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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday 5 May 2016
  2. Election, referendum and crime commissioner election results, plus more news, sport, travel and weather on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Thursday's live coverage

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back on Friday with all of the results from council elections, referendums and the vote for a new police and crime commissioner. 

Stranded turtle released 'back into the wild as quickly as possible'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A stranded sea turtle rescued and rehabilitated in Cornwall was got "back into the wild as quickly as possible", an aquarium says.

Tallulah turtle release. Pic: Blue Reef Aquarium/Irish Naval Service
Blue Reef Aquarium/Irish Naval Service

Tallulah was washed up at Gwithian in Cornwall in January and had to be nursed back to health by experts. She was released in the Atlantic from a rigid inflatable boat by the crew of an Irish Naval Service vessel.

Blue Reef Aquarium curator Steve Matchett said: "This is the end of the rescue mission for Tallulah but we hope it’s just the start of a whole new life for her." He added that other loggerhead turtles "were spotted swimming close by" the release area, "so it was clearly a great spot to choose".

Latest weather: Staying dry but chilly overnight, sunny on Friday

David Braine, Weather Forecaster

It will be dry and chilly into this evening and overnight across all areas, with variable amounts of cloud and some clear spells at times. Minimum temperature: 7C (45F).

Weather
BBC

Friday will be warm again, with sunny spells through much of the day. But there will be a risk of some thundery showers moving into parts of South West come the evening. Maximum temperature: 19C (66F).  

Paedophile couple interviewed in prison over hunt for baby remains

Simon Hall, Home Affairs Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

A paedophile couple have been interviewed in prison by police as excavations continue in the garden of their former home in Devon, senior officers have told the BBC.

David and Pauline Williams. Pic: Devon and Cornwall Police
Devon and Cornwall Police

Devon and Cornwall Police are searching for the remains of a baby at the property in Bradninch, near Cullompton, occupied by David and Pauline Williams before they were jailed for child sex offences. 

The couple, friends of serial killers Fred and Rosemary West, "did not help" the investigation, the BBC was told. Police sources also told the BBC the dig would continue on Friday, but was expected to be completed then. 

Jobs under threat at Exeter printers

Exeter Express & Echo

Jobs at an Exeter printing company are under threat after the business was forced to go in to administration - making more than 30 workers redundant.

35 factory workers have lost their jobs at Polestar Wheatons in Marsh Barton, following the announcement on Tuesday 3.

Man jailed after for child sex offences against girls

BBC Radio Devon

A man has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years after admitting child sex offences against two girls under the ages of 13 and 16.

Nigel Smith. Pic: Devon and Cornmwall Police
Devon and Cornmwall Police

Nigel Smith, 40, of Queensway, Newton Abbot, previously pleaded guilty at Exeter Crown Court to a total of eight sexual offences against both victims - three offences of sexual assault on a girl under 13 and five counts of sexual activity with a child - plus two offences relating to supplying cannabis.

After sentencing, Det Con Nadine Freestone said the case's outcome had "pleased the victims and it will undoubtedly help them in moving on with their lives".

Reservoir water released to aid salmon migration

Andrew Segal

Local Live

More than 300m litres of water is being released from an Exmoor reservoir to help young salmon - or smolts - move downstream on the River Exe, South West Water (SWW) says.

Wimbleball Reservoir
Google

The work at Wimbleball Reservoir (pictured) is being carried out over three days, and the amount of water released will "equate to a rise of just a few centimetres by the time it gets to Exeter", SWW said.

It added: "It is particularly useful to do this in the spring, if there are low flow levels, to assist the salmon smolts to move down river towards the sea. This helps encourage them to migrate without delay, protecting them from predators."

South Pole paedophile loses appeal against conviction

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

A man from Cornwall has lost an appeal against his conviction and three year jail term for committing child sex offences while working at the South Pole. 

Simon Rouen
Kent Police

Simon Rouen, from Redruth, was found guilty after communicating with two undercover Kent Police officers to say he wanted to abuse an eight-year-old girl, and 10 counts of possessing indecent images of children.

Rouen's legal team argued his conviction was unsafe and should be overturned, saying there was insufficient evidence of intent, but the judge dismissed it saying she had no reason to doubt the jury's verdict. 

