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  1. Devon junior doctor Rebecca Ovenden found dead at home
  2. Stabbed man 'feared for his life' when attacked in car
  3. Kayakers rescued after getting stuck in mud
  4. Learning disability homes on 'brink of closure'
  5. Hundreds of people remembered after battleships attacked 75 years ago
  6. Bishop of Truro to be Archbishop of Canterbury's aide
  7. Isles of Scilly power cable repaired
  8. Updates on Tuesday 4 April 2017

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 Wednesday 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.

Man jailed for burgling vets for drugs and charity boxes

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A drug addict has been jailed after burgling a string of vets practices in Cornwall to steal charity boxes and drugs.

Marcus Wingfield, 42, of New Haw in Surrey, was sentenced to a total of four and a half years after pleading guilty to burglary at Truro Crown Court.

The court heard how he took £100 worth of animal medication and two charity boxes from Highertown Vets in Truro.

Highertown Vets in Truro
Highertown Vets in Truro was one of those burgled

He also drove to the Treleigh Animal Hospital in Redruth from where he stole two charity boxes.

The final victim was the Redruth Veterinary Surgery from where £300 of animal medication was stolen.

All of the offences were committed between 24 December and 29 December 2016.

The court heard how Wingfield is a long time drug user who receives methadone prescriptions. His explanation for stealing the charity boxes was to cover fuel costs.

Team BRIT races ahead: From military to motorsport

BBC News England

A team of former military personnel, who where all injured while serving, are hoping to become the first all-disabled team to compete in France's Le Mans 24-hour race.

The four drivers - Team BRIT, which stands for British Racing Injured Troops - have showcased new hand control technology at the Bedford Autodrome racetrack.

The technology uses an electronic throttle, clutch, gear-changing and braking system.

The four drivers are Warren McKinlay, 35, from Braintree; Jimmy Hill, 34, from Bournemouth; Tony Williams, 32, from St Helens, and 24-four-year-old Andy Searle from Torquay.

Wreath commemorates WW2 warships' sinking

BBC Spotlight

The 75th anniversary of the sinking of two Devonport battle cruisers by Japanese aircraft during World War Two has been commemorated during a special service and wreath-laying on Plymouth Hoe.


Hundreds of men were lost when HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Cornwall were bombed in the Indian Ocean on Easter Sunday in 1942. They were attacked by Japanese carrier-based aircraft in the Indian Ocean. More than 1,020 survived but 424 lost their lives.

The wreath was laid by members of the HMS Dorsetshire Association. 

Retired Vice Admiral Sir Richard Ibbotson said the bombing was a "very significant point" in 1942.

Police take man injured in brawl to hospital after ambulance wait

Cornwall Live

A man whose head was stamped on during a brawl in Truro was taken to hospital by police after waiting an hour for an ambulance to arrive.

Weather: Possible frost overnight but a dry Wednesday

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

We're in for a chilly night tonight, with clear skies and maybe some grass frost in rural areas over Exmoor and a minimum of 3C (37F). 


Wednesday will remain chilly, but dry and bright, with cloud increasing a little through the day. Maximum temperature: 13C (55F). 

Policeman in court over indecent images charges

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

A police officer has appeared in court charged with making indecent images of children and firearms offences

PC Jonathan Fulcher, 34, faces three counts of making 290 indecent images of a child between June 2010 and October 2016 at Crediton, Devon.

He's also accused of attempting to cause a 13-year-old to look at a sexual image for his own sexual gratification.

PC Jonathan Fulcher
Nick Irving

PC Fulcher, of High Road Credition, also faces charges of possessing a weapon for the discharge of a noxious liquid, namely pava, and of illegally possessing two bullets.

He did not enter a plea at Exeter Magistrates' Court and the case will now be heard at the Crown Court.

Devon and Cornwall Police have suspended him from his role based in Exeter.

Babbacome Cliff Railway back on track after £100k refurb

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The Babbacombe Cliff Railway in Torbay has reopened after a £100,000 refurbishment, staff say.

Babbacombe Cliff Railway
Babbacombe Cliff Railway

The attraction, which has been transporting people from up on Babbacombe Downs to the secluded Oddicombe Beach since 1926, was closed just before Christmas for work including the installation of two new carriages.

Babbacombe Cliff Railway
Babbacombe Cliff Railway

After 20 volunteers and Sam the dog rode in the new stainless steel carriages this morning as part of safety sign-offs, staff said they were "delighted" to declare the railway open.

