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Summary

  1. Eight injured in 'deliberate' hotel fire in North Devon
  2. Teenager due in court over Truro stabbing
  3. Arrest after two knifepoint robbery attempts outside shop
  4. Businessman 'horrified' at sexual offence allegations
  5. Gas leak in Ivybridge
  6. Man cautioned after school run mums block 'thieves'
  7. Call for prison for men and women to be built in Cornwall
  8. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday

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 Wednesday 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.

Model and ex-singer lied after doing 82mph on 70mph road

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A model and former singer who claimed someone she never met was driving when she was speeding was caught doing 82mph on the A30 near Launceston, a court heard.

Hannah Lewis was given a suspended jail sentence at Truro Crown Court after earlier admitting perverting the course of justice.

When she received notice of the offence in the post, she nominated a woman she had never met who lived in Nottingham, and also gave a false address for her, the court heard.

The woman only learned of it after a letter was sent to her actual address in Kent, at which point she contacted police.

Pop! Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images
Hannah Lewis (second left) was previously in a band called Pop!

Lewis continued to deny her involvement, but police used phone records to prove she was at the scene of the offence in February 2016.

Lewis, 38, from Ascot, Berkshire, was given an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £500 compensation to the woman she falsely named as the driver.

Sentencing, Judge Simon Carr said that Lewis had "attempted to frame somebody entirely innocent".

He added: "You then attempted to lie your way out of it."

Lewis, was in a group called Pop! (pictured) which had three top 40 hits in 2004 and 2005.

Breakdancing breaking down barriers

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Bringing disabled and able-bodied people together

Young adults with disabilities are being encouraged to socialise with their able-bodied peers.

The Pelican Project in Exeter was set up to help young disabled people feel less isolated after they leave full-time education.

It uses the arts to bring disabled people together with others to collaborate and create works of art.

Air passenger duty 'may be cut to support small airports'

BBC Politics

The government says it may look at cutting air passenger duty (APD) after Brexit to support smaller airports such as Newquay.

It follows a question in the Commons from the Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay, Steve Double, where he pointed that out that many flights from such airports were internal domestic trips, which meant people paid APD "on both legs of their journey".

Treasury Minister Mel Stride said he thought it was an "interesting idea" that the government could revisit if Brexit agreements with the EU allowed it to happen.

Newquay Airport
BBC

Mail Online to pay damages to teacher over Hopkins column

The Guardian

Mail Online, the sister website of the Daily Mail, has apologised and agreed to pay "substantial damages" to a teacher whom the Exeter-based columnist Katie Hopkins falsely accused of taking her class to a Donald Trump protest in Westminster.

Rescued seal pups tagged before return to sea

Three seal pups released back into the wild in Dorset after being found rescued have been photographed and tagged to allow the county wildlife trust to record future sightings.

The common seals - Kit, Enzo and Dodge - were cared for at the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton, Somerset, before being returned to the sea in Poole.

Seal pup. Pic: Julie Hatcher
Julie Hatcher

Two, named Enzo and Dodge, were rescued from Portland Harbour in August, while the third, Kit, was found across the border in south Devon.

All three were found severely underweight and had to learn to feed themselves and reach a weight of 35kg before being returned to the sea.

Volunteer marine warden Sarah Hodgson said: "Releasing the seals back into the wild all looking happy and healthy was a special moment.

"Being highly mobile animals, we don't know if they will choose to stay in Poole Harbour with the other resident seals, so it will be interesting to monitor their progress."

Inside a police helicopter: Enough room to stretch(er) out

View more on twitter

Exeter is one of 15 National Police Air Service bases providing air support to England and Wales' 43 police forces.

Prank phone warning after 'I'm dead' caller

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Police in Ivybridge have warned against people making prank phone calls to emergency services after a female kept saying: "I'm dead".

Officers said on Facebook that the ambulance service had told them that on Sunday they received "multiple calls" from phone kiosks in Harford Road by a female caller.

They said: "We deployed a unit to the area to search all the kiosks but no one was located. We then advised ambulance who stood down.

"Clearly this was prank calls. More importantly, this wasted police time and ambulance time. Both services are hugely busy and really don’t need to be attending prank calls."

