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Summary

  1. The number of police firearms officers in Devon and Cornwall's set to go up by almost a third to 162
  2. A mother from Cornwall, who lost her son to sepsis, is supporting the launch of a new campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms
  3. Devon scallopers have been fined a record £37,770 for illegal fishing
  4. A flat fire in Honiton last night is thought to have been started deliberately, according to emergency services
  5. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Morris

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Thanks for joining us at BBC Local Live

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

That's all from BBC Local Live in Devon & Cornwall for today, we'll be back at 08:00 to bring you all the day's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

Don't miss BBC Spotlight at 18:30 and the late bulletin at 22:30 tonight.

80-year-old singer charms shoppers

BBC Spotlight

An 80-year-old man who "loves to sing" is serenading shoppers with Christmas carols.

Anyone having a spot of lunch or a coffee in Truro, Cornwall, over Christmas may end up hearing Arthur Guy.

Arthur Guy
BBC

A30 Eastbound - reopened after fuel spillage

Devon builder says sorry for felling drunken student with a single punch

A builder from Devon has been given a suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay £500 compensation to a student he punched outside a night club. 

Justin Ware, 25, from Longford Lane, Kingsteignton, was angry because he had been thrown out of the Unit 1 club in Summerland Street after a clash between members of his party and a group which included victim Luke Clarkson. 

Ware admitted causing grievous bodily harm and was jailed for a year, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 220 hours unpaid community work and pay £500 compensation and £480 costs.

CCTV footage showed that Mr Clarkson was so drunk before it happened that he had to be held up by friends. He fell backwards, hitting his head on the pavement and fracturing his skull. 

His attacker was so horrified by what he had done he wrote Mr Clarkson a personal letter of apology and told a probation officer he deserved to be punished.

Weather outlook for Devon and Cornwall

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

A mild, breezy and increasingly cloudy night will across all parts with further outbreaks of light rain or drizzle, especially over the higher ground such as Dartmoor. Minimum Temperature: 8 Deg C (46 Deg F)

Friday: Cloudy with patchy light rain and drizzle at times. Turning drier through the day with some brighter spells possible later. Mild again with the winds easing too. Maximum Temperature: 12 Deg C (54 Deg F)

Weather map
BBC
Friday's top temperatures

Rugby club looks after lonely this Christmas

'Football's first superstar' lot makes £320,000

A collection of international caps and medals belonging to the biggest football star of the late 1890's has made £320,000 at an auction in Penzance.

Steve Bloomer scored 23 goals in 28 games for England, and is the second highest all time goal scorer in top tier English league football. 

Steve Bloomer collection
WH Lane & Son

He spent most of his career at Derby County where the anthem 'Steve Bloomer's watchin'' is played at every home game.

The lot failed to reach its estimate of £500,000 but is still one of the most expensive English footballing memorabilia auctions ever held.

Lawyer takes on compensation claims over shamed care homes

A lawyer has agreed to act for families seeking compensation over ill-treatment of residents at a number of Cornwall care homes.

Nurse
BBC

It follows a BBC Panorama expose and the closure of a Morleigh Group home last month.

The Panorama undercover filming shows one nurse saying she will give morphine to a resident "to shut her up" - an event described by an independent expert as "horrifying".  

The owners have since apologised for the distress caused to residents and families.

Lawyer Andrew Hannam has acted before on behalf of families of patients at the Budock Hospital near Falmouth where an investigation found evidence of widespread institutional abuse.

He said: "I would be delighted to work with the Morleigh Group in an open fashion and where appropriate negotiate compensation.

"It does not have to be litigious and i am very willing to have conversations with the group."

Cullompton crash involving pedestrian

Find out emergency waiting times

Miles Davis

BBC News Online

A very useful bit of technology from the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust now shows how long you can expect to wait at emergency departments and minor injuries units around Cornwall.

waiting times
Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust

Single punch fractures student's skull

A student was felled by a single punch outside a Devon night club, leaving him with a fractured skull, a court has heard.

