Our reporters have been sitting in courtrooms across the north and north-east this week and covered a wide variety of cases – from dram-raids to Poundland punch-ups.
Wellington Road murder bid probe
A man appeared in court on Monday charged with attempted murder in relation to an incident in Aberdeen over the weekend.
Steven Duthart, 19, was arrested in connection with a serious assault on Wellington Road at around 3am on Sunday.
A 24-year-old was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to be treated for his injuries.
Teen’s terrifying axe attack on social workers
A teenager brandished an axe at two female social workers in a terrifying attack as they tried to visit his friend.
The local authority workers had called at Leone Rennie’s address on Duke Street, Fraserburgh, to visit his friend, when Rennie appeared holding an axe above his head with both hands.
The 19-year-old brandished the weapon at the petrified women, as his friend tried to push him back inside the flat.
Teen accused of attempted murder at uni halls
A teenager has appeared in court charged with attempted murder at an Aberdeen University halls of residence.
Robert Hastie, 18, made no plea when he appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court over the alleged incident, which took place at the Hillhead Halls of Residence.
Police officers attended after an 18-year-old was found seriously injured at the Aberdeen University halls at around 4.55am on Friday.
Man who bottled neighbour in lockdown party rage escapes jail
A man who bottled his neighbour after he had been partying for days during the Covid-19 lockdown has escaped jail.
Keith Pirie, 22, became irate when local revellers had been holding noisy garden parties for several days at the beginning of the pandemic.
Following an argument with two men from his window, Pirie then challenged one to a fight before pulling out a glass bottle and smashing him over the head with it.
Carer stole thousands from vulnerable woman with learning difficulties
A north-east carer carried out an “immense breach of trust” when she stole thousands of pounds from a vulnerable woman with learning difficulties.
Joanne Cresswell, 45, withdrew more than £7,600 while acting as the main carer for the woman over a six month period – repeatedly using her bank card at cash machines across Grampian.
The Macduff mother of five kept the fact that she had access to the woman’s bank card from employers, Mears Care Scotland, as she carried out the scam between August 28 2018 and February 23 2019.
Firestarter threatened to ‘butcher’ neighbour’s family
A dispute between two rural north-east neighbours escalated to the point where one man threatened to “butcher” the other’s family.
Raymond Panton was found outside a farmhouse near New Deer brandishing a three-foot pole and shouting that his neighbour had “gone too far this time”.
The 59-year-old told his neighbour he was “going to thrash him half to death” and “let him watch as he butchered half his family”.
Drunk dad repeatedly called police
A landscape gardener drunkenly made nuisance and silent calls to emergency services then slammed the door in the face of concerned officers who visited him.
Daniel Duthie, of Cullen, made four calls to 999 police controllers from a home in The Square in Cullen while too drunk to remember picking up the phone.
All the operators could hear were the dad-of-one’s heavy breathing and the sound of seagulls.
Driver could have caused ‘absolute tragedy’
A dangerous driver who crashed while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine has been warned his actions could have had “tragic” consequences.
Ian Crampshee got behind the wheel following a row with his girlfriend in the early hours of May 24 last year.
But the 45-year-old, who had been drinking during the day and taken what he thought was diazepam for back pain but turned out to contain cocaine, crashed into parked cars on Westburn Road, Aberdeen.
New Year gin raid
Two New Year revellers desperate for gin used a road sign to smash their way into Co-op in a bid to quench their thirst for booze.
After finding the Inverurie store closed, Amanda Neilly and Chelsie Spencer “spontaneously” decided to grab a nearby temporary traffic sign, and together used it to smash a glass panel in the door.
Neilly, 41, then clambered through the hole and grabbed five bottles of gin from behind the till area, while Spencer, 23 waited outside on North Street.
Hammer attacker gets 50 months
A binge-drinker was jailed for 50 months after admitting two brutal attacks and a siege-type incident at his mother’s house.
Cameron Ross, 26, broke his pal’s jaw and eye socket with two punches after the pair got drunk on June 27 2020 and fell out in another friend’s home in Alness.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard that his victim has been left permanently scarred after a metal plate had to be inserted to fix his jaw.
