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Weekend court roll – abductions and Buckfast benders

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

Teen had fake gun in street

A teenager has been fined after being caught with an imitation firearm in an Aberdeen street.

Mateusz Izdebski was found by police with the “airsoft pistol” on Rockall Road in Aberdeen.

Mateusz Izdebski leaving Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

The 18-year-old had been given the pistol by a pal while boozing together, and put it into his pocket before going outside.

Fiscal depute Rebecca Thomson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “At around 11.10pm on March 18 2021, police attended the locus in relation to an unrelated matter.”

TK Maxx shoplifter found with knife

A woman who stole hundreds of pounds worth of clothes from TK Maxx also tried to bite a security guard as she attempted to flee the store.

Sukhjeet Sundal, 39, appeared via video link at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted trying to steal more than £350 of clothes and other items from the Kittybrewster store.

TK Maxx at Kittybrewster Retail Park

As a security guard tried to stop her from leaving with the loot, Sundal flew into a rage and attempted to bite him on the arm.

She was later found with a knife in her pocket.

Dog puncher caught on video

A man who was caught on video punching his dog has told a sheriff “it was just a stupid mistake” after pleading guilty to the offence.

Footage of Brodie Burns attacking his Staffordshire bull terrier in Peterhead went viral and he was tracked down by police.

Brodie Burns punches his pet

His partner Lesley-Ann Stewart has now been cleared of any part in the offence after her not guilty pleas were accepted at Peterhead Sheriff Court.

Burns, 25, admitted repeatedly kicking and punching the pet in the town’s Berryden Road last year.

Penis pic man’s ‘poor judgment’

A man who sent a picture of his naked private parts to a 16-year-old on Facebook showed “poor judgement” a court has been told.

Jamie Leather forwarded the image over the social media network during what was an otherwise “pedestrian” conversation, causing the teenager to block him and inform her parents, who contacted the police.

Jamie Leather sent an unsolicited sexual image to a 16-year-old over Facebook

Leather, 33, appeared for sentencing at Tain Sheriff Court having previously pled guilty to a single charge of sending a grossly offensive message over a public electronic communications network.

Fiscal depute Hilary Michopoulou told the court that the offence took place on the morning of March 30 2020.

Man started fire as kids slept in beds

A Fraserburgh man has been jailed after he set fire to his neighbour’s home while two children slept in their beds.

James Colvin, 26, set light to toilet paper and dropped it through the letterbox before spraying deodorant on the flames.

James Colvin is led away to prison from Aberdeen Sheriff Court. Picture by Kenny Elrick/DCT Media.

A backpack that was hanging in the hallway caught light and a larger blaze was only prevented when the property’s fire alarm went off.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told two young children, their parents and an elderly relative were asleep in the flat at the time.

Police cleared of blame in mum’s death

Police officers involved in a chase moments before a young mum collapsed and later died have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Shania Collins, from Peterhead, had been arrested and placed in handcuffs just moments before she lost consciousness in the driveway of a property near Mintlaw.

Shania Collins was pronounced dead at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The 19-year-old was seen to “give up” and offer her hands to be cuffed before passing out on the ground at Pitscow Croft, near Kininmonth, at around 11.55am on December 22, last year.

A fatal accident inquiry held in December heard how she was intoxicated having inhaled butane gas – which can be used for lighter fluid – earlier that morning.

Grindr killer facing life sentence

A killer who brutally murdered an Aberdeen ScotRail worker after contacting him hours earlier on a dating app was today facing a life sentence.

David Bain, 28, stabbed Clifford Anderson in the heart with a knife before leaving the fatally injured victim in his home.

Clifford Anderson and police at the scene of his death in Jasmine Terrace

Bain was seen outside in the street with a can of lager shouting: “I have stabbed him. I have stabbed him.”

The former labourer and slaughterhouse worker later told police: “I just f***ing stuck it in him.”

Serial domestic abuser jailed

A “persistent” domestic abuser has been jailed after being convicted over a string of violent incidents in Aberdeen.

Martin Liddle subjected his partner to abuse in January last year including grabbing her by the hair, dragging her and throwing her onto a sofa, throwing a glass at her and headbutting her.

The 29-year-old was found guilty of two charges by a jury following a trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

He was found guilty of engaging in a course of behaviour which was abusive of his partner between January 4 and 26 last year.

