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  1. Updates on Wednesday 18 May 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Wednesday's live coverage

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

New Isles of Scilly freight ship buy under way

BBC Radio Cornwall

The owners of the freight ship which carries cargo and supplies to the Isles of Scilly say they are in the process of buying a new ship to replace the current vessel, the Gry Maritha (pictured).

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group said it was "in the process of buying a larger freight ship", currently called the Mali Rose, "as the first step in a strategy to renew its vessels".

Gry Maritha

The Gry Maritha has been sailing to the islands 28 miles off Cornwall three times a week for 27 years. The group added it was "carrying out evaluation work" on replacing the islands' passenger ship, the Scillonian III, which runs from Easter until November.

WATCH: The moment a baby wriggles free from mother's womb in 'natural caesarean'

Plymouth Herald

A mother has shared an amazing video of her baby literally delivering itself - by wriggling out of her womb.

Latest weather: Largely dry overnight, light rain on Thursday

Dan Downs, Weather Forecaster

Overnight, it will remain largely dry with any residual showers soon dying away. There will be some clear spells around too, allowing some patchy mist and fog to form. Minimum temperature: 10C (50F).


Thursday will see a brighter start, but cloud will soon build from the west. Outbreaks of light and very patchy rain will move eastwards through the afternoon. Maximum temperature: 15C (59F).

Pupil safety 'utmost importance', says Eggbuckland College

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

A Plymouth school says "safeguarding our students is of the utmost importance" after a man was banned for teaching for life for sending sexual texts about "cleavage" and "boobs" to a vulnerable female pupil.

Mobile phone

Eggbuckland College psychology teacher Mark Hewes, 43, was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by a National College for Teaching and Leadership panel.

The college said it had taken "immediate action" after the allegations emerged which prompted an internal investigation, Hewes's resignation and the disciplinary authority being involved.  

Latest travel for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

  • In Paignton on Winner Hill Road we have reports of an accident
  • An accident between a car and a pedestrian has closed Burleigh Lane in Plymouth 
  • The A390 in Truro is partially blocked between County Hall and Threemilestone due to an accident
  • On the A30 in Penzance around the junction with the A3071 we have reports of an incident
  • At Perranarworthal on the A39 around Cove Hill there is heavy traffic due to roadworks  

Drunk hit-and-run driver 'ripped apart' lives of victims' families

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Family members of a couple killed in Cornwall by a drunk hit-and-run driver say their lives have been ripped apart by losing them.

Calvin Trevena and Annie Varran. Pic: Family handout
Family handout

Twenty-seven-year-old Ryan Morrish, from Redruth, has been jailed at Truro Crown Court for six years after admitting causing the deaths by careless driving of Calvin Trevena and Annie Varran last August while the couple walked home from the St Agnes Carnival. Morrish initially claimed his car was stolen.

In a statement, Ms Varran's son, Matt Bonnar said he couldn't believe Morrish "caused us so much pain". He said having to identify the bodies was "the hardest thing" he ever had to do. Mr Bonnar also told the BBC that Morrish's behaviour had been "absolutely despicable, lying and saying his car had been stolen".

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

  • A man from Cornwall, who killed a couple in a hit and run accident and then tried to cover it up by blaming a friend, has been jailed for six years 
  • Sixteen-year-old Dagmara Przbysz, who died at Pool Academy yesterday, has been described as a beautiful, bright and creative student who had a promising future ahead of her 
  • A psychology teacher from Devon who texted a vulnerable girl sexual messages, has been banned from teaching for life 
  • The Government today paved the way in the Queen's Speech for a spaceport to be built in Britain, and Newquay is on the short list

Health bosses admit finding respite centre alternatives 'has been challenging'

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

Health bosses have admitted that finding alternatives for a respite centre in Torquay for adults with severe learning disabilities earmarked for closure "has been challenging".

Bay Tree House

Bay Tree House has eight beds, but is due to close in June. Councillors in Torbay are discussing whether they're happy with NHS assurances about future care, which has been criticised by families.

