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Weekend court roll – Broch car dealers’ revenge attack and a pervert Scout leader

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.

Elgin man warned he faces lengthy jail term if he fails to behave

An Elgin man has been warned he faces a lengthy jail term if he fails to stick to his bail conditions.

Aiden Stuart, 23, appeared from custody at Elgin Sheriff Court to apply for bail after admitting numerous breaches of his conditions.

Aiden Stuart appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court Picture.

Stuart had previously admitted assaulting his ex-partner in 2022 – and then contacting her several times despite a non-harassment order being put in place.

More recently, in April this year, he admitted assaulting his mother at her home in Anderson Drive, Elgin.

Stonehaven dog owner tagged after threatening neighbour in poo row

A dog owner has been electronically tagged after he made violent threats to a woman who picked up his pet’s poo from neighbouring gardens and emptied it into his.

Stewart Sutherland, 33, appeared on the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted making threats to his neighbour when she shovelled up the mess his dogs had left around the area and put it over his fence.

Stewart Sutherland threatened his neighbour following an argument over dog poo. Image: Facebook/DC Thomson.

Becoming immediately irate, Sutherland told the woman to send her partner to see him, adding that he would teach him to “sort her out”.

Sutherland – who was already subject to three court orders – will now be restricted to his home for weeks.

Three people in court accused of firing handgun in Fraserburgh

Three people have appeared in court on firearms charges after video was posted on social media of handguns apparently being fired in Fraserburgh.

Yanko Pishtisky, 19, Leon Scott, 21, and a 17-year-old boy are all accused of recklessly discharging a firearm.

The 17-year-old – who cannot be named for legal reasons – is also facing a charge of drug possession.

All three – who are from Fraserburgh – made no plea during this afternoon’s private appearance at Peterhead Sheriff Court and were released on bail.

Man throttled partner so hard she thought her eyes were going to ‘pop out of her head’

A serial domestic abuser who strangled his partner with such force she thought her eyes were going to “pop out of her head” has avoided a prison sentence.

Daniel Imlach, 35, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted violent domestic abuse charges against his now ex-girlfriend over a two-month period last year.

Daniel Imlach admitted domestic abuse charges against his former partner. Image: Facebook/DC Thomson.

Imlach – who has previous convictions for violence towards previous partners – blamed that fact he was drinking eight cans of lager a night for his behaviour.

A doctor who examined the woman following the most brutal attack deemed Imlach’s actions “hazardous” to the woman’s life.

Double rapist brands jury ‘rats’ as they return guilty verdict

An Aberdeen double rapist burst into tears and had to be removed from court as a jury convicted him of offences involving two women.

John Middleton began crying hysterically in the dock and called the jury “rats” after he was found unanimously guilty of one rape and guilty by majority of another.

John Middleton was convicted of two rape charges at the High Court in Aberdeen. Image: Facebook/DC Thomson.

It took a jury of 10 men and five women less than two hours to convict the 25-year-old on both charges.

Judge Olga Pasportnikov was forced to request that Middleton be removed from the High Court in Aberdeen as he continued to blame the jury and protest his innocence.

Inverness man in court on attempted murder charges after disturbance on street

A man has appeared in court in Inverness on two charges of attempted murder.

Malcolm Macleod is charged in relation to an alleged assault in October 2023 as well as an incident alleged to have been committed with a machete last week.

Both of the charges relate to incidents alleged to have taken place in Inverness.

The 29-year-old, from Inverness, appeared in private at the city’s sheriff court and made no plea.

Aberdeen dad blamed ‘financial difficulties’ for drugs involvement

A jet-setting, family man caught with almost £40,000 of cannabis and cocaine has escaped a prison sentence.

Przemyslaw Wujczak – whose social media boasts a huge variety of holiday snaps from destinations all over the world – claimed he got involved with drugs due to “financial difficulties”.

Przemyslaw Wujczak’s social media was peppered with holiday snaps. Image: Facebook

The well-travelled 39-year-old was caught when officers received intelligence regarding his involvement and spotted him placing a bag of drugs in his car.

A search of his home – and garden sheds – then uncovered stashes of cocaine and cannabis worth tens of thousands of pounds.

Inverness pair in court on murder bid charge after late-night incident

Two men have appeared in court in Inverness charged with attempted murder and robbery.

Nathan Hunter, and James Marshall, both from Inverness, appeared in private at the city’s Sheriff Court.

The pair made no plea to the charge on which they both appear.

Hunter, 31, who also made no plea to a further accusation of police assault, was granted bail to appear at the next hearing.

Drug-driver succeeds in bid to have disqualification cut short

A drug-driver who drove on with two burst tyres has had her driving ban ended early.

