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MILLIONS of us watch the TV forensic series CSI in which scientists push back the frontiers of knowledge to solve the toughest crimes.
Now the Scottish Police Services Authority plans to do the same in real life.
Launched on April 1, the new service’s 1300 staff provide expert help to Scotland’s eight police forces and the criminal justice system in general. 
It’s a complete crime-scene-to-court service, covering scene examination, chemistry, biology, DNA, drugs, fingerprints and other specialist areas.
Mum-of-two Amanda Pirie is a reporting scientist in biology and DNA with the authority’s forensics services in Edinburgh. 
She attends crime scenes looking for biological fluids, stains, fibres, hairs and trace DNA, which can all help catch criminals. 
Amanda told Janet Boyle The Honest Truth about the brave new world of forensics.

 

TOUGHEST CASES you’ve worked on? 
In some the cause of death was not always as it first appeared. A woman found in her garden was thought to have died from hypothermia, but evidence emerged her partner had poisoned her with chloroform. He was jailed for 18 years. 
Another husband tried to murder his wife with a lethal gin and tonic. To cover his tracks he put bottles of tonic laced with deadly nightshade (atropine) on supermarket shelves, hoping his wife would be seen as a random victim among other customers.
His plot came unstuck when an anaesthetist’s wife and son became ill and he spotted the symptoms. The poisoner’s wife took ill with a much higher dose and he became a prime suspect. 
Other tough cases involve violence against children. As a parent, I find that difficult. The most distressing case is still unsolved, a baby found dead and as yet unidentified. 

BIGGEST MISTAKE criminals make?

Thinking they’ll get away with it! Advances in forensics make the “perfect crime” less likely. 
Unfortunately, forensic scientists are only as good as the evidence they’re asked to examine. Every contact leaves a trace but as criminals become more forensically aware our job becomes more challenging.

IS THERE a lighter side?

We take the job seriously but do need a sense of humour. One suspect was asked why he had blood on his shoes after another man was assaulted. He said it was chilli sauce. Lab tests proved it was the victim’s blood. 
Two thieves fled from an Edinburgh pub in a stolen car. It was later retrieved but the owner complained there were used tissues on the floor. One thief had a cold so lab tests linked him to DNA found on the tissue. The other thief had also used a tissue and we linked it to him. 
At work, those in the biology section have a wide range of musical tastes and I enjoy subjecting colleagues to Abba’s entire repertoire. During lunch hour I’ve been known to attend a salsa and jive class in our meetings room. 

HOW DOES the new service improve on what went before?

It pulls together forensic, fingerprint and scene examination officers, putting us ahead in capturing and analysing evidence. It’s the first fully integrated Scottish service and will allow new opportunities for research and development here, and with universities involved in forensics.

WHAT ATTRACTED you to the job?

I wanted to be a vet or an actuary but when I saw the advert for this job I thought it looked exciting. The Edinburgh laboratory is quite unique as we’re small but able to provide forensic support to cases ranging from housebreakings to murder. 
We’re in the privileged position of dealing with the case all the way from the crime scene to examination in the laboratory, subsequent analysis and reporting, and ultimately presenting the scientific findings in a report which can be used in court.

BEST AND worst parts of forensic work?

I enjoy the variety of cases. Every one tells a different story and I never know what I might be working on from one week to the next. I’ve worked in various scientific jobs including a hospital lab and veterinary research, but neither comes close to the overwhelming feeling of job satisfaction when I complete a case and that final report goes out. 
One of the biggest challenges for forensic scientists is to stand in court and present our findings, explaining our results in the simplest terms for a jury to understand and do it the justice it deserves. We may be required to give expert testimony in court. It’s a vital part of the process and can be a daunting experience. 

DOES IT bear any resemblance to CSI Miami or CSI New York?

Unfortunately, no! We don’t — well most of us don’t — wear designer suits and sunglasses. You’ll find us suited and booted in not-so-flattering scene suits, mob caps, gloves, masks and glasses. We’re not experts in every discipline, or police officers, and we don’t turn around DNA profiles, interview criminals and resolve cases in 60 minutes. It takes a lot longer. 
Forensic work in police cases involves a team of many experts, often from a variety of disciplines, both scientific and non-scientific. We provide a vital supporting role in the police investigation, working quietly at the scene and in the lab. 