Renee accused ‘fell off a wall’
A pensioner accused of murdering Inverness mum Renee MacRae and her son Andrew in 1976 has not been able to have a trial set after falling from a wall.
William MacDowell, 79, is accused of killing Renee and her three-year-old before allegedly dumping their bodies.
The crimes are said to have occurred on the Dalmagarry lay-by at the A9 trunk road – 11 miles from Inverness – and elsewhere on November 12 1976.
‘I hope your kids get Covid’
A thief who coughed in a police officer’s face and wished Covid on his kids has been jailed for 10 months.
Iain Main, 32, was caught red-handed hiding behind a car with a stolen purse after officers were called to a theft from the staff tea room of an Inverness shop.
But when an officer approached him he ripped off his mask and coughed in the policeman’s face and said: “I have Covid, I hope your kids get it.”
Fiscal depute Robert Weir told Inverness Sheriff Court that officers were called after a shop worker found Main in the staffroom of the Ben Wyvis Kilts shop and asked him to leave, only to then discover a colleague’s purse was missing.
Unpaid work supervisor turned to crime
An unpaid work supervisor who turned to crime himself has been jailed after being caught with cocaine worth more than £10,000.
Dad-of-three Dean Kennedy was caught red-handed transporting a £12,000 of cocaine from Glasgow to Fort William when cops pulled over his BMW in the Lochaber town’s Victoria Road.
The 52-year-old, who oversaw community payback orders for the Criminal Justice Social Work Department in Fort William, told police he had been paid to transport the package but refused to divulge who he was working for or who the recipient was to be.
Rottweiler bit dog walker’s ankle
On Wednesday, a sheriff has spared the life of a Rottweiler that attacked and bit a woman – but ordered its owner to pay her compensation.
Angus Falconer, 58, was walking his dog at Nigg Bay Golf Club when he decided to let the animal off its lead, thinking there was nobody else around.
But a woman had been walking her own dogs nearby, and the Rottweiler charged towards them, growling aggressively.
B&B boss called Tesco worker ‘a silly cow’
A bed and breakfast boss has claimed he didn’t know about Covid-19 restrictions when he went to his local supermarket and was abusive to a checkout worker.
Ronald Purdie snapped when he was instructed by the woman to maintain a two-metre distance and called her a “silly cow”.
His own solicitor said his excuse – that he wasn’t aware of the pandemic in March 2020 – was “hard to believe”.
Man accused of fuel thefts
A man has appeared in court accused of stealing fuel from two Aberdeen petrol stations.
Kenneth Balgowan is alleged to have nicked petrol from BP on King Street and Esso on North Anderson Drive on September 23 and 26 respectively.
It comes amid long queues forming at pumps across the north-east and the country as panicked motorists fear rumoured fuel shortages.
Man deliberately set fire to flat
A man who deliberately set fire to his living room curtains later told cops he did it because he had run out of electricity – despite his meter being more than £20 in credit.
Bruce Ross claimed he had lit a candle at his flat in Aberdeen’s Powis Place because he had no electricity due to watching television on January 24 this year.
A fire later engulfed the 60-year old’s home and saw fire crews evacuate an elderly neighbour.
Lidl worker attacked with eggs
A man has been warned to “behave better” after smashing a carton of eggs in a shop worker’s face.
Sean Carbo lashed out with shopping staple after being grabbed by the member of staff at Lidl on Greenwell Road, Aberdeen, on September 4.
The worker had tried to prevent Carbo from leaving, but the 32-year-old, who was holding the pack of eggs, used them to bash him across the face.
Man assaulted random 13-year-old
A father-of-three who assaulted a random 13-year-old in a north-east street following a boozy barbecue has been fined £470.
Aaron Kelman had been drinking at a birthday barbecue in Keith before he grabbed a 13-year-old boy by the throat and punched him in the face.
The 33-year-old engineer had never met the youngster before.
Yob threw rocks at cars
A drunken yob who threw rocks at cars, while celebrating his release from prison avoided being sent back to jail when he appeared in court on Thursday.
