Reliance guard knew about gap before Ben’s fatal fall

By Michael MacLeod

A SECURITY guard admitted he knew about a gap in a balcony even before a tragic toddler fell through to his death – but thought nothing of it.

Architect Mark McPhillips widened the gap by 5cm during construction of Edinburgh’s Princes Exchange building, where toddler Ben McCreath’s mum Louise worked as a receptionist for legal firm Ledingham Chalmers.

An inquiry already heard how 21-month old Ben’s death could have been avoided if the 15cm gap on a first floor balcony was smaller, as originally planned.

Today the same Fatal Accident Inquiry heard from the building’s security manager  Douglas Thomson of Reliance Security Services, who said he saw the gap every day, but “just walked past.”
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Puddles in the dock instead of criminals

By Michael MacLeod

COURT staff were left mopping up after a bust pipe flooded a court room and soaked the carpets.

Puddles of water replaced criminals and prisoners sitting in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Luckily for justice officials, a spare room was found to accommodate affected cases today (Monday).

The weekend flood left carpets soaking in court room eight, which is normally used for trials without juries.
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Fire engine hits car on way to false alarm

By Cara Sulieman

A FIRE engine on the way to a false alarm hit a car carrying a wheelchair bound man and his son.

Tayside Fire and Rescue were called out to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee at 12.25pm and sent two engines from Macalpine Road fire station.

On the way to the call, one of the engines collided with a car despite having their warning lights and sirens on.

The firefighters called out the ambulance and helped the two men out of the car while they waited.

In the meantime, two more engines were sent to Ninewells, where they found the alarm had been set off accidentally by engineers working on the system.

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Van ends up in TREE after smash

By Cara Sulieman

A MAN was rushed to hospital with suspected spinal injuries after the van he was travelling in ended up in a TREE after a crash in West Lothian.

Two vehicles were involved in the smash on the A706 near Bathgate at around 1pm yesterday (Mon).

Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue were called out to cut out a man trapped inside the van.

The car occupants were described as walking wounded.

Two ambulances and a fast response unit attended before rushing one man to Stirling Royal Infirmary with back and neck injuries and taking another to St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

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Nurse who fell asleep on suicide watch faces being struck off

By Rory Reynolds

A PATIENT on suicide watch raised the alarm after the nurse in charge of monitoring her FELL ASLEEP on the job.

A young woman identified as Patient A reported Laura Purdy to her colleagues after she had been dozing for 15 mins.

Purdy also asked a colleague to “cover” for her after she accidentally gave anti-psychotic drugs to the wrong patient.

She pleaded with fellow nurse Jacqueline Campbell not to report her to their ward manager because she “was in enough trouble”, a hearing heard yesterday.

Purdy faces being struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Conduct and Competence Committee in Edinburgh after a catalogue of incidents while working at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Royal Hospital. Continue reading

Stewart Kirkpatrick speaks about Caledonian Mercury – Scotland’s first online newspaper

By Oliver Farrimond

THE CREATOR of Scotland’s first online-only newspaper has admitted to suffering a “sleepless night” after a technical hitch meant that the site was accidentally launched early.

Stewart Kirkpatrick, 39, former editor of, also denied claims that the gaffe was a deliberate stunt to raise the eagerly-anticipated site’s profile.

The new venture – which is called the Caledonian Mercury after Scotland’s first ever newspaper – features high-brow news and analysis from a team of Scots journalists.

Mr Kirkpatrick said: “A technical glitch on another site led to the news of our existence going live a bit early.

“It just meant that we had a sleepless night, but in fact it’s worked rather well for us because we’ve had slightly more traffic because of that.

“In fact, some people are suggesting that it was deliberate – it wasn’t.” Continue reading

Tennent’s backs minimum pricing

By Cara Sulieman

THE Scottish Government yesterday toasted a decision by brewing giants Tennent’s to back plans for minimum pricing on alcohol.

But opposition parties said the glass was remained half empty and called on more to be done to tackle the nation’s drink problem.

Tennent’s said the government’s plans “could be part of the solution” to Scotland’s binge drinking culture.

It comes just a day after figures showing the true extent of Scottish schoolchildren’s relationship with alcohol – with 300 under 16 admitted to hospital with booze-related diseases every year.

The Scottish Government welcomed the move by the Glasgow-based beer makers, saying that Tennent’s had “nothing to fear” over the new proposals.

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