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  1. Updates on Wednesday 22 June 2016
  2. The latest News, Sport, Travel and Weather from 08:00 Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Andrew Segal

Local Live

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

Don't forget that Spotlight is on BBC One at 18:30, and there is BBC South West's late bulletin at 22:30. There's also more news on your local BBC radio station.

Watch: Scientists vacuum seafloor for conservation

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

Scientists are taking samples of coral to find new ways of conserving ocean species.

Scientists take samples of coral to find new ways of conservation

The team led by Plymouth University is based on the research ship James Cook and is using remote-controlled submarines. 

Team members said the genetic fingerprints of marine life could suggest how to identify areas which were most in need.

Latest weather: Rain to ease, and a mostly dry but cloudy Thursday

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Outbreaks of rain are expected to ease during the evening, leaving most places dry overnight. It will stay rather cloudy though, and feel quite muggy. Minimum temperature: 12C (54F).


Thursday will be mostly dry but rather cloudy for most. There will be some bright spells in places, especially towards the evening. Maximum temperature: 20C (68F).

Former Stella owner 'over the moon' at dog destruction order reprieve

Claire Jones

BBC News Online

The former owner of a pit bull dog seized by police and refused exercise for nearly two years is "over the moon" she has freed from a death sentence and adopted by a kennel owner, he has told the BBC.

Stella the pit bull. Pic: Laura Khanlarian
Laura Khanlarian

Stella was seized by police in 2014 as she was considered potentially dangerous. A destruction order was passed by magistrates in February, but she has been given a contingent destruction order - specifying certain measures to keep her under control - during an appeal at Exeter Crown Court.

She has been taken on by Carolyne Pharaoh after Antony Hastie agreed to transfer ownership. Outside court, Mr Hastie said: "I've been emotional ... It's broken my heart for the last two-and-a-half years. Thank you to the lady who has adopted her. I really appreciate it and I am eternally grateful."

Devon and Cornwall Police said: "We respect the court's authority in this matter and accept the court's decision that the new keeper is fit and proper."

Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

Andrew Segal

Local Live

  • A pit bull dog, which was locked up in a cage after being deemed too dangerous to be walked, escapes being put down
  • A tribunal drops some allegations against former Royal Cornall Hospitals Trust medical boss Dr Paul Utpon
  • Police appeal for help in finding the next of kin of the victim of a road crash near Ottery St Mary
  • The Cornish Fish Producers' Association says it is planning ahead for either result in the EU referendum

Boundaries of Roman Empire redrawn after Ipplepen dig

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

The boundaries of the Roman Empire have been expanded following the discovery of Roman coins in a rural village in Devon.

Ipplepen dig. Pic: Steven Haywood
Steven Haywood

Amateur metal detectorists Jim Wills and Dennis Hewings first unearthed the coins in Ipplepen, in 2009. Now archaeologists have uncovered a Romano-British settlement which had trade links to the rest of the empire. 

Dr Sam Moorhead, from the British Museum, said the site raised "a whole series of new questions" about Roman Devon. Until now, there was little evidence of the Romans outside of Exeter, which is 20 miles north-east of Ipplepen.

Bugaled Breizh French case closure: Analysis

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The confirmation by France's top judicial court to formally close the case of the sinking of the Bugaled Breizh may bring an end to legal aspects of the tragedy, but the incident itself still remains unexplained.

Bugaled Breizh. Pic: AFP

The five crew of the French trawler drowned when it sank 14 miles off the Lizard peninsula in January 2004. Relatives believe the vessel was dragged underwater when a submarine snagged its nets, but France's Court of Cassation said there was no evidence to support the claim, nor that it was a fishing accident. 

And although French legal proceedings may be over, British ones are still ongoing more than 12 years on. The bodies of two crew were brought to Cornwall following the incident, and a pre-inquest hearing into their deaths is due to take place in the county on 18 July.

'Death Row dangerous dog' is freed and adopted

Claire Jones

BBC News Online

A dog seized by police and refused exercise for nearly two years has been freed from a death sentence and adopted by a kennel owner.

Stella. Pic: Laura Khanlarian
Laura Khanlarian

Pit bull terrier Stella was seized by Devon and Cornwall Police in 2014 as she was considered potentially dangerous. She is now in the care of Carolyne Pharaoh after previous owner Antony Hastie agreed to transfer ownership. 

