THE crown courts in Essex have been on full throttle once again this week.

Serious crimes have been dealt with by defendants being sentenced, and trials of major alleged crimes have been playing out as well.

Here is a rundown of the most serious cases heard at Basildon and Chelmsford Crown Courts this week.

Gang 'tried to kill man by setting him on fire'

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Southchurch Avenue

Basildon Crown Court heard that four people allegedly tried to murder the man in Southchurch Avenue, Southend on October 30, 2019.

Shocking police body cam footage showed PC Rebecca Halifax attending an emergency call and finding the man with severe burns across his body sat in a bedroom.

Alan Archer, 33, of Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff, Paul Bruns, 53, of York Road, Southend, Ben Ince, 41, of no fixed address, and Jane Reilly, 53, of Trowbridge Road, Harold Hill, deny attempted murder.

A jury was told the attack was carried out in the early hours of the morning, with the alleged victim returning to his home at 1.34am.

Read more here.

Man drove into Amazon warehouse car park to kill woman

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Afrax Ahmed has been given an indefinite hospital order after admitting attempted murder and assault.

It follows the 30-year-old's rampage at the Amazon warehouse in Tilbury on July 12 last year.

Ahmed had driven to the warehouse, entered the multi-storey car park and driven to the first floor. He spotted the woman, who was near her car, and accelerated and crashed straight into her.

He was given a hospital order, due to his mental health difficulties.

Two guilty of murdering man outside pub

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Ryan Filby and Daniel Daden have been found guilty of the murder of Liam Taylor following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The duo have also been convicted of wounding with intent after a friend of Mr Taylor, also 19, was attacked during the incident.

Stephen Jennings, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “Liam Taylor and his friend had no way of defending themselves against such a violent assault, which was borne out of retribution for an attack that neither of them were involved in.

“It was a horrific assault that will have a lasting impact on Liam’s family, his friend, and all those who witnessed what happened that night."

Read more here.

'Man kidnapped in Basildon and thrown out of van on A13'

A trio of men are standing trial for allegedly kidnapping the man from the Burnt Mills Industrial Estate in Basildon, before kicking him out the van on the A13.

The 27-year-old victim was hit over the head and kidnap, where the accused allegedly demanded he hand over £10,000.

He claims he was thrown from the vehicle onto the A13.

Bradley Scates, 25, of St Peters Road, Canvey, Daniel Bellefontaine, 37, of Little Oxcroft, Basildon, and James Newman, 34, of Mill Lane, London, deny kidnap, causing grievous bodily harm with intent and blackmail.

Read more here

Man armed with bayonet tried to break into ex's parents' home

Gary Williams battled depression following a split with his wife in 2018.

The 59-year-old said he “didn’t know what came over him” when he tried to break-in to the home in Bulphan on December 7 last year.

He was later arrested after Stanley knives and a Second World War bayonet were found near the home.

The weapons were recognised by Williams’ ex-wife, revealing he was the man trying to break in.

He was eventually spared jail.