Monday 31 January 2011

Growing Pains?

Giant prisoner 'too big for his cell'

A Dutch prisoner, described as a 'giant' by his lawyer, has gone to court claiming his cell is too small for him.

The 6ft 9ins man, who weighs 36 stone, says he cannot sleep properly or even use the toilet in his cell, reports the BBC.

Named by his lawyer as Angelo MacD, he is asking to complete his two-year sentence for fraud under house arrest.

Prison officials at Krimpen aan de IJssel have tried to relieve his discomfort by adding a a 2.15m plank and an extra mattress to his bed.

But MacD's lawyer, Bas Martens, told a court in The Hague that his client's conditions violated the European Convention on Human Rights.

"My client just wants to serve a comparable sentence without pain," Mr Martens told Radio Netherlands.

"He is 2.07m tall and a metre wide and a metre deep," he said. "He is not obese. He is a giant. He even walks like a giant, like out of the comic books."

The extra plank had helped but MacD still had to "sleep with one eye open in case he falls out of bed", added Mr Martens.

It was almost impossible for him to wedge himself into the shower, while the toilet was so low and tiny that visits had to be kept to the minimum.

MacD began his sentence in September and is not due for release until 12 April 2012. A court ruling on the case is expected early next month.

Sunday 30 January 2011


Woman arrested for mooning cops

A US woman has been arrested - for mooning the police officers who arrested her brother.

Rita Zambrano, 45, of Hamblen County, Tennessee, saw police arresting her brother for driving offences.

She allegedly turned around, dropped her drawers and showed the officers her naked backside, reports Knox News.

Ironically, she is still behind bars, charged with indecent exposure, while her brother Ronnie Waddell, 44, has been released on bail.

Police officer David Gulley said Waddell was arrested after officers saw him driving a car outside of his sister's apartment.

As he and another officer cuffed Waddell, Gulley said that Zambrano stood in her doorway and harassed the officers.

"She was standing at her door and mooned me through the window on her front door," Gulley said.

Gulley said he was too busy to deal with Zambrano at the time, so he took Waddell to jail, then later issued a warrant for her arrest.

…..Get a life…Officer!!!!

Saturday 29 January 2011

Wheel On Fire!!

Man Removes Wheel Clamp By Setting Fire To His Car

Exeter Crown Court, where Torquay man Scott Smithers, 27, stands in the dock.

Having failed to remove the wheel clamp from his Metro with an axe (value of car: £120), Smithers set fire to a petrol-infused newspaper on the backseat and watched his car go up in flames.

He is said to have told police:

“My brain ended up being an idiot.”

Judge Paul Darlow sentenced Smithers’ brain to a high level community order.

Pussy Problem?

Drunk driver blames hungry cat

Says she had to drive to feed the pet

An unlicensed drunk driver in Australia blamed her hungry cat for forcing her to drive while almost five times over the legal alcohol limit.

The 27-year-old woman told police she went to the shops to buy cat food when she was intercepted near her home in Mudgegonga, Victoria - about 200 miles (322km) northeast of Melbourne.

The rear window of the vehicle was smashed after the driver allegedly backed into a tree when she first got behind the wheel.

She will appear in court at a later date.

Friday 28 January 2011

Pussy Power??

Cat ordered to court for jury duty

A pet cat has been ordered to report for jury duty, despite being "unable to speak and understand English".

If the matter was not resolved, Sal the cat would have to report to Suffolk Superior Crown Court in Boston, United States, on March 23.

Owner Anna Esposito said she had told authorities that Sal could not speak or understand English. The cat's vet had even written a letter explaining that Sal was a "domestic short-haired neutered feline".

"Sal is a member of the family so I listed him on the last census form under pets, but there has clearly been a mix-up," Mrs Esposito said.

"When they ask him guilty or not guilty? What's he supposed to say - meow?"

Mrs Esposito said Sal was not suitable for jury duty because he could not understand English, one of the 10 statutory disqualifications preventing people from serving.

Her husband, Guy, said the summons for juror service was a surprise.

"I said, 'Sal, what's this?' I was shocked," Mr Esposito said.

"He likes to sit on my knee and watch crime shows with me but even so he's still under-qualified for jury duty if you ask me."

