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London Southend Airport terminal extension official opening

London Southend Airport.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will officially open Southend Airport's new terminal extension today.

A commemorate plaque will be unveiled to mark the finale of the £120 million revamp which has taken six years to complete.

During his visit, he will tour the airport and have a chance to meet and talk to representatives from all the major airlines operating from London Southend Airport, local MPs', members and officers of Southend and Rochford Councils'.


Colchester woman guilty of attack on Ground Force star's daughter

A Colchester woman has been warned to expect a jail sentence after being found guilty of slashing the neck of Ground Force star Tommy Walsh's daughter in a London nightclub.

Leanne Bloomfield, 28, had denied using a shard of glass to cut Natalie Walsh, 22, upwards from her neck to her chin.

But a jury found her guilty of wounding with intent following a four-day trial and seven and a half hours of deliberations at Southwark Crown Court.

Following the verdict, Mr Walsh, who was in court with his wife and son, condemned the defendant's "laddish" behaviour during the assault on February 3.

After being found guilty, Bloomfield, of Highwoods, in Colchester, turned to the jury and said "I didn't do it", before breaking down in tears.

Judge Peter Susman QC adjourned sentencing to February 7 and warned he had "no choice but to impose a prison sentence".

First portrait of pet guinea pig found

16th century oil painting with guinea pig. Credit: PA Images

Art experts think they have uncovered one of the first ever portraits of a pet guinea pig.

A 16th century oil painting showing the animal being cradled between three children will go on show at a new exhibition later this year.

The portrait, believed to have been painted around 1580 by an unknown artist, shows three young children holding the animal which had recently been introduced into Europe from South America by Spanish merchants.

It will form part of an exhibition, called Elizabeth I And Her People, which opens at the National Portrait Gallery in central London in October.

A gallery spokesman said: "We know that guinea pigs were introduced into Europe by traders and were kept as exotic pets.

"While archaeological finds for domestic guinea pigs in Europe are rare, a partial skeleton of one that dates from around 1575 was discovered at Hill Hall in Essex, an Elizabethan manor house."

The youngest child in the painting is also holding a small bird, possibly a goldfinch, which was often used to symbolise Christianity in works of the period.

The exhibition includes jewellery, costumes and coins from the period as well as paintings.


Ipswich rail station evacuated as man climbs on roof

Man on the roof of Ipswich Station

Rail commuters have been facing severe delays on trains this morning because of a man on the roof of Ipswich station.

Greater Anglia say the station was evacuated this morning so British Transport Police could deal with the incident. The train company is urging people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

Drug dealer swallowed 139 wraps

25-year-old Thaimloll Conteh swallowed 139 wraps Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

A drug dealer who swallowed more than 130 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine in a bid to hide them from police has been jailed.

Thaimloll Conteh, 25, of Cropley Street, London, was spotted by officers on patrol in Market Street, Ely, on Monday, April 29.

He was acting suspiciously, was in the company of a known drug dealer and initially gave a false name, so the officers searched him and seized several mobile phones and £300 in cash. He could also not explain why he was in Ely.

Their suspicions raised he was arrested and taken in for questioning. He was strip-searched but no drugs were found, however an x-ray revealed he had a number of packages in his stomach.

He was admitted to hospital and 139 packages of drugs were eventually recovered.

He pleaded guilty to possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply. The drugs had a street value of between £1,730 and £2,780.

He was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Peterborough Crown Court yesterday.

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