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  1. Updates on Wednesday 30 March 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Wednesday's live coverage

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Thursday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Conger eel takes up residence in sunken fishing boat

Baby looked like he 'had gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson' after alleged assault, Exeter court hears

Exeter Express & Echo

A baby allegedly looked 'as if had gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson' after being battered by his father, a jury has been told.

Traditional handline fisherman will be 'badly missed'

Hannah Stacey

BBC Radio Cornwall

A fisherman from Cornwall who died after being found tangled in his nets will be "badly missed", the chairman of a local local fishermen's society says.

Nigel Hill. Pic: Malcolm MacGarvin
Malcolm MacGarvin

The 56 year-old, named locally as Nigel Hill (pictured), was found on Monday after the 20ft boat Magica was seen going in circles close to Rosemullion Head. He was pronounced dead in hospital.

David Muirhead, chairman of Cadgwith, Helford and District Fishermen's Society, said: "He'd been fishing all his life, a very good and enthusiastic fisherman. He will be very badly missed by all his fellow fisherman." 

Police appeal for missing man

Police say they are concerned for the welfare of Jamie Symons, 26, who has gone missing after leaving Totnes Hospital.

He has an army tattoo on his right hand and was last seen carrying an army rucksack.

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Latest weather: Showers clearing before a mostly dry Thursday

Holly Green

BBC Weather

This evening and tonight will see a few isolated showers, but it will be mainly dry. However, it will be cold and frosty, with some fog patches, as temperatures dip to 0C (32F).


Thursday will see a cold start, with some fog in places, although this will quickly clear to leave a mostly dry day with lengthy sunny spells. Heavy showers will be few and far between, and it will feel pleasant in the sunshine, with light winds and a maximum temperature of 12C (54F).

New plans are about to be unveiled for Newquay's derelict former Fistral Bay Hotel

Cornish Guardian

Newquay residents are invited to attend a public consultation to have their say on new plans for the derelict former Fistral Bay Hotel.

Libraries minister: Volunteers not replacing staff

BBC News England

Volunteers are not being used as a replacement for paid staff in libraries, the minister overseeing them in England has said.

Andrew Segal

Ed Vaizey said councils should invest in branches to save money, after a BBC investigation revealed almost 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have gone in six years. In that time, Devon has gone from almost 800 employees to just over 500. Cornwall has seen a drop from 247 to 217.

Mr Vaizey said the way people used libraries had changed but it was not "doom and gloom".

Residents warn of 'near misses' in Carbis Bay tree row

BBC Spotlight

Residents in a street in Carbis Bay say a huge branch which has fallen into a garden, narrowly missing a house, proves that a group of trees there needs chopping down. 

carbis bay trees

Local people say it's yet another near miss after a whole tree fell on a car in the street. They fear there could be more damage - or worse - if the trees are not removed. 

Cornwall Council has refused to take down the old pine trees, saying it has carried out a detailed inspection but the condition of the trees is tolerable.

Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

Andrew Segal

Local Live

- Five men appear in court charged with kidnapping a man who was beaten before being driven 70 miles away 

- Police investigate a serious crash on a major route in Plymouth after a motorcycle and car collide in Plymstock

- Torquay United agrees to a takeover of the club by Gaming International Ltd

- Tributes are paid to an "irreplaceable" fisherman who died after being found tangled in his nets in Cornwall

- Police appeal to the public following an aggravated burglary in Cornwall that left a man in his 60s and a woman in her 50s in hospital

Council 'pleased' at rollercoaster 'no screaming' sign

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

A local councillor says he is "pleased" a warning sign has been put up by a Devon theme park asking people not to scream on a new rollercoaster ride because of noise concerns.

Big One sign

Hugh Bone, chair of Abbotsham Parish Council, said villagers had asked them to control "the amount of sound" coming from the 400m-long Big One at the Big Sheep park in north Devon. More than £200,000 was also spent on a noise reduction bank.

Local people "do worry" about the noise, he said, particularly on weekends "when there may be funerals or weddings taking place" in the nearby church.

Torquay United board agree club takeover

BBC Sport

Torquay United have signed a memorandum of understanding for a takeover of the club by Gaming International Ltd.

Torquay United, Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

In 2015, chairman David Phillips led a consortium of local businessmen who purchased the National League club from Thea Bristow. That takeover led to budget cuts which have coincided with the Gulls struggling near the bottom of the table.

statement by Phillips said Torquay and Gaming International were in the process of completing due diligence. He said: "If and when a deal is completed, this will be wonderful news for TUFC. There will be significant finance put into the club."

GWR 'never intended' to mislead with 'public owned' ad

BBC News England

A railway operator says it was "never our intention" to suggest it was a publicly-owned company after being told not to mislead people in its advertising.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled a poster produced by Great Western Railway stating "the railway belongs to the region it serves" was likely to make people think it was owned by the public.

Great Western Railway sign

GWR said the firm was "disappointed" by the ruling but apologised. It added it was "proud of the work we do as a private company to benefit the region".

