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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

Letham man sentenced to unpaid work for reckless firing of air rifle

August 29 2012

An Angus man who fired shots from an air rifle near two men has been sentenced to 70 hours of unpaid work. Aaron James Nicol (20), of The Den, Letham, admitted that on March 26 2011 at his home address he recklessly discharged a firearm, namely an air rifle, aiming the weapon, in the darkness, in the proximity of two men. Depute fiscal Jill Drummond told Arbroath Sheriff Court that two shots were fired from the weapon. She said: ''On the night in question the two witnesses were outside smoking when they noticed the accused arrive home at around 11pm on the other side of the road. ''At around 11.15pm they heard a noise that sounded like a pellet from an air gun hitting a shed nearby. They jumped back into the garden. They heard another shot being fired, but were unsure of its projection.'' She said police were called and Nicol was questioned after the other men said they suspected he was behind the incident, although they had not seen him with the gun. ''When interviewed by police Nicol admitted he had been shooting in his garden,'' Ms Drummond continued. ''Officers took possession of the SMK SYSBG .22 air rifle as well as a box of pellets. I would ask for forfeiture of the weapon.'' Defence agent Sarah Russo said her client maintained he was not firing at the two men. ''He accepts he discharged the air rifle in his garden, but his position is that he was not aiming at anyone'' she said. ''He does accept that discharging the air rifle in darkness was reckless and accepts the charge." Sheriff Peter Paterson said he would not confiscate the weapon after hearing Ms Russo's explanation the gun belonged to Nicol's father.

Dundee

High Court to review release of man found with drugs and air rifle at Broughty Ferry crash scene

October 29 2014

A man involved in a collision near the Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry was found in possession of heroin and diazepam and was unfit to drive through drink or drugs, a court has heard. An air rifle was also found in the Audi TT belonging to Ross James Ramsay, 32, of Ballumbie Gardens, Dundee, who admitted possessing the rifle while not permitted to do so. After hearing that Ramsay was out on licence from a previous High Court jail sentence at the time of the offences, Sheriff Charles Macnair remitted him back to the High Court for consideration of the release order. He also deferred sentence on the new offences until December 2 and remanded him in custody. Depute fiscal Donna Brown told the court Ramsay was seen driving erratically at noon on July 28 in West Queen Street and Dundee Road when an incident took place outside the Royal Tay Yacht Club and he was seen to be staggering on the road there. She said he was also seen to dispose of a plastic bag from his car. Ms Brown told the court a search was carried out and 462 diazepam tablets, with a street value of £462, and heroin worth around £900 was recovered. Solicitor Ross Bennett said he would keep his plea in mitigation for Ramsay’s next appearance. Sheriff Macnair told Ramsay: “I will remit this to the High Court for consideration of the Section 16 order (release from prison on licence) and sentence in this court will be deferred until after that.” The sheriff also imposed interim disqualification from driving and the Crown moved an application for forfeiture of the air rifle. Ramsay was released early from his previous jail sentence of three years and nine months, imposed in July 2012, after admitting seriously assaulting Alexander McLennan, of Longtown Place. Mr McLennan, 56, died after being stabbed through the heart in a street brawl on Kingsway on January 7 that year. Ramsay and co-accused John Cassidy and Steven Batchelor were originally accused of murdering Mr McLennan, who was also punched and kicked in the attack and hit on the head with an iron bar.

Dundee

Driver caught with air rifle and drugs after crash at Royal Tay Yacht Club jailed

December 3 2014

A man found in possession of drugs and an air rifle while unfit to drive through drink or drugs, after smashing his car near the Royal Tay Yacht Club in July, has been jailed for more than two years. Ross James Ramsay, 32, of Ballumbie Gardens, Dundee, was sent to prison for 26 months and 80 days by Sheriff Charles Macnair at Dundee Sheriff Court on TUesday after the High Court confirmed the unexpired portion of a previous sentence. Ramsay had admitted possessing the rifle while not permitted to do so, and also admitted possessing 462 diazepam tablets, with a street value of £462, and heroin worth around £900. Depute fiscal Donna Brown told the court Ramsay was seen driving erratically at noon on July 28 in West Queen Street and Dundee Road when an incident took place outside the Royal Tay Yacht Club and he was seen to be staggering on the road there. She said he was also seen to dispose of a plastic bag from his car in nearby bushes. Ms Brown told the court a search was carried out and the drugs were recovered while the air rifle was found in his high-powered Audi. At a previous hearing, Sheriff Macnair told Ramsay: “I will remit this to the High Court for consideration of the Section 16 order (release from prison on licence) and sentence in this court will be deferred until after that.” The sheriff also imposed interim disqualification from driving and the Crown moved an application for forfeiture of the air rifle. When he returned for sentence Sheriff Macnair imposed a new sentence and returned him to prison for the unexpired portion. He also disqualified him from driving for three years. Ramsay was released early from his previous jail sentence of three years and nine months, imposed in July 2012, after admitting seriously assaulting Alexander McLennan, of Longtown Place. Mr McLennan, 56, died after being stabbed through the heart in a street brawl on Kingsway on January 7 that year. Ramsay and co-accused John Cassidy and Steven Batchelor, both 33, were originally accused of murdering Mr McLennan, who was also punched and kicked in the attack and hit on the head with an iron bar.