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

- A paedophile husband and wife whose former garden is being dug up by police in Bradninch, have been interviewed in prison, a senior officer has told the BBC

- A man from Newton Abbot has been jailed for child sex offences against two girls

- A man from Cornwall has lost an appeal against his conviction for committing child sex offences while working at the South Pole

- Votes are still being cast in elections for councils, a new police and crime commissioner and local referendums, with polling stations closing at 22:00

'Orgy' reference in postcard from Fred and Rose West to Bradninch abuse couple

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

A postcard from Fred and Rose West to David and Pauline Williams whose house is being excavated by police, appears to refer to an orgy.

Postcard
Jules Annan/Gloucester News Centre

Andy Jones from the Crime Through Time Collection at the former Littledean Jail in Gloucestershire, said: "It shows in coded form and innuendo that the Wests ran a child sex ring and the Williams were part of it. They talk about the Williams menagerie - a menagerie means animals." 

The card also says: "Colin says the 'birds' are very friendly here. Loads of wildlife", and is signed "Mum & Dad".

Volksfest organiser apologises for refunds delay ... a year on

Plymouth Herald

One of the key organisers of Plymouth music festival, Volksfest, has spoken out after traders admitted they were still waiting for refunds a year on.

Hockey club's fundraising for orphan 'a little bit of light'

BBC Spotlight

Members of a hockey club who have been raising money for an orphan, whose parents died within the space of three years, say the response to their fundraising efforts has "been amazing".

Alex Rust
BBC

Four-year-old Harvey Rogers lost his mother, Anna, in a car accident in 2013. His father, Simon, died of cancer earlier this year. Players from Truro Hockey Club, which Harvey's parents were members of, have raised almost £4,000. 

Club team mate Alex Rust (pictured) said: "We're really amazed at how everybody's reacted to it. It's a little bit of light that has come out of a horrible situation."

Sainsbury's pulls out of Torquay store

Torquay Herald Express

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has confirmed it has ditched plans for a new store in a Torquay 'village' centre, even though work is well under way on the store.

Latest travel for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- The A390 at Grampound is partially blocked and busy moving after an accident near the school

- There is heavy traffic on the St Budeaux bypass travelling out of Plymouth from the Camel's Head junction to the A38 The Parkway

- Traffic is very slow on Mutley Plain in Plymouth because of an accident involing a car and a pedestrian around Moor View Terrace

- Golf Links Road in Westward Ho! is blocked causing long delays near the holiday park because of a collision

- Roadworks are causing delays on the A379 Bridge Road in Exeter

Exeter lock Damien Welch: Wales call-up 'not meant to be'

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Exeter lock Damien Welch has resigned himself to never playing for Wales.

Damien Welch
Getty Images

The 33-year-old Welshman has impressed as Exeter have secured their first-ever place in the play-offs.

"It's just one of those things, for some people it happens and other people it doesn't, I'm pretty happy playing for the Chiefs," Welch told BBC Sport. "I would have loved to have had a chance to play at the highest level, but if it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be."

A sunny day for voting across Devon and Cornwall

People are going to the polls to elect a new police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall.

St Ives residents are also voting in a referendum on local housing and there are also council elections in Exeter and Plymouth and a governance referendum in Torbay.

Among the most remote polling stations is sunny St Martin's in the Isles of Scilly, where police Sergeant Colin Taylor cuts a lonely figure on his island patrol.

Police Sergeant Colin Taylor
Colin Taylor

Badger cull impact 'will take years'

View more on twitter

Nearly 1,500 badgers were killed in Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2015 as part of the government's badger cull as part of efforts to eradicate bovine TB.

The government had said more than half of England was expected to be free of the disease by 2019. However, campaigners said there was no evidence killing badgers was reducing the level of the disease in cattle.

Fehily in 'good spirits' after Newton Abbot fall

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Jockey Noel Fehily is "in good spirits" after avoiding serious injury in a fall at Newton Abbot on Wednesday.

Noel Fehily
Getty Images

Fehily, 40, was airlifted to hospital in Plymouth after being unseated from the Nick Mitchell-trained Hinxworth in the handicap hurdle. Racing was delayed by more than 30 minutes as medics attended to Fehily, who was taken to Derriford Hospital for precautionary X-rays on his back.

His agent Chris Board said "nothing too bad" showed up on scans: "He's very bruised and sore in the back area, but they've done all the X-rays and scans and couldn't find an issue," said Broad.

Former Torbay Hospital chief under financial investigation

Torquay Herald Express

A former Torbay Hospital chief executive has been suspended from her new job amid 'serious' financial allegations, it has been confirmed.

