Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Damon Smith guilty of planting Tube bomb
  2. Pair sentenced for setting dog on fox
  3. Man sprayed in face with corrosive liquid
  4. A swab was left inside a patient during an operation in Cornwall in March
  5. Missing rapper J Reaper found 'safe and well'
  6. Prostate cancer clinics in Cornwall 'overwhelmed'
  7. Lifeboat tows in fishing vessel after engine failure
  8. Solar farm owner applies for 15-year extension
  9. Latest updates on Wednesday 3 May 2017

Live Reporting

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.

Men heard laughing as they watched dog attack

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

The RSPCA says it hopes the conviction of two men for setting a dog upon a fox and sharing films of the attack on Facebook sends out a clear message about animal cruelty.

Jack Crocker, 41, of Chacewater and Robbie Long, 21, of Redruth, were given six week suspended jail sentences at Bodmin Magistrates' Court in Cornwall after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Jack Crocker was also given a two week suspended sentence for killing a wild rabbit with a crossbow.

Jack Crocker
RSPCA

RSPCA Chief Inspector Ian Briggs said: "The footage clearly shows these two men watching as the fox was subjected to what would have been a painful and drawn out death. 

"Far from deal with the situation responsibly and humanely, instead they filmed the incident and could be heard laughing as the fox was being attacked.

"We hope this case being brought before the court will encourage others to report any concerns they have about animal welfare to report them to the police or RSPCA."

Diving coach Andy Banks 'so grateful to Plymouth'

BBC Sport

Andy Banks
Getty Images

Diving coach Andy Banks, who helped Tom Daley's Olympic dream, says he is "so grateful to the city of Plymouth and other partners who have supported me for the last 25 years".

Banks, who has also worked with Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow is joining Diving Australia as national coach.

An integral part of Team GB as a coach for the last three Olympic Games, Banks set up the UK's first full-time professional diving programme in Bradford in 1988, before moving to Plymouth in 1992.

He will formally begin his role with Diving Australia in the next few months.

Tube bomb: Device 'designed to cause horrific injuries'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Damon Smith, Pic: Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police

A bomb left on a Tube train by a student "was clearly designed to cause horrific injuries", prosecutors say.

Twenty-year-old Damon Smith - of Rotherhithe, south London, but who had lived in Newton Abbot - has been convicted at the Old Bailey of making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life. He left a bomb on a Jubilee Line carriage last October but claimed it was a prank.

Speaking after his conviction, Sue Hemming, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Damon Smith's actions were incredibly dangerous and the consequences had the device worked do not bear thinking about."

Cdr Dean Haydon, from the Metropilitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command, said it was hard to believe the device "can be construed as anything but an attempt to endanger life".

He said: "It is fortunate that the device failed to work and that no-one was injured."

Tube bomb: More weapons found during search of home

BBC News UK

A man who planted a bomb on the Tube had professed an interest in Islam as he felt it was "more true" than Christianity, jurors were told.

Twenty-year-old Damon Smith - of Rotherhithe, south London, but who had lived in Newton Abbot - was convicted of making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life after leaving the bomb on the Jubilee Line carriage last October.

Damon Smith. Pic: Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police

The jury heard he had posed next to an image of the Brussels-born Islamic terrorist alleged to have masterminded the attacks in Paris in November 2015, but had denied being an extremist.

His lawyer, Richard Carey-Hughes QC, told the trial he was no "hate-filled jihadi" and never meant to harm anyone. He added that there was "no evidence that he changed from clinging to his mother's apron strings to a soldier of Islam and a would-be soldier".

During a search of his home, officer found a shredded article on how to build a bomb and a "shopping list" of bomb materials was found on his iPad. A blank firing pistol, a BB gun, a knife and knuckleduster were also discovered.

Smith is due to be sentenced next month.

Police investigate historic abuse of girl in Looe

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Police in Cornwall say they are investigating a report of a series of serious offences in the Downs area of Looe between 1999-2005.

