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Weekend court roll – TikTok yobs and cowardly sucker punchers

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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.

Driver left trail of destruction

An Aberdeen man left a trail of destruction – and oil – after crashing into a roundabout.

Callum MacKenzie crashed into the roundabout at the junction of St Machar Drive and King Street after being distracted while changing music.

Callum MacKenzie leaving court.

But the 26-year-old failed to stop at the scene, instead parking up nearby and taking a taxi the rest of the way home.

But when police followed a trail of leaked oil to his car and traced the vehicle to him, MacKenzie refused to provide breath samples, despite smelling of booze.

Yob threatened to stab shop worker

A yob “inspired” by TikTok videos about shoplifting has been handed unpaid work after threatening to stab an Aberdeen shop worker.

Jack Smith became violent when approached by an employee at Sainsbury’s on Holburn Street, swinging a punch at him and threatening to stab him.

Jack Smith leaving court.

The 28-year-old was cleared of a shoplifting charge, but Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard he had been “inspired” by videos on popular social media app TikTok, in which individuals go into shops and steal alcohol.

It was noted that Smith did not have anything in his hand at the time of the offence, though.

Snapchat perv paid girls for pics

A pervert who paid girls as young as 14 to share intimate videos and pictures over Snapchat has avoided prison.

Gregor Ramsay, 21, asked girls to video themselves urinating and even suggested they get their pets involved in some sick videos for his enjoyment.

Gregor Ramsay.

He had just turned 16 when he asked two girls, aged 12 and 13 at the time, to send him naked pictures of themselves, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

Fiscal depute Brian Young said this made the girls feel “uncomfortable” and both would try to change the subject.

Extortionist in chicken shop fistfight

A serial extortionist has been jailed for terrorising a woman after her ex-boyfriend fled the country with £3,000 of his cash.

Tahmin Chowdhury warned the woman she wasn’t safe to walk home from work and that her “house was at risk” over the unpaid debt which was nothing to do with her.

Tahmin Chowdhury.

His threats, in part, drove her to carry out an unsuccessful suicide attempt, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

The 29-year-old, currently behind bars at HMP Perth for a previous extortion offence, left her so scared she paid him £500 from her own pocket out of fear.

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Inquire resumes into custody death

An Aberdeen man who died in police custody seven years ago may have survived if he was arrested today – following operational changes made since his death, a court has heard.

A Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the death of Warren Fenty heard evidence from a police witness, who was a sergeant at the time of the 20-year-old’s death in June 2014.

Warren Fenty, inset, died in the custody suite of Kittybrewster Police Station

Mr Fenty died hours after being released from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where medical staff treated him for a drug overdose.

He was given an intravenous drug to counteract the effects of the overdose, before discharging himself and immediately being arrested by police investigating potential drugs offences.

Read day one coverage of this week’s inquiry HERE

Read day two coverage of this week’s inquiry HERE

Student brutally tried to rob man

An Aberdeen University student held a knife to a cannabis dealer’s body in an attempt to rob him in a brutal gang attack.

Aloaye Eshilama, 20, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted to holding a knife to the man’s side and dragging him into a doorway where he and two other men then carried out a frenzied assault.

Aloaye Eshilama smiles as he leaves Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

The court heard the men stole the victim’s phone and held it up to his face in an attempt to enter his online banking application.

When the gang realised the man only had £30 in his account, Eshilama and his accomplices took the man’s house keys, car keys and spectacles.

The victim was left with several injuries to his head, neck and body.

Man duped into dealing heroin

An Aberdeen man caught shifting 200 packets of heroin worth almost £10,000 around the city had been “taken advantage of” and “exploited”, a court has been told.

John Ferrier was caught with £9,960 of the Class A drug hidden in a mailbag beneath his car seat as he was in the process of passing it between dealers on August 25 last year.

John Ferrier leaving court.

The 60-year-old’s Nissan Note was pulled over by police in Oldcroft Place where it was searched by officers and the huge haul of drugs was discovered.

Defence agent David Sutherland said his client had been “scared” when the woman told him “here are the drugs” and he realised what the parcel contained.

“He then did as he was directed,” the solicitor said. “He confirmed to police he thought it was Class A drugs and that he didn’t know the extent of what was there.

Man spat at own family and cops

A man who is banned from Aberdeen city centre has been jailed after he spat at his family and police during the Covid-19 pandemic.

John Middleton, 23, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted to a total of 12 charges related to assault and breaching an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) by spitting on members of his own family and police officers.

John Middleton faced 12 charges at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

He was also found walking the city streets with a set of knuckledusters.

The court heard Middleton was subject to an ASBO after he carried out a racially aggravated verbal attack at an Aberdeen strip club in 2018.

Man in dock accused of armed robbery

A man has appeared in court accused of robbing a north-east convenience store with a firearm.

Mark Junor, 46, appeared at Peterhead Sheriff Court in connection with the armed robbery of a McColl’s store in Ellon.

Exterior of where the robery happened at the McColl's store in Ellon.
The McColl’s store on Provost Davidson Drive in Ellon.

Appearing privately at the behind-closed-doors hearing, he made no plea and was committed for further examination.

Junor, who gave an address in Ellon, was remanded in custody and will appear in the dock again at a later date.

Pair’s victim beaten with own shoes

Two Aberdeen women assaulted another lady in a homeless shelter by hitting her with her own trainers before stealing the footwear, her jacket and a bank card.

Nicola Ritchie, 40, and Gemma Wright, 23, searched, assaulted and robbed the woman during an unprovoked attack in the city’s homeless accommodation on West North Street.

