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  1. Cocaine carrying skipper jailed for 16 years
  2. Ex-soldier sentenced to life for murdering on-off girlfriend
  3. Hotel plans approved for Drake's Island
  4. River rescue after man jumps from boat
  5. School absences on the rise in Devon and Cornwall
  6. Test drilling for tin and tungsten starts at Kelly Bray in east Cornwall
  7. Dartmoor's honesty boxes could be replaced with pay and display machines
  8. Could you be related to the founder of a tropical Caribbean nation?
  9. Updates on Thursday 6 April 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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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 to bring you all the day's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

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

Re-staffing of Holsworthy Hospital could take months

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Holsworthy Hospital says re-staffing the hospital would take at least three to four months, if occupancy issues are able to be resolved.

At the moment, teams affected by the temporary closure of inpatient beds  are in temporary redeployments, while the hospital's trust looks at the issue.

The hospital says that in order for the beds to reopen, the trust needs to address both the staffing challenges and the low occupancy of the inpatient beds.

"Because the trust determines its staffing needs based on the care that is provided, the issue of low bed occupancy needs to be addressed first," it said it a statement.

Protesters at Holsworthy Hospital

Cocaine haul stopped off Cornwall 'biggest of 2016'

Three men have been jailed for attempting to smuggle "a huge quantity of cocaine" into the UK.

Michael McDermott, 68, from Waterford, Ireland, was jailed for 16 years, David Pleasants, 57, from Grimsby, for 14 years and Gerald Van de Kooij, 27, from Amersfoort, Netherlands, for 12 years at Bristol Crown Court today.

Bales of cocaine
National Crime Agency

Michael McDermott used his specialist skills as a sailor to attempt to evade border controls. His was a crucial link in a chain that leads from cocaine manufacturers in South America to drug dealers in the UK. In stopping this consignment, we have prevented further criminality by the gangs who bring violence and exploitation to our streets."

Mark Harding Senior investigating officer, NCA's border investigation team

'Appalling' antenatal course replaced

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

Cornwall's NHS antenatal course has been replaced after some mums labelled it 'pretty appalling'.

Health professionals said an improved programme has been introduced as a result of feedback received.

Vicky Hancock with two children
Vicky Hancock

Vicky Hancock who did the previous course said some sessions were "a complete waste of time," covering diet during pregnancy when it was nearly over.

Course leaders say the new course has just started and so far feedback has been positive.

First woman to take top job at Coastguard

BBC Radio Cornwall

For the first time a woman has been appointed head of maritime operations at the Coastguard Agency.

Julie-Anne Wood says she's proud to be making history by being the first woman to achieve the rank in the history of Her Majesty's Coastguard.

She says it's a huge responsibility and a position she's very honoured to hold.

Julie-Ann Wood
HM Coastguard

Amazing reaction as Devon man gets to meet his hero - The Rock

Devon Live

A Devon man who delayed his honeymoon for a year so he could take it during Wrestlemania 33 got more than he bargained fo r when he met US TV show host Jimmy Fallon and his childhood hero - The Rock.

Idiots are pointing lasers at drivers on the A38 Read more at

Plymouth Herald

Children have been causing problems for drivers along the A38 .The troublesome youths were stood pointing laser pens into drivers cars from the flyover located near Austin Farm Primary School.

A cold night but bright and sunny tomorrow

BBC Weather

It will be a night of well-broken cloud and light winds. Under the clear skies temperatures will fall to a minimum of 3C (37F).

Weather map

Tomorrow - more variable cloud, bright and sunny spells with light south-easterly winds with highs of 12C (54F).

BreakingSkipper of £80m cocaine boat jailed for 16 years

The skipper of a drug-filled fishing boat has been jailed for 16 years for attempting to smuggle almost a tonne of cocaine into Britain.

Michael McDermott, 68, from Waterford, Ireland, was found guilty three weeks ago of his role in the plan to get the drugs into port at Falmouth, Cornwall.

