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Summary

  1. 'Marine A' sentencing for Taliban manslaughter postponed
  2. Anger over Buckfast wine sold with Easter Egg
  3. Former Cornwall MP calls for 2p Health Tax to 'save' NHS
  4. 'Ghost nets' blamed for rise in deaths of dolphins and other animals at sea
  5. HMS Ocean steams home to Devonport after six months in the Mediterranean and the Gulf
  6. Updates on Friday 24 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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National League

National League strugglers Torquay United come from a goal down to seal a draw away against Wrexham.

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Our live coverage across the day

Victoria Gould

BBC News Online

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Don't forget  Spotlight on BBC One  later, and from 19.00 join BBC Radio Devon’s Janet Kipling and BBC Radio Cornwall’s Claire Rowley on your local BBC Radio Station for a Red Nose Day special live from the Comic Relief south west call centre.

Cornish seal pups released after successful recovery

Rob England

BBC News Online

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary had a grey seal pup release this afternoon at Porthtowan Beach. 

Grey seal pups Merlin, Polar Bear, Penguin, Panda, and Arctic Fox were all released into the Celtic Sea.

Seals
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

A sanctuary spokesman described the release as a "major operation" involving several members of the team.

Each pup was transferred from their rehabilitation pools to the beach by cage.

The pups were "fit and healthy, ready to return to the wild", he said.

A seal on a beach
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

The spokesman said: "As soon as a pup has reached 40kg and has received a clean bill of health they are then released back into the wild.

"There are a variety of reasons why grey seal pups need to be rescued, from malnutrition to being separated from their mum at just a few days old."

Seal
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

We'll miss them because we've got to know them all so well, but at the same time it will be great to see them back in the wild where they belong."

TamaraCurator, Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Safety row over Bucky egg with lighter

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

An Easter egg package which contains a lighter and a miniature bottle of notorious Buckfast tonic wine has been branded "highly irresponsible" .

Buckfast
PA

The Buckfast package which includes a 140g chocolate egg with a miniature 5cl Buckfast bottle as well as a Buckfast-branded pen and a lighter is being sold by off-licence D-Bees, in Co Armagh.

Stewart Wilson of Buckfast bottlers J Chandler told BBC News: "It's an unofficial product and we oppose the actions of the individual. 

"It's highly irresponsible given the nature of a confectionary product that's mainly given to children." 

Buckfast Tonic Wine has been made by Benedictine monks at Buckfast Abbey in Devon for almost 100 years.

Future of St Martin Primary School in Cornwall to be debated

BBC Radio Cornwall

Directors of St Martin Primary School on the Lizard Peninsula have confirmed closure is being considered after pupil numbers dropped to 13.

Two weeks ago Tom Harman, head teacher of the Keskowethyans Multi-Academy Trust denied that there are plans to close the school, describing it as "a lovely site and it would be madness to not utilise it".

On Monday, however, all parents in the trust received a letter that said its legal team were looking at various options and proposals, and that one of which "might" be the closure of St Martin.

In view of projected pupil numbers, directors have been exploring with our legal team the various options open to us, recognising that one of these options might be the closure of St Martin School. Whilst the school has an operational capacity of 52, there are currently only 13 children on roll, two of which will leave us in September for secondary school. There are no children expected to join the school in reception in September 2017."

Pam Miller Chair of the board of directors, Keskowethyans Multi-Academy Trust

Family's last plea to find missing ex-soldier before he is declared dead

Devon Live

A former soldier missing since 2004 is set to be legally declared dead unless a last-ditch plea for help to find him is successful.

Update: A3058 to re-open 'as soon as possible'

Lighter sold with Buckfast 'violent wine' Easter egg

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

A notorious wine linked with violence is being sold by an off-licence as an Easter egg gift including a lighter.   

Buckfast
PA

Distributors of Devon monks' brew Buckfast have called it "highly irresponsible" and threatened the seller, an off-licence in Northern Ireland, with legal action.

The Buckfast package includes a 140g chocolate egg with a miniature 5cl Buckfast bottle as well as a Buckfast-branded pen, lighter and magnet.

