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Weekend court roll – a child-neglector and a dog’s death sentence

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.

Elderly stalker sent 12 red roses to victim on Valentine’s Day

A geriatric stalker tormented his victim for 20 months, sending a dozen red roses to her home on Valentine’s Day and putting £1,000 through her front door.

Malcolm Gibb, 75, repeatedly turned up at the woman’s workplace to invite her over to his place and even followed the woman home, repeatedly walking past her windows.

The woman was an employee at Gibb’s former sheltered housing complex at Queen Elizabeth Court in Fettercairn.

When he finally landed in the dock to answer for his obsessive behaviour, Gibb announced he no longer wanted to see the woman, who is now understood to be living “down south”.

Cheating boyfriend caught up in Snapchat sextortion

A Torry woman threatened to expose a cheating boyfriend if he didn’t pay her £100 to stop her sending a Snapchat photo of him in her bed to his girlfriend.

Levi Laurenson, 24, met her extortion victim at a taxi rank on Union Street, Aberdeen, following a night out in the city centre.

She invited the man back to her flat, where she took a compromising picture of him.

Days later, Laurenson contacted the man to demand he pay her £100 and threatened to send it to his partner if he didn’t.

Gambling addict embezzled nearly £4,000 from employer

A man who embezzled nearly £4,000 from an Aberdeen electrical store has been ordered to repay every penny to the employer he stole from.

Dale Kirkpatrick stole thousands of pounds from an electrical store in Bridge of Don over six months by transferring money from store cards to unauthorised cards.

Dale Kirkpatrick. Image: Facebook

The 28-year-old was caught red-handed when a team of auditors came in to look over the books.

Under questioning, Kirkpatrick finally admitted to embezzling more than £3,891 to service debt he had built up through a gambling addiction.

Drug dealer jailed after nearly £16,000 of cocaine seized

A man who police caught with a bag containing nearly £16,000 worth of cocaine has been jailed.

Cameron Howey, 23, was home alone when police raided his property, finding a bag under the staircase full of a “compressed white powder”.

Cameron Howey admitted he was “involved” in the sale of a Class A drug. Image: DC Thomson

The contents of the bag were tested and it was revealed to be cocaine with a maximum street value of £15,950.

Howey’s mobile phone was also examined, uncovering messages related to the supply of cocaine, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

Shop owner left shoe imprint on friend’s face

A computer repair shop owner left his shoeprint on a friend’s face during a drunken row in his store that ended with the victim suffering a bleed on his brain.

Stefan Gheorghe, 34, brutally beat his victim, a friend of five years, before phoning his sister in a panic while the man lay swollen and bleeding on the floor.

Stefan Gheorghe. Image: Facebook

An ambulance was called and the man was found covered in blood and with a shoe imprint on his face.

At the hospital, it was discovered he had a bleed on the brain as well as multiple facial fractures to his nose and left eye socket.

Alleged robber facing nine charges

A man has appeared in private at Inverness Sheriff Court on a total of nine charges.

Christopher Thomson, 30, is accused of committing the crimes over an eight-day period in the city.

He appeared before Sheriff Sara Matheson, represented by Inverness solicitor David Patterson.

Mr Thomson made no plea to two charges of assault and robbery; robbery; three of theft by shoplifting; and one each of threatening or abusive behaviour; malicious mischief and assault.

Jail for Wick taxi operator this Christmas if fraud victim not repaid

A fraudster who operated a Wick taxi service will spend Christmas in jail if she doesn’t begin repaying £14,000 to her elderly victim.

Fiona Taylor developed a friendship with the 88-year-old, whom she transported around town, but cheated him out of £14,000 between December 2015 and July 2016.

The 66-year-old had originally been accused of taking £40,000 from him.

She admitted to pretending she needed funds to cover his living expenses and home repairs, but she was spending the money on herself and gambling some of it away.

