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Summary

  1. Two bodies found: Police treat deaths as 'unexplained'
  2. Exeter canal body 'not thought to be suspicious'
  3. Woman rescued after car flips over in black ice skid
  4. Man charged after thefts from Newton Abbot taxis
  5. Shot Antigua tourist: Appeal for flight passes £65,000
  6. Big wave Cornwall surfer Tom Butler crushed under tonnes of water
  7. Bishop of Exeter says the city cathedral is moving forward after a scathing report found discontent among staff and worshippers
  8. Surfing dolphins amaze onlookers in Cornwall
  9. Updates on Thursday 29 December 2016

Live Reporting

By Andrew Segal

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

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

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

Cat-astrophe aversion for posted puss makes RSPCA's Top 10 rescues list

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A pet cat surviving eight days in a parcel, after being posted from Cornwall to West Sussex, is among this year's most memorable animal rescues, the RSPCA says.

Cupcake
BBC

The charity has drawn up a hall of fame of its Top 10 animal rescues of 2016, looking back at some of its most unusual call-outs of the year.

The list includes what could have been a cat-astrophe for Cupcake, who climbed into the parcel in March before it was taped up and sent 250 miles, leaving her owner "looking everywhere" for her.

The pair were reunited after the eight-year-old Siamese was unwrapped in Worthing and had her microchip scanned. She was scared and dehydrated but fine, vets said at the time.

Helping the homeless and chasing cows: All in a day's work for this policeman

Latest weather: Staying cloudy and some rain

BBC Weather

Tonight will be mostly cloudy with hill fog. It will stay largely dry but a ground frost is likely, especially under any clearer spells. Minimum temperature: 2C (36F).

Friday will be largely cloudy, with a few breaks in the east. There will be some light rain or drizzle in the west and it will feel chilly. Maximum temperature: 10C (50F).

View more on twitter

Drunken thug who spat in cop's mouth is jailed

Plymouth Herald

A drunken thug spat in the face and mouth of a policeman after stealing a woman's purse on the day he was released from prison, a court heard.

Latest headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Andrew Segal

Local Live

  • A 22-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of burglary by police investigating the discovery of two bodies in St Austell
  • It's hoped that Torquay man Chris Tester who was shot in the head whilst in Antigua can be flown back to the UK in a few days, a family friend says
  • Cornwall surfer Tom Butler describes being crushed under tonnes of water at a big wave competition in Portugal
  • A pet cat from Cornwall which survived eight days in a parcel, after being posted to West Sussex, is among this year's most memorable animal rescues, the RSPCA says

Big wave surfer Tom Butler injuries: 'All this to get out of buying a Christmas present?'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Surfer Tom Butler says he has been the butt of a few jokes since being crushed under tonnes of water at a big wave competition in Portugal.

The 27-year-old from Cornwall was in a World Surf League event at Nazare when he fell on the 30ft (10m) wave (he's pictured here in hospital).

Tom Butler. Pic: Jack Butler
Jack Butler

He was treated for a split ear, bruised ribs and suspected lung injury, but said he was "very grateful to not be hurt worse".

He added: "The best joke I've had? My mum last night: 'Jeez, Tom. I can't believe you took it that far to not buy me a Christmas present'."

He added that another comment he received was: "You'll do anything to get out of peeling them Christmas potatoes!"

Construction industry jitters after Sherford firm issues profit warning

Plymouth Herald

One of the firms involved in building the huge new town at Sherford near Plymouth has issued a profit warning, causing concern that the construction sector is in decline.

Students' warship tool transporter a 'brilliant solution'

BBC Radio Devon

Sixth form students have been praised for designing a device to move tools around a warship.

Students with tool transporter. Pic: Stoke Damerel Community College
Stoke Damerel Community College

Stoke Damerel Community College said the four Year 13 students presented their load transfer device to an audience of more than 100 safety managers at Devonport Dockyard earlier this month. They had been working on the device since September 2015.

The students gave a 15-minute presentation outlining how they had created their project, detailing how the winch operated system solved a real-world issue. 

