Disorder in courts
Pilots assume in Britain, you need more beer
In July, Russian pilots Mikhail Danilstsev and Andrey Lyubimov were stopped by security from flying a 767 Aeroflot flight from Manchester, England, to Moscow. The security agent smelled alcohol on their breath, and tests confirmed that both were over the legal limit for pilots, which it is reasonable to hope is zero. The men were in court this week and gave the judge what they thought was a reasonable excuse: They were drinking British beer, so they assumed it was weak and that they could drink more. The judge fined them $3,900 each. They have already been fired.
Ex-con wants comp for missed work
Robert Aldrich, who has numerous burglary-related convictions, was cleared of the latest charges against him and released after spending months in a Massachusetts jail. Since he was not convicted this time, he filed for compensation for work he missed while in jail. "The defendant is a career (breaking and entering) man seeking compensation for burglaries he couldn't commit while locked up," Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney, told the Boston Globe. Aldrich says he missed out on home improvement work to the tune of $4,000 a month but could not support that figure. But that was just because he does that work under the table to avoid taxes, he said. The judge rejected the claim.
Sleepy judge may cause drug retrial
Rafael Cesan and Ruben Mas Rivadavia were found guilty of drug trafficking in Australia in 2004 and sentenced to 13 and 11 years behind bars. They are appealing the conviction on the basis that the judge slept through the case. Judge Ian Dodd appeared to sleep for periods of up to 20 minutes at a time, sometimes accompanied by snoring, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. It distracted, and sometimes amused, the jury. Court officials sometimes loudly dropped documents in an attempt to wake him up. Dodd retired in 2005 after being diagnosed with a sleep disorder.
Gasoline: It's still quite flammable
Austin Heckman of Wauzeka, Wis., has been charged with attempted theft and the negligent handling of burning material. The theft stems from a Sept. 27 incident in which Heckman, 23, is accused of siphoning gas out of a van in a parking lot, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The negligent handling charge comes from the fact that while he was doing the siphoning, he wasn't sure if the gas was coming out. So he checked. With a lighter. It was. Police reports did not mention if Heckman was injured. It is worth noting that Heckman is not the same guy who cleaned the cobwebs from his house with a blowtorch, which was reported on Friday.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.