Shamed Sir Faces Disciplinary Hearing To Decide Fate

By Paul Thornton

A PERVERTED Sir who had seedy threesomes with two 16-year-old pupils faces being struck off and losing his career as a teacher after being placed on the sex offenders register.

Art teacher Christopher Cunningham, 58, was already suspended from a West Lothian secondary school after it emerged he had instigated sexual relationships with two girls as soon as they turned 16 years old.

The married dad-of-two took them to a wood in the area and had sex with both of them in front of each other, taking one of the girl’s virginity.

Last week he was placed on the sex offenders register and could now face jail in August after admitting he had breached his position of trust as a teacher when he appeared at Livingston Sheriff Court.

Yesterday Scotland’s teaching watchdog said that they had been following the case and would now launch an investigation. Continue reading

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Quick-thinking pilot saves the day

By Paul Thornton

AN EAGLE-EYED pilot helped save residents from an explosive blaze after spotting the danger from thousands of feet up while coming in to land.

The aircraft was over West Lothian on its way to land at Edinburgh Airport when its captain spotted flames shooting into the night sky shortly after 11pm on Wednesday.

He immediately radioed the airport control tower who scrambled emergency services to the scene of the fire at Coxydene Farm in East Calder.

Rescuers evacuated two nearby cottages as firefighters fought to douse flames engulfing up to five highly explosive cylinders containing liquid petroleum gas and acetylene. Continue reading

Rock climber in hospital following quarry fall

By Paul Thornton

A 19-YEAR-OLD rock climber was rushed to hospital after falling four metres down a quarry in Fife.

The teenage man was rescued by firefighters and paramedics after plunging into Rosyth Quarry on Wednesday night.

He was raced to Queen Margaret’s Hospital in Dunfermline following the rescue at 9pm although there is no indication of any injuries.

Ambulance staff said crews were called by a member of the public after the climber fell onto a ledge. Continue reading

Massive legal aid bill as government agrees to extra lawyer fees

By Paul Thornton

TAXPAYERS will be hit with an extra £20m legal aid bill every year after the Scottish Government agreed to pay lawyers to visit suspects during police interviews.

The Law Society of Scotland confirmed that the government had agreed to an extra payment for lawyers called-out to provide legal advice.

The Crown Office last month issued new guidance on suspects’ access to a brief to bring Scotland into line with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Lawyers have welcomed the news, which comes on the heels of a Crown Office re-think on police policy for dealing with suspects which will be fully rolled-out today.

But Labour last night warned that the move could come with a £20m per year price tag at a time when public finances are already creaking. Continue reading

Girl airlifted to hospital after 60ft plunge

By Paul Thornton

A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl was airlifted to hospital earlier today(Tues) after a dramatic 60ft plunge down a cliff.

The youngster was out walking with her gran when she slipped down the embankment at Ravenscraig Castle near Kirkcaldy in Fife at around 2pm.

A member of the public alerted Fife Constabulary who in turn contacted the ambulance service.

Paramedics raced to the scene and were able to get to the girl who they feared had suffered a suspected broken leg.

Rather than try and recover her themselves, they decided to call in a helicopter to airlift her directly from the scene.

Mission

A crew from HMS Gannet was diverted from a training mission and picked up the youngster before transporting her to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where a waiting ambulance ferried her to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Killer soldier back in dock

By Paul Thornton

A KILLER soldier behind the death of a young holiday rep in Cyprus which led to British troops being banned from an island has appeared in court after breaking the terms of an order to inform police of his movements.

Justin Fowler, 42, along with fellow former Royal Green Jackets Allan Ford and Geoff Pernell kidnapped and tried to rape Louise Jensen before bludgeoning her to death with an army spade and burying her naked body in September 1994.

The 23-year-old’s battered body – which suffered 15 blows by from the weapon – had to be identified from a silver ring on her finger.

The killing of the Danish tour guide outraged locals and British troops were banned from the resort of Ayia Napa in the wake of the incident.

Despite refusing to give evidence at the trial in 1996, the three men were handed life sentences after being convicted of abduction, conspiracy to rape and manslaughter.

They claimed they were too drunk to know what they were doing. Continue reading