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Weekend court roll – wedding day chaos and chef’s fall from grace

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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.

Headbutter’s police stand-off

A metal pole-wielding drunk who head-butted a motorist near an Inverness viewpoint later entered into a stand-off with police.

Police found Gavin Hampton intoxicated and standing in the water at Kessock Firth, moments after he’d broken the ankle of and headbutted a passing motorist.

Gavin Hampton

Officers were called at 10.40am on November 2 last year after the 23-year-old was spotted wielding a metal pole by a motorist who then challenged him and was assaulted for his efforts.

Hampton was first seen walking down the middle of Kessock Road and at Kessock Point, shouting and swearing and challenging people to fight, Inverness Sheriff Court was told.

Papergirl kidnapper’s prison sex attack

A notorious north-east sex offender who abducted and tried to rape a 13-year-old papergirl has appeared in court again after he sexually assaulted a female prison officer in his cell.

James Murison, 59, was jailed in 2007 after he forced the papergirl into his Huntly home and tied her up before sexually assaulting her until police arrived.

James Murison.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard the assault on the prison officer occurred at top security Glenochil Prison in Clackmannanshire in February last year and came after three incidents of Murison “parading naked” round the jail.

The court was told that on November 3 2020, Murison had emerged naked from the showers in front of seven prison officers.

Former John Lewis worker guilty of rape

A former John Lewis worker has been found guilty of rape following a four-day trial.

Kenneth Laird, 45, was convicted by a jury at the High Court in Aberdeen of the rape and sexual assault of a woman following a night out in the Granite City two years ago.

Kenneth Laird was convicted of rape at the High Court in Aberdeen.

The jury found him guilty by majority after considering their verdict for around three hours.

Laird, a former stock controller at John Lewis, carried out the attack at a flat in Aberdeen city centre on the night of October 26 2019.

Thug forced thumb into woman’s eye

A violent thug forced his thumb into a woman’s eye, leaving her bleeding and unable to see or defend herself – all stemming from a row over dirty dishes.

Conor Bardrick had been visiting a friend in Aberdeen when the pair began to argue about dirty dishes and he flew into a violent rage.

Conor Bardrick.

When a neighbour came to the woman’s aid, Bardrick turned his attention to her, forcing his thumb into her eye not once but twice, before throwing knives into the living room wall.

The 33-year-old went on to threaten to stab a man in a separate incident, before bragging about how much jail time he had done.

Crofter’s vicious assault on 83-year-old woman

A Lochaber crofter who attacked and seriously injured an 83-year-old woman because she was going to help his mother take down curtains has been jailed for 15 months.

Colin Campbell’s vicious assault left his elderly victim with a broken arm and nose and knocked out two of her front teeth.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told that there was an undercurrent of bad feeling between the pair and the 50-year-old just “snapped”.

At a previous hearing, fiscal depute Martina Eastwood said that Campbell shouted at his victim: “Don’t be interfering with anything in this house.”

Wedding day chaos

An Aberdeen wedding descended into chaos when a drunken guest argued with her mother-in-law, slapped the best man, assaulted a cop and had to be restrained to the ground.

Stephanie Norburn drank a large amount of alcohol while attending a wedding at Maryculter House Hotel with her husband, who was also the best man, in October.

Maryculter House Hotel.

But the romantic occasion soon turned into a nightmare when, following a row with her mother-in-law, the boozy 28-year-old slapped her husband twice in the face.

Police were called as a result and Norburn ended up swinging punches and kicks at an officer and had to be restrained on the ground.

Justice for victims of historic sex attacker

A sex offender who preyed on young boys more than three decades ago was today jailed for three years and nine months after his historical crimes caught up with him.

Christopher Duncan indecently assaulted one youngster at a primary school in Aberdeen and at a scrapyard during a campaign of abuse that spanned a decade.

Duncan, now aged 57, committed five sex crimes against children when he was aged between 12 and 23 from 1976 to 1986 in the city.

A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh that it was plain from a victim impact statement prepared by one of the victims that he “remains severely traumatised by your abuse of him”.

Man’s threats caught on camera

A man who claims he is being targeted by youths confronted schoolboys over the matter and threatened to break their necks if they did it again.

Kevin Mitchell spotted the youngsters, both aged 14, while driving along Cookston Road in Portlethen and pulled over to remonstrate with them.

The 47-year-old shouted and swore at the boys and threatened violence if he saw them throwing things onto his roof again.

