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Summary

  1. Plymouth-based Marine A: 'Freedom ...it's a really good feeling'
  2. Speedboat victim faced trial over double death crash
  3. House fire 'started when man tried to make bin from old gas canister'
  4. Breast implant death: Mother had 'overwhelming infection'
  5. Deflated dinghy pair rescued
  6. People told to remove elaborate displays on north Devon graves
  7. Hunt for wallaby 'seen at pub'
  8. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day.

We'll be back at 08:00 tomorrow with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.    

Trucker's 'grave bad driving' led to death crash

BBC Spotlight

A judge told a lorry driver who killed a great-great-grandmother it was a "grave episode of bad driving".

Justice
PA

Lord Justice Fulford at the High Court in London increased the two years and eight months sentence handed to Joseph Smith at Truro Crown Court in February by a year.

Smith, 30, of Gillingham, Kent, killed Jeanette Wattmore on the A30 near Bodmin in May last year.

He admitted causing death by dangerous driving but the Attorney General said his sentence was too short and asked for a review.

Cornwall death crash trucker gets another year on his sentence

BBC Spotlight

A lorry driver who was using his mobile phone before a crash in Cornwall which killed a great-great-grandmother has seen his 32-month prison term increased by a year.

Smith
Police handout

Judges at the Court of Appeal in London agreed with the Attorney General that the two years and eight months sentence passed on former soldier Joseph David Smith at Truro Crown Court in February was unduly lenient.

Smith, 30, of Gillingham, Kent, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Royal Engineers during 10 years in the Army, had pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. 

He was reaching down to tune the radio just before his Skania car-transporter hit the back of a car in which 79-year-old Jeanette Wattmore was travelling back to Bristol from holiday in May last year on the A30 near Bodmin in Cornwall.

Lorry fire in east Devon

BBC Radio Devon

Crews have been dealing with a large lorry fire in east Devon this afternoon.

Firefighters were called to Lower Wadden in Southleigh just after 15:00 BST - when they arrived they found three lorry beds well alight.

Three fire engines and a water bowser from Exeter are on the scene. 

House fire which left man with burns started by gas canister

BBC Radio Cornwall

Fire officers say a house fire in Roche started when a man tried to make a waste paper bin from an old gas canister. 

Station manager Richard Gibbons from Cornwall Fire and Rescue says the man thought the canister was safe to use. 

"They vented the gas cylinder, it was almost empty so there wasn't a lot of gas left it it, but they vented it, thinking it was safe and they commenced to use a drill to make the hole in it," he said. 

"The temperature of the drill and the residual gas in the cylinder in the atmosphere in the workshop sent it into a soft explosion."

CQC Report: Bowden Derra needs improvements

BBC Radio Cornwall

A care home that banned Cornwall Council officials from its site has been rated as requiring improvements by inspectors. 

The Care Quality Commission was called to Bowden Derra Park care home near Launceston following concerns about high staff turnover.

Inspectors said the home was caring and residents felt safe but criticised the home for not cooperating with the local authority. 

The report criticised the home for not cooperating with the local authority, called for more meaningful activities in the evening, identified some inconsistencies with information in care plans and said people were not protected from some identified risks such as hot water from the taps and choking on food they had taken while staff weren't around.

Falmouth University students protest against course cuts

BBC Radio Cornwall

A protest organised by students at Falmouth University has taken place this afternoon in the centre of the town.

Around 30 students gathered to highlight how they are unhappy about the cutting and suspension of some of the courses - contemporary crafts, MA Fine Art and an art foundation course.

There are also claims management is not listening to their concerns.

Falmouth University students protest
BBC

The university says there are more students studying art and design courses than at any time in its 114-year history - and it says that is reflected in record-breaking investment in teaching, facilities and specialist equipment.

Theresa May not drawn on fox hunting

BBC News UK

Theresa May is refusing to be drawn on whether she would seek to lift the ban on fox-hunting if she wins a large majority at the General Election.

Her predecessor David Cameron dropped plans to repeal the legislation - introduced when Tony Blair was Prime Minister - because of opposition by MPs.

