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Weekend court roll – a paedophile teacher and a crank call pervert

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.

Former Shetland teacher jailed for sexually abusing six schoolboys

A former Shetland primary school teacher has been jailed for 30 months after molesting six of his pupils in their classroom more than a decade ago.

Stephen Tait was also added to the sex offenders register for life following a trial that convicted the 41-year-old of six charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous behaviour.

Stephen Tait preyed on the schoolboys while teaching at Bell’s Brae Primary School in Lerwick, Shetland. Images: Google Street View/DC Thomson

Today, Sheriff Ian Wallace described his offending at Bell’s Brae Primary School in Lerwick as “ongoing, planned behaviour against children”.

He told the serial sex offender: “It was made more serious in that it was committed by you, a teacher, against young children who were in your care.”

Former swimming coach hid 82 wraps of cocaine internally as police raided flat

A Liverpool mum stashed 82 wraps of cocaine, worth £2,000, internally as police raided an Aberdeen flat she was in.

Katherine Shannon “banked” the class A drugs at the behest of her partner, a suspected member of an organised crime gang, as police forced entry to the property on Lerwick Road.

The former swimming instructor, 33, became involved after becoming an addict following issues with child contact and building up a drug debt.

Fiscal depute David Ballock told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the incident happened on November 16 last year.

‘Anguish’ for grieving relatives as Skye shotgun murder trial delayed

The trial of a man charged with shooting his brother-in-law dead on Skye has been postponed until near the end of the year.

Finlay MacDonald, who denies murdering 47-year-old John MacKinnon at his home in Teangue on August 10 2022, was due to be prosecuted in mid-May.

John MacKinnon died and Rowena MacDonald, John Don Mackenzie and Fay Mackenzie were injured in the incident.

But a delayed expert report for his defence team means the case is “dragging on with no resolution,” prosecutor Lisa Gillespie KC told the High Court in Glasgow today.

The preliminary hearing before judge Lady Drummond was also told of the “anguish” the issue is causing grieving relatives.

Aberdeen dad admits child neglect as cocaine found on baby’s dummy

An Aberdeen dad has admitted child neglect after his baby daughter was rushed to hospital unresponsive and police found traces of cocaine on her dummy.

Shaun O’Driscoll, 29, specifically asked if he could look after two-month-old Bella at his flat in Aberdeen but while she was there she became unresponsive and had to be taken to hospital.

Shaun O’Driscoll. Image: DC Thomson

Ambulance crews notified police of the incident and officers arrived to find O’Driscoll’s flat littered with tens of thousands of pounds worth of cocaine and cannabis.

Tragically, Bella has now passed away although it was not stated in court when that happened. O’Driscoll also did not face a charge of causing the child’s death.

Man found in flowerbed showered cops with ‘certainly imaginative’ insults, court told

A man bombarded police and members of the public with insults after being found lying in a flowerbed in Inverurie.

Paul Connelly quickly became aggressive when police traced him in the shrubs near Tesco on Harlaw Road, Inverurie.

The 40-year-old then proceeded to hurl abuse, which a sheriff sarcastically credited as being “certainly imaginative”.

Fiscal depute Alan Townsend said the incident happened around 3pm on February 2.

Drug runner dad’s bid to make ‘easy’ £500 costs him his freedom

A father accepted the offer of £500 to transport thousands of pounds worth of cocaine to Aberdeen – in a decision that’s now cost him his liberty.

Paul Webb thought he’d found a way to make quick and easy money, but his plan went spectacularly wrong when his BMW was stopped at Craibstone roundabout.

The 42-year-old was found to have more than £13,000 of cocaine inside the vehicle and was swiftly arrested.

Webb previously pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of the class A drug over the incident, which happened on September 1 last year.

Three men in court after alleged violent robbery and car chase

Three men have appeared in court facing a string of charges after an alleged violent robbery and car chase through Aberdeen.

Ricky Davidson, Kieran Ord and James Davidson, all from Aberdeen, were arrested after the alleged robbery in Ashgrove area of the city.

Police said a vehicle, mobile phone and cash were stolen from Rowan Road on Friday and the car was traced by officers at around 5pm on Saturday as it travelled along North Anderson Drive.

