Sturgeon’s speech in full as new restrictions revealed

The First Minister has announced new measures aimed at preventing a second wave.

Sturgeon: New restrictions for Scots.
Sturgeon: New restrictions for Scots.

Nicola Sturgeon has announced a new raft of restrictions for Scotland in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Speaking in Holyrood on Tuesday the First Minister revealed new measures including those effecting pub closing times and household gatherings.

It comes as a further 383 confirmed cases of the virus were confirmed.

Here is her speech in full:

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Sturgeon: “Thank you Presiding Officer.

“I want to update the chamber on additional restrictions that the Scottish Government believes are now necessary to get COVID back under control as we enter winter.

“I will also set out why these measures are essential, and the principles and priorities that have guided our decisions.

“First, though, let me provide a summary of today’s statistics.

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“Since yesterday, an additional 383 cases of COVID have been confirmed.

“That represents 7.6% of people newly tested, and takes the total number of cases to 25,009.

“A total of 73 patients are currently in hospital with confirmed COVID, which is the same as yesterday.

“And 10 people are in intensive care which is two more than yesterday.

“I am also sorry to report that in the past 24 hours, one further death has been registered of a patient who had tested positive.

“The total number of deaths in Scotland under that measurement is now 2,506.

“That reminds us of the impact of COVID. These deaths are not just statistics – they are of real people whose loss is a source of heartbreak and my condolences go to everyone who has lost a loved one to this illness.

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“Today’s figures reflect the course the virus has taken in recent weeks.

“In mid-July, we were recording an average of nine new cases every day.

“Around four weeks later, that had risen to an average of 52 a day.

“Three weeks after that, it was 102.

“And as of today the average daily number of cases is 285.

“We have also seen an increase in the percentage of tests coming back positive. In late August, that percentage was consistently below 1%.

“Today it is over 7%.

“The R number is above 1 again, possibly as high as 1.4.

“Now it is worth stressing that this growth in cases – because of the collective sacrifices we all made to drive infection levels down over the summer period – is from a low base.

“It is also, at this stage, far less rapid than it was in March.

“But it is rising, faster than we can be comfortable with and we cannot let it continue unchecked.

“And while in recent weeks, the biggest number of new cases has been in people under the age of 40, we now see an increase amongst the older population too.

“And unsurprisingly, in light of that, hospital and intensive care admissions and also deaths are starting to rise as well. All of this underlines what, for me, is, and always has been, a key point, We cannot and must not be complacent about COVID.

“It kills too many old and vulnerable people. And for younger, healthier people, while the risks of dying from it are much lower – though not non-existent – it can still result in long term, serious health problems.

“That’s why action to bring it back under control is necessary – and to bring the R number down again, the action we take now must go beyond the step we announced almost two weeks ago to restrict indoor and outdoor gatherings to six people from two households.

“Over the weekend and in the course of yesterday the Scottish Government considered a range of options. On Saturday, I had a discussion with other devolved administrations, and I spoke to the Prime Minister yesterday.

“I also took part in this morning’s COBR meeting. I’m pleased to say that at that meeting, all four UK governments committed to suppressing the virus to the lowest possible level and keeping it there.

“Our challenge in the weeks to come is to ensure our actions are commensurate with this objective.

“Following on from the COBR meeting, measures to further control the virus were agreed at the Scottish Government Cabinet.

“I can confirm that we will introduce measures on hospitality similar to those outlined for England by the Prime Minister a short while ago – and thereby align as far as possible with the rest of the U.K.

“However, the advice given to the Cabinet by the Chief Medical Officer and the National Clinical Director is that this on its own will not be sufficient to bring the R number down.

“They stress that we must act, not just quickly and decisively, but also on a scale significant enough to have an impact on the spread of the virus.

“And they advise that we must take account of the fact that household interaction is a key driver of transmission.

“To that end, we intend – as Northern Ireland did yesterday – to also introduce nationwide additional restrictions on household gatherings, similar to those already in place in the West of Scotland.

“I will say more about the detail of these measures shortly and, of course, full details will also be published on the Scottish Government’s website.

“But first let me be clear about the priorities that have guided our decisions.

“And it is essential that we do think in terms of priorities. Faced with a global pandemic of an infectious and dangerous virus, it is not possible to do everything and it is not possible, unfortunately, to live our lives completely normally.

“No country is able to do that just now. So instead we have to decide what matters most to us and make trade-offs elsewhere to make those things possible.

“Of course, the most important priority for all of us is saving lives and protecting health. But there are other priorities too.

“Firstly, we are determined to keep schools open and young people in education. That is vital to the health, wellbeing and future prospects of every young person across our country.

