Fuel shortage stopping whisky production 015

By Douglas Walker – Deadline Press and Picture Agency


WHISKY production on a Hebridean island is on the brink of standstill after extreme weather prevented fuel being delivered from the mainland.


Torrential wind and rain has meant oil tankers have been unable to unload at Islay’s, much maligned, £3million pier, which needs tranquil conditions for landings.


The last ship delivery was almost three weeks ago leaving the island reliant on road and ferry supplies.


These are expected to run out by the end of the week leaving Islay’s eight distilleries literally running on empty.


Problems with dredging and changes to the Bruichladdich harbour have made it near-impossible for the large tanker to dock.


With oil suppliers Shell now insisting they only unload during the day, winter delivery is proving near-impossible.


Mark Reynier, Managing Director of the Bruichladdich Distillery, says the problem is going to continue until the powers that be take action.


He said: “This is the fourth time this year we’ve had such a crisis.


“Argyll and Bute council built the new pier last year at a cost £3m – they shouldn’t have bothered.


“Shell, who run the deliveries to the island, approved their design so the council feel under no obligation to spend any extra money sorting the problem.


“There is only have one tanker in operation and the council see the operation of a second as the solution.


“However, Shell say because delivery is so unreliable they refuse to run a second service as it would be a double risk for them.”


Mr Reynier says the simple solution to the problem would be to create a £1.5m single point mooring in the bay, which would avoid using the shallow pier.


He said: “This is what should have been built in the first place and would have prevented all the problems we are experiencing now.


“It is never going to happen though because the council have already spent £3m on the pier and won’t take responsibility.”


The local authority recently met with the Scottish Whisky Association and Shell in a bid to solve the distribution problems.


A spokeswoman said: “A number of issues were discussed and it was agreed that investigations should take place following on from the dredging, which the Council carried out last month.


“We are all working together to try and find a solution.”

A spokesman for the SWA added:
“The industry is concerned about ensuring a sustainable supply of oil to Islay. There is a need for a long-term solution to be reached for the industry.

“We need to identify exactly why there is a problem and how it can be removed.”


The status quo means that like last winter, Islay’s distilleries’ face the prospect of halting production because of the fuel shortage.

The Shell tanker docks at Bruichladdich and transfers oil to storage tanks before supplies are taken by road to the distilleries.  Oil is needed to heat the whisky stills and also for other industry on the island.


The island produces approximately 40,000 litres of whisky each day equating to 260 barrels of the spirit.

Whisky is an essential industry on Islay, with the eight distilleries producing some of the most famous malt whiskies exported around the world.


Bruichladdich, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Ardbeg are among the brands that depend on the island being serviced regularly by the large tankers bringing oil.


Shell were last night unavailable for comment.




Peter Tobin injury prevents court appearance. 014

By Douglas Walker – Deadline Press and Picture Agency


THE man accused of killing Vicky Hamilton was too badly injured to appear in court yesterday (Thursday) after being beaten up in prison.


Peter Tobin was due to appear at Linlithgow Sheriff Court at 10am but police announced at noon he was still receiving treatment and wouldn’t be attending.


Outside the court Vicky’s father, Michael Hamilton, 57, waited for Tobin to show up, vowing to haunt him for the rest of his life.


He also revealed he’s decided not to bring his daughter’s body home until January as it would be too painful to deal with over Christmas.


Tobin, 61, was attacked by a fellow inmate on Wednesday (21st) night by a fellow inmate at Saughton Prison in Edinburgh.


Convicted sex attacker William Bermingham is believed to be responsible for the assault in the jail’s protection wing, where vulnerable prisoners are housed.


After being kept in hospital overnight, he was still expected to attend his hearing at Linlithgow Sheriff Court yesterday at 10am.


However after a couple of hours it became clear he wasn’t going to arrive and police confirmed they expected him to appear today (Friday) instead.


A police spokesman said: “Peter Tobin has been retained in hospital and was therefore unable to attend his hearing.  He is due now due to appear on Friday morning instead.”


