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Folklaw: 10 November 2006

Folklaw: 10 November 2006

Hitting sexologists where it hurtsOne of Tel Aviv’s most recognised sexologists was the victim of an unseemly crime lately, her stash of 40 sex toys having been stolen from her car, along with…

Hitting sexologists where it hurts

One of Tel Aviv’s most recognised sexologists was the victim of an unseemly crime lately, her stash of 40 sex toys having been stolen from her car, along with a receipt book containing the names of customers, whose identities were supposed to be kept anonymous.

The cache of vibrators and other assorted goodies were inside two metal cases when they were stolen, similar to those that regularly house expensive audio visual equipment.

“Thieves broke into her car and apparently stole from her a caseload of vibrators,” Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman said. But along with vibrators, the sexologist lost handcuffs, whips, massage oils, dildos and Chinese balls.

“It’s difficult to say the exact value of the items stolen, but obviously we're searching for these items just as with any other incident of theft,” Rosenfeld said.

The owner of the toys, Shelly Pasternak, estimated that they were worth about $US2,000 ($2,660), including a special dildo worth $US200 ($266).

“It’s a very unique one because it gives very high pleasure to women,” she said.

Online and down the tube

The owners of utube.com, a site dedicated to selling used tube and pipe equipment, is suing video site youtube.com, seeking damages and the transfer of the domain.

The website of Ohio-based Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment (uTube) has been so inundated with visitors since Google announced last month that it would purchase YouTube, it has crashed utube’s servers several times.

“As a result of the acts of defendant, plaintiff has suffered injury to its ability to conduct business, to its reputation, to its trademark rights, and has been deprived of its right to the quiet enjoyment of its domain name,” uTube says in its court file. “Plaintiff has lost its kingdom with its domain.”

In a statement to its customers, uTube said utube.com had been “paralysed” after site visits jumped from a few thousand visitors per month to approximately 70,000 visitors per day following Google’s announcement.

“Because of the similarities between the two domains, millions of people have been confused into typing www.utube.com and initially thinking they have reached the www.youtube.com website.

A pooh of a ride home

News from the BBC last week told of a serial defecator, who had struck in at least 30 different trains and caused upwards of £60,000 ($147,832) worth of damage.

The serial defecator’s methods are simple: he waits til he is alone, drops his trousers to register his opinion of the rail services, and spreads his offering all over the carriage.

“This is a serious public health issue as well as being exceptionally anti-social. We need to locate this man,” Det Con Donna Fox told the BBC.

The chances of catching the man in the act are quite high.

“On at least one occasion, CCTV footage shows the man being disturbed by a passenger walking through a train.”

Toilet operators pay lip service to complainants

A storm is brewing in Austria over a privately run toilet near the Vienna State Opera, which has urinals that resemble women’s lips, painted with lipstick.

Various female politicians have made public their disgust for what they describe as sexist and misogynist toilets.

“[They are] disgusting, misogynist and tasteless without comparison,” Sonja Wehsely, city councillor for women’s affairs, told the Austrian Press Agency.

Although having no legal avenue to force the owners to replace the toilets, the Green Party of Vienna has sent a complaint letter, which they say is as yet unanswered.

Ursula Stenzel, leader of the office of district administration, has petitioned the police to pursue charges of public nuisance against the operators, the Agency said.

Did the King of Spain kill Mitrofan the bear?

An inquiry is underway in Russia as to whether the King of Spain shot a drunken, tame bear while on a hunting trip recently.

Fans of English cricketer Ashley Giles can breathe easy though — these reports refer to the real King of Spain, Juan Carlos, and not the man who adopted the nickname after the makers of a set of commemorative mugs tried and failed to print the words ‘King of Spin’.

The inquiry will look into whether the organisers of the hunt deliberately stupefied a captive bear named Mitrofan with vodka-laced honey, in order to improve the King’s chances. Yet a statement released by a spokeswoman for the palace to The Associated Press claimed that the King “neither hunted with [President Vladimir] Putin nor killed a bear”.

The Russians are pushing on regardless.

“The governor has ordered a working group set up [in order to] check the facts published in local press about the killing of the bear,” said Vyacheslav Pozgalev, governor of the north-western Vologda region.

Weighing into the scandal, Sergei Starostin, deputy head of the hunting resources department in Vologda and the man who made the original allegations, believes that “it’s not hunting, it’s murder”.

“His majesty Juan Carlos killed Mitrofan with a single shot,” Starostin said.

Eriksson meets sticky Enzo

Ever dreamed of driving one of the rare Ferrari Enzos? Stefan Eriksson did — he even managed to get his hands on two of them — only to “borrow” them for a trip to the US and then split one in two either side of a telegraph pole.

Although he disputes being the driver in the incident, US reports have suggested his blood covers the driver’s airbag, and DNA tests are being conducted to confirm this assertion.

The ex-video game executive from Sweden has been charged in Los Angeles for theft of the car, one of just 400 in the world, which prosecutors claim were stolen by him from a British leasing company.

It is alleged that a drunken Eriksson was travelling at 260km/h when he lost control of the Enzo, skidded up an embankment and then severed the back half from the front with a telegraph pole.

Lucky to have even survived the crash, Eriksson walked away with only minor injuries.

“[Eriksson] was living it up and sporting those vehicles right here in the US,” prosecutor Tamara Hall said. The case continues.

Its hammer time!

Today Tonight has been given a foam-covered battering by ex-Gladiators star Mark McGaw, who was awarded $385,000 for defamation.

As reported in The Sydney Morning Herald, the former rugby league star, and the man know as ‘Hammer’ on Gladiators, was awarded the sum after it was shown the current affairs program had defamed him over allegations of physical assault in 2003.

McGaw had pleaded guilty to assaulting his one-time business manager and flatmate, Louise Boucheron, only in so far as he pulled her from his car following an argument. He always stated that he had never hit her, despite Boucheron’s and Today Tonight’s assertion to the contrary.

It was held that the program defamed McGraw twice in suggesting that he was “a man of dangerous domestic violence”, and that he “bashed his lover so severely that she was hospitalised with horrific injuries”, the paper said.

McGaw was given a 12-month good behaviour bond, with no conviction having been recorded.

Justice Stephen Rothman said that “it is difficult to imagine a defamation that would have more profound or worse effects on a plaintiff than this one”, the paper said.

Speaking of his victory in court, McGaw said that “my whole career as a footballer, I went out of my way to do the right thing, to be an upstanding part of the community”.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Folklaw: 10 November 2006
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