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Weekend court roll – armed raid over pug and alleged 145mph speeder

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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.

Drunk battered man in vicious hammer attack

A drunk man brutally attacked a concerned dad with a hammer after he was confronted over why he’d invited his daughter back to his home, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard on Monday.

Edward McParland had asked the woman back to his Aberdeen home as she walked back from work on November 24 last year.

She declined, but after telling her parents about the odd invite they paid McParland a visit.

But the confrontation soon turned violent with McParland confronting them with a hammer and saying: “I’m going to cave your head in”.

Woman jailed for role in robbery in which victim beaten with own shoes

A woman has been jailed for her part in an unprovoked assault and robbery at a homeless shelter, in which the victim was beaten with her own shoes.

Gemma Wright, 23, acted alongside Nicola Ritchie, 40, in assaulting and robbing the woman during an unprovoked attack at the shelter on West North Street, Aberdeen.

Gemma Wright.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how the pair pinched the woman’s trainers and beat her with them before punching and kicking her and then taking her jacket, the shoes and a bank card.

Their victim needed medical treatment and her clothing, worth £240, wasn’t recovered.

Thief stole motorcycles after seeing online ads on Gumtree

On Tuesday, a motorcycle thief who targeted bikes advertised for sale online was handed 200 hours of unpaid work.

Scott Murray was part of an operation raiding garages and sheds for motorcycles after their owners posted details on the internet.

The 24-year-old pled guilty to two charges of theft by opening a lockfast place at Tain Sheriff Court, but avoided jail and was instead ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Fiscal depute Pauline Gair told the court stole one bike from Gordon Terrace, Invergordon, in May 2019, and a second from the Balavil Estate, Kingussie, two months later in July.

Tradesman accused of conning woman out of almost £15,000

An Elgin tradesman who charged a woman almost £15,000 for an extension three years ago is set to stand trial on a fraud charge – having not even started the work.

Michael Hay invoiced a customer for the work in December 2018 and was paid £14,799 for an extension to her Craigellachie home.

Michael Hay.

But, more than three years on, he is due to stand trial on a fraud charge after allegedly refusing the woman a refund despite not having built her extension as promised.

The 31-year-old denied the charge against him at Elgin Sheriff Court but agreed to pay the woman the money back in a deal struck with the crown office.

Terrifying knifepoint robbery

A thug has been jailed after chasing a man along an Aberdeen street and stealing his laptop at knifepoint, while his accomplice brandished a glass bottle.

Paul Johnson was identified from a “distinctive leg tattoo” after officers investigating the terrifying robbery scoured CCTV footage.

Paul Johnson was jailed for robbing a man of his laptop.

The 30-year-old, who acted along with another male who has not yet been identified, chased his victim down in a white SUV after he fled when the pair confronted him on foot.

The muggers had approached the man on Jute Street and asked what was in his bag, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard.

Solider caught with indecent images of children as barracks raided

A soldier was caught with hundreds of indecent images of children when cops raided his Ministry of Defence accommodation, Inverness Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday.

James Milton had hundreds of indecent still photographs and almost an hour of video footage when his Kinloss accommodation was raided in September 2020.

James Milton pled guilty at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Two of the still images and all of the video footage was category A – a category reserved for the most obscene material.

The vast majority of the images were deemed category C – the least serious.

‘Manipulative’ boyfriend sent ex ‘60,000’ text messages

A controlling ex-boyfriend has been ordered to stay away from his former partner after “smothering” her with “manipulative” behaviour and 60,000 texts.

Scott Carroll, 24, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted using coercive and manipulative behaviour against his former partner over a ten-month period.

Scott Carroll admitted behaving in a manipulative and coercive manner towards his ex.

The court heard the woman was made to feel “physically sick” by Carroll’s controlling behaviour, and that he had sent her 60,000 texts over a number of months.

However, Carroll’s solicitor argued that he had only sent 10,000 messages over the 10-month period libelled and that the number included “daily conversations”.

Thug led armed raid on ex’s home in Peterhead in bid to get pug Coco back

A thug carried out an armed raid at his ex-lover’s home – to try and get his pet Pug back.

Michael Thompson, 27, had been in a relationship with Alexandria Ackers.

The former couple had a dog called Coco – but there had been a bitter feud over who should have the pet when they split.

Thompson and two associates later stormed up to Alexandria’s flat in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, masked and armed with poles, crowbars, a knife and what she thought was a blow torch.

Ferrari driving Etonian accused of hitting almost 150mph on NC500

An English estate owner is facing court over an allegation he reached speeds of almost 150mph on the North Coast 500 in a blue Ferrari.

Piers Monckton, who owns the Stretton Estate in England, is facing a charge of dangerous driving, alleging he reached an eye-watering 145mph on the A838 road, part of the popular Highland road trip route.

