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  1. Exeter Chiefs player on sex assault charge
  2. Torquay industrial estate fire 'caused by electrical fault'
  3. Council of the Isles of Scilly approve £600k worth of savings
  4. 999 call handlers face more abuse, investigation shows
  5. Doctors call for rethink over Bodmin treatment closure
  6. Stolen 200-year-old bank note returned 33 years later
  7. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Rob England

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's all from BBC Local Live in Devon and Cornwall for today, we'll be back at 08:00 on Wednesday with the day's news, travel, weather and sport updates.

Don't miss   BBC Spotlight at 18:30   and the late bulletin at 22:30 tonight.

Isles of Scilly mains power 'hoped' to be restored by next week

BBC Radio Cornwall

Western Power Distribution has announced "specialist contractors" will sail from Portland later this week to help repair the underwater cable that carries electricity to the Isles of Scilly. 

The company said customers "experienced a brief interruption to their power supplies" last Monday, it is thought the cable was damaged by a boat. 

A back up generator is currently supplying power to the islands. 

It is hoped the ship sent out to conduct repairs will set sail from Portland on Thursday afternoon to the fault location, 10 miles from Land's End. 

The contractors will then use a remotely operated underwater vehicle to cut the 35 mile cable and bring it to the surface for repairs on the boat. 

The repairs are expected to take between 7-10 days.

Western Power hopes to have the island restored to mains electricity sooner if there's a settled spell of weather.

Police appeal for wanted man

Police are re-appealing for the public’s help to find wanted Bath man Craig Starkey. 

Starkey, 34, is wanted in connection with theft and burglary offences and is wanted on a recall to prison for breaching the terms of his licence. 

He’s believed to be travelling around the Somerset area but also has links to Weymouth, Liverpool and Southampton, and could be in the Exeter area.

Starkey is described as white and of a heavy build. He is about 5ft 8ins and has a strong Liverpool accent.   

Craig Starkey
Avon and Somerset Police

Crichlow leaves Gulls without playing

James Law

BBC Sport Online

On-loan Torquay United winger Gianni Crichlow has returned to his parent club Queens Park Rangers, without playing a game for the Gulls.

The 18-year-old joined Torquay less than three weeks ago on a deal until the end of the season, but has already gone back to London.

Gianni Crichlow
Rex Features

“Unfortunately Gio struggled to settle away from home, and we didn’t want this to affect his future as a footballer,” said Torquay player-manager Kevin Nicholson. “He’s a good kid who came here with high hopes but it didn’t work out and this is just part of football and the learning process."  

Volunteers needed for new excavation in Devon

Rob England

BBC News Online

Fancy yourself as a bit of an archaeologist? Here's your chance.

North Devon Council is looking for volunteers to help in a new geophysical survey of Castle Green in Barnstaple  on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 March. 

Historic England funding has allow the council to organise a new wave of research on the site. 

Castle Green is the site of a Norman motte and bailey castle dating back to the early 12th Century. The castle was situated on top of the mound with a moat surrounding it.   

Castle Green, Barnstaple

Excavations and survey work carried out on the site in the 1970s and 1980s revealed the presence of 105 graves forming part of a Saxon cemetery which could date back as far as 900 AD.  

Ground penetrating radar will be used to survey the site, and the Cattle Market car park nearby.

Campaign groups at odds over silt dumping site

BBC Radio Cornwall

The Marine Management Organisation's announcement of a new disposal site for the huge quantities of contaminated silt from Devonport Dockyard is being welcomed by campaigners. 

Tens of thousands of tonnes of dredging waste will now go to the new location known as Plymouth Deep. 

Silt dumping trawler

Some fishermen have already expressed concern about the new site but the "Stop Dumping in Whitsand Bay" group is pleased. 

Local campaigner Deborah Hosken from Millbrook spent seven years campaigning against the dumping, calling pictures she saw of the impact on the environment "horrifying".

Grazing in the dunes scheme popular

BBC Radio Devon

A pilot scheme which involves grazing cattle in the dunes by a north Devon beach is producing promising results.

