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Weekend court roll – a speeding Dons star and a vengeful ex-girlfriend

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

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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.

Tree surgeon facing court after man killed by falling timber

A tree surgeon is facing court after a man was fatally injured by falling timber in Aberdeenshire.

Andrew Pirie was fatally injured when a section of tree trunk fell on him in Dunnottar on June 25 2020.

The tragic incident happened at the junction of the Kirkton of Fetteresso to Dunnottar Woods road and the Middle Toucks Farm access road.

Now, Scott Menhinick, 44, has appeared in court facing a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 as well as attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Woman dragged unconscious man into lift and left him there

A 61-year-old man was left with bruising on his brain after being attacked by a woman who then dragged him, unconscious, into a lift.

Cher Macrae had attacked the man, a friend she had been drinking with, after a row about a mobile phone.

Cher Macrae leaves Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

The 47-year-old punched and scratched her victim in a “sustained” attack lasting hours.

She then later dragged his unconscious body into the lift at Regent Court in Aberdeen and left him there to be found over an hour later.

Aberdeen man in court after ‘stabbings’ in Brechin

An Aberdeen man has appeared in court after two people were taken to hospital following an alleged stabbing in Brechin at the weekend.

Police and paramedics were called to an incident in town’s Wards Road on Saturday afternoon and two men in their 20s were taken to hospital.

Kevin Sorrie, 40, has now appeared in private at Forfar Sheriff Court accused of assault to severe injury and danger of life.

Sorrie is also accused of having a weapon, committing an assault to injury and vandalism.

Just Stop Oil protestor admits throwing paint on Aberdeen building

A third Just Stop Oil protestor has admitted throwing orange paint over an office block on Union Street in Aberdeen.

Kayleigh Matthews was part of a protest group which emptied pails of bright orange paint over the exterior of the Silver Fin building.

Kayleigh Matthews leaving court. Image: DC Thomson

Earlier this month, two other protestors were admonished after Sheriff Margaret Hodge questioned whether they might have been taken advantage of by the climate change group.

Now, Matthews, 23, has also pled guilty to a charge of malicious mischief over the incident, which happened on November 14 last year.

Vicious offshore worker fractured Drummonds DJ’s eye socket

An oil and gas worker who broke a DJ’s eye socket with one punch has been ordered to pay the injured man compensation.

Matthew Sullivan, 34, got into an altercation with William Latif in the men’s toilets at popular Aberdeen nightspot Drummonds.

Matthew Sullivan admitted assaulting William Latif to his severe injury in Drummonds. Image: DC Thomson/LinkedIN.

Following the argument, Sullivan then walked up to Latif at the bar and viciously punched him in the face, fracturing his eye socket and cheekbone.

When he was later questioned by police, Sullivan was unable to explain why he did it, other than he was very drunk.

Man grabbed baseball bat from would-be robber and beat him

A man who managed to snatch a baseball bat off a group of men who were trying to rob him ended up in the dock himself after he “overstepped the mark” while defending himself.

Dylan Dunlop sent his victim to the hospital after he battered him about the head and body with the bat – cracking it over the man’s face as he tried to flee.

Dylan Dunlop admitted attacking a robber with a baseball bat. Image: DC Thomson.

The 27-year-old’s actions resulted in the man suffering a series of injuries, including a large lump to his forehead, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

Fiscal depute Jane Spark told the court that on the afternoon of November 29 last year a group of three males were in a house in Northfield when they decided that “they were going to rob someone”.

Speeding driver told to ‘slow down’ moments before horrific crash

A dangerous driver’s passenger told him to “slow down” in the moments before he caused a horrific four-car crash, a court has been told.

Witnesses said David Grant was speeding as he attempted an overtake on the A98 at Tynet.

David Grant and the A98 crash
David Grant admitted a dangerous driving charge at Inverness Sheriff Court following the A98 crash

Grant then lost control of his blue Fiat Grande Punto, crashing into two other cars and causing one of them to spin into the path of a third.

