Kevin Reeves, 40, was jailed for 15 months and ordered to pay £2,000 compensation after accepting £20,000 from a friend so depressed that she asked him to find a hitman to murder her. He even offered to do it himself, but got no further than pocketing the money.
Judge Veronica Hammerton told Reeves: “This was a calculated deception, repeated three times. While it is clear you had no intention of arranging for someone to kill Mrs Ryder and didn’t propose to yourself, you deceived her into believing it would happen. It resulted in a substantial sum being paid to you; none of the money was repaid. In all the circumstances, these offences are so serious that a custodial sentence is unavoidable.” She ordered Reeves to hand over as compensation the £2,000 he had saved up to repay Mrs Ryder.
It does my heart good to find the spirit of Justice Cocklecarrot alive and well in the criminal justice system, and as I haven't quoted the immortal Beachcomber ("justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be believed") since last April, here is some more for your edification:
Mr Justice Cocklecarrot began the hearing of a very curious case yesterday. A Mrs Tasker is accused of continually ringing the doorbell of a Mrs Renton, and then, when the door is opened, pushing a dozen red-bearded dwarfs into the hall and leaving them there.
An expert witness is called...
Mr Bastin Hermitage (for the defence): Now, Dr Spunton, is there, to your knowledge, any disease which would account for Mrs Tasker's strange habits?
Dr Spunton: There is. It is called rufo-nanitis. The spymptoms-
Mr Hermitage: Symptoms.
Dr Spunton: Yes, spymptoms, but I always put a 'p' before a 'y'.
Cocklecarrot: With what object, might we ask?
Dr Spunton: I can't help it, m'lud.
Cocklecarrot: Do you say pyesterday?
Dr Spunton: Pyes, unfortunatelpy. It's hereditarpy. Mpy familpy all do it.
Cocklecarrot: But why 'p'?
Dr Spunton: No, py, m'lud.
The court had to be cleared owing to the roars of ribald laughter which greeted the appearance in the witness-box of the twelve red-bearded dwarfs all in a heap. Their names were read out amid growing uproar. The names appeared to be: Sophus Barkayo-Tong, Amaninter Axling, Farjole Merrybody, Guttergorm Guttergormpton, Badly Oronparser, Churm Rincewind, Cleveland Zackhouse, Molonay Tubilderborst, Edeledel Edel, Scorpion de Rooftrouser, Listenis Youghaupt, Frums Gillygottle.
Cocklecarrot: Are these genuine names?
A Dwarf: No, m'worship.
Cocklecarrot: Then what's your name?
Dwarf: Bogus, m'ludship.
Cocklecarrot: No, your real name.
Dwarf: My real name is Bogus, your excellency.
(At this point the court had to be cleared)