Live updates

Former teacher jailed for historic child sexual abuse

Former teacher Jeremy Dowling has been sentenced to 7 years in prison

A former teacher has been sentenced to 7 years in prison after pleading guilty to historic child sexual abuse.

77 year old Jeremy Dowling from Bude was charged with 15 counts of indecently assaulting a boy under the age of 16 after five former pupils came forward to police to complain that they were victims of sexual abuse.

Dowling was a teacher and senior member of staff at a private boarding school in Bude between 1959 and 1971.

Most of the incidents happened at the school where Dowling lived on site for the majority of his time there.

Numerous witnesses, including former pupils and members of the school, came forward to provide evidence about the abuse that happened between 1959 and 1970.

“Dowling selected and groomed his victims prior to the abuse starting and subjected them to a prolonged and distressing period of abuse.

He was in a position of trust during his time at the school and parents of the pupils had entrusted him, as well as the rest of the school, with the care and well-being of their children.

The victims have lived with this all of their lives, some not even disclosing it to family members up until recently. Others have suffered employment and relationship issues due to the abuse they suffered at the hands of Dowling.

We welcome the sentence and hope it will help to give some closure to the victims and allow them to move on with their lives. This has been an extremely difficult time for those involved who all showed great courage in coming forward. All of the victims and witnesses have played a critical role in bringing this man to justice.

We hope this case shows that we take allegations of historical sexual abuse seriously. No matter how long ago crimes were committed, if the victims have the courage to come forward and speak to us, we will listen and investigate thoroughly. They will also be fully supported by dedicated officers.”

– Detective Constable Grant Mills, Launceston CID

Campaign to clean-up our beaches

These volunteers are often out keeping Crooklets beach in Bude free of rubbish Credit: ITV News

A campaign has begun in the south west to try to keep beaches across the UK free of rubbish.

Beach goers are being urged to spend just two minutes picking up the debris that's washed ashore. It's estimated that 2,000 items of rubbish are found on every kilometre of beach in the country - most of it discarded plastic.

I hope this will make a significant difference. Obviously me going out on a beach today and spending two minutes isn't going to make a dent in the problem that is marine litter but with enough people doing it I think we can make a difference and I hope we start to change attitudes as well.

– Martin Dorey, Beach clean campaigner

Advertisement

Man dies after falling from cliffs at Bude

The rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose was called to Compass Point cliffs on Thursday afternoon Credit: ITV Westcountry

A man has died after falling from cliffs while climbing at Bude. The 52-year-old fell from the Compass Point cliffs close to the beach yesterday afternoon (Thursday 4 September).

The rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose and paramedics arrived at the scene but the climber was pronounced dead.

The man's next of kin have been informed.

Statistics reveal children are at risk in the water

The RNLI and the Amateur Swimming Association are teaming up at Bude to launch a safe swimming initiative.

It comes after statistics revealed a high number of incidents where children were unsafe in the water.

  • 17% of parents say their child has got into difficulties in the water
  • 5% of parents say their child has been in a serious incident in the water
  • 21% of parents don't always supervise their children in the water
  • 9% of parents say their children can't swim
  • 21% of parents believe if their child can swim a length of a 25m pool they will be safe to swim in the water.

Swimming safety initiative launches in Bude today

Credit: PA

A charity has teamed up with the RNLI to encourage people to be safe when swimming as children try to cool off.

The Amateur Swimming Association will be launching a water safety initiative in Bude today after it found that 17% of parents in the South West say their child has got into difficulties in water. This summer they'll be running courses to try to give children confidence when out in open water.

Meat cleaver robbery in Bude

A man has robbed a sweetshop brandishing a meat cleaver in the Cornish town of Bude.

Police have appealed for witnesses after the incident in the Candy Shop and newsagent in Belle Vue yesterday afternoon.

The offender was armed with a knife and a meat cleaver and threatened staff before making off with the contents of the till.

He's described as white, aged in his 20s or 30s, 5' 8" tall with dark hair and a thin clean shaven face.

Police are appealing for witnesses to a robbery in Bude Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police

Advertisement

Signs to go up for the region's beach water quality

The sea off Summerleaze Beach in Bude. Credit: ITV News West Country

Volunteers are putting up signs predicting water quality at ten beaches around the region.

Cooling off in the sea off Summerleaze Beach. Credit: ITV News West Country

Signs will be displayed at beach entrances, as well as online, to advise people of the risks of going into the sea.

Summerleaze Beach. Credit: ITV News West Country

Children learn dangers of swimming in the sea

The lessons will take place in the sea pool at Bude Credit: ITV News West Country

The RNLI is launching a month-long event in Bude, warning of the dangers of swimming in the sea.

Swim Safe aims to teach children and parents about the differences between swimming in a pool and in open water at the coast.

Children account for around 2/3 of incidents RNLI lifeguards respond to each year, on some of the UK's busiest beaches.

Cornwall adventure centre staff go on strike

Staff at an adventure centre in Cornwall have gone on strike. Over half of the 74 staff at Adventure International in Bude walked out on Friday.

The centre can accommodate 350 people and runs outdoor holidays for school groups and families. Schoolchildren from around the south west have been affected, with some children returning home.

The strike was prompted by a staff redundancy.

Rugby star Phil Vickery launches campaign in Bude

Former England International Phil Vickery began his rugby career in Bude Credit: ITV News West Country

Phil Vickery was in Bude today to unveil a campaign to find the best supported grassroots rugby club in England. The Pride of the Nation scheme will reward the winning club with a visit from an England rugby legend during NatWest RugbyForce weekend on 15th and 16th June.

Rugby clubs need to get their local community to vote online to get them to the top of the leaderboard. To find out more click here

Load more updates