Piers Monckton is accused of speeding at 145mph on the A838. Picture: Google Maps

The 59-year-old Old Etonian, whose family seat is the Grade II listed Stretton Hall stately home in Staffordshire, denies a charge of dangerous driving.

It is alleged the incident took place at the road’s junction with Ardmore between Laxford Bridge and Tongue on May 26 of last year.

IT consultant escapes punishment after assaulting schoolboys

A man who assaulted two schoolboys who had been “terrorising” him has escaped punishment after a sheriff decided the blows thrown were done so out of “anger and frustration”.

Amr Hamed has been handed an absolute discharge, meaning that despite admitting the offence, it is not classed as a conviction and does not go on his record.

Amr Hamed leaves Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

He told Aberdeen Sheriff Court that he attacked the two boys when his frustration “boiled over” due to the students targeting his flat with antisocial behaviour.

Hamed, a software consultant and PHD student, said he had complained to both the police and the school about the teenagers – who he claims were throwing cigarette butts on his doorstep, smoking cannabis and repeatedly buzzing the doorbell of his Aberdeen home.

Ex church minister’s bid to blackmail woman into sending explicit pictures

A former Free Church of Scotland Minister created a fake social media profile in a bid to blackmail a young woman into sending him explicit images.

David Finlay Macdonald, from Stornoway, pretended to be a female named “Eilidh” and threatened to disclose sensitive information about his victim if she did not send him intimate images of herself.

The 29-year-old used the fake online persona to communicate with the woman between January and December 2010.

He pled guilty to one charge of attempted extortion at Stornoway Sheriff Court in November and has now been sentenced to 180 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £750 compensation.

Thug who punched cop in garden rammy hit with fine and unpaid work

A Newtonhill man who punched a uniformed cop in the face was spared jail on Thursday, but hit with unpaid work and a fine.

Greg Hatten carried out the assault after officers responded to reports of males “acting aggressively” at an address in Aberdeen on June 25, 2020.

Greg Hatten
Greg Hatten leaving court.

When police arrived at the property on Seaton Place East at 11.15pm they found the 32-year-old acting aggressively in the back garden.

Hatten quickly lashed out and struck the officer on his cheek with a closed fist, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

Drink-driving oil worker led cops on high-speed chase

Police used a stinger device in a desperate bid to stop a drink-driving offshore worker who led them on a high-speed chase in Aberdeen – because he “wanted to get some air”.

Nicholas Stephen appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted attempting to evade police by driving into the opposing lane and hitting double the speed limit.

Nicholas Stephen led police on a car chase through Aberdeen.

Driving into oncoming traffic, Stephen forced another motorist to take evasive action to avoid a crash, leading to officers deploying a police stinger in order to slow him down.

However, he accelerated and sped off through Aberdeen.

‘Inept’ criminal who stole minibus to drive home from prison jailed

A criminal who stole a minibus to drive home from prison just 20 minutes after his release has been placed back behind bars for another 10 months.

Gerard Graham was “too impatient” to wait the 20 minutes for a bus back to the city, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

Gerard Graham bared all for our photographer.

And he was worried about missing the security and welfare prison had offered him, his defence agent has claimed.

The 31-year-old was branded “inept” after he was caught because he left his release papers on the front seat following his freedom-celebrating joyride.

Drugged-up Aberdeen minibus driver hit six cars on trip he can’t remember

A drugged-up minibus driver left a trail of destruction in his wake after he struck no less than six vehicles on a one-mile hair-raising journey through Aberdeen.

Douglas Johnston was over the drug drive limit thanks to an apparent accidental cocktail of prescription drugs, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

Douglas Johnston and a map of his trail of destruction.

The father-of-one hit six cars, mounted the pavement once and caused a service bus to take evasive action as he tore through Aberdeen in his silver Ford Transit minibus with a female passenger.

Johnston, 59, failed to stop after each collision and was clocked by multiple witnesses en route who heard bangs, screeching tyres and frantic revving.

Car thief who killed father-of-three in hit-and-run while fleeing police jailed

A speeding car thief who killed a pedestrian as he tried to escape from police has been jailed for eight years.

Shaun Rimmer drove off at speed along streets in Aberdeen after officers activated blue lights on police cars before he struck father-of-three Simon Musabayana as the victim crossed a road.

Shaun Rimmer and police at the scene of the fatal crash on Great Northern Road.

He was hit by the front of a stolen Seat Leon driven by Rimmer and was thrown into the windscreen and over the roof of the vehicle.

Mental health nurse Mr Musabayana, 48, died in hospital 26 days after the fatal collision in which he suffered extensive and catastrophic injuries.

Teen caused ‘catastrophic damage’ in crash just months after passing test

An Aberdeen teen has been banned from the road after causing a crash that resulted in “catastrophic damage” – just months after passing his test.