Weather: Staying clear but also cold

BBC Weather

This evening and tonight will see clear periods and will become dry for many, as showers clear away to the west. But there will still be a cold breeze, and a frost forming widely inland.

Minimum temperature: 1C (34F).

Weather
BBC

Wednesday will see frost at first, then dry and sunny but cold. However, showers will continue to affect west Cornwall, occasionally heavy with a risk of hail.

Maximum temperature: 8C (46F).

Charles Howeson 'would not have risked work', trial told

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Charles Howeson
BBC

A prominent Plymouth businessman accused of historic sexual offences "would not have risked all that he worked for" by carrying out such acts, his defence barrister has told a court.

Sixty-eight-year-old former Royal Navy officer Charles Howeson denies 12 charges involving males dating from 1985 to 1994.

As he opened the defence's case at the trial in Bristol Crown Court, Daniel Janner QC said his client was a man of "great integrity, charm and popularity". He also recited a long list of appointments both in the public and private sector which Mr Howeson had taken up.

These included a chairmanship of First Great Western, regional chairman of Coutts Bank and chairman of the South West Strategic Health Authority.

His wife of 39 years and other family are also due to give evidence, as will a number of character witnesses.

The defence case is expected to run until the end of next week. The trial continues.

A395 closed overnight after tanker overturns

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

The A395 in Cornwall will be closed overnight for resurfacing after a gas tanker overturned on it, police say.

Emergency crews have been at the scene all day, between Kennards House and Pipers Pool, after being called after 09:00.

Callington Police said on Facebook that road engineers would "need to re-surface the road before it can be re-opened".

Officers added: "Please follow diversions, leave adequate extra time for your travels and take care."

View more on twitter

Man jailed for slicing partner's fingers with kitchen knife

A prodigious offender has been jailed for slicing his partner's hand with a kitchen knife.

Colin Lowndes, 47, of no fixed address but currently residing at Exeter Prison, had previously pleaded guilty to the charge of causing grievous bodily harm.

Truro Crown Court heard how he had been drinking heavily for more than 24 hours when he demanded to see his partner's phone at a house in Hayle.

When she refused, he followed her into the garden carrying a 5in (13cm) kitchen knife and pushed it against her side.

Truro Crown Court
BBC

To protect herself, she grabbed the blade and pulled it down, slicing three of her fingers that later needed 18 stitches.

Judge Simon Carr said Lowndes had been before the court 36 times for 164 offences, most for dishonesty but some also for public order offences.

He said: "Your abuse tends to be directed towards women."

Judge Carr said the behaviour of Lowndes had rendered his partner homeless as she had to move to a protective shelter.

He jailed Lowndes for 21 months.

Gas leak road in Ivybridge reopens

BBC Radio Devon

A road in Ivybridge has reopened after a gas leak, police say.

Harford Road was closed after emergency services were notified at about 15:00 of a truck crashing into a gas main.

People were asked to avoid the Papermill area as a result.

Police said on Facebook the road had reopened, adding: "Thank you for your patience and understanding."

New £15,000 sports activity wall for Budleigh Salterton

BBC Radio Devon

A brand new £15,000 sports activity wall is now up and running in Budleigh Salterton.

The wall, next to the football club on Greenway Lane, includes football goals, basketball and netball nets.

The money has come from local housing developers and has been organised by the town council, along with East Devon District Council.

Those behind the project said it aimed to encourage people in the community to get involved with playing sport and becoming more active.

Football: Plymouth sign Mannion on emergency loan

BBC Sport

Will Mannion
Getty Images

Will Mannion is set to become League One club Plymouth Argyle's sixth goalkeeper this season after signing on an emergency loan from Hull City.

The 19-year-old is set to make his debut on Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy fixture against Yeovil Town.

He will replace Norwich loanee Remi Matthews after he was injured against Portsmouth on Saturday.

First-choice goalkeeper Luke McCormick, Kyle Letheren, Michael Cooper and Robbert te Loeke are all injured.

Gas leak in Ivybridge

BBC Radio Devon

Ivybridge gas leak
BBC

People are being asked to avoid the Papermill area of Ivybridge because of a gas leak.

Emergency services were notified at about 15:00 to reports of a truck crashing into a gas main on Harford Road. Gas engineers and police are at the scene.

Police said no evacuation of nearby properties was required as there was no immediate danger to the public, despite the crash happening close to Ivybridge Community College.

