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  1. Updates on Thursday 23 April 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved


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

We'll be back on Friday with a full roundup of the day's news, sport, travel and weather. We hope you can join us then. Have a good evening.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 18:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that three Merlin helicopters based at RNAS Culdrose will be made available to deal with the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean.

BBC Radio Devon: The RNAS Culdrose helicopters will accompany the Plymouth-based HMS Bulwark on search and rescue missions.

Cameron on 'real tragedy' of migrants

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "What we're dealing with here is a real tragedy in the Mediterranean and today's meeting has got to be about saving lives. Now of course saving lives means rescuing these poor people but it also means smashing the gangs and stabilising the region."

HMS Bulwark

It comes after he revealed that three Merlins from RNAS Culdrose and Plymouth-based flagship HMS Bulwark will be deployed in the Mediterranean to help with search and rescue operations for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.

Terrorism suspect was inspired by Exeter's Nicky Reilly

BBC News


A terrorism suspect accused of grooming a vulnerable man so he would kill soldiers has said his interest in extremism was for "research purposes". Kazi Islam allegedly tried to persuade 19-year-old Harry Thomas to buy bomb ingredients and carry out an attack like the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.

Mr Islam, 18, from east London, who denies preparing to commit acts of terrorism,

told the Old Bailey his "experiment" with Mr Thomas was inspired by Nicky Reilly, who was behind a failed suicide bomb attack in Exeter - and who, like Mr Thomas, has Asperger's syndrome.

Beard boy internet fame

Plymouth Herald

A Plymouth boy has become an online sensation after his dad drew a beard on his face while he was sleeping, reports the

Plymouth Herald.

Calum Baskott

Calum Baskott told his dad Karl "I wish I could have a beard." - Karl then posted a picture on Facebook of Calum with makeshift stubble. The post was picked up by popular social media page The Lad Bible, and has had more than 107,000 views on Facebook and 1,400 retweets on Twitter.

Cooler and cloudier tomorrow

David Braine

Weather forecaster, BBC Spotlight

It will be a dry night with lengthy clear spells at first, but it will soon cloud over from the southwest. Winds will remain light. Minimum Temperature: 6 Deg C (43 Deg F).

Weather graphic

Much cooler and cloudier tomorrow with showery rain and a strengthening breeze spreading from the west throughout the day. The best of any brightness is likely across eastern parts. Maximum Temperature: 14 Deg C (57 Deg F).

Lib Dems question PM's Stadium pledge

Laurence Reed

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

One Cornish Liberal Democrat candidate says he's sceptical about the prime minister's pledge to make the Stadium for Cornwall a reality.


On a visit to Penzance, David Cameron said there would be government support and, if necessary, funds for the Stadium project - Truro & Falmouth PPC Simon Rix told me: "I'm massively in favour of a stadium in the right place if we can get the money but it's like the Conservative promises on the NHS, they're not saying where the money's going to come from."

You can

read more about the constituency and see a full list of candidates here.

Delays caused by crashes

BBC Travel South West

A series of accidents are causing problems this rush hour:

  • At St Giles in the Wood the A3124 is partially blocked near the A386.
  • The A386 at Monkleigh is also partially blocked near Loxdown Road.
  • Laira Bridge Road in Plymouth is blocked in both directions near Finnigan Road. Traffic is queueing.

Totnes rainbow crossing could be shelved

Plans in Totnes for Europe's first permanent rainbow road crossing could be shelved after fears were raised that it could cause dementia sufferers to have hallucinations, according to the

Torquay Herald Express.

The newspaper said the group Proud2Be has been working on establishing a permanent rainbow crossing in Totnes following the success of the temporary one it set up in the High Street for the town's gay pride event last year.

Exeter woman raped and held against will

Exeter Express and Echo

A rapist has been jailed after police broke into his Exeter home to rescue a terrified woman who texted her boyfriend to tell him she was being held against her will, reports the

Exeter Express and Echo.

Aleksandr Pronko
Devon and Cornwall Police

Farm labourer Aleksandr Pronko was naked and drunk when police arrested him and freed the traumatised woman from his bedroom where she was also naked. Pronko, aged 27, of Kings Road, Exeter, admitted rape and was jailed for six years by Judge Simon Carr.

PM confirms SW help for migrants crisis

The Prime Minister has confirmed that the Plymouth-based HMS Bulwark and three Merlin helicopters from Cornwall will help with search and rescue operations for migrants in the Mediterranean.

Merlin Helicopter
Getty Images

An emergency summit is taking place in Brussels after deaths of hundreds of people at the weekend. HMS Bulwark is taking part in the Gallipoli centenary commemorations this weekend before being re-tasked to deal with the migrant crises. Royal Marines are on board the ship.

Three Merlins from RNAS Culdrose will be flying from land onto Bulwark as it has no hangar to maintain the aircraft.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 17:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Opposition parties have criticised David Cameron's pledge to build a stadium for Cornwall if the Tories win the next election as an election bribe.

BBC Radio Devon: Britain is offering to commit the Plymouth-based HMS Bulwark and three Merlin helicopters to a European Union operation to tackle the Mediterranean refugee crisis.

