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An academic and student revolution 50 years on

The University of Essex is celebrating its 50th anniversary. 120 students started at the site near Colchester back in 1964. Since then the campus has expanded and 70,000 from more than 130 countries have graduated.

This past weekend alumni returned to their old haunt to reminisce.

Through the 1970s Essex University hit the headlines for its revolutionary students and protests. It also made news for its pioneering research in social sciences.

ITV News Anglia's Tanya Mercer reports

Police hunt driver who left cyclist seriously injured

Police in Colchester are asking people to help find a car involved in a collision with a student cyclist, who suffered serious head injuries.

The driver failed to stop after the crash on Saturday at 4.40pm. It happened at a pedestrian crossing on Colne Causeway.

A 21-year-old man was at the crossing on his bike when he was struck by a silver Ford car, believed to be a Focus or Fiesta in the second lane. The car drove off towards the Greenstead roundabout, leaving the cyclist on the ground with a head injury.

"We have had a number of drivers who witnessed the collision speak to us and we know that this car was on either a 07 or 57 registration plate. We have recovered the silver wing mirror casing from the driver's side which came off during the collision. We believe that the car may possibly have damage to the bonnet and/or windscreen. I am appealing for the driver of this car or anyone who sees a car matching this description to contact me.”

– Det Insp Scott Egerton, Essex Police

The cyclist who is a student at the university is currently in Colchester Hospital with a serious head injury and he is described as stable.


Reward offered to trace missing man in 16-year-old murder investigation

The family of a man murdered in Colchester nearly 16 years ago have urged witnesses to come forward as a £2,000 reward is offered to trace a man suspected of killing him.

Grant Byrom was stabbed to death at Forest Road on Boxing Day in 1998.

Now the charity Crimestoppers has put up a reward as part of Essex Police's murder investigation for information which leads to the arrest and charging of Michael Donnelly.

Officers have been searching for Donnelly, 67, since Mr Byrom's death and it is thought he left the UK after his body was found.

"Mr Donnelly is wanted in connection with the murder investigation but police have never been able to find him to talk to him about his version of events on that evening in 1998.

"We have made regular enquiries to trace Mr Donnelly but we are certain that he no longer lives in the UK.

"We also want to hear from anyone who has any information about Mr Donnelly’s whereabouts. I am also very keen to hear from anyone who may have further information about the murder of Mr Byrom.”

– Assistant DCI Anne Cameron, Essex Police.
Michael Donnelly, who is thought to have left the UK 16 years ago after the death of Grant Byrom. Credit: Essex Police.

Colchester troops train with Canadians

The exercise took place in Norfolk Credit: MoD

Troops from Colchester have been training with their Canadian counterparts to get a better understanding of how they work. Gunners from 7 Para, based at Merville Barracks, worked with the Canadian Army's 1st Regiment for the week-long exercise in Norfolk. NATO partners often train in this way should they need to be deployed together in battle.


Police appeal for help to find missing Doreen

Doreen Allum has gone missing from her home in Essex. Credit: Essex Police.

Police are appealing for help to trace a 78-year-old woman from Colchester who has gone missing from her home in Little Horkesley.

Doreen Allum was last seen by her husband at 12.30pm on Friday.

Police are growing increasingly concerned for Doreen, who has health problems.

She is described as white, 5ft tall, with short, grey hair.

Doreen, who has links to Suffolk, was last seen wearing a blue jumper with black tracksuit bottoms.

Police are urging anyone who can help to contact Essex Police on 101.

Teenager charged over bus theft

Essex Police Credit: PA

A teenager has been charged with drunkenly driving a bus out of a depot.

The incident took place early yesterday morning. Police were called after reports a single-decker bus had been driven away from the depot in Magdalen Street, Colchester.

The vehicle was stopped by officers about 20 minutes later at Avon Way.

Ashley Barrell 19, from Colchester, was charged with aggravated vehicle taking, drink-driving, driving without a licence and driving with no insurance.

He was bailed to appear at Colchester Magistrates' Court on September 9.

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