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Summary

  1. Thirteen convicted over Devon care home abuse
  2. Motorcyclist killed in crash with cow
  3. Police continue to quiz a man, 55, on suspicion of murder
  4. Water bowsers set up after reservoir mains burst hits supplies
  5. More than 1,500 people in Plymouth postal voting mix-up
  6. Doctor's call to 'equally protect' boys with HPV vaccine
  7. Bodmin nine-month road closure to end
  8. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Andrew Segal

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, as well as all the goings-on at the Royal Cornwall Show.

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

Royal Cornwall Show: What's the weather going to be like for day one?

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

Are you heading to the first day of the Royal Cornwall Show tomorrow?

Well, I can give you a little heads-up: Expect a damp start, but it will brighten up for the afternoon, with a scattering of lively showers around. The maximum temperature will be about 17C (63F).

We'll have full forecasts on Local Live throughout today and, of course, tomorrow.

Sheep
BBC

Bess brothers help Devon hold on for draw

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Devon made history - fielding brothers Josh, Zak and Luke Bess in their team - as they held on for a draw at Dorset in the Minor Counties Championship.

After Dorset posted 328-6, Devon were all out for just 106 then reached 90-3 while following on.

Bess brothers
BBC Sport

Luke Bess batted for over two hours for his 16 not out, to help Devon avoid defeat at Sherborne.

Shark bite chemistry teacher dubbed 'sharkbait' by Kingsbridge Community College pupils

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Pupils at Kinsgbridge Community College, where shark bite victim Rich Thomson teaches chemistry, have bought him shark ties and have dubbed him Sharkbait and Nemo.

Rich Thomson
BBC

"I have never caught any fish while fishing but the biggest one I've ever caught attached itself to my leg," he said.

"I went home and told my wife I was late because I had been bitten by a shark," he said.

"She said 'I've heard that one before', but it was true."

Masters supports 'radical' Hodges plans

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Truro City chairman Peter Masters says the club backs manager Lee Hodges' plans to overhaul his squad.

The Cornish side released seven players after finishing one place above the National League South drop-zone last season, making three signings since.

Peter Masters
Truro City FC

"Lee came up with some very radical plans, and that meant basically replacing quite a few players," Masters told BBC Sport.

"It was a case of either back him or sack him - that was the situation, and along with [co-owner] Philip Perryman we decided to give him the backing for next season."

Peter Masters

Masters supports 'radical' Hodges plans

Truro City chairman Peter Masters says the club backs manager Lee Hodges' plans to overhaul the squad.

Read more

Latest weather: Rain becoming heavy showers

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

Rain will continue in the evening and it will become windy again on the coast and over hills. The rain will continue sporadically all night with the moors shrouded in cloud. Minimum temperature: 13C (55F).

Weather
BBC

On Thursday, heavy rain and stronger winds will affect us at first. There will be some respite in the middle of the day but heavy showers are likely everywhere later. Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

Flurry of voting to name giraffe Florrie

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Florrie the giraffe. Pic: Andy Styles
Andy Styles

Paignton Zoo's latest giraffe calf now has a name after a flurry of voting: Florrie.

Nearly 2,500 people took part in the vote to name the female calf, who was born to mother Sangha on Wednesday 19 April.

It was the most popular choice in the poll, which also included options of Kaleena, Chloe and Afya.

Florrie is described as "lively, boisterous, bold, confident - and, of course, incredibly cute".

Zoo spokesman Phil Knowling added: "I know there’s another big vote on Thursday, but at least this very important matter is settled."

Plymouth post ballots mix-up: Analysis

Martyn Oates

BBC South West Political Editor

Post vote
BBC

Plymouth City Council has confirmed that more than 1,500 ballot forms have not been sent to postal voters for Thursday's general election. It said a computer problem was to blame, it was investigating, and it was trying to get papers out as soon as possible.

It's clearly embarrassing for a major local authority to have to be running around at the eleventh hour to make sure more than 1,500 voters living in three different constituencies are actually able to vote in a general election.

The bigger challenge now, though, is trying to get ballot papers to postal addresses outside the Plymouth constituencies.

The council says it will "make arrangements to get voting packs to as many people as possible outside".

