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Essex: Woman dragged into bushes and raped in Maldon

A woman has been raped near a supermarket in Essex. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A woman has been raped near a supermarket in Essex.

The woman in her 20s was walking near the Tesco store at Fullbridge in Maldon when she was approached by two men in an underpass at Mill Lane between 5.45pm and 6.15pm last night.

She was then dragged into bushes and was raped.

The man who is suspected of committing the rape is described as being around 30-years-old and of asian or indian appearance.

The woman in her 20s was walking near the Tesco store at Fullbridge. Credit: ITV News Anglia

He is 5ft 9ins to 5ft 10ins tall with stubble on his face and was wearing a Superdry jacket with a green logo.

The second man was slightly taller than the first and wore a black coat and a hooded top with the hood up.

"Initial investigations have established the same men may have been seen acting suspiciously in the area earlier in the day.

I need to speak with anyone who may have seen or spoken to the men. I would also like to speak to anyone who was in the area between 5.30pm and 7pm who may have seen anything.

I have a team of detectives obtaining information about the suspects to enable us to arrest them as soon as possible.

Maldon is a safe town to live in and I appreciate how shocking an incident like this will be to the community.

I am working with the local policing commander to ensure patrols in the area are increased to both reassure residents but also to gather information about those responsible.”

– DCI Simon Werrett, Essex Police

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Fewer delays at Stansted Airport

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Passengers at Stansted airport are to face fewer delays after new technology was installed.

The new system allows air traffic control centres to see more up-to-date information about flights heading over Europe.

As well as allowing holiday makers to jet off on time, it is set to save the UK air transport network more than £10 million in the next three years.

Fears over GP recruitment

Dr Paul Driscoll, Haven Health Credit: ITV Anglia

There are growing concerns over a worrying drop in the number of doctors going into general practice in the East. Not enough new GPs are being recruited and many already doing the job want to leave because of the mounting pressure.

In the first of two special reports, Tanya Mercer's been looking into what's causing the crisis...

In the second of her reports, Tanya Mercer's been finding out why it is more young doctors are choosing not to become GPs and what's being done in the East to try to improve the situation...

91-year-old wins damages after being removed from his home

A sick 91-year-old retired civil servant who was an RAF gunner during the Second World War is to get £60,000 damages after local authority social services staff moved him to a "locked dementia unit" without authorisation, a judge has said.

Judge Paul Mort said Essex County Council had agreed to pay damages as part of a "compromise agreement" after a friend of the pensioner - who has dementia - took legal action on his behalf.

Detail of the case emerged following a hearing in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to sick and vulnerable people are analysed, in London.

The judge said the pensioner was wearing a dressing gown and "without trousers or pyjama bottoms" when taken from the home where he lived with his cat Fluffy in May 2013.

The pensioner had subsequently been detained "against his wishes" for 17 months before his friend had lodged a human rights claim.

Judge Mort said he had been "gratified" to learn late last year that the pensioner had returned home with Fluffy and was being looked after by carers.

The judge did not identify the pensioner in a written ruling but he named Essex County Council as the local authority with responsibility for providing care.

Rail travellers face weekend misery

There's more misery on the way for travellers using the busiest rail route in our region.

For the next two months there'll be major disruption to weekend services between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London.

It's because of four different sets of work in Essex which will see overhead power lines, tracks and points replaced.

To make matters worse train operator Abelio Greater Anglia say they can't guarantee the work won't over run into Monday mornings...

Watch Serena Sandhu's report...

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Plan to turn street lights back on in Essex

Streetlights in parts of Essex could be turned back on - reversing a county council decision to switch them off to save money.

Some lights across the county have been turned off at night since March last year in a bid to save more than £6 million by the year 2020.

But the lack of light has drawn complaints over safety and Harlow Council has taken matters into its own hands to switch lights there back on.

Watch Matthew Hudson's report...

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British soldier charged with raping six-year-old in Austria

A British soldier arrested on suspicion of raping a six-year-old girl in Austria has been charged, prosecutors have said.

The unnamed soldier, reportedly a bombardier from 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery in Essex, was also charged with sexually abusing the young girl.

Prosecutors said the soldier entered the house in Neustift, in the Stubaital valley, Austria, early one morning Credit: Google Maps

Prosecutors in the country said he had entered the family's unlocked home in the small town of Neustift, in the Stubaital valley in the early hours of one morning and was caught the girl's bedroom by her father, who had been woken by the noise.

He will face trial on March 10 and, if convicted, faces up to 10 years in prison.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman confirmed the Army was aware of the developments.

The Army is aware that a soldier has been charged in Austria following allegations of child sexual offences.

This matter is now subject to criminal proceedings led by the Austrian authorities and it is therefore inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.

– Ministry of Defence spokeswoman

Unemployment figures released for the East

The unemployment rate in the East of England has remained steady at 4.9%.

The number of those without work rose by 1,000 in the three months to November last year putting the total unemployed at 153,000.

In the East Midlands, which includes Northamptonshire, the jobless rate has fallen to 5.5% with 2,000 more people finding work in the three months to November last year putting the total unemployed at 129,000.

Police chase filmed from the air

Police have release pictures of their pursuit of a drunken motorist through residential streets in Chelmsford.

Ben Jolly, who's 27, was arrested after he was spotted in his Vauxhall Zafira in the early hours of New Year's Day. He was tracked from the air and followed on the ground as he drove at speeds of 70 miles an hour.

He eventually abandoned the car in Aubrey Close, running through a number of back gardens before he was arrested. He was nearly twice the drink drive limit.

Jolly was handed a three year driving ban after admitting a series of offences including aggravated vehicle taking, failing to stop for police, drink driving and being in possession of cannabis. He also received a nine month prison sentence suspended for two years, and was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work.

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