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Weekend court roll – our round-up of the most-read cases of the week

Our reporters have been sitting in courtrooms across the north and north-east this week and covered a wide variety of cases.

Prohibition assault

A man who headbutted a reveller unconscious in an Aberdeen nightclub has been ordered to pay his victim £750 over the “nasty” assault.

Corrie Smith lashed out in Prohibition on Langstane Place after mistakenly thinking the fellow reveller had pushed him.

Corrie Smith assaulted his victim at Prohibition.

The 27-year-old headbutted his victim, causing him to fall unconscious, then punched him in the face as he fell to the floor.

Fiscal depute Emma Petersen told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the incident happened at 1.50am on December 17 2019.

Biker tried to flee from police

A teen biker who crashed while fleeing police days after a £5,000 cannabis seizure has been banned from the roads.

Kyle Webster, 19, was sent flying from his bike and was nearly run over after hitting a traffic island when attempting to escape officers on School Road, Aberdeen.

Kyle Webster appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

The incident came only two days after he was caught with cannabis worth £5,500.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard he raced over a pavement, clipped the kerb of a traffic island and was thrown from the bike.

Skateboarder assaulted cop

A skateboarder has been handed unpaid work after assaulting a police officer who tried to handcuff him.

Stefan Spark-Boylan appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for sentencing having previously pled guilty to assaulting an officer and resisting, obstructing or hindering police.

The 27-year-old struck the constable as he was in hot pursuit of him on October 15 last year.

The incident happened as an officer got out of a police van to chase Spark-Boylan, who was on a skateboard, at the junction of Esslemont Avenue and Leadside Road in the Rosemount area of the city.

Homeschooling struggles

An Aberdeen mum who brandished a knife at her partner was drunk and struggling to homeschool her three children at the time.

Nicola Tennant was still drinking following a session the night before when she grabbed her partner by the throat then threatened him with a knife.

Nicola Tennant

The 38-year-old was spotted drunk and still holding a bottle of vodka outside her Aberdeen home at 7am on Feburary 5, this year.

Her own son spotted her and tried to take the bottle of booze from her before she argued with him and walked back inside.

Police officer scalded in tea attack

A woman with severe psychological problems has been jailed after she threw a cup of scalding hot tea in a police officer’s face – leaving her with permanent scarring.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how Michelle Quinn, 38, was offered the hot drink to calm her down following an arrest but instantly tossed the cup of boiling sugary tea into the female officer’s face and eyes.

Michelle Quinn was jailed for throwing tea in a cop’s face.

It resulted in the officer needing to be treated at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s burns clinic.

The court heard how the female sergeant had to take months off work and was left with blisters that had to be cut from her face and scarring on her eyeball.

Three in court after county lines drug raids

Three men have appeared in court in Aberdeen after a series of dawn raids across Greater Manchester last week targeting county lines drug gangs.

The crackdown – codenamed Operation Decoder – saw Police Scotland’s North East Division seize Class A drugs and a five-figure sum of cash from four properties in England.

The Press and Journal’s Impact investigation team joined police as they launched the action last Thursday.

Moses Nde, 34, Henry Okere, 32, and Beltus Amah, 29, appeared on petition at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and were each charged with two counts of being in possession of a controlled drug.

Murder accused ‘fit to stand trial’

On Tuesday, a man accused of sexually assaulting and murdering an Aberdeen gran was judged fit to stand trial.

Norman Duncan, 42, denies killing Margaret Robertson at her home in the Granite City on September 25, 2019.

Margaret Robertson

Margaret, known as Meg, was found dead after emergency crews were called to her high-rise flat in Promenade Court.

Duncan was arrested over the alleged killing – and put on trial earlier this year charged with murdering the 54-year-old grandmother.

DIY cannabis producers avoid prison

Three novice drug producers who learned how to grow cannabis using online video tutorials say they only did it to help those in pain.

Charles Gardiner, Nathan MacDonald and Iain MacRory spent a year cultivating cannabis plants – worth around £50,000 – from a garage in Aberdeen’s Don Terrace, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

Clockwise from top left: Iain MacRory, Charles Gardiner and Nathan MacDonald grew cannabis in an Aberdeen garage.

