Our reporters have been sitting in courtrooms across the north and north-east this week and covered a wide variety of cases.
Aberdeen couple stole neighbour’s TV in ‘ill-thought-out’ plan to recoup lost cash
On Monday a couple were fined after they broke into a man’s home and stole his television in an “ill-thought-out plan” to claw back money from him.
Matthew Cox, 49, and Vanessa Cox, 35, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted charges of theft by housebreaking.
They jimmied the door of a neighbour on Glenbervie Road, Aberdeen, entered his home and removed his Hitachi television set, his Sky TV box and the assorted cables.
Lout threatened to murder and rape police
A yob threatened to murder and rape police officers and their families before challenging them to a topless fight in Aberdeen city centre.
Paul Seivwright was first lifted by police outside Soul bar after threatening revellers on Union Street.
He then went on to hurl a barrage of abuse at his arresting officers – threatening to “murder and rape them before doing the same to their families”.
Pensioner fit to stand trial accused murdering a mum and son in 1976
On Tuesday an 80-year-old man was judged fit to stand trial accused of murdering Inverness mum Renee MacRae and her son Andrew, who disappeared in 1976.
William MacDowell will be tried by a jury for the alleged crimes at the High Court in Inverness next September.
Ms MacRae’s disappearance – along with that of her three-year-old son, Andrew – is currently the United Kingdom’s longest-running missing persons case.
Victim of racist Aberdeen teen speaks out after receiving abuse on walk home
An Aberdeen man who was told “go back to your own country” by a racist teenager has said he is “not angry”.
Gabriel Ogalde-Gallardo was branded “curry-munching” and told to go back to Pakistan by Theo De Geus, 19, despite being born in Chile and having lived in Aberdeen for nearly 15 years.
Mr Ogalde-Gallardo spoke out after De Geus appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted hurling racist abuse and threatening violence towards him on October 30 this year.
Aberdeenshire drink-driver hid in bush to evade police
A drink-driver jumped out of a window and hid in a bush to evade police after they found his overturned vehicle and traced it back to his address.
John Bernard, 45, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Wednesday and admitted charges of drink-driving and acting in a racially aggravated manner towards a police officer.
The court heard how, on September 13 last year, police found Bernard’s car on its side in the middle of the road on Chapel Brae Gardens, Braemar, Aberdeenshire.
Ellon man supplied heroin to brother – who died hours after taking it
An Ellon man has admitted supplying heroin to his brother, who died just hours after taking the drug.
Alan Howe supplied heroin to, and consumed it with, his brother in Ellon on October 14, last year.
But the 49-year-old was forced to call an ambulance the following morning after finding his brother Stuart Howe unresponsive.
Man to be held in psychiatric hospital over Inverness knife attack on mother
On Thursday a man was ordered to be detained without limit of time at a high-security psychiatric hospital following a knife attack on his mother in Inverness.
Colin Millar, 29, was originally charged with attempting to murder Catherine Millar, 58, at her home in Sinclair Park, in Inverness, on August 2 in 2018.
It was alleged that he repeatedly struck her on the head with a knife to her severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of her life.
Human rights organisation loses bid to force probe into Trump over golf courses
An international human rights organisation has failed in its bid to force Holyrood to investigate how Donald Trump paid for two Scottish golf courses.
Lawyers acting for AVAAZ told judge Lord Sandison last October that the Scottish Ministers were wrong to not order an Unexplained Wealth Order probe against the former US president.
The group wanted the Scottish Government to have a so-called McMafia probe on how Mr Trump obtained the funding for Menie golf course in Aberdeenshire and the Turnberry resort in Ayrshire.
Sentencing delay for married man who raped young girls as they slept over
A married man who raped two young girls as they slept over at his house in Aberdeenshire has had sentencing postponed.
Former lorry driver Joseph Holmes admitted pouncing on his victims at a property in Rattray, Aberdeenshire, between January 1999 and December 2020 when they were aged 12 and 14.
The 64-year-old also pled guilty to sexually assaulting two more girls at the same time and place, including in his attic.
Woman subjected to ‘horrendous’ domestic abuse welcomes sentencing of ex
An Aberdeen woman spoke of her relief on Friday after a court ordered her ex-partner to stay away from her following “appalling” domestic abuse.
Lee McKay, who owns a hair salon in the city, subjected his wife Melissa McKay to over a year of vile, controlling abuse.
Following a trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, McKay, 33, was found guilty of a charge under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act.
Rape-accused asked his father to ‘delete’ Facebook account to thwart cops, trial told
A man accused of sexual offences against 12 females called his father from prison and asked him to delete his Facebook account over fears he’d get “nailed” by police, a trial has heard.
Matthew Watson, 36, is facing a total of 21 charges relating to his alleged conduct with 12 women and girls in Elgin, Inverness and across Moray – with three charges accusing him of raping two girls when they were teenagers.
He also faces a further charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Aberdeen beggar ordered to repay £350 she stole from vulnerable victims
A predatory Aberdeen street beggar has been ordered to repay cash she stole from vulnerable victims.
Julie Hayworth, 29, stole £350 from two people who had previously been kind enough to spare her some change as she begged on the city centre’s streets.
In November 2019, the 29-year-old followed an autistic man after he gave her 50p and convinced him to go to a nearby cash machine on Union Street.
Drug-dealing festival steward caught with cash and cannabis at event near Inverness
A drug-dealing steward at Belladrum music festival near Inverness was caught with a tub of cannabis and cash when cops raided his tent.
Peter Hawkes, 29, was working at the popular event in August 2019 when a fellow steward became suspicious and reported him to the police.
A search of his tent then uncovered a stash of cash and cannabis.
Appearing in the dock at Inverness Sheriff Court, Hawkes, of Thistle Street, Tillicoultry, Alloa, admitted a charge of being concerned in the supply of cannabis, claiming to have committed the offence to fund his own habit.
Prison officer loses unfair dismissal claim
A prison officer who claimed he was sacked for whistleblowing following the death of an Aberdeen inmate has lost a claim for unfair dismissal.
William Main, 51, told jail bosses his colleagues had “terrorised” an inmate who later killed himself behind bars.
Main, a warder at Polmont Young Offenders’ Institutions in Stirling, said Raygen Merchant, 17, had been confronted in his cell in 2014.
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