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Shed man tells of his ordeal

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Steve Riley - the Blackburn man locked in a shed and rescued only after his SOS was picked up on the Net - has spoken to The Register about his ordeal.

It happened last week, explained Steve, who is grateful to the US Net user called "Dennoginator" who picked up on Steve's cry for help and contacted police in the UK.

It all started when Steve went to his garden shed - which has a phone line installed but no phone - to plug in his laptop and check out the Web.

That was about 11.00pm on Thursday, October 11, after his wife had gone to bed.

At around 2.30am the door slammed shut, the bolt outside slid across and Steve was trapped inside unable to get out.

Steve's convinced it was done by some "yobs" outside and dismisses those who believe the door was blown shut by the wind.

"There was no way the wind could have blown the door shut and slipped the bolt," insisted Steve.

Trapped inside unsure what was about to happen, the next few minutes were nerve-wracking for Steve.

Fearing the worst, he believed that those responsible for locking him in the shed might set it on fire. Worse still, his wife was asleep in the house and he feared that they might try and break-in.

"It was a really scary situation," recalls Steve.

Thankfully, as the minutes ticked away and nothing happened, he became calmer and began to realise that he was safe.

This reassurance was welcome - but he still had to find a way to get out of the shed.

He tried to download some phone software so that he could make a call - but that didn't work. He tried emailing friends in the hope that someone also shared his nocturnal online habit, but no-one replied.

He posted messages on Web sites and newsgroups in the hope that someone might be around to help him.

"This is not a hoax. I am trapped in my shed with no phone. Help please," he wrote, giving the phone number of the local police and his address in Blackburn.

Three hours after becoming a prisoner in his own garden shed, he finally made contact with Dennoginator, a US Net user, on ebay's UK site.

Steve is just grateful that Dennoginator believed his story, picked up the phone and called police in the UK. Minutes later - at 5.45am - Steve was freed and his ordeal had come to an end.

Steve tells us he's now installed a phone in his shed and beefed up security with a five-lever mortise lock. ®

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