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Man jailed for multiple sex offences

Kujtin Rexha, who has been jailed for sex offences against a 17 year old girl Credit: Essex Police

A man is today starting an 11 year prison sentence after he was found guilty of three counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault.

Kujtin Rexha, 43, of Jeffreys Road, Braintree, denied the charges during the six day trial, which was held at Chelmsford Crown Court. The jury reached a unanimous verdict after eight hours of deliberation.

The court heard that Rexha was arrested in May following an investigation into offences at a car wash in Colchester Road, Little Bentley.

His victim, who is from Romania and was 17 at the time of the offences, was made to sleep in his caravan against her will. Her ordeal lasted two and half months.

Rexha was found guilty of two single counts of rape, plus one count of rape which took place over the two and half month time period, and two counts of sexual assault.

Essex Police raided the car wash after the victim contacted police to say she was being held against her will.

Detective Inspector Leighton Hammett, who led the investigation, said:

"I would like to thank the victim for her bravery in coming forward to report what was happening to her.

She was a vulnerable young woman who had come from to a foreign country and was made to perform sexual acts against her will"

– Det Insp Leighton Hammett, Essex Police


Police launch crime busting advent calendar

The Essex Police Advent Calendar Credit: Essex Police

Essex Police have launched a Christmas safety advent calendar on their website and social media channels.

Every day in the run-up to Christmas, a new window will be available to ‘open’, revealing advice on a range of topics, including personal safety, Christmas shopping, driving and how to protect your home if you are going away.

Some topics are accompanied by video messages from crime prevention specialists on ways to stay safe and prevent crime.

Mum's anger over failure of rail crossing safety feature

Olivia Bazlinton and Charlotte Thompson Credit: ITV News Anglia

The mother of one of two teenage girls killed at Elsenham level crossing in Essex says she's angry a safety feature installed after the tragedy has not been working.

Charlotte Thompson and Olivia Bazlinton were hit by a train in 2005.

This week marks the 10 year anniversary of the accident.

Olivia's mum recently visited the site and found the automatic locking system was broken. Although it has since been fixed she says it's "critical" it doesn't fail again.

Flowers left at the scene in 2005 Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Let us learn from the death of Olivia and Charlie because that's the only legacy that they can leave. They didn't achieve what they could have done in their lives, but through their deaths hopefully we can make some changes."

– Tina Hughes MBE, Olivia's mother
Elsenham, Essex Credit: ITV News Anglia

Network Rail has closed 987 crossings since 2010 and has recruited staff who carry out risk assessments and inspections at each crossing.

There are currently 870 level crossings in East Anglia with more than 100 level crossing managers employed at Network Rail.

Each has responsibility for the safety and management of crossings in a geographical patch.


Fire service in tumble dryer safety warning

A number of brands are affected. Credit: Flickr: Gnarls Monkey

Essex Fire Service have issued a safety warning after a number of tumble dryer brands announced they are reviewing the safety of their products.

Fire staff are warning people not to leave running tumble dryers unattended after checks by manufacturers found that excess fluff was coming into contact with heating elements and causing potential fire risks.

The brands affected are Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda.

They have issued this advice.

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Don’t use tumble dryers at night or while unattended.
  • Clean the filters regularly to ensure they do not become blocked with fluff.
  • Items should be removed from the dryer immediately after the cycle and shaken loose to assist cooling.
  • Don't overload plug sockets.
  • Ensure that no more than 13 amps are in any one plug socket.

For more information about which appliances are affected, visit:

Weather warning of further strong winds in parts of the Anglia region

There's a warning of further strong winds affecting parts of the Anglia region during Monday. It follows a weekend of blustery weather with winds in East Anglia gusting in excess of 60 mph.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning with the risk of disruption to travel.

Area covered by yellow weather warning on Monday 30 November 2015. Credit: Met Office

This weather warning is in force from 9am until 6pm on Monday 30 November. It covers parts of Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

The Met Office says: "Southwesterly winds will increase later on Monday morning, with gales extending eastwards across Wales along with much of southern and central England, and severe gales likely on exposed western and southern coasts.

"Gusts of 50 mph are likely inland whilst gusts of 60 mph will affect some exposed coasts in the west and south. Winds will will gradually ease from the west on Monday afternoon."

"A further depression will move quickly east across the UK on Monday, crossing northern England in the afternoon. A swathe of gales is expected to the south of the depression's track.

"Although wind strengths will probably be slightly less than Sunday's system there is still the possibility of some localised low level impacts."

– Met Office Chief Forecaster's Assessment
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