Local officers said students would be diverted to leave the college another way, down Marshals Field.

Charles Howeson says 'no truth' in sexual offence charges

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Charles Howeson
BBC

The prominent Plymouth businessman Charles Howeson, who is accused of a series of historic sexual offences, has told a court these is no truth in the allegations.

The 68-year-old former Royal Navy officer began giving evidence at his trial in Bristol Crown Court this afternoon and denies 12 charges dating from 1985 to 1994.

When asked by his barrister, Daniel Janner QC, if he was "guilty of these offences", he replied: "No I am not."

He was then asked if he was attracted to men or boys. He answered "no" on both counts, adding that the allegations had left him "hurt and appalled" and there was no truth in any them.

Mr Howeson described a sailor who accused him of indecent assault whilst on board HMS Cleopatra in 1985 as a "thoroughly nice guy", but denied that he groped him.

How to move a helicopter on the ground: Get it trollied!

View more on twitter

Exeter is one of 15 National Police Air Service bases providing air support to England and Wales' 43 police forces.

Project helps disabled socialise after leaving education

BBC Spotlight

Pelican Project
BBC

A ground-breaking project in Exeter is using the arts to get young adults with additional needs socialising with their peers.

The Pelican Project was set up by a teacher after he realised that young people with disabilities felt isolated once they left full-time education.

Activities include break-dancing and drumming are helping bring people together

Former pop star framed innocent driver for speeding on A30

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A model and former singer has been sentenced for falsely claiming somebody she had never met was driving at the time of a speeding offence.

Hannah Lewis previously pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was given an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

She had been caught speeding on the A30 near Launceston, an offence that would typically earn three penalty points.

Hannah Lewis
BBC

The woman who she nominated only found out about the deception when she received a letter telling her she had been convicted in her absence.

Judge Simon Carr at Truro Crown Court said: "The circumstances are as mystifying as they are depressing."

Lewis, 38, from Ascot in Berkshire, was in a music group called Pop! which had three top 40 hits in 2004 and 2005.

Dishing it out: From footballer to ice cream entrepreneur

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Rory Fallon: International footballer turns ice cream entrepreneur

Footballer Rory Fallon has retired from the game to concentrate on his ice cream business.

The former New Zealand international is trying to prove he's cream of the crop after hanging up his boots at the age of 35.

He describes how ice cream has been "a passion of mine since I was young".

New town plans have to be revised because of flood risk

Plymouth Herald

A new town being built on the outskirts of Plymouth will be at major risk of flooding unless changes are made to the proposed layout, it's been revealed.

The Sherford Consortium, which intends to build 5,500 new homes on the Plymouth-South Hams border, is seeking permission to alter its plans for the next phase of the £1bn scheme in a bid to mitigate the flood risk.

Staff at Ilfracombe hotel praised after fire

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Bay Delkhusa Grand Hotel
BBC

Guests at a fire-hit Ilfracombe hotel have praised staff after the building had to be evacuated.

Eight people were injured, with four taken to North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple, after the blaze broke out at the Bay Delkhusa Grand Hotel at about 02:40.

Fire crews from across north Devon and Exeter were called to the site, and about 180 people staying overnight had to be evacuated from the building.

Roger Abbott, who is from Cambridge and was staying at the hotel with his wife, Jackie, to celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary, said staff were "excellent" in taking care of guests after the evacuation.

He added: "Another five or 10 minutes and the whole floor could have gone up. But two or three people did a really good job with fire extinguishers before the fire brigade got there."

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said it believed the fire was started deliberately. Police are investigating.

Rescued seal pups returned to sea

BBC News England

Rescued seal pup being released
Julie Hatcher

Three seal pups rescued after being found severely underweight have been released back into the wild.

The common seals - Kit, Enzo and Dodge - were cared for at the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton, Somerset, before being returned to the sea in Dorset.

Two, named Enzo and Dodge, were rescued from Portland Harbour in August, while the third, Kit, was found across the border in south Devon.

All three had to learn to feed themselves and reach a weight of 35kg before being returned to the sea.

They were released at Poole Harbour by Dorset Wildlife Trust and the RSPCA.

Conservationists said they usually rescued just one or two pups in Dorset each year but had seen "lots" of young seals in recent weeks following storms Ophelia and Brian.

