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Summary

  1. Murder arrest after body of man found in flat in Launceston
  2. Suspended sentence for hospital boss fraudster Paula Vasco-Knight
  3. Dead whale moves "couple of hundred metres" up Devon beach by tide
  4. Devon and Cornwall among areas with highest number of bridges "that can't support heavy lorries"
  5. Granddad, 79, died after test ride fall at Cornwall branch of Halfords
  6. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

By Johnny O'Shea

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. 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 Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. 

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

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Rag 'n' Bone Man returns to Cornwall

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Rag 'n' Bone Man , who came second in the BBC's Sound of 2017, is headlining a music festival in North Cornwall this summer, it's been announced. 

    The Live in the Wyldes Festival  begins on 26 May and tickets go on sale next week. The Saturday and Sunday headliners are expected to be announced soon.

    Rag 'n' Bone Man

    Born Rory Graham, the singer is one of the biggest artists around at the moment, and his 2017 tour is already sold out. 

    His album, Human, has been number one this year, and he recently won the Critics' Choice award at the Brits.

    He has previously performed at the Boardmasters Festival in 2015. 

  3. Fly-tippers 'who didn't want to queue at recycling centre' fined £300

    BBC Radio Devon

    Two people who left piles of rubbish outside a recycling centre in Devon - because they didn't want to queue - have been fined £150 each.

    Mid Devon District Council said it managed to track the couple down as a witness took photos of the incident last May at Ashley Recycling Centre, near Bickleigh.

    Fly tipped rubbish

    The pair, who have not been named, were interviewed under caution and admitted the offence to avoid going to court, the authority said.

  4. Latest weather: Staying cloudy

    David Braine

    Weather Forecaster

    Overnight it is going to remain mostly cloudy with some hill fog. However, there will also be a few clear spells around at times. Winds will remain light. Minimum temperature: 8C (46F).

    Weather

    Saturday will be fairly cloudy, although we will see some brightness occasionally. Most places will remain dry. but there's a chance of some light rain in the west later. Maximum temperature: 13C (55F).

  5. Drone footage shows washed up whale in north Devon

    Video content

    Video caption: A 10m whale carcass has washed up on a beach in Devon
  6. Exeter fire-damaged leisure centre 'to reopen in stages'

    Simon Hall, Home Affairs Correspondent

    BBC Spotlight

    A leisure centre in Exeter damaged by fire is to reopen in stages, starting later this month, bosses say.

    About 120 firefighters dealt with the blaze at the Riverside Leisure Centre last month. Two people were injured and about 50 people evacuated from it. The blaze is believed to have been caused by plastic packaging dropped on a sauna.

    Riverside Leisure Centre

    Exeter City Council said the centre's sports hall was to reopen on Saturday 25 March. It added: "We are aiming to open a gym facility, along with the squash courts and dance studio, in early April."

    But it is unknown when the pool will reopen at the moment.

  7. Exeter's Simmonds brothers 'push each other'

    James Law

    BBC Sport Online

    Exeter Chiefs forward Sam Simmonds says he and younger brother Joe are "pushing each other" forward at the club.

    Back-row Sam, 22, and fly-half Joe, 20, are both in Exeter's starting XV for their Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final against Harlequins at Sandy Park on Sunday.

    Sam and Joe Simmonds. Pic: Getty Images/Rex Features

    "It's good to have your brother there beside you to tell you what you need to do," Sam told BBC Spotlight. "Lining up before we run out, we give each other a little look and just say: 'Look what we're doing, it's proud'." 

  8. Schools warning letter areas 'to get £50m more funding'

    Sean Coughlan

    BBC News, education correspondent

    Schools in areas claiming that the Department for Education is being "entirely irresponsible" over finances are receiving funding increases of nearly £50m, the government says.

    A letter  sent to MPs and parents  from the heads of more than 1,000 schools in England - in Essex, West Sussex, East Sussex and Cornwall - said budgets were at "breaking point". It added that cuts in staff, lessons and services were possible.

    The Department for Education said funding changes were "going to end the historic post code lottery in school funding" and West Sussex, Cornwall, East Sussex and Essex "would all see an increase in funding, totalling over £47m".

  9. NHS Fraudsters: Vasco-Knights 'took sorely needed money'

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    Thousands of pounds fraudulently taken from the health service by an NHS boss and her husband was "sorely needed", NHS investigators say.

    Former Torbay Hospital boss 53-year-old Paula Vasco-Knight was given a suspended jail term after admitting fraud for paying £11,000 to her husband for work he never did. 

    Her husband, Stephen Vasco-Knight, 45, was also given a suspended sentence for his part in the swindle. Both had  admitted fraud last month .

    Stephen and Paula Vasco-Knight

    Sue Frith, managing director of NHS Protect, which conducted the investigation, said: "Between them, Paula and Stephen Vasco-Knight defrauded over £11,000 of NHS money that was sorely needed for its intended purposes."

  10. Man found guilty of having sex with drugged-up and sick underage girl

    Plymouth Herald

    A man faces jail after he was convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old girl after plying her so many drugs that she was being sick.

  11. Granddad, 79, died after test ride fall at Halfords

    BBC Spotlight

    A 79-year-old grandfather died after falling off a new bike he was testing in a Halfords store, an inquest heard. 

    Peter Norton

    Retired shop-keeper Peter Norton, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the fall as he checked the bike's gears at the St Austell shop.

    A Cornwall coroner concluded his death was an accident but recommended that Halfords had a separate area for testing and asked customers to wear helmets. 

    Halfords, which broke no safety rules, said it was reviewing its procedures.  

