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Summary

  1. Whale freed from fishing gear
  2. Driver airlifted after car cliff fall in Cornwall
  3. Up to six cars involved in A30 accident as 10 people have minor injuries
  4. Teen accused of murder remanded in custody
  5. Poor mobile signal 'leaving many in the Dark Ages' says Devon MP
  6. Properties flooded after heavy rain in South Molton
  7. Isles of Scilly power cable repair 'complex and challenging'
  8. Plan to save Isles of Scilly care home announced
  9. Updates on Wednesday 22 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Johnny O'Shea

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

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.

Don't forget  Spotlight on BBC One  later. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

Police say it is 'fortunate' no pedestrians were on Newquay beach

BBC Radio Cornwall

Scene of accident
BBC

Two men have been cut free from their car after it plunged off a road on to Porth Beach near Newquay. 

The driver, in his 40s, was airlifted to hospital with head and neck injuries. 

The passenger, who's in his 70s, was taken by land ambulance. 

Police, ambulance crews, fire engines and coastguards were called to the incident this morning.

It could have been a lot worse for the occupants of the vehicle, but it could have been a lot worse for any pedestrians that could have been walking along, or dog walkers. There was a pavement there and there was a path off the beach, so I think we are very fortunate there were no pedestrians nearby that could have been hit by the vehicle.

Inspector Dave MeredithNewquay Police

Breeding success for colour changing frog

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A Devon zoo has successfully bred a critically endangered species of frog.

The tiny lemur leaf frog can fit on the end of your finger, and changes from bright green in daytime, to brown after nightfall. 

Lemur leaf frog
Shaldon Wildlife Trust

Julie Matthews, Education and Research Officer at the Shaldon Wildlife Trust said: “We are extremely proud of this breeding success.

"The numbers of these little frogs has declined by over 80% in recent years due to habitat loss and the effects of Chytridiomycosis - a disease caused by a fungus which infects the delicate skin of amphibians - interfering with their breathing."

Planned train disruption for Sunday

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Rail passengers heading to London on Sunday will expect some disruption.

Trains from Devon and Cornwall will end at Reading, with replacement buses running from the town. These will got to Heathrow from where passengers can connect to Paddington.

It's to allow Network Rail to conduct work between Reading and Hayes and Harlington. 

Passengers are advised to check before they travel and plan their journeys to start after 13:00 if possible.

Anyone know a decent electrician?

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

This picture shows the extent of damage to the undersea power cable connecting the Isles of Scilly to the National Grid.

The damage is 10 miles off Land's End, and a specialist cable recovery vessel has been investigating.

Scilly power cable
Western Power Distribution

Western Power Distribution hopes repair work can begin on Friday. Since the damage happened at the start of the month, islanders have been relying on generators for their electricity.   

Car drivers warned to avoid A390 bus gate

Rob England

BBC News Online

Exeter's Ampadu on Wales standby list

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Exeter City's 16-year-old defender Ethan Ampadu has been put on standby for Wales' World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland on Friday night.

He is one of 11 players on the standby list, meaning he could be called into the squad if there are any injuries.

Ethan Ampadu
Rex Features

Ampadu only played his first game for Exeter in August and has made 10 appearances this season, though he has not played for the League Two side since November.

BreakingWhale freed from fishing gear

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

Rescuers have freed a humpback whale which was entangled in fishing gear off South Devon.

Dave Jarvis, from The British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said the "rope has been cut".

"We're now monitoring the whale to check all of it has been removed.

"The animal has moved off at speed across the area."

Whale
Henry Kirkwood

Latest travel: M5 northbound blocked after accident

BBC News Travel

  • Just outside Devon, the M5 northbound is blocked by an accident between Junction 26 for Wellington and Junction 25 for Taunton 
  • The A382 near Newton Abbot is blocked by an accident between Forches Cross and the A38 at Drum Bridges
  • On the South Devon Highway, Paignton-bound there's a broken-down vehicle blocking one lane - long queues of traffic reported there

'Still no freed whale'

Rescuers are still working to free a humpback whale entangled in fishing gear off South Devon.

