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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...

Fife

Amazon warehouse workers admit stealing goods from Dunfermline delivery site

July 7 2016

Two warehousemen were caught trying to steal goods with a total value of over £10,000 from Amazon’s giant delivery site in Dunfermline. The men, Craig Brown and Lee Hampton, worked in the returns department and both were in financial difficulties when they became involved in the scams. They intercepted returned packages containing expensive electrical devices, re-labelled them and sent them to people they knew. Brown sent a package containing almost £5000 worth of mobile phones to the address of his fiancee’s mother, hoping to sell them on. Hampton had blown a £5000 bank loan on gaming machines and re-labelled two packages, sending one to a friend and the other to his next-door neighbour. A Royal Mail employee intercepted all three packages having become suspicious about them. The two men lost their jobs and both are now employed at Rosyth Dockyard. They claimed they had not acted together in the deception and this was accepted by the Crown. Brown, 25, of Patterson St, Methil, admitted stealing electrical devices worth £4971.79 from Amazon, Amazon Way, Dunfermline, between 12th and 20th September last year. Hampton, 29, of Craigie Street, Ballingry, admitted that between the same dates and at the same place he stole devices valued at £5196. Depute fiscal Fiona Nairn said on 14th September an employee at Royal Mail discovered suspicious packages which were partially damaged and identified as having been returned from Amazon’s warehouse. One package was addressed to a person who turned out to be a friend of Hampton in Ballingry. The other was addressed to his next door neighbour. The Royal Mail worker contacted Amazon and it was confirmed the packages were stolen goods. Hampton’s fingerprints were found on the packages. In October 2015, another suspicious package was found by the same Royal Mail employee and again inquiries revealed it contained stolen goods from Amazon. This package was addressed to the mother of Brown’s fiancée. Sarah Meehan, agent for Brown, said her client “appreciated the serious nature of this charge”. She said he was a first offender and was acting “wholly out of character”. “He very much regrets his actions,” added Ms Meehan. She said her client had been a docking clerk and his job involved the unloading packages from lorries. His duties included identifying packages which did not have an Amazon logo. “He was not aware of the contents of this package but suspected it was mobile telephones and this turned out to be the case,” said the solicitor. “He was very candid that if the goods had made it to the address it was his intention to sell them on. “He accepts there was some degree of planning.” However, she said the pair in the dock had not acted together and it “was by way of coincidence they find themselves in this position.” Stephen Morrison, solicitor for Hampton, said, the two packages in his client’s case had been returned to Amazon erroneously. “He had a quick look at them and put new labels on them. He hadn’t though through how he would retrieve the packages,” said Mr Morrison. Sheriff Charles Macnair told the men they had both committed a “gross breach of trust”. He sentenced both men to community payback orders with 300 hours of unpaid work and four-month restriction of liberty orders. Opened in 2011 next to the M90, Amazon’s Dunfermline operation is the company’s biggest order fulfilment centre in the 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

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.

St Johnstone

St Johnstone boss wants to extend Peter Pawlett’s deal

December 28 2012

ST JOHNSTONE manager Steve Lomas has told Craig Brown he would like to keep loan winger Peter Pawlett at McDiarmid Park until the end of the season. Injuries have kept the Scotland under-21 international out of the Saints team for most of his time at Perth, but he’s back to full fitness now and was impressive in the Boxing Day Tayside derby at Tannadice. The player himself is also keen to extend his stay, but Aberdeen manager Craig Brown has yet to make up his mind. The possibility of another of his widemen, prize asset Ryan Fraser, being sold in the transfer window is one of the factors delaying Brown’s decision. Lomas said: “We would love to keep Peter Pawlett. But that is down to Aberdeen in the next few days. “I had a brief chat with Craig Brown up there (when the teams met at Pittodrie last weekend) because we would love to have him here through to the end of the season. “Peter would like to stay but it is their decision to make.” High-flying Inverness Caledonian Thistle visit McDiarmid on Saturday, and Lomas will have a hard decision to make on who to play at left-back. Callum Davidson was rested on Wednesday, and Tam Scobbie performed well against United in his absence. Lomas commented: “Tam Scobbie was unlucky to be left out at Aberdeen and with the pitch being so heavy again we decided to leave Callum out at Tannadice. “But it is good to have competition. That is what I want.” Lomas is well aware that the draw count for his team is creeping up, and he wants to nip that in the bud. He pointed out: “We have to turn around our home form and start putting together a few wins to help ease the pressure on us going away and having to get something every week. “As I’ve said before, I would be more worried if we weren’t creating chances. We believe it will turn for us if we keep persevering. If we stick with it and keep believing I am sure someone is going to take a real pasting from us.” enicolson@thecourier.co.uk

Fife

Fife Council election results — Success for SNP in Ward 13: Glenrothes West and Kinglassie

