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

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    A former cannabis factory in Heybridge is set to be given a new lease of life under plans approved by Maldon District Council last night.

    Planning permission was granted to renovate the derelict site, Bridge House on Hall Road, turning it into a space housing offices, trade sales and storage facilities.

    The application was passed unanimously in the planning meeting and has been with delight by councillors.

    Councillor Bryan Harker, who represents the Heybridge East ward said, "I'm certainly happy to see the site being brought back into use because of the employment opportunities and the extra jobs it will bring.

    "Anything that creates more jobs in Heybridge has to be good news."

    The hit the headlines in 2010 when six people were arrested in a drugs raid that saw police seize an estimated £2million of cannabis.

    The factory even had its own electrical substation, siphoning electricity from the grid illegally.

    Councillor Harker told the Chronicle: "I regularly used to go down Hall Road and the lights were always on in the middle of the night, and I couldn't never work out why- when the police made arrests, I realised what had been going on."

    Last year, an application to build 48 homes on the site was rejected by MDC with councillors citing "an over-development of the site and resultant impact on the character and appearance of the area" as reasons for refusal. 

    £2million Heybridge cannabis factory to be restored after council meeting


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    Some of the globe's most influential performers are getting ready to belt out their tunes at The Brits on Wednesday (February, 25).

    With thousands of adoring fans packed into the o2, as well as a television audience of millions, there is no doubt that this showcase event is a pretty big deal.

    But the Chronicle has put its own spin on the spectacle as we bring you some of the county's most successful musical exports ahead of the glitzy event:

    1) Harry Judd – the McFly drummer was born in Chelmsford

    2) The Prodigy – Keith Flint and Liam Howlett grew up in Braintree

    3) Matt Cardle – the 2010 X Factor winner was raised in Halstead

    4) James Graham – one eighth of X factor boy group, Stereo kicks, hails from Bicknacre

    5) Jessie J – the Domino singer was born in Chadwell Heath, in the parish of Dagenham

    6) Pixie Lott – the former Brit Award nominee moved to Brentwood when she was 13

    7) Lauren Platt – the Brentwood singer appeared on series 11 of X Factor

    8) Dave Rowntree – the drummer in Britpop heavyweights, Blur, grew up in Colchester

    9) Wilko Johnson – aka Dr. Feelgood, was born in Canvey Island

    10) The Edge – David Evans of rock legends U2 was born in Barking

    11) Olly Murs – the Wrapped Up singer spent his youth in Witham

    12) Alison Moyet - The Basildon songstress formed one half of the electro/pop duo Yazoo and had a successful solo career

    13) Suzi Quattro - The American rock singer once made Great Waltham her home

    14) Billy Bragg - The Punk singer/songwriter and activist was born in Barking

    15) Dougie Pointer - The McFly member was born in Corringham, Thurrock

    16) Stacey Solomon – the Dagenham girl came third in the sixth series of X Factor

    17) Rylan Clark – The Stanford-Le-Hope lad made his name on series nine X Factor

    If we've missed anyone off the list, leave us a comment on Twitter @EssexChronicle or via our Facebook page.

    The Brits are nearly here, but which famous stars has Essex produced?


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    Two women have been taken to hospital following a two-vehicle crash which temporarily closed the A414 Ongar Road. A Toyota Yaris and Toyota Prius were involved in a collision on the Chelmsford-bound lane outside the Fox and Goose Bake House, near Cooksmill Green, at about 3pm. Firefighters were called to one of the women, believed to have suffered a head injury, who was trapped in the vehicle. They freed her using cutting equipment by 4.03pm. The ambulance service sent three ambulances, one rapid response vehicle and an ambulance officer to treat both women. They were taken to Broomfield Hospital. The road was closed but reopened to traffic by about 4.30pm. "There has been a huge traffic jam and firefighters were here so I presumed someone was cut out of the car - I know it was pretty serious," said Fox and Goose Bake House waitress Chloe Gowers, speaking to the Chronicle. "It was a really serious accident. "I don't know if there were any fatalities but I would not be surprised because firefighters have had to cut someone out and the A414 is such a dangerous road anyway." An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said both women were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

    Woman suffers head injury in 'serious' two-vehicle A414 Ongar Road crash


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    Essex Police are still appealing for information tracing a 14-year-old Maldon girl who has not been seen for a week.

    Officers are growing concerned for the welfare of Wafa Benaziza who went missing from her home on Friday, February 13, 2015.

