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  1. Man, 89, trapped behind mobility scooter in stairs fall
  2. Happy ending for pup in rooftop rescue
  3. Brexit protester removed from quayside during Charles and Camilla visit
  4. Coastguards 'disrespected' by beach rescue hoax caller
  5. Teens to get summer school lessons to cut knife violence risk in the holidays
  6. Grant of £850k helps cathedral before WW1 commemorations
  7. Updates for Tuesday 17 July 2018

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Wanted: Forever pad for former police dog Axel


Police dog Axel is looking for a retirement home after five years on the beat in Devon and Cornwall.

The five-year-old 43kg German Shepherd has been with the force all his life, but had developed a back condition which means he now has to put his paws up.

PC Mark Stevens said: ''While the condition would not cause him distress as a non-working dog, it would be unfair to expect him to continue in what can be a fast moving and very physical role.''

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Weather: Showers overnight and then sunny spells

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

Tuesday night will start off with clear spells and just isolated showers.

More cloud later in the night with the showers perhaps becoming more widespread. Gentle south-westerly breezes.

Minimum temperature: 9 to 14C (48 to 57F).


Wednesday will have sunny spells and variable amounts of cloud with a few scattered showers. Light winds, mostly from the south-west.

Maximum temperature: 19 to 22C (66 to 72F).

Dog rescued from house fire in Paignton

BBC Radio Devon

A dog has been rescued from one of two neighbouring houses on fire in Paignton.

Several people called Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to raise the alarm about the fire in Hillside Road at 15.23 on Tuesday.

Five crews were dispatched as the blaze spread from the first house to the property next door.

A fire service spokesman said the fire was under control by 17.01.

Blackmail email threatens to reveal web history and videos

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A blackmail email has been investigated by police in Devon after threats that the recipient would have their internet search history and compromising videos revealed.

Ivybridge Police said on Facebook that the victim had an email "asking for euros otherwise the suspect would post that the victim searches porn and will download a video of the victim in a sexual video".

Officers said that the email had been looked into and appeared to be composed using an online translation service, which "suggests it is completely fake".

Concerns over plans for bedsits at ex-doctors' surgery

Richard Whitehouse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Former Woodland Road GP surgery

Dozens of people have raised concerns over plans to turn a former doctors' surgery in St Austell into bedsits.

A planning application has been submitted to transform the former GP practice in Woodland Road in St Austell into a house of multiple occupation (HMO) with 15 bedrooms.

The planning application by Property Group South West gives no detail about who the properties might be marketed towards or who might live there.

Planning permission has already been granted to convert the former surgery into eight flats but the new plans instead look to convert it into accommodation for up to 30 people.

The new plans have received 45 comments so far - all of which raise objections.

Many seem to be concerned about the fact that the property sits opposite Mount Charles School and that there could be people who used drugs or who had recently been released from prison living there.

The planning application, validated by Cornwall Council on 5 July, will be decided at a later date.

Disabled comedian Tanyalee Davis 'humiliated' on train
A comedian was asked to move her mobility scooter out of a disabled space on a train.

Devon travel: Strike action hits Plymouth to Roscoff ferry

BBC Radio Devon

Brittany Ferries' Plymouth to Roscoff sailing at 22:00 on Tuesday has been delayed due to industrial action.

It is now due to depart at 00:40, with latest check-in at 23:59.

Lorry driver in hospital after multi-vehicle crash

BBC Radio Devon

A lorry driver is in hospital after a multi-vehicle crash near Chawleigh.

Three fire crews and an ambulance were sent to the road from Eggesford Station to Hollow Tree Cross at about 10:30 on Tuesday.

Three other vehicles were involved in the crash, which left the lorry driver trapped, and a person from one of the vehicles injured.

'Agatha Christie' oak tree to be cut down after collapse

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Agatha Christie oak
Torbay Council

A tree at a Torbay cricket club known as the "Agatha Christie Oak" is to be felled after part of it came down, the local council says.

Torbay Council said more than 50% of the veteran English oak at Barton Cricket Club collapsed overnight between Monday and Tuesday, and the remaining section was found to be "diseased with much decay visible".

This meant it would "have to be completely removed for public safety reasons".

Agatha Christie oak. Pic: Torbay Council
Torbay Council

The council said it and the club had "done our very best to preserve this historical tree", which was identified as one that the world famous crime writer "used to sit under ... and watch and score her favourite summer sport of cricket".

