Live updates

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


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.


Pedestrian dies after being hit by a bus in Chelmsford

The crash happened on the Army and Navy roundabout. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A pedestrian has died after he was hit by a bus in Chelmsford.

It happened on the Army and Navy roundabout just after 3am this morning.

A 21-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Great Baddow bypass is expected to be closed for much of the day while police carried out their investigations.

Dog to be put down after attacking 11-year-old and disfiguring his face

Chelmsford Magistrates Court

A dog is due to to be put down after it attacked an 11-year-old boy in Chelmsford and left his face disfigured.

The attack happened as the boy was visiting owner Stuart Harris’ son at his home in January.

Mr Harris from Crocus Way in Chelmsford, pleaded guilty to owning a dog that was dangerously out of control.

The court's ordered him to pay £5,000 compensation to the boy who was left scarred after Digby bit his face. He's received 22 stitches to his injuries.

The attack was the second the dog had carried out on a child.

Images revealed of new Chelmsford leisure centre

The artist impression from company Pick Everard Credit: Chelmsford City Council

Images of Chelmsford's new leisure centre have been released. The complex which will be built on the existing Riverside Ice & leisure Centre site will have a ten lane pool, two teaching pools and pool with flumes.

There'll also be a gym and fitness studios.

The work will start in summer 2017 and is expected to be finished by the end of 2018.

The current leisure centre will stay open through the build.

How the new leisure centre in Chelmsford will look Credit: Chelmsford City Council

"The new Leisure Centre will be designed to provide access to the widest possible cross-section of the community under the principle 'The Best Leisure Offer for the Most People', providing an affordable family-friendly attraction suitable for all. Later this year we will be able to see the designs coming together and I hope at this point people will be inspired at the thought of having this fantastic facility in our city centre."

– Councillor Julia Jeapes, Chelmsford City Council
Load more updates