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  1. Councillor admits serious attack on wife
  2. Boat crash widow has £30,000 prosthetic legs stolen
  3. Man arrested after police force their way into property
  4. Brother of 'one-punch' victim in anti-violence campaign
  5. Campaigner calls for only clear plastic bottles
  6. Plymouth team calls for ice hockey rink
  7. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Rob England

All times stated are UK

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Our coverage across the day

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Friday 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.

Free parking days to 'give boost' to retailers

BBC Radio Cornwall

Free parking days across Cornwall in the run up to Christmas are being welcomed by retailers and local politicians.

The charge-free days start this weekend in towns across Cornwall with Redruth among them.

The town's mayor, Henry Biscoe, said being able to park in market towns was "key" to their regeneration.

"It's something that's going to be a great boost for all the retailers," he added.

Two Devon care homes rated 'inadequate' by commission

Rob England

BBC News Online

Two care homes in Devon have been found to be "inadequate" and placed in special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC said they inspected Georgian House in Torquay and Prestbury Court Residential Home in Newton Abbot in August, following concerns.

At Georgian House inspectors found residents were "not always protected from the risk of abuse".

The commission said they identified "incidents of alleged abuse" which went unreported to the local authority, including residents hitting one another.

At Prestbury Court inspectors expressed concern there was no registered manager for the site, and said the provider "had not taken sufficient action to ensure people received safe and high quality care from well trained and competent staff".

A spokesman for Georgian House said it was "working closely with the CQC and the local Torbay Quality Team to ensure that improvements are made going forward".

The spokesman said the company had taken on a "new management team" with "a wealth of knowledge and experience in the social care sector".

He added: "We previously had a rating of ‘Good’, and continually strive to make improvements at Georgian House."

Prestbury Court has been approached for comment.

Showers to ease, with temperatures dropping

Sara Thornton

BBC Weather

Any showers should ease away westwards during the first half of the night.

It will be cold and clear, with temperatures soon falling below freezing.

A widespread sharp frost is then expected to develop by dawn.

Minimum Temperature: 0C (32F)


Looking ahead to Friday, a frosty start is expected, with a largely sunny morning following.

Whilst it will be less windy than on Thursday, it will remain cold.

Maximum Temperature: 7C (45F)

Pub landlord offers to pay customers parking

BBC Radio Cornwall

A Penzance pub landlord has said the cost of parking in the area is "wrong", and has previously offered to pay the cost of parking tickets for his customers.

Mark George from the Yacht Inn on Penzance Promenade says he thinks it is wrong people should pay £2.50 whether they park for 10 minutes or 24 hours in the St Anthony's car park.

He said until quite recently there was much cheaper short stay parking.

It comes as many town centres in the county - including Penzance - are introducing free parking days in the run up to Christmas.

Mr George said the charge is putting people off.

parking meter
Getty Images

If people want to come into, not just my place but other places around here, and have a cup of coffee the coffee costs £1.85 and the parking is £2.50."

Mark George

Severe accident: A381 Devon both ways

BBC News Travel

A381 Devon both ways severe accident, between Ashleigh Road and B3197.

A381 Devon - A381 West Alvington Hill in West Alvington blocked and slow traffic in both directions between the Ashleigh Road junction and Langworthy's Barn Junction, because of an accident involving two cars.

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

Millions invested to tackle fuel poverty in Cornwall

BBC Radio Cornwall

Millions are being invested to tackle fuel poverty in Cornwall.

Cornwall council say the county is one of the 10 worst in England for fuel poverty, affecting an estimated 36,000 homes.

The Warm and Well Cornwall fund of £8m will provide about 1,000 homes with central heating, and target those with underlying health issues.

Jenny from west Cornwall, who wished to remain anonymous, says she struggles with her household bills because of the cost of fuel.

Some bills have had to go unpaid, so I've been having to make a very difficult choice, week by week, as to what gets paid first and what's more important. Mortgage, food and heating, those are the three main things, everything else has to wait."


Cornwall Council Deputy Leader Julian German said: “Part of this funding is also because of our devolution work. New ways of delivering insulation improvements to Cornish homes agreed with the Government means we have more control over the decisions on which homes can receive this support.

He added: "This will make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of people currently living in cold and damp homes."

Free flood warnings for Devon and Cornwall residents

Rob England

BBC News Online

The Environment Agency has said it will be registering Devon and Cornwall residents on the O2 mobile network for free flood warnings.

