Archive for October 2010
One from the archives: this is an all-time classic court report from Middlesbrough’s Evening Gazette.
Some wonderful detail, great quotes, and Simon Bland really is ‘one of life’s characters’. Probably best just to let the story do the talking…
Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 14 August 2008 (story):
One-legged addict jailed for dangerous driving
A ONE-LEGGED motorist who mowed down a binman and just missed a woman with a pushchair has been jailed.
Disabled driver Simon Bland repeatedly interrupted his sentencing hearing at Teesside Crown Court by speaking over the judge and barristers – beginning as prosecutor Ian Mullarkey attempted to explain the case.
Mr Mullarkey said on July 7 last year an off-duty PCSO spotted Bland get out of his Ford Focus at a petrol station on Marton Road in Middlesbrough – naked from the waist down.
Bland, 36, was arrested later in the day after being spotted again with the car careering onto pavements and into the paths of other vehicles causing motorists to take evasive action.
He was reported to police again on July 31 after being seen driving at less than 5mph on the A171. He then got to Ormesby Bank where he picked up speed, clipped a kerb and almost hit a young girl on a cycle before going into the path of a van which managed to steer clear. He later mounted a pavement again and struck binman Buster Carter, who was left unable to work for six weeks. And on November 22 he just missed a woman pushing a pram as he tried to reverse.
As promised, Bland – who lost his leg in 2002 – was given the opportunity to speak. He told the judge, who he repeatedly called Les: “I have the utmost respect for you people in authority.”
Bland then spoke of his youth at Stokesley Comprehensive, the Gulf War and how he dreamed of being a Marine. “I joined the French Foreign Legion,” he added. “I was with them for four years, no, three years. I had to do a runner from them. It was too hard. I can’t go back to France – I will be arrested.”
Bland apologised to the binman who he referred to as “Buster Douglas”. He then spoke of a hairdresser who was at school with his brother before being interrupted by Judge Spittle.
He was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for three years. As he was led down to the cells he asked to be banned from driving for five years instead, before shouting: “Thanks everyone, thanks judge, I appreciate it.”
This is surely one of the strangest personals ads ever seen in a local newspaper.
Bridgwater Mercury, 19 October 2010 (story):
Police urge victims of bike light theft to get in touch
Bridgwater police are appealing for cyclists who have had their lights stolen to get in touch.
PC Adrian Hooper would like to hear from anyone who has had cycle lights, particularly LEDs, stolen after locking their bike in Bridgwater town centre.
He said: “If anyone has recently come back to their bicycle to find their lights had gone, I would be interested in hearing from them.”
Dedicated police officer, M, 51, WLTM owners of bicycles with lights recently stolen (particularly LEDs), M or F. For good times & maybe more.
PC Hooper can be contacted on 0845-4567000 or 01823-363292.
You know where to call.
Local papers can never resist the lure of a story about an old dear.
Mind you, you can’t really blame them when the old dear in question was so ruthlessly dedicated to smoking that she only gave up once she could no longer see the other end of cigarettes in order to light them. This is surely the equivalent of weaning oneself off smack because you can no longer muster the strength to press the syringe.
Croydon Advertiser, 13 August 2010 (story):
Woman who smoked for more than 90 years dies aged 102
CROYDON’S most famous smoker has died at the age of 102, after a life in which she puffed her way through 170,000 cigarettes.
Beatrice Langley, known to everyone as Winnie, started sparking up when she was just eight years old.
Winnie – who despite her habit outlived her husband Robert, son Don and 10 stepchildren – only stopped smoking last Christmas.
And this was not due to health worries, but because she could not see the end of the cigarettes to light them any more.
Anne Gibbs, Winnie’s niece, described her aunt as young-at-heart and an avid reader.
“I think it was doing all her crossword puzzles that kept her mind so young,” she added.
“She never lost her marbles right to the very end – she was feisty and stubborn and had a marvellous sense of humour.
Is there such a thing as an old person who isn’t ‘young at heart’? I’m yet to hear of one.
Thanks to Nick Henegan.
Hats off to the Louth Leader and its Victorian sense of benevolence towards the peasant readership in these times of austerity. They won’t let you go hungry.
5 October 2010 (link):
Mmmmmm, that was indeed a delicious FREE scone. And what a delightful set of pigtails on her. I’m still feeling a bit peckish though…
Please, Louth Leader… may I have some more?
