Saturday, 25 October 2014


Blunder sees bank worker accused of stealing £175,000 walk free from court

23 OCT 2013 10.11AM
A BANK worker accused of stealing more than £175,000 from customers has walked free from court following a Crown blunder.

Satnam Kaur was said to have taken cash from two accounts while working as a customer advisor for the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The 30-year-old Indian national was alleged to have withdrawn money as euros and deposited a £120,000 cheque into her own account.
She was sacked from her job at the Albyn Place RBS branch in Aberdeen after the allegations came to light.
The former bank worker was due to go on trial at the city’s sheriff court yesterday but the trial collapsed after it emerged the Crown had made a mistake.
Essential words required by law were missing from the indictment served against the accused.
The sheriff and jury trial was thrown out because the words “by authority of Her Majesty’s Advocate” were missing from the paperwork.
This meant that the indictment was incompetent because the document failed to show that the case had been officially authorised by Scotland's top legal officer.
Depute fiscal Elaine Ward told the court the Crown initially believed Miss Kaur was going to plead guilty and so had not fully prepared for trial.
Prosecutors are legally bound to bring a criminal case against a person accused of an offence on indictment to court within 12 months.
The time bar in the case against Miss Kaur ran out this Friday.
Mrs Ward called on the sheriff to extend the time bar so the Crown Office would have additional time to prepare a new indictment to serve on the accused. But Sheriff Graeme Buchanan refused the motion, stating that the Crown had shown a “lack of focus and direction” by way of preparing the case for trial.
Miss Kaur, whose address was given in court papers as Flat D, 11 Fraser Place, Aberdeen was accused of stealing £144,626.06 from the bank account of Robert Brown on several occasions between June 2011 and March last year.
She was said to have used her own unique bank log-in details to withdraw cash.She was further claimed to have taken £30,400 from the account of bank customer Robert Mann.
The court heard the customers suffered no financial loss as a result of the alleged incidents.


Multiple rapist and abuser Alan Clark jailed

Alan ClarkAlan Clark raped and abused women over an 11-year period
A man who was convicted of raping two women and assaulting two others has been jailed for eight years.
Alan Clark, 39, abused the women in Glasgow, Clydebank and Dumbarton between 2001 and 2012.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how he raped one woman who had helped him with literacy skills while he was in prison.
Judge Lord Carloway ordered Clark to be kept under supervision for a further four years after his release.
The judge told him: "You have been convicted of a catalogue of sexual and violent offences."
'Significant criminal record'
The court heard how Clark, who had "a significant criminal record", raped a woman who had helped to teach him during a previous prison sentence.
He was described as being "charming and pleasant" at first but later abused the woman who was pushed, slapped, gouged and handcuffed.
On one occasion he tried to strangle her after she turned off the TV at a house in Dumbarton.
After being raped the woman said she felt "so low" that she believed the attacks would only end when one of them died.
Clark threatened to burn down her house and her parents' home during a four-year period up to the end of 2005.
He also raped a second woman in 2008 at a flat in the Bridgeton area of Glasgow.
Bomb threat
During the ordeal he slashed clothes belonging to her and threatened to stab her dog.
Clark also threatened to petrol bomb the woman's home.
He also committed acts of violence against a fourth woman who was punched, kicked and jumped on.
He threatened to throw her out of a window and tied her hands and ankles together with wire.
During one incident in 2012 in Glasgow he tried to strangle her and dragged her through the door of a close and repeatedly struck her head against a concrete floor.
Clark also robbed the woman of cash and destroyed photos belonging to her.
A fourth woman was dragged by the hair and punched by Clark during incidents in Glasgow in 2010.



Children’s charity reports rise in cases of online sexual abuse

By SANDRA GRAY, 25 October 2014 9.00am.
A leading children’s charity has reported a “staggering” rise in cases of online sexual abuse.

Childline, which is operated by the NSPCC, carried out more than 2,800 
counselling sessions with youngsters who were being groomed over the internet.
This represents an increase of 168% between 2012 and 2013.
Almost 20% of all counselling sessions were directed through Childline’s bases in Aberdeen and Glasgow.
Joseph Lumbasi, a development worker with the charity Izzy’s Promise, told 
The Courier it was a difficult subject for children to discuss openly.
He added: “They come to us because they don’t feel their school knows how to deal with it and they don’t want to tell their parents in case they have their computers or phones taken away and are prevented from using the internet. They also don’t want to be put in a situation where they could come face-to-face with their abuser.”
Mr Lumbasi revealed the charity was working to help young people protect 
themselves online.
“We try to help them build some 
resilience and develop coping 
mechanisms,” he said.
“We provide them with a confidential service, whether that is giving them 
reassurance or helping them to protect themselves online.
“If something happens online that makes them feel unsafe, they know they can come to us.
“They need to be able to talk to people they can trust to help them deal with that kind of situation.”
Childline has adopted a similar approach to encourage young people to talk about their online activities.
Elaine Chalmers, area manager for 
the service in Scotland, said children often do not report abuse because they don’t 
realise that what they are experiencing is illegal.
She added: “Social networks are an easy place to hide your real identity and can be the first step in offenders encouraging potential victims to other sites, or even to meet in person.
“It’s vital that we encourage children and young people to talk about what they do online and who they communicate with.”
Anyone with concerns about online safety can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or Izzy’s Promise on 01382 206222.


