Last of derailed train carriages lifted from track

Recovery of the train using a crawler crane began two weeks ago.

Derailment: Last of the carriages has left the site.
Derailment: Last of the carriages has left the site.

The last of the carriages has been lifted from the site of the fatal train derailment near Stonehaven.

Driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury died in the crash on Wednesday, August 12.

The Aberdeen to Glasgow commuter service came off the tracks after striking “a pile of washed-out rock and gravel”, a Network Rail interim report said.

The process of recovering the vehicle, using a 600-tonne crawler crane, began two weeks ago. The last of the carriages left the site on Friday.


Damage to the track and bridge has been described as “quite significant”, with the repairs needed to be outlined in the coming days.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We’re now beginning the process of assessing the repairs required at track level and on the embankments.

“There’s quite significant damage to the track and bridge involved in the incident.

“We expect to be in a position to confirm works required and timescales over the next few of days.”

Dozens sent to care homes after positive Covid tests

Covid outbreaks took place at nearly 350 care homes in Scotland between March and June.

Andrew Bret Wallis via Getty Images

Dozens of hospital patients who tested positive for coronavirus were sent to care homes as the pandemic began to grip Scotland.

However, a report from Public Health Scotland (PHS) concluded that there was no “statistically significant” link between discharges and Covid outbreaks.

The figures show 78 people who tested positive in hospitals were discharged to care homes between March 1 and April 21.

Thousands more were transferred without being tested during that period, the report said. Of those 3599 people, only 650 were given tests, with official guidance at that time stating they were only required if symptoms were showing.


In the following month, there were 1605 discharges from hospitals to care homes, with 93% of them (1493) being tested for Covid-19, in line with changes in clinical guidance.

Of these, 1215 tested negative and 278 tested positive.

Nearly 350 care homes suffered a Covid outbreak between March 1 and June 21, according to the report, with around half of the 4400 virus-linked deaths in Scotland accounted for by the facilities.

PHS said discharges from hospitals did not create a “statistically significant” risk of outbreaks, adding that the size of care homes was a bigger contributing factor.


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said further work would take place to give a more detailed understanding of care home outbreaks.

She said: “Nothing in it [the report] detracts from the tragedy of the deaths that have occurred in care homes over the course of the pandemic, and nothing ever will detract from the heartbreak of those bereaved.

“Where the report’s conclusions highlight the need for additional measures, we will act on that.

“I want people to know we take this very seriously.”

Opposition politicians, however, said the report revealed a “scandalous dereliction” of public health duties.

Scottish Conservatives shadow health secretary Donald Cameron said: “Families who lost loved ones after Covid-positive hospital patients were knowingly discharged into care homes have been waiting months for answers from this SNP government.

“Today’s overdue report reveals a scandalous dereliction in the provision of public health to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.


“To see people’s worst fears confirmed by these statistics only adds to the need for full and frank disclosure from the SNP.”

Scottish Care, which represents private homes, said the report only told “part of the story”.

Chief executive Dr Donald Macaskill said: “The statistical analysis is thorough and highlights that the risks to care homes in terms of outbreaks are related to the size of a care home.

“This is because larger care homes tend to be nursing homes, dealing with more frail residents and those living with dementia; they have larger numbers of staff members and environmentally because of size present greater risks.

“What is missing amongst all the data and statistics, the numbers and charts, is the story of those who cared for residents in our care homes.

“I hope the researchers can take some time to listen to the experience of staff in care homes where there have been significant outbreaks.

“At the moment we have one side of the story, what is missing is the frontline experience of our care sector and its staff, the voices of those who received care and their families.” 

He added: “The report is a reminder of the pain we have all endured. Its insight should become the energy to ensure that the whole health and care system really does support the care home sector in the weeks ahead, that it becomes each of our responsibilities to protect by our everyday action, putting the needs of the residents rather than the protection of any system or organisation at the heart of that shared focus.”

Coronavirus: 28 more dead as cases rise by 1202 overnight

More than 1000 people are currently receiving treatment in hospital for Covid-19.

Radoslav Zilinsky via Getty Images

A further 28 people have died in Scotland after being diagnosed with coronavirus, the First Minister has confirmed.

