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Summary

  1. Police praise bravery of child sex offender's victim
  2. Security guard hit with metal bar in cash box robbery
  3. MP getting Tory whip restored 'a disgrace'
  4. Police seek assault victim after fight in Plymouth
  5. Cornwall child migrant refused right to work
  6. Citizens Advice users asked to join funding future debate
  7. Ambulance staff warn 'frequent callers' ahead of Christmas
  8. Recovery vehicle catches fire on A30
  9. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Andrew Segal

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 07:00 on Thursday 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.

Christmas elf's disabled access message

Emma Thomasson

BBC Spotlight

A mother has been using a Christmas elf to highlight the access problems faced by her 11-year-old son who uses a wheelchair.

A mother uses Alfie the elf to raise awareness of disabled access issues

Arts venue offers more than £10,000 to filmmakers

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

Exeter Phoenix short film
Exeter Phoenix

More than £10,000 has been offered by an arts venue in Devon to help aspiring filmmakers realise their vision.

As part of its 2018 short film commissioning scheme, Exeter Phoenix is offering the money to help five successful applicants create brand new stories in the South West.

Exeter Phoenix short film
Exeter Phoenix

The successful films across categories of Micro Film, Short Film and Artists Moving Image will be developed over the next year, and premiered at the venue's 2018 Two Short Nights film festival.

Jonas Hawkins, digital and film manager at Exeter Phoenix said: "We’re proud to support emerging talent on the local filmmaking scene and we are looking forward to reading ambitious and creative ideas for new projects."

Cash machine refill robbery 'very concerning'

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

An attack on a security firm employee during a robbery while money was being delivered to refill a cash machine in Plymouth is "very concerning", police say.

The raid at the Tesco Express store on Alexandra Road, on the corner of Ashford Hill, near Mutley Plain, at about 10:30, saw three males with their faces covered and armed with metal bars and bats approach a security van.

One security man was hit with a metal bar and cash boxes taken before the three made off in a silver Vauxhall Astra-type vehicle

The injured guard, who was wearing a safety helmet, was left "very shaken and upset" but did not receive any significant injuries, police said.

Det Ch Insp Craig McWhinnie, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "It is a concern that an individual going about their job should be attacked in this way."

The amount of money in the boxes has not been disclosed.

A search is continuing for the robbers and police have appealed for witnesses.

Weather: Squally overnight before sun spells and showers

BBC Weather

It will be windy overnight, with coastal gales and a squally area of rain moving east through the early evening, perhaps with sleet and hail in places.

This will clear to give clear spells and scattered heavy showers overnight.

Minimum temperature: 2C (36F)

Weather
BBC

Thursday will be a day of sunny spells and frequent, blustery showers, these mixed with sleet and hail at times.

Windy, with gales around exposed coasts and hills.

Maximum temperature: 8C (46F).

Council 'has made mind up about Citizens Advice funding'

BBC Radio Cornwall

Members of Citizens Advice in Cornwall say they have no faith in a survey by Cornwall Council about future funding because they believe the authority has already made its mind up.

Cornwall Council had wanted to cut the funding by 54% from £356,000 to £153,000 a year for three years because of funding cuts by central government.

It is now asking people who have used the charity's services to tell Cornwall Cornwall how valuable it has been as part of its funding debate.

Paul Charlesworth, from the charity, said: "It says 'Should we give Citizens Advice £153,000 or nil?' That's one of the questions - that or nothing."

If the cuts went ahead, seven of the service's nine centres across the county were likely to close and a number of staff lose their jobs, the charity said last week.

Council Deputy Leader Julian German said all budgets were under scrutiny because of cuts from central government, but he recognised the importance of the service and said he was doing his best to help the charity.

A final decision on the council’s budget is due to be made in February.

Devon backpacker Scarlet Goodrich gets meningitis after stray cat bite

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

A stray cat bite has left a 22-year-old backpacker seriously ill in Australia with meningitis, blood poisoning and swelling of the brain.

Scarlet Goodrich
Family handout

Scarlet Goodrich from Teignmouth in Devon was working on a fruit farm near Melbourne when she was bitten.

Her recovery is expected to take at least six months.

Her mother Alethea has flown to the Melbourne hospital to be with her and her aunt from New Zealand has also gone to support her.

Her family has launched an appeal on Just Giving to bring her home and support the family and her rehabilitation. So far they have raised £2,000 towards a £3,000 target.

