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  1. Updates on Friday 15 May 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather on Monday

Live Reporting

By Matt Pengelly and Chris Ellis

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

That's all from the BBC Local Live team for Devon and Cornwall for this week.

We will be back on Monday with all of your news, sport, travel and weather. Have a great weekend.

Derriford 'extremely sorry' for cancelled ops

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

Plymouth's Derriford Hospital

cancelled almost 650 operations in the first three months of this year - the highest of anywhere in the country.

Kevin Baber, Chief Operating Officer for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "As people will know, since the beginning of this year the hospital has faced unprecedented and sustained demand from patients presenting as medical emergencies who have needed to be admitted to our beds and treated. This has impacted significantly right across the hospital.

"We really do recognise and empathise with the distress and inconvenience cancellations cause our patients and their families and for this we are extremely sorry."

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust was the third worst in the country cancelling 455 operations.

Bright and breezy tomorrow

David Braine

Weather forecaster, BBC Spotlight

After a dry evening, cloud will continue to thicken from the west, with low cloud shrouding the hills and moors. This will bring patchy light rain and drizzle across Dartmoor and Exmoor during the evening which will spread eastwards overnight, clearing by dawn. It will be a mild night underneath the cloud. Minimum Temperature: 10 Deg C (50 Deg F).

weather graphic

Tomorrow will be a bright and breezy day with scattered cloud and sunny spells. It will feel pleasantly warm in the sunshine with the highest temperatures towards the east. Maximum Temperature: 16 Deg C (61 Deg F).

Man charged with sexual assault in city

BBC Radio Devon

A man has been charged with sexual assault on a woman following an incident outside the University of Plymouth on 10 May.

Marcin Balazy, 22, from Hill Park Crescent, Plymouth, appeared before Plymouth Magistrates' Court on the 12 May and has been remanded in custody to appear at Plymouth Crown Court on 1 June.

Skydive completed by 90-year-old

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Stella Gillard, 90, from Exeter completed a 1,500ft skydive today in a bid to raise funds for Cancer Research.

Stella Gillard

Find out more on

BBC Spotlight this evening on BBC One at 18:30.

Dairy farmers to pay more than £11,000

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A mother and daughter who run an organic ice cream firm have been ordered to pay more than £11,000 by Bodmin magistrates for breaching food safety regulations at their dairy farm in north Cornwall.

Fredrica Allen and Sarah Talbot-Ponsonby

Fredrica Allen, 43, of Helsett Farm near Boscastle, pleaded guilty to charges including failing to ensure raw milk from Bovine TB positive cows was not used for human consumption. Her mother Sarah Talbot-Ponsonby, 75, also of Helsett Farm, pleaded guilty to charges including failing to immediately withdraw dairy products that did not comply with food safety regulations.

Things you may not have known about the conger eel

Matt Pengelly

Local Live

With the story of the

enormous conger eel landed in Plymouth making headlines all over the world, here are some r-eel-y fascinating fishy facts from the
British Conger Club website.

Plymouth Fisheries
  • The biggest Conger Eel ever recorded was a gigantic fish of 350lb found trapped in nets off Iceland's Westmann Islands.
  • The current Rod Caught World Record Conger Eel of 133lb 4oz was captured by Vic Evans fishing a wreck from his own boat Sea Spray off Brixham, Devon, UK in 1995.
  • The Latin name for the European conger eel is "Conger conger".

Council sends private details to media

John Ayres

BBC Spotlight

Torbay Council is having to apologise to a candidate who stood in the recent council elections, after it emailed private details about him and his teenage daughter to local councillors and the media by mistake.

Paul Raybould has been engaged in a long running dispute with the authority over school transport. In the most recent exchange, the council replied to his complaint but circulated the email further afield.

The authority says it's following protocol for such situations and will apologise formally to Mr Raybould. The council adds it will seek to disseminate lessons learned from its investigation.

Charity jobs at risk

Kirk England

BBC Radio Devon

A Devon charity which helps retrain people who have lost their jobs is now facing having to make some of its own staff redundant.

Charity sign

Westward Pathfinder has offices in Bideford, Barnstaple, Exeter and Torquay and 30 jobs are at risk - although it's hoped only around a dozen staff will eventually have to leave.

