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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...


Neurofest goes from strength to strength

June 21 2010

A Dundee mum-of-three who survived a brain tumour has hailed the success of a charity music festival on Saturday which was organised to raise funds for the hospital ward that saved her life. Lyndsey Tinney (34) is now looking ahead to making next year's Neurofest even bigger and better following the triumphant event at the city's Glenesk Park. Lyndsey brought together a host of local talent to help the neuroscience ward at Ninewells Hospital and around 600 people of all ages turned out in support. Dundee chart stars The Law were joined in this year's line-up by upcoming acts The Mirror Trap, The Twist, Dave?, tinylittlerobots and brand new band Mass Consensus. View bassist Kieren Webster made the festival a family affair, thrilling onlookers when he joined in The Law's acoustic set and played View classics Gran's for tea and Realisation during the set, alongside Ben E. King classic Stand by Me. After the half-hour set, he happily chatted and posed for photographs with young fans. Kieren is the second cousin of Lyndsey, who established the event after the unit saved her and her unborn son's life five years ago. As well as a stellar line-up of local musical talent, the family affair also included carnival rides and face-painting for children. Since beating the illness five years ago, Lyndsey has devoted much of her time to raising money for the ward. So far she has raised over £15,000. Lyndsey had even more reason to celebrate on Saturday after getting the all-clear from her latest brain scan.


Kieren Webster makes surprise appearance at Neurofest

June 20 2011

The View's Kieren Webster delighted a home crowd when he made a special appearance at a charity music festival in Dundee on Saturday. Bassist Kieren had offered support to his second cousin Lyndsey Tinney, organiser of the city's annual Neurofest an all-day event in aid of the neuroscience unit at Ninewells Hospital. The event at Glenesk Park was attended by hundreds of music fans who braved the rain for a host of local musical talent and headliners The Complete Stone Roses. Making a special acoustic appearance, Kieren treated fans to the first public play of a new song, as well as View favourites.


Man denies murdering Julie McCash and David Sorrie at vigil for teenager who fell from cliffs

September 15 2017

A man accused of murdering two people at a Dundee vigil following the death of a teenager in Arbroath denies the charges and claims he was acting in self-defence, a court has heard. The alleged stabbing took place at around 5am, just hours after Ralphie Smith, 18, fell from cliffs at Arbroath, the High Court in Edinburgh was told. The prosecution and defence have agreed evidence that Julie McCash, 43, sustained a single penetrating wound to her chest, and David Sorrie, 32, sustained a wound to his abdomen, from a knife held by Robert Stratton, which resulted in their deaths. Stratton, 43, has lodged special defences of self-defence and incrimination. A friend of the woman killed during the disturbance described her frantic efforts to resuscitate her. Wendy McKinney, 44, said she found Julie McCash’s lifeless body on Drumlanrig Drive after violence broke out as friends and relatives gathered to offer comfort to Ralphie’s family on February 26. Ms McKinney and her son, Darren Wallace, both admitted they had taken cocaine earlier that day and had been drinking. Ms McKinney said Dundee hairdresser Ms McCash had a stab wound just above her stomach and was showing no signs of life. She was giving evidence at the trial of Robert Stratton who faces a string of charges including the murder of Ms McCash and David Sorrie at a house on Drumlanrig Drive on February 26. Stratton denies all the charges. The court also heard evidence from Darren Wallace, 25, who said he heard Stratton say “who started on my wife?” He said: “Julie said she didn’t start on her but she was arguing with her. “He came across and he stabbed her. I thought it was a punch, but he stabbed her.” He said Stratton’s partner Lee Kinney had earlier been “shouting abuse” at the accused. “Everyone in the house got involved,” he said. He and his mother had been at another house on Drumlanrig Drive with Ms McCash and Ralphie’s mother Nicola Duffy, among others, until 5am. Mr Wallace told defence lawyer Edward Targowski QC he had taken cocaine at this house. Mr Targowski asked: “Were other people taking cocaine?” Mr Wallace said: “Yes”. He also told Mr Targowski that, following an argument between his mother and Ms Kinney, his mother, helped by Ms McCash, had lifted Ms Kinney up and taken her out the door. He said his mother then took Ms Kinney “by the wrists” in the garden and led her to her own gate. Mr Targowski put it to the witness that “there was a large number of people, a group of people, attacking Lee”. Mr Wallace said: “I totally disagree.” The first witness called was Police Constable Kyle Stewart, who said: “It was very emotional. People were shouting, crying and wailing.” Stratton denies murdering Ms McCash by striking her on the body with a knife. He further denies running towards Mr Sorrie while brandishing two knives, attempting to strike him on the body with the weapons and pursuing him and striking him on the body with a knife, and murdering him. He also denies a charge of assaulting his partner Ms Kinney by seizing her by the throat, throwing her to the ground, seizing her by the arms and hair and repeatedly pushing her on the body, picking her up and carrying her away, all to her injury. He further denies assaulting Ms McKinney by running towards her while brandishing two knives. It is claimed he attempted to strike her on the body with the knives. He also denies possessing cocaine. The trial continues.

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.