Anti-fraud scheme 'thwarts £820k of crimes in four months'

A scheme which involves police, the finance industry, and Trading Standards has thwarted £820,000 of financial fraud in Devon and Cornwall in just four months of operation, police say.

Devon and Cornwall Police said those involved with the Banking Protocol worked together "to prevent financial scams taking place and to provide the victim with victim care".

The scheme can involve local bank or building society branch staff alerting police to suspected scams taking place, allowing local police to arrive at the branch before any transfer of funds takes place, and to provide local support for the victim.

The Post Office is also involved.

Fraud concept image. Pic: Getty Images
Getty Images

Isles of Scilly police warn people not to take from woods

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

People on the Isles of Scilly have been warned by police to not help themselves to any of the trees growing in Trenoweth Woods to decorate their houses over the festive season because "this is theft".

The St Mary's policing team said on Facebook: "The trees have been grown from seed by Keith Symons to replenish fallen ones. This is a great thing to do and cares for the environment.

"Please leave them to grow in peace. Merry Christmas."

Football: Fewer away tickets for Exeter v West Brom match

BBC Radio Devon

Exeter City have been given special dispensation by the Football Association to reduce their away capacity for next month's FA Cup third round tie at home, the club says.

The Grecians beat Forest Green Rovers 2-1 last night to book a place in round three with Premier League side West Brom at St James Park.

However, the team's ground is in the process of being redeveloped, which means there's a reduced capacity for a game that's expected to be a sell-out.

FA rules state clubs in the competition have to give 15% of tickets to away supporters, but officials at St James Park said that was impractical and it could mean less income if tickets were not all sold.

Club Chairman Julian Tagg said earlier that, if the request was approved, tickets would be put on sale "as soon as we possibly can" and "then the mayhem starts".

Exeter City
BBC

Security man injured during cash machine refill robbery

BBC Radio Devon

A security firm employee has been hit with a metal bar and cash boxes taken while money was being delivered to refill a cash machine at a shop in Plymouth, police say.

Police were called to the Tesco Express store on Alexandra Road, on the corner of Ashford Hill, near Mutley Plain, after the robbery at about 10:30 which saw three males with their faces covered approach a security van.

Det Ch Insp Craig McWhinnie, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "As boxes were being unloaded from the vehicle, they were approached by three people, we believe three males.

"One driver was assaulted and they made off with the boxes that the delivery drivers were carrying."

The amount of money in the boxes has not been disclosed. The robbers made off in a silver Vauxhall Astra-type vehicle after the assault.

The injured guard, who was wearing a safety helmet, did not require medical attention but was left "shaken and upset", Det Ch Insp McWhinnie said.

A search is continuing for the robbers.

Jubilee Pool supporters 'thrilled' at award win

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Supporters of Penzance's Jubilee Pool say they are "thrilled" it has won a major award which celebrates the most popular UK civil engineering projects.

The Cornish lido has won the Institution of Civil Engineers' national People’s Choice Award, seeing off competition from 11 other projects across the UK.

Jubilee Pool
BBC

Martin Nixon, chairman of the Friends of Jubilee Pool, said: "We're thrilled the pool has been recognised in this way.

"It's a very popular community owned asset, making a significant contribution to Penzance's economy by attracting visitors."

The Grade II-listed outdoor Art Deco structure was built in 1935 to commemorate King George V's silver jubilee.

It underwent a £3m refurbishment after it suffered serious structural damage caused by severe winter storms in early 2014 before reopening in 2016.

The award was announced at the institution in Westminster.

Pervert pensioner who sexually abused girls is jailed

Derby Telegraph

A pensioner who indecently assaulted girls in Derbyshire dating back almost 30 years ago has been jailed for 11 years.

John Colclough started targeting one of his victims in 1988. Colclough also started targeting another girl during the 1990s, also in Ashbourne.

The 72-year-old, who was living in St Michael’s Court, Paignton, Devon, when he was arrested, was charged with six counts of indecent assaults on a female and two of gross indecency with a girl under the age of 16. He denied all eight charges but was found guilty by a jury at Derby Crown Court.

Navy rehab team retrace WW2 Cockleshell Heroes mission

A team from the Royal Navy has canoed and walked 185 miles (300km) to mark the 75th anniversary of one of the most daring operations of World War Two.

Members of the Naval Service Recovery Centre (NSRC) in Plymouth retraced the route taken by the Cockleshell Heroes commandos in eastern France in 1942.