Kasim Javed had spent most of the year inside HMP Grampian, but after getting released on June 25 he overdid his celebrations, first throwing rocks at vehicles and then trying to bite a police officer.
One terrified driver was forced to duck as Javed picked up a large stone at the roadside and launched it at the vehicle, causing £600 worth of damage.
The 33-year-old had been warned he could be facing a speedy return to a jail cell, but after sentence was deferred for reports, Sheriff Mark Stewart instead opted to hand him supervision and a curfew.
A woman has avoided prison after she ‘lost the plot’ and attacked and racially abused Poundland staff who suspected her of shoplifting.
Elaine Clark, 41, was on a shopping trip to Aberdeen with a friend on October 31 last year when she became “extremely hostile and aggressive” after being stopped by security at the discount store on Union Street.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how Clark immediately began being racist to the security guard, calling him “a monkey”, before punching him in the face.
Painter caught with drugs
A painter and decorator who was caught with drugs worth more than £10,000 has escaped a stint in prison.
Pawel Golinski, 38, was stopped by police while driving through Aberdeenshire because he had an expired MOT certificate.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how a search of Golinski’s blue Vauxhall produced one bag of cocaine worth a maximum street value of £1,700 and another bag of cannabis worth an estimated £9,000.
Vomit row sparks TV punch
A man has been fined after smashing his TV during a row with his girlfriend about him having vomited in their home.
Liam George had been out drinking with his partner and returned home in the early hours of July 25 before being sick inside the house.
And when the pair got into a row over the vomit, the 25-year-old shouted and swore at her and even punched his own television.
Man grabbed girlfriend by throat
A man who grabbed his girlfriend by the throat then threatened to kill her if she called the police has been jailed for eight months at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Gary Fraser, 41, of Culduthel Park, Inverness, assaulted the woman during an argument on July 24 of this year, causing her children to flee the house and seek help.
When she managed to get into the garden he followed her and shouted: “If you call the police I will kill you.”
Solicitor John MacColl for Fraser, who appeared via videolink from custody to admit the charge, told the court that the incident was “a matter of considerable regret” to his client, who had been working as a plant operator prior to his arrest.
Sentencing Fraser to eight months imprisonment Sheriff Sara Matheson said his actions were: “Completely unacceptable.”
Dram-raider’s whisky spree
A brazen thief enjoyed free whisky tasters across Speyside before helping himself to bottles of malt worth almost £9,000.
Alexandru Iovanescu was caught on camera making off with the expensive malts as he visited distilleries and whisky shops in Tomintoul, Dufftown and Aberlour.
Elgin Sheriff Court heard how he stashed bottles, all valued between £400 and £2,000 each, into jacket pockets and even down his trousers on January 28 last year.
Biker’s threat to ex-girlfriend
A teenage biker caught more than twice the legal drink-drive limit later threatened to ride his motorbike through his ex-girlfriend’s living room window.
Michael Hooper was spotted on his motorbike in Lossiemouth’s Macduff Street late at night after an evening drinking.
The 19-year-old’s bike was found by police parked up outside his home and he immediately identified himself to police as its driver.
Facebook troll ‘not trying hard enough’
On Friday, a Facebook troll who abused a former north-east politician was accused by social workers of “not trying hard enough”.
Reece Cuthbert is awaiting sentencing for targeting ex-Conservative MP Ross Thomson on July 13 2019.
The 26-year-old is currently subject to a structured deferred sentence, which involves him meeting with social workers ahead of the case being disposed.
Cuthbert previously pled guilty at Dundee Sheriff Court to sending Mr Thomson messages that were “grossly offensive” and of “indecent, obscene or menacing” character.
Man who killed mum to be detained indefinitely
A man who stabbed his mother 33 times at his family’s home has been sent to a high-security mental health facility “without limit of time”.
Jordan Milne attacked his 59-year-old mum Carol at their home in Clifton Road, Aberdeen, in July 2019.
The 27-year-old was told that he was being sent to the State Hospital in Carstairs, Lanarkshire.
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