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Weekend court roll – a serial child groomer and a garden gnome attacker

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.

Pedestrian left with eight broken bones after collision

A driver who left a pedestrian with eight broken bones and a punctured lung when he ran over him in Arbroath has been banned from the road.

Humza Hussain previously pled guilty to causing serious injury to the pedestrian by driving without due care or attention.

Humza Hussain outside Forfar Sheriff Court.

A court heard Hussain was driving on Burnside Drive in Arbroath at 8.50pm on November 11 in 2022.

While behind the wheel of his private-plated vehicle, he failed to maintain adequate observations of the road ahead.

Sick serial child predator groped and groomed girls as young as 12

A sinister serial paedophile – who has been branded a “menace to teenage girls” – has been jailed again after sending a string of vile sexual messages and pictures to children as young as 12.

Stewart Barclay contacted five different girls on Snapchat asking for sexual images and sending them graphic photos of himself.

Stewart Barclay, Turriff man who sent nude images to a child.
Stewart Barclay. Image: DC Thomson

And the 23-year-old predator even groped terrified children when he met them in person, insisting one girl should wear more revealing clothes.

On one occasion, Barclay provided a teen girl with a mobile phone and threatened to take it away from her if she didn’t send him photos of her in her underwear.

Serial Aberdeen rapist caged for 12 years after attacks on women

A serial sex offender who assaulted and raped women during more than a decade of abuse was jailed for 12 years today.

Callum Gordon was aged 18 when he first threatened and attacked a victim and went on to perpetrate similar crimes against two other women during a spate of offending that continued until 2022.

Callum Gordon was locked up for 12 years at the High Court in Edinburgh. Images: Facebook/DC Thomson

Gordon, now aged 33, subjected two victims to rape ordeals and committed a demeaning sexual assault on a third woman after breaking into a flat in Aberdeen.

A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh: “You were convicted by the jury of an appalling course of sustained criminal conduct.”

Moray scammer jailed again

A convicted scammer who was previously jailed for setting up fake businesses in Moray is back in prison for masterminding a £500,000 bank fraud and money laundering scheme.

The Insolvency Service secured convictions against five people including the illegal operation’s 49-year-old ringleader Neale Rothera.

Neale Rothera leaving Elgin Sheriff Court in a previous case. Image: Jasperimage

He, along with help from associates, set up four sham furniture and carpet-selling firms in Leicestershire, England, as a front to commit complex crimes between 2012 and 2013.

Leicester Crown Court jailed Rothera for six years and four months on Tuesday March 19 after he previously pled guilty to four counts of fraud by false representation and one count of money laundering.

Two on stabbing murder bid charge after Boddam incident

Two men have appeared in court charged with attempted murder following an alleged stabbing in Boddam.

Police were called to a property on Dundonnie Street in the village just before midnight on Thursday night heading into Friday morning.

Police at the scene on Dundonnie Street. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

An eyewitness described seeing a man being taken to hospital with serious injuries.

And now, Charlie Coutts, 28, and Stuart Forsyth, 26, have both appeared in private at Peterhead Sheriff Court in connection with the incident.

Man threatened to burn neighbours’ Buckie home with Molotov cocktail

A man who threatened to burn his neighbours’ house down with a Molotov cocktail has been jailed.

Jody Bruce went to the next-door property and knocked on the window demanding the man come out and talk.

Jody Bruce terrorised neighbours. Image: Facebook / DC Thomson

When he refused, Bruce told them he was “going to burn the house down”, stating that he had a “petrol bomb” which he attempted to light.

Bruce, 46, appeared from custody at Inverness Sheriff Court to admit a single charge of threatening or abusive behaviour towards the couple in relation to the incident on July 25 of last year.

Aberdeenshire hammer attacker poses ‘significant risk’ to women

A thug who left his ex-partner traumatised after a savage attack involving a hammer poses a “significant risk” to women.

Drug-fuelled Colin Williamson subjected the terrified woman to a horrific assault and robbery as he chased, battered and even knocked her unconscious.

The 26-year-old committed the sickening offence at an address in Aboyne on September 28 2022.

He initially denied the charge but, after forcing the woman to give evidence in a trial, decided to change his plea and admitted a charge of assault to severe injury and robbery.

