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Crews fight to contain large fire in business park

Eight fire engines have been called out to a fire in a commercial building in Tiverton.

It's at the Tiverton Business Park.

Crews from Tiverton, Cullompton and Witheridge were originally mobilised - they called for assistance from another three trucks.

Fire fighters say that in a building measuring 100m by 40m over half the industrial units inside were well alight on arrival.

The Aerial Ladder Platform is also being used to tackle the fire.

Further updates to follow...

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Woman charged following M5 closure

A woman has been charged with causing a public nuisance after the M5 was closed for more than two hours over safety fears.

The road was closed southbound between Junction 27 and Junction 26 - with traffic tailing back for more than 20 miles.

ailbacks at junction 27 for Tiverton Credit: Motorwaycameras.co.uk

Officers later said the woman was "safe and well" and re-opened the road.

But they later said they had charged 25-year-old Abigail Wyatt with causing a public nuisance in relation to the incident.

The woman, from Wellington, has been bailed to appear at Taunton Deane Magistrates Court on September 12.

Credit: Motorwaycameras.co.uk

School teacher spared jail for groping teenage girl

Credit: Nick Irving

A public school teacher who groped an 18-year-old girl has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Chay Roberts-Jones was working at Blundells School at Tiverton when he assaulted the girl under the guise of giving her a sports massage.

In May 2014, he offered to give his victim a massage after she suffered cramp but went on to lift her top and try to pull down her trousers.

Roberts-Jones, 29, was cleared of sexually assaulting two other girls at a summer ball and a camping trip by a jury in February at Exeter Crown Court.

He was a physics teacher at the £31,000 a year school but now lives in France.

The judge ordered Roberts-Jones to pay £2,500 costs and sign on the sex offenders register. The conviction means he's barred from teaching in the UK again.

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A Christmas lights controversy in the West Country

While most people in the South West are admiring the Christmas light displays that are popping up in our town and city centres - the residents of two towns aren't being quite so complimentary.

No, in Tiverton and Penzance the displays look like pants - according to locals.

That's not their way of saying they look bad - they literally look like pants.

Penzance Credit: Mick & Karen Warne
Tiverton Credit: Apex News and Pictures

Teresa Fogarty of Penzance Town Council said:

"We got a lot of comments the first year they went up. It was quite hilarious people saw the funny side of it and it's quite quirky which fits in with Penzance, that's the kind of town we are, nobody's been offended by them not that I've heard, and it just adds to the fun of Christmas which is supposed to be a jolly time anyway."

– Teresa Fogarty, Penzance Town Council
Even in the cold light of day the Christmas lights in Penzance bear a strong resemblance to underwear. Credit: ITV News

Do these Christmas lights in Tiverton look like pants?

Tiverton's Christmas lights have been ridiculed on social media for looking like pants Credit: Apex

Tiverton's Christmas lights have been mocked on the internet because they look like giant green pants.

The Christmas lights, which cost £15,000, have given some festive cheer to the town but some are saying they look like a washing line covered in underwear.

Posting on Facebook Janet Johns wrote: 'Ok, if they are not pants.... what are they?" while George Parker wrote on Twitter: "Looking forward to heading home for Xmas to see Tiverton's now infamous pants."

Tiverton Town Council raise funds to pay for the Christmas lights throughout the year.

Tiverton shopkeeper held at knifepoint by masked man

The shopkeeper was held up at knifepoint in Bampton Street in Tiverton Credit: ITV News

Police are appealing for witnesses after an armed robbery at a newsagent's in Tiverton yesterday.

It happened at the Exe Valley News and Cards in Bampton Street at around 7.40am. A masked man threatened the shopkeeper with a knife and demanded cash from the till.

The shopkeeper was unharmed but the suspect got away with a small amount of cash and made off towards Tiverton Market.

The suspect is described as aged in his 20s, around 5ft 7ins tall and of slim build. He was wearing a dark-coloured hoody with dark-coloured trainers and was carrying a bag.

This is a rare and unusual incident and we would ask the community for assistance in trying to identify the male responsible so we can further our enquiries.

If you have any information, no matter how small, then please contact us.

– Inspector Jane Alford-Mole, Devon and Cornwall police
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