Cornwall travel: A39 Playing Place blocked by collision

BBC Radio Cornwall

The A39 at Playing Place has been blocked by a collision heading towards Falmouth between Chyreen Lane and Carnon Downs roundabout. Expect delays.

Arrest after two knifepoint robbery attempts outside shop

BBC Radio Devon

Police have arrested a woman on suspicion of robbery after two attempted knifepoint robberies outside a Spar shop in Newton Abbot.

Officers said the incidents happened in Battle Road, Heathfield, on Friday evening.

The arrested 30-year-old from Newton Abbot has been released under investigation.

Police have appealed for witnesses.

Spar
Google

Weather: Feeling cold with scattered showers and sun

It will continue to feel cold today, with scattered showers and sunny periods affecting most. Some of the showers will be heavy and may be wintry, falling as hail, and over moors, perhaps as sleet or snow.

Eastern areas will become drier towards evening and moderate or fresh north to northwesterly winds will be strong at times around the coast as well as near some of the heavier showers.

Maximum temperature: 8C (46F).

Weather
BBC

Tonight, showers will clear to the west during the early evening leaving most areas dry, clear and cold.

There is the risk of some patches of ice developing and a widespread frost for inland areas. Northerly winds will be mainly light or moderate, but fresher around exposed coasts.

Minimum temperature: -1C (30F).

Cornwall prison 'would keep people on straight and narrow'

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

There's a call for a prison for men and women to be built in Cornwall with a new approach to rehabilitating offenders.

There are no prisons in Cornwall, and the three in Devon are for men. The nearest prison for female offenders from the south west is in Gloucestershire.

Prison hall
BBC

The organisation Konnect Cornwall, which works with ex-offenders, said being far from home could lead to family breakdown and reoffending.

John Gofton, from Cornwall, served a four-year sentence in Devon as a result of drug addiction and now works with Konnect Cornwall.

He said a local facility was much needed because "the further distance you go, the struggle gets exponentially more difficult to maintain relationships".

He said: "The likelihood of reoffending goes through the roof because there's nothing to keep you on the straight and narrow."

Devon travel: A386 Okehampton blocked by collision

BBC Radio Devon

The A386 in Okehampton is blocked by a collision between a car and a lorry between Hatherleigh Road and Prisam Lane. Avoid the area if possible.

Bus driver assault

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A passenger allegedly attacked a bus driver in Truro on Monday.

The bus stopped on Morlaix Avenue shortly after 18:00 and police were called to the scene where they interviewed passengers.

Police said the alleged attacker got off the bus and left the area.

Officers will be examining CCTV and dashcam footage of the incident.

Anybody with any information is asked to contact the police by calling 101 or emailing 101@dc.police.uk.

Severe accident: A386 Devon both ways

BBC News Travel

A386 Devon both ways severe accident, between Hatherleigh Road and B3216.

A386 Devon - A386 blocked and very slow traffic in both directions between the Hatherleigh Road junction in Folly Gate and the B3216 junction in Hatherleigh, because of an accident involving a lorry and car.

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

A395 near Launceston remains closed after gas tanker rolls

A main road in Cornwall remains blocked in both directions after a gas tanker rolled over near Launceston.

It's on the A395 between Kennards House and Pipers Pool.

Fire crews are at the scene and police said there was currently no sign of a leak, and no reports of any injuries.

Motorists are being asked to avoid the area.

Businessman 'horrified' at sexual offence allegations

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Charles Howeson
BBC

A Plymouth businessman has said he was "horrified" when he heard he was subject to allegations of sexual offences, a court has been told.

Former Royal Navy officer Charles Howeson, 68, is facing 12 counts against males at Bristol Crown Court dating back to the 1980s and 90s. He denies the charges.

In police interviews read to Bristol Crown Court, Mr Howeson answered questions by officers after he was arrested.

In one case, he is alleged to have indecently assaulted a man on Drake's Island, off Plymouth, while the boss at the the Groundwork Trust charity in the early 1990s.

"Did you touch the man indecently?" he was asked. "No I did not. I don't know who we are talking about," he replied.

He told officers that he didn't recall another man who he was alleged to have sexually assaulted on three occasions whilst up a ladder checking the condition of a roof.

