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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

World

Boo! UK man who cried ghost in cemetery fined for scaring mourners
PTI
London, August 08, 2014
First Published: 19:36 IST(8/8/2014)
Last Updated: 20:12 IST(8/8/2014)

Ghost busted! A man has been arrested and fined in the UK for pretending to be a ghost by waving his arms and shouting "wooooo" at mourners at a cemetery.

Anthony Stallard, 24, had been kicking a football around in a Kingston Cemetery in Portsmouth with a friend, while also making 'ghostly' noises close to be people visiting the graves of their loved ones.

Police arrested and charged the 24-year-old with using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause distress, Portsmouth News reported.

Prosecuting at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court, Tim Concannon said: "While the football was going on they were shouting and this defendant was effectively singing loudly and being disrespectful in among the graves."

"He was throwing himself backwards, waving his arms about and going 'wooooooo'. I'm assuming he was pretending to be a ghost," he said.

Stallard accepted at a previous hearing that his behaviour could cause distress to grieving relatives and had pleaded guilty.

Defense lawyer Denise Saunders said: "He has accepted that his behaviour, if it had been outside of a cemetery would not have been inappropriate, but inside a cemetery while people are grieving for their loved ones it might be."  

"He is apologetic as demonstrated by his early guilty plea," she said.

The court heard that Stallard had committed the offence in April this year while subject to a 12-month conditional discharge, which he had received for a charge of harassment in January. He was also in breach of a suspended sentence for an offence of assault, which he had committed in August last year.

Stallard was fined 35 pounds and made to pay a 20 pounds victim surcharge and 20 pounds in court costs. An extra three months was added to his suspended sentence, which will now run for 15 months instead of the previous 12.


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