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Updated: 8 min 46 sec ago

No action against Lib Dem MSP over campaign spending

1 hour 4 min ago

No further action is to be taken against a Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP over his Holyrood campaign spending last year.

Prosecutors had been considering a police report in relation to Alex Cole-Hamilton, 39, in connection with an alleged incident on June 7 2016.

Mr Cole-Hamilton won the Edinburgh West seat by 2960 votes ahead of SNP rival Toni Giugliano in the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, which were held on May 5.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has concluded there should be no proceedings raised at this time following a "full and careful" look at the circumstances of the case.

There will also be no charges brought against an unidentified woman in relation to the alleged incident.

Mr Cole-Hamilton - who was general election campaign director for the party - said he was glad the matter is "closed".

In a statement on Thursday, the MSP said: "Today, as I always knew they would, the procurator fiscal service confirmed to me that I have no case to answer in respect of allegations around my 2016 election campaign spending.

"While this has been a long process, I have sought to fully co-operate with the investigation at every stage.

"I did so, both in the knowledge that we had done nothing wrong but also because I believe that it's vitally important for voters to retain faith in the integrity of individual election results and, by extension, the wider democratic process."

A Crown Office spokesman said: "The procurator fiscal received a report concerning a 39-year-old male and 42-year-old female in connection with an alleged incident on June 7 2016 and, after full and careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, has decided there should be no proceedings at this time."

Categories: Local News

Police in bid to piece together father's final moments

2 hours 40 min ago

Police are appealing for information in a bid to piece together the final hours of a man found dead in Musselburgh.

The body of 25-year-old Darran Everett was discovered in the East Lothian town's harbour just before 6pm on Friday.

The father-of-one's death is being treated as unexplained and officers are now appealing for anyone who may have information to come forward.

Detective inspector Graham Garvie said: "Darran was last seen at a property in Burns Wynd in Musselburgh at 6pm on Thursday, October 12. 

"We are seeking to establish where he went after he left this address and prior to his body being found, and ultimately how he died.

"We are working hard to provide answers to Darran's family and friends about his death and I would like to offer my sympathies to them at this difficult time."

Mr Everett was 5ft 4in, of slim build and had short brown hair.

When last seen, he was wearing a black hooded Mckenzie jacket with a red logo, navy jogging bottoms and blue sand shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.

Categories: Local News

National museum suffers £60,000 of thefts in five years

3 hours 42 min ago

Items worth approximately £60,000 have been stolen from the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh over the past five years.

The six items include some rare finds including two James VI coins from the 17th century and a Mary, Queen of Scots gold three pound piece from 1555.

It was part of a group of three coins stolen from the museum in 2015.

Edinburgh coin expert Hiram Brown estimated the coins were worth around £20,000.

Two carved oak panels were also taken from the museum, both in 2014.

Both panels are part of a collection of eight Beaton panels.

All eight of the Beaton panels were acquired by the museum in 1987 for £190,380, according to a grant request from Art Fund, putting the cost of a single panel at around £23,000.

The museum said it cannot comment on active cases, or discuss any security measures in detail.

Communications manager Susan Grey added: "National Museums Scotland has a wide range of security arrangements in place which are regularly reviewed."

Detective constable Mark Seymour said: "We continue to pursue various lines of inquiry in relation to these thefts.

"If you have any information relevant to this investigation then please contact police immediately."

Items stolen

2012: Quartz from Grey's Quarry, Illinois, America.

2014: Beaton panel featuring Arma Christi from late 15th century.

2014: Beaton panel featuring gothic fenestration from late 15th century.

2015: James VI gold coin with sword and scepter dated 1601.

2015: James VI gold coin dated 1604.

2015: Mary, Queen of Scots gold three pound piece dated 1555.

Categories: Local News

Badger caught taking cat nap after sneaking into house

5 hours 59 min ago

A countryside ranger got a surprise when he found a badger had taken the place of his friends' cats.

Ramblers Scotland president Ben Dolphin made the unusual discovery when he visited their house in Linlithgow, West Lothian, to feed their pets while they were away on holiday.

The badger had sneaked into the property through a cat flap and made himself comfy on its bed.

It had also eaten all their food before taking a nap.

The Scottish SPCA was alerted to the find at the house in Beercraigs Country Park.

When the badger noticed the back door was open he made a run for it.

Mr Dolphin tweeted: "That moment you go to your friends' house to feed the cats while they're away, but find the cats have moved out & someone else has moved in." | twitter

Animal rescue officer Connie O'Neil said: "I got a surprise when I arrived at the property and saw a badger having a nap.

