10/03/2017 Spotlight


The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South West of England.

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The former boss of Torbay Hospital has avoided jail after she admitted


defrauding the NHS of thousands of pounds.


NHS investigators say the money was intended for patient care.


Paula Vasco-Knight paid her husband for work he didn't carry out.


Earlier this year she pleaded guilty to fraud charges.


The couple have been given suspended sentences at Exeter Crown Court


and ordered to carry out unpaid work.


Paula Vasco-Knight is seen here with her husband


Stephen on the left, arriving at a previous hearing.


This is a long way from her ?190,000 job, as one of the most


powerful woman in the NHS and National Lead for Equality.


This was the video which showed her winning an NHS


I keep my registrations which means I have to work a full clinical shift


Paula Vasco-Knight started as a nurse but worked her way up.


She became chief executive of the South Devon health care


One set of ratings had Torbay hospital as the tenth best rated


And honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter


Her world came tumbling down after she authorised payment


of ?11,000 to her husband for graphic design work


Her career in tatters over an amount of money she could have turned


She was given a 16-month suspended sentence.


She has lost out professionally and personally.


She will never hold that position again and it was


We are pleased with it and it will send a message


and will deter others thinking of doing something similar.


She left the trust in 2014 after an employment tribunal


over a separate incident that was unrelated,


She was suspended from her new job last May over these allegations.


Judge Donald Tate described it as a monumental fall from grace.


He said as CEO, one could hardly imagine a a more serious abuse


He looked straight at her and asked "Why?"


"Why would you get involved in this at all?"


Leaving court tonight, surrounded by her family,


Paula and Stephen Vasco-Knight also know that they will also


have to do 400 hours of community work between them.


On to other news across the South West tonight -


A man's been arrested on suspicion of murder in Cornwall.


The 27-year-old from Launceston is being held following the discovery


of a body at a home in Town Mills Close.


House to house inquiries are taking place.


Five fire crews tackled a large blaze at a recycling


It was on the Crown Industrial Estate in Taunton.


No-one was hurt but the building has been closed.


It's been confirmed that the carcass of a whale washed up


on a North Devon beach is that of a Fin Whale which was over


Torridge District Council says it's monitoring the situation to see


if the carcass is washed back to sea but may have to intervene


The Royal Navy Frigate HMS Portland returned home to Plymouth today,


She's been involved in operations in the North and South Atlantic,


as well as the Mediterranean, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans.


She came back to emotional scenes as Harriet Bradshaw reports.


Striking the right tone for a heroes' welcome.


Hundreds of friends and family members wait in anticipation.


It's not long before the first sighting


and after nine months at sea, thankfully,


This ship has travelled more than 40,000 miles


But being away from loved ones hasn't been the only


Coping with the extreme variation in the climate which we experienced


It is ranged from 50 Celsius in the Gulf at the height of summer


We had to evacuate a very seriously ill person


from Tristan De Cunha in the South Atlantic


and transport him to South America for life-saving surgery.


So it has been a really positive experience overall.


Yeah, for nine months, it's really hard.


And many young families are being reunited.


Thomas was born on the 14th of December.


HMS Portland will now have a major refit and,


once back from leave, most of the ship's company


will be redeployed to other Devonport-based frigates.


Onto rugby and it wasn't to be for the Cornish Pirates -


who are now out of the British and Irish Cup.


Jersey dominated the match early on and the visiting Pirates


But they finally rallied in the dying minutes and two tries


gave their fans something to cheer about.


But the full time score was 36-20 and Jersey


Now, let's catch up with the all-important weather. Here's David.


We are getting quite used to this warning graphic.


The hill fog back again overnight tonight.


For some places, it hasn't really cleared.


But, I think, for some places, a better weekend ahead of others,


better visibility, turning a bit cooler on Sunday but, hopefully,


For the moment, though, we have a weather front


This is the picture for tomorrow a lot of


The second weather front, though, brings more persistent rain.


It should be through by lunchtime on Sunday.


It means better visibility and some sunshine to enjoy and some fine


But, the mist and the low cloud, again, is causing new problems.


High routes, especially, are very foggy at the moment.


That will probably continue through the night.


Light winds and overnight temperatures a bit lower


than they were last night, which is between eight


Tomorrow, it's misty and grey, but it soon brightens up


and for many of us I think we will keep some sunny


periods and temperatures of between 14-15 degrees.


Sunday morning, one rain band leaves us and introduces fresh air,


brisk north-west winds but it also introduces some sunshine.


And that really is the sum of it through this weekend.


Much brighter after the rain clears on Sunday and a fine start


That's it. From all others. Good night.


Where the sunshine broke through to the North of Cornwall temperatures


rose to 17 degrees under the blue skies. For many of us the cloud


didn't break up through the day, keeping temperatures pegged at


around about 13 degrees. That was the high today in the London region.


Mild over night with the blanket of cloud around. Most places dry. Rain


will work into parts of


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