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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...

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

Angus & The Mearns

Dundee woman banned for drink-driving

August 21 2013

A 51-year-old Dundee woman caught drink-driving has been banned for 12 months and fined £300. Mildred Elizabeth Wilson, of the city’s Balerno Street, appeared before Sheriff Lindsay Wood at Arbroath Sheriff Court and represented herself in the dock. She previously admitted driving a vehicle after consuming excess alcohol (95 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood) in South Street, Monifieth, on February 24. The legal limit is 80 milligrammes. Depute fiscal Jill Drummond said Wilson’s vehicle was spotted by police moving across the road. She was travelling in the car with a male and Ms Drummond said Wilson smelled strongly of alcohol. She failed a breath test before a sample of blood was also taken for analysis. Speaking from the dock, Wilson told the sheriff that a man in the pub had given her friend “cheek” and when they left he had been headbutted by the man in the car park. Wilson said she got in the car and “drove in panic to get away”. She apologised for her actions. Imposing the sentence, the sheriff offered a reduction of a third if Wilson completes a drink drive rehabilitation course.

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.


Fife Council election results — Ward 15: Glenrothes Central and Thornton

May 5 2017

The SNP’s Ross Vettraino was returned to Ward 15 once again as his party made a crucial gain in the race for Fife House. The stalwart councillor said he hoped to help form an SNP majority in Glenrothes, as the only candidate who was successfully re-elected in Glenrothes Central and Thornton. “I’m delighted,” he said. “I’m very happy to be able to represent the people.” Asked what challenges the council faced, he said: “We will have to do more and more with less and less. “But I want to make the council more accountable and help people to communicate with council officers, who want to help people.” Mr Vettraino will be joined by SNP colleague, newcomer Vikki Wilton, and Labour’s Derek Noble. Mr Noble, another newcomer to Fife House, was elected ahead of party colleague Ian Sloan, who narrowly missed out. Another previous ward councillor, Ian Crichton, missed out after leaving the Labour Party to stand as an independent.   Result Ian Crichton (IND) 151 Jane Kerr (Lib) 128 Glen McGill (Green) 117 Brian Mills (Con) 716 Derek Noble (Lab) 750 Ian Robertson (Ind) 88 Ian Sloan (Lab)  663 Bert Thomson (ind) 71 Ross Vettraino (SNP) 1362 Vikki Wilton (SNP) 799


Dare-devil mum is a tower of strength thanks to daughter’s support

May 11 2011

A Fife mum in the midst of a cancer battle and her 10-year-old daughter have pledged to help other families fighting the disease by abseiling one of Dundee's tallest buildings. Vikki Wilson, of Cupar, was inspired to take on the lofty endeavour after adventure-loving daughter Alysson spotted a poster advertising the Marie Curie Daredevil Challenge at her climbing centre in Dundee. While the prospect of dropping 140 feet down the side of Dundee University's Tower Building might weaken the knees of grown men, the single mother and daughter team see the event as a milestone to mark a much greater challenge they have endured together Vikki's journey back to health. "We're very much looking forward to doing this together," said Vikki (39). "It was Alysson's idea from the start and she is so excited about it. "It's our way of giving something back for the excellent care I've received from day one and for the all the families out there that Marie Curie help." Vikki, a former administrator, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in July. She has endured weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and is awaiting the results of her latest MRI scan which will determine the next step in her battle back to health. Throughout her treatment, her daughter has been a pillar of strength and a source of pride. Despite her ill health, Vikki has ensured her daughter's weekly trips to Avertical World have continued uninterrupted and has watched her daughter blossom in the sport Alysson is about to complete level two of the National Indoor Climbing Achievement Scheme. Initially it was thought that, due to Alysson's age, only Vikki would be allowed to complete the challenge but event specialist Freespirits soon recognised Alysson's experience and determination. Organiser Petra McMillan, of Carnoustie, who hopes to raise £10,000 to provide 500 hours of free nursing care to the terminally ill at home in Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perthshire, says she is delighted to have Vikki and Alysson on her team for the May 21 event. Petra said, "Alysson is probably better placed to do this challenge than almost anyone else we have but thanks to Freespirits we intend to make this a very special day for her and her mum. "They are both very brave and selfless in thinking of other families at this time and I find that utterly humbling." She added, "We still have some spaces left so I hope Courier readers will take heart and join us. All the funds we raise stay locally to help families who have a loved one who wants to end their life at home." Alysson said, "It's really fun. I feel quite excited, I've got my own climbing gear too. It's great that mum will be doing it at the same time." Vikki greatly admires the work Marie Curie does and hopes to help provide comfort and support to her fellow cancer patients and their families. The pair are in the midst of fund-raising, with a non-uniform day at Alysson's school, Dunbog Primary School, and they hope family and friends will support them too.To take part in the abseil email petramcmillan@aol.com or visit www.justgiving.com/Petra-McMillan to donate.

