A woman has reported being raped in an underpass in Basildon last night.
The 26-year-old victim had been with friends at The Beehive in the town centre and then for a meal at the Moon on the Square pub before leaving to walk home alone at about 11pm.
She reached the St Martins Church and Church Walk area some time between 11.10pm and 11.30pm and was aware of somebody behind her.
As she entered the underpass near Broadmayne, she was attacked from behind. The man pushed her to the ground and raped her.
He also stole her handbag, which was later found nearby.
The man is described as white, about 5ft 9in tall, skinny build, and aged in his mid-20s. He had blond or light brown hair and an English accent.
"This was a nasty, vicious assault on a young woman which has left her injured and very distressed. I need to find the man who did this as soon as possible."
An announcement is expected later today on the progress made by Basildon Hospital after it was put into special measures.
It became one of the first hospitals in the country to implement a turn-around programme after it emerged that the death rate among patients was higher than expected.
It's now moved out of special measures and has taken on extra staff.
New Holland Agriculture plant's been marking its 50th year with a tractor parade through Basildon.Read the full story ›
The last remaining tractor plant in the UK has been marking its 50th year with a tractor parade through Basildon in Essex
The New Holland Agriculture Plant exports tractors to more than a hundred countries with plans to increase production even further.
Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Victoria Lampard:
Two houses in Basildon in Essex have caught fire after being struck by lightning.
Four fire crews were called to tackle the flames after the bolts started a blaze in the loft space of the homes.
Essex Fire and Rescue Service said the fire in Brimsdown Avenue started around 8.10pm on Saturday evening and was extinguished after 20 minutes.
No one was injured.
Basildon Hospital is being taken out of special measures.
Health regulator Monitor said the hospital had improved its services for patients and rated it "good" following a full inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
The hospital was one of 11 put into special measures last July for fundamental breaches of care. It's since made a number of improvements, including taking on more staff and getting better feedback from patients.
Local MP Stephen Metcalfe has welcomed the news.
UKIP made big gains in Basildon to sweep the Conservatives out of power for the first time in a decade and replace Labour as the main opposition party.
The Conservative leader of the council, Tony Ball, who was high profile during the campaign to evict travellers from the Dale Farm site, lost his Wickford North seat to UKIP.
The high profile leader of Basildon Council Tony Ball has lost his seat on the council to UKIP.
His party has also lost its overall majority on the council they have run since 2003.
UKIP have made a second gain in Basildon taking a seat won by the Liberal Democrats in 2010. Kerry Smith won in the Nethermayne ward.
Before these elections the Conservatives had a small overall majority in the Essex town but that looks under threat.
Result for Nethermayne Ward - Kerry James Daryl Luke Smith, UK Independence Party, 1,340 votes, duly elected
UKIP have gained a seat from the Conservatives in Basildon.
The Conservative won Pitsea North West in 2010 with a majority of 146 - now UKIP have taken the ward.
The Tories are defending a narrow majority in the town.
Result for Pitsea North West - Imelda Clancy, UK Independence Party, 1,156 votes, duly elected