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Summary

  1. Plymouth businessman and former Royal Navy officer Charles Howeson guilty of sexual offences
  2. Lorry crashes into building in North Cornwall
  3. Deer dies after being 'hit by rocks' thrown by youths
  4. Barn blaze 'suspected arson'
  5. Flood-hit Coverack residents await repairs
  6. Thousands of days lost to NHS in bed blocking
  7. More news, sport, travel and weather from 07:00 on 27 December

Live Reporting

By John O'Shea

All times stated are UK

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Exeter celebrate Will Chudley's try

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Champions Exeter run in four tries as they win at Northampton for just the second time in the Premiership.

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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 07:00 on Wednesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Don't forget the very festive Spotlight Christmas party on BBC One later. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

Deer 'unable to stand' after youths pelt it with rocks

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

A deer has been put down after undergoing a catastrophic assault by a group of youths in Devon.

Sophia Minchella of Triumphal Crescent, Plympton, saw the group from the window of her flat pelting a deer with rocks she describes as being the size of "your palm to your elbow".

In a Facebook post she said the group of young people - believed to be about 10 to 14 years old - singled out the weakest deer by pelting the herd with rocks until the majority fled.

According to witnesses, the incident happened at around 16:30 on 21 December.

The RSPCA have confirmed that an independent vet was called to the scene where the deer was put to sleep after suffering "irreparable injuries".

PC Greg Rendle said: "Not a great deal surprises me as a Police officer but to think that some youths have deliberately thrown rocks at a helpless deer causing such catastrophic injuries is truly upsetting."

Police Christmas reminder: 'Don't drink and drive'

Sarah Gosling

BBC News Online

As the festive party season comes to a head, Devon and Cornwall Police are reminding people of the dangers of drinking and driving.

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Weather disrupts Scilly travel

Strong winds and fog are continuing to disrupt travel to and from the Isles of Scilly.

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Trust took action against 'twerking comment' nurse

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

The health trust where a nurse was found to have carried out "sexually motivated conduct" against a patient says it took action as soon as it heard about the behaviour.

Rodwell Ndoro was struck off after a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing. Among the findings were that he kissed a 29-year-old patient on the lips and administered a suppository without her consent.

A Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: "The safety and wellbeing of our patients is our top priority and we are committed to ensuring that every person in our care is treated with dignity and respect.

Torbay Hospital
Google

"Mr Ndoro was employed by a nursing agency when he worked at our Trust, he was not a substantive employee of our organisation. As soon as concerns were raised about inappropriate behaviour, we contacted the agency he worked for and made a referral to the NMC. He has not worked at this Trust since the incident.

"We have been working closely with the patients involved, the NMC as well as the Police and we are satisfied with the outcome of the NMC hearing." ​

Stolen Devon dogs turn up 400 miles away

Two stolen cocker spaniels have been located in Northumberland.

The animals were taken from North Devon earlier this week, and police launched an appeal.

Three pedigree cocker spaniels are still being looked for.

Sgt Ian Rowe from Devon and Cornwall Police said: "We still have three dogs outstanding and these need to be located. All of the owners concerned are aware.

"The circumstances of how the dogs went missing from the North Molton area are different to the South Molton occurrence, but we remain open-minded to the possibility they were taken by the same person(s).

"We would urge anyone who knows anything to get in touch with police immediately. We are also advising dog owners to be vigilant, especially those with cocker spaniel breeds."

Facebook post
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Flotilla of boats providing Scilly transport

Denis Nightingale

BBC Radio Cornwall

The Isles of Scilly is having to lay on special transport for travellers because it's been all but cut off by the weather.

A fleet of small inter-island boats are taking passengers to and from the mainland after flights to Scilly were cancelled for the day.

Four of the fast boats which normally take passengers between the five inhabited island are covering the 28-mile (45km) trip to Penzance harbour.

Tim Cook (middle)
BBC

Tim Cook is hoping to get to Scilly from Land's End Airport for Christmas. He said: "We know Tresco and the Scillies well enough to know that fog is part of the equation.

"We purposefully left two days empty on our return in case it was foggy coming back. But we weren't so sensible going out."

Howeson trial 'emotional', say police

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

The police have paid tribute to the victims of Charles Howeson, after the former senior naval officer and prominent businessman, was found guilty of a string of sex offences against eight men.

Howeson was convicted of 10 counts of sexual assault at Bristol Crown Court, and will be sentenced on 2 February.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two other charges.

Howeson assaulted a crewman while he was second in charge of HMS Cleopatra, and other victims while visiting tunnels on Drake's Island off Plymouth.

Charles Howeson
SWNS

He also repeatedly groped a maintenance worker while the man was up a step ladder checking a roof.

Speaking afterwards, Det Con Paul Enticknap said: "This trial has been a lengthy and emotional process for both the victims and their families.

"Having personally experienced how difficult this has been I'd like to recognise and acknowledge the strength of character and the conviction the victims have shown standing up to Charles Howeson."

Deer dies after being 'hit by rocks' thrown by youths

Rob England

BBC News Online

A deer suffered "catastrophic injuries" in Plympton after being "hit by rocks" thrown by a group of young people, police have said.

