‘Put the colander down, and back away from the sprouts with your hands in the air!’
Thus was the famed Vegetable Killer of Grimsby, finally brought to justice, mere moments away from inflicted some heavily boiled sprouts onto her last victim, tied to a chair at the dining table, fork ominously poised next to the dinner plate in from of him.
Throughout the late 1970s, the whole of Grimsby’s manhood had walked the streets in fear, none of them knowing who would be the next of the Vegetable Killer’s victims. Every woman buying sprouts at the market, local greengrocer or – even – supermarket was regarded with suspicion and police were monitoring the sale of vegetable peelers and saucepans carefully, but the vegetable Killer had never been caught and the number of men killed by a excess of very overcooked vegetables slowly mounted into double figures.
So, in 1979, with Christmas rapidly approaching with the threat of sprout-related fatalities seeming almost inevitable the police in Grimsby had no choice but to cut down on their number of tea breaks and try to capture the killer.
All through the summer and autumn of that year, starting after the tenth victim was found face down in a plateful of over-boiled spinach; the killer had been taunting the police. She had sent them a series of messages explaining how she would kill again and again and the police would be unable to stop her as long as there were parsnips on sale in Grimsby.
Eventually, not long after the police canteen had run out of doughnuts, the police decided they could reasonably claim for an undercover operation on expenses, especially if it could also involve plenty of overtime.
So, disguising themselves as a section of root vegetables, the police secreted themselves around the vegetable racks at the supermarket and waited.
It was only the thirty-seventh shopper that they jumped out on and beat up that turned out to be the legendary Vegetable killer.
Unfortunately, just as the undercover police were filling in their overtime forms, expense claims and working out the wear and tear the Vegetable Killer had caused to their truncheons and boots, she managed to slip away clutching a bag containing over a pound of deadly Brussels sprouts.
After filling in a Car Chase Requisition From 35b in triplicate, the police joined in pursuit of the killer, finally corning her in her nearby kitchen where she was backed up against the sink, colander in one hand and saucepan of over-boiled sprouts in the other with her next victim tied to the kitchen chair as a hostage.
It took only twenty-three hours then for the Metropolitan Police’s Anti-Vegetable squad to finish their tea break and drive up the motorway to Grimsby. Then only another 12 hours of police overtime to bring the standoff to an end with the loss of only three very soggy Brussels Sprouts and some slight bruising to the shin of one of the policemen, and a slight staining of the vest of the killer’s potential victim.
At her trial, Doris Sweatyvest, the Vegetable Killer of Grimsby was sentenced to 17 concurrent life sentences, but in her defence it was pointed out to the High-Court judge presiding that she lived in Grimsby, so the sentence was commuted to 17½minutes of Community Service.