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Summary

  1. Company director bludgeoned wife to death at Devon farmhouse
  2. Autistic boy finds Kinder Egg shark after eight month hunt
  3. Devon rugby player talks about battling depression in bid to help others
  4. Eight people, including four children, rescued from mud
  5. People 'urged to report anti-social behaviour rather than post about it on social media'
  6. Concerns over people struggling to pay rent as 20,000 people helped in SW in one year
  7. Updates on Friday 25 August 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 Tuesday 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.

Businessman killed his wife to end 'grubby situation'

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Businessman Michael Beck, who killed his wife before taking his own life, wrote to his sister Elizabeth and her husband Hugo Peel shortly before his death.

The letter said: "By the time you read this I will have killed Nicola and killed myself. It seems appropriate that such a grubby situation ends in such a grubby way."

Mr Beck wrote he had "spent my entire life fighting over money and cannot cope any more".

He said: "Above all I want you to ensure that my will is carried out to the letter. I want you to be utterly ruthless, merciless and heartless."

The inquest in Exeter heard Mrs Beck died from blows to the head at the couple's farmhouse in Dunkeswell. Mr Beck was found hanged in a barn.

MP wants officials to sink ghost-gear licence plans

BBC Spotlight

Cornish MP and DEFRA minister George Eustice says he'll ask the Marine Management Organisation to look again at plans to force divers who remove old fishing nets from the sea bed to pay for a licence.

Seal
BBC

So-called "ghost gear" is becoming an increasing problem in UK waters.

And the Camborne and Redruth MP says it's time for a rethink.

Rapping Tavy teacher tops a thousand thank yous

John Danks, BBC Spotlight

Rapping teacher Andrew Bruff says he has now received more than 1,000 thank yous from students he helped with their GCSEs.

Andrew Bruff
BBC

"It's amazing," said Mr Bruff, 35, from Tavistock, who makes videos using rap lyrics to teach English.

"It's nice to be thanked by students and teachers and parents for my efforts online," he said.

If you want to hear Mr Bruff rapping over a Stormzy track, click here and there's more from the headmaster of rap on BBC Spotlight at 18:30.

'Only cashpoint in UK' to raise thousands for charity

BBC Radio Devon

A Devon post office has raised thousands of pounds for local charities after installing a cash machine and giving a donation for every transaction.

Ashburton post office gives 2p out of the 6p it makes per sale - it has raised £2,000 in the last year which has been matched by local company Glendinnings, to make a total of £4,000.

The sub post master Stuart Rogers believes they are the only cashpoint - out of 60,000 in the UK - to be raising money for charity in this way, and says it benefits everybody.

Coroner calls for road safety improvements after 91-year-old woman dies during 'freakish' weather conditions

Devon Live

A coroner has called for road safety improvements after a 91-year-old woman died after a crash in “freakish” weather conditions.

Dry and bright with some warm sunny spells

BBC Weather

Friday will be a dry day across Devon and Cornwall with some sunny spells for all parts, despite the skies clouding over at times.

With light winds it will feel pleasantly warm in the sunshine.

The maximum temperature will be 20C (68F).

Weather
BBC

Severe accident: A386 Devon both ways

BBC News Travel

A386 Devon both ways severe accident, between Station Road and Bal Lane.

A386 Devon - A386 blocked and very slow traffic in both directions between the Station Road junction in Shortacombe and the Bal Lane junction in Mary Tavy, because of an accident involving a car and motorcycle.

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

Hay bales on fire

BBC Radio Cornwall

A hay baler and 25 large hay bales caught fire near St Erth in west Cornwall.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said one engine and a crew of six dealt with the blaze on Conker Lane, St Erth at about 15:30.

The fire follows another baler fire in a field near Tregony on the Roseland last night.

Why are small metal canisters being found along Devon roads?

Devon Live

Small metal canisters have been found in a number of Devon roads as well as in fields and back alleys.

Firefighters save sinking fishing boat at Millbrook Lake

BBC Radio Cornwall

A fishing boat that was sinking on Milbrook Lake near Torpoint has been pumped out by firefighters.

