Pope mocker goes free in Australia

Pope Benedict xviSydney - Australian police have given up trying to prosecute civil libertarian Ian Bryce for driving around Sydney in a fake pope-mobile during the real pope's visit in July for World Youth Day. Charges were dropped Monday after the police case collapsed for a fourth time. A Sydney judge dismissed the case.

"It was against the pope's claims to have supernatural authority and all the harm he's doing in the world in banning condoms and trying to avoid family planning," Bryce said.

"And now he's said that gays are an equal threat to mankind as climate change, and I can't for the life of me see what harm they are doing anyone."

Police alleged the modified car was a distraction for other motorists. Bryce had fitted an illuminated canopy to the roof with a mannequin dressed as the pope inside.(dpa)