Although he had accepted he would never see Vicky again, Mr Hamilton says the reality was still painful to deal with.


He said: “It’s a good ending to know where she is.  I never had any hope, we always knew she was dead.


“I knew it would be a shock when we got the call, to actually know where she was lying.


“We are all absolutely devastated and can’t believe this happened to a young girl of her age.”


Understandably, Mr Hamilton had no sympathy for Tobin following his attack.


Mr Hamilton said: “He got his just desserts as far as we are concerned.  Too often prison is more like a holiday camp. 


“I hope he lives until he is 90 though, I will be with him every step of the way.”


He went on to say that he had decided not to bring Vicky’s body home until after the New Year.


“I don’t want to bring Vicky back from Christmas as it’s meant to be a happy time.  I’ve asked if we can bring her back in January.”


Tobin is now expected to appear at Linlithgow Sheriff Court today (Friday).





Pervert banned from every beach in Britain 013

By Lauren Crooks – Deadline Press & Picture Agency

Note: With pics


A PERVERT who filmed young children as they played in the sea has been banned from every beach in Britain.


Thomas Tibbert, 37, sat on a hill spying on the innocent youngsters as they enjoyed the summer weather on the beach.


When he was reported to police, he claimed he was simply filming the shoreline.


But when cops played back the tape it showed that sick Tibbert had been focusing on the semi-naked children as they played.


Yesterday at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, Tibbert was placed on probation for three years and told he was no longer allowed to enter any beach or shoreline used by children anywhere in the UK.


He had previously pleaded guilty to acting in a disorderly manner and causing a breach of the peace.


During an earlier appearance, the court heard how Tibbert, of Newmills, had been sitting on a small mound overlooking Burntisland beach with his video camera last July.


But he was busted by cops after a suspicious member of the public reported his unusual behaviour.


When police arrived on the scene and caught Tibbert red-handed, he insisted he was simply filming the shoreline.


But on inspection of the tape, they found that he had in fact been focusing on a number of small children who were playing on the beach and in the sea.


Yesterday at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, Sheriff Peter Braid told Tibbert that he would be placed on a three-year probation order.


Tibbert was also banned from entering any beach or shoreline used by children, having photographic equipment out with his home address, and being in contact with any children under the age of 16.


He was placed on the Sex Offender’s Register for a period of three years.


Sheriff Braid warned Tibbert that any breach of his probation would result in a jail sentence.





