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Perth & Kinross

Ann Gloag ordered to replace felled oak tree

June 26 2015

Businesswoman Ann Gloag has been ordered to replace an old oak tree she had cut down in the grounds of her Kinfauns Castle home. The tree was removed by workmen during the construction of a three- bedroom house. Mrs Gloag had been given planning permission for the development on condition that certain trees including the oak were left untouched. A Perth and Kinross Council inspector noticed the felled tree when he visited the estate to discuss a new planning application. Mrs Gloag’s representatives said the tree was taken down on the advice of tree surgeons because it was rotting. They stressed she had always intended to replace it. In a report on Mrs Glaog’s latest plan to modify the house, a planning officer wrote: “The previous application was approved with a condition requiring that the remaining trees on the site be retained and protected. “The development monitoring officer, on visiting the site, identified that this condition had been breached.”

Perth & Kinross

Robber convicted of Gloag family home raid appeals sentence

December 28 2015

One of the men jailed for stealing 200,000 pounds worth of jewellery during a robbery at the home of Sarah Gloag is set to appeal against his conviction. One of the men jailed for stealing 200,000 pounds worth of jewellery during a robbery at the home of Sarah Gloag is set to appeal against his conviction. Christopher McMultan’s solicitor said the armed robber had lodged an appeal against his conviction which resulted in him being jailed for 12 years. Solicitor Peter Mullan said: “He recently received a custodial sentence for 12 years. An appeal has been lodged in relation to that.” McMultan, 40, and notorious criminal Brian “The Hawk” Martin, 58, were jailed last month for the terrifying armed raid on the home of Mrs Gloag and her husband. Sarah Gloag is the daughter of Stagecoach tycoon Ann Gloag, believed to be Scotland’s richest woman. McMultan and Martin had robbed another couple in Perthshire the previous day. At the High Court in Edinburgh, McMultan was sentenced to 12 years in jail, while Martin received a 14-year sentence. Temporary judge Paul Arthurson QC told Martin: “It is clear that you are a highly dangerous and violent criminal. It is the duty of the court to impose a lengthy custodial sentence.” The court had heard how Martin and McMultan had forced their way into Mrs Gloag’s Perthshire home on 19 January 2015, threatening her and husband Sundeep with knives. They tied the couple up with masking tape before making off with jewels and cash. Hairdresser Sarah’s mum Ann Gloag - who made millions from her Stagecoach bus empire - phoned police after the robbery. Martin, who has more than 50 convictions in a criminal career dating back to 1976, pleaded guilty to the robberies after hearing Ms Gloag give evidence.

Perth & Kinross

‘I’m sorry’ Accused interrupts High Court to admit £200,000 Gloag robbery and apologise to victim

