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Weekend court roll – a sex toy pervert and a Highland holiday that ended in tragedy

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.

Cowardly danger-driver fled scene of crash that killed grandfather

An Aberdeen driver who killed another motorist after driving at grossly excessive speed with a deflated front tyre was jailed today.

Connor Wilson failed to reduce speed approaching a junction and collided with a vehicle being driven by Gabriel Lungu, who later died in hospital.

Gabriel Lungu, left, died after the crash on Hilton Drive. Right: the abandoned car driven by Connor Wilson. Image: DC Thomson

Wilson, 23, and a passenger fled the scene of the crash in the Hilton area of Aberdeen on December 30 in 2021 and he later claimed to police that although he had been in the car he did not drive it.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that forensic analysis placed him in the driver’s seat of the VW Golf and his DNA was found on the steering wheel.

Army serviceman banned from driving after being caught over-the-limit

An Army serviceman gave in to temptation when he joined mates who were drinking – and has now paid the price.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that although 33-year-old John Collins, of Fort George Barracks, did not have any intention of taking alcohol, he thought he was okay to drive.

But Collins was later reported to police who traced him to Longman Road in Inverness on November 1 last year and arrested him after smelling alcohol from his breath.

He told officers: “I know I have done wrong.”

Trial date set for Inverness policeman accused of rapes

An Inverness police officer will go on trial in December after being accused of raping two women in the Western Isles around a decade ago.

Cameron Ross will be prosecuted at the High Court in Edinburgh, where he’ll appear in the dock to face a total of five charges involving three alleged victims.

It’s claimed that the 37-year-old assaulted and raped two women at separate addresses on Stornoway – one between August and October 2012 and the second in June 2014.

The policeman, who was most recently based at Burnett Road police station in the Highland capital, is currently suspended after working up to the rank of sergeant.

Thug tied up and tortured Aberdeen flatmate with boiling liquid

A thug attacked his Aberdeen flatmate and tied him up before torturing him with boiling liquid and washing powder.

Alexander McDonald had only known his victim for a matter of days when a row over drugs escalated rapidly and became a disturbing, drawn-out assault.

The 21-year-old rained punches on the man before tying his hands behind his back and continuing the violent assault.

After dousing him in an unknown liquid, McDonald untied the terrified man and ordered him to strip naked and battered him with a frying pan.

Man offered to buy child vapes – then sexually assaulted her

A man has been put on the register for 10 years after offering to buy a 15-year-old girl vapes and then sexually assaulting her.

Jack Joiner Smith approached the child as she socialised with friends in Aberdeen city centre and offered to buy them the age-restricted products.

Jack Joiner Smith pictured in 2013.

The girl and another youngster agreed and walked with Smith, 30, towards Union Street.

However, Smith began to make comments about the child’s breasts before reaching out and stroking them, leaving her “shocked and alarmed”.

Spar knife robber was suffering from ‘crack cocaine psychosis’

A man who carried out a “frightening” knife-point robbery at his local shop has been jailed for more than three years.

Robert Livingstone, 27, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted robbing Spar with a bread knife before making off with alcohol and four packets of Chewits.

Robert Livingstone carried out a robbery with a bread knife at a Spar on St Machar Drive, Aberdeen. Image: Facebook/DC Thomson.

Livingstone was such a regular at the shop the woman behind the counter thought he was joking when he demanded she empty the till, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.

She only realised he was serious when he pulled the eight-inch blade from his waistband.

Argyll paedophile may never be freed from prison

An Argyll paedophile who sexually abused children as young as two and filmed and distributed footage of his vile crimes was given a life sentence today.

Benjamin Young sexually assaulted 10 children and raped one victim on dozens of occasions during a catalogue of prolific offending.

Benjamin Young may never be released from prison. Image: Police Scotland

A judge told Young: “This, in my view, is one of the worst cases of its kind to come before the High Court.”

Lord Arthurson said at the High Court in Edinburgh: “Your offending has plumbed the very abyss of depravity.”

Sentencing delayed for former Aberdeen nurse who poisoned child

A former Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital auxiliary nurse who poisoned a young child may have been affected by a mental disorder, a court hearing was told today.

Tracy Menhinick, 52, gave the boy “industrial amounts” of the laxative lactulose, which resulted in his growth being stunted and led to his hospitalisation.

Tracy Menhinick outside the High Court in Aberdeen, where she was found guilty of wilfully harming a child. Image: DC Thomson

One expert witness previously said the child resembled a survivor from a Nazi concentration camp as a result.

It is understood the boy has since recovered but has been left with permanent disfigurements.

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Man abducted 13-year-old boy who was causing trouble in neighbourhood

A man who abducted a 13-year-old boy who had been causing trouble in the neighbourhood has been reprimanded for “taking the law into his own hands”.

John Robertson, 44, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted trapping the young teen in the back of his car before driving him to his home in a “frightening” series of events.

It was stated that Roberston threatened to break the teenager’s legs before his own family pleaded with him to let the child go.

