee and the panel thought that was a perfect way forward, by way of a compromise between the local residents and the local pub, which we want to continue to be a good pub."

    Kings Arms landlord to appeal Chelmsford City Council's live performance restrictions for pub

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    HIGHWAYS bosses are drafting plans for a major one-way system to dramatically alter Chelmsford's "vulnerable" road network and tackle its skyrocketing population.

    Essex County Council highways boss Rodney Bass is expected to launch a consultation into a "ring and loop" system for the city within the next month.

    He remains tight-lipped over which notorious junctions will be affected, and says he is open to suggestions from the public, but rumour is that one-way traffic could one day dominate the heavily congested Victoria Road, Springfield Road and High Bridge Road.

    The announcement follows Tuesday's ground-breaking ceremony for the £120 million John Lewis project and the start of work on about 4,400 homes in north Chelmsford, which would channel even more traffic onto the network.

    Cllr Bass, county council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "Every city of any substance eventually has to come to terms with a ring and loop system and Chelmsford is no exception.

    "These things have to be planned and tried out before they're implemented, but the short answer is it needs one right now.

    "Everybody knows how vulnerable Chelmsford is. When the next lorry overturns on the A12 at Chelmsford, the city becomes gridlocked.

    "At the moment, if you try to go across the city because the A12 is blocked by an accident, you find you run into serious congestion as there are people trying to manoeuvre in all sorts of directions.

    "I think it's pretty self-evident and fairly obvious, and what the ring and loop system will do is make traffic flow."

    The Conservative-led county council launched a public consultation into a one-way system in 2006, but it was met with fierce Liberal Democrat opposition and never became a reality.

    The design would have forced all traffic to move clockwise along New Street, Market Road, Victoria Road South and part of Victoria Road.

    Yet the city is now bracing itself for a larger scale system, after county councillors were handed a single-sheet of A4 proposing the scheme at a Chelmsford local highways panel meeting in December.

    "Once we have some sort of template we can share it with the general public," said Cllr Bass.

    "It's likely to be weeks or months before then, but we would have quite extensive discussions and preparation works and we will consult very widely.

    "When we use the expression 'Chelmsford ring and loop' that is what we mean, essentially some sort of inner ring road and everybody can visualise what roads that would use, but the important thing is for it to work.

    "It needs the ability to allow traffic to get into the centre, and we're not talking about prohibiting cars in the centre of Chelmsford. It may include, for example, Parkway, but we wouldn't ever contemplate making Parkway all one-way.

    "It needs to be done pretty promptly because we need to ensure that the city of Chelmsford has a ring system that is fit for purpose.

    "The danger is it won't be fit for purpose considering the growth and prosperity of the city."

    The system would be modelled partly on the results of a monitoring operation, which took place last spring, when Traffic Survey Partners fixed 140 CCTV cameras to lampposts across the city to identify the busiest pinch points.

    County council contractor Ringway Jacobs is due to complete a dedicated left-turn lane connecting Parkway to Chelmer Road at the Army and Navy Roundabout in March.

    "It's all part of the same story," said Cllr Bass, who said the ring and loop system would cost "millions".

    Chelmsford City Council leader Roy Whitehead said: "Anything that can be done to improve traffic in the city is desirable, but whether this is the right solution we don't know yet because the county council hasn't yet shared their latest figures with us.

    "I do agree with Cllr Bass that Chelmsford roads are outdated. I'm looking forward to seeing what improvements he is going to bring about."

    Essex county councillor and Liberal Democrat Stephen Robinson, who fought against the 2006 one-way scheme through fear it caused too much "conflict" with pedestrians in the city centre, said the new scheme for Chelmsford could not serve as the ultimate solution.

    "At the moment we don't know what is being proposed and we want more detail so we can consider it seriously," said Cllr Robinson.

    "We were concerned last time whether this would actually solve the problem. Our other concern is this means that other schemes are being put on hold.

    "Also the problem of traffic in Chelmsford is much wider, it's about how much traffic is attracted to coming into Chelmsford in the first place.

