Archive for the ‘Bravery’ Category
It is every testosterone-splattered man’s dream to feature in the news as a have-a-go-hero who uses just one hand to floor attacker after attacker in a vicious street attack and escape unscathed. The dream came true for one pub landlord from Wisbech, in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, only to then come crashing down when it turned out the whole thing was a massive humongous fib.
Wisbech Standard, 20 February 2013 (story):
LIAR: The pub landlord who conned the world into believing he single-handedly fought off four muggers
A PUB landlord has admitted to police he lied about fighting off four attackers outside a Wisbech fish and chip shop.
The alleged attack – which made international news after John Wood, 37, first told his story to the Wisbech Standard – never happened.
The ‘heroic’ derring-do pub landlord from the Marshland Arms has even been forced to cough up an £80 fixed penalty notice for wasting police time.
How Wood received his wounds – seen by our reporter and photographer – is not known but police are assured he did NOT get them from fielding off attackers.
Wood had alleged that four men cornered him in an alleyway off Lynn Road, Wisbech, as he emerged from Frank’s Fish & Chip Shop. But, despite suffering a stab wound which he claimed required 18 stitches, the 37-year-old alleged he floored all four of his attackers – and left with his dinner intact.
Wood claimed he had trained in martial arts as a teenager and said the men “stopped me and demanded my phone and wallet. I told them if they wanted it, come and get it.
“They all came at me at once. I kicked two of them in the leg. I used to do a little bit of aikido and I remembered to go for the knees. They fell to the floor and couldn’t get up.
“As I did that another clipped me in the face. I turned around and hit him and he fell.”
He then went into detail about the attacked and claimed “I didn’t even drop the chips. “It was all done one-handed. They weren’t even squashed when I got home!”
So impressive. Such a shame then that when the chips were down, the landlord’s story didn’t add up and he had to face this humiliation in the local paper, throwing the holy sacrament of ‘news’ into total disarray.
You’d think that would be the end of the matter, but no: the landlord came back for more and the Wisbech Standard published a follow-up story with yet more comments from him in which he desperately maintains his innocence.
Shamed pub landlord insists attacks did happen (story):
SHAMED pub landlord John Wood insisted today he did fight off four attackers and only accepted an £80 fine for wasting police time “to get them off my back”.
Faced with being branded by police as a liar, the 37 year-old landlord of the Marshland Arms remains adamant he was attacked outside Franks’ fish and chip shop.
“The reason I accepted a fine for wasting police time was because I wanted the whole thing finished,” he told me.
Two detectives quizzed him, he said, and explained they had examined CCTV in the area and would find no footage of the alleged attack.
“They asked if I had caused the injuries to myself- asked if my fiancée had done it or had the kids done it by accident,” he said.
Mr Wood said: “It was the most bizarre moment of my life being interviewed by people who didn’t believe me. Where did they think the injuries came from for goodness sake?
“I was told due to them actually spending time on the case I would have to a pay a fine. I said anything just to get this bloody matter finished. So they wrote up a statement, I signed it and left thinking that was over.
“Now these lies are being bandied about.”
A police spokesman said: “Officers began to investigate the allegations but soon realised his version of events did not add up.
“The 37 year old admitted he lied when he was interviewed yesterday.”
A real Wisbech whodunnit. I just don’t know what or who to believe any more.
Thanks to Peter Cragg.
Bolton awoke to the news today that customers are literally flocking to a local shop to get a glimpse of a wonder egg that has sent shock waves across the world. Well, the hen and grocery worlds at least.
The Bolton News, 05 February 2013 (story)
ONE hen has performed “eggs-tradinary” — after laying one of Britain’s biggest eggs.
Note to editor: if you’re happy to publish an article la(i)den with egg-scruciating egg puns, please ensure that the first one is not only hard-hitting but is also correctly spelt and makes sense.
But I digress.
The egg, which came from a chicken at an allotment in Breightmet, is four times the usual size of an egg.
It weighs 6.75oz (191g) is 8.25in in circumference and is 4in tall.
Normally, a large egg in the UK would weight about 73g.
Now I’m interested, tell me more.
Terry Paulcrompton was so “eggs-static” when he discovered the giant egg he took it to show his pal Laszlo Hamar, owner of nearby Wise Buys Discount Store in Bury Road. Mr Hamar said: “It’s the biggest egg I have ever seen. It’s absolutely enormous.
Quiet at the back.