  12. Argyle need 'away performances' at home

    James Law

    BBC Sport Online

    Plymouth manager Derek Adams has called on his side to put in "away performances" at home, after losing three of their past four at Home Park.

    Argyle average two points per game on the road, the best in League Two, despite having the furthest to travel. They go to Mansfield tomorrow afternoon.

    Plymouth Argyle. Pic: Empics

    "At times this season, when we have been at home, we have opened up too much, and we've had the onus on us to go and score goals," Adams told BBC Sport. "Sometimes that is not right and we just have to tighten up."  

  13. Council hopes tides will move beached whale

    Johnny O'Shea

    BBC News Online

    The council charged with disposing of a whale carcass that's washed up in North Devon is hoping tidal movements will take care of it.

    The 10m fin whale washed onto rocks at Hartland Quay yesterday , and moved several hundred metres onto a beach with the tide overnight.

    Torridge District Council said it was putting signs up warning people to keep 10m away from the carcass as it could be a health risk to people and dogs.

    Fin whale carcass

    Richard Haste, Service Manager for Waste and Recycling, said: "While there is no direct risk to the public from this distance, there is a biohazard risk from direct contact with the carcass or any remnants. Dog owners are also being advised to keep their pets on leads." 

    The council said it would review the situation on Monday or Tuesday and Coastguards had offered assistance if needed.

  14. Thomas Orchard death: Jury sent home for weekend

    Hamish Marshall

    BBC Spotlight

    Thomas Orchard

    The jury in the trial of three Devon and Cornwall Police staff accused of the manslaughter of a man with mental health problems has been sent home for the weekend after failing to reach verdicts.

    Thirty-two-year-old Thomas Orchard died after losing consciousness at Heavitree Road Police station in 2012. Sgt Jan Kingshott, 45, and detention officers Simon Tansley, 39, and Michael Marsden, 56, all deny gross negligence manslaughter. 

    At Bristol Crown Court, the jury have been considering verdicts since Tuesday - so far taking more than 17 hours.

    The judge, Mrs Justice Cheema Grubb, told the six men and six women that she would still like them to reach unanimous verdicts but they also now had a majority option. She told them to resume their deliberations on Monday and that they weren't under any time pressure. The case continues.

  15. NHS fraudsters: What did Stephen and Paula Vasco-Knight do?

    Johnny O'Shea

    BBC News Online

    A high-flying hospital boss has been sentenced for fraudulently paying her husband £11,000 from her NHS budget. Her husband has also been sentenced for his part. 

    Stephen and Paula Vasco Knight
    • Who are they?

    Paula Vasco-Knight is a former nurse from Runcorn, Cheshire, who rose to the role of CEO at South Devon NHS Trust in 2008. In 2014, she was awarded a CBE. The 53-year-old was also the national lead for equalities for NHS England at the time she committed the offences.  

    • What happened?

    She used £11,072 of NHS cash to pay her husband Stephen, 46, for work on an equality and diversity publication called Transform which never existed. She later tried to blame Habib Naqvi, a senior manager in the NHS, for commissioning the newsletter but he was cleared of all charges. 

    • What sentence did they get?

    Both Mr and Mrs Vasco-Knight pleaded guilty to fraud and escaped prison with suspended sentences given at Exeter Crown Court today. She was given a 16-month suspended sentence and 250 hours of unpaid work. Her husband was given a 10-month sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work.

    • What reaction has there been?

    Sue Frith, managing director of NHS Protect, which conducted the investigation, said Vasco-Knight's meteoric career path had been "an inspiration to so many" and her fraud was a "huge disappointment and shock to many".

  16. Weak bridges: Devon has 'lots of bridges, so lots of restrictions'

    BBC Radio Devon

    Top Ten bridges

    Nearly 250 county council-maintained road bridges in Devon have been deemed not fit to support the heaviest lorries - making it the worst county in the England, according to the RAC .

    New Holne Bridge on Dartmoor is on the list. Motorists have hit it more than 46 times in 16 years. 

    Devon County Council said it had the largest stock of local road bridges in the UK, so it was no surprise that it also had the largest number with some form of restriction.

    Meanwhile, Cornwall is also in the top five of the list, coming in fifth with 127 structures with restrictions.

  17. Woman attacked by man she stopped to help

    Johnny O'Shea

    BBC News Online

    A woman was attacked by a man after stopping her car to help him on a country road near Newquay at night.

    Devon and Cornwall Police said the woman was driving alone on the road between St Eval and St Columb Major shortly before 23:00 on Tuesday when she stopped to help a man who appeared to be in distress.

    Country road
    Image caption: The country road between St Eval and St Columb Major

    The man then injured her in an attack and stole personal items from her and her vehicle. He ran away on foot. 

    The suspect was described as a white male, about 5ft 10ins tall, of stocky build, and aged in his mid-20s to early 30s.

  18. Schools' letter: 'We all want adequate funding'

    Sean Coughlan

    BBC News, education correspondent

    A letter sent to MPs and parents from the heads of more than 1,000 schools in England, including many in Cornwall, has accused the Department for Education of being "entirely irresponsible" over school finances.

    The letter warns of cuts to schools because of funding shortages, with the heads of almost every school in Essex, West Sussex, East Sussex and Cornwall warning of budgets at "breaking point".

    Exam hall

    "School leaders from Penzance to Bognor Regis to Eastbourne and onto Colchester are joining together and are united by a common purpose; we all want adequate funding for every school," the letter says. It calls on local MPs to support their schools' campaigns for better funding. 

    The Department for Education said school funding was higher than ever before - more than £40bn for 2016-17, and rising with extra pupil numbers to £42bn next year.