Total confirmed cases of the virus has risen to 60,403 – a jump of 1202 in the past 24 hours and 6.8% of all tests carried out on Tuesday.

The official death toll in Scotland now stands at 2754, however weekly figures on suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is more than 4400.

Of the new cases reported on Wednesday, 451 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, 292 are in Lanarkshire, 152 are in Lothian, and 91 are in Ayrshire and Arran.


The remaining cases are spread across nine other health board areas. NHS Western Isles was the only health board not to record a new case.

According to management information reported by NHS boards across Scotland, 1117 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 – an increase of 17 overnight. Out of those, 85 patients are in intensive care.

Earlier on Wednesday it was revealed that 78 hospital patients in Scotland who had tested positive for Covid-19 were discharged into care homes from March 1 to April 21.

Public Health Scotland’s study found that between those dates there were 3599 discharges from hospital to a care home, the majority (81.9%) of which were not tested for Covid-19.


Of the 650 who were tested, 78 had received a positive result while in hospital.

Between April 22 and May 31, there were 1605 discharges from hospital to a care home.

The majority (1493 – 93%) were tested for Covid-19, in line with changes in clinical guidance. Of these, 1215 tested negative and 278 tested positive. Of those who tested positive, 233 had a negative test result prior to discharge.

At the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, Nicola Sturgeon said the report concluded that allowing for other factors, such as the size of a care home, “hospital discharges were not found to have contributed to a significantly higher risk of an outbreak”.

Quoting directly from the report, she stated: “The analysis does not find statistical evidence that hospital discharges of any kind were associated with care home outbreaks.”

She said Public Health Scotland would now be carrying out further work to give a more detailed understanding of Covid-19 outbreaks in care homes.

Speaking about Scotland’s new five-tier system for restrictions, Sturgeon said formal confirmation of which levels would be applied to different local authority areas would be revealed on Thursday.


She said: “Work to finalise these decisions will take place over the course of today and this evening.

“The position we are in right now is really tough, and everyone is thoroughly sick of it.

“That has been the case for some time, but as the nights get darker, as we head into winter, and as our attention and thoughts turn to Christmas, I think that feeling becomes a heavier one for all of us.”

Pardons for Scots miners convicted during 1980s strikes

It's thought around 500 miners were convicted in Scotland during the strikes in the 1980s.

Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images
Former miners were at the Scottish Parliament as the pardoning announcement was made.

Former miners who were convicted during strikes in the 1980s will be pardoned.

The Scottish Government made the announcement on Wednesday following an independent review into arrests the 1984/85 strike.

Around 1400 miners were said to have been arrested, with approximately 500 convicted of breach of the peace and similar offences.

Legislation will be required to overturn the convictions, which justice secretary Humza Yousaf said would be put before parliament to “right a wrong”.


Millions of people protested against pit closures during the industrial dispute with Margaret Thatcher’s government.

Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay joined some miners outside Holyrood on Wednesday afternoon.

STV News
Scottish miners clash with police during the strikes in the 1980s.

Findlay said: “Many former miners and their families have waited years for this – they have paid a heavy price for their convictions including being blacklisted from employment.

“I want to thank former justice minister Michael Matheson for setting up the independent review into policing during the 1984/85 strike and John Scott QC and the panel for their work.”

Lanarkshire leaders in plea to avoid strictest Covid rules

Council leaders, police and NHS join forces to sign letter to Scottish Government.

Sturgeon said level four restrictions for Lanarkshire 'cannot be ruled out'.

Bosses of councils, NHS and police in Lanarkshire have written to the Scottish Government urging it to rule out the strictest coronavirus restrictions for the area.

The letter is a response to a leaked government email to Cosla on Monday revealing both North and South Lanarkshire are being considered for tier four measures under the new levels system beginning on Monday.

It was signed by chief executives of North and South Lanarkshire councils, Des Murray and Cleland Sneddon, chief executive of NHS Lanarkshire, Heather Knox, and area’s police commander, superintendent Alan Waddell.

Level four is the closest to a full lockdown, similar to the one introduced at the end of March, and would mean non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants have to close.


