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Summary

  1. Man in hospital after finger found by railway tracks
  2. Woman questioned after body found in Truro
  3. Hospital porters plan further strike action in shifts row
  4. Councillors vote to fight any axing of Royal Navy ships
  5. Safety audit on new £8m Bodmin road scheme
  6. Cornwall and Devon among 'best value destinations'
  7. Updates on Wednesday 25 October 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Andrew Segal

Local Live

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.

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

Misspelt Victoria Cross sailor's memorial to be replaced

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

A memorial to a Devon naval hero and Victoria Cross winner is being replaced after it was installed with a spelling mistake.

The plaque is to Torquay-born Lt Cdr Arthur Leyland Harrison, who was killed in action in April 1918.

He died aged 32 in the Zeebrugge Raid - an operation to destroy a German U-boat base in the Belgian port.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his part in the raid - an operation which saw eight men receive the bravery award.

Arthur Harrison plaque
BBC

Although the plaque says it was was presented "on the occasion of the Millennium St George's Day" in April 2000, it was only put in position on Roundham Head in Paignton about six months ago.

However, the memorial has the word "killed" spelt with three "L"s.

John Soanes, chairman of the Royal Naval Association, which commissioned the tribute, said: "As the 100th anniversary of the raid was fast approaching, we decided to we would start to raise funds for a new memorial and surround."

Elsie Scully-Hicks: Murder accused denies injuring baby

BBC Wales News

A man from Cornwall accused of murdering his adopted 18-month-old daughter has denied deliberately injuring her.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, of Delabole, denies inflicting catastrophic injuries on Elsie Scully-Hicks at their Cardiff home.

She died on 29 May 2016. Six months before her death she was treated for two breaks in her right leg.

When asked by defence barrister Robert O'Sullivan if he deliberately caused those injures he responded: "No."

He said he witnessed her fall in the kitchen and immediately went to console her.

The trial continues.

Elsie Scully-Hicks
Family Photograph

Cancelled trips coach firm owner declared bankrupt

David George

BBC Spotlight

The owner of Cornish coach company has been formally declared bankrupt.

David Hamilton's company, Hamilton's Coach Holidays, based in St Austell, closed down in September, leaving many holiday makers without their holidays and out of pocket.

A trip on the Danube was cancelled with just two days' notice.

In a letter to customers, Mr Hamilton blamed Brexit, his divorce and terror attacks for his financial troubles.

The bankruptcy order is dated 21 September.

Hamilton's customers will have to apply along with other creditors to try to get their money back.

Hamilton's Coach Holidays. Pic: Google
Google

MP labels lifeboats self-launch petition 'irresponsible'

South East Cornwall Sheryll Murray has labelled organisers of a petition in Plymouth which calls for the right for lifeboats to self-launch instead of receiving requests from coastguards as "irresponsible".

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, Conservative Mrs Murray said the petition called for lifeboats to be launched immediately if fishing boats were overdue.

She said such a move would put "valiant lifeboats crews in peril if they don't know where they're going" because they mightn't have any location information in advance.

Mrs Murray added that she wanted small fishing vessels to have locator beacons and called on Prime Minister Theresa May to make grants available for such equipment.

View more on twitter

Weather: A mostly dry but cloudy Thursday

BBC Weather

Light rain will push across the counties and die out as it moves further east, but it will stay quite cloudy everywhere with mist and fog over hills and western coasts.

Minimum temperature: 11C (52F).

Weather
BBC

Thursday will be mostly dry but rather cloudy. Brighter spells will develop in the east of the region later in the day when it will feel warm with light winds.

Maximum temperature: 17C (63F).

Wiltshire man charged with 30 child sex offences

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A man from Wiltshire has been charged with 30 sexual offences against children alleged to have occurred in Plymouth over nearly 20 years, police say.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the 52-year-old was alleged to have committed acts including rape and indecent assault on boy, a sexual assault on a female and abusing a position of trust between 1991 and 2009 in and around the city.

He is due to appear before magistrates in the city on Thursday.

Call 'to work together' to fight axing of Royal Navy ships

BBC Radio Devon

Councillors from all parties want "everybody to work together" to fight any proposals to axe Devonport-based ships and 1,000 Royal Marines, the leader of the city council's Labour opposition group says.

Plymouth's councillors voted unanimously last night to fight any proposals to cut Royal Navy ships HMS Albion (pictured) and HMS Bulwark.

