'Santa' Swaps Sleigh For Statue

Santa found himself on the wrong side of the law when he climbed on top of a city centre statue.

The prankster, dressed in a full Father Christmas outfit, clambered up Glasgow's Duke of Wellington statue - better known for having a traffic cone on its head - and sat on the back of the Duke's horse.

Police officers were quickly on the scene and called the fire service to remove the man from the monument, outside the Gallery of Modern Art.

The gathered crowd booed as he was led away by officers into a waiting van.

Ruth Broers, 31, had stepped out of her office for lunch when she saw people congregating around the statue by Royal Exchange Square.

The marketing manager said: "It was hilarious and all very good-natured. There were loads of people watching and he was waving at them.

"He was obviously well prepared because he had a harness with him. He was up there for quite a while, then the fire service put up a ladder and a fireman chatted to him before he came down.

"There were cheers when he was rescued but as soon as he was down the police put him in a van and everyone booed.''

The man dressed as Santa is understood to be a children's rights campaigner.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "A 51-year-old man has been served with a fixed-penalty ticket following an incident at the Duke of Wellington statue at Royal Exchange Square.''