The three men claim their motivation was not to become drug dealers but to help one of MacDonald’s relatives, who was living with chronic pain and found relief using cannabis oil.

Since they didn’t want to associate with criminals they decided to grow their own and started following horticultural lessons found on the internet.

Sledgehammer attacker

A man has admitted a sledgehammer attack that left a former coworker in need of surgery.

Samuel Nixon beat on the man’s front door and when it was opened threatened to kill him before launching a vicious attack with the sledgehammer.

His victim managed to hold off the majority of the blows using construction supplies that were nearby, but one blow caught his thumb leaving it fractured, dislocated and with a severed tendon.

Nixon, 22, today appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court where solicitor Neil Wilson entered a guilty plea to a single charge of assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

Man urinated on rug

A man has been jailed after he terrified his former partner before turning around and “intentionally” urinating on a rug in front of police officers.

Dawid Majewicz, 40, barged into the home of his former partner without permission and began shouting, swearing and behaving aggressively.

When police officers arrived Majewicz asked to use the toilet before turning around and urinating on a rug.

He was also on bail at the time and was under curfew not to leave his home.

He pleaded guilty to two charges at Aberdeen Sheriff Court that he caused the two females to suffer fear and alarm before urinating on a rug.

‘Hang up or you die tonight’

A man who terrified his girlfriend and threatened to kill her unless she hung up the phone claimed he only did it because he’d been “drinking spirits”.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how Edward Campbell, 33, became “instantly aggressive” towards his girlfriend after waking up at her home on October 23 this year.

When she became scared for her wellbeing and called the police, Campbell told her: “hang up the phone or you die tonight”.

During his tirade, he also made additional threats against the woman’s life and called her a “bam” and a “grass”.

Drugs worth half a million found

Two men and a woman have appeared in the dock after police seized £500,000 worth of Class A drugs in Aberdeen.

The trio was charged after officers raided a property in the Mastrick area of the city on Saturday.

Specialist officers seized cocaine and heroin worth £500,000 from the home in East Main Avenue at around 12.10pm.

Natalie Hay, 29,  Anthony Mahon 31, and 27-year-old Lee Macrory were arrested and charged with being concerned in the supply of drugs.

Pick ‘n’ mix outrage

Scots cinema staff had to throw out an entire pick ‘n’ mix selection after a man dangled his manhood next to the sweets.

Scott Parker admitted committing an offence of public indecency by exposing his private parts close to the confectionery display at The Vue Cinema in Livingston Centre, West Lothian.

His not guilty plea to actually placing his genitals into one of the sweet compartments during the incident was accepted by the Crown.

As a result of his “bizarre” behaviour staff decided that the sweets were no longer capable of being safely sold to the public and binned them.

Danger joyriders’ criminal rampage

Two dangerous joyriders have been jailed for what’s been described as a “chaotic” criminal rampage in Aberdeen.

Keiran Gibbon, 24, pleaded guilty to a string of serious assaults, public order crimes and driving offences, including assault to severe injury and danger of life and using a car as a weapon to deliberately drive at people.

Keiran Gibbon and Adam Melzi

The High Court at Livingston was told his co-accused dad-of-two Adam Melzi, 23, had admitted car theft, dangerous driving and wilful fire-raising.

The accused, who both have lengthy criminal records, earlier pleaded guilty on the day of their trial to a total of 10 serious offences, including dangerous driving and wilful fire-raising.

Pensioner crashed into house

A pensioner has admitted causing “tens of thousands of pounds” of damage after he lost control of his vehicle and smashed into a house.

Retired man Jonathan Line, 66, was seen driving at excessive speed and lost control of his vehicle which ended up careering through a garden and crashing into the wall of a home in Portlethen.

Portlethen Retail Park, Portlethen.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told that the damage caused during the incident is “expected to cost tens of thousands of pounds” to fix.

Line, who handed in his licence as a result of the crash, told the court that his foot got stuck between the pedals of his automatic car causing him to lose control and crash.

Man thought parked bikes had been abandoned – so stole them

A man has admitted stealing two motorcycles from a street in Aberdeen.

