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Summary

  1. Councillor Douglas Hellier-Laing jailed for attacking wife
  2. Cornwall local football manager Trevor Mewton dies
  3. Nightclub death teenagers took ecstasy and amphetamine
  4. Man suffers life-changing injuries in A30 crash
  5. Police renew appeal for missing Devon teenager
  6. 'I cannot live in a Travelodge' says Devon mud hut woman
  7. People finding it more difficult to see GPs - watchdog
  8. More news, sport, travel and weather from 07:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

By Andrew Segal

All times stated are UK

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Baby rescued after getting locked in bedroom of flat

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A baby has had to be rescued in north Devon after getting locked in the bedroom of a first-floor flat.

Firefighters said they rescued the child on Tuesday night after they got into the flat in Torridge View, Torrington, by using a ladder.

More than 100 jobs lost at marine firm

Burgess Marine, Dover
Google

Burgess Marine, Dover

More than 100 jobs lost at marine firm

Burgess Marine is in administration after problems with payment for a "major refit project".

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Bloodhound jet car heading to South Africa after Cornwall

Bloodhound SSC
Bloodhound SSC

A British car designed to reach 1,000mph - which has been trialled in Cornwall - will be tested for the first time on its South African dry bed race track in October next year.

Bloodhound SSC will be tested at Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape, with the team behind the supersonic car aiming for a 500mph milestone.

The car is fitted with an EJ200 jet engine, which has been sourced from a Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

In October, Bloodhound, driven by ex-RAF fighter pilot Andy Green, reached 200mph during trials at Cornwall Airport in Newquay.

The team said the trials would test its performance and handling during one of its most vulnerable phases: between 400mph and 500mph.

The dried-out lake bed is super-flat and extends for 12 miles (19km), providing ample space to get up to some very high speeds and then slow and stop safely.

The team is aiming to go 800mph in 2019, and then up to 1,000mph in 2020.

Cafes, bars and businesses join water refill scheme

BBC Radio Devon

Nearly 150 cafes, bars and other businesses in Devon are offering free water refills to anyone who wants them.

They've joined a scheme called Refill, which aims to cut down on the amount of single-use water bottles going to waste.

Thousands of bottles end up in the sea every year, causing pollution and harming wildlife.

Refill sign
BBC

Weather: Dry and clear before showers on Saturday

BBC Weather

Tonight will be dry and clear for most, although a few showers will continue in the west.

Winds will ease after midnight, allowing a touch of ground frost in places by morning.

Minimum temperature: 3C (37F)

Weather
BBC

Saturday is expected to be dry and sunny through the morning, but it will cloud over at times in the afternoon with some showers developing late in the day.

Maximum temperature: 10C (50F).

Search for missing teen extended to include river

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Police searching for a missing 15-year-old from Devon have extended their search for him around a river.

Daniel Chambers, from Tipton St John, was last seen at his home address two days ago. He didn't catch his bus to school. It is believed he likes to visit Sidmouth and Beer.

Officers said they were "becoming increasingly concerned" for his welfare and searches had been extended to include in and around the River Otter.

Daniel Chambers
Family handout

Det Ch Insp Stuart Cavin, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "We are appealing to people who know and use the walkways around the River Otter, particularly between Tipton St John up to Ottery St Mary.

"We know that Daniel used this area and we think he may well have been seen by many walkers and other members of the public who use these paths."

He is described as white, about 6ft (1.9m) tall, slim, with short dark brown hair and clean shaven. He was last seen wearing dark-coloured chinos and a grey hoodie with horizontal stripes on the back.

It is believed he is carrying a black rucksack with a green-coloured DC logo.

Hospital patients in corridors and on trolleys in alert

BBC Radio Cornwall

Patients have been waiting in corridors and on trolleys at the Royal Cornwall Hospital on the outskirts of Truro because the number of people turning up at its emergency department has risen by 50% at times, staff say.

A spokesman for the hospital said earlier this afternoon that it was back on its highest level of alert - level 4, formerly known as black alert - with very few beds available for new admissions.

Director of patient flow Duncan Brown said there had been "overwhelming demand" and the emergency department had recently seen 60 to 80 patients in it instead of an average of 40 to 50.

A lack of beds had also meant some could not be admitted into the hospital from the department.