Angus & The Mearns

Grieving dad backs drive to save lives

March 15 2014

The dad of a tragic Laurencekirk woman has given his backing to a campaign to equip the town with more defibrillators. However, David Wilson believes the lifesaving machines must be publicly accessible or heart attack victims may not get the chance to be saved. Mum-of-two Amy Wilson, 31, collapsed and died at a coffee morning in the town last November when she was just weeks away from giving birth to her son, Harry. It is understood Ms Wilson’s death may have been caused by a rare heart condition and two of her friends have since started Stars in the Sky to raise funds for at least one publicly accessible defibrillator. Mr Wilson told The Courier: “We are told that nothing could have saved the life of my daughter or her baby but my worry is that they never got the chance to be saved. “The Laurencekirk After School Club is a very hard working asset to the community. “I think the Stars in the Sky fundraising idea is a credit to all concerned but they need to know their efforts will be of benefit to any future need.” Mr Wilson said he hopes the publicity generated by his daughter’s plight will, in turn, help raise funds for what will be “a worthy and needed cause.” Although it is not certain a defibrillator would have saved Ms Wilson, her friends and family believe having such kit available 24-hours-a-day could make a difference to someone else. Laurencekirk has eight community first responders, who offer emergency medical support until paramedics arrive. Stewart Wight, team leader of the Laurencekirk First Response Team, said he was backing the charity campaign by the local community. He said the responders all have other work and simply cannot cover every period of each day but added it was unlikely Ms Wilson would have been saved. Mr Wight said the buying and distribution of community defibrillators is to be welcomed by all and is likely to have a major impact on the rapid treatment of cardiac arrests. He added: “I am, however, concerned about the figures suggested in relation to the cost of these machines. “Recent articles have suggested it requires several thousand pounds to acquire and install this equipment. “Having recently installed two defibrillators on a popular north-east golf course for less than £2,000, I would hope any community or organisation thinking of purchasing this equipment will not be put off by the prices that have been publicised. “It is also worth mentioning these machines in isolation can have a limited value without the CPR which accompanies their application, so encouraging community training can be equally as important as community fundraising.”

UK & World

Paedophile has sentence increased

August 13 2013

A paedophile who walked free from court after his 13-year-old victim was branded “predatory” by a prosecutor has had his sentence increased due to a technicality. Neil Wilson was handed an eight-month suspended sentence after admitting engaging in sexual activity with the girl, as well as separate counts of making indecent images, at Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London last week. News that prosecutor Robert Colover had labelled the young victim “predatory” and “sexually experienced” caused outrage and led to his suspension from prosecuting sexual offence cases pending a review by the Crown Prosecution Service. Judge Nigel Peters QC is also being investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints for remarking that his sentence took into account how the girl looked and behaved. Judge Peters altered Wilson’s sentence yesterday, at a brief hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, after admitting it needed correction. The judge altered Wilson’s total sentence to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, but kept the sentence for sexual activity with a child the same, at eight months suspended for two years. He said he was revoking a community order and imposing additional suspended jail terms for two counts involving indecent photographs, and another indictment involving five counts of possessing extreme pornographic images.


Mother and daughter’s fund-raising achievement is the height of bravery

May 23 2011

A 10-year-old girl whose mum is battling cancer completed a terrifying abseil down one of the city's tallest buildings on Saturday just days after one of them suffered a possible concussion in a car crash. Dunbog Primary School pupil Alysson Ross and her mother Vikki Wilson both completed the Marie Curie Daredevil Challenge by abseiling down Dundee University's 140ft Tower Building to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Cupar woman Vikki, who is a former administrator, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in July. She has endured weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and is awaiting the results of her latest MRI scan, which will determine the next step in her battle back to health. She was encouraged to do the Marie Curie abseil by young Alysson, who spotted an advertisement for the event at Dundee's Avertical World climbing centre. However, if the thought of abseiling down one of Dundee's tallest buildings wasn't scary enough, both Vikki and Alysson had a lucky escape after being involved in a collision with another vehicle last Wednesday. "We were driving along the road and another car came into the side of us and we were knocked into the other side of the road," said Vikki. "Fortunately, I was able to get the car into reverse and get us out of the way." Vikki struck her head on the door of the car in the incident and doctors suspect she may have suffered a concussion. Despite her injury, she was determined to complete the daunting daredevil challenge on Saturday. She said, "I felt sick and dizzy after the accident. I've abseiled before but only about 30 feet, so this is different." Alysson and Vikki were the first of more than 60 brave souls to make the descent. Organiser Petra McMillan from Carnoustie said, "We have got about 65 people abseiling. We hope to raise about £10,000, which will be used to provide care for people with cancer in Dundee, Fife, Perthshire and Angus."

UK & World

Court to review paedophile sentence

August 27 2013

A paedophile who was allowed to walk free after his 13-year-old victim was branded "predatory" is to have his sentence reviewed by the Court of Appeal. Neil Wilson, 41, was handed a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years after he admitted engaging in sexual activity with the child, as well as offences of making indecent images of a child and offences of possession of an extreme pornographic image. A row broke out shortly after the case was heard when it emerged that prosecuting barrister Robert Colover had labelled the young girl "predatory" and "sexually experienced". The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC, has decided to refer Wilson's sentence to the Court of Appeal, where three judges will decide whether or not it is unduly lenient and whether they should increase it. A statement from the Attorney General’s Office said: “Having carefullyreviewed this case, the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, has decided torefer the sentence of Neil Wilson to the Court of Appeal for review. “The case will in due course be heard by three Court of Appeal judges who will decide whether or not the sentence is unduly lenient and whether they should increase it.” In addition to Mr Colover’s comments, Judge Nigel Peters QC said he accounted for the way the Wilson’s victim looked and behaved when he sentenced her attacker. Mr Colover has been suspended from prosecuting sexual offence cases pending a review by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), while Judge Peters’ comments are to be investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints. As well as receiving a number of complaints, the CPS was confronted by a petition, which now has more than 50,000 signatures, demanding Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer investigate the language used by Mr Colover.