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  1. Updates on Wednesday 22 April 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved


That's all from the BBC Local Live team for Devon and Cornwall for now.

We'll be back at 08:00 on Thursday with a round up of the day's news, sport, travel and weather. We hope you can join us then.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 18:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: A charity shop in Saltash has been damaged by vandals for the eighth time in 18 months.

BBC Radio Devon: Devon and Cornwall police have launched a new scheme with local garages to tackle hit-and-run drivers.

Gilbert 'regrets' speeding fine

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A Cornish parliamentary candidate has apologised after

being fined for speeding.


The Lib Dem candidate for St Austell & Newquay Stephen Gilbert was fined £430 plus £85 costs and given three penalty points after being caught by a speed camera doing 40mph in a 30mph zone in St Blazey in August last year.

Mr Gilbert - who is defending a 1,312 majority - said: "It's a fair cop and particularly ironic since I secured the funding for the cameras when I was the local councillor 15 years ago. It's a genuine mistake that I very much regret."

Dead man's safe 'had accused's fingerprints on it'

David George

BBC Spotlight

The safe of a dead man had fingerprints on it from a man accused of his murder, a court has heard.

David Alderson's body was found at former mine workings near Carharrack in January 2014.

Prosecutors at Truro Crown Court said Kevin Cooper's fingerprints were found on the safe at Mr Alderson's flat. Mr Alderson's body also showed signs of defence injuries, the trial was told. Mr Cooper, 33, from Carharrack, and Trewen Kevern, 21, from Falmouth, both deny murder.

Dive team joined by friendly dolphin

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Divers monitoring seagrass in Plymouth Sound were joined by a dolphin while they were carrying out their survey.

Friendly dolphin Pic: National Marine Aquarium
National Marine Aquarium

The team, from the National Marine Aquarium's Community Seagrass Initiative, were diving in Firestone Bay late last week when they were joined by a bottlenose dolphin who has been previously named Clet, the aquarium said.

It added: "Clet swam with the trio checking them out for a good few minutes. This was something quite special for all the team from the aquarium and drew a crowd of people on the shore."

Rush hour travel problems

BBC Travel South West

  • In Plymouth on the A38 Parkway around St Budeaux heading towards the Tamar Bridge there is heavy traffic and queues because of an accident.
  • On the A30 in Hayle there is a broken down vehicle on the Loggans Moor roundabout. Traffic is busy but moving.
  • In the centre of Bugle we've got reports the traffic lights are being repaired and there are long delays on all approaches.

Cloudier tomorrow

David Braine

Weather forecaster, BBC Spotlight

It will remain dry overnight with clear spells at first, however, skies will probably turn more generally cloudy by dawn. Winds will ease. Minimum Temperature: 4 Deg C (39 Deg F).

Weather map

Thursday: probably a somewhat cloudier day overall than recently, though still dry and bright with some warm sunny spells developing, particularly during the afternoon. Maximum Temperature: 18 Deg C (64 Deg F),

Racist attack on driver

The police are trying to trace

three men who shouted racial abuse at a man who had stopped at a red light in Plymouth.

The incident, involving a silver Ford Fiesta and the victim's silver Renault Megane which was damaged, happened earlier this month at the junction of Weston Park Road and Outland Road.

Garage Watch aims to stop hit-and-run evaders

Devon and Cornwall Police hope to stop rogue drivers evading the law after hit-and-run collisions by having garages sign up to a new messaging system.

Man inspecting damaged car

Officers said the

Garage Watch scheme would alert local garages to any vehicle police suspected of being involved in a collision. It aimed to stop drivers avoiding justice by getting car repairs done swiftly while lying about the cause of anydamage.

The scheme would also enable police to warn garages about crime trends, such as burglaries or thefts of vehicles and motor equipment in their area.

Hunting: political analysis

Simon Hall

Correspondent, BBC South West

Figures obtained by the BBC show no prosecutions have been made in Devon and Cornwall under the Hunting Act 2004, since the ban was introduced 10 years ago.