    "So we want a wider study that looks at road networks around Chelmsford and we have always wanted to see four park and rides around the city."

    One-way system for Chelmsford city centre?

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    TWO grandparents feel like their house has been "raped" after burglars ransacked it of an estimated £5,000 in cash and jewellery.

    Christine and Thomas North feel too scared to leave their home, in Lawlinge Road, Latchingdon, after discovering their French doors smashed in at about 6.30pm on Wednesday, January 14.

    "I was terrified, shocked and had trouble breathing as I was worried that they could have still been in the house," said Christine, 61. "The house felt as if it had been raped, and was now empty. It feels as though all the memories and warm family feelings have been taken."

    The pair had been out for an early evening meal when they returned to find the back door broken into. They found furniture turned over upstairs, their granddaughter's toy box rummaged through in the spare room and mirrors dislodged.

    A ruby ring passed down by Tom's grandfather, Christine's diamond engagement ring, gold chains, a gold heart locket and £1,000 cash set aside to pay house bills was missing.

    "I just felt dirty. I had to go round and Dettol everything in the house," said Christine.

    "We are now frightened to leave the house for the first time in the 28 years that we've lived here.

    "We are constantly looking out of the windows checking the garden day and night.

    "It's having an effect on our health and wellbeing as we can't sleep that well, knowing that someone else has been through our belongings – we feel alone and vulnerable."

    Christine and 74-year-old Tom are grateful to the police and neighbours for their support since the burglary.

    Last week they notified police again after seeing a person acting suspiciously near a neighbour's home.

    An Essex Police spokesman said officers were investigating the burglary. Anyone with information can call police on 101.

    Latchingdon burglary victims: we feel like our house has been raped

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    Police are tracing a man suspected of tricking his way into a pensioner's Tiptree home before stealing a three-figure cash sum.

    The man, initially with a group of four other men, conned his way into the home in West End Road on Monday, January 26, at about 4.15pm.

    The victim was in his mid 70s and was distracted as his wallet containing cash and cards was stolen.

    The suspect is described as white, in his 20s, with black hair, of thin build and with an English accent.

    He was wearing a green jacket, black trousers and black shoes. There was a white van parked nearby that the group of men are believed to have used.

    The incident follows a similar episode in Danbury when a 79-year-old was tricked out of cash and his red Jaguar.

    Anyone with any information is asked to contact Dc Bryan Heath at Colchester CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

    Man tricks way into pensioner's Tiptree home to steal cash

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    Tesco has pledged to support staff affected by yesterday's shock confirmation of the closure of its 'unprofitable' Homeplus store in Chelmsford.

    A total of 78 jobs are at risk at the firm's Parkway premises, which sells fashion wear, furnishings, cookware, toys and electrical goods. It will shut for good on March 15.

    However, it has since emerged some of those affected did not learn until after the news had broken, including at the Chronicle.

    A spokesman said every effort was made to filter the information from directors to management - who were told first thing yesterday morning - and admitted that some, who were absent, might have missed the initial announcement.

    Tesco Express in Heybridge, which opened in 2005 and hires 22 people, will also close on March 15.

    Unhappy employees told of their shock, after learning of the news on the Chronicle's Facebook page.

    Zara Bover wrote: "Is this a ******* joke, I've worked there nine years this year and I'm finding out on Facebook from the Chronicle!! Joke! X"

    Sian Ostridge meanwhile wrote: "Great way to find out I'm losing my job!"

    Chelmsford customer Aimée Higby said multiple staff were slowly discovering one-by-one of the closure.

    She said: "They are telling staff gradually over a few day period and giving them their rights and discussing what to do next - I know four employees that have found out today."

    Tesco also declined to disclose what the profits were at the Chelmsford store, which opened on the former Bolingbroke and Wenley site in 2006.

    The spokesman added: "If colleagues are unable to find another suitable role in Tesco they would be offered redundancies."

