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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Angus & The Mearns

Former Arbroath man to be extradited to face Australia rape allegations

April 30 2015

A former Arbroath man who was tracked by Interpol across the globe will be put on a flight to Australia to stand trial for a number of alleged rapes. Colin Simpson Henderson, who lived in Arbroath during the 1990s and 2000s, is accused of tricking his way into three women’s houses by pretending he wanted to rent a room. The alleged attacks took place when the 63-year-old was living in Australia in the early 1980s but he was not arrested at his home until last June. Judges at the High Court in London have opened the way for his extradition, rejecting claims he was too ill to be put on a long-haul flight. Mr Justice Kenneth Parker said Henderson lived in Australia until 1996. His cases were reopened in 1992 because of a suspected link to a triple murder and a sample of male DNA was recovered. That was later sent to London via Interpol but the investigation stalled until 2012 when there was a cold case review. The DNA sample was finally matched to Henderson, who accepted he was living near Melbourne at the time of the attacks. Challenging his extradition, barrister Emma Stuart-Smith pointed to a dangerous lung condition which could leave him dependent on oxygen. She told the judges it would be “reckless” to put him on a flight back to Australia to stand trial. Mr Justice Parker said he was confident the Australian authorities could be trusted to make special arrangements on the flight. It was in the interests of Australian prosecutors that he arrived there in good condition, he added. Ms Stuart-Smith also claimed sending him back to Australia so many years after the alleged crimes would be “oppressive”. Mr Justice Parker, sitting with Lord Justice Aikens, accepted Henderson would suffer “hardship” but Australia’s extradition request ‘fell very far short of oppression’ given the seriousness of his alleged offences, the judge ruled. Henderson, of Mayors Walk, Peterborough, is accused of 58 offences relating to the three attacks, including rape, assault and aggravated burglary.

Angus & The Mearns

Forfar nurse struck off over drug mix charges

August 12 2013

A nurse who worked at a care home in Forfar has been struck off after being found mixing medicines that should have been administered separately. Victoria Henderson, who worked at Lochbank Manor Care Home in Graham Crescent, was found guilty of five charges at a hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council in Edinburgh. It was found that on three occasions on August 27 2011 she gave a resident two doses of drugs at the same time through a tube instead of administering each independently and flushing in between. The panel found Ms Henderson guilty of falsifying the patient’s MAR (medication administration record) chart on that date and that, on numerous occasions between May 21 and September 6 in 2011, she did not carry the nurse’s phone with her at all times. Additional charges that she took additional breaks to which she was not entitled on seven occasions in 2011 and failed to update care plans for four patients at the end of her shift between June 1 2011 and July 21 2011 were not proved. The misconduct came to light when a new nurse started working at the home on August 27 2011 and was asked to shadow Ms Henderson as part of her induction week. Giving evidence, the nurse said during the morning, lunch and tea time drug rounds she observed Ms Henderson mixing and administering medicines that were meant to be given independently. She claimed Ms Henderson told her: “It’s easy to pick up bad habits but we all end up having them. “It just saves time but if you’re ever seen doing this by senior members of staff, don’t mention that I showed you this or that you’d seen me do it.” According to the resident’s MAR chart, they were meant to be given perindopril at 7.30pm. The nurse claimed Ms Henderson administered this drug at 5.30pm but stated on the MAR chart it was given at the correct time. The nurse said Ms Henderson explained: “The perindopril gets administered early. It’s the practice at the home because it gets really busy in the evening at handover time. “Because no other residents are given medications at 7.30pm it’s easy to forget to give it to her. Just sign the MAR sheet as if it was given to her at 7.30pm.” The nurse reported these incidents to an operations director at RDS Healthcare Ltd, which runs Lochbank Manor, on August 30. Ms Henderson’s employment at the home, which provides care to 40 elderly residents, was terminated by RDS on September 6 2011. Defending her actions, Ms Henderson told the panel she had referred to the British National Formulary to check what medicines could be taken together. She claimed she had performed a flush before and after giving the medicine to the resident and a pharmacist had confirmed the drugs given to the resident could be combined. Ms Henderson said her quotes had been taken out of context and also claimed the nurse who gave evidence against her had administered the tea time round of drugs. The panel took the view the nurse who started employment at the home in August 2011 was a credible witness, due to her consistent evidence and preferred her version of events. The written judgement stated: “The panel considered Ms Henderson’s misconduct and the nature of her dishonesty to be a serious departure from professional standards. “It noted her misconduct involved the deliberate concealment of poor practice. Further, the panel found Ms Henderson did not accept personal responsibility and attempted to shift the blame on to others. “The panel has considered Ms Henderson’s misconduct is fundamentally incompatible with her remaining on the Nursing and Midwifery Council Register. “The panel therefore decided the only appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case is a striking-off order.”

