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Summary

  1. Bogus charity collections conman described as "saturated in dishonesty" jailed
  2. Plymouth "murder" now being treated as "unexplained death"
  3. Skinned cats found outside Truro Cathedral
  4. Child sexual exploitation awareness campaign launched
  5. Dartmoor Zoo tests positive for TB
  6. Almost 13% of Cornish women kept smoking during pregnancy
  7. Updates from Monday 12 March until Friday 16 March

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Snow and ice warnings across the region

Water supply issue in St Austell

"Urgent repairs" are being carried out in St Austell by South West Water with disruption expected to last three to four hours.

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Cat lover leaves £300,000 of classic cars to RSPCA

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Sunbeam car
RSPCA

A "very generous" animal lover and Italian car enthusiast from Cornwall has left a collection of classic cars estimated to be worth about £300,000 to the RSPCA, the charity says.

The RSPCA said Brinley 'Brin' Edwards, who lived in St Austell and died last December aged 82, was "a supporter of the charity for many years".

The nine cars are to be sold at auction by Bonhams at the Goodwood Members' Meeting on Sunday and the proceeds from the collection, including from some of Mr Edwards' much-loved Lancias, would "support the RSPCA's vital animal welfare work", it said.

The auction includes a Sunbeam 20.9hp (pictured above) and Lancia Hawk Stratos (below).

Lancia Hawk Stratos
RSPCA

Weather: Showery and snow possible on Saturday

BBC Weather

There will be clear spells and scattered showers this evening and before midnight.

It is then expected to turn cloudier with some showery rain pushing in from the north-east during the early hours.

Minimum temperature: 2 to 5C (36 to 41F).

Weather
BBC

A windier and much colder day on Saturday with showery rain during the morning, possibly turning increasingly to snow.

This will clear to leave some snow showers through the afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 4 to 7C (39 to 45F).

Cornwall's 'Billy Elliot' leaps towards becoming a pro

Cornwall Live

A 14-year-old schoolboy has just taken a step towards his dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer by gaining a distinction in his latest exam.

Rhys Healey

Cardiff City striker Rhys Healey joins National League strugglers Torquay United on loan until the end of the season.

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Amber warning of snow in Devon

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for snow from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning for the South West.

Snow showers were expected to become more frequent through Saturday evening and night, becoming locally heavy on Sunday, it said.

Amber warning for snow
Met Office

Fishermen rescued as boat sinks

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Two fishermen have been rescued by a passing fishing vessel after their own boat capsized off Prawle Point in Devon.

The fishing vessel was en route from Plymouth to Brixham this morning when it began to list, giving the crew just enough time to put on lifejackets and get into a life raft before it began to sink.

Coastguards sent the Salcombe RNLI and Hope Cove rescue team to the scene after receiving an emergency location signal, but the men were picked up unhurt by a passing fishing vessel.

RNLI Salcombe's all-weather lifeboat
RNLI

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) and the Receiver of Wreck have been informed, as well as the MCA's Counter Pollution Team.

Coastguard controller James Instance said the incident happened so quickly, the crew on the capsized vessel weren't even able to make a Mayday call.

"Thankfully they were seen by a nearby vessel that went to them straight away," he said, adding that having an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) on board meant rescuers could pin-point the exact location.

'White van ride out' prompts traffic warning

BBC Spotlight

Drivers could face potential traffic disruption in and around Plymouth on Sunday because of a "white-van ride out".

Devon and Cornwall Police said a large number of work vans were due to travel around the city in convoy to bring attention to a rise in thefts from vans both in the city and across the force area.

Insp Nick Lindsey said thieves were causing little or no damage to the vehicles and appeared to be targeting expensive power tools.

White van
BBC

The convoy will finish at Plymouth Albion's rugby ground, where officers will offer crime prevention and policing advice to van owners.

“I would ask people to remove valuable tools from vans overnight where possible," Insp Lindsey said.

"We are also encouraging owners to fit additional locks and consider marking tools and equipment, whether it be engraving their name or using another distinctive marking.”

Police poster
Devon& Cornwall Police

Train strike 'down to operator's pig-headed attitude'

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Disruption to trains over the Easter weekend due to strike action will be down to South Western Railway's "pig-headed attitude" and refusal to engage in talks, the RMT union says.

