Senior police “embarrassed government” on human rights pledge

By Paul Thornton

SENIOR police officers ignored a Scottish Government pledge to Europe to allow suspects access to legal representation during interviews for over four years, it can be revealed.

The Scottish legal community has been rocked by a shift in policy by the Crown Office over solicitor access to people being interviewed by police.

Prosecutors told forces that they must allow access to legal advice when suspects request it – a U-turn on the previous practice, last month.

It is thought the move came amid fears that a panel of seven judges at the UK Supreme Court is set to rule that denying access is in breach of human rights laws.

But documents released under freedom of information rules reveal that the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) issued guidance going completely against a government pledge to Brussels to allow access, made in 2005.

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Bar that claimed Ewan Williamson’s life to reopen

The Balmoral Bar after the fire last July

By Cara Sulieman

THE BAR where firefighter Ewan Williamson died tackling a blaze is to be rebuilt and may even house a tribute to the fallen hero.

Plans have been submitted to restore the Balmoral Bar on Dalry Road in Edinburgh almost a year after a fire gutted the building and claimed Ewen’s life.

The owner – Trust Inns – plans to keep the old design and have held discussions about whether or not to place a plaque in memory of 35-year-old Ewan.

He had been with Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service for seven years when he died rescuing people from a blaze at the pub on July 12 last year.

Although around 20 people – including a baby – were evacuated from the building, Ewan tragically lost his life – the first Edinburgh based firefighter to die whilst battling a blaze in living memory.

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Porter quits 5-star hotel while stealing £7,000 of booze

By Michael MacLeod

A NIGHT porter stole 15 bottles of booze worth over £7,000 from a five-star hotel shortly before handing in his resignation.

Former soldier Alan Weir, 26, used his security card to open the Prestonfield House Hotel’s wine cellar and made off with the wine and spirits.

He quit his job later that night, but was caught on CCTV and tracked down by police.

The stash discovered in Weir’s home was described by police as “the best stocked wine cellar in Dalkeith,” according to his former colleagues.
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Clan leader hopes to reclaim ancient territory

By Cara Sulieman

A CLAN chief is plotting to take back land that he claims once used to belong to his family.

Ranald MacDonald, chief of the MacDonald’s of Keppoch branch, is hoping to use an ancient law to regain ownership of the entire area of Lochaber.

And he claims that the law stands in his favour – with the government failing to abolish an Anglo-Saxon system of ownership.

The chief wants to use Ur Duthchas – Gaelic for clan territory – to achieve his aims and has now submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament in the hope that they will agree with him.

Mr MacDonald became the chief of the clan after a legal battle that he took all the way to the Court of Session in 2004 where the judges decided that he was the rightful successor.

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Shamed solicitor faces jail for taking from pensioner’s will

By Michael MacLeod

A DISGRACED former lawyer who took almost half-a-million pounds from a dead pensioner’s will used the cash to pay off his own debts.
Michael Karus
Michael Karus, 48, embezzled £413,052.81 while acting as the executor of the estate of the late Edith Hampton, who died aged 89 in 2003.

It emerged yesterday in court that he used the former teacher’s cash to settle debts in his own law and property firms and even paid off a personal credit card debt.

It was originally thought that the Cancer Research charity was entitled to the huge sum left in Miss Hampton’s will.

But it was only when the charity began to investigate that it emerged she had drawn up a second will for the money to be given to a friend, which Karus claims he knew nothing about.

He was arrested in March last year and yesterday (Mon) announced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court that he paid the Crown £500,000 to be given to the genuine beneficiary – a Mrs June Pirie of Edinburgh.
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World’s most beautiful teenager is from Fife

Emma McInnes as she collects her crown

Emma McInnes as she collects her crown

By Cara Sulieman

A SEXY Scots gym instructor has been voted the world’s most beautiful teenager.

Emma McInnes, 17, scooped the Miss Teen Galaxy crown in Florida after wowing the judges in gruelling week-long contest.

The Fifer jetted home last night with her new title after a lavish ceremony on Saturday night.

Emma broke the news to her friends over Facebook with the message: “I am now Miss Teen International!”

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