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km


Dundee beautician’s drugs hoard could have been worth £62,000 on streets

October 3 2014

A Dundee beautician-turned-drug dealer was caught with nearly 900 grams of high-purity amphetamine. The sheriff court heard Cally Henderson, who works at a city centre beauty salon, was also found with enough bulking agent to make the drug up to 6,294 grams of street-strength powder with a value of £62,940. The court heard police had been watching Henderson, 33, of Sandeman Street, for weeks before they searched her home. Depute fiscal Vicky Bell said: “Officers rang the doorbell and were let in to the house by the accused. “They were led into the kitchen where she voluntarily said, ‘that’s it there’ and pointed to a carrier bag. “The bag was seized and within it was a plastic and duct tape wrap containing 888.1 grams of amphetamine, which was found to be of 14% purity when tested.” Henderson admitted that, between January 3 and 16, she was concerned in the supply of amphetamine. She was given bail but warned by Sheriff Elizabeth Munro she could face jail. Henderson’s sentence was deferred to October 27.

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.


Movie charts the life of Hamish Henderson – a cultural colossus

June 3 2016

Ahead of its screening in Courier Country cinemas, Michael Alexander speaks to Robbie Fraser, the director of Hamish - a movie which charts the life of Perthshire-born war hero, poet and songwriter Hamish Henderson Like many people in Scotland, film-maker Robbie Fraser had dim memories of who Perthshire-born Scottish cultural colossus Hamish Henderson was. But he had never fully engaged with his material or found out anything about the man himself. That all changed, however, when he was working on a documentary in Mali about a gold miner with a Scottish wife from Fife. At a time when music was banned by Islamic terrorists, Robbie’s sister sent him a copy of Henderson’s famed Scottish ballad ‘Freedom Come All Ye’ – a folk song that some say should be Scotland’s real national anthem. “I listened to it over and over again,” Robbie, 43, tells The Courier. “It’s a real anti-imperial anthem. It’s the opposite of Scotland the Brave. I think it’s even more relevant in the world we live in today. To paraphrase another Scottish legend, ‘We are all Jock Tamson’s bairns’.” Following its sold-out premiere at the 2016 Glasgow Film Festival, Hamish, Robbie’s much-anticipated documentary about Hamish Henderson, will tour cinemas across Scotland from June 3. Blairgowrie-born Henderson (1919-2002) was a hugely influential part of Scotland’s cultural scene. Hamish pays tribute to the many contrary forces and diverse facets of Henderson’s life as a poet, soldier, intellectual, activist, songwriter and leading force of the revival of Scottish folk music. From an English orphanage and the draughty corridors of Cambridge to overseeing the capitulation of the Italian army in the Second World War, this is Henderson’s life told by those who knew him best and loved him most. “The way it’s been done is a wee bit unusual in that there’s no voice-over, “explains Robbie. “It’s been a privilege to work on the film because he’s a wee bit lost right now, faded from view. But he needs to be re-cemented into the Scottish imagination as a poet, a maker and an inspirer of people.” Robbie says it has been a “very emotional film” to work on, and that comes in part because the story is told only through the words of people who knew him personally over many years. “I’m pretty much the only person on the production who didn’t know him, “adds Robbie, “and I wish I had. He was clearly a benevolent, adored and empowering cultural force.” It was a particular coup to hear from Hamish’s widow and daughters. He also got on board writer, film-maker and art historian Timothy Neat of Wormit. He wrote Henderson’s biography and gave the film maker exclusive access to stills and video footage. “It was a steep learning curve, and a daunting responsibility trying to carry on the spirit of who he was, “adds Robbie. “But we’ve given it our best shot and I hope we’ve captured the spirit of the man.” Born to a single mother on November 11, 1919, in Blairgowrie, Hamish Henderson attended Blairgowrie High School before moving to England with his mother who died before he started school at Dulwich College, London. Living in an orphanage, Hamish managed to secure a place at Cambridge where he would study modern languages. While a student visiting Germany he acted as a courier for a Quaker network which helped refugees escape the Nazi regime, later serving with Intelligence Corp in Europe and North Africa as a translator. His experience of war acted as a catalyst for his poem sequence Elegies For The Dead In Cyrenaica for which he received the Somerset Maugham Award in 1949. He used his prize money to fund his journey to Italy where he translated The Prison Letters Of Antonio Gramsci; given the sensitivity of the subject, it wasn’t published until years later and he was asked to leave the country. Henderson became an integral part of the Scottish folk movement when he accompanied the American folklorist Alan Lomax on a collection tour of Scotland. His career as a collector not only established his place as a permanent member of staff at the School of Scottish Studies but also led him to return to his native Blairgowrie, making the travellers who berry-picked in the summer his particular area of activity. He beautifully described this time as “like sitting under Niagara Falls with a tin can” Henderson helped establish the Edinburgh People’s Festival in 1951. It put traditional Scottish folk music on a public stage for the first time and arguably evolved into the internationally celebrated Edinburgh Festival Fringe as we know it today. As folk clubs sprung up and modern folk songs bled into the mainstream, often these songs contained political themes and Henderson’s own compositions Freedom Come Aa Ye and The John MacLean March were written in to the fabric of Scottish culture. In 1983 he turned down an OBE in protest of the nuclear arms policy under the Thatcher government and as a result was voted Scot Of The Year by BBC Radio Scotland listeners. He was openly bisexual and campaigned for equal rights, Scottish independence and was a strong supporter of the release of Nelson Mandela. *Hamish is screened at Perth Playhouse from June 3 to 7 and at DCA Dundee on June 5 malexander@thecourier.co.uk

