Coming up with a plausible excuse for doing something you’re not supposed to is a difficult skill. Some of us excel at it and are able to reel off imaginative alibis in an instant; others use Shaggy’s “it wasn’t me” defence with conviction, while others are just so awful at producing cover stories, it’s just embarrassing.
Take Muhammed Ikhlaq, for example, who was spotted by police in his Nissan Micra on Wednesbury Road, Walsall, with a well-known sex worker. When he exited the car to withdraw money from a cash machine (presumably to pay her for services rendered) he was approached by police who quite rightly quizzed him on what he was up to.
His excuse for being with the hooker: He was withdrawing £20 to buy tomatoes and the woman was showing him where he could buy them. Genius.
The police, for some strange reason, didn’t buy his excuse. He was later found guilty of soliciting at Walsall Magistrates Court, fined £400 and ordered to pay £665 in costs.
Speaking to the BBC, PC Stacey Paterson from Walsall police, said: “I’ve heard some excuses before but in the 10 years that I have been a police officer I have never heard a kerb crawler covering up his crimes by claiming to be buying tomatoes.
“Our officers and the courts saw through his lies and [Ikhlaq] has now been found guilty.”