Bolton man, Vernon Birch (not to be confused with the one who played the wah-wah guitar on the late Isaac Hayes' 'Theme From Shaft') was fined £50 today by Bolton magistrates after placing a bunch of cheap supermarket flowers on the town hall steps, claiming that his actions represented his feelings towards the victims of the Japanese disaster, those who have perished in all the wars since time began, boy racers who have expired on the nation's highways and byways, and impoverished former footballers who have fallen on hard times.
"I did it as a gesture, because I care," Birch told Bolton Magistrates. "That's why I was wailing and weeping and wringing my hands and doing all that mad mental stuff. I'm trying to set an example here - there's just too much laughing going on at the expense of other, less fortunate souls. I cry when I'm watching 'You've Been Framed' on the telly with Harry Hill. I'm just trying to promote a sense of humanity, empathy and understanding."
It appears that Birch didn't convince Bolton magistrates with his impassioned pleas for humanity, as they fined him £50 and issued a caution.
Magistrate, John Lord, told Birch:
"You're the kind of idiot who rubbernecks motorway crashes and pretends to cry his eyes out when a disaster occurs on the other side of the world. A complete and utter dickhead in other words. If you want to do something positive - other than showing how much you care by shedding crocodile tears - then fuck off out into the real world and do something about it. We're sick and tired of pricks like you laying flowers everywhere for people you don't even know. Fined £50 - right, who's next?"
More as we get it...