A destruction order was originally passed by Torquay Magistrates' Court on 8 February, but, in an appeal heard at Exeter Crown Court, Stella was given a contingent destruction order, specifying certain measures to be taken to keep her under proper control.

Devon tie topsy-turvy match with Herefordshire

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Devon lost their last three wickets for 16 runs as their Minor Counties Championship match at Herefordshire ended in a thrilling tie at Eastnor.

Devon trailed by 102 on first innings after being skittled for just 97, but Jamie Drew broke a 110-year county record with figures of 7-15, as the hosts were dismissed for 105. This left Devon a victory target of 208.

Josh Bess made 94 as they reached 191-7, but they were bowled out with the scores level and only nine balls remaining.

Tribute to 'colourful' surfer headmistress who 'enjoyed cigars and wine'

Elisabeth Mahy

BBC News Online

A Devon school has paid tribute to a retired headmistress who died at her home in Bovey Tracey last month.

Anne Smith, was head at Stover School for 13 years, from 1969-1982, and was described as a "colourful individual".

Anne Smith
Stover School

The school said Miss Smith "enjoyed the occasional cheroot and glass of wine" and often went surfing off the beaches in north Devon.

Some allegations dropped against RCHT former medical director

Julie Skentelbery

BBC Radio Cornwall

A tribunal into a former medical director in Cornwall who allegedly failed to take appropriate steps to protect patients from risks posed by a consultant has found there is no case to answer in relation to some allegations.

Dr Paul Upton was medical director of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) between 2009-2013. He is alleged to have failed to take appropriate steps to protect patients from a risk of harm posed by gynaecologist consultant Rob Jones. Mr Jones was suspended and then left medical practice in 2012. The RCHT apologised unreservedly to patients. 

Dr Paul Upton

A hearing of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal in Manchester heard it was also alleged that, in February 2013, Dr Upton (pictured) made misleading statements to the media in relation to the steps he took to protect patients from risks posed by Mr Jones.

The tribunal is not to proceed in reference to seven allegations against Dr Upton, including some of those involving the media. A further 18 remain. The tribunal has been adjourned part-heard and will reconvene on 10 October.

Pasty shop wants to stay open until 3am - would you rather have a pasty or kebab?

Plymouth Herald

pasty shop is hoping to serve the needs of hungry clubbers - and challenge the dominance of the doner kebab as the food of choice after a night out - by staying open until three in the morning.

Partner of road worker killed in crash lost 'her whole world'

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

The partner of a road worker who was killed when a driver veered into him says she has lost her "whole world" following his death.

Exeter Crown Court

Yesterday Anthony Tompkins, 47, from Tideford, pleaded guilty at Exeter Crown Court to killing Steven Tolly by careless driving when he crashed into him on the A361 in north Devon in 2013.

In a statement, Mr Tolly's partner, Janice Rainey, said: "He was a brilliant dad to my daughter, Jade, bringing her up as his own. She was like his shadow and they went everywhere together. He was like the father she never had."

Falmouth student numbers: university says it wants "modest, phased growth"

Elisabeth Mahy

BBC News Online

Falmouth University has responded to concerns about growing student numbers in the town, saying it wants a "modest, phased growth".

Campaigners went to a public meeting in Falmouth last night to protest against plans to increase the number of university students there.  

Protest posters

The university said it would keep working with local councils and community representatives to make sure any growth was "sustainable".

Van crash victim is named

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A man who died in a road crash near Ottery St Mary has been named by police as 53-year-old Robert Christopher Trott, from Exeter.

Mr Trott died when the white Nissan van he was in came off the road on the B3174, at the Daisymount roundabout, at about 18:40 on 16 June. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Police said they were trying to trace his next of kin, and it was believed he had a brother in the Exeter or Plymouth area. They appealed for him or any other family to get in contact. Officers added that an investigation into the crash was continuing, and a file would be prepared for the coroner.

Inspector gives thumbs up for 52,500 homes to be built in Cornwall

Cornish Guardian

A government inspector has given provision approval for 52,000 new homes to be built in Cornwall by 2030.

Cornwall snatch dramatic victory to go top

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Cornwall maintained their 100% start to the Minor Counties Championship season with a last-gasp victory at Wiltshire.

Batting second, Kelvin Snell hit the winning boundary with only an over to spare in the second innings of a rain-affected match at Corsham.

Matt Robins' 78 and Greg Smith's 66 not out proved crucial, leaving them top of the Western Division after two games.

Man who killed partner with hammer 'not deluded'

BBC News England

A 74-year-old man who battered his partner to death with a lump hammer was "not deluded", a court has heard.