Off-licence D-Bees, in Co Armagh, was unavailable for comment.

Latest weather: Chilly spring into summer time

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

Tonight will be mostly clear and rather cold though frost is not likely. It will stay rather breezy, especially in the south. Minimum Temperature: 3C (37F).

Saturday's weather map
BBC

Tomorrow will start cold but become dry and sunny. Strong north-easterly winds will continue to trouble coasts and hills so it won't feel quite as warm as temperature figures suggest.

Maximum Temperature: 15C (59F).

Needle bins to be installed in Bodmin public toilets to meet increase of used needles across town

Cornwall Live

Bodmin will soon see sharps disposal bins installed in public toilets across the town, in what the council says is a response to the increase in the number of used needles left in public areas.

Devon denied Thomas signing again

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Devon have been blocked from signing former Somerset fast bowler Alfonso Thomas for the second year running, due to Minor Counties Cricket Association (MCCA) regulations.

They hoped to bring in South Africa-born Thomas in as a player-coach, but had their appeal turned down at a hearing in Birmingham.

Alfonso Thomas
Getty Images

"There was a strong reluctance by MCCA to act discretionarily, which they can do," said Devon chief executive Neil Gamble. "It is deeply disappointing for Devon that the MCCA wouldn’t use its discretion and be flexible over a middle-significance referral issue."

Man airlifted to hospital with 'serious' injuries after A3058 crash

Rob England

BBC News Online

A man has been airlifted to Derriford Hospital with "serious" injuries after a collision on the A3058 at Quintrell Downs.

A Polish-registered car collided with the back of a lorry at 13:55 this afternoon.

Two other people in the car have been taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

The road has been closed until further notice.

Devon stables to host Dartmoor's first nearly-naked ride

Devon Live

A trekking centre in Dartmoor is providing a first opportunity for naturists to participate in a one-off ride wearing minimal clothing .

New bus companies for Torbay announced

Two new bus operators have been announced to serve Torbay.

Last month it was revealed that 'Local link' would be withdrawing from 1 April.

Now, Torbay Council has said Routes 62, 64 (revised), 108/109 and supermarket services S1-S6 and TC1 will be served under the name "Torbay Buses".  

Torbay Town Hall
BBC

Also from 3 April, Torbay Community Development Trust have joined forces with a team of volunteers to take over the running of the recently withdrawn 60/61 bus service between Paignton and Torquay.     

Support group 'couldn't help as many people' without Comic Relief

The founder of a company that runs support groups across Devon has said without the funding it receives from Comic Relief, they would not be able to "help so many people".

Debbie Humberstone, who is also a director at The Project, said the company were "proud" to be part funded by the charity.

The Project runs peer support groups for young people aged 13-24 with mental health issues as well as parents and carers.

They wore red noses, and "baked with Maltesers" to mark Red Nose Day. 

The Project staff
The Project

Comic Relief, the charity which runs Red Nose Day, will be broadcasting a night of comedy tonight at 19:00 on BBC One.

'Top social scientist' joins Exeter Uni

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

One of the UK's leading social scientists is joining the University of Exeter from her previous post as chief executive of the Economic and Social Research Council.

Professor Jane Elliott will join the University's College of Social Sciences and International studies as Professor of Sociology in September.

Professor Jane Elliott
University of Exeter

She said: "I'm delighted to join a university with strong synergies in my research areas. 

"Exeter is an attractive place to be, both geographically and having soared up the rankings over the past decade.

"It is a vibrant university and I'm very much looking forward to building strong research collaborations and contributing to teaching the next generation of social scientists at Exeter."

Badger causes road collapse

Devon County Council says it's closing a road in North Devon because of badger damage. 

View more on twitter

Welcome home HMS Ocean!

HMS Ocean arrives back in Plymouth
LPhot Kenneth Gaunt RN

There have been emotional scenes in Plymouth as the Royal Navy's flagship HMS Ocean returned home after six months at sea. 

During the deployment she covered more than 23,000 miles and visited 11 countries. 

There were more than 500 personnel on board including members of 829 Naval Air Squadron from RNAS Culdrose and Lima Company of 42 Commando Royal Marines from Bickleigh in Plymouth. 

