Worst Excuse Ever Part 2.
I doubt this is of enough interest to non-Irish people to warrant a thread on its own, but is this the silliest defense ever brought before a court of law?
Michael Stone guilty of murder attempt on Sinn Féin leadershttp://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/nov/14/michael-stone-gerry-adams-uda-northern-ireland
Loyalist paramilitary convicted of attempting to murder Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness
Michael Stone, the loyalist paramilitary, was today found guilty of attempting to murder the Sinn Féin leaders, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.
Stone had claimed that his attack on the Northern Ireland parliament in 2006 was a piece of performance art.
That argument was rejected today by Mr Justice Deeney in Belfast crown court, who said it was "wholly undeserved of belief".
The 53-year-old convicted killer was also found guilty of seven other counts, including possession of nail bombs, three knives, a garrotte and an axe, as well as causing criminal damage to the Stormont building.
During the four-and-a-half-week trial, defence lawyers argued the weapons were all "props" and that letters Stone sent to two journalists outlining his intention to kill the senior republicans were part of his "script".
After the verdict was read out, Stone, dressed in trademark denim jacket and jeans, shouted from the dock: "It is another concession to the Shinners [Sinn Féin]."
Stone's attack was captured by TV film crews who were covering developments in the political process at Belfast's parliament buildings.
Stone was filmed bursting through the main door and was wrestled to the ground by two security guards, who were honoured for their bravery.
It happened months before the historic power-sharing deal between Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionists on the day McGuinness was due to be nominated as Northern Ireland's new deputy first minister.
Stone is a former Ulster Defence Association member who gained notoriety in 1988 after killing three mourners in a gun and grenade attack on an Irish Republican Army funeral at Milltown cemetery in west Belfast.
He was released from prison in 2000 under the Good Friday agreement.
He said his appearance at Stormont was a piece of theatre intended to expose the hypocrisy of the politicians.
During the trial, which lasted four and a half weeks, Stone said his intervention had saved the peace process by giving Sinn Féin and the DUP some breathing space to reach their final settlement.
Crown barristers dismissed his claim as a ludicrous attempt to explain away a calculated murder bid.
When arrested, Stone told police: "I would have got in and stabbed Adams and McGuinness, cut their throats." But he changed his story in December 2006, when he said his actions were performance art and that nails in the bombs were confetti.
Deeney said defence evidence that Stone had been taking part in some sort of a "comic parody" was "hopelessly unconvincing" and "self-contradictory".
The judge added that even if Stone was acting, that was no justification for criminal behaviour.
"It is clear to me that some action constituting performance art cannot justify the use of violence, the threat of violence or putting others at risk of violence," he said.
The trial, which was interrupted in June when Stone sacked members of his legal team, ended in late September and Deeney has taken six weeks to reach his final judgment.
Stone will be sentenced next month.
The article doesn't mention it, but it was a female guard who wrestled him to the floor. I would have made that the headline - "Tough Loyalist Killer Beaten Up By A Girl."