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Summary

  1. London Tube bomb-maker Damon Smith jailed
  2. Armed police begin regular patrols
  3. Headteachers call on parents to challenge election candidates on education funding
  4. Exeter Chiefs, Cornwall Rugby and Exeter City all playing in finals in London
  5. Updates on Friday 26 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Johnny O'Shea

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 Tuesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. Have a great bank holiday weekend in the meantime.

Don't forget Spotlight on BBC One later. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

Cornall Rubgby at Twickenham: 'You can't get used to finals'

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Cornwall coach Graham Dawe has spelt out the enormity of playing at Twickenham, as he prepares to take his side there for the County Championship final on Sunday against Lancashire.

They will be playing in their fifth final in a row in the competition, and will be aiming to win it for the third year running.

Graham Dawe
BBC Sport

"You can't get used to making finals - that's the aspiration of most rugby players that play the game," Dawe told BBC Spotlight.

"When I was a young lad, I always wanted to play at Twickenham - I achieved that playing a few times and it's just a great atmosphere to walk out onto, and to walk out onto that turf.

"If there's any turf you're going to walk out to in England, Twickenham has got to be it."

Latest weather: Thundery showers overnight but a sunny and warm Saturday

BBC Weather

Heavy and thundery showers will soon arrive overnight. These will be heavy enough to cause some short-lived surface flooding. Minimum temperature: 14C (57F).

Weather
BBC

Saturday will be fresher but still sunny and warm, though not as warm as Friday. Maximum temperature: 23C (73F).

Man admits St Austell murder

A man has admitted murdering another man whose body was found in a park in St Austell.

The body of 31-year-old Stephen Bull was discovered in the park off Bridge Road in January.

Twenty-two-year-old Daniel Altass, of Truro Road in the town, admitted the murder of Mr Bull at Exeter Crown Court.

Two other men, aged 24 and 21, deny murder and are due to be tried at Truro Crown Court in July. Altass will be sentenced after that trial.

St Austell murder scene
BBC

Seven times Katie Hopkins hit the headlines

BBC Entertainment and Arts

Katie Hopkins. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

Broadcaster Katie Hopkins is to leave her show on LBC.

The Exeter-based presenter is known for her controversial opinions and regularly attracts criticism for her views.

But she will be leaving the station with immediate effect, just over a year after she joined to host a weekly show, the national talk radio station has confirmed.

We have a look at some of her most controversial moments from recent years here, including her Manchester bombing comments, the Jack Monroe libel case, and her saying she would not let her children play with lower class children with names like Chardonnay and Tyler.

Cornish surfer school kids stoked

Dick Straughan

BBC Radio Cornwall

Primary school children have been hanging loose in Newquay, taking part in what's thought to be the biggest school surf competition in England.

More than 100 children donned their wetsuits at Tolcarne Beach.

Isaac Dakin from Mount Hawke Academy took the top prize, but surfers of all (or no) abilities took part.

Surfing children
BBC

Tanya Williams, from the Aspire Academy Trust, was at the event with her team from Probus Primary School.

She said: "None of us are great surfers. We had a couple of bodyboarders, but we do have a certain young man who had never surfed before and stood up three times and looked rather cool doing it. So job done."

Premiership final: Wasps' Kurtley Beale ruled out of clash against Exeter Chiefs

BBC Sport

Kurtley Beale
Getty Images

Wasps back Kurtley Beale (pictured) has been ruled out of Saturday's Premiership final against Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham.

The Wallaby, 28, has not recovered from a hamstring injury picked up in their semi-final victory over Leicester.

Willie Le Roux switches to full-back, with Josh Bassett, who scored the winning try against the Tigers, starting on the wing.

Exeter make one change to the starting XV which overcame Saracens, with wing Olly Woodburn replacing James Short. Short is Exeter's top try-scorer this season, scoring 11 tries in the Premiership and going over 14 times in all competitions.

Tube bomb-maker: Damon Smith jailed - Analysis

Daniel De Simone

BBC Home Affairs Producer

Devon student Damon Smith has been jailed for 15 years for planting a home-made bomb on a London Tube last year.

Smith grew up in Devon and only moved to London to attend university three months before leaving his homemade bomb on the Tube.

An only child who lived with his mother from a young age, he has a form of autism that impairs social communications but not his intelligence.

Damon Smith on Tube CCTV
Police handout

An able student, Smith also displayed a persistent fascination with Islamic terrorism and mass murders. Friends were shown violent propaganda by so-called Islamic State and Smith created YouTube videos of himself using computer games to re-enact infamous real-life mass killings.

In a shopping list of the components for his bomb, he had written: "And keep this a secret between me and Allah #InspireTheBelievers."

