Man charged with attempted murder after ‘stabbing’ in flat

A man and a woman had to be taken to hospital following an incident in Troon on Saturday.

Police: Officers have charged a man. SNS
Police: Officers have charged a man.

A man has been charged with attempted murder following an alleged stabbing in South Ayrshire.

Police were called to reports of an assault within a flat in North Shore Road, Troon, at around 8.35pm on Saturday.

A 56-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman were taken to University Hospital Ayr for treatment.

On Wednesday, police confirmed an arrest had been made.

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A force spokesperson said: “Police Scotland can confirm that a 51-year-old man has been arrested and charged in relation to the attempted murder incident in North Shore Road in Troon on Saturday, August 8.

“He is due to appear at Ayr Sheriff Court on Thursday.”


UK Government to top-up wages for another six months

A new job support scheme will see the Treasury help employers cover the full-time wages of people working 'viable' jobs.

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A new jobs support scheme will see the Treasury top up the wages of people in “viable” jobs working at least a third of their normal hours.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the initiative, which replaces the furlough scheme, will be in effect for six months starting in November.

He told the House of Commons it is “fundamentally wrong” to hold people in jobs that only exist inside the furlough system.

The new jobs support scheme will see the UK Government along with employers pay up to two-thirds of the wages of people in work.

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The Treasury will provide similar support for the self-employed, the Chancellor added.

He also announced the VAT cut to 5% for businesses in tourism and hospitality will be extended until the end of March next year in targeted support for the sectors.

In addition, a new “pay as you grow” scheme will allow firms who have taken out emergency “bounce back” coronavirus loans from the government to repay them over a period of up to 10 years.

For the new jobs support scheme, the level of government grant will be calculated based on the worker’s usual salary – but it will be capped at £697.92 per month.

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People working at least a third of their usual hours will be paid for that work as normal.

Then, the state and employers will increase those wages to cover two-thirds of the pay they have lost by working reduced hours, meaning they would receive at least 77% of their usual pay.

The government will cover 22%, or up to £697.92 a month, and the employer will have to pay the remaining 55% (including the third they have already covered).

The scheme will cost the Treasury an estimated £300m a month for every million workers who take up the scheme.

Sunak said it would allow businesses to keep employees in a job on shorter hours.

It will apply to small and medium-sized firms, but larger firms will only be eligible if they have seen a fall in turnover during the crisis.

Businesses will not be able to issue redundancy notices to employees while taking part in the jobs support scheme and there will be restrictions on capital distributions to shareholders.

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Sunak told MPs: “The government will directly support the wages of people in work, giving businesses who face depressed demand the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours rather than making them redundant.”

The Chancellor said this latest economic intervention is built on “three principles”.

Sunak continued: “First, it will support viable jobs. To make sure of that employees must work at least a third of their normal hours and be paid for that work as normal by their employer.

“The government, together with employers, will then increase those people’s wages covering two-thirds of the pay they have lost by reducing their working hours, and the employee will keep their job.

“Second, we will target support at firms who need it the most. All small and medium-sized businesses are eligible but larger businesses only when their turnover has fallen through the crisis.

“Third, it will be open to employers across the United Kingdom, even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme.

“The scheme will run for six months starting in November and employers retaining furloughed staff on shorter hours can claim both the jobs support scheme and the jobs retention bonus.”

Sunak further announced the extension of the grant scheme for self-employed people.

An initial taxable grant will be provided to those who are currently eligible for grant and are continuing to actively trade but face reduced demand due to coronavirus.

A lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year, worth 20% of average monthly profits – down from 80% previously – up to a total of £1875.

An additional second grant, which will be kept under review, could be available for the self-employed to cover the period from next February to April.

Explaining the need to replace furlough, the Chancellor said “we can’t save every business” and “we can’t save every job”.

He went on: “Our economy is now likely to undergo a more permanent adjustment.

“The sources of our economic growth and the kinds of jobs we create will adapt and evolve to the new normal and our plan needs to adapt and evolve in response.

“Above all, we need to face up to the trade-offs and hard choices coronavirus presents and there has been no harder choice than to end the furlough scheme.

“The furlough was the right policy at the time we introduced it – it provided immediate short-term protection for millions of jobs through a period of acute crisis.

“But as the economy re-opens it is fundamentally wrong to hold people in jobs that only exist inside the furlough.”

Two deaths as Scotland records 465 new coronavirus cases

The latest Covid figures were confirmed at First Minister's Questions.

