By Hugh Dunnett, Crime Correspondent
A Suffolk man romping with a pumpkin in a field had a bizarre excuse when he was caught by police, a court heard.
Ralph Bishop, 53, was found with his trousers down committing a lewd act with the large squash plant, but officers were stunned by his reply when they shouted at him to stop.
Aubrey Smythe, prosecuting at Ipswich Magistrates Court, said: “The officers shone a torch into the field and yelled at Bishop, demanding to know why he was ravishing a pumpkin.
“He stopped, looked up at the police, then looked down at the pumpkin and exclaimed, ‘Crikey, is it midnight already?’
“The officers did not fall for his fairytale story and arrested him for public indecency and for being drunk and disorderly.”
Lorraine Fisher, 34, for Bishop, said her client was very sorry for his behaviour, and blamed it on consuming a large quantity of beer at his local pub near Saxmundham on the night of October 12.
Magistrates fined Bishop £100 and ordered him to pay £10 compensation to potato farmer Maurice Piper, who had set aside a field for a pumpkin patch.
Unemployed Bishop, who is divorced, refused to comment to the Suffolk Gazette when he left the court.