It sounds as if some people willing and entitled to cast a vote in Plymouth will now be unable to through no fault of their own.

Doctor who immunised sons against HPV 'would be happier knowing boys were equally protected'

Victoria Gould

BBC News Online

A mum-of-two who wants boys to receive a vaccine currently only given to girls - to protect against cancer - says she wants to see boys "equally protected".

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) jab is offered to teenage girls in the UK to protect against cervical cancer.

Human Papilloma Virus
Dr_Microbe

Dr Kirsty Bonney, from Devon, said she paid privately for sons Zak, 13, and 11-year-old Finn to be immunised with the HPV vaccine rather than risk cancer in later life.

She made the decision after working on a chemotherapy unit where she looked after two young men with HPV-related throat cancers.

She said: "I'd be much happier knowing all the boys' friends were equally protected. I wouldn't want to be seeing one of their friends in my surgery in a few years' time [with cancer] because they hadn't been vaccinated."

Ainslie's GB team get first win after capsize

James Law

BBC Sport Online

The moment New Zealand capsize in America's Cup

New Zealand suffered a spectacular capsize in their America's Cup semi-final against Great Britain, led by Cornwall's Sir Ben Ainslie, but lead the best-of-nine series 3-1.

Three of the crew were thrown overboard but all of New Zealand's crew were accounted for.

"In 30 years of racing I've never seen anything like that," said Ainslie, skipper of GB's Land Rover BAR boat which was awarded its first win.

"Most importantly everyone is fine. It's the first time we have sailed in this much wind. It's full-on and it's mind-blowing."

Brain-images could be used to help find treatments for Alzheimer's

BBC Spotlight

Brain-images from people in Devon and Cornwall could be used to help find new treatments for Alzheimers disease.

Scientists at the universities of Exeter and Plymouth are creating a database of brain scan images to find out the effects of age and the environment on the condition.

The study is being funded by Alzheimer's Research UK. About 84,000 people in the South West are affected by dementia.

Brain scan
BBC

Crash on M5 near Exeter

Twitter

Axeman girl groomer 'may have had Walter Mitty fantasy'

A man who had an axe in his car in which he arranged to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex may have had "some form of Walter Mitty fantasy", a judge says.

Parking attendant Patrick Brezovsky had arranged to meet the girl at Exeter bus station after sending her Facebook messages after making contact with her last November, but was intercepted by police, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Patrick Brezovsky
Devon and Cornwall Police
Patrick Brezovsky was jailed at Exeter Crown Court

The 23-year-old, of Canon Way, Exeter, also had a balaclava, duct tape, ladies' tights and CS spray in the car, along with a blue flashing light which could be put on the car dashboard to make it look as if he was connected to emergency services, the court was told.

He admitted six offences and was jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Sentencing, the judge, Recorder Mr Ignatius Hughes QC, told him: "The presence of the items in the car at the very least suggests some form of Walter Mitty fantasy, although it is impossible to know precisely what you had in mind.

"I have no doubt you pose a serious and significant risk of causing serious harm to the public, and, in particular, to young women by further offending."

Royal Cornwall Show: Where do all the wires go?

David White

BBC Radio Cornwall

View more on twitter

Find out if David is using a microphone or just shouting through a megaphone from 09:00 tomorrow morning.

Our own Andrew Segal will also be reporting from the show through the day on Local Live.

Shark 'struck out' at Bantham surfer

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Ali Hood, director of conservation at the Plymouth-based Shark Trust said a small shark which apparently bit a surfer at Bantham "would likely have been disorientated" by the "turbid, dynamic water" of the river mouth.

Rich Thomson
Leon Petersons

"British waters are home to a wide diversity of sharks with a number of coastal species such as smooth hound, tope and cat sharks often reported by beach goers and water users," she said.

Marc Dando, wildlife publisher and illustrator, said he thought the shark was probably a smooth hound.

"It would be a shock because all sharks have powerful jaws," he said.

"All sharks can be very territorial. It was probably just telling the person to go away and struck out."

Mousehole to set up 'world class' football academy

James Law

BBC Sport Online

A Cornish football team who play in the 11th tier of English football say they are planning to set up a "world class long-term player development academy."

