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  1. Updates on Thursday 14 July 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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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 Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. 

Don't forget Spotlight on BBC One this evening and the late bulletin at 22:30. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

Friday's weather: Cloud and rain building throughout the day

The skies will turn increasingly cloudy through tomorrow, becoming thick enough in places to give the odd spot of rain or drizzle. The cloud will lower through the day too, perhaps leading to hill and coastal fog later. Maximum Temperature: 19C (66F)

Weather map

Sperm whale removed from Perranporth beach

BBC Radio Cornwall

The female sperm whale has been removed from Perranporth beach, according to Perranzabuloe Parish Council.

Sperm whale
Reg Butler

It was found stranded on its side in the shallows, when the tide went out and died on the shore.

Scientists had carried out an a post mortem on the 38ft (12m) giant, taking some samples back to London to learn more about the creatures.

Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

Claire Jones

BBC News Online

Do not feed wild animals by hand warns RSPCA

Following an attack on a three-year-old boy by a "pack" of squirrels as he fed them the RSPCA has the following advice for those wanting to feed wild animals.

A spokeswoman said: "Many people enjoy seeing grey squirrels while out in the countryside and they can be safely observed from a reasonable distance. Squirrel feeders are available to buy or make for people who want to feed squirrels in their garden."

Grey squirrel

She added: "We would never recommend any adult or child hand feed any wild animal by hand as they can be unpredictable.

"This must have been very upsetting, but fortunately these incidents are extremely rare."

Green light for Lidl in East Devon is "enormous boost", councillor says

BBC Radio Devon

The green light for a new Lidl store in East Devon has been described as "an enormous boost for growth and confidence".

Last week East Devon District Council approved planning permission for Lidl to build their new regional distribution centre, a move which will see the supermarket create about 500 jobs for the area.

Lidl sign

Councillor Paul Diviani, leader of East Devon District Council, said: "Planning approval for Lidl's new regional distribution centre is an enormous boost for growth and confidence for East Devon and indeed greater Exeter, greater Devon.

"Lidl coming here underlines the incredible credentials of the area for strategic employment growth."

Adrienne Howells, from Lidl UK, added: "We are of course thrilled that this will lead to considerable investment and job creation in the area, and we're very much looking forward to getting started on construction."

Cornwall police officers and staff praised at award ceremony

Claire Jones

BBC News Online

Devon and Cornwall Police are holding an award ceremony today to honour the professionalism and commitment of police officers, staff and volunteers from across Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.

The ceremony will take place at County Hall, Truro and the awards will be presented by Chief Superintendent Jim Pearce, Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith, Temporary Superintendent Mark Bolt and Detective Superintendent Stephen Parker.

Nothing makes Leadsom happier 'than a nice holiday in Cornwall'

BBC Radio Cornwall

Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom has told the Commons that nothing would maker her happier than a "nice holiday in Cornwall". 

Mrs Leadsom made her first appearance at the despatch box since withdrawing from the leadership contest, clearing the way for Theresa May to become Prime Minister.

Andrea Leadsom and St Ives

Major restoration for Exeter library reaches halfway stage

BBC Radio Devon

A major restoration project in Exeter - which is costing £500,000 - has reached the halfway stage.

The money is being spent on repairing the Georgian library roof of the Devon and Exeter Institution in Cathedral Close.

Bosses say the work will protecting the institution's collection of rare books and newspapers - some dating back to the 16th Century.

Endangered species of ray receives a boost

BBC Radio Cornwall

Work to protect an endangered species of ray that lives in Cornish waters has received a boost.

Blue Reef Aquarium

One small-eyed ray has hatched and three more are due to emerge from their egg cases at Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay.

Once hatched, the rays will remain at the aquarium.

Tourism boss Samantha Groom presented with a British Empire Medal

Tourism boss Samantha Groom has been presented with a British Empire Medal for services to tourism in Cornwall.

Samantha Groom
Excess Energy

Ms Groom said "this has been a very special day for me" and she was "absolutely thrilled" to receive the medal, which acknowledges community work.

Colonel Edward Bolitho presented the award on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.

Torridge District Council criticised on new housing plans

BBC Radio Devon

Torridge District Council is being criticised for not giving people enough chance to have their say on new housing plans.

The authority wants to build homes on four tennis courts in Westward Ho! and create a new children's play area.

The plans are online and are going on show at two drop-in sessions but people like Maggie Durkin say they haven't been given enough notice.

Ms Durkin said: "I'm just very angry as Torridge District Council keeps gobbling up more and more land in this area."

The Conservative Leader of Torridge District Council Jane Whittaker says the space has potential for more homes.

Mother's shock after three-year-old son attacked by 'pack' of squirrels

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

The mother of a three-year-old boy attacked by squirrels has spoken of her shock after the incident.

Sophie Renouf, a shop assistant from Pool, said she had been to the park several times before and fed the squirrels with her son Finlay.