The agency said people should expect a message next week to confirm they had been registered automatically.

Environment Agency

The message will include the option to opt out of the service, and instructions on what to do if you receive a flood warning, the agency said.

Spokesman Ben Johnstone said the service could give people "crucial time to prepare" in the event of a flood.

He said: "If you get the text, it is because you live in an area at risk of flooding, so we would urge people to stay registered to the service."

The agency said the move is part of an initiative to register thousands of people across England, and had plans to add customers on the Vodaphone and Three network "in due course".

You can read the government's free flood guide here.

Man who attacked wife remains councillor 'until convicted'

Rob England

BBC News Online

Douglas Hellier-Laing

A Conservative councillor from Devon who admitted to attacking his wife in court will remain in office until he is convicted, the local authority has said.

Teignbridge District Council said councillor Douglas Hellier-Laing, 67, who represents the Chudleigh ward, could only be disqualified if he was "convicted of a criminal offence and given a sentence of over three months, without the option of a fine".

This is in line with the Local Government Act, the authority added.

An elected member can also be disqualified if they fail to attend meetings for six months, according to the council, and councillors can choose to resign or step down at any time.

A spokesman said: "As the matter is still before the court, Teignbridge is not in a position to comment further and will continue to act in accordance with the law."

Widow 'still hopes' to get prosthetic limbs back

BBC Radio Cornwall

A woman who had her prosthetic limbs stolen in London has said she still hopes to get them back.

Victoria Milligan had part of her leg amputated after a boat crash in 2013 off Padstow, Cornwall.

Three prosthetic limbs, including a specially designed running blade, were stolen whilst she was eating lunch at a restaurant in Chelsea.

Thieves smashed a car window and grabbed her case containing the limbs.

She said they would cost £30,000 to replace, a process which could take three months.

Milligan family
The Milligan family (from left to right Emily, father Nick, mother Victoria, Olivia, Kit and Amber) were all thrown from the out-of-control speedboat

I hope that once they opened it [the case] they would have abandoned them or taken them somewhere obvious, or informed someone. They don't realise how precious they are to me, and how difficult and time consuming they are to make."

Victoria Milligan

Plans for Truro bridges put to the public

BBC Radio Cornwall

Plans to make Truro a more cycle and pedestrian friendly city are being put to residents.

The Truro Loops scheme has been put together by a team of architects and environmentalists.

It could see two new bridges being built over the Truro River, with new cycling and pedestrian routes.

David Pollard, who is coordinating the project, said traffic and a lack of foot and cycle paths has made the river difficult to navigate, and the project aims to make the city more "accessible".

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Mine is 'biggest unexploded ordinance found in UK'

BBC Radio Cornwall

A World War Two mine found off the Cornish coast is thought to be "the biggest unexploded ordnance found in the UK", according to a historian.

unexploded mine

The explosive, believed to be a parachute mine, has been "made safe" by the Royal Navy off Maenporth Beach.

It is thought to be about 9ft (2.7m) and contain around 700 kilos (110 stone) of explosives.

Historian David Gibbins scuba-dived over the device two days ago and said it is now "unlikely to be dangerous".

'Bogus callers' target Teignbridge offering 'compensation'

Rob England

BBC News Online

A Devon council is warning residents of a scam that has already cost one person £800.

Teignbridge District Council said the scam involves insulation companies, with bogus callers, claiming to work for the council, contacting residents about shoddy cavity wall insulation.

Scammers are offering to claim compensation from the companies, saying their work was not "up to standard".

"In one instance a customer was charged £800 just for a survey before they could even proceed to making a claim.", the authority said.

The council has advised residents not to give out personal details over the phone and said trading standards was involved.

Threlkeld ready to return after injury

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Plymouth Argyle defender Oscar Threlkeld says he will not shy away of any challenges, despite only just returning from a broken leg.

The 22-year-old was injured in a 50-50 challenge during an EFL Cup tie against Bristol City in August.

He returned to action on Tuesday having missed 21 matches.

Oscar Threlkeld
Rex Features

"If it came up again I'd definitely go in full steam ahead, that's the sort of player I am, I'm not going to back out of anything," he told BBC Radio Devon.

Threlkeld tried to return from his injury two months after it happened, but lasted just one half in the League One loss at home to Fleetwood.