    Tesco Chelmsford Homeplus workers 'found out they were losing their jobs on Facebook'

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    Schools in Essex have recorded a marked decline in GCSE and A Level results, according to performance tables released by the government today.

    However, a shake-up in how some qualifications have been recognised has been blamed for a drop in the standings for some of the county's top schools.

    See below to see how yours fared:

    School Pupils entering exam % pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs including A*-C in both English and mathematics % of Key Stage 4 pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate
    Alderman Blaxill School 61 20% 2%
    Alec Hunter Academy 214 38% 16%
    Anglo European School 208 68% 45%
    The Appleton School 238 56% 26%
    The Basildon Upper Academy 260 28% 2%
    Beauchamps High School 240 68% 33%
    Becket Keys Church of England Free School      
    The Billericay School 279 73% 26%
    The Boswells School 246 54% 22%
    Braeside School 17 88% 71%
    Brentwood County High School 238 57% 17%
    Brentwood School 169 0% 0%
    Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School 164 69% 32%
    The Bromfords School 217 57% 10%
    Burnt Mill Academy Trust 220 82% 14%
    Castle View School 232 49% 7%
    Chelmer Valley High School 197 59% 15%
    Chelmsford County High School for Girls 120 100% 18%
    Chigwell School 82 0% 0%
    The Christian School (Takeley) 9 56% 33%
    Clacton Coastal Academy 275 39% 2%
    Clacton County High School 234 64% 18%
    Colchester Academy 173 37% 9%
    Colchester County High School for Girls 111 100% 95%
    Colchester High School 50 76% 32%
    Colchester Royal Grammar School 99 100% 76%
    Colne Community School and College 240 69% 8%
    The Cornelius Vermuyden School 161 51% 11%
    Davenant Foundation School 166 78% 43%
    De La Salle School and Language College 149 58% 29%
    The Deanes School 175 47% 8%
    Debden Park High School 175 73% 20%
    Epping St John's Church of England VC School 178 45% 15%
    Felsted School 108 0% 0%
    The FitzWimarc School 267 73% 15%
    Forest Hall School 63 43% 3%
    Friends School 49 73% 29%
    The Gilberd School 266 58% 15%
    Gosfield School 37 81% 11%
    Great Baddow High School 235 58% 22%
    Greensward Academy 262 68% 23%
    Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College 37 89% 24%
    Harwich and Dovercourt High School 203 55% 12%
    Hedingham School and Sixth Form 193 51% 15%
    Helena Romanes School and Sixth Form Centre 220 57% 18%
    The Honywood Community Science School 208 54% 25%
    Hylands School 135 44% 19%
    The James Hornsby School 151 29% 8%
    Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport 166 66% 36%
    The King Edmund School 263 45% 2%
    King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford 112 99% 0%
    King Harold Business & Enterprise Academy 127 38% 18%
    The King John School 312 62% 42%
    Maltings Academy 160 63% 2%
    Manningtree High School 169 63% 18%
    Mark Hall Academy 203 35% 12%
    Mayflower High School 241 73% 38%
    Moulsham High School 261 54% 25%
    New Campus Basildon Studio School 4 SUPP SUPP
    New Hall School 136 93% 56%
    New Rickstones Academy 125 40% 6%
    Notley High School and Braintree Sixth Form 237 43% 20%
    Ormiston Rivers Academy 128 54% 16%
    Passmores Academy 177 59% 23%
    Philip Morant School and College 282 63% 15%
    Plume School 280 51% 22%
    The Ramsey Academy, Halstead 119 55% 20%
    Roding Valley High School 240 67% 29%
    Saffron Walden County High School 288 72% 47%
    St Benedict's Catholic College 164 62% 33%
    St Helena School 191 42% 13%
    St John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School, Chelmsford 187 61% 28%
    St John's School 33 42% 6%
    St Mark's West Essex Catholic School 158 58% 35%
    St Martin's School Brentwood 276 73% 17%
    St Mary's School for Girls 59 76% 53%
    St Nicholas School 31 71% 39%
    The Sandon School 213 66% 23%
    Shenfield High School 277 57% 21%
    Sir Charles Kao Utc      
    The Stanway School 217 58% 15%
    Stewards Academy - Science Specialist, Harlow 193 60% 18%
    The Sweyne Park School 250 68% 32%
    Tabor Academy 208 42% 24%
    Tendring Enterprise Studio School 71 1% 0%
    Tendring Technology College 302 47% 6%
    The Thomas Lord Audley School 159 38% 15%
    Thurstable School Sports College and Sixth Form Centre 204 48% 19%
    Trinity School 4 SUPP SUPP
    West Hatch High School 183 60% 11%
    William de Ferrers School 310 56% 11%
    Woodlands School 293 39% 20%
    Castledon School 20 0% 0%
    Cedar Hall School 26 0% 0%
    Columbus School and College 11 NE NE
    Doucecroft School 4 SUPP SUPP
    The Edith Borthwick School 8 NE NE
    Education and Youth Services Ltd 1 SUPP SUPP
    The Endeavour School 18 NE NE
    Essex Fresh Start 27 0% 0%
    Glenwood School 10 NE NE
    Harlow Fields School and College 8 NE NE
    Kingswode Hoe School 25 0% 0%
    Lexden Springs School 5 SUPP SUPP
    Market Field School 24 0% 0%
    Oak View School 6 NE NE
    The Pioneer School 10 NE NE
    Ramsden Hall School 22 9% 0%
    The Ryes College and Community 8 NE NE
    St John's RC School (Essex) 20 NE NE
    Shorefields School 4 SUPP SUPP