Babcock's Devonport Operations Director Chris Tomkins said: "The students have come up with a brilliant solution."

Exeter Cathedral Visitation: Analysis

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

The Bishop of Exeter says the city's cathedral is moving forward after a report found discontent among staff and worshippers.

The report - or Visitation - published in September, called for a change of culture at the top of the cathedral.

Exeter Cathedral
BBC

But it's not just the findings of the Visitation which was important: it was the fact it was held in the first place, after Bishop Robert Atwell commissioned it soon after he took up the post in 2014.

It was the first such report in more than half a century, and the depth of the problems it found included widespread feelings of discontent with the Dean, and "acute" financial problems.

Bishop Robert wants a progress report from the chair of the Cathedral Council, which governs the institution, next April.

St Austell deaths: Burglary arrest at scene of bodies find

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of burglary by police investigating the discovery of bodies in a flat in St Austell, police say.

St Austell deaths
BBC

The bodies of a 31-year-old man - named locally as Paul McGrath - and a 22-year-old man previously from Plymouth were found in the property in Tregonissey Road on Wednesday afternoon.

Police said the arrested man was taken into custody after being detained at the scene but later released on bail.

The causes of death are being treated as "unexplained". A post-mortem is due to take place on Friday, police said.

Big wave surfer Butler tumbled 'for some time' in crushing wave

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Surfer Tom Butler said he tumbled "for some time" after being crushed under tonnes of water at a big wave competition in Portugal.

Tom Butler. Pic: Jack Butler
Jack Butler

The 27-year-old from Cornwall was in a World Surf League event at Nazare when he fell on the 30ft (10m) wave (pictured here just afterwards). He was treated for a split ear, bruised ribs and suspected lung injury.

He said: "A square cubic metre of water weighs a tonne, so anyone... will see quite a few tonnes coming down on my head. It knocked the wind out of me and tumbled me for some time, but I've been in that situation before when a big wave's landed on me."

He said that dealing with such a situation was "all about staying calm, quite relaxed and just trusting your training". He added: "I also wear a vest which inflates, which I can pull to bring myself up to the top."

Drugs bust in Newquay

Months of Exmouth gas pipe replacement works 'essential'

BBC Radio Devon

Utilities bosses say several months of engineering work to replace gas pipes in Exmouth are "essential" because they "will make sure that local homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply... for years to come".

Wales & West Utilities is due to to start work on a £175,000 scheme to replace 760m (2,500ft) of metal pipes with plastic ones on 4 January. The project included working along Exeter Road and was "expected to be finished by the summer", the company said.

Engineers said they hoped to "make sure there is the minimum disruption to the local community and road users".

Call to stop bringing rescue dogs back to UK from Europe

Andrea Ormsby

BBC Spotlight

A dog charity in Devon is calling for people to stop bringing rescue dogs back from abroad.

Dog in kennel
BBC

The founder of K9 Focus said the growing number of dogs being brought in from Europe was making an existing crisis even worse.

But one couple have defended their decision, saying conditions abroad are far worse than in the UK.

St Austell deaths: Man named locally as Paul McGrath described as a 'kind, caring bloke'

Cornwall Live

One of the two men found dead in a flat in St Austell has been named locally as 31-year-old Paul McGrath.

Knitting Live: The final steps to make a headband

Janet Kipling

BBC Radio Devon

I'm bringing you Knitting Live this crafternoon on BBC Radio Devon.

Joining me in the studio is BBC journalist and expert crafter Louise Walter for a beginners guide to knitting. You can see the first three steps on how to create a basic headband here. The final two steps are below.

If you've got a craft you'd like to share with the county email us.

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BBC
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BBC

Two lanes on M5 in Somerset closed: Warning for motorists heading to Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

Two lanes on the M5 in Somerset are closed and there's queuing traffic southbound between J21, A370 (Weston-Super-Mare) and J22, A38 (Burnham-On-Sea), because of a multi-vehicle accident. Congestion to J20, B3133 (Clevedon).

Plans to reopen old tin mine at Kelly Bray

Neil Gallacher, Business & Industry Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

Community leaders in east Cornwall have reacted positively to the news that an old tin mine might reopen.

