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  1. Driver jailed for killing panto mum
  2. Ecotown given green light on the outskirts of St Austell
  3. Bude manhunt after person reported with carving knife and wearing underwear
  4. North Greenwich Tube train 'device' accused pleads not guilty
  5. Beach plunge pair thank 'marvellous' 999 crews
  6. Two GP practices to merge to create largest in South West
  7. Both MRI scanners 'out of action' in Cornwall
  8. New footage emerges of Torrey Canyon oil tanker's trail of death
  9. Updates on Thursday 30 March 2017

Live Reporting

By Johnny O'Shea

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

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.

Coast path improvement plans put forward

BBC Radio Devon

Plans to improve the South West Coast Path between Kingswear in South Devon and Lyme Regis are being put forward.

Getty Images

Natural England wants to carry out work on the 68-mile stretch allowing people to access it in the event of erosion or a landslip. 

The group says if the work goes ahead the route will become part of the England Coast Path - a 2,700-mile long trail which is being developed around the entire English coast. 

Katie Hopkins cannot appeal libel case

Exeter based columnist Katie Hopkins has been told she cannot appeal against a libel action which landed her with a six-figure bill.

The pundit and radio host  was ordered  to pay £24,000 in damages to food blogger Jack Monroe earlier this month.

Ms Monroe sued Ms Hopkins over two tweets posted in May 2015 which accused her of vandalising a war memorial.

Katie Hopkins

Mr Justice Warby said the grounds of Ms Hopkins' appeal would not have "a real prospect of success" in his view.

Ms Hopkins has also been ordered to pay £107,000 towards the campaigner's legal costs within 28 days.

You could be walking the beat as a special constable in Cornwall and this is how

Cornwall Live

If you have always dreamed of working for the police, then here's your chance.  

North Greenwich Tube train 'device' accused pleads not guilty

BBC News England

A man accused of making a suspicious device that was blown up in a controlled explosion at a London Tube station has pleaded not guilty.

Damon Smith, 20, is charged with making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life.

North Greenwich station was evacuated on 20 October last year after a suspicious item was found on a train.

Mr Smith, of south-east London, who used to live in Devon, was given a provisional trial date of 24 April.


Latest weather: Rain and drizzle clearing overnight

BBC Weather

Tonight rain and drizzle will clear east and die out to become mainly dry with some clear spells developing. Min temp: 9C (48F).

Tomorrow will be dry at first with some sunshine, but showers will develop through the afternoon with some of them heavy by evening. Max temp: 14C (57F). 

Weather map

Biker death crash driver's sentence slashed

BBC Spotlight

A young father who comforted a biker as he lay dying after crashing into him has had his jail term slashed by top judges.

Devon and Cornwall Police

Elliott Allen hit 27-year-old Matthew Smith's motorbike on the A30 in Cornwall in August 2015.

Garage worker Mr Smith from Altarnun died after being trapped under Allen's 4X4.

Allen, 22, of Elizabeth Close, Bodmin, tried to help Mr Smith and stayed with him until paramedics arrived.

Devon and Cornwall Police

He was jailed for two-and-a-half years for dangerous driving last year but Court of Appeal judges agreed it was too long and cut the sentence to one year.

They refused to suspend his sentence and free him immediately despite a plea for clemency from Mr Smith's father, Ian Smith.

Woman, 21, rescued after cliff fall

A 21-year-old woman has been rescued after falling on the coastal path in Falmouth. 

The alarm was raised at around 14:00. 

The coastguard helicopter was called to help find the casualty, who fell near Pendennis Point. 

The woman was taken by land ambulance to hospital.

Rescue operation at Pendennis Point

Teens urged to get meningitis vaccine

Parents of 17 and 18-year-olds are being urged to get their children vaccinated against Meningitis.

Teenagers and students are at higher risk because they mix closely with large numbers of new friends, some of whom will unknowingly be carrying the bacteria, enabling it to spread more easily. 


Public Health England and NHS England says there's been a increase in people with Meningitis W, from 22 in 2009 to more than 200 in 2015/16.

Schools and colleges are being targeted for vaccination programmes.

Funding boost to help UK's rarest species

Press Association

Efforts to save some of the UK's rarest species including the shrill carder bee and the chequered skipper butterfly from extinction are being backed by £4.6m in lottery funding. 

Little-known and exotically-named insects such as the bearded false darkling beetle and the royal splinter cranefly, as well as plants including the prostrate perennial knawel and interrupted brome are among the 20 species being targeted for action. 

A further 200 threatened species will also be helped by the funding from the National Lottery, including pine martens, large garden bumblebees, lesser butterfly orchids and hedgehogs. 

The money will support the "Back from the Brink" initiative to bring together leading charities and conservation bodies in the first nationwide coordinated effort to safeguard species from extinction and deliver conservation measures across England.

Child abduction 'didn't happen'

Dawlish beach pollution lands South West Water with £150K fine

BBC Radio Devon

South West Water have been fined £150,000 for spilling sewage onto a bank holiday beach and polluting a village stream.


