SMEARING faeces in a police cell and threatening an officer have earned a five-week prison term for a man who had previously led a policeman on a high-speed car chase.
John Davis, 35, was also banned from driving for three months, and until he passes an extended test, after being convicted of driving carelessly and failing to stop for police during a high-speed pursuit on lanes and roads in the St Austell area which ended with a chase on foot at Pontsmill and a police officer having to draw his Taser.
He was acquitted of damaging a metal gate as its ownership could not be established and received no separate penalty for the motoring offence.
Davis claimed he was not behind the wheel that night and that the driver was in fact a man called Andy, who at the time was wanted by police.
On Thursday, at the end of a two-day trial before Bodmin magistrates, chairman of the bench Anna Brimacombe told Davis the court had decided he was the driver and had driven at excessive speed around narrow lanes: "This was a prolonged period of bad driving, bordering on the dangerous and to avoid police. We do not believe you should be driving at the moment."
At the conclusion of the trial, the court was told he had previously admitted violent behaviour at a police station and criminal damage to a cell on October 2 at Launceston. "You deliberately fouled your cell and camera equipment knowing police would have to attend, and you behaved violently by raising a clenched fist towards a police officer," Mrs Brimacombe said.
Davis gave an address in Truro, but is in Exeter Prison awaiting a hearing at Truro Crown Court in separate proceedings.
At his trial Maurice Champion, for the prosecution, told the court that just before midnight on August 30 PC Ben Morris, in a marked car and accompanied by a member of the public on a drive-round, followed a Ford Fiesta which he believed was speeding on Penwithick Road, Bugle.
The Fiesta then accelerated sharply, "pitching and lurching" along Hallaze Road and going on to the wrong side of the road. PC Morris put on the blue lights and siren but the car kept going.
"It braked at a blind junction at Carne Cross but then lurched to the nearside and turned left, fishtailing out of the junction with tyres squealing," said Mr Champion. Heading for St Blazey, the car reached 60mph, causing another driver to swerve and "bouncing over the tracks" at the level crossing.
"It suddenly turned into an unclassified road towards Pontsmill and into a car park before accelerating straight through some closed metal gates," he said.
Davis got out and ran, followed by PC Morris. Davis fell and as he started to rise PC Morris, fearing for his safety, drew his Taser. The keys to the Fiesta were found on the ground where Davis fell.
PC Morris told the court the Fiesta's speed was reckless: "If a car had been coming there would have been a head-on collision."
A tape of Davis's police interview was played in which he at first repeatedly referred to his driving, only to then deny being at the wheel.
Davis told the court he was asleep in a caravan at Pontsmill when he was awoken and told someone was driving his car and being chased by police. He ran outside and was confronted by PC Morris. He denied Mr Champion's suggestion that he was "lying through your teeth".
Chris Nicholls, for the defence, said that at the time of his interview Davis, who had various medical problems, was not been taking his medication and was "perhaps not at his best". He had, however, mentioned at his interview the day after the incident that he was not driving.
DETECTIVES have hit out at a cold-hearted thief who broke into the rectory of St Petroc's Church in Bodmin and stole property belonging to the Reverend Canon Graham Minors.
The burglary happened on Friday evening between 6.30pm and 9pm, when Mr Minors and his wife were both in church.
The thief stole a white iPad Air, in a red leather case, and a silver 13in Apple MacBook Air from the sitting room and kitchen. The two items had a total value of £1,600.
Detective Constable Ian Jolliff is in charge of investigating the break-in.
"This is a crime committed against the Reverend and the church," he said.
"All crimes have a serious impact on victims and the community, but you seriously have to question the morals of somebody wishing to steal from a location which offers so many people hope and support."
Mr Minors said the equipment was for church use, and he was upset that someone would enter the rectory with the aim of stealing from him.
"My door is always open to welcome anyone at all," he said.
"No one's ever turned away, whether they just want to chat about something or drop by for a cup of tea, and despite what's happened that isn't going to change. It's just very upsetting and a great shame that someone felt it necessary to steal these items."
Mr Minors praised the three police officers who attended.
DC Jolliff said he hoped publicity about the burglary would lead to someone coming forward to assist in identifying the thief and recovering the stolen property.
Bodmin CID is asking anyone with information to call 101, quoting crime reference number BB/13/1966.
COMMUNITY groups in South East Cornwall have received thousands of pounds from the 2013 Lloyds Bank Community Fund.
Ellie's Haven in Duloe, near Looe, and Saltash Foodbank were among the big winners, receiving a total of £3,000 each towards their charities from the fund.
The winning charities were chosen in a public vote, with a total of 172,469 votes cast across the South West region.
Ellie's Haven co-founder Nigel Libby said: "I think ever since we started this – both as parents of a sick child – we have been absolutely overwhelmed by people's support and organisations getting involved and having the belief in what we are trying to do.