Latest travel in Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- Billacombe Road in Plymouth remains closed, causing traffic queues in the city centre, on the Embankment and also causing congestion in Plympton and Plymstock 

- The A38 Plymouth-bound in Plympton between Deep Lane and Marsh Mills Roundabout has one lane blocked due to a broken-down lorry

- There are reports of an incident on the B3181 near Winham Lane 

- The A386 at Peter Tavy is partially blocked near Langsford Road due to an incident 

- In Cornwall, the A30 at Temple is blocked in both directions due to an incident. Traffic is queueing 

- There are reports of an incident in the roadworks on the A30 eastbound near Bodmin. Traffic is slow moving and queueing

Domestic abuse victims waiting months to get help

BBC Radio Devon

Hundreds of women and children in Devon who've been victims of domestic abuse are waiting up to eight months to get help with their recovery.

Three years ago services such as therapy for children had little or no waiting lists, but in parts of Devon up to 100 children and more than 300 women are currently believed to be in need of support.

Providers said the current backlog was the legacy of funding cuts. They added that the re-organisation of services also contributed to the situation, with many affected no longer being considered at serious risk by the authorities.

Clash during heated debate over 87% council tax hike

Cornish Guardian

Residents and councillors in Newquay clashed during a heated debate over the town council's decision to hike up the council tax by almost 90%.

Police ready for Devon derby

University 'still small for Falmouth' after claims it's putting too much pressure on housing

BBC Radio Cornwall

The woman in charge of Falmouth University says the institution will work with the community to ensure a rise in student numbers doesn't put more pressure on housing.


Cornwall Councillor Candy Atherton claims the fabric of the town could be "ripped apart" if there's no proper housing plan to deal with 2,500 extra students. But Vice Chancellor Professor Anne Carlisle said she didn't think the university was getting too big for the town. 

She said: "Relative to a number of universities around the UK, our ratio to the size of our town is still smaller. But we must remember why the university was developed - it was about bringing higher skills, it was about driving economic benefit, it was about creating opportunity inside Cornwall and bringing talent into Cornwall."

Latest travel for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- Billacombe Road in Plymouth is blocked outbound between Hele's Terrace and Pomphlett due to investigation work between a car and motorcycle   

- The A386 at Peter Tavy is partially blocked near Langsford Road due to an accident

- In Exeter, Pynes Hill is partially blocked near Ludwell Lane

- Polweath Road in Penzance is blocked due to a crash

Row over trees cut down for housing development

BBC Radio Cornwall

A row has broken out between residents and a developer in a Cornish village over the removal of trees to build 10 houses. 

Some people living in Ponsanooth said the developer did not ask permission before chopping down a number of large oak, ash and sycamore trees. 

The developer said he did consult with locals and he only removed a minimal amount of trees.

Police appeal after assault outside Plymouth pub

Police are keen to speak to this man in connection with an assault which took place outside a Plymouth pub.

A 39-year-old man suffered sustained injuries to his head, face and torso in the attack.

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Truro City travel to Oxford City

Ross Ellis

BBC Radio Cornwall

Truro City visit Oxford City this evening in a match rearranged from Easter Monday. 

Truro manager Steve Tully says he won't be changing his line-up from the one previously planned. Oxford are 6th in the table, two places behind Truro.

Argyle 'nightmare fixture' moved to Good Friday at Morecambe's request

Plymouth Herald

A nightmare away fixture on Good Friday which dozens of Plymouth Argyle fans missed due to traffic hell on the M6 was rescheduled at Morecambe's request, it can be revealed.

Latest weather: Variable cloud and possible frost overnight

BBC Weather

Sunny spells, variable cloud and isolated showers will continue, and there is still a risk of hail. We will see more high level cloud this afternoon which will make the sunshine more hazy. Maximum temperature: 10C (50F). 


Tonight will see variable amounts of cloud and very isolated showers, most likely around the coasts. Winds will be moderate north westerly. Minimum temperature will be 2C (36F), so a frost is likely for inland areas.

Latest traffic reports in Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- In Devon, Billacombe Road in Plymouth is blocked in both directions between Hele's Terrace and Pomphlett due to a road incident. Police are asking drivers to avoid the area 

- One lane is closed on the Exeter-bound entry slip on the A38 at the Marley Head junction due to a broken-down vehicle 

- In Cornwall, one lane is blocked on the A39 at the Treluswell Roundabout, near Penryn, due to an incident

- In Penzance, there are reports Polweath Road is blocked due to an incident near Polweath Close

Three injured in car and motorcycle collision

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Three people have been taken to hospital after a serious collision on a major road in Plymouth, police say.

A car and motorcycle collided on Billacombe Road in Plymstock at about 12:40.

The three injured, two of whom were on the motorbike, were taken to Derriford Hospital. Billacombe Road has been closed, along with Laira Bridge, causing considerable traffic problems, police said.

