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Weekend court roll – a home-invading rapist and a dishonest preacher

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.

Driver caught doing 111mph on the A9 was ‘overcome by emotion’

A driver clocked at 111mph on the A9 was “overcome by emotion” after breaking up with his girlfriend, his solicitor said.

Drew Billimore was spotted going 41mph over the speed limit in his Ford Fiesta and stopped by police.

His claim that he didn’t realise how fast he was going was questioned by Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald, who said his “little car” would be “rattling” at such high speeds.

Billimore appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court and admitted a charge of careless driving by driving at excessive speed.

Aberdeen man in dock on crossbow attempted murder charge

A man has appeared in court accused of using a crossbow in an alleged murder bid in an Aberdeen park.

Police responded to a report of a 42-year-old man being hurt at Eric Hendrie Park on Springhill Road at 3.50am on Saturday, November 11.

Police at the scene at Eric Hendrie Park searching with metal detectors. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

He was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for treatment with the latest information suggesting he remains in a stable condition.

The Press and Journal understands he suffered injuries consistent with being shot with a crossbow bolt.

Pair accused of murdering Inverness dad Ross MacGillivray

Two men have appeared in court charged with tying up and murdering  Inverness dad-of-three Ross MacGillivray.

Craig Hayden, 28, from Alness, and 21-year-old Leon Headey, from Liverpool, are accused of restraining Mr MacGillivray by the wrists and repeatedly striking him on the head.

Ross MacGillivray was pronounced dead at the property on St Ninian Drive, Inverness. Image: Police Scotland / DC Thomson

The 36-year-old –  described by his family as a “loving husband, father and friend” – was found by police at a property on St Ninian Drive, in the city’s Dalneigh area, in the early hours of Sunday November 12. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hayden and Headey appeared in private before Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald at Inverness Sheriff Court and made no plea to the allegations.

Drink-driver more than five times limit

A drink-driving carpet cleaning boss was caught more than five times the legal alcohol limit – almost SEVEN hours after he claimed to have had his last drink.

Concerned neighbours called the police after spotting Paul Cowie, who they knew had been drinking, get in his white Ford Transit work van and drive off towards Inverurie.

Paul Cowie. Image: Facebook

When officers caught up with him, they found the 53-year-old stinking of alcohol, with glazed eyes, slurred speech and slow reactions.

A formal breath test at 10.40pm found him to be more than five times the limit, despite his claims that he stopped drinking at 4pm that day.

Warrant for man who made disturbing murder claims at loch

A warrant has been granted for the arrest of a man who admitted making bizarre claims to have murdered people at Loch Kinord.

Przemyslaw Kolatkiewicz had been due to appear at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to the highly unusual breach of the peace charge.

He previously admitted telling a woman at the loch in Muir of Dinnet that he had “assaulted and murdered individuals”.

The 41-year-old also told the woman that there was an individual in the water at the loch.

Ullapool driver who hit roundabout was almost four times the limit

A driver who crashed into a roundabout was almost four times the drink-drive limit, a court has heard.

Jacobo Rodriguez had been out for a meal where he drank alcohol before trying to drive home to Ullapool.

Following the incident at the Maryburgh roundabout, Jacobo failed a breath test and was later revealed to be almost four times the legal drink-drive limit.

Rodriguez appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court to admit a single charge of drink-driving in relation to the incident on October 14 of this year.

Inverness inmate who was struggling with life in prison trashed cell

Prison officers were attacked by an inmate who began to trash his cell because he wasn’t coping with life inside.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that staff in riot gear were called to 27-year-old Michael Stewart’s cell on March 4 2022 when he began destroying property there.

Michael Stewart trashed his cell in HMP Inverness.

Fiscal depute Victoria Silver told Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald: “He began smashing up his cell and said he was in possession of a weapon.

“Prison officers were instructed to enter the cell and restrain him. They were kitted out in Personal Protection Equipment, helmets and shields.

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Boy, 16, charged with attempting to murder police officer in Alness

A 16-year-old boy has appeared in court accused of attempting to murder a police officer in the Highlands.

The teenager was arrested following an incident on town’s High Street in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The incident happened on the High Street in Alness. Image: DC Thomson

The boy – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was also charged with possession of a knife or a blade when he appeared in private at Inverness Sheriff Court.