Farmer Wayne Copps said he'd had "a good reaction from the public" to the roaming cattle and their grazing is also revitalising the habitat at Woolacombe beach. 

Mr Copps said the herd "seemed really content".

The trial began in the autumn.

Cows "surfing"
The Croyde Bay "surfing cow" of 2011

Mr Copps added the scheme won't be causing incidents like that seen at Croyde Bay in 2011, where a confused cow managed to make its way down to the water.

Embezzler ordered to repay money

Naomi Barrett

A viscount's former personal assistant who embezzled almost £23,000 is ordered to repay the money or face going to jail.

Naomi Barrett

Embezzler ordered to repay money

A viscount's former personal assistant who embezzled almost £23,000 is ordered to repay the money or face going to jail.

Read more

Lloyds rural bank service 'designed for failure'

BBC Radio Cornwall

There's further dismay from banking customers in rural areas as Lloyds is closing four branches in four days. 

St Mawes shut yesterday, today Mevagissey closes, tomorrow it's Lostwithiel and St Blazey is due to close on Thursday. 

Lloyds says it because customers are choosing to manage their money differently with a move to online services.

A mobile service is being offered in some areas. 

The replacement services have been described by residents as "worse than useless".

Local councillor James Mustoe said: "One is tempted to conclude that the service has been designed for failure so that the bank can say 'we tried it but there wasn't a demand for it' prior to scrapping it altogether."

Jury out in Thomas Orchard manslaughter trial


The jury has begun its deliberations in the Thomas Orchard manslaughter trial.

Thomas Orchard, 32, who had schizophrenia, suffered a cardiac arrest at Heavitree Road Police Station in Exeter in 2012.

Custody sergeant Jan Kingshott, 45, and civilian detention officers Simon Tansley, 39, and Michael Marsden, 56, deny manslaughter by gross negligence in a trial held at Bristol Crown Court.

Bastille day at the Eden Sessions

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

Indie stars Bastille will headline a show at the Eden Sessions on 15 June.

The four-piece released their second studio album Wild World in September 2016 including the singles Good Grief, Send Them Off! and Blame.

Rita Broe, Eden’s marketing director, said: “Bastille are one of the biggest and most exciting British bands around right now and we’re very proud to be bringing them to the Eden Sessions this summer."

Eden Sessions

Flood Alert issued for North Cornwall rivers

Rob England

BBC News Online

A Flood Alert has been issued for the North Cornwall rivers by the Environment Agency.

It warns flooding is possible for Newquay, Padstow, Wadebridge and Sladesbridge, Bodmin and Camelford overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

Low lying land and roads will be affected first. 

Exeter Chiefs player on sex assault charge

BBC Radio Devon

Exeter Chiefs rugby player Nikola Matawalu has appeared in court charged with sexual assault.

Nikola Matawalu
Getty Images
Nikola Matawalu (left)

Scrum-half Matawalu, 27, of Hayes Square, Exeter, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at an Exeter city centre pub on 3 December.

The Fijian international pleaded not guilty at Taunton Crown Court and was bailed to stand trial at the same court on 10 August. 

Matawalu joined the Chiefs in November from Bath.

Flood Alert issued for North Devon

Rob England

BBC News Online

A Flood Alert has been issued by the Environment Agency for the Barnstaple, Braunton, Ilfracombe and Combe Martin area. 

The agency says flooding is possible on Tuesday night on low lying land and roads. Up to 30mm of rain is expected to fall overnight.   

The Environment Agency advises residents and people travelling through the area to be prepared.

Dawn in Torquay

BBC Weather Watchers


Formal request to slash number of Cornwall Council members by a fifth is submitted

Cornwall Live

The number of councillors on Cornwall Council is set to be cut by almost a fifth .

Finances 'have gone a little bit astray'

BBC Radio Cornwall

The vice chair of the Council of the Isles of Scilly admits finances "have gone a little bit astray" through the use of an antiquated finance system and they've set a realistic budget to go forward. 

Councillors on the Isles of Scilly have unanimously approved £600,000 worth of savings. 

Councillors backed a 4.99% rise in council tax for the next financial year, just below the threshold to require a referendum. 