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust said: "Our support planning service has been working closely with all of the families [who use the centre] to find high quality, safe and suitable alternatives and we are confident that we can meet people's needs locally." It add that it had "secured four local providers for short breaks" and ensured people would have access to the same number of bed nights that were "used and needed by carers".

Latest travel for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

  • In Bideford on the A39 near Buckleigh Road we have reports of an incident
  • On the A388 in Launceston, Newport Square is partially blocked around Riverside 
  • In Plymouth, Burleigh Lane is closed between Torr Lane and Burleigh Park
  • On the M5 heading between Wellington and Tiverton there is a lane closed due to a broken down lorry 

Work begins on drug and alcohol recovery unit

BBC Radio Cornwall

Work is starting to create a specialist drug and alcohol recovery centre to treat young people in West Cornwall.

Bosence Farm

In what's thought to be a UK first, patients will be able to stay with their families at Bosence Farm, near Hayle, while getting treatment. It's in response to a rise in addiction at a much younger age. 

Charity chief executive Kate Cook said there was a significant demand for services. The unit is due to open in November.

Eggbuckland College 'boobs' and 'cleavage' texts teacher banned

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

A psychology teacher who texted a vulnerable girl pupil with messages about "cleavage" and "boobs" has been banned from teaching for life.

Eggbuckland College

Mark Hewes sent the sixth form pupil at Eggbuckland College in Plymouth a series of texts, a panel heard. 

The pupil said said the messages made her feel "emotionally blackmailed" by Hewes and "uncomfortable". 

The National College for Teaching and Leadership panel found him guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.  

Steve Tully hopes to sign new Truro deal after talks

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Truro City manager Steve Tully says he hopes to sign a new deal with the club in the "next couple weeks" after talks with chairman Peter Masters.

Earlier today Tully said his future was "up in the air" and was "disappointed" his contract had not been sorted sooner, but has been offered a contract by Peter Masters on the condition that he finds a replacement for his assistant Wayne Carlisle.

Steve Tully (left) and Wayne Carlisle
Truro City FC

"The club needed to match my ambition and they've definitely shown that - I want to be part of this club," he told BBC Radio Cornwall. "Yes it's taken a little bit of time but these things are never done over one day, so it's heading in the right direction.  

Castle gravestone for disabled girl banned because it 'may look out of place'

Exeter Express & Echo

A grieving mother has been denied permission to put a "princess castle" headstone on the grave of her late disabled daughter - because it "may look out of place".

Man rescued by mobility scooter on Cornish path thanks ramblers

View more on twitter

Mr Lane was walking alone in the Poldice Valley, near St Day, on Thursday, when he slipped and broke his leg.

His shouting alerted the ramblers from Bristol, part of the Disabled Ramblers group, who transported Mr Lane out of the valley on their support trailer.

People drive home their bus station opinions

BBC Radio Devon

People in Exeter want the city's new bus station to have a covered waiting area, toilets, seating and departure information screens, submissions to a recent public forum have revealed. 

More than 550 feedback forms were returned to the city council, with complaints about the current bus station including that it was dirty, exposed and uncomfortable. Eight people also complained about pigeons. 

Another exhibition is being held today at the city's Guildhall so people can have their say about the detailed design before a planning application is submitted in the summer.

It's nearly (Devon County) Showtime!

New Chagford £2.6m school 'waste of money'

Jenny Kumah, Devon Political Reporter

Campaigners are accusing government officials of wasting money on building a new school at a cost of £2.6m.

Chagford Primary

They say Chagford Primary on Dartmoor could be refurbished for much less than the cost of demolition and replacement, and claim officials took the decision to rebuild before a feasibility report last June. 

The Department for Education (DfE) rejected the claim and said that the decision to rebuild the school was "taken after careful consideration".  

Drunk hit-and-run-driver abandoned damaged car and fled

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A drunk hit-and-run-driver who killed two people abandoned his badly damaged car in a layby and fled the scene on foot, police say.

Ryan Morrish, 27, (pictured), from Redruth, was jailed at Truro Crown Court for six years after admitting causing the deaths by careless driving of Calvin Trevena and Ann Varran last August while the couple walked home along the B3277 from the St Agnes Carnival. Morrish initially claimed his Audi S4 car was stolen.

