For more than a decade the identity of a prankster who stealthily placed gnomes all around his small English village remained an uncrackable mystery. But the man behind the good natured prank was finally revealed on Monday when his son delivered the eulogy at his funeral and lifted the lid on the family secret, the Daily Mail reports.
Peter Leighton, who recently lost an eight-year battle with prostate cancer, was the brains behind the antics that attracted the attention of national and international media. Mr Leighton teamed up with son David to carry out the pranks. David told mourners his dad financed the operation while he did the dirty work. “Dad said it would be funny to scatter gnomes around the village. He said he would pay for them but I would plant them,” David said during the touching eulogy. “Me and my friend Ben had a map of the village and worked out a route of who had security lights and who didn’t.”
During their 10-year reign, Peter and David placed gnomes across their village of Brattleby. “I remember being on the phone to dad saying there were reporters and film crews in the village and he was really laughing,” David said. Mr Leighton thought the prank would make people laugh, but when he realised his cancer was terminal, he started to plan his confession. When he found out he was dying he said it was right to come clean and admit it was him. He wanted his funeral to be happy and to amuse people,” Mr Leighton’s wife Erica told The Mail. “When David read out the eulogy confessing all the people in church started to laugh. It is exactly how Peter would have wanted it.”