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79-year-old Essex man jailed for sexually abusing underage girls over two decades

Alan Bright, 79, has been jailed for 15 years for sexually abusing underage girls. Credit: Essex Police

A 79-year-old man has been jailed for 15 years for sexually abusing underage girls over a 20-year period.

Alan Bright of Almond Way, Colchester, had denied 22 charges of rape, indecent assault, and inciting under-age girls to commit gross indecency but was convicted after a three-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The judge described Bright as cunning and manipulative and said he had taken advantage of his victims between 1970 and 1990.

"Bright has never shown any remorse or admitted his crimes. He put his victims through hell and the distressing ordeal of giving evidence and undergoing cross-examination in court.

It has personally been one of the hardest cases I have dealt with. I am happy with the sentence handed down to Bright and just hope that when he sits in his prison cell, he remembers the ordeal he put those girls through.”

– DC Cornelius Bowen, Essex Police

Mum's appeal to find bracelet containing daughter's ashes

Amber died last year. Credit: Sam Skingley

A mother from Essex is launching an appeal to help find a bracelet containing the ashes of her daughter who died last year at the age of 18.

The bracelet fell off Sam Skingley's arm in Colchester town centre earlier this week. Credit: Sam Skingley

The bracelet fell off Sam Skingley's arm in Colchester town centre earlier this week.

She wears the bracelet to be close to her daughter Amber who died last summer and says she's received a lot of support since posting about the missing bracelet on social media.

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Sir Bob Russell: 'I've had a fantastic innings - 18 years'

Sir Bob Russell, who has lost his Colchester seat, said he was "obviously disappointed".

He added: "I've had a fantastic innings - 18 years. I regard this very similar as being a park footballer who finds himself playing in the Premiership and football careers don't last 18 years so I've done pretty well."

Colchester Hospital had highest number of 'never events'

Colchester Hospital had the highest number of "never events" in the country last year. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Figures from NHS England show Colchester Hospital had the most so-called "never events" in the country.

"Never events" are errors which could have been prevented if guidance was followed - meaning they should never happen.

Between April 2014 and March 2015, the hospital trust had nine incidents in that category.

Five involved foreign objects being left inside patients after surgery. The other incidents included one case of a wrong implant or prosthesis and three incidents of "wrong-site surgery".

"Health care can be very complex and we do sometimes make mistakes. In those circumstances, it’s essential that we’re open and honest about them and, importantly, use them as learning opportunities that will help us to improve our services and make them safer.

"The trust proactively encourages all staff to be open and to report incidents, and has a ‘no blame’ policy so that learning can take place to prevent recurrence."

– Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust spokesman.

Mid Essex Hospitals Trust, which runs Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, had seven incidents.

The trust said it was "very disappointed to have never events recorded" but was committed to learning from any mistakes.

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Two men arrested following street assault

Police have arrested two men in connection with an assault on a man in Colchester.

The victim, who's in his 30s, was found unconscious near the Dirty Penguin pub in St John's Street just before 2.50am on Saturday, April 11.

He's currently in Addenbrookes Hospital in a critical but stable condition as a result of head injuries.

Two men aged 25 and 23, both from Colchester, were arrested last night on suspicion of assault and are being questioned by police.

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