It is understood that Sal was inadvertently included on the juror list when paperwork was misread at the last census.

Thursday 27 January 2011

Just A Quick One Then!

Whisky comes home after century on ice

Three bottles of whisky abandoned in the Antarctic ice by British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton more than a century ago returned home to Scotland on Monday.

The bottles of Mackinlay's were part of a cache recovered last year from beneath Shackleton's Antarctic hut, built in 1908 as part of his failed attempt to reach the South Pole.

They made it home Monday to Whyte and Mackay, the brand's owner, for analysis to see how they have fared after so long preserved in the polar chill.

The wooden crate containing the whisky, marked British Antarctic Expedition 1907, was frozen solid in the minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures but the whisky in the bottles was still liquid.

Two more crates of whisky, along with two of brandy, were also discovered but they were left under the floorboards of the hut.

The whisky is believed to have been bottled in Scotland in 1896 or 1897, making it among the oldest in the world.

Richard Paterson, Whyte and Mackay's master blender, said the analysis would be "for the benefit of the whisky industry".

"Never in the history of our industry have we had a century-old bottle of whisky stored in a natural fridge and subjected to some of the harshest conditions on this planet," he said.

"It is an absolute honor to be able to use my experience to analyze this amazing spirit."

For the next six weeks, the whisky will be analyzed, nosed, and tasted in full laboratory conditions.

The Antarctic Heritage Trust shipped the crate to Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand, where it was painstakingly thawed in controlled conditions, allowing historians to get to the bottles inside.

The bottles are so rare and valuable that Whyte and Mackay's owner Vijay Mallya personally collected them and flew them back to Scotland.

"Shackleton made history with his travels and adventures, and I am sure we will make history ourselves when we unlock the marvels of these unique 100-year-old time capsules," he said.

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Going Down?

Thieves get trapped in elevator

Two would-be thieves called in their own crime to police in Germany after they could not escape from a broken-down elevator over the weekend, police said in a statement.

“This sounds really dumb,” one of the thieves told police in Cologne over the elevator’s emergency phone, “But I’m afraid that we wanted to break in and the elevator has gotten stuck.”

When police arrived they found the two thieves aged 31 and 37 stuck in the elevator of an office building.

The thieves allegedly broke into the building and were attempting to reach a higher floor when the elevator became stuck, the police said.

They decided to phone for help when one thief injured his hand attempting to pry open the door.

Firemen eventually freed the men and they were arrested.

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Finders ….Keepers?

Woman 'finds drugs in vacuum cleaner box'

A woman who was given a refurbished vacuum cleaner as a present reportedly found $280,000 (£176,000) worth of illegal drugs inside the box when she opened it on Christmas Day.

The unnamed woman discovered 2lb of crystal methamphetamine in the package, as well as 2.2lb of cocaine, the Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Brown County Drug Task Force head Lt David Poteat said: "This was an 'are you kidding me' incident."

It is believed that the illegal substances were placed into the box before it was shipped from Mexico. The woman who received the cleaner is not suspected of playing any part in the alleged smuggling.

Monday 24 January 2011

Just Weeding??

Giant hole opens up behind house

A Chinese family had to leave their home after a giant sinkhole suddenly opened up in their backyard overnight.

The hole is nearly 70ft wide and nobody has so far even been able to measure how deep it is.

Zhang Fengrong, 58, of Leshan, Sichuan province, said he suddenly heard a roaring sound at 2am.

He stepped outside and was amazed to see the giant hole opening up, and getting closer and closer to his house.

At first, it was only 10ft wide, but within 24 hours it had reached it's current size - and the family say they will lose their home if it gets any bigger.

Zhang said he had tried to measure the depth of the pit by letting down first a 130ft rope, then a 200ft rope, but they still hadn't reached the bottom.

"We can hear the sound of water when we stand on the edge of the hole, but when we throw down stones we don't hear them land or splash," he added.

The family are temporarily living in two rooms offered by the village office, and neighbours have helped them move most of their belongings from the house.

Sunday 23 January 2011

Uplifting….By Order?

Bras essential in Germany

Women in Germany can now be ordered to wear bras at work.

