“Big Yin” biker hits iPod-playing passer-by

By Michael MacLeod

A MAN lost control of a three-wheeled “Billy Connolly type motorbike” and crashed into the back of an iPod-wearing pedestrian who didn’t hear it coming.
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Craig Douglas had just bought his huge new motorbike and “couldn’t wait to have a shot,” despite being uninsured and without a full licence.

But he hit a dip in the road before smashing into Paul Hutchinson, 24, who had to be taken to hospital for cuts to his head and back.

Douglas, 42, admitted dangerous driving at Edinburgh Sheriff Court and was today (Thurs) fined £400 and hit with seven penalty points, meaning he loses his licence as a new driver.
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Body of missing John Boylan found

Bernard Boylan with a picture of his son John

Bernard Boylan with a picture of his son John

By Cara Sulieman

THE missing brother of an SAS war hero has been found drowned in a Scots river.

The body John Boylan, 22, from Whitburn, West Lothian, was discovered on September 26 in the River Almond near Livingston.

He had been missing since September 3 and his body was pulled from the River Almond in Livingston on September 26, but police were only able to confirm his identity today (Mon).

His brother Colin MacLachlan, 35, a former special ops soldier who served three tours in Iraq where he was once captured and tortured by terrorists, was among worried relatives who had been “searching day and night”.

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Young iPod user attacked by heroin addict

By Michael MacLeod

A HEROIN addict who attacked a boy on a bus for his mobile phone has been jailed for a year.
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Darren Rankin,24, picked the 15 year-old for no reason other than to fund his drug habit.

The victim was listening to music on his iPod as the bus travelled along Edinburgh’s Craigentinny Avenue.

He saw Rankin and another man asking other passengers whether he could borrow their mobile phones, and refused to hand his over when he was asked.

Suddenly Rankin grabbed the terrified youngster and put him in a headlock, demanding his phone.

Another passenger stepped in to help while the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, made a frantic dash to safety.
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Distraught family make passionate appeal for missing son

Boylan FamilyBy Alexander Lawrie

A DISTRAUGHT family has made a desperate plea for their vulnerable son to contact them after he disappeared more than a week ago.

John Boylan, 22, from Whitburn, West Lothian, has been missing since September 2 and was last seen leaving his father’s home in the town.

Relatives gathered at the family home yesterday (Thu) and urged John to let them know he is safe.

Dad Bernard said he was “frantic with worry” after his son, who is described as having learning difficulties, disappeared without contacting him.

John, who lives on his own, left home without taking any money, his wallet and his prized iPod, leaving his family fearing the worst.

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Skype for iPhone brings free calls to millions

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By Cara Sulieman

MILLIONS of mobile phone users will be able enjoy free calls after the launch of Skype’s long-awaited download for Apple’s popular iPhone.

Restricted only by being able to pick up a Wi-Fi connection, it means iPhone owners who have Skype will be able to call other Skype users around the world.

But rather than worrying that the software will reduce users phone bills, O2 who own the sole UK rights for selling iPhone, have embraced the idea of the new Skype ‘app’.

Solely over wi-fi

A spokesman for O2 said: “We understand (Skype) have designed this to work solely over Wi-Fi. Continue reading

Brave ex-soldier chases down car thief

Thomas Dunnachie

By Alexander Lawrie

A BRAVE ex-soldier is being hailed as a hero after he chased a car thief and forced him to dump his haul of stolen property.

Thomas Dunnachie, 29, was just arriving to start an early morning job in Edinburgh’s plush New Town when he heard a car alarm going off.

Looking up, the former squaddie spotted a man acting suspiciously and chased him 200 metres along the street.

The panicking thief made off, but was made to drop his rucksack containing over £1000 of stolen electrical equipment he had just nicked.

His haul included car radios, sat navs, iPods and other electrical appliances.

Mr Dunnachie managed to retrieve all the stolen property before calling the police.

Currently working as a heating engineer, Mr Dunnachie served his country for seven years in the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders which included several dangerous tours in Northern Ireland and Iraq.

The early-morning car thief had smashed up to ten vehicle’s windows in and around Albany Street in Edinburgh during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Mr Dunnachie, from Grangemouth, West Lothian, said: “I was standing outside my works van in the middle of the street after arriving for the job. I heard a noise and realised it was a car alarm.

“I then saw a guy standing up next to the car and I just knew he was up to no good.

“As he walked up the street towards me I shouted at him, but he just took off.

“He knew I was catching up with him, so after about 200 metres he just ditched the bags he was carrying.

 “I didn’t want to take the risk of struggling with him on the ground if I caught up with him because he could have been carrying a knife or a screwdriver.

“He had dropped a rucksack and plastic bags and they had stereos and iPods inside.

“Thankfully nobody was hurt, and everyone managed to get their property back. That’s what counts really.

“I’m a hard-working guy, and the thought of somebody just robbing innocent people is something I couldn’t let go. I only did what anyone else would have done.”

The suspect is described as white, mid-to-late 20s, 5ft 7ins to 5ft 8ins tall, unshaven, with dark unkempt hair.  He was wearing a navy fleece jacket, and carrying a dark rucksack. 

He may also have been wearing a woollen hat while carrying out some of the thefts.

A police spokesman said: “Mr Dunnachie’s intervention played an important role in recovering the stolen goods, and we recognise the efforts he made in attempting to bring the suspect to justice.

“While the stolen items were recovered, the suspect has caused approximately £1000 worth of damage as a result of smashing the windows of these vehicles.

“We want anyone who was in the New Town area overnight between Friday and Saturday, and noticed anyone acting suspiciously there, to contact police immediately. 

“Similarly, anyone who recognises the description of the suspect should also get in touch.

“At this time we would like to advise people not to store valuable electrical items in their vehicles, and if they do, to keep them out of sight.”

£15,000 to get on Comet’s shelves

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By Michael MacLeod

ELECTRICAL giants Comet are planning on charging for shelf-space in a bit to halt crashing profits.

The move could force big-name suppliers like Apple to PAY to get their iPods sold in the shops.

Insiders say it could cost firms up to £15,400 to put anything from a toaster to plasma TV on Comet’s shelves.

While Comet couldn’t reveal details, they admitted they were in talks with manufacturers in light of “challenging times.”

The news comes just weeks after the chain reported an £8m loss for the six months ending October – markedly down on the whopping £10m profit seen in the same spell only a year before.

A source close to the company said many smaller firms were angry at the plans and refused to sign up to the terms.

Comet director Bob Darke is reported to have written to suppliers, telling them the new charges will be imposed from January 1 next year.

In the letter, he is said to have blamed the tough retail market for the new charge, which could see them asking for a “listing fee” for every line stocked in stores.

But one supplier fumed: “The size and scale of what Comet is demanding is unusual and outrageous.

“How are the small guys supposed to have a chance against the big boys if we’re spending the equivalent of a worker’s annual wage just to get into the shop?

“It’s big money and in this day and age it’s hard to free up that kind of cash.”

A spokesperson for Comet wouldn’t deny the claims.

They stated: “In these challenging times our customers are looking for good value and it is our role to negotiate the best possible deals on their behalf.

“We can confirm that we are in negotiations with our suppliers.

“These discussions are commercially sensitive and we will not comment on any of the details.”