The charity says the problems have been caused by a big delay in the distribution of European funding by the UK government. The Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is yet to comment.

Attempted murder charge for 85-year-old

BBC Radio Cornwall

An 85-year-old man from Cornwall has been

charged with the attempted murder of an 81-year-old Lancashire man.

Old Lane, Shawforth

Lancashire Police were called to Shawforth, Rossendale, on 27 August 2014 to reports that a man had been hit by a car near garages on Old Lane. The man was taken to Salford Royal Hospital, where he had to have one of his legs amputated.

Vincent Simpson, of Pendeen, Penzance, is due to appear at Burnley Magistrates' Court on 2 June.

Latest headlines

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

The top stories on BBC Local Live: Devon & Cornwall include:

Argyle releases eight players

James Law

BBC South West Sport

Plymouth Argyle have

released eight players including attacker Jason Banton and midfielder Dominic Blizzard.

Jason Banton
Getty Images

Lewis Alessandra, Anthony O'Connor, Tyler Harvey and James Bittner have been offered deals to stay at the club. Peter Hartley and Aaron Bentley will remain at Home Park for another season after an option to extend their contracts was taken up.

The news comes less than 24 hours after

Plymouth's 5-3 League Two play-off aggregate defeat by Wycombe.

Vikings in the night

BBC Radio Cornwall

The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is offering people to chance to play Vikings by torchlight tonight.


In a special evening event, children of all ages will be able to create their own Viking armour, handle Viking artefacts and join in an epic battle, before setting off on a torch lit tour of the Museum's new

Viking Voyagers exhibition.

Gulls fans await bid

Western Morning News

Torquay United Supporters Trust say they are ready to work with members of a 'second consortium' who are ready to step in should the club's current takeover talks break down, reports the

Western Morning News.

In the latest communication to members, TUST chairman Michael Goulbourne revealed a 'cordial' meeting on Tuesday with a group of local businessmen who have formed a second bidding party.

Met Office camp out

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

Youngsters are set to camp out at the Met Office in Exeter this weekend to

learn about the science behind weather.

Met Office

The camps for 11-13 year olds will explain how meteorologists understand, measure and forecast the weather and climate. Andy Brown, director of science, said he hoped it would "inspire the scientists of the future".

Bulwark photo wins Royal Navy award

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

Royal Navy Leading Photographer Derek Wade has won the Peregrine Trophy award for diversity and inclusion for this photo of a sailor leaving Plymouth on HMS Bulwark.

Derek Wade photo
Crown Copyright

The Peregrine Trophy dates back to 1961 and is named after the HMS Peregrine Royal Naval Air Station in Sussex. You can see the rest of the winners


Derriford cancels 'most operations'

BBC Radio Devon

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth

cancelled more operations than anywhere else in the country in the first three months of this year, NHS England figures show.

Derriford Hospital

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust cancelled 648, followed by Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, with 526. Only a handful of trusts cancelled none at all between January and March.

More than 20,000 operations were cancelled at the last minute by NHS hospitals in England during the last quarter, the worst performance in a decade.

Accidents cause travel problems

BBC Travel

  • In Plymouth on Octagon Street near Manor Gardens we've got reports of an accident.
  • There's another accident in Ivybridge on Exeter Road near Rue St Pierre.
  • It's the same situation in Plymouth on Renown Street and again in Cobourg Street where a car has overturned near Northcross Roundabout. Motorists are being warned to expect heavy traffic in the city centre.

Irish gig rower recovering

Laurence Reed

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

It was great to hear the Irish rower who collapsed during the

World Pilot Gig Championships on the Isles of Scilly should be well enough to leave hospital in the next few days.


It's thought Peter Kavanagh had a heart attack at the end of the race on Saturday afternoon and was airlifted to hospital in Truro.

His friend and captain of the

Arklow Rowing Club Charlie Dayman told me today: "I think the excitement and everything that went with it, being 69...maybe circumstances got the better of him."

Rob Baxter commends Henry Slade's 'breakthrough year'

James Law

BBC South West Sport

Rob Baxter has commended Exeter Chiefs' Henry Slade on

a "breakthrough year" after the fly-half won young player of the year at the Rugby Players' Association awards.

