Any reporter who has spent time covering court knows the drill. You arrive at court early with a photographer, armed with a grainy image of the person whose case you’re covering.
Even before you get on with the main business of the day – covering justice in action – you’ve got a battle of skills, wit and cunning: You and the photographer vs the accused.
Their mission: Getting into court undetected by you, or more importantly to them, troubled by the photographer’s telephoto lens. Your job: To ensure they fail.
Some suspects just brazen it out. Others dash inside. I’ve seen people hide behind brollies, surround themselves with gobby friends who make the cast of Benefits Street look like the posh couple off Gogglebox, walk through open spaces with blankets over their heads, or sent some local heavies into bat before they arrive.
I’ve never seen someone come up with such a dodgy ruse that it actually becomes almost more important to the story than the court case itself … and propels the story around social media as a result.
Step forward Thomas Jones, who appeared in front of court in Swansea with his wife Lesley Jones. They falsely claimed their relationship failed on their wedding night allowing her to continue claiming benefits worth £112,000.
A good story in itself, but made all the better by the disguise he used to try and evade detection:
After being posted on the WalesOnline Facebook page, it went on to reach tens of thousands of people’s timelines on Friday.
As epic fails go…