WHAT MIGHT surprise us?

That we work with the lights on — unlike CSI! And you never see CSIs on TV doing hours of paperwork, yet this is a vital part of the job. 
There are strict standard operating procedures that must be followed to the letter and painstaking checks and corroboration that must be carried out to conform to quality standards. All this work, and our findings, must be documented to provide an accurate record of the case. 

ARE YOU able to switch off from the gruesome side?

As a scientist I think you have a certain fascination with the gruesome — up to a point. It’s easy to become too morbid and pessimistic in cases involving tragedy, violence and horror. I’m lucky to have supportive friends and family. 
I also have a huge love for horses and spend most, if not all, my spare time at óa friend’s riding school. This helps me relax and stops me dwelling too much on the more unpleasant aspects of my job. But the job satisfaction outweighs the gruesome side every time.

WHAT CRIME-SOLVING advances have been made?

DNA profiling is the best known and its impact has been phenomenal. It is reliable and fundamental in routine casework. It covers cases involving drugs, ballistics, documents and fingerprints. No other procedure has been subjected to such rigorous scientific testing and withstood the scrutiny of the courts and legal system here and internationally. 
With new techniques the sensitivity and detection of DNA has also increased. Modern forensics have required us to adapt and broaden our scope into new fields in the fight against war and terrorism. Major incidents such as 9/11 and the London bombings bring new challenges in dealing with weapons such as microbiological and chemical warfare.


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Aged ‘Mob bosses’ in court for 18 murders
 

Chicago's biggest Mafia trial in years, involving at least 18 murders, began today with a prosecutor describing "brutal crimes" allegedly committed by the now-elderly defendants.

Assistant US Attorney John Scully showed jurors photographs of the victims, saying: "This is not The Sopranos. This is not The Godfather. These are real people. This organisation is corrupt, it is violent, it is without honour."

On trial are reputed mob boss Joseph - Joey the Clown - Lombardo, 78, James Marcello, 65, Frank Calabrese Sr, 70, Paul Schiro, 69, and Anthony Doyle, 62.

Lombardo, Marcello and Calabrese are alleged to be in the hierarchy of organised crime family, The Chicago Outfit, and are in federal custody.

Scully told the court that Tony "The Ant" Spilotro, once the Chicago mob's man in Las Vegas and the inspiration for Joe Pesci's character in the movie Casino, and his brother, Michael, were allegedly lured into a basement and beaten to death. They were buried in an Indiana cornfield.


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THE campaign to free a Scot who has been on death row for more than two decades went online yesterday...

Kenny Richey, 42, from Edinburgh, was sentenced to death in 1987 for starting a fatal fire in Ohio - a crime he says he did not commit.

He is waiting to hear whether evidence that could clear his name will be heard.

Supporters have now put pages about the case on the MySpace and Bebo websites.


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Fresh appeal in 'cold case' inquiry into murder of teenage girl 28 years ago:

HOPES of a breakthrough in one of Scotland's most notorious unsolved murder cases were raised yesterday after Tayside detectives issued a fresh appeal into the brutal killing of teenager Carol Lannen.

The body of Miss Lannen, 18, a part-time prostitute and the mother of a three-month-old baby, was found in Templeton Woods on the outskirts of Dundee on 21 March, 1979.

She had vanished the previous evening after last being seen getting into a red estate car in the city's Exchange Street. The next day, two youths walking in the woods found her naked body, partially covered by snow. She had been strangled.

The file on her murder has never been closed, and yesterday police appealed for a male friend of the victim to come forward as he may have vital information about her death.

The man, thought to be called Roger, lived in a flat in Dundee's Main Street and may have been a bus driver. He would have been aged between 25 and 30 at the time Miss Lannen was killed.

Detective Chief Inspector Ewen West, who is leading the "cold case" inquiry, stressed that the man was not being treated as a suspect, but could help by providing additional information about other associates or friends of Miss Lannen and about other locations that she may have been visiting.

He said: "We know Carol was friendly with this man, visited him at his home, and there is information to suggest she sometimes ran errands for him. She certainly had some contact with him and it is important to find out what their association was."

The man, who would now be in his late 50s or early 60s, was of stocky build with light brown hair and a Dundee accent.