Retired scientist, Edgar Fairhurst, killed Marjorie Elphick, 83, in their Devon bedroom on 30 December. Mr Fairhurst, of Riverside Close, Bideford, has admitted manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility at Exeter Crown Court, but denies murder.

However, a consultant psychiatrist for the prosecution said there was "no evidence he was deluded". The trial continues.

Record attempt plant tub 'kept getting bigger and bigger'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A Cornwall tourist attraction hoping to make the record books with what it believes is the largest wooden plant tub in the world, only has the 5m high construction because it got "bigger and bigger" while being built, its owner says.

The 4.8m high by 5.1m wide tub at Hidden Valley Discovery Park, near Launceston, is so big it has 30 trees growing in it rather than flowers. 

Tub. Pic: Hidden Valley
Hidden Valley

Owner Peter Jones said: "We added a new garden to the park this year, and I started making some little plants tubs just to set it off. I thought let's make one bigger, and it just got bigger and bigger. Now the tub is hopefully the biggest in Cornwall at least anyway."

The record attempt for the world's biggest is still subject to Guinness World Records' verification.

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Elisabeth Mahy

BBC News Online

  • A 74-year-old man who battered his partner to death with a lump hammer was not "deluded", a court is told
  • A French court confirms the case into Bugaled Breizh trawler sinking has been finally closed
  • Falmouth University says it's working closely with the community and is only planning a "modest increase" in student numbers following concerns from town residents
  • A new shuttle bus service between Newquay Airport and Truro is to be piloted
  • A Redruth man jailed for setting fire to his girlfriend's bedroom curtains fails in his appeal to have his sentence shortened
  • Two Plymouth sailors are hoping they've broken a world record for sailing non-stop for three nights - without sleep - in a double-headed dinghy between the naval ports of Plymouth and Portsmouth

Man crushed to death by 'wall' of frozen fish

Torquay Herald Express

A series of health and safety failings caused the death of a worker who was crushed by a one-tonne 'wall' of frozen fish at a south Devon factory, a court has heard.

Torbay Council front office closures 'will impact on residents'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Torbay Council says it is aware that plans to close two front offices in August to save money will "have an impact on a number of our residents".

The Connections offices in Torquay and Brixham - where people go to sort out things such as housing benefit and council tax - will shut following a trial closure last year. Services are being centralised at Paignton Library, with free phones available in libraries in Torquay and Brixham.

Councillor Richard Haddock said that for the authority to "continue making the savings required, difficult decisions like this need to be made". He added that the impact of the closures would be monitored.

Professor defends 'beneficial' students following Falmouth protest

BBC Radio Cornwall

A professor has defended "beneficial" students who "keep towns alive" following a protest by local residents in Falmouth over plans to increase university numbers.

Falmouth protest

Last night, campaigners attended a public meeting in Falmouth over concerns about the effect of more students on the town's housing stock.

"Students have brought something like, between 2002 and 2012, more than £110m to the Cornish economy," Professor David Hosken from the University of Exeter said. He added that the focus should be on managing the increasing number of students rather than preventing them from coming.

Latest weather: mostly cloudy day with occasional outbreaks of drizzle

BBC Weather

It'll be a mostly cloudy day with the occasional outbreak of light drizzle. The rain may be locally heavy for a time to the north, while low cloud and patches of mist will continue to affect parts of the south coast and high ground. 


Drier periods should develop along with some brighter intervals. Winds will be light or moderate from the southwest. Maximum temperature: 20C (68F).

Two more players sign Truro City deals

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Truro City pair Ryan Brett and Ollie Knowles have signed new one-year deals with the National League South side.

Utility man Brett (pictured), 25, started his career with hometown team Plymouth and moved to Truro from Salisbury, while midfielder Knowles joined the Cornish club on non-contract terms from Frome Town in October.

Ryan Brett
Truro City FC

Truro manager Lee Hodges now has 13 players signed for next season. Pre-season training is starting next week.

Discovery of Roman coins in Devon redraws map of empire

The Guardian

Archaeologists find coins, pottery and stretch of road in Ipplepen, beyond what was thought to be limit of Roman influence.

The Devon Debates' EU referendum special

Vic Morgan

BBC Radio Devon

It's your last chance to ask questions and have your say on the EU referendum.

I'll be joined by Newton Abbot MP Anne Marie Morris for Leave and South West Devon MP Gary Streeter for Remain.