Hunting was a major issue throughout much of Tony Blair's government but with

the introduction of the ban it became much less prominent. That could change after the general election, as there are clear differences between the main parties which could see the law revisited.

Labour has promised to defend the ban, the Conservatives say they will offer parliament a free vote on repealing it, while the Liberal Democrats say hunting is not a priority, but would allow their MPs a free vote if the issue arises.

Adoption collaboration

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

It's hoped a new scheme, launched today, will help match more children who need adoption with prospective parents.

Adoption video
Adopt South West

Adopt South West is bringing together local councils with charities which work in the sector. Currently 39 children in Devon need new families and 13 in Cornwall. I'll have more details in Spotlight at 18:30 on BBC One.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 17:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Ten firefighters from Falmouth and Camborne are called to an out-of-control garden fire which spread to a neighbour's hedge and shed.

BBC Radio Devon: It's hoped a new system - Adopt South West - will help match more children who need adopting in Devon with prospective parents.

Fishy tales on the BBC

BBC Radio 5 live has been broadcasting live from St Ives this morning as part of its general election coverage. ‏The station
tweets: @petereallen had a fishy tale (tail?) to tell from St Ives: He helped Balancing Eel owner Neil Whitman fry some fish.


Fire warning

Firefighters are warning people to be careful lighting bonfires after a barn near Truro was nearly destroyed earlier.

Barn Fire
Truro Fire Station

Crews from Truro say buildings are tinder dry after the recent spell of warm weather. Ten firefighters were also involved in an incident in Stithians where an out of control bonfire had spread to a neighbour's hedge and shed.

HMS Bulwark in Turkey

The UK Embassy in Turkey

tweets: [Plymouth-based warship] HMS Bulwark arrives #Çanakkale for #Gallipoli100 commemorations

Wrangaton Golf Club sold to Bovey Tracey club

Exeter Express and Echo

The future of Dartmoor's historic Wrangaton Golf Club has been secured following its sale to nearby Bovey Tracey Golf Club, the

Express and Echo reports.

Wrangaton Golf Club

Ian Walker from Begbies Traynor, was appointed liquidator of Wrangaton (South Devon) Golf Club Ltd in January after the club experienced declining membership subscriptions.

Mr Walker said: "We are delighted to announce the sale of Wrangaton Golf Club to Jane and Richard Barter. As experienced and successful golf club managers, we have no doubt that they will ensure Wrangaton Golf Club now goes from strength to strength."

'Make the most of the weather'

The BBC's James Churchfield

tweets: Making the most of the sunshine before the weather changes tomorrow #Fistral #Newquay #Cornwall

Fistral beach

Chemical incident powder 'from fire extinguisher'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A white powder found during an incident in Plymouth which required hazardous material experts to be called out was the contents of a fire extinguisher, police say.

Hazmat incident in Plymouth

Police were called to the property in Merrivale Road last night after reports of a burglary and vandalism. Two special constables and a man in the property were treated for breathing difficulties and irritation to their skin.

Devon and Cornwall Police said an investigation into a suspected burglary and criminal damage was being carried out.

A30 accident

BBC Travel South West

On the A30 in Devon a lane has been closed because of an accident eastbound between Fingle Glen and the Alphington Junction.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 16:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The Sennen lifeboat responds to a call of a local fishing boat in trouble off the coast of west Cornwall after its engine fails just off the coast of Cape Cornwall.

BBC Radio Devon: The contents of a mystery white powder that caused a hazardous material incident in Plymouth have been identified as the contents of a fire extinguisher.

Powering ahead

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

A 13 year old boy has been given a powered wheelchair by a charity to pursue his love of American Football.

Luke Griffin
Caudwell Children

Luke Griffin has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, a degenerative condition that has left him unable to walk.

The wheelchair, which came from

Caudwell Children, will enable him to assist the head coach of his father's new team - the
Cornish Sharks - and easily travel over grass.