In a statement, Police Scotland said the driver “failed to stop for officers” and after a short pursuit, the motor crashed.

Disgruntled customer assaulted Inverness strip club manager

A disgruntled customer assaulted a staff member at a city centre strip club when a transaction “didn’t quite go the way he had expected”.

Jamie Ross, 40, visited the adult entertainment venue on his birthday after drinking in Inverness.

Jamie Ross assaulted a staff member at Private Eyes in Inverness

But after interacting with two of the dancers at the gentlemen’s club, Ross began muttering to himself before attacking a manager.

Ross appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court to admit a single charge of assault in relation to the incident on January 5 of last year.

Vicious Aberdeen loan shark left hotel room covered in blood when victim couldn’t pay up

A loan shark left one victim with a bleed on the brain and a serious knife wound after barging into a hotel room to collect cash he believed was owed to him.

Marcus Pearce appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted violently assaulting three men and a policewoman after he tried to recoup cash he’d lent out.

Loan shark Marcus Pearce admitted assaulting three men and a police woman. Image: Facebook.

The 28-year-old left one victim with a deep laceration to his neck understood to have been caused by a bread knife.

When police arrived, they also found the man with significant swelling to his head and his hotel room covered in blood.

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Thug admits attacking and robbing 87-year-old dementia sufferer

A thug has admitted attacking and robbing a vulnerable dementia sufferer after barging into her Aberdeen home.

Darren Simpson pushed the 87-year-old woman into the property on the Lang Stracht before closing the door and demanding money.

Darren Simpson. Image: Facebook

During the cowardly assault, Simpson, 42, grabbed the pensioner as he aggressively ordered her to hand over her cash and searched the home.

The terrified woman was left bruised and in shock as a result of the attack.

Man avoids jail for crutch attack that saw victim rushed to hospital

A man who defended himself by striking his attacker with a bystander’s crutches has found himself in the dock after his victim was later rushed to hospital with a bleed on the brain.

Ben Michie, 29, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted assaulting the man by striking him to the head with a crutch, causing severe injury and endangering his life.

Ben Michie admitted endangering the life of a man who had headbutted him. Image: DC Thomson.

In the hours following the attack, his victim became unresponsive and was rushed to hospital with a hematoma and fractured skull.

His injuries were described by medics at the time as “life-threatening”.

Man jailed after trying to rob corner shop with ‘fearsome’ knife

A yob has been caged after trying to rob an Aberdeen corner shop armed with a “fearsome” knife.

Robert Michie, 31, brandished the large knife at the terrified shop assistant but fled when she managed to activate an alarm.

The blade was described as “fearsome” by Sheriff Graham Buchanan when he was shown a picture of it in court.

However, the Crown refused to provide the image or even a description of the frightening weapon.

Banff thug handed two more months in jail after admitting ‘testosterone-fuelled stupidity’

A Banff thug has been given two extra months in jail after admitting threatening an ex-friend with a baton in what was dubbed “testosterone-fuelled stupidity”.

Calvin Gallon, 24, appeared from custody at Banff Sheriff Court alongside sidekick Steven Chalmers, 44.

Steven Chalmers and Calvin Gallon appeared at Banff Sheriff Court.

Gallon pled guilty to behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards his former pal whilst being in possession of a baton.

Chalmers, who the court was told was merely there for back-up, pled guilty to the same charge but not to having a weapon.

Thug knocked man unconscious and stamped on his head

A jealous boyfriend knocked a man unconscious and repeatedly stamped on his head after seeing him hug his girlfriend.

Donald Stewart began to remonstrate with the man in The Snuggery on Market Street before the altercation spilled out into an alleyway and erupted into violence.

Stewart, 43, punched his victim in the face, knocking him to the ground.

Stewart then followed up with a series of brutal stamps to the man’s head which continued even after he was knocked unconscious.

Highland League footballer banned from the roads for drink-driving

A Highland League footballer has been banned from the roads after being caught drink-driving.

Buckie Thistle player Cohen Ramsay had been out drinking with friends the night before he was pulled over by police in Dingwall.

Buckie Thistle player Cohen Ramsay admitted drink-driving. Image: Jasperimage

Officers noticed a smell of alcohol emanating from the “nervous” semi-professional player’s vehicle and conducted a roadside breath test.

