Hunt for casino gunman after shooting 063

By Lauren Crooks

A  MAN has been gunned down in the street outside a popular casino.

The 62-year-old was shot in the head by an unknown gunman after leaving the Maybury Casino in Edinburgh on Tuesday night.

After leaving his victim in a pool of blood, the attacker fled the scene and although he was chased by several members of the public, managed to escape.

Paramedics rushed the wounded man to hospital where he received emergency treatment and police say his injuries are not life-threatening.

The scene at South Maybury Road was quickly cordoned off as officers examined the scene for clues to trace the culprit, dressed all in black.

A large spray of blood was clearly visible just yards from the casino entrance this morning.

Lothian and Borders Police are now trying to reassure residents and appeal for witnesses to come forward and help them find the gunman.

But yesterday neighbours spoke of their fright after finding out about the violent attack.

Senga Anderson, who lives just 100 metres from the casino, said she had no idea anything had happened until she saw the police in the morning.

She said: “I was at home at the time, but because of the noise from the busy junction I don’t necessarily hear everything that goes on at the casino.

“It’s really scary to think this can happen so close to your own home. If it had been a fight or something like that it would be different but to have a gun used is really quite frightening.”

And Mrs Anderson – who has lived next to the casino with her husband for 27 years – added: “There’s never been any trouble in the past so when I woke up this morning to see the police I was very shocked.”

Police were called just after midnight after reports of a shooting at the famous casino.

It is understood the man was approached by a younger male who brandished a gun at him before shooting him in the head.

An ambulance was called and the man was taken to hospital with head injuries that are not life-threatening.

Members of the public chased the gunman as he tried to flee the scene towards the city’s Turnhouse Road, but they were unable to catch up with him.

Police won’t confirm what kind of gun was used in the attack, but have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Inspector Robert Deas, who is leading the investigation, said: “This was an extremely serious incident and we are appealing to the public for any information that can help us track down the suspect.

“Although there were a number of witnesses, we still want to speak to people who were in the vicinity of the casino last night.  We also want to speak to anyone who recognises the description of the suspect, and may have seen him either before or after the shooting happened.

“We would urge anyone who has information that can help us identify the man responsible to get in touch immediately.”

The suspect is described as white, 23 to 25-years-old, 5ft 8ins to 5ft 11ins tall, with a skinny build, and wearing a dark coloured baseball cap, dark coloured jacket and trousers. 

DI Deas added: “This investigation is still at an early stage but we are following a positive line of inquiry.

“This kind of crime is rare in Edinburgh and I would urge residents not to worry but to get in touch immediately if they hear of anything suspicious.”

Wheelchair found at mountain summit 062

by Lauren Crooks

A TEAM of volunteers made a bizarre discovery at the top of Britain’s tallest mountain – a wheelchair.

Puzzled workers found the rusting chair near the top of the 4,406ft summit of Ben Nevis on Saturday as they cleaned up the site.

But rather than leave it up there, the group from the John Muir Trust carried the 70kg steel frame during a three hour descent to preserve the mountain’s beauty.

The chair – with Peter Watson Self Drive labelled on the side – was covered in rust and is thought to have been up there for two or three years.

And now the volunteers from are trying to track down the owners of the aging wheelchair to return it.

Stunned Sandy Maxwell, the activities coordinator for the wild land conservation charity, said: “We have no idea why a courtesy transport chair has ended up at the top of Britain’s highest mountain.

“Nobody could have wheeled themselves up that far that’s for sure. We can only guess that it has been some sort of stunt.

“It must have been up there for at least a couple of years – it is covered in rust, and although it wouldn’t take long for it to rust in that atmosphere, it looks like it had been there a while.

“But despite the bizarre unearthing, the group – who organise clean-ups at least five times a year on the mountain – say it is not the weirdest thing they have ever found.

Sandy said: “This isn’t the strangest thing we have come across – we did find a piano a couple of years ago, alongside a packet of biscuits and a whisky bottle. But the wheelchair still raised a few laughs.