Fiscal depute Kirsty Martin told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the teenagers were making their way along Cookston Road at around 9pm on April 22 last year when they saw a vehicle halt in front of them.

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Supermarket threats

A thug who warned a security guard at an Aberdeen supermarket “you won’t make it home” has been handed a three-month prison sentence.

Ryhan Potts told the guard he would “kick his face in” and that he’d be “there waiting for him after work” after he was refused entry to Tesco on December 4, 2020.

Rhyan Potts was abusive at Tesco in Woodend.

The repeat offender had only been released from prison a matter of months before after he was handed a 14-month jail term for threatening to throw his girlfriend out a window and robbing another man at knifepoint.

The 26-year-old returned to his threatening and abusive ways, though, after being told he was banned from the Woodend superstore.

Men to stand trial over fatal crash

Two men will stand trial later this year charged with causing the death of a 16-year-old Inverness schoolboy in a fatal crash.

Stuart Thomson, 50, and Connor Lawless, 19, are both said to have been driving cars during the incident on the A9 near North Kessock on December 20 2019.

The indictment states 16-year-old Gregor McIntosh was a passenger in Lawless’ Vauxhall Corsa. Thomson was behind the wheel of a Nissan Juke.

The popular teenager – who was described as “one-of-a-kind” by friends and the wider community – was left so severely injured he later died in Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

Pervert snared by paedophile hunters

A pervert was snared by online paedophile hunters after he sent sexual messages and images to decoys he believed were girls aged between 12 and 14.

George Henderson, 62, has been placed on the sex offenders register after admitting three charges relating to his online contact with the fake profiles.

George Henderson communicated with paedophile hunters pretending to be girls aged 12-14.

Henderson contacted three people believing them to be girls aged 12, 13 and 14, but he was actually talking to adult paedophile hunters, who alerted the police.

Henderson, of Abertarff Place, Fort Augustus, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court where he pled guilty to two charges of attempting to communicate indecently with a child and one of attempting to sexually communicate with a young child.

Drink-driver upset over care home deaths

A care home worker who crashed her car while drink-driving was struggling with depression due to the Covid-19 deaths of elderly patients, a court has heard.

Mum-of-two Gwen Clark appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted getting behind the wheel of her red Mazda and crashing into two cars while over the limit.

Gwen Clark was found to be more than double the drink-drive limit.

Clark had to be taken to the hospital as a result of the crash and it was there that blood tests revealed she was more than double the drink-drive limit.

The 49-year-old’s defence solicitor said that at the time she was struggling to cope with a spike in coronavirus-related deaths at the care home where she works as a nurse.

Buckie dealer called friend a grass

A Buckie drug dealer ordered a large haul of cannabis to her pal’s home then warned her “it won’t just be me you’re dealing with” when she reported her.

Adeela Asif called her friend a “little rat” and a “grass” because the woman reported the 290g package of cannabis to officers.

Adeela Asif

Elgin Sheriff Court was told how the drugs, with a street value of up to £300, were bought by the then unemployed 20-year-old using inheritance money.

She had the intention of using some herself and selling the rest on.

Jail for attempted murderer

A thug who left an attempted murder victim with horror injuries has been jailed for more than five years.

William Williamson, 23, turned on Gary Paterson after the man complained about him being in his flat in Inverness on March 5 2021.

The brutal attack included Mr Paterson being repeatedly kicked and punched even as he lay stricken on the ground.

A judge heard how the victim needed life-saving surgery with some wounds so deep they were almost through to the bone. Other injuries included a ruptured eye, facial paralysis and he had also been left permanently scarred.

Four in court after cannabis seizure

Four men have appeared in court following the discovery of £450,000 worth of drugs in Aberdeen.

Steven Clark, 40, Sean Imlach, 52, Paul Tattersal, 47, and Tarlochan Masana, 41, have all been hit with drugs charges after cops seized the six-figure cannabis haul at an East Tullos Industrial Estate over the weekend.

Imlach is facing three charges of producing a controlled drug with intent to supply, while Clark faces two charges related to the same offences.

Tattersal also faces two charges of production and supply of a controlled drug.

Masana has been charged with one count of intent to supply cannabis.

Cuckoo defence of shoplifter

A 64-year-old man who was caught attempting to steal almost £900 worth of groceries has claimed he was a victim of ‘cuckooing’.

