TEDDY TRAUMA: The complaint of a mother who said police officers spilled her baby’s ashes during a house search has been dismissed following an independent investigation. Chelsea Wright, from Rugeley, contacted Staffordshire Police after a teddy bear containing her 10-month-old son Nathan’s ashes was allegedly damaged on June 27. IPCC operations manager Steve Bimson said: “Our investigator concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that any of the officers involved realised the significance of the memory bear or knew what it contained.”
LISTEN HARDER: The best way to pick up on a person’s emotions is to close your eyes and listen to them talk, a new study suggests. People tend to read emotions more accurately when they listen and don’t look. The study, published in the American Psychological Association’s journal American Psychologist and involving almost 1,800 participants from the US, found that blocking out other senses and using voiceonly communication “elicits higher rates of empathic accuracy”. SQUIRREL
TRICKSTER: A builder who police said used a dead squirrel to trick householders into thinking they needed to do repair work has been sentenced to 360 days. George Johnston, 34, of Sandhurst Road, Tunbridge Wells, appeared in custody at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court in Kent where he pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud by false representation. He was sentenced to 90 days for each offence which is to run consecutively. He was arrested after reports a man had been knocking on doors in Tunbridge Wells offering unnecessary roof repairs, producing a dead squirrel and demanding money to clear a pest infestation.