Nicola Wright, left, and Gemma Wright both appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

They pinched the woman’s trainers and beat her with them before punching and kicking her then taking her jacket, the shoes and a bank card.

Their victim needed hospital treatment and her clothing, worth £240, wasn’t recovered, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

Dad grew cannabis in cupboard

A father-of-two turned to growing cannabis in his bedroom and loft after taking up drugs to deal with a “toxic” relationship.

Alan Welsh led police right to his cultivation after he asked them to allow him to get changed before they detained him for another matter, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

Alan Welsh leaving court.

Officers attended at his Woodside home on September 17 last year on an unrelated matter, but soon caught a sniff of the cannabis cultivation and the sound of a fan running after he led them into his bedroom after he asked for a brief moment to get changed.

The court heard how the 49-year-old father-of-two had turned to drugs after entering into a “toxic” relationship with a new woman after the death of his wife of 15 years.

Man hid with his drug stash in bush

A man who was found hiding in bushes by police had been stashing more than £4,000 of cannabis, a court has heard.

Gavin Knights, 24, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted storing a rucksack containing nine bags of cannabis behind a hedge in Peterhead.

Gavin Knights leaves Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

A knife was also found at the scene, which witnesses had seen Knights with earlier that night.

The drugs found were estimated to have a total street value of £4,050.

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.

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Man charged with attempted murder

A man has appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court charged with attempted murder after a 61-year-old man suffered serious injuries in an alleged attack.

Maciej Lisowski appeared in private following the incident in the Park Street area of Aberdeen, close to Lemon Place.

The 21-year-old is also charged under Section 49 of the Criminal Law Scotland Act over the possession of a blade or a sharply pointed article.

Maciej made no plea at the behind-closed-doors hearing and was committed for further examination.

Man didn’t realise ‘spastic’ was offensive

A man who called police “spastics” when they attended at his home has been fined – but claimed he wasn’t aware the term was offensive.

Father-of-two Paul Vass appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted subjecting police to a foul-mouthed tirade at his house in Kintore, Aberdeenshire.

Paul Vass leaving Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Officers who attended at Vass’ home reported that he “seemed to be under the influence” before he became “volatile”.

He then called the constables “spastics”.

His solicitor claimed that Vass, 38, wasn’t aware that the meaning of the word had now become offensive.

Supermarket thug jailed

A man has been jailed after he kneed a Lidl worker in the groin.

Rhyan Potts, 24, got into an altercation with the worker who suspected him of shoplifting after he was loitering in the store.

Rhyan Potts attacked a Lidl worker.

As a struggle ensued, Potts then repeatedly punched and kicked the man to the body as both were on the ground.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that as the worker was kneed in the groin as he tried to stop Potts from leaving the scene.

Weekend cocaine user was almost eight times the limit

A man who was described as a “weekend cocaine user” got behind the wheel while nearly eight times the limit.

Jon MacLeod, 20, was initially stopped by police in Kemnay because he had forgotten to put his lights on – but officers then smelled cannabis in the car and took him in for preliminary blood tests.

Jon MacLeod leaving Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

When police later tested him MacLeod was found to have both cocaine and a cocaine metabolite – a byproduct of the body breaking down a drug into a different substance – in his system.

The amount of cocaine metabolite in his blood showed that he was nearly eight times the limit for driving.

Scooter deliveryman banned

A scooter delivery driver has been banned from the roads after he was found to be driving with double the legal limit of cannabis in his system.

Craig Edgar, 35, was spotted driving through the centre of Ellon on his scooter with a passenger on the back when the police pulled him over.

Craig Edgar was banned from driving at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

When stopped and tested, Edgar gave a reading for cannabis that was more than double the legal driving limit.

His solicitor said a driving ban would have an impact on his ability to continue employment as a delivery courier.

Domestic abuser’s four-day drinking binge

A man has appeared in court for domestic abuse after threatening to kill his partner during a four-day drinking binge.

Donald Macaulay made the threat as the woman called 999 for help after he grabbed her by the neck.

He told the woman: “That will be the last thing you will do.”

Macaulay, 65, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court, where he admitted a single charge of engaging in a course of behaviour which was abusive of his partner.

Kitchen drug dealer

A mum who dealt diazepam out of her kitchen cupboards has been handed 120 hours of unpaid work.

Police searched the home of Stacey Wallace after being told she was selling the drug and found packets of the pills stashed in a kitchen cupboard.

Messages on her phone showed she had been ordering the drug to be delivered to her home, before selling it on to others.

Wallace, 31, appeared for sentencing at Inverness Sheriff Court having previously pled guilty to a single charge of being concerned in the supply of the Class C drug.

Sucker puncher

A man was left permanently disfigured after a cowardly sucker punch outside an Inverness strip club.

Dean Stewart, from Elgin, was caught on CCTV punching his victim in the face – just seconds after the two had shared a handshake and embraced.

Dean Stewart assaulted a man outside Private Eyes strip club in Inverness

The surprise attack caused multiple facial fractures that required surgery, leaving the victim permanently disfigured.

Stewart, 24, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court where he pled guilty to a single charge of assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment.

Cops sniff out drug-driver

A drug-driver was caught out after the stench of cannabis wafting from his van was so strong even cops travelling behind him on motorbikes could smell it.

Dean Main’s vehicle was driving along A944 Aberdeen-to-Westhill road when the traffic cops detected the distinct smell of cannabis through their motorbike helmets.

Dean Main.

The 30-year-old, of Skene, was pulled over and found to be more than three times the drug-driving limit.

A search of him and his white Vauxhall Vivaro van by officers found two packages of cannabis worth £80, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

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