Lewis Allen, now 18, was just 17 years old when he drove his white Mini too fast to stop at a junction and “collided heavily” with a BMW near Newmachar, Aberdeenshire.

Lewis Allen leaving Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard the woman’s vehicle spun 360 degrees as a result of the crash before ending up on a grass verge.

It was stated that the collision caused “catastrophic damage” to the rear of her BMW.

Thug who punched and bit Aberdeen bar workers avoids prison sentence

A racist thug who violently attacked bar workers in Aberdeen city centre when his credit card payment was declined has avoided a prison sentence.

Dad-of-one Thomas Collins admitted punching and biting staff at Wilson’s Sports Bar during a night out in December last year.

Thomas Collins admitted attacking staff and customers at Wilson’s Sports Bar in Aberdeen.

The 36-year-old then turned on customers as workers tried to eject him from the Market Street pub.

One staff member was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to receive a tetanus injection.

Woman caused dog ‘great suffering’

An Inverurie woman has been banned from keeping animals after neglecting her pet dog so badly that worried neighbours rescued him and reported it to the SSPCA.

Jennifer Grey, 42, allowed her springer spaniel Scooby to become emaciated, injured and dirty, with an open leg wound and bleeding lesions across his body.

Scooby the springer spaniel was found with a series of injuries after being in Jennifer Grey’s care. Picture supplied by SSPCA

The neglect inflicted on the dog also saw him suffer severe dental disease and a matted coat thick with grease and dirt.

It was determined that Grey had caused the animal unnecessary suffering over two months.

Booze-fuelled RAF employee vomiting on plane seats

A drunken RAF employee was led off a flight in handcuffs after he refused to stop smoking an e-cigarette and vomited on seats, Inverness Sheriff Court heard on Friday.

There were 109 passengers on board the Easyjet flight from Gatwick to Inverness when Ben Munday decided to consume his own supply of alcohol and use an electric vape in the passenger cabin.

Ben Munday was led off the flight in handcuffs.

The delay created by Munday’s booze-fuelled antics had a knock-on impact on other flights, and Inverness Sheriff Court heard the 23-year-old had “no doubt cost Easyjet thousands, if not more”.

He ignored requests from flight crew to stop, leaving other passengers, including a mother and her two young children sitting directly in front of him “unsettled”, and even struggled with police when they arrived to remove him.

Mum who flung wine bottle at partner’s head escapes punishment

A mum-of-one who flung an empty wine bottle at her partner’s head during a drunken argument has been admonished after a sheriff deemed her behaviour “out of character”.

Kathleen Whyte returned to her Kemnay home drunk at 3.30am on February 17, before clouting her sleepy boyfriend over the head with an empty wine bottle.

The 25-year-old had emptied the wine bottle single-handedly earlier that evening before leaving her house after an argument with her partner around 1am.

When she returned in the early hours he had gone to bed but when he awoke the arguing continued.

Naval engineer knocked motorcyclist off bike on busy Highland route

A naval engineer knocked a motorcyclist from his bike on a busy Highland road when he failed to check his blind spot before an overtake manoeuvre.

Jamie Rollo, 34, was in a queue of slow-moving traffic on the A87 at Clunie when he decided to try and pass a lorry in front.

But as he pulled into the opposite lane he collided with a motorcycle already committed on his outside.

Rollo admitted a single charge of driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road.

Former oil boss ordered to stay away from wife after baby mat assault

A former oil firm boss has been ordered to stay away from his wife after he threw a baby changing mat at her.

John Gibson got drunk during the festive period and turned on his wife, telling her “it’s all your fault” before throwing the changing mat at her.

John Gibson has been ordered to stay away from his wife.

The 70-year-old was supposed to be abstaining from alcohol but had started drinking again during the festive period.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of assaulting his wife by throwing a baby mat at her.

Married man jailed over rape of sleeping woman at Aberdeen flat

A married man who raped a sleeping young woman has been jailed for five-and-a-half years over the “predatory and opportunistic” attack.

Kenneth Laird, 45, struck at a flat in Aberdeen city centre on October 26 2019.

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

Laird – who had worked as a stock controller for John Lewis – was today sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow.

He had previously been convicted after a trial in Aberdeen of the sex attack.

Highland soldier drove home from pub while four times the booze limit

A soldier previously credited with good decision-making drove home from the pub after seeing off “seven to eight” double vodkas.

Jamie MacDonald, 20, initially told police a taxi, his friends or his mother had collected him from The Blacksmiths in Culloden after they were tipped off about his behaviour by a concerned member of the public.

But he later admitted drink-driving and pled guilty to the single offence from February 5 of this year at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Fiscal depute Hilary Michopoulou told the court that MacDonald had been drinking at the Keppoch Road establishment with his girlfriend and another witness on the night in question.

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