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Summary

  1. Inquest into death of child who collapsed at school hears how she had struggled on a walk
  2. 177 dogs - suspected of being banned breeds - have been seized by Devon and Cornwall Police in the last three years
  3. Presenter Richard Madeley criticises photographers who flew drone over his Cornish garden
  4. Buzz Lightyear wins battle to get Driving Licence name changed
  5. Updates on Wednesday 13 April

Live Reporting

By Rachael Thorn

All times stated are UK

Get involved

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.

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

- A consultant paediatrician tells an inquest into the death of a child from Perranporth, that her oxygen saturation levels should have been checked

- A BBC investigation has found that police forces across the greater South West have seized hundreds of breeds of dogs that are classed as banned

- Presenter Richard Madeley has hailed "Twitterpower" after a "peeping Tom" drone was allegedly flown over the garden of his idyllic seaside home.

- The DVLA has reportedly allowed a man from Bideford to have his name - Buzz Lightyear - on his driving licence

To the DVLA... and beyond! Buzz Lightyear will get his name on driving licence

A man who changed his name to Buzz Lightyear after his favourite film to raise money for charity, seems to have won a small victory over the DVLA.

Buzz Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear

Buzz, formerly known as Sam Stephens, said the agency refused to change the name on his driving licence, citing reputational damage as a reason for rejecting his request. The DVLA has been contacted for comment.

But, the 26-year-old from Bideford, told the BBC the DVLA had now changed its mind. He said his name meant it was a struggle to book restaurants and place online shopping orders. "I'm not married yet, [but] I am looking for Mrs Lightyear", he added.

Peter Masters rallies Truro City fans after defeat

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Truro City chairman Peter Masters says the club will need to almost double its attendances if they win promotion from National League South.

The Cornish side were beaten 3-1 by strugglers Weston-super-Mare on Tuesday in-front of 472 supporters, but remain in the play-off places, three points clear of sixth-placed Maidenhead United.

Peter Masters
Truro City FC

"We need at least 800 because that's the sort of crowds we'll need if we get in the National League," Masters told BBC Radio Cornwall. "I won't be disappointed if we just reach the play-offs - we've had a good season, we can't argue about that."  

Weather latest: More sunny spells and showers tomorrow

David Braine, Weather Forecaster

Tonight, any showers will ease, but some are likely to persist overnight. There will be plenty of clear spells at first but the cloud will gradually increase towards dawn. Minimum Temperature: 6 Deg C (43 Deg F).

Weather graphic
BBC

Tomorrow sees a mixture of variable cloud and sunny spells with isolated showers. However, a band of locally heavy rain is likely to arrive from the south later reaching all areas by dusk. Maximum Temperature: 14 Deg C (57 Deg F).

Man in court charged with attempted murder of his wife in Torquay

Torquay Herald Express

A Torquay man has appeared before a judge charged with attempting to murder his estranged wife.

Inquest told seven-year-old's oxygen levels should have been checked

Jane Chandler

BBC Spotlight

A consultant paediatrician has told an inquest into the death of a seven-year-old girl in Truro, that the child's oxygen saturation levels should have been checked.

Esmee Polmear
Polmear Family

Esmee Polmear was referred to the Royal Cornwall Hospital after suffering breathlessness. Last year she collapsed at school and died. A post mortem found she had been suffering from a rare lung condition.

Dr Sharma Goyal told the inquest: "If I had seen Esmee again, I may have picked up her condition." When asked whether asthma was considered she said: "This is something that wasn't considered as a possible diagnosis. We had no reason to suspect asthma as she had no wheeze." The inquest continues.

'Dangerous' dogs can be 'as soft as butter' says animal trainer

Elisabeth Mahy

BBC News Online

A Devon dog trainer has branded the seizure of 177 'dangerous' dogs by Devon and Cornwall Police over the past three years "ridiculous".

Dog in cage
BBC

The figures were obtained by the BBC.

Patricia Franklin, a trainer with Honiton and District Canine Society, said: "Just because a dog is a certain breed, it doesn't automatically make it dangerous. A dog that is perceived to be dangerous can be as soft as butter."

