Local News

Man jailed for church and temple fires in Edinburgh

BBC News - Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 12:54
The 49-year-old told police after he was arrested that he had wanted to watch the buildings burn down.
Categories: Local News

Four years for man who set fires at places of worship

The Edinburgh Reporter - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 12:43
A man responsible for fires at two places of worship in Edinburgh has been jailed at the High Court in Edinburgh today. Paul Johnson was sentenced to four years in prison following the incidents at the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in Sheriff Brae and the Leith Methodist Church in Nicolson Square on Tuesday 28th August. Police […]
Categories: Local News

Rugby – Falkirk v Stewarts’ Melville, Tennent’s National League, Div. 2

The Edinburgh Reporter - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 12:41
The teams were greeted by a pleasant day, with bright blue skies and a gentle breeze. Falkirk’s ‘Sunnyside’ ground was living up to its name – unlike in 1746, when it was torrential wind and rain and neither combatant was able to retain any structure in attack or defence (in contrast to Saturday)! Falkirk have […]
Categories: Local News

Captain James Wadsworth unveils Tour de Troops The Castles dates for 2019

The Edinburgh Reporter - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 12:22
The Captain James Wadsworth Challenge, organiser of the Tour de Troops Castles event, has announced dates for this endurance bike ride as it returns in 2019. The gruelling 570-mile (900km) cycle challenge will be held from 05 to 08 June 2019 and will take in three of the UK’s most significant castles as cyclists pedal […]
Categories: Local News

At Summerhall: Visible Girls: Revisited and Invisible Spaces*****

The Edinburgh Reporter - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 12:18
What makes a space invisible? Perhaps it is behind a door, on the other side of a wall, or even under the sea. Perhaps it is in plain sight, a place that is so familiar and ordinary to us that we no longer see it at all. Or perhaps it doesn’t even exist – we […]
Categories: Local News

Temple and church fire attacks 'were political statement'

STV News - Edinburgh & East Scotland - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 11:31

A man who carried out fire attacks at a Sikh temple and a church because he wanted to make a "political statement" has been jailed for four years.

Paul Johnson, who was said to have "issues" with religion, used petrol to ignite the doors of Edinburgh's Guru Nanak Sikh Temple and Leith Methodist Church this summer.

He told police he wanted to watch the premises burn down, confessing to officers: "I did it."

Johnson, 49, admitted two charges of wilful fire-raising, aggravated by religious prejudice, on August 28 when he appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh last month.

Returning to the court for sentencing on Thursday, judge Lord Boyd described Johnson's actions as "reckless and wicked".

He said Johnson appeared to have a "grudge" against religion or religious authority in general, rather than a prejudice against one particular group.

The court heard how during the attack on the Sikh temple, smoke entered the building and put the lives of those inside at risk.

The attack was only carried out when unemployed Johnson happened to come across the building.

The court heard that on the evening of August 27, Johnson bought a container and then fuel worth #3.51 from a local petrol station.

Shortly before 5am on August 28, a man heading to the temple to pray spotted fire had taken hold on one side of one of the doors and immediately raised the alarm with a man sleeping inside in the family quarters.

'The accused stated that his intention in buying the petrol was to start the fire at the Methodist church and that the fire-raising at the Sikh temple was not planned' Advocate depute Alan Cameron

The fire service was then alerted and 11 firefighters attended to bring the blaze under control.

Around a couple of hours later, the caretaker at Leith Methodist Church noticed a smell of petrol and burning and cleaned up the area around the front door after realising there was no fire damage of note.

He later contacted police after hearing about the incident at the temple.

CCTV footage from the area around the church between 12.03am and 12.13am showed Johnson approaching the church door, with a flash of light then visible.

Footage from the temple from 12.38am to 1.07am revealed him then approaching the door with a jerry can and lighting a piece of paper. He returned on two further occasions during that time to light more paper and throw it towards the door before running away.

Police arrested Johnson after spotting him in Leith in the early hours of August 30. Asked about his involvement in the two fires, he immediately told officers: "I did it."

Advocate depute Alan Cameron told the court previously: "The accused stated that his intention in buying the petrol was to start the fire at the Methodist church and that the fire-raising at the Sikh temple was not planned and was only carried out when he came across the building.

'It is clear from what I can glean about these offences that they were motivated by a grudge against religion or religious authority' Lord Boyd

"The accused was asked as to his motivation for the fires and stated that he was looking to make a political statement, but would not provide further details.

"When asked whether this was religiously motivated he stated that he has no issue with any particular religion but his issues are with religion and God in general."

Lord Boyd said at the sentencing hearing on Thursday: "What is clear is that you seem to have some sort of grudge against religion or religious authority and decided to take it out on two nearby religious buildings.

"You told police officers that you were confident that no-one was in the building and that fire officers would not be at risk because of their training. You were of course wrong about people being in the building and your actions did put people at risk.

"It is clear from what I can glean about these offences that they were motivated by a grudge against religion or religious authority in general rather than prejudice or bigotry against any one group. Indeed you appeared unaware of the religious denomination of the buildings themselves."

Johnson, listed as a prisoner in Edinburgh, has a criminal record which includes two convictions for culpable and reckless conduct.