Officers said a young girl was befriended and groomed by an abuser during school holidays over a number of years when she was aged 12-18 before she was the subject of "serious physical and sexual offences".

The suspect they are seeking was a man they believed lived locally and frequented the Downs during the afternoons, they added.

He was described as white, about 6ft tall, with dark hair and stubble, brown eyes, and was likely to now be in his 40s. He often dressed casually, with paint-flecked clothes and battered white trainers. He also possibly owned or had access to a dog named Molly and a large blue van.

Det Con Sarah Robinson, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "I appreciate that these incidents happened a long time ago, but if anyone has any memory of this man or can offer any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, then please get in touch."

Latest weather: Staying dry

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

It will be cloudy, mild and mostly dry tonight, though the odd patch of rain or drizzle are possible in places where the cloud is particularly thick, most likely on hills. Minimum temperature: 8C (46F).

Weather
BBC

Thursday will be bright, warm and mostly dry again. There will be more cloud at first and maybe the odd shower over moors. However, sunshine will break through too. Maximum temperature: 16C (61F).

Young mongooses keep it on the quiet to survive

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Young mongooses may conceal their identity - even from their own parents - in a bid to survive, according to a new study from the University of Exeter.

Mongoose. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

The killing of pups is common in mongoose social groups, and researchers said they believed this encouraged any offspring to hide which adults they were related to in a bid to reduce the risk of attack by less-related adults.

However, the strategy also meant mothers might not be able to tell pups apart, and therefore could not pay special attention to their own young, the study added.

Torbay Council 'aware of concerns' over future of Plainmoor football ground

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Torquay United. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

Torbay Council says it is "aware of the issues and concerns" relating to the future of Torquay United's ground at Plainmoor.

Gaming International bought the club in December, with chairman Clarke Osborne later saying he was keen to buy the freehold of the ground.

A petition launched by United supporters has called for the council and the bay's elected mayor, Gordon Oliver, to ensure Plainmoor is not sold to the club's owners. 

It said fans feared this would not be in the best interests of the club. It has gained more than 6,300 signatures.

Torbay Council said: "We would like to reassure Torquay United supporters and other Torbay residents that any proposals put forward by the club will be carefully considered and a decision is unlikely to be made by Torbay's elected mayor before June."

Exeter semi-final playoff tickets on sale

James Vickery

BBC Radio Devon

Tickets for Exeter City's home semi-final playoff match have gone on sale to the club's gold, silver and bronze members.

City made absolutely certain of a playoff place last weekend, with a 3-1 win at Doncaster

The home match is likely to take place on Thursday, 18 May, unless there a huge turnaround in goal difference this weekend.

English vineyards hit by 'catastrophic' frost, wiping out half of harvest

BBC Spotlight

English winemakers have warned that at least half of this year's grape harvest has been wiped out by heavy frost.

Vineyard
Albury Vineyard

The air frost that hit last week caused "catastrophic" damage to buds that had bloomed earlier than usual thanks to a warm start to the year.

England's 133 wineries, including those in Devon and Cornwall, produced five million bottles in 2015.

Tube bomb: Student checked internet for news reports about device

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Damon Smith. Pic: Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police

A student who planted a bomb on a Tube carriage then went to college and, when he returned home that evening, checked the internet for news reports about what he had done, a court was told.

Twenty-year-old Damon Smith - of Rotherhithe, south London, but who had lived in Devon - left a rucksack containing the bomb and shrapnel on a Jubilee line carriage last October, the Old Bailey heard.

The court was told Smith had been interested in making bombs since the age of 10 and said it was "something to do when he was bored". He was also shown the Anarchist Cookbook at 14 by a friend.

He was found guilty of making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life. He is due to be sentenced on 26 May.

Tube bomb: Device was 'Halloween prank'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A man who planted a bomb on the Tube when he was a teenager said he meant it as a Halloween prank and that he had been inspired by someone on a YouTube video making a bomb prank, a court has heard.