The man who threw the punch - builder Justin Ware - was so horrified by what he had done, he wrote to student Luke Clarkson to apologise. 

Ware, aged 25, of Longford Lane, Kingsteignton, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and was jailed for a year, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 220 hours unpaid community work and pay £500 compensation and £480 costs. 

Exeter Crown Court heard Mr Clarkson is still suffering the effects of the injury and needed help at university and extra time to complete exams. 

He made a victim impact statement in which he accepted Ware's apology and said he wanted to put the whole incident behind him.

Football auction could break records

A rare collection of international caps belonging to a man described as 'football's first superstar' are going to auction in Cornwall this afternoon.

Steve Bloomer scored 23 goals for England in the 1890's and early 1900's, and is also Derby County's record goal scorer.

Stephen Bloomer and medal
WH Lane & Son

Along with 19 caps, two medals and some pictures of him are included. 

The lot has an estimate of £500,000 which would make it the most expensive English football memorabilia ever auctioned.  

CCTV faces cuts in north Devon

BBC Radio Devon

CCTV coverage in north Devon could be cut to save money.

CCTV
BBC

The district council says the 117 cameras are currently monitored 24 hours a day but this could change. 

Cameras may be repositioned and the footage recorded instead. 

The camera room will be only be manned when its most needed - which the council says is weekday evenings and weekends. The proposals could come into effect next spring.   

Care home families seek compensation after damning report

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

Ten families of care homes residents at the centre of claims of ill-treatment have approached a solicitor with a view to possible compensation claims. 

Clinton House
bbc

It follows a BBC Panorama expose and the closure of a Morleigh Group home last month

The Panorama undercover filming shows one nurse saying she will give morphine to a resident "to shut her up" - an event described by an independent expert as "horrifying".

The owners have since apologised for the distress caused to residents and families.

More cash for two out of three Devon schools under government funding review

Jenny Kumah, Devon Political Reporter

Two thirds of Devon's schools could gain more cash under the government's planned new funding formula.

But the county council says a third could be worse off than they are now. 

The government's looking at changing the way it slices up the funding cake after decades of campaigning by historically underfunded areas like Devon.

Meanwhile Cornwall Council says the reforms could mean an extra 10 million pounds for the county's schools. 

Kicking loneliness into touch with Camborne RFC

Lighthouse and seafront shelters on offer to new businesses

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

Several people have come forward, interested in leasing a much-loved lighthouse in Brixham from Torbay Council.

Suggestions for the future of the Breakwater lighthouse include turning it into an art studio or a fishing tackle shop.

The Lighthouse is one of about 40 coastal properties - including three seafront shelters in Paignton and the Victorian entrance towers in Torquay - put out to tender. 

Locals are divided over the sell-off - but the Mayor Gordon Oliver says the sites offer good seafront business opportunities.

Paul Palmer from the Torbay Development Agency said: ''It's not just about the council trying to off-set some costs, it's also around giving opportunities to members of the public and gives them the opportunity to make some income themselves.''

seafront shelter
BBC
Room with a view in Paignton

Fairer funding for Cornwall's rural schools?

BBC Radio Cornwall

Cornish schools could soon be £10m better off after the Government announced a new draft formula for allocating money aimed at distributing funds more fairly. 

The new rules would favour rural counties over the big cities.

Cornwall Councillor Andrew Wallis, portfolio holder for children and young people, says the change comes after a long campaign, but the fight isn't over yet. 

The top ten local authorities for funding are all in London and get almost double the amount we get in Cornwall. I can't see those London authorities taking it on the chin and having their funding reduced

Councillor Andrew WallisCornwall portfolio holder for children and young people

Mum's plea for 'life-changing' op to be made available on the NHS

BBC Radio Cornwall

A mother from Kelly Bray near Callington says it would be ''cruel and barbaric'' not to give children with cerebral palsy the chance of what she insists is 'a life changing operation' for free. 

Funding for selective dorsal rhizotomy has been halted while the NHS considers its effectiveness. 

Tracy Britton's son Beau had the operation on the NHS in 2011. 

