Bang, bang: You're in jail

9th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

GRASSE, France, Aug 9 (AFP) - An 81-year-old Frenchman who blasted buckshot at fire-fighting helicopters because they were disturbing his afternoon nap was convicted by a court here and had his small home arsenal confiscated.

GRASSE, France, Aug 9 (AFP) - An 81-year-old Frenchman who blasted buckshot at fire-fighting helicopters because they were disturbing his afternoon nap was convicted by a court here and had his small home arsenal confiscated.

David Thiel was given a suspended one-year jail sentence Monday for shooting at helicopters flying low over his home to drop water on a fire threatening the southern town of Grasse on July 21.

Police were directed to the retired gardener by his neighbours, who had already been yelled at for using a lawn-mower.

When officers arrived, Thiel addressed a stream of insults at them before going inside to get one of his guns.

A struggle ensued, with police only disarming the octogenarian after receiving several blows from saucepans. They confiscated 15 hunting rifles from his home.

The judge found Thiel guilty of weapons charges and resisting arrest.

While noting that the helicopters were out of range of the shots fired, the judge told the irascible old-timer that "one should not shoot at water-bombing helicopters as if they were wild ducks."

Meanwhile, in Bordeaux, a woman angry at a noisy party that took place next door was in custody Monday and charged with manslaughter after killing one of the revellers with a hunting rifle.

Police said the unidentified 52-year-old had knocked on her neighbour's door in the southwestern city of Bordeaux overnight and opened fire on the first person who answered: a 25-year-old party guest who died immediately from the blast to his throat.

The woman went back to her apartment and called the police herself.

Officers said she had complained to police about the party about an hour before the drama but the patrol which visited determined that the noise level was not excessive.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, crime, shootings

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