Two other men, David Pleasants, 57, from Grimsby, and Gerald Van de Kooij, 27, from Amersfoort, Netherlands, have been jailed for 14 and 12 years respectively at Bristol Crown Court. 

Gerald Van de Kooij, Michael McDermott and David Pleasants
National Crime Agency

Former Marine's bid for Invictus Games

BBC Radio Devon

A former Royal Marine from Plymouth is taking part in trials to get on the UK squad for the 2018 Invictus Games.

Mark Ormrod suffered severe injuries in Afghanistan and is a triple amputee.

Mark Ormrod

Mums-to-be 'not morons'

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

A new NHS antenatal course has been developed in Cornwall amid claims the old one treated mums-to-be 'like morons' and was 'a joke'.

Course leaders said improvements had been made based on a range of feedback.

Vicky Hancock and baby
Vicky Hancock

Stephanie Heard, Infant Feeding Co-ordinator, said: "There was a high drop-out rate. We were concerned people weren't attending those later sessions as they weren't getting the information they needed to equip them for when their baby came.

"The people who had to deliver the sessions weren't always as confident with the content as they might have been so we've absolutely recognised that."

Surfing - where it all began

BBC World Service

Surfing will feature at the Olympic Games for the first time ever in Tokyo 2020.

It's a sport practiced all over the planet, from Australia's golden beaches to California's wild Pacific shores - but where did it all begin?

To find out, Sportshour's Simon Parker embarked on a particularly tough assignment to the tropical islands of Hawaii , to meet the beach boys of Waikiki.

Surf sculpture
Simon Parker

Council contractor hit by car at roadworks near hospital

Plymouth Herald

A council contractor roadworker was rushed to hospital after being hit by a car last night.

Is this the end for Dartmoor honesty boxes?

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Honesty boxes like this one could go at some Dartmoor car parks as authorities trial pay and display parking machines.

It's drawn a mixed response from visitors - some say the honesty box system already works well, while others say the parking fees are reasonable.

Honesty box at Dartmoor

One visitor Jean Martin says paying the proposed £1 fee for parking for three hours seems fair. 

"On the south coast where we come from you pay £3.50 per hour, so we think it's quite good value," she says.

Banks to close in Devon

BBC Radio Devon

Two more bank branch closures have been announced for Devon.

Lloyds Bank in Topsham and Halifax on Mutley Plain in Plymouth will close between July and October.

The losses are among 100 bank branches under the Lloyds Banking Group umbrella set to close across the country during that time.

Cattle happy with squad for next season

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Cornish Pirates coach Gavin Cattle says he is pleased with how  his squad is shaping up for next season, with 19 players already under contract.

Only two are new signings as it stands, with Christian Judge and Toby Freeman adding to Cattle's existing personnel.

Gavin Cattle
Rex Features

"Ultimately our main aim was to retain as many of these boys as we could," Cattle told  BBC Radio Cornwall.

"That's what's maybe set us apart from some teams in the league, that we've been able to retain those players."

School absences: What about people who work in the tourism industry?

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

There's figures out today that show a rise in term time absences at school in Devon and Cornwall.

So what if you work in tourism, and the only time you can take a holiday is during term time?

Paul Kelly, chief executive of the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions, said consideration does need to be given to people that work in tourism.

"We don't support taking children out of school during term time but consideration does need to be given to people working in tourism based on factors such as their children's overall attendance and attainment," he said.

Family on a beach

Cornish sisters to receive Young Citizens Awards

BBC Radio Cornwall

Two Cornish sisters who've been campaigning for better mental health care for young people in Cornwall are being honoured for their work.

Their 18-year-old brother Ben Cowburn took his own life at an adult mental health unit in 2010.

His family set up the Invictus Trust to campaign for a specialist young persons unit in Cornwall.

Last week Amber and Sophia heard that was finally going ahead. They are being presented with Rotary International Young Citizens Awards.

