AND HERE IS THE NEWS…. 

a weekly update of the local news


WITH CAROLINE HILL

Donkeys rescued – Police accompanied the SPA when they were alerted by a local woman that there were several donkeys in a bad state on some farmland just outside Elne.  They found 8 donkeys without food, water or shelter.  They had no identification numbers but police tracked down the owner of the plot of land, a 52 year old local woman.  She admitted that she had fallen on hard times and could not afford to keep them anymore.  The donkeys have been taken in by the SPA and the woman faces possible prosecution for animal cruelty.
 
Man saves dog – A builder unloading his truck in a residential street in Perpignan looked up when he heard a dog whining and was horrified to see the animal with its’ two front paws on the railings of a third floor balcony.  The quick-thinking builder managed to position himself at the foot of the building and caught the dog as it fell towards the ground.  Gary (who turned out to be a 50kilo Bernese Mountain Dog) suffered two broken legs and Olivier counts himself lucky not to have been crushed to death.  He admitted later that from a distance the dog looked a lot smaller and described the impact as feeling as if Jonah Lomu had landed on him!
 
Man falls down well – A 67 year old man from Terrats had to be extricated by a team of 12 people when he fell into a well on his property. He was taken to hospital but said to be uninjured. The recent heavy rainfall is said to be to blame for the subsidence in the garden.
 
Motorcycle protests – A cavalcade of some 600 motorbikes blocked many roads around Perpignan this afternoon.  It was part of a national protest organised by The Federation of Angry Bikers who are protesting against government plans to reduce speed-limits.
 
Let them eat Pork – Marine Le Pen, president of the National Front, has announced that all schools in National Front governed municipalities will no longer offer an alternative to Pork for pupils who cannot eat it on religious grounds.  It remains to be seen whether the newly-elected local mayors will instigate this policy.  The online ‘comments’ column of l’Independent has had to be closed on this topic.
 
Bomb found on Beach – A 300 metre safety zone was placed around a 50kg bomb which was discovered on Torreilles beach.  The bomb disposal squad from Montpellier carried out a controlled explosion on the bomb which was said to be French and dating back from WW2.
 
Battle of the Bar de Passa – Two bar-owners from Passa have won their battle with the Mayor as a Tribunal has ruled that they have the legal right to continue their commercial lease.  ‘Au Bar Passa’ was originally opened with the Mayor’s blessing in 2008 and the bar soon became very popular with locals as it was a one-stop shop for dry-cleaning, shoe repair, local wines etc.  By 2012 however, relations with the Mayor had degenerated to such an extent that he not only refused to renew their lease but also granted a new lease to a competitor.  The Mayor is appealing against the decision of the Tribunal.
 
Bonnie & Clyde car thieves – Police were mystified when they were called to an abandoned car in Cerbere as they could see evidence that the driver and a passenger had both been flung into the windscreen, but there was nobody in or near the vehicle.  It was soon discovered that the vehicle had been stolen from Perpignan and they soon found an 18 year old girl with head injuries, who was arrested after a ‘struggle’.  Shortly afterwards they arrested her 17 year old boyfriend at his home in Banyuls, who was already known to the police.  The couple also face questioning over a Renault Clio stolen from Pollestres which they claimed to have bought for 100€.
 
Drug smuggler in court – A 37 year old Valencian man faced court in Perpignan this week after customs officers at Le Boulou found drugs with a street value of over 200,000€ in the dashboard of his car in January.  He said that he had been contacted by some Columbians who said he would be paid on delivery, and that he accepted the mission because he was struggling to pay his Alimony.  He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
 
Russian too fast – A driver has been caught speeding at 173km/h in the 90km/h roadwork section of the A9.  The driver, a  Russian doctor, has had his licence taken away and has been banned from driving on French roads for 5 months.
 
 
Mobile phone robbery – A young man from Bompas was beaten and robbed of his mobile phone by 3 teenagers who stopped him to ask the time.  Police were at first mystified as the descriptions of the attackers did not correlate with any known offenders in the area.  The finally visited the Young Offenders Centre in Perpignan where it was discovered that 3 of the ‘residents’ were missing.  They returned 2 days later, assuming that by this time all had been forgotten.  It hadn’t and they will appear before the Juvenile court shortly.
 
And finally…….
 
 
Police chase, in reverse – The story concerns two families in the scrap metal business who had been feuding for years over the rights to take scrap from the Waste centre at St. Estève.  Two days before the incident happened, a member of one of the family’s had been beaten up and hospitalised, then on February 23rd, his son noticed a man get into an Audi which had been parked outside his house and drive away – just seconds before smoke started pouring out of the truck he uses to transport the scrap metal.  Convinced he recognises the driver, he calls the police, who take him to search for the car and driver.  When they arrive at the house, police begin to inspect the Audi but the driver heads towards their car shouting that they have no right to search him.  He then spots the Witness in the police van and starts shouting ‘It was me who put your Daron in hospital and started the fire’ and starts banging on the windows.  The police decide to leave to protect their witness but the Audi driver quickly pursues them in his car, trying to overtake, running red lights and crashing into them twice.    He only stopped chasing them when they pulled into the Police Station Car Park.  He handed himself in shortly afterwards and has since been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

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