Man ‘addicted’ to guns given first crime order of its kind

David Collins will have his movements restricted to stop him returning to crime following a hearing at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Inverness Sheriff Court: David Collins was handed a Serious Crime Prevention Order. Allan Baxter via Getty Images
Inverness Sheriff Court: David Collins was handed a Serious Crime Prevention Order.

A man who told police he was “addicted” to firearms has been given Scotland’s first standalone Serious Crime Prevention Order.

David Collins, who has a string of convictions involving weapons, has spent time in jail for possessing guns and ammunition.

He was also recalled to prison for breaching both his parole and supervised release order.

In addition, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (Copfs) said the 43-year-old has previously made threats to kill family members, work colleagues, bus drivers and police officers.

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Now, in a Scottish first, Copfs has secured a standalone SCPO which allows for “intensive monitoring” to prevent further reoffending.

The orders have, until now, only been issued at the time of sentencing but the Crown Office made the case during civil proceedings at Inverness Sheriff Court on Wednesday that Collins’ movements should be restricted to stop him returning to serious crime.

As part of the three-year order, he will now be required to undertake counselling and report frequently to a police station.

He is also banned from having any firearms and has had his access to phones, computers and other communication devices limited.

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Jennifer Harrower, procurator fiscal for specialist casework, said: “An SCPO allows for intensive monitoring of an individual and is designed to prevent someone committing further offences.

“David Collins’ actions have caused considerable fear and alarm over the years. Hopefully the restrictions placed on him will give some peace of mind to the community.

“This order is the first of its kind in Scotland; it has been pursued and granted as a standalone SCPO, separate from the conviction process.

“It shows prosecutors will use all measures at our disposal to disrupt criminal activity.”


Third bill for assisted dying to be introduced at Holyrood

Almost nine out ten Scots are said to support the introduction of such law.

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Third attempt being made to pass legislation on assisted suicide in Scotland.

A third attempt is being made to pass legislation on assisted suicide in Scotland.

Liberal Democrat MP Liam McArthur is putting forward proposals for a Members Bill at Holyrood which, if passed, would permit assisted dying for adults who are both terminally ill and mentally competent.

Almost nine out ten Scots (87%) are said to support the introduction of such legislation, Mr McArthur said, though a previous bid to change the law at Holyrood was voted down by 82 votes to 36 in 2015.

A cross party group of a dozen MSPs have already signalled their support for Mr McArthur’s bid to “introduce safe and compassionate assisted dying laws in Scotland”.

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The group, which includes former Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw, as well as Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, argued Scotland needed to change its laws so that those who are terminally ill can “be assured of dignified death”.

In an open letter, the MSPs said they had come together to work on the new Bill, as they argued: “The current law does not work and should be replaced with a safe and compassionate new law that gives dying people the rights they need to have a good death at a time that is right for them.

“We know there is a problem and it is incumbent upon us to provide a solution.”

Mr McArthur’s proposed Assisted Dying Scotland Bill, which is being supported by Dignity In Dying Scotland, Friends At The End and the Humanist Society Scotland, is being lodged at Holyrood on Monday.

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It seeks to legalise assisted dying as a choice for adults who are both terminally ill and mentally competent, with a consultation planned for the autumn.

Mr McArthur said: “I have long believed that dying Scots should be able to access safe and compassionate assisted dying if they choose, rather than endure a prolonged and painful death.

“The current blanket ban on such assistance is unjust and causes needless suffering for so many dying people and their families across Scotland.

“If you have reached the limits of palliative care and face a bad death, none of the current options available to you in Scotland represents an acceptable alternative to a peaceful, dignified death at home.”

The MSP continued: “The proposal I am presenting is one that co-exists with more and better palliative care and applies only to terminally ill, mentally competent adults.

“It has strong safeguards that put transparency, protection and compassion at its core and is modelled on legislation that has passed rigorous testing in other countries around the world.

“It is a proposal that chimes with powers our Parliament has to deliver change that helps build a fairer and more progressive society.