May 5 2017

The SNP were the big winners in Glenrothes West and Kinglassie as both Julie Ford and Craig Walker were elected to the council. Labour’s Altany Craik was also re-elected, although Glenrothes area committee chair Bill Brown, standing as an Independent, fell by the wayside. Ms Ford, who came out on top with 1442 votes, said she was delighted to be returned in the ward, helping to fight off a Conservative challenge from David Croll. Mr Croll polled 723 votes, but Mr Walker secured the seat due to later preference votes. “We knew there was going to be a Tory surge but we’re delighted to have won,” she said. “We worked our socks off to get out and speak to as many people as we can, and I’m delighted to be back on the council for the next five years.” Mr Craik said he too was delighted to be re-elected. “It’s great to see that we’ve got the support of voters but what the results also show with the Conservative vote that people don’t want a second independence referendum,” he said. “It’s awful for local politics to see us embroiled in national politics, and it’s dangerous, but people are telling us they don’t want a second referendum. “The Conservative party’s national media is working very well and that has crossed over into the council elections. “It’s going to be very interesting – it’s going to be a long day for the Liberals and the Conservatives are going to have a group now, rather than just three councillors. “So this will now mean that we’ll have to have adult and consensual politics where possible. “I do think people have forgotten what it means to be a Tory, and it’s down to us to get our messages out.”     Result Bill Brown (ind) – 460 Lewis Campbell (Greens) – 87 Altany Craik (Lab) – 1252 David Croll (Cons) – 723 Julie Ford (SNP) – 1442 Martin Green (UKIP) – 63 Derek Preston (Lib Dems) – 86 Craig Walker (SNP) – 659 Turnout: 40% Elected – Altany Craik, Julie Ford, Craig Walker

St Johnstone

St Johnstone 3 Aberdeen 0: Saints thrash Dons again

April 22 2016

If there was a Premiership title race when Aberdeen arrived at McDiarmid Park, there wasn’t one by the time they left. St Johnstone ripped the Dons apart in as one-sided an encounter as there has been in the top flight this season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFGzEYBeQDg No team has caused more damage to Aberdeen’s league challenge than Saints, with this heavy defeat being added to a 2015/16 list that already had a 5-1 Pittodrie rout and a February draw on it. In the 5-1 Aberdeen had some cause to claim that the scoreline was harsh on them. Not here. David Wotherspoon’s free-kick opener, Steven MacLean’s delicate poacher’s goal and Liam Craig’s second half clincher made this 3-0 scoreline an entirely fair one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXJaCQBGtEA Saints controlled possession, were more creative in attack and much more secure at the back. Crucially (and inexplicably from an Aberdeen perspective) they were also far more hungry. The Saints players had insisted through the week that post-split motivation wouldn’t be a problem even though Rangers’ Scottish Cup semi-final win killed off the possibility of shooting for a European place in their last five fixtures. And, with the way they started the game, you had to believe them. They were at Aberdeen from the off, with Wotherspoon’s cross from the right finding the head of Graham Cummins. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsLIQcR0nGo His effort went over and referee Craig Thomson ruled that it touched an Aberdeen man on its way out. From a Wotherspoon corner that the visitors thought shouldn’t have been given Joe Shaughnessy crashed a header off the face of the bar from about five yards out and the rebound didn’t fall kindly for any of his team-mates. That should have been 1-0 but the Perth men didn’t have long to wait for their opener. On 14 minutes young debutant Michael Rose fouled Cummins and from the free-kick just over 20 yards out Wotherspoon curled the ball towards the near post. Keeper Scott Brown should have kept it out but the late dip, aided by a slight deflection off the top of Kenny McLean’s head, deceived him and Saints had their lead. Things just weren’t clicking for a strangely subdued Dons side and their shortcomings in were both boxes were summed up on 21 minutes when one of their corners nearly ended up with a second goal being conceded. They were opened up on the counter-attack by a Murray Davidson through-ball far too easily and Chris Millar didn’t miss the far post by much with his low left foot shot. Derek McInnes had started with three at the back for the first time this season. Within half-an-hour he reverted to the familiar four in an effort to change the flow of the match. It probably wasn’t his formation that was causing this to be a mismatch, though. It was his players. And one of the poorest of the 11 was keeper Brown. He was a lucky boy when a Wotherspoon corner floated over the top of him and he tripped himself up. Steven Anderson bundled the ball home but the referee – wrongly – awarded the Reds a free-kick. This moment of good fortune didn’t prove to be a turning point. On 38 minutes the Aberdeen defence was again a shambles when Tam Scobbie launched a long ball to the back post, Anderson nodded it into the danger area and MacLean finished it off with the toe of his boot. McInnes made one half-time change, replacing youngster Rose with veteran Barry Robson. It didn’t make any difference as 10 minutes after the re-start it was 3-0. Mark Reynolds was dispossessed by Millar, who quickly shifted the ball on to Cummins, who in turn picked out Craig. The midfielder had the freedom of the box at the back post and slotted the ball past Brown. Zander Clark was given a rare start by Tommy Wright and the young keeper must think this first team lark is a stroll in the park. His first start was against the Dons in the 5-1 romp and this was his second. Clark looked composed – far more so than his opposite number – but he was rarely called into action. Simon Church had a sight of goal on 71 minutes but he scuffed his shot and Clark kept it out with little fuss. Robson did eventually test him in the dying minutes but the big keeper got a strong hand to a free-kick that was heading for the bottom corner. St Johnstone – Clark, Scobbie, Anderson, Millar (Doyle 85), Davidson (Lappin 61), MacLean, Wotherspoon, Shaughnessy, Cummins (Kane 80), Fisher, Craig. Subs not used – Mannus, Sutton, Brown, Gordon. Aberdeen - Brown, Logan, Shinnie, Rose (Robson 45), Reynolds, Jack, Hayes, McGinn (McLennan 83), McLean, Considine, Church. Subs not used – Collin, Flood, Storie, McKenna, Smith. Referee – Craig Thomson. Attendance - 3,990.