He tried to cover his tracks by shredding the manual and deleting the list from an iPad, but detectives were able to recover them.

Dismissing Smith's claim that the device was a "prank" smoke bomb, explosives experts said it was viable and would have caused mass casualties had it been constructed slightly differently.

Contactless cards fraud risk

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

The amount of money stolen from contactless bank cards and mobile devices has soared.

Almost £7m was taken in 2016 and, in some cases, stolen contactless bank cards can continue to be used by thieves - even after they've been cancelled.

A judge recently slammed the technology, which does not require a PIN, for making life "too easy" for criminals during the sentencing of a fraudster in Devon.

The issue has been raised with the Financial Conduct Authority by MPs.

Contactless fraud
BBC
Total fraud on contactless cards (£m)

The UK Cards Association said measures were being put in place to stop it happening by this summer.

Fraud on contactless cards has more than doubled in the last year, but levels remain low compared to other bank cards.

There is a £30 limit on contactless cards, and banks also limit the number of consecutive transactions that can happen before a PIN is requested.

Armed police patrols 'not what I want' - chief constable

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Devon and Cornwall's chief constable says he will stop regular patrols of armed officers as soon as he can.

Armed police
BBC

Armed police have been deployed on the streets following the terrorist attack which killed at least 22 people in Manchester, although senior officers stressed there was no specific risk in the South West.

More than 140 police staff are now trained to use firearms in Devon and Cornwall.

Ch Con Shaun Sawyer said of the patrols: "It's not what I want and the sooner I can reverse it, we will go back to normality ... It wasn't an easy judgement call. If I can, I'll be the first to lift it."

Verma and Sparkes leave Torquay

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Aman Verma
Getty Images

Torquay United have confirmed that winger Dan Sparkes and vice-captain Aman Verma (pictured) have left the club after rejecting new contracts.

Sparkes, 25, was one of the Gulls best performers as they avoided relegation from the National League this season, while the versatile Verma played at both right-back and in midfield.

"I’m really sorry to see these guys move on," said player-manager Kevin Nicholson.

"Both are going for perfectly good reasons, and I genuinely wish them well for the future."

Chiefs looking for glory at Twickenham

BBC Radio Devon

The Exeter Chiefs are attempting to be crowned champions of English rugby for the first time on Saturday.

They are in the final of the Premiership at Twickenham against Wasps.

Chiefs
Rex

It's the second successive season the Chiefs have made it to the showpiece final, having lost to Saracens 12 months ago.

Full coverage of the match will be on BBC Radio Devon. Kick-off is at 14:30.

Travel: Sections of A38 and A39 closed

BBC News Travel

  • In Devon, the A38 Exeter-bound at Haldon Hill has been closed between Exeter Racecourse junction and the A380 Splatford Split
  • In Cornwall, the A39 between Truro and Falmouth remains closed between Arch Hill and the Treluswell rounabout after an earlier crash

Penzance outdoor pool not reopening this weekend

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Penzance's Jubilee Pool is not reopening on Saturday for its spring and summer season, as had been expected.

Jubilee Pool
Andrew Segal

The Friends of Jubilee Pool said it was because of a "delay in securing the services of a commercial pool operator at an affordable cost".

The management of the Grade II-listed lido was recently transferred to the Jubilee Pool Community Benefit Society, established by Friends of Jubilee Pool with financial support from Cornwall Council and Penzance Town Council.

The Friends said the delay was because "contractual negotiations with the selected operators have taken much longer than expected to complete; despite the very best efforts of all concerned".

Managers said they would announce later when the pool would open.

Inquest opened into Tasered man

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

An inquest has been opened and adjourned into the death of a man who died after suffering self-inflicted knife injuries and being Tasered by police in Falmouth earlier this week.

Marc Cole, of The Beacon in Falmouth, died on Tuesday night at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

Langton Road
BBC

The 30-year-old died after Devon and Cornwall Police officers Tasered him in Langton Road at about 21:00 BST on Tuesday.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the case.

Regimental association to hold city centre march

Exeter City at Wembley

BBC Radio Devon

Exeter City have one team standing between them and promotion to League One.

They are playing Blackpool in the final of the League Two play-offs, with the winners getting promotion.

Jack Stacey
Rex Features

They reached the final in dramatic circumstances with a 95th minute winner against Carlisle in the semi-final.

The game at Wembley kicks off at 15:00 on Sunday. There will be live coverage on BBC Radio Devon.

Man has 'life-threatening injuries' after A39 crash

A man's being treated for serious life-threatening injuries after a four-vehicle collision on the A39, south of Truro. The road is likely to be closed for some time while a full investigation takes place.

The police say the crash happened at about 11:00 at the bottom of Arch Hill.

The fire service was called to cut a person free from one vehicles involved. Ambulances were also sent the scene.