When last seen, Miss Lannen was wearing a white polo-neck jumper and brown striped skirt.

Eleven days after her murder, some of her clothing was found on the banks of the Don between Hatton of Fintry and Kintore, Aberdeenshire.


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ARCHIVE:
 
Father’s shock at Templeton murder ‘news’...

 

THE ESTRANGED father of murdered Dundee teenager Carol Lannen yesterday spoke of his shock after learning of her death only two weeks ago—almost 26 years after it happened.

Norman Lannen (71), who lives in Bradford, had split from his family long before her death and was never told that she had been one of the two victims of the unsolved Templeton Woods killings.

It was only when two Tayside detectives turned up unexpectedly on his doorstep that he learned of the grim events of March 1979 that ended with the discovery of the prostitute’s naked body, strangled by a murderer who has never been caught.

Almost a year later, the body of trainee nursery nurse Elizabeth McCabe was found in similar circumstances. Police have always kept an open mind about whether or not the same killer was responsible.

Interest in the cases were renewed last year thanks to Operation Trinity, an investigation into seven unsolved murders across Scotland which officers believe may be linked.

Despite the media attention the murders attracted, Mr Lannen knew nothing about them. He had had no contact with Carol, the mother of a three-month-old baby at the time of her death, or the other members of his family, since he returned to Yorkshire.

In return, the family had believed he was dead.

Speaking from his home yesterday, Mr Lannen explained, “Two men knocked on the door and said they were police from Dundee. They asked me if I was Norman Lannen and if I had a daughter called Carol.

“They said they were there to speak about her death in 1979. I didn’t know owt about it.

“It was a shock. You’d think that somebody would have told me earlier. I am well known in Bradford. They all know I come from Bradford.”

He said the detectives seemed surprised that he had not known of his daughter’s murder.

“They said it was too sensitive and they couldn’t just phone me, they had to come down.”

The detectives questioned Mr Lannen about personal matters, including how long he had been married and when he had left Dundee.

Mr Lannen said that he had originally come to the Dundee area because he was serving at RAF Leuchars.

He settled in the city, but went home after what he said had been a family breakdown, and had never been back.

Carol had been aged about 10 or 11 when he last saw her. He admitted, “If my sons came in the door now, or if I saw them on the street, I would not know them.”

Although the detectives were able to give him some details about what happened to Carol, Mr Lannen got in touch with The Courier to ask to be sent cuttings from articles to help fill in the blanks.

He had mixed feelings when asked if he regretted not having still been in touch with his daughter at the time of her death.

He said, “Whatever happened with Carol I couldn’t have stopped it.” However, having been told she had been working as a prostitute, he could not help wondering if he might have been able to keep her away from that.

Mr Lannen had been planning to come to Dundee last week, but his partner of 17 years is ill and he cannot leave her at present. He is now thinking about visiting the city in the summer.

In a statement released through the police, Carol’s mother said last night, “Prior to Carol’s murder, her father was in a new relationship and requested that there should be no further communication with us.

“We have had no contact during the last 25 years. We presumed that he had since died.”

A police spokeswoman confirmed that officers had made contact Mr Lannen as part of their on-going investigation.

She said, “His place of residence was not established until very recently as he has not maintained any contact with other family members and it was believed that he had died.

“Mr Lannen intimated to the inquiry officers that, despite the local and national media coverage surrounding Carol’s murder, he had not been made aware historically of Carol’s death.

“Accordingly he was appraised of the circumstances of her murder and the current investigation. This contact with Mr Lannen has already assisted the investigation and now that he has been traced he, along with other family members, will be updated of any significant developments in the enquiry.”

The most recent event publicly announced by the police was the enlisting of a behavioural expert and a geographic profiler to study the site at Templeton Woods where the bodies were found, and the site at Kintore in Aberdeenshire, where Carol’s handbag was later found.


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Capsized smugglers lose £70m of cocaine.

An English drug trafficking syndicate is thought to have lost more than £70m-worth of cocaine after an overladen dinghy carrying packages ashore capsized in rough seas off south-west Ireland.

An international hunt is on for the yacht or fishing vessel believed to have ferried the bales, weighing up to 1.5 tonnes, from South America and for gang members who were waiting on land to collect them.

