Author: NewsBot

Drunk man playing in traffic, gang brawls and suspected assault round out night of drama in South Devon

It was a busy night in South Devon for police, with several incidents taking place in Teignmouth, Dawlish and Totnes.

In Dawlish, a drunk man was spotted running in and out of the road and chasing cars. Officers caught up with him and RDO Lisa Burnett said they gave “strong words of advice and sent him on his way.”

Meanwhile in Teignmouth, there were reports of several brawls in the seaside town.

Five males were fighting on Somerset Place, before units attended and took two crimes of assault after speaking to several parties.

Various calls also came in for groups of youths fighting on Northumberland Place. When police arrived, details were taken, and following extensive searches in the area, not suspects or victims were found.

Another fight took place in Orchard Gardens, where details were taken for actual bodily harm (ABH).

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The final incident in Teignmouth happened on Station Road, where there was a report that a woman had a head injury after a possible assault.

However, officers discovered that she had fallen on the floor.

Elsewhere, there was a medium risk for a missing person who hadn’t been seen for some time.

Police searched in Kingsbridge, Avonwick and Modbury, before finding the woman in her car safe and well and slightly confused.

And in Totnes, police were called to a report about a male having a mental health issue. Officers spoke to the male, calmed him down, and took him to hospital.

Rounding of the busy night was an incident which saw a man who had taken his fathers car without permission, also in Totnes.

Do you have a story to share or for us to investigate? Get in touch by emailing james.hawkins@reachplc.com

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Carers visiting people in their own homes may soon be able to park on yellow lines

Carers visiting people in their own homes may soon be able to park on yellow lines.

Currently, while visiting people they support in their own homes, carers can park without time limit (or requirement to pay) in areas of limited waiting, residents’ parking zone and on-street Pay & Display areas.

But Devon County Council’s cabinet is being recommended to extend the carer and support workers exemptions in areas of highest demand to allow them to park on yellow lines, when there is no other parking available in other areas.

The permit would allow them to park for one hour when visiting a client in their home and would be issued free-of-charge. The authenticity of any applicants would be tested prior to a permit being issued.

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The report of Meg Booth, Chief Officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste, says: “It is recommended that we extend the exemption scheme to include single and double yellow lines (where there are no other loading restrictions), along with a centrally managed permit database.

“It is considered that this proposal will permit the flexibility that care / support workers require, provide a sustainable and cost-effective solution for the Authority. To avoid any abuse, officers will determine suitable measures to be taken to determine the authenticity of any applicants.

“The recommendation to develop the service is made based upon feedback from users to provide improved access to parking for care / support workers.”

A consultation held earlier in 2018 heard that carers in Totnes, Dartmouth, Lympstone, Exmouth, Exeter, Barnstaple, Ottery St Mary, Honiton, Salcombe, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, Bideford, Braunton, Woolacombe, Mortehoe, Kingsbridge and Ilfracombe had issues finding parking spaces when visiting clients, with 88 per cent of people supporting an extension to the scheme.

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The report adds that there are less than 7,000 care workers, and not all will require this permit, and that given the existing pressures on care services, it is proposed to provide the permit without charge.

It adds: “If there is no charge for the scheme, it will enhance staff welfare by reducing stress and showing care workers that we are on their side and trying to make their lives easier, make visits easier and more efficient by making car parking easier, make appointment times easier to keep, and reduce costs to the council in handling claims when pay & display is used.”

Shaldon Bridge is going to close again – here’s what you need to know

Shaldon Bridge will be closed off to vehicles on Monday evening December10 to allow new cement to set around the rotting timber piles.

The works are tide dependant and the timings of the closure have been chosen to suit, whilst also aiming to take place outside of peak traffic flows as far as reasonably practicable.

The closure, which will take place from 6:30pm to 10:30pm, will enable concrete to be poured around the bridge pier support which was recently found to contain rotting timber piles. Pedestrians will still be able to cross the bridge throughout the closure.

This week a 3.7 tonne steel pipe has been fixed around the damaged pier of the Grade Two Listed Structure. The pipe was brought in by barge and clamped into position.

Shaldon Bridge reduced to one lane because of safety fears
Shaldon Bridge reduced to one lane because of safety fears

Concrete will now be poured into the pipe to reinforce the supporting piles. The County Council hopes to be able to remove the three tonne weight restriction in the coming weeks, once the concrete has had time to cure.