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“Emerging from the pandemic, we have an opportunity to take the actions required to make sure that the end of our lives is more compassionate, fairer and more reflective of a dying person’s choice.

“We have the ability to create a new standard for how we die.”

Holyrood previously rejected previous bids to introduce assisted suicide in 2010 and 2015.

Both those Bills were brought forward by independent MSP Margo MacDonald, with Mr Harvie taking forward the second Bill following her death from Parkinson’s disease in 2014.

Michael Veitch, the parliamentary officer at the charity Care For Scotland, is against the Bill, claiming it would devalue the lives of disabled people and the vulnerable.

“This law will not just affect the small number of individuals who might choose to access assisted suicide.

“It will affect every person living with a terminal illness, fundamentally alter the doctor-patient relationship, devalue disabled people’s lives, and undermine wide efforts to prevent suicide,” he said.

“There can be no adequate safeguards.

“Providing a terminal prognosis is fraught with uncertainty.

“Vulnerable patients can be coerced.

“And the experience of other jurisdictions shows that an incremental extension of the law is inevitable.”

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Show, Mr McArthur said: “I would refute that and refute it very robustly.

“I would urge this organisation and indeed anybody with concerns about this Bill to look at the detail of the Bill that comes forward, to look at the details of the consultation and subsequently the Bill.

“This is not about assisted suicide, this is not about those who want to die.

“This is about giving those who have a terminal illness, who have been given a terminal diagnosis the opportunity, the choice for a more compassionate and dignified death.”


Children seriously hurt in A9 crash involving school bus

Two children are among those seriously hurt following the collision just south of Inverness on Saturday evening.

Police Scotland
A9 crash: Several people seriously injured.

Two children are among those seriously injured after a school bus collided with a car on the A9.

The serious crash involved a coach carrying three adults and 36 secondary school pupils and a silver Skoda Octavia driven by a 45-year-old woman with two child passengers, aged nine and seven-years-old.

The collision happened south of Inverness at around 4.45pm on Saturday.

The two child passengers of the car and the 48-year-old co-driver driver of the bus were taken to Raigmore Hospital with serious injuries.

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The driver of the car was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary also with serious injuries.

The rest of the people involved in the crash, the 64-year-old driver of the bus and 36 secondary school pupils and their teacher, were not seriously hurt and did not require medical treatment.  

The northbound and southbound carriageway were closed for some time for investigations surrounding the crash to be carried out.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the smash.

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Inspector Greg Dinnie of the Road Policing Unit said: “This was a serious crash involving four adults and 38 children who were on the bus and in a Skoda Octavia.

“Our enquiries into the cause of the collision are continuing and I would urge anyone who saw what happened, and has not yet spoken to officers, to come forward.

“I would also ask motorists who were using the A9 at around 4.45pm and may have been recording via dash-cam devices to check their systems and provide any relevant footage to us as soon as possible.

“The road was closed for approximately ten hours to allow our crash investigations to be undertaken. I would like to thank the public for their patience whilst this was being carried out.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 2981 of 19 June, 2021.


Schoolgirl, 13, dies after falling from roof of building

The 13-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene on Aitken Street, Largs, on Saturday night.

Fall: Schoolgirl died at scene.

A schoolgirl has died after falling from the roof of a building in North Ayrshire.

The 13-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene on Aitken Street, Largs, after the incident at around 11.45pm on Saturday.

Police have said there do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

A police spokesperson said: “Around 11:45pm on Saturday June 19, police were made aware a 13-year-old girl had been injured after falling from the roof of a building in Aitken Street, Largs. 

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“Emergency services attended and the girl was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Enquiries are ongoing, however, there do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.” 


Scotland records no new Covid deaths and 1205 new cases

NHS Lothian saw the highest number of new cases, at 321, followed by Greater Glasgow and Clyde on 294 and Lanarkshire on 125.

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Coronavirus: Latest daily figures.

Scotland has recorded no new coronavirus deaths and 1205 cases in the past 24 hours, the Scottish Government has said.

It means the death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – remains at 7692.