"The initial diagnosis was four to six weeks, but it took a lot longer than it should," added the former Bolton youngster.

"That was down to the bone healing itself, you can't do anything about that, it's just the way it is.

Boat crash widow 'devastated' after prosthetic legs stolen

BBC London News

A woman who lost her leg in a speedboat accident that killed her husband and daughter has had prosthetic limbs worth about £30,000 stolen in London.

The prosthetics were taken as Victoria Milligan, 45, had lunch at Megan's restaurant on Kings Road, Chelsea.

Ms Milligan lost her left leg below the knee in an accident in the Camel Estuary near Padstow in 2013.

"I was left on the floor devastated and crying my eyes out when I found out," she told the BBC.

prosthetic limbs
Victoria Milligan
Among the prosthetic limbs stolen was her blade, used for running, as well as two lifelike limbs

She said it could take three months and cost £30,000 to replace them.

All six members of the Milligan family, from London, were thrown out of a boat during a holiday in Cornwall.

Her husband Nick, 51, and eight-year-old daughter Emily suffered fatal injuries.

Ms Milligan's son Kit, nine, required 12 operations to save his leg while 16-year-old Amber suffered wounds to her left thigh and hand.

Her daughter Olivia, 14, was unhurt.

World War Two bomb 'made safe'

BBC Radio Cornwall

A World War Two bomb found off the coast at Maenporth has been "made safe" by bomb disposal teams, and was thought to be inert.

The device was found 2,600ft (800m) offshore by divers, the coastguard said.

Experts say it is thought to be a parachute mine.

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BreakingCouncillor admits serious attack on wife

Rob England

BBC News Online

A senior Devon councillor has pleaded guilty to attacking his wife, a court has heard.

Douglas Hellier-Laing, 67, who was a member of Teignbridge District Council, faced charges of attempted murder, which he denied, and the prosecution dropped.

He admitted to the charge of wounding his wife with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in the attack on the 29 October.

Laing, from Clifford Street, Chudleigh, previously described it as a "moment of madness" to police, Exeter Crown Court heard.

He was remanded in custody by Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, who described the attack as "essentially out of the blue."

Fire crews put out chimney blaze

Rob England

BBC News Online

Emergency services attended a chimney fire in Paignton last night.

It happened at about 19:40 and involved an open fire place, crews said.

No-one was injured.

Truro journeys 'not affecting squad'

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Truro City's recent long away trips have not affected the side says goalkeeper Tom McHale.

The White Tigers travelled almost 1,700 miles last week after trips to Braintree, Hungerford and Lewes - more than twice the distance between Land's End and John O'Groats.

In November the National League South side clocked up over 2,280 miles.

Truro City
Rex Features

"It has been a heavy month of travelling, but in all honesty I don't think it's affected the lads," he said.

"Yes we do get tired at points, our bodies are probably going to start feeling the weight of the travel, but for the time being we're enjoying it.

"We go out there every week with the same passion and the same desire to win the game, and no matter how far we travel I think we can go up to any ground in non-league and do a job up there."

Three taken to hospital in M5 crash

Rob England

BBC News Online

Three people have been taken to hospital with minor injuries after a two-vehicle crash on the M5.

Ambulance crews were called to the motorway between junction 24 and 25 heading southbound towards Exeter at about 08:25.

The patients were described as "walking wounded" and were taken to Mustgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

Boat crash widow has £30,000 prosthetic legs stolen

BBC London News

Victoria Milligan
Victoria Milligan
Victoria Milligan lost her leg in a speedboat accident that killed her husband and daughter

A woman who had her leg removed after being injured in a speedboat accident that killed her husband and daughter has had prosthetic limbs worth about £30,000 stolen.

Victoria Milligan, 45, lost her left leg below the knee in the accident in the Camel Estuary near Padstow.

Thieves on mopeds stole a suitcase containing three specially-cast limbs from Ms Milligan's car.

"I was left on the floor devastated and crying my eyes out when I found out," she told the BBC.

"After what I've been through nothing surprises me anymore, but I couldn't believe it happened".

The prosthetics were stolen as Ms Milligan had lunch at Megan's restaurant on Kings Road, Chelsea.

Debris cleared after M5 crash

Debris from a multi-vehicle crash that closed two lanes of the M5 southbound - towards Exeter - between junction 24 and 25 has been cleared.

