Toddler rescued by fire crew after trapping her pinky in a door

By Christine Lavelle

A TODDLER who trapped her pinky finger in a door had to be rescued by firemen after she locked herself, mum and baby brother in a bedroom.

Elspeth McDiarmid, who turns two tomorrow, went to say hello to her mum, Christina, as she breastfed two-week-old Archie in their home at Easter Road, Edinburgh.

But, Mrs McDiarmid said, Elspeth somehow managed to get her little finger completely stuck as she tried to close the door, leaving her mum unable to open or close it to free her.

Mrs McDiarmid, 28, said: “She was howling, I was completely stuck, and my son was on the bed because I’d been calmly breastfeeding him when she came in.

“She was in a lot of pain, every time I tried to move her finger up or down her legs would shake.” Continue reading

Tributes to Charlie, 3, after pond fall tragedy

By Michael MacLeod

A TODDLER who drowned after falling into a garden pond will be laid to rest on Saturday in what his parents hope will be a celebration of his life.

Little Charlie Berry, three, died at Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital after toppling into water while visiting a house in Murrayfield, Edinburgh.

Medics tried in vain to resuscitate the youngster, who was born 12 weeks premature according to the minister leading Saturday’s church service.

His parents Julie and Brian, from Kelso, described their loss as “a tragic accident” and invited all friends and family to wear colourful clothes at his funeral.
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Owner quacking mad after theft of eight rare ducks


HEARTLESS thieves have left a Scottish family “devastated” after eight rare ducks were swiped from a pen in their garden.

The four breeding pairs of Khaki Campbell ducks were looked after by 13 year-old Stewart Thornley, who raised them from eggs.

Police fear the fowl were stolen to order and are calling on the nest-raiders to hand them back.

Duck detectives believe the eight Khaki Campbells were specifically targeted as there were other birds in the pen left untouched.

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Bollywood movie production lands at RAF Leuchars in Fife

By Martin Graham

BOLLYWOOD landed in Fife this week as the cast and crew of the Indian movie ‘Mausam’ descended on RAF Leuchars near St Andrews for two days of filming.

After filming across Edinburgh’s New Town, Portobello Cemetery, New College and the former Crolla’s store in Newhaven, the entire operation shifted over the Forth to Fife to film key scenes at the RAF airbase.

Tornado F3 jets like those used for the film. MoD/Crown copyright

The film tells the story of a young Indian man who leaves behind his life and girlfriend in Scotland to join the Indian airforce and fight a war with Pakistan.

The crew spent two days at the Leuchars airbase, and contrary to reports on some Bollywood gossip websites, main star Shahid Kapoor, 29, did not fly a Tornado jet.

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Dramatic knife stand-off ends with community service

By Martin Graham

A MAN who sparked a four-hour stand-off with armed police after a knife rampage has been ordered to do 80 hours of community service.

Denim MacLeod, 28, left the walls of his girlfriend’s flat dripping with blood after cutting himself with a serrated kitchen knife.

A neighbour fled the flat in terror but his brave girlfriend stayed with him as police tried to coax him out.

At one point he lunged at the officers with the knife, but they managed to keep their cool and persuade the “agitated” MacLeod to give himself up and he was arrested and treated for his self-inflicted wounds.

After a spell in custody after last August’s stand-off a sheriff told MacLeod today he had been “punished substantially already.”
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Police slam holidaymakers after thieves get on their bikes

By Christine Lavelle

TWO unhappy tourists had their motorbikes stolen – leaving them with a loss of over £20,000 – after they were left unsecured in a guesthouse car park.

A grey and silver BMW worth £15,000 and a black Yamaha worth £8,000 were taken from outside the guesthouse on Minto Street, Edinburgh.

Both bikes had Swiss registration plates, and were taken some time between 2.30am and 8am on Tuesday.

Last week another foreign-owned motorcycle parked on Brunswick Road was thieved by two youths.

However, the Suzuki bike – which had also been left without a secure lock – was recovered nearby.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman last night warned motorcyclists to ensure their bikes are fully secured at all times. Continue reading

Russell shrugs off “Minister of Fun” tag over American trips

CULTURAL: Mr Russell (right) is a keen supporter of Scottish tourism

By Michael MacLeod

EDUCATION secretary Mike Russell has been accused of losing focus of the Scottish education system and having “far too much fun” in his job.

The SNP minister was criticised for making transatlantic visits to the likes of whisky events, a golf tour firm and a visit to Apple’s HQ in California.

His travel and engagement diaries were released after a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Labour party, who said the implementation of the new Curriculum for Excellence should be his priority.

But Mr Russell – who openly blogs online about his globetrotting adventures – defended the visits, most of which came during the USA’s Scotland Week , saying they were to “further Scotland’s interests.”
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All hands on deck at thriving limb-ovators Touch Bionics

By Christine Lavelle

SCOTTISH Secretary Michael Moore got to grips with some fake hands today as he visited the country’s most successful prosthetic limb company.

The Lib Dem MP was treated to a tour around Livingston’s Touch Bionics, which specialises in making lifelike and functional hands for patients with lost limbs.

He said he wasn’t surprised at last month’s announcement that the firm had been named Europe’s most innovative company of the year at the 2010 International Business Awards.
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Slumberdown group company saved from closure

By Martin Graham

A HORSERIDING equipment firm which was placed into administration as part of the Slumberdown Group closure has been saved after being bought over.

But there is little good news for former Slumberdown employees in Hawick, with administrators Ernst and Young merely saying that they are “still speaking to interested parties” about the possible sale of the Borders plant.

The Slumberdown textiles factory in Hawick closed in early July with the loss of 60 jobs after the firm’s management called in administrators Ernst and Young.

Thomas H Loveday was another company in the group placed into administration at the same time as Slumberdown’s Hawick operation, the other company was Reffond Ltd.

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OAP sues council for cleaning truck scooter smash

By Oliver Farrimond

A FURIOUS pensioner is suing her local council after one of its trucks destroyed her mobility scooter.

Nancy Smith, 74, was making her way from her home in Millgate, Winchburgh, when the cleaning truck reversed into her scooter.

She feared she would be crushed to death by the comparatively huge yellow truck, which left her scooter irreparably damaged.

The driver told Nancy he thought he had run over a packet of crisps

The terrifying incident has left Nancy housebound for five weeks and suffering frequent panic attacks and nightmares. Continue reading