Serious Collision on A3058, road closed, delays expected

Missing Axminster woman found

Devon and Cornwall Police have thanked the public for their help in locating a missing woman. 

Karen Wyatt, 43, had been missing from her home in Axminster since 10:00 yesterday. 

View more on twitter

Latest travel: A38 Bickington one lane blocked and slow traffic on A39 at Treluswell

BBC News Travel

  •  A38 at Bickington one lane is blocked by a broken down vehicle Plymouth-bound between the Goodstone Junction and Ashburton Rockpark Cross. 
  • Reports of a two vehicle collision in Shaldon on Ringmore Road near Brook Lane.
  • Shedden Hill Road in Torquay is partially blocked by a broken down vehicle near Croft Road.
  • In Tavistock Mount Tavy Road is partially blocked by an accident near Batteridge Hill. 
  • At Holcombe on the A379 Teignmouth Road there are temporary traffic lights and roadworks, traffic is slow moving in both directions.
  • A39 approaching the Treluswell Roundabout there's congestion due to the road improvements. 
  • In Newquay the A392 Trevemper Road is closed in both directions for resurfacing between the A3075 and Treloggan Road until 16.30 today.
  • On Queen Street, Fore Street and Bodmin Hill in Lostwithiel there's slow traffic due to roadworks and temporary traffic lights. 

School defends headmaster who joked about dressing up as Christian Grey for World Book Day

Devon Live

A furore has erupted after a headmaster at a private school made a joke about dressing up as S&M lover Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey for World Book Day.

Angel of Woolwich: 'Life in Cornwall is hell'

Victoria Gould

BBC News Online

The woman dubbed the "Angel of Woolwich" after she confronted one of Lee Rigby's killers, says her life in Cornwall has been "hell" since the attack in 2013. 

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett from Helston says she has faced verbal and physical abuse from people in her home town, and her house and car have been pelted with eggs and stones. 

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett
Reuters

Ms Loyau-Kennett told BBC Radio 5Live that she had been rejected by the community and she did not know why. 

She said despite suffering symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder since the attack, she had no regrets. 

"Life is precious, you can't just pass by and do nothing"

'Wreck the hoose juice' Easter egg created

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

A Buckfast Easter egg has been created by the owner of an off-licence in Northern Ireland after huge demand for products related to the Devon-made tonic wine.

Buckfast is frequently linked to violence and anti-social behaviour and in Scotland has nicknames like "wreck the hoose juice" and "commotion lotion". 

Buckfast Easter egg
PA

In 2015, the Scottish Prison Service found 43.4% of inmates had consumed Buckfast before their last offence despite it accounting for less than 1% of total alcohol sales nationally. 

No-one was available for immediate comment from the wine's producers or the abbey.

Travel: Accident in Shaldon

BBC News Travel

  • On the A38 at Bickington one lane is blocked by a broken down Plymouth-bound vehicle between the Goodstone Junction and Ashburton Rockpark Cross. Traffic is coping well
  • In Shaldon we have reports of a two-vehicle collision on Ringmore Road near Brook Lane
  • In Torquay, Shedden Hill Road is partially blocked by a broken down vehicle near Croft Road
  • In Tavistock Mount Tavy Road is partially blocked by an accident near Batteridge Hill

Truro City plan to share Bodmin's ground

Ross Ellis

BBC Radio Cornwall

Truro City have agreed to ground share with Bodmin Town football club - should the need arise next season.

Truro need to move from Treyew Road next season as their ground is being developed.

Truro City plans
Truro City FC

Earlier this week, club chairman Peter Masters said plans to build a stadium at Silver Bow near Threemilestone were no longer financially viable.

The White Tigers say they would improve Bodmin's ground in order to meet the standards for National League South.

Man died after being found unconscious at Cornish beauty spot

Cornwall Live

A man in his 60s has died after being found unconscious by a passerby at a Cornish beauty spot on Thursday lunchtime.

Weather: Patchy rain across the region

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

It'll be mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain mainly affecting areas close to the south coast.