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"He was feeding them as normal with nuts, I wouldn't let him feed them if I thought there was any danger. One squirrel came up and then all of a sudden six of them came out of the hedge. One of them bit him on the hand five times. There was blood pouring out of his hand and down his legs, it was all over him."

She rushed Finlay to a nearby minor injuries unit but he was transferred to Cornwall's main hospital, Treliske, near Truro.

Boy's hand

Latest travel news: Plymouth's Wolseley Road blocked

BBC Travel

  • In Plymouth, Wolseley Road blocked inbound, with very slow traffic, due to accident between the Cookworthy Road and Lidl junctions
  • In Penwithick, Hallaze Road is partially blocked due to an accident near the Montgomery Road junction. Traffic is busy but moving

Devon and Cornwall Police investigate knifepoint robbery

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

Police investigating a knifepoint robbery in Okehampton have released images of a man they want to speak to in connection with the incident.

At around 21:15 on 9 July a man entered the Costcutter store on Exeter Road and is reported to have threatened two members of staff with a large carving knife, police said.

The man forced open the till drawer and stole cash before leaving the shop, heading in the direction of The Giblands Estate. Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Devon and Cornwall Police

GPS tags reveal the secret life of St Ives seagulls

The Cornishman

A ground-breaking study into the life of seagulls in St Ives has revealed the birds spend little time scavenging for food on the streets.

BBC Weather Watchers enjoying the sun

Port Isaac
BBC Weather Watchers
BBC Weather Watchers

MP writes to the new chancellor 'alerting' him of South West 'rail issues'

BBC Radio Devon

Campaigners for improved rail links in the South West are wasting no time in lobbying the new government. 

South West Devon MP Gary Streeter's written to the new chancellor to "alert" him to what he describes as "the most important issue" affecting the peninsula. 

A task force is due to present its 20-year plan for improvement to ministers in September.

Millionaire sponsors sepsis leaflets in memory of baby William

Elisabeth Mahy

BBC News Online

A Lottery millionaire is sponsoring sepsis warning leaflets in memory of baby William Mead who died of the condition. 

William Mead
William Mead's family

The leaflets will be handed out to expectant parents throughout the UK and outline the warning signs for blood poisoning in babies.

Truro millionaire Peter Congdon has stepped forward to pay the printing costs, which are around £6,000. Melissa Mead, William's mother, said Mr Congdon's gesture was "humbling".

Escaped lynx: People contact zoo stating two-year-old cat 'should not have been separated from mother'

Chris Ellis

BBC News Online

A two-year-old lynx is still on the run after escaping from a zoo a week ago.

Dartmoor Zoo said some people had "expressed concern" that Flaviu had been separated from his mother and people had "questioned the ethics of doing so".

Dartmoor Zoo

In response, the zoo said: "We can fully understand how the implications of separating the mother/child bond would inspire feelings of anxiety in people; some have assumed that his escape was an attempt to get back to his mother. 

"However, with regard to animals, and the lynx in particular, the opposite is actually true. Flaviu is approaching sexual maturity. It is at this age, and often earlier, that we would expect him to be leaving the immediate care of his parents and setting off to establish a territory of his own. 

"In the wild, there would be no further contact with the parents and any close proximity might well lead to territorial conflict." Keepers are still trying to find the lynx after it escaped from the zoo last week.

Truro Lottery millionaire sponsors sepsis awareness leaflets

West Briton

A Truro lottery millionaire has stepped forward to sponsor sepsis awareness leaflets to be given to expectant mothers across the UK as a lasting legacy to a Penryn baby who died of the condition.

Thousands of jellyfish wash up on Cornish beach

Thousands of jellyfish have been washed up on a Cornish beach just days after a sperm whale got stranded and died at the same place.

Marine specialists say the current onshore winds are bringing in large numbers of jellyfish from the Atlantic.

Reg Butler

The jellyfish, known as moon jellies, which used to be rare in Cornish waters, do not have a painful sting.

On Sunday, a female sperm whale was discovered in the shallows on Perranporth beach.

Sperm whale
Reg Butler

Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

Claire Jones

BBC News Online

  • A three-year-old boy was left pouring with blood when he was attacked by a "pack" of squirrels as he fed them
  • Devon and Cornwall Police have been served with dozens of detailed questions about their procedures by the watchdog investigating whether to bring corporate manslaughter charges over the death of church caretaker Thomas Orchard
  • Tens of thousands of jellyfish have been stranded at Perranporth beach in Cornwall

Latest travel across Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

  • On the A35 in Wilmington, the road is partially blocked and there's slow traffic around the Loughwood Lane junction, because of a broken down vehicle
  • There's slow traffic on the A30 in Monkton between the Hedgend Road junction and the Viney Lane junction

Courtney Richards: Torquay United midfielder signs new deal

BBC Sport

Torquay United midfielder Courtney Richards has signed a new undisclosed-length contract.  