Ramsay, 24, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court to admit a single drink-driving charge in relation to the incident on July 23 of last year.

Buckie thug repeatedly stabbed ex-girlfriend in row over £20

A thug brutally stabbed his ex-partner – after she asked for £20 back.

Ashley Reaich attacked Kaylana Murray outside a Scotmid store in Buckie in broad daylight on June 11 last year.

Ashley Reaich stabbed a woman outside the Scotmid store in Buckie. Image: Jasperimage/Facebook

The crime – captured on CCTV – happened in front of a young child who was standing nearby.

The victim was left seriously injured – but Reaich later claimed to police Miss Murray, 32, had fallen on the knife.

Man told family member he would ‘probably’ kill ex-partner

A man has been ordered to behave himself after he sent a disturbing video of him apparently burning his ex-partner’s clothes and telling another family member he would “probably” murder her.

Christopher Lindsay appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted sending the woman up to 100 messages a day, making derogatory remarks and threatening to kill her over a nearly five-year period.

Christopher Lindsay admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner towards a woman over a nearly five-year period. Image: Facebook.

When a family member of the woman stated that she was concerned that Lindsay might murder his victim one day, he replied “probably”, adding that it “might be today”.

Fiscal depute Georgia Laird told the court that the relationship between Lindsay, 44, and his partner ended around March 2020 but that he continued to send her messages, sometimes up to 100 times a day.

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Highland driver caused serious head-on crash after falling asleep at wheel

A young motorist’s early morning favour to take his parents to Edinburgh Airport nearly ended in tragedy when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car and caused a head-on crash.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told that 21-year-old Ian Kammerath, of Salen, Acharacle, was driving on the A861 near Roshven on September 28 2022 after dropping his parents off for the early morning flight.

At around 8.50am – and 40 minutes from home – he drifted off on a blind bend and ended on the opposite carriageway before hitting an oncoming car.

The female driver suffered a broken arm and ribs and still suffers psychologically from the trauma of the crash, the court was told.

Man knocked out woman’s tooth during brawl on Aberdeen street

A man has been jailed after knocking out a woman’s tooth during a melee on an Aberdeen street.

Patryk Pogodzinski became embroiled in a blazing row with a man in Spar on St Machar Drive which erupted into violence and spilled out onto the street.

Patryk Pogodzinski, who knocked out a woman's tootth on an Aberdeen street
Patryk Pogodzinski. Image: Facebook

The two men traded blows and brawled with each other but, in the midst of the chaos, a stray punch from Pogodzinski connected with the man’s partner.

The strike sparked further violence between the men but the incident finally came to a close when Pogodzinski, 28, ran off.

Man who downloaded sick photos told his actions contributed to ‘horrific’ abuse

An Alness man who downloaded indecent images of children has been told his abhorrent actions contributed to the “ongoing abuse of children in a quite horrific manner”.

Dawid Janowski had more than a thousand indecent images of children on his devices, including videos featuring girls aged between one and 12 and pictures of girls aged between three and 15.

Some of the material was classified as category A – the most serious.

A sentencing hearing at Inverness Sheriff Court heard that Janowski, 37, denies being sexually attracted to children and claims he had discovered the illegal material by following links in a chat room.

Drug-dealing Aberdeen pub boss Paul Clarkson ordered to forfeit £65,000

A drug-dealing Aberdeen pub boss who sold cocaine while on shift has been ordered to pay £65,000 under proceeds of crime legislation.

Paul Clarkson – whose family firm PB Devco owns pubs and restaurants including Soul and Vovem – broke down in tears as he was jailed back in 2021.

Paul Clarkson was handed a prison sentence at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Since then, confiscation order proceedings have been rumbling on as prosecutors and defence fought over how much money Clarkson, 45, made from his criminal activities.

Now, the Aberdeen businessman, who has long since been released from his prison sentence, has been ordered to pay £65,000.

Man ordered to stay away from ex after he entered her home as she slept and assaulted her

A man who entered his estranged partner’s flat late at night to discuss a court case they were both involved in has been ordered to stay away from her for three years.

Maciej Was, 27, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted entering the woman’s home in Tillydrone without permission before assaulting her – resulting in a neighbour having to come to the woman’s aid.

