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News

Driver aims to cut A93 death pay-out because victim was obese

February 28 2013

A surgeon’s plea to talk face-to-face with the widower of a woman he killed in a car crash was rejected by a sheriff. Dr Benjamin Kendrick offered to meet Robert Johnston (63) in a bid to reach agreement over the £300,000 compensation claim made against him. The doctor caused the death of Joan Johnston by driving carelessly and has accepted liability for damages relating to her death. But Dr Kendrick is refusing to pay the full £300,000 claim and said the victim’s 30-stone weight should have a bearing on the level of compensation involved. The court previously heard that Mrs Johnston was so heavy that both the ambulance and the air ambulance called to the scene were unable to transfer her to hospital. A helicopter from RAF Kinloss eventually took her to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. Dr Kendrick’s solicitor Carla Melville asked the court to put the case off for 10 weeks to allow a face-to-face meeting to take place. However, Clair McArthur, for Mr Johnston, said that her instructions were to oppose any continuation. Dr Kendrick (36) has questioned how long Mrs Johnston (57) would have lived as a result of her weight and the likely associated health problems, had she not died in the road crash. Dr Kendrick, from Chesham, admitted causing the death of the Scarborough woman by driving carelessly on the A93 Perth to Braemar road on May 6,2009. He was fined £5,000 and banned from driving for three years. Sheriff Michael Fletcher ruled out jailing Kendrick because his victim may have survived the head-on crash if she had been of average size. The same sheriff refused to continue the case for talks and fixed a proof for September. Mr Johnston, a retired Post Office manager said: “We were married 38 years and she always struggled with her weight, but that wasn’t why she died. The fact he’s disputing this really makes it worse.”

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

Man pepper sprayed after heroin overdose in Montrose

December 3 2016

An Angus man had to be pepper sprayed by police just moments after paramedics saved his life, a court heard. Darren Barr flew into a rage at a constable after breaking free from the back of an ambulance in Montrose in April. It is understood the 25-year-old had taken a heroin overdose prior to being found unconscious in Balmain Street minutes earlier. Medics were forced to use an emergency antidote to save his life. Forfar Sheriff Court heard PC Nick McKendrick used synthetic PAVA spray on Barr’s eyes after he exclaimed “I’m going to smash your face in” when he regained consciousness. Barr, from Friockheim, appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court and admitted causing fear and alarm in the residential street on April 18 this year. Fiscal depute Jill Drummond said police had been called to the George Hotel over a disturbance allegedly involving Barr around 4.55pm and were then called to Balmain Street a short distance away. “He was unconscious and was being treated by paramedics,” she said. “They administered Narcan to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.” The drug Naloxone, known as Narcan in the UK, can stave off an opiate’s soporific effects for 30 to 90 minutes — often enough to save someone’s life. Ms Drummond added: “He woke up and said ‘I’m going to smash your face in’. “He managed to break free from the stretcher and lunged at Constable McKendrick.” Barr walked toward him, out of the vehicle. Ms Drummond said: “As a result, he backed away and he drew his PAVA spray and told him several times he would spray him. “He used one burst of the spray to the accused, who fell to the ground and was restrained from the front.” Defending Barr, solicitor Billy Rennie said: “He has apologised to the officers over his conduct since.” Sheriff Pino Di Emidio said he would impose a community payback order with supervision requirements and 80 hours of unpaid work, and progress to be reviewed on February 15. He said: “It’s very much a knife-edge thing whether I imprison you over this.” Barr, of Castle Crescent, admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and shouted, swore, threatened and lunged towards PC Nicholas McKendrick and behaved in an aggressive manner, while on bail.

Football

Peterhead boss Jim McInally awaits decision on appeal over dining-room row ban

January 8 2014

Peterhead boss Jim McInally spent over two hours at Hampden appealing against the four-game ban he was issued with after a row with referee John McKendrick over the dinner the Balmoor club had supplied him with. Former Dundee United, Raith and Dundee star McInally, however, headed home without a decision being made by the SFA panel, with a result expected on Wednesday. The former Scotland international was hit with the suspension last month after McKendrick reported him for asking the whistler and his assistants to move from a dining area at Peterhead’s Balmoor ground after a game with East Stirling on November 16. The Blue Toon boss feared that, as his side had lost a late goal in their 1-1 draw with the Shire, his players could have made comments that would have been heard and reported by McKendrick as they were sitting close by. McInally made his request before the match officials went to be fed and he reiterated it when he saw them sitting beside his playing pool. McKendrick believed, however, that McInally had been joking when he made the initial request. A disciplinary panel was held the day after the Scottish Senior Football Referees Association slammed the governing body for leniency in a case involving Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci. The Tannadice striker received a two-match ban, with one game suspended, for “placing an open hand into the lower area of the assistant referee’s throat” in a Scottish League Cup tie against Inverness Caledonian Thistle. McInally opted not to attend and be represented by a club official. However, Peterhead were angered by both the ban and the severity of it and backed McInally in his appeal. The Balmoor boss said: “The appeal hearing was very detailed and lasted for more than two hours before it was adjourned with no decision being made. I was not at the initial hearing when the ban was imposed but I am glad that I attended the appeal.” “I believe that I was listened to and I will leave things at that. I will get a decision against my appeal as soon as possible and hopefully on Wednesday morning.” McInally has been in trouble with the SFA before receiving a 12-game ban in 2008 for an incident when he was in charge of East Stirling, which was extended to 16 when he appealed. * SFA compliance officer Vincent Lunny has been weighing up whether to issue a disciplinary charge against John Gemmell following the Stenhousemuir striker’s allegedly abusive tweet aimed at Rangers boss Ally McCoist. Gemmell hit out on social media following McCoist’s moans that Rangers were being asked to play four games in 11 days, three of them away from home.