Ryan Morrish. Pic: Devon and Cornwall Police
Devon and Cornwall Police

In court, police said damage to the car's widescreen indicated it had hit a pedestrian. Mr Trevena's body was found in a ditch and Ms Varran's found in a nearby field after the force of the impact threw her over a hedge. 

After sentencing, Det Sgt Gail Windsor, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "Our thoughts remain with their families and friends at this time and we hope the sentencing of Ryan Morrish brings some closure for them."

Protests at Local Plan hearing

BBC Radio Cornwall

There have been protests and outbursts at a Newquay hotel where a government planning inspector is holding a review of Cornwall's Local Plan. 

Protesters, from the group Cornwall for Change, said many of those scheduled to appear before the inspector were property developers. 

Cornwall Council said it had consulted widely on the draft so that policies for economic development, affordable housing, renewable energy and the protection of the landscape had weight and were defendable.

Ponies help dementia patients

Father raises respite care concerns

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

The father of two profoundly disabled adult sons says he fears they'll lose their respite care if an NHS facility in Torbay closes.

The NHS in South Devon wants to close Bay Tree House in Torquay, where Brendan and Calvin Helmore, who are 29 and 36, go regularly for respite care. The matter is being discussed by councillors in Torbay. 

Bay Tree House

Kevin Helmore said he was worried alternative care being proposed would not be adequate. He said: "During the consultation [into the proposed closure], statements were being made that there were all these private providers in the wings, waiting for the closure of Bay Tree. That announcement was made a long time ago and no-one else has stepped forward."  

Developer makes rainbow paint pledge after flats plan turned down

Torquay Herald Express

The owner of a prominent building on Babbacombe Downs has vowed to board it up and paint it in a rainbow of colours after his £2.5million plans to redevelop the site were refused by planners.

Arrest after concern for woman in Porthtowan

Claire Hawke

BBC Local Live

Police have made an arrest after concerns for the welfare of a woman in Porthtowan. 

Several officers were involved in the incident on Beach Road last night, where it was feared a man was in possession of a weapon. 

A man, in his 30s, has been arrested on suspicion of common assault and it still in custody.

Latest weather: Mix of sunny spells and showers

BBC Weather

There will be a mixture of sunny spells and showers this afternoon. Some showers may be heavy before they easing from the west later. Maximum temperature: 15C (59F).


It will remain largely dry through this evening and overnight, with any residual showers soon dying away. There will be some clear spells around too, allowing some patchy mist and fog to form. Minimum temperature: 7C (45F).

Boy sex offences charges against ex-teacher Jonathan Thomson-Glover

Jonathan Morris, BBC News Online

A former teacher has been charged with six sex offences against two boys aged under 14.

Jonathan Thomson-Glover

The offences were allegedly committed in Wadebridge and around the country in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the victims were not former pupils of Clifton College in Bristol where Mr Thomson-Glover was a teacher.

Jonathan Thomson-Glover, 54, of Wadebridge, will appear at Bodmin Magistrates Court on 2 June charged with five counts of gross indecency with a boy under 14 and one count of inciting a boy under 14 to commit an act of gross indecency.   

Travel news for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

  • In Helston, Meneage Street is closed because of some fallen scaffolding 
  • The Brixham Express Ferry is out of service today because of planned maintenance work  
  • In Torquay, Hele Road is partially blocked due to an incident near Truro Avenue
  • Helston Road in Penryn is partially blocked by an accident 

Food for thought: Why are more people becoming vegans?

Janet Kipling

BBC Radio Devon

We're debating the big stories of the day, and new figures suggest more than 500,000 in the UK have turned vegan.

Why are so many of us turning our backs on meat, fish and dairy? Have you made the change? Let me know on today's phone-in by calling 0345 3011034.

Pool Academy death: File being prepared for coroner

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A file is being prepared for the coroner into the death of a teenage girl at a Cornish school, police say.

