Regional News – October

7,000 Happy Bunnies
Yes, the locals from Jete, Lentegí, Lobres, La Rábita and El Castillo – the aforesaid mentioned number – will have partial access to the regional health service’s data banks, meaning that certain tasks can be carried out without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Diraya is a system that permits patients to access via Internet their medical prescriptions and also make doctor’s appointments. The system also allows user to obtain information, receiving it via mobile-telephone SMS’s. If mobiles and computers confuse you, you can do it by telephone on 902 505 060, which will be even more confusing if you don’t understand Spanish, admittedly.

Toxic Phone Bill
Who hasn’t received an eye-opener bill from a telephone company… Ask Dave! But if there is one thing that is not only guaranteed to open your eyes, but also fall out and roll across the floor, it is to scan down the calls and find one that has 1,000 euros tagged to it.

Well, that’s the case of Xavier S.G. from Sevilla who spotted such a health hazard in his August, mobile telephone bill. Diametrically opposed was the duration of the call: zero seconds. And it wasn’t the only mysteriously expensive call, but it was the most expensive. Curiously, all of them had call duration of zero seconds… he was intrigued… after regaining consciousness, that is.

Now, to top it all off, the time when these mysterious calls took place corresponded to his being onboard a flight to Kiev, with his mobile turned off, as is the legal requirement. Oh, did I mention it? The calls were to him, apparently.
He contacted Orange (yes, this time the villain isn’t Telefónica), who generously agreed that it must be a billing error. But, even admitting that it was erroneous, the operator suggested he paid it and then reclaimed it. He immediately recommended that the operator should attempt a physically impossible sexual act – naturally.

Things deteriorated even further when he received another bill, detailing over 20 SMS’s that had been sent without ‘his intervention,’ to just about everybody on his mobile agenda. None of the SMS contained any text. Again he contacted Orange, who, true to form, suggested that he paid the bill. At this point he contacted the Spanish Consumers’ Rights association and there the case rests for the moment.

Really Quite Silly
What about the Portuguese lorry driver that tried to bribe Guardia Civil traffic police with 175 euros so that they would not inspect his lorry to thoroughly? It was not that he was carrying anything naughty, but that the roadworthiness of his lorry would have been questionable even by Afghanistan standards. He was found guilty by a magistrate and sentenced to one year’s imprisonment… a hundred and seventy five euros, for God’s sake – it’s hardly worth a policeman opening his wallet for, is it?

Industrious Worker
A well-known (infamous) delinquent from Baza carried out eleven crimes in barely six hours – no one can accuse him of shirking, can they?

Yes, he broke into three cars, attempted to do the same with three others, broke into a bar in Caniles, a cafeteria, and even managed to squeeze in the theft of some tea-cakes (magdelenas) from a baker, as well as emptying the till at knife point.

The 39-year-old was arrested by a Guardia Civil patrol, with help from contingents from Granada, Jaen and Baza. There were so many patrols out because this hyper-actively, proprietarily confused gentleman started off his night shift in Baza and worked his way through Cortes de Baza, Los Broncos, crossing over the provincial boundary into Jaén, where he ‘visited’ Pozo Alcón before crossing back and targeting Campo Cebas and Castril, bless him. Of course, when you have already been arrested 59 times, what’s eleven more?

He managed to shake off the Guardia Civil by stealing vehicles and using them as transport, as well as nipping across open country on two occasions in search of more wheels and magdelenas, no doubt.

Our lad is the eldest son of a family that boasts several delinquent male offspring. In fact, whenever a robbery of these characteristics occurs in Baza, they contact the provincial prison in Albolote to find out which one of the brothers is on the ‘outside.’

Canine Rebellion
A bull terrier decided that he wasn’t happy with the pet/master hierarchy arrangement with the two humans that shared ‘his’ abode, so he bit the buggery out of them – fair enough.

During the exchange of opinions he detached the woman’s finger and the man’s big toe.

