Early last month a number of British papers ran pieces about a Norfolk farmer selling execution equipment to dictatorships. For instance, this is from the Scotsman
Norfolk farmer David Lucas has built a booming business selling execution equipment to such enlightened governments as those of Zimbabwe and Libya. For the paltry sum of £12,000 you can be the proud owner of a fine set of English Oak gallows to hang the dissident of your choice. Or, if you've got a few unruly citizens you need out of the way, you could go for a group-hanging with Mr Lucas's "multi-hanging execution system", a snip at a hundred grand.
Now we learn that Mr. Lucas's gallows trade is nothing more than a hoax. At least, so says his business partner. UPI reports
David Lucas, 45, attracted reporters to his pet food shop in Mildenhall, outside of which stands a gallows Lucas built to show his support for capital punishment. He claimed he was selling them to the governments of Libya and Zimbabwe for as much as $22,000, The Times of London reported Thursday. More than 30 British newspapers, along with the BBC and Sky News covered his story, which has fizzled out since his business partner, Brian Rutterford, came forward. "It is a hoax that has got completely out of hand. I know David well, work closely with him and I know he has built one set of gallows -- the one that remains outside his shop on my land," he said. "The rest is rubbish." Rutterford said Lucas had been keeping up the rumor because he likes talking to the media about capital punishment, the report said.
I suppose this is an example of gallows humor.