Fears grow for missing 15 year old Ratho teenager Jason Black

By Paul Thornton

FEARS were growing last night for a missing 15-year-old boy who has not been seen in a week.

Jason Black has been missing since last Thursday when he left his home in Ratho, near Edinburgh.

The boy was thought to be heading to the capital on mid-morning but has not been in contact since and police are now appealing for anyone who may have seen him.

MISSING: Ratho teenager Jason Black

MISSING: Ratho teenager Jason Black

Family members are said to be “extremely worried” about Jason, who is six-foot tall, of thin build with short brown hair.

When he was last seen he was wearing a dark coloured jumper and blue jeans and dark Nike trainers with a gold Nike symbol.


A police spokeswoman said: “It is now a week since Jason was last seen, and as such we are keen to trace him as quickly as possible.

“It is extremely unusual for him not to make contact with family or friends and as such they area extremely worried about him.

“We would ask for anyone who thinks they may have seen him recently, or who has any information as to his current whereabouts, to contact police urgently.” Continue reading


Maker of Michael Jackson “Thriller” video visits Edinburgh for new film

Burkes SkeletonBy Oliver Farrimond

HOLLYWOOD movie mogul John Landis paid a visit to Edinburgh’s spookiest sites to prepare for his forthcoming film about the one of the Capital’s most grisly episodes.

The maker of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video booked himself on a private Burke and Hare murder tour to prepare for his comic-horror adaption – which already has Simon Pegg lined up to star.

Tour operators The West Port Tours, who are set to launch their Burke and Hare Murder Tours on 26 October, gave the famous director a one-off preview to help him scout for locations last month.

28-year-old Stuart Nicoll, co-owner of The West Port Tours, said: “I clocked him right away because I’m a big fan of Trading Places and Coming to America.

“Obviously the subject matter of the tour is dark and scary, so it was great to show him around. Continue reading

Edinburgh campaigners fight to save dog from death sentence

JBpitbull02By Oliver Farrimond

A DOOMED pooch is facing a death sentence unless campaigners in Edinburgh can find enough signatures to save him.

Craig Cunningham, from Leith, bought 12-week-old pup Leo thinking he was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier mongrel – but later found out that he was a actually a banned breed.

Now four-year-old Leo, who was confirmed by DNA tests as an American Pit Bull Terrier, has been taken by police and is waiting for an Edinburgh court to decide his fate.

More than 1,500 people have so far signed the petition urging the police to free Leo, who was seized under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

American Pit Bull Terriers are one of four breeds of dog banned under UK law after a number of attacks on humans – but Mr Cunningham insists that Leo is a “beautiful dog”. Continue reading

Pregnant 17 year old Borders girl dies from Swine Flu virus

by Shaun Milne

PREGNANT women across Scotland were urged to get vaccinated against the swine flu virus last night after a 17-year-old mum-to-be became its latest victim.

In a statement issued just before 1pm, the Scottish Government confirmed that the teenage girl – who was identified only as being from the Borders area – had been suffering from the H1N1 virus and died within the past 24-hours.

No further details were issued officially, but it was understood a report had gone to the Procurator Fiscal charged with investigating all sudden deaths in the area.

She was the 15th person in Scotland to die from the virus. NHS Borders

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon  broke off from the SNP’s annual gathering at Inverness to plead with all expectant women to seek help confirming that they are among those most at risk.

With the first supplies of the vaccine due to be issued later this month, she said they would be prioritised because of their conditions. Continue reading

Gym coach victims “vindicated” as sneaky child abuser Mitchell Dolphin is jailed

By Michael MacLeod

A PERVERTED gym coach has been jailed for three years for sexually abusing girls as young as seven in more than two decades of sickening exploitation.

Mitchell Dolphin felt up girls in his own gymnasium and forced them to touch his privates, but continually denied he had done anything wrong.

JAILED: Mitchell Dolphin

JAILED: Mitchell Dolphin

The 51 year-old’s twisted tactics were branded “sneaky” by prosecutors during a four week trial, throughout which some of the youngsters bravely gave harrowing evidence.


Sentencing the trampoline teacher today (Thurs), Sheriff Frank Crowe said there was no doubt Dolphin “took advantage of the athletes for his own sexual gratification.”

Relieved victims and their parents wept as the sentence was read out at Edinburgh Sheriff Court and afterwards spoke of their “vindication”.

Even one of the members of the jury who found Dolphin guilty was in court to see him being led to the cells.

One victim’s mother said: “This man was a complete beast, not to mention a liar.

“He has dragged my daughter and her friends through four horrible weeks in court and knowing him he probably enjoyed it. We’re delighted to see him jailed.” Continue reading

Gym coach Mitch Dolphin jailed for three years over child sex crimes


By Shaun Milne

A SHAMED Scots gym coach was jailed for three years today over a sordid campaign of abuse against girls aged as young as seven which spanned more than two decades.

Mitch Dolphin, 51, stuck his hands down young girl’s leotards, felt their breasts and even stuck his tongue in their mouths to satisfy his depravity.

VILE: pervert Mitch Dolphin

VILE: pervert Mitch Dolphin

The sickening offences took place between 1986 and 2008 while he was the trusted head gymnastic coach at Lothian Gymnastic Centre based at Loanhead in Midlothian.

Area Procurator Fiscal Morag McLaughlin today praised the “courage” of his victims all through the trial which finally saw the filthy coach found guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court of seven charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous practice.

He was also convicted of three charges of sexual assault.

After he was sent down Fiscal McLaughlin said: “Mitchell Dolphin took advantage of his position and the trust put in him by his victims and their families to carry out sexual abuse over a period of 22 years.

“This has been a difficult case for all those involved and I am very aware that it has not been easy for his victims to report him to the police and give evidence against him. Continue reading

La Favorita serves up AA Rosette win for wood-fired pizza

By Shaun Milne

A SCOTS restaurant has been judged one of the best in the country after winning a top food gong – for serving up PIZZA.

La Favorita in Edinburgh has been crowned with a prestigious One Star AA Rosette usually only reserved for such famous high end eateries as The Witchery and The Tower.

And it makes it the first pizzeria EVER to pick up the accolade in Scotland.La Favorita 2

Judges made a sneak visit to the Leith Walk restaurant on September 4 and said they were blown away by its traditional wood-burning pizza ovens, fresh use of ingredients and service.


And last night jubilant owner Tony Crolla – who says he wants to have the best pizza restaurant in Britain – laughed that he could now set his sights on bagging a Michelin star to complete the set.

He grinned: “I’m surprised at receiving this award as we didn’t know the inspectors had been here – but at the same time I’m not surprised because I think we are one of the best restaurants out there.

“It is very flattering. “In particular, it’s very pleasing to be the first pizzeria to feature in these awards and to know we’re rubbing shoulders with other well-known names in the restaurant world.” Continue reading