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  1. Man charged after 'hit-and-run' death
  2. Search for man missing from mental health unit
  3. HMP Channings Wood has been described as a "prison in decline" in a report by the chief inspector of prisons
  4. Royal Marine who bids to overturn murder conviction 'faced austere conditions'
  5. Thirty-two acute hospital beds are to close at Torbay Hospital
  6. Plans unveiled for a £200m garden suburb on the site of Plymouth Airport
  7. Take cover! Seagull 'menace' raised in Westminster
  8. Updates on Tuesday 7 February 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

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

Don't miss Spotlight with Justin, Victoria and David tonight at 18:30 on BBC One and the late bulletin at 22:30.

Torbay hospital bed closures: 'Community services being invested in'

BBC Spotlight

Our vision is to support more and more people to remain at home, or return quicker if they do need a hospital stay, and to do this we need to focus more of our resource on community services."

Liz DavenportChief Operating Officer for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

Ms Davenport says planning the bed closures is part of a move to invest in community services to support people at home rather than with bed-based care.

She said: "We have taken big steps towards achieving this with our £3.9m investment including in enhanced intermediate care and the voluntary sector through the appointment of Wellbeing Co-ordinators.

"These services are now up and running and successfully supporting people to be at home.

"So we now believe that the time is right to plan to reduce acute beds by 32. No decisions have been made and ensuring the best possible care for local people is always our highest priority."

Royal Navy ship sets sail after major upgrade

Ben Chapple

BBC News Online

The Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll has left Devonport, Plymouth, after a 20-month refit.

The vessel has been fitted with new sensors and equipment including the new Sea Ceptor air-defence missile system.

Mike Whalley, Babcock's warship director, said: "This has been the most complex Type 23 upkeep ever undertaken in Devonport - and the first UK warship class to have its missile system changed mid-life since the 1970s."

HMS Argyll
MoD/Crown copyright 2014

It is always extremely challenging to re-generate our ships following their routine periodical refits. They are complicated machines and the vast array of equipments need close attention when we turn them on again after such a long period in dry dock. We look forward to rejoining the fleet and contributing to its global operations once again."

Commander Toby ShaughnessyCaptain of HMS Argyll

HMS Argyll will undertake safety drills at sea before post-refit sea trials, before returning to operations alongside the other Devonport-based ships.

Weather for Devon and Cornwall: Wednesday mainly dry with sunny spells

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

The showers will gradually ease through the evening, with a just a few continuing overnight.

Partly cloudy skies will allow for clear spells, with a risk of some icy stretches forming, as well as some mist and fog patches in prone spots with a minimum temperature of 2C (36F).

Weather map

After a chilly and frosty start, tomorrow will stay mostly dry through the day with some sunny spells, although the odd shower can't be ruled out. Maximum temperature 9C (48F).

Severe accident: A30 Cornwall both ways

BBC Travel

A30 Cornwall both ways severe accident, near Henver Lane Zelah affecting A3075.

A30 Cornwall - A30 closed and very slow traffic in both directions near Zelah, because of an accident involving a lorry, recovery work and debris on the road. Congestion to Chiverton Cross Roundabout.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Video of marine shooting Afghan insurgent shown

Press Association

A video recording showing a Royal Marine shooting an injured Afghan insurgent has been played to senior judges who are deciding if his murder conviction can stand. 

The clip was played in a packed London courtroom at the start of an appeal by Sgt Alexander Blackman, 42, from Taunton in Somerset.

His lawyers have called evidence that at the time of the 2011 incident in Helmand Province, when serving with Plymouth-based 42 Commando, he was suffering from a mental illness. 

Richard Whittam QC, for the Crown, said it was important to understand that the appeal was confined to the question of diminished responsibility.

Even if there was evidence to show that a mental condition must have caused or been a significant contributing factor in the killing, the court would have to consider the video evidence.

Severe disruption: A382 Devon southbound

BBC Travel

A382 Devon southbound severe disruption, between A38 and Ringslade Road.

A382 Devon - A382 Newton Road in Teigngrace blocked and queuing traffic southbound between Drum Bridges and the Ringslade Road junction, because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Ocean Housing ignores doctor requests to relocate severely ill St Columb man from squalid home

Cornwall Live

A St Columb man has been forced to spend his life savings on moving out of his property after a housing association refused to relocate him despite doctors warning that staying there could kill him.