He said: "We have had people having to stay in the corridor, but it's certainly not the place we would like to keep our patients."

Royal Cornwall Hospital
BBC

Cornwall travel: Car goes into wall in Falmouth

BBC Radio Cornwall

In Falmouth, Avenue Road is partially blocked by an accident near Lansdowne Road, near the train station.

A vehicle has left the road and gone into a wall.

Totnes public toilets closed at Christmas due to drug use

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Some public toilets in Totnes are being closed over Christmas because of public safety concerns after continued drug use and drugs paraphernalia being discarded in them, a council says.

South Hams Council said toilets at Coronation Road, Steamer Quay and the Civic Hall had been recommended for temporary closure because of "a minority of users in the town" from 20 December until after the new year.

"This poses a very real risk to both members of the public and the people the council employ to clean the toilets," it said.

The closures would be reviewed in January, the council added.

Drugs paraphernalia in Totnes toilet. Pic: South Hams Council
South Hams Council

Tropical turtle died after being 'very weak from ordeal'

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Turtle
BBC

A rare tropical turtle found washed up on a Cornwall beach had been "weak from its ordeal" before it died, an aquarium says.

The Kemp's Ridley turtle, an endangered species, was being cared for by the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay after being found freezing cold and exhausted on Holywell beach last week. The aquarium confirmed on Friday it had died.

It was believed to have travelled from its natural habitat near Mexico or Texas.

Aquarium curator Steve Matchett said: "When the turtle arrived at the aquarium, it was very weak from its ordeal, plus we could see that there was extensive damage to the shell.

"When turtles end up off course and enter colder waters, they can quickly become exhausted and are unable to feed as they get too cold.

"This greatly weakens the turtle and, by the time they have washed ashore, sometimes receiving further injuries from collisions with shore-line rocks, they are dehydrated and very weak.”

GP survey 'to show pressures in the system'

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornwall's health watchdog is carrying out an in-depth survey on GP services so health commissioners can get a better picture of pressures in the system, it says.

People were finding it increasingly difficult to access appointments, flagging up issues such as surgery closures or new housing putting pressure on appointment availability, Healthwatch Cornwall said.

It said it hoped to use the results to help with planning new or alternative options.

GP surgery
BBC

Amanda Stratford, from the watchdog, said: "The whole point of it really is to get that in-depth information to share with [commissioning organisation] NHS Kernow. It can take and use it in terms of influencing services.

"There are fewer GPs, there are GPs retiring, and all sorts of pressures on the system."

The government said it was putting more money into primary care and offering golden hellos to doctors for areas struggling with such pressures, such as Cornwall.

The survey is open until 19 January.

Labour 'to confirm study to make A38 like motorway'

Martyn Oates

BBC South West Political Editor

View more on twitter

There have been calls recently for the motorway to be extended from Exeter to Plymouth.

It currently finishes at Exeter, with the A38 then providing a dual carriageway route on to Plymouth.

Plymouth City Council voted in November to press the government to commission an appraisal so the cost and timescale can be established.

Wife attack councillor 'was seven out of 10 drunk'

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A senior Devon councillor who attacked his wife with a wooden mallet had been drinking Tia Maria and Polish brandy prior to the attack, a court heard.

Sixty-seven-year-old Douglas Hellier-Laing, who has resigned from Teignbridge District Council, was jailed for three years for the attack in October during which the councillor hit his wife three times.

Hellier-Laing, of Clifford Street, Chudleigh, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at a previous hearing at Exeter Crown Court.

He said it was a "moment of madness", and described his drunkenness as a seven out of 10.

Sentencing, Judge Graham Cottle said: "It is not really clear why you did what you did on that day in question."

He added: "I would have thought drinking must have had something to do with the way you reacted and had you been sober you would have reacted in a different way."

Marine engineering firm goes into administration

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A marine engineering company based in Dover has gone into administration, with the loss of 106 jobs.

Burgess Marine also had premises in Lowestoft, Southampton, Poole, Portsmouth, Portchester, Avonmouth, Devonport and Palma de Mallorca in Spain.

Burgess Marine in Dover
BBC

The administrators, BDO, said it was due to not receiving the final payment for a major refit project carried out at Porchester earlier this year.