The water company allowed potentially dangerous sewage to flow down Dawlish beach in the height of the summer tourist season in one incident and caused fish to die in the other. 

Engineers blamed blockages in their system caused by people flushing wet wipes down the toilet for one of the spills and a discarded brick for blocking a sewer in the other. 

South West Water (SWW), which has 126 previous convictions for environmental offences, were ordered to pay a total of £175,475 in fines, costs and statutory surcharge at Exeter Crown Court.

SWW admitted allowing an illegal discharge at Woodbury into the brook in September 2014. They also admitted discharging polluting matter into Dawlish Brook which was not in accordance with its environmental permits. 

'Deliberate' gorse fire 'destroys 20 hectares'

BBC Radio Devon

Twenty hectares of gorse have been destroyed by a large fire in Devon, police say.

Fire crews were called to Molland Common, near South Molton, on Saturday night. Police believe the fire may have been started deliberately sometime between 18:50 and 20:10. 

They are appealing for witnesses.

Appeal for 'stolen' pony as owners 'desperately upset'

Police are trying to find Jeremy, a charity pony believed to have been stolen from a field near Bude.

Jeremy went missing over the weekend.

He belongs to People4ponies, an equine charity specialising in helping wild and traumatised ponies.

A police spokesman said: “The owners are desperately upset by the loss of Jeremy and are extremely concerned for his welfare.

“Extensive searches of the surrounding area has been carried out but he is yet to be found. He may be missing but the presumption at this time is that he has been stolen."

Devon and Cornwall Police

Arrest after reports of man in underwear with knife

BBC Radio Cornwall

A man has been detained following a major police search for someone reported to be carrying a 9in carving knife, dressed in his underwear in Bude.


Armed officers, search and rescue teams and the police helicopter joined the search.

A 38-year-old man was found and detained under the Mental Health Act at about 23:00 BST last night, said police.

Beach plunge pair thank 'marvellous' 999 crews

BBC Radio Cornwall

Two men trapped in their car after it careered 20ft down a hill and on to the beach at Porth, in Cornwall, have thanked emergency services for freeing them after a three-hour ordeal in the vehicle.

Bowey Carter

"To all the emergency services and people on the beach, thank you to everyone who helped us because you're all marvellous," said Hugh Bowey,70, who was at the wheel last Wednesday.

"We lost control of the car and went down 20ft on to the beach," he told the BBC.


"I was absolutely terrified. I have never been through anything like that in my life."

Both he and partner Steve Carter from Redruth were treated in hospital.

Their nine-year-old dog Tyler was in the back and was uninjured.

Cornwall Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley among the mourners as pop icon George Michael is laid to rest

Cornwall Live

George Michael's Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley, who lives in Cornwall, was among the celebrity mourners who said their final farewells to the legendary singer on Wednesday.

Latest travel: Slow moving traffic on A386 in Plymouth

BBC News Travel

  • In Plymouth there's slow moving traffic on the A386 Tavistock Road in the Derriford roadworks area
  • In Barnstaple on the A39 North Road there are delays at the temporary traffic lights and roadworks by the North Devon District Hospital
  • At Land's End and Newquay airports there are delays to Skybus flights to and from the Isles of Scilly due to the earlier weather conditions 

BreakingDriver jailed for killing panto mum

BBC Radio Cornwall

A man has been jailed for four years for causing death by dangerous driving after a woman died in a car crash on the way back from a pantomime.

Sabrina Bellman

Daniel Smith, 31, from St Issey, was found guilty at Truro Crown Court.

Sabrina Bellman died on Boxing Day 2015 when the car she was in was involved in a head-on crash with Smith's car at Washaway near Bodmin.

He had already pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing death by careless driving. 

He was also found guilty of two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. 

Judge Robert Linford gave sentences of 18 months for each of these charges, to run concurrently.

Police appeal after 'brutal street attack'

Johnny O'Shea

BBC News Online

Police are appealing for information following a stabbing in Penzance. 

A 35-year-old local man was attacked in Adelaide Street at around 17:50 on Sunday. He was stabbed in his legs and torso, and also received blows to the head. He remains in hospital in a stable condition.

Det Con Jon Dash said: “We are appealing to the public to help us identify those involved in this brutal street attack. 

Adelaide Street

"We believe four men were involved in the assault, all were wearing hooded tops and all wearing white dust masks which was covering their faces.At the time of the assault they were driven in a silver Mazda Bongo but it is believed that another car, a grey or black saloon was involved both before and after the incident."

Two men aged 58 and 22, were arrested and questioned on suspicion of attempted murder. Both have been released on police bail.

'Human bones' found near Devon cycle track

Cornwall Live

Police were called to an abandoned stone building along a cycle track at a popular tourist destination after a 16-year-old boy made a gruesome discovery.

Weather outlook for Devon and Cornwall: Brighter before cloud returns

Dan Downs, Weather Forecaster

It'll become brighter for a time with some sunny periods developing before cloud increases again later this afternoon to give some showery outbreaks of rain. Top Temperature 17C (63F).


Tonight will start cloudy with outbreaks of rain or drizzle spreading from the west, but dying out as it clears eastwards.