Maciej Was, who carried out the Tillydrone flat assault
Maciej Was admitted a number of charges of assault and threatening or abusive behaviour at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. Image: Facebook.

Was – who was subject to a bail order to stay away from the woman at the time – then fled the property, but not before stealing his ex’s handbag.

Police arrested him and found him in possession of the bag, which contained the woman’s purse and passport.

Woman, 30, appears in court accused of murder after Tillydrone flats death

A woman has appeared in court charged with murder after an incident at a Tillydrone block of flats.

Dionne Wilson, 30, was arrested after a 34-year-old woman – named locally as Sara Irvine – was found injured at the Auchinleck Road property in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Sara Irvine has been named locally as the woman who died following an incident in Tillydrone. Image: Facebook/DC Thomson.

Ms Irvine was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with a chest wound but died a short time later.

Sara’s sister Sophie Irvine paid tribute to her beloved sister.

Apprentice electrician clocked doing 103mph on A96 near Huntly

An apprentice electrician was caught driving at more than 100mph on the A96 towards Aberdeen.

Ryan Henderson was clocked at the three-figure speed as he tried to overtake other vehicles between Keith and Huntly at Coachford.

Ryan Henderson. Image: Facebook

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard the 18-year-old had been trying to take advantage of one of the few spots on the route where it is safe to overtake.

But in doing so, the teen was caught going well over the 60mph limit in the area.

Aberdeen thug admits spitting ‘blood mixed with saliva’ at police officer

A thug tried to spit a mixture of saliva and blood at a police officer’s face while he was being arrested in Aberdeen.

Kevin Roney, 39, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted assaults against two police officers on Garthdee Drive in the city.

Kevin Roney, 39, appeared in Aberdeen Sheriff Court. Image Facebook

While being arrested Roney spat blood and saliva at one officer’s face before kicking a female officer to the head.

His solicitor told the court that Roney had expressed his “disgust and shame” over his actions.

Man ordered to pay friend £1,500 after Banchory bust-up

A man has been ordered to pay his friend £1,500 in compensation after raining punches on him in a row over a comment about his partner.

Peter Gribble “snapped” and subjected the man to a “sustained attack” outside The Royal British Legion in Banchory.

The pair, who are both members, had been drinking together inside, but as they left Gribble, 43, lashed out when the man made a comment.

He floored his victim with a flurry of punches and continued to rain blows as his victim lay stricken on the ground.

Teen fisherman fined for using Nazi salute in Elgin nightspot

A teenage fisherman has been fined after directing a Nazi salute to a policeman and being found with drugs at an Elgin nightspot.

Jamal Abdeirhman, 19, pled guilty to the two charges of cannabis possession and of using a homophobic slur at Joanna’s nightclub.

Jamal Abdeirhman appeared in Elgin Sheriff Court.

The teen had been at the High Street venue on January 14 this year and was approached by two plain-clothed police officers, the court heard.

Fiscal depute Shay Treanor told the court that shortly after midnight the officers asked to search Abdeirhman and found three grams of cannabis on his person.

Woman accused of murdering Aberdeen man with kettle and trying to hide his body

An Aberdeen woman is to stand trial accused of murdering a man with a kettle at an Aberdeen high-rise and then trying to hide his body.

Elizabeth Ann Sweeney, 35, is charged with killing Neil Jolly at his home in Marischal Court in Aberdeen.

Neil Jolly was allegedly murdered at his home in Marischal Court. Image: DC Thomson

Prosecutors claim the 49-year-old was punched as well as repeatedly struck on the head and body with a kettle.

The murder is said to have occurred between June 22 and 26 last year.

Victim of crank call pervert ‘begged’ him to stop sending vile messages and photos

A serial crank call pervert has been placed in the sex offenders register after he waged a campaign of sexual terror against a woman he’d never met.

Darren Cran, 30, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted bombarding a young woman with graphic and sexually violent messages over a nearly two-year period.

Darren Cran is being held at Royal Cornhill Hospital. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told his victim “begged” Cran to stop but he refused and sent more pictures of his private parts and sick messages where her threatened to “wreck her insides”.

Cran – who has previous convictions for stalking women and crank calling emergency service workers – also made a sexually offensive comment to a female police officer.

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