Ben Cowburn
Family photo

Drake's Island hotel plans have been proposed for years

BBC News England

Plans for a multimillion-pound hotel on Drake's Island have been approved by Plymouth City Council planners. 

It's been a long journey as these BBC News stories show...

Devon town counts the cost as 70 cars damaged in crime spree

Devon Live

Residents of a street in North Devon are considering getting their own CCTV after forking out thousands of pounds to fix criminal damage to their cars.

Drake's Island multimillion-pound hotel plans approved


Plans for the multimillion-pound re-development of the historic Drake's Island in Plymouth Sound have been approved.

The firm behind the idea wants to spend about £10m converting the old fortifications on the island into a luxury hotel. 

Plymouth city planners were recommended to approve the idea subject to numerous conditions.

Drake's Island

BreakingHotel approved for Drake's Island

Scott Bingham

BBC Spotlight

Plans for a hotel on Drake's Island have been approved by Plymouth City Council planners.

Hospital to look at staffing after bed closures

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Holsworthy Community Hospital says it will work with leaders and clinical stakeholders to see whether there is an unmet need for beds in Holsworthy and Torridge. 

Inpatient beds at the hospital closed temporarily at the end of March because of "significant safety concerns," the hospital trust said. 

In order for the beds to reopen, the trust says it needs to address both the staffing challenges and the low occupancy of the inpatient beds.

Holsworthy Community Hospital

'I knew her fears - that she would not live to see her children grow up'

BBC News England

Jay Nava
Dorset Police

A former Plymouth soldier has been jailed for life for murdering his on-off girlfriend while three children slept upstairs.

Jay Nava, 27, stabbed Natasha Wake 11 times in the chest and neck at her home in Bournemouth in October.

He then fell asleep beside her body, which he later hid in a cupboard.

A judge at Winchester Crown Court said Nava should serve a minimum of 21 years for his "frenzied and violent outburst".

A defence psychiatrist told the jury Nava's ability to control his behaviour was "substantially impaired" by an "underlying narcissistic personality disorder".

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Miss Wake's mother, Shelley Powell, said she was "haunted by Natasha's last few moments". Ms Powell said: "I knew her fears - that she would not live to see her children grow up."

Two accidents causing traffic delays

BBC News Travel

  • On the M5 Southbound, there's stationary traffic and a rolling road block between Wellington and Tiverton due to an accident
  • In White Cross, on the A392, there are reports of a two-vehicle collision near Whiteacres Holiday Park

ShelterBox help homeless after floods in Peru

          The aftermath of a mudslide and floods in Trujillo, northern Peru

A series of devastating floods in Peru have left dozens dead and tens of thousands homeless since the start of the year.

Entire roads and bridges have been swept away, towns have been engulfed and farmland has been turned to muddy swamp.

It has led to more than 800 towns and cities declaring states of emergency, and brought about a rise in the price of food. Police have been deployed to keep law and order in flood-ravaged areas.

Cornwall-based charity ShelterBox is in the country helping the homeless.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M5 Somerset southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Somerset southbound severe accident, between J26 for A38 and J27 for A361.

M5 Somerset - Two lanes blocked and slow traffic on M5 southbound between J26, A38 (Wellington) and J27, A361 (Tiverton), because of a multi-vehicle accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Home in Lamorna now on the market

Cornwall Live

If you've ever ventured down the steep and windy roads of Lamorna Valley to visit the rewardingly scenic coastal village, chances are you will have noticed the eye-catching property  now up for sale. 

Decision expected on Drake's Island plans

BBC Radio Devon

Plans for a multimillion-pound re-development of Drake's Island in Plymouth Sound look likely to be approved today. 

The firm behind the idea wants to spend about £10m converting the old fortifications on the island into a luxury hotel.

Plymouth city planners are being recommended to approve the idea subject to numerous conditions.

