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  1. Updates on Friday 13 May 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Friday's live coverage

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Mystery over disappearance of tragic pleasure trip boat

A team of divers will be spending this summer searching for a pleasure boat which sank off the Cornish coast with the loss of 31 lives 50 years ago. 

National Maritime Museum Cornwall

The Darlwynne was taking sightseeers on a trip between Mylor and Fowey when it disappeared.

The wreckage has never been found. 

Court ruling over term-time holidays welcomed in South West

BBC Radio Cornwall

A father who refused to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter on an unauthorised term-time holiday has won a High Court ruling in his favour.

The Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall said it was a triumph for common sense, adding: "There are certain businesses that have really been hurt... they'll be over the moon that there's a bit more common sense come back in."

Meanwhile, people we spoke to had mixed feelings about removing children from school:

  • I understand why people take them [children] out because it's ridiculous that air fares shoot up
  • We work in the summer holidays, we work in the easter holidays, we can't take our holidays then so what about David Cameron's big family ideas?
  • What else can they do? It's difficult to enforce, takeing money away from people - nobody likes that - so it's probably the way to do it

Former teacher John McKno jailed for boarding school sex abuse

A former teacher who sexually abused five pupils at boarding schools has been jailed for 14 years.

John McKno
Suffolk Police

John McKno abused boys at three schools in Suffolk, Devon and Worcestershire, which have all closed since the offences in the 1970s and 80s.

Ipswich Crown Court heard four of McKno's victims were under 16, and one was under 14.

Weather latest: A fine dry day tomorrow

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Any showers will die out to leave a dry night with some cloud but also some clear intervals. It will feel cooler than recent nights. Minimum Temperature: 8 Deg C (46 Deg F).

Weather graphic

Saturday will be a fresher feeling day with sunshine and scattered fair weather cloud. Despite the cooler conditions, it will still feel fairly pleasant in the sunshine with variable winds. Maximum Temperature: 15 Deg C (59 Deg F).

Benefits swindler 'brought shame' on family

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

A benefits swindler, who was caught when a secret investigator got her legs waxed, has been told she "brought shame" on her family.


Tracy Carter-Lunn, 55, of Stott Close, Plymouth said she had nerve damage in her arm from falling through a glass door as a child, and claimed a botched operation had affected her mobility.

But a social security investigator found she was fit enough to work at 50 Shades of Hair and Beauty Salon in Plymouth. Recorder John Williams said: "It is grossly unfair to taxpayers and to people who claim these benefits who are subject to suspicion because of people like you who abuse the system."

She admitted falsely claiming benefits and was jailed for nine months,  suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.   

Police launch Twitter rant after drink driver crashes into Saltash Tunnel on her way to work

Plymouth Herald

A woman is in custody on suspicion of drink driving after crashing her car and blocking part of the Saltash tunnel while on her way to work last night (Thursday).

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

- A pilot has been injured after his light aircraft crashed near Branscombe Airfield

- A beautician who falsely claimed disability benefits was caught by an investigator posing as a customer for leg waxing

- A tourism boss has welcomed news that the High Court has found in favour of a father who won a court case over a fine for taking his daughter on an unauthorised term-time holiday

Devon Tiger Moth plane crash pilot injured

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

A pilot has been injured after his vintage Tiger Moth plane crashed into a field.


The male pilot, who was the sole occupant, is being treated by paramedics for leg and back injuries after the crash at Weston, near Branscombe airfield. 

A witness said the plane "suddenly fell out of the sky" and landed with a "thud".


Emergency services and a Devon and Cornwall Police helicopter are at the scene where the privately owned aircraft came down. 

A police cordon is in place and the Air Accident Investigation Branch has been informed.

Nile Rodgers chosen as BBC Music Day ambassador for Eden concert

Extra trains laid on for Radio 1's Big Weekend at Powderham

More than 50 extra train services will be put on to help people going to and from the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend at Powderham Castle.

As well as operating 25 extra services each day, GWR will have staff to help those travelling board trains safely.

GWR Station Manager for the area Alison Hanscomb said: "I would urge customers to allow time for their journeys to get to Windsor and to check the time of journeys home."

Devon urged to stop prosecuting parents over term time holidays

Exeter Express & Echo

Devon education bosses are being urged to suspend further prosecutions of parents who remove their children from school to go on holiday.

Cornwall aim for second victory in county championships

Ross Ellis

BBC Radio Cornwall

The Cornwall rugby team travel to Hertfordshire tomorrow for their second County Championship match.

Cornwall Rugby Team

The coaches have made seven positional changes with Greg Goodfellow starting at scrum-half and Matt Shepherd moving to full back.