Repaired £2.4m sea wall all finished

The Environment Agency has finished repairing Torcross sea defence after it was damaged by storms last year.

The repaired wall cost £2.4m and reduces the risk of flooding to 51 properties.

It is designed to withstand a severe storm, even when beach levels are low.

The Environment Agency will inspect the defence every 24 months and monitor the wall repair during bad weather.

Seawall at Torcross
Environment Agency

Rebecca Ovenden's colleagues speak of "much-loved" doctor

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Colleagues of Rebecca Ovenden, who was found dead in her home last week , have paid tribute to the junior doctor.

Anne Hicks, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Derriford Hospital, said Dr Ovenden would be "very sadly missed".

"Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones," she said.

Helena Holt, CEO of Devon Air Ambulance, where Dr Ovenden also worked, said: "On behalf of everyone at Devon Air Ambulance we send our thoughts and condolences to Becky's family, friends and work colleagues at this difficult time."

Nigel Hare, operations director, added: "We were very sad to hear of Becky's passing. She was a talented doctor and much respected member of our team and will be missed by us all."

Derriford Hospital

Tackling the plastic

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

This group at Devon's Woolacoombe Beach have been helping in a challenge to collect 50,000 plastic bottles from the country's shoreline.

It's the latest effort by the charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) to tackle plastic pollution.

Beach clean
Charlotte Howell-Jones

SAS's Big Spring Beach Clean 2017 is going on all week across the south west. The charity says there are almost 160 plastic bottles for every mile of UK shoreline and that plastic pollution is affecting almost every part of our oceans.

Isles of Scilly power cable to get further surveys

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Surveys are to be carried out on a power cable connecting the Isles of Scilly with the National Grid after it was repaired, engineers say.

Broken cable. Pic: Western Power Distribution
Western Power Distribution

The 55km 33,000-volt cable, the only connection between Scilly and the National Grid, suffered "catastrophic damage" from the anchor of an unidentified boat at the end of February, Western Power Distribution said.

The utilities company chartered a specialist ship to carry out the "challenging" repairs on the cable, which was on the sea bed, about 70m (200ft) down.

The further survey work would not affect customers' supplies, WPD said.

Road accident in Plymouth

BBC News Travel

In Plymouth, there are reports of an accident on the A3064 Wolseley Road, near Wordsworth Road.

Poldark series three to air on BBC One in June

Radio Times

The next series of the Aidan Turner drama  Poldark  will start on BBC One in June .

Poldark. Pic: BBC/Mammoth Screen
BBC/Mammoth Screen

A BBC spokeswoman confirmed the news: "The earlier filming schedule on this series means that we can bring the much anticipated third series back sooner for fans to Sunday nights in June."

The second series aired in the autumn against ITV drama Victoria, but senior BBC sources were insistent that the decision for series three was not about avoiding a clash with a rival show but about giving viewers a "summer treat".

Police hunt 'brazen' handbag burglar

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Police car

Police in St Ives are hunting a "brazen burglar" who walked into a woman's home and stole her handbag right in front of her.

Officers said the victim was "stunned" to see the man enter her home in Ayrs Lane and "simply take the bag from the lounge" at about 19:30 on Monday 27 March before leaving through the front door. The bag was found nearby but a purse containing cards and a small amount of cash was taken.

The man was described as white, in his early 30s and about 5ft 10ins tall. He had short dark combed over hair and was wearing a dark round necked jumper.

PC Aaron Heath, based at Penzance, said: "This was a brazen and unusual act which caused considerable alarm to the homeowner."   

Pub keeps noise down after couple 'could not die in peace'

Plymouth Herald

A frustrated grandmother says her elderly parents' deaths were disturbed by loud music, bad language and rowdy behaviour from a nearby pub.

Attacks on livestock: Owners urged to keep dogs on lead

Dog owners are being warned to keep their pets under control while on holidays this Easter. 

Rural insurer NFU Mutual says the cost of claims as a result of dog attacks on livestock rose by almost 50% across the UK last year - a "record level".

In the South West, claims added up to £28,846 in 2016. 

The problem was worse from January to April, when pregnant ewes and lambs are often grazing on low-lying pasture in areas more accessible to walkers, the company said.


In the swim: Dolphins enjoyed the weekend sunshine too

War memorial correction suggestion rejected by family

BBC Radio Cornwall

A council's suggestion on correcting a misspelling of a name on a war memorial in a south east Cornwall village has been rejected by relatives of the man commemorated.