Drake's Island

Dog on road in Roche

BBC News Travel

In Roche, a dog is on Mayfield Drive near Springfield Way. Drivers are warned to approach with care

Cornwall's antenatal course scrapped

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

Cornwall's NHS antenatal course has been scrapped and replaced with an "improved programme" after a high drop-out rate, health professionals say.

Becky Parkin and baby
Becky Parkin

Becky Parkin, mother and GP trainee, said the first sessions delivered information too late in pregnancy: "Many were then put off attending the future sessions fearful they would be similar."

"The new antenatal course will be welcomed, it's great that it has been adapted and changed in response to feedback."  

Jailed ex-soldier 'confessed to killing on-off girlfriend on phone'

BBC News England

A former Plymouth soldier has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his girlfriend.

Jay Nava stabbed Natasha Wake to death in October last year while their children slept upstairs in their home in Bournemouth.

The trial heard Nava confessed to the killing in a phone call to his mother.

Police found Miss Wake's body at the address in Harley Gardens and launched a ground and air search for Nava's car.

The former Commando gunner attempted to take his own life when he was discovered later that day in woodland at Hengistbury Head, Dorset. Police officers managed to resuscitate him on the scene.

A defence psychiatrist had told the jury Nava suffered an "abnormality in mental function".

Jay Nava subjected Natasha to a brutal and sustained attack. His violent actions that day have very sadly left two young children without their mother."

Det Ch Insp Sarah Derbyshire
Natasha Wake's home

Man jailed for life after on-off girlfriend stabbed 11 times

BBC News England

Jay Nava
Dorset Police

A former Plymouth soldier who murdered his on-off girlfriend at her Bournemouth home has been sentenced to life in prison.  

Jay Nava, 27, stabbed 26-year-old Natasha Wake 11 times in the chest and neck at her home in Bournemouth in October.  

Natasha Wake
Family photo

The trial heard that Natasha Wake became angry with Nava on the day she died, when she found out that he had been investigated by police for an alleged sexual assault on another woman.

Nava told the court he remembered kneeling over Miss Wake's body with a knife in his hand but could not recall killing her.

The court heard that on the night of the attack on 1 October, one of the children in the house heard a "scream" and went downstairs for a drink.

The girl told police she had seen Nava with a knife and Miss Wake lying on the floor covered by a blanket, although Nava had told her it was a "game".

Kitten crisis is about to kick off in Plymouth - here's what you can do to help

Plymouth Herald

For staff at Woodside Animal Sanctuary, the kitten boom which hits every summer is a "scary" time and resources are stretched thinly as they prepare to home hundreds of kittens and pregnant mums.

BreakingEx-soldier sentenced to life for murdering on-off girlfriend

A former Plymouth soldier who murdered his on-off girlfriend at her Bournemouth home has been sentenced to life in prison.

Twenty-seven-year-old Jay Nava, who was based at The Royal Artillery 29 Commando Regiment, will serve a minimum of 21 years behind bars. 

Nava was found guilty of stabbing 26-year-old Natasha Wake 11 times while her children slept upstairs.        

Do you remember these fire engines?

Check out this old-school fire engine, which was posted by the mechanics at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service for Throwback Thursday 

View more on twitter

Safety would match promotion - Lathrope

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Midfielder Damon Lathrope says keeping Torquay United in the National League would be "as big as a promotion"

The Gulls have never gone down from the fifth tier but are a point from safety with five matches remaining.

Damon Lathrope
Rex Features

"You get relegated from this league and you haven't got far to go - there isn't much else out there," Lathrope told BBC Radio Devon. "It's a massive club that shouldn't be in this league, let alone the one below, but it'll be a disaster for the players, the fans - everything."

Meanwhile, Torquay skipper Courtney Richards will miss the rest of the season after suffering a setback in his recovery from a knee injury.

Election candidates announced

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornwall Council has published the list of candidates standing in the unitary elections:

  • The Conservatives are fielding 119 candidates
  • The Lib Dems are standing in all 123 seats
  • Labour are at 58 candidates
  • UKIP are down to 21 
  • There are 83 Independents standing