Crown Currency jury sent home

Scott Bingham

BBC Spotlight

The jury in a £20m currency fraud trial has been sent home for the day after not reaching a verdict.

Peter Benstead, 72, from Penzance, denies 10 counts relating to the Crown Currency Exchange business, which left more than 12,000 customers out of pocket. Mr Benstead and five co-defendants deny all charges. The trial at Southwark Crown Court will reconvene on 28 April 2015.

Tigers to rest players

Ross Ellis

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

Truro City boss Steve Tully has said he will

field an under-strength team for their final Southern Premier League game at Histon.

Truro City FC

The Cornish side will finish third in the division and face a home play-off semi-final against either Hungerford Town or St Neots Town.

Farmer jailed for animal cruelty

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A farmer has been sentenced to 18 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to charges of animal cruelty which resulted in animals being put down. Michael Hart, 58, of Trevennen Farm in Gorran, was also banned from keeping farm animals for five years and ordered to pay £960 in costs following the hearing at Truro Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Hart pleaded guilty to six charges under the Animal Welfare Act, including causing unnecessary suffering to 11 sheep by failing to prevent or treat emaciation, failing to treat three lame sheep, failing to care for a pig with overgrown feet and failing to care for 80 sheep. He also pleaded guilty to further charges of failing to dispose of sheep carcases and failing to give poultry clean housing.

Honeybone 'on guard' for 2015

Truro fencer James Honeybone

tweets: Really excited to have been selected to represent @TeamGB at the Baku European Games!

Abuse advice

BBC Spotlight

A man who took his parents to court accusing them of years of abuse when he was a child, is touring hospitals in the South West trying to offer advice to victims and carers.

George Bamby

George Bamby from Paignton grew up in Manchester and spent the latter part of his childhood in care. He says he was regularly beaten and forced to eat dog food by his mother and stepfather. George's court case ended up with a hung jury. He was offered a re-trial but has so far declined the court's offer.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 16:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Labour have described the Prime Minister's promise to fund a stadium for Cornwall as a "cynical" attempt to distract voters from the real issues facing Cornwall.

BBC Radio Devon: A Devonport assault ship is on standby to offer help with the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean.

UKIP's Cornwall ambitions

James Churchfield

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

The UKIP leader Nigel Farage has told me he's hoping for general election success all over Devon and Cornwall.


Mr Farage is yet to visit Cornwall during the election campaign but he said: "It's always been important us to us... we've traditionally been strong in Cornwall and, as you well know, it's one of the most fiercely contested counties in the whole of the country."

Listen to the full interview.

Martial arts coach raped girl

Exeter Express and Echo

A martial arts coach who ran his own kick boxing school in Dawlish has pleaded guilty to raping a young girl 20 years ago, reports the

Exeter Express and Echo.

The newspaper said Paul Drury ran the Black Belt Academy in Dawlish until he was arrested and held in custody earlier this year by police investigating historic abuse allegations.

Different shaped balls

Matt Pengelly

Local Live

Two England & Exeter Chiefs rugby stars have been swopping kicking tips with two English Premiership footballers.

George Ford and Jack Nowell took on Chelsea's Gary Cahill and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at a 'crossbar challenge' to mark St George's Day.

England Rugby

You can

watch the video here.

Tractor on fire on A39

A tractor has been "severely damaged" after catching fire in a layby on the A39 at Lynton this afternoon.

Fire crews from Lynton and Combe Martin managed to put out the blaze. A spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was accidental.

Happy St George's Day

BBC Spotlight

It's St George's Day today with celebrations taking place around the region to celebrate England's patron Saint.


Morris-dancing displays will be taking place all over the South West, this one at Bovey Tracey was held last night. St George's flags are being flown from public buildings and bellringers will be ringing special peals throughout the day.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 15:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Latest crime figures released this morning show a drop in recorded crime across Devon and Cornwall but the number of sexual offences has risen by more than 20%.

BBC Radio Devon: South west farmers say they are worried about long delays in receiving farm payments worth tens of thousands of pounds because of problems with a new computer system.

Police hunt watch robber

BBC Radio Cornwall

The police are hunting a man who robbed a woman of her watch in St Austell this morning.

A woman was walking in the Bishop Bronescombe park near Boscoppa Road when a man asked her for money but then took her watch and ran off.

He is described as white, late 20s, 5ft 6ins to 5ft 7ins of skinny build, wearing a dark blue baseball cap, white t-shirt and dark jeans.

Mebyon Kernow reacts to stadium news

Laurence Reed

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

The Prime Minister's promise to make the Stadium for Cornwall a reality has been rubbished by one Mebyon Kernow candidate.


Stephen Richardson is standing for MK in the Truro & Falmouth seat, he told me: "You have to excuse me if I don't believe a single syllable of any David Cameron promise during the election campaign." You can

read more about the constituency and see a full list of candidates here.

Sunshine through the clouds

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

It's a dry afternoon with cloud along the south coast and further east breaking up at times as sunny spells become more widespread this afternoon. Light or moderate easterly winds will veer to the southeast.