Dundee

Court told swimming instructor abused his position

November 1 2013

A swimming instructor abused his position to film unsuspecting female victims in changing rooms, Perth Sheriff Court has heard. Craig Brown was working at schools and leisure facilities across Perth and Kinross, Dundee and Angus, where he is alleged to have captured images of the women in states of undress. An extensive investigation was undertaken by police to match images with locations, leaning extensively on 31-year-old Brown’s employment records. Detective Sergeant James Thomson said a number of victims had been identified and shown footage taken from his phone. “There were a large number of images on Mr Brown’s phone and we were keen to identify where they had been taken and the people in the images,” he said. “We investigated where he had worked and where he had been. It was a protracted inquiry, centred on not just Perth and Kinross but also Dundee and Angus, while we also looked at leisure facilities in central Scotland and Fife. “There was a mixture of upset, distress and anger amongst those who were filmed. The revelation of what had taken place affected some of the women quite badly.” The court was told the alleged offences came to light when one woman spotted a mobile phone being held under her changing room cubicle at Perth Leisure Pool. Jurors were shown video footage in which Brown could be seen walking back and forward between showers and changing cubicles at the pool. Mr Thomson offered narration, identifying Brown as he eventually entered a changing cubicle. Shortly thereafter a woman, wrapped in a towel was seen to exit her adjacent cubicle and knock on that occupied by Brown. Jurors were told that she had demanded his mobile phone, which was handed over, and had then told the accused to bring the matter to the attention of a member of staff. He was shown doing so in another piece of video footage, during which his alleged victim is seen holding his mobile phone. One particular piece of video footage found on the phone identified Brown as its owner. Mr Thomson said it had shown a male showering and then committing a solo sex act. “It was taken within the swimming pool area at Craigie High School in Dundee,” he said. “The man was wearing a purple watch and a distinctive band on his right wrist, both of which were later recovered from Mr Brown’s house.” Brown, of Balunie Crescent, Dundee, faces eight charges of recording and taking images of women in changing rooms at Perth Leisure Pool, at Craigie High, Menzieshill High and St John’s RC High schools in Dundee and at the Red Lion Caravan Park in Arbroath on dates between April 26, 2010 and February 8, 2012. He denies all the charges. The trial, before a jury of 10 men, seven women and Sheriff Lindsay Foulis, continues.

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

Scottish Championship

Raith Rovers ask SFA to investigate Rangers player’s recall

September 3 2015

Raith Rovers have requested that the SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan investigates whether Rangers broke the governing body’s rules by bringing Ryan Hardie back early from Scotland Under-19 duty ahead of Saturday’s clash between the two Championship sides at Ibrox. The Kirkcaldy club say that Rangers assistant manager David Weir helped secure the player’s release before the Under-19s face Bulgaria tomorrow night. While Hardie will now be available to play at Ibrox, Raith will be without on-loan Dundee striker Craig Wighton who has remained with the squad. In a statement, the club said: “Ahead of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Championship match versus Rangers at Ibrox, Raith Rovers FC has today asked the Scottish FA’s Compliance Officer to consider whether he agrees that Rangers FC, through David Weir, have breached SFA Articles and Rules by requesting and securing the early release of its player Ryan Hardie from international duty with Scotland Under-19s in Bulgaria, for the sole reason that he is then available to play against Raith Rovers. “Raith Rovers FC also has an important player in the same Under-19 squad, 1st team regular Craig Wighton. Craig remains in Bulgaria and available for selection for Friday evening’s national representative match. “He will fly home with the rest of the squad on Saturday afternoon. We are delighted that Craig is receiving international recognition, and whilst we are without his services for the crucial match with Rangers, our loss is Scotland’s gain. “Naturally we are concerned that if there is any breach of Article 82.1 and Rules 56 & 57, this would in these circumstances result in an unfairness in terms of players available for selection for Saturday’s match, which is to our disadvantage.” Scottish FA Article 82.1 states: “If any player selected to attend any international or other match arranged by the Scottish FA refuses without good and sufficient cause to comply with the arrangements for playing in such match or fails to attend such match, the Judicial Panel may find him to have been in breach of this Article 82.1, and any club or official or Team Official or other member of Team Staff who may be found to have encouraged or instigated or caused such player so to refuse shall likewise be deemed to be in breach of this Article 82.1 and the provisions of Article 95 shall apply.”

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