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  1. Alexander Blackman - Marine A - sentenced to seven years for manslaughter of insurgent
  2. Speeding driver 'wished he had died instead of victim'
  3. Woman injured in three-vehicle crash on the A30 in Cornwall
  4. Devon farmer challenges Tesco over promotional picture
  5. Young people with bowel cancer may get a quicker diagnosis after research by the University of Exeter
  6. Updates on Tuesday 28 March

Live Reporting

By Johnny O'Shea

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 Wednesday 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.

Latest weather: Rain tonight and winds increasing

David Braine

Weather Forecaster

A mild and cloudy night will follow for all parts with further outbreaks of rain. The winds will also increase towards morning. Minimum temperature: 10C (50F).


Wednesday will be cloudy and rather windy with further outbreaks of rain at times, especially over higher ground and in the west. The rain will also be interspersed with some drier and brighter spells though. Maximum temperature: 14C (57F).

See some more of the wolf cubs born in Devon

Andrew Segal

Local Live

We told you earlier about three rare South American maned wolf cubs being born at Paignton Zoo.

They are the first offspring of Tolock and Milla, who were introduced at the zoo last September.

Maned wolf and cub
Paignton Zoo

The cubs are the first to be born at the zoo in seven years, and are part of the European Endangered species programme.

Well, despite being described as "elusive" by staff, we do have one picture of one parent with two of the cubs, courtesy of the zoo.

The wolves grow to be almost 1m tall. The males can be raised to display aggression.

Crash closes at A30 at Victoria in Cornwall

View more on twitter

Police tweeted earlier that they we recalled to reports "of an overturned vehicle".

Organic farmer 'couldn't believe' his photo was used by Tesco

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

An organic farmer from Devon says he "couldn't believe" supermarket Tesco  used an image of him on its website .

Martin Godfrey, from Okehampton, said he was angry because he felt the picture of him on the store website pulling carrots by hand was not a fair representation of how supermarket vegetables were grown. 

Martin Godfrey

Mr Godfrey, who has never worked for Tesco, said: "The image just couldn't be so far removed from the reality - me pulling carrots by hand from a field which doesn't supply a supermarket.

"To grow carrots for a supermarket would be highly mechanised, big tractors, lots of soil cultivation. Those are OK pictures for them to use, it just needs to represent the real way they produce food." 

Tesco said the image had been provided by an advertising agency.

Exeter Uni rugby team heading back to Twickenham

BBC Sport

The University of Exeter Men’s rugby team are making their final preparations ahead of defending their status as the best student team in the country.

They are playing in the final of the British University and College Sports (BUCS) Rugby Union Championship at Twickenham on Thursday.

Rugby players
University of Exeter

Their opponents in the final are Hartpury College, from Gloucester.

The players will be looking to secure a second successive victory in the competition, having defeated Loughborough 21-19 with a dramatic late drop-goal last year.

Plymouth's next deputy Lord Mayor named

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Plymouth's Lord Mayor designate, Wendy Foster, has announced that fellow councillor Nick Kelly will be her deputy Lord Mayor when she takes office in May.

Nick Kelly and Wendy Foster. Pic: Plymouth City Council
Plymouth City Council

Councillor Foster has been a Plymstock Radford ward councillor since 2000, Plymouth City Council said.

Councillor Kelly represents Moor View ward, it added.

Marine A: Video clips 'pose propaganda risk'

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Three video clips of an Afghan insurgent being killed by former Royal Marine Alexander Blackman have not been released to the media because of risks they could become propaganda, judges say. 

Blackman, 42, from Taunton in Somerset - known as Marine A - has been sentenced to seven years for  diminished responsibility manslaughter following the recent quashing of his murder conviction .

The clips were recorded by another marine on his helmet-mounted camera. Appeal judges said the footage would "significantly endanger" a large number of people.

Alexander Blackman

The Ministry of Defence argued that, if they were made public, any broadcast would be recorded by terrorist organisations and used as propaganda to radicalise others.

The judges, headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, agreed, saying: "Releasing it would therefore present a real threat to life, the members of the armed forces and the wider British public, and to British interests overseas."

Torquay tourist shelter boarded up after becoming home to rough sleepers

Devon Live

A seafront shelter created as part of Torquay's multi million pound Royal Terrace Gardens improvements has this week been boarded up after becoming home for a group of rough sleepers.

