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Woman sexually assaulted after night out in Essex

Police are hunting a man wearing a hooded top after a woman was sexually assaulted as she walked home from a night out in Chelmsford.

The attack happened in the early hours of Monday 3 October. The woman left Chelmsford town centre after a night out with friends and walked home alone.

She was approached by a man wearing a hooded top who seriously sexually assaulted her in an alleyway. The exact location of the alleyway is not known and officers are carrying out a number of enquiries to establish where the assault happened.

A woman was the victim of a sex attack after a night out in Chelmsford.

"The victim is extremely distressed and she is being looked after by specially trained officers.

"We are making a number of enquiries today but in particular we would like to speak to anyone who may have found a cardboard pouch containing tobacco and a blue and silver lighter with a map of Cyprus on it and a beige hair bobble anywhere between the city centre and the police station.

"We think that person may have vital information that could assist us and we would like them to come forward.”

– DI Stuart Truss, Essex Police

New multi-million pound shopping centre opens in Essex

The John Lewis store in the Bond Street development will be a major boost to the city. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A multi-million pound redevelopment in Chelmsford will be officially opened this morning.

It's hoped the £64m Bond Street complex will help the city compete with the shopping centres of London.

It features a cinema, shops and restaurants and will generate at least 450 jobs.

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18-year-old pedestrian dies after being hit by a van

A pedestrian has died after being hit by a van on the A12 in Chelmsford. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A pedestrian has died after being hit by a van on the A12 in Chelmsford.

It happened around 3.40pm on Thursday (August 25) on the northbound slip road to the A414 at Sandon.

An 18-year-old man, from the South Woodham Ferrers area, was taken to hospital but died the following day.

It's believed that the victim was seen a few minutes before the accident walking on the roundabout on the Sandon park-and-ride side of the interchange. It's thought he was walking down the slip road when the collision occurred.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

August heatwave boosts tourism in the East

Video report by ITV Anglia's Serena Sandhu

The tourism industry in the East of England is basking in the glow of a successful summer.

More than 250,000 people in the region rely on tourism for work and it’s an industry that brings in around £6 billion every year.

Families have been flocking to the coast to soak up the sun and it's encouraged more of us to opt for a 'staycation' rather than holiday abroad.

It's hoped visitor numbers will continue to rise throughout the bank holiday weekend.

The summer sun is boosting tourism in the East of England. Credit: ITV Anglia

''There is the doubt over the strength of the pound and certainly - as it stands at the moment - going across to Europe or further afield, it does cost more for your pound. That's just the reality... Staying at home is an absolute bargain right now.''

– Martin Dupree, Visit East Anglia

Essex woman who nearly drowned in swimming lesson gets £2m payout

A woman who nearly drowned during a school swimming lesson in Essex has been awarded £2 million compensation - after 16 years of waiting.

Annie Woodland was a pupil at Whitmore Junior School in Basildon sixteen years ago when the accident happened in 2000.

She was suffered brain damage after being pulled from the pool.

Now - aged 26 - she still suffers from memory loss and has problems with her balance and fatigue.

The payout comes after a lengthy legal battle fought by Annie's family.

It's been a long fight for justice for Annie Woodland's family. Credit: ITV Anglia

"I knew when I looked at Annie, when she was on life support, that whatever the outcome, whether she would live or die, that I would fight it. I was driven."

– Alison Morris, Annie's mum

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More than 40 arrested at V Festival in Essex

Justin Bieber performs on the main stage during the V Festival Credit: PA Images

More than 40 people were arrested at V Festival in Essex over the weekend.

Around 85,000 people were there to watch the biggest names in pop, including Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Sia.

Essex Police said they arrested 43 people and assisted with evicting 133 people from Hylands Park in Chelmsford.

Nitrous oxide drugs were found by police at the festival Credit: Essex Police
  • 27 of those were for drug related offences
  • Five were on suspicion of assault
  • Four arrests were made for handling stolen goods
  • Three for theft
  • Two for conspiracy to defraud
  • One for fraud
  • One for failing to comply with direction to leave

This was the second year where a Public Space Protection Order was enforced to combat anti-social behaviour and use of psychoactive substances. As a result, 133 people were ejected from the festival sending out a clear message that these drugs are not tolerated.

If you have been a victim of crime, please do report it to us by calling 101.

– Policing Commander, Assistant Chief Constable Carl O’Malley

Owner of missing boa constrictor insists 'he's docile as anything'

Liam and Thor. Credit: Facebook/Liam Pilcher.

An eight-and-a-half foot boa constrictor is on the loose in Essex.

Liam Pilcher, from Chelmsford, returned home on Saturday night to discover his beloved pet Thor was no longer in his cage - or anywhere in the house.

Liam said he was very concerned for the snake's welfare and urged anyone who saw Thor to get in touch via Facebook.

But he insisted people should not be frightened.

"He's an eight-and-a-half-foot red tail boa - big boy but as docile as anything.

"I've checked as far up and down all the roads as I can and I have a funny feeling he's made his way into a back garden or something.

"I want my boy back."

– Liam Pilcher, Thor's owner.
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