The animal has been seen off the coast for more than three weeks.

The coastguard, RNLI and British Divers Marine Life Rescue are involved in the operation.

View more on twitter

'Little Star' award for seven-year-old girl

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A seven-year-old girl from Cornwall has been honoured for the way she helps look after her severely disabled brother. 

Evie Gwilliams from Helston is even able to give her younger brother Freddie his daily medication. 

Evie and Freddie
BBC

She also helps to feed him and put him to bed. 

She's just won a Little Star award for all the help she gives at home.

Devon MP says concern of 'coordinated attack' at Westminster

BBC Radio Devon

Moment area around House of Parliament evacuated

A Devon MP has said there is concern at Westminster of more attacks after  the terror incident close to Parliament earlier this afternoon. 

South West Devon MP Gary Streeter said: "The real concern is if this is a coordinated attack".

"Someone comes in, and then half-an-hour later other people take action."

A woman has died on Westminster Bridge in central London and a police officer was also stabbed in the nearby Houses of Parliament by an attacker, who was shot by police.

The attacker had struck several pedestrians as he drove a car on the bridge, before crashing into railings.

Police said there were "a number of casualties... including police officers" and a "full counter-terrorism inquiry" was under way.

Map
BBC

New Truro ground 'not viable' - Masters

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Truro City Chairman Peter Masters says the developers of the club's proposed new Silver Bow stadium have told him it is "no longer financially viable".

The National League South side do not own their current Treyew Road home and must leave at the end of the season.

Truro City
Vaughan Pickhaver/Truro City FC

"I've got to say it is very worrying off-field and it is a distraction," he told  BBC Radio Cornwall.  "If the decisions are not made in the favour of Truro City, there won't be any Truro City around."  

Truro City

New Truro ground 'not viable' - Masters

Chairman Peter Masters says developers of Truro's proposed new stadium have told him it is "no longer financially viable".

Read more

Rescue teams plan to cut rope from whale's tail

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

Rescue teams trying to free a whale from fishing gear off south Devon hope to cut the ropes from the animal's tail.

Dave Jarvis from The British Divers Marine Life Rescue said: "It could potentially go on for several days, we're hoping it won't."

The whale, estimated to be about 50ft long, is still surfacing for air and is currently situated around 1km offshore.  

Whale
Henry Kirkwood
The whale and lifeboat crew photographed by Henry Kirkwood

Devon schoolchildren's overweight labels angers parents

Rob England

BBC News Online

Parents have said they are appalled by an " insensitive " letter describing their children as "very overweight".

The four and five-year-old children from Devon were weighed and measured as part of the government's  National Childhood Measurement Programme .

Parents of children at Tor Bridge Primary School contacted  The Plymouth Herald about the letters.

Plymouth's director of public health Dr Ruth Harrell said support was in place for parents to discuss the results.

Children
KELLY FRANKLIN, TERI SANDERS

Whale rescue: 'It's a big animal and it's a dangerous procedure'

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

Conservationists are trying to get fishing gear off a humpback whale which is entangled off the south Devon coast.

Dave Jarvis from The British Divers Marine Life Rescue said: "It's a big animal and it's a dangerous procedure.

"If the animal catches the lifeboat with its tail it will have them all out of the boat.

"The animal can breathe so it's not in a life threatening situation."

MP 'shocked' by shooting outside Parliament

BBC Radio Cornwall

A Cornish MP has been giving his reaction to an terror incident outside Parliament today.

A police officer was stabbed, and the alleged assailant has been shot by armed police. 

Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay had just left the House of Commons and was in his office when he heard. 

He said: "I feel a sense of shock. Although we all suspected this could happen when it actually happens obviously it is a shock.

"But I'm also incredibly grateful that our police and security services obviously dealt with the incident very swiftly and dealt with the threat."

