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COURT ROUND-UP: Men charged with murder and fiend targets girls among last month's Inverness court business

By Ali Morrison

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Inverness Sheriff Court saw a huge mix of criminal business in November.

Here's our recap of some of the cases that made the headlines last month.

Ross MacGillivray.
Ross MacGillivray.

Two men have appeared in court charged with the murder of Ross MacGillivray (36) in Inverness.

Craig Hayden, a 28-year-old from Alness, and 21-year-old Leon Headey from Liverpool appeared before Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald and made no plea to the allegation that they murdered Mr MacGillivray, tying him up by his wrists and repeatedly striking him on the head.

The charge states that the pair, whilst acting with another, restrained their victim and repeatedly struck him on the head and body by means unknown, inflicting blunt force head injuries.

Joshua Pemberton pled guilty at the High Court in Glasgow to a total of 16 charges.
Joshua Pemberton pled guilty at the High Court in Glasgow to a total of 16 charges.

A convicted sex offender who pretended to be a teenage boy blackmailed and raped a 13-year-old girl.

Joshua Pemberton struck in January 2022 having earlier been freed from jail.

The 26-year-old had initially contacted the victim on social media while claiming to be just 14.

A self-employed farmer who admitted causing a head-on crash on the A82 near Loch Ness was fined £1570 at Inverness Sheriff Court.

Steven Seivwright was also picked up a mandatory 12-month driving ban because he had been charged with a new offence of causing serious injury by "careless or inconsiderate driving" that only came into force in June 2022.

A driver arrested in a Black Isle village was jailed for eight months after a sheriff at Inverness told him he had the worst record for driving while banned ever to come before her.

Allan Scott (49), of St Fillans Place, Dundee, admitted 25 previous convictions for driving while banned and was also banned from driving for life at Inverness Sheriff Court.

The court was told Scott attracted police attention in Munlochy last October 5, but then engaged in a course of dangerous driving which he admitted.

Scott Murray.
Scott Murray.

A convicted paedophile made a sexual remark to a female detective constable after he was arrested in Inverness city centre.

Police arrested 38-year-old Scott Murray, of Waterloo Place, as he was withdrawing cash at an ATM in Inverness railway station on July 21.

But Inverness Sheriff Court was told that as he was being handcuffed, he swung his arm and knocked them to the ground.

A Perthshire farm worker who was upset at the break-up of his relationship didn't realise he was travelling at 111mph on a section of A9 dual carriageway.

But Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald expressed doubt that 22-year-old Drew Billimore, of Little Inchgarth, Keltneyburn would not have realised how fast his Ford Fiesta was going.

She told him: "I suspect your little car was rattling."

A disqualified driver who got behind the wheel of her car twice after being banned was warned by a sheriff she was on the road to jail.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that 34-year-old Jennifer Strachan, of Ardness Place, Inverness had her licence first taken away from her in August 2022 for drink-driving.

But a month later, she was caught by police on September 9 driving while under the influence of drugs in Sir Walter Scott Drive and at her home.

Prison officers were attacked by an inmate who began to trash his cell because he "wasn't coping" with life inside.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that staff in riot gear were called to Michael Stewart's cell on March 4, 2022 when he began destroying property there.

Fiscal depute Victoria Silver told Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald: "He began smashing up his cell and said he was in possession of a weapon."

Jack Mackenzie.
Jack Mackenzie.

A lifelong family friend of an Inverness woman and her 17-year-old son who attacked them both in their home will be sentenced next month.

Jack Mackenzie, of Hawthorn Drive, Inverness, had been due to stand trial but on the day it was due to proceed he pleaded guilty to two charges of assault to severe injury, one with a telescopic baton on the woman.

A Highland councillor is to stand trial next year accused of faking disabled parking blue badges so drivers of tour buses owned by her could use the restricted spaces.

Maxine Smith (64), of Calrichie Cottages, Invergordon who represents Cromarty Ward 6 on The Highland Council, was a former SNP councillor.

She resigned from the party group in 2020 and is now a member of the Highland Alliance.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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