November 19 2015

A man interrupted court to plead guilty to assaulting and robbing a Tayside businesswoman’s daughter of £200,000 of jewellery after he heard her give evidence. Brian Martin, 58, interrupted proceedings at the High Court in Edinburgh to apologise to Sarah Gloag, daughter of Ann Gloag. Wheelchair user Martin listened to the hairdresser tell the court how two men forced their way into her Perthshire home in January. She said she had a knife held to her throat and was threatened before she and husband Sundeep were tied up. As the court was listening to the details, Martin suddenly stopped proceedings. From the dock, he shouted an apology to Ms Gloag, who was standing in the witness box. He said: “I’m sorry Mrs Gloag. Please accept my heartfelt apologies you and your family shouldn’t have to go through this.” Addressing temporary judge Paul Arthurson QC, he then said: “Your honour I wish to change my plea from not guilty to guilty.” As she left court, Ms Gloag looked to Martin and said “thank you”. The admission of guilt came on the third day of proceedings against Martin and 40-year-old Christopher McMultan, who still denies all charges brought against him. As well as admitting robbing Ms Gloag on January 19, Martin pleaded guilty to robbing David Gilfoyle and Joanne Miles at a house in Muthill, Perthshire, on January 18. On Tuesday, Ms Gloag said she was doing some DIY work at her property in Perthshire when two men came to her front door. “I asked them ‘can I help you? Are you lost?” she said. Ms Gloag said that Martin produced a knife and forced his way inside the property with the second man. The court heard that Martin held a knife to her throat and she was ordered to get on the ground. She was tied up with tape and asked where her safe was. The court heard her husband took Martin upstairs and eventually came back down with a supermarket bag. Ms Gloag said Martin and the second man then left and she and her husband were able to free themselves. Sentence on Martin was deferred until a later date and he was called to give evidence as a Crown witness. However, he claimed he could not remember who his accomplice was or committing the robbery, but felt after hearing Ms Gloag’s evidence he must have been responsible. Martin pleaded guilty to assaulting David Gilfoyle and Joanne Miles, compelling them to lie face down on the floor, binding them with tape. He further admitted compelling Mr Gilfoyle to disclose his bank card pin before robbing him of a wallet and its contents. McMultan pleaded not guilty to the charge and continues to maintain his innocence. Martin pleaded guilty to assaulting Sundeep Salins and Sarah Gloag while holding a knife and to abducting them and robbing them of jewellery and £4,000. McMultan has pleaded not guilty to the charge and maintains his innocence. Prosecutors also allege McMultan reversed a vehicle into a marked police vehicle on the A92 Dundee to Glenrothes road close to the Logie turn off. It is also alleged McMultan drove towards a police officer causing him to take evasive action. It is further alleged McMultan continued to drive south on the A92 towards Cupar and threw a bag containing jewellery from the car. Another charge states that on January 21 at police headquarters in Perth, McMultan refused to leave his cell to have his fingerprints and photos taken in an effort to avoid prosecution. Jurors have been told the jewellery allegedly taken was worth approximately £200,000 Mr McMultan, a prisoner in Perth, denies the charges against him.

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...


VIDEO: Watch armed police surround gangster Brian “The Hawk” Martin after Perthshire jewellery raid

November 24 2015

This is the dramatic moment when one of Scotland’s most notorious gangsters was arrested at gunpoint in Cupar. Brian “The Hawk” Martin and accomplice Christopher McMultan are starting lengthy jail terms after being found guilty of carrying out a jewellery raid at the Perthshire home of the daughter of Scotland’s richest woman, Ann Gloag. In new video footage released by the Crown Office, Martin and McMultan are seen being arrested by armed officers near Cupar Railway Station on January 20 the day after their shocking crime. The footage also shows security camera recordings of the pair arriving at the scene of the raid and pulling on masks before entering the property. Their trial at the High Court in Edinburgh heard they threatened Sarah Gloag and her husband Sundeep Salins with knives before wrapping them in masking tape and fleeing the scene with more than £200,000 worth of jewellery. The robbery took place at the couple’s home near to Ann Gloag’s Kinfauns Castle just outside Perth. On Monday, Martin was jailed for 14 years, and McMultan for 12.