    Key Stage 4

    Key Stage 5

    School Number of students at the end of Key Stage 5 study Av. point score per full time equivalent A level student Av. point score per A level entry Av. point score per full time equivalent vocational student Av. point score per vocational entry
    Anglo European School 131 751.3 204.2 NE NE
    The Basildon Upper Academy 52 610 176 565.4 197.5
    Beauchamps High School 59 673.3 206.3 592.6 197.1
    Becket Keys Church of England Free School          
    The Billericay School 126 883.2 206.4 710.5 245.3
    The Boswells School 103 896.8 212.9 750 250
    Brentwood County High School 87 717.1 188.6 633.7 203.3
    Brentwood School 154 874.4 243.1 NE NE
    Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School 91 754.3 216.1 NE NE
    The Bromfords School 62 607.2 187.5 751.1 255
    Chelmer Valley High School 82 739.9 188.5 944.1 252.9
    Chelmsford College 531 533 174.6 472.9 215.8
    Chelmsford County High School for Girls 131 1194.2 255.2 NE NE
    Chigwell School 72 914.8 250.9 NE NE
    Clacton Coastal Academy 113 555.1 163.8 620.2 224.5
    Clacton County High School 142 710.9 201.7 725.7 252
    Colchester County High School for Girls 109 1111.6 246.3 SUPP SUPP
    Colchester Institute 806 SUPP SUPP 462.8 202.3
    Colchester Royal Grammar School 170 1430.1 263.9 NE NE
    Colne Community School and College 65 602.1 199.7 656 228.5
    Davenant Foundation School 141 843.8 217.8 NE NE
    Epping Forest College 534 570 191.6 469.5 212.8
    Felsted School 116 747.9 229.6 NE NE
    Friends School 17 748.2 225.1 NE NE
    Gosfield School 2 SUPP SUPP NE NE
    Great Baddow High School 86 847.1 202.3 797.2 220.8
    Greensward Academy 108 746.4 188.6 734.7 230.2
    Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College 21 684.3 182.3 880.3 250.7
    Harlow College 602 744.9 224.7 668.1 226
    Harwich and Dovercourt High School 33 796.2 178.6 868.7 221.9
    Hedingham School and Sixth Form 51 629.2 196.7 686.6 233.3
    Helena Romanes School and Sixth Form Centre 77 652.3 193.2 675.3 248.2
    Hylands School 29 736.8 207.1 600.2 213.4
    Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport 52 779.9 205 NE NE
    The King Edmund School 106 685.2 194.7 734.1 243.2
    King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford 165 1209.8 243.5 NE NE
    The King John School 149 756.7 207 974.1 240
    Maltings Academy 64 605.7 186.6 701 235.1
    Mayflower High School 141 821 222.7 593.6 255
    Moulsham High School 108 872.6 207 847.9 228.9
    New Campus Basildon Studio School 5 NE NE SUPP SUPP
    New Hall School 99 919.2 244 NE NE
    New Rickstones Academy 33 524.8 165 656.2 246.3
    Notley High School and Braintree Sixth Form 104 697.6 204.8 NE NE
    Ormiston Rivers Academy 44 559.3 177.9 606.5 206.7
    Philip Morant School and College 81 702.1 207.4 802.8 234
    Plume School 153 678.3 202.2 669.7 242.2
    Prospects College of Advanced Technology          
    Saffron Walden County High School 227 921.1 230.4 699.1 210.3
    St John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School, Chelmsford 87 942.2 215.1 SUPP SUPP
    St Mark's West Essex Catholic School 67 639.3 191.8 SUPP SUPP
    St Martin's School Brentwood 155 821.9 193.8 NE NE
    The Sandon School 78 696.2 207.2 810.3 254.3
    SEEVIC College 904 679.8 195.6 557.2 220
    Shenfield High School 138 677.6 200.4 723.1 242.2
    Sir Charles Kao Utc          
    The Sixth Form College Colchester 1238 847.8 197.9 905.7 238.1
    Tendring Enterprise Studio School 4 NE NE SUPP SUPP
    Tendring Technology College 165 711.9 205 779.8 249.2
    Thurstable School Sports College and Sixth Form Centre 70 674.2 198 677.8 230.3
    Trinity School 7 711.4 211.9 NE NE
    West Hatch High School 115 625.6 192.2 792.1 258.7
    William de Ferrers School 148 716.5 206.1 801.1 256.6