"He had got in through the cat flap and had eaten all the cat food before going for a sleep on the cat bed.

"He didn't seem too happy when I tried to move him but I was able to slide the cat bed round and it was then that the badger noticed the back door was open so made a run for it."

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said, "It is highly unusual for a wild badger to enter a house and we would urge anyone to immediately contact our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 should they find one in an unusual place.

"Like all wild animals badgers can be aggressive when injured or cornered so we would advise not to go near or touch them without giving us a call first."

Categories: Local News

Northern Ireland boss admits drink-driving in Edinburgh

9 hours 13 min ago

The manager of the Northern Ireland football team has admitted drink-driving in Edinburgh.

Michael O'Neill had a breath alcohol level of 65mcg, almost three times the legal limit of 22mcg.

The 48-year-old former Hibernian player was fined £1300 and disqualified from driving for 16 months at the city's sheriff court on Thursday.

Prosecutor Chloe Shoniwa told the court officers had "reason to stop" O'Neill as he drove on the Edinburgh city bypass between Lothianburn and Straiton in the early hours of Sunday, September 10.

Solicitor James Mulgrew, representing O'Neill, told the court: "This was simply a bad error of judgment on the part of Mr O'Neill."

Mr Mulgrew said O'Neill is "contrite" and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He added: "He has no analogous record and no record to speak of, with only one limited endorsement currently on his licence."

Mr Mulgrew urged the sheriff to take into account that the football manager has held a driving licence for 31 years and also the distance he covers each year.

'This was simply a bad error of judgment on the part of Mr O'Neill.' James Mulgrew, defence solicitor

Sheriff Thomas Welsh QC said O'Neill was three times over the Scottish drink-drive limit.

He told him: "You do not have a record for this type of thing. I treat your prior record as being minor in the extent of this case.

"I am satisfied that you pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. You deserve credit for that as you have not wasted the court's time."

Mr Welsh banned O'Neill from driving for 16 months and fined him £1300, giving him 28 days to pay.

He said if the former Hibernian star had not pleaded guilty and the case had gone to trial he would have fined him £2000.

Sheriff Welsh added the driving ban had been cut from 20 months to 16.

He said O'Neill could further reduce the ban by a quarter by completing a drink-drive rehabilitation course, which his solicitor said he is willing to do.

The manager made no comment as he left the court building.

O'Neill has been linked with the vacant Scotland manager's job.

Categories: Local News

Scottish Haggis back on Canadian menus after 46 years

20 hours 42 min ago

Scottish-made Haggis is to be exported to Canada for the first time in almost half a century.

Producer Macsween of Edinburgh will start selling the traditional product there after it developed a new recipe that meets with Canadian regulations.

Scotland exports more than £94m worth of food and drink to Canada, with some reports indicating the market for Scottish food has increased by 37% over the last year.

The country imposed a ban on red meat from Europe in 1996 in the wake of the BSE scare affecting beef cattle. It was only lifted in 2015.

James Macsween, managing director at the food firm, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be the first Scottish haggis sold in Canada in 46 years."

He added: "This is a huge milestone for Macsween to be expanding internationally and leading the way in an increasingly competitive market.

"My grandfather Charlie would be very proud to see how far we've come from his original butcher's shop in Bruntsfield, which he opened back in 1953."

Attending an event in Toronto to showcase Scotland's food and drink produce to Canadian buyers, economy secretary Keith Brown welcomed the news.

He said: "Haggis is known the world over for being a truly iconic symbol of Scotland.

"After waiting 46 years I'm sure there will be many Canadians and ex-pat Scots looking forward to having Scotland's national dish at the centre of their table at the next Burns' supper."

Susan Beattie, head of food and drink at Scottish Development International said Canada was a priority market for Scottish exporters.

Categories: Local News

Woman who died at flat near Scottish Parliament named

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 15:50

A woman who was found dead at a flat in Edinburgh has been named by police.

Moira Gilbertson, 57, was found dead at a flat on Dumbiedykes Road near the Scottish Parliament on Saturday morning.

Roger Crossan, 52, has appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with her murder.

Police said they were treating her death as an "isolated incident" and they were not looking to speak to anyone else.

Detective inspector Carol Craig, of the major investigations team, said: "Our thoughts are with Moira's family and friends at this difficult time and we continue to offer them support as they come to terms with Moira's death.

"We continue to investigate the circumstances around Moira's death and are treating it as an isolated incident.

"We are not looking to speak to anyone else in connection with the incident."

Crossan entered no plea and was remanded in custody when he appeared in court on Monday.

The case will be heard again later in October.

