Live updates

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

Advertisement

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.

Plymouth pub reopens after being almost swept out to sea

A popular pub in Plymouth that was almost swept out to sea by last year's storms will reopen today.

Most of the pub's fixtures and fittings were destroyed.

Some experts said the Waterfront Pub was beyond repair because the water damage was so severe.

The St Austell brewery has spent a year - and more than a million pounds - restoring the Grade Two listed building.

Advertisement

Covert recording reveal Polish man allegedly trying to sell secret documents

A court in Plymouth has heard a covert recording made by British security services of a Polish man allegedly trying to sell secret documents.

Security services made a covert recording of Marcin Kostrzewa allegedly trying to sell secret service documents Credit: Nick Irving

Marcin Kostrzewa denies burgling his neighbour's flat and taking sensitive documents which were stored in his airing cupboard.

The 31 allegedly took the documents after searching online for things such as 'spy games', 'spies' and 'secret documents'. the prosecution say he then contacted the Polish embassy and tried to sell the papers for £50,000.

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.

The trial continues.

Plymouth fire investigation handed to the police

Police have taken over the investigation into the fire Credit: ITV News

The investigation into a major fire in Plymouth yesterday that saw a tyre warehouse near Devonport completely gutted has been handed over to the police.

The first call to the emergency services in the early hours of yesterday reported a wheelie bin on fire next to a stack of tyres outside the building.

Residents were warned to stay indoors and several roads were closed causing traffic problems.

Residents say "it looked like a bomb had exploded" after Plymouth fire

Residents were told to keep their windows closed Credit: ITV News

A huge fire with flames more than 40 feet high has destroyed a tyre warehouse in Plymouth.

Crews worked from before dawn to prevent the fire spreading to other properties on the business estate near Devonport.

At the height of the fire this morning, flames could be seen climbing more than 40 feet into the air. Local residents woke to see thick smoke rising from a tyre fitters garage on a business estate near Devonport.

It looked as if a bomb had exploded really. I mean it was so black and it was just like right up going right across to Mount Edgcumbe and it sounded like as if it was fireworks going off really. All the time, bang. bang, terrible.

– Resident
Local residents woke to see thick smoke rising from a tyre fitters garage Credit: ITV News

There are houses close by and people were warned to stay indoors especially as the roof of the building contained asbestos.

We've spoken to all the residents there just to make them aware of the nature of the fire and the hazards involved. We've asked them to keep their windows closed just as a precaution.

– Insp MARTIN TREGASKES Devon and Cornwall Police
The roof of the building contained asbestos Credit: ITV News

Several roads around the scene had to be closed causing traffic problems - St Luke's Hospice had to re-route its Men's Day Out charity walk to avoid it.

The cause of the fire is being investigated - the first call to emergency services reported a wheelie bin on fire next to a stack of tyres outside. Police have asked for anybody who saw anything suspicious there before the fire to get in touch.

Load more updates