Mousehole AFC, based in the village near Penzance, have appointed Leeds United Under-23 coach Jason Blunt to head up the academy on a full-time basis.

Jason Blunt
Empics

Blunt, 39, is from Newlyn and was a professional footballer before spending seven years as a youth coach at Leeds.

“We are certainly breaking new ground here, and we mean business," he said. "I am excited by the challenge to make this new academy the best in Cornwall and the South West."

Shark 'bites surfer' at Bantham

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

A surfer said he fought with a "small shark" after being bitten off a south Devon beach.

Hand
BBC

Teacher Rich Thomson, 30, was left with a bruised leg and cuts to his hands after he hit it on the head.

No other incident of this type has happened to surfers in UK waters according to experts who said the shark could have been a smooth hound.

Mr Thomson said the shark, estimated at about 1m (3ft) long, "grabbed me on the leg" at Bantham.

Cornwall Council's new cabinet: Analysis

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

It's more than a month since the local elections, but it's only today the new cabinet members at Cornwall Council have been announced by new leader Adam Paynter (pictured).

Cornwall Council
BBC

Despite the Conservatives winning the most seats in the local elections, they didn't have enough to take overall control of the council. Two weeks of power-sharing talks led to cross words between the Tories and the Independents, with claims of unreasonable demands on both sides.

So it's ended up with the Independents and Lib Dems once again seeking to join forces and form a coalition.

Adam Paynter
Cornwall Council

There are five Liberal Democrats and five Independents, with six new faces in the 10-strong cabinet line-up, and there will be interesting times ahead.

These councillors are controlling an annual budget of more than £1bn while facing further budget cuts and a restructure. Leader Mr Paynter has already said the next four years will be challenging.

Mum of 'terrified' son speaks out over care home abuse

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

The mother of a man cared for at a home where residents were held in cold and bare isolation rooms said her son was "terrified".

Thirteen people have been convicted of the of the "organised and systemic abuse" at two care homes for adults with learning disabilities in Devon.

He spent 195 sessions in a 'quiet room', including 13 overnight stays.

Residents at Vielstone near Bideford were routinely punished by being held in empty rooms without food, heating or a toilet, Bristol Crown Court heard.

This woman's son, who cannot be named, spent 195 sessions in a "quiet room", including 13 overnight stays.

Chiefs pre-season game in France cancelled

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Exeter Chiefs say French side Clermont Auvergne have cancelled a proposed pre-season friendly between the sides scheduled for August.

The game had been due to be played in France on Friday 4 August but Clermont have told Chiefs the fixture will not now go ahead.

Exeter Chiefs
Getty Images

Rob Baxter's Premiership champions still have matches against Cornish Pirates, Newport-Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues in their pre-season calendar.

Care home abuse: Atmosphere at Vielstone 'like an ice block'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A former employee at a care home where residents were routinely punished by being held in empty rooms without food, heating or a toilet, has told the BBC the atmosphere was like an "ice block".

Thirteen people have been convicted after an inquiry into abuse at Vielstone home, near Bideford, and and its sister home, Gatooma, near Holsworthy.

Vielstone
BBC

Staff left vulnerable Vielstone residents with little food or water in 2010 and 2011 as an abusive culture developed, Bristol Crown Court heard during a number of trials which can now be reported on.

The trials heard residents were left in the rooms more than 1,000 times with no furniture or a television for hours at a time.

The ex-staff member said: "There was no warmth, nothing - it was almost like a prison kind of regime.

"They were treated like third class citizens the best part of the time."

Latest weather: Cloud building

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

Although mostly dry and bright at first, cloud will build from the west with patchy rain in the far west spreading eastwards during the afternoon. Low cloud, hill and some coastal fog will also develop later as moderate or fresh westerly winds turn to the southwest and strengthen in the west later. Maximum temperature: 17C (63F).

Weather
BBC

It’ll be a cloudy and rather damp night with further occasionally heavy rain or drizzle. Low cloud will also cover hills and some parts of the coast while moderate or fresh southwesterly winds will be occasionally strong to the west and around the coast. Minimum temperature: 13C (55F).

