Our reporters have been sitting in courtrooms across the north and north-east this week and covered a wide variety of cases.
Forklift bank heist raider jailed
A man who took part in a smash and a grab raid in which a forklift was used to steal a cash machine containing more than £44,000 was jailed on Monday.
Mccauley Barker, now 22, was 19 at the time of the audacious heist at Scotmid Foods in Torphins in 2019.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how Barker, acted alongside two other men, attached chains to the cash machine then lifted it into the boot of a gold Chrysler getaway car.
Man spotted in street with knives
A knife-wielding dad threatened a car full of men before attacking and stamping on the head of an innocent passer-by in Aberdeen city centre.
Owen Rankine was spotted wandering the streets of Aberdeen with two knives in his hands following a fallout with his girlfriend last December.
The 21-year-old approached a car full of men on George Street before holding a knife to one of their throats.
Union Street flasher
A man who repeatedly exposed himself to the public in Aberdeen during the Christmas and New Year holidays has been ordered to get help with his drinking.
Steven Moir, 62, was seen pulling down his trousers and exposing himself outside Annie Mo’s on Union Street a few days before Christmas last year.
He was later seen holding a bottle of wine in one hand while attempting to show his genitals with the other as shocked people passed him in the street.
Notorious attacker’s neo-Nazi hoard
A man who attacked a woman so brutally she lost the ability to speak has now been convicted of possessing bomb-making and other terrorist material.
Jon Craig’s hoard of terrorist literature and neo-Nazi photographs were discovered by police as they investigated him for assaulting the Polish shortbread factory supervisor in Elgin.
The dad-of-five was described as “cowardly and vicious” after he shattered 44-year-old Katarzyna Jaloszynska’s skull and smashed bones in her face during the early morning revenge attack on October 26 2017.
Inverness Sheriff Court was told on Tuesday that police discovered another sinister side to Craig, 59, when they searched his computer and found details for the ingredients and method used to make explosives and a bomb.
Consider yourself jailed
A man described as Aberdeen’s version of Oliver Twist after being taught to be a thief at the age of just 10 has been jailed for 27 months.
Veteran housebreaker Kevin Leslie’s life of crime began in childhood and has landed him in prison once again.
The 44-year-old’s latest crime was breaking into two high-rise flats and stealing gadgets, cash and bank cards as the occupants slept.
Rude hand gesture sparks road rage
An angry motorist slammed on his brakes and pulled out a baseball bat after a roadside worker gave him a rude hand gesture.
The “inappropriate” hand gesture was prompted because Billy Wilson, 25, drove past the man at high speed and at close range, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.
The worker was putting up a “men at work” sign on the B9024 Turriff to Huntly road on May 4 last year when the encounter happened.
Teen claims he slashed man’s face after sexual assault
A teenager who slashed a man in the face because he believed he had been sexually assaulted has been locked up for 10 months.
Dylan Thorpe, who previously lived in Strathpeffer and Dingwall but is currently serving a 12 months sentence in a Young Offender’s Institution for a later double stabbing, will also be supervised for five months on his release next year.
Thorpe previously appeared before Sheriff Ian Cruickshank as a first offender and admitted repeatedly striking a man on the head and body with a knife to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement in a house in Oldtown Road, Inverness, on December 4, 2019.
Attack in homeless shelter
A man who repeatedly punched his partner while she shouted at bystanders to “call the police” has been jailed for 15 months.
John Townsley admitted assaulting his girlfriend in the communal area of an Aberdeen homeless hostel before later kicking and spitting on police officers who came to her aid.
The 21-year-old, who the court was told led a “transient” lifestyle with his fellow-traveller girlfriend, had been staying at the council’s homeless accommodation on West North Street.
Drugs and booze don’t mix
A man has admitted attacking his girlfriend after mixing a cocktail of prescription drugs and booze.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how Darren Klos’ behaviour “spiralled out of control” when friends turned up late for a garden party and attacked his partner following a day of drinking.
The 32-year old grabbed the woman by the head, attempted to push his fingers inside her mouth before repeatedly pushing her to the ground.
