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Clacton's first ever 'Sea and Beach Festival' begins

A parade as part of Clacton's first ever 'Sea and Beach Festival' Credit: ITV News Anglia

Clacton's first ever 'Sea and Beach Festival' has got underway this morning with a parade through the town.

The new event has been organised to help boost tourism in Clacton, with a variety of events going on all weekend.

Tendring District Council is aiming to bring the town back to its heyday, when the beaches were always packed with families.

"A great deal of planning has gone into the festival and if successful it could be a regular on the calendar. We hope that it will prove popular with both residents and visitors and attract people to the area over the weekend - which can only be good for businesses too."

– Nick Turner, Cabinet member for Coastal Protection
It's hoped the festival will promote Clacton Credit: ITV News Anglia

The festival runs both today and tomorrow from 11am - 5pm.

Woman and two boys sentenced for 'gang' killing in Southend

A woman and two teenage boys have been jailed for the manslaughter of a man in Southend, Essex.

Anton Levin, 24, from Dagenham, died after he was stabbed at Danielle Russell’s home in St Ann's Road on November 19, 2014.

Russell and two boys, aged 16 and 17, were found guilty of manslaughter following a trial that concluded on June 1.

Anton Levin Credit: Essex Police

Russell was jailed for 11 years and six months for manslaughter.

Danielle Russell Credit: Essex Police

The teenagers, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were sentenced to 10 years and four months for manslaughter, and will then be on a five year extended licence upon release.

"This was another unnecessary death linked to gang activity in Essex.

"These defendants have never shown any remorse for the attack and the needless loss of life.

"I am pleased they have been given lengthy custodial sentences, taking them off the streets of Essex.

"Hopefully Mr Levin’s family can now move on with their lives.”

– DCI Simon Werrett, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

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Police search for missing hospital patient

Police are searching for a man who's gone missing from a hospital in Colchester.

Mark Twyman, 36, was last seen by a nurse at the Cambian Fairview Hospital in Mile End at around 5.15pm on Friday, July 3.

Police say he has a condition that requires him to take medication.

He's described as white, 5ft 9ins tall, has a bald head and few teeth. He was wearing a blue jumper, blue jeans and white trainers.

Officers are searching the local area including the rail station and are using the police helicopter to try and locate him.

Viewer pictures: Thunderstorms in the East

Lightning striking over Happisburgh Lighthouse in Norfolk Credit: Russell Waite

So the early hours of Saturday 4 July saw widespread electrical storms across East Anglia.

It seemed some of you took a few shots of the storms.

Credit: Russell Waite
This was taken by 12 year old Abigail from Luton in Bedfordshire Credit: Abigail Lacey
Credit: Philip Thulbourn
Gavin took this from his bedroom window from Bury St Edmunds Credit: Gavin C
This was taken in Bury St Edmunds as the storm moved away Credit: Simmy Knight
Lightning over the new cap at St Helena Windmill in Horsford Credit: Melanie Smith

Thunderstorms produce a fortnight's worth of rain

Lightning captured in the village of Croydon between Cambridge and Biggleswade. Credit: Bob Burling

With every good heatwave in the British summer there is nearly always a spectacular thunderstorm or two.

The early hours of Saturday 4 July saw widespread electrical storms across East Anglia.

At Hitchin in Hertfordshire there was 35 mm of rain, which is more than normally falls in two weeks in July.

Rainfall totals in the Anglia region in the 12 hours to 10am on Saturday

  • 21.4 mm in Bedford
  • 21.2 mm in Woburn, Bedfordshire
  • 17.6 mm in Monks Wood near Sawtry, Cambridgeshire
  • 15.0 mm in Harpenden, Hertfordshire
  • 13.6 mm in Holbeach, Lincolnshire
  • 11.8 mm in Wattisham, Suffolk
  • 8.0 mm in Writtle, Essex
  • 7.2 mm in Cambridge
  • 3.8 mm in Norwich

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Road safety group condemns decision to let speeding driver off ban

The road safety group Brake has criticised a decision by magistrates to let a driver who triggered seven safety cameras - one at 109 miles an hour - off without a ban.

Alex McFarlane from Basildon was has been given 42 points on his licence for setting off cameras seven times between June and August 2014.

Brake says the decision makes 'a mockery of the system.'

“The penalty points system exists to give drivers who make a mistake a second chance, while taking serious repeat offenders off the road. However, incidents like this, where the ‘exceptional hardship’ clause is so blatantly abused, make a mockery of the system. If being able to continue driving is genuinely so vital to your circumstances, you should think about this before repeatedly breaking the law. It is highly irresponsible to allow someone who has shown such disregard for the safety of others straight back on the road.”

– Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for Brake
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