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Scotland has recorded another 465 cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed there have been two deaths of people who have tested positive.

The total number of fatalities among those who have had a positive test now stands at 2510.

The new cases represent a positivity rate of 7.9% among those who were tested.

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Of the cases, 219 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area – where a significant cluster is associated with student accommodation at Glasgow University.

There were 66 cases recorded in Lanarkshire and 73 in Lothian. The remaining 107 cases are spread across nine other health boards.

Sturgeon said the latest figures showed why the Scottish Government had announced further “tough measures” aimed at curbing coronavirus.

Speaking about the restrictions, which include a countrywide ban on household gatherings, Sturgeon said: “With some limited exceptions none of us should be visiting each others homes at the moment.”

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A 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants will take effect from Friday and the First Minister appealed to people to “limit visits to and social interactions in pubs and restaurants as much as possible”.

She said: “These measures are tough, I think we all know that, but they are necessary if we are to keep schools open, resume more non-Covid NHS services, keep care homes safe and protect jobs.

“And if we don’t act now the danger is the virus will continue to spread and even more severe or longer lasting restrictions will be required later.

“But if we can start to reduce the number of new cases over the next few weeks we will be better placed for the winter ahead.”

Pensioner’s killers have their prison sentences cut

Two teenagers and a man received life sentences for killing 67-year-old Alasdair Forsyth last year.

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Keirin McMillan and Levi Brown, as well as Aron McMillan, received life sentences.

Two teenagers and a man who murdered a pensioner in his own home in Edinburgh have had their jail terms cut.

Keirin McMillan, 20, and Levi Brown, 17, received life sentences alongside Aron McMillan, 17, for killing 67-year-old Alasdair Forsyth last year.

Keirin was ordered to serve at least 18 years in jail after the vicious assault in which the victim suffered a horrific catalogue of injuries. He was 19 at the time of the attack.

Aron McMillan was 16 when he took part in the attack. He was told he would serve a minimum of 17 years and three months.

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Brown was ordered to serve at least 17 years for the killing. He was just 15 when he took part in the murder and robbery of Mr Forsyth at the flat where he lived alone.

Last week judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal reduced the punishment parts of the life sentences given to the trio.

Keirin will now serve 16 years before he will be able to apply for parole. Levi and Aron will both serve 13 years before they can do so.

Lord Uist previously told the trio at the High Court in Edinburgh: “Mr Forsyth suffered the most terrible injuries. He sustained a total of 80 injuries and died of blunt force chest trauma.

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“It is a scandal in a supposedly civilised society that a man should meet his death in this manner.

“The attack on Mr Forsyth was a planned robbery in which each of you took a tool to be used as a weapon, namely a screwdriver, a wrench and a hammer, and battered him to death in his home.”

The McMillan brothers and Hunter had earlier denied murdering Mr Forsyth at his home in Clearburn Road, in the city’s Prestonfield area on February 21, 2019.

All three were found guilty of the crime following a trial.

After he was detained Aron McMillan made a phone call from a youth jail in which he was recorded as saying that the attack on Mr Forsyth was for money. He added: “We were all just out our nut.”

The trio attacked their victim with a screwdriver, hammer, wrench, his walking stick and picture frames and kicked and stamped on him. The victim sustained extensive rib fractures amongst an array of injuries.

The trio’s legal teams went to the Court of Criminal Appeal last week. A court official confirmed the outcome of the appeals on Thursday.


‘Twisted monster tried to frame me for friend’s death’

Ellie Plenderleith, 20, hopes Kanad Basi will now be locked up after he admitted killing 16-year-old Jack Frame in a car crash.

Victims: Ellie Plenderleith was seriously injured in the crash that killed Jack Frame.

A passenger in a fatal car crash has branded the killer driver a ‘twisted monster’ for trying to ‘frame her’.

Ellie Plenderleith, 20, hopes Kanad Basi will now be locked up after he admitted killing 16-year-old Jack Frame in the smash.

Basi, 22, who was almost twice the drink-drive limit and had taken cocaine and ecstasy, drove into a bend at speed, lost control of his BMW and crashed into a tree.

Front-seat passenger Jack suffered catastrophic head injuries and died at the scene.

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In the immediate aftermath, Basi climbed into the back of the car and pushed an unconscious Ms Plenderleith into the front. She was found with her legs in the rear seating area and her head facing down into the driver’s footwell.