Terry was really shocked when he found it, and when I saw it I couldn’t believe it either. “We have been looking on the internet and we think it’s one the biggest eggs ever laid in England.”
Not just the largest egg laid in England, Terry, but the largest in Britain!
The largest egg laid in Britain weighed in at 6.6oz and was produced by a Rhode Island chicken last year.
That, if my maths is correct, is a whole 0.15oz lighter than Terry’s find. Like Neil Kinnock, Kris Akabusi must be All Right-ing at the news.
And it’s not just the two pals that are egg-cited by their find.
…visitors have been flocking to view the egg, which is now on display at the shop.
Mr Hamar, aged 55, from Ainsworth, said: “Lots of people have been coming in to take photos of it.”
“Everyone is really shocked when they see it.”
Shell shocked, one can only assume. Much like the poor mother hen.
This could have ended in horrible tragedy, but it didn’t, and that means we’re allowed to laugh at it.
Reading Post, 6 November 2010 (story):
Mum and daughter rescued from bog
A mother and teenage daughter were rescued when they became trapped in a bog in South Reading this afternoon.
A police helicopter located the pair who were walking a Jack Russell dog in the flood plain of the River Kennet near Big Yellow Self Storage in Rose Kiln Lane.
The daughter had sunk to her chest in the muddy bog and her mother was lying next to her with one leg submerged.
Because the girl was in such danger, a firefighter and police officer entered the bog to rescue her at once.
I bet that’s the last time this pair will be reaching for their copy of Flood Plain Strolls of Britain when they fancy a stretch of the legs.
The story on the Reading Post website features a gripping video of the rescue bid, replete with commentary by concerned emergency services staff. It’s a must-watch if you’re amused by the idea of seeing four Power Rangers needing their maximum strength to drag this big old unit from a bog:
Crew manager Crook said there was a real danger she would sink blelow the surface.
He said: “It is particulary dangerous if you keep moving about. It is the worst thing you can do.”
He added: “The dog was rescued first. He hadn’t sunk in at all.”
In that case, you’d think the dog would have helped. But no. So much for being man’s best friend.
Sometimes, a barefaced crime is the easiest to get away with.
Not in this case, mind.
Maidenhead Advertiser, 4 October 2010 (story):
Bungling burglar stole neighbour’s curtains for his home
It was curtains for a burglar who was rumbled after he stole his next door neighbour’s nets and put them up in his own window.
Jason Williams was caught out when his neighbours spotted the curtains and asked why he had got them.
The 38-year-old was jailed for burglary for two years and five months at Reading Crown Court on Friday for the crime, which his own barrister described as ‘not very sophisticated’.
He broke down boarding on the home and stole the net curtains, tools, two glass ashtrays and some lamb steaks from the freezer.
Perhaps he just wasn’t barefaced enough; he should’ve put the lamb steaks in the ashtrays and left them on the window sill between the curtains and the glass. He’ll know for next time.
The frenzied, overworked nature of modern day journalism means news reporters must ensure they have no flies on them.
Except, that is, for when their paper sends them to cover a plague of flies. This signalled the collapse of society in the unfortunate Lancashire villages of New Longton and Whitestake.
Thanks to swat spotter Lucy Longhurst for the story.
Lancashire Evening Post, 20 July 2010 (story):
Village plagued by flies
Millions of flies are making life a misery for villagers in rural Lancashire.
A local pub has been forced to slash its opening hours and families in New Longton and Whitestake say they are under siege from swarms of insects. It has become so bad The Farmers Arms, in Wham Lane, is closing at certain times of the day.
And a customer from Penwortham, who visited on Saturday, said: “The girls in there were swatting the flies away. They are opening for a few hours, then closing.
“It got worse and worse and we ended up having to rush our meal.”
Thankfully, the locals aren’t ones to moan:
John Capstick, who runs Buena Vista Furniture Services in nearby Long Moss Lane, said: “It’s been absolutely awful.The floors are littered with them. They get into everything.”
Claire Sutton, from Orchard Avenue, said: “Rooms were covered in flies and there’s a constant buzzing noise. We vacuumed up 114 in one night.”
Neighbour Anne Carter added: “We are killing hundreds a night. They’re everywhere.”
And childminder Deborah Lonsdale added: “It’s been horrendous. “I’ve lived here 22 years and never seen anything like this. Something has got to be done.”
A spokesman for brewery Mitchells and Butlers said: “We are coping with the situation and have been able to keep the carvery in operation … with a full clean down of the pub and carvery in between each service.”