Millbrook
Google

Fuel and oil stored in the vessel was threatening to pollute the lake, but was pumped out with the help of a tug which transferred firefighters and the equipment to the stricken vessel.

The fire service says 50,000 litres of water have been removed to prevent it sinking.

Rail delays over the bank holiday weekend

BBC Radio Devon

If you're planning a trip to London this weekend, rail companies are warning passengers that there are major engineering works affecting several lines.

Operators have warned passengers to expect delays, as services between London, the North West and Scotland are cancelled and five of London's biggest stations face disruption.

Teacher inspired to make rap videos for YouTube because education system was not 'fair'

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

A rapping teacher who left his job in Plymouth to create rap videos for YouTube said he wanted to help students because he didn't think the current education system was "fair".

Andrew Bruff, known as Mr Bruff online, said: "This year I have had seven million views and so I thought it was worth the risk of leaving.

"I've had about a thousand messages from GCSE students and it definitely charges my batteries for next year."

Andrew Bruff
PA

He said rapping "which I've always loved", helped teaching because "rap is very easy to memorise".

"I can remember pop songs from when I was 11 years old and so putting quotations from novels to music means you can remember it very easily.

"I've always loved hip hop, and am intrigued by how we can memorise song lyrics so easily.

"It's not fair that the quality of your education depends on your teacher, the area you live in, or whether you have rich parents who can afford expensive revision guides and tutors," he said.

One in 11 in South West admit taking drugs - one of highest rates in UK

Devon Live

One in 11 people in the South West admitted to taking illegal drugs last year, one of the highest rates in the country.

Stuck in mud boat crew rescued in Kingsbridge estuary drama

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Coastguards have rescued eight people including a three-year-old girl who got stranded on mud flats near Kingsbridge.

Boat
Gavin Angliss/Prawle Point Coastguard

Teignmouth Coastguard Mud Rescue used a sled to bring the stranded victims ashore after the engine on their boat failed as the tide was going out.

Rescue
Gavin Angliss/Prawle Point Coastguard

Their colleagues from Prawle Point Coastguard Rescue helped in the sticky operation on Thursday which brought all back safe and sound.

Rescue
Gavin Angliss/Prawle Point Coastguard

And Kingsbridge fire crew were on hand to give the muddy crew a hose down.

Prawle Point Coastguard Team said: "The first people recovered off that boat included a three-year-old girl.

"The rescue took place over several hours and it was important to get the children off first due to the weather and lack of fluids on board."

Wealthy farmhouse owner bludgeoned wife to death

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

An inquest has heard how a wealthy company director bludgeoned his wife to death at their secluded million-pound Devon home before taking his own life.

The bodies of 62-year-old Michael Beck and his wife Nicola, 52, were found at their home near Dunkeswell last January.

The inquest in Exeter heard Mrs Beck was found in bed and she died from blows to the head.

Home Office Pathologist, Dr Deborah Cook, concluded they could have come from a heavy tool and the "degree of force used would have been high".

Mr Beck was found hanged in a barn.

The couple split their time between their Devon farmhouse and a property in Chelsea, London.

Farmhouse in Dunkeswell
BBC

BreakingDevon farmhouse woman was 'unlawfully killed'

The coroner has concluded a woman was unlawfully killed at a farmhouse in Devon and her husband took his own life.

When Nicola Beck and her husband Michael were both found dead in January police said the deaths were being treated as a "domestic related murder and suicide".

View more on twitter

Autistic Plymouth boy finds Kinder Egg shark after eight month hunt

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

A family is "delighted" that their autistic son has finally opened a Kinder Egg containing a shark toy after an eight-month quest to find one.

"Shark-mad" Jayden Lakey, aged six, from Plymouth, said "wow" as he opened the egg, which he has been looking for since Christmas.

The family's original request to buy one directly from Ferrero, which owns Kinder Egg, was turned down.

But after a Facebook appeal Ferrero said it had one and would ensure "its safe passage to Plymouth".

Kinder Egg shark hunt boy success

Minister plans 'rethink' on ghost gear

BBC Radio Cornwall

A Cornish MP and government minister says he'll ask the Marine Management Organisation to look again at plans to force divers who remove old fishing nets and other litter from the sea bed to pay for a licence.