Grant, 24, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court to admit a single charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving in relation to the crash on August 28 2020.

Man groped women in Prohibition

A man has been placed on the sex offenders register after he groped two women at a popular Aberdeen nightspot.

Shaun Alexander appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted sexually assaulting two women at Prohibition on the city’s Langstane Place.

Shaun Alexander leaving court
Shaun Alexander was placed on the sex offenders register after he sexually assaulted two women in Prohibition. Image: DC Thomson.

It was stated that the 26-year-old touched one woman’s bottom and lifted up the skirt of another, before slapping her buttocks.

His solicitor told the court that Alexander was drunk that night but added that he knows this “isn’t an excuse” for his behaviour.

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Aberdeen city centre rapist jailed for seven years

A rapist who was chased by his victim moments after he sexually assaulted her in an Aberdeen street has been jailed for seven years.

Mohammed Abdullah, 19, preyed on the 18-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in Bon Accord Street, on August 17 2021.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Abdullah came to Scotland from Sudan in the hope of securing a “better life”.

But he preyed on his victim moments after she left Prohibition bar in the city centre. He had been waiting outside the nightclub in the moments leading up to the attack and taking photos of girls dancing in the street.

Highland rapist attacked 13-year-old girl in hotel

A Highland man had sex with underage teenagers in Inverness and also raped a 13-year-old girl whose intimate pictures he threatened to share.

Joshua Pemberton, of Beauly, attacked the girl at a Travelodge in Livingston, West Lothian, on January 22 last year.

Joshua Pemberton being taken from Inverness Sheriff Court where he was sentenced for non-contact sexual offences involving children in May 2018.

Court papers stated the 26-year-old serial sex offender removed her clothing, laid on top of her and forced her legs apart which restricted her movement.

Then he raped the girl and followed her into a bathroom where he put his arms around her.

Dons star Jonny Hayes left cops ‘for dead’ as he hit 125mph in Audi

Aberdeen FC star Jonny Hayes has been banned from driving after racing past police at more than 125mph on his way to training.

The former Celtic footballer left police in an unmarked BMW “for dead” and overtook them on the AWPR before accelerating away at eye-watering speeds – despite a yellow weather warning being in place.

Jonny Hayes leaving court after an earlier hearing. Image: DC Thomson

Hayes had denied a charge of dangerous driving but was found guilty following a trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court today.

Famed for his lightning pace at the height of his career, the 36-year-old sprinted down Union Street at the conclusion of the case after being allowed to leave court via a side door by social workers.

Man’s sickening threat to burn police officer’s home and rape wife

A man assaulted his ex-partner and then threatened to burn down a police officer’s house and rape his wife.

Shaun Rose pushed and struggled with his former partner during a row at his home on Skene Street, Aberdeen.

And when he was arrested, the 45-year-old made the sick threats towards an officer.

Fiscal depute Sean Ambrose told Aberdeen Sheriff Court Rose’s ex had been staying with him on July 30 last year when an argument broke out and “became physical”.

Thief stole P&J paperboy’s bike and raided children’s piggy bank

A thief took a paperboy’s bike and then broke into a flat to raid a child’s piggy bank and stole their coin collection.

Dean Wells grabbed the bicycle from outside an Elgin newsagent when the delivery boy went inside to collect the papers.

Dean Wells stole a paperboy’s bike from outside an Elgin newsagents. Image: DC Thomson

Later that day he broke into a woman’s flat and stole around £200 she kept in a piggy bank for her children, along with a number of collectable 50p pieces she had been saving for them.

Wells, 31, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court to admit the thefts along with a charge of threatening or abusive behaviour towards staff at the newsagents who challenged him over the bicycle theft.

Man attacked noisy neighbour with baseball bat

An Aberdeen man battered his noisy neighbour with a baseball bat because he’d come to “the end of his tether”.

Ivor Walker, 48, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted assaulting his neighbour to his injury in that stairwell of a block of flats on Beattie Avenue, Aberdeen.