    She is believed to be in north or east London.

    Wafa is 5ft 7in tall and has very long straight brown hair.

    She was last seen wearing black leggings, a black jacket with a fur collar and black and red trainers.

    She could be carrying a cream and black shoulder bag.

    Another teenager that was believed to have been with Wafa has since returned home.

    She is known to use social media and police hope this appeal will reach her or her friends and encourage her to return home or contact police officers immediately.

    Wafa or anyone who knows of her whereabouts is asked to contact Essex Police on 101.

    ​Police hunt for missing 14-year-old Maldon girl


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    CHELMSFORD City have signed versatile former Colchester United defender Mason Spence from Hayes & Yeading.

    The 20-year-old, who has international honours at U19 level with Wales, can play at right-back or on the right wing.

    Spence, came through the youth ranks at the Dons earning a professional contract in 2011. However, he made just a single appearance for the club in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy before he was released.

    He was signed by Colchester United and made his Football League debut in 2013 against Coventry City, before going on loan to Concord Rangers last season.

    Spence had his contract with the U's terminated by mutual consent and joined St Neots Town in March last season.

    He stayed with the club until the end of October where he moved to Hayes & Yeading, making 11 appearances.

    Chelmsford City sign versatile former Colchester United defender Mason Spence


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    COUNCILS in Harlow and Tendring are prepared to foot the bill to switch the street lights back on at night, but authorities in mid Essex are unlikely to follow suit.

    Chelmsford, Maldon, and Braintree councils are not planning to pay towards street lighting, despite Essex County Council's part-night lighting task force admitting the lights could go back on if there were "third-party contributions".

    "We have nothing in our budget about funding the street lights," said Chelmsford City Council leader, Cllr Roy Whitehead.

    In Harlow, the council recently agreed a council tax rise of 1.5 per cent, to turn its street lights back on, while a proposal put to Tendring Council suggested setting aside £160,000 for lamps.

    "We are speaking to Rodney Bass, the cabinet member at Essex County Council, to see if he is responsive to that idea," added Cllr Whitehead, who last year admitted the authority would consider funding the lights from its reserves.

    "We are aware of other councils doing that, so we will be asking Councillor Bass to review the situation.

    "If it is something we decided to do, we could make a supplementary estimate to our budget, but we won't be putting anything in as yet.

    "But last week, I did a little survey at a meeting in one of the villages, and it seems that they are happy with the lights the way things are.

    "It seems the biggest need for lights is in urban areas, of which Harlow is one. So the most sensible thing for us to do is see Cllr Bass' reaction and how receptive he is to the idea before we make a decision."

    In Essex there are 105,000 lights off between midnight and 5am.

    Trialled in the Maldon and Uttlesford districts since 2007, the multi-million pound project – the biggest of its kind in the country – is designed to shave about 20 per cent off the council's £4.5 million annual energy bill.

    By turning off street lights between midnight and 5am using a central management system at County Hall, at a cost of £6.6 million, the scheme will save an estimated £1 million a year.

    Despite previously dismissing LED lighting as a more eco-friendly alternative, as it was too expensive, Cllr Bass announced in December last year that 1,700 streetlights in six towns, including Maldon and Burnham, will be trialled with LEDs.

    The six-month pilot scheme, potentially starting in March, also to be trialled in Great Dunmow, Saffron Walden and Colchester, would replace a selection of lamps which stay on at night for safety reasons.

    Reacting to the plans in Harlow and Tendring, Cllr Bass said he did not think there was a need for the lights to be switched on, although he added that he would listen to councils' concerns.

    "The only district that has asked to see me, and I believe wants to request for their lighting to be left on, is Harlow and I have agreed to meet with them – but it is a bit more complicated than just yes or no," he explained.

    "I don't really think there is a case to do it, but if Harlow wants to make a case to me, I will listen, but I don't think there is a major appetite from most districts.

    "We believe the part-night lighting scheme is good for Essex, and we introduced it only after full and careful evaluation. We think we got it right, but we acknowledge we might not have got it exactly right in every location, so what is reasonable is to respond to specific fine-tuning requests.

    "There is some fine-tuning we want to do, and we want to do some experimenting with LED lighting, which we are implementing shortly, and we have responded to specific police requests on occasions where they have asked for certain lights to be left on."

    Chelmsford, Braintree and Maldon streetlights will stay off after midnight: Harlow and Tendring will turn theirs back on


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    A CURVY catwalk contestant aims to inspire larger ladies as she competes in the Miss Plus Size International final later this year.