The so-called "ghost gear" left in the sea is becoming an increasing problem in UK waters.

But after concerns were raised that it could mean marine litter being left in the sea Camborne and Redruth MP George Eustice says it could be time for a rethink.

Diver dismantling ghost gear
BBC

Three purple gallinule chicks hatch in Cornwall

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Three purple gallinule chicks have hatched at Paradise Park in Hayle, Cornwall.

Director Alison Hales said: “These birds have remarkably large feet.

"They are members of the rail family, their other name being the purple swamphen, which gives a clue to where their long toes prove useful.

Chicks
Paradise Park

"They are able to walk on floating vegetation, and clamber across reeds and swamps. They also use their feet to grab young shoots and bring the food towards their beak.

“They are a couple of weeks old and are very active little chicks. They can often be seen following their parents around begging for bits of food, then snuggling under their feathers to keep warm.”

Police appeal for missing woman, 71

Reminder to check tide times after nine people rescued

Hannah Stacey

BBC Radio Cornwall

Newquay RNLI is reminding people to check tide times ahead of the busy bank holiday weekend.

It's after nine people including five children, aged between seven and 11, had to be rescued after getting trapped in a cove.

The charity's released more details of the rescue operation earlier this week.

Porthcothan.
Google

The two families got cut off by the rising tide in a small cove south of the main beach at Porthcothan.

The rescue involved the Newquay lifeboat, coastguard volunteers from Padstow and lifeguards from the beach.

The two families were taken to safety by the inshore lifeboats. With decent weather forecast for the weekend people are being urged to check the tide times and remain vigilant if they're heading to the coast.

Travel latest: Accident cleared on M5

BBC News Travel

Devon

  • Tiverton at junction J27 on the M5 accident cleared
  • A38 Haldon Hill broken down vehicle removed
  • The Sidmouth Regatta is taking place, traffic is busy in the town centre
  • In Salcombe on Fore Street near Cliff Road we've got reports there's an accident
  • Traffic's moving well on the Tamar Bridge and there's a 10 minute wait with three ferries running at Torpoint
  • In Dartmouth the South Embankment and a number of other roads in the town centre are closed to traffic for the regatta

Cornwall

  • On the A30 near Indian Queens heading westbound there's an accident, traffic is slow moving
  • On the A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross there's heavy traffic in both directions
  • The A38 from the Carkeel Roundabout is very slow moving westbound
  • In Newquay there's very slow traffic on the A392 Trevemper Road between the A3075 and North Way
  • Near Penryn there's slow traffic on the A39 and the A393 approaching the Treluswell Roundabout due to roadworks
  • On the A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross there's slow traffic in both directions due to an accident

Football: Former Exeter defender Ampadu gets Wales call-up

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Former Exeter City defender Ethan Ampadu has been included in a senior Wales squad for the first time, for the 2018 World Cup qualifying double-header against Austria and Moldova.

The 16-year-old joined Chelsea from Exeter this summer, though the Devon side are still waiting to hear what fee they will receive for the player.

Ethan Ampadu
Rex Features

Ampadu made 13 appearances for Paul Tisdale's side in League Two last season.

Travel update: Slow traffic on the A30

BBC News Travel

On the A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross there's slow traffic in both directions.

Inquest into double deaths at Devon farmhouse

BBC Spotlight reporter Hamish Marshall is in Exeter for the inquest into the deaths of Michael and Nicola Beck.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Eight rescued from Kingsbridge mudflats

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Here are some pictures of the rescue at Kingsbridge yesterday, where eight people, including four children, were rescued by specialised teams after their boat ran aground.

View more on twitter

Police appeal over Mutley assault

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Police have released pictures of a man they want to speak with in connection to an assault in the Mutley area of Plymouth.

Police say a 28-year-old man was the victim of an unprovoked assault on Mutley Plain around 03:30 BST on Saturday 15 July.

The victim was punched in the face and the assault continued when he was on the ground.

The victim ended up needing treatment in hospital for a fractured cheekbone and jaw.

Police would like to identify the man pictured as part of their investigations.