Parliament
PA

'We don't want to stress the whale out'

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

Rescue teams are trying to free a humpback whale that has become caught in fishing gear off the South Devon coast.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue says two people have been out to check the condition of the creature in Start Bay and are now on the lifeboat next to the creature.

One member is on board a nearby fishing boat. The organisation says the idea is to disentangle the whale as soon as possible.

"We don't want to stress the whale out," a spokesperson said.

View more on twitter

Parliament staff 'told to stay inside their offices'

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Staff inside Parliament have been told to stay inside their offices after a police officer was stabbed and an alleged attacker was shot by police.

The attack is being treated as a terrorist incident.

There are also reports of people being injured by a car on Westminster Bridge.

View more on twitter

Whale 'caught around the tail'

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A humpback whale that has become caught in fishing gear off the South Devon coast, is caught around the tail.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue says two people have been out to check the condition of the creature in Start Bay.

Rescue
Henry Kirkwood

They have now gone back to shore where they will collect equipment and prepare a plan. A lifeboat is offering support.

Julia Cable, from the organisation, said: "I believe it's a relatively simple attachment. We want to get it free soon while the whale is calm, before the situation worsens." 

MP Heaton-Jones: 'Thoughts with those involved in Parliament police stabbing'

BBC Radio Devon

A police officer has been stabbed in the Houses of Parliament in central London , Commons Leader David Lidington has said.

He told MPs the "alleged assailant was shot by armed police" following a "serious" incident.

Staff inside Parliament were told to stay inside their offices.

View more on twitter
Parliament
AP

Whale 'entangled in lobster pots': What we know so far...

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

  • A whale which has been attracting crowds of onlookers off the south Devon coast is believed to have got into trouble
  • The charity, British Divers Marine Life Rescue says it seems to have become entangled in lobster pots off Blackpool Sands
  • The alarm was raised just before midday when the Coastguard received a VHF Radio call from a fishing vessel reporting that a whale was entangled in some fishing gear in Start Bay, Dartmouth
  • British Divers Marine Life Rescue and Dartmouth RNLI inshore lifeboat are currently on scene attempting to help the whale
  • Dartmouth Coastguard Rescue Team have also been sent to the location
  • The whale, estimated to be about 50ft long, is reportedly still surfacing for air and is currently situated around 1km offshore
View more on twitter

Foul-mouthed Ross Vicars behind bars after plying himself with Pimms in Truro's Moorfield car park

Cornwall Live

A foul-mouthed drunk breached a banning order within 48 hours , launching a tirade of foul-mouthed abuse at a police officer in front of children, and is now behind bars.

Whale 'trying to dive'

BBC News England

Onlooker Henry Kirkwood said "The whale is trying to dive, it's humping it back but the flukes never come up."

The humpback whale has been seen offshore on and off for the past three weeks.

Coastguard alerted to 'entangled' whale by fishing boat

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Work is under way to disentangle a humpback whale that is caught up in fishing gear off the south Devon coast.

The Coastguard was called just before midday by a fishing boat in Start Bay, Dartmouth.

Angus MacIver, Coastguard Duty Controller, said: "We are asking for members of the public to be mindful of their own safety if they're trying to find a viewing vantage point, so that the emergency services can support the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) in responding to this incident."

Whale
Henry Kirkwood

BDMLR and the Dartmouth inshore lifeboat are currently on the scene attempting to help the whale. Dartmouth Coastguard Rescue Team have also been sent to the location. 

The whale, estimated to be about 50ft long, is reportedly still surfacing for air and is currently situated around 1km offshore.

Argyle game called off due to waterlogged pitch

Gordon Sparks

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

Plymouth Argyle's South Western Peninsular League Cup semi-final against St Austell - due to be played at Saltash this evening - has been called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Lifeboat launched in whale rescue

Emma Thomasson

BBC Spotlight

Following reports that a humpback whale has become entangled in lobster pots off the South Devon coast, a lifeboat has launched.

The Dart inshore lifeboat is at the scene, awaiting advice from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue. 

It's believed the whale is about 500 yards off shore near Blackpool Sands.