However, the tree had been "suffering for years with two wood-rooting fungi", it added.

The council said: "We will now be working with the cricket club to secure a replacement tree for future generations to enjoy".

Lane closures on A380 for barrier repairs


Police 'very disappointed' by speeding drivers on A390

Police in Liskeard are warning more than 70 drivers to expect ''letters in the post'' after an hour-long community speedwatch operation.

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In March, a local policing report heard that residents in St Ive had complained about speed of traffic using the A390 through the village for some years.

There is now a 30mph speed limit in the village, but locals have continued to complain to police about people driving ''well in excess of this''.

Dumped snakes found with 'shocking' burns

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

RSPCA inspectors are investigating two snakes being dumped with "shocking injuries" in mid Cornwall.

The charity said both of the corn snakes were found with burns after in the Fraddon area in separate incidents by concerned members of the public in mid-June.

One had to be put down "straight away to stop any more suffering" because of "burns throughout its whole body".

The other is recovering after a vet treated it when it was found with "some substance over its body".

Staff have appealed for information "which could help the establish how the snakes came to be abandoned with such shocking injuries".

RSPCA exotics officer Peter Ferris said it was "sickening, upsetting and frustrating that someone could do this".

Many people do not realise what they are taking on when they buy these pets ... Although these beautiful animals may look quite hardy, snakes kept as pets are actually completely dependent on their owners. They need to be provided with the correct accommodation, heating, lighting and food for the particular species."

Peter FerrisRSPCA exotics officer
Dumped snake

Water supplies 'critically low' on St Mary's and Bryher

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Two of the Isles of Scilly have "critically low" groundwater supplies, the islands' council says.

The Isles of Scilly Council said the situation meant it was "unable to meet water demand on St Mary's and Bryher" (pictured) because "water usage is now at a level that we can't sustain".

People are being told to stop using hosepipes and sprinklers "and to keep other water usage to an absolute minimum".

Supplies should also be checked for leaks, the council said.

However, it added: "Just so there is no confusion, you should continue to stay hydrated in the hot weather and drink as much water as you need. We would never ask people to restrict the amount of water they drink."

Getty Images

Drug users 'come to Cornwall to get into rehab quicker'

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

Some drug users from up country say they come down to Cornwall because they can get into rehabilitation programmes more quickly.

Mike Geddes, a bipolar heroin addict from Luton, said he moved to Cornwall because he said it took six years off his waiting time to get into rehab.

He said: "It's a nice place to come and they've sorted everything out for me."

However, he also said that the drug situation was "pretty bad down here".

It comes as residents in Penzance are being urged to report drug and alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour to the authorities instead of turning to social media.

Local Cornwall Councillor Sue James said she believed the town was no worse than anywhere else, but that people taking pictures of people who were drugged up or drunk and posting them on social media were actually putting the area in a bad light.

Long-serving Exeter academy boss steps down

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

The man behind the rise of the likes of Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Sam Simmonds has called time on his career as Exeter Chiefs' academy manager.

Robin Cowling, 74, has stepped down from the role after two decades, with Rob Gibson stepping up from his deputy to take over.

Robin Cowling
Getty Images

“It’s been a super journey for me and one which I’m very proud to have been part of," he told the Exeter Chiefs website.

“We have over the years not only produced some outstanding rugby players, but we’ve also produced some very decent people as well," added Cowling, who had a brief spell in charge of Exeter's first team at the end of the 2008-09 season following Pete Drewett's sacking.

Logan Peters

Logan Peters, 22, was found hanged at his home the day after he was released from police custody.

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Uncertainty over future of Torquay's conference centre

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The future of the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay is still up in the air.

Torbay Council has announced it is "reviewing all options" for the future use and/or development of the site.

A report will go before Torbay Council in September.

Riviera International Conference Centre
The centre first opened in 1987 as the English Riviera Centre

A council spokesman said: "As with any asset, the current facility has a finite lifespan."

It is understood that the lease for the Riviera International Conference Centre runs out in 2019.

The council awarded the centre a management fee of £350,000 for 2018-19.

Crane numbers 'could rise by 50%' in next 50 years

BBC News England

Common cranes which were reintroduced to England less than 40 years ago after a 400-year absence are now here to stay, research led by a Devon university has found.