Madeley hails "Twitterpower" in drone battle

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

TV's Richard Madeley has hailed "Twitterpower" after a "peeping Tom" drone was allegedly flown over the garden of his idyllic seaside home.

Madeley took to Twitter when he spotted the device above the house he shares in Cornwall, with his wife, 67-year-old fellow presenter Judy Finnigan.

Sam Baird qualifies for Crucible World Championships

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Uffculme-born snooker player Sam Baird has qualified for the World Snooker Championships, which start at the Crucible on Saturday, after coming through three qualifying rounds.

The 27-year-old, ranked 59th in the world, edged past Liam Highfield 10-9 in a final frame decider to reach the main draw in Sheffield.

Sam Baird
Getty Images

It will be Baird's second appearance at snooker's most high-profile tournament, after he was knocked out in the first round by reigning champion Stuart Bingham back in 2013.

St Blazey police station to be sold to town council

Elisabeth Mahy

BBC News Online

A deal to sell St Blazey's former police station to the local town council has been agreed by the Police and Crime Commissioner.  

St Blazey police station
Google maps

A 15 year lease for two rooms to be used as a local policing team base and two parking spaces is part of the deal.

St Blaise town councillor, Roy Taylor, said: "I know this will be welcome by many people who like me value the presence of police based in the town." 

School transport discounts could be scrapped

Elisabeth Mahy

BBC News Online

Hundreds of sixth formers from low income families in Devon face losing a £300 discount on their college transport.

Pupils on stairwell
BBC

At the moment, 500 students benefit from the discount if they have to travel more than six miles from their home.

But the council has no legal duty to do this and the Conservative administration wants to stop the funding from September 2017 to save money. 

GP tells inquest he had 'never heard of' lung condition which killed child

Jane Chandler

BBC Spotlight

A GP has told an inquest into the death of a seven-year-old girl from Perranporth that he had never come across the rare lung condition that killed her.

Esmee Polmear
Polmear family

Esmee Polmear collapsed at school and died in July last year.

Dr Robert White said looking back on the condition, it was connected with breathlessness, which Esmee had been suffering from. However, an oxygen saturation test would not necesssarily have picked up her low levels of oxygen. The inquest continues. 

War veterans and widow receive Legion d'Honneur

Travel news for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- There are reports of an accident in Bideford on Clovelly Road near Moreton Park Road

- In Kingsteignton, Longford Lane is blocked in both directions near Humber Lane due to an incident

- And a crash has also been causing problems in St Austell on Pentewan Road  

Man injured on Isles of Scilly in fight over knife airlifted to hospital after loud music dispute

The Cornishman

A man was airlifted to hospital in the early hours of Monday morning after being wounded with a knife on the Isles of Scilly.

Exeter Chiefs' Harry Williams thankful for Jersey 'prop school'

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Exeter Chiefs' Harry Williams says spending a season with Jersey's "prop school" has helped him progress.

The 24-year-old got his first try for the Devon side in their agonising European Champions Cup defeat at Wasps.

Harry Williams
Rex Features

"Jersey have got a real culture for props, they bring a lot of front-rowers through," Williams told BBC Sport. "They have a massive set-piece focus, so there's a lot laid on for you to go to other teams - it's a really good place."

Buzz Lightyear wins battle over driving licence with DVLA

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

A man who changed his named to Buzz Lightyear to raise money for charity, says he has beaten the DVLA in his struggle to get his name changed on his driving licence.

Buzz Lightyear
Facebook

Buzz, formerly Sam Stephens, said the DVLA rejected his request for the change in May 2015 because it would bring the government body into "disrepute".

Alongside the name change, the 26-year-old from Bideford got a tattoo of the character on his leg to help raise £2,000 for the cancer charity CLIC.

Inquest hears how seven-year-old child struggled to walk to beach

Jane Chandler

BBC Spotlight

An inquest into the death of seven-year-old Esmee Polmear who collapsed at her school in Perranporth, has heard a statement from a teacher who was with her the day she died.