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Man left victim with broken jaw in garden gnome attack

A yob has been jailed after assaulting a man with a garden gnome outside an Aberdeen pub on Christmas Day – leaving his victim with a broken jaw.

Cameron Howey lashed out with the ornament beside the Mains of Scotstown in Bridge of Don after a night of drinking.

Howey and a friend got into a row with another male, who had been at the bar with the friend’s ex-partner.

But as he and the woman tried to walk away to avoid the confrontation, Howey, 23, armed himself with the gnome and struck his victim with it.

Married Aberdeen dad who led ‘crime-free life’ turned into sex predator aged 50

A married father who followed a lone female home from a night out and sexually assaulted her has been handed an extended sentence.

Robert Angus, who had led a “crime-free and productive life”, committed the sickening attack after stalking his victim through the streets of Aberdeen late at night.

Robert Angus and the scene of his crime on Ashvale Place. Image: DC Thomson

He tailed the woman from Babylon nightclub to Ashvale Place where he lunged at her, tackling her to the ground and sexually assaulted her while she screamed for help.

Angus, of Cove, previously admitted sexual assault to injury.

Man facing attempted murder charge over Tillydrone disturbance

A man has appeared in court charged with attempted murder after a 38-year-old was seriously injured in a disturbance in Tillydrone.

A 38-year-old man was taken to hospital following the incident at the city’s Hayton Road just before midnight on Friday January 26.

Police car outside houses on Hayton Road, Tillydrone.
Police were outside properties on Hayton Road in Tillydrone. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson.

Two women appeared in connection with the matter in the days following the incident, facing an assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life.

But now, a third person has appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court over the matter – facing a more serious charge.

Campervan driver caused Highland crash that left woman with devastating injuries

A Swiss campervan driver steered into the path of an oncoming vehicle causing a head-on crash that left a woman with life-changing injuries.

Lucas Jaquier said a “bad reflex” caused him to turn to the right when he encountered another car on the A890 near Auchtertyre.

Lucas Jaquier admitted dangerous driving at Inverness Sheriff Court. Image: DC Thomson

The action – which he blamed on being used to driving on the other side of the road – led to a smash that inflicted devastating injuries to hotel manager Sarah Archer, from Dornie.

Miss Archer, who was 35 at the time of last summer’s crash, was so badly injured that she had to rely on a wheelchair for five months and has only recently begun to walk and drive again.

Fraudsters cleared of Aberdeen hotels and pizza parlour swindle bid

A pair of fraudsters have been cleared of trying to swindle thousands from hotels and a pizza parlour in Aberdeen.

Ahmed Bounoun and Salam Bonoua had been accused of attempting to fraudulently obtain £3,000 from Domino’s on Wellington Road in April last year.

Ahmed Bounoun, left, and Salam Bonoua appeared in Dundee Sheriff Court. Image: DC Thomson

It was also alleged they tried to take £8,000 from the Rox Hotel on the city’s Market Street and £6,000 at the House Spa on Great Western Road.

However, the charges were dropped in a plea deal agreed as the pair had been due to go on trial in Dundee.

Cannabis grower who was trying for the ‘perfect plant’ spared jail

A drug dealer who was caught with cannabis worth an estimated £19,000 during his quest to “grow the perfect plant” has been spared jail.

William Haig-Thomas admitted being concerned in the supply of the class B drug after selling the cannabis to two of his friends.

William Haig-Thomas must complete unpaid work in the community. Image: DC Thomson

Inverness Sheriff Court heard the 27-year-old was “obsessed” with producing the perfect plant and his drug dealing operation was “amateurish”.

A previous hearing had been told that  Haig-Thomas had 21 plants, tents and extractor fans as part of what was described as a “professional set-up” at his Highland home.

Highland rapist who repeatedly attacked woman lived ‘a life of faith’

A Highland rapist who was described as living “a life of faith” has been jailed for six years.

Ansell Gibson, who repeatedly raped his victim, was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow today.

Ansell Gibson, from Drumnadrochit, was jailed for rape at the High Court in Glasgow.

The 31-year-old had earlier been convicted of attacking the woman on various occasions between January 2014 and December 2018.

The incidents occurred at different locations in the Highlands.