HMS Albion
BBC

BBC Newsnight reported earlier this month that the navy could lose its ability to assault enemy-held beaches under plans being considered in the Ministry of Defence for the two Plymouth-based specialist landing ships to be taken out of service.

The government dismissed the reports as "speculation and scaremongering" but city councillors on all sides of the Conservative and UKIP-run authority said they were taking the threat seriously.

Labour leader Tudor Evans said: "The DNA of Plymouth is the dockyard, the navy and Argyle [football club]. If you're threatening the dockyard or the navy, you're threatening the city, and we won't have that."

Clarity on the ship's future is expected by Christmas.

Cornwall a holiday spot because 'it gives value for money'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Cornwall, Daymer Bay. Pic: Andrew Segal
Andrew Segal

A major international travel guide has named Cornwall as one of the best vacation places in the UK for "value for money", which should not be mistaken for the county being cheap, staff say.

Lonely Planet said it was encouraging oversees visitors to benefit from current exchange rates, but also suggested it was a good place for Brits to holiday at home.

Given that some hotels can charge up to hundreds of pounds a night, James Smart, from Lonely Planet, explains that Cornwall was listed because "you can spend a lot of money and still get good value".

He said: "It isn't about places that are cheap, it's about places that are good value, places where you can get great experiences."

Mum convinced daughter, 4, Exeter was London on day trip

Devon Live

Forgiveness has been to a Plymouth mum who convinced her daughter she had taken her on a day trip to London, even though they had only made it to Exeter.

Exeter's Bridge Road closing overnight

BBC Radio Devon

One of Exeter's busiest roads will be closed once again tonight.

The A379 Bridge Road at Countess Wear will be shut between 20:30 and 05:30 on Thursday as part of ongoing works.

It was to paint road markings and remove temporary traffic lights at the junction with Glasshouse Lane, highways bosses said.

A diversion will be in place via Topsham Road and Alphington.

Helston to mark 50 years of radio pioneer's town twinning

BBC Radio Cornwall

View more on twitter

Helston is preparing to mark 50 years since it twinned with the small Italian town of Sasso Marconi in 1968.

It was the home of Guglielmo Marconi, who pioneered radio and, in 1901, sent the first transatlantic radio message from cliffs above Poldhu Cove on The Lizard, marking the beginning of modern communications.

Post Office vacancies 'do not mean branches under threat'

BBC Radio Devon

Nine vacancies across Devon do not necessarily mean branches are under threat, the Post Office says.

Branches in Bideford, Goodrington, Malborough and Torre are among those currently without a permanent postmaster.

Proposals have been put forward for the Torre branch to move into a nearby McColl's store.

Post Office
BBC

The Post Office said: "As the UK's largest retailer, there are a wide variety of reasons for Post Office vacancies, including: bereavement, ill health, retirement, divorce.

"Vacancies are advertised on our website. It does not mean that these branches are at risk. They are business opportunities."

Victorian hospital 'may be beyond repair in eight months'

BBC Spotlight

A Victorian hospital singled out for its architectural significance could soon be beyond repair if funding can't be found within the next eight months, a charity says.

Winsford Cottage Hospital
BBC

An appeal to save Winsford Cottage Hospital in Devon is halfway to reaching its £177,000 target to take on the work.

But the charity behind it, the Landmark Trust, warned that if the total amount was not raised and work did not start soon it would be too late.

The grade two listed building in Halwill, near Beaworthy, has been on the Heritage at Risk register since 2009.

Trust Director Dr Anna Keay said: "We need to get in and arrest it [further decline].

"If it gets to another year [without work], it would be very, very bad news for this building."

Water supply problems in Truro

Sunny autumn afternoon across Devon and Cornwall

BBC Weather Watchers

St Ives
Beach Seeker
St Ives
Whipsiderry Beach
Jules
Dozens of snails above Whipsiderry Beach
Shaldon
MoonsHine
Shaldon

Film stars Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw filming in Devon

BBC Radio Devon

Hollywood star Hugh Grant, and James Bond and Paddington actor Ben Whishaw have been in north Devon, filming a new BBC mini series.

They've been spotted at Saunton Sands and Chittlehampton for production of A Very English Scandal, which looks at the life of North Devon's former MP and Liberal Leader Jeremy Thrope.

Mark, landlord of the Bell Inn in Chittlehampton, said everything stopped for filming yesterday.

He said: "We had our little moment in the sun yesterday. I think everyone really enjoyed it."

Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw
BBC

Severe accident: A379 Devon both ways

BBC News Travel

A379 Devon both ways severe accident, around Pomphlett Road.