The plot has resulted in the largest drug haul ever in the Irish Republic. Most of the cocaine was destined for the UK market. It was only discovered by accident.

The rocky coastlines and sparsely-populated inlets of west Cork and County Kerry have been used for decades as a gateway for bringing in drugs produced by the Colombian cartels.

This ill-fated delivery is thought to have begun at first light on Monday in the choppy seas beyond Mizzen Head, Ireland's most southerly point.

An inflatable dinghy, with two or three men and a vast quantity of cocaine aboard, cast off from the larger vessel and headed inshore towards Roaringwater Bay. Lying too low in the water, the small boat was reportedly tossed around by a heavy Atlantic swell and overturned more than a mile offshore. The crew were wearing lifejackets but had no emergency flares or radio beacons. One man managed to swim ashore and raise the alarm.

A sea and air rescue was scrambled and shortly after 8am a second man was pulled from the waters off Goleen. Both were suffering from severe hypothermia.

It was only then that coastguards noticed large white packages floating in the sea and the rescue turned into a major drugs investigation. By yesterday afternoon more than 40 bales had been recovered. Irish navy divers will search for those that might have sunk.

"This dramatic find supports claims that Ireland is increasingly being used as a transit point in the international drugs trade," said Jim O'Keefe, justice spokesman for the opposition Fine Gael party. "The sheer size of this haul also demonstrates the scale of the drugs problem which Ireland is now facing."

A 22-year-old Englishman, one of those who survived the sea, has been arrested and is being questioned at Bantry police station. Under anti-drugs legislation he can be held for up to seven days.

Armed officers are at the hospital bedside of his colleague. He is likely to be arrested when medically discharged.

Gardai are looking for two other men, both said to be English, reportedly seen waiting onshore with several UK- registered 4x4 cars. Garda Superintendent Tony Quilter, who is leading the investigation, said he believed the pair, said to be in their 40s, were still in the area. Roads have been sealed off.

"They were seen going through some fields and we have had an intensive search ongoing throughout in the Mizzen Head peninsula. We're appealing for residents in the area to report any suspicious activity," he said.

The UK's Serious and Organised Crime Agency and Interpol are working with the Irish authorities on the inquiry.


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A Right pair

Police in Lincolnshire are investigating the theft of women's underwear from a shop.

It is thought some sort of tool was used to hook bras on a display rack near the front door and then pull them out through the letterbox.

The black Daniel Axel bras, worth about £100, were taken from a shop on Eastgate in Louth  on Tuesday, police said.

Officers have asked anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact them.


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Alibi`s boys   

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 remember I was on duty here


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Britain's vanished Tour de France champion reappears - as a woman.

Known as "King of the Mountains", cyclist Robert Millar was Britain's best performer in the Tour de France and an inspiration to a generation of fans.

He was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1984 and became an elder statesman of cycling once his racing days were over.

Then, four years ago, he simply disappeared - and even a year's research for a newly published biography failed to track him down.

Then: Robert Millar during one of his epic Tour de France rides, Now: Philippa York pictured near her home this week.

 

For the powerful sporting hero who once failed a drugs test for having too much testosterone is now living as a woman under the name Philippa York in a Dorset village.

A neighbour said last night: "Everyone knows Philippa used to be a man but is too polite to speak to her about her previous life.

"She still likes cycling - you often see her on her bike, in all the gear, and with her long hair sticking out the sides of her cycling helmet."

Robert Millar was raised in the Gorbals district of Glasgow, and his talent was spotted when he was a teenage engineering apprentice.

He later moved to France and swiftly established a Tour de France record which exceeds that of any other British cyclist.

Over 11 years he finished in the top 20 five times, had three wins in the mountain stages, and in 1984 was awarded the polka dot jersey given to the man named King of the Mountains for the best performance at altitude.

He is the only English-speaking cyclist to reach Paris in the polka dot jersey and the only Briton to stand on the Tour de France podium in the Champs Elysees.

But he remained an enigma, scarcely speaking to other cyclists or anyone else. His motivation for his ferocious mountain climbs remained a mystery.

Millar once said in a terse interview: "The mountains are the only chance I get of making the other guys suffer. But I have to suffer that much to make them suffer that I don't enjoy it."