The State Labour Court in Nord Rheine-Westphalia has said women should wear flesh or white coloured bras to work during a case involving the dress and grooming habits of people working at airports.

However, bosses cannot ban certain shades of nail polish - although they can rule on the length of nails.

Women can avoid having to wear a bra should they wish, but have to wear an undershirt.

Saturday 22 January 2011

Just Australians?

Sex toy river stunt backfires

An Australian couple had to be rescued - after they tried to float down a flood-swollen river on two inflatable sex dolls.

The bizarre attempt to navigate the Yarra River in Queensland backfired when the woman lost her doll in rough water, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The incident prompted a warning from police that blow-up sex toys are "not recognised flotation devices".

Police and a State Emergency Services crew were called to the rescue when the pair, both 19, got into trouble at Warrandyte North.

They clung to a floating tree in the river, calling for help, and luckily a passer-by was on hand to call emergency services while a kayaker brought them life jackets.

Police and the SES crew eventually arrived to haul the thrill-seekers to safety.

With Queensland in the grip of its worst flooding in living memory, police said they were not amused at the pair's "stupid" actions.

"We've got people busy with rescues and to have to divert resources to that sort of thing is not ideal," said Senior Constable Wayne Wilson

"Most rescue organisations would frown on people behaving in such a manner because there are people out there who are in genuine need of assistance."

The rescued pair were checked by ambulance officers but did not require medical attention. "The fate of the inflatable dolls is unknown," added Senior Constable Wilson.

Friday 21 January 2011

Tables Turned?

Fox shoots man

A wounded fox shot its would be killer in Belarus by pulling the trigger on the hunter's gun as the pair scuffled after the man tried to finish the animal off with the butt of the rifle, media said Thursday.

The unnamed hunter, who had approached the fox after wounding it from a distance, was in hospital with a leg wound, while the fox made its escape, media said, citing prosecutors from the Grodno region.

"The animal fiercely resisted and in the struggle accidentally pulled the trigger with its paw," one prosecutor was quoted as saying.

Fox-hunting is popular in the picturesque farming region of north western Belarus which borders Poland.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Get A Life!!

Cigarette snitches rewarded

Ratting on neighbours who light up on the sly can be lucrative in Sweden, where a landlords' association said Thursday it would offer a hefty reward for shopping people who violate a strict smoking ban in a residential building.

"I have decided to offer a reward of 5,000 kronor (560 euros, 740 dollars) to our tenants for helping us discover which people are smoking" in buildings where it is banned, said Hans Selling, the head of communal landlords Mitthem in Sundsvall, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of Stockholm.

"This is not about looking for informants," Selling insisted to AFP.

"After receiving the information, it is up to us to determine if the person in question is actually smoking. An anonymous tip-off here and there is not enough to get the reward," he said.

The initiative concerns a building in Sundsvall where residents in all 121 apartments are required to adhere to a strict smoking ban, entailing aplying "in the apartments, on the balconies or anywhere," Selling explained.

He brushed aside criticism of the move, insisting that the end justifies the means.

"It is extremely serious that people who have signed up for a non-smoking residence decide to light up, while it is the people suffering from asthma who have expressly chosen this residence who are forced to move," he said.

Anyone found to be smoking in the building will be evicted, he added.

Wednesday 19 January 2011


Stolen Fur Coat In Knickers For Three Days

STEPHANIE Moreland kept the stolen mink coat in her knickers for three days.

Moreland was pinched by the fuzz on New Year’s Eve by Bloomington Police. The Alaskan Fur Company said one of their $6,500 coats was missing.

A store worker confronts Moreland, who legs it. But she heads off in a car and the shop worker notes the registration plate and hands it to police.

Moreland is arrested. He will spend the weekend in jail. Three days later, the detective asks Moreland where the coat is. She admits theft but says the coat has been sold.  The cop threatens her with a tip to Hennepin County Jail downtown. She responds by lifting up her dress and retrieving the coat from her knickers.

Says Bloomington Police Commander Mark Stehlik:

“She had modified her underwear. She actually cut the rear of the underwear out so that from the back it appeared she was not wearing underwear and then stuffed it down the front.”

For sale: second hand fur jacket. Still warm…

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Don’t Mess With Granny!

