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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...

UK & World

Meghan’s extended family arrive in London

May 15 2018

Members of Meghan Markle’s extended family have arrived in London ahead of the royal wedding.Ms Markle’s sister-in-law Tracy Dooley was pictured at Heathrow Airport with sons Tyler and Thomas.Ms Dooley, who was married to the former actress’s half-brother, has previously told ITV’s Good Morning Britain she had not received an invitation to the ceremony at Windsor Castle on Saturday, admitting she had not seen Ms Markle for 20 years.Her arrival in the UK comes amid speculation that Ms Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, has pulled out of attending her marriage to Prince Harry, having been due to walk her down the aisle.The Dooleys took to Facebook to announce their presence in the capital on Monday evening.Ms Dooley posted pictures of landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster and the London Eye, writing: “We’re here! Yay!”Her son Tyler uploaded an image of the Imperial War Museum, as well as a photograph of the inside of a hotel room.“Just touched down in London!!! Man what a journey so far,” he wrote. “We’re safe and sound!”

Perth & Kinross

Judges quash appeal from £200,000 cash and jewellery gangster

September 22 2016

A crook who teamed up with a dangerous gangster to rob the daughter of Scotland’s richest woman of £200,000 of jewellery has lost a bid to have his conviction quashed. Christopher McMultan,40, was given a 12 year sentence after jurors found him guilty of robbery at the Perthshire home of Sarah Gloag in January 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAijIF6T1C8 The High Court in Edinburgh heard how McMultan and Brian ‘the Hawk’ Martin – who was once branded Britain’s most dangerous man – forced their into Sarah’s property. The pair threatened the hairdresser and her husband Sundeep with knives before tying the couple up with masking tape and escaping with Sarah’s precious stones and cash. Sarah is the daughter of Ann Gloag – the businesswoman who made millions from her Stagecoach bus empire. Martin, who has more than 50 convictions in a criminal career dating back to 1976, was given a 14 year sentence in November 2015 by temporary judge Paul Arthurson QC. On Thursday, lawyers acting for McMultan addressed the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh in a bid to have their client’s conviction quashed. Brian McConnachie QC told judges Lady Dorrian, Lady Clark of Calton and Lord Menzies that his client had been the victim of a miscarriage of justice. He claimed that correct legal procedure hadn’t been followed in the proceedings against McMultan. However, the judges ruled that there was enough evidence available to prove that McMultan committed the robbery and that correct procedure was followed. Lord Menzies said: “We refuse the appeal.” McMultan and Martin were arrested in a broad daylight armed police swoop in Cupar.


Cancer fight looks to sharks

September 27 2013

A type of antibody found only in the blood of sharks could help tackle breast cancer, scientists have said. It is thought that the unique IgNAR antibodies could be used to prevent the growth of cancer cells and research into them could lead to the development of new drugs to fight the most common form of the disease in the UK. Biologists from Aberdeen University have been awarded £200,000 by St Andrews cancer research charity the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) to carry out a three-year study. Their work will focus on two molecules, HER2 and HER3, found on the surface of cancer cells which, when they pair up, are responsible for signalling cancer cells to grow and divide. Potentially, IgNAR antibodies could be used to stop these molecules from working and sending the signal. Dr Helen Dooley, who is from the university’s school of biological sciences and will lead the study, said: “IgNAR antibodies are interesting because they bind to targets, such as viruses or parasites, in a very different way to the antibodies found in humans. “They can do this because their attachment region is very small and so can fit into spaces that human antibodies cannot. “We believe we can exploit the novel binding of IgNAR and use it to stop HER2 and HER3 molecules from working, and prompting cancer cells to grow and divide.” Very high levels of HER2 are found on the surface of cancer cells in women who have HER2-positive breast cancer, this affects around a quarter of women with breast cancer. HER2-positive breast cancer can be treated with drugs but resistance to this successful treatment is a growing problem. Dr Dooley added: “With the funding from AICR we can begin to explore the potential of IgNAR as a future treatment for breast cancer. “This is only the first step in a very long process but if our hypothesis holds true we hope to develop new anti-cancer drugs based upon these unique shark antibodies.” Lara Bennett, from the AICR, said: “We believe that funding research projects like Dr Helen Dooley’s is so important for the future development of more effective treatments to help patients who become resistant to drugs like Herceptin.” Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and of those diagnosed more than 85% live for at least five years after their diagnosis and more than 75% live for at least 10 years.

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.


Drink-driving pensioner was more than three times over limit when she crashed

March 21 2018

A 71-year-old woman was more than three times over the limit when she hit the kerb of a roundabout and smashed into a van. Marjorie Pooley, of Inchmickery Road, Dalgety Bay, admitted drink-driving when she appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court. Pooley gave a reading of 156 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood – the legal limit being 50 milligrammes – following the incident, which happened on October 14 in Western Access Road, Dalgety Bay. Depute fiscal Azrah Yousaf said another woman saw Pooley’s car being driven too fast to negotiate a roundabout at around 11.40am. “She hit the kerb and stayed up on it as she went around, before losing control and going over into the opposite carriageway,” the depute continued. “She then swerved back and collided with a parked Ford Transit van, forcing it forward into another parked vehicle.” Pooley stayed in her vehicle and the police were contacted. She was taken to the Victoria Hospital for a check-up. Defence solicitor Sarah Meehan said: “My client is a first offender and has held a driving licence for 42 years with no blemish on it until now. “It’s highly unfortunate that she finds herself in this situation.” She added that her client had been drinking to deal with the stress of being a carer for her husband. Sheriff Alison McKay said: “While I appreciate you got a fright, you put other road users at risk.” She disqualified Pooley for two years and fined her £600.

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.

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

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”.