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Vauxhall recalling Zafira B range after more than 150 fires

Lisa Taperek's car moments after she pulled her son out of it. Credit: Lisa Taperek

Car manufacturer Vauxhall has announced it's going to recall models of its Zafira B range - after more than 150 reports of the cars catching fire.

A mother from Wiltshire has been describing how her baby son was nearly killed when her Zafira exploded.

Two Plymouth woman have been campaigning for Vauxhall to investigate, after their cars spontaneously burst into flames earlier this year.

The Zafira B was produced between 2005 and 2014.

Announcing the recall, the chairman of Vauxhall has said all those affected will be contacted.

"We fully understand the seriousness of the situation and customers' personal concerns about safety."

"We will write to all affected owners, check and repair their cars and make them safe to operate where necessary."



Convicted murderer back behind bars

Convicted murderer deported from Australia Credit: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

A convicted West Country killer who went on the run in Australia for 15 years is back behind bars.

Robert Hennessey, 50, was jailed in 1978 for repeatedly stabbing his elderly aunt in Plymouth when he was 14 years old.

Hennessey disappeared after walking out of Leyhill prison, in South Gloucestershire in 1998. Officers finally tracked the 50 year old down in Australia and he has now pleaded guilty to evading lawful custody.

He has been jailed for 16 months.

Robert Hennessey was arrested on suspicion of fraud offences in the Queensland area of Australia in 2013.

Since then we’ve been working closely with the Australian authorities to ensure he was returned to the UK to serve the rest of his sentence and to face justice for the unlawful absconsion.

With the assistance of Devon and Cornwall Police, the victim’s family have been kept updated on Hennessey’s deportation and subsequent court appearances in the UK.

– Det Con Stuart Brooks

Robotic hand pioneer wins international prize

Joel Gibbard holds hands with his robotic creation Credit: ITV News

Robotic hand creator Joel Gibbard from Bristol has won second place and a $200,000 prize in an international competition.

Joel, who studied at Plymouth University, has been able to print a prosthetic hand using a 3D printer. He hopes the technique will make prosthetics more affordable.

He had to pitch his idea to a panel of judges at Intel's Make it Wearable challenge.

It has been an awesome experience learning from business experts and the other teams. We're far more customer-focused now and the result is going to be a prosthetic that is perfectly suited to the needs of amputees. With the money we've now won we can complete the development of this device and get these hands on amputees.

– Joel Gibbard, Open Bionics

You can find out more about Joel and his robotic hand here.

First Poppy picnic takes place

Plymouth Military Wives Choir have joined the families of the armed forces at the first 2014 "Poppy Picnic" in Weston-Super-Mare. Credit: PA

Plymouth Military Wives Choir have joined the families of the armed forces at the first 2014 "Poppy Picnic" in Weston-Super-Mare yesterday. It's part of the national campaign to raise money for the Royal British Legion and is the first of a thousand "Poppy Picnics" taking place across the country this year.

Elite cyclist's death ruled accidental

Junior Heffernan was killed during the Severn Bridge Road Race in March 2013 Credit: Herbalife-Leisure Lakes

A coroner has ruled that the death of a cyclist from Plymouth in a race was an accident.

23-year-old Junior Heffernan was hit by a car during the Severn Bridge Road Race in Gloucestershire in March last year. He was on the wrong side of the road and had been over the speed limit.

Police told the inquest the driver couldn't have avoided the collision.


Vulnerable missing Bristol man 'may be in Plymouth'

Richard Wilson. Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Police are appealing to the public to help find a vulnerable missing 46 year-old man. Richard Wayne Wilson went missing from his address in Eastville, Bristol on Monday 6 January. A search has been carried out in Bristol but it is possible he has travelled to Plymouth.

He usually travels by train and tends to favour guest houses or B&B’s. Richard is 6'2" tall, heavily built, with short, spiky, grey hair. He usually wears trainers and cream coloured trousers. Police would like Richard to contact them.

Police say anyone spotting Richard should not approach him but contact police immediately. Anyone able to help is asked to contact Devon and Cornwall Police or Avon and Somerset Police, by dialling 101.

Plymouth teenager debates in Parliament

The National Youth Parliament has been in session at Westminster today, where a speech from a Plymouth teenager received a rapturous applause.

Harry Samules is the Member of Youth Parliament for the city. He was taking part in a debate about what the youth parliament should turn its attention to for next year. The 16 year old said he wants to address youth unemployment and bullying.

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