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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

Preacher charged with killing wife may bring body to UK

June 29 2015

The preacher accused of murdering his Arbroath-born wife in Ghana has been granted permission to return to Britain. Eric Adusah has been charged with killing his wife Charmain at a hotel in Koforidua in March. In the latest twist in his legal case, he told the magistrates court in Ghana’s capital, Accra, that he wanted to leave the country so he could bring his wife’s body back to Britain. His application was refused by Worlanyo Kotoku on the basis that police were conducting further investigations into Charmain’s death. However, he then appealed to the Human Rights Court in Accra, which granted the Global Light Revival Ministries pastor permission to travel abroad. Charmain, 41, who was three months pregnant, was discovered at Mac Dic Royal Plaza Hotel on March 20 by hotel workers. Mr Adusah, who represented himself in court, said he was being put under pressure by Charmain’s family to bring her body home and that he had not seen his wife’s remains since she died. He insisted he would return to Ghana for any court appearances. Charmain’s parents said they have not heard any news of when their daughter’s body will be returned to Britain. Her mother, Linda Speirs, said: “We are not being kept updated. It’s as if we’re not involved at all. It’s very frustrating and annoying. “If he is the man of God that he says he is then he should release my daughter’s body back to Britain, without him having to come back as well, while he deals with his trial over there.” Mr Adusah, 28, has been ordered to present himself to the Ghanaian authorities every three months. The prosecution has also been ordered by Mr Kotoku to speed up its investigation. The full autopsy report into Charmain’s death is expected to be ready next week. Mr Adusah’s lawyer previously claimed the post-mortem showed Charmain died from a heroin overdose. Her family has strongly denied that Charmain would ever take drugs. Police have told the court the couple checked into the hotel on March 16. Two days later Mr Adusah left the hotel, telling reception staff his wife did not want to be disturbed. When Charmain failed to check out on time on March 20, hotel workers entered her room using a spare key and found her body in the bath. According to the police, the condition of the body indicated that she died two or three days earlier.

Angus & The Mearns

Charmain Adusah autopsy report found

September 3 2015

A missing autopsy report on a pregnant Arbroath woman who died in Ghana has been found. Two months ago Accra Magistrate’s Court was told the report on Charmain Adusah, who died in March, had gone missing. The court was informed that the author of the report was on a teaching course in Cuba for the next six months and the report could not be found at the morgue of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana’s capital. However, at the latest court hearing of Charmain’s husband, Eric, who has been charged with her murder, the court was told the report has been located. The case against Mr Adusah, who is a pastor with the Global Light Revival Ministries, has been adjourned until October 28 to enable both sides to prepare for the trial. He is charged with the death of Charmain between March 18 and March 20 2015 at Mac Dic Royal Plaza Hotel in Koforidua, Eastern Regional capital. At a hearing in front of Mavis Kwanainoe, prosecuting Detective Inspector Isaac Agbemehia said the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital had assured the prosecution that the report is ready. He added that the pathologist who conducted the autopsy on the pastor’s wife was also back in Ghana from the Cuba programme. The lawyer for Mr Adusah requested that the case have a long adjournment to ensure both parties were ready for trial because her client was a resident in the UK and has to fly back to Ghana for every hearing date. Charmain’s mother, Linda Speirs, said she is frustrated at the delay in the trial being heard. She told The Courier she now does not expect her daughter’s body to be returned to Scotland until the legal case against Mr Adusah is concluded. “I’m just angry that it’s taking so long. There doesn’t seem to be any justice,” she said. “I’ve got to wait another two months until I hear whether Charmain can come home so that he (Mr Adusah) isn’t inconvenienced travelling back to Ghana for court hearings.” Mr Adusah left the Mac Dic Royal Plaza Hotel on March 18, telling staff not to disturb his wife, who was due to leave two days later. When Charmain who was three months pregnant did not check out, hotel staff entered her room using a spare key and found her decomposing body in the suite’s bath.

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.

Angus & The Mearns

Parents tell of desperate pleas for answers before daughter was found dead in Ghana

