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Thursday courts round-up – is this the north-east’s worst drink driver?

Good evening – here are the stories that caught the attention of our reporters today, including what might be the north-east’s worst drink driver.

Racist attacker in court

A racist thug who brandished a knife at a man and shouted the ‘n-word’ at him says he would never have carried out such an assault had he been sober.

Steven Smith brandished a knife at the man on Union Street on November 14 last year before pursuing him into a convenience store where he punched him in the face.

Steven Smith was sentenced at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

He also used the racist slur on multiple occasions during the assault.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how an argument had broken out between the two men on Union Street but when the victim saw Smith had a knife in his hand he fled into the nearby shop.

Attacker caught after social media posting

A man who head-butted his girlfriend and forgot about it only learned of his horrifying assault when she posted pictures of her injuries on social media.

Michael Hannah, 39, appeared in the dock and admitted violently attacking his partner on Union Grove, Aberdeen, following a drunken argument on July 10 this year.

Michael Hannah was sentenced for assault at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how Hannah handed himself in to police after discovering his then-partner had published pictures on social media.

In court Hannah pleaded guilty to one charge of assault, pursing the woman, striking her on the body and head-butting her to her injury.

Animal cruelty charges

Two people have appeared in court accused of keeping more than 35 animals – including dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, rabbits and birds – in an Aberdeen flat.

John and Victoria Symon are alleged to have committed a string of animal welfare offences at their home on Seaton Gardens.

The animals were allegedly kept inside a flat in Seaton Gardens

It’s alleged they caused unnecessary suffering to 16 cats and nine kittens,  seven guinea pigs, a lurcher named Pepper, a Labradoodle named Jade and a Yorkie named Bono.

It is further alleged that they kept an excessive number of animals – including rabbits, chinchillas, birds and a hamster – inside the property and that they failed to protect them from “psychological distress”.

Guitar collector assaulted girlfriend

A guitar collector chased and assaulted his girlfriend in the street after learning she’d pawned one of his precious instruments.

Peter Main flew into a rage when he realised his on-off partner of two years had sold one of his nine guitars for just £60.

Peter Main.

And when the 50-year-old spotted her on Hayton Road he charged towards her and chased her as she tried to flee.

When Main caught up he grabbed and shook the woman, all in front of police officers who happened to be in the area responding to an unrelated alarm at a Nisa store.

30-year ban for serial drink driver

A serial drink driver has been handed a 30-year ban along after he was caught behind the wheel while more than three times the limit.

Vladimirs Rudoks – who has been disqualified on five previous occasions and will be 86 when the latest ban runs out – was also jailed for eight months after the sheriff said there was “no alternative” given his appalling record.

Vladimirs Rudoks

The 56-year-old construction worker has previously been disqualified in 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2020.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that when Rudoks was stopped by police outside Tesco in Inverurie on September 24 this year he gave a breathalyser reading of 74 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 22.

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