It all happened in Berja, (Almería) at lunchtime as the couple settled down to eat. At this point, the 34-kilo mutt launched himself onto the dining table to dispute the ownership of his mistress’s plate. Surprised, admittedly, she wagged her finger at him in firm admonishment – wrong; he ate the finger.
The master, no doubt considering that his position as ‘Leader of the Pack’ was in question, decide to reassert his authority, whilst admiring the sheer balls of the bull terrier to have actually done what he had only fantasized about on many previous occasions; i.e., bite off her admonishing bloody finger.

Soooo, he decided to kick it, even though it was still attached to his wife and that it was still on the table. Trouble was, it being late summer, he was wearing sandals and so when the dog turned his attention from the shrieking woman to the ridiculous human in conveniently little-protective footwear, it was to bite into his big toe.

At this point the two humans took refuge in the kitchen. After frantic telephone requests for help, a dog handler was called in to explain to the dog who takes orders from whom – something that was obviously very lacking in its normal domestic ambience.

Sadly, thanks to the inadequacies of the dog’s owners, the animal will probably be put down.

Knives and Cars
One evening in Granada, around 10.30, a car with three young passengers narrowly missed three similarly aged pedestrians. With plenty of testosterone awash in the six participants of this incident, it wasn’t long before the profession of mothers and sexual orientation of fathers was being put into doubt on both sides.

One of the occupants of the car decided that things needed to be put into perspective so he reached into the car and gleefully brought out a bloody great kitchen knife that just happened to be under the driver’s seat. Before apologies could be offered he had stabbed one in the chest, another in the back and the third in the arm. Content with the final arrangement – honour having been restored – the three jumped back into the car and disappeared.

The police were called and whilst a couple of policemen attended to the ‘wounded,’ the other set off and soon caught the driver, who was by now by himself in the car. The other two were captured before they even managed to reach home.

Bad Choice of Boyfriend
A 53-year-old man died after being stabbed by his daughter’s ex-boyfriend. The father from Almería died from a severe knife wound to the neck. The alleged attacker, 20-year-old Francisco M.J. was soon arrested.

The ex-boyfriend appeared at the victim’s house in Calle Cartegena in the provincial capital at 7.30 one morning. As soon as the door was answered the attacker reportedly stabbed the father in the neck with a kitchen knife, before fleeing.

The father did not die immediately, despite the huge loss of blood, but succumbed later in hospital on the operating table.

Baby Onboard
The Policía Local of Chiclana, (Cádiz) arrested a car thief after a brief car chase – unbeknown to the police, and indeed even the thief at the beginning, the stolen car contained a 16-month-old baby.

At one point the baby ended up on the floor, during the violent manoeuvres taken by the 17-year-old car thief to shake off his pursuers.

The incident took place at four in the afternoon, beginning on Calle Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, where the car had been parked. The parents of the baby had just parked and decided to leave the sleeping baby in the car, a Citröen C-3 whilst they carried out whatever it was that they had popped into town for.

They were only moments, but long enough for the thief to break into the car and drive off, with the baby in a baby’s seat in the back. They immediately alerted the police who soon located the stolen vehicle, which was intercepted at the Rotunda del Marquesado, after a chase through an industrial estate.

Costly Prisoners
It is estimated that it costs 25,000 euros each year to maintain every one of the prison population – that is the case, at least, in the provincial prison, which is in Albolote, just outside Granada.

The prison governor, Nahúm Álvarez, asked this to be taken into consideration now that stricter driving laws could lead to an increase in the already-overflowing prison population.
“If we apply ‘deprival of freedom’ for any offence; be it serious or not, in the end its deterrent value diminishes,” he pointed out, adding that moves to make certain driving infractions prison offences merely ‘criminalises’ people that share nothing in common with normal prison inmates, as well as putting an added strain on the already-strained prison services.

It is worth pointing out that Spain has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, but conversely has one of the biggest prison populations.

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