Henry Slade
Getty Images

Chiefs host Sale tomorrow in their final regular-season game as they look to seal a first-ever top-four finish.

"It's been a real breakthrough year for him," head coach Baxter told

BBC Radio Devon. "He's had a really good year of maturing into not just a capable but a standout Premiership rugby back."

Food safety charges for Cornish dairy farm

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A mother and daughter who run an organic ice cream firm have pleaded guilty to food safety charges relating to their dairy farm in North Cornwall.

At Bodmin Magistrates Fredrica Allen, 43, of Helsett Farm near Boscastle, pleaded guilty to charges including failing to ensure raw milk from Bovine TB positive cows was not used for human consumption.

Her mother Sarah Talbot-Ponsonby, 75, admitted failing to immediately withdraw dairy products that did not comply with food safety regulations. Both women will be sentenced later this afternoon.

Care home thrives

Victoria Gould

BBC Radio Cornwall

A care home in north Cornwall has become the first in the county to be rated as "outstanding" by the

Care Quality Commission.



Perran Bay Care Home in Perranporth is one of only ten in England to achieve the highest rating out of more than 3,000 that have been inspected since the regulator launched a new assessment regime in October.

Overturned car causes delays

Plymouth Police

tweets: "There are likely to be delays in the city centre due to a car over turned on Cobourg St. Please find alternative routes #Plymouth."

Girl abused during piggy-back rides

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

A pensioner has been jailed for abusing a girl in the 1980s while they played games and he gave her piggy-back rides.

Deryk Alex-Sanders
Devon and Cornwall Police

Deryk Alex-Sanders, 81, abused the eight-year-old girl when she visited his home, but the

assaults were not revealed for more than 30 years.

Alex-Sanders, of Denys Road, Totnes, admitted three charges of indecent assault. The pensioner, who is said to be in poor health, was jailed for two years at Exeter Crown Court.

Chiefs to be backed by full house

Western Morning News

Exeter Chiefs' final home game of the season against Sale Sharks is likely to be a sell out according to a club representative, reports the

Western Morning News.

A capacity crowd of 12,600 is expected to descend upon Sandy Park on Saturday to help boost their side's chances of grabbing a place in the Aviva Premiership play-offs.

Husband and wife die after 'disturbance'

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live


second person has died after a disturbance at a house in Tamerton Foliot earlier this month.

Police found Gloria Perring, dead inside a house in Ashleigh Close on 5 May and her husband - Edward Perring - collapsed from his injuries. He was taken to Derriford Hospital but has now died.

The Devon & Cornwall Police Major Crime Team says it is continuing to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the deaths and a file is currently being prepared for the Coroner.

Exam worries? Stroke a pig or jump into a ball pool

Sean Coughlan

Education correspondent

It's the exam season, with students facing

the angst of revision and pre-exam nerves. But in a growing tradition, universities and student unions are making increasingly elaborate efforts to tackle stress.


Students at the University of Exeter are being offered small pigs to help ease their exam fears - while students at the University of Plymouth want to raise funds to pay for a 'ball pool', big enough for 50 students at a time.

Magicseaweed sold in £7m deal

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Devon-based surfing goods and forecasting firm Magicseaweed has been bought by an Australian company as

part of a £7m deal.


Founded in 2002 in Kingsbridge, it provides online forecasting and live reporting of more than 4,000 beaches around the world.

Surfing goods firm Surfstitch purchased the firm as part of a combined purchase of Magicseaweed and surf magazine Stab. Magicseaweed said it was "thrilled" at the deal which would allow expansion.

Man, 85, charged with attempted murder

BBC Radio Cornwall

An 85-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder after an 81-year-old man was left with serious leg injuries following an incident at Shawforth in Rossendale last August.

Vincent Simpson of Pendeen in Cornwall is due to appear at Burnley Magistrates Court next month.

Police were after reports an elderly man had been hit by a car, suffering serious leg injuries.

Looks good for cricket on Saturday

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

It'll be mostly dry this afternoon with spells of sunshine, although it will be a little more cloudy in the far west. This evening, the cloud will start to edge eastwards bringing some scattered outbreaks of light rain or drizzle. Light or moderate northeasterly winds will veer to the southwest.


