A woman who founded a food bank in Glasgow is to stand trial accused of embezzling money from it.
Julie Webster is charged with taking £15,000 from Greater Maryhill food bank between March and December 2015, while she worked at the Chapel Street centre as a coordinator.
The 41-year-old from Summerston pled not guilty by letter when the case was called at the city’s Sheriff Court.
A trial has been set for June.
A hillwalker is missing in “challenging conditions” on Ben Nevis.
Two other members of his party were rescued on Sunday evening by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team close to the summit of the mountain.
Deteriorating weather and the risk of avalanche prevented the team from making further searches for the missing third member of the party.
Police Scotland said it was hoped to resume a search on Monday depending on weather conditions.
Insp Isla Campbell said: “We would urge any climbers or walkers who were on Ben Nevis on Sunday to report anything they believe may be of assistance to us as soon as possible.
“The conditions on Ben Nevis are currently very challenging and I would urge any walkers or climbers planning a trip to the area to take this into account.”
It has been claimed a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland would create a “Celtic powerhouse”.
A week after Boris Johnson proposed a bridge across the English Channel, an architect says the potential link would be a better prospect.
Prof Alan Dunlop thinks the “Celtic bridge” would cost about £15bn, a fraction of the estimate of £120bn for the English Channel bridge.
He said it would boost both economies and help the post-Brexit border issue.
Alan Dunlop is one of the UK’s leading architects and a Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.
‘Investment in the true north’
He told BBC Radio Scotland’s John Beattie Show: “It would be a wonderful thing – a connection between Scotland and Ireland.
“We share a lot of history together, similar ideals.
“The business potential is exceptional, the chance of actually really making an investment in what would would be the true north.
“Westminster politicians talk about the northern powerhouse, but they’re really only talking about Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield.
“This would be an investment in what would be, I think, the true North.”
Mr Dunlop estimated a cost of about £120bn for the English Channel bridge.
He thinks the “Celtic connection” would cost about £15bn and would prove less difficult to achieve.
He said: “The challenges of it are much less than Boris’ idea of building across the English Channel.
“We don’t have the weather problems and it is a not as significant or as large a shipping lane.
“The possibilities of it are great.
“It would send out a dramatic marker in aspiration for the country going into the 21st Century.”
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had suggested the channel bridge as it was announced Britain and France were investigating joint infrastructure projects.
The UK foreign secretary reportedly ran the idea past French President Emmanuel Macron at a summit on Thursday.
Downing Street has said there are “no specific plans” for a bridge between the UK and France.
There are two potential routes for a Scotland – Northern Ireland bridge.
‘Investment in Scotland’
Mr Dunlop said: “There are two ways it could go. It could go from Portpatrick to Bangor or Larne, but there are significant environmental and geological challenges there.
“We do have incredibly talented architects and engineers in Scotland so I am sure that as a technical challenge it wouldn’t be insurmountable.
“The shorter route would be from around Campbeltown, the Mull of Kintyre across to the Antrim coast.
“But getting to Campbeltown from the central belt is very difficult.”
The idea is still that – an idea – but Mr Dunlop sees it as a feasible project.
He thinks a bridge could bring solutions to post-Brexit border arrangements and that it would be a good investment for Scotland.
He said; “It would be something we could debate around Brexit.
“Engineering-wise and architecturally this could be an investment in the infrastructure of Scotland and Ireland.”
A train has been derailed after a landslip on the West Highland Line in the Highlands.
Five passengers were on board when the train came off the track early on Monday. No-one was injured.
The line is blocked between Arisaig and Glenfinnan and the ScotRail Alliance said tonnes of material had been washed down onto the line.
Services between Fort William and Mallaig have been suspended until further notice.
ScotRail Alliance had earlier predicted services could resume on Thursday.
NetworkRail Scotland said its engineers would have the line reopened “as soon as possible”.
The scene of Monday morning’s derailment
NetworkRail Scotland engineers are assessing damage to the tracks and the hillside above
In a message to passengers, ScotRail said: “There has been a landslip between Glenfinnan and Lochailort which has resulted in one of our trains being trapped in this area.