"Any kind of money is appreciated and we feel really fortunate."
Ellie's Haven was set up in memory of Ellie Libby who died in January last year, a few weeks before her seventh birthday.
Her parents Nigel and Julie have set out to create a "special place for special children", and last year raised £387,500 to buy a house in Duloe which will be converted so that families, with children who have life-threatening illnesses, can go on holiday and relax.
There will be a garden area and a sensory room for the children.
Mr Libby said: "Both Julie and I know how difficult it is.
"This will give the families that comfort, peace of mind and the care package so they can care for their child."
The Lloyds Bank Community Fund gives grants to more than 1,330 charities in England and Wales.
Other charities, including Liskeard and South East Cornwall Breather's Group, and Liskeard and Looe Foodbank, each received a £300 grant.
In the South West region Lloyds Bank reported that the highest percentage of votes went to community groups supporting families, with 69 per cent of the total votes.
Group director of responsible business in the Lloyds Banking Group, Graham Lindsay, said: "Lloyds Bank scaled up the Community Fund considerably in 2013 and in return we have had an incredible response from the public, which has resonated right across the country.
"We know that receiving a promotional boost and public support is as important as the financial investment and can have a sustained impact on groups' engagement with their local community over time.
"Congratulations to every community group that took part; we look forward to hearing about the difference being involved in the programme has made."
FIVE small cannabis plants were found in a windowbox on the windowsill of a 16-year-old Bodmin teenager's bedroom, a court has been told.
The boy appeared before Bodmin Youth Court on Monday when he pleaded guilty to a charge of producing the Class B drug.
Gail Hawkley, for the prosecution, said that police officers had gone to the boy's address on a separate matter, which did not involve him, on the morning of October 1.
The plants were found during a search and the boy fully admitted growing them for his own use.
The boy told the court he now knew it had been a "very stupid idea".
He had since got a job and was no longer keeping company with his former associates.
The magistrates fined him £70 with £85 costs and a £15 surcharge which the teenager's father agreed to pay in full.
ROYAL Mail staff at the Bodmin delivery office have helped raise £700 to battle prostate cancer.
Six male postal workers grew moustaches for the Movember charity appeal and raised £350, which was then matched by their employer.
The effort started last year when with colleagues' help postie Dave Hoskin, whose father died of prostate cancer, raised £280 through summer barbecues and a quiz night.
Another postman, Scott Cavill, suggested the office take part in Movember to raise more money, and Steve Scott was the winner of the coveted Moscar award 2013 for the best moustache.
Everyone involved thanked those who donated money.
A GARLAND, inspired by the famous Christmas decoration at Cotehele House, is on display in North Cornwall this weekend.
Members of Werrington Ladies' Circle last year visited Cotehele when their garland was being made and some were so inspired that they decided to make one to hang in Yeolmbridge Methodist Church, which is at nearby Ladycross, over the Christmas period.
"The garland was amazing and generated many complimentary comments from those who saw it," says member Mary Cole.
"This year we decided to make another one and combine the viewing of it with a Christmas tree festival which is to be held over three days – December 13, 14 and 15 from 11am to 6pm each day.
There will be craft stalls, and the usual hospitality opportunities available all day.
The weekend will end with a Community Carol Service at 6pm on Sunday when the guest performers will be the Cadenza Singers, a group of ladies who meet at Yeolmbridge each week under the baton of Rob Parkin.
Those taking part include three local schools – Werrington, North Petherwin and Boyton – two pre-school nurseries, the cricket club, Werrington Church, the men's skittles team and the ladies' skittles team.
TRIBUTES have poured in for highly respected former school head teacher Geoff Leend who has died at the age of 61 following a long illness.
Mr Leend, of St Issey, had more than 40 years' experience in teaching and was a head teacher in Cornwall for 21 years – first at Padstow Primary School and then, for nine years, at Wadebridge Primary.
Illness forced Mr Leend to retire shortly before Christmas in 2011 and his friend and former deputy Peter Flynn paid tribute to an "innovative" man.
Mr Flynn said: "Geoff was a valued friend and we are deeply shocked. He was a true professional who always gave 100 per cent to the school.
"He believed in educating the whole child and placed great emphasis on the creative side as well as the academic.
"He inspired confidence in his colleagues and had a great sense of humour. He was kind and generous and always saw the good in people; never once have I heard him say anything detrimental about anyone.
"When he got the job at Wadebridge Primary the whole staff was unanimously in favour of his appointment."
Mr Flynn said Mr Leend was "always innovative and ahead of his game".
He said: "When he wanted to build an adult education creative suite, library and food technology facility, officials told him he couldn't do it without help and advice and told him it was nothing but a "pipe dream". The day it was opened, he looked at the officials and said, "welcome to my pipe dream".
