Teen girl ‘drove at double the speed limit through village’

A car was detected speeding at 80mph through Memsie, Aberdeenshire, on Wednesday night.

Car travelled through Memsie at 80mph. © Google Maps 2020
Car travelled through Memsie at 80mph.

A teenage girl allegedly drove at double the speed limit through an Aberdeenshire village.

Police detected a car speeding through Memsie at 80mph, which has a 40mph limit, at around 10.40pm on Wednesday night.

Officers confirmed a 17-year-old will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Local road policing sergeant Scott Deans said: “We have listened to concerns raised by the local community in Memsie, and surrounding areas about speeding vehicles, as such, we carry out additional patrols to deter or detect those who do speed.

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“Incidents like these show an utter disregarding for the safety of other road users and pedestrians.

“Road policing officers along with members of the local community policing teams, will continue to carry out both high visibility and unmarked patrols in these areas to promote road safety in the community.”

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Big event organisers not required to check vaccine status of everyone

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon provided an update on the Covid passport scheme at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

Alan Harvey via SNS Group

Organisers of large events in Scotland will not be expected to check the vaccine certification of every single person in attendance.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the move following concerns raised by Scottish football bosses that it would not be possible to check the vaccine status of every supporter attending matches.

However, the First Minister insisted that those organising large events will still be expected to carry out a “reasonable” number of checks.

Sturgeon said that at venues such as nightclubs, and at “relatively small” events, it is expected that it will be possible to check the vaccine certifications for everyone who is in attendance.

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The SNP leader made the comments as she provided an update on the Scottish Government’s Covid passport scheme, which will come into effect from 5am on Friday, October 1 – with the NHS Covid Status App available for download from September 30.

Sturgeon explained that certification will be required for any venues that meet the set criteria.

It includes that the venue is open between midnight and 5am, serves alcohol after midnight, provides live or recorded music for dancing, and has a designation space which is in use where dancing is permitted.

“A pragmatic and sensible approach will be taken to each piece of guidance,” the First Minister told MSPs.

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“In legal terms, venues will be required to take ‘all reasonable measures’ to implement the scheme – in plain terms, that boils down to using common sense.

“So, for example, a venue that has a dancefloor operating after midnight – and meets the other criteria – will have to operate the certification scheme. 

“However, they won’t need to check people coming in for a pub lunch twelve hours earlier, that clearly wouldn’t be reasonable.

“But by the evening, it would be reasonable to check customers as they arrive. That’s what we mean by common sense.

“A pragmatic approach will be encouraged, so that businesses can make sensible judgements.”

Sturgeon said that the Scottish Government is working with businesses and environmental health officers to provide specific advice and guidance.

She told the Scottish Parliament: “At a venue such as a nightclub, or at a relatively small event, we expect that it will be possible to check vaccine certificates for everyone in attendance.

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“However at larger events, organisers will be expected to carry out a reasonable number of checks.

“We are currently working with businesses and environmental health officers to provide specific advice and guidance on the level of checks that should be considered both reasonable and effective to fulfil the important public health objective of certification.”

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Drink-driver sentenced over death of two friends in crash

Logan Russell was 17 when his Vauxhall Corsa left the road and collided with a tree in Fife.

Police Scotland
Tragedy: Ethan King and Connor Aird died following the crash in 2018.

A drink-driver who caused the deaths of two teenage friends as he drove them home from a party has been ordered to be detained for 42 months.

Logan Russell was 17 when his Vauxhall Corsa left the road and collided with a tree in Fife.

Ethan King, 17, died at the scene. Connor Aird, also 17, died later in hospital. A third passenger, Daniel Stevens, suffered serious injuries and spent a week in hospital.

Russell, now 20, managed to get out of the vehicle and told witnesses who went to their aid: “Help my friends. Can you get them out the car? It’s all my fault.”

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On Tuesday, a judge told Russell that he should have known the risks of driving after consuming alcohol and with a limited amount of sleep.

Lord Boyd of Duncansby said that if he was going to drink, he should not have taken the car, and added: “What happened here should be a warning for others.

“The victims are not just those who have died, but those left to grieve.”