The union is taking industrial action from 00:01 on Friday 30 March until 23:59 on Monday 2 April in a dispute over guards' safety.

General Secretary Mick Cash said the union was aware of the impact the strike would have, but it was "time for the company to get out of the bunker, stop threatening their staff and start talking".

South Western Railway described the industrial action as "unnecessary" and said it would do everything it could to minimise disruption and operate a normal timetable.

"Once again, the RMT has chosen to take disruptive industrial action at a time when families and friends traditionally get together to celebrate over a holiday period," a spokesman said.

Engineering work is also planned for parts of the network over Easter and customers are being advised to check South Western Railway's website before travelling.

The operator's routes include Exeter.

Jaimie Monteiro

Jaimie Monteiro sent out teams to raise cash for children and the homeless but kept the money himself.

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Child sexual exploitation awareness campaign launched

Lynne French

BBC News Online

A campaign to ensure people can spot the signs of child sexual exploitation has been launched in Devon and Cornwall by police and partner agencies.

It is to coincide with a national awareness day on 18 March, led by the National Working Group charity.

Young victims can be groomed and exploited, not realising they're at risk, with some seeing themselves as "willing participants".

Young person
BBC

The signs of sexual exploitation, which damages children's physical, emotional and psychological health, include:

  • Receiving unexplained gifts or money
  • Using their mobile phone excessively and/or secretively
  • Having significantly older friends
  • Being picked up from home or school by someone you don't know
  • Associating with other young people who are already known to be vulnerable or involved in exploitation
  • Playing truant from school or regularly going missing from home
  • Suffering from a sexually-transmitted infection
  • Self-harming
  • Change in appearance

"Anyone working in a service industry, such as taxi drivers and hotel workers, shop keepers may be able to spot vulnerable young people who may be at risk of exploitation or in an exploitative relationship," said Det Insp David Ley, of Devon and Cornwall Police.

Severe accident: A38 Cornwall both ways

BBC News Travel

A38 Cornwall both ways severe accident, between A390 and A30.

A38 Cornwall - A38 closed and queuing traffic in both directions between Twelvewoods Roundabout in Dobwalls and Carminow Cross in Bodmin, because of an accident involving three vehicles.

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

Friday's weather: Sunny spells

BBC Weather

There will be some sunny spells this afternoon and it will feel relatively warm, although there's also a chance of scattered showers breaking out, some of which could be heavy with the risk of thunder.

Maximum temperatures: 9 to 12C (48 to 54F).

Weather map
BBC

Clear spells and scattered showers this evening, before it turns cloudier with some showery rain pushing in during the early hours, with minimum temperatures of between 2C and 5C (36 to 41F).

Crew rescued from sinking fishing vessel

Two fishermen have been rescued after their vessel started sinking off Prawle Point, Salcombe RNLI says.

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The RNLI said: "Despite the frightening ordeal, both crew had been wearing lifejackets when the boat capsized and were thankfully rescued safe and well."

Devon travel: Accident blocks Torquay's Hatfield Road

BBC Radio Devon

Torquay's Hatfield Road is blocked in both directions, due to accident between St Marychurch Road and Windsor Road.

Woman 'followed and assaulted' in St Just

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

Police car
BBC

Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman was allegedly followed down an alleyway and sexually assaulted, near Penzance.

The incident is believed to have happened on a footpath near Lafrowda Close, St Just, between 17:45 and 18:15 on 13 March.

The suspect was described as being a white man, aged between 50 to 60 years old, about 6ft tall, of regular build, wearing a tweed jacket and with a silver earring in his left ear.

He was also thought to have walked with a limp, officers added.

Anyone with any information should contact police on 101.

Bogus charity collections conman jailed

A conman who swindled people out of tens of thousands of pounds with bogus charity collections has been jailed for four-and-half years.

Jaimie Monteiro, 27, from Oaklands Road, Newton Abbot, sent teams of collectors with buckets to towns and cities across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, pretending to be raising cash for children or the homeless, Exeter Crown Court heard.

He was found guilty of five counts of fraud.

A judge said Monteiro was "saturated in dishonesty" and his operation amounted to "camouflaged begging".

Your pictures: Misty Malpas

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Misty Malpas. Pic: Suzanne Hocking
Suzanne Hocking

Suzanne Hocking has sent this picture of a misty Malpas, near Truro, this morning.