Call to make new buildings seagull proof

BBC News England

An MP calls for new measures to prevent scavenging seagulls from causing chaos in seaside towns.

Conservative MP Oliver Colvile led a debate in Parliament on the problem, admitting he was prompted by a friend who had his chips stolen by a gull.


Paignton photographer George Bamby stars in Confessions of the Paparazzi documentary

Torquay Herald Express

The tables were turned on Monday when a paparazzo from Paignton starred in a Channel Four documentary and shared some colourful anecdotes about chasing celebrities to snatch photographs for the press.

Violence and deaths 'too high' prison service admits

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Drugs and violence in jail are "long-standing" issues that will not be resolved quickly, HM Prison Service has admitted.

A recent unannounced inspection of HMP Channings Wood in Devon revealed a "marked decline" in standards, with a rise in violence and drug use and one in six inmates saying they felt "unsafe".

In his report, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke also cited "significant gaps" in the jail's senior leadership.

HMP Channings Wood

The prison service said it was clear that the violence, self-harm and deaths in its prisons were too high.

"We have taken immediate action to stabilise the estate by tackling the drugs, drones and phones that undermine security," it said in a statement.

"These are long-standing issues that will not be resolved in weeks or months but our wholescale reforms will lay the groundwork to transform our prisons, reduce reoffending and make our communities safer."

In addition, it said the service was investing £100m annually to boost the frontline by 2,500 officers.

Brave dog walker fought off mugger on Plymouth Hoe

Plymouth Herald

A brave dog walker is warning others to be alert after he fought off a would-be mugger on Plymouth Hoe.

Developer reveals housing plans for airport site

Scott Bingham

BBC Spotlight

More than 1,000 homes could be built on the site of the former Plymouth Airport, if plans by leaseholder Sutton Harbour Holdings are approved.

The airport, which closed in December 2011, has been protected by Plymouth City Council for future aviation use until 2021.

View more on twitter

Sutton Harbour Holdings says its Plym Vale development plans for 1,500 homes, could create 350 constructions jobs for the next 10 years.

Weather update for Devon and Cornwall: Showers pushing in

BBC Weather

After a dry and bright start to the day, showers will start to push in from the west later, with some heavy bursts and possibly some hail and thunder too.

Maximum temperature 9C (48F).

Weather map

Showers gradually easing through the evening, with a just a few continuing overnight.

Partly cloudy skies will allow for clear spells, with a risk of some icy stretches forming, as well as some mist and fog patches with a minimum temperature of 2C (36F).

Fresh mental health evidence 'could quash marine's murder conviction'

Press Association

A Royal Marine who killed an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan in 2011, was "very reserved" and a "John Wayne character", a court martial appeal court has heard.

Alexander Blackman, 42, was sentenced to life and dismissed with disgrace from the Royal Marines following a court martial in 2013.

Alexander Blackman

His case was referred to the court martial appeal court by the independent body that investigates possible miscarriages of justice. 

The Criminal Cases Review Commission concluded that a number of new issues, including fresh evidence relating to Blackman's mental state raised a "real possibility" that the appeal court could "quash Blackman's murder conviction". 

Travel updates for Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

  • There are reports of an accident on Pottington Road in Barnstaple near Rolle Street   
  • In Cornwall at Sladesbridge, the A389 is partially blocked by an accident between Egloshayle Road and the B3266
  • One lane of the A30 is closed at Sourton Cross Cornwall-bound for barrier repairs 
  • Slow traffic in Plymouth on A386 Outland Road near Ham Drive and Weston Park Road due to roadworks

News headlines for Devon and Cornwall

Lynne French

BBC News Online

BreakingMan charged after 'hit-and-run' death

A man has been charged in connection with the death of a woman in a suspected hit-and-run in July 2016.

A member of the public found a woman's body on Trewiston Lane, St Minver at 04:45 on 19 July.

She was later named as 45-year-old Kate Bailey.

Police said a 51-year-old London man has been charged with death by dangerous driving, failing to stop after a road accident, failure to report a road accident, dangerous driving, and driving without appropriate insurance.

He is due in court in March.

Search for man missing from mental health unit

Lynne French

BBC News Online

The police are appealing for help to find a 26-year-old man who hasn't been seen since leaving a mental health unit "without prior consent" four days ago.

Steven Luscombe, who also goes by the name Orinoco, left the Cedars Unit in Exeter on Friday.

