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Peter Rhodes on a pole-vaulting cop, judging jihadis, and the re-appearance of Crossroads Motel

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

ACCORDING to new research by the Halifax, buying your home can be £1,000 a year cheaper than renting. And just when you're feeling smug, your fence blows down.

Carey Mulligan in Collateral

THE breathalyser has been with us for more than half a century and you'd have thought that by now all the legal loopholes had been filled in. Apparently not. A driver in Lincolnshire in 2015 was more than three times over the limit but the police officer believed he was too drunk to blow into a breathalyser at the police station. A district judge acquitted him on the bizarre grounds that being too intoxicated was a “reasonable excuse” for not giving a breath sample. Thankfully, two High Court judges have re-examined the case and have now ordered the driver to be convicted. He has been fined and banned from driving for three years. So just to summarise - being too drunk is not a good defence for drink-driving. Glad we've sorted that out.

THE other useful lesson from this case is that if the driver had pleaded guilty three years ago when he was first charged, his driving ban would almost have expired by now. And finally, because this case attracted such publicity, it is now widely known that when the 52-year-old driver was pulled over by police, he wet himself. He was a rep. I would not want to be the colleague who inherited his company car.

EVERY fictional detective needs a back story, and the wackier the better. So we see tecs in wheelchairs or with a drink problem, suffering opium addiction, heavily pregnant, drop-dead glam or plump and mumsy, or even haunted by a dead partner. In the new BBC cop series Collateral, Detective Kip Glaspie (Carey Mulligan) turns out to have been a former Olympic pole vaulter before joining the police. Now, that's original. Goodness only knows how they'll work pole-vaulting into a storyline but I wouldn't mind betting that the final episode involves a chase, a high fence and a clothes prop. Why do I keep thinking of Norman Wisdom?

IT IS hard enough to prove a murder case when it is committed in England in broad daylight with witnesses and security cameras. The English legal system needs reliable testimony. It demands times, places, CCTV if possible and precise forensic details. Assembling that sort of evidence is always a challenge. So imagine how much harder it must be when the accused wore masks, had nicknames and committed the alleged offences thousands of miles away in the wasteland of some Syrian desert. Some politicians don't want jihadists brought back to Britain to face trial. Is that because they reckon there's not a cat in hell's chance of getting a conviction?

DID we all notice in Endeavour (ITV) that Morse visited a motel called Crossroads in a village called Kings Oak and the cleaner was a Mrs T? Next week: mass murder in the village of Trumpton - six firemen and a miller in the frame.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world

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