107 year old spinster leaves £7million in will 012

By Alexander Lawrie – Deadline press and picture agency

Note: with pics

A POPULAR 107 year-old spinster has stunned friends, family and employees – by leaving over £7 million in her will. Louise Jane Robertson passed away in May this year, and her recently published estate has revealed the true extent of the sprightly centurion’s wealth. Miss Robertson, who was born in 1899 and lived all her life in the exclusive Pollokshields area of Glasgow, was an outgoing and admired figure in the well-heeled community. Included in her legacy is the family home valued at an estimated £750,000, cash, shares and investments worth £6 million and £40,000 worth of jewellery and furniture. The philanthropic OAP’s bequest also reveals extensive gifts to charities, family and friends. Her live-in housekeeper, Hannah Melrose received £150,000 to fund a new home for herself. Miss Melrose, who is originally from Ireland, is now believed to be living with relatives in Coventry. And another long-standing companion, Connie Lockhart, inherited the Robertson’s six-bedroom family home in St Andrew’s Drive, Pollokshields. Charities and organisations that received donations include the Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the National Trust for Scotland. Miss Robertson’s portfolio contained substantial shareholdings in companies such as banking giants HBOS and Barclays, drinks company Diageo and the pharmaceutical conglomerate, GlaxoSmithKline. Up until her death last year, Miss Robertson, whose life encompassed three centuries, was a lively, sociable pensioner who regularly attended church, her local café, and the area’s drama and bridge clubs. And it has emerged that in the late 1990’s, the strict Christian, who was a valued parishioner at the near-by Pollokshields Church, anonymously donated £40,000 to the church to replace a stain glass window. Gardener Robert Duncan, 47, worked for Miss Robertson for almost 30 years. He said: “I’m absolutely staggered to find out how much Miss Robertson was worth. We all knew she was wealthy, but to find out she had over £7 million is certainly an eye-opener. “I’ve worked for her since 1980 and she was nothing but friendly and hospitable to me. She was always asking me in for cups of tea, and the like. “She was a very popular figure in the area and had lots of friends who would visit regularly.  “Unfortunately, most of them have passed away in the last few years. “Until the last couple of years, Miss Robertson was very switched on mentally, and physically she could get about no problem at all.” Miss Robertson’s wealth was inherited from her father John Robertson, an Iron Merchant who ran a large engineering works in Paisley. An only child, Miss Robertson attended the local school for girls, the select Craigholme School. When Miss Robertson attended the school between 1907 and 1915, it was named the Pollokshields Ladies School. The school became Craigholme in 1922. Unsurprisingly, Miss Robertson was the school’s oldest living ex-pupil, and the school’s current Director of Marketing and Foundation, Jude Kerrigan, remembers her fondly. She said: “Miss Robertson was full of character, sharp as a pin and had a wonderful sense of humour.   “During our school’s centenary celebration, Miss Robertson provided great insight into the school during her era. “She later donated one of her treasured childhood dolls to the school. One of our parents made a small bespoke Craigholme uniform to fit it and when we showed Miss Robertson she was absolutely tickled pink.  “She really had a wonderful smile and bright shiny eyes. She lived to a ripe old age, but you would never have guessed her years. “Towards the end of her life she became hard of hearing and had a loud voice that belied her stature and age. “She was so well thought of at the school that she was invited to raise the school flag at our centenary celebrations in 1994.” A talented piano player, Miss Robertson toured Europe singing with the Glasgow Bach Choir during the 1930’s and 1940’s, and also took part in many stage productions with a Glasgow drama group. During her lifetime, Miss Robertson was also an office bearer for Zonta International, a charitable organization dedicated to the advancement of women. Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. Since her 100th birthday, friends and family of Miss Robertson held a celebratory meal every year at various local hotels to commemorate her birth. And even into her 100’s, Miss Robertson was a regular customer at the famous Moyra Jane’s Brasserie, where the television advert for Scottish Blend teabags was filmed. Staff at the renowned café remember a sociable and popular patron. Waitress Karen Robertson said: “I remember Miss Robertson very well. I’m amazed at the amount of money she has left.  “There are a few wealthy older people who drop in here for a coffee, but I never imagined she had that kind of wealth. “She stopped coming in about a couple of years ago, but before that she and her friends would be in twice a week for a coffee and a blether. “She always liked to sit at her regular corner-table next to the door, so she could see everything that was going on. “All the regulars in here used to stop and chat to her, she was a very popular and well-liked customer. She was very sociable.” The impressive total of £7,210,633.57 meant that Miss Robertson’s estate paid over £2.4 million in inheritance tax. Miss Robertson passed away on May 4, 2007.  ENDS   

Scotland goalie’s gift to Italian waiters 011

By Alexander Lawrie, Deadline Press and Picture Agency

AS THE whole of the country prepares to hold its breath on Saturday afternoon, the last thing the nation wants is for a Scottish goalkeeper to give the Italian team any presents. 

But it has emerged that kind-hearted Scotland goalie Craig Gordon delivered a very special gift to his local Italian restaurant just days after Scotland and Italy last met. 

Staff at Dante’s Trattoria were stunned when the Sunderland keeper appeared at their door carrying a plain, plastic carrier bag. Inside was a piece of priceless memorabilia that any Italian fan would kill for – Alessandro Del Piero’s famous No. 7 shirt. 