University of Nottingham students fined over sexist chants

Still from video showing students chantingThe students had gathered outside the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham

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A number of students have been fined following an investigation after footage emerged of a group chanting about violence and necrophilia.
The chant filmed during the Freshers' Week included a reference to digging up and having sex with a female corpse.
A University of Nottingham spokeswoman said action was taken "in line with its code of discipline" for students.
Impact, the university's student magazine, said the students had been fined £150 each.
The group was filmed outside the Capital FM Arena on 28 September by a first year student, who did not want to be named.
The woman said she was "fed up" after hearing the misogynistic chants all week and so decided to film the behaviour.
Student sanctions
The footage, which shows a mixed group of people chanting about having sex with a woman, was given to Impact, which published it on YouTube on 3 October.
She said: "I'm happy I did it and effectively it's put a stop to it."
The woman and other students said the group had been fined for their actions.
A spokeswoman for the University of Nottingham said it had worked alongside the students' union in its investigation.
She would not confirm that the students had been fined £150, which is the university's maximum penalty for breaking their code of discipline.
Some student union representatives were among those punished and are also set to face a disciplinary hearing over whether they broke the union's code of conduct.
A number of sanctions can be imposed, including a formal written warning about future conduct and those responsible could be removed from their positions on the committee.
Video still of group of studentsThe group was filmed singing the song during fresher's week

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Second member of Fiona Woolf inquiry admits controversial links with Lord Brittan

Dame Moira Gibb, who is to sit with Fiona Woolf on the Government's child sex abuse inquiry, confirms she also has a link with Lord Brittan

Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London and former president of the Law Society, has insisted she is “not a member of the establishment”.
Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London and former president of the Law Society, has insisted she is “not a member of the establishment”. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Fiona Woolf, the controversial head of the Government’s child sex abuse inquiry, is under renewed pressure after it emerged another member of her inquiry panel has links with Lord Brittan.
The Telegraph can disclose that Dame Moira Gibb – who was appointed to sit on the panel on Tuesday along with a number of other experts – has admitted a close personal friend worked with Lord Brittan during part of the period which will be closely scrutinised by the inquiry.
Lord Brittan, who as Leon Brittan who was in charge of the Home Office in the 1980s, issued a statement through his solicitors in July after being questioned by the police over an alleged sexual offence.
Earlier this year he was questioned under caution over an allegation of rape dating back to 1967, which he said was "wholly without foundation".
It has also been claimed that while at the Home Office Lord Brittan was handed a file - now missing - in late 1983 which allegedly detailed child abuse at the highest levels of Westminster.
In a letter to Theresa May, the Home Secretary, on October 17 Dame Moira said she had no “direct interest in the matters to which the inquiry relates”.
But just five days later she was forced to write to Mrs May again.
She wrote: “I would like to set out that Mr Gerald Malone, whom I declared as a personal friend, informed me last night that he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Brittan in 1985 when Lord Brittan was Secretary of State for Trade and Investment, and a Government whip from 1986-1987.
“I will keep this matter under review during the tenure of my appointment to the inquiry panel.”
The first person appointed to head the inquiry, Baroness Butler Sloss, was forced to resign before proceedings had got underway after it emerged her brother, Michael Havers, may have had to make legal decisions about abuse allegations in his role as attorney general in the 1980s.
Mrs Woolf faced calls for her resignation after she revealed she had a number of personal links with Lord Brittan and his wife.
Lord Brittan
Mrs Woolf admitted she had lived in the same London road as the Brittans and had attended at five dinner parties with them.
Her personal connections with Lord Brittan have come under intense scrutiny because of the nature of the inquiry into what some commentators have alleged is an “establishment cover up”.
Gerald Malone was a Conservative MP in Baroness Thatcher's and Sir John Major’s governments.
As a trusted worker for Lord Brittan in the 1980s it is conceivable the sex abuse inquiry may wish to take evidence from him about Lord Brittan’s tenure at Home Office.
This could lead to a potential conflict of interest for Dame Moira, a social work expert and former chief executive of Camden borough council in north London.