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Man, 37, charged over Colchester takeaway attack

A 37-year-old man has been charged with grievous bodily harm following an assault at a takeaway shop in Essex.

The victim, a 61-year-old man, remains in a life-threatening condition after the attack at Southern Fried Chicken at St Botolph's Street in Colchester early on Saturday morning.

Scott Williams, from Colchester, is in police custody and will appear before magistrates on Monday (April 10).

Man, 61, fighting for life after takeaway shop attack

A 61-year-old man was attack in a takeaway in Colchester. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

A 61-year-old man was left in a life-threatening condition after being attacked in a takeaway shop in Colchester.

The victim was knocked unconscious and suffered a serious head injury when he was assaulted in Southern Fried Chicken on St Botolph's Street just before 1am on Saturday.

A 37-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and remains in custody.

Police want to speak to a man and a woman who were in the shop at the time of the attack.

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Family's concern for man missing from Colchester

Paul Meakins has disappeared from his home in Colchester. Credit: Essex Police

The family of man who has gone missing from his home in Colchester, Essex, say they are concerned for his welfare

54-year-old Paul Meakins was last seen on the morning of 29 March. He was last in touch with friends on 2 April.

He is believed to be in the Lake District. He drives a black Vauxhall Astra.

MP calls for labels to show risks of smoking while pregnant

Will Quince has spoken out about his son's stillbirth.

Colchester MP Will Quince has called for graphic labels to be put on cigarette packets that highlight the risks of smoking while pregnant.

Mr Quince lost his own son to stillbirth in 2014, and has spoken about his profound sense of loss.

Speaking at an adjournment debate in the House of Commons, the Conservative MP said smoking is the single biggest preventable risk to an unborn child.

He urged ministers to do more to help women and their partners kick the habit.

"I do not believe it unreasonable or unrealistic for all tobacco products to carry a similar warning so that it can be seen in the same way that it is on every alcohol product. I would be grateful if the minister could kindly look into the feasibility of introducing this."

"This debate is not in any way about criticising or demonising women, or their partners, who smoke during pregnancy. I fully appreciate tobacco is highly addictive and it is difficult to stop smoking.

"But we also know that all parents want to give their baby the best possible start in life. We want the message to go out loud and clear that no matter what stage you are in your pregnancy, it is never too late to stop smoking."

– Will Quince MP, Speaking in Parliament

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Woman jailed for killing elderly man in a fire

Lisa Connelly, 42, has been jailed for 12 years for manslaughter and arson after an elderly man died in Colchester. Credit: Essex Police

A woman has been jailed for manslaughter and arson after setting fire to the home of the man she claimed was her grandfather.

Fred Payne, 78, died in the fire in Colchester in September 2016.

Lisa Connelly, 42, who was not a relative, was living in his house and taking money from him to buy crack cocaine.

Police found the fire has started in a bedroom where furniture had been stacked.

Connelly admitted the offences at Chelmsford Crown Court and was sentenced to 12 years for manslaughter and eight years for arson with the terms to run concurrently.

"Fred Payne was an elderly, vulnerable man. Lisa Connelly exploited of him, inserting herself in his life, taking over his house, and stealing money on a daily basis to feed her drug addiction.

"She left Mr Payne unwell and took no action which may have saved his life. If it were not for her actions and her negligence Mr Payne would still be alive."

– Detective Chief Inspector Steve Jennings, Essex Police

Two members of the public, Anton Cook and Dale Coppin, were commended by the judge for their courage, heroism and bravery.

They tried to rescue Mr Payne and successfully rescued an elderly occupant of the flat upstairs at the address.

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