Categories: Local News

Delivery driver assaulted by boys trying to steal pizza

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:35

A woman who was delivering pizzas was attacked by two boys who tried to grab the food from her.

The 38-year-old takeaway driver was assaulted as she tried to deliver the pizzas to an address on Saughton Mains Terrace in Edinburgh around 4pm on Sunday.

Two boys, aged around ten and 13, approached her and tried to grab the pizzas.

When she resisted, they kicked her several times before leaving as part of a larger group.

Detective constable Gavin Howat said: "The woman refused to be robbed of the pizzas she was delivering and was attacked as a result though, thankfully, she didn't sustain any injuries.

"We believe these youths were part of a group of around eight youths and anyone who can help us identify them should contact police immediately.

"Similarly, if you have any other information relevant to this incident then please also get in touch."

The first suspect was around 13, had wavy brown hair and wore a blue hooded top.

The second suspect was around ten and wore a grey hooded top and trousers.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact police via 101, quoting incident number 3043 of October 15.

Categories: Local News

Log cabin completely destroyed in deliberate fire 

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 12:44

A community log cabin has been completely destroyed after it was deliberately burnt down.

Police have appealed for information about the blaze at Wooplaw Community Woodlands off the Langshaw Road near Galashiels.

The cabin, which was targeted at some time between 1pm on Monday and 9am on Tuesday, has been wrecked and a second cabin containing a toilet has also been damaged.

The fire has caused more than £1000 worth of damage.

Constable Jack Houston, of Galashiels Police Station, said: "Vandals have caused significant damage to a community facility which will cost over a thousand pounds to repair.

"We are carrying out enquiries in the area and are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious, or may have noticed the fire as it would have been visible through the wooded area particularly during the hours of darkness."

Anyone with any information regarding this incident should contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting reference 1338 of Tuesday 17th October or alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Categories: Local News

Boy, ten, racially abused by teenage girl outside school

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 12:17

A ten-year-old boy has been racially abused by a teenage girl outside a school.

The incident occurred in Rosyth in Fife at around 7.40pm on September 16.

Police want to speak to a girl aged around 16 years old who was seen near the school.

A spokeswoman said: "We received a report that a ten-year-old boy was subject to racial abuse in Rosyth.

"Officers are eager to speak to a teenage girl who we believe may be able to help with our enquiries."

The girl was described as around 5ft 4in, with an average build and shoulder-length blonde hair.

She was wearing a blue denim jacket.

Categories: Local News

Parasitic worms offer hope of cure for asthma attacks

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 10:58

Parasitic worms could help prevent asthma and offer hope of a cure to the 5.4 million people in the UK with the condition, a new study has found.

Scientists at Edinburgh University found roundworms, which live in the intestines, release a protein called HpARI that prevents its host from having an allergic reaction.

The researchers found people who live in countries where the worms are common are less likely to have asthma.

In south east Asia, fewer than one in 20 people have asthma compared to one in 11 in the UK.

The study was funded by the charity Asthma UK and was published in the Immunity Journal this week.

Asthma attacks kill three people in the UK each day and are often triggered by allergic reactions to things like pollen, pets and dust mites.

'We have found a new way of suppressing the allergic responses which cause asthma.' Dr Henry McSorley

It is hoped the protein used by the roundworms could be used as the basis for a treatment for asthma over the next five to ten years.

The research was led by Dr Henry McSorley at the Medical Research Council Centre for Inflammation Research at Edinburgh University.

Dr McSorley said: "We have known for some years that infections with parasitic worms appear to protect people against asthma.

"We have always believed that identifying exactly how parasites prevent asthma could inspire new treatments.

"By identifying this new protein, we have found a new way of suppressing the allergic responses which cause asthma. In the future, we hope to develop this further."

'Having an asthma attack is absolutely terrifying, it feels like someone is holding a pillow over my face.' Val Hudson, asthma sufferer

Val Hudson, a consultant from Durham, was diagnosed with asthma as an adult.

She said: "It's incredible to think worms could cure asthma, and research like this will offer hope to the many people who like me who have asthma.

"My asthma attacks are triggered by cold weather, common colds and dust and they can leave me gasping for breath for hours.

"Having an asthma attack is absolutely terrifying, it feels like someone is holding a pillow over my face."

She added: "I have daily medication to control my asthma but there are still things I can't do because of it, like swimming and even walking makes me very breathless sometimes.

"I know people who have been in and out of hospital because of their asthma attacks so I want people to know how serious asthma can be.

"Three people die from it each day. That's why research like this is so vital."