A win for Cornwall will see them take a step closer to a potential fourth Twickenham final in a row.

It must be summer as temperatures hit 22C!

Little-used station to see passenger numbers soar - for a day

BBC Radio Cornwall

One of the least used stations in the UK is to quadruple its annual passenger footfall in just one day this weekend. 


Coombe Junction Halt is on GWR's Liskeard to Looe branch line. Train enthusiasts will try tomorrow to get as many people as possible to climb on board the 10:52 service which stops there.

Historian Brian Oldham said: "Our idea is to move it up the table to catch up with some of those more used stations."

Latest travel for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

- There are delays on the M5 heading towards Devon due to an earlier broken down vehicle between J26 Wellington and J27 Tiverton.

- On the A380 at Kennford we've had reports of an accident on Telegraph Hill just after the split

- The A390 around Truro is busy at Highertown  

- There has been an accident around Ideford on the A380

- Watch out for delays westbound on the A30 over Bodmin Moor

Pilot suffers leg and back injuries in light plane crash in Sidmouth

The pilot of a light plane which crashed near Branscombe Airfield earlier today has suffered leg and back injuries. 

The man, who has not been named, was the sole occupant of the G-AMCK plane and is being treated by paramedics.

Police, ambulance, air ambulance and fire service crews are on the scene along with a police helicopter.

Tourism boss greets term-time holiday court ruling

A father who refused to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter on an unauthorised term-time holiday has won a High Court ruling in his favour.  

View more on twitter

‘Scilly Sergeant’ police blogger to quit island life after headlining festival

The Guardian

He has become something of a cult figure but time is running out for visitors to catch a glimpse of the police sergeant turned blogger and author known as the Scilly Sergeant.  

Witness describes light aircraft crash in Devon

British education 'mechanised' says author

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Author and former children's laureate, Michael Rosen, has described the UK's  education policy as "awful" and "mechanised" during a talk in Cornwall.   

Michael Rosen

Mr Rosen, speaking at Cornwall College, said it was a "funny time" to be in the education sector. 

Citing the teaching of grammar, he said it was being taught in a "that's right or wrong" manner and should not, because it was a "democratic form". He said: "We're all using it and changing it."

Weather latest: A warm afternoon with sunshine and showers

BBC Weather

Mainly dry with warm sunny spells this afternoon and the risk of a few isolated showers. Max temp 21 Deg C (70 Deg F).

Weather graphic

Becoming dry with clear spells, but also some cloudier periods. Min temp 8 Deg C (46 Deg F).

BBC Introducing partnership with Boardmasters festival to highlight Cornish talent

The Boardmasters festival will feature a stage run by BBC Introducing in Cornwall for the first time this year.

It's being held to enable the best in home-grown talent perform alongside headliners James Bay, Kaiser Chiefs and Chase and Status during the event from August 10 - 14.

Boardmasters BBC Introducing

BBC Music Introducing in Cornwall supports local talent that is unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar. Producer, Rosie Dunkley, said: “We’re really looking forward to being there, and to recording some brilliant sets from great bands to broadcast on BBC Introducing on BBC Radio Cornwall.”

Turtles 'harvested' according to university study

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

An illegal trade in marine turtles is continuing, despite legislation and conservation awareness campaigns, a pioneering study by a Westcountry university has shown.

University of Exeter

Researchers from the University of Exeter in the Cape Verde islands off the West Coast of Africa, found turtles are still being harvested and consumed.

Community defibrillator installed at busiest beach

A defibrillator has been installed at Falmouth's busiest beach after surf club members raised more than £2,000.

Gyllyngvase Beach

Members of Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving Club in Falmouth spent the winter raising money. Spokesman Matthew Stone said members train local communities and businesses to use it.

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

- A pilot has been injured after the vintage plane he was flying crashed in East Devon this morning 

- Devon and Cornwall Police has been asked by a former MP for Torbay to investigate claims letters sent in David Cameron's name led to a breach of election law

- A huge project to make Castle Drogo watertight is more than 2 million pounds over-budget and 6 months behind schedule

- A benefits cheat beautician has been spared jail

- There's a shortage of people to provide personal care in Cornwall

'More GPs not solution' to doctors leaving

Jenny Walrond, Health Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

More GPs is not the solution to an expected exodus of doctors from practices in the South West, experts studying the issue claim.


"We are addressing an urgent need for the NHS to better understand the reasons behind the loss of both experienced GPs and those taking a career break", said John Campbell, Professor of Primary Care at the University of Exeter Medical School.

The ReGROUP project, led by the universities of Exeter and Bristol, is developing strategies and policies for the NHS. It is funded by nearly £500,000 from the National Institute of Health Research.