Aberdeen fan faces jail after racking up third football-related conviction

An Aberdeen supporter faces jail after he admitted abusing stewards during a match against Rangers.

David Mitchell, 43, hurled the comments at Ibrox Stadium on May 7 2023.

David Mitchell, from Aberdeen, at Glasgow Sheriff Court. Image: Spindrift

The Dons had travelled to face their Glasgow rivals which the hosts won 1-0.

Court papers state that Mitchell behaved in a threatening or abusive manner at the match.

Get the latest crime and court stories delivered straight to your inbox

Every day our reporters are sitting in courtrooms around the area and now you can get their stories sent directly to you, five days a week.

Click here to find out how

Aberdeen music teacher caught driving with traces of cocaine in his system

A “very talented” Aberdeen musician has been banned from the road after being caught driving with traces of cocaine in his system.

Music teacher Scott Cruickshank was pulled over on Ellon Road in the city after police spotted him veering across the carriageway.

Scott Cruickshank. Image: DC Thomson / Facebook

Subsequent tests then revealed the 56-year-old guitarist had benzolyecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, in his system.

Cruickshank now faces a year-long driving ban as well as a hefty fine.

Gangster brothers locked up as crack cocaine lab found

Two brothers have been caged for their roles in an organised crime gang’s drug operation which saw an Aberdeen flat cuckooed and used to “cook up” crack cocaine.

Lewis and Connor Bayne were part of the Liverpool-based gang running a sophisticated cocaine and heroin-dealing operation in the north-east.

Lewis Bayne, left, and Connor Bayne. Image: Facebook / DC Thomson

Lewis Bayne, 22, was in charge of a mobile used to “advertise” drugs for sale and facilitate and arrange deals.

Meanwhile, sibling Connor Bayne, 26, was sent up to “mind the shop” in Aberdeen, where he was caught in a “cuckooed” flat on King’s Crescent being used as a makeshift crack cocaine lab.

Mum weeps as she watches footage of four-year-old son allegedly being assaulted

The mother of the child allegedly assaulted by staff at an Aberdeenshire nursery cried as footage of the alleged assaults was played in court.

The 38-year-old woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – told the court her son had immediately said “ouchy, ouchy” when she collected him from the nursery and that he was “pulling his arm away” from her.

On day two of the trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, it was said police became involved after a manager reviewed CCTV footage from inside the nursery.

Joseph Picker and Stacey Kerr – who both deny assaulting the boy between April and July 2021 – were suspended from the nursery and a police investigation was launched.

Elgin fishmonger who groomed and molested 13-year-old girl jailed

A Moray businessman who used his position to groom a child has been jailed for his crimes.

Former fishmonger William Mackie molested the 13-year-old girl at the now-closed Lossie Fish Shop on Culbard Street, Elgin.

William Mackie hid his face at he left court following a previous hearing. Image DC Thomson

He also sexually assaulted a vulnerable young woman.

The attacks took place on dates in 2009/10 and 2016.

£500k cocaine parcel sniffed out at Royal Mail sorting office

An Aberdeen drug dealer was snared by a sniffer dog that found his special delivery parcel containing £500,000 of cocaine at a Royal Mail sorting office.

Mark Longmuir, 47, was caught out by a police search of the postal facility in Mastrick on October 11 2023.

Mark Longmuir was snared by a sniffer dog at Royal Mail’s sorting office on Whitemyres Avenue in Mastrick, Aberdeen. Images: Facebook/Google Street View

The High Court in Edinburgh heard the canine, who wasn’t named, detected the large quantity of drugs in a special delivery package that was addressed to Longmuir.

The court was told how two packs which contained 999g and 992g of cocaine were seized during the discovery.

Boy racer banned after police spot TikTok of dangerous driving

A boy racer has been banned from driving after police saw a TikTok video of him at an Aberdeen car meet.

Ashif Shiham was branded an “idiot” by one onlooker in the video, which showed him trying, and failing, to drift around the Beach Ballroom roundabout.

Ashif Shiham was caught on camera trying to drift his BMW at the Beach Ballroom roundabout.

The 21-year-old student lost control of his grey BMW 330e as he did so, with hundreds of car enthusiasts standing just yards away.

Fortunately, Shiham did not crash into anyone, but he has now been hit with a fine and a year-long driving ban.

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