Swine flu no excuse for DWI
A woman had a novel defense when she appeared in court on a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI): It was swine flu’s fault. Business manager Deborah Karen Graham sought clemency for the charge in Queenstown on Monday, saying the three glasses of wine she had consumed were more potent because she was recovering from the virus. Judge Kevin Phillips was having none of it: “Swine flu seems to be the ‘in’ submission for everything at the moment. I reject all that.” He fined Graham US$360 and disqualified her from driving for six months. The country has been hard hit by swine flu, with 2,662 confirmed cases reported, including 14 deaths.
Murderer sentenced to life
A man who killed a teenage prostitute before cutting up her body and leaving some of the remains at a butcher’s has been sentenced to life, a judicial spokeswoman said yesterday. Transportation worker Ting Kai-tai, 24, was found guilty by a unanimous verdict at the High Court on Monday of murdering the 16-year-old, the spokeswoman said. Jailing Ting, Judge Alan Wright described the crime as “barbaric,” the English-language daily the Standard reported. “The fact we had to sit and listen to what you did was the worst experience ever imaginable,” Wright was quoted as saying. “It would be no exaggeration to say your conduct was barbaric. You killed a 16-year-old and you disposed of her body in a most horrendous way.” Ting told police following his arrest last year that he had killed Wong Ka-mui after having sex with her in his apartment in April last year. He pleaded not guilty, saying he had been under the influence of drugs and had no recollection of killing the girl.
Women rescued from toilet
A woman was stuck in her toilet for a week before neighbors heard her cries for help, officials said yesterday. The 67-year-old Queensland woman was found on Sunday, seven days after she became trapped, officials said. “Firefighters accessed the woman and freed her. Paramedics treated the woman and transported her to Ipswich Hospital,” they said. She was very dehydrated but conscious, officials said. Rescuers had trouble reaching the woman because she was so tightly wedged by the toilet, with a foot stuck on either side.
Ski jump fells octogenarian
An 80-year-old man broke his hip while attempting a 2m ski jump at Mount Buller in Victoria state on Sunday, but says life is “too short” to skip the slopes. Ambulance Victoria flight paramedic Steve Grove says the man has been a regular skier at since the 1950s. The man was airlifted off the mountain and taken to a hospital in Melbourne for treatment. Grove says when he asked him why he was still skiing at 80, the man replied simply: “Life is too short.”
Activists slam ‘AIDS colony’
AIDS campaigners and rights groups protested yesterday over the government’s shunting of HIV sufferers into an unsanitary “AIDS colony” outside Phnom Penh. More than 100 international and domestic pressure groups told Prime Minister Hun Sen and Health Minister Mam Bunheng in a letter they were “deeply disturbed” by the government’s treatment of 40 HIV-affected families. Over the past two months the government has evicted the families from Phnom Penh to live in metal sheds without running water or adequate sanitation at Tuol Sambo, 25km from the capital, the letter said.