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Weekend court roll – a cocaine gangster and a kitten torturer

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.

Dangerous mugger marched victim around Aberdeen at knifepoint

A sinister mugger grabbed a 20-year-man and marched him around Aberdeen city centre at knife point withdrawing cash.

James McNolty pounced on his victim as he left Pure Gym and made his way along Shiprow.

The 28-year-old forced his terrified victim to withdraw money from a Union Street ATM on three occasions, and asked if he’d “ever been kidnapped”.

He even tried to talk the man into taking him home and pretending to his flatmates that they were friends.

Albanian gangsters forced man to tend £110,000 Aberdeen cannabis farm

A man who was forced to grow more than £110,000 of cannabis on behalf of Albanian gangsters has been jailed.

Astrit Veliu, 53, who has been on remand since last year, pled guilty to the two charges of growing and supplying the Class B drug and appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court from custody.

Police raided a flat on George Street last year and found Astrit there with dozens of mature cannabis plants and dozens more smaller saplings.

The highest estimated value of the mature plants was £55,890 and the saplings, if grown to maturity, could have sold for £54,270 – a total of £110,160.

Cop forced to press panic button during frightening attack

An Aberdeen police officer was forced to press his emergency panic button for assistance when attacked by a drink and drug-fuelled thug.

Daniel Potts was on a cocktail of alcohol and Xanax when he rained punches on the officer as they struggled on the ground in Aberdeen city centre.

The 26-year-old had come to the attention of police after they were contacted by worried Tesco staff.

And when officers arrived, they were hit with a volley of abuse before the situation escalated and became violent.

Watery end for Kemnay man who went on violent rampage with golf club

A golf club-wielding man went on a terrifying rampage through Kemnay after teenagers confronted him about how badly he was treating his dog.

Enraged Brian Wiggins ran at the youngsters with the club and hurled threats at a cyclist before turning up at a woman’s home and unleashing more violent abuse.

When police arrived at the scene he tried to strike an officer with the club before making an unsuccessful attempt to escape by jumping in the River Don.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told the incident started at around 8pm on May 27 last year.

Drug dealing mum who caused baby’s death has jail sentence cut

A drug dealing mother whose baby son died after ingesting a narcotic at her home had her jail sentence cut by appeal judges today.

Amy Beck was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment in April this year after three-month-old Olly-James Sievwright was found to have been exposed to the drugs mephedrone, known as M-CAT, and MDMA, commonly called ecstasy.

Amy Beck’s baby Olly-James died after being exposed to drugs in her home.

The baby boy, who was born prematurely, died on December 22 in 2019 primarily from a peritonitis infection with exposure to the Class B drug mephedrone also listed as a cause of death.

After Beck was jailed by judge Fiona Tait lawyers acting for her raised an appeal challenging the length of the prison sentence imposed on her.

Dons fan dodges banning order for throwing pyro into Pittodrie away end

A Dons fan who threw a smoke bomb into the St Mirren section at Pittodrie has escaped a banning order.

A sheriff made sheepish Ben Lorimer repeat back to her that “throwing pyrotechnics is wrong”.

The 21-year-old, who has a condition that affects his perception and reaction to things, had believed that, because he’d seen other fans using smoke bombs and flares at games and on the television, it was okay.

But despite the court not imposing a banning order, Lorimer’s mum has laid down the law herself and has forbidden her son from going to matches unless accompanied by a family member.

Plumbers assaulted Stonehaven pubgoer who punched pensioner, court told

Two plumbers have admitted assaulting a man outside a Stonehaven pub after he allegedly punched a pensioner.

Josh Cruickshank, 27, and Kieran Livingstone, 23, had been on a day out with a group of friends before they became involved in the ongoing fracas outside the Market Bar.

The Market Bar, Stonehaven, where the assault took place
The Market Bar, Stonehaven.

The pair have now appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted one charge of assault.

Their victim had also been out drinking on July 1 last year, but was refused any more drink at the pub and was asked to leave the premises.

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‘Simmering’ 30-year feud over boiler lands OAP in court

An 82-year-old man found himself in the dock after a 30-year family feud over a boiler led to a serious assault at a Highland filling station.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told Ian Bain’s fallout with his brother-in-law over the central heating system has been “simmering over the decades” and came to a head on December 7 of last year.