CCTV footage
Devon and Cornwall Police

Driver spotted heading the wrong way down the A38

Plymouth Herald

A car was reportedly spotted yesterday driving the wrong way on the A38. A witness, travelling to Exeter on August 24, called police after she spotted a silver car driving in the same direction, but on the other side of the carriageway.

Rapping teacher 'overwhelmed' by praise from hundreds of students

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Hundreds of students have praised an English teacher on social media thanking him for helping them get top grades.

Andrew Bruff, known as Mr Bruff online, from Tavistock, Devon, runs a YouTube channel of him rapping lessons.

Mr Bruff
YouTube

"I am overwhelmed by today's messages of thanks," he said.

The 35-year-old's YouTube channel proved so successful that two years ago he left his teaching role at Lipson Academy in Plymouth.

He now travels the country as a consultant on exam success as well as making a YouTube video almost every day.

Sat navs send coaches and motorhomes down narrow lanes

Cornwall Live

Bus and motorhome drivers heading to the Eden Project using sat navs are being sent down narrow hilly lanes.

Mugford opens up on depression battle

BBC Spotlight

Former Sale Sharks fly-half Dan Mugford, now at Plymouth Albion, tells BBC Spotlight about his battle with depression...

Dan Mugford: Former Sale Sharks fly-half opens up on depression battle

Eight people rescued from mud

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Eight people, including four children, have been rescued from mud after a boat they were in ran aground.

Falmouth Coastguard said the boat suffered engine failure just before 13:00 BST on Thursday, and became stuck in the mud at Kingsbridge.

Specialist teams from Prawle Point and Teignmouth coastguard rescued the group, in an operation which took about four-and-a-half hours.

A spokesman said rescue teams would usually wait for the incoming tide to free the boat, but there were concerns for some of the children on-board.

He said people should check tide times before setting off in boats.

Campaign to clear plastic from the sea

BBC Spotlight

A week-long campaign called Fish 4 Plastics starts in Torbay today to encourage people to clear as much plastic from the sea as possible.

Plastic
BBC

Two skips are being placed in the marina car parks in both Torquay and Brixham.

All the plastic gathered will be made into two fish sculptures, one for each harbour.

GCSE students thank Devon's rapping YouTube teacher

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

An English teacher who raps lessons on YouTube has received hundreds of messages from GCSE students thanking him for helping them get top grades.

Andrew Bruff, known as Mr Bruff online, from Tavistock, Devon, has been running a channel for five years.

Mr Bruff
PA

His most popular video was rapping a lesson over Stormzy's grime hit Big For Your Boots.

"Your videos have helped me so much in getting a grade 9 in English lit," said one student on Twitter.

Holiday getaway to 'begin at lunchtime'

BBC Radio Devon

Drivers are being warned to expect one of the busiest days of the year on the roads.

The AA is estimating about 15 million motorists will be making journeys over the August Bank Holiday weekend and it says the big getaway will start from lunchtime today.

The organisation says the M5 through Somerset was one of the traffic hotspots this time last year and it's urging us to plan an alternative route in case of delays and carry plenty of water.

Motorway
Getty Images

Funding boost for brain tumour training and research

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

An initiative led by Plymouth University designed to train the next generation of brain tumour researchers has received funding of almost €3.7m (about £3.4m).

The project will focus on training early-stage researchers in the early diagnosis of brain tumours.

The funding has come from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme.

Plymouth University
BBC

The four-year project will also focus on gliomas - a range of devastating and progressive brain tumours affecting around 25,000 people each year in Europe, and responsible for the majority of deaths from primary brain tumours.

The potential for this project to boost research into brain tumours is significant, the university said.

Currently in the UK about 1% of the total research spend on cancer is spent on brain tumours, yet they are the biggest cancer killer of children and young people under the age of 40.

People 'struggle' to pay rent as '20,000 people helped'

BBC Radio Devon

Citizens Advice in the South West says it has grave concerns that more people are struggling to pay rent.

In the past year offices in the region helped about 20,000 people cope with housing issues.

Modbry
BBC

Of these, more than 4,000 were cases of people at risk of homelessness. The organisation says putting a roof over your head is becoming less affordable.

The government says it's implementing the Homelessness Reduction Act to ensure more people get the help they need earlier.