The work is again subject to weather conditions and may have to be delayed if conditions are poor.

We’re hoping the elements are with us this time so that we can get on with this essential repair. It’s not ideal that we’re having to close the bridge during the week but this is being done during the evening after peak travel time in order to minimise disruption as much as possible. We’re as keen as everyone else to get this bridge back to taking heavier loads as soon as possible.

Specialist divers working on Shaldon Bridge
Specialist divers working on Shaldon Bridge

Cllr Alistair Dewhirst said: “Obviously I am delighted for Shaldon residents that this work will now be completed and allow the bridge to be reopened to all traffic.

“I hope that people will use the opportunity to visit Shaldon and enjoy the wonderful shops, pubs and restaurants in the Christmas holiday.

“Finally I would like to thank the Devon engineers and TMS, the contractor, for their tireless work in repairing the bridge as quickly as possible.”

The repair scheme is being carried out by contractor TMS Ltd of Teignmouth.

Man whose dog killed black swan before angry witnesses chased him away is hit with whopping fine

A man has been hit with a whopping fine after his dog killed a black swan in Dawlish, before he was chased away by 20 angry witnesses.

Ross Norman, 26, was prosecuted by Teignbridge District Council after the dog he was in charge of attacked and killed a swan at the Lawn in Dawlish.

The dog was not on a lead, contrary to the council byelaws that govern The Lawn.

Black swans under threat after a spate of dog attacks one breeding pair.

Magistrates in Newton Abbot on Monday ordered Norman, whose address in court was given as C/O HMP Channings Wood, but who is originally from Dawlish, to pay the maximum penalty of £500, plus a victim surcharge of £50, and awarded the council full costs of £471.81.

The incident that took place in April 2018 saw a black swan die following an attack by a dog while she was trying to protect her cygnets.

The owner of the dog ran off after being confronted by a group of 20 passers-by who tried to separate the animals.

The male partner swan was also trying to get the dog off its mate.

Black swans under threat after a spate of dog attacks one breeding pair.

The decision of the court was praised by councillors during Tuesday’s Executive meeting, where coincidentally, they were discussing introducing new controls around dogs that enable council officers to fine offenders £100 if they breach the eight controls.

Cllr Rosalind Prowse said: “The case of the man whose dog on the Lawn killed a black swan that was in court shows the need for these controls. I am delighted that the court gave him the maximum fine and we were awarded full costs as well.

“It shows that we need to make the decision today and we need to move forward with these new controls. It could be someone’s child that gets bitten next time.”

Dawlish Town Council had reported the incident to Teignbridge and the police, provided information for the prosecution including footage from their own CCTV system.

The future of Britain’s most famous black swans is under threat after a spate of dog attacks has left just one breeding pair.

The black swans of Dawlish have been a draw for tourists for decades and the emblematic birds even feature on the town’s welcome sign.

The emblematic swans have been a major tourist attraction for the town in Devon for decades.

The swans, native to Australia, were introduced at the start of the 20th century by a resident who emigrated from New Zealand.

Andrew McKenzie, Dawlish Town Council’s town clerk, said: “As custodians of the nationally and internationally renowned waterfowl, including the famous Black Swans, Dawlish Town Council is delighted with the court result which underscores how seriously it seeks to protect the animals for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.

“The byelaws covering The Lawn enable dog walkers to enjoy the open space and river walks with dogs on leads whilst simultaneously helping to protect the birds from dog attacks.

Eggs have been laid by the black swans in Dawlish
Eggs have been laid by the black swans in Dawlish

“Hopefully this successful prosecution will serve as a deterrent and help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.”

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Speaking after the hearing, Cllr Sylvia Russell, Teignbridge District Council’s executive portfolio holder for health and wellbeing which includes Environmental Protection, said: “We welcome the court’s decision to impose the maximum penalty. This was a very distressing incident for the many people who witnessed it.

“It was one that was wholly unnecessary and avoidable had the dog had been kept on a lead. These laws exist to protect some of our most treasured open spaces, allow people to enjoy them and keep nuisances to a minimum.

“Breaching a byelaw is a criminal offence and one we take seriously and we will continue to prosecute offenders when we have reliable evidence. We hope this sends a clear, strong message to the small minority thinking about flouting the law.”

A spokesman for the Teignmouth and Dawlish Neighbourhood Policing team added: “Back in April 2018 one of the famous black swans of Dawlish died following a vicious attack by a pet dog after the dog owner disobeyed the by-law to keep dogs on leads on The Lawn.

