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Fresh appeal three years after Harlow house fire kills six

Dr Sabah Usmani and her five children were killed in the fire. Credit: Essex Police

A fresh appeal's being made by Essex police on the third anniversary of a fatal house fire where six members of the same family died.

Dr Sabah Usmani and her five children, Hira aged 12, Sohaib, aged 11, Muneeb, aged 9, Rayyan, aged 6 and three-year-old Maheen died as a result of the fire at Barn Mead in Harlow in 2012.

Detectives say the investigation has been one of the most difficult and challenging inquiries they've carried out and that the answers lie within the local community.

"Three years have passed and we are desperate to find answers for Dr Shakoor. We have said right from the start that the answer to this case lies within the community of Harlow.

I would urge anybody who knows anything to come forward. Please don't hold anything back as even a small piece of information could help us unlock the answers and find the person or persons responsible. "

– Senior Investigating Officer, Det Supt Rob Vinson, of the Kent & Essex Serious Crime Directorate

Dr Abdul Shakoor tried to get help to save his wife and children by jumping out of a window to raise the alarm, but was unable to save them. He was the only survivor.


Ram raid warning issued by police

Aftermath of Roydon ram raid. Credit: Paul Wood

Detectives are warning that thieves could be planning a series of attacks on cash machines across the region.

A stolen loader was used to take an ATM in Harlow over the weekend and a few days earlier a shop at nearby Roydon was targeted.

Bedfordshire police say farm equipment which could be used in future raids as well as some potential get-away cars have been stolen in the past few weeks.

Harlow ram raid linked to other cash machine thefts

A ram raid at an Essex shop is being linked to two others. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Police believe a ram raid on a cash machine in Harlow could be linked to two other thefts in recent weeks.

A JCB digger was used to remove the ATM from the outside wall of Martins newsagents at Prentice Place just before 1.45am on Saturday.

Eight people are thought to have been involved and a five-figure sum of cash was stolen.

Police are linking the raid to a similar theft on High Street in Roydon on September 16.

A forklift truck was driven through the window of the McColl's store at about 2am and a cash machine was removed - although it was later found abandoned at a nearby cricket ground with cash still inside it.

On August 28, a red Mitsubishi Shogun was reversed into the shutters of The Food Store in The Chase in Harlow. The ATM was stolen and another five-figure sum of cash taken.

Det Ch Insp Stuart Smith, of Essex Police, said the raids could potentially be linked to even more thefts.

"We now believe all three thefts are linked and we are carrying out extensive enquiries to find out who is responsible and bring them to justice.

"There have been a number of similar incidents across the eastern region and we are working closely with our colleagues in the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit."

– Det Ch Insp Stuart Smith, Essex Police.


Man due in court charged with firearms offence

A man is due to appear in court today charged with a firearms offence after an incident in Harlow at the weekend.

Essex Police were called to the Willowfield area of Harlow on Sunday afternoon. They have charged 25-year-old Shea Kenny of Abbeydale Close in Harlow with grievous bodily harm with intent, and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. He has been remanded in custody to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.

Five other men who were arrested in connection with the incident were questioned and later released without charge, and face no further police action.

Lorry driver charged after fatal M11 horsebox crash

A lorry driver has been charged with causing two deaths by dangerous driving following a multiple-vehicle crash on the M11.

Three cars, a horsebox and a lorry were involved in the crash on the northbound carriageway on May 15 last year.

Geoffrey Mills, aged 53, from Huissen in the Netherlands and his sister Eleanor Mills, aged 45, from Petersfield, in Hampshire, both died when their car was struck by other vehicles.

Two other people were seriously injured.

Roger Sharratt, 50, of Bagots Oak, Staffordshire, was charged on Saturday August 22, with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

He was bailed to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on October 6.

Watch the moment a stolen pug is reunited with his owner

Essex Police have released adorable video footage showing the moment a a stolen pug is reunited with his owner.

Essex Police have arrested a 23-year-old woman from Harlow on suspicion of theft, after a pug was recovered during police searches.

The woman was released without charge in relation to the theft of the pug as there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

The dog was later reunited with his owner at Harlow Police Station.

“I had been so worried about Lola since she went missing so when I got the call from the police I was over the moon.

As soon as I saw her, her little tail went into overdrive and I instantly knew it was her. I am just so happy to have her back.”

– Kate Witham, Owner
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