He told Russell, who was also banned from driving for four years, that if he had been a mature adult offender he would have jailed him for six to seven years for the offence.

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Russell, from Leslie in Fife, earlier admitted causing the deaths by careless driving while over the drink-drive limit.

He had previously faced a charge of causing the deaths by dangerous driving on the A915 Standing Stane Road at Windygates, Fife, on November 11, 2018.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that he had held a full driving licence for just 55 days when the fatal collision occurred after he lost control of the car.

‘Drinking alcohol’

Advocate depute Leanne McQuillan said that on the evening of November 10, 2018, into the early hours of the next day Russell and his passengers had attended a party at a girl’s home in Windygates.

The prosecutor said: “The accused was seen by various guests to be drinking alcohol throughout the course of the evening as were the other guests.”

She said about 8.15am the girl’s father got up and noticed four youths were still in the garden and went out and told them it was time to leave.

He was uncomfortable about them leaving in a car and went to speak to them. He thought the passengers seemed drunk, but Russell did not and he drove off.

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The collision happened about 20 minutes later as Russell headed in the direction of Kirkcaldy. Two motorists were driving behind Russell’s Corsa.

The advocate depute said: “The witnesses described the car drifting gradually to the right, crossing the centre line into the opposing carriageway.

“No one saw the brake lights illuminate. The vehicle then left the roadway, struck a wooden post and fence, entered a field and collided with a tree.”

Witnesses saw smoke and stopped, and the emergency services were alerted.

As they approached the vehicle they saw Russell walk around from the driver’s side as he made a plea to help his friends.

He told police he was the driver and gave a positive breath test. A blood sample was later analysed and found to contain 118 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit in Scotland is 50 milligrams of alcohol.

‘He will live with it for the rest of his life’

Mr King was found to have died after sustaining significant head trauma. Mr Aird died on November 16 as a result of chest and head injuries.

Mr Stevens suffered fractured bones but made a full recovery, although suffers occasional pain in a leg. The court heard he remembers nothing of the crash or the party. 

Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson, for Russell, said: “He made a clear error to drive that morning – a dreadful error of judgement – and he understands that.

“There was a lapse in concentration, as he accepts, which led to this tragic accident.

“He does accept absolutely that he is going to be sent into custody today and he hopes that brings some solace to the families because he is deeply remorseful about what has happened.

“He will live with it for the rest of his life.”


Prosecutors order watchdog to probe death of woman hit by police van

Margaret McCarron, 58, died after being struck by a police van in Motherwell.

Police Scotland
Named: Margaret McCarron was struck by a van.

Scotland’s prosecution service has instructed a police watchdog to investigate the death of a pedestrian who died after being hit by a marked police van.

Margaret McCarron, previously Boland, 58, from Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, was struck on Merry Street in her home town on Sunday evening.

She was taken to University Hospital Wishaw following the incident at around 8.20pm, but pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Police Scotland said the marked Ford Transit van was on routine duties at the time and did not have either blue lights or sirens on.

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Neither of the officers in the van were injured.

Police Scotland said the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) has been instructed by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to investigate the death.

The force had referred the incident to Pirc.

Police Scotland’s Road Policing Unit is investigating the incident and appealing for witnesses.

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Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting incident 3309 of September 19.


Military personnel will deploy to support Scottish Ambulance Service

A request for military assistance was approved by the UK Government.

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The Ministry of Defence will provide 114 people to augment ambulance drivers.

Hundreds of military personnel will be deployed to support the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The UK Government approved the support through the Military Assistance to the Civil Authority (MACA) process.

It comes after a request from the Scotland Office, working with the Scottish Government, to tackle long response times, with the ambulance service under severe pressure due to the pandemic.

Last week at Holyrood, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that consideration was being given to asking for targeted military assistance to help with “short-term pressure points”.

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It has now been confirmed that from Saturday, the Ministry of Defence will provide 114 people to augment ambulance drivers.

This will include drivers and support staff, who will provide resilience to the Scottish Ambulance Service by carrying out non-emergency driving work, with each being paired with a clinical professional.

A further 111 personnel will operate Mobile Testing Units, which the military previously supported in 2020.

