Police have dealt with a bizarre case of two perverts who duped 15,000 people into giving them socks to quench their foot fetish.
The Southport sock-men conned drinkers into parting ways with their socks in the name of charity.
Claiming to be collecting the socks for good causes the sockmen approached unsuspecting victims in the resort's bars and clubs and paid up to £5 for their footwear.
They made sure to take pictures of the victims with their socks and then meticulously tagged each pair with the donor's name before wrapping them in sandwich bags.
But when their homes in the resort were raided, police found an 18-inch deep "carpet" of socks.
They were hanging from lampshades and even covering the microwave.
Both men were jailed in 1998 for conspiring to commit acts of gross indecency.
They were found guilty of conspiring to commit acts of gross indecency, and at their trial on June 2, 1998, the extent of their fetish was revealed.
While in prison the pair served out their time working in the laundry room – even cleaning other prisoners' socks.
The court heard that when police raided one of the men's flats they found 4,000 pairs in binbags in a cupboard.
Officers described their astonishment when they found they had to wade through a "carpet" of smelly socks.
"They were everywhere and anywhere," an officer said.
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"They were all over the furniture, hanging from lampshades and even in the microwave, frying pan and cooker.
"It was like there had been an explosion in a sock factory and socks had blown all over the place. In my 25 years with the police I have never seen anything like it."
The pair admitted incitement to wound each other and plotting to commit gross indecency with young men.
They were each jailed for 18 months, and ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for 10 years.
During their probe detectives advertised for duped sock owners to get in touch so they could be re-united. But not a single pair was claimed.
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The socks were later donated to the Salvation Army.
The case would later go on to inspire a short film, Holes In Their Souls, in 2015.
The makers said: "To many it was just believed to be rumour or gossip, an urban legend or myth at best, but to others, it was all too shockingly real."
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