There could be a 50% increase in breeding pairs of cranes in the UK within 50 years, according to a study.


Efforts to populate parts of the country with the UK's tallest bird began in 2010. There are currently 178 pairs, but a study predicts a 50% rise in the next 50 years to 275 pairs.

Research into the crane population has been carried out by the University of Exeter, the RSPB and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT).

Cranes were lost from the UK as a breeding bird in the 16th Century as a result of hunting and the drainage of large areas of wetlands, but some returned to the east of England in 1979.

Conservationists supported the small population but they bred slowly and their numbers remained low over the next two decades, leaving the population at risk of disappearing again if hit by problems such as disease.

Duke and Duchess of Cornwall open Isles of Scilly quayside


Puppy in the arms of fireman as it is rescued

The dog is thought to have climbed out of an open window, leaving it stranded on a third floor roof.

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Herb growers join forces 'to make a mint'

Carys Edwards

Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

South West herb growers who cultivate plants for medicinal, culinary or beauty reasons are joining forces to create a new national alliance.

At the moment most herbs are imported, even though many grow in our hedgerows.

It is hoped by working together in a new alliance, growers will switch from being niche businesses to becoming bigger businesses.

Herb producer Helen King grows more than 100 varieties of herbs for culinary use and welcomes the move...

Devon travel: Two-vehicle crash on A39 Abbotsham

BBC Radio Devon

In Abbotsham, there are reports of a two-vehicle crash on the A39 near Clovelly Road. There's slow traffic.

Brexit protester removed from quay during royal visit

John Danks

BBC Spotlight

Brexit protester

A woman has been removed from the quayside in St Mary's during a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.

Police moved the protester, wearing an anti-Brexit sticker on her head, when she tried to push past a cordon.

It's not known if she was arrested.

Prince Charles and Camilla are on the Isles of Scilly on the second day of their tour of the South West.

They've been formally opening the island's newly improved quayside.

Early recess move 'a disgrace' - Plymouth MP

Lisa Hay

BBC News Online

Theresa May's attempt to start Parliament's summer holidays early are ''a disgrace'' and should be thwarted, says Luke Pollard.

The Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport says there is still too much important work to be done over the government's Brexit policy for his colleagues to ''clock off early'' on Thursday.

Recess should begin on Tuesday but the prime minister has suggested an early finish - something the Opposition says it will vote against.

Luke Pollard said: "Brexit is the single biggest issue facing Plymouth and we need to get into the detail, not clocking off early. The Prime Minister is putting herself and her own government's survival before the national interest.''

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"Hard working people in Plymouth and people across the country struggling to make ends meet will not be pleased to hear Parliament is shutting down early. Recess doesn't mean extra holiday - there are a million and one things to get on with in Plymouth, but what this plan would do is limit the essential the ability for MPs to question the government in debates. That is what democracy is all about.''

Devon travel: B3042 crash blocks A377 diversion route

BBC Radio Devon

The B3042 between Eggesford and Chawleigh is blocked in both directions due to a road crash. The B3042 is part of the diversion route for the A377 closure so long delays are very likely.

'Stay safe in currents' warning after 15 rescued

BBC Radio Cornwall

Beachgoers are being urged to stay safe in the water after lifeguards had to rescue 15 swimmers from strong currents at Watergate Bay at the weekend.

The RNLI has issued the warning following incidents on Saturday afternoon which saw five people drift out of red and yellow flag areas due to a change in the weather, plus 10 other people needing to be helped.

One person was rescued while having an asthma attack "which was causing him to panic", lifeguards said.

It comes just a few weeks after lifeguards at Fistral beach aided 16 people caught in a rip current.

Watergate Bay

Pupils 'use cunning ploy to avoid lessons at school'

Plymouth Live

An Ofsted check-up on a failing school in Plymouth has found that not enough is being done to get it out of trouble.

All Saints Academy was placed in special measures following an inspection by the education regulator during February last year.

Their report said some pupils "play the system" and choose to be sent to to an exclusion facility "rather than go to lessons they do not enjoy or find boring".

Anti-knife violence lessons for holidays

Sean Coughlan

BBC News, education correspondent

Teenagers in England are being given lessons in school to reduce the risk of knife violence in the summer holidays.