Dr Samantha Walker, director of research and policy at Asthma UK, said: "This is exciting early research that could pave the way for the development of new treatments for asthma.

"It is becoming clear that there are many different types of asthma and that not all of them respond to current treatment, which is why research like this is so important.

"Asthma UK funds research projects into asthma and breakthroughs like this can make a real difference to the lives of people with asthma."

Categories: Local News

Haul of illegal fireworks worth £1500 seized in raid

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 09:55

Around £1500 worth of illegally stored fireworks have been seized after police raided a house in Edinburgh.

Police and Trading Standards officers searched a house in Niddrie Marischal Crescent on Monday and recovered a "large quantity" of fireworks.

The devices could have put community safety at risk, Edinburgh City Council said.

Officers are now trying to trace those responsible for storing the fireworks.

Karen Doran, the council's environment spokeswoman, said: "Our close work with Police Scotland has once again proven successful, this time enabling us to seize fireworks which could otherwise have put the community's safety at risk.

"This is particularly pertinent at this time of year, when the sale and purchase of fireworks is more common.

"Anyone planning to supply fireworks must be registered with the council, ensuring that strict rules around their storage and supply to the public are followed."

Community sergeant Gordon Duff said: "This was another example of joint working in the north east of Edinburgh.

"In the wrong hands fireworks can be dangerous and their antisocial use can cause disruption for local residents.

"We are therefore focused on dealing robustly with anyone selling or storing fireworks illegally."

Categories: Local News

Cyclist seriously injured in collision with First Bus

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 08:47

A cyclist has been left seriously injured after being knocked down by a First Bus.

The 32-year-old is being treated for his injuries at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.

The crash happened shortly before 8am on Tuesday on the outskirts of Falkirk.

The A803 was shut by police for around six hours while enquiries were carried out.

Sergeant Ruth Aitchison said: "The cyclist has suffered serious injuries as a result of this collision and we are currently working to establish exactly what happened during this incident.

"Anyone who was on the A803 on Tuesday evening and believes they have information relevant to this investigation is asked to contact police immediately.

"We are particularly looking to speak to the passengers of the First Bus who left the scene prior to police arrival."

The First Bus is believed to have been travelling in the same direction as the cyclist.

Categories: Local News

Rare 300-year-old Japanese scroll restored in Edinburgh

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 17:48

An 18th century Japanese scroll has been restored to its original condition in Edinburgh.

On Tuesday, representatives of the Sumitomo Foundation, a Japanese cultural organisation that paid for the work, saw it for the first time.

The 300-year-old hand-painted scroll lay undiscovered in Edinburgh's Central Library until 2012.

Following the £40,000 restoration, the rare artwork will go on display to the public in 2019.

Entitled Theatres of the East, Furuyama Moromasa's 40ft-long scroll depicts a street scene in the theatre district of Edo, Tokyo.

Dr Rosina Buckland, of the National Museum of Scotland, said the work to restore it had been painstaking.

She said: "It's a very complex process that took a total of two years. First the scroll has to be dismantled into its ten constituent sections and then the pigments have to be protected.

"The backing paper is removed and the whole thing is renewed so that structurally it's sound, it's flexible.

"It's 13 metres long, it's a very large piece."

Categories: Local News

Police contact with men before deaths probed by watchdog

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 16:47

Two investigations into police contact with two men before their deaths have been launched by a watchdog.

On Saturday, the police were in contact with a 32-year-old man in Inverness before he was taken to Raigmore Hospital, where he later died.

Police were also in contact with a 25-year-old man in Musselburgh, East Lothian, on Friday.

His body was later recovered from a harbour in Musselburgh.

A Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) spokeswoman said: "PIRC is carrying out an investigation into the police contact with a 32-year-old man prior to his death in Inverness on Saturday, October 14.

"The man was taken to Raigmore Hospital where he later died."

She added: "They are also carrying out an investigation following the death of a 25-year-old man whose body was recovered from the harbour in Musselburgh on Friday, October 13.

"The investigation will focus on police contact with the man in the days prior to his death.

"The matters have been referred to the PIRC by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and a report on the commissioner's findings will be submitted to the COPFS in due course."

Police have been investigated in the past over similar incidences, such as waiting two days to respond to an emergency call by family in February. A 51-year-old man was found dead when police finally responded.

And the body of 46-year-old David Penman was discovered in a parked vehicle in Dunipace, Stirlingshire, on Thursday, December 15, days after police were alerted. 

Categories: Local News

Man charged with murder at flat near Scottish Parliament

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 13:47

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a woman whose body was found in Edinburgh.