F75 Cockleshell Endeavour
F75 Cockleshell Endeavour

The 10 Royal Marines based in Portsmouth had been tasked to plant mines on enemy ships in Bordeaux at the height of World War Two.

More than 30 navy personnel, many receiving treatment for physical injuries and mental health conditions, took eight days to complete the route.

Capt Paul Fleet said the team had "dug deep" to complete the tribute.

By-election for Exeter City Council ward

BBC Radio Devon

Polling is under way in a by-election for a seat on Exeter City Council.

It follows the sudden resignation of Labour councillor Roger Spackman in Newtown & St Leonards last month.

Labour holds 27 of the 38 city council seats currently filled on the 39-seat authority.

Polls are open until 22:00.

View more on twitter

Penzance's Jubilee Pool wins engineering award

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Jubilee Pool
BBC

Penzance's Jubilee Pool has won a major award which celebrates the most popular UK civil engineering projects.

The Cornish lido has won the Institution of Civil Engineers' national People’s Choice Award.

The seawater pool saw off competition from 11 other projects across the UK, the institute said.

The Grade II-listed outdoor Art Deco structure was built in 1935 to commemorate King George V's silver jubilee

It underwent a £3m refurbishment after it suffered serious structural damage caused by severe winter storms in early 2014 before reopening in 2016.

Jubilee Pool
BBC

Security patrols offered after Christmas tree vandalism

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

A security firm in Camborne has offered to patrol the town's square to stop more damage to the Christmas tree after a second incident of vandalism.

Town Mayor Val Dalley said the latest incident saw someone stealing the star from the top of the tree at the weekend.

A firm has now got in touch to say it could help.

Mayor Dalley said she was grateful for the offer, and people should lighten up about the tree, even if they did not like its design.

She said: "When it's lit up, it's quite something."

South Western Railway faces New Year's Eve strike

A rail company embroiled in disputes over the role of guards is to be hit by fresh strikes on New Year's Eve, a union says.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on South Western Railway, which operates services from London to Exeter, will walk out for 24 hours on 31 December.

The union revealed that it had met Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in a bid to resolve the disputes affecting five rail operators, but said there were "contradictory messages and confusion" from the minister and his department.

The company previously said it was "disappointed" at possible strike action being proposed during negotiations earlier this year.

South Western Railway
PA

Devon travel: Crash on M5 near Tiverton junction

BBC Radio Devon

On the M5 southbound, there are reports of an accident between Junction 26 Wellington and Junction 27 Tiverton.

Businesses will be asked to open toilets for shoppers

Devon Live

Businesses in the heart of Torquay’s shopping area are being asked to look after inconvenienced shoppers as council loos are still out of bounds.

They will be asked to allow shoppers to use their toilets - but not expect them to buy something in return.

Exeter Chiefs' Dollman to miss Leinster trip

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Exeter full-back Phill Dollman will miss Saturday's Champions Cup match at Leinster.

The 32-year-old came off in the 18-8 loss to the Dublin-based side at Sandy Park on Sunday, with the likes of Lachie Turner or Jack Nowell in line to replace him.

Phil Dollman
Getty Images

"It's nothing that you expect to be out for too long with," director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Sport.

"It's a relatively painful injury but it's not something that needs an operation or lengthy rehab."

Citizens Advice cash cut plans 'part of £75m savings'

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Plans to cut funding to Citizens Advice in Cornwall are part of £75m savings needed to be made by the county's unitary council by April 2021, the authority says.

People who have used the charity's services are being asked to tell Cornwall Cornwall how valuable it has been as part of its funding debate.

Cornwall Council had wanted to cut the CAB funding by 54% from £356,000 to £153,000 a year for three years because of funding cuts by central government.

Citizens Advice Cornwall
Citizens Advice Cornwall

If the cuts went ahead, seven of CAB's nine centres across the county were likely to close and a number of staff lose their jobs, the charity said last week.

It added that such a move would leave about 9,000 people in Cornwall without anywhere to go for help.

Council Leader Adam Paynter said: "The council is facing the unenviable challenge of having to decide which services to deliver and how to deliver them with less budget.

"The only way to do this effectively is to do things differently and make changes in how we work and how we contribute to other organisations and get the best value for money.

"We are continuing to talk to CAC [Citizens Advice Cornwall] about the way forward."

A final decision on the council’s budget is due to be made in February.