Scene after bomb find
BBC

Twenty-year-old Damon Smith - of Rotherhithe, south London, but who had lived in Newton Abbot - left a rucksack containing the bomb and shrapnel on the Jubilee Line carriage last October, when he was 19, the Old Bailey heard.

His lawyer also told the trial he was no "hate-filled jihadi" and never meant to harm anyone.

But a jury convicted him of making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life after two hours of deliberations.

Dog-fox attack man previously used bow to kill rabbit

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Two men who uploaded a dog attack on a fox to social media have had their dogs taken away.

Jack Crocker, 41, of High View Farm, Chacewater, and Robbie Long, 21, of Lower Tolgullow Vean Farm, Redruth, have been given suspended jail sentences after pleading guilty at Bodmin Magistrates' Court.

Judge Diana Baker said the "only reason to put it [the video] on Facebook was to gain some level of gratification when you view it again".

The pair have not been disqualified from keeping dogs in the future, but the two pets involved in the films have been taken from them.

Crocker had previously pleaded guilty to using a bow to kill a rabbit. This also came to the attention of the RSPCA after a photo was put on Facebook.

He has been given an eight-week sentence, with Long getting six weeks, both suspended for a year.

St Ives homes plan shelved after arguments over environmental impact study

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

A controversial application to build more than 160 homes in St Ives has been officially withdrawn after arguments that no environmental impact study had been submitted in connection with the plans.

Plans for 165 houses - half of them affordable - at Joannie's Fields, at Consols, on the edge of the town, had been approved by Cornwall Council despite popular opposition.

Local campaigners who opposed the development had lobbied the Secretary of State's office. A public inquiry was to be held into the scheme but has been cancelled after the developer withdrew its application.

Agents Amethest Ltd confirmed to BBC Cornwall that the plans had been shelved.

Moth artist to spread his wings at Chelsea Flower Show

BBC Spotlight

View more on twitter

He's known as the mothman but shied away from the spotlight until now. 

South West artist Andre Daniel's work is about to get an international stage at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. 

He creates intricate wooden moth sculptures from fallen trees near his cottage in Yealmpton in Devon.

Tom Daley's diving coach Andy Banks to join Diving Australia

BBC Radio Devon

Plymouth diving coach Andy Banks, who helped Tom Daley's Olympic dream, is joining Diving Australia as a national coach.

Andy Banks
BBC

Banks has been in the city for more than 20 years and also worked with Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow. 

He will travel Down Under shortly to see the Australian National Diving Championships before relocating to Melbourne later in the year. 

VIDEO: Tube bomb student caught on CCTV

BBC News UK

CCTV captured the moment a home-made bomb was left on the London Tube.

Twenty-year-old Damon Smith - of Rotherhithe, south London, but who had lived in Devon - left a rucksack containing the bomb and shrapnel on a Jubilee line carriage last October, the Old Bailey saw.

Smith was found guilty of making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life.

Tube bomb: Commuters 'would have been caught in blast'

BBC News UK

A bomb planted on the Tube by a student would have exploded just as commuters were being ordered off the platform at North Greenwich station had it worked, a court has heard.

Twenty-year-old Damon Smith - of Rotherhithe, south London, but who had lived in Newton Abbot - left a rucksack containing the bomb and shrapnel on the Jubilee Line carriage last October, the Old Bailey heard.  

Passengers handed it into the driver who then realised as he was approaching the station that it contained explosives.

Smith, who had admitted perpetrating a bomb hoax, has been found guilty of making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life.

Tube bomb: Device 'had shrapnel for maximum damage'

BBC News UK

A bomb built by a student and left on a London Tube train contained ball-bearing shrapnel for "maximum damage", jurors at the Old Bailey heard.

Damon Smith at Tube station. Pic: PA
PA

Damon Smith has been found guilty of making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life.

He made the device in the home he shared with his mother before packing it into a rucksack and leaving it on a Jubilee line train last October, the court heard.