Have you any pictures you want to share with us? If so, please email them in.

School warns parents after outbreak of infectious diseases

Devon Live

A Devon school has sent letters to parents warning of an outbreak of chicken pox and scarlet fever among nine and 10-year-olds.

Cornwall travel: Broken-down lorry leads to diversion

BBC Radio Cornwall

  • In Liskeard on the A390 at Plymouth Road there's slow traffic due to an incident at Morrisons. Police are diverting traffic
  • In Penzance the A30 at Longrock is closed at the Newtown Roundabout for the recovery of a broken-down lorry. A diversion is in place

Knife amnesty nets nearly 400 blades

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Nearly 400 knives were handed in to police in Devon and Cornwall during a week-long amnesty last month.

It was part of the national Operation Sceptre initiative to reduce knife crime and the number of families affected by it.

Police knife amnesty poster
Devon & Cornwall Police

The force said every surrendered bladed weapon has now been destroyed and can't fall into the wrong hands.

The "extraordinary" variety of the 390 items handed in included kukris, bayonets, samurai-style swords, machetes, along with a random assortment of kitchen knives.

Ch Supt Glen Mayhew said the force was pleased with the response from the public, adding: "If a knife is used in a confrontation, the balance of probability is that the person carrying it is highly likely to be injured from it themselves."

Pirates ready for Hartpury 'backlash'

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Cornish Pirates coach Gavin Cattle says his side are expecting a 'backlash' from Hartpury when they face the Gloucestershire side in the Championship on Saturday.

The Pirates have beaten their opponents in all three of their meetings this season, including a 41-0 victory the last time the sides met in the British and Irish Cup in January - a game that was moved from Penzance to the Gillman's Ground due to bad weather.

Hartpury v Cornish Pirates
Brian Tempest

"They've under-performed against us a couple of times, I know in the British and Irish Cup they wouldn't have been happy with that performance, so we're expecting a bit of a backlash this weekend," he told BBC Radio Cornwall.

"It's a great place to play, a great surface, we've been there a couple of times this year and managed to win so it would be nice to go up and do the same again."

Cornish Pirates: Moyle; O'Meara, Koster, De Battista (capt), Evans; May, Day; Walker, Matavesi, Judge, Caulfield, Beukeboom, Lawday, Stevens, Duncan

Replacements: Andrew, Paver, Freeman, Morgan, Lee, Pope, May

Snow forecast prompts health plea

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Health bosses in Devon are asking people to take care and "choose the right services" for their needs after the Met Office issued a yellow warning for snow on Sunday.

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WW1 play returns to 'spiritual home' at Dartington Hall

John Henderson

BBC Spotlight

A play which first came to the West End 100 years ago - thanks to support from the founders of Dartington Hall Trust - is to be be retold at the country estate.

Journey's End by RC Sherriff is a poignant story about lost innocence in the trenches and widely acclaimed as the definitive play about World War One.

Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst
BBC
Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst gave £400 to the help Journey's End succeed

Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst who founded the trust, helped finance the first production in the West End by giving £400.

The Dartington Playgoers will perform the piece at Studio 31 next week.

actors in new play
BBC
The play returns to its spiritual home next week

Holidaymaker found dead in hospital with empty oxygen tank

Devon Live

A holidaymaker from Greater Manchester who went to hospital in north Devon after suffering shortness of breath died face down in a hospital toilet after a nurse failed to check how much oxygen was left in his portable tank, an inquest has heard.

Severe accident: A390 Cornwall both ways

BBC News Travel

A390 Cornwall both ways severe accident, between Penwethers Lane and Station Road Sainsbury's.

A390 Cornwall - A390 Highertown in Truro blocked and very slow traffic in both directions between the Penwethers Lane junction and Sainsbury's, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

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

Public meeting to discuss coastal path move

BBC Radio Cornwall

Plans which could see part of the coastal path in Cornwall moved further inland have are concerning some local people.

A popular section of the path between Loe Bar and Porthleven was swept away in storms in January, prompting the National Trust, which owns the land, to close the existing path and re-route it.

