Gina Martin, 27, was watching The Killers at an open-air music festival in London’s Hyde Park in July 2017 when a man put his mobile phone between her legs and took pictures.
She chased after the man but lost him in the crowd. She immediately reported the incident to the police. Later, she was shocked to learn that the man’s action, known as upskirting, was not a criminal offence and her case had been closed.
You might wonder what sort of creep would do this sort of thing, but many such incidents have been reported, including cases of men fixing phones to the end of walking sticks to peer up girls’ legs and photograph their body or underwear.
On learning that the pervert at the concert was immune from prosecution, Gina began a national campaign for a revision of the law.
When she wrote about what happened to her on Facebook, her post went viral, with other women sharing similar experiences.
Soon, an online petition for police to reopen her case had received 50,000 signatures.
It wasn’t long before the campaign was picked up by the Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, who brought a private member’s bill before Parliament to declare upskirting a criminal offence.
Eventually, the Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill was approved by the Houses of Commons and Lords, received the formality of Royal Assent and became law. Gina Martin said the decision was “politics and society at its best”.
Upskirting is now an offence where the purpose is to obtain sexual gratification or to cause humiliation or distress and covers culprits who say photos were just taken “for a laugh”, as well as paparazzi who take intrusive images.
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Dogs could soon feature in programmes to check for cancer as a result of a study by a US research and development company.
Findings presented to scientists in Orlando, Florida, demonstrated that dogs’ highly evolved scent receptors (10,000 times more accurate than those of humans) make them sensitive to odours that we cannot perceive.
In the tests, three beagles identified malignant lung cancers in blood samples taken from human patients with 97 per cent accuracy.
Heather Junqueira, study leader for the firm BioScent DX, said using dogs in this way could potentially save thousands of lives.
The animals could soon be part of cancer-screening programmes that were as accurate but less invasive than methods currently used.
Although there is currently no cure for cancer, early detection offers the best hope for survival, Ms Junquiera said, adding, “It is very exciting as it paves the way for further research which could lead to new cancer detection tools.”
FOOTNOTE: Other American scientists are suggesting that the pungent onion garlic could ward off age-related memory loss experienced by patients with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Allyl sulfide, a compound in garlic, was found to improve the health of gut bacteria and boosted memory in ageing mice, a possible pointer to an eventual breakthrough for humans.
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University professor Jonathan Kotler is an American and lives in California, but is a fan of the London football club Fulham.
To express his support, he applied to the California Department of Motor Vehicles for a personalised car number plate bearing the letters COYW, meaning Come On You Whites, because Fulham play in white shirts.
The state agency refused, saying the slogan might be seen as having racist connotations.
Said the professor, “The people at the DMV are either extra thick or very politically correct.”
He is now suing the agency for violating his right to freedom of speech.
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Big lottery winners are usually very cautious about their plans, modestly suggesting the money will make no difference to their mode of life.
Not so Ade Goodchild, a 58-year-old divorced factory worker from Hereford, who won £71 million on Euromillions and promptly declared, “I wasn’t brought up wealthy so I’m going to have fun learning. No more shift work for me!”
Ade declared he would be finding himself “a lovely new home with a big garden and a nice spot for my hammock. I could also get used to a driver and my own cook.”
Asked for a reaction, his ex-wife Suzanna declared, “I don’t want a penny of his winnings. He can keep the lot.” She did add that she wished him well.
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At breakfast, a man asked his wife, “What would you do if I won the lottery?” She replied, “I’d take half, then leave you.” “Fine,” said the husband. “I won 12 dollars yesterday, here’s six. Goodbye.”
An inveterate gambler explains, “I used to play the Lottery all the time, but then I heard that you have a better chance of being hit by a car on your way to buying a ticket than actually winning the lottery, so I stopped buying tickets. Now I send my wife.”