Ivor Walker admitted attacking his neighbour with a baseball bat. Image: DC Thomson.

Walker repeatedly struck the man across the head, face, and body while also knocking him down a flight of stairs during a sustained baseball bat attack.

His solicitor told the court that the pair had been having an on-going disagreement for three years before Walker had come to “the end of his tether”.

Highland paedophile, 62, snared by decoy posing as child

A paedophile told an internet decoy posing as a child that he found “girls your age group sexy”, a court has heard.

Harry Croft, 62, messaged a profile purporting to be a 10 or 11-year-old child and told her he likes young girls.

He made sexual comments to the decoy and asked her for naked photographs, suggesting she obscure her face so that she could not be identified.

Croft appeared via videolink from custody at Inverness Sheriff Court to admit a charge of sexually communicating with a person he believed to be a child under the age of 13 and causing them to look at a sexual image.

Aboyne teen threatened to ‘blow up’ and ‘set fire’ to pregnant ex’s home

An Elgin teenager who left threatening messages for his pregnant girlfriend has been ordered to stay away from her by a court.

Stuart Thomson – who told the woman he would set fire and blow up her home – appeared in Elgin’s Sheriff Court and admitted to leaving the abusive messages last year.

Fiscal depute Sharon Ralph told the court that 19-year-old Thomson’s partner was pregnant at the time, but she didn’t tell police about the sinister call until March this year when her baby was one month old.

Mrs Ralph explained that when the messages were received on December 21 2022 she was no longer in a relationship with Thomson having parted ways the previous September.

Offshore worker found with child abuse material

An offshore engineer found with nearly 200 indecent images and videos of children tried to downplay the seriousness of what police had discovered at his home.

Euan Gregor appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted downloading and possessing dozens of indecent images and videos of children.

Police found more than 180 separate pictures and videos involving children on devices found at the 59-year-old’s home.

Most of the content found was of the most serious category – which can often include sadistic material and sexual content involving animals.

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Student found not guilty of attempting to murder teen

A student has been acquitted of attempting to murder a man at Aberdeen University halls during freshers’ week.

Robert Hastie, 20, stood trial accused of attacking Dean McKessick at the Hillhead Student Village accommodation on the city’s Don Street on September 24 2021.

Mr Hastie – whose address was given in legal documents as Edinburgh – was accused of striking Mr McKessick on the body with a knife or similar item.

The Crown claimed this was to Mr McKessick’s severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life.

But, today, jurors returned a majority not guilty verdict to the charge following a trial.

Hastie had also faced a separate allegation of possessing the Class B drug methylphenidate, but the charge was withdrawn by the prosecutor, formally acquitting him of the alleged offence.

Man guilty of attempted murder after stabbing victim 11 times

A man has been found guilty of attempted murder after stabbing his victim 11 times in a “frenzied” and “uncontrolled” attack.

Chay Ewing, 24, had denied attempting to murder the man at an address in The Meadows, Buckie, in the early hours of March 26 last year, instead claiming someone else was responsible.

But during a five-day trial at the High Court in Inverness, a jury heard evidence that not long after the attack Ewing told a witness: “I stabbed him up”.

In his speech to the jury before they retired to consider their verdict, advocate depute Shahid Latif said that, on that date, Ewing had commenced a course of criminal conduct that “culminated with a murderous attack”, during which he stabbed his victim 11 times and left him bleeding on the floor.

Pet ban for man after post-mortem reveals emaciated puppy’s suffering

A man whose puppy died has been banned from keeping animals after a post-mortem revealed the emaciated pet’s suffering.

Connor Gray failed to seek vet treatment for Aries the puppy, who was suffering from emaciation and muscle loss.

The puppy became so unwell that she died overnight and only then did Gray, 25, take her to a vet where he insisted a post-mortem be carried out.

But an examination of Aries uncovered she had been caused unnecessary suffering.