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“The magistrates issued Norman the maximum penalty. This is a fantastic result to be awarded the maximum amount of fine and shows how serious the magistrates considered this matter to be. Thank you to all those who assisted in the prosecution.”

The Lawn, Dawlish
The Lawn, Dawlish

Teignbridge already number of byelaws in place including one in respect of dogs in pleasure grounds which covers The Lawn, Dawlish, Dawlish Warren, The Den, Teignmouth and Teignmouth Promenade.

The byelaw means that no person is allow to enter or remain in the pleasure grounds with a dog unless the dog is on a lead and is restrained from behaviour giving reasonable grounds for annoyance.

The new PSPO, which was unanimously agreed by the executive on Tuesday, means £100 fines can be imposed by council officers.

Watch black swan cygnets in the video below

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The PSPO would contain eight controls. They are:

FOULING – making it an offence if a person in charge of a dog fails to pick up its faeces straight away.

MEANS TO PICK UP – making it an offence if a person in charge of a dog does not carry a bag or other means of clearing up after their dog at all times.

DOG EXCLUSION AREAS (EXCEPT BEACHES) – making it an offence for a person in charge of a dog, to let a dog be in dog ban area (e.g. Children’s play park).

SEASONAL DOG EXCLUSION AREAS (BEACHES) – an offence for a person in charge of a do between April 1 and September 30, to take the dog onto, or permit the dog to enter or to remain on, any beach designated as a dog ban area. The beaches are Dawlish Warren, Dawlish Town, Dawlish Coryton Cove, Teignmouth Town and Shaldon.

DOGS ON LEAD AREAS – an offence if a person in charge of a dog at any time does not keep the dog on a lead on land designated as a dog on lead area.

DOG(S) ON LEAD ON THE HIGHWAY – an offence if, at any time, a person in charge of a dog does not keep the dog on a lead, whilst on a road or footpaths adjacent to a road.

DOG(S) ON LEAD BY DIRECTION – an offence if at any time within a dog ban area, a person in charge of a dog does not comply with a direction given to him by an authorised officer of the council or police officer to put and keep the dog on a lead.

RESTRICITION ON THE NUMBER OF DOGS – restrict the number of dogs that can be walked by a single individual on or off the lead to four.

Giant pipe lifted into place to repair rotten Shaldon Bridge ahead of weekend closure

It is hoped to complete the final stage in the £150,000 repairs to Shaldon’s rotting bridge structure this weekend or early next week.

Buese and HGVs have had to re-route around Teignmouth and Shaldon since the rotten wooden piles were discovered inside one of the piers. Original plans showed steel and concrete should have been used in the construction. Diversions are still in place with a three tonne weight limit until the £150,000 repair of the Grade Two listed bridge has been completed.

A giant steel pipe has now been lifted into place and will be welded around the decaying pier to create a watertight ‘caisson’ chamber. Concrete will then be poured into the chamber and the bridge will have to close while it sets.

If all goes well the bridge will close at the end of this week or early next week.

The 3.7 tonne, large diameter steel pipe, would be clamped around the existing column so that concrete can be poured around the four timber piles.
The 3.7 tonne, large diameter steel pipe, would be clamped around the existing column so that concrete can be poured around the four timber piles.

Councillor Alistair Dewhirst said: “The caisson is now in place and the next two dives will be used to clamp it to the pier and then seal it to prevent concrete loss.

“We are now talking to the contractor about the pour being Saturday evening, Sunday morning or Monday evening. It depends on concrete plant availability and or course the weather – but we are nearly there.

“We will need the road closure when the concrete is poured.”

Specialist divers working on Shaldon Bridge
Specialist divers working on Shaldon Bridge

A provisional closure was planned for Sunday, December 2 but stormy conditions delayed the barge delivering the giant 3.7 tonne steel pipe.

Devon County Council has today confirmed that the £150,000 next stage in the repair of the Grade Two listed bridge has been postponed as a result. Diversions are still in place with a three tonne weight limit stopping HGVs and buses running along the main route.

The steel pipe is needed by contractor TMS Ltd of Teignmouth to repair the pier support which contains rotting timber piles.

The steel pipe will be clamped around the damaged pier column. Concrete will then be pumped into the pipe, around the supporting piles. The bridge will need to close completely while the concrete has time to cure.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are headlining amazing Powderham Castle mini festival

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have been confirmed as the headline act of a new music event called the Sunday Sessions at Powderham Castle next year.