The carvery must go on. Finally, a bit of Blitz Spirit.
…I can lock all my doors / It’s the only way to live / In cars.
The local news is a cruel world. Who’d have thought a vicious readership backlash would result from a seemingly innocuous feel-good story about a 67-year old teacher and her three-legged dog being freed from a car after an ordeal lasting what can only be described as a whole half hour?
Croydon Advertiser, 21 May 2010 (story):
Driver stuck in car says she was glad at bad weather
One teacher was grateful for the rainy weather on Monday afternoon – when she became trapped in her car for half an hour.
Anne Giles took her three-legged dog Bonzo for a walk in Addington Hills and went to drive her Nissan Qashqai back home to Osprey Gardens, Selsdon.
The 67-year-old put her dog in the back of the car, before getting into the driving seat. It was at this point all the doors locked and Anne realised she had left her keys in the boot.
“I couldn’t open the doors or the windows, I was completely trapped,” she said. “I became very panicky and rang the fire brigade who came but could not get me out.
“I was in there for about 30 minutes and started to get very hot and claustrophobic.”
Firefighters had to explain to Anne how to dismantle the rear seat headrest which allowed her to pull up the boot lid and retrieve her keys and unlock the doors.
Warm thanks to concerned Croydon resident Lucinda Offer for picking up this story, and pointing out that it has provoked more than 100 comments on the Croydon Advertiser website. The majority of them took the opportunity to both lambast the paper for even covering this tale of woe in the first place and to mock Anne for not resolving the situation alone. If you enjoy people exchanging bile on the internet, the full comments are well worth your time.
Anne does herself no favours by monitoring the entire discussion and chipping in regularly to rebut every criticism under the name ‘ANNE, SELSDON’, for example: “Someone suggested I press the UNLOCK button – of course I did, you nincompoop.”
Oh dear. Click the photo for some selected highlights…
Please somebody stop her; for her own sake. She’ll be commenting on here next.
Although pigeons are and always will be the most evil form of the avian species, The nether regions expresses sincere and heartfelt sympathy with those currently facing the menace of this crow in Catford, south London.
Mind you, people who jog in public are mildly cretinous, so they’re fair game.
Thank you to Bad Journalism.
Catford and Lewisham News Shopper, 28 May 2010 (story):
Crow attacks leave blonde joggers in a flap
WOMEN joggers are under attack from a vicious crow with a long memory and a grudge against blondes.
Five runners in the space of ten days have fallen victim to the bird which has been diving down from the heavens to peck at their heads. [...]
Louise Morris, 43, of Gourock Road, Eltham, was one of the crow’s first victims.
She said: “It took off and caught the top of my head.
“As I came back round a second time it was dive-bombing at me.
“I changed direction but it kept following me so I started using my water bottle to try and fend it off.”
It would be lovely to see a crow killed stone dead with a bottle of water. Rather than the avian species, it would then be considered one of the Evian species (insert multiple excalamation marks here).
The saga took an interesting new twist last week when an ‘elderly dancer’ decided she also wanted a bit of attention in her local paper to satiate her demented levels of self-worth.
Catford and Lewisham News Shopper, 9 June 2010 (story):
Elderly dancer reveals crow attack horror
AN ELDERLY dancer is the latest person who has fallen victim to an horrific crow attack.
Last month, News Shopper revealed how blonde joggers in an Eltham Park were being terrorised by a crow.
Now 75-year-old great-grandmother Edna Lunt, of Nelgarde Road, Catford, has revealed how she was recently attacked by a bloodthirsty bird in her own garden.
She said: “I pulled my sunchair towards the light. As I sat down on it, it tipped up backwards.
“While my legs were up in the air this crow came down and started dive-bombing me and making screeching noises.
“It was like a horror movie.
“I got up and started running. I shouted ‘It’s after me,’ and then I fell in the flower bed.” [...]
She said: “Scared would be an understatement. I had to pour myself a brandy.
“It was determined to have a peck at me and it wouldn’t go away.”
It’s best to take this story with a pinch of salt. Edna Lunt strikes me as the type of person who believes anything that moves is determined to have a peck at her. Never trust an egomaniac.
The multitudinous hurdles encountered by The Great British Public in attempting to exercise its vote in the recent general election have been well documented in the national media. But the turnout on 6 May wasn’t only limited by the damp weather, understaffed polling stations, or the neoliberal-economic political elite’s deliberate disenfranchisement of the working class since the 1980s.