May 11 2015

The parents of the pregnant Angus woman who was found dead in a bathtub in Ghana grew increasingly worried about their daughter in the weeks leading up to her death. In an exclusive interview with The Courier, Linda and Peter Speirs revealed how they tried desperately to make contact with their daughter Charmain, who had travelled to Africa to attend a funeral with her husband. They last heard from Charmain on March 8 and in the days before her body was discovered on March 20 sent several text messages and voicemails to her phone, which seemed to be switched off. Linda, 61, was so concerned about her daughter’s welfare that she opened a missing person case with local police. The 41-year-old was found face down in a bath by hotel workers at the Mac Dic Royal Plaza Hotel, Koforidua, inGhana’s Eastern Region on March 20. Charmain’s husband Eric Isaiah Adusah, 28, who is a self-proclaimed prophet and leader of Global Light RevivalMinistries Church based in London, has now been arrested for her murder. “March 8 was the last time Charmain contacted me and she normally calls me two or three times a week,” said Linda from her home in Arbroath. “I had been leaving messages and voicemails on her phone to get in touch and asking what’s wrong.I knew something wasn’t right.” Linda received a text message, apparently from Charmain’s husband Eric, on March 18 after he had travelled back to Britain alone. Police in Ghana think that at this point Charmain had already died. The state of her body when it was discovered by hotel workers indicates she had already been dead for three or four days. Linda said: “I received a text saying ‘that’s me back, mum’ making out that it was from Charmain. It wasn’t it was from him (Eric). That was on the 18th. “I texted back ‘Hi Charmain, is that you back in Britain? That’s good’.And all I got back was ‘No, it’s Eric’. “I asked him where Charmain was. He said ‘she not want to come home’. He said she wanted to stay extra days and that she hadn’t gone to the airport to wave goodbye.” Eric then texted Linda, stating he had received a call from Ghana sayingCharmain, who was three months pregnant, was in hospital and was very ill. Linda claims that when Eric sent this text message he had already been told the body had been discovered. “Eric texted me to say he’d just received a phone call from Ghana to say that Charmain had been taken tohospital and that she was ill. “But he’d already been told in the morning that she was dead. He was lying to me. “On Saturday night (March 21) he said he was trying to get a flight and that he would go to the hospital on Monday. “I was asking him what was wrong with her and for the name of the hospital so I could phone them. He wouldn’t tell me.” Linda and Peter spoke to the police on March 22, who opened a missingperson’s case. The following morning, Linda and Peter received a phone call from a Bishop in Ghana, informing them Charmain was dead. Eric has not submitted a plea to the charge that he caused the death of Ms Speirs by “unlawful harm.” Applications by his lawyers for bail have been refused. Linda said she was frustrated at the lack of information received from Ghana and said police investigating the case had not contacted them at all. “It’s shocking that we as the parents are not being told anything,” she added.Charmain caught up in whirlwind romanceIt was a complete shock when Charmain told her parents she was getting married last year as they didn’t even know she had a boyfriend. Charmain lived in Swansea for the past 11 years after moving there to study photography at Swansea Metropolitan University. She owned a house, which she lived in with her eight-year-old son Isaac who she had in a previous relationship. When she broke the news of her engagement to her mother Linda she said the wedding was just three months away. “It was a whirlwind romance,” said Linda.“She phoned me up and said ‘I’m getting married, mum’ and I said ‘I didn’t even know you had a boyfriend’. “She said he’s really good to me. He buys me this, he buys me that. Turned out it was all for show. “I said are you bringing him up to meet us? She said yes, but he never came. We met him the day before the wedding.” Linda said the wedding in September was arranged in such a hurry that only her immediate family herparents and brother Paul were invited. She said the marriage quickly deteriorated. “Eric didn’t even speak to us at the wedding,” Linda added.“We now know from speaking to her best pal that she had doubts about the marriage on her wedding day and it deteriorated immediately. “He didn’t give her any moneyand he had nothing to do with my grandson.Charmain told Eric that she wanted to stay in Swansea for a year so that Isaac could get used to him. “But a few weeks later he went against his word and said ‘we’removing to Essex’.” Peter and Linda last saw their 41-year-old daughter exactly a month before her death, when she stayed with them at their Moir Place home for six days. Linda said that Charmain was in tears about the state of her marriage when she left Arbroath on February 20. “I only wish she had opened up and we wouldn’t have allowed her back,” said Linda. Linda said Charmain had her three-month pregnancy scan shortly before leaving for Ghana, to attend the funeral of Eric’s father. Charmain suffered bad morning sickness but despite this Eric showed her little support, Linda said, spending more of his time at the Global Light Revival Ministries Church. “He was always away,” said Linda.Lawyer claims autopsy showed self-inflicted heroin overdoseReports from Ghana indicate thatCharmain may have been dead for up to four days when her body was found. Eric Adusah allegedly left the hotel on March 17, a day after the couple had checked in, after telling staff his wife did not like to be disturbed and she would call on them if required. He then flew back to Britain and only returned to Ghana after his wife’s body was discovered. He had been “invited” to return by police who suspected foul play. He was then arrested for her murder. Mr Adusah is yet to submit a plea in court to the charge. However, his lawyer has claimed that an autopsy shows that Charmain died from a heroin overdose which was “very self inflicted”. Charmain’s mother Linda saidCharmain would never take drugs.Husband won’t allow family to bring daughter’s body homeCharmain’s parents have been desperately trying to bring her body back to Scotland since being told the devastating news of her death. However, Ghanaian law meanspermission has to be granted byCharmain’s husband. Currently imprisoned in Ghana’s capital Accra while he awaits his trial, Eric Adusah is not granting approval to her parents. “We want to get her body home so we can put her to rest,” said Linda. “It was her birthday last week which was a very hard day for me, especially when she’s still lying out there. “We’ve spoken to the High Commissioner about it but Ghanaian law states the husband needs to give permission and Britain can’t interfere withGhanaian law. “We just want to get her home.”