Stranded turtle Tallulah released back into the wild

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A stranded sea turtle that was rescued and rehabilitated in Cornwall has been released back in to the wild, an aquarium says.

Tallulah the turtle on Irish Navy ship
Via Blue Reef Aquarium

Barnacle-encrusted loggerhead turtle Tallulah was washed up at Gwithian in January, very weak and dehydrated. She was nurtured back to health by the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay.

She was returned to the sea by the crew of the Irish Naval Service vessel LÉ Róisín (pictured). Aquarium curator Steve Matchett said "she proved to be a real fighter".

Police to dig 1m down in garden of paedophiles' former house

Police search teams excavating at a house in Devon where a paedophile husband and wife lived plan to dig to about 1m in depth in the garden, senior officers have told the BBC.

Bradninch
BBC

They are searching for a baby at the former home of David and Pauline Williams in the small rural town of Bradninch, near Cullompton.

Senior officers said a team of a dozen officers was making "good progress" but no sign of any human remains had been found so far. It's the third day of the dig. Commanders said they would decide later whether to continue it into Friday.

Funeral for London Marathon collapse army captain

BBC Radio Devon

The funeral of a Plymouth-based soldier who died after collapsing during the London Marathon has been held in Scotland.

Captain David Seath
MOD

Thirty-one-year-old Captain David Seath, a fire support team commander at 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery and originally from Fife, collapsed at the 23-mile mark while running the marathon on 24 April and died later in hospital.

Funeral of Captain David Seath
BBC

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the church for the service, which was led by parish priest Father Chris Heenan.

Penzance lido to reopen this month

BBC Radio Cornwall

Penzance's Grade II outdoor Jubilee Pool is due to reopen to the public on Saturday 28 May after £3m worth of repairs and refurbishment.

Jubilee Pool
Andrew Segal

The lido, which first opened in 1935, was badly damaged in storms that ravaged the South West in January and February 2014. It is one of a few saltwater tidal open air swimming pools in Europe.

Council cabinet member Adam Paynter said the work would "safeguard this community asset for future generations".

Self-builds 'the only way to own a home'

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

View more on twitter

Many people in Devon tell us they can't afford to buy their own home because the gap between earnings and prices is so huge. 

A retired engineer has now come up with an innovative scheme to provide 25 affordable homes for people in need by using flat-pack houses which they can build themselves. 

Reg Winsor has found a field in Liverton, on the edge of Dartmoor, but has come up against problems with the planners - they say it's not allocated for housing. Young mum Helen Dore (above) is one of those who hopes to benefit from the scheme if it gets off the ground.

French prosecutors secure appeal to look last ski-lift death verdict

John Ayres

BBC Spotlight

French prosecutors have secured an appeal which will look again at how a Devon schoolboy was killed in a ski-lift accident.

Kieran Brookes
Brookes Family

Fourteen-year-old Kieran Brookes was on a school trip in the French Alps with Torquay Boys Grammar School in February 2011, when his backpack got stuck as he tried to get off the chair. He was strangled by his clothing.

The man supervising the lift, Richard Cettour, wasn't watching at the time and was found guilty of indirect manslaughter. The company in charge of the lift was cleared of corporate manslaughter, but that verdict will be re-examined.

Latest weather: Staying dry, warm and sunny

BBC Weather

A dry and warm afternoon, with some good spells of sunshine. The sunshine may turn hazy at times as some high level cloud spills in. Maximum temperature: 19C (66F).

Weather
BBC

Into this evening and overnight, it will be dry and chilly across all areas, with variable amounts of cloud and some clear spells at times. Minimum temperature: 7C (45F).

Water mains burst hits nearly 130 Exmouth properties

BBC Radio Devon

Nearly 130 properties in Exmouth have lost water supply because of a mains burst, South West Water says.

The burst of an eight-inch pipe in Bradham Lane has hit properties in Bradham Lane, Moorfield Road, Lovelace Crescent, Colleton Way and Colleton Close. 

Two bowsers are in place in Lovelace Crescent and Colleton Close and bottled water is being delivered to priority customers, the water company said. Engineers hope to have supplies restored by 17:00.