"I don't know who the people are and the incidents didn't occur," he said.

The prosecution has concluded its evidence. The defence case is due to start this afternoon. The trial continues.

Man cautioned after school run mums block 'thieves'

Chloe Axford

BBC Spotlight

Horrabridge
BBC

A suspected thief has been formally cautioned by police after parents on the village school run barricaded them in with their cars until officers arrived.

A mother who "led" the blockade said she saw two men stealing scrap lead from a garden in Horrabridge and loading it into a van when she blocked and confronted them on Monday morning.

Two men, aged 31 and 28 and from Birmingham, were arrested on suspicion of theft.

Police said after the arrests: "Several mothers on their way back from school stood and would not let the offenders leave the scene.

"We would thank the public for their assistance with this matter. They were all very professional and calm in the way that they dealt with the incident."

Devon and Cornwall Police said the 28-year-old man was given a police caution "in connection with this matter".

The 31-year-old was released under investigation, pending further inquiries, the force added.

Devon travel: Accident closes A38 lane on Haldon Hill

BBC Radio Devon

On the A38 Haldon Hill at Harcombe Bends, heading towards Exeter, one lane is closed due to an accident. Traffic is slow-moving.

Ex-public schoolgirl caught selling heroin in police sting

Devon Live

A former public schoolgirl has been sent into drug rehabilitation after she was caught selling heroin to an under cover police officer in Exeter.

Ilfracombe hotel fire: Police confirm investigation

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Bay Dilkhusa Grand Hotel
BBC

Police in north Devon have confirmed they are investigating a fire in a hotel in Ilfracombe.

Some 184 residents had to be evacuated from the Bay Dilkhusa Grand Hotel in Wilder Road after the alarm was raised at about 02:40.

The blaze started in the toilet of a third-floor guest room of the four-storey building.

Eight people were injured, four taken to hospital. Most were suffering after breathing in smoke and one had chest pains.

Firefighters said earlier that they believed the blaze was started deliberately.

Barnstaple Police confirmed the investigation on Twitter, adding that there were no fatalities and they were "thinking of those affected by this incident".

Swapping soccer for sorbet - Fallon's unusual new career

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Rory Fallon
Getty Images

One of the biggest questions a footballer faces is what to do after they finish their playing career.

Many move into coaching, others become agents or become media pundits. Back in the day, opening a pub was also a career of choice.

But how many have ever started their own ice cream business?

Former New Zealand international Rory Fallon has done just that after hanging up his boots at the age of 35.

The striker's last involvement in the game was his country's World Cup qualifying exit at the hands of Peru, but by then he already had his eye on sorbet over soccer.

"Ice cream's been a passion of mine since I was young," he said as we sat down at one of the restaurants in the south west of England that he and his wife supply through their Plymouth-based Cowlick Creamery business.

You can find out more here about how he has been bowled over by this part of the dairy industry.

Using the (police) force to find stolen Star Wars Lego

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Millennium Falcon lego
Via Devon and Cornwall Police

Police are investigating the theft of a special edition Lego Star Wars set where the box was left behind and filled with other items to conceal that its contents were taken.

Officers said the Millennium Falcon set, which had more than 7,500 pieces, was believed to have been stolen from a property in Keyberry Park, Newton Abbot, between 20 September and 26 November.

PC Phil Johnson, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "The victim is extremely upset about this incident. It is a very rare Star Wars Lego product.

"It is likely he will never get the opportunity to purchase one again. It is not about the monetary value of the loss, but the fact that this was a collector’s edition."

Police called about locked-out wi-fi and noisy helicopter

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

View more on twitter

Recent calls to Devon and Cornwall Police have included people saying that they have been locked out of their WiFi and someone complaining about not sleeping because of a helicopter, a force call handler says on social media.

Twitter user Call Handler said a male reported the wi-fi problem after calling on the force's non-emergency 101 number.

However, the helicopter complaint came through on 999, they said, with a query of: "I can't sleep because of a helicopter. If it's the police helicopter, what should I do?"

The Exeter-based police helicopter crew tweeted that it was "searching for suspects after a burglary in Torquay town", adding: "Apologies for the noise."

Call Handler responded: "No apologies required. The caller was promptly reminded that if it was the police helicopter then it would be working."