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Descendant of Pilgrim Fathers joins Plymouth celebrations

Thousands take part in Plymouth celebrations Credit: ITV West Country

Thousands of people took to Plymouth's waterfront last night for the start of celebrations leading to the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing in 2020.

Carrie Southwell is a direct descendant of the Pilgrim Fathers Credit: ITV West Country

Carrie Southwell, A direct descendant of the Pilgrim Fathers lit a candle, and a thousand more were lit as a symbol of the founding of the New World. The event, which is the first of many over the next six years, will be screened at a similar ceremony in Plymouth Massachusetts today.

Having a brain tumour is like 'living with a time bomb'

The UK's first Research Centre of Excellence into low grade brain tumours opened at Plymouth University today.

It's been part-financed by the charity Brain Tumour Research. It will focus on taking research out of the laboratory and into drug testing and clinical trials.

Sandra Bayly's daughter has a brain tumour. She describes it as like living with a time bomb.

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20 years of the National Lottery

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the National Lottery, which sees around eight jackpot winners in the West Country every year.

But for Plymouth's Mike Antonucci, his £2.8 million win back in 1995 did not set him up for life. Instead he spent it all on fast cars, yachts and luxury holidays.

Mike Antonucci won £2.8 million in 1995 Credit: ITV News

"Well it probably lasted 14 years, yeah 14, 15 years. I mean do you want to take the money with you, do you want to be the richest man in the graveyard? I don't know, you know."

– Mike Antonucci, Lottery winner

Three year old girl dies after fireplace collapsed on her

The incident happened in Colebrook, on the outskirts of Plymouth Credit: ITV News

A three year old girl has died after part of a fireplace collapsed on her in Colebrook, on the outskirts of Plymouth.

The toddler was treated at the scene and then taken to Derriford Hospital with severe head injuries. She was pronounced dead a short while later.

A spokeswoman for South Western Ambulance Service said: "We got a call at around 4:30pm on Sunday. We sent a basic doctor, two ambulance crews and an officer.

"The child was taken to Derriford Hospital in a life-threatening condition. South Western Ambulance Service extends its sincere condolences to the child's family."

Three year old girl killed after fireplace collapses on her

The girl was taken to Derriford Hospital where she was pronounced dead Credit: ITV News

Police are investigating after a three-year-old girl was killed when part of a fireplace collapsed on her.

The toddler suffered severe head injuries when a fireplace surround toppled onto her in Plymouth.

Emergency services were called to the property and the little girl was taken to Derriford hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Devon and Cornwall Police said they received a 999 call at 4.35pm on Sunday to say a "fireplace surround" had collapsed on to a three-year-old girl.

A police spokesman said: "The girl sustained serious head injuries and was treated at the scene before being taken to Derriford Hospital.

"The child was pronounced deceased a short time later."

The spokesman said officers remain at the family home and are investigating the circumstances of the incident.

The child has not been named.

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100,000 sign Marine A petition

Calls to release a former Plymouth-based Royal Marine, and quash his conviction for murdering an injured Afghan fighter, could be debated in Parliament.

More than 100,000 people have signed an e-petition asking for Sergeant Alexander Blackman from Taunton to be freed and to have his murder conviction rescinded as he "defended his country from a terrorist".

This means it has exceeded the threshold required for it to have a chance of being considered by the Backbench Business Committee, which decides the issues debated in Commons time allocated to backbench MPs.

The committee meets weekly to consider requests for debate, although an MP must make a representation before it for an e-petition to be debated.

Commons Leader William Hague has notified Labour MP Natascha Engel, the committee's chairwoman, that the petition is now eligible to be considered for debate.

The killing happened in Helmand province in 2011 while Blackman was serving with Plymouth-based 42 Commando.

The victim was an Afghan who had been seriously injured in an attack by an Apache helicopter.

Blackman shot him in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol before quoting a phrase from Shakespeare as the man convulsed and died in front of him.

Blackman told him: "There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil, you c***. It's nothing you wouldn't do to us."

He then turned to comrades and said: "Obviously this doesn't go anywhere, fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention."

During the trial Blackman was known as Marine A.

Blackman had denied murder, saying he believed the victim was already dead and he was taking out his anger on a corpse.

He was given a life sentence with a minimum of 10 years by a court martial in Bulford, Wiltshire, following his conviction in November 2013.

He was also "dismissed with disgrace" from the Royal Marines after serving with distinction for 15 years, including tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

Blackman's conviction challenge was rejected by the Court Martial Appeal Court although his minimum term was cut to eight years because of the combat stress disorder he was suffering from at the time of the incident.

An e-petition on the Government's website addressed to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) asked: "Release Marine A & quash his murder conviction. Marine A has defended his country from a terrorist."

It received 107,169 signatures, meaning it passed the 100,000 signature threshold to ensure it is considered for a debate in Parliament.

After it received 100,000 signatures, Mr Hague wrote to Ms Engel: "As you are aware, this e-petition has now passed the threshold of 100,000 signatures, which makes it eligible for consideration for debate.

"I hope that the Backbench Business Committee will now consider the suitably of the issue for debate."

The MoD was prompted to reply when the e-petition received more than 10,000 signatures.

It said: "After a public trial in front of a court martial, at which he was legally represented, Marine A was found guilty of murder and two other Royal Marines were found not guilty of the offence.

"The identity of the victim does not change that verdict.

"It would be inappropriate for the Government to intervene in this independent judicial process."

Seventh home win in a row for Argyle

Reuben Reid scored twice against Portsmouth at Home Park. Credit: David Davies/EMPICS Sport

Plymouth Argyle have moved up to fourth in League Two after a comfortable win in the 'Dockside Derby' over Portsmouth.

There was early excitement at Home Park. Lewis Alessandra was brought down in the box in the sixth minute, and Reuben Reid confidently scored from the spot.

Fifteen minutes later the advantage was doubled. Kelvin Mellor teeing up Alessandra for a clincal finish.

And it was soon 3-0 as Portsmouth couldn't cope with Argyle's attacking prowess. Mellor the provider once again, this time settting up Reid for his second of the game.

No more goals in the second half, but the Pilgrims did come close. Lee Cox hit the cross bar. Deane Smalley saw his shot saved by former Exeter City goalkeeper Paul Jones. And Jones denied Smalley again when he tipped the substitute's shot onto the post.

Bye bye to the Barbican market

Everything must go Credit: ITV News

Plymouth's Barbican Pannier Market is shutting up shop. The landmark building, which is known for selling everything from vintage jewellery to magic tricks, has been sold to a new owner.

Last week its shopkeepers were given just fourteen days' notice that they had to leave. Our reporter Claire Manning went to meet some of them.

Man bailed after unexplained death in Plymouth

Police investigating the unexplained death of an elderly man in Plymouth have released a 49-year-old man on bail.

Officers were called to Telegraph Wharf in Stonehouse on Sunday evening (9 November). They found the body of a 74-year-old man and arrested the 49-year-old man at the scene on suspicion of murder. He's been bailed until 17 February 2015.

Detectives say they are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances of the death.

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