Speeding driver 'wished he had died instead of victim'

Amy Gladwell, BBC News Online

A driver who caused the death of a young mother on Boxing Day 2015 wished he had died instead of his victim, a court has heard.

Daniel Smith, 31, from St Teath, was driving on the wrong side of the road but had not lost total control of his car when the crash happened near Bodmin, Truro Crown Court was told.

Sabrina Bellman. Pic: Devon and Cornwall Police
Devon and Cornwall Police

Twenty-eight-year-old Sabrina Bellman (pictured), from Hampshire, died from her injuries. Her three year-old daughter, husband and mother-in-law were all injured in the collision.

Mr Smith admits causing death by careless driving but denies causing death and injury by dangerous driving. The case continues.

'Reasonable' to ask people to buy some over-the-counter medicines

BBC Politics

There's been a mixed reaction to plans to scrap what are seen as "low priority" medicines on prescription in an effort to save money. 

NHS England is to review whether products - which are available over the counter at low-cost - should continue to be offered by GPs. 

It could involve things such as paracetamol, some cough and cold treatments, and gluten-free foods.

Sarah Wollaston

The Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston - who chairs the Commons Health Committee - said: "When I started as a GP, it was actually quite difficult to get hold of gluten-free products and they were very expensive.

"Now the cost has significantly come down, I think it is much more reasonable to ask people to think of buying those, where possible, themselves."

Woman whose son was left to eat dog biscuits found guilty of cruelty

A mother whose son was left so hungry he sometimes ate dog biscuits or hamster food to survive has been found guilty of cruelty.

Exeter Crown Court heard that 65-year-old Christine Copley, of Laburnum Road, Exeter, picked on her third son, Andrew, as he was growing up in the 1980s and 1990s.

She imposed a regime of painful and needless punishments and also succeeded in hiding what she was doing from teachers and social workers by moving him to her parents' home if he had bruises, the court was told.

Copley, who denied seven counts of cruelty but was found guilty of six, was released on bail and is due to be sentenced in April.

Fire crews tackle gorse fire

View more on twitter

Fire crews from Perranporth tackled a gorse fire in St Agnes on Monday evening.

They used beaters to extinguish an area of 50m by 30m at about 18:30.

Cornwall Fire Service said safety advice for people when they were outdoors could be found on its website .

New mining programme given funding

BBC Radio Cornwall

A project aimed at developing a new approach to mining has received a 7m euro boost.

The scheme is being led by geology experts at the Camborne School of Mines, based at the University of Exeter's Penryn campus, and will look to tap into a significant number of small, international metal deposits, staff said. 

Mining lorry

It plans to establish a new method of mining called "switch on-switch off". This approach enables miners to respond rapidly to changing markets, and excavate materials in demand at any given time.

The funding has come from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

Pups born to 'elusive' wolves

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Three rare wolf pups have been born at Paignton Zoo.

It's the first litter of South American maned wolves at the zoo for seven years, and the first ones from parents Tolock and Milla, who were brought together at Paignton in September 2016.

Mammals curator Neil Bemment said: "Judging by the parents' change in behaviour, the pups were born on 23 February. Being carnivores, we left them undisturbed to get on with it. 

Wolf pup
Paignton Zoo

"The pups were not seen by the keepers for four weeks. Our maned wolves are quite elusive, but, with patience, can usually be seen mid-afternoon.

"There will be a much better chance of seeing one now as there are five, and especially when the pups become more mobile."

Palm oil warning to dog owners on Chapel Porth beach

Plymouth Herald

A warning has been issued for dog owners after a large chunk of deadly palm oil was found on a popular beach .

Badger cull is 'right policy', says minister

BBC Politics

A Cornish MP has been defending the government's badger cull as part of attempts to tackle the problem of TB in cattle. 

Campaigners say the practice - taking place in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset - isn't working. 

But farming minister and Camborne, Redruth & Hayle Conservative MP George Eustice told MPs last night that it was controversial but necessary.


He said: "I would not sanction the cull unless I believed it were necessary to combat this terrible disease.

"And the advice that we have from our chief veterinary officer is clear - that we cannot eradicate this disease unless we also tackle the reservoir of the disease in the wildlife population. That is why, contentious though this policy is, it is the right policy."

Bowel cancer: 'It's a very scary thing'

Victoria Derbyshire

View more on twitter

GPs have been given access to a new risk assessment tool to help diagnose young people at risk of bowel cancer.