End-of-term activities might be expected to be sports days, school trips and concerts, but the Home Office is providing anti-knife lessons, telling young people not to believe the "myth" that it is safer for them to carry a knife.

Crime Minister Victoria Atkins said young people needed to be kept safe from the "rise in serious violence".

With the end of term approaching, secondary schools are giving safety lessons from the Home Office designed to reduce the risk of stabbings during the long hot summer holidays.

The lessons, for 11 to 16-year-olds, warn young people not to believe everything they see on social media, and that it is false to believe most other youngsters have knives or that carrying a knife is a form of self-defence.

Knife crime
Getty Images

Cornwall travel: A38 Carkeel roundabout partially blocked

BBC Radio Cornwall

  • At the Carkeel roundabout, there are reports the A38 is partially blocked due to a broken-down vehicle
  • On the A3076, between Gummows Shop and Mitchell, resurfacing work is taking place. Expect delays

Parking warning after firefighters slowed during call-out

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

A woman has "escaped significant injuries" in a car crash near Buckfastleigh, firefighters say.

Buckfastleigh Fire Station said on Facebook they assisted at the scene at Newbridge on Monday, making the vehicle safe after the woman was helped from the vehicle by a member of the public.

Firefighters said her seat belt prevented her from sustaining worse injuries.

Car crash. Pic: Buckfastleigh Fire Station/Facebook
Buckfastleigh Fire Station/Facebook
Car crash. Pic: Buckfastleigh Fire Station/Facebook
Buckfastleigh Fire Station/Facebook

However, the station was keen to emphasize that the scene, about 100m from the Spitchwick turning, was close to where they were slowed down by people who had parked inconsiderately the day before (pictured below).

Crews were called to a reports of smoke on Sunday, which "thankfully, was just the smoke coming from the numerous disposable barbecues" crews have had to deal with recently.

But they said their progress was delayed by a "number of cars parked on double yellow lines".

They said people in the area should not park "at the expense of someone else's safety" as it could delay response times.

Bad parking. Pic: Buckfastleigh Fire Station/Facebook
Buckfastleigh Fire Station/Facebook

Sports car crashes into railings and driver runs off

Plymouth Live

Shocking pictures show the extent of damage caused to a sports car that appears to have smashed into railings near the Royal Mail Centre in Plymstock.

The railings have been left bent over following the impact. A woman was treated for minor injuries.

Lift broken in Newton Abbot multi-storey car park


Man, woman and baby treated for smoke inhalation

BBC Radio Devon

A five-day-old baby and a man and woman have been treated for the effects of breathing in smoke after a fire in a flat above a post office in east Devon.

The alarm was raised at about 20:00 on Monday after the fire broke out in the kitchen of the property in Woodbury.

Fire crews from Middlemoor, Honiton and Newton Abbot were called to the scene.

It was thought the fire started in a gas cooker, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said.

Delays warning after crash blocks Plymouth road


Coastguards 'disrespected' by beach rescue hoax caller

Andrew Segal

BBC Local Live

Coastguards in Cornwall say they have been "disrespected" by a hoax caller who triggered an hour-and-a-half search operation in Newquay.

Newquay Coastguard, RNLI volunteers and ambulance staff were involved in the operation at Crantock after they were called out at about 21:45 on Monday to reports that a casualty "had fallen and was injured".

It was later determined that the call-out was a hoax.

Newquay Coastguard said on Facebook that all the unpaid coastguard and RNLI volunteers "drop what they are doing, they leave their full-time jobs, they leave their families, they race to offer assistance and aid to those in need".

Newquay coastguard search
Newquay Coastguard/Facebook

To have our time wasted, to be disrespected in such a way is incredibly annoying, it wastes our time and ties up emergency services that might be needed to save a life elsewhere.

Our colleagues in the ambulance service are incredibly busy and always stretched thin so this person really did put lives at risk. This is a rare occurrence, we are fortunate that this almost never happens."

Newquay Coastguard

City duo head to Truro

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport

Exeter City youngsters Max Smallcombe and Alex Hartridge have joined National League South side Truro City on six-month loan deals.

Wales youth international midfielder Smallcombe, 19, has played one first team game for Exeter in last season's EFL Trophy, as did fellow 19-year-old Hartridge.

Hartridge had a spell on loan at the White Tigers last season and both featured in Exeter's 6-0 pre-season win at Truro last week