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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...

St Johnstone

St Johnstone defender Richard Foster out for the season

February 22 2018

Richard Foster’s season looks to be over, with manager Tommy Wright revealing a hamstring tear is expected to keep the St Johnstone defender out for 12 weeks. “It’s very unfortunate and adds to what has been a poor year for us injury-wise,” said Wright. “We’re still fresh from the news that Stefan Scougall is out for a lengthy period only to be given the news about Richard. “It’s a grade three hamstring tear and it’s come as a shock as it didn’t look too bad at the time but I think the position he was in as it happened and the fact that he was pulled back has compounded the injury. We’re looking at 12 weeks which is effectively the rest of the campaign. “I’m very disappointed for Richard as he looked to be back to his best and he is a versatile player for us. However, Aaron Comrie is available and Keith Watson should be back training in a week so hopefully can cope.”

St Johnstone

Richard Foster signed as a result of St Johnstone defensive crisis

August 20 2016

St Johnstone have snapped up Richard Foster from Ross County to answer a defensive crisis. The former Aberdeen and Rangers man is a contender to go straight into an injury-hit Perth backline to face Celtic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtlrT-R8AOc Steven Anderson pulled up in training and, with Tam Scobbie, Keith Watson and long-term casualty Dave Mackay all out, Wright made his move for Foster who has negotiated his release from the Dingwall club. Wright said: “Ando has picked up an injury in training so Richard will go straight into the squad for Celtic. “We are delighted to get Richard in. He has a wealth of experience. “He can play several positions across the back and is a player I’ve always liked so we’re looking forward to working with him” Foster, who has signed a one-year deal, said: “It will be a baptism of fire but I am certainly match fit. I played last week for Ross County. It’s games like this that you want to be involved in. “I had known of St Johnstone’s interest for a week or so and I got the call to say collect your stuff and get down the A9. There were other options for me but this is the one that stood out.”

St Johnstone

St Johnstone sign Richard Foster

August 19 2016

St Johnstone have signed defender Richard Foster from Ross County. The former Aberdeen and Rangers full-back has parted company with the Dingwall club by mutual consent and is available for selection for tomorrow’s Premiership clash with Celtic. No fee was involved and the 31-year-old joins Michael Coulson, Blair Alston, Keith Watson and Paul Paton as new arrivals.

Angus & The Mearns

Landlord jailed for fire safety breaches at flat where Angus jockey Jan Wilson died

May 18 2013

The landlord of flats where Angus jockey Jan Wilson died has been jailed for 12 months for fire safety breaches. A judge criticised Alan Foster over his “complete disregard” for the safety of residents, including teenager Jan and Irish apprentice Jamie Kyne who were victims of an arson attack in September 2009. Reacting to Friday’s sentencing, Jan’s mother, Margaret, said her daughter’s life had been lost by the accused’s lack of “basic housekeeping” at the North Yorkshire block. Foster, 65, of Buckrose Court, Malton, was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court by Judge Geoffrey Marson QC for offences which also continued at his other premises after the fatal fire. He said it was impossible to say what would have been the outcome for the two jockeys had proper fire precautions been taken. “It is clear, however, that their deaths would have been significantly less likely but for these breaches,” added the judge. Miss Wilson, 19, of Greenhead Farm, Rescobie, near Forfar, and 18-year-old Mr Kyne were trapped in a second-floor flat when former caretaker Peter Brown started a blaze in rubbish stored beneath a stairwell after being refused entry to a party in another flat. Brown was later convicted and jailed for the double manslaughter but the judge said Foster’s culpability was high. Furniture and tins of paint were among rubbish a resident had previously complained of. Inspections revealed a lack of fire safety equipment or signs. “These were simple matters which should easily have been identified and obviated as part of a routine risk assessment and they could have been rectified without a good deal of expenditure,” the judge said. He told Foster: “It is perfectly clear to me that despite all that happened in 2009 and despite being interviewed in 2010, you were unwilling to ensure the safety of residents. “This was in part, no doubt, because you were unwilling to bear the relatively modest expense.” Philip Standfast, for Foster, said he had never intended to become a landlord and planned to sell all the flats, but the property crash in 2008 meant that did not happen. He found himself having to rent out the properties and realised he should have sought further advice about any changes that might involve. He was not an absentee landlord since he was living in an adjacent property. He was financially ruined, now more than £1 million in debt on the properties and on paper “bankrupt.” After the case, Mrs Wilson said: “It was basic housekeeping, it doesn’t take much just to tidy up a stairwell. Two lives are lost and we have to live with that, nothing can bring them back.” Jamie Kyne’s mother Madeline Cosgrove-Kyne said they were happy with the sentence.


