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Summary

  1. Man stabbed in Hayle sparks police probe
  2. Murder accused 'dragged body in suitcase across city'
  3. Houses 'severely damaged' in Exeter car crash
  4. Rogue traders 'targeting elderly' in Plymouth and Exeter
  5. Van driver 'not wearing seat belt lucky to be alive' in M5 crash
  6. Air and water tests as locals claim slurry pit makes them sick
  7. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday 24 April

Live Reporting

By Andrew Segal

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 week, 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. There will also be news through the weekend on your BBC Local Radio station.

Exmouth assault which caused serious head injury described as 'isolated incident'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

An assault in Exmouth in which a man sustained a serious head wound is being described as an "isolated incident" by police.

Rolle Street
Google

Officers said a 29-year-old man was assaulted by an unknown male near the NatWest bank branch in Rolle Street at about 03.30 on Sunday 9 April.

Det Con Rob Poole said: "We would like to reassure the public that we consider this to be an isolated incident. However, we are still keen to speak to anyone who saw this assault, which was serious."

New unit to treat mums with mental health problems

BBC Radio Devon

New mums from across the South West who have suffered from serious mental health problems are getting a new specialist mother and baby unit based in Exeter. 

At the moment, women with such issues are treated out of county, or are admitted to a general psychiatric ward but have to be separated from their babies. 

The Devon NHS Partnership Trust said the unit would cater for mums from Cornwall and Somerset, as well as Devon, and its eight beds should open by next March.

Water tank death caused by water company 'failure'

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

The death of an employee who drowned after after falling into a water tank he was working to fix was caused by the "failure of South West Water to ensure he was safe at work," a judge has said.

Robert Geach, 54, died in December 2013 after falling into a sand filtration tank in Falmouth.

The water company has today been fined £1.8m.

Water plant
Google

Judge Robert Linford told Truro Crown Court: "The dangers of falling into tanks was pointed out to South West Water on a number of occasions, and the fact that something needed to be done." 

He continued: "No correct risk assessment for the procedure had been done. This was an accident waiting to happen."

South West Water pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws, and said: "Robert was a valued colleague and we very much regret the devastating loss to his family and friends."

Any Questions: Radio 4 debate coming from Truro High School

BBC Radio 4

Tonight's Any Questions, hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby is to come from Truro High School.

Jonathan Dimbleby
BBC

The political debate's panel is due to include: the president of the European Movement and Liberal Democrat peer Lord Ashdown, Labour Whip Thangam Debbonaire MP, Farming and Fisheries Minister George Eustice MP, and The Express columnist, commentator and former MP Ann Widdecombe.

The programme starts at 20:00, and you can catch it on the iPlayer afterwards here

Latest weather: Staying fine but slightly fresher

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

It will remain dry overnight, with some clear spells and light winds, perhaps allowing it to turn chilly in higher places, such as over Dartmoor. Minimum temperature: 7C (45F).

Weather
BBC

Saturday will be another fine but slightly fresher day, with variable cloud amounts and some sunny spells. These are likely to become increasingly more widespread as the afternoon progresses. Maximum temperature: 15C (59F).

Khurtidze bout 'big chance' for Langford

BBC Sport

Devon-born British middleweight Tommy Langford talks to the BBC about Saturday's WBO interim title fight against Avtandil Khurtsidze in Leicester on Saturday. 

Victory would make the Bideford boxer mandatory challenger for a shot at the world title, which is currently held by fellow British boxer Billy Joe Saunders.

Man arrested after Falmouth fire released

BBC Radio Cornwall

A man arrested after a fire broke out in a property in Falmouth has been released from custody, police said.

The fire in Boslowick Road was reported soon after 10:00 on Thursday. 

Falmouth fire
BBC

The road was temporarily closed and no injuries were reported.

Officers said a 39-year-old man from the town arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life had been "released under investigation pending further enquiries".

Devon Royal Marines be part of a new anti-terror unit

Scott Bingham

BBC Spotlight

Royal Marines from Plymouth will be part of a new anti-terror unit to combat the threat to ships and ports around the UK coast, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. 

The Maritime Operations Commando unit will fight terrorists and pirates, and protect naval ships at sea, but will also respond to terror incidents on UK soil. 

The 600-strong unit will be made up of personnel from 42 Commando at Bickleigh, near the city, and 120 marines from the Fleet Protection Group in Scotland, who will relocate to Plymouth.