Oh no, there was something altogether more sinister going on that day near Staines. But then again, isn’t there always?
Staines News, 11 May 2010 (story):
‘Swan eyed polling card like a piece of bread’
VOTERS at a Thorpe polling station had more to contend with than trying to decide which party to vote for on Thursday (April [sic] 6).
A group of unruly swans that rest on Truss’ Island during the day caused consternation to several voters, who had to negotiate the orange beaks on their way to the small polling station hut, situated in the car park.
The swans are regularly fed on the riverbank here so view any humans arriving, as a potential source of food.
One voter, who did not wish to be named, said: “It was a bit intimidating as they all gathered around me when I got out the car. I thought they were going to peck at me, one kept looking at my polling card – I think he thought it was a piece of bread.”
Rumours are rife that election returning officers will soon be required to declare the number of spoilt batch loaves.
While we’re here, this article concludes with a baffling observation from one voter:
The swans dispersed to the water later in the afternoon, leaving people to cast their votes hassle-free. Asked what he thought about the potential for a hung parliament, one voter said it was a ‘mute’ point.
Does the Staines News reporter know there’s no such thing as a ‘mute’ point, and therefore they’ve employed the inverted commas in order to mock the voter’s error? Or have they themselves made the classic error of mishearing and misunderstanding the concept of a moot point? With utterly hilarious consequences for all of us, obviously. We’ll probably never know now; most frustrating.
Just imagine the scenes.
Lewisham and Catford News Shopper, 19 March 2008:
Woman on toilet attacked by rat
A DISABLED woman was horrified after being bitten by a rat which came up through her toilet while she was sitting on it.
Maxine Killingback, who lives on her own, jumped up in shock when she felt the rat bite the top of her leg and fell over onto the floor, hurting her back.
After drowning the rat herself using a plunger and barricading the toilet to stop other rats which were trying to get out, she phoned Greenwich Council only to be told she would have to wait three weeks for them to come and sort out the problem.
It’s common to be frustrated when something just won’t flush away, but Mrs Killingback’s experience takes it to an extreme.
She said: “You don’t expect to sit down to spend a penny and be bitten by a rat.
“It just felt like someone had put a needle in me.
“When I jumped up it seemed to still have a hold on me.”
Ms Killingback, who has rheumatism in her legs and back, said the rat was still trying to get out of the toilet after she fell on the floor.
She tried flushing the toilet chain twice but the creature came back each time.
Ms Killingback said: “It was a big, black one, seven or eight inches long.
“It was trying to climb up but it kept sliding back down. I put a plunger down the toilet but it kept trying to get out.”
Ms Killingback, who says she has a nervous disposition, then jammed a bleach bottle next to the plunger and kept it there until the rat had drowned.
She said: “Then there were more coming up, I could see their noses poking through the gap.
“I just put two big boxes of washing powder and other things on top of the toilet to block it and shut the bathroom door.
“I’ve never known anything like it.”
Never known anything like it… and probably never will.
It’s a famous old joke, I know, but how many firefighters does it take to free a penis from a steel pipe?
Southern Daily Echo, 7 January 2010:
Southampton man cut free after getting penis stuck in steel pipe
A MAN who got his genitalia stuck in a steel pipe had to be cut free by eight firefighters using an industrial grinder.
The heavy duty cutting gear had to be used to remove the three-inch long hollow pipe after medics were unable to release it.
The painstaking operation, which involved eight firefighters, took around an hour.
The drama began after the man took himself to the accident and emergency department of Southampton General Hospital.
This is a fine example of a story for which a regional newspaper could easily adopt a comic, national tabloid tone to its coverage, but instead opts for the deadpan approach.
Restricted blood flow had left the man in a state of arousal, and unable to remove the pipe.
Staff there were so concerned that they phoned the emergency services and a crew from Redbridge Fire Station were initially dispatched.
But they had to bring in backup from St Mary’s station which has a fire truck equipped with specialist cutting gear.
A disc gutter cutter, with a four-and-a-half-inch blade, was used to slice open the stainless steel pipe.
The man, in his 30s, offered no explanation for his predicament but was said to be “quite concerned and anxious”. He had been given an anaesthetic to prepare for the procedure.
The finest insight is provided by the boss of the brave firefighter who successfully unclasped the penis in question.
St Mary’s crew manager Adrian Johnson said: “It was a very delicate operation. We did not want anything heating up.
“The person who did it deserves a commendation for his nerve and steady hand.” [...]
The man’s private parts were left bruised and swollen.