Halloween fun closes season at Brechin Castle Equestrian

November 26 2013

Following no less than three false starts the Brechin Castle Equestrian Halloween Arena Event finally went ahead as planned. After being dogged by poor weather not only on the original date in mid-October, but twice more thereafter, organiser Val Blewitt was rewarded for her perseverance when the competition was blessed with glorious sunshine. The event for all ages also offered a fun special un-mounted competition, where young witches and wizards cast their ponies to one side and cantered round the poles on broomsticks. The competition ascended with the height of the jumps, with standout performances from Zoe Florence and her pony Ralph, which gained a double of wins early on, and from mounted games enthusiast Lauren McLean riding Ru, who also took two wins. In the 60cm class, Montrose-based NHS staff member Charlene Bell took the win with her horse Balgaharty Glitter, also known as Cody. Charlene had owned the now 13-year-old mare since she was a yearling, and although she broke her at the age of three, she took some time-out from riding, putting Cody in foal. Championship success in the showring as a hunter broodmare followed, and as a result she was sold to the Westdrums Stud for breeding. “I finally managed to buy her back from them at the start of the year when I got back into riding,” explained Charlene. “And within only a few weeks under saddle again, we went to our first dressage and finished second. “She’s since been placed at jump cross and all three cross country competitions that we’ve done this year and she won at team showjumping,” added Charlene, who hopes to continue their cross country success with the aim of eventing. Also from Montrose, social work team manager Lyndsey Foreman took advantage of the competition on the doorstep of Brechin Castle Livery, where she keeps her horse Jasper. Lyndsey and the eight-year-old Irish TB warmed up with a third in the 70cm class, before scooping the win in the 80. Jasper, a son of Pilsudski, was bred out of the mare Little Dreamer with the intention of a career on the racetrack. After being cast aside for a lack of pace, Jasper passed through several hands before reaching the auction ring of Thainstone Market in December 2011, allowing him to find his way to Lyndsey, who has owned him since the turn of 2012. “Jasper hadn’t really done much when I got him, so we tried a little of everything,” explained Lindsey. “I discovered he loves jumping and he has been regularly placed in jump cross and showjumping at Brechin Castle.” As members of Stonehaven Riding Club, they progressed to win two winter showjumping leagues, representing their club at the team showjumping contests at both the Cabin and Loanhead. “We started competing in cross country this year and Jasper has been placed in four out of the five hunter trials that we entered including at Craigie in May and September, at Strathearn and at Kinnaird,” she added. With their competitive season now at a close, Lyndsey said she intends to polish up their dressage performance over the coming months with a view to making a BE80 debut at BE next year. Results Poles: 1 Maisy Duncan, Caramel; 2 Ellie Coutts, Itch; 3 Lucy Craighead, Princess. 30cm: 1 Zoe Florence, Ralph; 2 Maisy Duncan, Caramel. 40cm: 1 Zoe Florence, Ralph. 60cm: 1 Charlene Bell, Cody; 2 Rosie Edwards, Ricky; 3 Kirsten Edwards, Soldier. 70cm: 1 Debbie Donkin, Stan; 2 Georgie Noonan, Gem; 3 Lindsey Foreman, Jasper. 80cm: 1 Lindsey Foreman, Jasper; 2 Georgie Noonan, Gem; 3 Debbie McCallum, Spice. 90cm: 1 Lauren McLean, Ru; 2 Debbie McCullum, Spice; 3 Morven McLean, Macaroni. 1m: 1 Lauren McLean, Ru.


‘I saw two people lying there dead’ — OAP gives evidence in Dundee double murder trial

September 15 2017

A Dundee pensioner has told how a man accused of a double murder in the city phoned him early in the morning to say that he had stabbed somebody. Norman Kinney, 68, told a jury yesterday how Robert Stratton called and made the admission to him at 6.10am on February 26. The High Court in Edinburgh heard Mr Kinney received the call as he got ready to take his grand children on a day trip. When prosecution lawyer Alex Prentice QC asked Mr Kinney what Stratton said, the retired HGV driver replied: “He said ‘there’s been trouble get down to my house now. “He said ‘I’ve stabbed somebody.’” Mr Kinney, of Dundee, was giving evidence on the second day of proceedings against 43-year-old Stratton, from Dundee. Stratton admits stabbing his victims but denies murder, at a house on Drumlanrig Drive on February 26. He has lodged special defences of incrimination and self defence. Mr Kinney, who gave his evidence by video link from another location, is the father of Mr Stratton’s partner Lee. He said he was very concerned to receive the call and was worried about what had happened to his daughter. Mr Kinney said Stratton told him Lee was in their house in Drumlanrig Drive while he was at another location five minutes away from the property. Mr Kinney told Mr Prentice: “My main concern was my daughter so I drove to the house. “By the time I arrived, there were armed police surrounding the house and there were two people on the ground. “I was scared. I thought my daughter was lying dead in the house. “I saw two people lying there dead.” Mr Kinney left to pick up Stratton, who asked to be taken to Glasgow but he dropped him elsewhere in Dundee. When Mr Prentice asked him if Mr Stratton had said anything during the short journey, Mr Kinney added: “He said he had stabbed somebody. “I said to him ‘Whit the f**k did you dae that when you’ve got two good hands. Why did you use a blade?’ “So he started to cry and I gave him two roll ups.” Mr Prentice asked him if Stratton had said anything else. Mr Kinney replied: “He said he stabbed two people.” Stratton is accused of murdering Julie McCash, 43 and, after chasing him, 32-year-old David Sorrie, 32, by striking them on the body with a knife Prosecutors also say he assaulted Wendy McKinney and that he ran towards her whilst brandishing two knives and attempted to strike her with the knives. Further charges allege he assaulted Lee Kinney by seizing her by the throat and throwing her to the ground and he possessed cocaine. He pleads not guilty to all charges and the trial, before judge Lord Beckett, continues.

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

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

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.