Business news

Dundee marquee firm stitches together merger with Perthshire rival

January 31 2018

Two Tayside marquee hire firms have merged in a move that creates a new £1 million-plus turnover company. Dundee headquartered DP&L Group confirmed it had acquired Blairgowrie-based AJ Henderson Ltd for an undisclosed sum. The business is to be merged with DP&L’s existing subsidiary, Allison & Stiven Marquee Hire, and the new combined business will trade under the new brand of Henderson Gray. The ‘Gray’ in the new name reflects Allison & Stiven’s own heritage as it traded as Allison Gray prior to a merger with RC Stiven in 2011. The new unit will stand alone within the wider DP&L Group and its formation and premises at Blairgowrie will allow the separate Allison & Stiven workwear business the room it needs to expand at Dunsinane Industrial Estate. DP&L group managing director Alick Bisset said he was delighted to bring Henderson’s into the fold. “This is a quality business which will enhance our offering especially in the wedding and private hire sector, an area in which we have seen significant growth since taking control three year ago,” Mr Bisset said. “I am also pleased that the move will result in the immediate creation of four new jobs in the local area.” The combined business will have a turnover in excess of £1m and will employ 10 full-time staff. The workforce is expected to double during the busy summer months. Henderson’s was formed by Alistair and Jane Henderson in 1999 and primarily focuses on weddings and private functions. Mr Henderson will remain as a consultant to the business during the 2018 season to assist with the integration of the two enterprises. “We are delighted that the company will continue to move forward and expand as part of the DP&L Group and I am looking forward to assisting with the integration of the new business and ensuring our successful business philosophy is embedded into the expanded business,” Mr Henderson said. John Lucas, managing director of Allison & Stiven, said the expansion was a logical step. “As a result of the increase in business over the last three years we had run out of space at our existing premises in Dundee,” Mr Lucas said. “The acquisition, in addition to adding the benefits of increased scale into the business, solves this issue as there is room for expansion on Henderson’s existing site. “In addition, they have equipment - especially steel subframe - which significantly improves our offering to both existing and prospective customers.” Mr Bisset said DP&L Group had grown strongly in recently years to become a circa £15m turnover business. He added: “Since acquiring the DP&L Group in 2014 we have made significant progress with the primary focus on improving profitability through organic growth and strengthening the balance sheet by paying down debt. “This has put us in a position where we are now able to make investments in businesses, like Henderson Marquee Hire, which are excellent strategic fits for the group.”


Book of condolence opens in tribute to teacher

July 15 2017

A book of condolence has been opened at the school where tragic diver Kelda Henderson taught. Ms Henderson, a mother-of-one, died while diving at Prestonhill Quarry in Inverkeithing last weekend. A massive rescue attempt swung into action after the alarm was raised late on Sunday night by friends when the 36-year-old failed to surface. Tragically, Miss Henderson’s body was removed from the notorious quarry the following day. Miss Henderson worked as a drama teacher at George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh. The school has paid tribute to a teacher who inspired pupils. A tribute has been placed on its website saying: “The community of George Heriot's School has been shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden death of Kelda Henderson, from our drama department, in a tragic accident at the weekend. “Kelda was a passionate, vibrant and clever teacher, who inspired a whole host of Herioters in the 13 years she was with us. “In order to honour her memory, a book of condolences, which will, in time, be presented to her family, has been opened and all members of the Heriot's family - staff, current pupils and former pupils and parents - are very welcome to provide messages, photos or memorabilia for it.” Her death was only the latest in a long line of tragedies at the flooded Fife quarry. Prestonhill claimed two young lives in under a year. Cameron Lancaster, 18, died in August 2014 when an ice bucket challenge went wrong. Then in June 2015 John McKay, 18, also died at the spot. Security was tightened but the area is still popular among sub-aqua clubs.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk