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Summary

  1. Man dies after falling tree hits cars
  2. Jury in £130m cocaine smuggling trial is discharged
  3. Wind affects trains and Tamar Bridge
  4. Nowell dropped to bench by England
  5. Brexit is a waste of time - billionaire Chris Dawson
  6. Updates on Friday 8 February 2019

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Baby girl dies in Okehampton

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    A baby girl has died in west Devon, police say.

    Officers said an ambulance crew was called to an address on Station Road, Okehampton, at about 14:15 to "reports of an infant in an unresponsive state".

    She was later declared dead despite medical treatment.

    The death was not being treated as suspicious, but inquiries were under way, officers said.

    A file was to be prepared on behalf of the coroner, they added.

  2. A39 remains blocked at Playing Place

    BBC News Travel

    The A39 near Playing Place is blocked because a boat has fallen off a trailer, blocking the carriageway. This is causing slow traffic in the area, including on the A390 from Truro to Chiverton Cross.

    View more on twitter
  3. Plastic pieces washed up on beaches 'a danger to wildlife'

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Recent rough weather has washed up thousands of pieces of plastic on to some of Cornwall's beaches.

    The size of a two pence piece, it is thought the items could be small water filters, and have appeared at Poldu, Gunwalloe and Whitsand.

    Delia Webb, from the Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition, said she was trying to find out where they had come from.

    She added that they were "absolutely a danger to wildlife".

    Nurdles. Pic: Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition
    Quote Message: The pieces are small enough to be ingested by marine creatures, and cause problems if ingested, certainly. And, being in such large numbers floating on the surface, a danger to birds as well." from Delia Webb Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition
    Delia WebbCornish Plastic Pollution Coalition
  4. South Hams considers 'tourism tax'

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A "tourism tax" that could help the South Hams pay for the costs of mass tourism in the region is something that the local council may be considering.

    The levy would see additional charges imposed on the price of any room that tourists stay in and would help the area cope with the large influx of tourists that descend on the South Hams every summer.

    Edinburgh City Council recently became the first in the UK to pass such laws for a £2-per-night charge added to the price of any room for the first week of a stay and it would apply to all accommodation, including Airbnb-style short-term lets.

    Cllr John Tucker, leader of South Hams District Council, said at Thursday’s executive meeting it may be something the council wanted to reconsider, as well as demanding the government closed a tax loophole which allowed second home owners to avoid paying any rates on their properties.

    Salcombe harbour
  5. Man, 60, found in garden with serious head injuries dies

    Andrew Segal

    BBC South West

    A man has died in hospital after being found injured in his front garden in north Devon, police say.

    Officers said the 60-year-old man was found unconscious and with serious head injuries, at the property on East Street, Braunton, at about 07:30 on Thursday.

    He was initially taken to North Devon District Hospital in a critical condition before being transferred to hospital in Plymouth, where he died on Friday afternoon.

    His next of kin has been informed, officers said.

    Police have appealed for witnesses.

    Det Sgt Steve Bates, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said officers were "desperate to piece together what has happened" and "what has led this individual to sustain these head injuries which ultimately proved fatal".

    East Street, Braunton
  6. 'Unscrupulous' Exmouth marketing nuisance calls boss banned

    BBC Spotlight

    An Exmouth man whose marketing firm bombarded people with tens of thousands of automated calls has been banned from running companies for six years.

    "Unscrupulous" Aaron Stalberg's firm Lead Experts made more than 115,000 automated marketing calls to members of the public, causing "upset and distress", between February 2015 and September 2016.

    The firm even routed calls through Buenos Aires, making them hard to trace said the Information Commissioner's Office (IOC).

    Caller

    Lead Experts was fined £70,000 last October after the IOC found that the calls failed to include the company name, address and telephone number.

    But the firm failed to pay so the ICO took him to court and got Mr Stalberg disqualified from "directly or indirectly becoming involved" in a company.

    Mr Stalberg, 27, insisted that the firm "did not physically make the calls".

    "We purchased data from a company that used auto-dialing to generate the data which at the time I was unaware of," he told BBC News.

    "This is down to us perhaps not doing a strong enough due diligence."