Perth & Kinross

‘Hawk’ and accomplice jailed for terrifying Gloag abduction and robbery

November 23 2015

A gangster once branded Britain’s most wanted man and his dangerous sidekick have been jailed for robbing £200,000 of jewellery from the daughter of Scotland’s richest woman. Brian ‘the Hawk’ Martin, 58, and Christopher McMultan, 40, forced their way into Sarah Gloag’s Perthshire home, threatening her and husband Sundeep with knives. The High Court in Edinburgh heard how the despicable pair tied the couple up with masking tape before making off with precious jewels and cash. Hairdresser Sarah’s mum Ann Gloag, who made millions from her Stagecoach bus empire, phoned police after the robbery. On Thursday, a jury returned guilty verdicts against McMultan who spent a week denying robbing Sarah and another couple in Perthshire the previous day last January. His sidekick Martin, who has more than 50 convictions in a criminal career dating back to 1976, pleaded guilty to the robberies after hearing Ms Gloag give evidence. Martin’s record includes convictions for firearms offences and assault and robbery. Temporary judge Paul Arthurson QC handed McMultan, a prisoner of HMP Perth, a 12-year sentence. Meanwhile, his sidekick the Hawk, who wrote the judge a letter saying he now knew that he had wasted his entire life, was given a 14-year sentence. Passing sentence, judge Arthurson told Martin: “It is clear that you are a highly dangerous and violent criminal. It is the duty of the court to impose a lengthy custodial sentence.” The jury in the case spent two hours deliberating their verdict against McMultan who denied acting as Martin’s accomplice. They returned unanimous verdicts of guilty to charges which Martin pleaded guilty to last week. The jury concluded that on January 18 2015, at an address in Muthill, Perthshire, Mr McMultan assaulted David Gilfoyle and Joanne Miles and forced his way into the property. The jury also found that Mr McMultan shouted, swore, and threatened Mr Gilfoyle and Ms Miles with violence before compelling them to lie face down on the ground. McMultan then bound Mr Gilfoyle and Ms Miles’s hands and feet with tape and detained them against their will. He then compelled Mr Gilfoyle to disclose the PIN number of his bank card before robbing him of a wallet and its contents. During the raid, the jury concluded that McMultan did with “face masked and whilst holding knife” did assault Sundeep Salins, Sarah Gloag and two children at a house in Perthshire on January 19 2015. They also found that he seized Sarah Gloag on the body, presented a knife at her and “did shout, swear and utter threats” at Sundeep Salins, Sarah Gloag and the two children. The jurors concluded Mr McMultan detained “them against their will and you did thus abduct the quartet” before robbing them of a quantity of jewellery and £4,000 Sterling cash or thereby”.

Perth & Kinross

Teenagers accused of Waverley Hotel fire appear in court

December 22 2015

Two teenagers have been accused of setting fire to a derelict hotel owned by Stagecoach tycoon Ann Gloag. James McCrory, 18, and a 17-year-old youth who cannot be identified for legal reasons, appeared in private at Perth. They appeared on a petition alleging they deliberately set fire to the Waverley Hotel in Perth on November 17. The pair, both from Perth, are alleged to have caused damage to the vacant city centre building by setting it ablaze. Neither made any plea or declaration and the case against them was continued for further examination by Sheriff Kevin Veal. Both were granted bail. The Waverley Hotel has been derelict for several years and Mrs Gloag recently had a bid to pull it down rejected by Historic Scotland. During the summer, Historic Scotland outlined its reasons for the organisation’s opposition to the demolition of one of Perth’s best-known former hotels. Historic Scotland’s senior heritage management officer of historicbuildings, north, Simon Montgomery, made it clear it is strongly opposed to Mrs Gloag’s plans for the site. He contacted Perth and Kinross Council to oppose the wealthy transport supremo’s plan to raze the Waverley Hotel and build a multi-use hall and gym in its place. Her aim was to extend the community use of the adjacent Trinity Church of the Nazarene, stating this would assist those with drug and alcohol issues. However, Mr Montgomery stated the preferred choice of Historic Scotland was not to demolish the building of the former Waverley Hotel. He said: “We note that whilst the agent states the retention of one of the villas would be illogical, we would, in terms of the special interest of allthe individual buildings and theircontribution to the character of the conservation area, suggest thatretention is desirable for any of thelisted buildings. “The structural survey’s recommendations do not provide sufficientreassurance that development of the site using the existing villas is simply notfeasible. There are no new crackpatterns or obvious movements evident.” At the time, a spokesman for Ann Gloag said: “We are disappointed by Historic Scotland’s response, that they seek to protect redundant buildings of limited significance at the expense of local community benefit.”