Councillor Steve Simms says the islands face unique challenges because  "other authorities don't run airports, don't run water and sewage".

Stolen 200-year-old bank note returned 33 years later

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A 200-year-old bank note stolen from a museum 33 years ago has been returned anonymously after being posted from the Caribbean.

The £1 bank note, from 1819, was stolen from Padstow Museum in Cornwall in 1984.

It has been  returned to the museum  by airmail without any explanatory note or return address but bearing stamps from St Lucia.

Museum chairman John Buckingham said the tale was "worthy of a TV drama".

Bank note
Padstow Museum

Cornwall Gold Medallist to row Thames

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornwall's Olympic Gold Medal winning rower Helen Glover is preparing to embark on a new challenge. 

She and her husband Steve are planning to row down the Thames from Devizes to Westminster to raise money to buy part of a rain forest in Borneo, saving it from being cut down to make way for palm oil plantations.

Helen Glover (left) with Heather Stanning in 2012
Getty Images
Helen Glover (left) with Heather Stanning in 2012

I've always been really into the outdoors, but since being married to Steve that knowledge and enthusiasm has just grown. I've realised there is so much we can do, and so much we can save"

Helen Glover

'Rural weighting' could help GP shortage in Devon

BBC Radio Devon

A shortage of GPs in rural areas like Devon could be tackled by bringing in a 'rural weighting', similar to the accepted 'London weighting' principle. 

It would mean doctors who come and work in rural practices are paid more. 

Councillors in Torridge discussed the issue last night.

Anything that any council can do to support the rural economy and people living in the rural economy, it has got to be done."

Jane Whittaker Leader of Torridge District Council

MP backs doctors on Bodmin issue

BBC Radio Cornwall

The MP for North Cornwall is backing doctors who say closing the Bodmin Treatment Centre will lead to a loss of staff skills and patient continuity. 

Commissioners NHS Kernow have been unable to agree on renewing a contract for the Bodmin Treatment centre with provider Ramsay Healthcare.

The centre is set to close on 31 March. 

Scott Mann said the centre's waiting times are "much lower" than the main hospitals.

Scott Mann MP North Cornwall
Scott Mann

Man's arm freed from bed railings

Firefighters have helped an elderly man who got his arm stuck in his bed railings.

A fire engine was called to Dartmouth this morning to help the man.

Firefighters used small tools to release the man and left him with paramedics.

Spot checks at Bowden care home 'disruptive' father says

Rob England

BBC News Online

The father of a man being looked after at a care home being investigated by Cornwall Council has said he can understand why management have "banned" council staff from making unannounced visits.

Last month the council suspended placements at Bowden Derra in Launceston.

Bowden care home
A number of allegations were made about the quality of care at the home

But Tony Griffin, who's son has been at the Bowden Derra for 15 years, said he was "extremely satisfied" with the care and the council spot checks are "disruptive".

Cornwall Council says its priority is to make sure people are safe and cared for.

Isles of Scilly council tax rise backed

John Danks, BBC Spotlight

Torquay fire 'caused by electrical fault'

A large fire on an industrial estate in Torquay is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has said.

Fire crews were called to the Barton Industrial Estate just before 07:00.

The service said a single unit had been 15% damaged by fire and 100% damaged by smoke.


Argyle look to close gap on leaders

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Plymouth Argyle will move a point behind League Two leaders Doncaster if they win their game in hand at home to Blackpool tonight.

Derek Adams' side beat promotion rivals Carlisle on Saturday for their first victory in five matches, and the Pilgrims boss is looking up the table rather than down.

Plymouth Argyle
Rex Features

"We've got ambitions to try and get top spot - when you're sitting in the position we are in the league you've got to look to the top spot," Adams told BBC Radio Devon. "We've still got to play Doncaster as well and we've beaten them this season - but we've got to get a win tonight to make that possible."

Beach club plan for Bantham is being fought by 8,000 people

Plymouth Herald

An online petition to block moves to develop Bantham village and beach in South Devon has reached almost 8,000 signatures.