Steven Luscombe
Devon and Cornwall Police

Steven is described as 5ft 10" (1.8m) tall, with short brown untidy hair, and was last seen wearing a black beanie hat, a black scarf with red and purple stripes, a black jumper and dark blue jeans.

Devon Partnership NHS Trust said it had clear policies and procedures to follow if someone was absent without prior agreement, adding it was doing "everything possible to ensure that this person is returned to our care as soon as possible".

Steven Luscombe
Devon and Cornwall Police

Marine endured regular shooting from 'ruthless and cunning' enemy

Press Association

A Royal Marine who shot and killed an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan had to endure regular shooting incidents from a "ruthless and cunning" enemy, a court martial appeal has been told.

Sgt Alexander Blackman, was deployed in Helmand Province with Plymouth-based 42 Commando in 2011, when the killing took place. 

Alexander Blackman

In 2013 a court martial found him guilty of murder and he was sentenced to life and dismissed with disgrace from the Royal Marines.

Jonathan Goldberg QC told the court Blackman suffered the loss of a young company officer whom he had mentored and had himself almost been killed in a grenade attack, which must, he said, have "left mental scars".

'We now believe the time is right to close 32 beds'

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

Controversial plans have been revealed this lunchtime to close 32 acute hospital beds at Torbay Hospital. 

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust says it's part of a move towards caring for more patients in their own homes.

This news has come as quite a surprise because the trust's plans to close the four community hospitals in Paignton, Dartmouth Ashburton and Bovey Tracey have been well publicised, but now it seems closing 32 acute beds at the hospital was always part of the plan.

Torbay Hospital

It came out on social media, probably because staff at the hospital have started to hear rumours and so the hospital put out a statement on their website. It doesn't say much but does say "we now believe the time is right to close 32 beds". It doesn't say which wards.

Man in balaclava wielding kitchen knife robs shop, says police

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man used a kitchen knife in an armed robbery in Plymouth.

A man entered the Central Convenience Stores on Walker Terrace, West Hoe on Sunday morning wearing a balaclava. Police said he walked up to the counter, threatened a shop staff member with a knife and took about £150 from the till.

Officers said they wanted to trace a man caught on CCTV (below) and speak to him in connection with the incident.

Devon and Cornwall Police
Police want to trace this man in connection with the incident

'Significant gaps' in jail's senior leadership

Lynne French

BBC News Online

A jail in Devon branded as "in decline" by Her Majesty's Inspector of Prisons, has "significant gaps" in its senior leadership.

Peter Clarke said four years ago, HMP Channings Wood was considered a "reasonably good" prison, but a recent unannounced inspection revealed a "marked decline in standards" in four key areas, which was, in his opinion, partly due to the ready availability of drugs.

HMP Channings Wood

"We also saw the response to violence and drugs was not as co-ordinated and clear as it should be," the chief inspector said.

"That's partly due to the fact that there are some significant gaps in the senior leadership of the prison, including the fact that at the time of the inspection there wasn't a deputy governor in post."

The National Offender Management Service says experienced leaders have now been appointed and additional prison officers recruited.

Afghanistan deployment was a 'breeding ground' for mental health problems

Press Association

When a Royal Marine killed an injured Taliban fighter, he was deployed in Afghanistan's Helmand province, where conditions were "austere" and a "breeding ground" for mental health problems, a court has been told.

Sgt Alexander Blackman, 42, from Taunton, Somerset, was found guilty of murder and given a life sentence after the incident in 2011. He was serving with Plymouth-based 42 Commando. 

Blackman, who is appealing against his sentence was "dismissed with disgrace" from the Royal Marines after serving with distinction for 15 years.

One of the grounds of appeal is that the new psychiatric evidence would have provided him with the "partial defence of diminished responsibility".

Police investigating after carpet company cancellation row

Plymouth Herald

Police are investigating claims against a carpet company after a couple say they cancelled an appointment due to losing their unborn baby.

BreakingThirty-two beds to close at Torbay Hospital

Sophie Pierce

BBC Radio Devon

Thirty-two acute hospital beds are to be closed at Torbay Hospital. 

NHS managers have not yet revealed which wards will be closed, and told the BBC no formal decisions will be taken until the end of February.

They say it's part of a wider programme to change their services so more patients are cared for at home and in the community. 

Royal Marine who bids to overturn murder conviction 'faced austere conditions'

Press Association

A graphic account of the conditions faced by a Royal Marine at the time he shot an injured Afghan fighter has been given at the start of his battle to overturn his murder conviction. 