Kevin Smith, 53, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court facing charges that he removed an Orange Buell Ulysses motorbike and a Black Buell Firebolt motorcycle from a street in Torry, Aberdeen.

Kevin Smith stole two motorbikes worth an estimated £6,000.

The premium motorbikes were estimated to be worth around £3,000 each.

Smith said he assumed the bikes had been left “as scrap metal” when he took them.

Inmate accused of attempted murder

A prisoner at HMP Grampian has appeared in the dock charged with the attempted murder of a fellow inmate.

Matthew Duncan was charged following a serious attack on a fellow convict at the Peterhead prison on Monday morning.

The 24-year-old is alleged to have caused life-threatening injuries to a 30-year-old man.

Duncan appeared in private at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday, where he made no plea and was committed for further examination.

Former restaurant boss admits stealing car

A former Aberdeen restaurateur appeared in court on Thursday and admitted a series of crimes, including stealing a car and trying to break into others.

Chris Tonner, who was chief executive of now-defunct company Beetroot Restaurants Limited, appeared via videolink from HMP Grampian and pleaded guilty to a number of charges.

Chris Tonner

The 40-year-old’s former firm used to operate both The Adelphi Kitchen and barbecue restaurant Cue – formerly The Courtyard – until both closed during the oil and gas downturn.

Mr Tonner – whose appearance in BBC’s Junior Masterchef competition in 1998 helped set him on the path to a career in the local hospitality sector – announced the demise of Beetroot “with a heavy heart and great sadness”.

Lorry driver accused of killing nursery teacher

A north-east lorry driver is to stand trial charged with hitting and killing a nursery teacher who was walking on the pavement.

John O’Donnell, of Inverurie, allegedly struck Chloe Morrison, 26, near Drumnadrochit in the Highlands on October 25 2019.

It is said the 52-year-old travelled to there from Kilmuir Cemetery on the Isle of Skye.

Prosecutors claim it is there O’Donnell unlocked and used the “outrigger legs” on the loader of the HGV when he was not trained or licenced to do so.

Student sexually assaulted woman at party

An Aberdeen University student sexually assaulted a young woman during a Hogmanay party at his flat, a court has heard.

Dominic Gallo, 23, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court facing a single charge that he kissed and groped the fellow student without her consent and while she was incapacitated.

Dominic Gallo admitted sexually assaulting a young woman on New Year’s Day.

The court heard how Gallo asked the woman if she “wanted to call a taxi” before taking her into his bedroom and assaulting her.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault at a flat on Castle Terrace in Aberdeen on New Year’s Day last year.

Spelling rumbles cash con

A dad who bought games consoles with counterfeit cash after his family’s benefits were cut was caught out because the dodgy notes were in “poonds” not “pounds”.

Desperate dad Ross Melville bought the fake currency online and used it to buy PlayStation consoles that had been listed for sale on Gumtree.

Ross Melville tried to pass off fake £20 notes

But eagle-eyed sellers spotted that the false banknotes read ‘Twenty Poonds’ instead of ‘Twenty Pounds’.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard Melville, 27, had arranged to buy PlayStation consoles worth £430 from two different advertisers through online selling site Gumtree last year.

Traffic cone vandal

A boozed-up yob who was so drunk he doesn’t remember being out that night caused more than £1,500 worth of damage to a hotel using just a traffic cone.

Kieran Forsyth flung the cone through the window of the New Inn Hotel, Ellon, before handing himself over police once he heard they were looking for him.

Kieran Forsyth smashed windows at the New Inn.

He was then cautioned and charged and taken to his grandparents’ house – who promptly told police to take him away again.

Fiscal depute Tom Procter told Aberdeen Sheriff Court how Forsyth became “agitated and upset” at this point and elbowed a female police officer in the face.

Delivery driver struck woman with his van

A delivery driver who knocked over a woman while she looked down at her phone in Morrisons supermarket car park has kept his licence and job.

Neil Jamieson didn’t look around him as he drove through the disabled bays at the King Street supermarket car park and knocked the woman to the ground with his van.

Neil Jamieson

The woman suffered a fractured wrist that was later treated at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Jamieson worked as a delivery driver for AAH pharmaceutical company and had been delivering medication to the supermarket, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

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