The Juventus-mad staff at the Edinburgh restaurant were delighted with the gift, and by the generosity shown by the UK’s most expensive keeper. 

Gordon was in a Bari hotel relaxing with teammates the evening before the match last March, when he spotted an unusual looking pool table with no pockets. Intrigued, the goalkeeper texted close friends Remo and Fabio Margiotta back in Edinburgh asking for instructions on how to play the unusual game. 

Fabio, a part owner in the restaurant, agreed to explain the rules of Italian Billiards on the proviso that the 6’4 stopper brought back the strip worn by his hero, Del Piero. After the Scots defeat in Bari the following evening, Gordon swapped his own shirt with Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.  

But after remembering his promise, he asked the Scottish kit man to go into the Italian dressing room and ask for the Juventus legend’s strip.

Fabio, 36, said: “We couldn’t believe it when Craig turned up the day after the match carrying a plastic carrier bag with Del Piero’s strip inside. To say we were overwhelmed is an understatement. Not for a moment did we think that he’d remember about the strip. 

“He would have so much on his mind that day, and it shows the measure of the man that he thought about two Italian fans back in Edinburgh.  

“When he turned up with the strip, myself and Remo were like two little kids trying it on and sending phone pictures to our friends.”

The Scotland stopper grew up in Currie not far from the restaurant and has been a regular customer for many years and has built up a strong Italian fan base in the process. 

Fabio added: “We’ve known Craig since he was about 15 and, to be honest the big man is a complete gentleman. Even when he’s been in for a meal with his family he takes the time to speak and sign autographs for anyone who asks. 

“Just recently he and his girlfriend were in and there were two small boys, obviously Hearts fans, who were just in awe of him and were a bit scared of approaching him. 

“Craig noticed this and went over to the two boys and chatted for ages and signed their autographs. That just illustrates the kind of guy he is. The restaurateurs are honest about who they will be supporting come Saturday, but try their best to be as diplomatic as possible.  

Fabio added: “Obviously we want Craig and Scotland to do well, but we are Italian supporters afterall. So picking a winner is going to be a no-win situation for us. 

“Ideally, we’d love to see a draw and then for the Ukraine to beat France the following Wednesday. As long as the Italians beat the Faroes the same night, that would mean both Italy and Scotland qualifying. “For us, that would be the best scenario. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed.” 

The 24 year-old Sunderland No. 1 was transferred from his boyhood heroes, Hearts, last August after falling foul of the club’s Lithuanian owner, Vladimir Romanov. The fee of £9 million Hearts received is the current British record for a goalkeeper. 


Football mad dog missing leg after hit and run 010

by Douglas Walker,  Deadline Press and Picture Agency

A FOOTBALL-playing dog has had a leg amputated after being mown down by a speeding hit-and-run driver.

Footie-daft Collie-cross, Sox, was walking with his owner, Liam Davidson, 19, when the car appeared from nowhere and knocked the pooch down.

The heartless driver refused to stop leaving the helpless dog in the middle of the road.

Now after making an amazing recovery, the three-legged animal still runs rings round his owner on the football pitch.

The incident happened outside the family’s Fife home when Liam Davidson, 19, was taking the two-year-old dog to the park for their daily kick-about.

Liam, from Lochgelly, said: “Sox was crossing the road just ahead of me when the car appeared from nowhere and smashed straight into his hind legs.

“Although the street has speed bumps, it was travelling over the speed limit and must have been going at least 40mph.

“Because it was going so fast and didn’t stop, I didn’t even have time to see what type of car it was.

“My immediate concern was for Sox though and I feared the worst at first.

“Fortunately it was just his leg which was inured and we drove him to the vet which is just five minutes away”

The accident, which happened on November 1, left Sox with a broken hind leg and serious ligament damage to his paw which left the bone showing.

When the vet decided the leg couldn’t be saved, he went into surgery the following day to have it amputated.

After paying over £300 in vet fees, Liam is quick to count his blessings that his eight-year-old sister hadn’t been with him at the time.

