I was in court today. I've never been before and, no, I hadn't done anything wrong. A while back someone crashed into the side out our car. Thing is, the guy that did it failed to stop and drove off. He pleaded guilty to careless driving but not to failing to stop or report it. His defense was that he claimed he didn't hit us. Kind of strange considering he left his number plate under our wheel arch (handy for tracing him).
I actually felt a little sorry for him because he got a hefty fine, costs and 8 points on his licence. Thing is, we didn't bring it to court, it only went all the way because he denied hitting us. But I guess that's the law and you have to take the punishment if found guilty. And Sally has had a bad back since that needs physiotherapy.
So when I sat down to write today's list I thought about how I could link it with my experiences today. So here are ten unusual cases, mainly where the defendants showed a degree of stupidity. Now I'm not suggesting today's defendant was dumb but I had to get a germ of an idea from somewhere and a quick Google uncovered some gems. So here's a list of stupid criminals, that could've got away with it if it wasn't for their pesky (lack of) brain cells:
- This year Peter Addison (18), of Heaton Mersey, Stockport, and his friend Mark Ridgeway (18) of Poynton, Cheshire left a vital clue when they burgled and vandalised a building at a children's campsite in Adlington, Cheshire. Addison decided to write some graffiti. He amended a British Birds poster to read "British Birds R Gay" and left the message "thanks for the stay". But the least intelligent thing he did was writing his name on the wall, his full name. It said "Peter Addison was here". Not the cleverest of things to do, really. Addison received a conditional discharge. Ridgeway had to carry out 60 hours' unpaid work.
- In 2005, a group of three men decided it would be fun to run naked through a Washington restaurant. Being January it was cold outside and when then got out they'd need a quick getaway, so they left the car running outside the establishment. Whilst inside the car was stolen, so when they ran into the cold the car (and their clothes that were inside were gone). They off but police soon caught up with them as there weren't many naked guys out that cold night.
- A legless man was arrested after a three-mile high speed chase near Murton, County Durham in January last year. The chase ended when he careered off the road through a hedge and landed in a farmer's field. The motorist, Robert Bate was not only legless through drink and drugs but also from losing both limbs in a rail accident when he was nine years old. He drove the car with wooden poles taped to the foot pedals. Not only was he jailed for 12 months but also banned from driving for two years.
- Liverpudlian Amanda Monti was jailed for two and a half years after being found guilty of wounding her ex-boyfriend. At a house party she pulled off Geoffrey Jones' testicle with her bare hands , swallowed it before spitting it out again. A friend picked it put, handed it to Jones, saying "That's yours."
- In November last year a prisoner serving had 60 days added to his ten sentence for armed robbery for masturbating, alone in his cell. He was found guilt of indecent exposure after a female sheriff's office deputy witnessed him having a quick shuffle. The jury jury had decided that his cell was a "limited access public place" and therefore by exposing himself he was breaking the law.
- In August this year a suspect thief was force fed bananas to act as a laxative after an x-ray proved he had swallowed a gold necklace. Sheikh Moohsin was spotted snatch the £550 gold necklace in Calcutta, India, which he swallowed when police caught up with him. The bananas didn't work so they tried rice, chicken and bread. The necklace was recovered later by the obvious manner, which makes me think that I wouldn't like to sample the local food if they had to revert to that after trying the bananas. He was sentenced later.
- In September three men in Soweto. South Africa were arrested for going on a drunken pub crawl after stealing a hearse. They were caught after it ran out of petrol. There was still a body in the back of the hearse when they stole it.
- Daniel Horne was fined £80 denting a police car earlier this year. He wasn't happy with the verdict. The car was dented after it ran into Horne when he was on the way home from a night out with friends. The police officer driving the police car claimed Horne had run into the nearside front wing of the marked car. The group of friends had pulled over after getting a flat tyre and put on the hazard lights. A passer-by thought the car was being dumped, called the police. Whilst walking on the pavement Horne heard the sirens behind him and claims the police car mounted the pavement, hitting him and running over and breaking his right foot. South Wales Police said the fixed penalty was for criminal damage.