In 1985, he married Frenchwoman Sylvie Transler, but his family did not attend the ceremony. The couple had a son, but the marriage soon ended.

Unusually in cycling, Millar was a vegetarian - but despite his fanaticism about avoiding chemicals, he failed a drugs test in 1992, when he was found to have too high a testosterone count.

He was fined £1,100 and given a three-month ban, but continued to be a leading figure in cycling.

Seven years ago, the first inkling of something unusual in his life came when he was seen in pigtails and with a suggestion of breasts under his top. A friend said at the time: "Every time we meet him he seems to have a bigger chest, but he won't talk about it."

In 2003, he suddenly disappeared from his home in Daventry, Northamptonshire. In fact, the Daily Mail has discovered, Millar had changed his name to Philippa York and moved to a £350,000 three-bed home in Dorset with girlfriend Linda Purr, 46.

Miss York is now retired, and this week was busy in the garage repairing a motorbike. She refused to discuss her previous life.

Miss Purr, who works for North Dorset district council, similarly refused to make any comment.

When Millar became one of a select few chosen for the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame four years ago, he did not make contact with the organisers, never mind turn up for the ceremony.

The author of the new book In Search of Robert Millar, sports journalist Richard Moore, failed to get any clue to his hero's whereabouts in a year's research, but did eventually exchange e-mails with him.

In one, asked where he'd disappeared to, the former Robert Millar wrote: "Disappeared? Not really. Moved on, relaxed, chilled, or only doing things that please me."


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Who are the car bomb suspects?
 

Police investigating the failed car bomb attacks on London's West End and Glasgow airport are holding eight people who were arrested in the UK and Australia. This is what is known so far about those who are being held:

DR BILAL ABDULLAH:

Iraqi doctor Bilal Talal Samad Abdullah was arrested at Glasgow Airport on Saturday following the failed car bombing.

He works at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley as a diabetes specialist.

Dr Bilal Abdullah being arrested
Dr Bilal Abdullah was arrested at Glasgow Airport on Saturday...

Dr Abdullah qualified in Baghdad in 2004 and first registered as a doctor in the UK in 2006.

He was given limited registration by the General Medical Council (GMC) from 5 August 2006 to 11 August 2007.

Limited registration is awarded to recent medical graduates and it allowed him to work in Britain for a year, but in accordance with standard procedure, he could not move jobs during that time and had to be supervised.

He lives in Neuk Crescent, Houston, outside Glasgow.

The Guardian newspaper reported Dr Abdullah was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, where his father, also a doctor, worked.

After moving to Iraq, he studied at al-Mansour high school in Baghdad and later at Baghdad College, the paper said.

DR MOHAMMED ASHA:

A second doctor being held is Mohammed Asha, 26, who lives in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.

Dr Mohammed Asha
Dr Mohammed Asha has a two-year-old son...

He was arrested on the M6 motorway in Cheshire on Saturday night.

Dr Asha is of Palestinian descent but grew up in Jordan.

Dr Asha's father Jamil told the BBC that his son "never showed any signs of growing militancy" during his three-year stay in Britain and called his arrest a "mistake".

He said they "were in phone contact every week" and that his son had been due to visit on July 12 with his wife and their son.

Dr Azmi Mahafzah, who taught Dr Asha at the University of Jordan's medical school for six years, said he was a brilliant student, adding: "I can't even remotely imagine him being involved in extremist activities or terrorism."

I remember him as a liberal thinker who respected other nationalities and religions
Dr Aseel al-Omari
Dr Asha's friend

 

Dr Asha won a scholarship to the Jubilee School for gifted children in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

Dr Aseel al-Omari, who described herself as a "close friend" of Dr Asha's, attended the same secondary school. She told the BBC: "I remember him as a liberal thinker who respected other nationalities and religions - that's what we were educated in our schools and in our career as doctors."

Security officials in Amman told the BBC that Dr Asha has no previous criminal record in Jordan.

Several newspapers have said he is one of eight children - six brothers and two sisters - three of whom are doctors and one an engineer.

Dr Asha spent his post-qualification year at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

The mother of Dr Mohammed Asha with a picture of her son
Dr Asha's mother Fawzia says her family rejects terrorism...

He then moved to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Stoke-on-Trent where he works as a neurologist.

