Our reporters have been sitting in courtrooms across the north and north-east this week and covered a wide variety of cases – from a man who stole an ambulance called to treat his pregnant partner, to a teen who stripped naked and did sit ups on the road.
On Monday we told of a pensioner admitted carrying out a sickening sexual assault on a young girl in Aberdeen.
Gordon Hayward, 73, appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted a charge of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 by putting his hand under the child’s clothes and touching her.
The offence took place at an address in the city on an occasion in 2015.
Hayward, who resides in Glasgow, has been banned from entering the city of Aberdeen, other than for court, while sentence was deferred for background reports
Thug assaulted man with golf club
Leon Donald was found guilty of attacking a man with a golf club in a terrifying late night incident on an Aberdeen street.
Donald was convicted of the offence, which saw him repeatedly strike his victim with the golf club, by a jury following a trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
And the 21-year-old has now been warned he could face a jail sentence over the attack, which happened on Dulnain Road on October 1 last year.
Donald, of HMYOI Polmont, will be sentenced in August.
Drug addicted thief stole charity tin
A habitual thief with a heroin addiction stole a charity box from a community cafe in the Highlands.
Inverness Sheriff Court was told that 37-year-old mother-of -four Alana Syrjanen went into the Muir Hub cafe, in Muir of Ord, on May 2, 2019.
Syrjanen stood in the food queue but didn’t buy anything – but asked if the cafe had any possible job vacancies.
It was later discovered that the British Red Cross charity box was missing – and a check of CCTV showed Syrjanen carrying out the offence.
Ambulance thief laughed as he was jailed
On Tuesday Graham Ellis was handed a sentence of more than three years after stealing an ambulance called to treat his pregnant girlfriend and sparking a 40-mile pursuit
Ellis, who drove the stolen ambulance across the north-east, was over the legal alcohol limit at the time of the offence.
The pursuit was brought to a halt when a stinger was deployed.
And as the sheriff detailed the sentence, Ellis, who appeared via a video link from HMP Grampian, sat back in his chair and laughed while drawing on a vape pen and exhaling a cloud of vapour.
Naked teen spat at cops and shouted ‘Covid’
A Turriff teenager stripped naked and did sit-ups in the street before spitting at officers and shouting “Covid” as they tried to put him in the police van.
Jack Allen, 19, was brought to the attention of cops after he threw a road sign and a bin at the window of the Tesco store on Turriff High Street on October 2 last year.
But when officers arrived they found the teenager in the middle of the road performing sit-ups in a state of undress.
Sheriff Graham Buchanan told Allen, whose address was given in court papers as Sunnyhill, Turriff, he would defer sentence in order for a criminal justice social work report and restriction of liberty order assessment to be carried out.
Man grew cannabis to ease back pain
A north former manual worker was fined for growing cannabis to help ease his back pain.
Cowan, 62, had admitted a charge of producing a controlled drug.
Police has raided his home in Bruce Gardens in Inverness and found the seven plants.
The court heard he suffered from chronic back pain sustained while working a manual job years ago.
Cowan was fined £400.
Thief made weapon from prison TV
On Wednesday we reported the case of Ovidiu Dinu admitted making a weapon from parts from a television in his HMP Grampian cell.
He dismantled his prison cell television to make blade-like weapons as he “struggled to adjust” to life behind bars.
Ovidiu Dinu was locked up for breaking into premises through shop roofs and cutting open safes in a series of daring heists across Scotland.
Dinu was admonished for his latest offence.
MP accused of causing serious injury by dangerous driving
Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil is set to stand trial accused of causing seriously injury to a teen biker by driving dangerously.
The 50-year-old MP, who is pleading not guilty to the charge, was not present in court when his case called at Lochmaddy Sheriff Court.
It is alleged he caused serious injury to a teenage motorcyclist then aged 17 years.
The court heard MacNeil is pleading not guilty to the charge.
The court case follows a two vehicle road traffic crash on the evening of Friday, October 30, in Castlebay, the main settlement on the Isle of Barra.
The SNP politician lives on the island.
Unpaid work for lawyer who embezzled £12,000
Louise Sutherland – also known as Murray embezzled more than £12,000 from clients’ accounts to help keep her husband’s struggling firm afloat has been handed unpaid work.