Surgeons separated the nerves in his spine which were causing spasms and terrible pain in his legs.

The NHS says no decision will be made until 2018 at the earliest.   

Beau with his mum Tracy Britton
BBC
Tracy Britton says other children should have access to the same 'life-changing' op as son Beau

Christmas shopping congestion in Devon

BBC Travel

In Plymouth City Centre it's busy this afternoon with slow-moving traffic around Charles Cross and Drake Circus due to Christmas shoppers.

In Exeter there's congestion on Church Road and Alphington Road between the A30 and Exe Bridges in both directions  

No problems at Exeter airport or on the trains.

Traffic's flowing smoothly on the Tamar Bridge and there's a 15 minute wait with 2 ferries running from Torpoint. 

Singer Arthur, 80, serenades Christmas shoppers

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Serial singer Arthur, 80, serenades shoppers

An 80-year-old is serenading shoppers with Christmas carols. 

So if you are having a spot of lunch or a coffee in Truro, Cornwall over Christmas, and you like a good tune, look out for Arthur Guy. 

Arthur has been singing all his life and his mission this Christmas is to serenade as many people as possible.

Beachside properties up for grabs in Torbay

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

A disused lighthouse and a pair of historic gatehouses are among scores of beachside properties being put out for tender in Torbay. 

40 coastal sites are on the list including the Breakwater Lighthouse in Brixham, the Victorian Entrance Towers by Kings Bowling Club in Torquay, a pond, and three seafront beach shelters in Paignton.

Not everyone is a fan of the idea to raise cash - but several people have already expressed an interest.

The Mayor Gordon Oliver says there are lots of entrepreneurial people in Torbay and the sites are great business opportunities.

View more on twitter

Headlines for Devon and Cornwall

• The House of Commons has heard fresh claims that Devon's tourism industry is threatened by poor internet access

• Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has thanked Cornwall mum Melissa Mead who is taking part in an NHS campaign to raise awareness of the disease

• Cornish schools could soon be £10m better off under a new draft Government formula for allocating money which would favour rural counties over the big cities

• Singing octogenarian Arthur hopes his coffee shop crooning will win him new friends

• The mystery of how Santa can deliver to children across the globe in one night is solved by a University of Exeter scientist 

Broadband speed 'will improve'

BBC Radio Devon

Culture Minister Matt Hancock tried to reassure the MP that things would improve amid criticism of slow broadband hitting Devon firms.

Computer
AFP

Tiverton and Honiton's Conservative MP Neil Parish warned ministers that the lack of a decent broadband connection is harming Devon's businesses.

Mr Hancock said: "Broadband is an absolute must have and we are delivering to make sure people have the connectivity they need."

Armed police officer numbers increasing

Simon Hall, Home Affairs Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

There are more armed police officers coming to the streets of Devon and Cornwall.

The force will have 162, up from 126.

The move follows a review of firearms cover in England and Wales after the terrorist attacks in Paris last November.   

Armed officers
BBC

The number of armed response vehicles is also being increased, although commanders won't say by how many.  

Rob Baxter

Exeter boss Rob Baxter says he is concerned new directives on high tackles could be going too far.

Read more

Slow internet 'hitting Devon firms'

BBC Radio Devon

The House of Commons has heard fresh claims that Devon's tourism industry is threatened by poor internet access.

Internet
Reuters

Tiverton and Honiton's Conservative MP Neil Parish warned ministers that the lack of a decent broadband connection is harming Devon's businesses.

"In many parts of my constituency we just don't have broadband," he said.

"People will not come to those businesses such as caravan parks if there is broadband." 

Police assurances after eight arrested for drug and rape offences

Exeter Express & Echo

Police at the centre of a major investigation into drugs and sex crimes in Plymouth have urged the public to remain calm.

Private ambulance service banned over safety concerns

BBC Radio Devon

The Care Quality Commission has taken legal action to stop a private ambulance service in Plymouth from being able to operate, following serious concerns about patient safety.