Burgess Marine's bases in Lowestoft, Avonmouth and Poole are continuing to trade as normal after they were bought by Southampton ship repair company Southampton Marine Services Ltd, saving 45 jobs.

Burgess Marine, Dover
BBC

The Dover HQ employed 32 people, four of whom have been kept on to help with the winding down of the firm.

Burgess Marine, Dover
BBC

Regrettably, difficult trading conditions and a shortfall in the company's working capital position - contributed to by a failure to secure the final payment due in regard to a recent major refit project - significantly affected the business and its ongoing viability."

Danny DartnaillBDO business restructuring partner

Rare rescued turtle dies

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Turtle. Pic: Dave Hudson Photography
Dave Hudson Photography

An injured tropical turtle which was found washed up on a Cornwall beach has died, an aquarium says.

The rare Kemp's Ridley turtle was found by Dave Hudson, a conservation and biodiversity student from Exeter University, last Friday.

It was being cared for by staff at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay after being found freezing cold and exhausted. It was believed to have travelled from its natural habitat near Mexico or Texas.

The shell of the turtle, an endangered species, had been damaged and it appeared extremely weak and dehydrated when it was found.

The aquarium said: "Despite an encouraging initial response to treatment, the turtle's injuries were likely too extensive and the turtle too weak to fully recover."

Wife attack councillor left authority after guilty plea

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A senior Devon councillor jailed for three years for attacking his wife with a wooden mallet resigned from the local authority he worked on after pleading guilty.

Douglas Hellier-Laing, 67, hit his wife, Susan, in the head three times before phoning police to confess.

Mrs Hellier-Laing, 59, was treated for serious injuries after the attack on 29 October, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Her husband, a cabinet member of Conservative-led Teignbridge District Council, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Hellier Laing, of Clifford Street, Chudleigh, was the executive member for economy, skills and tourism at Teignbridge District Council until resigning.

Royal Cornwall Hospital on full capacity alert

BBC Radio Cornwall

The Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro is on a level four alert - what used to be known as a black alert.

It means it is effectively at full capacity.

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust said it was taking action within the hospital, implementing its full capacity protocol, as well as working in the wider community to respond to the situation.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals
BBC
Aaron Reilly and Joshua Brock

Aaron Reilly and Joshua Brock had taken a mix of ecstasy and amphetamines, an inquest hears.

Read more
Jack Owlett

Championship club Cornish Pirates sign Exeter Chiefs prop Jack Owlett in a dual-registration agreement.

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Devon travel: Serious accident on Tavistock Road, Plymouth

BBC Radio Devon

  • In Plymouth, Tavistock Road is blocked inbound for traffic heading towards Plymouth due to a serious accident between Bickleigh Cross and the Woolwell roundabout
  • In Axminster, there are reports of a collision involving a motorbike on Woodbury Lane between Wyke Road and the B3261
  • In Tavistock, Abbey Place is blocked in both directions between Bannawell Street and Drake Road, due to a vehicle which has broken down in the middle of the road, making it impassable

Moped seized by police investigating helmet-less riders

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Police in Brixham who have been investigating reports that a motorbike was being used by youths without helmets on have seized a moped.

Officers said on Facebook the bike was seized this morning and it had been reported stolen previously.

Inquiries were continuing, police added.

A crash helmet must be worn by law when riding a moped on the road.

Seized moped. Pic: Brixham Police/Facebook
Brixham Police/Facebook

Builders told to stop work on 1,600-home development

Devon Live

Work on a major housing scheme in Devon has been halted following complaints construction is going on beyond agreed hours at the weekends.

Persimmon Homes has been told to stop working past 13:00 on Saturdays and Sundays on its Saltram Meadow development - a massive new estate in Plymstock.

Devon travel: Burst water main lifts section of A3052

Severe accident: A386 Devon southbound

BBC News Travel

A386 Devon southbound severe accident, between Tamerton Road and Woolwell Road.

A386 Devon - A386 Tavistock Road in Roborough closed and queuing traffic inbound between Bickleigh Cross and Tesco Woolwell Roundabout, because of a serious accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

'Allergy to modern life' pair reject hotel offer

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

A couple living in a mud-hut home have rejected a council offer of accommodation in a Travelodge.

