Jailed for Halloween coke
Three primary-school-age children in one English city reaped more than the usual harvest of sweets and chocolates on Halloween when they emptied their trick-or-treat goody bags and found several bags of cocaine. On Monday, the man who had mistakenly handed out his cocaine stash to the children instead of candy was given a community-service sentence in court. Apprentice panel-beater Donald Junior Green fished in his pockets for a bag of chewy sweets to give to the youngsters at his door on Halloween, but instead pulled out a plastic pack containing eight bags of cocaine he had bought for ￡200 (US$318) earlier that day, Oldham Magistrates’ Court heard. He dropped the drugs into the goody bags carried by the three children, aged eight, six and five, who were out trick-or-treating escorted by their father, an off-duty policeman. The 23-year-old defendant then closed the door, went back inside the house and put his hand in his pockets to get out his drugs — but instead pulled out the sweets. Green immediately realized what had happened and went on foot, then by car, scouring the streets of Oldham in northern England to find the youngsters. The officer, constable Simon Fowell, had taken his children home and, as they emptied their bags to share the spoils, he spotted the drugs and made a swift call to on-duty colleagues. Green was given a 12-month community order, ordered to do 130 hours community work and told he must pay court costs totaling ￡145.
Inmate will have to shave
A transgender inmate who won a court order for taxpayer-funded sex-change surgery has no medical need for further electrolysis treatments, a prisons department psychiatrist testified on Monday. Robert Diener testified during a hearing in a district court in Boston, Massachusetts, on Michelle Kosilek’s request to have additional hair-removal treatments. Department of Correction chief psychiatrist Diener said he evaluated Kosilek in 2010 and again last month, and concluded that Kosilek’s anxiety level has not changed, even though she has not had electrolysis treatments since 2008. “I continue to believe that it’s not medically necessary for this patient,” he said. Kosilek was born male, but has received hormone treatments and now lives as a woman in an all-male prison. Kosilek was named Robert when convicted in the 1990 murder of his wife, Cheryl Kosilek.
Christmas causes problems
A US judge ruled on Monday against Christians who are seeking to force municipal authorities to allow traditional Christmas nativity scene displays in Santa Monica, California. In the latest twist in a row between Christians and atheists — who last year put up a series of anti-religious displays in the sea-front town — the judge refused to grant an injunction to the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee. The committee has sued municipal authorities in Santa Monica, just west of Los Angeles, seeking to restore a nearly 60-year-old religious display to Palisades Park, which overlooks the ocean and Santa Monica Pier. However, Judge Audrey Collins denied their request for an injunction, which would force Santa Monica authorities to allow their nativity scenes over the holiday season, as the case proceeds. She set a date of Dec. 3 for the next hearing in the row. Last year, in a lottery to decide who got how many display spaces, atheists unexpectedly won 18 out of 21, squeezing the Christians — who in previous years had 14 plots — into just two.