Our team of reporters have been covering courts across the north-east and Highlands to bring you the most interesting cases from across our patch. Here is a selection of the stories our readers enjoyed most this week:
Cops halt car chase involving teen due to it being too dangerous
On Monday, we brought you a story about a young man who led police on a lethal car chase across Aberdeen.
Ellis Leisk was traced on Anderson Drive but failed to stop and a pursuit began.
Married man caught by paedophile hunters
A married middle-aged man has escaped a jail sentence after he attempted to get young girls to send him indecent photographs of themselves.
Kevin Johnston was snared by a paedophile hunting group that had posed as underage teenagers on the internet.
Lifeboat volunteer hoaxed his own crewmates
On Tuesday, we reported about a RNLI lifeboat volunteer who made hoax calls to the coastguard – just so he could get out in the boat.
Leon Marandola sent messages he knew to be false through VHF radio, 999 calls and Facebook posts, flagging that vessels or people were requiring rescue at sea.
Drug dealer’s £25,000 heroin stash found following motorbike crash
An Elgin drug dealer’s £25,000 heroin haul was discovered when paramedics had to cut him free of his rucksack after a serious motorbike crash.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard how paramedics then handed Garry Collie’s rucksack over to cops.
£700,000 fine for firm after worker’s death
One of the country’s biggest construction companies has been fined £700,000 after one of their employees was crushed to death by a dumper truck.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard that the death of 61-year-old John Cameron on BAM Nuttall’s site to build a sub-station at Blackhillock, near Keith, led to industry-wide changes to health and safety rules.
The company admitted failing to make a suitable risk assessment in the task of repair and replacement of equipment on-site and the risk of vehicles and pedestrians coming into contact with each other.
Brothers lay in wait to racially abuse Burger King staff
On Wednesday, two brothers were fined after they followed fast-food staff home and racially abused them.
Richard and Stewart Treagus refused to leave the Union Street branch of Burger King and became aggressive with staff – with one brother telling a security guard he would be “waiting for him outside”.
Thug attacked girlfriend with belt after she got dirt on carpet
An Aberdeen man physically assaulted his partner with a belt when she brought dirt into the house that got onto the living room carpet.
Zbigniew Kulik attacked the woman at an address in Aberdeen by seizing her by the head and hammering repeated blows to her face before swinging a belt by the buckle and striking her with it.
Speeder incensed by cop who raised his voice
A sheriff has told a dad caught speeding at nearly 100mph that cops don’t need to be polite after he lost the rag because an officer raised his voice at him.
Drew Kilminster overtook police officers on the AWPR Cleanhill to Charleston road in the early hours of the morning, before zooming off at 95mph.
Predatory student who raped woman is jailed
A predatory university student who snatched a woman from an Aberdeen street and subjected her to a terrifying rape ordeal was jailed.
Callum Duncan, 23, followed his victim before grabbing her by the hair and dragging her into a block of flats.
‘A huge fall from grace’
An Aberdeen solicitor found herself in the dock on Wednesday after embezzling more than £12,000 from clients’ accounts to keep her husband’s struggling firm afloat.
Louise Sutherland – also known as Murray – swindled the money by creating false invoices for work which was neither required nor carried out while employed by Graeme Murray & Co Solicitors in Aberdeen.
Three years jail for driver who killed cafe owner
A 28-year-old who caused the death of a popular Oban cafe owner after driving dangerously has been jailed for three years.
Julie Goodman was killed when Samuel Lloyd’s VW Tiguan veered onto the wrong side of the road and careered into her red Citroen C1 on October, 15, 2018.
The 53-year-old, known as Joolz, died at the scene.
‘It is war’: Man locked up for axe attack
On Thursday, a thug who carried out a brutal axe attack on a man has been jailed for six years.
David Reid, 32, struck Iain Wilson outside a house in Marchburn Crescent, Aberdeen on April 21 last year.
Inverness market trader who faked his own death jailed for 15 years
On Friday, a well-known market trader who abused women and children and then tried to fake his own death was jailed for 15 years.
Kim Avis, 57, raped and molested victims during an 11-year campaign of sex crimes in the Highlands.
Paedophile monk admits abusing boys at Highland boarding school
A perverted monk who fought extradition from Australia admitted sexually abusing two former pupils at a fee-paying Highland school more than 40 years ago.
Denis Alexander, 85, preyed on the schoolboys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, whilst teaching history at Fort Augustus Abbey school in the 1970s.
Lord Burns deferred sentence on the first offender for the court to obtain reports about his background.
He will be sentenced next month.
Pensioner in dock over alleged homophobic emails to Grampian Pride organiser
A pensioner has denied emailing homophobic abuse to one of the organisers of Grampian Pride.
Thomas Owenson is alleged to have sent “offensive and abusive” messages to Deejay Bullock, who is the founder of LGBT+ charity Four Pillars.
Owenson appeared in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court representing himself over the matter and pled not guilty to a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.