AND HERE IS THE NEWS…. 

a weekly update of the local news


WITH CAROLINE HILL


Man killed by train at Banyuls-sur-Mer – Police are still trying to discover the identity of a man who was killed by a train, in the tunnel of Elmes just 500 metres from the station.  The man was well dressed but carrying no identifying documents on his person.
 
Driver asleep at the wheel – Children leaving St. Massé college at 5pm on Friday were lucky to escape injury when a car, driven by a woman said to be ‘asleep at the wheel’ headed straight towards them.  Luckily the car hit crash barriers in front of the college.  An enquiry is underway.
 
Hit and run driver hands herself in – A 37 year old mother and her two children (a boy of 9 and a girl of 7) were hit by a car as they were on a pedestrian crossing on their way to Edouard Heriot school in Perpignan.  Despite the fact that all 3 victims were lying on the ground, the driver sped off without stopping.  She later handed herself in to the police and stated that at the time of the accident she thought the lights were on orange, that she was late for work, and that she was so shocked by what had happened that she panicked and drove off.  The mother and son were only slightly injured and the daughter suffered a fractured leg.
 
Masseur took naked photos of his clients – A young lady who had booked an appointment for a massage in Canet-en-Roussillon heard a strange noise as she was lying face down and half-naked on the massage table.  She turned and found the masseur taking pictures of her.  Somehow she managed to grab the camera and take it to the police – who then found pictures of other women in similar positions on the memory card.  The 52 year old masseur is facing prosecution for sexual assault and invasion of privacy.
 
Robbery foiled at Leader Price, Rivesaltes – Late last Wednesday night a witness called the police when he spotted two men loading up a car in the fenced off car park of LeaderPrice supermarket at Mas Garrigue.  Police set up several roadblocks to cut off their escape but a chase ensued and the car was finally intercepted near the junction of the A9.  The Renault Safrane was found to be loaded with stolen cases of alcohol and the occupants faced court on Friday morning.
 
Tobacco Smugglers Beware – Since May 3rd  (at 7am to be absolutely precise) a major operation is in place to prevent cross-border tobacco smuggling.  European regulations allow the importation of 10 ‘multi-packs’ of cigarettes for personal use but heavy fines await those who abuse the regulations.  Last year more than 1.9 tonnes of cigarettes were seized by customs officers in the P-O.
 
Fireman foiled by pharmacist – A 31 year old fireman aroused suspicion when he approached a pharmacy with prescriptions for around 2000€ worth of ‘methadone’ type drugs.  Due to the large amount of money involved the pharmacist asked the man to return later in the afternoon – by which time the police were waiting for him.  The prescriptions were found to be forged and he was arrested pending further investigations.
 
‘Grue’some accident at Porte d’Espagne – On Friday morning, a crane which was being assembled on a building site just behind the shop But collapsed and the boom fell on a workman, partially severing his leg.  He has been rushed to Perpignan hospital.
 
Burgling duo finally apprehended – A 44 year old and his 23 year old partner in crime were finally arrested last week after committing 75 burglaries in one month around Narbonne, Beziers and Perpignan.  Their modus operandi was to steal a car, carry out a burglary, burn the car, steal another one to make good their escape, carry out a burglary, and so on and so on..  Investigations continue.
 
And finally…..
 
Good Samaritans robbed at knifepoint – A couple who offered a man a lift in their car were shocked when he pulled a knife on them.  The story begins when a young man named Karim asked a friend if he could borrow her car.  When she refused, he discreetly pocketed the car keys and took the car anyway.  He lost control of the car (probably because he had no driving lessons or licence) just outside Auchan and as it was no longer roadworthy he asked a retired couple if they would be kind enough to give him a lift into Perpignan.  En route he discovers that they are actually going to Saint-Marie-la-Mer and says that he has a friend there who is celebrating his birthday so could they please take him there.  The couple agree but when they arrive they become suspicious that young Karim doesn’t seem to know his friends address and the driver stops the car, at which point Karim suddenly pulls out a knife and stabs the 60-year old driver in the ribs and grabs the car keys.  The driver then reaches for a pair of sewing scissors that are in the glove-box and at the same time his wife (in the back seat) grabs Karim around the throat.  Neighbours are alerted by the sound of the car horn and run out to help overpower Karim.  In court he recounted a different version of events saying that it wasn’t he who struck the first blow and that the knife entered the driver’s ribs by accident.  He was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

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