Granny, 90, fights off trio of thieves

A granny in Germany made short work of three suspected robbers who tricked their way into her Berlin apartment as she celebrated her 90th birthday, police said.

The trio, a woman and two men, rang the doorbell of her flat in the eastern district of Hellersdorf and said they were there to attend the granny's birthday party.

The pensioner, whose birthday it actually was, became suspicious however when the woman asked her for a drink of water and then tried to hold a towel in front of her face.

"She hit the con artist in the face. At the same time she pushed one of the men out the door, at which point the trio fled," police said in a statement.

"The senior was unharmed."

Pay Attention

Woman set fire to boyfriend's crotch because he wouldn't talk to her

A man who did not feel like talking to his girlfriend suffered the ultimate penalty when his crotch was set alight.

Irate Berlinda Dixon-Newbold, 38,  fancied a chat with boyfriend Sheldon Gonzales.

But Sheldon was not in the mood for a chinwag and instead decided that a nice kip was much more to his liking.

Dixon-Newbold took such exception to being ignored that she grabbed the nearest available lighter and set fire to his crotch.

A startled Sheldon managed to put the fire out with his hands before the couple engaged in a heated argument.

Sheldon told reporters in his home state of Florida: 'You tend to get upset when somebody tries to harm the family jewels.'

The extent of his injuries are unclear.

Dixon-Newbold is being held for aggravated assault.

Monday 17 January 2011

The Bunny’s Have It!!

It's official - Carrots make people sexier!

CARROTS can do more than just improve night vision – they can make people sexier.

Boffins at Bristol University found people with a yellow skin hue from eating carrots and plums were perceived as healthy and attractive.

Researcher Ian Stephen said: “Telling people they might have a heart attack in 40 years’ time if they don’t eat more healthily is one thing. What we can say is, ‘This is what you could look like if you eat your fruit and veg’.”

Sunday 16 January 2011

Knock Down?

A Pittsburgh man said his house was demolished by mistake when a city contractor took it down along with a neighbouring home.

Andre Hall said the house, which the city agreed not to demolish for six months when he bought it in November, had been demolished with a backhoe when he arrived to work on the property Monday, WPIX-TV, Pittsburgh, reported Friday.

“I leave for the holidays, come back and see a backhoe sitting on my house,” Hall said. “This is not the way I thought I would start off my new year.”

The Pittsburgh Bureau of Building Inspection said the contractors were told to demolish a neighbouring home and instead took down both houses.

Hall said he has a copy of the letter sent by city officials to contractors PJ Deller. He said the document bears the message “Do not demolish” in large, bold letters.

Saturday 15 January 2011

Support Your Local Dog!

Town rallies to save Fritz the police dog

Southwestern Pennsylvania residents are rallying in support of a hometown victim of budget cuts -- the local police dog.

Officials in Jefferson Hills cut the funding for the canine program that supported Fritz, who rode in a patrol car with a handler and visited schools in campaigns to combat drug abuse.

The canine program cost about $7,000 a year but the handler earned as much as $30,000 extra for having the dog, said Police Chief Jack Maple. The canine program shut down in December.

But residents started raising money to revive the canine program after last month's closing, and dozens of Fritz supporters attended a council meeting this week to encourage officials to reinstate the 5-year-old German Shepherd.

More than 700 people have joined a Facebook group called "Save Jefferson Hills K-9 Program."

A local convenience store has sold nearly 600 "Fritz Bones" -- pictures of bones that customers can buy and hang on the walls of the store -- for $1 apiece.

Proceeds will be given to the dog's handler, who is caring for Fritz whether officials reinstate the program or not, said store owner Carrie Howard.

"We're angry," Howard said. "We're not done with this."

Kim Gawlas, whose husband Chris Gawlas was the dog's handler, disputed the cost of the canine program. She said her husband was paid extra for overtime and other tasks and not for caring for Fritz.

Fritz played an important role in "drugs, search, apprehension" and other police tasks, Gawlas said. "He's a utility dog, he's multifaceted," she said.

But the police seemed unmoved so far.

"The council just did away with the money for the program," Police Chief Jack Maple said Thursday. "It's a done deal."