Immigration arrests 'come after many months of work'

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Eight people arrested in a crackdown on immigration crime across the south coast of England were taken into custody as a result of "the culmination of many months of work", police say.

The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) said a series of warrants were executed on Wednesday morning in Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea in Sussex, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Ashford and Plymouth.

Det Ch Insp Simon Steel, of the unit, said: "This investigation involves a highly organised criminal network organising and facilitating the entry of illegal immigrants into the UK.

"Today has seen the culmination of a lengthy operation headed by SEROCU with the support of a number of partner agencies.

"The investigation of organised immigration crime is a priority for SEROCU and today’s activity is the culmination of many months of work."

Eight arrests in southern England immigration crackdown

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Eight people have been arrested in a crackdown on immigration crime across the south coast of England, police say.

The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit said a series of warrants were executed in the early hours of Wednesday in Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea in Sussex, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Ashford and Plymouth.

Officers said the eight detained were in custody "in connection with organised immigration crime offences".

Meeting pushes for 'Cornish' box on next census

Donna Birrell

BBC Radio Cornwall

A meeting is under way in London to discuss the possibility of people in Cornwall having the chance to tick a box identifying themselves as "Cornish" on the next census.

Cornwall Council staff are meeting staff from the Office for National Statistics in an ongoing campaign for people in the county to use the description from 2021.

Following a decision by the government to officially recognise the Cornish as a national minority in April 2014, the council has been pushing for the Cornish to be treated equally with the UK's other Celtic nations: Irish, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh.

While the other nations could tick a box to identify themselves in the 2011 census, the Cornish could only write Cornish under the "other" option, and some 14% chose to self-identify themselves in this way.

Cornwall flags
BBC

Secondary schools in Cornwall 'are improving'

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

There's been a positive comment from the head of the education watchdog in the South West about secondary schools in Cornwall.

Although Bradley Simmons from Ofsted said the region as a whole was not performing as well as London and the South East, he said secondary schools in the county were improving.

He was speaking today on the launch of the watchdog's annual report.

Condor Liberation to resume service this week

Rob England

BBC News Online

The Condor Liberation, which sails between the Channel Islands and Poole, will resume services this week after being sent to dry dock in Falmouth for maintenance.

Condor Liberation
BBC

It was taken out of action due to an engine fault in October.

A company spokesman said "extensive work" had been done, including a service of the vessel's engines and exhaust systems.

The Condor Rapide is due for maintenance in Janurary 2018, and the Liberation will cover its sailings during this time, according to Condor.

Drivers 'speeding on M5 in very wet conditions'

Security guard hit with metal bar in cash box robbery

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A security guard has been hit with a metal bar and two cash boxes allegedly taken from a security van during a robbery outside a shop in Plymouth, police say.

Officers said they were called to the Tesco Express store on Alexandra Road, on the corner of Ashford Hill near Mutley Plain, at about 10:30.

A search is ongoing to trace three men seen fleeing the scene, police said.

The injured guard did not require medical attention.

Weather: Mostly cloudy despite brighter spells

Kevin Thomas

BBC Weather Forecaster

The day will be mostly cloudy with showery outbreaks of occasionally heavy rain. But it will be brighter this afternoon, with some sunny spells as the showers ease for a time.

However, a band of heavy showers will move in from the west towards the end of the day. Winds will also strengthen with moderate or fresh west to southwesterly winds turning to the northwest and increasing gale or severe gale around the coast and to the west.

Maximum temperature: 11C (52F).

Weather
BBC

Pop-up shop plans sought for new sites

BBC Radio Cornwall

People with money-making ideas in Cornwall are being given the opportunity to bid for locations to set up shop.

Cornwall Council has 40 new pop-up sites available for lease in places including Widemouth Bay (pictured), the Camel Trail and Penzance Promenade.

The authority said tenders could include "yoga on the beach to a food concession and everything in between" at a "huge variety" of sites on beaches, as well as in harbours, car parks and open spaces.

Councillor Sue James, said they were after original ideas which would not impact on existing businesses.

She said: "It could be about giving businesses a chance to try out a new idea without quite the overheads they might have if they were going to take on a shop lease."

She added: "We are looking at quality, and part of that is looking at if it adds anything to the experience of visitors in that area."

Widemouth Bay. Pic: Google
Google

Armed forces veterans to get ID to recognise 'sacrifice'

BBC News UK

British armed forces veterans could have their driving licences stamped with a "V", as part of plans to improve the recognition of their service.

