Those Britons are serious about their business: A contract is a contract, even when it's a contract to kill.
A British court awarded a woman $3,518.90 because she hired a man to whack her and he failed, according to The Times of London.
Maidstone Crown Court ordered Kevin Reeves, 40, to be jailed for 15 months and made him pay $3,518.90 compensation after he took $35,188.96 from a depressed friend, Christine Ryder, 53, who asked him to track down a hit man to help her end it all.
Reeves was reportedly generous enough to offer to do the dirty deed himself — but did nothing more than take the money and run.
A jury found Reeves guilty of deception after the annoyed intended victim sued the not-quite killer for breach of contract.
Leading up to the case that even the prosecution called wacky, Reeves wove a dazzling tapestry of lies.
Ryder met Reeves in 2003 when both were getting mental health treatment at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Kent.
After becoming friends, Ryder, from nearby Strood, told Reeves she wanted to die and asked if he could find a killer. After making a quick call, Reeves, from Snodland, near Rochester, said for $4,398.62 she would have her hit man.
But the mock murderer, of course, never showed.
Reeves told her it was only because the unreal assassin had raised his price to $8,797.24 when she contacted the faux friend-in-need to repeat her death wish after they had left the hospital.
After Ryder wasn't killed in a promised drive-by shooting on June 11, 2003, Reeves told her he had to cancel it, kill the hoax hit man and pay Ryder's money to his widow, according to court testimony.
Getting only more and more hungry for the afterlife, Ryder asked Reeves if he would just do it himself. He said he would, but he would need $17,594.48 more. After she paid him, the two "suddenly" lost contact for quite some time.
He finally phoned Ryder, claiming the bank had seized the $17,594.48 because he was bankrupt. She refused his request for another $17,594.48 but agreed to pay him half the amount if he would kill her Nov. 28.
According to The Times, Ryder got a letter from Reeves the day before the promised murder that said the situation had changed but "things are still on, so don't panic." At sundown on Nov. 28, to no one's surprise Ryder was still among the living.
Prosecutor Fiona Moore-Graham told the jury there was a loss of contact again, as Reeves took his wife Jean on a pricey trip to Tenerife.
"You may think, therefore, that there was no intention of killing Mrs. Ryder on November 28," she said.
An increasingly life-weary Ryder eventually phoned Reeves' wife, who said he had told her the sudden easy money came from a convenient combination of an insurance policy, an savings account and a lucky lotto scratch card, according to the Times.
"He simply had the money for his own purpose and had no intention of using it for the purpose she directed: to have her killed or kill her himself," Moore-Graham told the court.
"It is a mean offense, preying on somebody who is vulnerable," defense lawyer Steven Hadley conceded.
"This was a calculated deception, repeated three times. While it is clear you had no intention of arranging for someone to kill Mrs. Ryder and didn't propose to yourself, you deceived her into believing it would happen," Judge Veronica Hammerton told Reeves.
— Thanks to Out There readers Tracy M.
So That's Why I've Gotten So Fat
A woman from Arizona gave birth without ever knowing she was pregnant — and her doctors had never even known either, according to Boston's local WCVB-TV News.
Dawn Pannell had felt depressed the last nine months, lost her job and put on a few pounds.
But overall she noticed nothing amiss, until Friday when she rushed to the bathroom in agony.
The not-quite-expecting mama thought her chiropractor was behind the pain, since she had seen him that morning, then — to her and her husband's great surprise — she gave birth to a healthy bouncing baby girl into the toilet.
An obstetrician-gynecologist told the unplanned parent 16 years ago that she would never have kids, Pannell said. Both unexpected mama and baby were in good condition as of early Tuesday.
— Click in the video box above or click here to watch a video on the unexpected mama.
Where Can I Get a Hood Ornament Like That?
DETROIT (AP) — City officials are trying to figure out how a woman snuck into the North American International Auto Show after closing time to pose naked atop the new Dodge Challenger.
It happened around 2:30 a.m. Monday when only workers and security guards were supposed to be inside Cobo Center.
Guards found the woman and about a dozen gawkers taking photographs with camera phones, workers told The Detroit News.
"We heard they were all over the Challenger," said Jason Vines, a spokesman for the Chrysler Group, which earlier had tried to give its cars more sex appeal by bringing in fully clothed "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria to pose at its exhibit.
Cobo Director Glenn Blanton said disciplinary action will be taken if employees were involved in the security breach.
The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — A cartoonist drew on his professional skills to help nab a suspected burglar: He made an excellent caricature of the would-be offender.
Bill "Weg" Green, 82, confronted the alleged thief while he was trying to steal a bicycle parked in the backyard of his Melbourne home, Sydney's The Daily Telegraph reported.
Green, a professional cartoonist, sketched a caricature of the man and handed it over to police, who arrested the alleged offender within 30 minutes at a nearby shop, the paper said Wednesday.
"We just couldn't believe how much of a likeness he was to the picture that Weg had drawn," Melbourne police officer Aaron Roche told the paper.
The 34-year-old suspect is expected to be charged with theft, burglary, assault and criminal damage. He was not identified.
— Thanks to Out There reader Joshua H.
Better Be Sure He Doesn't Skip Any Meals, Friend
TOKYO (AP) — Gohan and Aochan make strange bedfellows: one's a 3.5-inch dwarf hamster; the other is a four-foot rat snake. Zookeepers at Tokyo's Mutsugoro Okoku zoo presented the hamster — whose name means "meal" in Japanese — to Aochan as a tasty morsel in October, after the snake refused to eat frozen mice.
But instead of indulging, Aochan decided to make friends with the furry rodent, according to keeper Kazuya Yamamoto. The pair have shared a cage since.
"I've never seen anything like it. Gohan sometimes even climbs onto Aochan to take a nap on his back," Yamamoto said.
Aochan, a 2-year-old male Japanese rat snake, eventually developed an appetite for frozen rodents but has so far shown no signs of gobbling up Gohan — despite her name.
"We named her Gohan as a joke," Yamamoto chuckled. "But I don't think there's any danger. Aochan seems to enjoy Gohan's company very much."
The Tokyo zoo also keeps a range of mostly livestock animals, and promotes "cross-breed interaction," according to Yamamoto.
But Gohan and Aochan's case was "was a complete accident," Yamamoto said.
— Click in the photo box above to see a pic of nature's weirdest friend group.
Oh Man, This Traffic Stinks
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — You may think traffic stinks where you are, but it could be worse.
You could have been on Interstate 5 in Washington state Tuesday, when 2,000 pounds of treated human waste spilled.
The Washington State Patrol says it happened when a truck driver had to brake suddenly about 25 miles north of Seattle. The trailer had only a cloth top, and much of the waste sloshed out. It spilled over the cab and onto the southbound lanes.
Not only did it stink, but it took about five hours to vacuum it up. Traffic was rerouted.
A spokesman for the state Ecology Department advises anyone who drove through the stuff to go to a commercial car wash.
The muck was being hauled from a wastewater treatment plant to be made into compost.
Iguana Get Around This Carcass
DALLASTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The body of a large reptile had traffic weaving on a York Township street. Though he's fielded calls about horses, snakes, cows and other animals in the road, Cpl. Ken Schollenberger of the York Area Regional Police said, "This was my first iguana."
Schollenberger said a resident called Monday morning saying something in the road was causing traffic to swerve from side to side on Donna Lane, and he found the nearly 4-foot dead iguana.
Schollenberger said he removed the carcass and disposed of it in a neighbor's trashcan, and didn't know where it came from.
"We have no way to track it or anything," he said.
— Thanks to Out There reader Derek H.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Andrew Hard.
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