“We have staff on site and we’ll keep you up to date with their progress, however, we expect services in this area to be cancelled until the end of service.
Equipment has been brought in to clear away the mud from the train
“We have a replacement bus service, operated by Shiel Buses, in place between Fort William and Mallaig replacing train services for the rest of the day.”
The incident follows a challenging spell for railway crews, who were kept busy clearing away snow. The wintry conditions have been followed by an overnight thaw and rain.
A spokesman for NetworkRail Scotland: “At the moment we are assessing the extent of the damage.
“We have specialist geotechnical engineers onsite who will assess the slope above the railway to see if it is stable.
“We have track engineers onsite with heavy equipment to dig the mud away from the train once we know it is safe to do so.”
He added “At this moment in time it is hard for us to estimate how long the line will be closed.”
The landslip follows a spell of heavy snowfalls which kept railway engineers busy on the West Highland Line over the weekend
An organised crime gang has been jailed for a total of 87 years after a police probe into violence, drugs and firearms offences.
The nine-man gang included cocaine dealer Mark Richardson and soldier turned gun-runner Martyn Fitzsimmons.
The police investigation into the gang uncovered what was described as “a sophisticated web” of offences.
The gang had been due to stand trial at the High Court in Glasgow last year but admitted a number of reduced charges.
The list of crimes included the “merciless” torture of a man over an unpaid cocaine debt and a huge arsenal of weapons found hidden in a car.
Judge Lord Beckett said police had shown “extraordinary ingenuity, courage and commitment” to bring the gang to justice.
- The downfall of Scotland’s most wanted
Richardson, 30, admitted having a Glock handgun in the city’s Baillieston area. He was sentenced to eight years and nine months.
Fitzsimmons, 37, was jailed for 10 and a half years after admitting having a Glock and ammunition and hiding £36,000 of crime cash.
David Sell, 50, admitted being involved in the abduction and torture of a man who was later shot in the legs.
He was handed the biggest jail-term – 15 years and eight months.
Anthony Woods, 44, Francis Mulligan, 41, and Michael Bowman, 30, each accepted roles in “serious organised crime”.
Firearms were used to enforce the gang’s lucrative drugs operations
Woods – described as the “electronics expert” for the gang – was sentenced to 11 years and one month.
Mulligan was jailed for eight years and 324 days, while Bowman received seven years for the same charge.
Gerard Docherty, 42, pled guilty to recklessly discharging a firearm at a house and was sentenced to 10 years and six months.
Steven McArdle, 33, admitted having a Glock firearm. He was jailed for seven years and 100 days.
Barry O’Neill, 37, was the final member of the gang to enter a guilty plea. He admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine and was sentenced to seven years and four months.
The crimes spanned between 2013 and 2017.
Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC told a hearing in December that the crime gang was “the most sophisticated encountered by Police Scotland”.
He said: “Their operation centres on the importation of vast quantities of cocaine.
“Their role is as wholesalers to other organised crime groups.
“They are at the top of the chain in terms of drugs transactions in Scotland and the UK as a whole.
“The firepower at the disposal of this crime group is unprecedented in terms of the history of organised crime in Scotland.”
The original indictment stated a charge that the nine had agreed to “commit and organise the commission of serious offences”.
A number of locations across Scotland – including Glasgow and West Lothian – as well as the north of England were listed.
‘Fear and misery’
Police Scotland said the gang “were responsible for bringing fear and misery to communities across Scotland”.
Det Chf Supt Gerry McLean, head of Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism, said: “We welcome the fact that they have been brought to justice and will no longer to able to continue their criminal activities.
“I would like to thank the victims of this gang for their bravery in providing crucial evidence which led to the group submitting guilty pleas, such was the weight of the evidence placed on them.
“Today, collectively, they are facing in excess of 80 years in prison which demonstrates the seriousness of the crimes they were involved in.”
Richardson was jailed for 10 years in 2010 after a major operation led to the seizure of £2m of cocaine and heroin.
Fitzsimmons was jailed for 12 years in 2008. The former army lance corporal was involved in the theft of army ammunitions and explosives to sell to criminals.