The letter argues the area’s figures are improving and warned of “significant additional harms and consequences” if placed under stricter restrictions.

It goes on to urge the Scottish Government to consider placing both North and South Lanarkshire in level three.

The letter says: “We have been following the numbers intensely and the Scottish Government figures for Lanarkshire have declined.

“There is emerging clear evidence in Lanarkshire that the very steep rise has been halted and that there is an indication that cases are falling to some extent.”


The letter goes on to warn the Scottish Government that a move to level four has “considerable implications for Lanarkshire and beyond”.

It adds: “It has significant impacts on health and wellbeing, public services, and business and the economy.”

The Lanarkshire bosses say they support basing measures on virus transmission but “do not believe the most up-to-date statistics support a move to Level 4” for their area.

The letter states: “There is a decline in the key indicators for Lanarkshire when the most up-to-date data is considered.

“Against that backdrop, and the significant additional harms and consequences we have set out for level four when compared with the other levels, we would urge the Scottish Government to place Lanarkshire in level three of the restrictions and assume that its neighbouring authorities will be in a similar position.”

Level three of the tier system would mean alcohol sales both indoors and outdoors will not be permitted in the area, although some restaurants may be able to open under strict conditions.

Level four is the most similar to a full lockdown with non-essential shops being forced to close.


Socialising would not be allowed in people’s homes, but six people from two households could still meet outdoors and there would be no limit on outdoor exercise.

Non-essential travel would be banned and there could be limits on the distance people can travel, as well as guidance to stay at home.

For further details of Scotland’s new coronavirus levels system click here.

Three officers and child taken to hospital after police chase

A police car crashed into another car and overturned while in pursuit of a Skoda in Castlemilk, Glasgow.

SNS group via Police Scotland
Crash: Four men and a child have been taken to hospital following a police chase.

Three officers, a man and a child have been taken to hospital after a police car overturned following a chase in Glasgow.

The incident occurred around 5.35pm on Tuesday, when a police pursuit commenced after a Skoda failed to stop on Stravanan Road, Castlemilk.

During the pursuit, the police car collided with a BMW on Carmunnock Road at its junction with Craiglinn Gardens and overturned.

The blue BMW 3 series was not involved in the police pursuit.


The driver of the Skoda failed to stop and did not return to the scene. 

A 39-year-old man who was driving the BMW and his ten-year-old passenger were taken to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, respectively. 

Three male police officers were also taken to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

The road was closed for around three hours.


Chief Inspector Darren Faulds, of Glasgow’s Road Policing Unit, said: “Our enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the crash, along with the vehicle which failed to stop, are ongoing.

“I would urge anyone who may have witnessed the crash or was in the area around the time of the crash to contact police. Also, anyone with dash-cam footage which could assist our investigation should get in touch.”

As is standard procedure, the incident has been referred to the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner.

Anyone with information can contact police on 101, quoting incident number 2330 of October 27.

Major search under way for hillwalker missing overnight

Police, Tayside Mountain Rescue and Coastguard teams are searching Glen Lyon for Chris Smith.

STV News
Glen Lyon: A search is under way for Chris Smith.

A major search is under way for a missing hillwalker in Glen Lyon in Perthshire.

Chris Smith, 43, was last seen around 3pm on Tuesday and was later reported missing at 7.30pm.

Tayside Mountain Rescue team and the police are being assisted by a Coastguard helicopter.

The search began on Tuesday night and is continuing on Wednesday.


If you have any information, call 101.

Millionaire loses £3.9m divorce settlement to ex-wife

The business owner met his former wife after she was hired to work in his chip shop.

Andrew Mckenna / EyeEm via Getty Images
The judge concluded that £3.9m was entitled to the millionaire's ex-wife.

A millionaire who met his former wife working in his chip shop business has lost a legal bid to have her £3.9m divorce settlement cut.

The woman – who can only be identified as SCA – was given the settlement following proceedings at the Court of Session earlier this year.

The woman married her husband – who can only be identified as MMA – in February 1989.

She worked as a counter assistant and a pizza chef in the business.


The couple then built a business empire involving restaurants and commercial property throughout the west of Scotland.

