28/03/2017 Spotlight


28/03/2017

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


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Supporters of Alexander Blackman in Somerset are hoping to be able

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to celebrate his release within the next two weeks.

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The former Royal Marine, from Taunton, has already

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had his murder conviction reduced to manslaughter on appeal.

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Today, his previous life sentence was cut to seven years.

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But because of the time he's already spent in prison,

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his legal team expect him to soon be back home with his family.

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We are overjoyed at the judge's decision to significantly

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reduce Al's sentence, such that he can be

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This is the moment we have all been fighting hard for.

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It is hard to believe that this day is finally here.

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Many people, including ex-service personnel,

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say Alexander Blackman had to be prosecuted once footage

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of what he'd done on the battlefield came to light.

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Lord Ashdown is a former Royal Marine himself.

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A soldier goes into someone else's country armed with lethal force

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in order to protect the law, the domestic law that operates

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And when that is broken, and whether it is broken is a matter

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solely for the court, not anybody else, and the court has

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judged on this and regarded that there were mitigating

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circumstances, it is not for anybody else to intervene in that process.

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The Blackman case has divided opinion from the beginning.

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Some have said it's impossible to judge decisions made

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One former colleague, who served alongside him in Afghanistan,

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Rob Driscoll was a Sergeant with the Royal Marines on the same

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He has undergone years of counselling since.

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And he says the horrors of Afghanistan will

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I have seen some pretty horrific things but I hadn't seen them use

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body parts as bait or heard or seen them crucify people.

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A real hatred built up inside me for the insurgency and people

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who were prepared to use these techniques against us.

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Do you think that is the background against which Alexander

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There is no way we can argue it wouldn't have affected some

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When you are surrounded by lunacy, a little bit of lunacy

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Six years on and trying to settle into normal life,

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Rob Driscoll says he still supports Alexander Blackman.

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He acknowledges that what Blackman did on the battlefield,

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captured on helmet colours, may have been illegal,

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militarily he made the right decision

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in not summoning help for the wounded Taliban fighter.

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My answer is absolutely, because there is a very real chance

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that if he hadn't done what he did I would be walking at the main gate

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with eight or nine guys to go down to secure a route which we knew

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was under threat and seeded with explosive devices.

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That would have meant me rolling those dice and potentially not

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coming back with all the guys I walked out the gate with.

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Rob Driscoll there, talking to Clinton Rogers.

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Well, Alexander Blackman had hoped that once his murder conviction

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was reduced to manslaughter, he might be allowed

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Today the High Court judges decided that his dismissal must stand.

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Other news now and the diagnosis of bowel cancer

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in people under the age of 50 could be improved, thanks

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to research by the University of Exeter Medical School.

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A doctor's developed a diagnostic tool to help other GPs

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Our Health Correspondent Jenny Walrond reports.

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It's an idyllic spot to build a dream home but Emma Matthews's

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dreams of the future were shattered when her husband Martin

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was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer.

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It had taken a year to get diagnosed.

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He went to the GP about 15 times, phone calls as well,

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Martyn always kept asking if it could be cancer or not and they kept

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saying they were 99.9% sure it wasn't.

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Because young people don't get bowel cancer, but they do.

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Emma's father was also diagnosed with bowel cancer but it was caught

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Martyn managed to build their dream home but died

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GPs find it difficult to diagnose bowel cancer in the under-50s

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because it is less common in young people and the symptoms are similar

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They don't get a good service and actually suffer as a result.

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Your chance of surviving colorectal cancer as a young person should be

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better than an older patient because by and large,

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you are healthier, but that is not the case in this country.

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Younger patients with colon cancer do worse.

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Around 1 in 20 cases of bowel cancer are in people aged under 50.

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There are 2,500 new cases each year in the UK and the symptoms

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are so common they account for 1 in 12 GP appointments.

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So, suppose you have diarrhoea and rectal bleeding...

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This new diagnostic tool helps GPs identify who needs further tests,

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by evaluating the risks from different

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Professor Hamilton hopes it will be incorporated into GP's computer

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programmes and automatically flag up at-risk patients and if it can speed

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up diagnosis, it can improve chances of survival.

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When caught in early stages, 98% of bowel cancer patients survive

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An organic farmer from Devon is angry with Tesco for using

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He says he's never supplied the supermarket, and using

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the picture is creating an image that isn't true.

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Tesco has removed it, and apologised.

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Spotlight's Andrea Ormsby has the story.

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Martin Godfrey is passionate about his farming methods.

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I can produce a lot of food from a small area of a very high

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standard, very nutritious, direct to the customer.

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So when a picture of him pulling carrots was used

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The image couldn't be so far removed from the reality,

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me pulling carrots by hand in a field which doesn't

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To grow carrots for the supermarkets, highly mechanised,

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big tractors, lots of soil cultivation and those are OK

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pictures for them to use but it needs to represent the real way

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He says he has never worked for Tesco and was surprised to find

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the picture of him being used on their website.

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The supermarket chain got the image through an agency.

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A spokesperson for Tesco says the supermarket works tirelessly

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to support farmers and suppliers and is sorry for any upset caused.

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It said it won't use the image in future campaigns.

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Martin says Tesco has also offered to donate ?1,000 to a local charity.

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He says he is happy with their response but wants

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all supermarkets to change how they represent themselves in future.

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Don't use pretty pictures to gain customers.

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It is not fair on the farmers who are working hard doing

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what they feel is right, looking after our soil

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Martin has invited Tesco representatives to come and see

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the work he does on his six acres in Devon.

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On to football now and Torquay have been in action this evening

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They've won 1-0 away to Solihull Moors, which means

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Let's take a look at the weather now - David's here with the forecast.

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after the fine weather, the rain has been a shock. It is here to stay

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that there is some good news. It stays relatively mild. There will be

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more patchy rain around tomorrow but also sunny spells. The same setup

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for a couple of days. One weather system which gave us the rain has

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moved northwards and this weather system moves back and forth, both

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tomorrow and Thursday. If it moves far enough back into the Atlantic,

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we will get sunshine. At the moment, still light rain and drizzle moving

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away from us tonight. A lot of clout that follows and a mild night.

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Tomorrow is a great start. Some drizzle in the wind. This weather

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front gets closer during the day and there will be holes in the cloud

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particularly across parts of Dorset and Somerset. By the time we get to

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Thursday, the same weather system, pretty much the same place as well,

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it will move away and allow more sunshine. Also higher temperatures.

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A change towards the end of the week as it starts to cool down again.

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Good night. We're back again with updates

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in Breakfast from 6.25. times, but fairly mild for the time

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of year. This stay tuned for the national weather forecasts with John

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Hammond. Good evening. Your parents might

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have told you once that life 's not fair and they were right. He is the

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proof. Over the next few days some of us will enjoy some lovely

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sunshine, temperatures in the low 20s. It will feel like early summer.

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For others, quite a lot of rain around and it will feel like late

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March. This is showers earlier on today and dampness this evening in

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the West Country and Wales. That is heading north eastwards. A different

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sort of night. A lot of cloud around, quite damp and misty in

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places. Cloud cover will prevent temperatures falling much at all. A

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much milder my than we have seen recently. Except for the North

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