Aldridge has his day in court
|Mr Aldridge on the steps of|
Borchester Magistrates' Court
Disgraced Ambridge farmer Brian Aldridge said he wants to ‘put the past behind him’ after being fined £120,000 at Borchester Magistrates’ Court for polluting the river Am.
Mr Aldridge was greeted by angry protestors and had paint thrown over him as he arrived at court, flanked by his family.
He pleaded guilty to two charges of knowingly permitting a water discharge activity, relating to a leak of toxic chemicals dumped on his land in the 1970s. He has already sold his home to pay for the clean-up, which is believed to have cost more than a million pounds.
‘I’m glad it’s all over and I’m grateful for my family’s support,’ he said. ‘My priority now is to get out of this terrible cheap jacket, which my son Adam bought from Top Bloke. It’s only got one button. I can’t imagine a worse humiliation.’
Letter of the Week
This week’s star letter comes in verse form, thanks to Borsetshire Laureate Bert Fry, who wanted to draw readers’ attention to problems at one of our most popular local attractions.
Lament for Lower Loxley
As Lower Loxley’s senior guide
My job has given me great pride.
But lately things have gone awry
And the other guides are asking why.
For example, Lady Henrietta’s bureau
Is closed for cleaning, as all should know.
But the website isn’t up to date
And visitors got in a dreadful bate.
So the other guides said that I should go
And let Elizabeth Pargetter know.
They said that I’m a man of letters
And used to talking to my betters.
I told her, politely as I could,
That things aren’t working as they should.
I tried to tell her about the rota
But she wouldn’t change it one iota.
I did my best to make her see,
But she just blamed it all on me!
And Elizabeth seemed so distressed
I didn’t know what to do for the best.
So we guides don’t know what we’re doing
And the estate is going to rack and ruin.
So although it pains me to have to say,
I’d advise your readers to stay away.
A lawyer writes
This week, Will Chargemore of local solicitors Hassell and Payne answers your family law questions.
Q My partner and I have an agreement with a wonderful Bulgarian woman to help us have a child by being our surrogate. I am the baby’s biological father and we used a donor egg. Our surrogate has decided to spend her pregnancy in Bulgaria and return for the birth. With Brexit looming, what are the implications for our family if the baby is born in Bulgaria, or if his or her mother decides to stay in the UK after the birth?
A Yours is a most unusual situation and I have throughly researched international law and precedents to find you the answer, which is… not a Scooby. Sorry.
Q Our widowed mother has announced she has a man friend, who at 80 is some years younger than her. He seems pleasant enough, although frankly he knows nothing about pigs or dairy farming. We would like her to be happy in her autumn years, of course, but should we be worried in case she changes her will?
A No, but if they are as close as you say, I would strongly suggest a pre-nup.
Q My husband and I are going through a divorce and have just received our degree nisi. Recently though, we’re getting on much better and because he has run a half-marathon and is getting his business back on track, I’m beginning to fancy him again. Legally, can we get back together?
A Yes, of course; you can apply to have the decree nisi rescinded and your divorce petition dismissed. Any lawyer would be happy to take your money – I should say, offer their professional services for the reinstatement of marital harmony.
Be my Valentine…
Love must be in the air in Ambridge, as this year we’ve received a bumper crop of Valentine’s messages from our readers. Our editor’s off to buy a wedding hat!
From the gin king:
Rosie’s our baby, you’re her lovely mum,
And I know you think I’m a lazy bum.
But now I’ve paid Emma to clean the cottage,
Will you let me play hide the sausage?
To my hunky karate teacher:
Make a move on me and I won’t defend myself (unlike that time in court when I had to…) Anyway, you give me butterflies despite your terrible taste in shoes and your love of fart jokes. Say you’ll take me up Lakey Hill soon!
From Wales with love:
I knew I wanted to share my spreadsheets with you when I saw your PowerPoint at the Nuffield. Now all you have to say is ‘veg box’ and my money-maker starts tingling! With my brains and your slavish devotion it will be win-win all the way, boyo!
To my dapper Valentine:
My family are worrying about my morals,
But life is fun since we met at The Laurels.
So polish your dancing shoes and buff up your dentures
And let’s set off on some glorious adventures.
To my favourite bird:
Before I met you I couldn’t tell a marsh warbler from a blue tit. Now you make me twitch and there’s no one I’d rather hide with. Come and nest with me in the Beechwood and we’ll make sweet music.