The judge concluded that the marriage had broken down “irretrievably” and that there wasn’t any “prospect of reconciliation.”

The judge also said the family’s total assets amounted to £10,279,731 and concluded that SCA was entitled to £3,936,565.

Lady Wise added: “Both parties contributed to this marriage in different ways.


SCA worked in the fish and chip shops and in the pizzeria…. and running the family home.”

Lawyers for the husband went to the Inner House of the Court of Session.

They told civil appeal judges Lord Malcolm, Lord Pentland and Lord Woolman that their colleague had made errors in her calculations about the couple’s actual wealth.

MMA’s legal team said the figure should be reduced.

However, in a written judgement published by the court, Lord Malcolm rejected the claim and concluded that Lady Wise acted correctly.

Lord Malcolm wrote: “She listened to the competing submissions and reached a decision which cannot be described as unreasonable or manifestly wrong.”

Ambulance staff documents ‘taken from locked office’

Whistleblower alerts MP to alleged data break-in at office in Moray.

Scottish Ambulance Service
Documents were allegedly read by ambulance service staff.

The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) is investigating an alleged “serious” breach of personal data.

Documents about staff were allegedly taken from a locked file within a manager’s locked office in Moray.

Local MP Douglas Ross said he was contacted by a whistleblower.
It was claimed the notes were read by members of staff and then discarded into a cardboard box in a store room.

The box was said to have been taken to the SAS base in Forres and “left unsecured in a garage”.


Ross, also leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said: “This appears to be a serious breach of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules on the safe storage of sensitive and confidential material.

“It’s very concerning to me that this has happened within what should be secure areas of SAS premises in Moray.”

He said it was “worrying” that documents had been “passed around for some time”.

SAS chief executive Pauline Howie has written to Ross, confirming that the service was alerted last month.


A spokesman for the service said: “Our information governance team were alerted to an incident involving personal information of staff which was discovered on secure ambulance service premises.

“There’s no evidence that these files have been accessed by anyone outwith the ambulance service and the files have since been removed to a secure location.

“A detailed investigation is ongoing and in line with legislative requirements. SAS has also notified the information commissioner’s office who are reviewing the incident.

“SAS has informed the employees whose information is involved, have apologised and are providing ongoing support.

“We will be reviewing all learnings from this full investigation and will implement any actions identified.”

Leaders urged to devise UK-wide guidance on Christmas travel

Political leaders have been warned that governments need to 'accept the inevitability' that people will travel at Christmas.

GoodPong via Getty Images
Christmas: UK leaders urged to deliver guidance on travel over the festive period.

Uniform guidance for family gatherings at Christmas must be devised between all four nations of the UK, political leaders have been urged.

Boris Johnson, Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drakeford and Arlene Foster were warned that their governments must “accept the inevitability” that people will travel over the festive period.

The call came in a letter from the Liberal Democrats in Scotland, Wales and England – together with the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.

They said guidance cannot be made in isolation given the “interlinked” nature of life in the UK, and called for a “four nations summit” to agree a plan.


The letter states: “It therefore falls on you and your counterparts to work across governments to explore workable solutions that can enable travel to happen safely.

“To manage the implications for public health, we are urging you to hold a four nations summit to co-operate on students’ return, to agree uniform guidance on the number of people who can gather, and to explore how best to expand travel options to allow social distancing.”

It is signed by Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey, as well as his Scottish counterpart Willie Rennie, Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds and Alliance Party deputy leader Stephen Farry.

Sir Ed said: “No one country can manage this challenge in isolation. The fractured rules across the UK have already been incredibly difficult to piece together.


“We need a four nations summit to agree on one set of uniform guidance for Christmas that works for families across the UK. Ministers across Britain need to start work on it now.”

Despite the UK taking a near uniform approach to lockdown restrictions at the start of the coronavirus crisis in March, the picture across the country is now more fragmented.

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her Government is looking at phased term dates and possible testing of students, and issues of people returning home where there are vulnerable people.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said the current “firebreak” restrictions should give a pathway to Christmas “without needing a period of this severity of restraint between now and then”.

And in England, Downing Street has said it is the Government’s “ambition to ensure that people may celebrate Christmas as a family this year”.

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