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COURT ROUND-UP: Rapists jailed and drug dealers thwarted 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 March.

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

Aiden Beats appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Aiden Beats appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court.

An 81-year-old man was attacked by a teenager who was told by a sheriff his victim was "lucky to be still alive" and the youth was not facing a murder or culpable homicide charge in the High Court.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that Aiden Beats, of Cawdor Road, Nairn, was in Grantown celebrating his 18th birthday on January 29 and got drunk.

READ MORE: Nairn teen told he was lucky he didn't kill OAP he assaulted in Grantown

A sex attacker who repeatedly raped a woman has been jailed for six years.

Ansell Gibson - described as living "a life of faith" - was today sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow.

The 31-year-old had earlier been convicted of attacking the woman on various occasions between January 2014 and December 2018.

READ MORE: Highland rapist jailed for six years

A Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) will begin next month into the death of a nursery teacher struck by a lorry in Drumnadrochit.

Chloe Morrison was 26 years old when she was hit and killed by the Scania lorry's fully extended stabiliser as she walked with her mother along a pavement in the Loch Ness-side village on October 25, 2019.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has lodged a First Notice to begin the court process for the FAI, which was announced in November last year.

READ MORE: FAI into death of nursery teacher hit by lorry

A sex attacker who raped two vulnerable men was jailed for eight years today after a judge branded him "a cruel and cynical sexual predator".

Gavin Shand attacked his first victim at a house in Inverness after the man fell asleep before telling him when he awoke: "I know you wanted it."

READ MORE: Rapist jailed for eight years after attacks in Inverness and Glasgow

A police officer will stand trial accused of raping two woman and abusing a third.

Cameron Ross (37), of Appin Drive, Inverness allegedly attacked the pair at separate properties in Stornoway between August 2012 and June 2014.

READ MORE: Inverness police officer accused of rape and abuse of women

A 27-year-old Inverness mother-of-two who made "a catastrophic mistake" by agreeing to sell drugs during lockdown has been fined £1275.

Chelsea Miller, of Ashton Road, appeared for sentence before Sheriff Gary Aitken after having been given time to get a job and income following a plea of guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

READ MORE: Sheriff can't imagine why Inverness mum thought starting a criminal enterprise was sensible

A prolific shoplifter who sold his haul to feed his addictions had two drug treatment orders revoked and replaced with an eight-month jail sentence after he attempted to steal a bottle of beer.

Inverness 41-year-old Steven Potter, who has been on remand at Porterfield Prison since January 30, appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court to admit the order breaches imposed for six thefts and threatening a Co-op security officer in Church Street on June 23 last year by pretending to throw a bottle at him.

READ MORE: Inverness man jailed after trying to steal bottle of beer

Melina Rosa Päprer.
Melina Rosa Päprer.

A man who killed his girlfriend in a horror death crash during their first holiday together has been spared jail.

Gerrit Reickmann and Melina Rosa Paprer had travelled from Germany to visit castles in the Highlands.

READ MORE: Driver who killed girlfriend in fatal A82 crash spared jail

A 42-year-old Inverness woman who was concerned in the supply of drugs for the second time was jailed for a year.

Carol McCrone appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court and pleaded guilty to the drugs offences involving cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy on the A9 and at a house in Temple Crescent, Inverness on August 24, 2021.

READ MORE: Police found drugs wrapped in Christmas paper when searching Inverness woman's car

Brothers who were high on drink and drugs attacked a pedestrian in Inverness city centre in an apparently motiveless assault.

Their victim was left with serious facial injuries and at Inverness Sheriff Court, 21-year-old Shane Williamson and Colin (26), both of Reid Road, Invergordon, admitted assaulting the man to his severe injury on December 16 last year by punching him repeatedly on the head and body.

READ MORE: Highland brothers who attacked man for no reason in Inverness city centre learn their fate

A neighbourly dispute ended up in court after a 65-year-old woman began sending racist social media messages to a man living in the same street.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that Christina Mackay, of Cawdor Road, Nairn and the target of her WhatsApp messages had been neighbours for four years.

READ MORE: Racist Nairn woman 'didn't realise she was capable of saying such things'

A fear of her and her family being murdered by Liverpool drug dealers forced a 32-year-old Inverness woman to take over £17,000 of class A drugs as insurance against being killed.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that was the explanation given by Stephanie Lewicki, of Galloway Drive, Inverness, after she got a taxi to Aviemore and was then traced by police to a restaurant there on the evening of May 15, 2022.

READ MORE: Inverness woman feared she and her family would be murdered by Liverpool drug dealers

A cheeky remark by a cyclist to a pedestrian prompted a cup of coffee to be thrown over him by his target.

So 33-year-old Craig MacLeod, of Thornbush Road, Inverness got off his bike and punched the man in the face once, fracturing his eye socket.

READ MORE: Inverness cyclist assaulted pedestrian after being doused with coffee

An Inverness teenager who began downloading vile images of child abuse when he was just aged 14 has had strict controls on his internet use imposed by a sheriff.

Jake Milne (19), of no fixed abode, appeared for sentence at Inverness Sheriff Court after admitting downloading almost 400 still images and 96 videos of children in various forms of sex activity and posing from May 19, 2019 until May 31, 2023.

READ MORE: Inverness teenager had vile images of child abuse after straying into 'dark world'

A sneak thief entered a hospital office and stole a handbag and its contents which included season tickets for Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The incident happened on January 10, 2022 when 47-year-old Warren Maclean was abusing alcohol and drugs, Inverness Sheriff Court heard.

READ MORE: Sneak thief who stole handbag in hospital jailed for 10 months

An addict who stole £1300 worth of outdoor clothing from an Inverness store to fund his habit has been jailed for five months.

Ross Grant, of Huntly Square, Inverness appeared for sentence at Inverness Sheriff Court having previously pleaded guilty to the theft of six pairs of trousers and two jackets from Go Outdoors on March 2, 2023.

READ MORE: Addict jailed after stealing £1300 worth of clothing from Inverness shop

A week-long shoplifting spree at the end of last year came to an end when a 38-year-old woman was arrested.

Gemma Robertson's thieving began on December 7 in the Co-op in Church Street, Inverness and continued at Marks and Spencer and TK Maxx so she could fund her heroin habit, Inverness Sheriff Court heard.

READ MORE: Drug addict asks for jail term after Inverness shoplifting spree

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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