Government insists laws 'tightened' after Bhandari death

Rob England

BBC News Online

The government is insisting that the law has been tightened following the killing of a building worker from Devon on New Year's Day two years ago.

21-year-old Tanis Bhandari from Plymouth was stabbed to death outside the Kings Arm pub in Tamerton Foliot.

One of the two men jailed for life for his murder Donald Pemberton had been released on licence after being arrested a fortnight before the incident for threatening a group of men with a meat cleaver.

Donald Pemberton
Devon and Cornwall Police

Tanis's family, who are holding talks with Justice Secretary Liz Truss at Westminster, said had Pemberton "not been at liberty", he would be alive today.

The family's MP Johnny Mercer recently raised the case in the House of Commons.

Council of the Isles of Scilly approve £600k worth of savings

Denis Nightingale

BBC Radio Cornwall

Councillors on the Isles of Scilly have unanimously approved a new budget to make £600,000 worth of savings. 

The chief finance officer says it's the only way to keep the council solvent though he's warning its financial position will still be precarious.

Isles of Scilly

New site for dockyard dredged silt

BBC Spotlight

The Marine Management Organisation has announced a new site where it'll dump contaminated silt dredged from Devonport Dockyard. 

Dredging is used to remove sediment and debris from bodies of water.

Fishermen say it will impact their livelihoods, but environmental campaigners are pleased.

Map of new silt dredge dump site
Up until now the silt has been taken to Whitsand Bay in Cornwall, the new site is a place known as Plymouth Deep

999 call handlers face more abuse

BBC Radio Devon

The number of abusive calls made to 999 call handlers in the South West has gone up.

There are calls for tighter laws to protect them after a BBC investigation revealed the extent of the abuse they're being subjected to. 

Many have received death threats, and racist and sexist abuse over the three-year period. 

In the South West, there were 27 reports of abusive calls last year, up from 19 the year before. 

Call centre

Road blocked in Launceston after lorry hits wall

BBC News Travel

  • In Ottery St Mary, Exeter Road remains partially blocked by an accident at Birdcage Lane
  • In Launceston, Church Street is blocked by a lorry which has hit a wall between Castle Street and the High Street
  • In Rame there's queueing traffic on the A394 with slow traffic due to roadworks
  • In Penryn at the Treluswell Roundabout there's very slow traffic

Albion forward Dacres to join league rivals

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Plymouth Albion forward Nile Dacres will join their National League One rivals Coventry at the end of the season.

The 25-year-old arrived at Brickfields in June 2015  and has played 53 games in his two seasons at the club.

Nile Dacres
Rex Features

Former Worcester player Dacres was part of the Albion side which beat Coventry 33-24 last month.

Doctors call for rethink over treatment closure

BBC Radio Cornwall

Doctors working at a treatment centre in Bodmin, earmarked for closure, are calling for an urgent rethink amid warnings about losing staff skills and patient continuity. 

Last year NHS Kernow commissioned non-emergency treatment at the centre for nearly 5,000 patients from private provider Ramsay Health Care UK. 

But they've been unable to agree on renewing the contract and so it's closing at the end of the month. 

A public meeting has being arranged for later this week with both sides being urged to reopen negotiations. 

They're providing a very extensive service to an awful lot of people, who otherwise wouldn't benefit from the excellence of the staff and the treatment."

Tony ClarkePatient

Call to make Plymouth the capital of maritime affairs in the UK

Plymouth Herald

Politicians, scientists and fishing leaders have united to urge the Government to set up a new Department for Maritime Affairs in the Westcountry as Britain leaves the EU.

Udderly determined to go surfing

Rob England

BBC News Online

Courtesy of our colleagues at Countryfile, this is the moment a cow decided to go surfing at Croyde Bay back in 2011 and just wouldn't moo-ve out of the water.

A cow "surfing"

On BBC Radio Devon's Facebook page , Mike Waller asked where the cow's surfboard was?

Good point, Mike. That remains a mystery. 

A cow "surfing"

Whilst this cow managed to get in the water in 2011, a ongoing conservation project involving cows grazing at Woolacombe beach won't see cows in the water.