They will be utilised to help identify infections and break chains of transmission, with their work beginning on Wednesday, September 29.

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Brigadier Ben Wrench, commander of Joint Military Command Scotland said: “The Armed Forces in Scotland continue to support the Scottish Government’s response to the pandemic.

“We are working closely with the Scottish Government and Scottish Ambulance Service, following their requests for assistance with drivers and Mobile Testing Units.”

UK defence secretary Ben Wallace praised the lifesaving service being provided by members of the Armed forces.

“Our Armed Forces are once again stepping up, demonstrating their versatility as we support the Covid-19 response across the UK,” he said.

“We are proud to work alongside the dedicated men and women at the Scottish Ambulance Service as they continue to provide a lifesaving service to the people of Scotland.

“Our commitment to provide rapid support to communities and civil authorities is being delivered alongside the deployment of thousands of personnel on operations around the world.”

Scottish secretary Alister Jack said that the dedication and professionalism of those being deployed will be “invaluable”.

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“Our fantastic British Armed Forces have played a key role in the fight against Covid-19 across the UK and it is admirable to see them once supporting crucial public services in Scotland in times of need,” he said.

“The dedication and professionalism of the 225 personnel being deployed will be invaluable for the Scottish Ambulance Service and Covid Mobile Testing Units. 

“We are grateful for all their efforts to keep us safe. As we have continued to see throughout the pandemic, the strength of the union and support offered by the UK Government has never been more important.”

On Tuesday, the Scottish Government announced that an additional £20m of funding will be invested in the Scottish Ambulance Service to help improve response times.

Scottish health secretary had earlier indicated that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will be brought in to support the ambulance service.


Dementia in former footballers ‘undoubtedly an industrial injury’

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton is backing the campaign, and has urged the Scottish Government to show ‘leadership’ on the issue.

SNS via SNS Group
Denis Law: Diagnosed as suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Cases of dementia in former footballers should “undoubtedly, indisputably” be classed as an industrial injury, the Scottish Government has been told.

Labour MSP Michael Marra made the plea as he called on ministers to honour the footballing “heroes who suffer for having entertained us”.

Just a month after former Scotland and Manchester United player Denis Law revealed he has been diagnosed as suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, Holyrood debated the links between football and conditions such as these for the first time.

It comes as the Injury Time campaign is working to see dementia in former players recognised as an industrial injury.

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It also wants increased research into the issue, and for a working group to be set up to consider brain injury and dementia, including the impact of this on the grassroots game.

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton is backing the campaign, and has urged the Scottish Government to show “leadership” on the issue.

Meanwhile, when the Scottish Government takes responsibility for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits, Marra demanded that ministers must “classify dementia in former footballers an industrial injury”.

Speaking in Holyrood, he said: “This is not – we must be clear – a debate about concussion. The medical condition here comes from repeated brain trauma from the repeated heading of a football on the pitch and in training.

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“The striker Chris Sutton – who lost his beloved footballer father to dementia – estimates his own repetitive trauma amounting to 70,000 times heading the ball across his career.

“Chris has backed this campaign and is calling on Scotland to show leadership.”

Research has already shown that former footballers have higher dementia rates than the general population.

Researchers at Glasgow University assessed the medical records of almost 7,700 men who played professional football in Scotland between 1900 and 1976 – finding that they were approximately three-and-a-half times more likely to die from neurodegenerative disease than the general population.

The study, carried out for the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association in 2019, discovered that there was a five-fold increase in Alzheimer’s disease among the former players.

Marra highlighted the deaths from dementia of former Celtic captain Billy McNeill, and the former Dundee United player Frank Kopel – whose wife Amanda led a successful campaign to extend free personal care in the wake of his dementia diagnosis.

But the Labour MSP added that while some famous players had spoken publicly about their condition, many more were suffering.

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Marra said: “Many families of household names choose to preserve their privacy, to maintain their public dignity when dementia has stripped them of so much.

“And then there are those whose names would not command headlines but who played, entertained, loved the game and who now suffer.”

He added: “The research undertaken by Dr Willie Stewart of the University of Glasgow is clear – a professional goalkeeper has the same chance of developing dementia as any citizen, a striker is 3.5 times more likely to suffer and a defender five times more likely.”