Pro-hunt campaigners are pressing for the measure to be outlawed in the event of a decisive Conservative victory. The Prime Minister says it's a matter for parliament.

Fox hunt
BBC

This is how Plymouth partied in the 1960s

Plymouth Herald

Going out in the Sixties? Are you old enough to have done that, and if so what did that mean to you? Clearly something quite different depending on how old you were.

Wallaby pops by for a snack

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Here's something you don't see every day - a wallaby in Cornwall. 

Maggie Elder spotted this little wallaby having afternoon tea in their garden yesterday afternoon. 

wallaby
Maggie Elder

Diabetics facing prescription problems

BBC Radio Devon

One in five diabetics surveyed in the south west say they've had restrictions on test strips for monitoring their glucose levels. 

Diabetes UK, which carried out the survey, warns inadequate monitoring could lead to serious complications such as amputations or sight loss. 

Health commissioners in the region say they don't restrict prescriptions for those who need them but Diabetes UK says, despite that, an increasing number of people are reporting problems.

Police appeal for information after machete robbery

BBC Radio Cornwall

Police have issued CCTV footage of staff being threatened with a machete during a convenience store robbery. 

The Regent News Store in Plymouth was raided just before 8pm last Thursday. 

The robber demanded money, tobacco and cigarettes and then left with about £200-300 worth of cash and goods.

Devon and Cornwall Police are asking anyone with information to contact them. 

Man robs store in Plymouth using machete

Eden Project's Aussie garden opens

Denis Nightingale

BBC Radio Cornwall

The Eden Project has opened an exotic garden devoted to the flora of South West Australia. 

The High Commissioner of Australia officially opened the Mediterranean Biome which has had a major makeover and is now home to plants such as the kangaroo paw and wax flowers. 

Eden has collaborated with a botanic garden in Perth to re-create one of the planets most barren and infertile landscapes.  

Eden
BBC

Cold caller warning

Bodmin residents claim many did not vote for town council after local election confusion

Cornwall Live

Bodmin residents claimed that many people did not vote for the town council elections because they were led to believe they were postponed after Councillor Steve Rogerson's death.

Wallaby on the loose: Bruce or Shelia?

BBC Spotlight

A wallaby is still on the loose in Cornwall, after turning up in a backyard is Trecrogo yesterday. 

Andrew Elder said he spotted the wallaby grazing in his garden, before it hopped away, and hasn't been seen again - despite reports of a sighting at a local pub. 

Nobody seems to know where the wallaby has come from. 

"I couldn't tell at first whether it was a he or a she, I didn't know whether to call him Bruce or Sheila," Andrew said. 

"I did a double take, I couldn't quite believe what I'd seen and it stopped and just stood back looking at it."

Andrew Elder in his garden
BBC

Graveyard tributes in Barnstaple 'must be removed'

BBC News England

Mourners have been told to remove any tributes from a graveyard that are not touching head stones.  

North Devon Council said people were breaking rules by spreading photographs, messages, lights and other items down the length of graves. The authority, which runs Bear Street cemetery in Barnstaple, said it made it difficult to cut the grass and to reopen graves to bury relatives.

Grave
BBC

Peter Hull has been told to remove the flowers from his brother-in-law's grave.

"For my wife it's very upsetting, for me it is more annoying that a council do not want to listen," he said. "We live in a world of democracy but they're making me feel like they're dictators."

North Devon Council said it had tried to deal "sympathetically and tactfully" with the families.

Severe disruption: M5 Devon northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Devon northbound severe disruption, between J31 for A30 and J30 for A376.

M5 Devon - One lane blocked on M5 northbound between J31, A30 (Exminster) and J30, A376 (Exeter), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

House fire 'started when man tried to make bin from old gas canister'

BBC Radio Cornwall

A major blaze which seriously damaged a house in Roche, Cornwall, was started accidentally when a man tried to make a waste paper bin from an old gas canister, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has said.

Crews from across the country attended the blaze on Monday evening which damaged three buildings.

The man escaped with superficial burns, the service said.