He made no plea, was committed for further examination and was remanded in custody.

Man facing attempted murder charge after Aberdeen hotel disturbance

A man has appeared in court charged with attempted murder following a disturbance at an Aberdeen hotel.

Police were called to the Britannia Hotel in Bucksburn on Saturday morning when a 34-year-old man was found injured.

Now, Marcus Pearce has appeared in court facing no fewer than eight charges, including attempted murder, over the incident.

In addition to assault to severe injury, danger of life and attempted murder, the 27-year-old also faces two assault charges and one of assault and robbery.

Aberdeen man found with box of Winchester bullets during police raid

A man was found with a box of deadly ammo when police raided his Aberdeen home.

Marek Brzozowski appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted being in possession of 44 Winchester bullet cartridges without a firearms licence.

Marek Brzozowski has admitted possessing a box of bullets without a firearms licence. Image: Facebook.

While raiding the 43-year-old’s flat in July 2021 police officers discovered the live bullets, which are capable of being used as ammunition for a rifle or handgun.

US gun and ammunition manufacturer Winchester is known for making the Model 92 Winchester carbine rifle that was used in several films featuring John Wayne, including True Grit.

Pair in court after man stabbed in back in Aberdeen

A man and woman have appeared in court after a 41-year-old male suffered stab wounds to his back in Aberdeen.

Police were called to North Sea Court in Seaton on Wednesday evening of last week following a report of a man being seriously injured.

The male was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with what is understood to be stab wounds to his back.

It is understood the incident happened elsewhere, on School Road in Aberdeen.

Man who dealt drugs outside primary school caught flushing cocaine

A man who made a late-night drug deal outside a primary school was later caught flushing cocaine down his toilet during a police raid.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told drug dealer Paul Brady met his customer at the rear of New Elgin Primary School in the early hours of the morning.

Paul Brady sold drugs outside New Elgin Primary. Image: DC Thomson

His home was later raided by police, who found him trying to flush a bag containing a “white substance” down the toilet.

Brady, 27, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court to admit charges of supplying a class B drug and attempting to pervert the course of justice by attempting to dispose of evidence.

Elgin’s Anytime Fitness boss denies £9,000 fraud charge

A failed Elgin gym owner has denied allegations of fraud when his Anytime Fitness venture went bust more than two years ago.

Christopher McIntyre entered a not guilty plea to the charge that he obtained £9,000 by fraud.

Anytime Fitness in Elgin closed to members in April 2021.

It’s claimed the 35-year-old continued taking gym memberships despite knowing the business was soon closing.

The Press and Journal reported on the sudden closure of the unit at Elgin’s retail park on Edgar Road in April 2021.

Drunken man performed solo sex act in window overlooking car park

A drunken man who exposed himself and performed a solo sex act at his window has avoided being placed on the sex offenders register.

Robert Hutchison carried out the indecent act in front of a full-length window at his flat on Auchmill Road in Aberdeen.

The window overlooked a public car park and a passing 17-year-old girl was shocked when she glanced up and witnessed the 54-year-old’s graphic display.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard the unsavoury incident happened on March 11.

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Unpaid work for man who had ‘foul’ images of children as young as one

A man caught with hundreds of “foul” images and videos of “real children” has been spared jail at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Police who raided Martin Kula’s Caithness home found sick footage and images of children as young as one.

But, after he admitted possessing indecent images of children, Kula has been handed unpaid work in the community and ordered to take part in a programme designed to address sexual offending.

He will also remain under supervision and on the sex offenders register for three years.

Fisherman’s metal pole ‘revenge’

A Peterhead man has been jailed after he assaulted his victim with a metal pole in a vicious “revenge” attack.

Kieran Arthur was found guilty of the brutal assault, which he had denied, following a trial.

Fisherman Kieran Arthur and Windmill Street in Peterhead.
Kieran Arthur travelled to Windmill Street, Peterhead, to attack his victim with a metal pole. Images: Facebook/Google Street View

The 24-year-old drove in his car to the victim’s home and then struck the man across the back of his head with the weapon.

Arthur, a fisherman, had become incensed when he learned that his friend was assaulted and went to the man’s house to “batter” him.

Killer uncle who stabbed nephew detained in psychiatric hospital

A learning-disabled man who stabbed his nephew to death at his home on Orkney has been locked up indefinitely in a high-security psychiatric hospital.