Officers say it happened in the Coypool area some time between 18:00 and 19:30 yesterday

The deer was put to sleep by a vet following the incident.

PC Greg Rendle said: "Not a great deal surprises me as a police officer but to think that some youths have deliberately thrown rocks at a helpless deer causing such catastrophic injuries has truly upset me and the numerous residents that have contacted me."

He said the area had seen a rise in "anti-social behaviour", and has appealed for witnesses.

Family appeal for missing woman - one year on

Rob England

BBC News Online

Katherine Timmins
Devon and Cornwall Police

The family of a missing woman from St Ives have appealed for her to make contact before Christmas, police have said.

Officers said 51-year-old Katherine Timmins was last seen around Carbis Bay in St Ives in 2016.

Her family said she could be "anywhere in the country", as she used to work in Scotland and Norfolk.

It is thought Ms Timmins also has family in Nottingham and Somerset.

In a statement, the family said: "We are appealing for Katherine to make contact with us and let us know that she is okay."

“We just want to know that she is safe.” they added.

Care home solution 'a lot cheaper' than hospital beds

BBC Radio Cornwall

Private care homes and the NHS are working together in Cornwall to free up beds.

Bed blocking
Getty Images

Nearly 13,000 days were lost to the NHS in the south west in September because beds were taken by people who were well enough to leave hospital, according to NHS Kernow.

Now the NHS is paying for some of these patients to be discharged to a care home for six weeks while their long term future is planned.

David Smith, is the owner of the North Hill home in St Austell and said it is proving to be a successful partnership.

"From a financial point of view it's obviously a lot cheaper for someone to be in a care home, then in a bed." he said.

Patients are assessed at the home so that "appropriate funding" can be put in place for their future care.

Police warn of 'black eye Friday'

The emergency services are gently reminding people to take care if they are planning to visit the pub later today.

The Friday before Christmas is traditionally a busy time for the police, with people enjoying themselves at the start of their holidays

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Howeson to be sentenced in February

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

The disgraced Plymouth businessman and senior naval officer Charles Howeson will be sentenced on 2 February.

Earlier he was found guilty of sexual offences against eight men at Bristol Crown Court.

At the sentencing hearing, a decision will be made whether to seek a re-trial on two counts for which the just could not reach a verdict.

Charles Howeson
BBC

Howeson assaulted maintenance worker up a ladder

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

The well-known Plymouth businessman, and former senior naval officer, Charles Howeson, assaulted a maintenance worker up a ladder, a court has heard.

He has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a number of men.

Howeson was convicted at Bristol Crown Court after a five-week trial.

He was found guilty of 10 counts of indecent assault against eight men. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two other counts.

One of his victims, who doesn’t wish to be named, told the BBC, Howeson touched him in his private parts when he was using a step ladder to check a roof.

Charles Howeson
SWNS

The man was employed to do maintenance for Howeson, and said: "A couple of times a week we go back in there [a building] and check and check it [the roof] again.

"He would make excuses no matter how much I said to him that I had checked it because I tried to avoid being in there with him as much as I could.

"I said it's already been done but he insisted on going in and having a look for himself and I'd be in the same situation again and then it became a bit more obvious what he was doing - holding me so I couldn't move and pushing himself up against me.”

Howeson assaulted eight men, court told

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

Charles Howeson, a former senior naval officer and prominent Plymouth businessman, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting eight men.

Some of the indecent assaults date from the early 1990s when Howeson was executive director of the Plymouth Area Groundwork Trust Charity.

Other offences happened in dark tunnels on Drake’s Island off Plymouth, and another on-board HMS Cleopatra.

Howeson was found guilty of 10 counts of indecent assault at Bristol Crown Court. The jury could not reach a verdict on two further counts.

Timeline

  • 1967: Charles Howeson joined Royal Navy as a cadet and before gaining promotions to officer ranks.
  • 1985: He moved from his role as second in command (Lieutenant Commander) of HMS Cleopatra after allegation of indecent assault against a sailor. He then took on a land-based intelligence role.
  • 1991: He leaves Royal Navy as a commander. Final posting was chief of the allied staff in Gibraltar.
  • 1991: He becomes executive director of Plymouth Area Groundwork Trust charity. Howeson leaves on health grounds in early 1993 after a number of people make allegations of indecent assault against him.
  • 1993: He started his business career in chartered surveying and property development.
  • 1997-2012: Howesome held a number of high-profile roles including regional chair of the Consumer Council for Water, chairman of First Great Western Trains Advisory Board, regional chairman of Coutts Bank and chief executive of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.
  • March 2017 he was charged with historical sexual offences.
  • November 2017 the trial for 12 sexual offences against nine people started.
  • December 2017 Howeson was found guilty of 10 counts of indecent assault.

Lorry remains lodged in house

Christine Butler

BBC Radio Cornwall

A lorry that crashed in North Cornwall earlier remains lodged in the side of a house, as emergency services wait for a structural engineer to arrive.

The lorry caused extensive damage to the property near St Teath.

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Fire at Exeter restaurant

A fast food restaurant in Exeter was evacuated earlier because of a fire.

Three fire crews were called to KFC on South Street to find the extractor fan fire already under control, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said.

The ground floor of the building was filled with smoke, and the cause of the fire was accidental, it added.

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