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Brutal attacker jailed

A 21-year-old Inverness man was jailed for 15 months after knocking two men unconscious in a vicious attack more than two years ago.

If Jack Mackenzie had been over 25, he would have received an 18-month sentence from Sheriff Margaret Neilson, who was bound by new sentencing guidelines.

Jack Mackenzie was jailed at Inverness Sheriff Court

They were recently introduced and recommend that younger people get shorter sentences than older accused if there is no other option than custody.

Sheriff Neilson described the December 27 incident in 2019 in Quayside Court, Inverness, as “shocking” after being told how Mackenzie battered the men unconscious, continuing his attack while they were on the ground and banging one victim’s head off the road.

Coward’s threats to ex-partner

A mechanical engineer posted threats to his ex-partner on Snapchat where he warned he had “hard mates” and “she’d get what’s coming to her”.

Ian Docherty, 42, used the social media platform’s stories function to create a video of himself ‘ranting and raving’ about his ex.

Docherty appeared for sentencing at Tain Sheriff Court yesterday having previously pled guilty to a charge of threatening or abusive behaviour.

Fiscal depute Hilary Michopoulou told the court that the video was shared publicly on Snapchat on July 10 of last year.

Pervert sent naked pic to child

A Turriff pervert who sent naked pictures of himself to a teenage girl on Snapchat has been placed on the sex offenders register.

Stewart Barclay, 21, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted sending the graphic sexual images to the 14-year-old girl on several occasions.

Stewart Barclay sent naked pictures to a 14-year-old girl.

The court heard that he befriended her on the social media app before sending several naked pictures of himself.

He also requested that she sent pictures in return, which the girl declined.

Sparks fly for drink-driver

A drink-driver whose tyre came off after a crash continued driving on the wheel’s metal rim with sparks flying for more than five-and-a-half miles.

Colleen Murphy or Masson drifted onto the wrong side of the B9094 near Tarland as she turned a corner and collided with another vehicle containing a mum and her nine-year-old daughter.

Colleen Murphy

Murphy, 60, failed to stop so the shocked mum turned her car around and tailed her, noting her number plate and contacting the police.

One of Murphy’s front tyres came off in the collision, but she continued to drive.

Council worker caught dealing cocaine

An Aberdeen council worker who was clocked selling cocaine worth around £2,000 in the city has been spared jail.

Marc Nicolson was clocked by undercover police handing over cocaine worth almost £2,000 to a man in a van outside Aberdeen’s Rosehill Court.

Marc Nicolson

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how the 33-year-old had been of previous “exemplary character” before his apparent fall from grace when he was caught dealing the Class A drug.

Fiscal depute David Ballock said the council employee was spied by officers in an unmarked patrol car at around 2pm on November 20 2020.

Cannabis dealer jailed for six months

A drug dealer caught with more than £12,000 cash and seen dishing out cannabis on multiple occasions has been jailed.

John Forrest was caught dealing the Class B drug no less than three times in Aberdeen between May and August 2020.

John Forrest

And now a sheriff has ruled he had “no option” but to jail the 35-year-old for his repeated offending, which Forrest claims stemmed from a head injury in 2014.

Fiscal depute David Ballock said Forrest was first caught by cops in May 2020 when they searched a car he was a passenger in and found two bags of the drug which had a street value of £1,250.

Man coughed at supermarket staff

A man who deliberately coughed at supermarket staff whilst referencing Covid-19 has admitted threatening and abusive behaviour and culpable and reckless conduct.

Stephen Dick, 20, visited the Morrisons on Millburn Road Inverness on May 11 of 2020, while the country was still in the grips of Covid-19 restrictions, to remonstrate with staff about an earlier incident.

He referred to “coronavirus” and repeatedly coughed in the direction of shop workers, as well as knocking products from shelves and brandishing a plastic cone at the supermarket staff.

Dick pled guilty to the two charges during an appearance at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Dick’s solicitor Cecily Kingston told the court that her client, who has some mental health issues, had little recollection of the event in question.

She said he was:  “Someone who has struggled with alcohol misuse.”

Sheriff Robert Frazer deferred sentence until next month for reports.

Judge quashes tribunal’s decision

A woman lawyer didn’t get a “fair crack of the whip” from a disciplinary tribunal set up to probe whether a sheriff subjected her to sexually inappropriate behaviour.