Driver crackdown

Devon & Cornwall Police are running their Operation Vortex road safety patrols today, looking for careless and dangerous drivers.

‏The force

tweets: Court appearance awaits driver on his mobile phone, whilst travelling at 93mph and with a broken brake light on the A30 nr Exeter #OpVortex

Police reject hunt criticism

BBC Spotlight

Devon & Cornwall Police have defended their policing of hunting with dogs after the BBC revealed there have been

no prosecutions under the Hunting Act 2004 in the 10 years since it was made law.


Anti-hunt campaigners have described the news as 'very disappointing'.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton said: "Devon and Cornwall Police will always consider any evidence brought to our attention regarding the Hunting Act - and any other crime. This will be investigated proportionately and advice sought from the Crown Prosecution Service as to any charging decision."

Popular PC coverage

Falmouth Packet


Falmouth Packet reports how BBC Radio 4's Today programme broadcast a five minute feature this morning on how the death of PC Andy Hocking had affected the community and how his style of policing could be compared to the rest of the country.

Devon & Cornwall Police

The moving feature looked at what made 6,000 people line the streets of Falmouth to pay respects to the popular policeman, who died suddenly at the age of 52, and what made this ordinary neighbourhood police officer so special to so many people.

Murder defendant 'had dead man's keys'

David George

BBC Spotlight

Keys handled by a defendant in a murder case fitted a dead man's home, car and safe, a court has been told.

The body of David Alderson was found at former mine workings near Carharrack in January 2014.

Prosecutors at Truro Crown Court said keys found in Kevin Cooper's car fitted Mr Alderson's flat and car, and another key dropped by Mr Cooper at the home of co-defendant Trewen Kevern fitted a safe where Mr Alderson kept money. Mr Cooper, 33, from Carharrack, and Mr Kevern, 21, from Falmouth, both deny murder.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 15:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The trial of two men accused of murdering David Alderson from Falmouth has heard that keys which fitted the victim's safe were found in a car belonging to one of the defendants.

BBC Radio Devon: Opponents of wild animal hunting claim the fox-hunting ban isn't being properly enforced in the South West as figures show such no prosecutions in Devon and Cornwall.

Police probe charity shop damage

Laurence Reed

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

The police say a series of attacks on a Saltash charity shop is just 'mindless vandalism'.

Google Street View

In the most recent incident at the

CLIC Sargent shop in Fore street, someone has kicked in the back gate and damaged the roof.

Saltash PCSO Kirsty Down told me: "It's just mindless vandalism, there's no thefts taking place there, all they are doing is causing damage."

Exeter power cut

Western Power Distribution

tweets: Our apologies to customers in #Exeter #EX2 experiencing a #powercut. Engineers are en-route and estimate to restore all supplies by 16:00.

Flower power

Debbie McCrory

BBC Radio Cornwall

I've been to a National Trust garden in Cornwall where they're harnessing digital technology to create a database of its 5,000 plants.


Generations of gardeners at

Glendurgan on the Helford River have planted rhododendrons and other rare blooms and now a digital index is being created.

Rapist has sentence increased by four years

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A rapist from Devon who subjected women to a campaign of sexual violence that lasted nearly a decade has had his sentence increased, the

Attorney General's Office (AGO) says.

Paul Robert Clarke. Pic: Devon and Cornwall Police
Devon and Cornwall Police

Paul Robert Clarke, 47, was jailed for 16 years

in February for 11 counts of rape and one of assault causing actual bodily harm. However, the sentence was referred to the Court of Appeal over concerns it was unduly lenient, the AGO said.

Clarke, formerly of Chilsworthy and Barnstaple, had his sentence increased to 20 years for attacking three women.

Fishing boat helped

BBC Radio Cornwall

Lifeboats have responded to a call of a fishing boat in trouble off the coast of Cape Cornwall.

The 15 foot vessel called for help after its engine failed close to The Brissons rock. The Sennen lifeboat crew managed to get the engine running again and escorted the boat to nearby Priest's cove.