Water bowsers set up after reservoir mains burst hits supplies

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Water bowsers have been set up after supplies in the Newquay area were hit by a mains burst at a reservoir, South West Water says.

The utility firm said the majority of properties affected had been restored after problems at Coswarth Reservoir, but bowers had been deployed "in the Crantock area to assist those at higher points who are still without a supply".

Care home abuse: Timeline

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Thirteen people have been convicted after an inquiry into abuse at two care homes for adults with learning disabilities in Devon.

The incidents took place at both Vielstone, near Bideford, and its sister home, Gatooma, near Holsworthy, Bristol Crown Court was told.

Veilstone
BBC

Timeline of events:

  • 1993: Paul Hewitt starts building care homes known as Atlas
  • 2004: Gatooma care home opens with ability to take five residents. Hewitt was named as the responsible person
  • 2007: Vielstone rated as "good" by Care Quality Commission (CQC)
  • 2009: Gatooma rated as "excellent" by CQC
  • 2011: CQC inquiry launched after tip-off from whistle-blower
  • 25 May 2016: Hewitt cleared by jury of conspiracy to falsely imprison residents but guilty of a health and safety offence. Four other staff cleared
  • July 2016: Four workers found guilty of false imprisonment at second trial
  • 14 October 2016: Vielstone manager, 42-year-old Jolyon Marshall, is sentenced to 18 months for conspiracy to falsely imprison residents and perverting the course of justice after pleading guilty. Five other staff sentenced after guilty pleas
  • 8 December 2016: Marshall's sentence is increased to 28 months by Court of Appeal
  • July 2016: Four other workers found guilty of false imprisonment charges at second trial. One found not guilty
  • 13 December 2016: Third trial ends - two workers are found guilty of one charge each of false imprisonment. Four others found not guilty
  • June 2017: Case can finally be reported

Plymouth lost postal ballots: Royal Mail has 'dedicated delivery person'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The Royal Mail says it has a dedicated delivery person collecting postal vote packs from Plymouth City Council and delivering them "as soon as we receive them" as the local authority continues to deal with its general election postal ballot mix-up.

The authority confirmed that more than 1,500 ballot forms had not been sent to postal voters for Thursday's poll. It said a computer problem was to blame and it was investigating.

The Royal Mail said: "We will continue to deliver any packs handed to us today. All postal voting packs that we have received to date have been delivered.

"We will continue to work closely with the council to help them ensure that everyone who is entitled to a postal vote receives one."

Hall to represent Europe in golf tournament

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Cornish golfer Harry Hall has travelled to Atlanta to represent Europe in the Arnold Palmer Cup this weekend.

The 19-year-old has been based in Las Vegas, playing with the University of Nevada, but he will be coming up against America in the competition.

It's an annual cup contested between American college golfers and European university golfers.

Kingdom Hall stabbing: Police try to reassure religious communities after death

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Kingdom Hall stabbing scene
BBC

Police say they are trying to reassure Jehovah's Witnesses across Devon and Cornwall, and communities at other religious establishments, that a stabbing which resulted in the death of a man at a Kingdom Hall in Honiton is an isolated incident.

The victim, who has not been formally identified, was found with a "number of stab wounds" at the Jehovah's Witnesses' place of worship in Dowell Street at about 15:40 yesterday, police said.

A 55-year-old man found nearby was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Ch Supt Jim Colwell, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said the victim was local to the town and a post-mortem examination was due to take place today.

He added that a knife had been recovered, no other weapons were being searched for, and officers were not looking for anyone else in connection with the death.

Care home abuse: 'Survivors brave and dignified'

Press Association

Health campaigners have called for changes in how society treats adults with learning disabilities following the scandal at two care homes in Devon.

They said that vulnerable adults were often subjected to solitary confinement, forcefully restrained and given anti-psychotic medication when they were not mentally ill.

Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, and Vivien Cooper, chief executive of The Challenging Behaviour Foundation, said: "Throughout the three trials last year, juries have listened to horrific accounts of people with a learning disability being abused by those who were being paid to support them.

"The evidence that has emerged has been chilling. The survivors and their family members have been brave and dignified throughout the five-year build-up to these trials and 11 months of legal proceedings.