The move, similar to a US scheme, could see 2.5 million ex-military personnel issued with the new licence to "clearly distinguish" them as veterans.

The card would give holders easier access to specialist services and to offers, including retail discounts.

Prime Minster Theresa May said veterans deserved "recognition for their sacrifice".

The scheme, to be announced by the prime minister later, could be implemented in the early 2020s.

The Ministry of Defence is working with the Department for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to adapt the design of the current driving licence.

Devon travel: Problems in Exeter and Parracombe

BBC Radio Devon

  • In Exeter, Prince Of Wales Road is partially blocked due to an accident between Streatham Drive and Lower St German's Road
  • In Parracombe, near Lynton, the A39 is blocked around Ley's Lane due to an accident

Driver caught travelling 100mph in morning downpour

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

View more on twitter

The driver was caught doing nearly 100mph in the bad weather, the officers' speed detection unit in the tweet displays.

Police seek assault victim after fight in Plymouth

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Police investigating a "large disorder" near a taxi rank in Plymouth city centre are appealing for an assault victim to come forward.

Officers said the fight broke out on Raleigh Street, by Derry's Cross, at about 01:45 on Sunday 2 December after a "large group of men approached the rank and around four of them began fighting" with people already waiting there. Two men were assaulted.

One victim was "held down and repeatedly assaulted by two men" before he left the area. Officers want to trace him.

He was described as in his early 20s and wearing a light-coloured T-shirt and dark trousers.

An 18-year-old local man was arrested over the incident and later released under investigation.

Raleigh Street, Plymouth. Pic: Google
Google

Citizens Advice users asked to join funding future debate

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

People who have used Citizens Advice services in Cornwall are being asked to tell the county's unitary council how valuable it has been.

Funding cuts by central government mean Cornwall Council would have to cut just over £200,000 of its funding from the service every year, the authority said.

Nearly all Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) centres in Cornwall could be forced to close if the initial plans to more than halve its funding went ahead, the charity warned last week.

Cornwall Council had wanted to cut the CAB funding by 54% from £356,000 to £153,000.

If the cuts went ahead, seven of CAB's nine centres across the county were likely to close and a number of staff lose their jobs, the charity said.

It added that such a move would "leave about 9,000 people in Cornwall - and these are generally at the bottom of the social scale - without anywhere to go".

Council Leader Adam Paynter said he now wanted people to tell the council how useful the service was to judge the level of future funding.

Citizens Advice logo
Citizens Advice

Paedophile convicted 'after multi-agency working'

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A child sex offender has been jailed for 12 years after a case that involved an "excellent example of multi-agency working", police say.

Andrew Berry, 45, of Rifford Road, Exeter, was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court on Tuesday for the sexual assault of a child under 13 after being found guilty of two charges of the offence.

Det Con Phil Hodder, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said the girl "managed to speak out about things that happened to her that she found difficult to understand" despite her young age.

He also said that police were "grateful to all other professionals whose assistance made this prosecution possible".

He said: "This case has been an excellent example of multi-agency working, whereby suspicions raised by professionals for an unrelated matter have led, thanks to the involvement of children’s services, to the uncovering of evidence that will ensure what Berry has done to his victim will not be repeated."

Andrew Berry. Pic: Devon and Cornwall Police
Devon and Cornwall Police

ASBO banning homeless alcoholic from being drunk torn up

Plymouth Herald

A judge has torn up an ASBO which prevents a homeless alcoholic from being drunk in the street.

Brian Morgan has breached the order stopping him from being intoxicated in public more than 20 times, Plymouth Crown Court heard. Judge Ian Lawrie said the order on the 37-year-old was “ridiculous” and “bordering on absurd”.

Exeter v West Brom tickets 'on sale as soon as possible'

Gordon Sparks

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

Tickets for Exeter City's third-round FA Cup tie with Premier League team West Bromwich Albion will go on sale as soon as possible, the club says.

The Grecians beat Forest Green Rovers 2-1 last night to book a place in round three.

However, the team's St James Park is in the process of being redeveloped, which means there's a reduced capacity at the ground for a game that's expected to be a sell-out.

Club Chairman Julian Tagg said the club was waiting to hear from the Football Association "hopefully this morning" about how many could attend.

After that, he added, the tickets would be put on sale "as soon as we possibly can" and "then the mayhem starts".

St James Park
BBC