Tonight it will be

dry with clear spells at first, but misty low cloud in the west will push further east during the night leaving most areas cloudy with some hill and coastal fog patches by dawn. Remaining dry with light or moderate southeasterly winds veering to the south. Min Temp 4 C (39 F).

Portreath off to World Champs

BBC Radio Cornwall

Rowers at a Cornish gig club say they've been overwhelmed by the response of the rowing community after their new gig was sabotaged, threatening to scupper their first trip to the World Championships next month.



BBC Radio Cornwall reported how a crucial rudder bracket had been unscrewed from Portreath's gig, the club was inundated with offers of help and are now ready to head to the Isles of Scilly for the World Championships.

Cinema plans for old bus station

BBC Radio Devon

Plans for the

redevelopment of Plymouth's Bretonside bus station could be given the go-ahead today. City planners are being recommended to approve the work which would see a a multiplex cinema built, along with cafes and restaurants.

Bretonside bus station

There've been an equal number of comments to the council both for and against the idea - including from English Heritage which has concerns about the impact of the scheme on its historic surroundings.

News on the hour

The top local stories at 14:00 include:

BBC Radio Cornwall: Politicians line up to criticise David Cameron's 'Stadium for Cornwall' pledge.

BBC Radio Devon: Devon farmers say they're worried they'll face long delays in receiving farm payments because of problems with a new computer system.

Marathon memories

BBC Spotlight

Two generations of a family from South Devon will be running the London Marathon next week in honour of their late grandfather who completed the race four times after the age of 80.

BBC Spotlight 1996

Walter Cayless was at one stage the oldest finisher in the race - now his son and three grandchildren will mark the 20th anniversary of one of his marathons by running the 26 miles for the first time.

Hayle Harbour changes hands



Cornishman is reporting the redevelopment of Hayle Harbour could be set to change as the site is transferred to new ownership.

Corinthian Land confirmed purchase of the harbour as Dutch firm ING sold off the last of its assets in Hayle. The Kent-based land management company now controls most of the harbour area, excluding the central section of South Quay, which includes the transfer of outline planning permission for 870 homes.

Pavey blasts 'unethical' drug use

BBC Sport

European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey says she fears some athletes are

using 'unethical' thyroid medication to enhance their performance.

Getty Images

Thyroxine is used to treat a condition which can cause tiredness and weight gain, and is not banned in the sport. The Devon-based athlete said: "There are athletes who are full-out drugs cheats, there are athletes who would never take anything and there are athletes who would push the boundaries and take things that I consider unethical."

Labour decries Cameron's 'cynical' support for stadium

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

The Labour Party has condemned the Prime Minister David Cameron's support for a controversial stadium for Cornwall as a "cynical" attempt to distract voters from "the real issues" facing the county of the NHS, a lack of affordable housing and cuts to education.

Plans for a stadium for Cornwall

A Labour Party statement said Cameron had "a cheek" promising the Conservatives would build the stadium which has been in the pipeline for many years but has never been funded. Stuart Roden, Labour candidate for Truro and Falmouth said: "Everyone supports a Stadium for Cornwall. This announcement today is a cynical empty promise and will come to nothing. It is simply more smoke and mirrors and people won't be taken for fools by this unfunded distraction."

Migrant crisis: what should we do?

Bill Buckley

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

The first funerals have taken place for the

migrants who died when the ship they were on sank off Libya at the weekend. It's thought 800 men, women and children died trying to get to Europe.

European leaders including David Cameron are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels today to discuss what to do. So what do YOU think we should do? Let me know on today's phone-in by calling 0345 3011034.

News on the hour

BBC Radio Cornwall and
BBC Radio Devon: A man who took his parents to court, accusing them of years of abuse when he was a child, is touring hospitals in the South West to offer advice to victims and carers.

Umbilical cord policy

BBC Radio Cornwall

Midwives in Cornwall say clear guidance on when to cut a baby's umbilical cord gives women and maternity teams more choice - especially in complex births.


New 'best practice' guidelines state the cord should be left for at least a minute - as in the case of twins Arlo and Orrin (above). The Royal Cornwall Hospital says its teams already use the practice for natural deliveries, but it has potential for more difficult cases.

Road delay anger

BBC Radio Devon

Some businesses are unhappy at delays to three major roadworks along a 60 mile stretch of trunk road in Devon. There are seven schemes - costing nearly £30m in total - between Plymouth and Junction 27 of the M5 but two projects on the M5 and one on the A38 are running late.



Highways Agency has blamed 'unexpected reasons' for the delays - Larry Pomeroy who works at the industrial site at Junction 28 says it's disrupting his commute from Newton Abbot, adding "It's taking me nearly half an hour extra, it can be frustrating, it's not good enough."

City crime stats

Plymouth Herald


Plymouth Herald is reporting there were 18,841 crimes in Plymouth from April 2014 to March 2015 according to figures released today - with a 32.2 per cent increase in weapons crime.

There have also been increases in the reports of rape and sexual offences, violence and drugs possession. Across Devon and Cornwall the number of crimes dropped year on year by 4,417 - down 5.2 per cent.

High waters

Holly Green

BBC Weather

If you're planning a trip to the seaside today, here are the latest high tide times.