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Two bouncers found guilty of kidnapping reveller at Essex festival

Brian Atkins. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Two bouncers have been found guilty of kidnapping a man who was later hit by four cars after being ejected from a music festival near South Woodham Ferrers in Essex.

Paul Wickerson, died after being handcuffed and driven two miles from the Brownstock Festival after concerns about his behaviour.

Gregory Maxwell and Brian Atkins, security staff at the festival, will be sentenced tomorrow.

Paul Wickerson. Credit: Essex Police

"People who attend festivals expect those responsible for the security to provide them with a safe environment to enjoy themselves.

They do not expect them to manhandle them, to handcuff them and then dump them on a dangerous road. Mr Wickerson's death should not have happened.

This verdict will send the clear message to those involved in the security for music festivals that you will be held to account for your actions.

This has been a difficult investigation for Essex Police and I would pay tribute to my investigation team for their hard work in achieving this verdict.”

– Det Chief Insp Simon Werrett


Passengers stuck on packed trains

Passengers have been stuck on packed rush-hour trains after a power supply problem hit busy commuter routes between Essex and London.

The problem meant that for a time no trains were able to run between Tilbury Town/Upminster and London's Fenchurch Street station.

A number of London-bound trains came to a halt, with the problems for passengers being compounded later by a trespasser on the tracks.

The problem affected passengers with the c2c train company. A number of travellers switched to using Abellio Greater Anglia trains which also became packed.

Anyone arrested in Essex will be tested for drugs

Credit: PA Images

Essex Police say anyone arrested and taken to a police station in the county will be tested for drugs.

The programme aims to increase the number of people seeking treatment for Class A drug misuse and so reduce their re-offending.

Police will be working in partnership with the courts and local authorities to implement the scheme.


Image revamp boost Ryanair profits

70% of flights at Stansted Airport run by Ryanair.

Budget airline Ryanair which runs 70% of flights at Stansted Airport has seen profits take off.

It's after a revamp designed to improve its image and attract business customers sent earnings soaring by 66%.

The Irish no-frills carrier - which is celebrating its 30th anniversary - posted post-tax profits of 867 million euros (£614 million) for the year to the end of March, up from 523 million euros (£370 million) the previous year.

It has bounced back from a drop in annual profits in the previous financial year - its first for five years - thanks to a major push to improve its customer service as part of a programme called Always Getting Better, as well as an expanded business schedule.

Passenger traffic leapt 11% to 90.6 million customers over the year to March 31.

New laws to protect horses

Essex has around 1000 horses left to fly-graze Credit: PA

New laws to clamp down on people illegally abandoning horses come into force today, in order to improve horse welfare standards.

The new law, called The Control of Horses Act 2015, aims to deter people from illegally grazing or abandoning horses on public and private land, which is known as ‘fly-grazing’.

As many as 1,000 horses are thought to be illegally fly-grazing in Essex and over 3,000 illegally fly-grazing across the country.

The new law means fly-grazing horses have to be reported to police within 24 hours, and owners now have four days to claim their animals.

Previously an abandoned horse could only be disposed of after 14 days through a sale.

The new law also extends the options for dealing with abandoned horses, which now include private sale, gifting and rehoming.

"We pressed for this new law so that farmers and landowners can act for swift resolution when faced with the problem of horses illegally abandoned on their land. Fly-grazed horses can damage land, crops and fencing, restrict space for livestock and cost money to provide for their welfare and safety.”

– Henry Robinson, Country Land and Business Association

New habitat for wildlife to be created

The orange tip butterfly can be seen at Fingringhoe Wick in spring Credit: PA

Twenty two hectares of intertidal habitat for plants and wildlife will be created at Fingringhoe near Colchester.

The Environment Agency and Essex Wildlife Trust are working together to breach the existing sea wall, allowing land to flood and creating salt marshes for wildlife to thrive.

"Within a year we will have salt marsh plants colonising the site and on the first tide the waders and wildfowl will come in on the water and be a great new reserve and an extension to the existing one ."

– Merle Leeds, Environment Agency
The Great Crested Grebe is among the species in the area Credit: PA
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