Tonight it will

start dry to the east but becoming increasingly cloudy as outbreaks of light rain spread eastwards. Low cloud and patches of hill fog will also develop before clearing and becoming dry again by morning. Moderate southwesterly winds will veer to the northwest and freshen. Min Temp: 9C (48F). Saturday will be a dry day with bright or sunny spells.

Big rise in rental prices

BBC Spotlight

Rents in the south west have gone up by more than 15% in the last year - that's according to new figures from a landlord's insurance firm.


They suggest the region now has the third highest rents in the UK where private tenants now pay an average of £877 a month. Greater London tops the table closely followed by the south east. HomeLet, which compiled the findings, says demand for rental property outside the capital has increased sharply in the last 12 months.

Cornwall on the road again

Ross Ellis

Presenter, BBC Radio Cornwall

The Cornwall rugby team play their second county championship match against Kent on Saturday - there'll be full coverage on

BBC Radio Cornwall from 15:00.

Brian Tempest

The Black and Golds

won their opening match at Gloucestershire 27 - 8 but joint coach Ian Morgan says they mustn't get carried away, adding "Every single game we play is a cup final, we can't afford to slip up".

Fairly peaceful on the roads

BBC Travel

  • One lane is closed on
    the M5 southbound in Devon between junction 28, A373 (Cullompton Services) and junction 29, A30 (Exeter) because of a broken-down vehicle.
  • The A380 Besigheim Way in Newton Abbot is busy but moving southbound at Penn Inn Roundabout.
  • Traffic's flowing smoothly on the Tamar Bridge, there's up to a 15 minute wait with two ferries running at Torpoint.
  • It's Plymouth Pirate Weekend this Saturday, there will be a road closure from junction Notte St to junction of Lambhay Hill. A diversion will be in place.

Hogg to lobby for 'fairer share'

Simon Hall

Correspondent, BBC South West

Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner said he'll soon be lobbying the newly-elected government for more money.



his blog, Tony Hogg argues the force needs more because of its geographical position and the extra number of people during holidays, adding: "Our biggest challenge is to ensure the sustainability of Devon and Cornwall Police and maintain the area as one of the UK's safest places to live, work and visit."

Dune ponies

Matt Pengelly

Local Live

Thanks a lot to Neil Trudgeon for emailing in this lovely picture of ponies on the dunes at Mexico Towans near Hayle.

Neil Trudgeon

We've used the shot as the banner on our

BBC Local Live page today - if you've got a photo you'd like to share with us, please
send us an email.

Missing found

BBC Radio Cornwall

A missing Liskeard woman has been found safe and well in the town this morning.

Police had been concerned for Lorraine Richens, 62, who had disappeared from her home yesterday.

Torpedoes away!

Matt Pengelly

Local Live

The Royal Navy warship HMS Sutherland has been testing her kit after a refit in Plymouth.

Royal Navy
Royal Navy

The Sting Ray torpedo is fired out of the tube using high-pressure air, then a small parachute deploys to slow its decent into the ocean. Although this was a practice one, the real thing carries a 1000lb explosive charge and is powered underwater at more than 50mph towards enemy submarines.

Let's all do the conger

Plymouth Herald

The conger eel caught by Plymouth fishermen yesterday has now made its way around the world, cheers the

Plymouth Herald.

Plymouth Fisheries

Slithering in the nationals, the 59kg and six metre eel has hit the headlines as far afield as New Zealand.

Are elderly drivers safe?

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

The number of drivers aged 70 or older is now rising by more than 10,000 a month.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists thinks the government needs to do something about it. What do you think? Take part in today's phone-in by calling me on 0345 3011034.

Stranded coasteerers rescued from rocks

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

Three coasteerers who were stranded on rocks at Praa Sands in Cornwall have been rescued by RNLI lifeguards.

Praa Sands

The charity said the swell was "huge" and the group could not negotiate the rocks on Wednesday afternoon. One coasteerer raised the alarm by scrambling the cliff and running along the coastal path.

The group was retrieved from the rocks by an inshore rescue boat. The RNLI said no-one was injured and the group had appropriate safety equipment.