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Solicitor loses slander action

A solicitor has lost a High Court action alleging he was slandered by a garda.

The case arose out of questioning of solicitor John Devane by gardai following a complaint from a special needs student that she was sexually assaulted by a man dressed as Santa Claus.

A jury rejected his claim that he was slandered by Inspector Seamus Nolan during an interview with Mr Devane's former partner, Allison Carty in 1996.

Mr Devane categorically denied the allegation of sexual assault and no charges were brought against him.

Pilot was over alcohol limit

An American pilot faces up to two years in jail for preparing to fly a passenger plane out of Heathrow Airport while over the alcohol limit.

Captain Erwin Vermont Washington (51) was reported to police by a colleague who smelled alcohol on his breath before the United Airlines flight UA949 to Chicago.

Washington, of Lakewood, Colorado, pleaded guilty at a west London court and will be sentenced later today.

Drunk tried to 'bottle' garda

A drunken man who lashed out at a garda with a bottle of Budweiser while he was being arrested for verbally abusing members of the public will be sentenced later at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Desmond Hogan told Anthony Wallace (33), who has 80 previous convictions, that he was "making an absolute nuisance of himself" but noted he had psychiatric issues. Wallace pleaded guilty to producing an article while acting in a threatening manner at Templebar Square on September 29, 2008.

Great white as rare as a tiger

Fewer great white sharks are left in the oceans than there are tigers surviving on Earth, it was claimed today.

The two top predators are almost equally under threat, but the plight of great whites needs more recognition, says Canadian expert Dr Ronald O'Dor. "Until recently, people thought sharks were bad and there was no urge to save great whites. Now people are beginning to understand that they are rare and wonderful species."