The former Oasis man will take to the stage on Sunday, June 30, with other confirmed acts including The Charlatans, Reverend and the Makers, The Blinders and The Loft Club.

The gig will take place the day after nostalgia festival Let’s Rock is held at the festival.

Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher

Noel last performed in Exeter in the heyday of Oasis when the band performed at Westpoint in 1997.

Crowds await Oasis at Westpoint in 1997
Crowds await Oasis at Westpoint in 1997

Sunday Sessions will be a fun-packed day aimed at the whole family with multiple bars and food options, plus posh luxury loos.

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, December 7, and will cost £49.

Powderham Castle

Children go free, with a maximum of two children per every adult ticket purchased, with entertainment for youngsters including circus workshops with the Bigtopmania Circus, face painting, crafts, a funfair and children’s entertainers.

For more details click here

Rundown ‘Goldfish Bowl’ on Teignmouth seafront to become Mediterranean style beach café

The rundown ‘Goldfish Bowl’ on Teignmouth seafront will be turned into a Mediterranean style beach café.

The shelter has been used for more than 20 years by Teignbridge District Council for storage, but the council last year wished to bring the building back into use.

A tender period took place, and the preferred applicant wishes to convert the structure that overlooks the bowls green and has glorious sea views into a Mediterranean styled beach café, providing an all-day catering offer that aims to enhance the current seafront.

Teignbridge District Council’s Executive on Tuesday morning unanimously agreed to grant a 25-year lease to the applicants – a local company made up of four local business people.

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Cllr Tim Golder, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Skills and Tourism, said: “This is an underused asset in a prime location at our premiere seaside destination. It will be changed from its current use as a store to something much more useful.”

A report to the executive added: “As well as the benefit of bringing new life and economic activity to this important seafront location, the grant of a lease will also bring new revenue income to the Council in the form of rent. In addition, once let, the Council will no longer be responsible for the premises business rates and maintenance costs.”

"Goldfish bowl" Storage unit on Teignmouth Seafront.
“Goldfish bowl” Storage unit on Teignmouth Seafront.

Terms for a lease will initially be agreed, subject to the grant of planning permission and a premises licence, currently anticipated to have been granted by Spring 2019, the report added.

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A 25-year lease will be granted to enable the tenant to make the necessary investment in improvements to the premises and the establishment of a new business, the executive was told.

Dog walkers will now face massive fines if they break any of these eight rules

The summer dog beach ban in Teignbridge will be brought forward to April 1 as part of new controls on dogs that have been agreed.

A public space protection order across the district will be introduced from January 1, 2019, and would enable council officers to fine offenders £100 if they breach the eight controls.

The executive on Tuesday morning agreed that the restriction on the number of dogs should be four and that the beach ban on affected beaches should start from April 1, despite councillors on the overview and scrutiny committee asking them to look again at the two controls.

Beachgoer Tuesday Toghill walks her dog in Torquay on Thursday

A review group will be set up to monitor the effectiveness of the new PSPO, which will also explore body warn cameras for officers to increase the number of prosecutions.

The proposed PSPO would contain eight controls. They are:

FOULING – making it an offence if a person in charge of a dog fails to pick up its faeces straight away.

MEANS TO PICK UP – making it an offence if a person in charge of a dog does not carry a bag or other means of clearing up after their dog at all times.

DOG EXCLUSION AREAS (EXCEPT BEACHES) – making it an offence for a person in charge of a dog, to let a dog be in dog ban area (e.g. Children’s play park).

Chester, AKA The Bullet Dog, on Westward Ho! beach.
Chester, AKA The Bullet Dog, on Westward Ho! beach.

SEASONAL DOG EXCLUSION AREAS (BEACHES) – an offence for a person in charge of a do between April 1 and September 30, to take the dog onto, or permit the dog to enter or to remain on, any beach designated as a dog ban area. The beaches are Dawlish Warren, Dawlish Town, Dawlish Coryton Cove, Teignmouth Town and Shaldon.

DOGS ON LEAD AREAS – an offence if a person in charge of a dog at any time does not keep the dog on a lead on land designated as a dog on lead area.

DOG(S) ON LEAD ON THE HIGHWAY – an offence if, at any time, a person in charge of a dog does not keep the dog on a lead, whilst on a road or footpaths adjacent to a road.