Council President Chris King said borough officials thought the program was being abused financially and that the council plans to hire a company to investigate the canine program and the hours billed by the handler.

The police chief said the handler was paid more than $110,000 last year.

"He would take the dog to different places and showed them what the dog could do, but he'd come back and bill Jefferson for it," he said. "Council wanted to put the brakes on it."

Friday 14 January 2011

Dead Loss!!

98-year-old dead woman foils car thief

FLORIDA, USA: A recently deceased 98-year-old woman has foiled a car thief. The crook broke into a van not realising it belonged to a mortuary. As he drove along, he noticed he was sharing his ride with the corpse, got scared and ditched the vehicle.

Thursday 13 January 2011

Out For A Stroll

Penguin in zoo strolls into lions' den

A resourceful baby penguin took advantage of Germany's wintry weather to give her minders the slip and embark on a tour of the zoo before waddling into the lions' den.

A visitor spotted the African penguin, born in September, taking a stroll in the lion enclosure but the animal was lucky as the lions were asleep inside rather than braving the icy weather outside, Muenster zoo said on its website.

It took keepers a day to get the penguin out of the den, luring her out with a trail of herrings, the statement said.

The escape gave the penguin, up to then only known as number 459, a name. Her minder now calls her Leona, the zoo said.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

A Bitter Pill??

Mule had 91 heroin pellets

It's being called one of the biggest drug busts ever at Detroit's airport, and it happened inside of a person.

A woman was arrested after allegedly swallowing 91 packets of heroin.

It happened Sunday when Customs and Border Protection officials stopped the Nigerian woman who was arriving from Germany.

Officials say the 32-year-old told them she'd swallowed narcotics, but didn't know how much or what kind they were.

The woman was taken to the hospital. Doctors removed more than two pounds in heroin from her.

The drugs are worth an estimated $125,000.

Officials are investigating the incident.

Monday 10 January 2011

Spend A Penny?

Disused public lavatory on sale for £100,000

The 110-year-old two-storey toilets sit on the base of a cliff near a promenade with panoramic views of the sea in Sheringham, Norfolk.

The dilapidated Victorian building is to be sold after it was shut four years ago to build a new block nearby.

The old lavatories date back to about 1900 but were closed in 2006.

A report to North Norfolk District Council, which owns the block, said £75,000 was needed to refurbish it.

Even then, the location high above the promenade would need steps or a steep slope, meaning it could not meet new disabled access legislation.


Councillors are being recommended to seek planning permission to convert the block to a holiday home and sell it.

Comparable properties have recently sold for up to £165,000.

However, the £50,000 cost of conversion to residential effectively cut the valuation to about £100,000.

If the sale goes through in the spring, building on the new block could start in the autumn and completed by next Christmas.

The sale has been welcomed by Avril Duke-Millar of the the Sheringham Enhancement Group, which has been campaigning for improved public toilets in the town.

She said: "I am sure it will make a lovely home for somebody. It is absolutely beautiful."

Sunday 9 January 2011

Flying High

Mile high club flights branded 'too distracting'

The saucy air charter company had offered passengers the ultimate pleasure flight, by giving amorous couples - and on one occasion a threesome - the chance to book a plane ride specifically to join the mile high club.

It had operated the flights in a Cessna light aircraft, complete with a bedroom area curtained off from the cockpit, from Gloucestershire Airport for the past two years, charging £640 a time for the experience - and even providing customers with a 'certificate of initiation'.

Mile High Flights has now had to halt the service after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) withdrew it licence on safety grounds.

Mike Crisp, the company's founder, claimed the real reason the flights had been grounded is that someone in the CAA disapproves of people joining the mile high club.

'I am getting emails every week from couples who want to go up in the plane. It's a shame we've had to stop because of some prudish snobbery on the part of the CAA,' he complained.

The CAA insisted it 'cast no moral judgements' and that safety fears were the reason for Mile High Flights' licence not being renewed.

Saturday 8 January 2011

Hole In One?

California animal rescue officers were called in after an eight-month old German Shepherd dog mysteriously got his head stuck in a wall this week.

Stricken pooch Rebel was found whimpering with his head sticking out one side of the 18-inch thick wall in Desert Hot Springs, east of Los Angeles, while his body remained firmly on the other.

