Local man, Martin Shuttlecock (27) was today recovering quietly at home following yet another harrowing ordeal in London - this time finding himself abducted, within spitting distance of New Scotland Yard and the Palace Of Westminster.
At the very heart of democracy.
Shuttlecock explained that he'd been attending a bookbinding symposium which had run late, so had asked for directions to the nearest pub, in order to watch his beloved Manchester United play West Ham.
"All appeared to be running smoothly," Shuttlecock explained. "Until I walked into the pub, The Sanctuary on Tothill Street..."
Shuttlecock explained that as he entered the bar he found his path blocked by an imposing American fellow, who proclaimed to be a famous detective, and immediately hustled into a chair. Accompanying the American detective were two women, one claiming to be the detective's wife, and another claiming to be the Queen Mudder. (He knew she wasn't a 'proper' Royal because she wasn't wearing a Charles Taylor type blood diamond encrusted tiara.)
"I tried to explain that there must have been some kind of terrible mistake," Shuttlecock told us. "I even tried to turn around and do a runner, but they had craftily placed a stern looking woman and a couple of teens who were probably karate experts behind me. There was no escape, so I thought I'd best try to go along with them."
Shuttlecock then described in great detail how he was regaled with tales of pirates on the high seas, plied with strong drink, informed of a secret surveillance operation being conducted on a dog, tales of hippydom, and thinly veiled intimations regarding global conspiracies. He told our man that he was so nervous that he was tossing the beers back by the fistfull as he was forced to sit with his back to the television as Manchester United popped three past West Ham, courtesy of a Wayne Rooney spot kick, a superb solo effort from Nani, and a netbusting volley from Dimitar Berbatov.
"That's when they started taking pictures," Shuttlecock told us, all atremble. "The bogus Royal one put some sunglasses on and a veil - I was convinced it was Al Qaeda or something. They seemed to relax a little after that, but the American chap who claimed to be a master detective and one time pirate captain named Morse, mentioned something about sailing a gunship up the Thames at Westminster. I hope he isn't planning to blow up Parliament or something like that. The authorities might get the idea that I was in on it."
At which point, the surly looking woman returned with the two surly nippers who were probably undercover karate experts, and pointed a gun - or it could have been a handbag - at Shuttlecock's head, and told him to 'get ready.'
"I was petrified," Shuttlecock told us. "She had a killer's eyes that woman, and the karate kids were equally terrifying. They took me on a train - under the ground no less - to Waterloo station and forced me to buy them a Burger King. Then they forced me to board a train to Richmond. I only managed to escape by pretending to have a heart attack on platform 2 at Richmond - otherwise, who knows what might have happened?"
Shuttlecock today retains no conscious memory of how he managed to get home, but described his huge sense of relief as he woke up in his own bed this morning.
"I'm not going near that London ever again," he sobbed. "It's not for me. I'm just a humble northern lad, naive and unschooled in fancy big city etiquette. Still, at least I didn't end up in the hospital this time."
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told us that Martin Shuttlecock had indeed lodged a complaint about being abducted by some people in Tothill Street, and that the Met would be tearing it up and chucking it in the bin, once the lads have had a good laugh about it.
More as we get it.