DOG(S) ON LEAD BY DIRECTION – an offence if at any time within a dog ban area, a person in charge of a dog does not comply with a direction given to him by an authorised officer of the council or police officer to put and keep the dog on a lead.

RESTRICITION ON THE NUMBER OF DOGS – restrict the number of dogs that can be walked by a single individual on or off the lead to four.

Anyone breaching any of the eight controls are liable for £100 on-the-spot fines.

Questions had been raised about bringing forward the beach ban from May 1 to April 1, as well as restricting dogs on lead to four, and the initial decision of the executive made in October had been called-in for further scrutiny.

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Cllr John Nutley said he was concerned about how restricting the number of dogs to four would affect businesses who make their livelihoods looking after dogs, while Cllr Martin Wrigley said that although it was good they were moving forward with this, it was slightly disturbing that the restrictions would hit responsible dog owners. He added: “We need to look at how we control the irresponsible dog owners.”

However the executive decided to go ahead and implement the initial decision that they made, with the beach ban being brought forward to April 1 and the number of dogs that can be walked at once restricted to four.

Most beaches in Devon ban dogs from May 1 to September 30
Most beaches in Devon ban dogs from May 1 to September 30

But Cllr Jeremy Christophers, leader of the council, said: “We though the right approach was for a consistent approach for all beaches for the exclusion and we decided that April 1 was the right date. It will be down to a review group to do more analysis about different beach dates and for them to make their cases.

“This PSPO will make it easier for us to take action under this order against those who are dog fouling, which is a massive issue in the district. It is not okay for people to let their dogs foul up the district and rob areas where people can exercise.

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“We will also look at body warn cameras as a way of collecting evidence as we need to make it a lot easier to get the quality of evidence to make the right decisions.”

Cllr Kevin Lake added: “This PSPO is an excellent way to take forward prosecutions.”

A dog running along a beach
A dog running along a beach

The executive unanimously agreed to introduce the eight aspects of the PSPO.

The PSPO follows a public consultation that took place last year and a call made the previous year by Cllr Chris Clarance to ban all dogs from all playing fields when the council was discussing a review of the Teignbridge dog-fouling policy.

A report of David Eaton, environmental protection manager, said: “The order is required to effectively tackle irresponsible dog ownership within the Teignbridge District.

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The aim is not to penalise responsible dog owners but to target persistent offenders who refuse to comply with the proposed controls. Consideration will be given to the ability of the owner to exercise control over the dogs before taking enforcement action.

“A person observed not to be complying with the PSPO is liable to receive a fixed penalty notice. We are recommending that the fine is set at £100. Officers also have powers to issue Community Protection Notices or prosecute if the offence warrants the sanction.”

Branscombe beach
Branscombe beach

Mr Eaton added: “The PSPO will enhance the existing controls. The law in the past on dog control has been patchy, so a PSPO will help the council deal with the minority of irresponsible dog owners who don’t clear up after their dog or control it.

“A frustration to officers and members has been the inability to deal with dog fouling on roads that do not have a national speed limit of less that 40mph. This means that many of our rural areas had no controls on dog fouling on the highway.

Tigger on the beach
Tigger on the beach

“For the many responsible dog owners who pick up after their dog wherever they go, nothing will change. Inconsiderate dog owners would be targeted through awareness and enforcement.”

The PSPO would initially last for three years, but could be varied or discharged by the council during that period.

Muse Westcountry gig full details revealed – here’s how to get tickets

Full details of Muse’s Westcountry gig have been confirmed including details of how and when you’ll be able to get tickets.

The Teignmouth band turned local stars had hoped to return to Devon to play a gig in their home county.

But the nearest venue which can stage their show is Ashton Gate Stadium, the home of Bristol City Football Club in Bristol.

And it has now been confirmned Muse will play Ashton Gate Stadium as part of their world tour on June 5, 2019.

The massive stadium rock group used lead singer Matt Bellamy’s Instagram page to announce they will be playing a gig at Bristol’s Ashton Gate football stadium.

In making the announcement, he ruled out any chance of a Devon gig, saying the home of Bristol City Football Club was “the only venue that can take our production” and the group had considered other options in the South West.

He wrote: “We checked all West Country options and Bristol is the only venue that can take our production, so we’re now very pleased to announce we will be playing in the birth home of J.K Rowling, Cary Grant, Massive Attack, Portishead, Banksy and comedy legends Jonny Ball, Noel Edmonds and Stephen Merchant! #ashtongate.”