Erlend Fraser killed William Fraser in a frenzied knife attack that left the 21-year-old with 20 stab wounds, including one that punctured his heart.

Erlend Fraser stabbed his nephew William Fraser to death. Image: Spindrift

The tragic ordeal unfolded at the 50-year-old man’s home in St Margaret’s Hope, South Ronaldsay, on June 19 last year, when William’s body was repeatedly struck with the knife.

A judge previously heard how the young victim’s horrifying death has had a devastating impact on his parents and sisters.

Highland councillor accused of blue badges fraud

A Highland councillor has been accused of faking blue badge parking permits so drivers of her tour bus company could use disabled spaces.

Maxine Smith, who represents voters in the region’s Cromarty area, will go on trial at Inverness Sheriff Court next year.

The 64-year-old, of Calrichie Cottages in Invergordon, is pleading not guilty.

It’s alleged that photocopied and laminated badges were left on display without her being present.

Drivers of Thistle Excursions – a firm owned by the local politician – were then able to use restricted parking, it’s claimed.

Court lets off woman who hinted she’d given former lover HIV

A woman who implied she had infected her former lover with HIV has been let off by the court.

Nicole Godoys admitted carrying out a campaign of abuse towards her ex-partner by bombarding him with messages warning him she would make his life “hell”.

Nicole Godoys outside Aberdeen Sheriff Court. Image: DC Thomson

The 37-year-old also threatened the man that she would be a “terror” in his life and described him as “not a man” following the end of their relationship.

Godoys, who is originally from Brazil, also “inferred” that she had infected him with HIV.

Man excused for boy’s ‘assault’ for provocative prank

A Moray man accused of assaulting a teenage boy has been let off the charge because his provocative victim was among a group of door-knocking pranksters who had been “winding him up”.

Adrian Gazdowicz pled guilty to an amended charge of breach of the peace at Elgin Sheriff Court but was given an absolute discharge by Sheriff Robert Frazer.

A group of children had been knocking on Gazdowicz’s door at St Brides Court in Lhanbryde and running away before he answered in December last year.

One of the kids, who was 14 years old at the time, was playing the anti-social prank with his siblings.

Drug-driver was SEVEN times cocaine limit – ‘didn’t know why’

A man who was caught driving more than seven times the cocaine limit has told a court that he doesn’t know how the drug ended up in his system.

Colin Wilkinson was reported to police by staff at a Shell garage in Aberdeen after they saw him returning to his black Audi while appearing to be under the influence.

Colin Wilkinson admitted getting behind the wheel of his Audi while more than seven times the drug-drive limit. Image: DC Thomson/Facebook

Upon being taken into police custody, the 56-year-old was tested and found to have a significant quantity of cocaine metabolite in his bloodstream.

His defence solicitor said her client had been socialising the previous night but “couldn’t account” for why drugs were later found in his system.

Home-invading rapist jailed for mum’s ‘night of terror’

An Aberdeen mum fought for her life after a random stranger broke into her home in Cove and violently raped her.

Kyle Allan, 31, was jailed for eight years after he admitted endangering his victim’s life during “a night of terror” in her own home.

Forensics investigators at the crime scene. Right: Kyle Allan. Images: DC Thomson/Police Scotland

The woman was having a quiet Saturday night with her young son when Allan entered her home and throttled her until she lost consciousness.

The High Court in Dundee heard that the boy and his mother have both been traumatised by the attack which Allan’s own defence lawyer called “horrendous”.

Preacher who used hand trick to con cashier avoids jail

A church pastor who used a magician-like hand trick to con an Elgin Tesco cashier out of £200 has been spared jail after admitting his crime.

Vasile Rostas was finally caught out when supermarket staff investigating the missing money watched back security camera video to uncover his dodgy deed.

A church pastor from Glasgow has avoided jail after admitting fraud
Vasile Rostas was sentenced at Elgin Sheriff Court. Image: DC Thomson

Rostas – a 50-year-old man with a history of criminal dishonesty “in this country” and also “across Europe” – claimed in court that he had paid back the cash the following day.

The swindler distracted a checkout assistant at the Blackfriars Road superstore on September 22 2020 so he could conceal £200 of his £400 bill using a sleight of hand manoeuvre.

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