Police dismiss link between Bannatyne’s shooting and ‘gangland’ crime

By Christine Lavelle

POLICE probing a shooting in Edinburgh warned they will not tolerate any “gangland” style feud in the city.

Detectives today tried to play down such a possibility after Robert Kelbie, 27, a controversial property developer, was gunned down outside Bannatyne’s Health Club last Wednesday.

A grey or silver Vauxhall Vectra was seen speeding away from the scene moments later.

He managed to run into the club in Newcraighall and was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh before discharging himself the same evening.

The incident was thought to be connected to second attack on 44-year-old Mark Richardson in Portobello just hours later, when a group of men set upon the victim with baseball bats. Continue reading

Shooting pub to become supermarket in bid to drop stigma

By Christine Lavelle

A PUB where a former boxing champion was gunned down and killed is to become a supermarket.

In 2006, 31-year-old Alex McKinnon was shot by Jamie Bain at The Marmion in Gracemount, Edinburgh.

Bain then turned the gun on Mr McKinnon’s brother-in-law, James Hendry, who was left badly wounded after the attack.

Since then, the pub has struggled to recover from the stigma attached to the shooting, and owners Punch Taverns have decided to convert it to a supermarket. Continue reading

Local newspaper round-up

The Fife Free Press:                                                                                                                                                                                           GUNNED DOWN                                                                                                                                                                                                Police continue their manhunt following the murder of Kirkaldy landlord, Mohammed Nadeem Siddique (38) at the weekend.  The father of three, known locally as Toby, was found dead in a Glenrothes flat on Sunday by police who were called following reports of gunshots.                                                                                            

Dunfermline Press:                                                                                                                                                                                                  New buyer for Hyundai                                                                                                                                                                                         Plans of American firm, Zoom Diversified to become the new owners of the the former Hyundai factory at Halbeath have fallen through.  The proposed high-tech solar cell operation with the prospect of creating 1,000 new jobs will not go ahead.

Continue reading

Man stole £5,500 from his employers through fake cashback transactions

By Cara Sulieman

A MAN who embezzled more than £5,000 from the shop he was in left in charge of by faking cashback transactions has escaped jail.

Richard Humphries, 32, put £50 cashback through the company’s system on credit card payments then pocketed the cash to feed his gambling addiction.

He managed to steal £5,500 before being caught by an auditor who became suspicious of the assistant manager.

Today at Edinburgh Sheriff Court Humphries was sentenced to 160 hours community service after previously pleading guilty to the thefts between August 10, 2009 and May 12 this year.

Continue reading

Inverclyde Council cutting up to 500 jobs but spending £23,000 on new car

By Cara Sulieman & Christine Lavelle

TRADE union workers have hit out at a cash-strapped Scots council’s plan to spend £23,000 on a replacement car for their Provost.

Inverclyde Council have published a public contract looking for a replacement for their current car – a classic 16-year-old Ford Granada Ghia.

The budget is large enough to buy Provost Michael McCormick a range of top class motors including a BMW 3 Series or a Mercedes CLC Coupe.

Both are a far cry from the current model, which is set to be auctioned off once a replacement is found. Continue reading

Edinburgh Airport drop-off charge will take its toll on taxi drivers

By Clare Carswell

TAXI drivers will be forced to bear the brunt of a new drop-off charge at Edinburgh Airport being introduced from today (Fri).

While disabled passengers will also find their journeys made more complicated by changes to the system.

Airport bosses will start charging £1 for every car and taxi to drop passengers off outside the terminal after deeming thee the forecourt area as no-longer “fit for purpose”.

An airport spokesman said: “We have, for a number of reasons, decided to introduce a charge in our forecourt, which is no longer fit for purpose. 

“At peak times, we have a car arrive every 11 seconds and there is only space for 18 cars.”

Disabled passengers who are dropped off by friends and family will not have to pay, as current policy to admit blue badge holders into the forecourt for 15 minutes free of charge will be maintained. Continue reading

Family play park forced to explain gypsy sign

By Christine Lavelle

A CHILDREN’S play park is being forced to add signs to a medieval fortress giving a historical explanation of why gypsies used to be put in the stocks – after a member of the public took offence at one of its props.

Grant Bell, managing director of East Links Family Park in Dunbar, East Lothian, said he was amazed when he was contacted by police after an angered member of the public wrote to police after visiting the fortress, where kids can pose for a picture in the stocks with a criminal label of either “gypsy” or “thief”.

The complainer claimed the sign singled out a minority group, and was offensive to people who lived their life on the road.

Mr Bell, 47, said: “When the Sergeant phoned to say he was bringing the Chief Inspector down to look at the sign I was dumbfounded.

“I thought this is political correctness gone mad. Continue reading

Scots protest against Westminster financial cuts

MORE than 20,000 people marched through the centre of the Scottish capital to demonstrate against the financial cuts announced in Westminster this week.

The mass of demonstrators, made up of trade unionists, community activists and members of the public assembled on New Market Street, close to the City of Edinburgh Council offices on Saturday.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress marched behind the banner of their campaign ‘There’s a better way’ and voiced their opinion that the £81 billion cuts announced by George Osborne do not favour public sector workers and are not the best course of action for the long-term Scottish and UK economy.

Full story here

Police reconstruct moment man was shot in health club car park

POLICE have reconstructed the moment when a man was shot outside a health club in Edinburgh last week in a bid to jog gym-goers memories.

Robert Kelbie, 27, a property developer, was shot and wounded outside Bannatyne’s Health Club in Newcraighall during one of its busiest periods as he walked through the car park.

Last night – exactly one week on from the attack – officers from the Lothian and Borders force stopped drivers in the car park, hoping to trace the owner of silver or grey Vauxhall Vectra.

Full story here.