BreakingWater company fined after worker dies in tank

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

South West Water has been fined £1.8m for health and safety offences relating to the death of an employee who fell into a filtration tank. 

Robert Geach, 54, drowned when he fell into the tank at a water treatment plant in Falmouth, Cornwall in December 2013. 

South West Water pleaded guilty and was sentenced at Truro Crown Court this afternoon.

Robert and Sylvia Geach
BBC

Hayle stabbing: Woman, 51, arrested

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A woman has been arrested after a man was stabbed in a street in Hayle.

Police were called to Fore Street at about 15:30 on Thursday after a man, believed to be in his early 30s, suffered non life-threatening injuries in the incident.

Devon and Cornwall Police said a 51-year-old woman from the town was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent and was in custody.

Water tank death an 'accident waiting to happen'

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

The death of a worker who drowned after falling into a filtration tank was "an accident waiting to happen", a court has heard.

Robert Geach, 54, was attempting to fix the tank at a water plant in Falmouth when he fell through a small hole and into the water below in December 2013.

South West Water has pleaded guilty of failing to ensure the health and safety of employees.  

Prosecuting, Sean Brunton said South West Water had received warnings about the dangers of lone working at similar sites, and held a large number of meetings on the subject prior to the accident. 

Mr Brunton said: "There was a lot of talk but not much action."

Robert and Sylvia Geach
BBC

He described Mr Geach's death as "an accident waiting to happen".

David Travers QC, defending South West Water Limited, said the company is "a responsible employer seeking to learn lessons".

He also alerted Judge Robert Linford to this being the first health and safety conviction in the company's history.

The Judge has retired to consider his sentence at Truro Crown Court. 

Suitcase murder trial: Body 'dragged in suitcase along main streets'

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

A killer dragged the body of his ex-partner along several main streets in Exeter city centre hidden in a suitcase, a court has heard. 

Kostadin Kostov, 42, murdered the mother of his three children, Gergana Prodanova, at her flat in the city last August, a jury was told. 

Exeter Crown Court heard he dragged the 38-year-old's body along in darkness before dumping it next to a railway line, while disguised in a baseball cap.

Mr Kostov, who is Bulgarian, denies having anything to do with the murder. The trial continues.

Girlfriend of young farmer battling cancer to run London Marathon

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

The girlfriend of a young farmer recovering from cancer says the diagnosis made her realise cancer "gets even the strongest and healthiest of people".

Dan Eames's daily regime of getting up at 05:00 to start milking on the family farm in Tregony, Cornwall, was interrupted when the 26-year-old was rushed to hospital where doctors found he had blood clots in his neck. 

Nicola and Dan
Cancer Research UK

Nicola Woodley, 23, said: “Dan was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin B lymphoma which was an awful time in both of our lives.

“Every day I went into hospital and saw him, with tubes and beepers attached to him, so pale and sometimes even green. It made you realise that cancer gets even the strongest and healthiest of people.”

Dan
Cancer Research UK

She will run the London Marathon on Sunday in aid of Cancer Research UK.  

Travel: Delays in both directions on A30 near Bodmin

BBC News Travel

In Cornwall, the A30 west-bound is now suffering delays around the roadworks area at Temple, Bodmin, after earlier reports of up to two miles of stationary traffic east-bound.

Suitcase murder trial: 'Accused seen on CCTV 19 times'

A man seen on CCTV dragging a suitcase through Exeter believed to contain the body of a woman had to occasionally stop to catch his breath, a court has been told.

The body of mother-of-three Gergana Prodanova, 38, was found near the railway line next to Exeter Prison last August.

Prosecutors have told a jury at Exeter Crown Court that her ex-partner, 43-year-old Bulgarian Kostadin Kostov, was a person seen 19 times on CCTV and he struggled to haul the bag through the city after Ms Prodanova's death at her flat.

The court heard an expert would be called to say the man on the CCTV and Kostov shared a physical build, walked the same way and even held a cigarette in the same manner.  

Mr Kostov, of Mount Pleasant Road, Exeter, said it wasn't him in the footage. He denies murder and the trial continues.

Developers pay up to save vital South Devon Number 88 bus service

Devon Live

A vital bus route between Newton Abbot and Totnes has been saved.

Travel: Two miles of tailbacks towards A30 roadworks

BBC News Travel

  • In Cornwall, there are reports of up to two miles of stationary traffic on the A30 east-bound, heading towards the roadworks at Temple, Bodmin
  • On the trains, there's possible disruption on GWR services to and from London Paddington due to an earlier incident

Suitcase murder trial: Accused 'wore disguise while dumping body of Gergana Prodanova'

A man accused of killing his ex-partner and hiding her body in a suitcase wore a disguise when he dragged the bag through Exeter, a court has been told.