The A39 road is closed between Arch Hill and Playing Place, and minor roads leading from Kea are also cordoned off.

'Our children's schools need more funds'

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

Head teachers in Devon and Cornwall are calling for parents to challenge election candidates on education funding.

David Barton
BBC

David Barton, executive officer at the Cornwall Association of Secondary Headteachers, said: "We've tried not to, but I daresay if you want to find a political tone in it, it is there.

"It is certainly political in as much as we need education to be up there with the other public sectors. We know the NHS, social care, and the police need more funds. So do our children's schools and education system."

Tube bomb-maker's mum: 'My son is not a terrorist'

BBC News England

The mother of a jailed bomb-maker Damon Smith says her son is "just a vulnerable little boy".

The 20-year-old, from Newton Abbot, has been jailed for 15 years for planting a home-made bomb on a London Tube train last year.

His mother, Antonitza, who moved from Devon to live in London with her son when he started university last autumn, said it was "a stupid prank".

A39 closed 'for up to eight hours'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The A39 has been closed for what is expected to be between four and eight hours at the request of police after an accident, Cornwall highways staff say.

Devon and Cornwall Police said four vehicles were involved in the crash on the A39 between Arch Hill and Playing Place at about 11:00. A man is believed to have been seriously injured in the accident near Truro.

Breaking Sad: Man tried to make crystal meth in his basement

Devon Live

An Exmouth man who lives with his mum tried to make crystal meth, the same drug manufactured by Walter White in the series Breaking Bad, in his basement.

Surf's up in primary school competition

Dick Straughan

BBC Radio Cornwall

View more on twitter

Children from across Cornwall have been on their surfboards this week, competing in the annual Aspire Surf Games.

The event was held at Tolcarne Beach in Newquay and involved more than 100 children aged between eight and 11 from 21 schools across Cornwall.

The organisers claimed it was the largest primary school surfing competition in the United Kingdom.

Isaac Dakin from Mount Hawke Academy claimed the top prize.

Latest weather: Sunny for the rest of Friday but heavy showers overnight

BBC Weather

Friday is continuing dry, sunny and hot again nearly everywhere. A brisk but warm south-easterly breeze will develop, strong enough to curtail temperatures in some areas. Maximum temperature: 25C (77F).

Weather
BBC

Heavy and thundery showers will soon arrive overnight. These will be heavy enough to cause some short-lived surface flooding. Minimum temperature: 14C (57F).

Cornwall bidding for rugby title hat-trick

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornwall's rugby team are back at Twickenham on Sunday in the final of the Bill Beaumont Cup.

They are facing familiar foes in the shape of Lancashire.

Trophy
BBC

If Cornwall win, it will be their third title in succession.

You can hear live coverage on BBC Radio Cornwall from midday.

Serious crash closes road near Truro

Police are urging the public to avoid the area following a serious crash on the A39 Falmouth to Truro road.

View more on twitter

Motorcyclist seriously injured in hit and run

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A 19-year-old motorcyclist has seriously injured his leg in an accident yesterday in a hit and run.

The man was taken to North Devon District Hospital.

Devon and Cornwall Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash on the A39 near Barnstaple.

They say a small white Peugeot van turned in front of two motorbikes, one of which crashed, and then failed to stop.

It happened at about 16:50 at Tollbar Cross, between Shirwell and Aarlington.

View more on twitter

Heavy rain warning for Bank Holiday weekend

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

There could be "locally torrential downpours and thunder" across the south west on Sunday and Monday according to a warning issued by the Met Office.

The Met Office said: "There are early indications that this could result in some disruption, with sudden flooding of roads, transport routes, homes and businesses possible."

Weather warning
Met Office

Hopkins leaves LBC after causing anger over 'final solution' comments on Manchester terror attack

BBC Entertainment and Arts

Katie Hopkins. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

Broadcaster Katie Hopkins is to leave her show on LBC "immediately", the radio station has said.

The Exeter-based presenter, who joined LBC last April, is known for her controversial opinions and regularly attracts criticism for her views.

This week, she caused anger when she tweeted there must be a "final solution" in dealing with terrorists following the Manchester terror attack. She later changed the term "final solution" to "true solution", describing the earlier version as a "mis-type".

But some Twitter users drew the comments to the attention of the Metropolitan Police, claiming they could incite racial or religious hatred. The Metropolitan Police confirmed the matter was being "reviewed and assessed by specialist officers".

She has continued tweeting since the LBC announcement but has not yet referred to her own departure.

Homeless man cleared of rape after judge says interview cannot be used as evidence

Devon Live

A homeless man has been cleared of rape after a judge ruled his alleged victim's recorded police interview could not be used as evidence.