Water supplies in Avonwick on edge of Dartmoor still affected

Gang of five appear in court on kidnapping and assault charges

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Five men have appeared in court charged with kidnapping a man who was badly beaten before being driven 70 miles away. 

The victim, 27, suffered injuries including broken ribs and a suspected broken jaw when he was attacked at his home in Mutley, on Sunday. He was then driven to Hayle, where he was abandoned.

The five men - three from St Austell and two from Birmingham - who are also accused of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, appeared at Plymouth Magistrates Court this morning. The case has been transferred to Plymouth Crown Court for a hearing on 3 May. 

300-mile hand-delivery is from 'dedicated' post master

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A retired head teacher says he's "amazed" that his village post master hand-delivered a letter 300 miles away to make sure it arrived on time.

David Shepherd

Hugh Munro set off from Stratton, Cornwall, for a charity trip to Amsterdam without his passport and a neighbour took it to his local post office for next day delivery. But 26-year-old David Shepherd (pictured) forgot to get it in the post, so set off on a 300-mile journey to deliver it himself.

Mr Munro said: "It shows how dedicated he is. Stratton is a fantastic place and David is a brilliant part of it.”

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

- Five men have been charged with kidnapping a man in Plymouth before driving him 70 miles away to Hayle

- Tributes have been paid to a fisherman who died after being found entangled in his nets at the mouth of the Helford

- A new salvage attempt is underway on a French fishing boat which sank in Dartmouth Harbour on 10 March

- A postmaster from Cornwall embarked on a 300-mile journey to hand-deliver a passport after realising he'd forgotten to process it

Chris Eubank Jr fight: Which corner are you in?

Bill Buckley

BBC Radio Devon

Chris Eubank says he told his son to avoid punching Nick Blackwell in the head in order to protect him during their fight on Saturday.

Chris Eubank Jr and Chris Eubank

Which corner are you in when it comes to boxing? Let me know on today's phone-in by calling 0845 3011034.

New attempts to salvage stricken French fishing boat in Dartmouth

Fresh attempts to salvage the stricken French fishing boat Saint Christophe are beginning in Dartmouth. 

Engineers from Dutch firm Multraship arrived in the town last night and salvage ship Cormorant is due to arrive in the port on Thursday or Friday.

Saint Christophe I

It's several weeks since the boat capsized on the low tide after mooring on the Dartmouth embankment to shelter from Force 9 winds on 10 March. Locals said the vessel had become home to a large conger eel who was sharing fish with a local seal.

Tributes paid to fisherman who died after being found tangled in nets

Hannah Stacey

BBC Radio Cornwall

Tributes are being paid to a handline fisherman from the Lizard who died after being found tangled in his nets in the sea at the mouth of the Helford River.

Nigel Hill. Pic: Malcolm MacGarvin
Malcolm MacGarvin

Named locally as Nigel Hill (pictured), the 56-year-old was one of just a few fishermen using ancient methods to fish sustainably. 

Mr Hill's 20 foot boat 'Magica' was found moored close to Rosemullion Head on Monday. His death is not being treated as suspicious and a file has been passed to the coroner.

Latest travel for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- The A39 is partially blocked at St Kew Highway because of a broken down lorry  

- On the A385 at Totnes there are hold-ups between Bridgetown and Clay Lane in the roadworks area

- Delays on the A381 Torquay Road in Newton Abbot, also because of roadworks 

- Roadworks are also affecting the A390 Holmbush Road through St Austell 

- Watch out for slow moving traffic on the A30 westbound between Camborne and Hayle 

Are there enough electric car charging points in Cornwall?

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

Our research shows there are 60 electric car charging points in Cornwall.

But only 11 will top up your car rapidly - in less than an hour.

Today we're asking is that enough? We'll be speaking to the experts about the pros and cons of buying an electric car. Get involved in today's phone-in by calling 01872 222222.

Theme park owner says rollercoaster complaints are 'somewhat galling'

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

The owner of a theme park which is asking people not to scream on its new rollercoaster, says it's "somewhat galling" that new residents who moved to the area have decided to complain.

The 400m-long 'Big One' opened at the Big Sheep park at Easter. Owner Rick Turner said they put up a warning sign after a group of local people got "very very animated" over the prospect of loud noises coming from the ride.

Big One rollercoaster

However, he said the park tried its best to reduce noise for neighbours, and he hoped the sign, soon to be joined by a second, would discourage riders from "shouting excessively".

Offenders 'run into police dogs'

Post master hand-delivers passport 300 miles away to charity worker

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A dedicated post master hand-delivered a letter to an address 300 miles away from his Cornwall office to make sure it arrived on time.

David Shepherd

David Shepherd, from Stratton, drove 50 miles to Exeter, caught the train to London Paddington, took the tube to St Pancras, a further train to Ashford, in Kent, and a final train to Rye.

The package contained a forgotten passport which had to get to Rye by 09:00 the next day to allow one of his regular customers to get to Amsterdam for charity work.