“Big Yin” biker hits iPod-playing passer-by

By Michael MacLeod

A MAN lost control of a three-wheeled “Billy Connolly type motorbike” and crashed into the back of an iPod-wearing pedestrian who didn’t hear it coming.
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Craig Douglas had just bought his huge new motorbike and “couldn’t wait to have a shot,” despite being uninsured and without a full licence.

But he hit a dip in the road before smashing into Paul Hutchinson, 24, who had to be taken to hospital for cuts to his head and back.

Douglas, 42, admitted dangerous driving at Edinburgh Sheriff Court and was today (Thurs) fined £400 and hit with seven penalty points, meaning he loses his licence as a new driver.
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Scottish Parliament staff “alarmed by pensioner’s letters”

By Michael MacLeod

A PENSIONER is to face trial for allegedly sending letters “of a menacing character” to the Scottish Parliament.

John Campbell, 70, is said to have written letters to Holyrood with content that left staff “in a state of fear and alarm.”

It is claimed the Parliament staff reported three letters to police between January 12 and February 19 last year.

The Uphall man denied the breach of the peace charges at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today (Thurs) and is due to stand trial later this month.

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Care home staff to be vetted after sickening sex attack

By Rory Reynolds

FULL background checks are to be carried out on all care home agency staff after a temporary worker carried out a sickening sex attack on an elderly patient.

All agency staff working in Edinburgh care homes will now be vetted after Kenyan immigrant Joseph Sinja – who had no qualifications and little training – was jailed for six years and eight months for the shocking attack.

Sinja subjected the 76-year-old woman to a vile sexual assault – while she held onto her walking frame.

She was later found shocked and in pain by another care worker, saying that the 32-year-old had “done things that her husband wouldn’t do”.

Speaking at Sinja’s sentencing, his lawyer described his client’s only training as “four days of following someone round”. Continue reading

Scottish midwife behind bestselling cookbook launches new volume

Linda McDonald with her book

Linda McDonald with her book

By Cara Sulieman

A SCOTTISH midwife who became a surprise best-selling author with her first cookbook is about to publish the THIRD edition – with a little help from her celebrity friends.

Linda McDonald, 49, has already raised £270,000 for a hospital in Malawi through the sale of two cookbooks, and two calendars.

And for her third and final book she has drafted in the help of Big Brother host Davina McCall, Prime Minister’s wife Sarah Brown and former First Minister Jack McConnell.

What started as a conversation on the night shift at Simpson’s Maternity Unit in Edinburgh four years ago has turned into a charity that has attracted the attention of politicians and celebrities across the country.

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Parliament pushing for crackdown on seal slaughter

514219805_467e35ef16By Rory Reynolds

SCOTTISH Parly chiefs could crack down on seal culls after it was revealed numbers have dropped 40 per cent in places.

Tougher regulations on their slaughter have been recommended by a committee after campaigners revealed the shock figure.

The Rural Affairs Committee has advised that the regulations surrounding licences to kill seals be much stricter, and only be issued to those who are skilled, and using certain firearms.

It has also recommended that anti-predator nets be used more to save the killing on seals, and that all seal killings be reported at least every three months.

Those in the fish industry are able to obtain licences to protect fish farms from seals, however the committee has recommended it be more difficult to kill seals after campaigners claim populations have dropped dramatically. Continue reading

Scottish Government’s plans for energy-saving loans slammed by Labour

By Oliver Farrimond

THE Scottish Government was accused of letting down OAPs over fuel yesterday – as they launched a radical new scheme aimed at improving energy consumption.

Scottish Finance Minister John Swinney unveiled a plan to lend cash to homeowners to help them install double-glazing, replace faulty boilers and fit eco-friendly wind turbines or solar panels.

The package would see interest-free loan of between £500 and £10,000, allowing householders to improve their carbon footprint and cut their fuel bills while reducing emissions.

But Scottish Labour’s Andy Kerr condemned the scheme, and said that the SNP government offers “cold comfort” to Scotland’s householders.

Mr Kerr, Shadow Finance Secretary and MSP for East Kilbride, said: “A pilot scheme to provide loans is cold comfort to many and not an adequate response to this Government’s failure. Continue reading

Would-be teacher exposed as pervert

By Michael MacLeod

THREE young girls were left feeling “weird and uncomfortable” after a creepy dad felt them up while they were playing computer games.

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Douglas Richardson, 50, trained to be a teacher but never secured employment in education.

But he was exposed as a pervert after rubbing his hands all over the chests and thighs of the girls – who were as young as nine years old at the time.

Richardson’s seedy behaviour continued for almost two years and only came to an end when the worried children told other grown-ups and police were called in.

He insisted to police that he hadn’t done anything illegal but admitted that the charges against him “looked dodgy”.

The dad-of-one later admitted lewd, indecent and libidinous behaviour but today(Thursday) was allowed to walk free from Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

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