16 October 2010 (link):
Nom nom nom. Those were indeed delicious FREE Lincolnshire sausages.
Whatever next? More on this as it develops, but we’ll be totally stuffed by the end of October at this rate.
FAO the editor of the Louth Leader… I could do with a drink next time to help wash this stuff down. Thanks.
You try and do your flatmate a favour, and what thanks do you get?
Public humiliation in the local paper, that’s what.
Bristol Evening Post, 7 October 2010 (story):
Bristol couple left feeling empty after ‘hapless’ flatmate loads up wrong car
WHEN Faye Pounder’s flatmate offered to help her move house she gladly accepted, but his kind gesture went sour when he packed the wrong car, which then drove off.
Miss Pounder, 26, and her fiancé Ali Walker, 32, were moving out of their flat in Dove Street, Bristol, on Monday afternoon.
She had put all her important documents into one bag which included the car tax, her camera, her clothes and her laptop.
She and her former flatmate Paul Robins then made shuttle runs loading up her car, or so she thought.
When Mr Robins ran in to the house to tell her the car had been stolen she panicked until she came out and saw her Citroen Xsara Picasso in the same spot she had left it.
The awful truth then dawned on Mr Robins, who realised he had been filling the boot of another Citroen Xsara Picasso which had since driven away.
This article comes replete with what looks like a photo of a very serious and depressing car boot sale. Some excellent foldy-arms and Gazette Face action, mind you:
Miss Pounder said: “My flat mate is quite hapless and I think the other car was open and because it was the same make as mine and a similar colour he just assumed it was mine. He said there was an older person’s shopping trolley already in the boot so I don’t know why he didn’t click.
“We were supposed to be going to Alton Towers for my birthday but the tickets were in the bag. It’s all been a bit of a nightmare and not a very nice way to spend your birthday.
“I spoke to Paul and he just said he wants to jump off a cliff because he feels so bad.”
Well, maybe you should consider offering some reassurance to him instead of bleating on about it, you poisonous little witch.
Thanks to Alasdair Rawsthorne for packing this story into the correct vehicle.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that there is nothing more satisfying than successfully filling up with petrol to a precise pound. However, a conspiracy is afoot (or is it a leg?). The people of Greater Manchester are being systemically deprived of this glorious consumer sensation and are not happy one bit.
And doesn’t the letters page of the Manchester Evening News just know it…
Yes, this idea of a global retail giant collecting income without specifically doing anything for it is really quite groundbreaking.
So much so that there has even been a follow-up letter:
Always great to end a letter with a truism: pennies really do add up, ladies and gentlemen.
This isn’t the first time a cock has been pulled for a bird’s benefit.
Gloucestershire Echo, 7 October 2010 (story):
Terrified cockerel pulled from wheelie bin
A FRIGHTENED cockerel is lucky to be alive after being rescued from a wheelie bin outside a block of flats in Gloucester.
After an ordeal similar to that of Lola the cat – seen on CCTV being dumped in a Coventry bin – the flustered bird in Gloucester was rescued by a resident.
The abandoned animal – named Freddie – was found in a bin at the end of a driveway in The Limes, Barnwood, on Tuesday.
The bin had been left out for collection, but luckily the frantic bird was found by a resident before the bin men arrived.
Right, close your eyes… imagine you’re a junior news reporter on a local paper, i.e. the one who will get lumbered with a story like this. You need to build your story around some hysterical quotes, clearly, but who do you go to?
The RSPCA? Well, obviously.
RSPCA inspector Josie Oak said: “I am disgusted that someone has placed a living animal inside a wheelie bin and am keen to hear from anyone who knows who was responsible.”
A local councillor? OK, if you must…
Barnwood councillor Phil McLellan said: “It’s pretty appalling that someone could dump a live bird in a bin like that.
A poultry farmer? Sounds reasonable enough.
A poultry farmer based near Gloucester, who didn’t want to give her name, described the act as “despicable”.
A representative from a local ‘egg-hatching business’ called wehatchanyegg.com? Surely that would just be shameless advertising and definitely a step too far for civilisation… no, it can’t be done.
Kirsty Tallon, from Stroud-based egg hatching business wehatchanyegg.com, said: “I’m really shocked that anyone could do something like that. However it happened, it’s not the sort of thing anyone should be doing to any animal.”
Thanks to Gez Daring for sharing his cock-pulling with the group.