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Summary

  1. Ex Jackanory presenter, John Earle, jailed for sex assaults
  2. Major scrapyard blaze: Firefighters search for hotspots
  3. Ex Plymouth-based Marine A freed from prison
  4. Grounded charity rowers rescued
  5. Job cut fears as student numbers fall at Plymouth University
  6. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Tuesday 2 May

Live Reporting

By Lynne French

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Lynne French

    BBC News Online

    Thanks for joining us today.

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

    You can keep up to date across the weekend on BBC Radio Cornwall and BBC Radio Devon.

  2. Weather forecast for Devon and Cornwall: Mainly dry with a risk of showers

    David Braine

    Weather Forecaster

    Tonight there will be the risk of one or two showers but for many it will remain dry.

    Despite plenty of clear spells tonight, any frost will be patchy and confined to rural areas, with a minimum temperature of 5C (41F).

    Weather map

    Saturday will be another largely dry day with some bright or sunny spells, although the odd shower or two is likely. Feeling relatively mild in the sunshine, however later in the day it will become breezier, especially for coastal spots with a maximum temperature of 14C (57F)  

  3. Mounting cost of falling student numbers

    Neil Gallacher, Business & Industry Correspondent

    BBC Spotlight

    A drop in student numbers at Plymouth University could result in a number of job cuts.

    Over the past five years, enrolment has fallen from 30,455 to 23,026 - a fall of about 24%, according to the university's own statistics.

    Plymouth University

    The financial cost to the university, based on a three-year degree course at £9,000 a year, could be about £20m.

    The university claims the drop in numbers is only about 9% because of a change in the way data was colleced over the period.

    In a statement, it said many sectors, including the university sector, were operating in a highly challenging environment, including "political uncertainties like Brexit and policies on international students, reductions in public funding, a significant drop in the number of 18 year-olds and increased market competition".

  4. Snakebite victim's 'severe' paralysis

    A man thought to have been bitten by a snake in Cornwall last weekend suffered a more severe reaction than normal, a doctor at the Royal Cornwall Hospital has said.

    John Kiernan was partially paralysed after the incident in Tehidy Woods near Camborne and spent three days in the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

    Adder
    Image caption: The UK's only venomous snake is the adder

    Dr Rob Taylor, an emergency doctor at the hospital in Truro, said most people would not have such a severe reaction.

    Although 55-year-old Mr Kiernan didn't see the snake, it's believed it was an adder - the UK's only venomous snake.

  5. Predator's sex abuse 'blighted' the life of victim

    Lynne French

    BBC News Online

    The victim of a sexual predator has said the years of abuse he suffered as a child nearly 60 years ago "blighted his life".

    Iain Peters, who's now 69, was abused by former children's TV presenter John Earle from the age of nine until he was 14.

    Earle, who admitted six counts of indecent assaults at an earlier hearing, was jailed at Exeter Crown Court for four years and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.

    Mr Peters, who has waived his right to anonymity, said: "The terrible burden of shame which caused me pain and blighted my life for 60 years has now been lifted."

  6. Scrap yard blaze blamed on gas canister

    Rob England

    BBC News Online

    The owner of a scrap yard that went up in flames believes it was started by a gas canister that was concealed in the shell of a car being crushed. 

    Firefighters are continuing to damp down at the scene of the major fire which started on Thursday at W H Orchard and Sons in Dobwalls, Cornwall. 

    People living nearby were warned to stay indoors overnight.

    Video content

    Video caption: Huge fire rages at scrap yard in Cornwall
  7. RNLI lifeguards return to region's beaches

    RNLI lifeguards will return to the region’s beaches on Saturday as patrols for the 2017 summer season get under way.

    The RNLI is urging local people and holidaymakers heading to the coast to take heed of the charity’s safety advice this weekend as the main lifeguard season starts. 

    Beau Gillett, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for South East Cornwall, said: "We remind beachgoers to use RNLI lifeguarded beaches and to swim in supervised areas between the red and yellow flags."

    RNLI
  8. Sex abuse victim urges others to come forward

    A man who suffered years of sexual assault as a child at the hands of former TV presenter John Earle has urged other victims of abuse to come forward.

    Iain Peters, who's now 69, was abused from the age of nine until he was 14. He said although it had blighted his life, coming forward had lifted a "terrible burden of shame".

    John Earle

    Earle, 87, who narrated two Jackanory stories and presented children's programmes in the 1960s and 70s, was jailed at Exeter Crown Court for four years and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life after admitting six counts of indecent assault at an earlier hearing.

    Mr Peters, who has waived his right to anonymity, said after reporting the abuse he was able to get expert counselling which transformed his life.

    "Counselling allowed me to understand what had been done to me, so that after decades of painful shame and guilt I am now able to live freely for the first time since I was nine-years-old.

    “I would assure other victims who want to come forward that the police were brilliantly supportive and that professional help can be hugely liberating for survivors of child sex abuse.”