Ambulance
Graham Richardson

The CQC's decision to cancel the registration means that the Plymouth Central Ambulance Service can no longer legally operate a private ambulance service from its premises in the city. 

The independent health regulator carried out an inspection in May following concerns, and further issues were then identified. 

The service had contracts with the NHS, the local clinical commissioning group and provided services on request from organisations and individuals.

Hunt thanks Cornwall mum for sepsis campaign

BBC Radio Cornwall

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has thanked Cornwall mum Melissa Mead who is taking part in an NHS campaign to raise awareness of the disease.

William Mead
BBC

The campaign is principally aimed at parents and carers of young children aged 0-4 and will include a new film featuring Ms Mead, who lost her baby son William to sepsis in December 2014.

Mr Hunt said: “Sepsis is a devastating condition that we need to far get better at spotting across the NHS. 

"I’d like to thank those who have worked with us to campaign for better awareness of sepsis, including Melissa Mead and other families who have tragically lost children to sepsis.”

Non-divers can survey wreck with virtual tour

BBC Spotlight

For the first time non-divers can explore the protected historic wreck site Coronation off the Cornwall coast.

Anchor
BBC

Historic England commissioned a virtual wreck discovery trail for the Coronation - a 90 gun second rate warship which sank off Penlee Point, at the entrance to Plymouth Sound in 1691. 

The virtual trail mirrors the underwater dive trail that the Coronation Project Team created in 2011. 

Since then some 3,500 divers have explored the wreck - making it the most popular diver trail in the country.

Derek Adams

Plymouth Argyle manager Derek Adams is hopeful he can keep his squad together once the January transfer window opens.

Read more

Paedophile nursery teacher Vanessa George is eligible for parole from today

Plymouth Herald

Nursery paedophile Vanessa George is eligible for parole from today if she can convince a parole board she is no longer a danger to the public.

Arthur, 80, is the guy for singing serenades

Eleanor Parkinson

BBC Spotlight

Arthur Guy loves to sing and entertain and, he says, making people smile.

Singer Arthur, 80, serenades as many people as possible

In fact Arthur loves singing so much it's almost impossible to get him to stop to talk to us - even the staff here at Sainsbury's café in Truro get a tune.

Arthur's repertoire numbers more than 150 songs - so something for everyone this Christmas.  

I will never hear my sweet child say ‘mummy I love you’

BBC Radio Cornwall

"I will never know the man that William would have grown to be. So please, it is too late for me to ‘think sepsis’, but it’s not too late for you.”

Sepsis
BBC

Those are the heartbreaking words of Cornwall mother Melissa Mead whose son William died, aged one, of one of sepsis back in 2014.

It led to his mother Melissa asking hospitals and health care professionals to be more aware of the signs and symptoms of this infection and her hard work has now culminated in a national Public Health England campaign.

She added:“Sepsis is a cruel, ruthless condition which doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone. I hope this campaign reaches as many people as possible, so all parents out there know about sepsis and how serious it can be. The more parents know, the quicker they can act if they suspect their child may be suffering from sepsis – it could be life-saving."

Police are appealing for the public's help in finding a missing young girl who was last seen outside her school this morning

Exeter Express & Echo

Police are appealing for the public's help in finding a missing young girl who was last seen outside her school this morning.  

Singer Arthur, 80, wants to serenade as many people as possible

BBC Radio Cornwall

If you are having a spot of lunch or a coffee in Truro over Christmas, and you like a good tune look out for Arthur Guy.

Singer
BBC

Arthur's in his 80s and has been singing all his life. 

His mission this Christmas is to serenade as many people as possible.

Second parking meter stolen from Fowey

BBC Radio Cornwall

Thieves have stolen a second pay and display machine from a car park in Fowey. 

The town's harbour commissioners say the meter was cut down overnight. 

It's believed to have contained less than £50.00. 

Harbour master Paul Thomas said it cost around £5,500 to replace a similar machine which was stolen just a couple of months ago. 

Cut down parking machine
Paul Thomas

He told BBC Radio Cornwall, "enough is enough" and urged people with information to contact the police.