Perth & Kinross

Plan to demolish former Perth hotel could be fast-tracked

October 30 2015

A landmark Perth building could be demolished despite previous concerns from a heritage watchdog. The Courier can reveal that a decision on whether to approve a plan lodged by businesswoman and philanthropist Ann Gloag to tear down the Waverley Hotel now rests purely in the hands of local council leaders. Historic Environment Scotland (formerly Historic Scotland) has stated “there is no further requirement” to involve them in the proposal. Ms Gloag wishes to raze the former hotel and build a multi-use hall and gym, while also extending the adjacent Trinity Church of the Nazarene on Glasgow Road. It is understood some of the space would be utilised as an area to help people with alcohol and drug problems. Although HES did not officially object to the demolition plan, they made it known they did not approve, claiming retention of the villas was “desirable” due to their contribution to the character of the conservation area. In their submission, lodged this week with the council, Simon Montgomery, senior heritage management officer with HES, states that if the council “is minded” to grant consent to Ms Gloag’s plan, it must notify Scottish Ministers. The cost of clearing the site and its redevelopment is estimated at between £2m and £2.4m. A spokesman for Ann Gloag welcomed the fact that the outcome of the demolition plan could be decided soon after years of wrangling. “There is too much evidence in Perth of Historic Environment Scotland blocking progress and the city needs to be allowed to move forward,” she said. Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, said: “In its current state the former Waverley Hotel has become an eyesore. We can’t have the city being held back by statutory organisations such as Historic Environment Scotland campaigning for it to remain in its current state.” A spokesman for Historic Environment Scotland said: “As a statutory consultee our role in the process is, and always has been, to provide our advice to Perth and Kinross Council, who then determine the application. “We have advised the council that they should be clear on whether they have now obtained sufficient information to fully appraise the application for demolition. We wrote to the council to explain this, and highlighted a number of issues which they may wish to consider before coming to a decision.”

Perth & Kinross

Two arrests after probe into armed raid on home of Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag’s daughter

January 21 2015

Police Scotland has said two men are expected to appear in court on Thursday in connection with an alleged armed raid on the home of Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag’s daughter on the outskirts of Perth. Reports this morning claim two masked thugs broke into the luxury home Sarah Salins shares with her husband Sundeep and their three children around 7.30pm on Monday. The house is situated close to Ann Gloag's home in Kinfauns Castle. They then allegedly made off with half a million pounds worth of jewellery and cash. Police Scotland said "Police Scotland can confirm that two men aged 40 and 57 years old have been arrested in connection with a robbery in Crieff on Sunday and a robbery in the Perthshire area on Monday. “A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal and they are expected to appear at Perth Sheriff Court on Thursday.”

Perth & Kinross

No date booked for Gloag’s Perth hotel revamp

October 18 2016

Developers behind business tycoon Ann Gloag's bid to restore the eyesore Waverley Hotel have warned work will not begin quickly. Contractors behind the ambitious £3.6 million plan to raze the Perth landmark and replace it with a multi-use hall and gym are still to submit building warrants. A spokesperson for Ms Gloag said the whole process may take "some time” to get off the ground, with no start date in sight. They added: “There is quite a long procedure to go through when you demolish a building, especially if it is a listed one, such as the Waverley. “Before demolition can take place there are several things the developers must do, including seeking building warrants. "The contractors chosen to carry out the demolition work have to submit these documents to the local authority. “Each step of this procedure has to gain council approval before we are effectively ‘ready to go.’ "It can take some time.” The Waverley proposal finally received the green light from Perth and Kinross Council last month after the local authority deemed the York Place/Caledonian Road project justified. A planning officer noted that the updated design of the development was a “significant improvement” to a previous proposal. The move paves the way for Ms Gloag’s team to demolish the building and produce a facility available for community use which will house a lunch club for “struggling families and the homeless”. Ms Gloag previously stated the move should “mark the start” of the council recognising the need to allow other derelict sites in Perth to be developed. She had also described the planning process as “very long and tortuous.” The Waverley Hotel plan will see the retention of the villas at the site but will involve demolition of the remaining buildings, followed by the construction of the new multi-use hall and gym.