Basi called 999 from third passenger Aiden O’Donnell’s phone and initially admitted he was driving, but later told police he “couldn’t remember” if he was behind the wheel.

On Tuesday at the High Court in Glasgow, Basi pleaded guilty to killing Jack by dangerous driving.

Ms Plenderleith said: “Kanad moving me from the back seat to the driver seat while I was unconscious shows you what kind of person he is.

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“What made things worse was that because he wasn’t charged for a long time, he was able to spread his own false version of events round our community to further the notion that he was a victim.

“This meant people believed him and they blamed me for the accident.

“I received loads of abuse – either in person or in texts – and it made it difficult for me to attend Jack’s funeral with other young people believing Kanad.

“However, Jack and Aiden’s family I think always suspected there was something wrong with Kanad’s version of events and thankfully they have always been very supportive and kind to me from the beginning.”

The crash happened on New Trows Road in Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, on February 10 last year after the foursome left a party.

None of the passengers were wearing a seat belt. Basi, who was wearing one, suffered a broken wrist. His DNA and blood were found on the driver’s airbag.

Apprentice joiner Mr O’Donnell, then 18, suffered a fractured skull, four facial fractures, two broken legs and a number of fractures to his left arm. He had to undergo surgery and learn to walk again. He has been unable to work since the accident.

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Ms Plenderleith, who was 19, had to have her right pinky finger amputated. She also suffered a broken right upper arm, lacerations to her liver, a punctured lung, broken ribs and a fractured chest bone.

It took six months for her to physically recover from her injuries; however she said she still suffers daily pain and emotional trauma.

In a statement released through law firm Digby Brown, Ms Plenderleith added: “The whole thing took a massive toll. I lived in constant anxiety and I have physical injuries that will now stay with me for the rest of my life.

“It makes me sick to think Kanad was my friend before the crash.

“I trusted him – I don’t know how he could do something so horrendous to take time and plan things and spread lies.

“I am glad people now know the truth of what happened and that twisted toxic monster will hopefully be locked up where he belongs but we should not have had to wait as long as we did for justice.”

Basi, of Pollokshields, Glasgow, was remanded in custody and will be sentenced next month.


Coldest September night since 1997 recorded in Scotland

Altnaharra in the Highlands recorded an overnight temperature of -5C, the lowest since spring this year.

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Temperature: Mercury dips to -5C in the Highlands.

Scotland has recorded its coldest night in September since 1997.

Altnaharra in the Highlands recorded an overnight temperature of -5C, the lowest recorded since spring this year. 

The previous record was recorded in Boultenstone, Aberdeenshire in September 1997.

STV meteorologist Sean Batty said many parts of the country have been experiencing early morning frosts as temperatures fall close to freezing. 

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He said: “Autumn officially started on Tuesday morning and there’s definitely been a real autumn chill in the air recently. You might have noticed your leftover summer flowers are probably not looking at their best anymore, my gladioli are definitely not the happiest of blooms after the last few nights.

“The autumn equinox on Tuesday marks the point where we get roughly 12 hours of daylight to 12 hours of darkness with the nights beginning stretching out. This is also the point in the year where we start to lose daylight more rapidly with a loss of four and half minutes of daylight per day in Edinburgh and five and a half minute in Shetland. At this time of year we can get some big, what we call diurnal swings, in our temperatures. This just means the days can still be quite warm but then it can also be cold and frosty at night.

“In the last few days we’ve been hitting 17-18C in the east of Scotland, but at the same time been experiencing overnight frosts with temperatures falling close to freezing. Last night was our coldest night since spring with the mercury falling to -5C in Altnaharra in the north Highlands. 

“Now this might not sound overly low, but in actual fact is the lowest temperature we’ve recorded in September since 1997, when -5C was recorded at Boultenstone in Aberdeenshire.”

Altnaharra recorded the lowest temperature in September since 1997.
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He added: “The -5C recorded last night is a new September record for Altnaharra, but not quite a Scottish record, although not a million miles away. The record is -6.7C recorded at Dalwhinnie in 1942.

“Even further south we had a touch of frost with temperatures falling to 0.8C at Bishopton in Renfrewshire. The records at Bishopton go back 20 years and last night’s low was not far off the record here of 0.2C. The lowest September values recorded around Glasgow are -4C in Abbotsinch and -1.5C in Springburn, both in 1974.

“There will still be chilly nights ahead, with Saturday night looking the coldest with a widespread frost developing in western and southern areas. After that milder air starts to move north into next week and that means the overnight temperatures will recover.”


