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Perth & Kinross

Irene Gunnion’s fight for answers over her husband’s death following surgery

February 28 2011

A Perth pensioner has told of her three-year battle to uncover the truth about her husband's death following complications after a routine surgical procedure. Former sales manager, Raymond Gunnion, died at Perth Royal Infirmary in November 2007, when he rapidly deteriorated following lung surgery designed to give him a better quality of life. The 76-year-old never returned home from hospital following the operation, which took place at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary more than a month before his death. Already worried about the standard of post-operative care, his wife Irene began inquiries into the affair, turning up details she would never otherwise have known. Mrs Gunnion said, "My husband was an intelligent gentleman who honoured and valued transparency. He was most reluctant to agree to the surgical procedure, primarily because of his senior years. "He believed as one does in the doctors who deemed him perfectly fit and placed his trust in them. I say he was deceived." Mrs Gunnion said she discovered through a Freedom of Information request her husband had underlying medical issues of which he was unaware and which would have better informed his decision to go ahead with the surgery. "I was stunned to read after his demise that Raymond had not been fit he had an aneurism of the abdominal aorta containing extensive thrombus, a condition withheld from my husband, as was a degree or renal impairment. "My husband had the human right to be furnished with all pre-existing medical conditions. Post surgery, for some reason, he could not swallow without sickness and was unable to eat or drink. "He lost two stone in weight in four weeks and no investigations were undertaken and sips of liquid were given to Raymond by myself. It was obscene.Charade"Raymond knew he was finished and said as much to me many times. He left me in no doubt as to his feelings about the whole charade." Her ordeal continued after Mr Gunnion's death, however, as she explained. "I was informed of the need for a post mortem the morning of my husband's demise because of the sudden death combined with the recent surgery. "It made sense, and I welcomed the news believing it might give me an insight and understanding of what went wrong for Raymond. "However, again from medical records, I gained information which shook me to the core the post mortem did not take place, although I believed it had." With concerns over the actions of the NHS in both Lothian and Tayside, Mrs Gunnion eventually took her fight to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. After an initial investigation that she found unsatisfactory, she got the result she hoped for on the second attempt when recommendations were made on tightening up procedures. She now hopes her tale will serve as an inspiration to others. She said, "My ultimate goal since 2007 was to reach the public, thus honouring my husband's memory, and I believe I have achieved what I set out to do. "Raymond and I were pragmatic and we understood life is not forever, but his end of life care disturbs me. Nevertheless, I believe this journey was necessary not just for me, but can serve as a learning curve for others, and I have no regrets." She thanked those who had helped her over the past three years, including clinicians, the Scotland Patients Association and staff at the Edinburgh Patient Information Centre.

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

Football club stand named in honour of ‘Mr Kirrie Thistle’ Raymond Dyce

July 31 2017

A man who dedicated his life to an Angus football club had a stand named in his honour on Saturday. Raymond Dyce, who died at the age of 49 in 2013, worked tirelessly as a volunteer for Kirriemuir Thistle Junior Thistle Club. Over a 20-year period he did everything from cut the grass to wash the strips at the club. His greatest achievement was organising the rebuilding of the club’s main stand after the previous stand blew down in fierce storms at Westview Park in 2008. Vice president Wilson Coupar, who managed the club for 23 years, said naming the stand in Raymond’s honour was a fitting tribute. He said: “He started off training with the club and got involved with the committee in the mid-1990s. “If he decided something was to be done, it was done. “Over the years he was secretary, treasurer, reserve goalkeeper and vice president. He always ran our sportsman’s dinner. He really was Mr Kirrie Thistle. “A stand blew down in 2008 and if it wasn’t for him it would be sitting as a heap of rubble or there would be nothing there. “He was the main force on that stand being rebuilt. He also organised floodlighting. “We’ve always wanted to name the stand after Raymond to pay tribute to him.” Prior to the naming ceremony there was a veteran’s game and afterwards a pre-season friendly against Dyce Juniors. The ceremony was attended by members of Raymond’s family, including his wife Susan and children Claire and Ewan. Raymond’s brother Norman said: “He loved the club. When the stand blew down it was his mission to build a new one bigger and better. “It was a big undertaking. I remember that he went to Love Street, St Mirren’s ground, and gathered up as many seats as he could. I think he went down three times and rubbed them down and painted them. “He did everything over the years. He was a goalkeeper, he put the lines on the pitch, he cut the grass, he washed the strips. “We are honoured that Kirrie Thistle have done this for Raymond.” Raymond worked as a grain trader for Allied Grain, which he joined in 1987. As a member of Forfar and District Young Farmers Club, he took part in many of the activities, including speech-making and stock judging. It was there that he met his future wife Susan, who he married in 1991. He grew up at Nether Turin, near Forfar, and he educated at Pitkennedy Primary and Forfar Academy. Just before his 16th birthday and at the first opportunity, he left school to start farm work with David Young at Nethermuir, Rescobie.

