Sculptures stolen from Edinburgh tram pioneer’s grave

By Michael MacLeod

THIEVES have destroyed the grave of the Edinburgh provost responsible for the city’s original tram project.

Two large metal lion statues were taken from a monumental grave dedicated to Sir James Steel, a construction king of the late 19th Century who served as the city’s Lord Provost from 1900 to 1903.

It is believed crooks used a flatbed truck to take the 3.5ft-long lion sculptures out of the Dean Cemetery over the weekend.

Detectives said neighbours to the graveyard may have heard noisy cutting equipment being used and appealed for more information.
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Victory for Johnny after standoff with parking wardens

By Cara Sulieman and Paul Thornton

A DRIVER gave hope to motorists across the country today when he took on Edinburgh’s notorious parking wardens – and won.

Range Rover-driving Johnny Higgins spotted his car being lifted onto the back of a flatbed lorry after overstaying a parking ticket by just 40 minutes.

Threatened with a £150 fine to get his £35,000 motor back, quick-thinking Mr Higgins leapt into the driver’s seat and refused to budge, sparking an hour-long standoff.

Police were called in to diffuse the situation but the wardens eventually gave in, telling him: “Fair play to you.”
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Bullet Found After “Warning Shot” At House

By Michael MacLeod and Shaun Milne

A BULLET recovered by police at the scene of a drive by shooting could hold vital clues in tracking down who was behind the incident.

Detectives are probing the shot fired at an address in Dalkeith, Midlothian, at around 11.25pm on Wednesday.

Damage caused by the bullet could be seen at the home of George Rae, 39, who police sources say was also the target of recent threats made at the start of the month.

The blast left his neighbours in Woodburn Avenue shocked, with many last night saying a feud had been bubbling under for some time.
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Perv treks 300 miles across border to abuse schoolgirl

By Michael MacLeod

A PERVERTED forklift truck driver admitted repeatedly sexually abusing a 15 year-old girl at weekends – driving 300 miles each time to satisfy his depravity.

Ian Rodhouse, 43, would travel to Edinburgh from his former home in Slough to visit a woman friend he knew each weekend, abusing the child while she was out at work.

Rodhouse preyed on the youngster at an address in Edinburgh when she was getting changed into her school uniform in the mornings.

He would also walk in on her having baths, lather up her back with soap before touching her indecently.

And he made chilling threats to the girl not to tell anyone about the year-long campaign of abuse, warning that her pocket money could be taken away if she did.
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Shamed drugs cop Chris McGinn begins jail sentence

By Michael MacLeod

A SCOTS drugs cop choked back tears as he was jailed for 26 months after being sniffed-out by his own colleagues as a cocaine dealer with a £520 per month snorting habit.

Last moment of freedom: McGinn arrives at court

Last moment of freedom: McGinn arrives at court

Shamed ex-police officer Christopher McGinn gave his pals lines of coke in exchange for pints of beer in pub toilets.

The 29 year-old would use an iTunes card to line up the Class-A drug for himself and pals “akin to a round of drinks.”

And when he was exposed by fellow officers at Lothian and Borders Police, he desperately begged them to brush his case under the carpet.

He pleaded: “I’m a cop too. Lose it for me. Lose it for me please.”

But McGinn had been under covert surveillance for a year and saw no alternative but to resign from the force after eight years.

He claimed today (Fri) that being caught forced him to tackle his filthy habit and admitted he had “brought shame on the force.”

But Sheriff Roderick MacLeod told him: “You were serving police officer at the time and therefore you were duty bound to uphold the values expected by society instead of subverting them.”
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Scots gun cops fire Olympic blanks


SCOTLAND’S armed police officers have been banned from the London Olympics after failing to hit the target in shooting tests.

A report, ordered by the Queen, found that only one of Scotland’s eight forces is qualified to join the huge anti-terror operation at the 2012 Games.

The report said Scottish officers “would not be accepted for deployment” after shortcomings in achieving the National Police Improvement Agency firearms certificate.

Every English force has gained their NPIA certificate, effectively qualifying them to be picked to help out at the Olympics.

But only Strathclyde police have got the qualification, and even then it’s only at provisional level.

Lothian and Borders police have applied for theirs, but are said to be nowhere near the standard needed to fend off terrorists at the 2012 Games.

A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate said: “The current lack of licensed training in Scotland is such that the NPIA foresees difficulty with obtaining mutual aid from Scotland for the Olympics.

“The recommendation would be that Scottish officers would not be accepted for deployment.”

A retired arms officer commented: “Some of the smaller forces have a cowboys and Indians approach to firearms.

“There is a UK national standard and a lot of Scots forces just wouldn’t meet it.”

Scottish Labour’s justice spokesman Richard Baker said: “It needs to be a government priority to ensure the police can protect their citizens and work in conjunction with other forces.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are sure our police forces will take the necessary steps.”