House
Kate Burrows

Kate and Alan Burrows built their home in north Devon from tree trunks, mud and straw because they say they have an "allergy to modern life".

North Devon Council has issued an enforcement notice for them to remove their home, which does not have planning permission, by Saturday.

Travelodge
Google

The couple, who have lived on their smallholding in the Tarka Valley near Chulmleigh since 2015, say they would rather the offer was made to homeless people.

Planning officer Mike Kelly said the authority was "supportive of sustainable development" but it "does not mean allowing people to develop wherever they wish".

Devon travel: Accident on Tavistock Road, Plymouth

BBC Radio Devon

In Plymouth, on Tavistock Road, there are reports of an accident heading inbound between the Woolwell roundabout and the George Junction. There's slow traffic

Rugby: Pirates need more fire in the belly - Paver

BBC Sport

The Cornish Pirates take on Scarlets Select this Sunday in a repeat of Monday's fixture.

The Pirates lost 18-10 in Wales and will be looking for revenge at the Mennaye Field.

Coach Alan Paver played at Aberavon, and the veteran prop said he was looking forward to another run out.

He said: "We just need to see a little more fire in the belly and improvement in our performance."

Councillor attacked his wife in 'moment of madness'

Harriet Bradshaw

Reporter

A Devon district councillor jailed for attacking his wife hit her in a "moment of madness", a court has heard.

Sixty-seven-year-old Douglas Hellier-Laing, a cabinet member at Devon's Teignbridge District Council, was sentenced to three years for the attack, where he hit her three times with a mallet in October.

Hellier-Laing, of Clifford Street, Chudleigh, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at a previous hearing at Exeter Crown Court.

Mrs Laing told the court in a statement that "I don't think I'll ever be the same again."

The defence spoke of his "outstanding record of public service" as a local councillor, and that it was a "very sad case".

Judge Graham Cottle agreed to a restraining order being put in place.

Douglas Hellier-Laing. Pic: Chudleigh Town Council
Chudleigh Town Council

'Look after friends' plea after teenagers' drug deaths

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

A coroner has appealed for people to "look after your mates" at an inquest which heard how two teenagers died after taking a combination of drugs.

Andrew Reilly, a mechanic from Chagford, Newton Abbot, and Joshua Lee Brock, a student from Hatherleigh, both 19, fell unconscious in Pryzm nightclub, Plymouth and were confirmed dead in the early hours of 9 December.

Plymouth Coroner's Court, heard that the pair had taken "Mandy", a mix of MDMA (ecstasy) and amphetamines.

Pryzm nightclub
BBC

Senior Coroner Ian Arrow said: "In this party season, I do hope the publicity surrounding these tragic deaths will alert families to the importance of discussing what is safe to consume on a night out.

"Tabs, tablets, powder or excess alcohol rarely result in a pleasant convivial evening with friends. Please, look after your mates."

The precise medical cause of death was still currently unknown, the hearing was told.

The inquest is due to resume on 13 April.

Kate and Alan Burrows

Kate and Alan Burrows built their home in north Devon from tree trunks covered with mud and straw.

Read more

'I cannot live in a Travelodge' says Devon mud hut woman

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

A woman living in a mud-hut home says she would be "bedridden" if she took up a council offer of accommodation in a Travelodge.

House
BBC

North Devon Council has issued an enforcement notice for Kate Burrows and her husband Alan to remove their home, which does not have planning permission, by Saturday.

The couple have appealed against the enforcement order, citing illness from a condition called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), but this was rejected.

Mrs Burrows, who has lived in the house made of tree trunks, straw and mud at Chulmleigh since 2015, said: "I cannot live in that way. I have been in one before and I could not sleep, I would be so ill in 24 hours."

Kate and Alan Burrows
BBC

What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)?

MCS is a chronic, physical illness affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. It causes sufferers to have allergic-type reactions to very low levels of chemicals in everyday products. Put simply, the immune and detoxification systems stop working properly and the body cannot process toxins efficiently.

Besides reacting to things like cleaning products, shampoo, perfumes and pesticides, many sufferers are also sensitive to food, medicines, moulds and electromagnetic fields.