View more on twitter

Bomb disposal teams to detonate World War Two bomb

Rob England

BBC News Online

Bomb disposal teams will be detonating a World War Two bomb this morning in Maenporth.

It was found by local divers and is thought to be a parachute mine, coastguards say.

The device was found 2,600ft (800m) offshore from Maenporth beach.

Falmouth coastguards were called at about 09:30 on Wednesday by a local diver who discovered it whilst diving off the coast.

The RNLI lifeboat from Falmouth has also been launched to set up an exclusion zone in the area during the detonation.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Multi-vehicle crash closes two lanes on M5

Rob England

BBC News Online

A multi-vehicle crash has closed two lanes of the M5 southbound - towards Exeter - between junction 24 and 25.

Highways England says the crash is causing "severe delays".

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Brother of 'one-punch' victim in anti-violence campaign

David Coxon
Family photo

The brother of a man who was killed by a single punch is supporting a police campaign highlighting the consequences of confrontation and violence.

David Coxon (pictured), from Torquay, died after being struck at a scooter rally near Wareham, Dorset, in 2016.

Dr Jonny Coxon said he hoped the campaign would "drive home the destruction that comes from that one moment of losing self control".

Dorset Police said four people in the county died from "one-punch" injuries in 2016.

Man arrested after police force their way into property

Rob England

BBC News Online

A man's been arrested in Bovey Tracey, Devon, after police had to force their way into a property.

Police, fire crews and an ambulance were called just after 17:00 on Wednesday evening after concerns were raised about a man inside.

A 34-year-old was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and remains in police custody.

Cold, with some sunshine

BBC Weather

A cold day is expected, but there will be plenty of late autumnal sunshine.

It will be feeling particularly cold in the brisk northerly wind.

However occasional showers will remain possible across the north and west.

Maximum temperature: 7C (45F).


Missing man found safe and well

Rob England

BBC News Online

A missing man from Devon has been found safe and well, police have said.

Police were concerned for the welfare of Daniel Dawes from the Ivybridge area.

Officers said his car was located near Harford bridge, north of the town, and he was thought to have spent Tuesday night in a barn.

Officers said he has since been found safe and well, and the force has thanked the public for their help.

Campaigner calls for only clear plastic bottles

BBC Spotlight

Cornwall is trying to increase its recycling rate with extra collections of plastics, but waste bosses say black plastics are difficult to sort and separate.

Black plastic is almost impossible for automated systems to identify in recycling centres.

The British Retail Consortium has said supermarkets are working to resolve the issue but for now most black plastic is rejected and ends up being in landfill or incinerated.

Campaigner Clare Wallerstein said the UK could learn lessons from other countries such as Japan.

recycling centre
The recycling centre at Bodmin

We have all sorts of strange product design here where you'll have drinks bottles which are purple and orange and can't actually be recycled with other plastics to make new plastic bottles. In Japan all drinks bottles have to be made of clear plastic, that's just clever thinking, and we should be doing more like that."

Clare Wallerstein

Local business could save Torre Post Office

BBC Radio Devon

A Post Office in Torquay which is under threat of closure could be saved by a local business.

A local family-run chain of stores in the Bay, Carters, says it is interested in taking on Torre Post Office after its managers were planning to close it.

The news has been welcomed by the local community partnership group, which says about 1,000 people a week use it.

Margaret Forbes-Hamilton, who chairs the group, says it is in a good location, with "at least 80 businesses" nearby.

Plymouth team calls for ice hockey rink

BBC Radio Devon

Ice hockey
Getty Images

An ice hockey team is travelling to Hampshire to host games because of a lack of facilities in the South West.

The kidney-shaped rink at the Plymouth Pavilions is not suitable to host games, so once a month the Plymouth Pirates have to travel to Portsmouth to use their rink.

The team's manager, Steve Comber, says he hopes the planned development at Home Park could give them a new base.

"We've got registered coaches down here [in the South West], there's no reason at all why that can't be done", he said.

He added, a rink could see players from roller and skate hockey teams stepping on to the ice, due to the similarity in the sports.

Plans for a £50m redevelopment of Plymouth Argyle's Home Park ground, including the ice rink, were approved by the city council in 2013.

News, sport, weather and travel for Thursday

Rob England

BBC News Online

Good morning from BBC Local Live.

We'll be bringing you the news, sport, travel and weather for Devon and Cornwall today.

If you want to get in touch, please email us.