Damage to coast path
BBC

A public meeting has been arranged to discuss the matter as some walkers are worried they could lose stunning views if the new trail is further inland

However, others, including tenant dairy farmer Martin Wallis, said a vista from a slightly higher vantage point, away from the cliff-edge, would be safer and better.

Ambitious Seagulls to host Magpies, Terriers and Trotters

Cornish Stuff

Mousehole AFC, aka the Seagulls, and the Endorsed Academy have announced an exciting new annual pre-season tournament, to be hosted at the West Cornwall club’s home, Trungle Parc, featuring Premier League clubs Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town, as well as Championship side Bolton Wanderers.

Billy Bragg joins Exeter University lecturers' picket line

Harriet Bradshaw

BBC South West

View more on twitter

Singer-songwriter and political activist Billy Bragg has joined lecturers at the University of Exeter taking part in industrial action in a row over pensions.

Severe disruption: A30 Cornwall westbound

BBC News Travel

A30 Cornwall westbound severe disruption, between A394 and A30 Eastern Green affecting B3309.

A30 Cornwall - A30 in Longrock closed and queuing traffic westbound between Newtown roundabout and Chy-An-Mor roundabout, because of recovery work. Congestion to Crowlas.

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

Airport warns passengers of possible snow disruption

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Exeter Airport is warning passengers that some flights could be disrupted by snow and ice this weekend.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for the South West from 00:05 until 23:55 on Sunday.

Met Office yellow warning
Met Office

The airport said it was unable to predict the impact on flights departing or arriving ahead of the day of travel or before airlines decide to cancel a service.

Airlines will advise passengers of any cancellation or changes to their booking, but passengers booked on departing flights should plan to check in at the airport, unless advised otherwise.

It's also advising passengers travelling to the airport by road to allow plenty of time in case of disruption.

Devon travel: Appledore landslip blocks road

BBC Radio Devon

  • New Street in Appledore is blocked in both directions by a landslip between the A386 Myrtle Street and Tomouth Road
  • There's slow traffic on the A386 at Sourton due to an overturned lorry

Social care charging consultation deadline extended

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Cornwall Council has extended its deadline for a consultation over its charging policy for adult social care.

People who need or provide care in Cornwall have been asked for their views on proposed changes to residential, respite and supported-living services.

The council decided to give everyone more time to come forward with their views after users and families said they didn't have enough time to respond.

Some parents of vulnerable adults said letters from the council, alerting them to the changes, only arrived three days before the end of the consultation period on Monday, leaving them feeling "rushed" in to responding.

Elderly people
BBC

Cornwall Council's Rob Rotchell said the increasing demands on the system meant there had to be a "fair and transparent" system of charging to ensure both the authority and residents get the "best value for money" for the care provided.

"We know that people who use adult social care services and their families felt strongly that they did not have enough time to respond to the proposed changes in this policy... we want to put that right," he said.

The new deadline for comments is Monday 23 April at 17:00, after which all the comments received will be "carefully considered" before the final proposals are put forward to council members.

Laughing Michael McIntyre fan ends up in hospital after Plymouth gig

Daily Mirror

A Michael McIntyre fan ended up in hospital after laughing so much at the comedian's jokes during a gig in Plymouth last Friday night.

Football: Truro captain surprised by 'open' play-off race

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Truro City captain Ben Gerring says he has never known the National League South be so open.

The White Tigers are a point outside the play-off places with games in hand on most of the sides above them.

It is the first season of the new six-team play-off system, although just six points separates fourth place down to 10th.

Ben Gerring
Truro City FC

"It's made the league a lot more exciting, with everybody capable of taking points off each other," he told BBC Radio Cornwall.

"This league, in my opinion, has never been so open. Four years ago you wouldn't see a club like Dartford entertaining clubs like ourselves. The Ebbsfleets, Maidenhead, they were all capable of opening up a 10 to 15 point gap and it would literally be a two-horse race.

"This year it seems that anybody that starts to put a foothold on it becomes undone one way or another."

Devon travel: Slow traffic through Newton St Cyres

BBC Radio Devon

Slow traffic Exeter-bound on the A377 Newbridge Road through Newton St Cyres due to roadworks.

Friday's tide times

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

If you're thinking about heading to the coast today, here are the all-important times of high water.

High water times for Friday
BBC

There will be a full weather forecast on BBC Spotlight at 13:30 on BBC One.