  7. BreakingJury in £130m cocaine smuggling trial is discharged

    The jury in the trial of a Dutch man accused of attempting to smuggle £130m of suspected cocaine into Europe on a yacht has been discharged.

    Bristol Crown Court heard Border Force officers intercepted the SY Marcia in the western approach to the English Channel last July.

    The sailing boat was taken to Newlyn in Cornwall, where officers discovered 1,161 blocks of suspected drugs weighing 2.1 tonnes in a hidden compartment, the jury heard.

    Emile Adriaan Jeroen Schoemaker, 45, of Antwerp, denied being knowingly concerned in the carrying or concealing of a controlled drug on a ship, contrary to the Misuse of Drugs Act.

    Following a three-week trial at Bristol Crown Court, jurors told the judge they could not reach a verdict in the case after nearly 15-and-a-half hours of deliberation.

    A retrial is likely to take place on a date to be fixed.

    Sailing boat in Newlyn
  8. Brexit is a waste of time - billionaire Chris Dawson

    Neil Gallacher, Business & Industry Correspondent

    BBC Spotlight

    Chris Dawson

    Billionaire Plymouth retailer Chris Dawson, one of Britain's richest people, revealed strong anti-Brexit views on the day of the opening of his latest store.

    Describing Brexit as "all a waste of time", The Range founder told the BBC that people had been "sold a fantasy".

    Mr Dawson has more than 160 stores nationwide, and the new £25m store site in the Derriford area of Plymouth, with 70,000 sq ft (6,500 sq m) of retail space, will also shortly become home to the hundreds of staff who work in his corporate HQ.

    He and his wife, Sarah, were estimated to be worth about £1.96bn in the 2018 Sunday Times Rich List.

  9. Torquay United game is postponed 24 hours before kick-off

    Brent Pilnick

    BBC Sport

    Plainmoor

    Torquay United's National League South match with Chelmsford City scheduled for Saturday has been postponed due to heavy rain.

    A referee inspected the playing surface at Plainmoor at lunchtime and judged it to be waterlogged.

    "A decision was sought as early as possible to avoid inconveniencing Chelmsford City Football Club and all travelling fans," a statement from the Gulls read.

    A new date for the match will be announced in due course.

  10. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: A30 Devon both ways

    BBC News Travel

    A30 Devon both ways severe disruption, between James Lane and South Somerset Holiday Park.

    A30 Devon - A30 in Yarcombe closed and slow traffic in both directions between the James Lane junction and the South Somerset Holiday Park junction, because of a fallen tree and fallen power cables.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  11. Newest branch of The Range opens in home city

    Neil Gallacher, Business & Industry Correspondent

    BBC Spotlight

    View more on twitter

    The newest branch of The Range has opened in the Derriford area of Plymouth.

    The company, founded by city-based entrepreneur Chris Dawson has opened its £25m store in celebration of the firm's 30th anniversary year.

    The new store has 70,000 sq ft (6,500 sq m) of retail space.

  12. Dog rescued from Dartmoor rabbit hole by fire crew

    Millicent Cooke

    BBC News Online

    Cold East Cross

    A dog has been rescued from down a rabbit hole on Dartmoor.

    The trapped terrier became stuck at Cold East Cross, north of Ashburton, at about 19:53 on Thursday.

    Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service sent crews from Ashburton, Bovey Tracey, and Newton Abbot to free the confined canine.

    The penned pup was soon released and returned to his owners.

  13. Increased council tax for more police plans approved

    Ben Woolvin

    BBC South West Home Affairs correspondent

    Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Panel

    Councillors on the Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Panel have approved police commissioner plans to put up council tax to pay for an extra 85 officers.

    Conservative Police Commissioner Alison Hernandez asked the panel to approve a 13% council tax rise but also said that she believed the government, not local council tax payers, should be funding extra officers.

    Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer supported the the proposed council tax rise - equating to about £24 a year for an average Band D household.

    However, before the vote, he said the extra officers the money would pay still would not be enough to meet the demand on his resources.

    Mr Sawyer said he would still have 500 fewer officers than he did in 2010, and that the most serious crimes had more than doubled in that time.

    He warned the number of visible patrols might have to go down, and more crimes may have to be dealt with on the phone.

    The government said police funding was being increased this year by the biggest amount since 2010, including extra money for tackling serious organised crime.