Richard was full of sympathy and understanding and said he knew just the person to sort the problem. I was fully confident that he was about to give me the name of a reliable local mole catcher. As I was poised to write the contact details of this miracle worker, I asked “And who is that?”, “You!” he replied.
Richard then spent the next ten minutes explaining how I was quite capable of catching these pesky moles as it was the simplest task in the world. All I needed to do was to acquire some additional traps, set them carefully, be patient and in no time I would have the problem sorted, the moles off the lawn and out of my life.
Well, needless to say four months on and having tried placing the traps in the runs, under the mounds, close together and far apart, I have yet to catch a single mole! The lawns, flower beds and paths resemble a battle field and the mole hills are spreading like a nasty rash - I am at my wits end.
The only modicum of help I have been offered was from another chum who suggested I ask his regular drinking companion, who is a mean shot, to come with his shotgun and dispatch my unwelcome guests. I am quite sure he will do a fine job but I suspect these two will come as a pair as they appear to be joined at the hip not only on their regular drinking expeditions but also on such adventures.
I am fairly certain that the consumption of beer will be excessive but perhaps my investment in this particular beverage will be rewarded by the extermination of the moles - a fair exchange. What is certain is that I need help.
*I find it quite extraordinary that magistrates found against a 64 year old gentleman, Mr Michael Thompson who flashed oncoming motorists to warn them of a police speed trap ahead. I am always grateful when I receive such a warning and I regularly do the same. I think it is a worrying development that the police can be allowed to prosecute a law abiding member of the public when he alerts other motorists of a ‘hazard’ ahead, by calling it ‘perverting the course of justice’.
I fail to see the difference between Mr Thompson’s actions and that of roadside flashing lights which warm motorists that there are speed cameras ahead.
I would like to know what the motive was for the Grimsby Magistrates to decide to convict Mr Thompson. I wonder if we will now see people being prosecuted for advising people not to steal, drivers from insisting their passengers ‘belt up’, and other such sensible advice.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the primary reason for placing speed traps along our roads is not to save lives but to raise revenue from motorists. I suppose as the austerity cuts bite deeper we shall see more of this. It is unfortunate that some Police forces allow their officers to take such action as we saw happen to Mr Thompson, what a shame the Magistrates did not immediately throw out this case.
Mr Thompson was fined £440 for his ‘crime’, which pails into obscurity compared to the threat of a £1,000 fine faced by Mr Mike Harding whose crime was to place posters around his neighbourhood offering a reward for the safe return of his cat Wookie.
Within hours of distributing the signs on the odd tree and lamp post Mr Thompson received a communication from his local council accusing the poor man of causing ‘urban decay’, by advertising the loss of his much loved missing cat. He was threatened with a fine of £1,000 if he did not remove the signs immediately, all 20 of them! The poor man had to rush around and take them down; sadly so far his moggy has yet to return home.
I cannot understand what business it is of the local council to issue such directives. These notices are only temporary; they make the owners feel they are doing their best to find their missing pets.
We often have such notices pinned up around the farm and neighbourhood. If someone is offended by such a notice I dare say they will tear it down but in the meantime it is doing a useful job.
A few Christmases ago we had a flurry of notices posted around the farm by a family who were followed home by a little dog. They took it in and cared for it on Christmas day. The dog belonged to one of my neighbours and the posting of the notices ensured that the little mutt was reunited with his owners within 24 hours.
I am quite sure that neither the Sussex police nor our local council officials would ever treat our motorists or worried pet owners in such a cavalier manner. However, I also hope that the residents of Sussex will continue to alert fellow motorists to ‘hazards’ ahead, and will stick up as many posters about their missing pets as are necessary. It is always worth remembering that our wonderful police and council officials who work tirelessly on our behalf and are our servants not our masters!
Carola Godman Law