    Michelle Carter, 35, from Primrose Hill, Chelmsford, will take to the stage at the Mercure Hotel in Manchester in September as she battles with 25 women from around the UK for the competition's diamond encrusted crown.

    The freelance training designer was made aware of the alternative beauty pageant after attending a number of London events organised by Big Girls Paradise, a specialist in promoting plus-size bashes.

    She said: "I've been going to these nights in the capital for about three years and it opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone is judgemental and nasty in a nightclub environment.

    "I worked at one of these events as a Curvy Kitten. My job basically involved going round and making sure that everyone was comfortable, so I was chatting to people and trying to get people dancing."

    Michelle originally interviewed for the competition in September last year, and after impressing the panel of four judges with her sharp answers, was emailed a spot in the final later that month.

    The former Moulsham High School student, who is a size 26, wants to promote body acceptance as well as redefine the perception that beauty is what is presented in glossy magazines.

    She has never modelled before but remains upbeat about the prospect of strutting her stuff in front of 500 people and four industry gurus later this year.

    She said: "The final will involve modelling an evening gown, casual wear and swimwear on the catwalk, as well as answering questions from a panel of judges.

    "I'm excited about the competition. I think it will be a different experience and it will be great to meet other people. It has definitely boosted my confidence."

    Curvy Chelmsford girl Michelle Carter reaches Miss Plus Size International final


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    THE owner of one of the city's most iconic restaurants has stressed it is not for sale, after it was listed on a property website.

    Joe Bhangal, whose family took over the American-themed restaurant Back Inn Time on Victoria Road more than 15 years ago, said the freehold of the restaurant was up for sale, but there were no plans to close the Chelmsford establishment, after it appeared on website Propertylink.

    "Lots of people have asked me if it's closing down, but it isn't, it's just that the freehold is up for sale," Mr Bhangal explained.

    The 30-year-old restaurant was advertised as an "investment opportunity," with a price of £300,000 subject to the existing lease – which cites Back Inn Time as holding a 12-year full repairing and insurance lease from February 2007, meaning any new freehold owner would need to continue leasing the property to the restaurant until 2019.

    Back Inn Time owner reassures customers Chelmsford restaurant isn't for sale


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    Tonight is your last chance to fill your boots at the Chelmsford Winter Beer and Cider Festival, as the booze-filled bonanza draws to a close this evening (February, 21).

    The festival returned to King Edward VI Grammar School in Broomfield on Wednesday, February 18, offering over 200 real ales as well as 50 ciders, a range of beers from around the world and a selection of Essex wines.

    Hot food will be available courtesy of Hopleaf and will feature burgers, hot dogs, chips and homemade chillies and curries.

    Run by Chelmsford and Mid-Essex CAMRA, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the opening times for the festival is noon to 11pm.

    Admission is free to CAMRA members at all times. Otherwise, entry will cost £3.

    Find the full beer list and more details at www.chelmsfordbeerandciderfestivals.org.uk.

    Make sure you visit the Essex Chronicle website later in the evening to see if you can spot yourself in our festival photo gallery. 

    Last Orders: Chelmsford Winter Beer Festival concludes tonight


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    A man previously wanted by Essex Police for breaching bail conditions and breaching a court order has been arrested and charged.

    Ricky Brinkley, 23, of no given address, was detained on Thursday, February 19 and taken to Harlow Police Station for questioning.

    He was charged with assault, criminal damage and breach of a non-molestation order yesterday (Friday, February 20).

    He has been remanded in custody and will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court today (Saturday, February 21).

    Ricky Brinkley arrested and charged by police in Harlow


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    An elderly couple from Rayne were violently threatened at knife point last night (February 20), after three men broke into their home in Queenborough Lane.

    The aggravated burglary occurred when the men called at the house between 5.40pm and 6.15pm and then forced their way into the property when the couple answered the door.

    Once inside they threatened them with a knife and the man, who is in his 70s, was also assaulted. The suspects then quickly searched the property before stealing a wad of cash.

    The male victim was taken to hospital for a check-up but was not seriously injured. The suspects were all relatively short and were wearing black balaclavas and gloves.

    One was wearing jogging bottoms with white stripes down the side and another was wearing a Nike jacket. They left the location in a dark coloured saloon vehicle.

    Detective Sergeant Mark Cadd, of Braintree Police, said: "This was an extremely traumatic incident for our victims.

