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Scottish youths pelt Santa with mince pies

Hard hat for Saint Nick

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Health and Safety officials in a Scottish shopping centre were forced to issue their Santa with a hard hat after youths pelted the poor old boy with mince pies, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The attack came from the upper levels of the Paisley Centre in Renfrewshire as Saint Nick was "handing out treats to customers" below. Mercifully, Santa was uninjured by the bombardment, and police intervention was not required.

Paisley Centre manager Andrew MacKinnon said: "We are a multi-level centre, and have taken this somewhat drastic action to protect Santa from possible injury. The incident does give rise to health and safety concerns, and we take the safety of our staff very seriously."

Local council big cheese Derek Mackay lamented: "Santa's visits to Renfrewshire have normally been controversy-free. It may not be in the spirit of Christmas, but I am sure it was just a one-off moment of madness."

Maybe not. The Telegraph notes a further example of mindless violence against Santa - this time in Tipton, in the Black Country - involving "a series of attacks on a sleigh that has been collecting money for charity". We suggest the UK's councils next year consider issuing Santa with an armoured sleigh for street operations and a taser for personal protection against pie-launching ne'er-do-wells. ®

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