Enjoy it while it lasts

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

It will be another dry and mainly sunny afternoon. Some patchy cloud may affect the south coast at times and the light to moderate east or northeasterly winds will be fresh to strong further west and close to the south coast.


Tonight it will stay dry and mostly clear, but it will become a little more cloudy from the east by morning with some low cloud developing along the English Channel coast. Easterly winds will be strong at first over the far west and the south coast at first, but should ease later in the night. Min Temp 6C (43F).

Roads update

BBC Travel South West

  • The A385 Totnes Road in Paignton is
    blocked near the B3203 Borough Road junction because of an accident involving a lorry and a car.
  • The A30 in Launceston is partially blocked at the Callington turn off, because of an accident involving two vehicles on the roundabout.
  • There's an accident on B3284 in Shortlanesend near Truro around the Ashley Road junction.
  • The A38 in Trerulefoot is partially blocked westbound at Trerulefoot Roundabout, because of a broken down vehicle.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 14:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: A Liberal Democrat candidate gets a fine and penalty points after admitting speeding.

BBC Radio Devon: Police have rejected criticism over a
lack of Hunting Act prosecutions.

HMS Bulwark may help in migrant searches

Jonathan Beale

Defence correspondent, BBC News

The Ministry of Defence is looking at a number of options to help in search and rescue efforts of migrants in the Mediterranean, including the use of the Royal Navy's Plymouth-based flagship, the BBC understands.

HMS Bulwark

David Cameron has said that Britain will play a part in European efforts to deal with the crises.

Amphibious assault ship

HMS Bulwark is due in Turkey this week to take part in the centenary commemoration for the
Gallipoli campaign. One option would be to keep the vessel - which can carry two Merlin or Sea King helicopters and a detachment of Royal Marines - in the area to help in search operations. A defence source said no decisions had been made.

Animal cruelty cases increase

Western Morning News

Reports of animal cruelty in the South West are on the rise, a leading charity has announced, with Devon one of the worst counties in the country, says the

Western Morning News.

The latest figures from the RSPCA show a year on year increase in complaints of animal abuse of 250 between 2013 and 2014, taking the regional total for last year to 28,800.

More than 3,600 of these were reported in Devon, with staff investigating incidents of emaciated and flea infested pets, and even the charred remains of a dog.

Do you trust the police?

BBC Radio 4 Today

Colleagues of

the late Falmouth policeman PC Andy Hocking say his example of on-the-beat community policing shows the way to restore the public's faith in the service.


Thousands of people

packed into Falmouth last month to remember PC Hocking, who had died suddenly off-duty - former colleague and close friend PC Matt Cummins said: "Half the battle is getting that connection with people. Andy knew everybody, whether it was from his policing role, or through what he got up to before, and that proved massively helpful."

Election debate

Bill Buckley

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

Today from 13:00 you can hear the latest in our series of pre-recorded Election Debates.

The topic today: The economy, housing & immigration. Hear what candidates from the five main parties had to say when I quizzed them at the new BBC Radio Devon studios in Plymouth.

We'd like your reaction to the debate, call the phone-in on 0345 3011034.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 13:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: The Clic Sargent charity in Saltash is damaged by vandals for the eighth time in 18 months.

BBC Radio Devon: Exeter rapist Paul Clarke has his prison sentence increased from 16 to 20 years after the Court of Appeal rules his original sentence unduly lenient.

Lack of hunt prosecutions

Simon Hall

Correspondent, BBC South West

There've been opposing reactions from pro- and anti-hunting campaigners to my revelation there have been

no public prosecutions in Devon and Cornwall under the Hunting Act since it became law ten years ago

Getty Images

Peter Anderson from the League Against Cruel Sports said: "Devon & Cornwall Police has not viewed the ban as a priority and enforced it properly, which is very disappointing" - but Tim Bonner from the Countryside Alliance said the Hunting Act should be repealed, adding: "It isn't working and just leads to unfounded allegations of criminality against law-abiding people."