New figures show 254,325 people have now tested positive for the virus and the daily test positivity rate is 5.8%, up from 4.5% the previous day.

So far, 3,611,266 people have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, up 19,628 on the previous day, and 2,555,308 have received their second dose, up 19,505.

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NHS Lothian saw the highest number of new cases, at 321, followed by Greater Glasgow and Clyde on 294 and Lanarkshire on 125.


Greater Manchester mayor calls Scots travel ban ‘hypocrisy’

Andy Burnham hits out at Nicola Sturgeon over 'unnecessary' Covid travel restrictions.

Russell Cheyne via PA Ready / Barrington Coombs via PA Ready
Sturgeon announced on Friday all non-essential travel to Manchester and Salford would be banned from Monday.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has accused the Scottish Government of “hypocrisy” over a travel ban to the North West.

Nicola Sturgeon announced on Friday all non-essential travel to Manchester and Salford would be banned from Monday, but the Labour mayor said he or his administration were not contacted before the announcement.

The First Minister pinpointed the areas as Covid-19 hotspots, despite figures in the cities matching case rates in parts of Scotland.

“Anyone travelling elsewhere in the Greater Manchester or Lancashire area, I’d ask to think carefully about whether your journey is really necessary, because we do see cases rising across that region,” she said on Friday in a coronavirus briefing.

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Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Burnham said: “I was really disappointed on Friday that the First Minister of Scotland just announced out of the blue, as far as we were concerned, a travel ban saying that people couldn’t travel from Scotland to Manchester and Salford and people couldn’t go the other way.

“That is exactly what the SNP always accuse the Westminster Government of doing, riding roughshod over people.

“The SNP are treating the north of England with the same contempt in bringing that in without any consultation with us.”

He added: “I just think it’s double standards, it’s hypocrisy.

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“They’ve done to us exactly what they always complain that the UK Government does to Scotland.”

Burnham said he would be looking for his constituents who planned to travel north of the border to be financially compensated by the Scottish Government.

“I’ll be writing to the First Minister today,” he said.

“I’ll be asking for compensation for the individuals who might lose holidays and the businesses who might lose bookings.

“Why should a couple from Salford who are double jabbed who are about to go on a walking holiday in Scotland not be able to go?

“It’s completely disproportionate in my view – we could have come up with a different arrangement if the First Minister had been in touch with us.”

Burnham went on to say there should be “an arrangement” put in place, which would mean there would have to be consultation between Scotland and the north of England before such a travel ban was put in place.

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A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Nobody wants travel restrictions in place for any longer than is absolutely necessary and placing restrictions on travel between Scotland and Manchester and Salford has only been taken after extremely careful consideration, and in the same way we have previously done in relation to a number of other areas in England.

“We are taking a four nations approach wherever possible and are always willing to work across all levels of government to protect our local economies whilst, critically, ensuring we minimise the risk of Covid-19 spreading.

“We realise that for those with family or friends in Manchester or Salford, or for anyone who was simply planning a visit, this is disappointing. But rates of Covid in these cities are particularly high at the moment and these restrictions are intended to minimise the risk of either exacerbating the situation there or indeed allowing more virus to come back here to Scotland.

“The Scottish rules on travel to and from other parts of the Common Travel Area are kept under active review and are subject to change depending on the state of the pandemic.

“Given the importance of using up to date data, this can sometimes happen at short notice and we would ask everyone to check the latest guidance before they travel, and check what insurance or booking arrangements are in place for any travel or accommodation booked in advance.”


Tory councillor’s home targeted with firebomb in third attack

It is the third time that councillor Graeme Campbell has been targeted.

STV News
Nobody was injured at the attack on the home in Strathaven.

Police enquiries are under way after the home of a Scottish Conservative councillor was targeted in a firebomb attack.

Officers said that no-one was injured in the fire at the property, which they said they are treating as “wilful”.

Both cars were set ablaze resulting in the house also catching fire.  The cars and the property sustained significant damage as a result. 