Students staying in halls not allowed inside parents’ homes

Students living in flats and halls can't visit their parents indoors as they are considered separate households.

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Students told they can't go back to their parents' homes for a visit.

Students currently living in university accommodation have been told they can’t go home to visit their parents indoors.

National clinical director Jason Leitch clarified tightened restrictions on household mixing that came into effect across Scotland this week.

He said on social media: “Was asked last night whether students in halls and flats can go back to parents’ homes. To clarify, they are a separate household.

“There are exceptions, eg caring responsibilities, but the law is clear: they can’t meet indoors with another household – even mum and dad. Sorry.”

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The clarification comes as more than 1000 students across Scotland are self-isolating in halls of residence following a number of coronavirus outbreaks – in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and St. Andrews.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said more walk-in testing centres would be opened near universities in the coming days.

She said there was no issue with testing capacity on campuses, but she warned there was a danger that routine testing of students may lead to people believing they can ignore the rules and restrictions.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard questioned the First Minister on the spike in cases linked to universities, blaming a “failure” by the Scottish Government.

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Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson said figures in the last few days “show that we can’t wait over a month to get the centres up and running, we need them now”.

Responding at First Minister’s Questions, Sturgeon said: “There is never any complacency for me in saying these things but there is no issue at the moment of students who are symptomatic getting tested and getting tested quickly and getting those results.”

Walk-in centres are already open in Glasgow and St Andrews.

Bookings are also opening on Thursday and Friday for sites in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Sturgeon said, with centres also planned for Dundee, Stirling and a second in Glasgow.

At the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday, students were also given a strong warning against house parties.

Scotland has recorded another 465 cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours and there have been two further deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19.

The total number of fatalities among those who have had a positive test now stands at 2510.

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The new cases represent a positivity rate of 7.9% among those who were tested.

Man left friend in pool of blood after row over cyclists

Jay Fraser, 26, stabbed Jordan Kerr, 27, outside a flat in Glasgow’s Springburn last December.

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Glasgow: Jay Fraser was jailed for attacking his friend in the city.

A man who stabbed a friend and left him lying unconscious in the street after a row over cyclists has been jailed for 23 months.

Jay Fraser, 26, turned on Jordan Kerr, 27, outside a flat in Glasgow’s Springburn last December.

The pair had earlier argued because Fraser claimed Mr Kerr had tried to push two cyclists off their bikes.

Fraser then attacked Mr Kerr with the blade, leaving him with “significant facial disfigurement”.

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At Glasgow Sheriff Court on Thursday, Fraser pleaded guilty under provocation to the assault to Mr Kerr’s severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

Sheriff Sean Murphy QC told Fraser: “These are serious matters and are particularly serious given your record.

“You have significant previous convictions for violence.”

Fraser was also put on supervision for nine months following his release from prison.

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The court heard Fraser and Mr Kerr initially got into an argument that day.

Prosecutor Mark Allan said: “The accused began to punch and kick Mr Kerr on the head and body.

“Thereafter, he struck him on the head with a knife before making off.”

The court was told Mr Kerr lay unconscious in a pool of blood for four hours before being seen at 5.30am by a member of the public who dialled 999.

Mr Kerr suffered a nine-inch wound to his cheek and nerve damage.

Mr Allan added “As a result of this attack, Mr Kerr will be left with significant facial damage.”

The court heard Fraser went on to assault taxi driver Parvez Chaudhry, 66, a month later after refusing to pay him.

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Fraser punched Mr Chaudhry five times on the head, before fleeing the vehicle.

Fraser was finally arrested after punching shopkeeper Naeem Araf, 39, after he refused to give him Buckfast on ‘tick’ in February this year.

Fraser pleaded guilty to the two further assaults and stealing a quantity of sweets from the shop.

Lawyer Frank Moore, defending, said: “Mr Kerr tried to push two cyclists who were passing by.

“They then argued and Mr Kerr produced a knife and tried to stab Mr Fraser. But Mr Fraser took it off him and used the knife to assault Mr Kerr.”


More than 1000 students across Scotland self-isolating

At the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday, students were given a strong warning against house parties.

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University of Glasgow: More than 600 students are self-isolating following two 'significant clusters'.

More than 1000 students across Scotland are self-isolating in halls of residence following a number of coronavirus outbreaks.

At least 124 students have tested positive for Covid-19 at the University of Glasgow.

More than 600 students are now in quarantine following “two significant clusters” linked to the university’s Murano Street and Cairncross residences.