Dee Buchanan left other motorists stunned as she took to the B9170 Oldmeldrum to Inverurie road in her blue Volkswagen Polo after taking diazepam following a head injury.

Dee Buchanan. Image: DC Thomson

The effects of the drugs made the counsellor swerve in and out of oncoming traffic, forcing other cars onto a grass verge and drive over a roundabout.

Buchanan, 60, continued to drive despite the double puncture and only came to a halt when a member of the public managed to overtake her and slowly stop in front of her.

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Jail for attempted robber who cornered woman into tenement and told her he had knife

An Aberdeen man has been jailed after he subjected a woman to a terrifying attempted robbery as she returned home from work.

Shaun Rose, 45, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted sneaking into the woman’s block of flats and approaching her while stating he had a knife.

Shaun Rose was jailed after he subjected a woman to a terrifying attempted robbery in South Silver Street, Aberdeen. Image: Facebook/Google.

As Rose reached out and grabbed her handbag, the woman bravely tussled with him.

Thankfully, a member of the public heard the woman’s screams and went to her aid and Rose promptly fled the property.

Callous Aboyne thief stole beloved dad’s memorial stone – then tried to flog it on Facebook

A callous thief stole a memorial stone dedicated to a beloved father – and then had the audacity to try to sell it on Facebook.

The man’s heartbroken daughter was left reeling after spotting Allan Strachan advertising her relative’s memorial for sale on social media.

Allan Strachan refused to apologise as he left court. Image: DC Thomson

She contacted Strachan, 59, to ask him to put it back where he found it, but the arrogant thief just told her to call the police.

She did, but Strachan struggled violently with officers when they turned up at his house and recovered the sentimental stone.

Man appears in court accused of serious assault in Wick

A man has appeared in court accused of assaulting someone and endangering their life during an incident in Wick.

We reported that police attended the town’s Leishman Avenue at 10am on Sunday after receiving reports of a disturbance, before also attending Glamis Road.

George Harper, 42, was arrested and charged and appeared in private at Wick Sheriff Court today.

Harper, whose general address was given as Caithness, is facing nine charges.

Cheese wire murder exclusive: ‘I was mystery man with blood on his hands in chip shop’

The mystery of a man seen with blood on his hands in a chip shop the night an Aberdeen taxi driver was murdered may have been solved, The Press and Journal can reveal.

George Murdoch, 58, was brutally attacked by a passenger who garrotted the cabbie with a cheese wire at Pitfodels Station Road, near Cults, on September 29 1983.

Ronald Paterson, left, has come forward and could have solved one of the most enduring mysteries in the murder of Aberdeen taxi driver George Murdoch. Image: Roddie Reid/DC Thomson

A woman working at Mr Chips on Great Western Road in Mannofield – just over a mile from the horrific crime scene – later reported her suspicious customer to detectives.

The alleged sighting sparked a major manhunt for the mystery man, who was never officially traced, and the case remains unsolved more than 40 years later.

However, The P&J has now tracked down who we believe to be that man and he told us he visited the chip shop the night BEFORE Mr Murdoch’s murder.

Man found guilty of stalking woman and making her feel ‘unsafe in her own home’

An Aberdeen man has been found guilty of stalking his neighbour by staring at her through her bedroom window.

Sean Monaghan, 30, faced a charge that he stalked the 24-year-old woman by following her down the street, turning up at her door and attempting to connect with her on numerous social media sites for nearly a year.

Sean Monaghan was convicted of stalking at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. Image: DC Thomson.

Giving evidence at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, the woman said she’d caught Monaghan standing watching her through her bedroom window on more than 20 occasions.

A friend of the woman, who also gave evidence, told the court that she also caught Monaghan staring at her as she sat on the edge of her friend’s bed.

Paedophile Scout leader encouraged naked forfeits on Ben Nevis trip

A perverted Scout leader plied boys with alcohol and then made them play strip poker during a hillwalking trip in the Highlands.

Convicted paedophile John Somerville gave his 12 and 13-year-old victims lager and alcopops before making them perform naked forfeits.

Paedophile Fife Scout leader John Somerville.

Somerville himself lowered the bottom half of his clothing and lay on one of the naked boys, Inverness Sheriff Court was told.

Somerville, appeared via videolink to admit two charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour toward two boys in 1998 or 1999.

Unpaid work for man caught with throwing dart

An Inverness man caught carrying an “adapted” throwing dart for protection has been ordered to complete unpaid work.

James Wilson had previously admitted carrying the offensive weapon, which police officers found in his jeans pocket during a drugs search.

His solicitor told Sheriff Gary Aitken that Wilson has since “removed himself from the situation he was in” at the time of the offence.

Wilson, 43, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court for sentencing having previously admitted a single charge of having an offensive weapon in a public place.

