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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

Officer ended up in hospital after angry mob surrounded police van

October 22 2014

Police attempting to help defuse a fight quickly became surrounded by an angry mob, a court heard. Arbroath trio Mhoira Gibson, Jamie McAdam and Bryce Robertson were involved in a dispute that ended with one officer in hospital and an unsuccessful break-out from the back of a police van. Gibson, 39, admitted her part in an assault and breach of the peace on August 2, along with 17-year-olds McAdam and Robertson. A not guilty plea tendered by co-accused Daniel Gibson was accepted by the Crown. Depute fiscal Jill Drummond told Forfar Sheriff Court how police converged on Westport in Arbroath after two officers were surrounded by an enraged group. She said: “At around 1.35am, officers Hamilton and Gray were in the area on a mobile patrol. They saw accused McAdam on a footpath, where he appeared to challenge (Daniel) Gibson to a fight. There were six or so people involved.” On stopping the van, McAdam became aggressive to one officer, who arrested him and put him in its rear. Daniel Gibson was also arrested. “All persons crowded round the PCs in protest,” Ms Drummond went on. “Further police units were called to provide immediate assistance.” Gibson made an Irish-related slur at PC Rory Forge and as she was arrested kicked PC Forge’s hand. He went to Arbroath Infirmary to have a splint put on his thumb. Gibson, of Stoneycroft Avenue, admitted assaulting PC Forge at the junction of Westport and Catherine Street on August 2, while on bail. She further admitted resisting two police officers in the execution of their duties, and attempting to rescue Daniel Gibson from arrest, and also causing a breach of the peace by racially abusing a constable. McAdam, of Great Michael Road, admitted causing a breach of the peace at the same place and date by repeatedly shouting and swearing at the officers and failing to desist when instructed. Robertson, of Ness Drive, admitted obstructing two officers at the same place and date, opening the door of a police van and attempting to rescue McAdam from within. Previous convictions were accepted by Gibson’s defence agent, Bob Bruce. Sheriff Pino Di Emidio asked for criminal justice social work reports in respect of all three and sentence was deferred to November 27.

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.

Angus & The Mearns

Hurricane flypast tribute to Montrose romance

August 7 2013

The rare sight and sound of a wartime Hurricane will be seen and heard over the Angus skies. In a poignant celebration of a romance of seven decades ago, the veteran aircraft will undertake a special mission from Kent to pass over the grave of sweethearts who met in the county and the Montrose airfield that played a key part in their lives. At 11am the magnificent aircraft from the Historic Aircraft Collection (HAC) at Duxford is due to complete a flypast over Sleepyhillock cemetery on the edge of the Angus town, where Ronald and Alice Jordan are laid to rest. It will then make a pass over the former air base at Broomfield, home to Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, which is currently in the midst of a centenary programme celebrating the facility’s role as Britain’s first operational military airfield. The ceremony and flypast have been organised by Ronald Jordan’s family from Kingswood in Surrey, who have also presented the Angus heritage attraction with important new material for its world-famous collection. Air station museum curator Dr Dan Paton said: “Ronald Jordan was ground crew in No615 (County of Surrey) Squadron when war broke out in September 1939. He was with the squadron throughout the Battle of France and then in the thick of the Battle of Britain, at RAF Kenley. He was posted to RAF Montrose where he served for three years with No8 Flying Training School and No2 Flying Instructors School.” Dr Paton added: “He would have been very familiar with the Hurricane, which equipped No 615 Squadron and was also used by the training units at Montrose. Like many men who served at Montrose, Ronald met and married a Montrose girl, Alice Gibson. They were married on February 24 1943 at St George’s and Trinity Church, Montrose, and their son, Ronald Gibson Jordan, was born at Montrose. “It is appropriate that their final resting place is in Sleepyhillock cemetery with the graves of many men of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force who were killed while training at Montrose.” Dr Paton said the air station museum had been delighted by the family’s generous donation of letters, photographs and documents relating to Mr Gibson’s RAF career and his involvement with his Squadron Association and RAF Association after he left the service. “The items include a rare Hawker Hurricane manual and this collection adds to our knowledge of RAF Montrose in the Second World War.” l The (HAC) to which the Hawker Hurricane XIIa (G-HURI) belongs was formed to restore and operate a collection of piston-engined military aircraft. It also operates a Spitfire Mk. Vb (G-MKVB), Hawker Nimrod II (G-BURZ) and Hawker Fury (G-CBZP). One million people a year are estimated to see the planes at displays.


