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  1. Armed police begin regular patrols in Devon and Cornwall
  2. Plymouth drink-driver jailed for Christmas Eve crash death
  3. Number of people who drowned in Cornwall doubles in 12 months
  4. Almost 300,000 people in South West taken to court for not paying council tax in five years
  5. New breeding centre and reserve opening for Cornish Black bees
  6. Updates on Thursday 25 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Johnny O'Shea

All times stated are UK

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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 Friday 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.

Armed police on streets of Devon and Cornwall

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

Armed police will be regularly out on the streets of Devon and Cornwall from this evening following the terrorist attack which killed at least 22 people in Manchester.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Middleton, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said this was the first time armed police would be carrying out "overt foot patrols" in the region.

Armed police officer

The move is being mirrored across the country and follows the announcement by Prime Minister Theresa May that the UK has been moved from severe to critical alert level.

ACC Middleton said: "Our priority is to provide as much reassurance to communities as possible, but we do recognise that some may feel anxious.

"The firearms officers will be engaging and talking with people, and we would actively encourage you to approach the officers and ask any questions you may have."

Latest weather: Staying dry and sunny on Friday

BBC Weather

It will be a fine evening with plenty of late, warm sunshine on offer. A dry night will then follow with clear skies across most areas. It will be a mild night and rather humid for all. Minimum temperature: 13C (55F).


Friday will be dry, sunny and very warm again. The sunshine may become a little hazy later in the west as high cloud spreads in. Maximum temperature: 24C (75F).

Cornwall's unpaid council tax 'is collected'

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornwall Council claims much of £60m owed in council tax over the last five years has now been recovered.

A BBC Freedom of Information request revealed the authority has issued more than 100,000 liability orders since 2010.

New council leader Adam Paynter said people had to pay up in the end.

He said: "Nearly 97.5% of council tax bills that went out were paid last year. For that 2.5% that we don’t collect, we then go through various stages of trying to agree with people payment plans, so we do continue to collect council tax in the years following.

"If you don’t pay one year, we don’t just say: 'Fine, we'll let you off'; we will take you to court. It’s one of those taxes that you have to pay."

Cornwall Council

New film celebrates work behind conserving the Cornish chough

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Students from Falmouth University have produced a short film for the RSPB about Cornwall's choughs and met people who work behind the scenes to support the birds' conservation.

Torquay United: Luke Young midfielder signs new contract

BBC Sport

Luke Young
Rex Features

Torquay United midfielder Luke Young has signed a contract extension of undisclosed length to stay with the National League club.

Young was out of contract at Torquay, who he joined from League Two side Plymouth in June 2014.

The 24-year-old has played in 87 league games for the Gulls, and won their player of the season award in 2016-17.

"Last season he got stronger and better with each game," player-manager Kevin Nicholson told the club website.

Christmas Eve drink-drive victim 'in constant pain'

John Danks, BBC Spotlight

A teenage girl run over by a drink-driver on Christmas Eve has been left in constant pain, a court has heard.

Ruby-Tuesday Hobbs was crossing the road with friends when Ashley Godber's blue BMW collided with her near Drake's Circus shopping centre in Plymouth.

Ruby-Tuesday Hobbs

She had to be freed from railings before being taken to hospital, where she remained for 16 days. She spent 18 hours in surgery and had a metal rod and metal plates put into her legs.

In an impact statement read out in Plymouth Crown Court, the 18-year-old said that, as well as the pain, the incident had left her self-conscious due to the "disgusting scars" on her legs.

Godber, 27, from Plymouth, was more than twice the legal alcohol and speed limits when he crashed. He was jailed for two years and four months after admitting causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The court heard that he was "truly ashamed and very sorry" for what he'd done. Outside court, a member of Miss Hobbs' family said his sentence was "disgusting".

The high life: A job where you tower above everyone else

Julie Skentelbery

BBC Radio Cornwall

View more on twitter

Do you fancy a job where you literally go up in the world?

In this case, it's another photo we have of someone at the top of the tower of the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.

Those of us without a head for heights took a look at it and went "Argh!"

GP payout for cancer misdiagnosis

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A musician dying from skin cancer whose GP misdiagnosed his condition as a fungal nail infection has won almost £180,000 in damages.

Devon man Peter Cosgrove, 60, went to see family doctor Asaad Al-Doori at Blake House Surgery, in Black Torrington, in September 2011 and was prescribed anti-fungal medication.

In June 2012, he went back to the surgery and a different doctor referred him to hospital where he was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer.

At London's High Court, Mr Justice Goss said: "The disease will cause his death, the latest prognosis is that he may have 10-30 months of life left."

Mr Cosgrove, of Market Street, Hatherleigh, Devon, sued Dr Al-Doori, claiming his negligence cost him years of life.

Peter Cosgrove
Nevile Ayling

Divers deployed to recover 'misfired ordnance'

BBC Radio Devon

A dive unit from Devonport has successful recovered two rounds that failed to fire properly from a Dutch Navy ship off Plymouth.

The rounds from the cruiser De Ruyter were chaff, containing small strips of metal used to deter enemy fire and protect the ship, but they failed to detonate.

The vessel was there as part of a military exercise.

De Ruyter
RNLI/Alan Hoskin

Divers recovered them at Tinker Shoal off Plymouth Breakwater at 07:00. They disposed of them in a marked seabed away from shipping.

Manchester attack minute's silence: The South West pays tribute

BBC Radio Cornwall

View more on twitter

A minute's silence has been held across the UK, including in Devon and Cornwall, for the 22 people killed and the 64 others wounded in the bomb attack in Manchester.

In Cornwall, tributes included St Columb Major's church ringing half-muffled bells.

Other tributes include flowers being left at memorials, including some at Truro's war memorial (pictured).

Flowers at Truro war memorial

Float to stay alive, says RNLI

BBC Spotlight

The RNLI is advising people who at risk of drowning to "fight your instinct and try to float" in a new campaign.

It comes on the day the charity has revealed figures for the number of drownings in the last year.

Andrew Segal

In Cornwall, there were 21 drownings in 2016, more than double the number in 2015 when there were nine. In Devon, the number of deaths fell by almost half to eight last year.

Steve Instance, RNLI community safety partner for the South West, said: "If people in danger in the water can help themselves initially by floating and regaining control of their breathing, they stand a much greater chance of surviving."

Mr Boots, the passport-eating dog, a TV star

Andrew Segal

Local Live

View more on twitter

Rugby player Matt Shepherd talked to us yesterday about being left in a "nightmare" predicament after his dog chewed up his passport ahead of an overseas tour.

Seven-month-old cocker spaniel Mr Boots destroyed the document less than two weeks before Matt's flight to Spain for a two-match England Counties tour.

The Plymouth Albion player was forced to make an eight-hour round trip to south Wales to get a new passport.

It was an interesting variation on the old theme of "the dog has eaten my homework", we thought.

But as you can see from his tweeted video above, Matt seems happy that Mr Boots is now a TV star.

Blazing sunshine, 4ft waves and an offshore breeze

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

If, like us, you're sitting in an office somewhere, you may not want to read this post.

It's sunny across the South West and, according to surf forecasting website, there are 3-4ft waves and an offshore wind on Devon's north coast.

May be a good day to sneak off early.

Surf forecast

Exmouth lifeboat rescues two

Elderly man injured in crash

BBC Radio Cornwall

An elderly man's been seriously injured and flown to hospital after a road accident between Bude and Bideford.

The police say a tractor and a motorbike were involved in the crash this lunchtime on the A39 between Kilkhampton and Higher Clovelly.

The road is still understood to be closed.

Waster supply problems in Yeo Barton and Bishops Nympton

Historic Exeter print firm goes into administration

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A printing company that dates back to 1780 has gone into administration.

Wheatons, based in Exeter, has annual sales of around £6m and currently employs 37 staff.


KRE Corporate Recovery was appointed as administrators to the book and journal printers on 16 May.

Gather Roberts, from the company, said there has been some interest: "We have narrowed it down to five or six interested parties. We need a deal to be made in the next week."

Family demand answers after 'mentally ill' prisoner found dead at HMP Exeter

Devon Live

A man found dead at HMP Exeter had a history of mental illness and was on remand at the jail accused stabbing his mother, it has been confirmed.

Snake found in Launceston

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

What is believed to be a corn snake has been found in Launceston.

A man found the creature on St Leonard's Road in the town and took it to Castle Vets, where it is now being looked after.

Snake in a box
Castle Veterinary Group

Vet Mark Tucker said: "We don't get many snakes around here. We think it's probably somebody's pet that's got out. We are looking for the owners, or if not, then somebody who can give the snake a home."

Bowling: A sport for the young?

Dick Straughan

BBC Radio Cornwall

View more on twitter

When you think of bowls you probably picture silver-haired pensioners dressed in whites, enjoying a gentle afternoon in the sun.

One bowling club in Cornwall is trying to change that image.

Ten teams of schoolchildren aged between nine and 11 are about to do battle at Chacewater Bowling Club, near Truro, in one of four regional finals. The best two sides will be going on to the School Games in June.

Travel: Serious accidents in Cornwall and Devon

BBC News Travel

  • On the A30 westbound just after the Bodmin turning heading for Innis Downs a car trailer has tipped over in the fast lane with a lorry stopped behind it. Traffic is building
  • At Higher Clovelly the A39 is blocked in both directions due to a 'serious accident' involving a tractor and motorbike between the B3248 and Dipper Lane in Kilkhampton
  • In Bishopsteignton the A381 Newton Road is partially blocked by an accident around Church Road
  • In Tavistock on Plymouth Road there are 'Stop and Go Boards' in operation for roadworks, expect delays

Musician wins £180,000 in damages after GP mistakes cancer for fungal nail infection

Devon Live

​A musician dying from skin cancer whose GP misdiagnosed his condition as a fungal nail infection has won almost £180,000 in damages.

Devonport nuclear subs dockyard crane probe

BBC Radio Devon

An investigation has started into an "incident" involving a crane used for lifting nuclear material from submarines.


The crane was undergoing routine maintenance at Devonport dockyard in Plymouth said yard operators Babcock.

No-one was injured said the company and the crane would be returned to service after the investigation.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation, responsible for safety at the site, said there was no radiation release.

Ethan Ampadu: Exeter City youngster included in Wales squad

BBC Sport

Ethan Ampadu. Pic: Rex Features
Rex Features

Exeter City teenager Ethan Ampadu is one of seven uncapped players named in Wales' squad for a training camp in Portugal ahead of June's World Cup qualifier in Serbia.

The 16-year-old defensive player has represented Wales up to under-19 level, but is also eligible for England.

Everton's Gethin Jones and fellow defender Tom Lockyer of Bristol Rovers are also included. Barnsley forward Marley Watkins gets a first call up.

Wales will hold a training camp in Portugal ahead of the qualifier in Serbia on 11 June.

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale and Aston Villa defender Neil Taylor are suspended for the game and have not been included in Chris Coleman's squad.

Memorial for Cornish heroine Emily Hobhouse

Christine Butler

BBC Radio Cornwall

More than 90 years after the death of a remarkable Cornish woman, her home village plans to pay homage to her humanitarian and campaigning work.

Emily Hobhouse is revered by South Africans for highlighting the plight of thousands of children put into British concentration camps during the Boer War.

Emily Hobhouse

She was branded a traitor by the British, even though her work saved many lives.

Now, nearly a century later, her life is to be remembered with a memorial at her birthplace in St Ive.

Defibrillators 'must be checked regularly' warning

Car and mobility scooter in A379 accident

BBC News Travel

In Teignmouth, the A379 Dawlish Road is partially blocked near Woodway Road due to an accident. We understand it involves a car and a mobility scooter.

Poldark avoids clash with ITV's Victoria with move to summer slot

The Guardian

Period dramas Poldark and Victoria will not go head to head this year after the BBC confirmed that the new series of its epic adaption of Winston Graham’s novels will air in June rather than the autumn.

Manchester attack: Police HQ marks minute of silence

Weather: Continuing a warm, sunny day

BBC Weather

It is continuing a dry, warm and generally sunny day.

The light or moderate easterly breeze will become fresher at times across headlands on the south coast making it feel cooler than further inland. Maximum temperature: 24C (75F).


Ashley Godber jailed for crashing into Ruby-Tuesday Hobbs in Plymouth

John Danks, BBC Spotlight

A driver who smashed into railings and hit a teenager whilst driving at twice the legal alcohol and speed limits has been jailed for 28 months.

Ashley Godber

Ashley Godber, 27, from Plymouth, crashed into Ruby-Tuesday Hobbs on Christmas Eve, leaving her with serious injuries, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Ms Hobbs, who was 18 at the time, was hit by his BMW in Plymouth. It mounted a central reservation on Charles Street outside Drakes Circus shopping centre at about 06:30 GMT, the court heard.

Godber admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for five years.

Ruby-Tuesday Hobbs

Black bees breeding centre opening

Eleanor Parkinson

BBC Spotlight

A new breeding centre and reserve for Cornish Black bees will be opened today.

Around 40 bee keepers in Cornwall are now looking after the bees as they make a comeback.

The Cornish Black is more resistant to disease as also copes well with the wet winter climate here.


It's hoped the new centre at the Mount Edgcumbe Estate will help continue the growth.

The Cornish Black Bee reserve will be opened later by Sir Tim Smit and Michael Eavis.

Minute's silence for Manchester

The BBC will be observing the minute's silence being held at 11:00, to remember those who lost their lives in the Manchester attack.

People in Devon and Cornwall owe more than £100m in council tax

Anna Varle

BBC News Online

New figures show £115m is owed in council tax by residents in Devon and Cornwall.

The Freedom of Information request reveals that almost 300,000 people in the South West have been taken to court for not paying their council tax over the past five years.

Council tax

Cornwall Council said: "We are very aware of the impact of the current financial situation on people in Cornwall and are working with householders who are facing genuine difficulties in meeting their commitments.

"Legal action, including the use of enforcement agents, is always taken as a last resort."

"We will continue to collect unpaid council tax and business rates beyond the end of the financial year, with results in overall collection rates of approaching 99%."

Phil Dollman: Exeter full-back thought Wales chance had gone

BBC Sport Wales

Phil Dollman
Rex Features

New Wales squad member Phil Dollman thought his hopes of an international call-up had passed him by.

But at the age of 32 the Exeter full-back has been drafted into the Wales squad for June's two Test tour against Tonga and Samoa.

Dollman replaced injured Cardiff Blues teenager Rhun Williams and got the nod ahead of the likes of Ospreys' Dan Evans and Rhys Patchell at Scarlets.

"I thought I had missed out... I am ecstatic," said Dollman.

"At 32 I thought and looked at that and saw they had some good young players so they are bringing guys on. I thought it had probably passed by but gladly I have the opportunity now."

Muffled bells for Manchester attack's minute silence

BBC Radio Cornwall

A church in Cornwall will be ringing half-muffled bells as part of the national minute's silence to remember victims of the Manchester attack.

St Columb Major's bells will be rung in this way, which will see a leather pad on one side of each bell. It is something usually done for remembrance and memorial services.

The minute's silence is at 11:00.

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A job where you literally go up in the world

Julie Skentelbery

BBC Radio Cornwall