Stint in rehab helps dad overcome addiction
A north-east dad who turned to drugs as he struggled to cope with lockdown told a court on Wednesday that he has turned his life around since being caught taking cocaine in an Aberdeen phonebox.
Matthew De Silva was caught by police taking the Class A drug in St Nicholas Street last August.
Fiscal depute Rebecca Thompson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court how De Silva was spotted in the phonebox by police officers on foot patrol at around 9.25pm on August 28, 2020.
Drink driver’s luck runs out after casino visit
An oil and gas worker who smashed his car into a central reservation after driving while more than three times the drink-drive limit has been banned from the roads.
Alexander Gans-Bona, 40, called the police himself to report the crash which had deflated his tyres – telling cops who arrived on the scene “I have been drinking”.
The senior piping designer had been boozing into the early hours at an Aberdeen casino before getting behind the wheel.
Skateboarder attacked cop
A skateboarder has admitted attacking a police officer who was attempting to arrest him.
Stefan Spark-Boylan, a bar worker in the city, struck the constable as he was in hot pursuit of the 27-year-old on October 15 last year.
The nasty assault left the officer requiring oxygen and he had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance.
Grandad cleared of terror charge
A grandfather who claimed he was a punk rocker not a terrorist broke down in tears on Thursday after a jury cleared him of a terror charge.
Barry Simpson downloaded two bomb-making manuals and had made searches on YouTube for “make a napalm lightbulb” and “make a fertiliser bomb”, the trial was told.
When police searched his home near Elgin in June 2018 they found copies of The Anarchists Cookbook and CIA Improvised Sabotage Devices, which contained instructions on making explosives, on his computer.
Woman in court over ankle-biters
Two small dogs attacked three families after they were let loose in a Highland fishing village.
Jack Russells Lucky and Plucky bit ankles and targeted mums pushing prams in Kyle of Lochalsh on several occasions earlier this year.
The dog’s owner, Catherine Joyce, has now admitted three charges of failing to keep them under control.
Electrician gets unpaid work
A sheriff decided against imposing a non-harassment order on an Inverness man who bombarded his ex-partner with messages.
Sentence had been deferred on 39-year-old Colin Dewar, of Redcastle View, Westhill, for a background report, which Sheriff David Sutherland read before taking action against the electrician.
Dewar had previously admitted engaging in a course of conduct causing fear and alarm by making repeated calls and texts to the mother of his child and then threatening to send a video to her employers to get her into trouble.
The offence occurred between October 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020.
The row involved him claiming he had not received a £20,000 payment for his share of equity in their Inverness home.
The court was told his ex-partner is now the sole owner of the house and there is no formal legal agreement that Dewar would have a right to the equity of the house unless it was sold, which it hasn’t been.
The Sheriff commented on the document, the contents of which are confidential, which contained recommendations he said he would follow.
He placed Dewar under one year of social work supervision and ordered him to carry out 120 hours of unpaid community work.
He said: “Matters seem to have progressed quite well in terms of civil proceedings.”
Defence solicitor John MacColl said: “He accepts he made a mistake and this can be viewed as an isolated incident.”
Snapchat lighthouse vandal
A vandal put the lives of seafarers in the north-sea at risk after he cut the electricity supply to a lighthouse before filming his destructive rampage on Snapchat.
The life-saving beacon at Macduff harbour stopped working after Jamie-Lee Finnie cut the wires carrying electricity to the lighthouse.
It left any vessels within half-a-mile of the north coast harbour and breakwaters completely devoid of a warning light until an emergency electrician could be called to restore power there.
Weed dealers at loch
Two men have admitted dealing cannabis after more than £1,000 worth of the drug was found in the backseat of a car during a police search.
Reece Robertson, 23, and Daniel Lynch, 25, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court charged with being concerned in the supply of cannabis at the Loch of Skene, Westhill, on April 6 and June 21, 2019.
The pair pleaded guilty to one charge of selling the class B drug.
Fiscal depute Tom Proctor told the court that the two men came to the attention of police when they saw six cars sitting in a layby and noticed a “strong smell” of cannabis emanating from one of the cars.
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