Conmen swipe half a million from Royal College of Surgeons

Ross Nicol and Craig RobinsonBy Michael MacLeod

THE Royal College of Surgeons had almost half a million pounds plundered from its bank account after falling victim to an outlandish con.

Fraudsters posed as employees of the Royal Bank of Scotland and duped a worker at the institution to accept a new banking “smart card” last year.

But £465,000 was taken out of the RCS’s account almost immediately, sparking a widespread police investigation.

Although some of the cash was finally recovered, the RCS remains £80,000 out of pocket.
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Surprise cannabis farm found in underground pub vault

Bonnington Bridge BarBy Michael MacLeod

POLICE hunting for a stolen computer in a pub were stunned to find an illegal Chinese immigrant guarding a £150,000 stash of cannabis plants under a hatch below the bar.

Ming Lee, 40, was the “gardener” of 353 hash plants, which police said he had managed to cultivate to an “advanced stage.”

He also told police that he had been living in the underground cellar of Edinburgh’s Bonnington Bridge Bar for two weeks.

And he claimed he had only seen daylight once, when he went to stock up on food supplies.

Two men connected with the Newhaven Road pub deny any involvement in the underground drugs operation.

But Mr Lee admitted producing the class-B drug at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday (Mon).
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Prostitutes in fake hostage heist steal £11,000 from post office

Kelly UrquhartBy Michael MacLeod

A MAN looking after his ill brother’s Post Office was subjected to a “terrifying ordeal” when two prostitutes burst in and robbed him of £11,000.

After asking for a book of stamps, one of the pair posed as a fake hostage while the other demanded money from the petrified stand-in postmaster.

A getaway car took the pair, Kelly Urquhart, 30, and Linda Brown, 25, away from the scene in Edinburgh towards Aberdeen.

But their escape was foiled by a witness who chased them while on the phone to police.

They admitted their part in the heist, but claimed today (Mon) that they were victims of their now dead pimp Adrian Brosnan, who they say “preyed on their vulnerabilities” to pay off drugs debts.
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Man in dock over Highland Show rape claims

1 SHERIFF COURT (Medium)By Michael MacLeod

A NORTHERN Irish man has appeared in court over the alleged rape of a 17 year-old girl at the Royal Highland Show near Edinburgh.

Alister Boyd, 29, was arrested on Friday after the teenager claimed she was sexually assaulted during the Young Farmers’ Ball at the Ingliston event on June 27.

Officers from Lothian and Borders Police travelled to Northern Ireland during their investigation.

The suspect, from County Tyrone, was charged with rape at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today (Mon) and made no plea or declaration.

He was released on bail while prosecutors were granted time to carry out further investigations.

Corporate jolly to St Andrews – only £18,000

r-and-a1By Rory Reynolds

A CORPORATE team-building firm reckon they have the perfect getaway weekend for busy businessmen – for a staggering £18,000.

Team Challenge are offering firms the chance to take 30 employees to The Open at St Andrews next year to enjoy a golfing weekend – at a cost of around £600 each.

The two-day Open Clubhouse package will include an ‘al la carte Clubhouse menu, fine wines including champagne’ and ‘an appearance of a golfing personality’. Continue reading

Lifeboat’s swift action saves 75-year-old’s cliff fall

Kinghorn womanBy Rory Reynolds

A WOMAN has been taken to hospital after surviving a 70-foot fall from a cliff onto the rocks below.

A lifeboat crew – who were just 300 yards away – raced to the scene at Kinghorn beach in Fife, before ambulance and the coastguard arrived.

The incident took place around 3:20pm this afternoon.

It is not yet known how the woman – who is thought to be around 75-years-old – fell from the cliff. Continue reading

Seal shooting battle to go to Scottish Parliament

Scottish ParliamentBy Rory Reynolds

AN animal rights group is pressuring MSPs to amend the Scottish Marine Bill to protect hundreds of seals from being shot by fishermen.

Advocates for animals are demanding that licences to kill seals are revoked after the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation stated that 489 seals were shot in 2008.

But the group claim the figure is much higher as and that not all killings are reported to the salmon industry body.

The salmon industry has hit back saying that fish farmers have a legal obligation to protect their stock. Continue reading

Scottish Government would ‘fully co-operate’ with Megrahi-backed inquiry

By Oliver Farrimond

UNDER-fire Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill yesterday declared that the Scottish Government would be “relaxed” about any full inquiry launched into the Lockerbie affair.

Asked if he supported convicted terrorist Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi’s call for a public inquiry, the Justice Secretary added that the government would “fully co-operate”.

Mr MacAskill was facing questions for the first time since a political firestorm erupted over his decision to return Lockerbie bomber al-Megrahi to Libya.

When asked if he supported al-Megrahi’s call for a full inquiry, he said: “We’ve made it quite clear as a government that we’re relaxed about an inquiry.

“Scots law is a small jurisdiction and only covers the land of Scotland – the powers of the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament are restricted in the current constitutional circumstances. Continue reading

Hi-tech home care system to save billions of pounds

Council Building004By Rory Reynolds

A NEW cutting-edge device is being installed in the homes of elderly and vulnerable people to help to cut the number of injuries from falls.

Over 300 people in Edinburgh will be given a neck pendent linked directly to the emergency services, to ensure that injuries from accidents are minimised.

And their home will also be fitted with hi-tech motion detector and falls detection unit, which will alert ambulance staff if a patient falls to the floor.

So far the quick response from the ambulance service has meant that fewer than 15 per cent of people have to go to hospital. Continue reading

A quarter of paediatric junior doctors are on maternity leave

By Cara Sulieman

A SENIOR medic is warning of a dramatic shortage in doctors working on specialist children’s wards after a mini baby boom wiped out a quarter of junior staff.

A worrying report claims that 23 per cent of UKs junior doctors specialising in paediatrics are off on maternity leave leaving hard pressed colleagues to cope.

NHS Lothian medical education chief Dr Paul Padfield warns that St John’s Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian, is particularly badly hit amid growing fears over working hours.

Dr Padfield is warning the service is under “particular pressure” and fears staff could be working more hours than those agreed under new EU legislation.

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