House fire
BBC

Taliban fighter death a 'moment of madness'

Watch: Alexander Blackman speaking to BBC Points West's Clinton Rogers

Alexander Blackman says he "doesn't know why exactly" he did it, and called it a "moment of madness".

The former Plymouth-based Royal Marine, from Taunton, was released from prison at the end of last month after having his murder conviction reduced to manslaughter following an appeal.  

In his first television interview since being released, he said it was "not exactly the proudest moment" of his life.

Click here to read more.

'No will' for Conservative administration

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

There is 'no will' for a Conservative administration following the indecisive Cornwall Council elections on Thursday according to a former member of the cabinet.

Independent councillor Andrew Wallis, who was re-elected in Porthleven, said on his blog: "There needs to be the will, and from what I have seen and heard, there is none."

Cllr Wallis also claims the Liberal Democrats' "appetite to seek an alliance with another group to form an administration is almost non-existent" and they want to stand in opposition.

The Conservatives won 46 of the 122 seats contested on 4 May and so are 16 short of the majority needed.

Negotiations are ongoing as to who will control the council for the next four years.

A30 to reopen 'soon'

Victoria Derbyshire in Cornwall

Victoria Derbyshire

Travel update: A30 closed

BBC News Travel

A30 is closed in both directions between the M5 J31 and the A377 Exeter due to a police incident. 

Have you seen the wandering wallaby?

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

A stray wallaby's on the loose near Launceston. 

It turned up in the back garden of Maggie and Andrew Elder's home in Trecrogo last night but hopped through a hedge when the RSPCA turned up to try to catch it.

The adult male marsupial was also reportedly seen at a nearby pub and remains on the loose.

We'll keep you updated as the search continues. 

In the meantime, here are some facts about wallabies:

  • When they need to move quickly, they adopt a bipedal hopping gait and use their tail for balance
  • There are large groups living in Scotland, the Isle of Man and Bedfordshire. Groups of wallabies became established in this country after some escaped from Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire in the 1940s. The wallabies in Scotland live on Inchconnachan, an island in Loch Lomond. Lady Arran Colquhoun introduced them in the 1920s
Wallaby
Maggie Elder

Severe disruption: A30 Devon both ways

BBC News Travel

A30 Devon both ways severe disruption, between M5 J31 and A377.

A30 Devon - A30 in Exeter closed and stationary traffic in both directions between Exminster and Alphington Junction, because of a police incident.

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

Breast implant death: Mother 'had rare condition'

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

A 32-year-old mother who died after breast implant surgery had an "overwhelming infection", an inquest has heard. 

Hairdresser Kandi du Cros died on 20 January 2014 in hospital in Cornwall after suffering multiple organ failure.

She had a rare autoimmune disorder which probably played a part in her death, the Truro inquest was told. 

Experts said it was likely she had a rare condition called lupus which puts patients at an increased risk of infection.

The St Austell-based mother of one underwent surgery in January 2014 at the Duchy Hospital, Truro, and died at the Royal Cornwall Hospital just over two weeks later. The inquest continues.

What next for ex-Marine after prison?

Watch: Blackman tells Clinton Rogers he "has had lots of kind offers of employment"

Alexander Blackman says he‘s had “lots of kind offers of employment” since his release from prison.

The former Plymouth-based marine was freed 11 days ago after serving seven years for killing a Taliban insurgent.

He says the “most important" thing for him is to "be useful" while his wife Claire says she’s “got a great long list of jobs” for him.

The couple also say they “haven’t talked to anybody” about a possible film based on his story but “nothing’s been ruled out”.

This is how Plymouth's Drake Cinema looked 59 years ago

Plymouth Herald

An interesting early photo of the Drake Cinema almost certainly dating from the late 1950s – note the vacant plot alongside the GEC building.

Wousan settling into his new home at Paington Zoo

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Paignton Zoo is welcoming a new arrival - an adult male Bornean orang utan named Wousan. 

The 8-year-old, 50 kilogram orang utan arrived from Cologne Zoo in Germany at the weekend. 

