Catch of the day

As cool as you like, this baby-carrying Dad makes a stunning one-handed catch of a home run at a baseball game in California on Father’s Day. The image, captured by Associated Press snapper Jeff Chiu, is terrific. There’s video on a CNN report here



Field of Dreams

Another from the annals of crime in England’s West Country, as reported by the Western Morning News, the favourite newspaper of farmers everywhere. The headline sets it up nicely but you have to read the whole story for the full effect (especially the bit about rolling naked in cowpats).


A man with a slurry fetish has been jailed for carrying out an eight-year vendetta against a farmer who banned him from rolling naked in cowpats on his land.

David Truscott threatened to burn down the farm in West Cornwall and to attack owner Clive Roth, his wife Jackie, and their family.

He was being treated at a hostel in Exeter when he made a series of chilling threats about how he wanted to take revenge on the family by burning their farm and tying their 17-year-old son to a tree.

Truscott has already served four prison terms for previous attacks on Mr Roth’s Woodbury House Farm, near Redruth, including setting light to a tractor, a cattle shed and a milking parlour.

He made the new threats shortly after being released from jail and transferred to the hostel, where he was being treated for a type of autism.

Truscott spent a few weeks at another supported hostel in Somerset where staff allowed him to indulge in some aspects of his fetish, but he became angry and upset after being moved to Exeter, where he was not.

His threats have had a devastating effect on the Roth family and the farmer is now seriously ill, while his wife and family say the vendetta has affected their work and their lives.

He boasted of having £2,000 cash which he wanted to spend on a hitman and spoke of his admiration for revenge killer Raoul Moat.

He fantasised about kidnapping members of the Roth family, tying them to trees, dousing them with petrol and setting them alight.

His hate campaign started in 2004 when he was caught rolling naked in cow pats and then banned from the property after stripping off and climbing into a muck spreader.

He defied court orders to stay away from the land and when Mr Roth cleaned the muck spreader to deter him he set light to the milking parlour in revenge.

He was jailed in 2005, 2009 and 2011 and made the fresh threats within weeks of being released halfway through a two-year sentence in 2012.

Truscott, 44, formerly of Pengegon Parc, Camborne, Cornwall, and Langdon Hospital in Dawlish, admitted making threats to kill and threats to destroy property.

He was jailed for five years by Judge Phillip Wassall but will start his sentence in a mental hospital after the Judge imposed what is known as a hybrid order, which combines treatment with custody.

He will be subject to an order under the Mental Health Act until he is deemed well enough to be moved to complete his sentence in prison. The judge also imposed an extended licence period of five years.

He imposed an indefinite restraining order banning Truscott from going West of a line stretching from Perranporth to Portscatho.

The Judge told him: ”You expressed your anger and frustration at the people who owned the farm. They must have been at their wits’ end that you kept coming back to their land. They are living in fear of seeing you again.

“From everything I have heard and read I have not the slightest doubt you are a dangerous offender who poses a very real risk of causing serious harm.

“In your case that could be anyone who owns a farm but at the moment it particularly applies to this family.”

Eleanor Purkis, prosecuting, said Truscott made threats which showed a continued intention to harm the Roth family and their property.

She said: ”He has harboured ill feeling towards the owners of the farm. He said he wanted to get revenge on Mrs Roth and the 17 year old son.

“He said he would buy a car, get someone to drive him to their farm and burn them. He said he would get great pleasure from watching them burn.

“He also told a support worker he intended to humiliate the 17-year old-son, who he said he would tie to a tree before setting light to him.

“His appearance was angry and aggressive. His eyes were red and his body was shaking with rage. He said he never forgets or forgives and wants revenge on the family.”

Miss Purkis said Truscott was playing with lighters in his pocket and as he spoke his anger turned to excitement and joy. He showed no remorse for his previous attacks.

She read a victim impact statement from Mrs Roth which said Truscott’s behaviour had “a huge effect, mainly on her children”.

She said: ”It has been a never ending saga which has affected our business and our livestock. We have lived in fear. My husband Clive is very ill and I am afraid to go out in the dark.”

Robin Smith, defending, said: ”My client is a complex and troubled individual and the context in which he made the threats is a very relevant feature.

“He was released on February 27, 2012 half way through his sentence and for three-and-a half-months he stayed at a hostel in Somerset.

“He was very content there and was allowed to engage in some of his bizarre behaviour. His difficulties came when he was transferred to Exeter and these threats were made three days later.

“It was in that conversation he made these threats when he was agitated and angry. There was an element of bravado, hot-headedness and attention seeking.”