Robert Dunlop appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted attempting to steal food and household goods by filling his shopping trolley to the brim at several supermarkets in the Granite City.

Robert Dunlop leaving Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

However, he claims he was put up to it by other individuals who had taken over his home.

Dunlop, who has previous convictions for shoplifting, was caught by Tesco and Asda staff while trying to leave the store with a shopping trolley laden with goods.

Get the latest crime and court stories delivered straight to your inbox

Every day our reporters are sitting in courtrooms around the area and now you can get their stories sent directly to you, five days a week.

Click here to find out how

Man admits assaults and rapes

A man has been warned he faces a lengthy prison sentence after he admitted a string of assaults and rapes across the Highlands and Moray.

Sean Hartley, 34, pled guilty to three charges of assault, two of rape, one of sexual assault and rape and one of engaging in a course of behaviour that was abusive towards a partner or ex-partner on the day his High Court trial was due to begin.

Sean Hartly appeared at Inverness Justice Centre.

The crimes took place over the course of 15 years and were committed against five women.

The High Court in Inverness heard that the oldest offences dated back to 2004 with the most recent having occurred in 2019.

Abuser kicked and stood on partner

An abusive boyfriend has admitted subjecting his partner to a campaign of violence, with repeated attacks including kicking her in the head, standing on her and biting her.

Jamie Will subjected the woman to a catalogue of abuse over the course of eight months around Aberdeen.

Jamie Will.

The 24-year-old, who appeared from custody at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, attacked his partner and injured her on multiple occasions and also bombarded her with threatening texts.

Will, of Jute Street, Aberdeen, pled guilty to a charge under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018.

Woman ‘too upset’ to take booze test

An airport worker who crashed her car “begged” for the police not to be called then failed to give a usable breath sample because she was “too upset”.

Nicole Boyne crashed her car into the back of another vehicle in Powis Terrace, Aberdeen, before pleading that the other driver not call the police at around 11.30pm on January 25.

Nicole Boyne leaving Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

After smelling the alcohol on the 32-year-old’s breath they immediately called the cops and a roadside breath test gave a positive result, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

Representing herself in court, an emotional Boyne said she “struggled to give two samples because she was really upset” at having taken the “stupid” decision to get behind the wheel after drinking.

Chef turned to drugs and crime

A former Aberdeen businessman turned to heroin and cocaine after his “whole life crashed” following the collapse of his popular restaurant business.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told Chris Tonner embarked on a life of petty crime in the wake of his food firm’s failure and the breakdown of his marriage.

Chris Tonner leaving Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Drug use “took over his life” and was the “root cause” of his offending, his solicitor said.

The 40-year-old has now been sentenced for a string of offences, including stealing a car, trying to break into others and shoplifting.

Pensioner drove wrong way on A90

An 88-year-old pensioner has been banned from the road – after driving the wrong way on the A90 near Laurencekirk.

John Milne pulled out of a junction on the A937 onto the A90, but instead of driving across the northbound carriageway onto the southbound one, he began to drive south in the northbound lane.

John Milne drove on the wrong side of the A90.

A horrified witness, in the car with her son, watched on as Milne drove on the wrong side of the busy road, with an HGV fast approaching in the other direction.

The 88-year-old continued for around 30 metres before turning off the A90 and heading towards Marykirk.

Violent crime figures show 7% rise

Non-violent sexual crimes in Scotland have risen by 7% in the past two years, new figures show.

Statistics released by the Scottish Government on Thursday show there were 789 such crimes committed in January, compared to 736 in January 2020.

Despite that increase, the figures show a drop of 5% from pre-pandemic levels for all crimes, falling to 18,736 from 19,758.

Sexual crimes rose by 3%, from 1,107 in 2020 to 1,145, while crimes of dishonesty were 8% lower – falling from 8,658 to 7,944.

New puppy injured flock of sheep

An inexperienced dog owner who bought a puppy in lockdown has been fined after her pet caused injuries to an expensive flock of sheep.

Tanya Johnston’s pandemic purchase, a Goldendoodle puppy called Biscuit, chased the £7,500 flock of seven Texel sheep around a field in the Milltimber area of Aberdeen.

Tanya Johnston with Bicsuit.

The first-time dog owner’s pet left the pedigree breeding sheep so distressed several were left limping and one had a serious eye injury.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told how the 48-year-old NHS worker tried unsuccessfully best to recall her exuberant dog as she exercised it, off its lead, on farmland just off Culter House Road.

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