Ian Bain and Inverness Sheriff court, which he attended after a family feud led to assault
Ian Bain pled guilty to assault at Inverness Sheriff Court. Image: DC Thomson

The pair bumped into each other in Beauly and Bain pushed the other man over, causing him to break a hip.

Bain appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court and admitted a single charge of assault to severe injury.

Man avoids jail after £17,000 crime spree through Aberdeenshire

A man has been handed unpaid work after admitting a spree of thefts from sheds, garages and farmland across Aberdeenshire.

The thefts, totalling £17,030, were carried in August 2021 by the man when he was just 17-year-old.

William Burke, now 20, pled guilty to five charges of theft last month and appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for sentencing.

Burke’s spate of crime covered properties across Aberdeenshire, including a trailer, power tools and a motorbike.

Aberdeen firm fined £10,000 after worker loses part of finger in work accident

An Aberdeen firm has been fined £10,000 after a worker lost part of a finger in a piece of machinery that hadn’t been used in a decade.

Fabrication firm Harper UK Aberdeen Ltd admitted culpability by failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees when one worker’s hand was drawn into a lathe causing him severe injury and disfigurement.

A worker’s hand was drawn into a lathe at the Harper UK Aberdeen Ltd factory.

The court heard that bosses within the firm asked the 60-year-old member of staff to use the lathe to polish four metal bars.

But they failed to ensure supervision of his work or provide training on the lathe, which had lain unused for 10 years and had only recently been repaired and taken back out on the shop floor of the factory in Sairs Business Park, Colpy, Insch.

Highland man guilty of raping women and molesting child

A Highland man has been warned to expect a lengthy jail sentence after being found guilty of molesting a child and raping two women.

Niyel Lennock, 28, had denied all the charges during a trial at the High Court in Inverness.

The Highland man found guilty of raping women and a child at Inverness high court
Niyel Lennock was found guilty at the High Court in Inverness. Image: Facebook

He claimed that some of the encounters had been consensual, while others simply had not happened.

But on the second day of deliberations, a jury returned verdicts of guilty on all but one of the charges before them.

Man convicted for throwing girlfriend’s stuff into the street

A man has been convicted of threatening or abusive behaviour after throwing his girlfriend’s belongings onto the road.

Fisherman William Fulton admitted threatening or abusive behaviour following the incident at his Kyle of Lochalsh home.

His solicitor said the incident had occurred after Fulton, 43, learned his girlfriend was also in a relationship with one of his friends.

Fulton appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court to plead guilty to the single charge relating to the incident on March 6 of this year.

Drunk man touched a woman in Inverness pub, then remonstrated with bar staff

A drunk man who touched a woman in a pub then remonstrated with bar staff who asked him to leave has been ordered to pay compensation by a sheriff.

Stuart Mathieson, 31, was described as “heavily intoxicated” and stumbling by witnesses before he tapped a woman on the body near her buttocks.

When a member of bar staff asked him to leave he took exception and remonstrated with her.

Mathieson appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court to admit charges of breach of the peace and threatening behaviour towards a retail worker.

Building firm fined £5,000 after workers hurt in fall from unsecured metal basket

An Aberdeenshire building firm has been fined more than £5,000 after two workers were injured when they were lifted by a digger in an unsecured metal basket.

James S Youngson Ltd accepted culpability at Aberdeen Sheriff Court after two subcontractors were hurt during work to remove chain link fencing from the site of the former Kincorth Academy.

The two workers fell from a basket because it wasn’t attached to the digger. Image: Crown Office

A risk assessment was prepared for the men to use ladders, but it was decided to change the approach and use a loading basket instead.

The basket was then raised to a height while balancing on the forks of a digger.

Aberdeen crime gang member jailed after more than £1 million of cocaine seized

An Aberdeen crime gang member who was involved in the trafficking of more than £1.6 million of cocaine has been jailed for 10 years.

Steven Gribble was locked up at the High Court in Glasgow after the mammoth quantity of Class A drugs was recovered during an intelligence-led operation and a search of a property in Aberdeen during October and November 2023.

Aberdeen drug dealer Steven Gribble was jailed at the High Court in Glasgow. Image: Police Scotland

The 42-year-old – who had a previous conviction for the same crime – admitted being concerned in the supply of almost 12kg of high-purity cocaine between November 4 and 14 2023.