Bowel Cancer UK told the  Victoria Derbyshire programme  all GPs should be given access to the "lifesaving" tool, which is based on research by University of Exeter .

Flooding possible later in the week

BBC Weather

A flood alert has been issued by the Environment Agency for a large section of the south coast of Cornwall.

It's saying flooding is possible from high tide on Wednesday until the morning tide on Friday.


Low lying coastal areas between Gribbin Head, near Fowey, and Lizard Point were said to be at risk. Truro is excluded from the alert.

A flood alert is the lowest risk, meaning flooding is possible.

Marine A: Alexander Blackman 'dealt with justly and fairly'

Press Association

The former commanding officer of ex-Royal Marine Alexander Blackman says he is "very pleased" the former sergeant has been "dealt with justly and fairly".

The 42-year-old, from Taunton in Somerset, who had been based in Plymouth, has been sentenced to seven years for  diminished responsibility manslaughter following the recent quashing of his murder conviction .

Blackman shot an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan in 2011. He was jailed in 2013.

Oliver Lee, a former colonel, said: "My hope now is that the many lessons from this tragic case will be learned."

Blackman could be freed from prison within weeks, it is understood.

Why weren't the abnormal loads moved at night?

BBC Radio Cornwall

People have been reporting delays through the morning as two lorries carrying huge concrete pontoons have been moving through Cornwall.

They started their journey at Falmouth Docks, and are on their way to Heysham in Lancashire.


Some people have contacted us to ask why. 

On Twitter, @lillepwss asked: "Why are these convoys NOT moved at night?"

Civil engineering consultants @beckettrankine said: "Normally these movements are done in the night, not sure why this one wasn't."

Seagull targeting people outside McDonalds 'injures child'

Cornwall Live

An aggressive seagull is said to be swooping on shoppers to steal food  outside McDonalds, with a seven-year-old boy left injured after its latest terrifying attack.

Pensioner murder trial date set

BBC Radio Devon

A pensioner accused of murdering his 88-year-old wife is due to stand trial in August.

Eighty-eight-year-old Douglas Addison is alleged to have killed his wife, Avis, at their home in St Merryn, North Cornwall, in February.

Exeter Crown Court

He was not well enough to attend a hearing today at Exeter Crown Court. The trial is set to start on 21 August.

Nails on the road in Truro

BBC Radio Cornwall

There are reports of nails on the road in Truro. Drivers are asked to approach with care.

View more on twitter

Marine A sentencing: A breakdown of events

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

  • What happened?

Former Royal Marine Alexander Blackman, 42, was convicted of killing  a wounded Taliban fighter in Afghanistan.

The 2011 killing took place after a British patrol base came under fire.

One of two insurgents was seriously injured by gunfire from an Apache helicopter sent to provide air support, and the marines found him in a field.

Blackman was known as Marine A during the original trial process and fully identified after he was found guilty. He was based with 42 Commando in Plymouth.

  • What was his initial conviction?

He was convicted of murder in November 2013 and jailed for life.

During his trial, Blackman, who denied murder, said he believed the victim was already dead and he was taking out his anger on a corpse.

He lost an appeal in May of the following year, but his 10-year minimum term was reduced to eight years.

The trial was the first time a member of the British armed forces had faced a murder charge in relation to the conflict in Afghanistan, which began in 2001.

Outside court
  • On what grounds was this overturned?

On 15 March 2017, five judges at the Court Martial Appeal Court in London ruled the conviction should be "manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility".

  • What happened today?

The court reconvened for sentencing. His sentence was reduced to seven years.

  • When will he be free?

As he has already served more than three years in prison, he could be freed within weeks.

Travel: Abnormal load heading for Exeter

BBC News Travel

  • On the A30 around Okehampton heading towards Exeter there's a slow moving abnormal load
  • In Newquay on Henver Road near Porth Bean Road there are temporary traffic lights and roadworks. Traffic is slow moving
  • In St Erth on Nut Lane at the St Erth Roundabout we've got reports there's a broken down vehicle
  • Rail Disruption between Bristol Temple Meads and Taunton expected until 13:15

Watergate Bay body identified

BBC Radio Cornwall

The police have identified a body that was found washed up at Watergate Bay near Newquay on Wednesday, 15 March.