Dagmara Przybysz.Pic: Dagmara Przybysz remembrance page/Facebook
Dagmara Przybysz remembrance page/Facebook

Dagmara Przybysz, 16, was pronounced dead at Pool Academy after emergency services were called on Tuesday afternoon. Police said the cause of death was not thought to be suspicious.

Police Insp John Hannaford, said: "We understand this is a very distressing time for the family and the school. We are working closely with them and will offer support where required. Our thoughts remain with family at this difficult time."

Floral tributes have been placed at the school.

Drunk hit-and-run driver jailed for six years

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A hit-and-run driver who killed a couple as they walked home from a carnival in Cornwall has been jailed for six years.

Annie Varran and Calvin Trevena. Pic: Family handout
Family handout

Twenty-seven-year-old Ryan Morrish, from Redruth, killed Calvin Trevena and his partner, Annie Varran (pictured), from Treleigh, last August after deciding to drive home after drinking heavily. The couple were walking home from the St Agnes Carnival. 

Truro Crown Court heard that, after the collision, he dumped his car in a lay-by and and set about "spinning a tale', trying to blame friends, accusing them of taking his car as a prank. Morrish was sentenced after pleading guilty to two counts of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol and perverting the course of justice. He was also disqualified from driving for six years.

EU debate: Wot, no Brexit panellist?

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

A furious row has erupted after it emerged a big discussion being staged at Falmouth University to discuss the merits of staying in Europe, does not include any panellist from the Brexit side.

We'll hear from politicians and listeners angry that the so-called debate is biased. Let me know what you think by calling today's phone-in on 01872 222222.

Truro City boss Steve Tully unsure over future

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Truro City boss Steve Tully says his future at the club is "up in the air" as he prepares for talks with chairman Peter Masters.

Tully has been in charge of the Cornish side for two-and-a-half years and led them to fourth in National League South this season, though his assistant Wayne Carlisle has stepped down.

Steve Tully (left) and Wayne Carlisle
Truro City FC

"I think we've had one of the best seasons Truro have ever had and I'm still in the position where nothing's been offered to me," he told BBC Sport. "I'm a little disappointed that it hasn't been sorted - I feel like we've had a great season but the finances of the club always come into it."

High tide times for the region

Emily Wood

BBC Weather

If you're planning a trip to the coast or seaside, here are the next high water times around Devon and Cornwall. 


We'll have the latest forecast on BBC Spotlight at 13:30.

Dartmoor eco-community planning appeal to continue

BBC Spotlight

An eco-community's appeal to be allowed to stay on Dartmoor continues today.

Steward Community Woodland

Steward Community Woodland has been refused permanent planning permission by Dartmoor National Park. Members of the community say they are pioneering "off-grid" living, but the park says their development contravenes planning rules.

A public inquiry, heard by a planning inspector, was started last month and is due to continue later at the park's headquarters in Bovey Tracey.

What would Newquay spaceport sound like?

View more on twitter

It's thought today's Queen's Speech could include an announcement about the creation of the UK's first spaceport, with Newquay thought to be the favourite of six potential sites. 

Among Newquay's advantages are a long runway, sparse population in the surrounding area and relatively uncongested airspace.

Watches and jewellery stolen during burglary

Pool Academy death: Dagmara Przybysz - 'beautiful, bright and creative'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A secondary school in Cornwall says it is "shocked and saddened" by the death of a 16-year-old student on site on Tuesday.

Dagmara Przybysz was pronounced dead at Pool Academy after emergency services were called on Tuesday afternoon. Police said the cause of death was not thought suspicious.

Pool Academy

The school said: "Dagmara was a beautiful, bright and creative 16-year-old student with a very promising future ahead of her. She was passionate about fashion and photography. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dagmara's family and friends at this difficult time."

Principal Zelma Hill, who said she was "devastated" by the news, added: "The loss of Dagmara is heart-breaking. We are supporting students, staff and their families through this terrible time."

Bank blocked transgender woman's account 'because she sounded like a man'

Plymouth Herald

A bank has apologised for blocking a transgender woman's account and calling in the fraud protection team because she "sounded like a man".