“Second, we must restart as many previously paused NHS services as possible, so that more people can get the non-COVID treatment that they need. Our NHS must be equipped this winter to care for those who have COVID – and it will be.

“But it must be there for people with heart disease, cancer and other illnesses too.

“And, third, we must protect people’s jobs and livelihoods – that means keeping businesses open and trading as normally as is feasible.

To achieve all of that, we must stop the virus from spiralling out of control and we can only do that if we accept restrictions in other aspects of our lives.

“Now the more positive news is that because we did drive COVID down to low levels over the summer, and because we now have Test & Protect in place and functioning well, the restrictions can be more targeted than was the case earlier in the year.

“The measures I am announcing today are tough – I am not going to pretend otherwise – but they do not represent a full scale lockdown of the kind imposed in March.

“Indeed, on the contrary, today’s measures are an attempt to avoid the need for another lockdown.

“I also want to address talk that there has been in recent days about restrictions being needed for six months or more.

“It is certainly the case, that until scientific developments such as a vaccine change the game in the battle against COVID, it will have a continuing impact on our lives.

“But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the new restrictions I am announcing today will be in place for six months.

“By acting early and substantially, our hope is that these new measures will be in place for a shorter period than would be the case if we waited longer to act.

“In the first instance, we will review these measures in three weeks – although given the nature of this virus, it is important to be clear that they may be needed for longer than that.

“So let me set out the package of measures that we hope can bring COVID back under control.

“I will focus first on those areas where we intend to reinforce existing guidance and provide better support for compliance.

“Firstly, everyone who can work from home, should work from home.  

“That has, of course, been the Scottish Government advice throughout, but we are reinforcing and underlining it today.

“To employers, if you have encouraged workers back to the office who could be working from home, please rethink that now.

“We know not everyone wants to work from home – and we know it has an impact on our town and city centres – but with the virus on the rise again, home working limits the numbers of people on public transport and limits the numbers of people gathering together for lengthy prolonged periods indoors. That is why it is so important.

“Now we want employers to comply with this advice voluntarily as indeed the vast majority do. But we want to be clear today that if necessary we will put a legal duty on businesses to allow home working where possible.

“Second, we intend in the coming days, through media and social media, to reinforce the central importance of the FACTS advice – face coverings, avoiding crowded places, cleaning hands and hard surfaces, keeping two metres distance and self-isolating and booking a test if you have symptoms.

“At the start of the pandemic, compliance with basic hygiene measures  was very strong.

“That really does make a difference – we know that – and it is just as important now, perhaps even more so, as it was back then.

“So I am asking everyone today to make a conscious and renewed effort to comply with all of this advice.

“And third – and related to that last point – we will introduce a package of support for people who are asked to self-isolate.

“Self-isolation of people with symptoms awaiting a test, people who test positive and household and other close contacts of such people is  absolutely essential to helping break the chains of transmission.

“But we know self-isolation is hard. It asks a lot of people and, for some, the financial implications make it even more difficult, perhaps even impossible.

“So we intend, firstly, to raise awareness of the importance of self-isolation and what it entails. I believe that ensuring people fully understand why we are asking them to do difficult things and exactly what it is they need to do is the first crucial step to ensuring compliance.

“Next, we are working with local authorities to ensure that when someone is asked by Test & Protect to self-isolate, they will be contacted proactively and offered essential practical support – for example help with delivery of food and other essentials.

“And, most importantly, we will introduce financial support of £500 for those on low incomes. More detail of this scheme will be published shortly.

“As I said yesterday, we will keep issues of enforcement for non-compliance with self-isolation under review.

“However, our judgment at this stage – particularly given the spirit of solidarity that is so essential in this fight against COVID – is that supporting people to do the right thing is much more effective than threatening harsh punishment if they can’t.

“Presiding Officer,

“Let me turn now to the new restrictions that we consider are necessary to bring the virus back under control.

“First, as I indicated earlier, we will introduce a strict nationwide curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants. From Friday, pubs, bars and restaurants will be required to close at 10pm.

“Now, people sometimes ask me why we don’t just close pubs again altogether – and I understand that sentiment.

“The answer – to be frank – is that we are seeking to find a balance between action to suppress the virus and the protection of people’s jobs and livelihoods.

“If the Scottish Government had greater powers to borrow money, or the ability to extend the Job Retention Scheme, for example, it is possible that we could reach a different balance of judgment on some of these issues.

“But we don’t. So this decision today means that we can reduce the amount of time people are able to spend in licensed premises, thereby curtailing the spread of the virus, while still allowing businesses to trade and provide jobs.

“This is the best balance we can strike for now. But I want to be clear with the hospitality trade about this.