A379 Devon - A379 Billacombe Road in Plymouth closed and very slow traffic around the Pomphlett Road junction, because of an accident involving cyclist and car.

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

Golden Globe Race 2018 now in France 'because of Brexit'

Cornwall Live

Brexit is being blamed after it was announced a major yacht race will be moved to France.

Bloodhound SSC: Rocket car gears up for tests in Newquay

View more on twitter

The supersonic Bloodhound car is due to make its first public runs on Thursday at Cornwall Airport Newquay.

The team behind the British-built rocket car is aiming to break the land speed record and reach 1,000 mph.

We caught up with the 85-year-old rocket scientist behind the design of the car which he hopes will break the "ultimate record" earlier this week.

You can see what Ron Ayers had to say about the project on BBC Inside Out South West.

Elsie Scully-Hicks: Murder accused denies swearing at baby

BBC Wales News

A man from Cornwall accused of murdering his adopted 18-month-old daughter has denied using offensive language at her.

Matthew Scully-Hicks (pictured), 31, of Delabole, denies inflicting catastrophic injuries on Elsie Scully-Hicks at their Cardiff home.

She died on 29 May 2016. Neighbour James Bevan has previously told Cardiff Crown Court he heard the defendant shout offensive words at the infant.

Matthew Scully-Hicks said: "No, I would never say that."

The trial continues.

Matthew Scully-Hicks. Pic: Wales News Service
Wales News Service

Misspelt Victoria Cross sailor's memorial to be corrected

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

Arthur Leyland Harrison plaque
BBC

A memorial to a Devon naval hero and Victoria Cross recipient is being corrected after it was made with a spelling mistake.

The plaque, said to be presented in 2000 and currently erected on Roundham Head in Paignton, is to Lt Cdr Arthur Leyland Harrison, who was killed in action in April 1918.

The memorial has the word "killed" spelt with three "L"s.

He was born in Torquay and died in the Zeebrugge Raid at the age of 32 during an operation to destroy a German U-boat base in the Belgian port.

He was one of eight men awarded the Victoria Cross for their part in the raid.

Barrow returns to diving as coach

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Olympic diver Sarah Barrow is returning to the sport as a coach in Ireland.

The 29-year-old former European 10m individual and synchro champion had ended her 16-year career and was planning to work in the media in London.

But after meeting with Irish coaches she got the job of coach and the diving programme manager at Ireland's National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.

Sarah Barrow
Reuters

"You never get that same buzz that you did in competition and training, but this is probably the closest to it," she told BBC Sport.

"As soon as I stepped back into the diving pool it felt completely normal again and right.

"I'm excited to go into work now, whereas before it was just a thing to do."

Woman questioned after body found in Truro

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A woman has been questioned by police in connection with the discovery of a body in Truro nearly a month ago.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the body of a 29-year-old man from the city was discovered at a property on Sparnock Grove on 27 September.

They said the 27-year-old woman was questioned in connection with this death and released under investigation.

Officers said: "Police enquiries continue and we await the results of toxicology prior to a file being prepared for the coroner."

Cornwall travel: B3274 near Winnards Perch partially blocked

BBC Radio Cornwall

The B3274 near Winnards Perch is partially blocked due to an accident.

Baby saved by a Tesco bag is now a bubbly two-year-old

Plymouth Herald

A little girl born so premature doctors had to wrap her in a Tesco bag to keep her alive is now a bright and bubbly toddler.

Dormice claim halts work on housing scheme site

BBC Radio Devon

Dormouse. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

Contractors have been prevented from starting to clear a site in Devon after being confronted by villagers claiming the work poses a threat to dormice in the area.

Planning permission has been granted for a new housing scheme in Brimhay, in Dartington, and, earlier this week, contractors arrived on site to start felling trees.

However, a planning enforcement officer was called in and a temporary stop notice put on the work.

South Hams District Council said the notice was issued "to allow time for further investigation" to ascertain if the rare creatures were in the area.

It added that if the notice was "found to no be longer be necessary, it will be lifted".

Police crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Exeter

BBC Radio Devon

Police in Exeter say they're cracking down on anti-social behaviour in the Beacon Heath area.

Officers said in the last week there had been reports of youths acting suspiciously, damaging cars and garages, and deliberately running out in front of buses.

Patrols in the area have increased to try to deter further problems and reassure the public.