The teenager later told police he was scared that Robertson was about to kill him.

Thug punched woman unconscious in unprovoked attack

A vicious thug has been jailed after he knocked a woman out cold before lifting his arms aloft and announcing he was “Aberdeen’s hardest man”.

Jack Walker left the woman lying covered in blood on Crown Street as he walked around her unconscious body while “looking pleased with himself”.

Jack Walker violently assaulted a woman in Aberdeen before declaring himself ‘Aberdeen’s hardest man’. Image: Facebook.

Following the attack, Walker – who also assaulted a male who tried to help the woman – bragged to horrified onlookers: “That’s how a real man takes care of his business.”

“I’m Aberdeen’s hardest man – this is how we deal with stuff in Aberdeen”.

Drunk yob sang sectarian abuse and threatened to eat police officer’s eyeballs

An Aberdeen man shouted sectarian bile about “Fenians” and the pope, spat blood in a police officer’s face and threatened to eat their eyeballs.

Peter Lockhead subjected police and medical staff to horrific abuse when they tried to help him after he was found badly injured on an Aberdeen street.

Peter Lockhead outside Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

The 25-year-old, of Rubislaw Den South, then announced his arrival at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with a chorus of “no surrender, the pope’s a bender” before kicking and spitting at police.

He also made disturbingly graphic and detailed threats to find and assault officers’ parents and even grandmothers.

Teen left man bleeding and badly injured in broad daylight attack

A teen yob left a 60-year-old man with a broken wrist and blood pouring from a head wound after a horrifying assault in broad daylight.

Connor Thompson, who was 19 at the time, floored his victim with a single punch after accusing him of “picking on” another male in a neighbour dispute.

The attack left the victim, who had been out for a walk with his partner, bleeding and badly injured on the street.

Thompson, now 23, was hauled away by others but arrested shortly afterwards while the man was rushed to hospital.

Inverness teenager strayed into ‘dark world’ of sick images

An Inverness teenager caught with 500 indecent images of children and 96 illegal videos had “strayed dangerously into a dark world”, a court has heard.

The files were found on devices belonging to 19-year-old Jake Milne after police searched his Inverness home.

They were created between May 19 2019, and May 31 2023, meaning Milne would have been just 14 when the offending began.

Milne, who has spent eight months on remand following his arrest, appeared via videolink from custody at Inverness Sheriff Court for sentencing, having admitted a single charge relating to the downloading of the pictures and videos.

Judge rules family of tragic Emily Drouet can sue abuser

A judge has allowed the siblings of a tragic Aberdeen law student to sue her former abusive boyfriend for compensation in Scotland’s highest civil court.

Lord Harrower gave permission for Emily Drouet’s brother and sister to seek damages at the Court of Session from Angus Milligan.

Angus Milligan, left, and Emily Drouet

Milligan, a former Aberdeen University undergraduate, was given 180 hours community service by a sheriff in the city in July 2017.

He had pleaded guilty to assaulting Emily during a terrifying campaign of abuse.

Aberdeen man who stabbed dad in neck cleared of murder

An Aberdeen man who admitted stabbing his father in the neck has been cleared of his murder.

Lewis Webster, from the Craigiebuckler area of the city, was today found not guilty of killing Michael Webster at the 57-year-old’s home in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, on January 27 2022.

Lewis Webster has been found not guilty of murder. Image: Spindrift

The former engineer was found dead on his kitchen floor with a knife sticking out of his neck.

There was another blade in his hand, which his 23-year-old son admitted he had “stupidly” put there.

Drug mule hid almost £14,000 of cocaine up her bottom

A drugs mule who stashed thousands of pounds of cocaine internally did so in an act of “compassion” to help out a pal.

Megan McKay had almost £14,000 worth of the class A drug hidden inside her bottom when police stopped a vehicle she was in on the A90 near Fourdon.

But the 23-year-old – at least according to social workers – committed the crime “compassionately” in a bid to help out a friend who had built up a drug debt.

Fiscal depute David Rogers told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the incident happened on May 10 last year.

Vicious abuser avoids jail after he throttled woman

An abusive partner who throttled his girlfriend and left her for dead on the bedroom floor has avoided a prison sentence.

Ryan Wilson, also known as Mearns, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted carrying out savage and prolonged domestic assaults on two former partners.

Ryan Wilson admitted violently assaulting two former girlfriends when he appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. Image: Facebook.

On one occasion, Wilson placed his hands around his ex-girlfriend’s throat and applied “tremendous pressure” to the point where the woman “believed she was going to die”.

Wilson, 27, let go and left the room, but when he returned moments later, he stated to the woman: “Oh, you’re still alive?”

Drink-driving doctor fell off scooter tackling roundabout

A drink-driving doctor fell off his scooter while “having difficulty negotiating a roundabout” in the early hours of the morning.

Thomas Gates had been on a night out with friends when he made the “foolish” decision to try to drive home on his grey Sym Fiddle 125 E5 scooter.

the drink-driving doctor outside court
Thomas Gates. Image: DC Thomson

But a witness spotted the 28-year-old struggling and ultimately falling off his scooter while trying to tackle a roundabout on Queen’s Road in Aberdeen.