Wadebridge Primary School chairman of governors, Jackie Eason, said: "We are deeply saddened by the news of Geoff's passing. He was our head for many years and was highly respected by parents and staff.
"Geoff led the school with a strong vision and he left a legacy of new buildings including a teaching kitchen and library for future generations to enjoy.
"As a governor who worked with Geoff I will always remember the kindness, dignity and respect with which he conducted himself. He had a special connection with the children of the school and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts today are with his family."
Mr Leend leaves his wife, Mary and two sons, Tom and David.
THE fate of Lostwithiel's public toilets is yet to be resolved, weeks before they are due to be closed.
Town and Cornwall councillors are talking again, but remain at loggerheads over the terms under which ownership would pass to Lostwithiel Town Council.
A town council working party has come up with options if an agreement cannot be reached, including hiring portable loos for community events or directing visitors to the toilets at the community centre, but disagreement remains over what work Cornwall Council must do to the lavatories in Church Lane facilities before the town council takes them over.
The town authority says it is concerned over the state of the drains and estimates it will cost around £80,000 a year to refurbish the toilets and £15,000 a year to maintain them.
At its latest meeting it emerged that County Hall had offered the town council a package whereby it took over not only the toilets but also the Cattle Market car park, which it leases from County Hall, and the market building, home to a complementary health clinic.
Councillors agreed face-to-face talks were now needed, Chris Jewels saying: "To do nothing would be a disservice to everyone."
Councillor Tim Hughes told the meeting an official at County Hall had told him the money set aside to repair the toilets had now been spent.
The town council, which has been aware of the impasse for months, agreed face-to face talks were now needed before the toilets were due to close on December 31.
Cornwall councillor Benedicte Bay told the town council the situation was "getting farcical'' and she would contact the relevant Cabinet member, Edwina Hannaford, to set up an urgent meeting.
A Cornwall Council spokeswoman said the authority had spent two years talking to town and parish councils to devolve responsibility for public toilets to them.
"In cases where town and parish councils have agreed to take over the facilities, Cornwall Council has agreed to carry out refurbishment of toilets to help cut running costs and improve access.
"The offer to refurbish the facilities at Church Lane was dependent on Lostwithiel Town Council taking over responsibility for the toilets and the town council had indicated that it did not wish to do this. However, discussions have been reopened and we are hopeful a solution can be found to secure the opening of the facilities."
FUTURE Brad Pitts and Jennifer Lawrences took to the stage at Fowey Community College for the school's adaptation of The Demon Headmaster.
The pupils from Years 8, 9 and 10 have just completed their first year of studying for a London Academy of Music and Drama (LAMDA) qualification. Head of drama Louisa Hall said: "We're skipping Grade 3 and going straight for the bronze award, which is just a few UCAS points off a GCSE."
Year 7 and 8 pupils gained 8 merits and 16 distinctions in their first set of exams in July, and the performance raised funds to help meet the costs of the extracurricular course.
"I'm very proud of the work the students have achieved," Miss Hall said.
"I'm looking forward to working with them on the next step of their LAMDA bronze award, which is a very different challenge: A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen."
A SCHEDULED passenger rail link between Bodmin Parkway and the town centre is still on track with talks continuing over the introduction of a networked timetable for the first time in more than 40 years.
Talks have been held between the Bodmin and Wenford Railway and Cornwall Council on a way forward.
The heritage rail company has signed an agreement to lease the 3.5 miles of track from Bodmin Parkway to Bodmin General for the next 35 years, and if it operates the service will use diesel locomotives on the line.
Cornwall Council portfolio-holder for transport, Bert Biscoe, last week suggested at a meeting of Lostwithiel Town Council that a passenger timetable could be up and running by next September, but the firm has said that date may be premature.
Company spokesman Jimmy James said 2015 was more likely, and further discussions were needed.
"We've been speaking to Cornwall Council at its request about providing a commuter rail service, along with MP Dan Rogerson," he said.
"If it's decided we'll run the service, then it can't interfere with our day-to-day activities.
"We run about three trains a day on 220 days of the year from Bodmin General to Bodmin Parkway, so we'd be looking at a morning and evening commuter service between the two stations, but there still have to be discussions with First Great Western."
North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson said he hoped a formula could be agreed as soon as possible.
"I've been calling for the reintroduction of timetabled rail services to Bodmin town centre for a couple of years to boost jobs and investment in the town and to help local people with travel," he said.
"As Bodmin has grown, so too has the case for this campaign, and I recently convened a meeting between Cornwall Council and the Bodmin and Wenford Railway where we agreed to work together to take this proposal forward.
"I will continue to work to bring rail services back to Bodmin General as soon as possible," said Mr Rogerson.