Public health and sport minister Maree Todd said when the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit transfers to Scottish control, ministers would consider “how best to meet people’s needs”.

She described the issue of brain injuries among former sportsmen and women as being both “important” and “complicated”.

Todd said ministers were “committed to increasing our knowledge of the possible links between neuro degenerative disease, including dementia, and sports related injury”.

Calls for a working group to be set up will be responded to in “due course”, she added.

Todd continued: “Unfortunately the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is still currently delivered by the UK Government, and I understand that they do not currently consider dementia as an industrial injury.

“It will be delivered by the Scottish Government in the future. And when it is delivered by the Scottish Government, that will be after a full public consultation on how best to meet people’s needs.”


Scotland records 18 Covid deaths and 2870 new cases overnight

The daily test positivity rate is 11.7%, up from 10.8% the previous day.

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Scotland has recorded 18 coronavirus-linked deaths.

Scotland has recorded 18 coronavirus-linked deaths and 2870 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to the latest data.

Figures published by the Scottish Government indicate the death toll under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 8396.

The daily test positivity rate is 11.7%, up from 10.8% the previous day.

The Scottish Government included a warning on the figures for the numbers of new cases, new tests and daily test positivity rate, stating: “Please note that NHS Borders Lab have not submitted lab files since 1pm on Monday 20 September, investigation into this issue is ongoing.”

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There were 1,07 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19, up 19 on the previous day, with 94 in intensive care, down three.

A total of 4,160,835 people have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination and 3,813,547 have received their second dose.


Concern grows for missing woman, 96, with dementia

Concern is growing over the welfare of 96-year-old Lydia Burnett.

Police Scotland
Missing: Lydia was last seen at around 2.30pm.

A major search is underway for a missing 96-year-old woman with dementia.

Concern is growing over the welfare of Lydia Burnett from Cowal in Argyll and Bute who was last seen at her home just north of Otter Ferry at around 2.30pm on Tuesday.

Police are now appealing for help in tracing her.

She is described as being around 5ft3 with a medium build with fair hair.

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She was last seen wearing a brown faun coloured jumper, a knitted waistcoat with a Fair Isle multi-coloured pattern on the front and green on the back, khaki coloured cord trousers and blue shoes. 

Inspector Allan Kirk said: “Lydia is physically fit and often goes for short walks but it is out of character for her to be away for this length of time, and we are growing increasingly concerned about her. 

“I am appealing to anyone who was in the Otter Ferry area earlier, and may have seen Lydia walking, to please get in touch. 

“I would also urge people living locally to check any sheds or outbuildings in case she has sought shelter there. 

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“Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland through 101.”


Man who groped dental nurse put on sex offenders register

The 49-year-old groped the trainee nurse at a dental practice in Glasgow.

Mark Scates via SNS Group
Sheriff Court: Man avoids jail over sexual assault.

A married grandfather who groped a dental nurse during a tooth extraction has been put on the sex offenders register.

Gary Campbell, who has avoided jail time over the incident, grabbed the 22-year-old woman’s buttocks at the practice in the south side of Glasgow on April 1 this year.

The 49-year-old father of two also held the trainee nurse by the top and blew kisses at her.

Campbell was found guilty of sexual assault at Glasgow Sheriff Court last month.

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He was put under supervision and the sex offenders register for nine months at his sentencing on Tuesday.

Sheriff Iain McMillan said: “You were convicted of a serious offence from the clear evidence of the two witnesses.

“You take the position you took at trial and deny everything which is a stark contrast and it’s quite clear what the position is.

“I take into account your age, you have no previous convictions and have a good work ethic.

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“Accordingly, I will be more lenient than I would have been with this matter.

“If you don’t carry out this sentence, you will be brought back before me and the alternative will be imprisonment.”

The court heard from the victim who said that Campbell was a new patient.

He told the technician and the victim that he had been experiencing toothache after eating easter eggs.

Campbell lay down on the dental chair for the tooth extraction and was re-assured by the victim.

She said: “Comments were being made and I always say my hands are free if you want to hold on.

“This is due to people being anxious or scared of the dentist.”