Woman who wanted ‘revenge’ on ex-partner hinted she’d given him HIV

A woman bombarded her former partner with spiteful messages telling him she would make his life “hell” and hinted that she had infected him with HIV.

Nicole Godoys told the man she would be a “terror” in his life while sending threatening or abusive messages to him over an eight-month period following the end of their relationship.

Nicole Godoys admitted sending her former boyfriend a series of threatening and abusive messages. Image: DC Thomson.

It was stated that the 37-year-old – who is originally from Brazil – also told her former boyfriend that he was “not a man” and described him as a “gay faggot”.

She additionally “inferred” that she had infected him with the HIV virus, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard.

Buckie tenant admits stealing contents of house after being evicted

A Buckie tenant has admitted stealing the contents of his rented house after he was evicted.

Marley Atkins, 34, appeared at Elgin’s Sheriff Court to stand trial for the theft, which occurred in 2021, but submitted a plea of guilty.

Marley Atkins stole the contents of his rented home when he was evicted. Image: Facebook

Atkins, now at Burnend Cottage, Dufftown, had been renting a property at Blair of Tynet, near Buckie, owned by Maureen Burrows.

Speaking outside court, Mrs Burrows, 69, said she was relieved the case had now been dealt with.

Fare-dodger who spat on girl, 9, avoids prison

A man who spat on a nine-year-old girl while on a train to Aberdeen has avoided being sent to prison.

David Skinner caused uproar while onboard a mid-afternoon Scotrail service between Nairn and Aberdeen with his erratic and violent behaviour in January 22 last year.

The 49-year-old – who told the conductor he was homeless and therefore couldn’t pay for the journey – walked through the carriage shouting and swearing at other commuters.

He then turned and spat on a nine-year-old child causing her to burst into tears, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard.

Drink-driver crashed after he ‘miscalculated’ alcohol level

A drink-driver crashed his car in the early hours of the morning after he “misjudged” how much he’d had to drink.

Jonathan Kennedy’s vehicle left the road just before 2am on Rennie’s Wynd in Aberdeen.

And when police responded to the crash, they carried out a roadside breath test and discovered the 31-year-old was more than triple the alcohol limit.

Fiscal depute Eilidh Gunn told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the incident happened at 1.48am on August 13.

Violent and controlling Aberdeen boyfriend jailed

A jealous, controlling, and mentally and physically abusive boyfriend has been caged after admitting disturbing abuse over more than three years.

Steven Ewen subjected his long-suffering partner to a vile campaign of abusive behaviour which extended to spitting in her face and choking her.

The 37-year-old thug was also so manipulative that he left the woman scared to leave the house or have social media, and controlled what clothes and makeup she wore.

The insecure abuser persistently accused his victim of being unfaithful too and insisted she was “nothing” without him.

Man who had 95 minutes of sick videos of children avoids jail

A Highland man caught with more than an hour-and-a-half of vile videos and indecent images of children has been spared jail.

Cyber crimes investigators found the sick footage following a search of Simon Bishop’s Highland home after intelligence was received by police.

Examination of devices seized at the address also uncovered more than 300 indecent still images of children, of which five were category A, the most severe. Four were category B and the rest category C.

Bishop, 43, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court for sentencing having previously admitted a single charge of taking, permitting to be taken or making indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children.

Man raped complete stranger in her own home

A “complete stranger” who entered an Aberdeen woman’s house moments before subjecting her to a life-threatening assault and rape ordeal is facing a “substantial” prison sentence for his crimes.

Burly Kyle Allan, 31, entered his victim’s house in Cove without permission on the evening of June 10 2023 and subjected her to an attack which has left her psychologically traumatised.

Forensics investigators at the scene. Right: Kyle Allan. Image: DC Thomson/Facebook

The High Court in Edinburgh heard today how Allan had spent the earlier part of the day at a friend’s barbecue drinking and had gotten “steaming drunk” before leaving.

He then walked a short distance and entered the property.


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