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Plymouth Albion coach steps down

James Shanahan is leaving Plymouth Albion.

Plymouth Albion have announced that coach James Shanahan is leaving the club.

His contract was meant to expire at the end of April, but he is leaving the rugby club early, and former manager Graham Dawe will take over for the last three games of the season.

Our focus has to be on the future and with a home game coming up on 11th April against Bristol the team will need as many Plymouth fans cheering them on as possible.

– Peter Vosper, Plymouth Albion Chairman

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Devon girl gets 3D printed hand

The life of a little girl in Devon has been transformed after advances in technology allowed her to receive an new hand, printed on a 3D printer.

Four-year-old Abbi Jillians now has a specially adapted hand which was just a fraction of the cost of an NHS prosthetic one.

It all started with a conversation Abbi's mum, Julie, had with her mother.

Abbi's mum was helped by the Enabling the Future organisation and is fundraising to provide schools with 3D printers - click here for link.

Historic tall ships to visit Plymouth

Kaskelot heads to Plymouth Credit: Sutton Harbour Holdings plc

The first of two historic tall ships visiting Plymouth this spring arrives in Sutton Harbour later today.

The Kaskelot will be sailing into the city late afternoon and stay until Sunday, April 12th.

Kaskelot is widely regarded as one of the finest wooden tall ships of its age still in commission today, and a fascinating vessel with an incredible history.

We are delighted to welcome Kaskelot to Sutton Harbour this Easter so people in Plymouth can enjoy the chance to tour this beautifully restored tall ship.

There has already been huge interest in the visit, and we are expecting a lot of people to head down to Plymouth’s waterfront over the Easter weekend to see Kaskelot for themselves.

– Charlotte Malcolm, Sutton Harbour Holdings plc

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Court hears how foreign workers never saw their wages in alleged slavery trial

A court has heard how foreign workers in Plymouth were made to work seven day weeks but never saw their wages.

Three women and two men from the Czech Republic are accused of trafficking for the purposes of exploitation.

Ruzena Tancosova, Petr Tancos, Nela Dzurkova, Martin Tancos and Katerina Kurejova deny two charges of conspiracy to traffick for the purposes of exploitation between January 2010 and September 2014. They lived in various addresses in Plymouth.

The group deny two charges of conspiracy to traffick for the purposes of exploitation Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

Martin Tancos and Ruzena Tancosova deny acting as a gangmaster between the same dates.

Tancosova and Petr Tancos also deny requiring a person to perform forced labour between March 2010 and 2014.

Today witness Josef Bukovinsky told Plymouth Crown court that one of his bosses Ruzena Tancosova gave him ten pounds every three months.

He told the court at one point he earned £270-320 for a six day week working 12 hour shifts in a local factory.

The trial continues.

How much of that did you get?

– Malcolm Galloway, Prosecuting

Nothing.

– Josef Bukovinsky

What would happen if you didn't go to work?

– Malcolm Galloway, Prosecuting

They threatened to me that they would beat me up and Petr would take me into his garage and beat me up with a baseball bat.

– Josef Bukovinsky

Transat Race returns to Plymouth

Plymouth has won its bid to host the start of the next edition of the prestigious Transat sailing event in 2016. Born as the OSTAR and the original solo race across the North Atlantic in 1960, The Transat is now firmly established as one of the major events in the professional yachting calendar.

The Class 40 ship Eole Generation GDF Suez skipped by Sebastien Rogues, of France bids, farewell at the start of the Transat Quebec Saint-Malo race Credit: Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

The race will once again start from Plymouth historic home on Sunday 8 May 2016.

“We’re over the moon that OC Sport has selected Plymouth as the host venue for The Transat in 2016. Businesses in the city have rallied to support our bid and we’re looking forward to staging a spectacular and memorable event in the race’s historic home."

– Cllr Peter Smith, Plymouth City Council

Plymouth Slipway Slide event cancelled

The RNLI has cancelled Saturday's Slipway Slide event that was due to take place in Plymouth at the weekend. It's taken the decision because of the weather forecast for Saturday which could have made using the slide unsafe.

The RNLI Slipway Slide - no longer coming to Plymouth Credit: RNLI

The charity says that it's informed people who were due to take part. At the moment it's not able to offer an alternative date.

Jailed: Man who tried to sell stolen secret documents to Polish government

A Polish man has been jailed after he tried to sell secret nuclear submarine documents he stole from his neighbour.

Marcin Kostrzewa broke into his neighbour's flat and took sensitive documents which were stored in his airing cupboard.

Marcin Kostrzewa broke into his neighbour's flat and took sensitive documents which were stored in his airing cupboard Credit: Nick Irving

The 31-year-old took the documents after searching online for things such as 'spy games', 'spies' and 'secret documents'.

He then contacted the Polish embassy and tried to sell the papers for £50,000.

He had denied committing the burglary between January and April last year. He claimed he had found the contents in a bin as he was carrying out research for a spy novel.

A jury at Plymouth Crown Court took less than an hour to find Kostrzewa guilty after a three day trial. He was jailed for four and a half years.

Alexander Chalk, prosecuting, said Kostrzewa entered the flat of Shane Spencer, who works as an engineer on submarines at the Royal Naval dockyard at Devonport in Plymouth.

Mr Chalk said the Polish man took ‘sensitive or secret material’ and was caught by a joint operation between British security services and the Metropolitan Police.

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