Fife Council ‘spectacularly failed’ by refusing to rip up new mum’s Victoria Hospital parking fine

August 28 2014

Fife Council has “spectacularly failed” after failing to rip up a parking ticket issued to a woman giving birth, a local councillor has claimed. Donna Foster gave birth just 34 minutes after her partner, Ian Henderson, left their car in a disabled parking space at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy. The couple had been unable to find a standard space for their vehicle and had to abandon their car in the specially-designated space despite not having the necessary blue badge. As Donna gave birth to baby Tyler Levi in the hospital’s maternity unit, a traffic warden ticketed the couple’s car. Although she appealed the decision when she arrived home with her newborn, her plea was thrown out by Fife Council a move Glenrothes councillor Ross Vettraino says is completely out of order. Stunned at the lack of empathy shown by council officers, he said: “The parking attendant did his job. He issued a penalty charge notice, which was the correct thing to do, as there was a car parked in a disabled space without a blue badge being displayed. “However, the council officer who summarily dismissed Ms Foster’s appeal without even checking to see of she was telling the truth didn’t do his job, as he represents a council that wants to put people first but spectacularly failed to do so. “There is also a problem with the legislation, which lists six grounds on which a penalty charge notice can be appealed, none of which has any regard to a situation such as that in which Ms Foster’s partner found himself, in which human life or wellbeing was at stake. “In such circumstances, I expect the council to exercise its discretion and put people first.” To stop the situation from developing further, Donna’s mother paid the £30 fine on her behalf. However, following The Courier’s intervention, the local authority has now said it is willing to listen to Ms Foster’s appeal. Service manager Angus Carmichael said “We understand that Ms Foster has paid her fine. “However, we appreciate that this was an exceptional set of circumstances and we would ask Ms Foster to consider submitting a formal appeal.”

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


Burst colostomy bag no defence for drink-driver

February 15 2014

A bowel cancer sufferer got behind the wheel while almost three times the limit after his colostomy bag burst while in the pub. Thomas Foster was on a night out with friends in Dundee when the bag ruptured. Panicked Foster tried and failed to get a taxi and “in his anxiety” got behind the wheel. Police pulled him over on the Kingsway, and a blood sample revealed he had 229 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood almost three times the drink-driving limit. Foster, 29, of Helmsdale Avenue, Dundee, pleaded guilty to a drink-driving charge. Jim Laverty, defending, said: “This is an unusual case. He had gone out without the intention of driving and was to leave his car where he was socialising. “He suffers from bowel cancer and his colostomy bag burst and he panicked. “He tried to get home in a taxi but failed and in his anxiety and concern he took the decision to drive, which he completely and utterly regrets. “He’s still receiving treatment for cancer now and another tumour has been discovered. There will be more invasive surgery in the coming months. “The loss of his licence will have a dramatic effect on his family.” Sheriff Tom Hughes banned Foster from driving for two years and fined him £400. He said: “The reading in this case was high.”

Other sports

Carl Froch and George Groves rematch on the cards

November 25 2013

Carl Froch and George Groves counted their bruises and considered a rematch after one of the most brutal and compelling all-British boxing matches in recent years ended in controversy in Manchester on Saturday night. The puffed-up faces of both men bore testament to the war they had just waged, with Froch climbing up from a shock first-round knockdown to stop Groves on his feet in round nine and retain his WBA and IBF super-middleweight titles. Referee Howard Foster’s intervention with Groves ahead on all three of the judges’ cards brought howls of protest from the challenger’s camp and led to inevitable talk about the pair doing it all again in the new year. Promoter Eddie Hearn appeared to pave the way for a second meeting, admitting: “Fights are made through the demand of the broadcaster and the fans and I can’t see demand for any fight other than a rematch.” Groves had entered the fight unbeaten but still performed way above expectations, taking the fight to Froch just as he said he would during an acrimonious pre-fight build-up, and dumping him on the canvas in the opening moments from a right hand. It was only the second time Froch had hit the deck in his career and drew gasps from the resolutely pro-Froch capacity crowd. Groves continued to take the fight to Froch, peppering him with stiff left jabs and getting the better of an uproarious sixth, before showing signs of flagging which brought Foster’s intervention. Froch was getting the better of a series of increasingly fractious exchanges and when a pair of right hands left Groves sagging and seemingly helpless, Foster jumped in having deemed, as is his right, that a standing count was not necessary. His decision sparked uproar and Foster was smuggled from the ring by six security guards while Groves insisted: “It was an unjust stoppage. His shots weren’t landing cleanly and I was nowhere near as hurt as he was in some of the rounds. “I’d love a rematch and I’d take it tomorrow.” Froch backed Foster’s call, insisting Groves could have been hurt had the action continued. He said: “In my opinion the referee stepped in to save George Groves’ career.”

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.