Gergana Prodanova
Devon and Cornwall Police

The body of mother-of-three Gergana Prodanova (pictured), 38, was found near the railway line next to Exeter Prison last August.

Exeter Crown Court was told 43-year-old Bulgarian Kostadin Kostov, wearing a baseball cap and tight-fitting clothes, was captured on CCTV struggling to haul the case through the city three days after Ms Prodanova's death at her flat.

Mr Kostov, of Mount Pleasant Road, Exeter, said it wasn't him in the outfit. He denies her murder and the trial continues.

Arsonists target Kingsteignton shed

BBC Radio Devon

Arsonists have set light to a shed in Kingsteignton. 

The blaze, which broke out at about 09:50 at Willhays Close, spread to a fence, firefighters said. 

Two crews were called to the scene, as well as police.

Stuck in the mud: Coastguard advice if people get into difficulty

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Mud rescue. Pic: Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team
Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team

Coastguards have issued advice for anyone who gets stuck in mud after two children in a kayak had to be rescued.

The pair were winched by a coastguard team back to shore on stretchers after getting trapped about 200m offshore from Church Road in Mylor on Thursday afternoon, Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team said on Facebook.

The team said: "If you do get stuck yourself, don't panic. Try and spread your weight the best you can, as unnatural as it seems, try not to wriggle around as this can pull you in further."  

Bad parking a west Cornwall concern ahead of council elections

BBC Radio Cornwall

Speeding and thoughtless parking have emerged as key concerns in one west Cornwall ward ahead of the Cornwall Council elections next month.

Perranuthnoe
BBC

People living along the A394 near Penzance are being asked for their views on proposals to deal with inconsiderate parking and to make roads safer. 

One idea is to paint double yellow lines on a half-mile stretch into Perranuthnoe (pictured) where the beach is popular with holidaymakers.

You can find out more about the county poll on 4 May at Cornwall Council's website.

Latest weather: Staying dry but cloudy

BBC Weather

Today will continue dry with patchy cloud and sunny spells. The cloud may increase at times, but it will feel warm in the sunshine and winds will be from the north or northwest and mostly light. Maximum temperature: 17C (63F).

Weather
BBC

Tonight will remain dry with clear spells and patchy cloud. A few isolated mist and fog patches may develop again for a time, but it is likely to turn cloudier by morning. Winds overnight will be from the north or northeast and light to moderate in strength. Minimum temperature: 4C (39F).

Are you running in London this weekend?

#GetInspired

Meet Fran - she's just one of the many thousands who will be taking on the London Marathon this weekend.....

London Marathon 2017: Beating the bullies, Fran's inspiring story

If you're taking part in the race - or know someone who is - let us know about it using the #GetInspired hashtag on social media and we could feature you in our live text commentary or messages on the TV coverage during the day. 

Car damages two houses in crash

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Two properties in Exeter have been extensively damaged after a car crashed into them, police say.

Officers said they were called to the scene in Topsham at about 10:40 after the car collided with the houses on The Strand.

The vehicle, a red Volvo, then left the scene and is also believed to have suffered extensive damage. Police are trying to trace the vehicle.

Staff hit out at 'disgraceful and shambolic' Exmouth care home closure

Devon Live

The decision to close an Exmouth care home has been called "shambolic and disgusting" by staff members who have been left appalled at the way they have been treated. 

Travel: Busy traffic on M5 north-bound

BBC News Travel

If you're heading out of Devon, there's busy traffic on the M5 north-bound from Taunton.

Zoo '99% sure' giraffe calf is female

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Giraffes. Pic: Paignton Zoo
Paignton Zoo

Keepers at a Devon zoo are "99% sure" that a baby giraffe born this week is female, staff say.   

The calf was born to mother Sangha on Wednesday, with the moment being captured on video by staff, and the little one is already displaying personality traits.

The zoo said that, at two days old, she was already "lively, boisterous, bold, confident - and, of course, incredibly cute".

Spokesperson Phil Knowling added: "She has long wobbly legs, a big soft nose and the biggest, darkest eyes you’ve ever seen. She is a totally gorgeous youngster."

But if you want to try and catch a glimpse, be aware that the giraffe house may be closed to visitors "for a few more days while mother and calf bond".