Morval war memorial. Pic: Google

Samuel J Trimble was killed in World War One, but his name is recorded on Morval's memorial as Samuel J Tremble.

Morval Parish Council has said that, so as not to "alter history", it would not change the wording, but offered instead to add "also known as Samuel J Trimble" to the memorial.

Mr Trimble's niece, Marion Hambly, said that was not acceptable to his family.

Police pup finds new use for door stop

Stabbed man 'feared for his life' when attacked in car

A stabbing victim says he feared for his life as he was attacked in his car late at night by a knifeman, a court has heard.

Alex Pierce was stabbed in the chest, arm and thigh as he tried to get out of his car in Exeter during the attack in January, Exeter Crown Court was told.

He said he only survived the attack because his girlfriend screamed so loudly that several nearby residents came out of their houses, one of whom was an off-duty female paramedic who gave him first aid in her home.

Ex-soldier Richard Grant, 46, of Drake Close, Cullompton, denies attempted murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm but admits having a bladed article. The trial continues.

Police pose as cyclists to catch drivers too close to bikes

Cornwall Live

Police in Cornwall are set to crack down on motorists who get to close to bikes by going undercover as ordinary cyclists .

Latest travel in Devon and Cornwall

BBC News Travel

  • In Devon, there's a broken-down vehicle on the A30 westbound, between West Hill and Clyst Honiton
  • Also on the A30 westbound in Cheriton Bishop, there's a broken-down vehicle near Woodleigh Junction, so expect delays there
  • In Cornwall, in Camelford, near the A39, there are reports that a lorry has shed its load on the B3314, near Collan's Cross

Clever octopus outsmarting vet student

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

Meet Octavia the super-intelligent octopus. She lives at Torquay's Living Coasts where she's being observed by veterinary bioscience student Meg Davitt. 

Meg gives Octavia toys and puzzles with food in them to encourage her to use her brain, strength and energy. Lately Octavia has been outwitting the expert by opening items to retrieve food when Meg isn't looking. 

“If she is unable to figure out a puzzle, she will sometimes resort to brute force and pull things apart or give up and sulk," Meg says. 

Octavia the octopus
Meg Davitt

Meg jokes that she might need to start using secret cameras to record the behaviour.

Latest weather: Getting brighter

BBC Weather

The cloudy and dull conditions will continue to lift and break to leave a brighter afternoon with some sunny spells. It will feel quite cold in the moderate to fresh northerly winds that will be strong along the north coast and across the islands. Maximum temperature: 13C (55F).


Overnight, we will see well broken cloud and plenty of clear spells. Winds remain northerly, but will reduce light or moderate. It will be quite cold with minimum temperature: 3C (37F).

Developer sells land where 32-storey building was planned

Devon Live

Plans for land that would have housed a 32-storey block of student flats, the tallest building in the South West, have been scrapped as Devington Homes has sold the site at Derry's Cross, Plymouth where it planned to build the £55m Oceanique development.

Bishop of Truro to move to Lambeth

Sophie Malcolm

BBC News Online

The Bishop of Truro will move to one of the top jobs in the the Church of England.

The Right Reverend Tim Thornton has been announced as the new Bishop at Lambeth.

He is known for his work keeping the church relevant and engaging in the 21st Century, as well as co-chairing an inquiry into foodbanks. 

His new duties will include supporting the Archbishop of Canterbury's work in the House of Bishops, General Synod and the Archbishop's Council. 

Bishop of Truro Tim Thornton
Lambeth Palace

Wood chips in silo destroyed in fire

Andrew Segal

Local Live

The contents of an industrial silo containing wood chips have been destroyed in a fire in Devon, emergency services say.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said crews were called to Nadder Lane in the South Molton area at about 20:50 om Monday.

Firefighters said contents in the silo were "100% damaged by fire" and the silo itself suffered about 5% damage. The cause is believed to be accidental.

Third junior doctor found dead or reported missing in SW

Sian Davies

BBC News Online

Dr Rose Polge
The BBC understands that a note found in Dr Rose Polge's car related mainly to personal issues, but included a passing reference to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

In 2016 the family of  Dr Rose Polge,  25, called for action to halt the "crisis" affecting trainee doctors after she went missing during a junior doctors' strike and took her own life.