“But then we all remembered we’d have to get it down somehow!”

Sandy and his team had to strap the heavy chair – estimated at weighing around 70kgs – to his back and struggle all the way down Ben Nevis’ 4,406ft.

But his spirits were kept high during the three hour trek with passing tourists and walker’s jokes.

He said: “Everyone kept joking that Ben Nevis was some sort of Holy Grail, and asking if I had gone up in wheelchair and come back down carrying it. It was so heavy, my neck is still sore from it.”

Now Sandy insists he would love to return the chair to its rightful owners – but can’t track them down.

He said: “It’s labelled Peter Watson Self Drive, but the only company by that name says they don’t provide wheelchairs, so we are a bit stumped. We’d be delighted if we could trace the company but it’s not looking likely.”

The cairns have been built up by visitors over the years and are seen as a safety hazard by the Mountain Rescue as they can mislead walkers in poor visibility who are not following compass bearings.

John Muir Trust volunteers will remove all but a single line of cairns on the path above 4,000 ft, leading straight to the summit. 

Sandy said: “Cairns tend to start with people leaving rubbish lying around. They build stones around it rather than taking it with them, and then other visitors build on the stones.

“We have a constant battle against litter being left on Ben Nevis and I urge walkers to respect Britain’s highest mountain by carrying everything they take up back down again.”

Mother’s bid for truth takes her to Salmond’s front door 061

By Karrie Gillett

THE GRIEVING mother of a Swedish woman found dead on a Scottish beach has urged the First Minister to launch an official murder hunt into her daughter’s death.

Guje Borjesson has always maintained that her 30-year-old daughter Annie was murdered and yesterday she visited Alex Salmond’s official residence to hand over a letter demanding a fatal accident inquiry be opened.

And the Swedish woman – who has travelled to Scotland four times in a quest for answers since Annie’s body was found on Prestwick beach in December 2005 – said she warned Salmond there was still a killer on the loose.

Mrs Borjesson and Annie’s best friend Maria Jansson went to the Bute House residence in Edinburgh hoping to personally submit a letter to the First Minister.

But the 54-year-old said she was overwhelmed when he asked them to come in and listened to their case for more than 30 minutes.

Last night she said she felt the SNP leader was really interested in the case and had said he would help with her pursuit for justice.

Mrs Borjesson said: “He did say that he couldn’t make any promises but I assured him of how I was 100 percent certain that Annie had been killed.

“I am her mother and I know that something very awful must have happened to her. I told Mr Salmond that I was sure there was still a killer out there because justice has never been done.

“We went into a big room and he sat down and just listened to what we had to say. I told him about Annie, her life, how she absolutely loved Scotland and about her case.

“I am grateful that someone has finally listened to me.”

However, the mother-of-four who travelled from the small Swedish town of Tibro said they would continue their “two-woman murder hunt” until the truth was revealed.

And Miss Jansson, 40, described how yesterday had been a real challenge for the two women who have already written to five procurator fiscals and campaigned endlessly to the crown office and police.

She said: “We were never expecting to actually meet with Mr Salmond so we are extremely grateful to actually be invited into his house.

“However, optimism is not allowed for us. We can not start to think we have made any progress until we have the promise of an FAI. “

Miss Jansson and Annie’s mother have been staying in Scotland for almost one month and have been speaking to anyone who saw her in the days before her body was discovered on the Ayrshire beach on December 4, 2005.
She revealed how Annie had “fallen in love with Scotland” and returned for her third stint of working here.
She described her friend – who had been working at the Scottish Whisky Heritage Centre on the Royal Mile – as “beautiful and intelligent with long blond hair”.

It is thought she was making her way to Prestwick Airport for a flight to Sweden when she died.

A postmortem examination determined she had drowned, and a police report read that she had either taken her own life or died as the result of an accident.

But the two women both claim she had many so many plans and was looking forward to carving a career for herself in Scotland.