Teenager punches would-be robber in park

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A teenager avoided being a robbery victim in a Plymouth park by punching his assailant, police say.

Officers said the 18-year-old man was walking through Central Park at about 23:30 on Monday when he was approached by an unknown man who asked him for a cigarette. 

Police said: "The unknown man then threatened the victim and asked for his wallet and phone. The victim refused and punched the man who ran off."

They have appealed for witnesses.

Slow traffic on Plymouth A38 after crash

BBC News Travel

In Plymouth, there's slow traffic Plymouth-bound on the A38 at St Budeaux following a collision around Pemros Road

Young farmers' annual convention held in Torquay

BBC Radio Devon

More than 5,000 young farmers will attend their annual convention in Torquay this weekend. 

It's the 10th time the town's Riviera Centre has hosted the event, which it first hosted 21 years ago. 

Organisers said it was estimated the conference brought in about £4m to the local economy.

Van destroyed and road damaged in fire

Andrew Segal

Local Live

View more on twitter

A van has been destroyed and a road damaged in a vehicle fire.

Firefighters were called to the blaze in Tregwina Lane, St Ervan, near St Eval, at about 22:05 on Thursday. They found the vehicle well alight and also had to deal with fuel on fire.

Highways officers were called to deal with the damage to the road.

Review into bed closures at Holsworthy Hospital

BBC Radio Devon

Holsworthy Hospital. Pic: Google
Google

A review of the temporary closure of inpatient beds at Holsworthy Community Hospital is set to begin today. 

The Northern Devon Healthcare Trust and the Clinical Comissioning Group are meeting to discuss what's been done to resolve issues at the hospital. 

They'll look at low bed occupancy, recruitment challenges and reliance on agency staff.

Last month, campaigners against plans to close all the beds claimed maintenance was neglected ahead of the decision to stop admitting inpatients.

NHS bosses said the temporary bed closures are due to staff shortages.

Stuck in the mud: Kayaking children rescued

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Two children stuck in mud in a kayak have been rescued by a coastguard team.

The pair were trapped about 200m offshore from Church Road in Mylor on Thursday afternoon.

Mud rescue. Pic: Via Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team
Via Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team

Mud rescue technicians from the Porthoustock Coastguard Rescue Team winched them ashore on rescue stretchers.

Once back on shore, they were "passed into the care of a parent", Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team said on Facebook.

Parade and party on 8 May to celebrate Argyle's League One promotion

Devon Live

An open-top bus parade followed by a civic reception is to be held in Plymouth to celebrate Argyle's promotion to League One.

Rogue traders have 'at least four victims'

BBC Radio Devon

At least four people have reported being victims to a gang of rogue traders targeting elderly people in Plymouth and Exeter, police say.

Detectives are investigating reports of men calling at pensioners' homes over the Easter weekend, carrying out work on properties and then charging thousands of pounds. In one case, a woman paid more than £2,000. The gang even ordered a taxi to take her to a bank to withdraw money. 

Insp Dominic Nicholls, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "They've, sadly, paid significant amounts of money for work that is unnecessary."

Police are trying to trace three men - one in his late teens, the others in their early to mid-30s - believed to be travelling in a blue van.

Latest travel in Devon and Cornwall

BBC News Travel

  • In Cornwall, there are reports of a broken-down lorry on the A39 near the Playing Place roundabout, blocking part of the road causing delays and tailbacks in both directions
  • In Devon, police are reporting tailbacks on the A3052 due to roadworks  
View more on twitter

High-speed Cornwall trains will have better wi-fi, promises government

Cornwall Live

Commuters arriving to and from Cornwall by train will soon be treated to fast and free wi-fi, the government has promised.

Mile-long tailback on A30 east-bound at Bodmin

BBC News Travel

On the A30 east-bound at Bodmin, there's a mile-long tailback leading into the dualling roadworks

Rescue dogs on Dartmoor to train for possible Ten Tors emergencies

BBC Radio Devon

Gordon Sparks with dog
BBC

About 30 rescue dogs from across the country are meeting on Dartmoor this weekend for specialist life-saving training.

It's all part of preparations for the Ten Tors event next month, where the dogs will be on standby to help out in an emergency.

The annual event sees thousands of competitors aged 14 to 19 hiking distances of up to 55 miles (89 km) and visiting 10 nominated tors.

One of the dogs, seven-year-old Toohey, came in to meet us with her owner, Rob. It looks like presenter Gordon Sparks made a new friend.