Cruel gamekeeper’s sick videos of dogs fighting foxes and badgers

A gamekeeper dad has been banned from keeping animals after encouraging his dogs to fight foxes and badgers and posting videos of the bloody clashes on social media.

Ryan Martin could be heard shouting encouragement while recording the disturbing video content that has since been removed from his TikTok account.

Ryan Martin was sentenced at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. Images: TikTok

The 23-year-old even warned his followers that what they were about to see “isn’t 100% legal” at the start of one of the clips.

Fiscal depute Clair Stewart told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “At the end of January 2022, the Scottish SPCA Special Investigations Unit (SIU) received information that the accused had been using his dogs to fight with badgers and other wildlife”.

Mum sold cannabis during lockdown

A sheriff has slammed an Inverness mum’s “catastrophic mistake” of selling drugs during the Covid lockdown and risking her children being taken into care.

Chelsea Miller, 27, admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis between November 2021 and June 2023.

Chelsea Miller appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court. Images: Facebook/DC Thomson

She was charged after a police raid on a house in Evan Barron Road, Inverness, on September 4 this year.

Officers seized weighing scales and a quantity of cannabis at the time, Inverness Sheriff Court was told.

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Pervert sent apology on napkin

A pervert was caught using his mobile phone to video record a woman getting undressed and later sent her a written apology in a card and on a napkin.

Dale Johnston, 29, propped up his device against a pillow in the bedroom of an Aberdeen property on October 11 last year and left after setting the camera to record.

Although it captured a woman getting changed, the observant victim spotted the suspicious mobile and realised what was happening after examining it.

When she discovered Johnston’s phone had recorded a video of her in a state of undress, she deleted it.

‘Under influence’ RGU student abandoned car on roundabout

A Robert Gordon University student abandoned his car on an Aberdeen roundabout and refused to allow police to test him for potential drink-driving.

Ibrahim Youssef, 32, was traced by officers after his empty red Audi was discovered on North Anderson Drive, Aberdeen, around 7am on August 20 this year.

Ibrahim Youssef abandoned his red Audi on a roundabout along North Anderson Drive, Aberdeen. Images: LinkedIn/Google Street View

At first, Youssef provided a roadside breath test but later, when in custody at Kittybrewster police station, he refused a secondary test to establish the level of alcohol in his system.

The construction student also wouldn’t reveal who had been driving the car at the time it was left unoccupied.

Child-neglector avoids jail after bus attacks

A woman who attacked a child on a bus from Peterhead to Aberdeen has been ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Jade Martin went berserk on the X63 into Aberdeen after visiting someone at HMP Grampian.

Jade Martin was violent on the X63 bus from Peterhead to Aberdeen. Images: Facebook/DC Thomson

First, she assaulted a 15-year-old girl before targeting other passengers with a mixture of physical and verbal attacks – including sickening racist comments.

The 33-year-old also neglected a toddler – in her care at the time – by dragging, dropping and throwing them around and ignoring their obvious “distress”.

Ballet teacher from Oban acquitted of sexual offences

A ballet teacher from Oban has been cleared of having sex with two teenage dance school students while in a “position of trust”.

Jonathan Barton, 41, was accused of a total of eight sexual offences against eight girls at a dance school on Argyll and Bute between 2004 and 2019.

Jonathan Barton pictured a decade ago. Image: Kevin McGlynn

The girls were claimed to be aged between 16 and 19.

Barton had stated during the trial, which lasted over two weeks, that he had sex with both girls but they were over the age of 18.

Delivery driver tore biker’s ligament in blind spot crash

A careless delivery driver who tore a motorcyclist’s ligament after failing to check his blind spot has been allowed to keep his licence.

Bartlomiej Janek had been on his way to work when the accident happened along Crawpeel Road on the Altens Industrial Estate in Aberdeen.

The 40-year-old pulled out into the road when it wasn’t safe – hitting the biker, knocking him off the motorcycle and leaving the man badly injured.