Recently, they were given three CCTV images taken the day before Annie’s body was recovered. And her friend Maria points towards a red and white fleece shown in the pictures as proof that she came to an untimely end at the hands of someone else.
She said: “Annie was wearing the fleece in these pictures but then it is not found on the body the very next day.
“I believe that someone was definitely with her when she died and that they could have this fleece.”

The family are now appealing for anyone with information to visit their website http://www.annierockstar.com/

A spokesman for the Crown Office said there was still no evidence that a crime had been committed.
A statement said: “”It is entirely a matter for the Lord Advocate as to whether or not a Fatal Accident Inquiry should be instructed.  This case is not one in which it would be appropriate to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry. 
There has been a very detailed and thorough investigation, there is at present no evidence that that a crime has occurred. Any new information that is made available to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service will be given consideration. Annie’s family have been kept informed of the situation, and will continue to be informed of any developments.”
But her mother last night pleaded in a letter to Mr Salmond: “Annie loved Scotland and I can see why.
“This is a beautiful country with lovely and caring people. Please do not leave them and our family with all these unanswered questions. All we want is an FAI into Annie’s mysterious death.
“Please let us know why Annie had to die in the country she loved.”

Fears grow for missing mum 060

By Douglas Walker

A CHARITABLE mum who disappeared just days after completing a parachute jump had been burdened by ‘a mountain of debt’ following her husband’s death.

Elizabeth Ledgerwood, 46, was last seen almost a week ago and there has been no trace of her since.

The former nurse has struggled to cope since her husband died leaving her to deal with their debt-ridden family business.

Yesterday her uncle, Jim Jardine, 66, made an emotional plea for her to get in touch and said the whole family were deeply concerned about her well-being.

Thrill-seeking Liz from Blackridge, West Lothian, is well known for her charity fundraising and had recently also free-fallen off the Forth Rail Bridge.  She was also in the process of planning a sponsored ‘wing walk’.

Mr Jardine, also from Blackridge, says his niece had given no indication that she needed some time away.

Speaking from where Liz’s abandoned car was found he said: “The whole family are devastated, we just want Liz to get in touch and let us know she is okay.  The younger members of the family are distraught.

“We want her to know there is no problem and everything is okay.  She can come home when she is ready, we just want to know she is safe.

“It is very out of character for her to just disappear.  She never at any point said ‘I need a break or a holiday’”

Liz had previously worked as a nurse at St John’s Hospital, Livingston and more recently at Tippethill Hospital, Armadale.

Together with her late husband, John Brunton, who died in 2006, they ran their own truck rental business which supplied lorries and tractors all over the country. 

At the time of his death the company was struggling to balance the books and Liz has tried in vain to appease their creditors.

Tearful Jim said: “Liz and John started up their own truck rental business.  However he was overly ambitious and the business got into financial difficulties.

“When he passed away Liz was left with a mountain of debt – thousands of pounds. 

“She tried to pay them each month using the company’s income but it proved to be a real struggle.”

Liz has two sons, aged 18 and 17, and a daughter aged 15, who live with her at their Blackridge house.  They are currently being looked after by their auntie and nan.

Liz was last seen leaving a friend’s house last Thursday morning.  Her car was then spotted in remote countryside lay-by two hours later where it remained.

Detectives have appealed for any information on her activities during the interim period.

Chief Inspector Jim Baird from Lothian and Borders Police said: “She is at a crisis stage in her life and was under a lot of pressure.

“We are desperate to learn what she did after leaving her friend’s house on the Thursday morning.

“Her bank account hasn’t been touched since she was last seen.  We know she has her mobile phone on her person but it is switched off.

“We are appealing for anyone with any information that can help us find Elizabeth to get in touch as soon as possible.”

Ten specialised search officers with counter terrorism training have been brought in to scour the area where her car was found.

Police dogs and officers on horseback are also searching the area for clues as to her possible whereabouts.

She is described as being white, around 5ft 6ins tall, slim, with green eyes and light fair/red shoulder-length hair.

She was last seen wearing a white and pink long-sleeved top, dark green or taupe trousers, white trainers, and was wearing a pink bracelet-style watch on her left wrist.