Former Fife supermarket photo shop worker jailed for indecent child images haul

May 2 2014

A former supermarket photo shop assistant who was found with more than 14,000 indecent images and videos of children, collected over a six-year period, has been jailed for 240 days. First offender Neil McGibbon, 24, of Evershed Drive, Dunfermline, admitted having the images in his possession at his home address between January 1 2007 and May 27 2013. Cupar Sheriff Court previously heard that McGibbon, a former photo shop assistant at an Asda supermarket, was apprehended by police in relation to the offence in May 2013. Following a search of his bedroom, three media-enabled devices were retained. At the time McGibbon said he knew they were illegal and had stumbled across them while looking for adult pornography. The majority of images featured girls aged between 10 and 12. In total 13,813 indecent images were discovered and 306 indecent films, the majority of which were at level one of the Copine scale. However, there were 171 moving images at level four, and six at level five. Of the still images discovered, 1,106 were level four and 97 were level five. McGibbon’s defence solicitor Susan Gibson he was “genuinely disgusted” at his behaviour. “He is an immature, young man lacking in self-confidence and socially awkward and is absolutely terrified of going to prison.” Ms Gibson added McGibbon had sought help with an organisation called Stop It Now as well as a sexual psychotherapist. “A prison sentence could destroy him and destroy all the progress he has made,” she said. Sheriff Charles Macnair said there could be no alternative to custody. Addressing McGibbon he said: “Over a period of six years you downloaded indecent images of children on a number of devices. “These are offences involving real victims ... and this is not a small number of images it is a very significant number.” Sheriff Macnair also imposed a two-year extended supervision sentence upon McGibbon’s release from prison, placed him on the sex offenders register for 10 years and imposed a 10-year sexual offences protection order preventing him from accessing the Internet anonymously, deleting his history of internet browsing, obtaining software to delete files from electronic devices or using a browser that has no history tracker. McGibbon was told he must also allow any police constable access to any of his electronic devices upon request and provide the Chief Constable of Police Scotland with IP addresses of all electronic devices he uses in the future. An Asda spokeswoman confirmed McGibbon left the company at the time of his arrest.


No ‘Braveheart effect’ on views about nationalism

June 26 2014

“They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!” Remember that? Braveheart affected everything from tourism, to our film industry to our football team. It won five Academy awards which is a remarkable feat in itself. It even kick started a conversation by the Scottish Secretary at the time, Michael Forsyth, to look at getting a Scottish film studio, not that it ever happened. Love it or loathe it, it’s been a big part of Scotland’s recent cultural history. Marking the 20th anniversary since production began, on Tuesday night I went to the Dominion Cinema in Edinburgh for a special red carpet commemorative screening with the film’s stars minus Mel Gibson, who sent a special video message. Obviously the movie makers were keen to capitalise on potential publicity out of this referendum year, since next year is the actual 20th anniversary since the film release and the new DVD release (not to mention the 700th anniversary since the Battle of Bannockburn this week). Watching the movie again reminded me that large parts are completely fictitious, such as people dressing up in kilts hundreds of years before they actually did. But it’s not supposed to be accurate, it’s a movie. In the Q&A with the cast at the event, someone said they had stand-up arguments with Mel Gibson on set about the historical inaccuracies of the film, but Mel simply told him it didn’t matter because his focus was entertainment. Braveheart clearly continues to evoke strong feelings nearly 20 years on, which got me thinking, why is it still so significant? I guess the fact we are talking a year ahead of it being released shows its relevance. I think it was to do with the timing of its release, a gap in the market and a bit of politics that made it and makes it to this day such a taking point. Being interviewed by BBC’s Sarah Smith ahead of the special screening, Brian Cox, who played Argyle Wallace in the film and also starred in Rob Roy which was released the same year as Braveheart, said: “People in Scotland were not feeling at their best at beginning of the 90s after Thatcher and her devastating impact on industry. So the movie released something and of course the global significance of the film and how it went Oscar-wise, was maybe slightly hysterical, but quite extraordinary at the same time.” So, a stirring movie after over a decade of depression under Tory rule. Plugging a hole. There are not many evocations of Scotland on the world stage, which has given Braveheart a prominence worldwide that one could argue it ordinarily would not have had. We have a state broadcaster in the BBC that barely produces any Scottish content and a film industry bursting with home- grown talent and extraordinary shoot locations but not the economic clout to incentivise film production in Scotland or compete with the tax breaks that other countries offer. Since Braveheart there hasn’t really been a big blockbuster about Scotland that has filled its shoes. Disney’s Brave, as lovely as it was, was a gentle story for kids. Which begs the question, that given that Scotland, with its rich history, has so many heroes, stories and legends, why are we not talking about them? Our film reference points for Scotland are still Braveheart and Trainspotting. As film critic Siobhan Synnot pointed out, there is a third Dylan Thomas movie out which is showing at Edinburgh Film Festival but not one about Rabbie Burns. It’s bordering on ridiculous. Then there is the whole “Braveheart nationalism” effect. Personally, and for most, I don’t think the movie makes one iota of difference to how Scots perceive Scotland’s place in the world. But it did tap into something. Mel Gibson was not interested in politics when he made the movie, he was interested in romance and the story of oppression these will always tug at the heart strings but in terms of the current debate Peter Mullan summed it up for me: “I’m for independence but the people of Scotland won’t be influenced by a movie. This is a serious referendum. Braveheart was candy floss compared to this.” What Braveheart shows us today is the lack of Scottish productions and the need for a new generation of filmmaking about Scotland’s stories that portray a modern Scotland in all its glory and grit. Films like Sunshine on Leith and The Angels’ Share and the pending Scottish Government announcement of a Scottish film and sound studio complex shows we are moving in the right direction. However, we need access to all the tools in the box. We need to have tax powers to incentivise film makers to come to Scotland so we can capitalise on our outstanding scenery, to be in control of our vast assets to invest in this key industry for the future and put Scotland on the global stage so the world takes notice. When asked after winning his Academy Awards how much of the Oscar belonged to Scotland, Mel Gibson apparently said “about an ear”. I look forward to an Oscar won by a film made in Scotland that all of Scotland can be proud of. Our potential is huge, we just need to realise it.