The woman, who is yet to be formally identified by police, was found at a flat on Dumbiedykes Road near the Scottish Parliament on Saturday morning.

Roger Crossan, 52, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with her murder on Monday.

No plea was entered and he was remanded in custody.

The case will be heard again later in October.

Categories: Local News

Man hit on head at bus stop by debris blown from rooftop

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 13:16

A man was struck in the head by debris blown from the roof of a building as he stood at a bus stop.

Jack Dunbar was at the bus stop on Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, when coating from chimneys on nearby flats fell down around 6.30am on Tuesday morning.

The incident took place as Storm Ophelia battered Scotland with winds of up to 70mph.

Edinburgh City Council said it has inspected a privately-owned building and written to its owners. | twitter

Mr Dunbar, a former soldier, said he was left with a cut and a lump on his head after the incident but got his bus into work shortly afterwards.

He told STV News: "It all happened so fast. A slate or something fell from the roof and made a big bang.

"It hit me on the head, one guy took out his phone to help me check my head."

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh City Council said inspectors had visited the site and found it was safe despite the fall.

The council has written to the building's owners to emphasise their responsibilities to keep it safe. | default
Categories: Local News

Plane declares emergency while flying over Edinburgh

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:53

A flight was diverted to Glasgow Airport after a medical emergency was declared on board.

The Icelandair flight had been bound for Munich after leaving Reykjavik at 7.20am.

It declared a general emergency while over Edinburgh around 10.20am, with a passenger understood to have taken ill.

The Boeing 757 landed at Glasgow Airport shortly afterwards and the passenger was taken off the aircraft as a precaution.

It is now continuing the flight to Germany after refueling at the airport.

Categories: Local News

Storm Ophelia batters Scotland with 70mph winds and rain

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 07:40

Storm Ophelia is battering Scotland with heavy rain and 70mph winds.

Trains, planes and ferries have been cancelled as the storm front sweeps eastwards across the country.

A yellow Met Office weather warning is in place for central and eastern Scotland and 20 flood alerts have been issued.

An derelict tenement partially collapsed in the early hours of the morning in Glasgow but nobody was injured.

More than 1000 homes and businesses in Dumfries and Galloway lost power on Monday, where winds gusted at 76mph overnight.

STV weather presenter Sean Batty said the most severe weather has passed, however.

"The worst of Ophelia's winds have now passed but strong winds still affect northern and eastern parts of the country," he said.

"Last night winds gusted over 70mph in Dumfries and Galloway, with a peak of 76mph in Dundrennan. There was also a gust over 70mph in Lanark and a 94mph gust at the summit of the Cairngorms.

"Winds will continue to ease through the day as the storm system heads into the North Sea towards Norway."

Nine out of 31 ScotRail routes were severely disrupted on Tuesday morning, including trains between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Perth, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and Glasgow and Lanark.

Trains were cancelled between Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy after a train hit an obstruction at Markinch, Fife.

There was also disruption between Glasgow Central station and Neilston as a result of an obstruction and a similar situation at Lockerbie.

An object caught in overhead electrical wires also caused problems for trains between Glasgow Central and Lanark.

High winds are believed to have been responsible for the collapse of an unoccupied tenement on Albert Road in Crosshill, Glasgow.

The front of the property crumbled in the early hours of Tuesday morning as the city was hit by powerful gusts.

Meanwhile, the roof of a scout hut in Castle Douglas has blown off and there are reports of collapsed scaffolding in Dumfries.

Power cuts in the Western Isles have left several areas without power.

A Met forecaster said: "Very strong winds are forecast to continue to affect some parts of the UK during Tuesday.

"Southwesterly winds are most likely to gust between 50 and 60mph across much of the warning area with the potential for gusts of 70mph over the far southeast of Scotland and parts of northeast England.

"The strongest winds are likely during the morning's busy travel period before gradually easing."

Three people were killed by the storm on Monday in Ireland, which bore the brunt of the former hurricane with 100mph winds.

Ophelia caused strange weather phenomena across the UK, turning clouds yellow and causing the sun to appear red. | default
Categories: Local News

'Distressed' woman seen barefoot on bus found by police

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 17:30

A woman who was seen travelling barefoot on a bus in Midlothian has been fiybd by police.

Concerns were raised for the woman's welfare after she was seen on the number 37 Lothian bus in Loanhead just after 5am on Sunday.

Police said the woman, who is believed to be in her 60s, appeared to be distressed during the journey and was wearing a black jacket over her pyjamas with no footwear.

On Monday, officers said she had been traced near Penicuik.

They thanked members of the public who had helped with their appeal to locate the woman.

Categories: Local News