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

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.

UK & World

Tributes for helicopter crew killed in Norfolk coast crash

January 18 2014

More than 2,000 US military personnel paused at a memorial service on Friday to remember four US air crew members who died in a helicopter crash. US Air Force (USAF) Captains Christopher Stover and Sean Ruane and Technical Sergeant Dale Mathews were killed, along with their female colleague Staff Sergeant Afton Ponce when the Pave Hawk helicopter they were flying came down suddenly on marshland on the Norfolk coast earlier this month. Body armour, rifles and dog tags belonging to each crew member were on display as their fellow servicemen and women gathered at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk.

UK & World

Dangers posed by air rifles need reassessed

August 18 2010

The danger posed by air rifles should not be judged by their power rating alone, according to a study by Abertay University. Consideration should also be given to the damage their pellets cause when they rebound off hard surfaces like bone into human tissue. Air weapons are considerably lower in power than other firearms, but there is increasing concern about the potential fatalities from their misuse. Under current UK legislation anyone over the age of 18 can purchase an air rifle provided it delivers less than 16.2 joules of energy. Earlier this year a teenager was physically and mentally scarred for life after being shot with an air rifle in Dundee. The 14-year-old was left with a pellet lodged in a chest cavity close to his heart. His assailant was detained for 21 months. After a number of high profile cases in which both children and adults have been injured or killed, there have been campaigns for greater control on the sale of air weapons. The Scottish Government is also seeking the right to control air weapons in Scotland, a power currently reserved to Westminster. The Abertay research, published in Forensic Science International, aimed to improve understanding of how air gun pellets behave when fired into the human body. Although much research has been carried out on handguns, much less has been done on air weapons. The research involved air rifle pellets being fired into ballistic gelatine, which is routinely used by firearms experts when testing weapons due to its similarity to muscle tissue. Results suggest the pellets may penetrate further than initially expected, and that the weapon's power on its own is not a reliable indicator of potential penetration. Studies using a computed tomography (CT) scanner have looked at the impact of air rifle pellets on bone and the fragmentation and ricochet of the pellet. Study leader Dr Graham Wightman said, "In general terms, the safety of air weapons should not be judged on their power alone, as is currently the case." The Abertay University team, which was supported by the Dundee laboratory of the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA), plans to look at other aspects of damage caused by air rifle pellets. Photo used under Creative Commons licence courtesy of Flickr user madmolecule.

UK & World

Frenchman remanded over Gatwick Airport security alert

November 16 2015

A Frenchman accused of entering Gatwick Airport with an air rifle and a knife has been remanded in custody. Jerome Chauris was detained on Saturday, after he allegedly walked into the airport's North Terminal carrying the weapons, sparking a major terror alert. His arrest came as security was increased at British ports and public places in response to the attacks by Islamic State gunmen in Paris that claimed 132 lives. The 41-year-old from Vendome, central France, was charged with possession of a dangerous article in an aerodrome and possession of a blade in a public place. According to court documents the weapons were an 'MP5 calibre 4.5mm air rifle' and a lock knife. Chauris appeared in the dock at Crawley Magistrates' Court, West Sussex, where a minute's silence was observed for the Paris victims at 11am. Flanked by two uniformed dock officers, he Identified himself with the help of an interpreter. Wearing a white striped shirt and his black shoulder-length hair swept back, he wept and made several comments in French during the proceedings. The incident, which took place at around 9.30am on Saturday morning, sent parts of the busy airport into lockdown and caused significant disruption to travellers. The court heard how thousands of passengers and airport staff were evacuated from the terminal's 'landside' concourse, the area before luggage screening and security checks open to the public Officers from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team then moved in and carried out a small controlled explosion on a suspicious package. The North Terminal remained closed for six hours, although the airport's South Terminal remained operational. Prosecutor Beata Murphy applied for the case to be dealt with in the Crown Court. Bench chairwoman, Ann Schroder, remanded Chauris, of no fixed abode, until his next appearance at Lewes Crown Court on December 14.

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

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