He continued: “I’m just so grateful my wee sister Caitlin wasn’t with me otherwise things could have been a lot more serious.

“She usually comes for walks but didn’t on the occasion as she was at a friend’s house.

“The fact there are speed bumps makes it even more amazing the car was going at such a speed.

“The whole family are really upset about the whole thing but the main thing is Sox has made such a good recovery.”

The pooch hasn’t let a missing paw stop him doing what he loves the most – playing football in the park.

Liam said: “The day Sox got home from his operation the first thing he wanted to do was get out and play football.

“He certainly hasn’t let only having three legs get in his way and still runs about mad.

“He doesn’t quite jump as high anymore but apart from that he is a good as he was before.”

The law states that a driver who knocks over a dog must report the incident to the police.

A witness reported the car as being a silver Renault Laguna and police are appealing for information.

A spokeswoman said: “The driver was under a legal obligation to stop and we are appealing for anyone with any information on the person’s identity to come forward.”


Celtic not green enough 009

Words by Douglas Walker, Deadline Press and Picture Agency

CELTIC may be famous for wearing green but when it comes to being environmentally friendly they are infamous according to conservationists.

The club has been criticised by eco-groups after they admitted leaving power sapping screens constantly on at Celtic Park.

The giant monitors are situated behind each goal but rather than only being switched on for matches, they are never switched off.

Now environmental groups have slammed the club for “wasting energy”.

A Celtic spokesman confirmed the screens are left on permanently due to technical reasons but refused to elaborate any further.

He said: “The screens are working perfectly.  There are various technical reasons why they remain on.”

Conservationists have been quick to condemn Celtic’s dismissive attitude to the environment.

Stuart Hay, head of research for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “This energy wastage will be costing Celtic money and contributing to climate change.

“If other clubs can switch off their big screens then so can Celtic.  They might play in green but wasting energy like this is anything but.”

Dr Dan Barlow, acting director of WWF Scotland, added: “We have to do much more to reduce the amount of energy being wasted, so there is a responsibility on the actions of all.

“We would encourage Celtic to overcome the technical issues in order to switch the screens off, as we all have to step up our efforts to reduce the output of energy and carbon dioxide.”

Last night the screens could be seen on from outside the stadium and still showed the 1-0 score line from Celtic’s match with Benfica.

The £1m screens have been troublesome since they were installed and are frequently breaking.  The company who installed them has gone bust meaning the club would face a major bill to have any problem sorted.

Celtic Park has been chosen as the venue for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The club stated they had a number of environmental initiatives in place, including a mobile phone recycling plan, but refused to give any more details.


Fire engine knocks down pedestrian 008

By Douglas Walker, Deadline Picture and Press Agency

A GROUP of pals’ trip to the races turned into a nightmare after one of them was mowed down by a fire engine on a callout.

The four friends had travelled to Musselburgh racetrack from Glasgow when the 35-year-old man stepped into the path of the emergency vehicle.

After being treated on the roadside, he was taken to hospital where he remains in critical condition.

Sarah Lowe, 30, was working as a waitress in a local café when the group came in just before the accident happened on Friday night.

She said: “There was four of them in total and they said they were through from Glasgow for the races.

“The were laughing and joking, and were in really high spirits. The one who had the accident seemed a nice guy and was trying to hug me.

“After each eating a plate of fish and chips, they paid and left the café saying they were going to the pub next door.”

It was after this at approximately 5.15 that the accident happened.  The man, from Glasgow, stepped out onto Musselburgh High Street where he was hit by the fire engine, which was on a 999 emergency call out.

Shocked Sarah continued: “Five minutes after they left I could hear sirens and see flashing lights outside.

“I went outside and could see the guy lying 20 yards up the road on the other side from the café.

“There was a pool of blood around him and his friends were having to be restrained by some of the firemen.”