Scottish League 1

Brechin 3 Dunfermline 0: McKinnon hails City display as Pars slump to seventh

April 20 2015

Brechin City’s comprehensive 3-0 victory over Dunfermline Athletic marked Ray McKinnon’s 50th competitive win as City manager. The former Dundee United and Aberdeen star was understandably delighted with the manner of his side’s victory which took them to within one point of the play-offs. “This was a big game for us as Dunfermline are a top side so we’re delighted with the three points,” he said. “However, there’s still all to play for. “We need to do a job next week against Stenhousemuir and also the following week against Stranraer and we’ll be focusing on that during the coming week but as far as today was concerned it was a really good team performance and a vitally important three points. “The whole team was fantastic. Each and every one of them did the job they set out to do and I’m absolutely delighted for them.” The Pars got off to the worst possible start when full-back Ross Millen was ordered off by referee John McKendrick after just 13 minutes for elbowing Alan Trouten in the back while City were waiting to take a free-kick. City made their extra man count by grabbing two goals within four minutes. They notched the opener in the 24th minute after a wonderful three-man move involving Ewan McNeil, Jamie Masson and Andy Jackson was superbly finished off by Trouten. They doubled their lead four minutes later when Trouten was on the spot to blast the ball into the net after a Masson shot had been parried into his path by Pars keeper Ryan Scully. Dunfermline battled hard after the break but Jackson wrapped up the points for City in the 64th minute when he fired home from close-range after great work from Bobby Barr had created the opportunity. Dunfermline, whose season got under way with a great deal of optimism, now move down to seventh place in the table, their play-off hopes in tatters, and manager John Potter found it hard to conceal his disappointment at the final whistle. “I was reasonably happy with the way we started the match, but the sending off changed things and we then made bad mistakes which led to Brechin’s two goals,” he said. “I would never ever fault the players for their effort or their workrate but the simple fact is that some of the players are simply not good enough. “We should know how to play this league as we’ve been in it for a couple of years, but people have let us down on certain occasions and as a group we have to do so much better. “We know that the squad will need big changes if we’re to win the league next season and that will certainly be our objective.”

Football

Match report: Dunfermline 3 Hearts 1

July 28 2010

Dunfermline turned on the style to score their second successive pre-season victory over SPL opposition. Two goals from winger Joe Cardle, who manager Jim McIntyre insisted was "sensational," and another from Nick Phinn sealed the win. McIntyre was rightly chuffed to bits with the victory over Hearts. He told Courier Sport, "This was their first game, so they're still feeling their way into their pre-season preparations, but I can only really speak for our boys. "I thought we played with a real tempo, passed it really well and closed Hearts down." As for Cardle, the Pars boss added, "I thought tonight he was sensational and at times practically unplayable." Hearts manager Jim Jefferies said, "That team will bear no resemblance to the one in the weeks ahead, I can assure you of that." The visitors marginally had the better of the opening exchanges and could have bagged a couple of goals themselves. David Templeton, who tormented the home defence in the opening 30 minutes, went close with a couple of long-range efforts. Not to be outdone at the other end, Steven McDougall evaded a couple of defenders and forced a fine stop from Jamie McDonald. McDougall then fired wide again when he should have slid the ball through to Nick Phinn, who was staring at an open goal. Less than a minute after the restart the Pars were in front when a Phinn shot from inside the box deflected off a Hearts defender, clipped the post and went in. McDonald could do nothing about it. In the 55th minute referee John McKendrick waved away Calum Elliot's claims for a penalty after he tangled with Alex Keddie, who was on for skipper Austin McCann. Four minutes later Cardle bagged the first of his brace when he swept home a pinpoint cross from Phinn. Cardle then sealed the win with a superb solo effort in the 68th minute. Having turned a couple of Hearts defenders he slammed the ball past McDonald and into the back of the net. He nearly grabbed his hat-trick 10 minutes later, but pulled his shot wide. Elliot netted Hearts' consolation goal eight minutes from time when his glancing header from a Templeton cross beat Kyle Allison. Dunfermline defended well and Neil McGregor pulled off a series of fine tackles throughout the game. The home side could have scored even more in the dying minutes as Andy Kirk, Paul Willis and then Cardle spurned opportunities. Attendance 2195.

Business news

Stella work delivers ‘outstanding’ results for Ithaca

September 12 2013

Oil firm Ithaca has unveiled “highly successful” test results from the first well drilled at its Stella field in the North Sea east of Aberdeen. The group said the “outstanding results, including a limited flow rate of 10,835 barrels of oil equivalent per day, formed an “enormous leap forward” in the de-risking of the project. “The well has accessed the reserves it was designed to recover and the test confirms the presence and extremely high quality and deliverability of the reservoir sands,” said chief executive Iain McKendrick. Samples have concluded that the hydrocarbons discovered have high oil content, with estimates suggesting full-scale production equivalents of 6,499 barrels of oil and 26 million standard cubic feet of liquid rich gas per day. A second well will now be drilled. The company also said the subsea infrastructure works crucial to the success of the $590m wider Greater Stella Area project were making “excellent progress”, with likely costs unchanged. The company’s share price more than 14% higher at 144.75p.

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

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.

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

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