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Red hot chilli peppers floor Bristol shoplifter

Unwisely scoffs booty, collapses, vomits, cops a cuffing

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A Bristol shoplifter got a shock lesson in the awesome power of the Scotch Bonnet after ill-advisedly deciding to scoff a handful of the napalm peppers he'd swiped from a store, before attempting to leg it from the scene.

Marcus Banwell, 39, barely got outside Singh Stores in the St Paul's district of the city, because "within a matter of seconds" of swallowing his booty, he was "doubled over, coughing and being sick", as his local paper put it.

Coppers quickly slapped the cuffs on the hapless and disabled thief, who was found to be carrying another four peppers, "crack cocaine and a small amount of heroin", plus a clarinet he'd pinched from another shop.

When hauled before Bristol magistrates, Banwell admitted "possessing two class A drugs, three shop thefts, receiving stolen goods and breaching his licence from a previous prison sentence".

He was sentenced to six weeks' jail for the possession and theft raps, and eight weeks for the breach of licence, which will give his stomach a total of 14 weeks to recover on a diet of prison food.

As the aforementioned report notes, Scotch Bonnets have a Scoville heat rating of 100,000 to 350,000, on a par with the feared Habanero chilli. Banwell can consider himself lucky, however, to have not swiped peppers from Fire Foods of Lincolnshire, which in 2010 unleashed a deadly pepper cultivar rating an awesome 1,176,182 Scoville units.

The previous record was held by the bhut jolokia, at 1,041,427. ®

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