Eleanor Smitheram said: "As time passed Esmee appeared to get worse. Her lips were sometimes tinged with blue." She told the inquest that the day Esmee died, she struggled on a walk to the beach.

Her Dad Mark met them on the way and Esmee asked him to carry her. When she got back from the walk, Eleanor Smitheram said Esmee: "Rested her head on my shoulder which was unusual as she didn't like to be touched when she was struggling to breathe. Her head then lulled back and she appeared to have a seizure."  The inquest continues.

Weather latest: Sunny spells and isolated heavy showers

BBC Weather

Variable amounts of cloud, bright or sunny spells and isolated showers this afternoon, some of which could be of hail or thunder. Maximum Temperature: 14 Deg C (57 Deg F).

Weather graphic
BBC

Overnight it will be mainly cloudy, with mist patches forming where we see breaks in the cloud. There will also be some very isolated showers, especially later in the night. Minimum Temperature: 7 Deg C (45 Deg F).

Have you registered to vote?

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

There are elections taking place on 5 May, but you will only be able to vote if you have registered to do so - and the deadline is Monday.

If you are not already registered, you can do so by visiting this website.

And to find out more about the elections, click here.

Unique Plymouth bangle sells for £1,300 at auction

Plymouth Herald

A rare memento crafted from an Antarctic sled and owned by a famous Plymouth explorer has sold for £1,300.

Legion d'Honneur ceremony for Devon veterans

BBC Spotlight

France's highest distinction - the Legion d'Honneur - is being awarded to British war veterans in recognition of their heroism during the D-Day landings in 1944. 

Alain Sibiril, the Honorary French Consul to the UK, will present the medals to four veterans and one widow at RMB Chivenor's memorial garden in north Devon.

Legion d'Honneur
BBC

The Legion d'Honneur, established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, is normally restricted to French nationals, however foreign nationals deemed to have served France well may receive the honour.

​Teenager in court this morning for outraging public decency in Truro

West Briton

A teenager will appear in magistrates' court this morning for outraging public decency following an incident in Truro earlier this week.

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

- Campaigners say dangerous dog laws need changing to reflect temperament, not breed, after figures show 177 dogs - suspected of being banned breeds - were seized by Devon and Cornwall Police in the last three years  

- Presenter Richard Madeley has praised police after complaining about a drone flying over his home near Looe

- A police building has been bought by a town council in Cornwall to ensure a future community police presence  

- France's highest distinction is being formally awarded to four British war veterans and one widow in Devon this afternoon

Inquest into child who died from rare lung condition

Jane Chandler

BBC Spotlight

An inquest is due to open soon into the death of a seven-year-old girl who collapsed and died while at school in Perranporth.

Polmear family
BBC

I've been told five witnesses are due to give evidence this afternoon, including the doctor and consultant who saw Esmee Polmear in the months leading up to her death, an expert paediatrician, and her father, Mark.

Esmee died last year after complaining of breathlessness for two years. A first post mortem examination failed to find a cause of death, but a second revealed she had a rare and fatal lung condition called Pulmonary Veno Occlusive Disease. The inquest is expected to last around three hours.

Travel news for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- In Plympton on Glen Road near Westfield we have reports of an accident on the B3416 near the Tesco Express

- On the M5 Taunton-bound at Junction 27 for Tiverton there ia lane blocked by a broken down vehicle on the exit slip road

- In St Austell look out for slow traffic on the A390 Holmbush Road between Mount Charles Roundabout and the Pine Lodge traffic lights 

Man allegedly caught "peeping" on Richard Madeley given drone guidance

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

A man whose drone was allegedly caught by Richard Madeley flying over his garden in Cornwall, has been given "guidance" on using the device, Devon and Cornwall Police have confirmed.

Richard Madeley
BBC

The BBC Radio Two host took to Twitter to condemn a "peeping Tom", who he later said had handed himself into police after seeing the tweets.

The Air Navigation Order covers all aircraft including drones and everything within 50m (164ft) of a drone "has to be under the control of the pilot", PC Tom Shainberg from the drone development group in Plymouth said.