    Essex school league tables: See how yours fared in GCSE and A Level results

    0 0

    A share of £14 million in Government monies for Essex will be plunged into funding Chelmsford transport improvements and its controversial flood alleviation scheme.

    The South East Local Enterprise Partnership, a body which campaigns for funding from central government, today announced the cash injection.

    A total of £10 million is earmarked for reducing congestion, encouraging cycling and walking and providing 1,560 new homes and 1,770 jobs all in Chelmsford.

    About £800,000 will be pumped into funding the much delayed flood alleviation scheme for the city.

    A further £3.2 million is being set aside for the Southend and Rochford Joint Area Action Plan, which includes building a "high end" business park near Southend airport on a 55-acre greenfield site

    "This money is a welcome boost for the economy of Essex. The three projects we have been successful in bidding for will have a huge positive impact on people in Essex," said Cllr Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure.

    "The Chelmsford City Growth Area funding will boost the regeneration of Chelmsford city centre, helping us to unlock potential and opportunity of the city centre which will result in new jobs and homes.

    "Also in Chelmsford, the flood alleviation scheme will protect houses and businesses providing valuable security which is vital for a prosperous economy."

    The Environment Agency wants to build a 465-metre long and three-metre high wall, sluice gates and a control building to stop the River Wid bursting its banks and the city's Central Park flooding.

    Engineers were due to start building last year but Margaretting landowner Gary Sharp has denied them access to his land.

    The EA therefore is understood to have already asked for more public funding on top of the £12 million it secured for the scheme.

    Cllr Bentley added: "We will work with our partners in these projects to make these schemes reality. They are further proof that Essex means business."

    Only this week the county council highways boss Rodney Bass said a consultation into a multi-million pound one-way system to alleviate traffic in Chelmsford could soon be launched.

    The South East partnership announced securing a total £46.1 million for the South East, which includes the counties of Essex, Kent and Sussex, today.

    Controversial flood alleviation scheme benefiting from £14m Government cash windfall

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