    "To have the safety of your own home invaded and then be threatened and assaulted in this manner is extremely distressing and I am determined to find and arrest these people as soon as possible."

    Anyone with information is asked to call Braintree CID on 101 or ring Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

    Police hunting for trio who burgled elderly couple at knife point


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    A SCHOOL due to open in September has had a change of ownership after the trust originally selected to run it lost the contract through poor performance elsewhere.

    The Eveleigh LINK Academy Trust will manage the primary, which will open on the site of the former Haywards School off Maltese Road, Chelmsford.

    They replace Chelmsford-based academy sponsors Lilac Sky, who were originally appointed by the Department for Education to provide urgently needed extra school places in the city.

    Joe Figg, the executive headteacher of Purleigh Primary and Meadgate Primary in Great Baddow, will take over the leadership of the school, to be known as Maltese Road Primary.

    He said: "This is a very exciting time for the Eveleigh LINK Academy Trust as we have the opportunity to open a brand new school, grow the trust and therefore continue to improve education within the Chelmsford and Maldon area.

    "There's a lot of work to be done before we open, but we were delighted to be offered this chance, and have the support of the local authority in setting up an excellent school ready to welcome the children in September."

    Work is now under way on transforming the site into a state of the art school, which will have space for 210 pupils, aged from four to 11. It will be staffed by experienced teachers from Purleigh and Meadgate.

    The building, which formerly housed the Hayward School, later known as Columbus School, for children with moderate learning difficulties, has been empty since 2010 when pupils moved to the brand new build in Partridge Avenue.

    Mr Figg, who will run the school himself for a few months before appointing a new leader, added: "The school will have seven classrooms, an ICT suite, a lovely airy library, sensory room, big hall and plenty of small group learning and meeting rooms. It will really be a lovely place to learn.

    "Work is under way to pull down the various outbuildings and there will be a small extension, the replacement of all the windows, new fencing and gates, and a complete redecoration of the building."

    Bids to sponsor the new school were submitted last year.

    Originally, King Edward VI Grammar School, which backs onto the site, had proposed to offer a bid, but this was dropped when head Tom Sherrington left the school in the summer.

    The Government awarded the sponsorship to Lilac Sky, which is based in Ford End and manages eight schools including the Tabor Academy in Braintree, which it took over in 2013.

    But last month Ofsted published a report grading Tabor as 'inadequate', saying teaching was ineffective, students are failing to reach their potential and the trust has failed to halt students' underachievement.

    It has also pulled out of running the school and replaced its headmaster after just five months.

    Eveleigh LINK Academy Trust was offered the chance to run the new Maltese Road school late last year.

    New Chelmsford school will open with new trust at the helm


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    RUNNING round the playground, engrossed in games such as Sticky Toffee and Duck, Duck Goose, 15 Chinese youngsters appear totally at home.

    A mixed group of Chinese and English girls pause, and through gestures, smiles and words, share a joke.

    Back inside her school, Barnes Farm Junior in Chelmer Village, Chelmsford, eight-year-old Sophie Gedde, removes her coat and grins.

    "It's not every day you get the chance to welcome some children from a distant country into your school," she said. "It's been brilliant – they are really fun."

    It's the end of a two-week visit by the pupils from Beijing who have spent each day shadowing their UK counterparts at the Chelmer Village school.

    It's been their opportunity to be fully immersed in an English education and – most importantly for them – have the chance to listen and speak the language.

    Claudia Yang, 10, has been having English lessons for four years.

    She said: "This is the first time I have been to the UK. I was nervous on the first day but everyone has been very nice to us and they have told us what to do."

    Tomas Xu Haoting, nine, agrees. He said: "This school is great. I have felt happy here as the English students play with me and have taught me some new games."

    Hatty He Jinglu, ten, admits that she too has most enjoyed interacting with the other children. "I have felt happy here. I have enjoyed playing games in the playground and meeting the English children. I've enjoyed the lessons. My favourite has been PE."

    The feeling is mutual among the Barnes Farm children, some of whom were allotted Chinese partners to look after during their visit.

    Izabella Niven, nine, said: "I've liked communicating with the Chinese pupils. At first we had to use gestures to show them when to put their coats on and where to put their bags, but now they are understanding more English. A lot of them speak it very well."

    William Rooney, eight, said: "It's not a chance we get every day, so when we were told we were having Chinese pupils spend two weeks in our school I was really excited."