Dr Asha is married with a young son and lives with his family in Sunningdale Grove in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

His wife was arrested with him on the M6 and both are being questioned at Paddington Green police station in London.

Dr Asha is believed to have completed an eight-week placement at the city's Addenbrooke's Hospital.

MARWAH DANA ASHA:

Marwah Dana Asha, the 27-year-old wife of Mohammed Asha, is reported by AFP to be a fellow Palestinian who was trained as a laboratory researcher.

She is the mother of a two-year-old boy.

Dr Asha's father told the AFP news agency that his son and his wife had met at school and married in 2004.

According to Jubilee School records, both had "exceptional records, exemplary social conduct and excellent academic results".

Marwah Dana Asha
Marwah Dana Asha is trained as a laboratory researcher...

Mrs Asha later studied at the public University of Science and Technology in Jordan's northern city of Irbid, Mr Asha said.

Her mother, Um Abed, told AFP said she was deeply worried about her daughter.

"We are stunned," she said.

"Marwah and Mohammed are not the type who would be interested in political Islam."

Mrs Asha has three brothers and one sister, AFP says.

DR MOHAMMED HANEEF:

The man arrested at Brisbane Airport has been identified as Dr Mohammed Haneef, aged 27.

An Indian national, he was detained while trying to board a plane to India with a one-way ticket.

Dr Haneef studied medicine at the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore between 1997 to 2002, achieving a second-class degree.

His family come from a small town 250km outside Bangalore and his late father was a teacher.

His cousins are Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed.

Dr Mohammed Haneef
Dr Mohammed Haneef is the cousin of Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed...

Queensland state leader Peter Beattie confirmed that the detained man had been working as a senior house officer at the Gold Coast Hospital since September 2006.

Before that, he worked at Halton Hospital in Cheshire.

The man answered an advert in the British Medical Journal in March 2006 for a job in Australia, Mr Beattie said.

Colleagues at the Gold Coast Hospital regarded him as "a model citizen with excellent references," he added.

The Times said he moved to the Gold Coast with his wife, living in an apartment building a couple of blocks from the hospital.

Steve Bosher, the manager of the apartment block, told the Sydney Morning Herald Dr Haneef's wife had returned to India earlier this year.

"He was a good tenant, always paying his rent on time and getting home at about 5.30pm," Mr Bosher said.

"I never saw him with anyone, he was very quiet. He was a young doctor at the hospital."

Dr Haneef was employed under Australia's temporary skilled worker scheme.

Qurat-ul-ain (l) mother of Mohammed Haneef
Dr Haneef's mother Qurat-ul-ain (left) says he is innocent...

His sister, Sumayya, told the Associated Press that her brother had been trying to return to India to see his daughter who was born on 26 June.

And she told The Australian newspaper: "His character is like a mirror - clean."

The agency also learned from his mother, Qurat-ul-ain, that Dr Haneef was raised in the Karnataka state town of Moodigere, but his family now lives in an affluent area of Bangalore where they moved after his father died 10 years ago.

KAFEEL AHMED:

The second man arrested at Glasgow Airport on Saturday has been named as Kafeel Ahmed.

The 27-year-old, from Bangalore, India, was one of two men arrested at the airport after a burning car was driven into the terminal building.

He suffered burns to 90% of his body and has been transferred to a specialist burns unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary from a hospital in Paisley. He has been kept under armed guard and was described by health officials as still being in a critical condition.

It emerged that contrary to earlier reports, Mr Ahmed was not a medic but an engineer with a PhD in design and technology.

It is understood he began his studies at Queen's University, Belfast, in 2001 and remained in Northern Ireland until 2004.

It is believed he lived in rented accommodation in Hampton Place, close to the university.

A spokesman for Queen's University said officials were unable to comment.

He studied for his PhD in the department of design and technology at Anglia Polytechnic University (now called Anglia Rushkin University) in Cambridge, it is believed.

A spokeswoman for the university said it was co-operating fully with police inquiries, adding: "At this time identities are still unclear and it would be therefore inappropriate to comment further."

Mr Ahmed is thought to have returned to Bangalore in August 2005.

His brother is Dr Sabeel Ahmed.