The court also heard that he had failed to properly engage with his defence counsel or the process of compiling a criminal justice social work report ahead of sentencing.

Categories: Local News

M&S Edinburgh Chesser Avenue Supporting Big Hearts!

The Edinburgh Reporter - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 10:22
A Marks and Spencer (M&S) food hall in the west of Edinburgh has selected Big Hearts Community Trust as its local charity partner. Staff at the store, in Chesser Avenue, will work with Big Hearts volunteers to raise funds in support of Big Hearts work in the community. Big Hearts Community Trust is a family-focused […]
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Get involved with St Andrew’s Fair Saturday on 1 December 2018

The Edinburgh Reporter - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 10:08
The new celebration of St Andrew’s Day is bound up with the Fair Saturday movement which began in Spain. We met the founder the other week when he visited Edinburgh. You can read more about that here. At this week’s Culture and Communities meeting the Vice-Convener Amy McNeese-Mechan urged all councillors to spread the word […]
Categories: Local News

Green councillor calls for free Christmas tickets for those who use food banks

The Edinburgh Reporter - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 10:04
A Green councillor called on the bosses of this year’s Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay to allocate free tickets to those relying on food banks this Christmas. Underbelly, organisers of the Christmas and Hogmanay events across the Capital, said it will be working with dozens of local charities and groups to distribute thousands of free tickets and […]
Categories: Local News

Former top referee Bill Mullan dies aged 90

The Edinburgh Reporter - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 09:06
Former top referee Bill Mullan has passed away aged 90. Bill was a Category 1 referee from 1960/61 to 1977/78 and a FIFA referee for 10 seasons from 1962/63 to 1972/73. He refereed the FIFA World Club Final, Nacional v. Panathinaikos, in 1971 and officiated in the 1972 European Championship Finals, refereeing Belgium v. West […]
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Martin Boyle will be ‘valuable addition’ to Socceroos attacking options

The Edinburgh Reporter - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 06:52
Hibs’ midfielder Mark Milligan has insisted that team-mate Martin Boyle will a valuable addition to Caltex Socceroos manager Graham Arnold’s attacking options. Milligan who has quickly won the admiration of the Hibs’ fans since his move to Easter Road believes that the Aussies can look forward to an era of exciting and attacking football under Arnold […]
Categories: Local News

Silverwood Lodges – latest phase of lodges released

The Edinburgh Reporter - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 06:36
NEW PHASE OF INVESTMENT LODGES RELEASED FOR SALE AT ERROL LUXURY RESORT Silverwood at Errol, a new luxury lodge development offering lodge ownership as a fully managed investment, has released a new phase of turnkey lodges for sale, with prices from £115,000-£245,000.   The resort, which enjoys a convenient location just minutes from the motorway […]
Categories: Local News

Livingston bride-to-be among 300 without dress after Edinburgh’s Berketex Bride closes

Edinburgh Evening News - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 06:02
When Lisa Whitefield found her dream wedding dress, she “knew it was the one”.
Categories: Local News

Revealed: Why Edinburgh’s new Sick Kids Hospital is facing further delays

Edinburgh Evening News - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 06:01
The opening of Edinburgh’s new Sick Kids Hospital is facing further delays due to three key outstanding elements to the £150 million facility, the Evening News can reveal.
Categories: Local News

Crime gang convicted of people smuggling in West Lothian

BBC News - Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 22:27
Four men have been convicted of organised crime in West Lothian, including people smuggling and fraud.
Categories: Local News

Hearts Publish Annual Report and Financial Statements

The Edinburgh Reporter - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 22:06
Hearts today published their annual accounts and despite the construction of the new main stand, the installation of a new hybrid pitch and an increase in expenditure on players, declared a profit of £1.8m. Turnover has increased by £800,000 and gate receipts rose to over £1m. Staff costs rose to over £7m. There was £400,000 […]
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Moderator and other Scottish Church leaders call upon Home Secretary to offer asylum to Asia Bibi

The Edinburgh Reporter - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 21:26
Scottish church leaders have urged the UK Government to offer asylum to a persecuted Pakistani woman and her family. They said providing sanctuary for Asia Bibi, whose death sentence for blasphemy was overturned, would underline the country’s “continuing commitment to freedom of religion and belief”. An open letter, signed by seven leaders including Rt Rev […]
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Prime Minister’s Brexit statement

The Edinburgh Reporter - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 21:06
The Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the media outside Downing Street this evening after a five hour Cabinet meeting. This is what she said : “The Cabinet has just had a long, detailed and impassioned debate on the draft Withdrawal Agreement and the Outline Political Declaration on our future relationship with the European Union. “These […]
Categories: Local News

Call for Edinburgh families using food banks to be given free Christmas fair tickets

Edinburgh Evening News - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 20:04
eDINBURGh citizens relying on food banks should be given free tickets to the city’s Christmas fair, a councillor has suggested.
Categories: Local News

20mph gets the green light in East Linton

The Edinburgh Reporter - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 19:54
Following Edinburgh’s lead, a 20mph experiment in an East Lothian village is to be made permanent after councillors gave it the green light. The speed restriction was introduced in East Linton after residents complained about speeding motorists going through their village. And despite a survey revealing the reduction in the limit had made “no discernible […]
Categories: Local News