The incident, which happened around 12.20pm on February 24 last year, led to the crash victim needing physiotherapy.

Dog’s death sentence after owner wouldn’t muzzle it

A sheriff has ordered the destruction of a dangerous dog that bit a woman in Aberdeen after its owner from Torry refused to make it wear a muzzle.

Binx the tan Staffordshire Bull Terrier sunk its teeth into the victim’s thigh on Balnagask Road on September 3 2021.

Dominique Livingstone has lost ownership of her out of control Staffordshire Bull Terrier Binx. Image: Facebook

Dominique Livingstone, Binx’s owner, previously pled guilty to breaching the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 – admitting out of control Binx had hurt the woman.

Fiscal depute Andrew McMann told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the incident happened between 7 and 8pm while the victim, who knew Livingstone, was out walking with her two children.

Buckie man’s Purple Nightclub row

A Buckie man snapped on a night out after being mocked when he couldn’t pay for a round of drinks because his bank card had been declined.

Connor Duncan’s aggressive reaction on December 19 2021, then aged 20, landed the 22-year-old in the dock at Elgin Sheriff Court.

Connor Duncan outside Elgin Sheriff Court. Image: DC Thomson

He pled guilty to a charge of threatening behaviour after a plea bargain was agreed.

Duncan had previously been accused of the more serious crime of assaulting and severely injuring his victim by headbutting him, a charge that was dropped in exchange for admitting the lesser offence.

Family woken by snoring stranger

A sleeping Stonehaven family of four was woken in the middle of the night by the sound of a drunken stranger snoring in their living room.

Marian Byalov had become stranded in the Aberdeenshire town after being thrown off a bus to Edinburgh because he was so drunk.

Marian Byalov. Image: Facebook

But instead of getting a hotel for the night, the 49-year-old wandered uninvited into the family’s unlocked home while they were asleep upstairs.

When his snoring woke them up and he was challenged over being there, Byalov bizarrely showed his passport to the family and claimed they didn’t want to help him.

Careless A82 driver killed girlfriend

A young German couple’s first-ever holiday together visiting castles in Scotland ended in a deadly two-car crash on the A82 after less than five months together.

Gerrit Reickmann took to the wheel of a hired Blue Citroen C3 – his first time driving in a foreign country – and went on to kill his 24-year-old girlfriend Melina Rosa Päprer.

German tourists Gerrit Reickmann and Melina Rosa Päprer were involved in a fatal two-car crash on the A82. Images: DC Thomson/Instagram

Reickmann, 30, of Am Hanloh, Münster, Germany, recalled Melina shouting his name just before the horrific impact near Borlum Farm, Drumnadrochit, on October 12 2020.

The German tourist had denied killing Melina, of Lüneburg in Germany, by driving dangerously on the wrong side of the carriageway.

But on the second day of evidence at the High Court in Inverness, he halted his trial by pleading guilty to a less serious offence.

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Men’s street fight over dropped litter

Two men have been fined hundreds of pounds for starting a street fight about litter outside an Aberdeen kebab shop just after 3am.

Tyler Noble, 21, and Gary Stuart, 27, brawled with three other men outside the takeaway on the city’s Windmill Brae, following a night out in the centre.

Gary Stuart, left, and Tyler Noble, right, admitted a string of assaults. Images: DC Thomson/Facebook

Noble became enraged when a man threw his takeaway wrapper to the ground in his “general direction”.

Following the physical scuffle, two people were taken to the hospital after being injured during the violent outburst, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard.

Motorist caught 5 minutes after drink-drive warning

Police caught a university student behind the wheel only five minutes after spotting him swigging alcohol outside his car and assuring officers that he wouldn’t drive.

Postgraduate Sai Pati was discovered to be nearly three times the legal limit around 2.15am on November 16 this year.

Sai Pati. Image: Facebook

Just moments before, the 22-year-old motorist had been approached by constables after they spotted him sipping from a beer bottle while standing next to his car.