Police immediately closed the road as the man was treated and a subsequent investigation was carried out into the accident.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders police said: “A 35-year-old man was hit by a fire engine in Musselburgh that was responding to a 999 call.

“The injured male was taken to hospital and he remains in a critical but stable condition.”

The fire engine was on its way to a call out in Wallyford and had its sirens on at the time of the accident.

The road was closed for five hours while an investigation into the accident was carried out.


Bridge swinging on YouTube 007

By Alexander Lawrie, Deadline Press and Picture Agency

YOUNG adrenalin junkies are risking their lives by filming themselves jumping off 70 foot high bridges and swinging just feet from the ground. 

The new craze of bridge-swinging is currently sweeping the country, and youths in West Lothian are recording their life-threatening exploits and displaying them on YouTube. 

Similar to base-jumping, bridge-swinging is a new daredevil stunt where teenagers strap themselves to the side of a bridge, throw themselves over the side and swing like a pendulum below. 

The dangerous actions are being condemned by police and professional associations. Online footage of the crazy antics shows youths in Almondvale Country Park, near East Calder, throwing themselves off a 70 foot stone bridge with nothing but a nylon rope saving them from certain death. 

The young daredevils are so keen on fame they have even named themselves on the YouTube video. The information accompanying the disturbing pictures reads: “Bridge swinging (sic) in East Calder, west Lothian just outside Edinburgh. Featuring Mike Smith, Chris McCann, Scott Ritchie and others whose names I haven’t collected yet.  

“Its only going to get bigger and better from here onwards. By the way, its scary as hell.” 

Alongside the West Lothian footage on YouTube are other larger jumps from around the world. In Australia, bridge-swingers regularly hurl themselves off bridges of up to 500 feet high. 

The odd hobby is offered professionally by extreme sport organisations and is widely available on internet sites. One site promoting the activity in Scotland, Vertical Descents, describes bridge swinging as “like bungee jumping with a swing”. 

Sam Starkie, co-partner of Vertical Descents, said: “I’m shocked to hear of youngsters doing this type of activity unsupervised.  

“It’s a very dangerous sport if the right safety procedures aren’t followed. We’ve been offering bridge swinging to our clients for just over five years, and about 250 partake in it safely every year. 

“We use proper safety equipment such as climbing ropes, helmets and a full body harness. We also change our ropes after so many jumps because they become worn and frayed quite easily. 

“As a company we wouldn’t advise anyone to attempt this sort of thing without the proper equipment and expertise.” 

A police spokesman said: “We would urge people to exercise caution when participating in this so-called craze, as they could cause themselves serious injury.”  










bird trapper caught on film 006

By Lauren Crooks, Deadline Press and Picture Agency

A MAN who was caught red-handed as he lured rare birds into a trap has been banned from keeping birds. 

William White, 60, was using glue-laced sticks, known as lime sticks, to prevent the birds flying off when they landed. He was nabbed by undercover SSPCA officers after a member of the public tipped them off about his cruel hobby. 

When they searched his car, he had seven Linnets in a cloth sack, four of which had died of shock, along with a number of lime sticks and a pot of glue. 

White was also in possession of a number of birds at his home, four of which were birds he had taken from the wild. Yesterday, at Haddington Sheriff Court, White pleaded guilty to the inhumane trapping of the red-listed birds. 

Sheriff Peter Gillam banned White from keeping birds for five years and fined him £750. 

The SSPCA have welcomed the sentence and have highlighted the value of intelligence gathered from the public. Doreen Graham, spokeswoman for the Scottish SPCA, said: “The society is delighted at the sentencing as it reflects the seriousness of the crime. Finch trapping subjects the birds to high levels of stress, which is many cases kills them. 

“It was one telephone call from members of the public that made it possible to build a case against William White, and we would ask members of the public with information regarding any wildlife crime to contact the SSPCA or the police. 

“The public are the eyes and ears of animal welfare and their help is essential to tackling all wildlife crime, including badger baiting, illegal trapping and poisoning birds of prey and other wild life.”