DR SABEEL AHMED:

Dr Sabeel Ahmed, 26, was arrested near Liverpool's Lime Street station on Saturday night.

The BBC has learned that he is currently working at Warrington hospital but has also worked at Halton - both are part of North Cheshire NHS trust.

Dr Zakia Ahmed, mother of Sabeel Ahmed
Dr Zakia Ahmed said her son was renewing his UK visa

He is from Bangalore in India and trained as a doctor at the city's Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences - the same place Mohammed Haneef who was arrested in Brisbane trained. He qualified in 2005.

Dr Sabeel's parents are also both doctors and live in an affluent neighbourhood in Bangalore.

His mother, Dr Zakia Ahmed, has told the BBC that her son is second cousin to Dr Haneef.

And she said her son followed Dr Haneef to Britain to work.

His mother also said her son last visited his family in May this year.

She said she learned of his arrest through friends and has been able to speak to him briefly since he was detained.

She said her son was reapplying for his UK visa because he was hoping to do a post-graduate course.

Dr Sabeel Ahmed
Dr Sabeel Ahmed is the brother of Kafeel, arrested in Glasgow

"He calls me everyday", Dr Ahmed said, and "only talks about his patients and how his day went. As fellow doctors that's the only thing we talk about.

"This is all a mistake - he is innocent."

Dr Sabeel is being questioned at Paddington Green.

28-YEAR-OLD MAN:

A 28-year-old man was arrested in Paisley on Sunday.

Several media reports say that he is a medical student or doctor working at the Royal Alexandra Hospital but officials have not confirmed this.

25-YEAR-OLD MAN:

A 25-year-old man was also arrested in Paisley on Sunday. There are unconfirmed media reports that he too is a medical student or doctor at the same hospital.


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SCHOOL days were the best of our lives with pink custard, best pals, adolescent crushes and playground football.

Now, school days from The Summer of '69 are to be re-visited at the Pavilion Theatre.

The musical comedy stars River City's Shellsuit Bob, Stephen Purdon, as Wee Frankie and Gordon McCorkell, who plays Deek, as Jack.

And it's a show that covers one of the most colourful periods of the past six decades.

Pavilion manager Iain Gordon said: "This was the time of hippy festivals such as Woodstock, the first walk on the moon and the American troops being pulled out of Vietnam.

"It was the time of I Dream of Jeannie on the telly and Monty Python. But most importantly it was a period of some fantastic chart music, such as Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through The Grapevine, The Beatles' Get Back and the Rolling Stones' Honky Tonk Woman.

"With songs like that around how can you not create a comedy musical about the period."

The show, by top comedy writer Russel Lane, has a distinctly west of Scotland feel.

It's based around a local school which is set to stage it's end of year leaving dance.

"This is a nostalgia show which reminds us of school dinners, the school bully and the adventures behind the bike sheds," added the Pavilion boss.

"But our class of wayward kids are being forced to dance the last night away to the sounds of Scottish music."

Summer of '69 also features Jim Byars as Mr Bigger, Lyndsay McLaughlan as Sticky Vicky, Julie Coombe as Mags Tartlet, Michelle Gallagher as Big Ginty, Carole Anders as Miss Weir, Ray Davies as Danny the Janny, and Douglas Sannachan as Bully Briggs.

  • The Summer of '69, The Pavilion, August 8-25.

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    FALLEN media tycoon Conrad Black faces up to 20 years in prison after he was convicted of fraud yesterday.

    The 62-year-old former Daily Telegraph owner was also found guilty of obstructing justice.

    Last night billionaire Black faced ruin and the prospect of losing his fortune.

    He will be sentenced on November 30. Last night Black's lawyers said they will appeal.

    Black and three colleagues siphoned £30million from shareholders in the newspaper firm Hollinger International - the US-based company which controlled his vast empire.

    Prosecutors alleged that the four behaved like "bank robbers" secretly swindling the investors out of their money.

    Black looked down impassively when Judge Amy St Eve read out the verdicts to a packed courtroom.

    Prosecutor Eric Sussman called for him to be jailed. He told the court that Black was "very conservatively" looking at 15 to 20 years in jail.

    The guilty verdicts cap a remarkable fall from grace for Black, once one of the UK's wealthiest and most influential media figures.