Exeter's Liam Tancock reaches backstroke final in British olympic trials

Are we losing the right to privacy thanks to the proliferation of drones?

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

Is the proliferation of drones flying over our countryside a gross invasion of privacy?

The issue has arisen after presenter Richard Madeley took to Twitter to complain to the police about two men flying a drone over his garden in Looe. One of the men later contacted the police, Mr Madeley said.

No charges are being brought, but the issue raises the question of the rules surrounding their use. Do you own a drone? Maybe you've seen one flying over your property? Let me know on today's lunchtime phone-in by calling 01872 222222.

You’ll never guess what this Bideford man has changed his name to…

North Devon Journal

A Bideford Toy Story fan who changed his name to Buzz Lightyear now has a driving licence to match after winning a battle with the DVLA.

Truro City chairman calls for 'big support' after last night's loss

Ross Ellis

BBC Radio Cornwall

Truro City lost 3-1 at home to Weston-Super-Mare last night.

Truro City FC
BBC

The defeat comes ahead of a big match with play-off rivals Maidstone United on Saturday. 

Club chairman Pete Masters is calling for big support: "We're hoping for a very big crowd. Let's all get behind the team again, keep pushing forward and look where it takes us."

The One Show joins in Cornish beach clean

Iwan Thomas
BBC

TV cameras from the BBC's One Show joined an organised beach clean at Perranporth beach last night. 

The event was one of many organised by Surfers Against Sewage.

The former Wales and GB athletics star Iwan Thomas was presenting for The One Show.

Torbay Mayor considers town councils for Torquay and Paigton

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

Bixham
BBC

Torquay and Paignton could get their own town councils, according to a plan by Torbay's Conservative Mayor Gordon Oliver, who says local government should get "closer to the people"'. 

The unitary authority of Torbay is responsible for Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, but Brixham is the only one which currently has a town council.

A30 closed near Truro after crash at Zelah

Cars 'rammed' during 'hit and run' incident Cornwall

Plymouth Herald

Police are investigating an alleged hit and run incident in Cornwall which left six vehicles damaged.

'Beautiful' Devon's secrets revealed

Monica Ellis

Producer, Radio Devon

"Devon's beautiful - that's not a secret, but we're going to more diverse, and more off-the-beaten track places you didn't even know existed"...so says TV presenter Chris Hollins for tonight's episode of Secret Britain.

Speaking to David Fitzgerald on BBC Radio Devon, he's promised to share his experience of an ancient and long-forgotten purification ritual on Dartmoor.

Chris Hollins
BBC

The programme, on BBC One at 21:00, will also reveal the part Combe Martin played in helping battles against France. 

Esmee Polmear: Inquest into death of seven-year-old to begin today

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

An inquest into the death of a seven-year-old girl who collapsed and died at school in Cornwall will begin later today.

Esmee Polmear
BBC

The parents of Esmee Polmear, who died from a rare lung condition, said they were told "not to worry" about her health by doctors at St Agnes surgery, in the lead up to her death.

Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease affects about one in 10 million people and is "almost always fatal", the post-mortem into the girl's death concluded.

Police appeal after attack on woman in Exeter

Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman was attacked at a shopping centre in Exeter.

A man has been arrested after the incident involving a 46-year-old woman in the Stone Lane retail park on Sunday. 

A silver Volkswagen Touran and black Skoda, parked next to the Matalan store, were damaged.

177 'dangerous dogs' seized in Devon and Cornwall over last three years

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

Police have seized 177 'dangerous dogs' in the past three years in Devon and Cornwall, according to figures obtained by the BBC. 

Pitbull Terrier
AFP

Almost 5000 dogs suspected of being banned breeds were taken in by forces across England and Wales - the most were seized by the Met Police.

Pitbull terriers, Japanese Tosas and the Argentine and Brazilian Mastiff are all banned in the UK, but the RSPCA wants the Dangerous Dogs Act to be changed so dogs are banned on the basis of behaviour not breed.