  9. Hungry boy forced to eat hamster food and dog biscuits

    Lynne French

    BBC News Online

    A mother who subjected her young son to a decade of hunger, beatings and humiliations has been jailed for three years.

    Christine Copley, 66, of Laburnum Road, Exeter, was found guilty of six counts of cruelty at Exeter Crown Court at an earlier hearing.

    Christine Copley

    The court was told her son Andrew had so little food while he was growing up in the 1980s and 90s, he was sometimes forced to eat dog biscuits or hamster food to survive.

    The jury also heard Copley whipped her son with a dog lead, squeezed his testicles, hit parts of his body where marks could not be seen and put him in a cold bath after a beating to try to reduce the visible bruising.

    Andrew Copley

    Sentencing Copley, Judge Erik Salomonsen said the 10-year ill-treatment of her son from the age of five to 15 had also included stripping him and making him stand outside the house naked.

    In a victim impact statement read to the court, Andrew said he re-lives his childhood on a daily basis.

    "I wished for death when I was a child and I wish for death still today as I struggle to get over what she did," he said.

  10. Romantic runner proposes to girlfriend at Plymouth half marathon

    Devon Live

    A romantic and exhausted runner proposed to his girlfriend at the end of Plymouth's Ocean City Half Marathon.

  11. Plymouth footbridge closed because of a mechanical problem

    BBC News Travel

    • In Kingsbridge on the A379 Promenade between Bridge Street and Derby Road we've got reports of an accident
    • The Dartmouth Higher Ferry is currently out of service
    • In Plymouth, the pedestrian footbridge across Sutton Lock is closed due to a mechanical problem
  12. Exeter make four changes for Northampton match

    James Law

    BBC Sport Online

    Exeter Chiefs half-backs Henry Slade and Jack Maunder, called up by England last week, miss out through injury, with Stu Townsend and Gareth Steenson coming in for their game against Northampton tomorrow.

    Wing Jack Nowell returns in place of James Short and Michele Campagnaro is replaced at centre by Ian Whitten, while scrum-half Will Chudley is on the Exeter bench and is likely to make his first appearance since a shoulder injury in January.

    Jack Nowell

    "The players have trained extremely well and they're worried about getting themselves in good condition for what will be a big challenge, from a team that have only lost in the last couple of minutes of their last three Premiership games against very good sides," Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.

  13. Jailing of ex TV presenter John Earle welcomed by police

    BBC News England

    The victim of repeated sex abuse as a child nearly 60 years ago has been praised by police for coming forward to report it.

    John Earle, 87, a former children's TV presenter, was jailed at Exeter Crown Court for four years and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life after admitting six counts of sexual assault at an earlier hearing.

    John Earle

    Det Con Martin Pearse said the victim had shown "great strength" and jailing Earle should provide him "some comfort".

    “During the time of the offences Earle was in a position of trust as a deputy headmaster at a private school. 

    "The victim has shown great strength in reporting this to us and throughout the lengthy investigation."

    The officer added that he hoped it could also help reassure other victims and give them the confidence to report sexual abuse.

  14. Latest travel: Lorry stuck in Bodmin

    BBC News Travel

    • In Ponsanooth on the A393 St Michael's Road between Commercial Hill and the Treluswell Roundabout we've got reports of an accident
    • In Bodmin on Bodiniel Road near the jail we've got reports a lorry has got stuck and blocked the road. Traffic is heavy in the area
    • At Grampound Road on South Street near Station Road we've got reports there's been a concrete spillage. Approach with care
    • Near Dobwalls the road from Burnthouse Crossroads to Redgate is closed due to the scrapyard fire 
  15. Awesome shark snagged by Devon fishermen

    Jonathan Morris

    BBC News Online

    A porbeagle shark caught off north Devon makes an awesome sight as it is reeled in by fishermen.

    The large female was freed but conservationists the Shark Trust warned that sharks are often pregnant at this time of year could become fatally exhausted when caught.

    Porbeagles are related to notorious great whites but are renowned for their inquisitiveness and are not a threat to humans said the trust.

    Video content

    Video caption: Awesome shark snagged by fishermen
  16. Charity head shave excluded student returns to normal lessons

    Cornwall Live

    The family of a boy who was put into isolation at school after shaving his head for charity, has confirmed his return to normal lessons and say the whole experience had been "very overwhelming" for the 15 year old.

  17. Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be.....

    #PeoplesCup

    Images from the 2017 FA People's Cup

    ....there'll be just under a hundred teams taking part in the FA People's Cup finals this weekend hoping to book their trip to Wembley.

    Each of the winners in the 16 categories in the free five-a-side competition will win tickets to the FA Cup final on 27 May, where they will be presented with their trophies.

    You can catch up with what's been going on in the competition here - and you'll be able to follow live coverage from the finals in Birmingham on Sunday and Monday.