    The jury was told the £30million came mainly from the sale of hundreds of local papers between 1998 and 2001. The four pocketed payments from the buyers in return for promises not to compete with them.

    The jury also heard details of Black's lavish lifestyle, which the prosecution claimed was partly funded through fraud.

    He bought mansions and yachts and was also said to have put £21,000 of Hollinger money towards a surprise birthday party for his wife Barbara Amiel at a New York restaurant.

    The Chicago jury also convicted Black's colleagues Jack Boultbee, 64, Peter Atkinson, 60, and Mark Kipnis, 59, of fraud at the end of the 16-week Chicago trial.

    Black was convicted of three charges of mail fraud - fraud involving the postal service - but cleared of a further six.

    He was also cleared of racketeering and tax evasion. Edward Greenspan, defending Black, said: "We came here to face 13 counts. Conrad Black was acquitted of all the central charges."

    Black gave up his Canadian citizenship in 2000 to become a lord.

    Yesterday he handed over his UK passport to the court. Last night the Tory peer was stripped of his title.

     

    FLASHY LORD LOVED LAVISH PARTIES...

    BILLIONAIRE media baron Conrad Moffat Black was expelled from school at 14 for selling stolen exam papers.

    He made £1,600 from the scam in Toronto but then went on to study law at university. He bought his first newspaper 30 years ago and once owned hundreds of titles including the Daily Telegraph.

    He was famed for his showy lifestyle and threw lavish parties with wife Barbara at their home in Kensington, West London.

    He had other fabulous homes all filled with expensive antiques. His prize possessions included Napoleon Bonaparte's shaving stand and a £4,000 set of Louis XVI stools.


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    Reply with quote  #89 

    The Codfather..
     
    CELEBRITY chef Gordon Ramsay dished up a whopper of a fisherman’s tale on telly.

    The F-Word host claimed to have speared “three stunning sea bass”.

    But fishing pro Dave O’Callaghan has now revealed the foul-mouthed cook caught “f*** all”.

    The fib is the latest scandal to hit TV after misleading BBC footage of the Queen “storming out” of a photo shoot.

    Channel 4 — already under fire for the Richard and Judy phone quiz rip-off — have launched an investigation into the Ramsay con.

    Four million viewers saw Ramsay, 40, say he felt like a “f****** action man” and set off to spear fish off Devon.

    He brandished the sea bass on his return to shore and boasted: “I have never caught a fish from a spear and it’s not bad for first time out.”

    But Ramsay — who successfully sued a newspaper over claims he faked scenes in his Kitchen Nightmares show — was given the fish by Dave.

    He said: “I caught them but Gordon got nothing.”

    Producers Optomen Television yesterday apologised for the con screened last August.


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    Teenager buys PlayStation on eBay and gets £44,000 thrown in free... :-)

     

    Here's your Playstation, keep the £44,000 change...

    Paying £95 on eBay for a second-hand PlayStation 2 console and two games might not seem like a bargain.

    But one 16-year-old was left feeling like he had struck gold after his purchase turned up in the post - with £44,000 in euros stuffed inside the box.

    Shocked and stunned, the boy, who has asked not to be named, immediately told his parents who alerted police and handed the money to officers.

    Police are holding the money while they investigate. But it may yet be returned to the boy's family, who live in Aylsham, Norfolk.

    The cash was found on March 20 but details have only just been released.

    It is believed the Sony PS2 was supplied by a British seller on the Internet auction site.

    Police were granted an order by Norwich magistrates on June 22 to hold the money for three months under the Proceeds of Crime Act. A police spokesman said: 'Our economic crime unit is trying to establish where this money came from.

    'The boy discovered this large amount of cash when he opened the box containing the console. The games were missing and he got this money instead. To say he was surprised is a bit of an understatement.'

    He added: 'If we find the rightful owner of the money and they have a legitimate reason for having it, the money will be returned to them.

    'If it is found to be the proceeds of crime then the courts will be able to seize the cash for public funds.

    'However, if ownership cannot be ascertained then this boy's family could apply to keep it under the Police Property Act.'

    The spokesman said of the boy and his parents: 'They want to keep as low a profile as possible. They are a bit concerned about this amount of money turning up on their doorstep.'

    An eBay spokesman said: 'We always assist police in their inquiries.'


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