Sergeant Alexander Blackman, 42, from Taunton in Somerset, watched proceedings via video link from prison as his QC outlined his case to five judges in a packed London courtroom. 

Blackman's wife Claire and dozens of veterans sat in the public gallery to hear Jonathan Goldberg opening the case, explaining that the "impact" of fresh psychiatric evidence lay at the heart of the appeal.

At the time of the 2011 incident Blackman was serving in Helmand province with Plymouth-based 42 Commando. 

Alexander Blackman

Police rally round fellow officer after she is taken into Derriford Hospital with meningitis

Plymouth Herald

A popular Devon and Cornwall police community support officer has been taken into hospital after she was diagnosed with meningitis.

Growing 'menace' of seagulls raised in Westminster

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Seagull-proofing new buildings in coastal towns and cities could be one way of addressing the growing menace of seagulls, a Devon MP says.

Oliver Colvile, who is leading a debate on the matter in the House of Commons, says although they are a protected species, more needs to be done to deal with the birds.


The Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said trying to discourage the gulls from nesting might help reduce their aggressive behaviour.

Take-off time for Plymouth's former airport.... as a housing development

Scott Bingham

BBC Spotlight

Plans have been revealed for a new estate of 1,500 homes on the former Plymouth Airport.

Plym Vale
Sutton Harbour

Plym Vale will also include accommodation for University of St Mark and St John students and a veterans’ rehabilitation village.

Jason Schofield, chief executive of site leaseholders Sutton Harbour Holdings, said: “Plym Vale is a tremendous opportunity for the city to get behind a vibrant new sustainable community that will create an enduring legacy and make the best possible use of this long redundant site.”

Channings Wood: 'Prison doesn't have strategies, plans or resources to halt deterioration'

Ryan Morrison

BBC News Online

Safety at Channings Wood prison has deteriorated and the jail is struggling to cope, according to a report into an unannounced inspection.

It found fewer prisoners felt safe on arrival and violence had increased with action to address it being poorly coordinated. 

Channings Wood

The senior management team had a number of vacancies, including that of deputy governor, all of which left substantial strategic and operational gaps. As a result, our major concern is that the prison just doesn't have the necessary strategies, plans or resources at a senior level to halt the deterioration."

Peter ClarkeChief Inspector of Prisons

Michael Spurr from the National Offender Management Service said he recognised immediate action was needed.  

Nice start in Dawlish this morning

BBC Weather Watchers

Weather Watcher

These are your artworks - so why won't Cornwall Council tell you what they are worth?

Cornwall Live

Cornwall Council has refused to reveal the value of the extensive world class art collection effectively owned by taxpayers saying it would put them at risk of vandalism and theft.

Devon mum, 31, has her foot amputated to get her life 'back on track'

Exeter Express & Echo

A Devon mum who was born with a debilitating foot deformity 31 years ago has had her leg amputated below the knee in a bid to live a more normal life.

Tide times around Devon and Cornwall

Emily Wood

BBC Weather

If you're thinking about heading to the seaside today, here are the times of high water around the South West.

Tide times

We'll have a full weather forecast in Spotlight's lunchtime news at 13:30.

'Determined and clear-sighted' leadership needed at prison in decline

Lynne French

BBC News Online

Channings Wood prison will need "determined and clear-sighted" leadership to regain its status as a good prison, according to Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prison.

Peter Clarke says an unannounced inspection of the Devon jail revealed a prison in decline with increased levels of violence, more drug use and inmates feeling unsafe.

Peter Clarke

"When decline sets in, it takes really determined and clear-sighted leadership to turn it round," Mr Clarke said.

"And that's what this prison is going to need in order to halt the decline and regain the standards it used to show in the past."

Fasten your seatbelts - 'hundreds of jobs' and 1,500 homes planned for former airport site

Scott Bingham

BBC Spotlight

A 1,500 house development on the former Plymouth Airport site will create 350 construction jobs every year for the next 10 years says the site's leaseholder.

Plym Vale

Sutton Harbour Holdings said the £200m Plym Vale would make a significant contribution to the city’s aim of creating 10,000 additional construction jobs by 2020.

Plymouth City Council would be in line to receive a £50m windfall because it owns the majority of the freehold of the site and is entitled to 75% of development proceeds, said Sutton Harbour.

Plans for the site will be considered by the city council.