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Weekend court roll – our round-up of the most-read cases of the week

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Our reporters have been sitting in courtrooms across the north and north-east this week and these are the stories that have captured the attention of our readers.

The tipper truck drink driver

On Monday, we reported on a drink-driver with a difference.

Matthew Hill was double the drink-drive limit when he went for a joyride on a tipper truck.

Police pursue Matthew Hill on the tipper truck

Video footage from the night shows the final moments of his outrageous conduct.

Sofa droppers sentenced

When Edita Butkeviciute stepped outside her work to take a phonecall, little did she realise her life would change forever.

On the roof above her Barrie Law, 27, and Lee Morrison, 33, were about to drop a three-piece sofa to the ground – and onto her.

Now the two men have been ordered to pay Ms Butkeviciute £15,000 compensation for the reckless conduct.

The single punch that had catastrophic effects

On Monday, Callum Wright was jailed at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for throwing a single punch at grandfather Michael Middler.

The court was told assault happened during an altercation outside the Burnett Arms Hotel in Kemnay left the grandad-of-four with a catastrophic brain injury.

After the sentencing, Mr Middler spoke to our reporter and told how his life has changed since the “out of the blue” attack.

‘I’m a new kind of monster’

On Tuesday, a sinister letter from a notorious serial rapist landed him back in court.

Edward Moir

Edward Moir, 30, was jailed for seven years in 2014 after attacking three vulnerable women in Macduff and Elgin and “blighting their lives”.

This time, Falkirk Sheriff Court heard how he sent a “disgusting” and uninvited sex letter from prison to an older woman and claimed he had turned into “a new kind of monster”.

Serial drink driving binman had child in the car

One of the most shocking examples of drink driving called at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Tuesday, when binman Michal Orlowski admitted being five times the limit – with a child in the back seat.

It was Orlowski’s THIRD drink driving conviction and police officers pulled him over when they spotted him swerving across Aberdeen’s Wellington Road.

Michal Orlowski
Michal Orlowski

Horrendous Union Street glass assault

Our reporter needed a strong stomach when hearing details of a bottle attack on Union Street.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told how blood spurted from the victim after a drunken 16-year-old smashed a glass bottle over her head.

The court was told the attack happened when the teenager gave his victim money for cannabis but did not receive the drugs he’d expected – or get a refund.

Domestic abuser discovers he’s to be a father…live in court

Of all the ways to discover you’re to become a parent, learning the news in the dock is one of the most unusual.

A man who subjected his partner to a catalogue of horrific abuse discovered he was to be a dad during the court hearing.

John Torrie and Aberdeen Sheriff Court
John Torrie was on video link at Aberdeen Sheriff Court when he found out he was to be a dad

John Torrie, 31, was appearing on video link at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for sentencing having pled guilty to a catalogue of abuse against his former partner.

It was during that hearing that it was disclosed that his victim is pregnant with his child – a fact he had not known about until Tuesday.

Nightmare neighbour’s chainsaw challenge

Former oil industry worker Tony Newman had already gotten into trouble by the police for playing his music too loud, so you’d think he’d have a better understanding of the laws.

The 53-year-old had bragged to his niece that he could rev the chainsaw in the street and his neighbours would not be able to complain because it was before 10pm.

Tony Newman outside Aberdeen Sheriff Court

Unfortunately, his interpretation of the law fell woefully short – and soon officers were on the scene and he was quickly arrested.

On Wednesday, we reported on another sting from online paedophile hunters.

Their target was 59-year-old Michael Cuthill, who contacted what appeared to be a 13-year-old girl on dating app Badoo and sent sickening sexual messages discussing having sex.

Michael Cuthill is confronted on the doorstep

He also sent the “child” an image of his genitals and arranged to meet her, only to back out at the last minute.

Drink driver steals ambulance

After the tipper truck drink driver case, you might think that was the most unusual drink driving case of the week – but you’d be wrong.

On Thursday we reported the case of Graham Ellis, who stole an ambulance and led police on a 40-mile pursuit across the north-east.

The extraordinary story emerged after Ellis had been acquitted after a trial of assaulting his partner at an address on Wellpark, Kemnay. The jury found that charge not proven but he admitted stealing the ambulance that had been called to treat her.

Graham Ellis stole an ambulance

The 40-year-old led stunned police officers on a dangerous pursuit across Aberdeenshire and Moray before a stinger was finally deployed to bring the episode to a halt.

Finally, on Friday, a bizarre case of stalking came before the courts.

Emma Johnston’s campaign of fear lasted for more than a year and involved her contacting assisted suicide clinic Dignitas to report that her victim needed end-of-life care.

Emma Johnston

She also made contact with several funeral directors, claiming her victims were dead so that they’d get phone calls about their own funerals.

Appearing in the dock – Johnston, 49, admitted both charges of causing fear or alarm by stalking and was warned against any more contact with the women, or she will face jail.