In a bid to justify the execution of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the British Government has had no choice but to turn to some of England's un-repealed medieval laws.
Capital Punishment in Great Britain was abolished with the passing of Labour MP Sydney Silverman's private member's bill, The Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act of 1965. However the death penalty has survived for other crimes such as the causing of a fire or explosion in a naval dockyard, magazine or warehouse.
This legal loophole could allow for the UK to support the execution of Saddam Hussein with out the moral questions that would have arisen given the United Kingdom's past record in the objection to Capital Punishment in other countries.
The Right Honourable the Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Chief Justice for England and Wales has appointed senior judge Lord Tristan-Igleton of Bolton-Le-Haw to pursue a prosecution of Saddam under these ancient laws.
The case surrounding the 1776 attempt to burn down Portsmouth Naval Dockyard is to be re-opened. According to Lord Tristan-Igleton new evidence has surfaced that identifies the involvement of Saddam Hussein in this heinous crime.
James Hill, more commonly known as Jack the Painter was hanged for the crime in 1776 and is said to have haunted the streets of old Portsmouth town ever since.
According to leaked reports it has come to light that James Hill was actually in Acapulco Bay, Mexico at the time of the fire. The report suggests that he may have been appearing as Nathan Detroit at the Juan Ruiz Alarcon Theatre's production of Guys n' Dolls.
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers is said to be in talks with the British Prime Minster Tony Blair to posthumously pardon James Hill and have the 230 year old case re-investigated.
In a strange twist The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Fred Charlton announced today that, "in the past week sightings of Jack the Painter dragging his chains through the misty streets of my town are down by 100%."
The trial of Saddam Hussein is thought to be scheduled for early 2007. It is not certain what evidence the prosecution have; but, people linked with the trial are said to be in very good spirits and are hopeful for a quick conviction.
Rumours that CCTV footage has been uncovered of Saddam Hussein dousing the dockyard in highly flammable Iraqi oil have not been denied. It is thought that this evidence could provide the backbone to the case against Saddam.