And to add insult to injury, Gates, who badly hurt his hand in the accident, was then arrested and found to be just over double the legal alcohol limit.

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Drunken chef threw deep fat fryer over Highland hotel kitchen

A drunken chef threw a deep fat fryer across a kitchen of a Highland hotel during an argument with staff, a court has heard.

Guy Stannard had just returned from the pub when he hurled the appliance across the shared employee kitchen at the Onich Hotel.

He later swung a punch at a coworker and missed, then tried to bite a police officer who came to deal with the incident.

Stannard, 42, appeared from custody at Inverness Sheriff Court to admit charges of assault against the coworker and officer, as well as failing to appear at an earlier hearing.

Cops seize £13,400 of cocaine from BMW

Police recovered more than £13,000 of cocaine when they swooped on a car at Craibstone roundabout in Aberdeen in a dramatic drugs bust.

Officers acting on intelligence intercepted Paul Webb’s BMW 3 Series on the A90 at the busy roundabout.

The police surrounded the vehicle when it stopped at a red light and detained the 42-year-old for a search.

Inside the vehicle, officers recovered three mobile phones and thousands of pounds worth of the class A drug.

Tourist who killed girlfriend in crash on Highland holiday avoids prison

A man who killed his girlfriend in a horrific crash during their first holiday together has been spared jail.

Gerrit Reickmann and Melina Rosa Paprer had travelled from Germany to visit castles in the Scottish Highlands.

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

The 30-year-old was behind the wheel of a hired Citreon C3 when he ended up on the wrong side of the road before smashing head on into a Honda CRV.

Melina, 24, never survived the collision near Borlum Farm in Drumnadrochit on October 12 2020.

Inverurie man admits sex toy assault on his elderly neighbour

An Inverurie pensioner has been placed on the sex offenders register after assaulting his former elderly neighbour in Tarves with a sex toy.

John Donald McBoyle visited his then-76-year-old neighbour in the Aberdeenshire village to help fix her boiler but also brought along a vibrator and bottle of lube.

John Donald McBoyle, also known as Donald McBoyle, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. Images: Facebook/DC Thomson

The vulnerable woman, who suffers from anxiety and is a stroke victim, was then cornered by McBoyle, who forced the device upon the terrified woman and insisted that she liked it.

McBoyle, a 73-year-old married father, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Thursday morning when he was put on the sex offenders register ahead of being sentenced in May.

Sheriff’s warning to girl, 16, after string of assaults

A sheriff has warned a 16-year-old girl who admitted a string of assaults her behaviour is “extremely, extremely concerning” and “not normal”.

The child, who cannot be named for legal reasons due to her young age, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where she admitted four charges.

The assaults took place on different days at various locations in Aberdeen.

The first incident took place on Schoolhill on August 1 when the child assaulted a female by punching her to the body, grabbing and pulling her hair, knocking her to the ground and then repeatedly punching her to the head and body.

A second offence was committed at the Londis store on Union Street on August 12 when she assaulted a retail worker by pushing and kicking her to the body and repeatedly punching her to the head and body.

Aberdeen cannabis mule caught with £360,000 of drug avoids jail

A drug mule caught as he drove hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cannabis from Aberdeen has been fined after spending more than a year on remand.

Police stumbled on the £360,000 haul when they pulled over Albanian duo Lulzim Musollari and Cezar Manciu at the Broxden roundabout after spotting a fault with their MOT certificate.

Lulzim Musollari, left, and and Cezar Manciu. Image: DC Thomson

The men parked in an A9 layby and officers immediately smelled their enormous 22kg haul, being transported to Manchester from the north-east.

While police carried out checks, passenger Manciu, from London, got out and ran across both carriageway lanes from driver Musollari’s Kia Sportage.

Firm fined £145,000 after worker dies at site of Baird Family Hospital

An engineering firm has been fined more than £145,000 after a worker died on the building site of Aberdeen’s new hospital.

Leeds-headquartered NG Bailey admitted culpability after it failed to identify risks posed to staff working on the project, which led to the death of plumber Alistair Hutton, 51, on January 18 last year.

Alistair Hutton died in the workplace accident at the site of the new Baird Family Hospital in Aberdeen

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how the dad-of-one was using a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) while working on the construction of the new Baird Family Hospital project.

While taking the MEWP to be charged, Mr Hutton, from the Forfar area, struck his head on a beam and suffered “catastrophic” injuries.

North-east double rapist jailed for seven years

A man convicted of rape after asking a hungover woman whether she remembered having sex has been jailed for seven years.

Daniel Robertson’s victim returned home after drinking with friends but had no recollection of anything from being at a pub to waking the next morning.

A judge told Robertson: “She was so drunk she was unaware of what you had done until you told her the following day.”

The High Court in Edinburgh heard the victim was left feeling violated and said: “I felt disgusting.”

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