Redmoor mine
BBC

An international joint venture has been formed to reopen the old Redmoor mine at Kelly Bray, which is on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Residents' groups said there was some concern about the environmental impact, but the economic impact could outweigh that.

Knitting Live this crafternoon

Janet Kipling

BBC Radio Devon

I'll bring you Knitting Live this crafternoon from 15:00 on BBC Radio Devon.

Joining me in the studio will be BBC journalist and expert crafter Louise Walter for a beginners guide to knitting. You can see the first three steps on how to create a basic headband below.

If you've got a craft you'd like to share with the county email us.

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BBC
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BBC
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BBC

Listen live here. The final two steps can be found here.

Exeter Cathedral Visitation: Financial problems revealed

Hamish Marshall

BBC Spotlight

The Bishop of Exeter says he is encouraged that the city's cathedral is moving forward after a report found that it was facing an "acute" financial crisis. 

The report - or Visitation - published in September, called for a change of culture at the top of the cathedral.

Exeter Cathedral roof
BBC

Problems reported by the Visitation with the cathedral included:

  • The institution had 81 staff and an upkeep of £1.5m per year
  • There were no major legacies and a looming bill of £4.2m expected over the next 10 years
  • Questions were raised about whether "the parlous state of the cathedral's finances have been fully absorbed into the bloodstream of senior personnel" 
  • Those behind the report said a clearer financial strategy was required

Search for missing Czech Republic man

BBC Radio Cornwall

Police in Falmouth say they are searching for a missing man from the Czech Republic because concerns have been raised over his whereabouts.

Jan Klement. Pic: Devon and Cornwall Police
Devon and Cornwall Police

Officers said on Facebook that Jan Klement was last seen in Falmouth about three weeks ago, and he had a "distinct Eastern European accent" and was "likely to be wearing a green winter coat, black beanie hat and denim jeans". 

Driver caught doing 84mph in 60mph zone... in fog

Big wave Cornwall surfer Tom Butler's relief after fall

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Surfer Tom Butler has spoken about how he was crushed under tonnes of water at a big wave competition in Portugal.

Big wave Cornwall surfer Tom Butler crushed under tonnes of water

Butler, 27, from Cornwall was in a World Surf League event at Nazare when he fell on the 30ft (10m) wave. 

He was taken to hospital where he was treated for a split ear, bruised ribs and suspected lung injury.

"I feel very grateful to not be hurt worse," he said, looking back at the dramatic video.  

Man brandishes knife after being challenged for shoplifting

BBC Radio Devon

Police in Exeter are searching for a man who brandished a knife when he was challenged for shoplifting at a Morrisons store 

Armed officers and police dogs were deployed to the store in Prince Charles Road at about 14:45 on Wednesday. 

Officers said the suspect was wearing a dark-coloured hat, black coat, grey hoodie, jeans and trainers, and carrying a green carrier bag.

BreakingA30 closed at Hayle Bypass

Growing number of people choose to leave A&E without being treated

Exeter Express & Echo

The number of people who leave the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital's accident and emergency unit before receiving treatment is another sign of growing patient demand.

Body of woman in her 70s found in harbour in Torbay

BBC Radio Devon

Paignton Harbour. Pic: Google
Google

A woman in her 70s has been pronounced dead at a harbour in Torbay after her body was recovered from the water.

Police, coastguards and a lifeboat recovered the body from Paignton Harbour after they were called at about 12:40 on Wednesday.

The woman has yet to be formally identified, but her death was not being treated as suspicious and her next of kin has been informed, police said

Severe accident: A38 Cornwall eastbound

BBC Travel

A38 Cornwall eastbound severe accident, between Pound Hill and B3271 Liskeard Road.

A38 Cornwall - A38 in Landrake blocked and very slow traffic eastbound between the Pound Hill junction and the B3271 Liskeard Road junction, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Antigua shooting victim 'may be flown back to the UK in days'

John Danks, BBC Spotlight

It's hoped that a Torquay man who was shot in the head whilst visiting his parents in Antigua can be flown back to the UK in a few days, a friend of the family says.