Lord Fairley told him: “The charge has a serious crime aggravation.”

Man, 32, in court accused of string of Inverness thefts and break-ins

A man has appeared in private at Inverness Sheriff Court in connection with a series of thefts and break-ins in the Smithton and Culloden areas of the city.

The incidents happened between 3am and 11am on Wednesday June 19 on Barn Church Road and Smithton Road.

Scott Burns, 32, from Inverness was also accused of several other offences, which occurred on April 6, 7, and April 23 in the same area.

He appeared before Sheriff David Harvie, represented by Elgin solicitor Stephen Carty, who successfully argued for his client to be released on bail.

Man made chilling threats to expectant mum

A man has been ordered to stay away from his former partner after he flew into a rage and threatened to harm their baby.

William Kinnaird, 38, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted making a series of terrifying threats towards the woman – who was at that time the mother of his unborn child.

William Kinnaird admitted making threats towards his ex-partner, including that he would kill their baby.<br />Image: DC Thomson/Facebook.

Kinnaird – who was described as having “anger issues” – told the woman as she wept that he would seize the baby and “kill it”.

When later questioned by police, Kinnaird denied the incident had ever taken place.

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 drink-driver struck roundabout, flipped car and hit a tree

A drink-driver is facing a significant road ban after he ploughed into a tree and flipped his car.

Andrew Watson, 24, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted getting behind the wheel and driving his vehicle dangerously while over the alcohol limit.

The crash happened at a roundabout on Wellington Road. Image: Google Street View

It was stated that Watson drove directly at a roundabout on Wellington Road, Aberdeen, striking the kerb and becoming airborne.

The incident, which was captured on CCTV, saw the car hit a tree before ending up on its roof.

Three in court after £35,000 drugs bust in Aberdeen’s west end

Three people have appeared in court after £35,000 of drugs were seized during police raids on three west-end properties in Aberdeen.

Officers recovered the Class A drugs and a four-figure sum of money after searching properties in Esslemont Avenue and Granton Place on Wednesday.

Rory Morgan, 31, of Aberdeen is accused of being concerned with the supply of a controlled drug and intentionally obstructing a police officer in the exercise of their powers.

Dean Alford, 30, of no fixed abode and 23-year-old Zaleeshka Javed from Kent are also charged with the same two alleged offences.

Man who tried to strangle wife called police to report himself

A man lost his temper and grabbed his wife’s throat – then phoned the police and told them he’d tried to murder her.

Ceinan Hardcastle, who is also known by the first name Rhys, became violent during an argument with his partner at their address in Aberdeen.

Following the incident, the woman went for a walk to put some distance between them.

When she returned, Hardcastle, 24, decided to phone the police himself to report what he’d done.

Disqualified driver wheelspun past Inverness police officer

A disqualified driver who wheelspun out of a church car park past an approaching police officer has admitted careless driving.

A court heard the officer had to take “evasive action” as Samantha Stewart’s Ford Fiesta came by.

Stewart also pled guilty to driving whilst disqualified and with no insurance.

The 35-year-old appeared via videolink from custody at Inverness Sheriff Court to make her pleas in front of Sheriff David Harvie.

Aberdeen boy killed kitten then stuffed tortured cat’s body in cupboard

An Aberdeen boy who tortured kittens has been banned from keeping animals after a dead cat was found tied up in his cupboard.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons due to his age, admitted charges of causing unnecessary suffering to two kittens in cruel and disturbing ways.

The boy tortured and killed a kitten at his home in Aberdeen. Image: Generic picture of kitten

An allegation that he used an aerosol flamethrower on a third cat was dropped by prosecutors.

The offences took place on dates in the autumn last year at an address in Aberdeen’s west end.

Lossiemouth couple admit drug dealing operation in town

A Lossiemouth couple have admitted dealing cocaine in the town.

Stevan Sanders, 35, pleaded guilty to supplying the class A drug with accomplice Eleanor Fletcher, 35, and has now been jailed.

Stevan Sanders and Eleanor Fletcher appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court. Image: Facebook

Sanders appeared via video link at Elgin Sheriff Court, having been put on remand for another matter, the court was told.

Police had raided their Cromarty Place address in November 2022 and found a large amount of cash and 2.6 grams of cocaine.

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