The 22-year-old joined the National League Gulls on a two-year contract in 2014 after leaving Brighton, and he has scored six goals in 74 league games.

"I'm delighted to have Courtney back on board," player-boss Kevin Nicholson, told the club website.

"He is a leader and our vice-captain, and the kind of player who you want alongside you in a battle".

Cornwall Council: 'Sorry' about boy attacked by squirrels

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

Cornwall Council said it was "sorry to hear about" a three-year-old boy left with an injured hand after an attack by a "pack" of six squirrels.

View more on twitter

A spokesperson said: "Many people visit Tehidy Country Park to see the squirrels so they are quite used to people being around and unafraid to approach if they think food might be available.

"However, they are wild animals which are naturally capable of finding their own food and we do not encourage or advise people to feed them or any of the wild birds at Tehidy."

Finlay Renouf was pounced on as he fed a squirrel at Tehidy Country Park in Cornwall.

Finlay Renouf

Thomas Orchard death: Devon and Cornwall Police statement

BBC Spotlight

Devon and Cornwall Police has released a statement after they were served with dozens of detailed questions by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) about their procedures following the death of Thomas Orchard while in their care.

A police spokesman said: "The force has fully co-operated with the IPCC during the course of this investigation and continues to do so.

"The force has now received a series of questions from the IPCC, together with several files of documentation.

"We are in the process of considering the documentation and seeking to answer the questions that have been posed.

"Whilst the force remains concerned about the length of time that it has taken to reach this stage of the IPCC's investigation, we are working hard to answer the questions as soon as possible."

Missing man Lee Hayden found, police say

Claire Jones

BBC News Online

Devon and Cornwall Police has said missing man Lee Hayden has returned home of his own accord.

The 44-year-old has been missing from the Bodmin area for the last nine days and returned home last night at around 22:00.

Police said Mr Hayden was last seen by his family on 5 July and his family had grown increasingly concerned for his safety and whereabouts.

CCTV of Lee Hayden
Devon and Cornwall Police

Thomas Orchard death: Watchdog examines documents

BBC Spotlight

The Independent Police Complaints Commission have now served on Devon and Cornwall Police a file containing hundreds of documents they are examining in connection with the Thomas Orchard case.

They've also raised questions about the force's training, health and safety procedures, and guidance issued to officers and police staff. 

A senior source at Devon and Cornwall Police told us it would take them “several months” to respond to the questions.

Thomas Orchard
Devon and Cornwall Police

Boy 'attacked' by 'pack' of six squirrels

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

A three-year-old boy was left with blood pouring from his hand after an attack by a "pack" of six squirrels. 

Finlay Renouf was pounced on as he fed a squirrel at Tehidy Country Park in Cornwall said his mother Sophie, 22. 

"All of a sudden six of them came at him. I've never heard such a heart-rending scream. There was blood dripping everywhere," she said. 

Cornwall Council said it may put up warning signs about feeding animals "if this becomes a regular problem".

Finlay's hand

Jellyfish stranded on 'sperm whale beach'

Tens of thousands of jellyfish have been stranded at Perranporth beach in Cornwall.

On Sunday a sperm whale was stranded, and later died, on the same beach.

iWalk Cornwall

Kristian McConville, from the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, said the stranding of jellyfish was "not unusual".

"It's likely the prevailing wind has drawn the jellyfish close to the shore and then the tide has landed them on the beach. 

"Jellyfish do not have a huge amount of control over their movement." 

Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

Claire Jones

BBC News Online

  • Devon and Cornwall Police have been served with dozens of detailed questions about their procedures by the watchdog investigating whether to bring corporate manslaughter charges over the death of church caretaker Thomas Orchard
  • Pupils at a Cornish primary school have mounted their own safety campaign to try to prevent parents from dropping off their children on yellow zig-zag lines
  • Parents and teachers have reacted with concern to the news that sixth-form pupils in Devon will no longer be automatically entitled to school transport unless in exceptional circumstances

Thomas Orchard death: Family 'pleased with progress'

BBC Spotlight

Alison Orchard, the mother of Thomas Orchard, told the BBC: “We are pleased that the process is moving on as it’s now nearly four years since Thomas died.”

Devon and Cornwall police have been served with dozens of detailed questions about their procedures by the watchdog investigating whether to bring corporate manslaughter charges over the death of the church caretaker.

The trial of three police staff accused of killing Mr Orchard was halted in March this year for legal reasons.

Custody sergeant Jan Kingshott and civilian detention officers Simon Tansley and Michael Marsden

Custody sergeant Jan Kingshott, 44, and civilian detention officers Simon Tansley, 38, and Michael Marsden, 55 were on trial for manslaughter. They denied the charges. A retrial is due to be held in January 2017.

Firefighters called to car fire in Brixham

Firefighters were called after a woman reported her car was on fire on the driveway outside her property.

The crew said the vehicle was "well alight" but that it had not spread to the house. 

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said it was thought the fire was started deliberately.

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