It's been a bad week for…

Edward Bentley. A court heard how the former solicitor lost u30,000 when shares he had invested in collapsed. The Cleveland solicitor's solution was to steal $64,000 from a client's mortgage account and jet off to Monte Carlo in a bid to place a one-off break-the-bank bet at a casino. After discovering the casino no longer took bets of more than u10,000, he flew back to England, placed a u10,900 bet at the horse track on a 3-1 dead cert, but the horse collapsed during the race. He then lost the rest of the money gambling on the stockmarket again. Frustrated, Bentley then tried to gas himself in his car but the engine cut out. So he bought a second car to do the job, but police stopped him doing so during a routine vehicle check. His solicitor Ken Gillance said of the incidents: "It was like a scene from a Peter Sellers film".

Judicial enterprise. Finding himself a juror short, Judge Richard Hayward dispatched a police officer to round one up from the street outside his court Lewes, East Sussex. Apparently, however, the British public have no interest in the pursuit of truth, justice and their civic duties, and nobody would agree to take part. The situation was finally resolved four hours later, when the missing juror turned up in a taxi after being summoned from her home.

Pasta. Italy's Constitutional Court is to decide whether a national law requiring pasta to be made from 100 per cent durum, or hard wheat, is against the constitution. Since Italians have been known to cite soggy pasta as grounds for divorce, the consequences could be catastrophic.