    The Chinese pupils have followed the English curriculum as closely as they can while at Barnes Farm.

    A highlight of the visit was a chance for them to spend a Saturday morning at the home of their English counterparts.

    Sophie said: "I had two girls come round and we did lots of things including icing gingerbread, making bracelets, playing games, and then we went to the park."

    The fortnight ended with a Chinese New Year day celebration when pupils took part in workshops looking at calligraphy, making dumplings, trying out Willow plate artwork and performing a Chinese song and dance.

    Chinese visitors make the most of time at Barnes Farm Junior


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    A 16-year-old youth has been charged with assault, criminal damage and theft after police were called to Silvester Way in Chelmsford on Friday February, 20 (yesterday).

    Shortly before 1am, following reports of a disturbance, a police dog and handler went to the scene and were involved in detaining a suspect seen running from the area. 

    A 16-year-old youth was arrested and taken to Chelmsford Police Station before being subsequently charged. 

    He has been bailed to appear before Chelmsford Youth Court on Friday, March 13.

    Youth charged with string of offences after Chelmsford arrest


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    GENEROUS Chronicle readers have made a massive contribution to the Surviving Winter Appeal this year, raising a whopping £10,000 to help the elderly and vulnerable through the coldest months.

    Run by the Essex Community Foundation (ECF) in conjunction with the Chronicle, the annual appeal reached out to homeless shelters, Age Concern Christmas dinners, winter friendship cafés, food banks and women's refuge shelters, offering support during what can be the hardest time of the year.

    And donations from our readers over the past five years, since the appeal was launched, have reached a staggering £90,000 to date, making a world of difference to those who often struggle during winter.

    Bob Reitemeier, chief executive at ECF, said, "We are extremely grateful to everyone who has supported the Surviving Winter Appeal.

    "The response we received has been tremendous, heart-warming and has raised an amazing £10,000.

    "These donations enabled us to fund a wide range of voluntary organisations which are all providing vital support to elderly and vulnerable people in their community, helping them to keep well and not become isolated during the cold winter months.

    "We are also grateful to the Essex Chronicle for its excellent coverage and promotion of the appeal.

    "Their stories highlighting the campaign have brought to life the work of so many local voluntary organisations and have emphasised the important role that they play in our communities. It is these stories which have inspired so many people to give."

    As well raising funds for the many worthy causes supported by ECF, the appeal also sought to highlight the needs of the most vulnerable in our community – from those sleeping rough and depending on the help of homeless charities such as CHESS, to the café creating a meeting place for people in more isolated communities like Highwood.

    Each year, the appeal has helped hundreds of people in the local area, explained Jo Murphy, head of communications at ECF.

    "Voluntary organisations are the heartbeat of the communities we live in.

    "They exist to enhance local life and in many cases they are run entirely by volunteers or have limited staff.

    "A lunch club, community café, food banks and social club were among the range of projects which were supported with the money raised from this year's appeal and the individual stories which the Chronicle highlighted show just how vital these organisations are to those who attend them.

    "We are very grateful to all the voluntary groups and their clients who agreed to be featured.

    "It was only by them talking about their own experiences and sharing their thoughts on the difficulties that the winter poses for elderly and vulnerable people that we were able to highlight the importance of the appeal and encourage people to give."

    Essex Chronicle Surviving Winter appeal tops £10,000


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    ESSEX'S beard devotees met for their annual chinwag and chin-hair appreciation event at the weekend.

    Members of the Essex Beardsmen descended on the Queen's Head in Lower Anchor Street, Chelmsford to swap stories and tips.

    The club is one of around ten in the country, formed in 2008 after the World Beard and Moustache Championships were held in Brighton the previous year.

    There, the contestants realised that while Britain had its prestigious Handlebar Club, there was none for those with beards – so it, and an Essex branch, was born.

    Honorary president of The British Beard Club, David Dade, who came from Brighton for the event, said: "The principle is that we want to make new friends and have a drink and a meal, and if we can do something to support charities at the same time, then we will."

    At Saturday's gathering, a £3,000 cheque was handed over to Prostate Cancer UK – just one of many payments made to charities in the past few years.

    "After a while, we decided that we would charge a membership fee because doing that has a feeling of belonging," said David.

    "We contribute to men's and children's charities."

    In December, the Beardsmen took part in Decembeard, which saw the founders each pitch in £1 to go alongside the normal membership fees for new members, giving £310 to Beating Bowel Cancer.