And don't forget the EU referendum section of the BBC website, including its Issues Guide, where you can explore all of the arguments.

Anne Marie Morris and Gary Streeter

You can email me with your questions, or call 0345 3011034.

Treatment works pipe-laying to go on for 2.5 miles

BBC Radio Devon

Work has started on laying a pipeline between South West Water's new treatment works at Roborough and Plymouth's distribution system, the water company says.

Pipe. Pic: SWW

About 570 pipes will be laid 2m deep along a two-and-a-half mile route between the £60m Mayflower water treatment works and Tamerton Foliot. 

Work to put the pipeline under the A386 is due to be carried out in July, but South West Water said a tunnelling machine would be used so the main Plymouth to Tavistock road could stay open

Horse rider Emily King not selected to Rio Olympics

BBC Sport

Devon-based three-day event rider Emily King won't be going to the Olympics in Rio.

Emily King. Pic: PA

The daughter of two-time silver medallist Mary King hasn't been selected for the long list of British riders who have qualified their horses for the event in August.

Delivery driver admits killing roadworker

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

A delivery driver has admitted killing a road worker when he veered into highway staff on a roadside, crashing through cones.

Anthony Tompkins, 47, of Trehurst Farm in Cornwall, was travelling at 55mph on the A361 in north Devon when he killed 48-year-old Steven Tolly in January 2013.

The prosecution accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge of death by careless driving at Exeter Crown Court on Tuesday. They dropped the original charge of death by dangerous driving. He is due to be sentenced next month.

Have a heart: A health phone-in

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

Have you had a heart-attack? How can you best avoid being a victim of one?

Well, as part of our regular health phone-ins, we talk to experts from the Royal Cornwall Hospital who can talk you through procedures and life-style options.

Call 01872 222222.

Robots explore Britain's underwater mountains

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

Underwater robots are exploring Britain's highest mountains - which have heights that would tower above Ben Nevis or Snowden - on the seabed.

Underwater footage

Scientists from Plymouth University are exploring the peaks to work out how best to protect corals and other fragile species in the Marine Protected Areas.

Marine physicist Dr Alex Nimmo Smith said the team was using acoustic maps to determine the topology of the seabed, which would help predict the likelihood of different biological species living by the mountains.

Community spirit praised following tanning salon blaze

BBC Radio Devon

The Red Cross in Devon has praised the community spirit in Exmouth, saying people rallied round to help those affected by a town centre fire yesterday.

Firefighters outside Consol tanning salon in Exmouth

Forty firefighters were called to The Parade after a blaze broke out in the Consol tanning salon at about 07:00 on Tuesday. About 15 people had to be evacuated from flats above, and two women were treated for the effects of breathing in smoke. 

Red Cross emergency response coordinator Debbie Braiden said local shops provided clothes and baby items. She added: "People were coming up offering to help, saying: 'We would like to donate some clothes'."

Water supply problem in Trewint

High tide times for the region

Holly Green

BBC Weather

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

Tide times

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

Linden Homes withdraws controversial appeal to build 280 homes in Plymouth

Plymouth Herald

A major housing developer has withdrawn its planning appeal to build 280 homes on land opposite Boringdon Park Golf Club.

You flagging up Glasto this year?

Football League fixtures for next season out - with an early Devon derby

James Law

BBC Sport Online

It may only feel like a few weeks ago that last season came to an end, but the fixtures for next season's Football League have been announced this morning.

Plymouth Argyle will start their League Two campaign at home to Luton on 6 August, while Exeter City begin with a trip to newly-relegated Blackpool - a club that were in the Premier League five years ago.

Rex Features

There is another early Devon derby, with Exeter hosting Plymouth on 17 September, and the return fixture on 11 February at Home Park.

Bugaled Breizh sinking case closed, French court confirms

Associated Press

France's top judicial court has definitively confirmed a decision to close the case of a French trawler that sunk over a decade ago off the British coast, killing five people.

Bugaled Breizh. Pic: AFP

The entire crew of the Bugaled Breizh drowned when it capsized and sank 14 miles off the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall in January 2004. Many suspected a nearby submarine pulled it under. France's Court of Cassation said there was no evidence to support the claim that a submarine was involved, nor that it was a fishing accident.

Britain's Royal Navy has previously denied claims that one of its nuclear submarines caused the sinking. A French TV documentary had suggested Plymouth-based submarine HMS Turbulent collided with the vessel before it went down.