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The woman stated she stood beside Campbell while holding the aspirator suction device as the procedure took place.

Prosecutor Gemma Barclay asked what happened next.

She replied: “The patient reached round and grabbed my bum.

“I saw the arm move but I didn’t expect it to go where it was going to go.”

Miss Barclay asked if it was “forceful” and the witness stated: “It was enough to feel through my scrubs and I had a pair of leggings on.

“He was pulling on my scruff.”

The woman was asked how she felt about being grabbed.

She replied: “I was in shock, I didn’t say anything, it was the technician that spoke up.”

The woman stated the procedure continued but Campbell then grabbed her on the top.

After the procedure, the woman stated Campbell made several comments towards her.

She told the court: “He said that I was a professional hand holder, you are fantastic.

“He mentioned that he would want me on the room the next time he came back.

“He wanted me to be there and he blew kisses on his way out the door.”

The woman stated that Campbell did not have the money to pay for the treatment at the time.

She added that the technician waved any fee and asked him to leave.

Stephen Bentley, defending, told the sentencing that Campbell, of the city’s Govan, continues to deny wrongdoing.


Food could disappear from shops over CO2 shortage ‘within days’

CO2 is injected into the packaging of perishable foods such as meat and salads to inhibit the growth of bacteria.

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The gas is used in food packaging and as a method of stunning animals prior to slaughter.

Shoppers will start noticing shortages within days as a result of the crisis in carbon dioxide (CO2) supply, a food industry chief has warned.

The gas is used in food packaging and as a method of stunning animals prior to slaughter but supplies are running low.

Spiralling energy costs have led to the suspension of operations at fertiliser plants – which produce CO2 as a by-product – having a knock-on effect on the food industry.

CO2 is injected into the packaging of perishable foods such as meat and salads to inhibit the growth of bacteria. It typically prolongs the shelf life of products such as beef steak by around five days.

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The halt to CO2 production comes as supply chains are already grappling with a shortage of HGV delivery drivers, heaping yet more pressure on UK supermarkets’ “just in time” model.

Alongside warnings of gaps on supermarket shelves if the issue is not resolved promptly, the result will be widescale food waste as retailers are forced to discard otherwise perfectly good products.

Ian Wright, the chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, said consumers could start noticing shortages in poultry, pork and bakery products within days.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the Government needed to support fertiliser producers, help food producers to look for alternatives to CO2 and address labour shortages in the industry.

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“We have been saying for several weeks now that the just-in-time system which underpins both our supermarkets and our hospitality industry is under the most strain it has ever been in the 40 years it has been there,” he told Today.

“It is a real crisis.”

He said that poultry production will begin to erode very seriously by the end of this week, with the same being true of pig production.

The production of bakery goods and meat packaging is “probably only about a week behind”.

“We probably have about 10 days before this gets to the point where consumers, shoppers and diners notice that those products are not available,” he said.

Richard Griffiths, chief executive of the British Poultry Council, told the BBC: “We grow and slaughter around 20 million birds a week, the vast majority of those are chicken. We also trade, so total consumption in this country is somewhere around 30 to 35 million birds a week.

“It will be a real challenge if there is a shortage of CO2 to the point that slaughterhouses cannot process the birds. That is really the worst case scenario, which is why we are so hopeful that the Government can step in here.”

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Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said he has held talks with fertiliser firm CF Industries, which suspended operations at two UK sites because of the high cost of energy, leading to CO2 supply issues.

“Time is of the essence, and that’s why I spoke to the CEO, speaking to him twice in the last two days, and we’re hopeful that we can get something sorted today and get the production up and running in the next few days,” he told Today.

In a sign that taxpayers’ money could be used, Kwarteng said “it may come at some cost, we’re still hammering out details, we’re still looking at a plan”.

The warnings of shortages are the latest from the food industry.

Ranjit Singh Boparan, the owner of Bernard Matthews and 2 Sisters Food Group, has warned a shortage of both carbon dioxide and workers could mean Christmas dinners will be “cancelled”.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson said cancelling Christmas is “very much not the plan” despite prospects of a turkey shortage and a spike in coronavirus cases during the festive season.


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