Catalan cop jailed for tow truck revenge

A Barcelona policeman has been locked up for 18 months prison and slapped with a €400 penalty after he fined four tow trucks in "retaliation" after his own parked car was towed away.

Catalan cop jailed for tow truck revenge
The avenging officer slapped four tow trucks with false fines after his own car was towed away. File photo: albir/Flickr

The court found the man guilty on Friday of issuing four tickets to municipal tow trucks for supposedly jumping red lights between October 2010 and February 2011.

According to Catalan daily El Periodico, the court statement declared that the fines were issued as "retaliation" after his own car was hit with a fine.

The policeman, an officer in the city's Guardia Urbana, issued the tickets "knowing" the red lights had never been run.

In one case, the tow truck had not yet left the depot at the time of the alleged infraction.

Other vehicles were fined while still in the garage or while they were elsewhere in streets across the city.

The man was found guilty of falsifying a official documents and of abusing his office as a policeman – for which he received the custodial sentence – despite a full confession and the mitigating circumstance of mental illness.

The court judged that the man acted in a "confused manner, with a greatly affected capacity to both reason and act" because of depression caused by relationship problems and for which he required medical help, according to statements by psychologists and psychiatrists.

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Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”