She swindled the money by creating false invoices for work which was neither required nor carried out while employed by Graeme Murray & Co Solicitors in Aberdeen.
The 60-year-old embezzled £12,547.49 between January 1 2012 and August 16 2013 in a bid to keep the firm going and avoid laying off staff, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.
While the proceedings were ongoing, she sold her family home and used the funds to repay the money taken from the client accounts.
None of the clients had been aware of what happened or suffered any financial loss as a result.
Sheriff Margaret Hodge handed Sutherland a community payback order to carry out 70 hours of unpaid work.
Perv snared by paedophile hunter group
On Thursday we reported on how Michael Cuthill, 59, was ordered to take part in a treatment programme for sex offenders after discussing having babies with a paedophile hunter he thought was a 13-year-old girl.
The Aberdeen man sent the sickening messages and even spoke about having babies together – only to discover he was actually messaging an adult member of an online child protection group.
He also sent the “child” an image of his genitals and arranged to meet her, only to back out at the last minute.
Cuthill, of Fullerton Court, Woodside, Aberdeen, previously admitted attempting to cause a child under 16 to view a sexual image by sending the decoy a picture of his genitals on February 20 2020.
He also admitted attempting to communicate indecently with a child under 16 between February 7 and February 23, 2020.
She also placed him on the sex offenders register for three years.
Man shouted homophobic remark at police
Gavin Hampton was fined £270 for shouting the remark at police after they were called to his flat about the noise coming from his TV.
Officers had been called to his property to deal with the noise complaint over the music coming from his TV.
It resulted in him shouting a homophobic remark at the police as they left his home.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard that the 22-year-old took exception to four police officers arriving at his flat in Telford Street, Inverness.
Hampton admitted a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner with a sexual orientation aggravation on May 9 last year.
Thief snared by clothing
An Inverness thief we told of on Friday was jailed for breaking into a city eatery.
Donald McPhee was snared by his distinctive clothing.
Inverness Sheriff Court was told McPhee had been lifted by police following a break-in in the Crown area of Inverness in the early hours of August 29, 2019.
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank jailed McPhee, Benula Road, Inverness, for five months.
Woman gave cops abuse over lockdown party
Inverness woman Carolanne Burns, 31, found herself in the dock after she subjected cops to a “torrent of abuse” when they attempted to break up a noisy party during lockdown.
She appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court and admitted shouting and swearing at police when they attended at a property in the city’s Birnie Terrace on April 5 last year.
Officers had been called to the property after being alerted to a noisy gathering at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Restrictions at the time stated that households should not mix in order to halt the spread of the virus.
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank deferred sentence until October for social work involvement and her good behaviour.
Man accused of sending threatening emails to FM
An Aberdeenshire pensioner is to go on trial accused of sending threatening emails to Nicola Sturgeon.
Aberchirder man William Curtis, 68, is accused of sending threatening remarks via a number of email and social media messages to the First Minister between February 27 2019 and March 6 2019.
He will go on trial over the matter at Aberdeen Sheriff Court later this year.
Curtis will also face a trial accused of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner on March 9 2019 by sending a message via social media to the office of former Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson.
It is alleged the message contained “a link to an article on the death of the former Member of Parliament Jo Cox and implying and threatening similar violence to said member”.
He denies the charges against him.
Man fined after his dog attacked a Westie
The owner of an American Bulldog which bit and shook a Westie in Aberdeen was fined and his dog spared punishment after it “was of good behaviour”.
Keith Bradley’s American Bulldog, named Marley, was out of control and off his leash when it went for another dog in the city’s Tillydrone Avenue on July 3 last year.
However, Marley will face no further action against him, thanks in part, to dozens of neighbours who submitted reference letters claiming he’s a “lovely dog”.
Marley slipped his leash and ran at a West Highland terrier named Casper, biting him and shaking him before running off into the road where cars swerved to avoid him.
Casper’s owner Brian McMillan endured two worrying visits to the vet to get treatment for bite marks to the scruff of Casper’s neck and cuts and bruises to his groin.
Bradley, of Wingate Road, was fined £160.