Tube bomb-maker: Damon Smith 'needs help not prison' - mother

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The mother of a Devon student jailed for 15 years for planting a home-made bomb on a London Tube train has blamed her son's Asperger's syndrome for his actions.

Twenty-year-old Damon Smith, from Newton Abbot, left a rucksack packed with explosives and ball bearings on the Jubilee Line last October. It did not go off.

Damon Smith. Pic: PA
PA

He claimed it was a prank but was found guilty of possession of an explosive substance with intent earlier this month.

During his sentencing at the Old Bailey, Smith's barrister told the court that Smith was young and vulnerable, with a natural disability which clouded his judgement, and that he would never do anything like this again. The judge was asked for "mercy" and told the "unique" student had "learned his lesson".

The judge said the seriousness of what Smith did "cannot be overstated" and he was driven to treat Smith "as a dangerous offender".

Antonitza Smith
BBC

Smith's mother, Antonitza, who moved from Devon to live in London with her son when he started university last autumn, said it was "a stupid prank which has ruined his life".

She added: "He needs help not prison."

Severe accident: A39 Cornwall both ways

BBC News Travel

A39 Cornwall both ways severe accident, between A390 Green Lane and A393 affecting A394.

A39 Cornwall - A39 closed, very slow traffic and long delays in both directions between Arch Hill in Truro and Treluswell Roundabout in Penryn, because of accident investigation work. Diversion in operation - signed via A390, A30 and A393. Congestion to Treliever Roundabout.

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

Tube bomb-maker: Damon Smith's offence 'cannot be overstated'

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

A man from Devon who left a home-made bomb on a Tube carriage in London has been told "the seriousness of what you did cannot be overstated" by the judge who has jailed him for 15 years.

Judge Richard Marks QC told Damon Smith, from Newton Abbot, at the Old Bailey: "I am driven to treat you as a dangerous offender."

The 20-year-old former altar boy was convicted earlier this month of making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life.

Damon Smith
Metropolitan Police

The device, which he built at home with a £2 clock from Tesco after finding an online article, did not explode on the Jubilee Line train last October.

The judge said: "It is fortuitous that your device did not explode. It would have had the potential to cause injury and serious damage along the carriage."

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.

Serious accident on A39 near Truro

BBC Radio Cornwall

A man is believed to have been seriously injured in an accident near Truro.

Devon and Cornwall Police said four vehicles were involved in the crash on the A39 between Arch Hill and Playing Place at about 11:00.

The road has been closed in both directions.

Devon bomb-maker jailed as judge says he 'doesn't think it was terror-related'

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

A Devon student has been jailed for planting a home-made bomb on a London Tube train.

Twenty-year-old Damon Smith, from Newton Abbot, left a rucksack packed with explosives on the Jubilee Line last October when he was aged 19. It did not go off.

Bomber
BBC

His mum, Antonitza, blames his Asperger's syndrome for his actions.

The judge, Richard Marks QC, said "I don't think it was a terror-related incident". But he told Smith that a substantial sentence had to be passed.

BreakingTube bomb-maker Damon Smith jailed

Damon Smith, the 20-year-old, from Newton Abbot, who planted a home-made bomb on a Tube train in London last year, has been given a 15-year sentence.

More to follow.

Damon Smith
Metropolitan Police

Heads send letters to parents on challenging education funding

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Parents across Devon and Cornwall are this week getting letters from head teachers about challenging general election candidates on funding for education.

Letters
BBC

The Cornwall Association of Secondary Headteachers is one group supporting the campaign.

Executive officer David Barton said it was crucial mums, dads, carers and all other interested parties raised the issue because of the "dreadful state" of school finances.

Contactless payment fraud soars to £7m

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Contactless bank card. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

The amount of money stolen from contactless bank cards and mobile devices has soared, it has emerged.

Almost £7m was taken in 2016, compared to £2.8m in 2015, according to Financial Fraud Action UK.

In the same period, contactless spending rose from £7.75bn to £25.2bn.

A judge recently slammed the technology, which does not require a PIN, for making life "too easy" for criminals during the sentencing of a fraudster in Devon.

Contactless cards can be used for transactions of up to £30.

Katie Hopkins to leave LBC 'immediately'

BBC Entertainment and Arts

Broadcaster Katie Hopkins is to leave her show on LBC "immediately", the radio station has said.

Katie Hopkins
PA

The Exeter-based presenter, who first rose to prominence as a contestant on The Apprentice in 2006, joined LBC last April. Hopkins is also a Mail Online columnist and appeared in Celebrity Big Brother in 2015, finishing in second place.

She is known for her controversial opinions and regularly attracts criticism for her views.

Hopkins has continued tweeting since the announcement but has not yet referred to her own departure.

Police with weapons patrolling in Devon and Cornwall