Wousan
Paignton Zoo

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park Curator of Mammals Neil Bemment said: “We are really pleased to welcome Wousan to his new home." 

"He has some growing to do before he looks like a fully adult male orang utan, but he is already old enough to sire babies, which is the reason we have brought him in."

Council explains why cemetery displays need to be removed

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

North Devon District Council has explained the reasons behind its request asking families to remove elaborate displays from graves. 

The authority is sending letters to families with graves in Bear Street Cemetery in Barnstaple, asking them to clear the tributes within 90 days. 

Grave
BBC

It said: "We no longer dig graves by a spade, we use mechanical diggers and experience problems in maneuvering these diggers, due to the amount of grave-lengths with covers and/or tributes on them.

"In addition, we sometimes need to re-open a grave, perhaps to add a spouse to a family grave. In a lawned cemetery, we place a cover on an adjacent grave, to lay consecrated earth upon, to allow for a casket burial - if the adjacent grave has tributes we cannot do this. This creates delays and/or distress to newly-bereaved families."

Travel update: Truro delays

BBC News Travel

Heading into Truro there are reports of a broken down vehicle on Tregolls Road and there's slow traffic in the area. 

Garden buggy stolen from historic Exeter building

Devon Live

A garden buggy and other gardening equipment have been stolen from one of Exeter's oldest buildings.

Speedboat victim faced trial over double death crash

BBC News Scotland

A man who died in a speedboat accident was due to stand trial over the deaths of two people in a road crash, it has emerged.

The body of Sandy Hamilton, 35, from North Lanarkshire, was pulled from the water off the Galloway coast on Sunday.

He was accused of causing death by dangerous driving after a head-on crash killed St Ives couple Giovanni and Maria Coppolaro in July 2015.

Mr Hamilton was also accused of driving without insurance.

Blackman offered wife chance to walk away from marriage

Watch: Ex-Marine Alexander Blackman said he offered his wife the chance to walk away

The Plymouth-based Royal Marine who killed a wounded Taliban fighter said he told his wife at the time he was jailed that he would understand if she "didn't want to stick around".

Alexander Blackman, from Taunton, was released from prison 11 days ago, after serving more than three years of a seven-year sentence.

His wife Claire led the campaign to free him alongside author Frederick Forsyth and the Daily Mail.

He said he told her that this was not "anything anybody would agree to" when they got married and he would understand "if she wanted to part company".

Click here to read more.

Travel update: Roadworks causing some headaches

BBC News Travel

  • On the A35 near Axminster at the Lyme Regis junction there's slow traffic due to the temporary traffic lights and roadworks, with longs delays there
  • In Exeter on Bridge Road, Topsham Road and Rydon Lane there's stop-start traffic due to the roadworks
  • At Threemilestone there's heavy traffic on the A390 Eastbound at the park and ride roundabout
  • Near Saltash on the A38 and A388 approaching the Carkeel Roundabout there are narrow lanes and queuing traffic through the roadworks
  • In Stratton on the A39 near the A3072 Stratton Road there are temporary traffic lights for roadworks - expect delays

Fire crews tackle house blaze

BBC Radio Cornwall

Firefighters have tackled a house blaze in Roche, Cornwall.

Fire Crews from St Dennis, St Austell and Bodmin were called to the property on Hermitage Road at about 20:45 on Monday.

The cause of the blaze is unknown. No-one was injured.

House fire
BBC

Marine A: "Freedom ...it's a really good feeling"

BBC News England

Alexander Blackman says being free is "a really good feeling".

Sgt Alexander Blackman, also known as Marine A, was given a life sentence in 2013 for murder, but his conviction was later reduced to manslaughter. 

The 42-year-old from Taunton, Somerset, has served three years of a seven-year sentence and was released at the end of last month. 

The former Plymouth-based Marine and his wife Claire are seen speaking with Clinton Rogers from BBC Points West.

Travel update: Delays in Plymouth

BBC News Travel

In Plymouth on the A386 Tavistock Road there's slow traffic towards the Derriford Roundabout from both directions.