A street cleaner who was allegedly stabbed to death by a burglar he confronted with a broom has been praised in court for his “sense of civic duty”.

Rugby Union: Weedon's Wasps march to the final

Wasps 35 Gloucester 21

Rugby Union: Vickery return lifts Gloucester

DAVE SIMS and his Gloucester colleagues were more than a little surprised to see their beloved Kingsholm homestead advertised for sale on the Internet yesterday - a bold Cherry and White prankster managed to sucker the lot of them by placing an April Fool spoof on the club website. But the shock was probably nothing compared to the announcement that Phil Vickery, their long-lost England prop, was named in a 24-man squad for the Tetley's Bitter Cup semi-final with Wasps at Loftus Road on Sunday.

Irritations of Modern Life: 33. Ex-directory phone numbers

THE OTHER day, I lost Zoe Ball's home phone number. Damn! She'd written it on the back of a fag packet and I hadn't got round to transferring it to my address book. Then my wife threw the fag packet away. Maybe deliberately, who knows? So I rang Directory Enquiries. What address was that? Oh, Camden Town, I think. But we're really good friends, honest. "I'm sorry," said BT's robot voice, "that number is not listed."

Phoney sob stories were supplied by agency

SAVANNAH DAVIES seemed close to tears as she poured out her heart, explaining how desperate she was to leave her violent husband.

Obituary: Betty Box

ONE OF the most successful producers of British films, Betty Box had her finger on the public pulse in the post-war years, producing for the Rank Organisation such box-office hits as Doctor in the House, Miranda, Conspiracy of Hearts and the Huggett family films. Most of her films were directed by Ralph Thomas, their collaboration as producer and director rivalling such similar teamings as the Boulting brothers, Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliatt, and Basil Dearden and Michael Relph.

Rugby Union: Logan springs to the rescue

Wasps 15 Saracens 15

Rugby Union: Tigers turn to the understudies

CONTRARY TO popular belief, rugby politics have moved on just a little since Keith Barwell, the loose boardroom cannon from Northampton, threatened to withhold his international players from England duty midway through last season. Leicester, the Premiership pacesetters, not only travel to Wasps tomorrow without eight first-choice players, but they do so without a whiff of complaint from Dean Richards, their admirably stoical coach.

Music: Gothic on the rocks


Sport on TV: So that's what Ruud meant by sexy football

Now let's all be honest about this. When our eager little fingers pressed "1" at 7.30 on Tuesday evening, Blackburn Rovers' chances of making the second round of the Uefa Cup were not uppermost in our minds. The front page of last Sunday's News of the World, on the other hand, was. Not to mention pages 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Sticky autocues, tongue-tied guests, Jimmy Hill - Des had coped with them all during 20 unruffled years in the anchorman's chair, but surely even the old charmer himself wouldn't be able to sashay his way out of this one.

Blacks-only school fights closure order

THE NATION of Islam is fighting to stave off the closure of an unregistered school that it runs in West London. The NoI operates the Star Chamber Academy school, based in three rooms at the Simba community centre in Shepherd's Bush. It is attended by 60 pupils aged between five and 16.

Property: Go undercover to pick your perfect agent

It's an important decision - so pose as a customer and check out estate agencies, advises Ginetta Vedrickas



Lager's coming home


A visit to the fantasy world of Ian Livingstone

He made millions on Dungeons & Dragons, and millions more unleashing Lara Croft and Tomb Raider on the world. So just what kind of mind do they spring from?

Classical: Redundancy and reality

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