It is believed the outbreak was largely caused due to social activity at the start of freshers’ week, from September 12-14.

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The university is now working with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s public health team to manage the outbreak.

Parker House in Dundee.
Abertay University: All residents at Parker House are in quarantine. GOOGLE 2020

In Tayside, the health board is investigating a single positive case of Covid-19 and a “small number” of suspected cases linked to Parker House in Dundee, a private student accommodation.

Close contacts of the positive case – a student at Abertay University – are being contacted, however as a precaution to prevent the spread of the virus, all 500 residents staying at the halls have been told to quarantine until further contact tracing has been completed.

On Monday, the University of St Andrews confirmed more than 40 people are self-isolating after four students contacted the virus after a freshers’ week party.

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These new cases brought the total at the university to seven, after three were announced last week.

St Andrew’s University: The students were asked to stay indoors. GETTY IMAGES

In response to the initial outbreak, Principal Sally Mapstone asked students to stay within their households over the weekend and urged them “not to party, not to go to bars or restaurants, and to avoid mixing with any groups outside their own households”.

A number of students at Aberdeen University have also tested positive for Covid-19.

On Tuesday, all residents of Wavell House halls of residence within Hillhead Student Village were told to self-isolate for two weeks unless advised otherwise.

Edinburgh Napier University.
Edinburgh Napier University: A number of students have tested positive for Covid-19. SNS

In addition, it emerged last week that public health officials were investigating a coronavirus cluster at university student accommodation in Edinburgh.

NHS Lothian said a number of people had tested positive at Napier University’s Bainfield accommodation in the Fountainbridge area of the capital.

The health board is also aware of a student testing positive for the virus at Queen Margaret University’s halls of residence.

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The university said it was working closely with NHS Lothian’s health protection team and was following all national guidance.

At the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday, students were given a strong warning against house parties.

National clinical director Jason Leitch said: “We need you not to have house parties, I could not be more clear.”

Life expectancy continues to stall as Scotland bottom of UK

National Records of Scotland (NRS) examined statistics between 2017 and 2019.

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Scotland: Life expectancy growth continues to stall north of the border.

Life expectancy growth continues to stall north of the border, with Scotland having the lowest figures of all UK countries according to new data.

However, the number of centenarians in the country has increased following four years of decline.

National Records of Scotland (NRS) examined statistics between 2017 and 2019 and found the average life expectancy for a woman is 81.1 years, the same as 2018’s figures.

Meanwhile, the average life expectancy for a man is 77.1 years, a slight increase from 77.

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The UK figures for life expectancy at birth are 79.4 years for males and 83.1 years for females.

Deprivation was found to have a strong effect on life expectancy.

The figures revealed that men living in the least deprived areas are likely to live 13 years longer than those in the most deprived.

Meanwhile, women in the least deprived areas are likely to live ten years longer than those in the most deprived.

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Scottish life expectancy has been increasing since the early 1980s but has been largely static since the 2012 to 2014 period.

Julie Ramsay, head of vital events statistics at NRS, said: “The rate of life expectancy growth has stalled over the last few years in Scotland and this has been broadly reflective of the picture throughout the country.

“Life expectancy varies considerably across Scotland, for example, life expectancy for both males and females is at its lowest in Glasgow City, where males are expected to live to 73.6 years and females to 78.5.

“Life expectancy for females is highest in East Renfrewshire at 84 years and male life expectancy was highest in East Dunbartonshire at 80.5 years.”

Meanwhile, the number of centenarians living in Scotland has increased.

There were 820 people aged 100 and over in 2019.

The figures show there are four times more female centenarians, with 670 women reaching the milestone compared to 150 men.

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The overall number has increased by 5% from the year before and represents the first rise in four years.

There are also an estimated 43,660 people aged 90 and over. The number of people in that age group has increased every year since 2009.

Denise Patrick, head of population and migration statistics at NRS, said: “There are many more women than men who live for over 100 years, reflecting the longer life expectancy of females.

“However, over the past decade, the number of men aged 100 and over has grown at a faster rate than females.

“Male centenarians have increased by 50% from 100 to 150 in the last ten years. In comparison, there are only 3% more female centenarians now than a decade ago, but there are still many more women aged 100 and over – 670 in 2019 compared to 650 in 2009.

“Today’s figures also show after four years of decline, we have seen a slight increase in the total number of people living for more than 100 years.

“This rise corresponds with an increase in the number of births following the end of World War One.”


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