Amputee leads police on high-speed chase
NEWCASTLE, England, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A man without legs was jailed after fastening metal poles to the pedals of his car and leading British police on a high-speed chase.
Court documents show the man used strong tape to secure the poles before strapping them to his wrists, the Daily Mail said.
Robert Bate, 27, lost both his legs when he was a child, officials said.
Police said Bate was high on drugs when he fled with two others before being spotted by police driving "erratically." The pursuit, which reached speeds of 80 mph, ended when Bate lost control of the car, plowed through a wooden fence into a field and rolled the vehicle.
As Bate was being led off to jail for 12 months for dangerous driving and other offenses, friends said he had adapted the car weeks before his arrest and had driven it at least 20 times.
Judge David Hodson, sentencing Bate at Newcastle Crown Court, said he had no choice but to sentence the man to jail because of previous convictions.
Nessie displaces Robert Burns as top Scot
EDINBURGH, Scotland, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The honor of being Scotland's top Scot goes to Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, who bumped poet Robert Burns into second place, a survey said.
Chancellor and prime minister hopeful Gordon Brown did not even make the top 10, despite attempts to boost his popularity and name recognition, the Daily Mail said.
More than 2,000 adults across the United Kingdom were asked to identify Scots past and present. The Loch Ness Monster collected almost a third of the votes, followed by Burns and actor Sean Connery.
Freedom fighters Robert the Bruce and William Wallace came in fourth and fifth.
Women were nearly absent from the top 10, with GMTV presenter Lorraine Kelly placing eighth and singer Lulu squeaking in at 10th.
The survey was commissioned by Crabbies Green Ginger Wine.
Report: British muggers seek 'buzz'
LONDON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Many of Britain's street robbers reportedly commit their crimes for enjoyment, a study by the University of Glamorgan finds.
The report, authored by Professor Trevor Bennett and Fiona Brookman, is based on interviews with 120 offenders by the country's Economic and Social Research Council, Sky News reported Wednesday.
The top five reasons for committing the crimes given by the interviewed offenders were to have a "good time," the desire to build and maintain "street cred," informal justice, the need for a "buzz" and the enjoyment of a good fight, the report said.
"Both the amount and the severity of gratuitous violence used in street robbery are increasing in the (United Kingdom)," the report said.
"But because the number of studies is very small, and tends to be limited to what the precise situation was in each case and whether the assault was likely to lead to financial gain, this worrying social problem is poorly documented and understood."
Teen prank leaves town without water
ANNAWAN, Ill., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The mayor of Annawan, Ill., says eight local teenagers have confessed to emptying the city's water tower by opening four fire hydrants.
Mayor Kennard Franks Jr. said it appears to have been a class prank, the Peoria Journal-Star reported.
On Nov. 11, police found three hydrants in the central Illinois town gushing water into the streets. Another opened hydrant was discovered the next day. Officials said 350,000 gallons of water was lost, emptying the city's water tower.
Franks said the vandalism put the town under a boil order and at risk if a fire had broken out while the tower was empty, the newspaper said.
The teens, who were forced to come forward by their parents, have no prior criminal record and the majority of them are on the honor roll, Franks said.