Source: MCS-Aware

Weather: Blustery showers to the west, drier elsewhere

BBC Weather

Weather
BBC

Blustery showers will continue to affect parts of west Cornwall and Scilly, but elsewhere it'll be drier with sunny spells more widespread.

Moderate or fresh northwesterly winds will be stronger around exposed coasts, high ground and generally to the west.

Maximum temperature: 9C (48F).

BreakingNightclub death teenagers took ecstasy and amphetamine

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

Two teenagers who died in a Plymouth nightclub had taken a combination of ecstasy and amphetamine, an inquest has heard.

Reilly, Brock
Family handouts

Aaron Reilly, a mechanic from Chagford, Newton Abbot, and Joshua Lee Brock, a student from Hatherleigh, both 19, fell unconscious in Pryzm nightclub, Plymouth and were confirmed dead in the early hours of 9 December.

Providing evidence in Plymouth Coroner's Court, coroner's officer Mr Andrew Bolter said that Mr Reilly had told staff at the nightclub that the pair had taken "Mandy", a mix of MDMA (ecstasy) and amphetamines.

CPR was administered on site by bar staff and continued by medical staff, but both were pronounced dead at 02:50 and 02:53 respectively on 9 December at Derriford Hospital.

The precise medical cause of death was still currently unknown, the hearing in Plymouth was told.

The inquest will resume on 13 April.

Councillor's attacked wife 'thought she was going to die'

Harriet Bradshaw

Reporter

A woman attacked by her local councillor husband with a mallet thought she was going to die, prosecutors have told a court.

Sixty-seven-year-old Douglas Hellier-Laing, a cabinet member at Devon's Teignbridge District Council, has been jailed for three years for attacking his wife, hitting her three times.

Hellier-Laing, of Clifford Street, Chudleigh, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at a previous hearing at Exeter Crown Court.

During sentencing, the court heard how Mrs Laing was collecting her things from their home to go and stay with her mother. The couple had been living separate lives but under the same roof with the plan to divorce.

She saw a flash of her husband with a Co-op bag with something in it. One injury needed nine stitches.

Neighbours helped Mrs Laing when she came to them she was covered in blood with one main wound "pulsing with blood", the court heard.

In a statement read in court, Mrs Laing said: "I don't think I'll ever be the same again. I'm not living, I'm just existing. I just want to hide away."

BreakingCouncillor Douglas Hellier-Laing jailed for attacking wife

Harriet Bradshaw

Reporter

A Devon district councillor has been jailed for three years for attacking his wife.

Douglas Hellier-Laing, 67, a cabinet member at Teignbridge District Council, Devon, attacked his wife with a wooden mallet on 29 October, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Hellier-Laing, of Clifford Street, Chudleigh, had pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at a previous hearing.

Douglas Hellier-Laing
Chudleigh Town Council

Football: Truro going up against Sutton to win - McHale

BBC Sport

Truro City will be looking to cause a shock in the FA Trophy tomorrow.

They're away to National League team Sutton United.

Goalkeeper Tom McHale says his side are the underdogs, but they're going to give it their all.

He said: "We're there to do a job. Who knows what will happen, but we are going up there to win."

No cop out: Criminals' cash funds Brews With Blues scheme

Ben Woolvin

BBC South West Home Affairs correspondent

View more on twitter

Cash seized from criminals is being used in an initiative to bring police closer to hard-to-reach communities in Newquay, officers say.

The #BrewsWithBlues project is being run in cafes across Newquay, and is seeing members of the public being invited to drop-in for a free cuppa with local police.

The scheme - inspired by projects in the United States, Coffee with A Cop - is being funded by money recovered from the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Officers are initially running 45-minute drop-ins once a week for eight weeks.

The dates and locations are being advertised locally in the town and on social media.

Christmas market comes to festive nursing home

Gordon Sparks

Presenter, BBC Radio Devon

What happens if you want to visit a Christmas market, but getting out and about isn't easy because you're frail?

One nursing home in Exeter has come up with a solution: bringing the outside inside and staging its very own Christmas market for residents and their families.

It is a scaled-down version of the sort of market you would find in cities, according to the the organiser of the event at the Old Rectory Nursing Home in Exeter, manager Paul Courtney.

He said: "We've got six stalls, plus a stage for acts going on, and a pretty authentic Christmas grotto for families and friends."