He accompanied it with an aerial shot of the stadium on a sunny day.

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The group played played two concerts at home turf at Teignmouth’s Den back in 2009.

However, the band’s army of fans were left disappointed when their 2019 tour included no dates in the South West – despite an earlier announcement they would be playing in Bristol.

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Responding to one of his fans on Instagram, frontman Matt Bellamy said: “We want to do a Westcountry show for sure, investigating Devon options.”

The news Muse were looking at Devon options had raised hopes the band could return to their Teignmouth roots for another homecoming gig.

Pre-sale tickets for those who pre-ordered the Simulation Theory album will go on sale at 8am on Wednesday, December 5.

Members section pre-sale starts an hour later at 9am.

General on-sale starts at 9am on Friday, December 7.

Full details and ticket links are available at the Muse official website .

Murderer phoned friend to help him move the body from flat

A murderer stabbed to death a man in his flat in Teignmouth then called his ‘vulnerable’ and naive friend to help him move the body.

Neil Hinton, 39, thought David Ablett was ringing up for help to bag some drugs. But when he arrived at Barnpark Terrace he found Matthew Jackson, 38, battered and dead on the floor.

Ablett told Hinton he needed a hand moving the body so grabbing Mr Jackson’s legs and arms the pair dragged him down the hallway, out the front door, and dumped him by some wheelie bins outside.

Mr Jackson’s dead body was found a few hours later by neighbours. Police followed a trail of blood back to Ablett’s door.

Ablett was sentenced to life in prison last week for the murder of Mr Jackson. He stabbed him repeatedly with a two-pronged fork in a row over drugs.

Hinton, of Ness View Road, appeared at Exeter Crown Court on Monday and was sentenced for perverting the course of justice. He initially lied to police about his involvement but later admitted helping Ablett move the body.

The court was told he had suffered with mental health and learning difficulties since birth.

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Ms Heather Hope, defending, said: “He is a childlike individual.

“He was somebody who was used by Ablett that night. He didn’t enter this as somebody who wanted to be involved.”

Ablett was jailed for a minimum of 16 years for murdering Mr Jackson. He claimed Mr Jackson, from Bishopsteignton, attacked him and tried to steal his £1,000 stash of heroin and cocaine he kept hidden in his bedsit.

After the killing he went upstairs to a neighbour’s room and called Hinton on the phone.

Murder weapon used by David Ablett in Teignmouth
Murder weapon used by David Ablett in Teignmouth

Prosecutor Simon Laws QC said: “After the stabbing Ablett set about trying to cover up what he’d done, getting rid of the weapon and Mr Jackson’s phone and wallet.”

The body was too heavy to move on his own so Ablett called Hinton saying he needed help with something. Hinton, a drug user, assumed he wanted him to bag drugs but when he arrived a short time later he was threatened by Ablett and ordered to help move the body.

DNA showed the men had grabbed his arms and legs while dragging him outside. A pathologist told the trial Mr Jackson may still have been alive, but unconscious, at the time.

Matthew Jackson

Hinton told police that when he arrived at the flat Ablett looked ‘horrible’. He had sustained bruises during the violence. Hinton denied seeing or moving any body.

Hinton’s lies did not impede the police investigation very much though it had diverted the focus for a short time.

“It did not cause the inquiry into Ablett’s role in the murder to be distracted to any great degree,” Mr Laws said.

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Ms Hope said Hinton was vulnerable and naive and somebody who was ‘manipulated and exploited by those around him’.

The defendant’s parents were in court to hear his sentence. Ms Hope said they were distraught by the case. Hinton’s mental health and learning problems were the result of a difficult birth. He had ‘struggled through life’ and his family had done all they could to help him.

He had become involved int he drugs world, but was usually exploited by others to run errands in exchange for drugs.

Hinton described moving the body as a ‘horrible night’.

David Ablett has been jailed for life for murder
David Ablett has been jailed for life for murder

Judge Peter Johnson accepted Hinton, a schizophrenic, had been bullied and threatened by Ablett.

He said perverting the course of justice usually resulted in prison but due to his personal mitigation he was prepared to suspend the 12 month sentence.

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“You were manipulated and easily exploited because of your learning difficulties,” said the judge.

“I accept you were acting under Ablett’s direction and control for a short and limited period of time.”