German tourist’s dangerous driving caused life-threatening A9 crash

A German tourist turned into the path of an oncoming vehicle on the A9 causing a crash that left one woman with life-threatening injuries.

Gunter Schmieg was on holiday with his wife and grown-up sons when he made the manoeuvre at the Ralia junction, south of Inverness.

Gunter Schmieg admitted dangerous driving at Inverness Sheriff Court. Image: DC Thomson

Two female passengers from the other car were left permanently impaired and permanently disfigured by their injuries.

Schmieg’s own wife suffered a spinal fracture.

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Motorist left biker with ‘life-changing injuries’ in roundabout crash

A north-east driver who left a motorcyclist in Dundee with “life-threatening” and “life-changing” injuries must compensate his victim.

Jack Walker failed to maintain proper lane discipline while navigating a city roundabout on April 20 last year.

Jack Walker
Jack Walker leaves Dundee Sheriff Court.

The 24-year-old, from Cairnbulg, near Fraserburgh, collided with a Kawasaki motorcycle.

At a previous court hearing, Walker admitted causing serious injury by driving carelessly.

Murderer faces jail after stealing £120,000 from mother-in-law’s bank account

A convicted murderer and thief who stole £120,000 from his mother-in-law’s estate has been warned he faces prison.

Ivan Downes – who was jailed for life at Norwich Crown Court in 1992 – tried to blame his late wife Linda for the crime before changing his plea at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Murderer and thief Ivan Downes shakes his walking stick at our photographer. Image: DC Thomson

The 73-year-old admitted the theft of half what was originally libelled against him – £241,000 – between 2007 and 2013.

And in a dramatic and unexpected twist, his defence counsel, David Nicolson, told Sheriff Ian Cruickshank that his client would be able to repay the money immediately.

Man in dock after crashing through wall into Aberdeenshire graveyard

A man has appeared in court after ploughing through the wall of an Aberdeenshire cemetery, damaging 15 gravestones and narrowly missing a pedestrian.

Murray McGuigan sped into the wall of Belhelvie Churchyard, crashing right through it and into the graveyard on the other side.

The scene of the crash at Belhelvie Church. Image: DC Thomson

A terrified member of the public who had been in the churchyard narrowly escaped being struck by the vehicle but was showered in debris from the wall.

McGuigan, 36, had been unfit to drive through alcohol consumption at the time and was seriously injured in the frightening crash.

Man avoids prison after he bites Aberdeen holidaymaker’s ear

A man has been told that he narrowly avoided a prison sentence after he attacked and bit an Aberdeen holidaymaker on the ear.

Daniel Stewart, 29, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted assaulting the man on Union Street in the early hours of the morning.

Daniel Stewart admitted one charge of assault to injury at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. Image: Facebook/DC Thomson.

The two got into an argument before Stewart struck the man before getting him on the ground where he bit him on the ear.

His solicitor Mike Monro told the court that Stewart – who has previous assault convictions – has “no recollection” of the incident.

Offshore mechanic becomes first person in Aberdeen to be convicted under new hate crime law

An offshore mechanic has become the first person to be convicted under new hate crime legislation in Aberdeen – for telling a police officer with an English accent to go back to his own country.

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 officially came into force on April 1 this year.

And it took Jay Rothnie just over a week to fall foul of the new law, designed to “tackle the harm caused by hatred and prejudice”.

The 26-year-old clashed with cops at Grosvenor Casino in the early hours of the morning when he made the offensive comment towards the officer.

Weeping Liverpool dealer who brought drugs to Aberdeen gets six years

A career criminal who wept uncontrollably and shook his head in disbelief after being convicted for the third time of drug dealing has been jailed.

Thomas Foat, 32, was given a sentence of six years and six months by judge Lady Haldane.

The High Court in Edinburgh had heard how Foat had left his home city of Liverpool to come to live in Aberdeen.

Jurors heard how he started selling drugs and had taken over a property at the city’s Wallace House tower block.

Fraserburgh car dealers guilty of revenge attack on forecourt vandal

Two Fraserburgh car dealers have been found guilty of attacking a vandal who caused £33,000 of damage to cars in their forecourt.

Murray Motors bosses Gordon Murray, 66, and son Morgan Murray, 32, had both denied the charge of assaulting Roberto Tudora in his home three years ago.

The Murray's were on trial at Peterhead Sheriff Court
Gordon Murray and son Morgan Murray arrive at Peterhead Sheriff Court. Image: Jasperimage

Both men are listed as company directors of Murrays Motors in Fraserburgh, a car dealership on the town’s South Road.

It was claimed the attack was retribution for Mr Tudora pouring a corrosive substance over cars at their South Road business a week prior to the assault.

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