    But it is not all about raising money and facial hair.

    David said: "The thing is there is a wonderful camaraderie between bearded blokes and their families.

    "It's meant to be a social occasion and what happens is we get together and talk about things.

    "There's a lot of interest in beer and brewing – quite a few are brewers.

    "It helps people get together and be social and have a good time."

    One such man who embodies that is 55-year-old gardener Frazer Coppin of Rivenhall.

    "Smell that," he says, holding his triangular chin hair out.

    "It's beard oil."

    Dressed in a dapper brown suit, complete with waistcoat and hat, the Musketeer Beard Championship winner sits twirling his chest-length beard in his hands.

    "I've grown it since 2004," he said, adding that it has now reached its "terminal" length.

    "I could not be bothered to shave. It rips your face to pieces, it's awful.

    "I have got all the equipment – oil, brushes and hairspray.

    "I think it will stay with me for life. A man's beard is his birth right, it's part of being a man. It's part of me.

    "A bunch of guys came up behind me and said 'you should have a licence for that'."

    More information about the British Beard Club and the Essex group can be found at thebritishbeardclub.org

    Essex Beardsmen club descend on Queen's head in Chelmsford chinwag


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    CASES heard by Chelmsford and Colchester magistrates Tuesday, January 27 and Thursday, January 29.

    Sent to prison

    KURTISS JOHN BAXTER, 40, of Akenfield Close, South Woodham Ferrers, was sent to prison for 28 days for assaulting a security officer carrying out his duty by beating him at Southend on November 1. He must pay £80 compensation.

    AMANDA JAYNE WRIGHT, 36, of Wallflower Court, Chelmsford, was sent to prison for six weeks for stealing various meats to the value of £106.35 from Marks & Spencer at Chelmsford on November 27 while subject to a community order made on October 21. 

    She was also given two six week concurrent sentences for the original offences of shoplifting on September 24 and 25.

    TREVOR EDWARD RILEY, 32, of Brook Street, Chelmsford, was sent to prison for 12 weeks consecutive for failing to comply with the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act by failing to attend Chelmsford Cathedral on January 23, while subject to a suspended sentence order. 

    It was the third time he had breached the requirement. The defendant must serve a total of 24 weeks, the original suspended sentences of 12 weeks were implemented to run concurrently. He must pay an £80 victim surcharge.

    ANTHONY WILLIAM EMERSON, 38, of Pauline Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, was sent to prison for eight weeks for assaulting another person at Braintree by beating her on December 29. 

    It was a serious offence in a domestic setting, fuelled by alcohol. He was also given four weeks concurrent for causing £1,300 worth of damage to a television, mobile phone, laptop, curtain rail and a coffee table. 

    He must pay £500 compensation.

    Criminal justice – assault

    ROBERT DEREK SERVIS, 39, of Nelson Place, South Woodham Ferrers, was given a community order for assaulting another person by beating her at Chelmsford on December 27. 

    He committed the offence while subject to a 12 month conditional discharge imposed on June 16 last year. 

    The defendant must have treatment for drug dependency for six months, participate in an accredited programme for 19 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer and pay a £60 victim surcharge and £50 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

    MICHAEL ANDREW WANLESS, 25, of Main Road, Broomfield, was given a community order for assaulting another person at the Army and Navy Travel Lodge, Chelmsford, on November 21. 

    The defendant must participate in Education, Training and Employment for ten days, attend appointments with a responsible officer and carry out 50 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months. He was fined £60 and must pay £100 costs to the CPS.

    TANYA JANE LEWIN, 43, of Boleyns Avenue, Braintree, was fined £100 for assaulting two women by beating them at Braintree on January 14. She must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.


    Criminal justice – breach

    KAROL ZAWADZKI, 25, of no fixed address, was ordered to carry out 20 hours of unpaid, supervised work, within the next 12 months, in addition to the original requirements of a suspended sentence order imposed on October 10. 

    He had not complied by failing to attend two appointments in December. He must pay £50 costs.

    SCOTT SUTTON, 40, of Ashpole Road, Braintree, was given a new community order for the original offences of harassment. He had failed to comply with the community order made on May 22, by not attending appointments on December 14 and January 4. 

    He must participate in an accredited programme for 19 days, attend appointments with a responsible officer and carry out 100 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months.