John Hurst
Devon and Cornwall Police

He has been named as 46-year-old John Hurst, from Cubert, who was known to be missing.

His next of kin had been informed, police said.

Marine A: Alexander Blackman's wife 'overjoyed' at new sentence

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Claire Blackman, the wife of Alexander Blackman, who's had his sentence for killing a Taliban insurgent reduced to seven years , says she is "overjoyed".

Five judges at the Court Martial Appeal Court in London passed the sentence this morning after changing his conviction from murder to manslaughter two weeks ago.

As he has already served three years in prison, the former Plymouth-based sergeant could be freed within weeks. He was serving a minimum term of eight years. 

Claire Blackman

Standing outside court with her lawyers and cheering supporters, Mrs Blackman said it was the "moment we have all been fighting hard for".

In their  sentencing remarks , the judges said that although Blackman's responsibility was diminished, he "still retained a substantial responsibility for the deliberate killing".

Abnormal loads 'heading for A30 at Temple', drivers warned

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Two lorries carrying abnormal loads are expected to cause traffic disruption in Cornwall for several hours.

People have been reporting delays since the early this morning as the two lorries have made their way east from Falmouth.


During their trip, the vehicles - believed to be carrying concrete pontoons - stopped in a layby to allow rush hour traffic to pass, but are expected to continue to move slowly.

In particular, police have advised drivers to avoid the Bodmin area if possible, saying there would be delays as the lorries passed through the roadworks on the A30 at Temple.

The concrete pontoons are on their way to Heysham in Lancashire.

Marine A: Celebrations outside court

Victoria Derbyshire

View more on twitter

The former Royal Marine sergeant has been sentenced to seven years in prison for the manslaughter in 2011 of an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan.

Marine A: Alexander Blackman 'could be freed within weeks'

A former Plymouth-based Royal Marine who fatally shot an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan could be freed from prison within weeks, it is understood.

Alexander Blackman, 42, from Taunton in Somerset, has been sentenced to seven years for diminished responsibility manslaughter following the recent quashing of his murder conviction .

Alexander Blackman. Pic: Service Prosecuting Authority
Service Prosecuting Authority

As a result of time already served since his original conviction in November 2013, the sentencing by five judges at the Court Martial Appeal Court means it is likely Blackman could be freed next month. 

Blackman watched the proceedings via video-link from prison.

BreakingMarine A sentenced to seven years for manslaughter

Former Royal Marine Alexander Blackman has been sentenced to seven years in prison by the Court Martial Appeal Court for the manslaughter in 2011 of an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan.

What are the 'abnormal loads' moving through Cornwall?

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

As we've been reporting this morning, there are two lorries moving slowly through Cornwall this morning, carrying "abnormal loads".

They have police vehicles escorting them and they have so far moved from the Falmouth area, as far as the A30 past Carland Cross.

They look like large (very large) pieces of concrete, but what exactly are they?


Becket Rankine, a marine civil engineering consultancy, may have solved the mystery on Twitter. 

They've told us : "They are concrete berthing pontoons for offshore wind support vessels on their way to Heysham." 

Sounds plausible to us, unless you have any other ideas? Please  email us.

Non-native crayfish to be removed on Exmoor

Adrian Campbell, Environment Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

Efforts to reduce the number of non-native crayfish in the River Barle on Exmoor begin today. 

Signal crayfish pollute the environment for salmon and trout, and cause damage to fish eggs. 


Up to 3,000 will be removed from the waterway over the next six months. It's the fourth year the National Park Authority has run the project.

Police secretly spying from top deck of buses

Cornwall Live

Police have been spying on dodgy drivers from the top deck of a double-decker bus.

Organic farmer takes Tesco to task

Jonathan Morris

BBC News Online

An organic farmer from Devon is angry with Tesco for using an image of him , because he says it misrepresents the supermarket's farming methods. 

The picture showed Martin Godfrey, from Okehampton, pulling carrots by hand. But he said vegetables sold in supermarkets would come from highly mechanised farms. 

Tesco has removed the image and apologised.

Organic farmer

A Tesco spokesperson said: "At Tesco, we work tirelessly to support farmers and suppliers and we are sorry for any upset that has been caused. 

"The stock image was supplied from Getty Images by our advertising agency, and was used under the terms of its license agreement to illustrate Tesco's farm-to-fork approach to tackling food waste. 

"We will not use the image in future campaigns."

Burst water main in Exeter