A young man from Portsmouth in Hampshire identified as 19 year old Ben Aukin has been arrested on suspicion of digging at a scheduled monument and removing metallic objects through the illegal use of a metal detector. However, the young man is protesting his innocence on medical grounds, claiming that the ‘nighthawking’ was due to a rare sleepwalking condition, which coupled with the fact he is a detectorist makes him vulnerable to biased speculation. Despite these protestations, the unemployed Hampshire man possesses a heinously long criminal record for acts such as mugging a 71 year old lady, kicking a swan to death, indecent exposure in a Gregg’s bakery, urinating in a church and numerous other offenses. Although he has only been metal detecting about 3 months, Mr Aukin has already accumulated a vast collection of rare ancient coins and artefacts. We Sent reporter Paul Mccoil to get a statement from Mr Aukin and to try and ascertain the truth behind this wholly bizarre story.
PM: So what’s the story, Mr Aukin?
BA: I just love metal detecting and all that history stuff n that, i ain’t interested in the money, who cares what it’s worth i just like to hold things in my hand and wonder how it got there.
PM: Can we stick to the incident in question please Mr Aukin, save it for the court room you aren’t convincing anyone here. Tell us about the sleepwalking condition and the events leading to you being out at night on a protected monument.
BA: Well I obviously have that rare disorder innit , “Sleep Hawking”, which only affects metal detectorists. Whereas your normal sleep walker may just go downstairs to the fridge for a snack, piss in a wardrobe, or simply get in bed with grandma and start groping her, us detectorists with a sleepwalking disorder just go into auto pilot, grab the machine, walk out to the nearest farm field and start swinging. It’s a real hindrance and I’m currently trying to convince my doctor to give me a Valium or perhaps a morphine prescription to keep me in the house at night. I even tried to get my girlfriend to handcuff me to the bed and stop me walking out of the door, though that didn’t work as I just wrenched the bedstead off and walked out. My GP is recommending that I give up metal detecting instead, that’s never going to happen unless I get an ASBO with curfew after my most recent case, but I’m not really permitted to discuss ongoing prosecution information with you in any detail. Anyway thanks Paul, I’ve got to sign on in half hour. Laters.
According to a spokesman from Hampshire police Mr Aukin’s defense is said to be pretty much non-existent and he’s likely to serve a full term jail sentence.
” The young man in question was indeed previously known to us through a variety of different cases, though this time he was caught red handed by officers at the site of a well known Roman temple in Hampshire. Our officers set up a stake out point equipped with state of the art thermal imaging equipment, and at around 11:30 pm Mr Aukin arrived at the scene with an accomplice. When the officers moved in to arrest the suspects they both ran off at full speed with the accomplice managing to successfully flee the scene, though Mr Aukin was rugby tackled to the floor and arrested, referring to one of the arresting officers as a ‘killjoy fucking tekkie molester’ before he was subdued. Officers later raided the house of the accused, and found a vast collection of items and circled locations on OS maps that were labeled ‘prime hawking spot’ in red pen”.
All in all, this rather sad situation seems indicative of the new ways in which nighthawkers will attempt to subvert authority and get away with their hobby. DD would like to remind any thinking of trying Mr Aukin’s dastardly tactics that there is nothing so scummy as impersonating a disabled person, and that the invention of fictional sleeping disorders is no defense when trespassing on a scheduled monument.