A most extraordinary law case is going on in London at the moment, in which a man accused of bank robbery says that, even if he did it, it wasn't for the money. His defence is that... but perhaps it might make more sense if I bring you an extract from the trial itself. We come in at the very moment when the accused man, Mr Lenny Fairfinger, takes the stand.
Counsel: Your name is Fairfinger?
Defendant: It is.
Counsel: That is a most unusual name.
Defendant: Yes. It is in fact a misprint for Firfinger.
Counsel: That is also a most unusual name.
Defendant: Not in the south-east corner of Saxony, in Germany, where my ancestors came from.
Counsel: They may have been better off staying there, Mr Firfinger.
Defendant: And what do you mean by that, may I ask?
Counsel: You may not ask. In this court, I am allowed to ask questions, but you are only allowed to give answers.
Defendant: Was that a question?
Defendant: Then let me know when one comes along, so we can do business.
Judge: Mr Tarlton, Mr Tarlton!
Counsel: Yes, my Lord?
Judge: I take it there is some point behind this exchange of inanities between you and the defendant?
Counsel: Yes, my Lord. I am trying to browbeat him with a display of insouciant bullying, and he, in return, is attempting to keep his courage up with some Cockney badinage.
Judge: And who is winning?
Counsel: Early days yet, my Lord. Fifteen-all in the first game, I would say.
Judge: Righty ho. Let me know when someone gets the upper hand.
Counsel: Thank you, my Lord. Now, Mr Firfinger...
Judge: Thirty-fifteen against you, Mr Tarlton!
Counsel: Yes, my Lord. Now, Mr Fairfinger, the charge against you is that you did take part in a bank robbery last July, in Wembley. It is alleged that you...
Defendant: I admit it.
Defendant: I admit it. But it wasn't for the money. So I am not guilty.
Counsel: If it were not for the money, what was it for?
Defendant: It was to get in the Guinness Book of Records.
Counsel: You... ask... the... court to believe... that... you...
Counsel: But criminals cannot get in the Guinness Book of Records by committing a crime!
Defendant: Course they can. There's lots in there. Biggest train robbery. Biggest jewel robbery. Most murders. Crippen, Christie, Ruth Ellis, etc etc.
Counsel: And how did you hope to join that august body?
Defendant: I wanted to become the bank robber to have taken the largest amount of small change in history. That is why, when I raided the bank in Wembley, I specifically asked for the money to be handed over in 1p and 2p coins. That was deliberate! See, I could have cleaned them out! I could have taken millions in notes! Instead, I was content with £5,000 worth of copper. Not a note did I take!
Counsel: And what makes you think that that would have got you into the Guinness Book of Records ?
Defendant: I know it would have! And I have proof of it! I have here a letter from the editor of the Guinness Book of Records, saying that if I do the robbery, I can get in the book as a record-holder! If anyone is guilty of this crime, it is not me - it is the editor of the Guinness Book of Records!
Sensation in court.
More of this tomorrow, when I think we shall see the editor of the Guinness Book of Records take the stand.
Teenagers who 'sext' each other could land themselves on sex offenders' register
Costa Concordia finally towed away from Giglio amid environmental concerns that cruise liner is a 'floating bomb'
RSPCA to launch investigation into 'silly prank' after stolen pet rabbit found in postbox
MH17 crash victims: First bodies flown to Netherlands from Ukraine
MH17 crash: What are the 'black boxes' and what could they reveal?
South Africa rhino poacher jailed for 77 years
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum 23 days holiday plus Pension scheme: Clearwater Peop...
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...
£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...