    Drugs – possession


    ARIANSA SHEPHERD, 22, of Chatsworth Road, London, NW2, was fined £100 for possessing 5.2g of cannabis, a controlled class B drug; and £150 for possessing 0.9g of diamorphine, a controlled class A drug, at Chelmsford on November 13. 

    He must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS in addition to forfeiting the drugs and having them destroyed.

    Drugs - other

    DAHREAN KEATING, 19, of Meadgate Avenue, Chelmsford, was given a community order for failing to attend a follow-up assessment on December 12. 

    He must participate in Education, Training and Employment for ten days, carry out 100 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, and pay a £60 victim surcharge.

    Drunk and disorderly

    GREG PETER AKEHURST, 25, of no fixed address, was fined £200 for being drunk and disorderly in Chelmsford High Street on November 30. He must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Harrassment

    NICHOLAS ROBERT HORSNELL, 26, of George Street, Chelmsford, was given a community order for sending letters to another person between November 1 and January 29 when prohibited from doing so by a restraining order imposed on September 3.

    He also attended her address and attempted to speak to her on January 28. He was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, and pay a £60 victim surcharge.

    Public order offences

    PAUL ALEX BARRETT, 23, of Hall Street, London, EC1, was fined £300 for using threatening, abusive words or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress towards another person at Chelmsford on January 11. 

    He must pay a £30 victim surcharge and pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    KAMIL JAKOB BIELAK, 27, of Victoria Road, Writtle, was given a community order for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards another person with intent to cause unlawful violence being used at Chelmsford on January 10. 

    He must carry out 120 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay a £60 victim surcharge and £45 costs to the CPS.

    MAMUN ROSHID MIAH, 25, of Cross Road, Maldon, was given a conditional discharge for 12 months for using threatening, abusive words or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress at Maldon on July 31. He must pay a £15 victim surcharge and £250 costs to the CPS.

    ASHLEY JAMES SMITH, 31, of Saffron Gardens, Wethersfield, was fined £20 for using threatening, abusive words or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress at Colchester on December 12. 

    He was also fined £40 for assaulting a Police Constable in the execution of his duty. He must pay a £20 victim surcharge and £20 costs to the CPS.

    IAN JORDAN SIMPSON, 24, of Ransom Road, Tiptree, was given a community order for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards a Police Constable at Colchester on January 27 that was likely provoke unlawful violence being used. The defendant must attend appointments with a responsible officer, pay a fine of £110, a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Theft – other

    GEORGINA MCGREGOR, 23, of Cherry Orchard Way, Maidstone, Kent, must pay £100 compensation for stealing £190 from another person at Sawkins Gardens, Chelmsford on December 5. She must also pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    Drink-driving


    DAVID JOHN ROSE, 65, of Bodmin Road, Chelmsford, was disqualified from driving for 17 months for driving along Havengore Road, Chelmsford, on January 9 after he had been drinking. 

    The proportion of alcohol measured 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than one and a half times the limit. He was fined £500 and must pay a £50 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    JULIE JANE MCKENDRY-JENKINS, 52, of Malyon Close, Braintree, was disqualified from driving for 15 months for driving along the A131, Broad Road at High Garrett, Braintree, on January 11 after she had been drinking. 

    Her breath contained 58 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than one and a half times the limit. She was fined £380 and must pay a £38 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL WALLIS, 29, of Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, was disqualified from driving for 23 months for driving along Old Wickford Road at South Woodham Ferrers on January 11 after he had been drinking. 

    The proportion of alcohol measured 90 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than two and a half times the limit. He was fined £350 plus a £35 victim surcharge and must pay £85 costs to the CPS.

    ALESSANDRO BASILE, 27, of Frances Green, Chelmsford, was disqualified from driving for 22 months for driving along Colyers Reach, Chelmsford, on December 25 after he had been drinking. 

    The alcohol measured 88 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than double the limit. He was fined £500 and must pay a £50 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    GRAHAM DAVID PLUMB, 49, of Western Road, Silver End, was disqualified from driving for two years and given a community order for driving along Western Road, Silver End, on January 11 after he had been drinking. 

    The alcohol measured 105 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, three times the limit. He was ordered to carry out 70 hours of unpaid, supervised work within the next 12 months, pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs to the CPS.

    Driving offences – no insurance

    JURIJ KORKUT, 24, of Suffolk Place, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, was given six penalty points for driving along Thremhall Avenue at Stansted Airport on March 7 without insurance. He was fined £600 and must pay a £60 victim surcharge and £90 costs.

