Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, November 26, 2004

I'm A Celebrity... Get Out Of My House!
Ozzy Osbourne is not the only celebrity to suffer having an intruder despite sophisticated security. This week police are looking for a woman who broke into pop star George Michael's north London home earlier this month. A female intruder was found in his Hampstead house on 4th November but had gone by the time officers arrived, the Metropolitan Police said. The break-in came eight days after a woman was cautioned for harassing the singer after being found in the house. Michael recently revealed a female fan hid under his floorboards for four days last year. Don't come 'Round Here'!

According to the latest British Crime Survey, only 3.2% of British households reported suffering a burglary in the last year, so Madonna can consider herself to have been unfortunate. In June 2000, raiders forced open the front gate of her multi-million pound Edwardian London home, and broke into the gardener's quarters, without being able to get into the main house. Less than six months later, thieves struck again, prowling round the same home while she and husband Guy were asleep upstairs. The burglars chanced upon the keys to Ritchie's Range Rover, which they drove away.

Other pop stars have also been plagued by criminals. Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell was burgled in March 2001. It was reported at the time that the singer had to move into a hotel as the intruders had sprinkled milk and Ribena over much of her flat as well as daubing obscene graffiti on the walls. Bag it up, girl!

In August 2002, Icelandic solo star Bjork was the victim, having expensive audio equipment stolen as she slept in her Maida Vale flat. Big Time Bummer!

Footballers are also a common target for avaricious criminals. Chelsea footballer Juan Sebastian Veron was allegedly threatened with a machete during a burglary at his home in January this year.

But perhaps the least advisable intrusions were those in the Formby, Merseyside, home of Everton striker Duncan Ferguson. Carl Bishop, 37, was jailed for four years in February last year, after being apprehended by the 6ft 4in footballer. Ferguson punched Bishop in the face and grappled him to the floor, leaving the drug addict "battered and bruised". He unsuccessfully pursued an assault claim against the Everton star. Bishop should perhaps have been aware that Ferguson had dealt similarly with previous burglars in January 2001. Barry Dawson, 22, had to spend three days in hospital after Ferguson - who once served a jail term for headbutting a player - restrained him, again at his Formby home.

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