There may be some patchy rain further north, but by mid afternoon it will become dry and also brighter from the east with some sunny spells developing later.

Moderate or fresh northeasterly winds will be strong to near gale force around the coast at times.

Max Temp 11C (52F).

BBC weather for the South West

Comic Relief: Where does the money go?

Chris Quevatre

BBC News Online

Here's just one of the projects that gets funded by Comic Relief in Devon.

Crediton Youth Theatre was started after the local youth club closed down.

Now, thanks to funding from Comic Relief, they're in full rehearsals for their first original production...

Truro City secure ground share option

An agreement has been reached for Truro City to play their home games at the ground of Bodmin Town next season, should the need arise.

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BreakingSentencing of Marine A postponed until Tuesday

Press Association

A decision on a new sentence for Royal Marine Alexander Blackman for the manslaughter of an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan will now be announced on Tuesday by the Court Martial Appeal Court.

Foul play in Comic Relief cake off?

New Commander for Plymouth police

Victoria Gould

BBC News Online

Dave Thorne
Devon and Cornwall Police

Chief Superintendent Dave Thorne has been announced as the new Plymouth police commander. 

He had been a superintendent in the city for the last 18 months.

Chief Superintendent Dave Thorne said: 

“I recognise that all those organisations involved in keeping the city safe, tackling its social ills and increasing the city’s prosperity will no doubt face challenges, however I believe by working together, with commitment and enthusiasm we can continue to forge a positive future for Plymouth."

Calls for special tax to fund NHS

BBC Radio Devon

A special tax should be ring-fenced and used solely to pay for the NHS, according to the Devon MP and Commons Health Committee chair Sarah Wollaston. 

Dr Wollaston says National Insurance should be used specifically to fund health and social care. 

It follows calls from the Liberal Democrats to increase income tax to raise more money for the Health Service.

Sarah Wollaston
BBC

Kernow King takes over the airwaves - all in the name of Comic Relief

Victoria Gould

BBC News Online

Calls for an extra two pence in the pound on income tax to 'save the NHS'

John Henderson

BBC Spotlight

The former Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives says people need to be prepared to pay an extra two pence in the pound in income tax, to "save the NHS". 

The call from Andrew George, comes as the Conservative chair of the Health Select Committee and MP for Totnes Sarah Wollaston says National Insurance should be ring-fenced to cover health and social care.

A panel of health experts including the former head of NHS England, Sir David Nicholson, has also backed hypothecation, or at least included it in a shortlist of policies for raising extra revenue.

NHS tax
BBC

Man used felt-tip pen to change dead mum's blue badge for free parking

Devon Live

A man who tried to get free parking by altering his dead mum's blue badge has been ordered to pay £880 by magistrates. 

'Angel of Woolwich' talks of trauma of witnessing a terror attack

BBC Radio Cornwall

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, dubbed the "Angel of Woolwich" for confronting one of the killers of soldier Lee Rigby, has spoken about the lasting impact of witnessing a terror attack. 

Ms Loyau-Kennett from Helston told the BBC she was taken aback by the impact it had on her emotional health, and says the events at Westminster on Wednesday brought back all the memories of the attack in Woolwich in May 2013. 

She said, "I was not scared, so I didn't imagine I would be traumatised. I thought I was in charge, and I knew what I was doing". 

Ingrid Loyau Kennet
BBC

Warm welcome for Royal Navy flagship

Hundreds of friends and relatives gathered at Devonport today to welcome HMS Ocean home. 

The Royal Navy's flagship has been away for six months. 

During that time she covered more than 23,000 miles and visited 11 countries. 

HMS Ocean
BBC

'Ghost gear': Call for fishing nets to be tagged

Nets should be tagged to stop an increasing problem with dolphins, seals and other sea creatures getting caught in discarded fishing gear, a charity says.

Christina Dixon from World Animal Protection, who've done a study into the problem of old fishing gear in the waters around Cornwall, says there needs to be a standard tagging system. She said:

"During the study fishing gear was identified based on these tags and that's how we're able to say that some of the gear we are seeing in Cornwall is actually coming from places as far away as Newfoundland or the USA."

Dead seal
Dave Jarvis