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

Angus & The Mearns

Pastor: I’m not Charmain’s killer

May 21 2015

The evangelical preacher suspected of killing his pregnant wife in Ghana has told her mother he wants to find out how she died. Pastor Eric Adusah has contacted the family of his wife Charmain, who was discovered dead in a hotel bathtub in March. Mr Adusah was released from prison on bail at the weekend after a report from the attorney general determined there wasn’t enough evidence to try him for Charmain’s death. He told Charmain’s mother, Linda Speirs, that he wants to bring her body back to Britain when he is allowed to leave Ghana. Linda said: “He called on Tuesday and said it’s going to be at least another four weeks until he can bring the body home because he’s been told not to leave the country. “He said he wanted to bury his wife and child and that it was his intention to come back to Britain. “He did say that he was sorry about her dying and that he wants to find out what happened to her. “It was a short phone call and I let him do the talking.” The court in Accra previously heard from Adusah’s lawyer that a post-mortem examination had found she had died from a heroin overdose. However, Linda said she was told that the post-mortem examination was still to be completed. She said: “I asked Eric ‘why did you say she was a drug addict?’He said he didn’t mention anything about drugs. It was all his lawyer and that he had sacked him since then. “Eric said that he doesn’t know what she died of and that it is still beinginvestigated.He said the post-mortem results were still to be released. “We were told from the beginning that it could take months for all the results to come back.” According to police in Ghana, the couple checked into the Mac Dic Royal Plaza Hotel in Koforidua on March 16. Mr Adusah, 28, who is a pastor of the Global Light Revival Ministries based in London, checked out two days later and travelled to Britain, allegedly instructing the management not to disturb his wife, who was due to check out on March 20. When Charmain, 41, didn’t check out, hotel workers entered her room anddiscovered her body. Linda added: “I asked him why he didn’t bring her home with him when he came back to Britain then she would still be alive. “But I couldn’t understand his reply to that.” The report by Ghana’s attorney general, Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, said that aspects of Mr Adusah’s behaviour were suspicious and that he should “continue to assist the police in conducting further investigations into the case.”

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.

Angus & The Mearns

Husband asks Angus family for money to bring woman’s body home to Scotland

June 8 2015

The man suspected of killing a Tayside woman in Ghana demanded her family pay money to bring her body home, it has been claimed. Charmain Adusah, formerly Speirs, was discovered dead in a bathtub by hotel workers on March 20. However, the 41-year-old’s body remains in Africa more than two months later. Her husband Eric, who is a pastor with the Global Light Revival Ministries, was charged with her murder. Adusah was released on bail last month which required him to post the equivalent of £32,000 and Charmain’s family in Arbroath claim he contacted them through the British Embassy to suggest they split the charge to have her body repatriated. Although desperate for Charmain’s body to come back to Scotland, her mother Linda immediately refused the offer and told him to pay the costs. “We were absolutely shocked when he made that request, especially since we knew how much money he put up so that he was released on bail,” she said. “I said: ‘I don’t think so if you’ve got enough money to get out on bail, then you can afford to bring my daughter back here’. “I don’t know how much it’s costing to keep her out there every day, but the bill could run into several thousand pounds. “He is the one who took his pregnant wife to Ghana and we know he has the money to bring her back here.” The family were informed last week that Eric has now agreed to cover the costs of transporting Charmain’s body. However, the body will not be released until his court case in Ghana’s capital, Accra, is concluded, which could take several months. Linda said Adusah wants to bring Charmain’s body back to Britainhimself but his bail conditions do not allow him to leave the country. “I’ve told him that she has to be buried in Arbroath, her home town, where she grew up,” Linda added. “I’m just getting so annoyed that she’s lying out there in a place she wouldn’t have wanted to be. “I want Charmain’s body back here so I can give her a decent burial.” A petition asking for the BritishGovernment to become involved in the criminal case and to intervene inbringing her body back to Britain has attracted more than 600 signatures since being set up a fortnight ago. Prosecutors in the court case have been told that they have to conclude their investigation into Mr Adusah by the next hearing, due on June 17. Last month the country’s attorney general advised the court that police had not uncovered sufficient evidence to hold him liable for Charmain’s death.

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