Whale
Henry Kirkwood
The whale and lifeboat crew photographed by Henry Kirkwood

BreakingWhale 'appears to be entangled in lobster pots'

BBC Radio Devon

The humpback whale which has been seen off the south Devon coast for the past three weeks appears to have become entangled in lobster pots off Blackpool Sands, the charity, British Divers Marine Life Rescue has told the BBC.

Witnesses say the whale is about 500 yards off shore and rising to the surface every five minutes to blow air. The charity says it has members at the scene and others on the way.  

More to follow.   

Two men cut from car after beach crash

Matt Small

BBC Radio Cornwall

Two men have had to be cut from a car after it went over a low cliff and on to a beach near Newquay.

The driver in his 40s, and passenger in his 70s, have both been taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital - one by air ambulance.

A dog that was also in the car is thought to be uninjured.

Porth Beach
BBC

Police say they were called to Porth Beach at 09:50 GMT, to reports that a blue estate car went over a low cliff and on to the beach.

Both men remained in the vehicle until they were cut free by emergency services.

Neither are thought to have life threatening injuries, and emergency services hope to get the car removed as soon as possible.

Police appeal for high risk missing person

Police are appealing for information about a missing Newquay man who hasn't been seen since 12 March. 

Darren Mitchell, 41, is described as white with a shaven head, 6ft 4in tall with a Chelsea tattoo on his upper right arm. 

He was last seen at Burger King in the town at 21:00. Police describe him as a high risk missing person and anyone who has information should call 101. 

A30 westbound closed at Lanivet because lorry is facing wrong way

BBC News Travel

  • The A30 at Lanivet closed westbound because a lorry is facing the wrong way - police are on the scene
  • On the A30 near Sourton Cross one lane remains blocked Cornwall-bound due to an earlier accident. There are queues of slow moving traffic westbound
  • In Plymouth on Wolseley Road there's slow traffic between Saltash Road and St Levan Road and Segrave Road due to roadworks

BreakingCrash involving 10 cars on A38

BBC News Travel

On the A38 towards Plymouth at the roundabout after Trago Mills (near Dobwalls) there has been a crash involving about 10 cars - no emergency services at the scene just yet

Two accidents on A30 near Okehampton

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

The police say there have been two accidents on a stretch of the A30 this morning.

The first involved at least six vehicles near Okehampton at around 10:50 GMT, and affected both sides of the carriageway.

A number of people were injured, although none thought to be serious.

Police said it will take some time to recover the vehicles.

Map
Google

At 11:15 GMT there was a second accident on the A30 between Launceston and Okehampton, when a Jaguar is thought to have aquaplaned and hit the central barrier.

Road users are asked to avoid the area. 

The police said: "There are currently no reports of anyone seriously injured, but believed to be a number walking wounded." 

Driver airlifted after car falls off cliff

Matt Small

BBC Radio Cornwall

The driver of a car that came off the road and fell off a cliff on to a beach near Newquay has been airlifted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

A second man who was a passenger has been cut free from the vehicle, a blue estate car, and taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital by land ambulance.

Porth Beach
BBC

It's believed the car went over the edge of the road and rolled several times on to Porth Beach.

Three fire engines have been at the scene, along with police and coastguards.

Former Navy man jailed for indecent images

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A man who served in the Royal Navy for 16 years has been jailed for making and distributing indecent images of children as young as five.

Andrew Grove, 41, from Parc-An-Maen, Porthleven, previously pleaded guilty to offences involving a total of 308 images and videos.

Andrew Grove
Devon and Cornwall Police

Truro Crown Court heard how some of the images showed children grimacing and crying. They were found on four laptops seized from his address in 2015.

Prosecuting counsel Phillip Lee told the court how Grove also shared images using a Skype account, where he also falsely boasted of abusing children.

Grove served in the Navy for 16 years, before leaving in 2013. 

Judge Robert Linford sentenced him to two years in prison and gave him a sexual harm prevention order.