Wednesday, 31 March 2010

'Illegal Immigrant' Stole My Shed (Again)

Oh dear, the Daily Fail has come out with yet another 'illegal immigrants stole my shed' story. This one features a Romanian (sorry, a Romanian immigrant) who moved into the Newman's shed in Bromley, making himself 'at home' using "the garden hose to wash himself before bedding down on one of the sun loungers in the shed, using a sheet to protect the fabric" and "thoughtfully put(ting) his rubbish into the correct recycling boxes." [At least they give him some credit for being 'shed-trained'.]

The Newman's apparently then "took the 26-year-old immigrant to the police station, where officers put him on bail for a public order offence and ordered him not to return to the shed." Which kind of disproves the Mail's previous moan about the police being powerless to intervene in such cases, though exactly how the Romanian was held to have committed an offence under (we assume) Section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986* is not apparent.

We have not actually seen the hard copy version of this story, but in the on-line one the Mail went out of its way to both inflate this inane piece of flummery (though not to the extent of turning it into a front page one as it did today with 'Pet shop owner fined £1,000 and told to wear an electronic tag... for selling a GOLDFISH to a boy aged 14') and pad it out with two rather large and almost identical photos of the Newman siblings outside the shed in question, a bad cartoon on the subject and references to a couple in Kempston, Bedfordshire, who "found two Polish men in their shed and claimed they tried to eat their daughter's rabbit"**, the Peterborough shed 'outrage' and the Northampton 'Homeowner who forgot his wallet returns to find Romanian family moving in in scene from 'Dickensian times'' [related post].

The final word goes to Tilly Newman, 22, (an accountant we are helpfully told), "I'm not sure what he wants." Surely it is blindingly obvious? A roof over his head, however "on the damp side and popular with several species of spider" it is.

* Persistent use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour intending to and causing harassment, alarm or distress.
** A story the Mail must have been kicking itself for missing out on turning into a special 8 page full colour commemorative pull-out supplement.

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