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Man released without charge over Essex attempted rape

Essex Police released an e-fit of a man they are trying to trace. Credit: Essex Police.

A man arrested in connection with the attempted rape of a woman in Witham has been released without charge.

Detectives are now making a fresh appeal for witnesses to what happened on January 3rd to a woman in her 20s.

They had arrested a man on January 30th but this afternoon they confirmed he had been eliminated from their enquiries.

The victim was attacked by a man as she walked along a pathway in Powers Hall End and Bluebell Close/Bramble Road. She managed to fight him off and got away.

The man is described as white, just under 6ft tall, of large build, with dark bushy eyebrows, green eyes and short, shaved dark hair.

He was seen wearing a black puffed jacket with a hood and bright blue denim jeans and was carrying a grey and black backpack. The man is believed to have spoken with a foreign accent.

Anybody with information can contact the Stanway Major Investigation Team on 101 or email scd.appeals.essex@essex.pnn.police.uk

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Croc shock for police on a drugs raid in Essex

Officers working on a drugs investigation had an unexpected surprise when they found a 4ft crocodile and 16 live snakes during a house search in Essex.

A man was arrested earlier this week in connection with an ongoing investigation into a cannabis factory found in an industrial unit in Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, in November 2015.

Following this week's arrest, officers searched a house in Burdett Avenue, Westcliff where they found a caiman crocodile and 16 live snakes. Among them were cobras, copperheads, pythons, a Madagascan giant hognose snake and a scorpion.

A Caiman Crocodile similar to the one found by police in Essex

Detective Inspector Steve Nelson, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said:

We are working together with the RSPCA as part of the investigation into how these wild animals came to be kept in such conditions. As officers we come across many different finds during our investigations and these are among the more unusual.”

– DI Steve Nelson

A 36-year-old man from Basildon was arrested on suspicion of cannabis production, keeping a dangerous animal without a licence, and animal cruelty offences. He was released on bail until February 13, pending further enquiries.

Burglary victim 'let down' by police over raid caught on CCTV

Security footage captured an alleged burglary in progress in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. Credit: CCTV

Essex Police have admitted "letting down" a businessman who had clear CCTV of alleged thieves stealing £26,000 worth of furniture from his warehouse but was told by officers they didn't have time to investigate.

Jack Whiteley was relieved to find his security measures in the Leigh-on-Sea area of Southend had captured footage of the theft last month and handed it straight to officers.

The businessman says delays by police could have scuppered his chances of getting his property back. Two people have now been arrested.

  • Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Helen Keenan

Police hunt fake charity collector targeting vulnerable people

An efit image of a woman police in Harlow would like to trace in connection with a burglary and fraudulent charity collection. Credit: Essex Police

Police in Essex are hunting a fake charity collector in the Harlow area who is targeting vulnerable people.

They have issued an efit image of a woman they would like to speak to in connection to a burglary and a number of fraudulent incidents.

On Monday 28 August the woman went to a house in Halling Hill claiming to be a charity representative and asked to use the victim’s toilet.

The victim, a woman in her late-80s, but then heard her in an upstairs bedroom. The victim confronted the woman and asked her to leave. Items had been disturbed in the bedroom.

Later officers received reports that a woman matching the same description, had approached a number of houses in Long Ley, saying she was deaf and was collecting money for a deaf children’s charity.

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Police efit image to catch flasher who exposed himself

Police in Essex have released an efit image of a man they want to trace in connection with a indecent exposure incident. Credit: Essex Police

Police in Essex have released an efit image after a man indecently exposed himself to a woman in Pitsea near Basildon.

The incident took place in Buckerills at about 10.15pm on 31 July. The victim, a 21-year-old woman, reported seeing the same man in High Road on 2 August and Steeplehall on 9 August.

The man was described as aged in his 30s, about 5ft 8ins tall and of stocky, muscular build. He had short brown hair and was clean shaven.

Stuart Lubbock's father welcomes Barrymore damages decision

Terry Lubbock, the father of a man found dead in Michael Barrymore's swimming pool. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The father of the man found dead in Michael Barrymore's swimming pool has welcomed the High Court's ruling that the entertainer should get damages from Essex Police.

Stuart Lubbock's father Terry says the publicity will keep his campaign to get to the truth behind his son's death in the public eye.

After Stuart Lubbock was found raped and murdered at the Michael Barrymore's home near Harlow in 2001, the star's television career was effectively halted.

He was arrested in 2007 in connection with Mr Lubbock's death but later released without charge. He wants millions to replace his potential loss of earnings.

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Hannah Pettifer
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