It is the third time that Graeme Campbell, who represents Avondale and Stonehouse, has been targeted.

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In 2019, Campbell’s car and house in Strathaven were petrol bombed as he and his family slept.

Then in September last year, he was forced to scale back his work after two cars were vandalised with a corrosive substance and a house window was smashed.

Speaking at the time, Campbell indicated his belief that a local organised criminal was behind both attacks.

The third incident against Campbell took place in the early hours of Saturday.

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Detective chief inspector Martin McGhee said: “I am appealing to anyone who may have been in the area around the time of the incident.

“Did you notice anything suspicious or see anyone acting oddly. 

“I would ask any motorists or taxi-drivers with dash cam devices to check their footage as the device may have captured images which could assist our investigation.

“Any small piece of information could assist us in identifying who is responsible for this attack.”

“Enquiries to establish the circumstances of the fire, which is being treated as wilful, are ongoing.”

Scottish Conservative shadow community safety minister Russell Findlay said there must be zero tolerance towards any attacks of such nature.

“Councillor Campbell and his wife could have been killed in this disgusting and cowardly attack,” he said.

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“They are understandably devastated. These are decent, law-abiding people and it is the third time their home has been targeted.

“I will be seeking assurances from the Scottish Government, Crown Office and Police Scotland that this attack is investigated to the fullest possible extent.

“There must be zero tolerance towards any attack of this nature. Organised criminals prey on communities across Scotland. Fire is indiscriminate and even where the intent is to intimidate, it can kill.”


Stephen O’Donnell reveals tactics that kept Grealish quiet

The Scotland right-back said he was given tips by John McGinn on how to keep the England midfielder quiet.

Alan Harvey via SNS Group
Scotland gained a point after drawing 0-0 with England at Wembley on Friday.

Scotland defender Stephen O’Donnell has revealed how he put England’s Jack Grealish off his game during their Euro 2020 clash by telling the midfielder that he “loved his calves”.

O’Donnell, who played at right back during Scotland’s 0-0 draw at Wembley on Friday night, said he was given tips on how to keep Grealish quiet by the Aston Villa player’s club-mate, John McGinn.

Motherwell’s O’Donnell was given a yellow card near the end of the match for a foul on Grealish after pressing him into his own half.

Speaking on Scotland HQ, the national team podcast, O’Donnell said he was told he should compliment Grealish in order to gain an advantage over him.

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He said: “I was just getting a wee bit fed up. At that stage of the game, he’d just come on and he was nice and fresh and normally, when the fresh wingers come on, that’s you a bit tired, so (I thought), ‘I just need to hit him here, because I’m getting fed up of him trying to take the mick out of me’.

“So, I gave him a wee hit. Thankfully, John McGinn had been giving me some tips. He said, ‘if he comes on, you need to be nibbling in his ear, but don’t be critical, be complimentary’.

“So, the full time he was on, I was telling him how good looking he was, and I loved his calves, and asking him how he got his hair to look like that.”

O’Donnell added: “He (McGinn) said if you tell him… he’s hopeless or kick him really, really hard, he gets up and gets back at you, so maybe that was the advantage against Jack Grealish the other night.”


Scotland determined to make history against Croatia

The national team vowed they are not ready to let their Euro 2020 campaign finish on Tuesday.

Alan Harvey via SNS Group
Scotland determined to build on their improved display.

Scotland have vowed they are not ready to let their Euro 2020 campaign finish on Tuesday after giving themselves a platform to make history.

A goalless draw against England saw them bounce back from opening defeat by the Czech Republic and set up a likely winner-takes-all scenario against Croatia at Hampden.

Scotland were well worthy of their point and arguably created the better of the chances at Wembley.

Now they are determined to build on their improved display when they take on the World Cup runners-up in their bid to reach the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time.

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Assistant coach Steven Reid said: “To produce a performance like that, hopefully it gives the lads a little bit more belief in their own ability, because sometimes they need to believe in themselves a little bit more.

“We have that feeling, a few of us spoke about it after the game, that we are not ready to go home yet. We want to go deeper into the tournament.

