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Battle to save two specialist maternity units in Essex

The units at Clacton and Harwich are part of the Colchester Hospital Trust. Both closed temporarily in March because of staff shortages at the main hospital.

Both are now open again - although a consultation to decide their permanent future is ongoing - and at Clacton they held an open day for prospective parents to have a look around.

Click below to watch Jim Rice's report:


Man knocked unconscious and left with head injuries

Police in Colchester are appealing for witnesses to an assault that left a man unconscious with head injuries.

The victim in his 30's was assaulted by two unidentified suspects on North Hill in the early hours of Friday 17th OCtober.

He was discovered by passers-by and taken by ambulance to Colchester General Hospital for treatment. He later discharged himself the same day.

Police are asking for anyone who was in the area at the time to assist them with identifying the suspects who are described as white men aged in their early twenties.

One was wearing a long sleeved light coloured top, dark jeans and dark footwear.

The other was wearing a light coloured top with an open dark jacket over the top, dark baggy jeans and light coloured footwear.

Pregnant woman missing from hospital

Pham Flu Ha Credit: Essex Police

Police are appealing for the public’s help to trace a heavily pregnant woman missing from Colchester General Hospital.

Pham Flu Ha, believed to be a Vietnamese national, is thought to have left the hospital at around 10pm last night, Saturday, September 27.

She had been admitted to hospital on Saturday morning. Police are concerned for her welfare and that of her unborn child.

She is thought to be aged between 16 and 19-years-old and speaks very little English.

When admitted to hospital she was wearing black leggings and a grey zip-up top with black sleeves.

Family dog foils burglars

Detectives have appealed for information to find burglars who may have been foiled by a family’s pet dog in Essex

Officers were called to house in Lordswood Road, Colchester at about 8.45pm on Thursday after the occupants returned home to find the back door had been forced.

A number of rooms were searched and items thrown around the floor but fortunately nothing was taken. It seems that whoever broke in left quickly after be disturbed by the family's Alsatian dog which was heard barking loudly about half an hour before they returned home.

We would like to hear from anyone who was in the area between 5.20pm and 8.15pm and might have seen anyone hanging around or running away from the scene.

– Det Constbale Mark Peacock, Essex Police


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.
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