AND HERE IS THE NEWS…. 

a weekly update of the local news


WITH CAROLINE HILL

 
Border Police kept busy with false documents – each year more than 400 false identity documents are discovered by the border police, and this is probably just a drop in the ocean considering that on an average day around 35,000 vehicles pass through.  While many of the forgeries are becoming harder to detect, some obvious ‘fake’ documents recently included a passport stamped with the message ‘Citizen of the World’, and also a Catalan Identity Card….
 
Burgled before opening for business – A new bakery in Pézilla-la-Riviere suffered a break-in before the owner had even started trading.  Police were alerted when a witness reported seeing 2 youths smashing the front door before jumping into a car where a 3rd youth drove them away.  They were caught on their way to Perpignan and were all discovered to be minors.  A bag of money in the car also implicated them in a robbery of a pizzeria in St. Nazaire that same evening.  The driver also admitted that he had no licence and had taken his mother’s car.
 
St. Cyprien ‘corruption’ trial date announced – The trial concerning one of the biggest corruption scandals in the P-O will open early next year, despite the fact that the main defendant (M.  Bouille, the Mayor of St. Cyprien) committed suicide in 2009.  13 people, including local government officials, building contractors, lawyers,property developers and the mayor’s widow, will stand trial.  We look forward to hearing more of the ‘Bouille’ system which permitted 7m€ of spending over a 5 year period.
 
Knife fight in Perpignan – A fight between two young men at Residence Albères in Perpignan resulted in one of them being rushed to hospital and operated on for a punctured lung.  The perpertrator at first ran away but, having been recognised by several witnesses in the building, handed himself in to the police. He admitted that he carried a knife for ‘defence’ and added that the other man was wearing knuckle-dusters.  He has been remanded in custody.
 
Violent revenge of an ex-husband – A Perpignan man could not cope with being left by his wife after 23 years of suffering his violent outbreaks and repeatedly send text messages demanding to see the children and threatening to ‘kill them all’.  One night he went too far, nailed shut the door of the apartment and tried to set light to it by using white spirit.  At his trial he claimed that he suffered from depression and had also tried to put the fire out himself.  He was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.
 
New DNA evidence might help in Perpignan Station murders – a laboratory in Belgium has made a breakthrough discovery which at last might help to track down the killer of 3 local women.  The mystery dates back 18 years (WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT) – In 1995 a 17 year old girl from Llupia was last seen getting into a white car in the vicinity of Perpignan Station, and has not been seen since.  In December 1997 a University student was last seen in the vicinity of Perpignan Station – and her body was found on wasteland the next day, having been subject to a vicious knife attack of a sexual nature.  In June 1998 a 22 year old girl caught the Argeles-Perpignan train with the intention of hitch-hiking from the station to her home in Toulouges and did not arrive.  10 days later her horribly mutilated naked body was found under a bridge near the A9 south Peage station.  The absence of blood at the scene suggested that she had been murdered elsewhere.  6 months later her head and hands were found in a plastic bag concealed in a ditch near Banyuls-dels-Aspres.
 
Getaway driver causes chaos – Two young men might only have received a light sentence for their burglary of a construction site where they helped themselves to hand-tools – had they not then led the police on a highly dangerous chase through the streets of Perpignan.  Pedestrians had to leap out of danger, other motorists were swerving to avoid being hit and after 8 frantic minutes the chase ended when the car crashed into a police car in a car park.  At the police station the driver became extremely abusive and also accused the police of having beaten him.  At trial the judge sentenced him to the maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.
 
14 year old boy on wrecking spree – During the match between USAP and Stade Toulouse more than 30 cars were broken into, having their windows smashed and possessions stolen.  Police dog handlers swiftly caught up with the perpertrator – a 14 year old boy.
 
Baixas Burglaries – A young man from Perpignan broke into several unoccupied homes in Baixas, helped himself to anything he could carry (cash, jewellery, mobile phones) which he then concealed in the gardens while continuing onto the next property.  Following a call by one of the victims, he was caught red-handed by the police who then had to take him to hospital as he was threatening to commit suicide.  He was kept ‘on watch’ for 2 nights, during which time he managed to hit one of his ‘guards’ around the head, which will no doubt not help his case when he appears in court next week.
 
And finally ………..
 
………… not in the Pyrenees-Orientales but ‘topical’ as on the subject of the Vendange:
 
Who picked my grapes?  – A vigneron from Bordeaux was shocked to find that 30 acres of his vines had been harvested last week.  The culprit, a Vigneron who lived in a town 10km away, quickly owned up and said that he blamed his Chef de Culture who had made a geographical error and would shortly be changing jobs.  Mr  Lafosse, the owner of the pilfered vineyard, has agreed to withdraw his complaint to the police in return for compensation for the loss of around 600 bottles of wine (with a value of nearly 5000€).


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