When angling goes bad: Magnet fisherman pulls out fake severed hand from Northamptonshire river

A magnet fisherman had to call in the long arm of the law when he found what appeared to be a severed hand in a Northamptonshire river.

Nigel Lamford, 47, uses a powerful magnet to dredge items out of the water, and recently recovered a haul of antique weapons from a stretch of the River Nene.

However, he got more than he bargained for on Thursday while he was filming with ITV News Anglia for a gentle feature about his hobby.

As he was showing reporter Stuart Leithes his techniques, he was horrified to pull out what at first glance looked like a human hand gripping a barbell weight from the river at Irthlingborough.

It was wrapped in cling film and the finger tips were visible through the plastic.

Nigel called the police following the discovery. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Mr Lamford phoned the police immediately and a team of officers were quickly scrambled to scene.

A cordon was put in place for a time, and a forensic officer examined the find.

However, following an investigation, it was confirmed that the hand was fake and police suspect that it probably came from a mannequin.

Mr Lamford and his friend Dan Moore had only taken up magnet fishing in October, and they believe that someone could have dropped the hand in the river as a joke.

"If it was a prank, then sure, they got us," Mr Moore told ITV News Anglia.

"But it's a very sick prank. It's not very funny, you're wasting police time. It's just sick."