"Despite several warning signs, it took far too long for the abusive practices at the care homes to be exposed."

Resident 'spent 195 sessions in quiet room'

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Residents at Vielstone near Bideford, in Devon, were routinely punished by being held in empty rooms without food, heating or a toilet, a court heard.

Vulnerable residents were put in cold and bare isolation rooms, sometimes overnight, in 2010 and 2011.

Prosecutor Andrew Langdon told court: "Whatever the original purpose, these two rooms were used by staff to control - perhaps to even punish - residents at a time that was not only unacceptable by professional standards of care but was also quite unnecessarily cruel."

One man, who cannot be named, spent 195 sessions in a "quiet room", including 13 overnight stays.

His mother said the treatment was "barbaric, disgusting and unnecessary," and that she tried to flag up the problems.

Thirteen people have been convicted after an inquiry into abuse at two care homes for adults with learning disabilities.

Care home residents 'left in isolation rooms more than 1,000 times'

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Thirteen people have been convicted after an inquiry into abuse at two care homes for adults with learning disabilities.

Veilstone
BBC
Vielstone, which has been closed, was one of the care homes where residents were held in the punishment rooms.

During the trials, the directors and staff were accused of creating a culture whereby residents were left in isolation rooms more than 1,000 times with no furniture or a television for hours at a time.

Prosecutor Andrew Langdon QC said staff tried to correct residents' behaviour as if they would train an animal.

He said: "The prosecution say that each of them was effectively imprisoned in that room against their will.

"It was not a one-off but organised and systemic abuse of people with learning disabilities - vulnerable members of society who were residents in homes that were meant to care for them." The rooms were known as either the "garden room" or the "quiet room".

'Any abuse will not be tolerated'

Thirteen people have been convicted after an inquiry into abuse at two care homes for adults with learning disabilities.

Residents at Vielstone near Bideford, in Devon, were routinely punished by being held in empty rooms without food, heating or a toilet, a court heard.

Vulnerable residents were held in cold and bare isolation rooms, sometimes overnight, in 2010 and 2011.

Manager Jolyon Marshall was jailed for 28 months.

Jolyon Marshall
BBC
The court heard Jolyon Marshall "corrupted" other staff members

This case has been very complex and in many ways is the first of its kind in this country, dealing with not just those workers directly involved with victims, but all the way up to owners, directors and senior managers, who allowed a culture of abuse to exist. We welcome the outcome of the court process. It sends a very clear message that abuse of any kind against vulnerable people - whether as an individual or as a result of an institutionalised culture - will not be tolerated. Those who commit such crimes will be thoroughly investigated and brought before the courts to face justice. The whole investigation team's thoughts are with the victims and their families. I hope now that they can have some closure after those involved have been brought to justice."

Det Ch Insp Sheon SturlandDevon and Cornwall Police

Thirteen convicted of 'organised and systemic abuse' of care home residents

Press Association

Thirteen directors, managers and staff at two care homes have been convicted of imprisoning disabled adults in empty rooms to punish or control them, it can be reported.

An abusive culture developed in which vulnerable residents were left alone for hours on end with little food or water by managers and staff at the homes in Devon.

Last year, 24 defendants were prosecuted during four trials at Bristol Crown Court and proceedings concluded on Wednesday when the Crown offered no evidence against the final two accused.

It is thought to be the first time directors have been prosecuted alongside staff. A total of 13 people were convicted of the "organised and systemic abuse" of disabled residents at the Vielstone care home in Bideford, and Gatooma, in Holsworthy, in 2010 and 2011.

They included co-director Jolyon Marshall, 42, his wife Rachel, 32, and several managers. Paul Hewitt, 71, the founder of Atlas Project Team, was convicted of a health and safety offence.

'Punishment room' care homes: Founder convicted of health and safety breaches

Jon Kay

BBC News

The founder of care homes in Devon which had 12 members keeping vulnerable residents in "punishment rooms" has escaped conviction for false imprisonment offences but has been convicted of breaking health and safety laws.

Vielstone and its sister home, Gatooma, near Holsworthy, which were run by now defunct Atlas Project Team, cared for people with severe learning disabilities.