Elsie Scully-Hicks: Murder accused 'always wanted children'

BBC Wales News

Elsie Scully-Hicks
Family Photograph

A man from Cornwall accused of murdering his adopted 18-month-old daughter has told a jury he always wanted to have two children.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, of Delabole, denies inflicting catastrophic injuries on Elsie Scully-Hicks at their Cardiff home.

She died in hospital on 29 May 2016. Cardiff Crown Court has previously heard her injuries were "very typical" of babies who have been shaken.

Matthew Scully-Hicks said: "I always saw a family with two children."

He said he and his husband, Craig, talked about having a family "pretty early on", adding: "We were both of the mind we wanted children. It's something we could agree on very early on."

The trial continues.

Weather: Cloud returning and becoming duller

BBC Weather

Cloudier and duller conditions will return from the south later this afternoon. Winds will be light and variable.

Maximum temperature: 16C (61F).

Weather
BBC

It will stay cloudy overnight, with mist and fog over hills and southern coasts.

There will be patchy light rain or drizzle at first, but this will mostly die out later in the night. Winds will be light and southerly.

Minimum Temperature: 11C (52F).

Sat nav fail leaves huge lorry stuck in St Dennis

Cornwall Live

A huge lorry has become stuck in a Cornish village – the second sat nav fail in Cornwall on the same day after a coach got stuck in St Ives.

Charity calls for sea protection laws to remain after Brexit

BBC Radio Cornwall

A Cornwall wildlife charity is calling on the government to keep EU legislation protecting the seas after Brexit.

Sea life. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

Cornwall Wildlife Trust said current laws safeguarded fish stocks, protected marine environments and guarded against pollution.

It said it wanted them kept to continue protecting the oceans, and the government must act decisively to do so.

Environment Minister Michael Gove pledged in June that any Brexit changes to the UK's wildlife laws would increase - not reduce - environmental protection.

Torquay are 'not rubbish anymore'

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Torquay United manager Gary Owers says his side are 'not rubbish anymore' after registering their first away win of the season in the National League.

The Gulls won 1-0 at Ebbsfleet after Jamie Reid's second goal in two games.

The victory sees second-from-bottom Torquay cut the gap to 20th place to four points.

Torquay celebrate at Ebbsfleet
Rex Features

"We looked much more solid, much more organised, we dealt with dangerous situations and were still a threat at the other end," Owers told BBC Devon.

The Gulls have registered nine points from their past four league games, having taken four from the previous 13.

"We're tarred with this 'we're bottom of the league, we're rubbish'. Well, we're not rubbish anymore - we're getting there," added Owers, who took over on 13 September following the sacking of Kevin Nicholson.

'Junc-about' in Bodmin 'needs time to bed in'

BBC Radio Cornwall

A senior Cornwall Councillor has defended a new road network in Bodmin, urging local users to "give it time to bed in".

A safety audit is being carried out on Bodmin's new £8m road scheme after criticism of it being dangerous. An investigation has been started following collisions along the main road through the town.

Bodmin
BBC

There's confusion over whether one area is a junction or a roundabout because there are no signs and the road markings are circular. It's been nicknamed a "junc-about" by some residents.

Cornwall Council said it was in line with national policy.

Geoff Brown, who is responsible for transport in the county, added: "It is a very different sort of scheme.

"It's been worked on over three or four years, in conjunction with residents and the town council, who asked for a cycle-friendly, low-speed environment, and that's exactly what they've got."

BreakingMan in hospital after finger found by railway tracks

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A man has been taken to hospital after a severed finger was found by railway tracks in Torquay, police say.

British Transport Police said officers were called to the Riviera Way area at about 08:35 after it was discovered.

They said a male had been recently found injured and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Investigations were continuing, officers added.

British Transport Police
BBC

High tide times for the region

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.

Severe disruption: M5 Devon southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Devon southbound severe disruption, between J28 for A373 and J29 for A30 Exeter.

M5 Devon - One lane closed on M5 southbound between J28, A373 (Cullompton) and J29, A30 (Exeter), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

DVLA in clamping car tax crack-down

Motorists whose cars aren't taxed are being targeted in the South West today.

The DVLA is cracking down on the offence by clamping cars and charging £100 to release them.

Last year in Plymouth, about 1,200 drivers had cars or vans clamped.

Paper tax discs on cars were abolished in 2014 and figures released earlier this year by the DVLA showed there had been a significant rise in the number of untaxed vehicles nationwide - around 166% - since then.

Clamped car
BBC

Cleaner stole money raised for terminally ill boy

Plymouth Herald

A cleaner stole hundreds of pounds raised for a terminally ill Plymouth boy, a court has heard.