'My initial reaction was, 'Wow, how?d he get in there?' said Riverside County Animal Services Sergeant James Huffman. "And why is there a hole that big in the wall?"

"It was a very odd situation .. It was uncertain if he was chasing another animal, or just curious," he added.

After checking that Rebel could breathe comfortably, Huffman and fellow officer Hector Palafox took up position on either side of the block wall.

"One officer worked the dog?s head from one side of the wall, while the other officer worked the dog?s body on the other side," said a statement by the Department of Animal Services in Riverside County.

Palafox "pushed the dog?s ears back to ensure the dog would not suffer during the rescue attempt," it added, saying that it took 30 minutes and some "minor nudging" to free the trapped canine.

Huffman said Rebel helped a lot. "He let us know if we were pushing too hard - but he kept working right along with us ... You could see his hind legs stiffen to assist in the direction we were going.

"He knew we were there to save him."

After the dazed dog's release, the officers suggested he be kept away from the wall behind a gate, while also advising the owner to put some chicken wire over the unfortunately-sized hole.

Friday 7 January 2011

Just A Little Ice Please!

Dutch 'Iceman' in record attempt

Dutch daredevil Wim Hof has dunked himself in ice water to raise awareness of climate change ahead of his plans to break a world record.

The 51-year-old "Iceman" submerged himself in a tank of ice water for around five minutes wearing only a swimsuit in Hong Kong, reports the Telegraph.

He performed the stunt for one hour and 44 minutes in January and is bidding to beat that time on New Year's Eve and set a Guinness World Record.

Hof told reporters: "When I am performing ice immersion, actually I do not think very much.

"It is all before. Before coming to Hong Kong do this challenge. I like a psychic preparation, and it is not of one day. It's of many days. It's coming. It's going. It's coming and going. It's like preparing yourself inside for what is to come."

Thursday 6 January 2011

Too Tired??

Thief falls asleep on the job

A tiny mistake has been the undoing of many a clever crook, but unlike an alleged robber arrested in Germany, most manage not to fall asleep at the scene of the crime.

The 26-year-old man broke into a career advice centre in the western town of Ahaus on Tuesday night and completed several trips taking electronics, food and sweets back to his flat, a police spokesman told AFP on Thursday.

But the effort was clearly too strenuous for the man. Returning to the scene of the crime for more swag, he fell asleep on an office floor where police found him still snoozing the next morning.

"Handcuffs were slapped on and the sleepy burglar was taken to Ahaus police station," authorities said. He was found to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs and was later released on bail.

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Never Too Old?

110-year old man ready to wed

A 110-year-old Malaysian man who has been looking for a wife said he was ready to marry again after an 82-year-old woman responded to his wish, a report said Sunday.

Ahmad Mohamad Isa, who has 20 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren, told Malay-language newspaper Utusan Malaysia earlier this week that he wanted company and a wife to take care of him.

The report grabbed the attention of 82-year-old Sanah Ahmad, a widow of 30 years and mother of nine, who said she was willing to do so and had asked her children to contact Ahmad's family to make arrangements.

"It doesn't matter who she is, as long as she can cook for me," Ahmad told the paper Sunday, saying he was happy and surprised at the news while his daughter would discuss the matter with Sanah's family.

"It is lonely to live alone and I am afraid to sleep alone. If I have a wife she can take care of me," the centenarian, who has five previous marriages and suffers mild hearing and vision problems, said in an earlier interview.

Four of his wives have died and he divorced the fifth.

Monday 3 January 2011

Eye Of Newt!

Witchcraft declared legal profession

Romania has changed its labor laws to officially recognize witchcraft as a profession, prompting one self-described witch to threaten retaliation.

The move, which went into effect, is part of the government's drive to crack down on widespread tax evasion in a country that is in recession.

In addition to witches, astrologists, embalmers, valets and driving instructors are now considered by labor law to be working real jobs, making it harder for them to avoid income tax.

For months the measure had been debated, protested by witches and mocked by the media.

A witch called Bratara told, the website of a top TV station, that she plans to cast a spell using black pepper and yeast to create discord in the government.