Dr Lauren Phillips , who works for North Bristol NHS Trust, has been missing since 23 February. The 26-year-old's car was found in Woolacombe, Devon, five days later but no other traces of her have been found.

Dr Rebecca Ovenden is the third female junior doctor who has died or gone missing in the south west of England in a year.  

In 2015 she posted on social media about the pressures of working in an A&E department. She was found dead by her husband at home in Plymouth, Devon at 09:25 BST on 28 March. She had a history of mental health issues and had previously attempted to take her own life, an inquest heard.

Dr Rebecca Ovenden had worked at Derriford Hospital's emergency department for 18 months

If you are affected by any of the topics in this article, the Samaritans can be contacted free on 116 123 or  through their website.

Latest travel in Devon and Cornwall

BBC News Travel

  • In Cornwall, Tolgus Vean in Redruth is blocked due to an accident at Tolgus Place
  • One lane is closed westbound on the A38 Carkeel roundabout, near Saltash, due to an accident 
  • There's slow-moving traffic on the A30 eastbound around Bodmin
  • In Devon, there are reports of slow traffic on the A379 Torbay Road in Torquay, due to an accident

Devon junior doctor Rebecca Ovenden found dead at home

A "much-loved" junior doctor who posted on social media about the pressures of working in an A&E department has been found dead at her home. 

Dr Rebecca Ovenden, 32, was found by her husband at home in Plymouth on 28 March. 

An inquest into her death was opened and adjourned on Monday which heard she had a history of mental health issues and had previously attempted to take her own life.

Dr Ovenden is the third female junior doctor who has died or gone missing in the south west of England in a year.

Dr Rebecca Ovenden

Spring clean

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

Thousands of people are gathering across the south west's beaches to get rid of plastic bottles, bags and wet wipes.

The Big Spring Beach Clean , organised by the charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), is going on all week across the country.

Beach clean
Greg Martin

SAS says last year 64 tonnes of rubbish was collected by 20,000 volunteers - that's the equivalent of filling two and a half 25m swimming pools.

'Why I dumped horse dung on my doctors' doorstep'

Devon Live

A disgruntled Devon patient took out his anger and frustration at the NHS by dumping a load of dung over the doorstep of his local GPs' practice.

Isles of Scilly power cable repaired

Andrew Segal

Local Live

About 2,000 people on the Isles of Scilly will no longer have to rely on generators for electricity because repairs to an undersea power cable have been completed, engineers say.

Isles of Scilly

The 55km 33,000-volt cable, the only connection between Scilly and the National Grid, suffered "catastrophic damage" from the anchor of an unidentified boat at the end of February, Western Power Distribution said. 

WPD chartered a specialist ship to carry out the "challenging" repairs. The cable is on the sea bed, about 70m down.

How do you get a lifeboat ready for its next call-out?

Andrew Segal

Local Live

View more on twitter

The Lizard's lifeboat crew has shared how they reset their lifeboat for their next shout.

The crew had to tow a very lost boat back to shore on Saturday. The rescued boat, with two crew on board, made a mayday call after suffering steering failure. 

Coastguards said the crew had initially thought they were off Land's End, when, in fact, they were to the south of The Lizard, more than 30 miles away. The boat was towed back to harbour by the lifeboat.

Bishop of Truro to be Archbishop of Canterbury's aide

BBC Radio Cornwall

The Bishop of Truro is to leave Cornwall to become a senior aide to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace has announced. 

The Right Reverend Tim Thornton is taking up the post of Bishop at Lambeth, which includes the roles of Bishop to the Armed Forces and Bishop to the Falkland Islands.

Thieves stole police car in Cornwall and drove 230 miles

BBC News England

A couple who stole a police car and drove it more than 200 miles at speeds up to 124mph  have been sentenced.

Daniel Toy, 24, stole the car from Camelford Police station in Cornwall on 8 October, Truro Crown Court heard.

He and his girlfriend, Samantha Poole, 31, drove it to Slough, Berkshire, before being stopped by a stinger.

Toy was jailed for two years and six months. Poole was given a 15 month sentence but was released due to time already spent in custody.

Both have been disqualified from driving.

Toy and police car
Daniel Toy has been jailed after stealing a police car in Cornwall and driving it as far as Berkshire with his girlfriend

Travel: Branch partially blocks road near Newquay

BBC News Travel

In Cornwall, there are reports there's a large branch partially blocking the road between Kestle Mill and Trerice Manor near Newquay. It is passable, but only with care.