Prop Chapman makes Pirates move

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Cornish Pirates have signed Launceston prop Luke Chapman as part of their Player Development Foundation (PDF).

Luke Chapman
Cornish Pirates

The 20-year-old played in all 30 of Launceston's National Two South games this season.

"Luke has trained with us once a week throughout the past season and has shown a cracking attitude," said Pirates player-coach Alan Paver. "With him joining the PDF on a full-time basis it now means he can develop his all-round game."

Beautician sentenced for falsely claimed disability benefits

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

A beautician exposed for claiming £24,500 disability benefits when she waxed the legs of a secret investigator has been spared jail.

Outside court

Tracy Carter-Lunn, 55, said she had a bad arm and could hardly walk,  Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Carter-Lunn, of Stott Close, Plymouth admitted falsely claiming benefits over 13 years from 2006-2010 and from 2012-2014. She was jailed for nine months suspended for 18 months and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work. 

Is there a future for the high street bank?

Matt Woodley

BBC Radio Devon

Twenty banks have closed in Devon in the last year. Do you still have one? And if so, do you use it?

Research by BBC Breakfast shows 600 have shut their doors across the British Bankers Association says fewer customers are using local branches.

But should banks make an effort to serve customers who do have have access to internet banking? Let me know on today's phone-in by calling 0345 3011034.

Light aircraft crashes in Devon

A light aircraft has crashed into a field at Sidmouth. 

Emergency services, including the police helicopter, are on the scene in Weston, near Branscombe airfield.

The sole occupant, a male pilot, is being treated by paramedics for leg and back injuries. A cordon is in place and the Air Accident Investigation Branch has been informed.  

'Sad' decision to cancel rabbit shows to prevent spread of disease

The Secretary of the Royal Cornwall Show, Christopher Riddle, said he was saddened by the decision to scrap its rabbit show to prevent the spread of a deadly disease.

Organisers said there was no real alternative, after advice from the British Rabbit Council and DEFRA about the risk from Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD). The Devon County Show announced earlier this week it was scrapping its rabbit section after a case of VHD was found nearby. 

Christoper Riddle said: "Fortunately this disease poses no threat to humans at all, but along with other events locally we will not be holding this part of the show this year to help prevent the disease spreading further."  

West Mercia Police to investigate allegations of electoral expenses

The force that will look into allegations of improper electoral spending involving the new police and crime commissioner, Alison Hernandez, will be West Mercia Police.

Devon and Cornwall Police's Chief Constable has transferred the investigation to a separate force for reasons of "transparency, integrity and impartiality".

The Independent Police Complaints Commission will also review allegations that Alison Hernandez failed to declare expenses while she was an election agent in Torbay in the 2015 General Election.  

Should parents have the right to take their children out of school during term-time?

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

The High Court is expected to rule later on the case of a father who refused to pay a fine for taking his daughter on holiday during term-time. 

Magistrates had ruled Jon Platt had no case to answer because his daughter had attended school regularly and had a 93% attendance record.

But Isle of Wight Council has asked the High Court to clarify whether a seven-day absence amounts to a child failing to attend regularly. What do you think? Let me know on today's phone-in by calling 01872 222222. 

Tide times for Devon and Cornwall

If you're heading to the coast today, here are the latest high water times.

Tide times

I'll have the full weather forecast on BBC One at 13:30.

Midfielder Oyeleke to leave Exeter City

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Manny Oyeleke has been released by Exeter City, the midfielder has revealed on Twitter.

Manny Oyeleke
Getty Images

The 23-year-old, who left Brentford last summer, played 11 games for League Two side Exeter in the 2015-16 season.

"Thanks to all the players and fans at ECFC for their support this season, enjoyed my time there," Oyeleke posted.

Most people 'ready to talk about dying'

BBC Spotlight

More than half of people in the South West say they're prepared to talk about dying, according to a survey.

Care home

But the same research for Dying Matters Awareness Week suggests not enough people are expressing preferences for care at the end of their lives.

Healthwatch Cornwall is bringing together practitioners to ensure patients get the best quality treatment.  

Cornwall train station had only 26 passengers last year

BBC Spotlight

A drive is under way to change the fortunes of one of the UK's least used train stations in Cornwall.


Coombe Junction Halt is on the Great Western Railway's Liskeard to Looe branch line. It only had 26 passengers last year making it just one step away from the least used station in the country.

It opened 115 years ago this weekend - tomorrow train buffs are planning to swell the numbers by gathering on the platform to catch a train.   

Bright lights of Vegas beckon for local poker player

'Emotional' Tiverton dad brandished knife in stand-off with police

Exeter Express & Echo

A protective father armed himself with a bread knife and threatened police when they came to arrest his fugitive son.