Judge Lord Woolman concluded that a Fitness For Office Tribunal set up to investigate allegations surrounding Sheriff Jack Brown’s behaviour didn’t follow correct legal procedures.

Sheriff Jack Brown

The tribunal was set up after the lawyer – who can only be named as X – complained that Sheriff Brown, who sat at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, didn’t act appropriately around her in 2018.

The tribunal found that one of the claims made by the complainer did happen.

Curfew for furniture flinger

A yob who flung furniture out of an Aberdeen high-rise window as members of the public walked below has been handed a curfew.

Angus Hughes, 25, flung a small table, a kitchen drawer and at least one pot from the 10th-storey window of his flat in Stockethill Court in the Mastrick area of the city.

Angus Hughes threw furniture from Stockethill Court.

Fiscal depute Emma Petersen told Aberdeen Sheriff Court how neighbours saw furniture flying past their windows and crashing to the footpath below at around 2.15pm on November 28.

He had just been released from prison a matter of days earlier.

‘Timid guy’ threatened to smash man’s face in

A thug who threatened to “smash the face in” of an Aberdeen shop worker told police he was really quite a “timid guy”.

Matthew Clark repeatedly challenged a shop assistant at RS McColl’s to a fight and told one he’d “smash his face in” after he claims the cashier had called him a “junkie”.

Matthew Clark uttered threats to a shop worker at McColl’s

The 42-year-old grandfather spent two nights in custody before admitting to behaving in a threatening and abusive manner during an appearance at Aberdeen Sheriff Court today.

Fiscal depute Emma Petersen said Clark was known to staff at the Hayton Road shop due to previous shoplifting incidents and that after they asked him to leave he made the violent threats.

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Domestic abuser’s sick threats to cop

A man who hit his girlfriend in the face threatened to sexually assault a police officer’s grandchild when they came to arrest him.

Connor McInearney struck the woman during an argument, bruising her eye and cutting her nose.

But when police showed up he made racial slurs and threatened to kill them and their families, along with the sexual threat towards an officer’s grandson.

McInearney, 25, of no fixed abode, appeared for sentencing via videolink from custody at Inverness Sheriff Court having previously pled guilty to charges of assault to injury and threatening or abusive behaviour as well as a breach of his bail conditions following the incident.

Families speak out as sex abuser locked up

The families of two young girls who were sexually assaulted by an Aberdeen predator say their daughters have been left “traumatised” by his sick actions.

Alan Bremner abused both girls when they were aged between 12 and 14 over the course of two years.

Alan Bremner

Bremner appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Thursday and pled guilty to one charge of sexual assault and another of engaging in penetrative sexual activity with an older child.

The 59-year-old former bus driver told one girl he’d “buy her a toy” if she had sex with him and urged her to “just do it”.

Men found guilty of Fraserburgh abduction

Two Fraserburgh men have been found guilty of abducting and burning a 17-year-old boy with a red-hot iron following a three-day trial.

Jodie Forman, 33, and Bobby Hendry, 31, stood trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court accused of befriending a teenager at a party before taking him back to a flat where they bound him and held a hot iron to his body.

Jodie Forman, left, and Bobby Hendry, right, were found guilty of abducting and burning a 17-year-old with an iron.

Forman also faced a separate charge of stabbing a 21-year-old in the foot before searing his arm with a hot iron.

It took a jury of 11 women and four men less than an hour and a half to return a verdict of guilty in respect of both men.

Read day one coverage of the trial HERE

Read day two coverage of the trial HERE

Read what happened when the verdict was delivered HERE

Man claims indecent images were not for sexual gratification

A man who kept pictures of young children “posing erotically” and had a video of a girl carrying out a sex act on herself claims he did not gain sexual gratification from the indecent images.

Nicholas Gardner, 45, was caught following a tip-off to police about the images in his possession.

A search uncovered 10 category C images and a single category B video.

The images featured girls between the ages of five and 12, while the video was of a girl aged between 10 and 12.

Highland diving instructor wanted child to stand in gunge

A Highland diving instructor has been placed on the sex offenders’ register after trying to recruit a 14-year-old babysitter to meet him in a hotel, stand in goo and rub her “sweaty feet” on his face.

Michael Bramham, 44, was caught after English police targeting online child abuse placed an advert on Gumtree purporting to be from a 14-year-old schoolgirl offering babysitting services in Newcastle and Sunderland.