“As good as the performance was against a very good England side, ultimately it means nothing if we are heading home on Wednesday.

“We want to take the positives from the two games and hopefully get a goal or two as well. If we don’t get a goal, we are heading home.”

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That cutting edge has been the major issue for Scotland after failing to find the net in two even contests.

When asked where the goals are, Reid said: “Where are they? Hopefully coming. Hopefully coming on Tuesday.

“Maybe it’s just that rub of the green at the moment. We are getting into some great areas, creating a lot of chances.

“We have just got to keep working, keep getting into those positions, and at some point hopefully we will get that goal or two that will hopefully see us into the next phase of the tournament.”

Scotland’s three centre-forwards, Lyndon Dykes, Che Adams and Kevin Nisbet, are all relative newcomers to international football with the latter two making their debuts in March and the QPR man earlier in the season.

But Reid was encouraged by the way Dykes and Adams have linked up in the tournament.

“They did a fantastic job,” the former Republic of Ireland midfielder said. “They showed some decent link-up play in the first game and again last night.

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“They caused the England back line some problems. Lyndon obviously has that physical presence that can cause any defence problems.

“It was one of those occasions when it wasn’t quite falling for us and we didn’t quite get that last connection of getting the ball into the net.

“They showed some good play but the build-up play to get it up to the front two was decent as well, playing through the thirds and the bravery to get on the ball and play under pressure.”

Scotland only made two substitutions at Wembley but Reid is confident fatigue will not play a part and reported no reaction from Kieran Tierney’s calf following his comeback from injury.

“The lads have done their recovery protocols and we are so close to the game on Tuesday that I think the good feeling will carry on,” he said.

“I don’t think there will be any tiredness or aches and pains. The lads were in good form in recovery.

“Obviously the boys that performed on Friday were outstanding but everybody has got to be ready.

“Stuart Armstrong and Kevin Nisbet came on and did well in that short period of time as well.

“Everyone is ready. We will look at Croatia and if changes are needed, then it will be done.”


Government seeks views on fireworks and pyrotechnics Bill

New legislation would seek to create an offence of carrying a pyrotechnic device in public without justification.

Annalou Tanaka / EyeEm via Getty Images
Members of the public are being asked for their views on the extension of police powers to allow a stop-and-search provision for carrying pyrotechnics.

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation ahead of proposed new legislation on fireworks and other pyrotechnics.

The consultation comes after a report from the fireworks review group recommended regulations on the sale and use of such products are strengthened.

New legislation would seek to create an offence of carrying a pyrotechnic device in public without justification, along with criminalising the sale of such devices or fireworks to those under the age of 18 and the creation of no firework zones.

Members of the public are also being asked for their views on the extension of police powers to allow a stop-and-search provision for carrying pyrotechnics.

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Community safety minister Ash Denham said: “Following the overwhelming results of the public consultation on fireworks that took place in 2019 it was clear fireworks are an important issue to the people of Scotland and that there is a strong appetite for change to improve safety.

“To help us consider the issue I appointed an independent review group of experts who concluded that a fundamental shift is needed in how fireworks are accessed and used.

“A number of the group’s recommendations required legislation and we have moved quickly to lay regulations which will see progress for communities across Scotland in time for this year’s fireworks period.

“The remaining review group recommendations require primary legislation, which is why we are publishing this consultation today.”

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She added: “I am also seeking views on how we might reduce the misuse of pyrotechnic devices such as hand-held flares and smoke devices which represent a significant safety risk to anyone who comes into contact with them.

“I am committed to making our communities safer and to taking strong action now to avoid harm, distress and injury, and I would encourage everyone with an interest to have their say.”

Chief superintendent Linda Jones said the use of pyrotechnics in particular can cause injury, adding: “There is no safe way to operate pyrotechnics unless you are properly trained – leave it to the experts at organised events.”

David Hamilton, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, said “scores” of police and members of the public have been injured by fireworks and pyrotechnics.

The consultation opens on Sunday and is due to close on August 15.


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