Two more people have been arrested over their role in an illegal party held at a 500-year-old church on New Year's Eve. Hundreds of people attended a rave at All Saints' Church in East Horndon, near Brentwood, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Essex Police said that they have arrested a woman, 32, and man, 30, on suspicion of burglary, money laundering and cannabis cultivation. The pair have been released pending further investigation.
Three other attendees were previously arrested on charges related to public order and drugs offences. One has been released under investigation, while another was released without charge. Rev Paul Hamilton, area Dean of Brentwood, said he was "shocked" and "angry" by the extensive damage caused. "I walked through the door, I saw speakers everywhere, bottles everywhere, and drugs all over people's graves which are still tended by loved ones," he said.
A JustGiving page set up to help pay for repairs has raised over £20,000.
The page describes the extent of the damage and theft, along with the repair work that needs doing, noting that "the locks will need to be replaced as it seems an illegal copy was taken of the keys, a window was broken and used for an air extraction system, the walls have been damaged when blacking out the windows, and the electrics have been tampered with to power their equipment".
Hamilton said the money would be used to "increase security and make it [the church] more accessible to the public who have given so generously"