The Indian national assured officers he had no intention of drink-driving and walked off.

But minutes later his blue Skoda was stopped by police who found Pati in the driver’s seat – reeking of alcohol and slurring his words.

‘He got what he deserved’: Sheriff lets off Elgin mum who spray-painted ex-partner red

An Elgin mum who spray-painted her former partner red has left court without punishment because a sheriff said: “He got what he deserved”.

Sophie Bonadea, 37, covered her ex’s head and body in red paint, following his alarming actions in response to a dispute outside a nursery concerning child care.

Sophie Bonadea avoided punishment for spray-painting her ex-partner’s head and body red. Image: Facebook

She had previously admitted to carrying an offensive weapon – the spray can – and painting Nick Kinnegan at Thornhill Road, Elgin, on September 13 this year.

At Elgin Sheriff Court she sobbed in the dock as she waited to learn of her punishment.

But, after looking at a photograph of Mr Kinnegan covered in the red paint, Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood said: “He got what he deserved, didn’t he?”

Man charged with Elgin mum’s ‘murder’ in court again

A man charged with murdering Elgin mum Kiesha Donaghy has appeared in court for a second time.

Owen Grant is accused of killing the 32-year-old who was found dead in her Anderson Drive home three weeks ago.

Collage of Kiesha Donaghy and her Anderson Drive home.
A police van remains outside Kiesha’s home three weeks after her death. Image: Facebook/DC Thomson

Grant, 42, appeared in Elgin Sheriff Court again facing a single charge of murder connected to Kiesha’s death.

The man, who lives in Elgin, made no plea during the private hearing. His case has been fully committed and he has been remanded in custody.

Thug threw card payment machine at shopkeeper’s face

A dangerous brute has been jailed for a string of harrowing attacks on people in Aberdeen, even landing one man in hospital on life support.

John Hayward appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, following four separate vicious assaults on members of the public over an afternoon in February this year.

John Hayward unleashed extreme violence in Aberdeen city centre. Images: Dorset Police/DC Thomson

The 32-year-old repeatedly punched one man’s face with such force that Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s intensive care unit had to sedate him and help the patient breathe.

Hayward, who is originally from Dorset, also threw a card payment machine at a shopkeeper’s face after the man innocently said “goodbye” to him.

Stag do reveller abused Cheerz nightclub bouncer

A man on a drunken stag do shouted violent and homophobic abuse at a bouncer after being refused entry to an Aberdeen nightclub.

Thomas Connors threatened the security staff member after being told he was too drunk to get back into Cheerz Bar.

The 33-year-old told the doorman he would wait for him to finish his shift to assault him, before uttering a vile homophobic slur.

Connors landed himself in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Jail for two-time drink-driver who hit traffic lights

A Fochabers man has been jailed for eight months and banned from driving for six years after twice being caught under the influence of alcohol.

Alan Hunter, 54, appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court via video link from HMP Inverness.

He’d previously pled guilty to the offences, the first one taking place around 5pm on November 12 this year on the A98 Buckie to Fochabers road.

Hunter was seen behind the wheel of his white Ford transit van after a concerned member of the public followed the “erratic” driver along the A98.

Shopper’s butteries run turns into ‘argy-bargy’

A Lhanbryde Spar customer who was shopping for butteries suffered bloody injuries in a vicious attack during a row about the store’s automatic door.

Mehmet Balci, 45, went on trial at Elgin Sheriff Court following his violent outburst inside the Spar on St Andrew’s Road, Lhanbryde, on December 30 2022.

Guilty Mehmet Balci went on trial at Elgin Sheriff Court. Images: TikTok/DC Thomson

He represented himself in court – previously dismissing his defence agent – after protesting his innocence and refusing to reach a plea bargain agreement.

Giving evidence, 40-year-old victim George Milton told the court that he had gone into the shop for his morning coffee and found himself in an “altercation” with Balci.

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