It'll then become dry with some clear spells developing. Moderate southerly winds will turn to the southwest and become fresh or strong for a time. Min Temp 9C (48F).

Ecotown given green light

BBC Radio Cornwall

A so-called ecotown or garden village on the outskirts of St Austell has been given the go ahead after more than 10 years of discussion. 

One-thousand-five-hundred homes are planned at Carclaze , along with shops and a school. 

Councillors on the Strategic Planning Committee voted 17 to three in favour. 

Travel: Land's End flights resume

BBC News Travel

Flights have now commenced from Land's End with delays of up to three-and-a-half hours. Newquay flights should commence shortly.

Stunning old aerial images show Devon's changing coast from the skies

Devon Live

These stunning aerial images of seaside Devon in the last century are being published for the very first time - and  show just how much towns and cities in the county have changed over the years.

GP surgeries merge to form the biggest in region

Jenny Walrond

Health Correspondent, BBC Spotlight

Two GP practices in Plymouth are merging to create the largest surgery in the south west.

Ocean Health and Beacon Medical Group have more than 60,000 patients between them.

Partners say they will be able to offer more services to patients and that it will be easier to cope with the national shortage of GPs.

Doctor's surgery

Dr Jonathan Cope, a managing partner at Beacon Medical Group, said: "I think it's a way of building a sustainable future for general practice.

"We all need GPs myself included. I think we need to find a sustainable way of working that means the GP isn't the person that does everything."

Travel news: A379 partially blocked after a crash

BBC News Travel

  • In Exminster the A379 is partially blocked around Exminster Hill due to an accident
  • In Sidford we've got reports the A3052 Church Street is partially blocked at School Street due to a broken-down vehicle 
  • At Stockleigh Pomeroy on the A3072 we've got reports there's a herd of cows on the road at Coffintree Hill 
  • All Skybus flights remain on hold due to the continuing adverse weather conditions

BreakingMan guilty of causing death by dangerous driving

Daniel Smith has been found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Truro Crown Court.

The 31-year-old from St Issey will be sentenced later today.

Sabrina Bellman, 28, from Hampshire, died on Boxing Day 2015 after being hit by the car Smith was driving at Washaway near Bodmin.  

More to follow.

Shocking statistics show RSPCA investigated almost 2000 cases of animal cruelty in Cornwall in 2016

Cornwall Live

More than 1,900 cases of animal cruelty in Cornwall were investigated by the RSPCA in 2016, but only eight people were convicted.

Police bus looking out for motorists

BBC Radio Cornwall

Motorists in Cornwall who behave carelessly or take drugs and alcohol, may now be spotted by an undercover police bus. 

Officers in Plymouth caught more than 100 law breaking drivers over two days, with the help of Plymouth's double decker buses. 

It's part of a campaign to educate motorists about the 'fatal five' driving offences. The other offences include mobile phone use, not wearing a seat belt and excessive speed.

RNLI issues Easter safety warning after more than 100 rescues in Plymouth last year

Plymouth Herald

The RNLI is urging people to put their safety first on the coast this Easter, as new figures showed a surge in the number emergency call-outs in the South West.

Breaking Man pleads not guilty to possessing an explosive substance with intent

BBC News England

A man has pleaded not guilty to possessing an explosive substance with intent.

Damon Smith, 20, of Abbeyfield Road, South East London, has pleaded not guilty to possessing an explosive substance with intent between 18 and 21 October 2016 following the discovery of a device on a tube train at North Greenwich on 20 October last year.

The defendant, who used to live in Devon, appeared by video link from HM Prison Belmarsh. 

His two-week trial is provisionally due to start on 24 April.

House sparrow most regularly seen Devon garden bird

BBC Radio Devon

Devon's top five garden birds for 2017 have been revealed this morning.

The results of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, held during the last weekend in January, show the most regularly seen bird was the house sparrow, followed by the blue tit, blackbird, goldfinch and starling. 

Gardens across the UK saw the highest number of robins for 20 years and an explosion in sightings of waxwings, visiting from Scandinavia. Close to 500,000 people took part in the birdwatch, counting more than eight million birds.

Alan Tough

Planning decision day for ecovillage

Long awaited plans for an ecovillage near St Austell will be discussed by Cornwall councillors today.

Plans for the West Carclaze site include 1,500 new energy-efficient homes, space for self-build and custom-built housing, and a new primary school for more than 400 pupils.

The application has been recommended for approval.

View more on twitter

Wanted: Young computer hackers for work

BBC Radio Devon

Young computer hackers are being encouraged to take up work within the cyber security industry.

The National Crime Agency says cyber criminals are getting younger and a Plymouth company, Blue Screen IT, wants them to use their knowledge to protect businesses. 


BBC Radio Devon spoke to one former hacker who didn't want to be named. He said: "I did not actually steal anybody's data like addresses or credit cards or anything. 

"I did it to raise awareness that security isn't as good as these people think. 

"I just wanted to point out that there's a 16-year-old in the bedroom that can hack your whole business, and there's a lot of them."