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

- A postcard sent by Fred and Rosemary West, to a couple whose former garden in Devon is being excavated by police, has emerged 

- Councillors in Cornwall should get an extra £1,600 a year in expenses and allowances, according to an independent panel

- A family of six owe their lives to a carbon monoxide detector after a major leak from a coal-fired range in their Helston home

- Around 130 homes in Exmouth could be without water for the rest of the afternoon, after a mains pipe burst

Report recommends 13.5% increase in councillors' expenses

BBC Radio Cornwall

A new report is recommending that councillors in Cornwall should get an increase of £1,600 a year in allowances - a rise of 13.5%.

Councillors currently get just over £12,000 pounds a year in allowances, but the report from the Independent Remuneration Panel says they should get £13,900. 

Cornwall Council said allowances have not changed for the past four years. The recommendations will be voted on by the full council on 17 May.

Sexual abuse victim calls for criminal justice reforms

West Briton

A child sex abuse victim has called for reforms to the criminal justice system after learning that her attacker could walk free after serving half of a five-year sentence.

Should dogs be banned from popular beaches?

Janet Kipling

BBC Radio Devon

How do you feel about dogs on beaches?

If you live in Torbay, the dog ban on 10 beaches has just come into force and goes on until the end of September. One local man feels very strongly about this and has made a video protesting the ban and posted it on Facebook.

On the other hand, there are 18 other beaches in Torbay where there is no dog ban. So could it be argued that he could walk his dog on one of them? Call today's phone-in on 0345 3011034.

'Sex ring clue' in postcard from Fred and Rose West to Bradninch abuse couple

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

A postcard from serial killers Fred and Rose West appears to show they were part of a sex ring with child abusers David and Pauline Williams.

Postcard
Jules Annan/Gloucester News Centre

The cryptically-written card was sent to the Williamses whose former home in Bradninch, Devon is being excavated by police searching for a baby's body.

It was written to the "West Williams Menagerie" in 1990 while the Wests were on a canal holiday. The Williamses lived near the Wests in Gloucester in the 1990s.  

Gas detector 'definitely saved' family's lives

BBC Radio Cornwall

A carbon monoxide detector "definitely saved" the lives of a family who had to escape after a coal-fired range leaked the poisonous gas into their Helston home.

Two adults and four children were woken just before midnight when the detector went off. They were able to leave and sought shelter with a neighbour. 

Mark Pratton, from Cornwall Fire Service, said the detectors were "important as a second line of defence". But, he added: "We still always state that the first line is making sure that your appliances are serviced and well maintained by professionals on a regular basis, especially in rural locations."

Emergency light convoy 'a military exercise'

Child refugee U-turn?

Donna Birrell

BBC Radio Cornwall

On the phone-in today: as the Prime Minister appears to signal a change of heart in taking in child refugees from Europe, how surprised were members of his party?

Where does that leave Cornish MPs after all six voted against the measure last week? And would you be prepared to offer a home to a child displaced by conflict? Call the show now on 01872 222222.

Latest travel in Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- There are reports of a crash on the A30 around Two Bridges at Lewannick 

- Rockhead Street in Delabole is partially blocked near Trebarwith Road due to an incident

- In Penryn, the A39 is partially blocked by an accident eastbound at the Treluswell Roundabout 

- One lane is blocked on the A376 in Exeter at the M5 services due to a broken-down van

Devon districts hold referendums

BBC Radio Devon

Voting has started in referendums being held in two Devon districts.

People in Newton About are voting whether to accept a new town Neighbourhood Plan.

Torbay Council
BBC

And a poll is being held in Torbay to decide if the unitary authority should retain its directly-elected mayor or move to a leader and cabinet system. People can vote until 22:00.

Dawe: High expectations on Cornwall rugby side

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Cornwall coach Graham Dawe admits his side are under pressure to retain their County Championship title this summer.

Graham Dawe (left)
Brian Tempest

They won the Bill Beaumont Cup last year for the first time since 1999 and have reached the Twickenham final in the last three seasons.

"People are going to come with a lot of expectations so we've got to try and match that and deliver again. I don't think we can really talk about trying to win it again at the moment - we don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves," said Dawe ahead of Cornwall's first game with Gloucestershire on Saturday.

Mother of autistic boy slams 'unacceptable' school closure for election day

Plymouth Herald

A mother whose son has learning difficulties says it is "unacceptable" for the council to close his school so it can be used as a polling station.

High tide times for the region

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

If you're planning a trip to the coast, here are the next high water times around Devon and Cornwall.

Tides
BBC

I'll have the latest weather forecast on BBC Spotlight at 13:30.