AN EYE ON... crime

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France: Magistrate Bernard Lemaire said that stealing garden gnomes "would have been a good students' prank" if the thieves "had not violated private property and caused damage". The leader of the Garden Gnomes Liberation Front was sentenced to two months' jail suspended and a pounds 300 fine. He and his colleagues had left visiting cards after their thefts saying: "The Garden Gnomes Liberation Front has been here. Your gnomes are now free and can finally live in peace together deep in the forest."

Florida: Howard Fletcher, 65, has challenged the state of Florida to prosecute him for having oral sex in a hotel room with a woman who is not his wife. As executive secretary of the National Sexual Rights Council Inc, Mr Fletcher is campaigning against laws prohibiting open adultery, lewd and lascivious cohabitation, and performing unnatural and lascivious acts.

New Zealand: David Overend, 36, was remanded in custody for a psychiatric report after admitting using a miniature camera to film up the skirts of unsuspecting women. Police discovered e-mails in which he claimed between 2,000 and 4,000 victims filmed in this manner, mostly since 1995.

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