VIDEO: Puppy walker who claimed £5,000 in disability benefits

June 14 2013

A puppy walker who claimed she could not walk more than 20 yards at a time so she could rake in thousands of pounds in disability benefits was caught out by hidden cameras. Karen Gibson claimed more than £5,000 in a year despite being perfectly able to walk. The 49-year-old avoided jail and was sentenced to 180 hours of unpaid work despite admitting the scam. Cupar Sheriff Court was told Gibson became entitled to one of the “highest rates” of Disability Living Allowance in January 2010 because of severe back and knee problems that made it impossible for her to walk for more than five minutes or 20 yards at a time. Authorities were tipped off a little over a year later. https://www.youtube.com/embed/AAaHhIc3vug?rel=0 They were told she was “not as disabled as she made out” and had become a puppy walker with Guide Dogs for the Blind. A covert surveillance operation was mounted and she was seen walking without aids. During the period she applied for and was found fit for, she worked as a dog walker with the charity but continued to claim benefits amounting to a total of £5,337. The court heard she was paying the cash back at a rate of £7-a-week, giving her almost 15 years to clear the debt. Gibson, of Lamond View, St Andrews, pleaded guilty to claiming the money between August 19 2010 and September 6 2011 by failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions and the Disability and Carers Service of a change of circumstances which she knew would affect her entitlement to Disability Living Allowance. Gibson’s defence agent said this was because his client had received a change in medication which led to an improvement in her mobility and that her own GP had encouraged her to become a puppy-walker. Sheriff Charles Macnair said: “Whilst accept your original claim, there came a time when you knew you didn’t need that level of allowance.”

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

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


Fife woman sued for £185,000 after crash that killed boyfriend

January 16 2014

The family of a man killed in a horrific crash on the A9 have successfully sued his girlfriend for £185,000. Hazel Gibson, 31, of Lochgelly, was behind the wheel of the Renault Kangoo when it crashed near Bankfoot in November 2011 as she travelled to a wedding in Fort William. Boyfriend Michael Joyce died at the scene and Ms Gibson’s seven-year-old son Cole succumbed to his injuries two days later. Cole saved the life of other children as his mother consented to his organs being donated. Ms Gibson, who was 17 weeks’ pregnant at the time, was badly injured, suffering fractures to her pelvis and spine, as well as broken ribs. Her son by Mr Joyce, Talon, was born five months later. Mr Joyce’s parents and four others sued Ms Gibson and her insurers, claiming her negligence caused the crash. In a hearing at the Court of Session, Lord Kinclaven found in their favour and awarded them damages. Ms Gibson was driving north on the Perth to Inverness stretch of the A9 when she swerved onto the opposite side of the road, hitting an oncoming Peugeot 206. At the time of the incident she told crash investigators she had suffered a sharp pain in her stomach which caused her to veer onto the opposite carriageway. Experts told the court the accident was likely to have been caused by Ms Gibson swerving to the left, then over-correcting. Ms Gibson claimed Mr Joyce caused the over-correction by grabbing the steering wheel. Giving his decision, Lord Kinclaven wrote: “I have reached the conclusion that the pursuers are entitled to reparation from the defenders. “On the evidence, the defenders have failed to provide an acceptable non-negligent account of how the accident occurred.”