    GIEDRE BLIUDZIUVIENE, 27, of St Johns Way, Thetford, Norfolk, was given six penalty points for driving along Terminal Road South at Stansted on March 8 without insurance. He was fined £600 plus a £60 victim surcharge and £90 costs.

    ZSOLT MAJOROS, 30, of Laurel Close, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, was disqualified from driving for six month due to repeat offending. He had driven along Terminal Road South at Stansted on March 9 without insurance. He must pay a fine of £360 plus a £36 victim surcharge and £90 costs.

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


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    ESSEX'S young squash players have delivered magnificent displays in the Inter-County Cup with all four teams booking their places in the second round.

    The event, designed for emerging players who have yet to represent their county, gave a snapshot of the strength in depth of Essex squash as three teams emerged as outright winners, while the U17s still qualified for round two, finishing second in their group.

    Essex even fielded two teams at U13 level, with both squads dominating the opposition.

    The U13 A squad hosted Kent and Suffolk at Lexden and were in impressive form. The squad of Hattie Callen, Ruby Mae Hudson and Calum Ewens and Brandon Higgins-Pearce first overcame Kent 3-1 and went one better against Suffolk, recording a 4-0 victory.

    The Essex U15s, made up of Charlie Bacon and Alex Walton, together with Amy Aspinall and Elli Barrott and the Essex U13 B team of Aiden Cahill, Max Chilver, Poppy Smee-Hotene and Libby Connor, travelled to Biggin Hill to play Kent and Middlesex.

    The U13 B team beat Middlesex, dropping only two games to win 12-2. Libby won her first match in a tournament and Poppy, Aiden and Max also secured convincing wins.

    In the Kent game, the No 1 girl felt ill and had to withdraw, which meant Libby got a crucial walkover, winning 3-0.

    Although Max and Aiden lost their matches, most of their games were really close. With Poppy winning her match 3-1, it meant that the fixture was tied at 7-7 in games.

    Essex came out victorious at 130 points to 105 points.

    For the U15s against Middlesex, both Amy and Alex went down 3-1, but there were only a few points difference in every game. Charlie won 3-0, with two of the games being straightforward wins, as did Elli, who dropped only two points in her 3-0 victory. Essex won 8-6.

    The match against Kent was nerve-racking and went down to the wire with Amy and Elli producing the victory. Charlie and Alex both narrowly lost their matches 3-2, but they both had some very close games.

    Elli came from 2-1 down to beat her opponent 3-2 and Amy, by winning 3-1, made the difference between the teams as Essex came out victorious 10-9.

    The U17 team of Will Salmons, Laura Burr, Paige McCoy from Chelmsford and George Rapley, were involved in an incredibly competitive clash against Middlesex and Kent with all three teams finishing with a win apiece.

    Essex were second overall after beating Middlesex 3-1 and losing to Kent by the same score.

    Four Essex junior squash teams march on in Inter-County Cup


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    The search for Alison Tokley has been called off after she was found in Colchester. The 51-year-old has been taken to hospital for treatment for suspected hypothermia.

    Members of the public are thanked for their help with the search after the Colchester resident disappeared from her home in Berechurch Hall Road shortyl after 3.35am today (February 22). 

    Colchester woman Alison Tokley has been found


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    Two Essex towns have been named among Britain's best new property hotspots, according to recent research by Lloyds.

    Wickford and Clacton-on-Sea were listed in positions nine and ten respectively in a top ten run-down of the UK's most prominent property markets.

    They are accompanied by other less obvious towns such as Daventry and Selby, Corby and Margate.

    The study was based on Land Registry data for England and Wales, highlighting places where house sales are booming, with the research comparing house sales in the first ten months of 2014 compared with the previous year.

    Andy Hulme, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, said: "'Low interest rates, improvements in the UK economy and Government schemes, such as Help to Buy, all appear to have contributed to the rise in home sales."

    Here are the hotspots where sales are booming the most:

    1. Daventry, East Midlands – 56%

    2. Alfreton, East Midlands – 53%

    3. Pudsey, Yorkshire and the Humber – 51%

    4. Sutton-in-Ashfield, East Midlands – 50%

    5. Selby, Yorkshire and the Humber – 48%

    6. Corby, East Midlands – 47%

    7. Margate, South East – 46%

    8. Slough, South East – 45%

    9. Wickford, South East – 44%

    10. Clacton-on-Sea, South East – 44%

    Two Essex towns named in top 10 UK property hotspots


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