Vielstone
BBC

A series of trials at Bristol Crown Court - which can now be reported - heard that residents at the homes were routinely punished by being held in cold and bare isolation rooms without food, heating or even a toilet, sometimes overnight.

Vielstone's manager, 42-year-old Jolyon Marshall, has been jailed for 28 months for conspiracy to falsely imprison and perverting the course of justice.

Eleven other staff members have either pleaded guilty or been found guilty of charges relating to false imprisonment at Vielstone and Gatooma. They were given suspended sentences or conditional discharges.

Gatooma
BBC

Paul Hewitt, 71, from Teignmouth, who founded Atlas Project Team, had been the company's "guiding force", the court heard. He was cleared of false imprisonment, but was fined £12,500 for breaking health and safety laws. He is appealing against his conviction.

The two homes - which charged up to £4,000 per resident every week - have been closed since the allegations first came to light five years ago.

Dog dies in cliff fall at North Cliffs near Portreath

Cornwall Live

A dog owner has been left distraught after their beloved pet fell off a cliff and died.

BreakingCare home manager jailed and staff convicted of keeping residents in 'punishment rooms'

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

The manager of a care home in Devon has been jailed and staff members convicted of keeping vulnerable residents in "punishment rooms".

Vielstone
BBC

Vielstone and its sister home, Gatooma, near Holsworthy, which were run by now defunct Atlas Project Team, cared for people with severe learning disabilities.

Forty-two-year-old Jolyon Marshall ran Vielstone, near Bideford. He has been jailed for 28 months for conspiracy to false imprison and perverting the course of justice.

A series of trials at Bristol Crown Court, which can only now be fully reported, heard how vulnerable residents were locked up in the barren, cold rooms with no facilities on hundreds of occasions in 2010 and 2011.

Eleven other staff members have either pleaded guilty or been found guilty of charges relating to false imprisonment at Vielstone and its sister home, Gatooma, near Holsworthy. They were given suspended sentences or conditional discharges.

What are the biggest election issues in the South West?

Martyn Oates

BBC South West Political Editor

HPV vaccine: Mother pays £500 to have sons immunised

Victoria Gould

BBC News Online

A mum-of-two who wants boys to receive a vaccine currently only given to girls to protect against cancer has paid more than £500 to have both her sons immunised, she says.

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) jab is offered to teenage girls in the UK to protect against cervical cancer.

HPV vaccine. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

Dr Kirsty Bonney, from Devon, said she made the decision after working on a chemotherapy unit where she looked after two young men with HPV-related throat cancers. She paid £540 for her 13-year-old and 11-year-old boys to be immunised.

She said she wanted to see boys "equally protected" with the HPV vaccine rather than risk cancer in later life.

She said: "[The jab] is certainly not cheap but the cost of that compared to the thought of them getting a throat cancer puts it into perspective."

However, Public Health England said boys were already protected, with about 85% of eligible girls fully immunised, which "helps to prevent the spread of the disease in girls and boys."

Severe disruption: M5 Devon southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Devon southbound severe disruption, between J27 for A361 and J28 for A373.

M5 Devon - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 southbound between J27, A361 (Tiverton) and J28, A373 (Cullompton), because of a vehicle fire.

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

High tide times for the region

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

If you're planning a trip to the coast or seaside, here are the next high water times around Devon and Cornwall.

Tides
BBC

We'll have the latest forecast on BBC Spotlight at 13:30.

Girl groomer with axe, balaclava and duct tape hidden in car jailed

Patrick Brezovsky
Devon and Cornwall Police

A man who had an axe in his car in which he arranged to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex has been jailed.

Patrick Brezovsky had arranged to meet the girl at Exeter bus station after sending her Facebook messages, but was intercepted by police.

The 23-year-old parking attendant, of Canon Way, Exeter, also had a balaclava, duct tape, ladies' tights and CS spray in the car, Exeter Crown Court heard. He admitted six offences and was jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Brezovsky pleaded guilty to meeting a child after grooming and five offences of possessing bladed articles or prohibited weapons.

The court heard how he made contact with the girl on 24 November through Facebook. She told him she was bullied, depressed and self-harming, but he flattered her and arranged to meet her that night for sex.