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.

UK & World

Belfast High Court to hear Brexit legal challenge

October 4 2016

A legal challenge to Brexit is due to begin in Northern Ireland today. Lawyers representing a host of high-profile politicians and campaigners will argue that triggering Article 50 would be illegal if done without securing parliamentary and Northern Ireland Assembly consent. Prime Minister Theresa May has said she plans to use the mechanism to begin negotiations with the European Union next year. Former Stormont justice minister David Ford is among a cross-community group of politicians and human rights activists whose lawyers are taking the case at Belfast's High Court. They have urged the premier to consider the country's peace process and other unique requirements before launching Brexit talks. Northern Ireland's attorney general John Larkin QC is expected to be involved in the landmark legal proceedings. Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond McCord Jr was murdered by the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in north Belfast in 1997, is also involved in the case over concerns that European peace money for Troubles victims may be stopped. Some 56 per cent of Northern Irish voters backed Remain in the June 23 referendum but some unionist-dominated parts supported Leave. Northern Ireland shares the UK's only land border with an EU state, the Republic of Ireland, and the British and Irish Governments have said they are keen to ensure there is no return to the hard borders of the past. Those supporting the legal action include: Green Party leader Steven Agnew; Social Democratic and Labour Party leader Colum Eastwood; senior Sinn Fein Stormont Assembly member John O'Dowd; former head of the Progressive Unionist Party Dawn Purvis; ex-Equality Commission member and disability rights activist Monica Wilson OBE and the Committee on the Administration of Justice human rights group. They want to ensure the Brexit process complies with the rule of law, takes account of parliamentary sovereignty, protects progress made towards a more peaceful society and accords adequate weight to the democratic will of those in Northern Ireland who voted in the European referendum and in the 1998 poll on the Good Friday Agreement.

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.


Gamekeeper offers reward for stolen dog’s return

August 1 2013

A gamekeeper has offered a reward to catch thieves who took a valuable working dog. The chain securing the kennels at the rear of Raymond Baynes’ cottage at Lochearnhead was cut and seven-year-old Lakeland Terrier Bud snatched. Bizarrely the crooks left Raymond’s other two dogs, Labrador Flint and Springer Spaniel Sunny, untouched. Raymond, 63, has worked on the Ardvorlich estate for 43 years. He said: “I went down on Sunday morning about 8.30 to 9am and there was no chain on one of the kennels, nothing to be seen and Bud was missing.” He went on: “I’ve had Bud for about five years. I’ll have to replace him but I’ve only got one or two years to go and he’s one of the best dogs I’ve ever had. To get a dog of his experience that’s reliable is not easy. Raymond said the dog has a distinctive look, with unusually long legs and missing teeth. His coat is a red colour. He suspects that a grey Transit van seen in the area at the time may provide the clue to Bud’s whereabouts.

Motoring news

Audi showcases raft of new cars

June 29 2016

Audi threw everything it had at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend, with no fewer than nine upcoming models making their UK debuts. One of the most interesting – and affordable – was the new Q2. Audi’s smallest crossover yet, it’ll sit underneath the Q3, Q5 and big ole Q7. It will be available as a front wheel drive or with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system. Under the skin there’s a choice of three TFSI petrol and three TDI diesels, with Audi’s 1.0 litre three-cylinder petrol offering 114bhp, the 1.4 litre four-cylinder sitting below the 187bhp 2,.0 litre TFSI. Diesel options are the 1.6 litre TDI with 114bhp and a pair of 2.0 litre TDIs with 148bhp or 187bhp. It goes on sale later this summer with a starting price expected to be in the region of £20,000. At the other end of the price scale is the R8 V10 Spyder. The 553bhp supercar comes a year after the second generation coupe R8 was released. Audi reckons the new Spyder is 50 per cent stiffer than the last Spyder, and its canvas roof stows beneath a massive rear deck, able to open or close at speeds up to 31mph in 20 seconds. Fuel economy “improves” to just over 24mpg thanks to a new coasting function that idles the engine when it’s not needed. Expect it to cost around £130,000. In between those two extremes are a plethora of other upcoming Audis, including the new S5 Coupe, and the Audi TT RS which first revealed a year ago is hardly new but apparently it had never been seen in the UK before. A couple of Q7s were also at Goodwood, including the Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid, which returns a claimed 156mpg, and the SQ7 – a diesel with 429bhp. There was also the refreshed A3 range. Audi’s upmarket Golf rival has been given a styling refresh along with a few new engine options. Following a trend for downsizing, there’s a 1.0 litre three -cylinder petrol unit, while a powerful 2.0 petrol engine also joins the range.