Chris Tester
Handout

Chris Tester was injured during an attempted robbery at his parents' restaurant on Christmas Day.

Family friend Charlotte Williams said the 37-year-old was assessed by doctors after being flown on Wednesday to the nearby island of Guadeloupe for specialist treatment. She added that he was due to have an operation on his left eye on Thursday.

A fund to fly him home has raised more than £67,000 out of a target of £90,000.

Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

Andrew Segal

Local Live

  • The bodies of two men are discovered in St Austell
  • The Bishop of Exeter says the city's cathedral is "moving forward" after a scathing report about its Dean and its finances earlier this year
  • The bodies of a man in his 60s and a woman in her 70s are recovered from water in Exeter and Paignton respectively
  • Police charge a man with theft after taxis suffer incidents in and around Newton Abbot
  • Plans are put forward to reopen old tin mine at Kelly Bray, which is on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Big wave Cornwall surfer Tom Butler crushed under tonnes of water

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

Surfer Tom Butler has spoken about how he was crushed under tonnes of water at a big wave competition in Portugal.

Tom Butler
World Surf League

Butler, 27, from Cornwall was in a World Surf League event at Nazare when he fell on the 30ft (10m) wave.

He was taken to hospital where he was treated for a split ear, bruised ribs and suspected lung injury.

He said the wave "knocked the wind out of me" but after three days in hospital he was left with three stitches in his ear and sore ribs.

Butler, ranked 37 in the world for big wave surfing, was in a heat at the event which attracted the best big wave surfers from around the world.

But soon after taking off he was "hit by a bit of chop", he fell and was engulfed in water.

Severe accident: A30 Cornwall both ways

BBC Travel

A30 Cornwall both ways severe accident, between B3301 Carwin Rise and A3074 Nut Lane.

A30 Cornwall - A30 in Copperhouse closed and queuing traffic in both directions between Loggans Moor Roundabout and St Erth Roundabout, because of an accident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Gas works closing busy Exmouth road for six months

Exeter Express & Echo

Further details have emerged about the upcoming road closure on Exeter Road, Exmouth which will close for six months.

Foot remote control used in cataract surgery

BBC Spotlight

Patients undergoing cataract surgery at the Royal Eye Infirmary in Derriford Hospital can now benefit from a revolutionary new computer-assisted cataract surgery system.

Royal Eye Infirmary operating room
BBC

The new system includes robotic tracking, operated by a foot remote control, and data displays through microscopes.

Royal Eye Infirmary operating room remote control
BBC

The system, which keeps the surgeon's hands free and shows them exactly where to cut, is only available in a few centres in the world.

St Austell deaths: Scene guarded by police during searches

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Police say they are still in the "very early stage" of an investigation into two deaths in St Austell.

St Austell deaths
BBC

The bodies of a 31-year-old local man and a man thought to be in his 20s were found in a property in Tregonissey Road on Wednesday afternoon.

The causes of death are currently being treated as "unexplained", police said.

Officers added that a scene guard remained at the property while a forensic examination and searches were conducted.

Latest weather: Getting cloudier

BBC Weather

It is a chilly day with some bright spells. But we will have more cloud this afternoon. Winds will be light and variable. Maximum temperature: 8C (46F).

Weather
BBC

It will be a cloudy night with some hill fog over moorland. Winds will be light and variable. Minimum temperature: 5C (41F).

Bodies of two men found in Cornwall

The Guardian

The bodies of two men have been found at a property in Cornwall with police treating the deaths as "unexplained".

Surfing dolphins amaze onlookers in Cornwall

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

A pod of dolphins showed the surfers how it's really done at Hayle in Cornwall.

Surfing dolphins stun onlookers

Steve Cox, who shot the footage from the Sunset Surf cafe near Gwithian, was watching the surfers when we spotted a pod of dolphins out in the bay.

"They were jumping around and playing for ages," he said. "And then a pod of them seemed to decide to do what the surfers were doing and come in on the waves.

"I've never seen anything like it."