The 20-year-old, from London, but who had lived in Newton Abbot, Devon, had admitted perpetrating a bomb hoax but claimed he had only intended it to give off smoke and scare people.

The court was told Smith had an autistic spectrum disorder and had a keen interest in guns, bombs and other weapons, which may have been a function of the condition.

Tube bomb: Student 'facing years behind bars'

Press Association

A weapons-obsessed student is facing years behind bars for planting a home-madebomb on a busy Tube train.

Damon Smith. Pic: Twitter
Twitter

Former altar boy Damon Smith built the device at home with a £2 clock from Tesco.

Smith, 20 - from London, but who had lived in Devon - denied possession of an explosive substance with intent but admitted the lesser offence of making a bomb hoax. 

Although Smith's lawyer told jurors he was no "hate-filled jihadi" and never meant to harm anyone, an Old Bailey jury rejected his explanation and found Smith guilty of the more serious charge after deliberating for two hours.

BreakingDamon Smith guilty of planting Tube bomb

A man from Devon has been found guilty of planting a home-made bomb on the Tube.

Twenty-year-old Damon Smith - of Rotherhithe, south London, but who had lived in Newton Abbot - packed a rucksack with explosives and shrapnel and left it in a Jubilee line carriage last October, the Old Bailey heard.

Jury retires in Tube bomb case

A jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of a young man accused of planting a home-made bomb on the Tube.

Twenty-year-old Damon Smith - of Rotherhithe, south London, but who had lived in Newton Abbot, Devon - allegedly packed a rucksack with explosives and shrapnel and left it in a Jubilee Line carriage last October.

In his closing speech, his lawyer, Richard Carey-Hughes QC, said Mr Smith was no "hate-filled jihadi" and said he intended to "make something that looked like a bomb but not function as one". He also read out extracts from a psychiatric report confirming his client had an autism spectrum disorder. 

Mr Smith denies making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life, but has admitted perpetrating a bomb hoax. The trial continues.

Latest travel: Tyre in middle of M5

BBC News Travel

  • In Devon, there are reports that there's a tyre on the north-bound carriageway of the M5 between Tiverton and Wellington
  • In Cornwall, New Portreath Road in Redruth is partially blocked due to an accident near Bassett Road

Politicians woo voters ahead of 4 May poll

BBC Politics

Ballot Box
BBC

Political parties and independent candidates will be taking to the streets in the last day of campaigning ahead of Thursday's local elections.

A total of 4,851 council seats are up for grabs across England, Wales and Scotland on 4 May.

In Cornwall, all 123 seats on the unitary council are being contested. In Devon, people will go to the ballot box to choose who will fill 60 seats on the county council.

The poll will give voters a chance to deliver verdicts on the major parties before the general election, which is being held on 8 June.

Dog-fox attack 'deliberate and cruel'

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Two men who set a dog on a fox and shared a film of the attack on Facebook have been sentenced.

Jack Crocker, 41, of High View Farm, Chacewater, and Robbie Long, 21, of Lower Tolgullow Vean Farm, Redruth, have been given suspended sentences after pleading guilty at Bodmin Magistrates' Court.  

The court heard Long filmed the animal being attacked for two minutes, and then shared it on Facebook, meaning it came to the attention of the RSPCA. The fox died after the attack. 

Judge Diana Baker said: "The fox went on to the land voluntarily. He [Crocker] had the right to protect his animals and to dispatch the fox humanely.

"The DVD clearly shows him encouraging the dog to attack the fox. Most concerning there were howls of laughter during the two minutes.

"This action is deliberate and cruel." 

Crocker has been given an eight-week sentence, with Long getting six weeks, both suspended for one year.

BreakingPair sentenced for setting dog on fox

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Two men deliberately set a dog on a fox and shared a film of the attack on Facebook, a court has heard.

