In a verdict that has stunned the wildlife community, a 500lb brown bear has been found not guilty of defecating in a forest after hiring the same defence lawyer as John Terry.
It was alleged that the bear, Simon Williams, 26, used a patch of dense undergrowth at Bluebell Woods to take a leisurely dump last April, before wiping his arse on a tree.
The prosecution claim Williams wilfully ignored signs saying ‘No ball games or shitting’ and showed callous disregard for other flora and fauna by offloading his lunch at the local beauty spot.
Chief prosecution witness, a deer known locally as Mandy Simcock, said she heard the ‘sound of nearby rustling’ whereupon she looked up to see Williams with his trousers round his ankles reading a copy of The Daily Star.
Simcock said, “Williams spent ages in there in spite of the signs. When I went to confront him he just laughed and said ‘I’d give it ten minutes if I were you’.”
“It doesn’t take that long to have a piss. Besides the stench was unbearable.”
Woods shitting ‘not proven’
In what should have been a gift to the prosecution, Simcock managed to record the incident on her mobile phone.
The footage clearly shows Williams squatting in the undergrowth although his large furry anus is partly obscured by branches.
However, in a landmark ruling, presiding Judge Howard Dibble ordered the jury to acquit Williams.
“Although this is a bear taking what appears to be a shit in some woods the evidence is inadmissible because it was filmed on a Nokia,” he told the court.
Nature-lover and conservationist Chris Packham said “For years we have been trying to kick shitting in the woods out of the wildlife game.”
“This verdict sends out completely the wrong message to bears who think they can just shit in the woods whenever they like.”
Packham added, “It is of some consolation that the steaming pile of faeces left by Williams will eventually be absorbed and returned to the forest’s ecosystem in the form of mushrooms that will be eaten by chaffinches.”
The verdict represents another stunning victory for defence lawyer George Carter Stephenson who last year successfully defended the Pope over accusations that he was a practising Catholic.