Ullapool diver and foot fetishist Michael Bramham has been placed on the sex offenders’ register.

A female officer posing as the girl was then contacted by a man calling himself “Mike” – soon identified as Bramham.

An “extensive” conversation took place between them, initially on Gumtree and continuing on email.

Rangers fan on smoke bomb charge

A Rangers fan who took flares and smoke bombs to Dons match has been fined – but avoided an outright football ban.

Gavin Brown carried pyrotechnic flares and smoke bombs into Pittodrie after travelling to the city from Glasgow.

Rangers’ James Tavernier gestures towards a flare with referee Kevin Clancy during the game at Pittodrie

The 37-year-old was attending the Aberdeen v Rangers clash on January 18 and let off the banned smoke bomb in the stadium during the 1-1 draw.

Police launched an investigation after the pyrotechnics were let off at the stadium and in the King Street area prior to kick-off.

Man went on Buckfast bender

A destructive tenant who trashed his council flat during a valium and Buckfast-fuelled bender has been jailed.

Derek Ellington smashed four large windows in his top-floor city flat before flinging out a sofa, fridge, bed, tables and tins of food upon hearing he was being evicted.

Derek Ellington appeared in court for throwing furniture out of his Shapinsay Court flat.

The 35-year-old had taken counterfeit valium and been drinking Buckfast in his one-bedroom home at the time at around 9pm on April 16 last year.

It took half a dozen police officers to cordon off the scene around the Shapinsay Court property as large shards of glass tumbled to the ground and parked cars had their windscreens smashed by the falling furniture.

Pervert jailed for sexually assaulting sleeping woman

A pervert who filmed their sexual assault on a sleeping woman has been jailed for 23 months.

Laura Miller, who was described at a previous hearing as gender-neutral, will also remain on the sex offenders register for 10 years following their release.

Laura Miller admitted sexual assault.

Miller, 29, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court for sentencing having previously admitted a charge of sexual assault on the day their trial was due to begin.

The offence took place at a property on the Isle of Skye in 2017.

Brenda Page trial to start in summer

An octogenarian is due to stand trial later this year for allegedly murdering his former wife more than four decades ago at a flat in Aberdeen.

Christopher Harrisson is accused of forcing entry to premises in the city’s Allan Street and repeatedly striking Dr Brenda Page, 32, on the head and body with a blunt implement or implements on July 14 in 1978.

Brenda Page was found dead on July 14 1978.

Harrisson, 81, is also accused of assaulting his wife on various occasions between May 6 in 1972 and June 20 in 1976 in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and elsewhere in Scotland.

Dr Page, a genetic scientist, was working at Aberdeen University at the time of her death.

Crushed on the school run

An Aberdeen dad doing the school run wound up pinning another parent to a fence with his car after he struggled to find the right gear while doing a three-point turn.

Babar Kamal had borrowed his wife’s car to do the school pick-up but wasn’t used to the automatic gearbox, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

The 33-year-old was trying to turn outside Kincorth’s Kirkhill Primary but hit drive rather than reverse, powering the red Seat forward and into the other dad.

The unfortunate parent ended up pinned against a fence and broke both his ankles.

Woman’s taxi assault on partner

A woman carried out a sustained attack on her partner while in a taxi by punching him up to 30 times and attempting to bite him, a court has heard.

Mum-of-one Lorraine McAra fell out with her boyfriend for “spending too much time with his friends” as the two made their way home in a cab following a night out in the Hay Loft pub in Aberdeen.

Lorraine McAra repeatedly assaulted her partner in Aberdeen. Picture by Kenny Elrick/DCT Media.

The 34-year-old reigned down blows and kicks on her partner while trying to bite him “all over his body”.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that the taxi driver was so shocked by the incident he called the police to report McAra.

McDonald’s fat-shamer

A thug fat-shamed a McDonald’s customer before headbutting him as he tried to exit the fast-food restaurant, a court has heard.

Lewis Donald abused the man about his weight after he picked up a late-night burger at the Union Street branch of MacDonald’s on July 23 2019.

Lewis Donald assaulted a customer at McDonald’s on Union Street, Aberdeen.  

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard the 29-year-old then headbutted the man in the middle of the shop.

Donald then made a bizarre attempt to apologise to his victim by shaking his hand.

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