Jack Crocker, 41, of High View Farm, Chacewater, and Robbie Long, 21, of Lower Tolgullow Vean Farm, Redruth, have been given suspended jail sentences after pleading guilty at Bodmin Magistrates' Court.

The attack happened at Crocker's farm in June 2016. 

The court was shown two films in which Crocker set his saluki dog, called Lady, on to a fox cub that had got into a barn containing chickens and a pet rabbit.

Bodmin Magistrates Court
BBC

Next Redruth head coach 'must honour history of the club'

Ross Ellis

BBC Radio Cornwall

View more on twitter

Outgoing Redruth rugby coach Marek Churcher says the club's next coach must continue to honour the history of the club. 

Churcher announced yesterday he was stepping down after one season in charge due to other commitments in the game.

He said: "It's one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. "It's purely based on time, trying to fit in my three roles - at Exeter Chiefs, Truro College and Redruth, there just wasn't enough time in the week."

Man sought by police investigating theft and burglary

BBC Radio Devon

View more on twitter

Police said they were keen to locate the 25-year-old because he may be able to provide some information relating to the theft of a car from Ottery St Mary in November and a burglary in Exeter in October. 

He was known to have links to Axminster, Torquay and Ottery St Mary, officers added.

A375 in Ottery St Mary blocked by accident

BBC News Travel

The A375 in Ottery St Mary has been blocked by an accident between Seaton Road and Bridge Street, near the Hare and Hounds pub.

Latest weather: Some bright or sunny spells despite the clouds

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

Although becoming cloudier, there will still be some bright or sunny spells. However, there is the chance of an isolated light shower developing towards evening. Light or moderate northeasterly winds will fresher at times around exposed parts of the coast. Maximum temperature: 15C (59F).

Weather
BBC

Tonight, it'll be mostly cloudy with the continued risk of an isolated light shower. Otherwise it will be mainly dry with northeasterly winds moderate or fresh around the coast, but lighter inland. Minimum temperature: 7C (45F).

Horse rider hopes for luck in Mongol Derby trek

BBC Spotlight

Paul Richards
BBC

Now, how brave are you? How would you feel about riding a semi wild horse across the steppes of Mongolia? 

A farmer from Cornwall has signed up to take part in the Mongol Derby, which has been described as the toughest horse race in the world. 

It's 1000km (620 miles) long, and travels across dunes, flood plains and through mountains passes. It's not for the fainthearted and only half the competitors ever make it to the finish line.

Competitor Paul Richards said: "They say the race is 80% fitness, 10% riding skill and 10% luck. I think I've got the riding skill and I want the luck."

Swab left in patient during operation

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust sign
BBC

A swab was left inside a patient during an operation in Cornwall in March, health board papers have revealed.

The so-called never event at the Royal Cornwall Hospital on the outskirts of Truro was among 14 serious incidents in March which occurred across facilities run by the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust.

Other incidents included two cases of patients falling, two delays in treatment and a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check not being carried out, the board meeting last Thursday heard. 

"Never events" is the terminology used within the NHS to describe serious but preventable instances where errors take place. DBS checks are carried out to see if anyone has a criminal record. 

Burglars use victims' sledgehammer to break into home

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Burglars used their victims' own sledgehammer to break into their home during a raid in Devon, police say.

Officers said a large amount of cash and jewellery was taken during the burglary in Mead Way in Seaton between 18:30 and 19:30 on Monday 24 April after the sledgehammer was taken from the shed and used to smash open a rear door. 

Police said residents should be vigilant and "keep tools locked away to prevent them from being used to gain entry to properties".

Housing public inquiry cancelled after developer withdraws plans

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

A public inquiry into a controversial housing scheme in St Ives has been cancelled after the developer withdrew its application. 

Local campaigners who opposed the development had lobbied the Secretary of State's office and put pressure on the applicant. 

Plans for 165 houses at Joannie's Fields, at Consols, on the edge of the town, had been approved by Cornwall Council despite popular opposition.