“Notwithstanding the economic implications, further restrictions, including possible closure, will be unavoidable – locally or nationally – if the rules within pubs and restaurants on hygiene, face coverings, table service, maximum numbers in groups, and the distance between them are not fully complied with.

“I want to thank those businesses, I believe the majority, that are making huge efforts to ensure compliance.

“However, to ensure that this is the case for all, we will be providing resources for additional Environmental Health Officers and asking local authorities to significantly step up inspection and enforcement.

“Let me turn now to the most difficult part of today’s announcement – further restrictions on household gatherings.

“We know from the data available to us through Test & Protect that a high proportion of new cases come from social interactions between different households in our homes.

“We also know from Test & Protect – and perhaps more so from our own experiences – that it is much more difficult to maintain physical distance – and have, for example, good ventilation – inside our own homes.

“We also know that when the virus infects one person in a household it is highly likely to affect others in the same household. It will also infect people visiting that household, who will in turn take it back to their households.

“Therefore, difficult though this is, any serious effort to reduce the R number below 1, which must be our objective, must take account of this key driver of transmission and it must seek to break that driver of transmission.

“So after careful consideration, we have decided that from tomorrow, to be reviewed every three weeks, and with exceptions that I will come on to, visiting other households will not be permitted.

“To be clear, this extends the restriction that has been in place across the West of Scotland for the past three weeks to all of Scotland. Regulations giving effect to this change will come into force on Friday, but I am asking people to comply from tomorrow.

“One of the reasons we have decided to do this is that our early data suggests this restriction is starting to slow the increase of cases in the West of Scotland.

“So if we take the difficult decision to extend it nationwide now, in an early and preventative way, we hope it will help to bring the R number down and the virus back under control.

“There will be exceptions for those living alone, or alone with children, who form extended households; for couples in non-cohabiting relationships; for the provision of informal childcare by, for example, grandparents; and for tradespeople.

“But for everyone else visiting each other’s houses will, for now, not be permitted.

“These new restrictions apply to people’s homes – in other words, to private indoor spaces.

“Rules for meeting other people in public indoor spaces that are subject to strict regulation and guidance, remain the same – you can meet with one other household only and in groups of no more than six people.

“As I said earlier, we will be working with local authorities to strengthen inspection and enforcement in indoor public places and enforcement action, including closure if necessary, will be taken against shops, pubs, restaurants or other premises that do not ensure compliance.

“You can also continue to meet with one other household in groups of up to six people outdoors, including in private gardens.

“Outdoors, though, we intend to exempt children under 12 – both from the limit of six and the limit of two households. There will be no limits on the ability of children under 12 to play together outdoors.

“And young people aged 12 to 18 will be exempt from the two household limit – they will be able to meet together outdoors in groups of up to six, though we will need to monitor this carefully and let me stress that this is outdoors only.

“And let me say to teenagers in particular – I know how miserable this is for you and I am so grateful for your patience. We are trying to give you as much flexibility as we can at this vitally important time of your lives. In return, please work with us and do your best to stick to the rules, for everyone’s sake.

“Presiding Officer,

“The last new restriction I want to cover today relates to travelling by car. It may seem minor but it is important.

“We know, again from Test & Protect data, that sharing car journeys presents a significant risk of transmission.

“We are therefore advising against car sharing with people outside your own household.

“Finally, I think it’s important that I indicate today, in light of the current situation, that the route map changes with an indicative date of 5 October are unlikely now to go ahead on that timescale.

“Presiding Officer

“I also want to touch briefly today on an issue that has been the subject of media speculation in recent days – namely the possibility of a so called circuit breaker, timed to coincide with the October school break, and during which people would be given much more comprehensive advice to stay at home.

“The Scottish Government has not made any decision at this stage to implement such a policy – however, we are actively keeping it under review.

“What I would say to people now is this. Please think of the October break as an opportunity to further limit social interaction, particularly indoors.

“And, given that this is a global pandemic, please do not book travel overseas for the October break if it is not essential.

“Finally, I want to say a few words to people who were shielding earlier in the year. I know you will all be feeling particularly anxious.

“However the best way to keep you safe is by reducing the spread of the virus in our communities – which is what today’s measures are all about.

“The steps I have outlined today will help keep you safe, so please follow the guidance for the general population with great care.

“And if you haven’t signed up for our text alert service, please do so.

“Fundamentally, I want to assure you that your safety is uppermost in our minds.

“But we do not believe that asking you to return to shielding is the best way to secure it, given the impact it would have on your mental and physical health. In our view, all of us acting together collectively to reduce the spread of the virus is a better way to keep you safe.

“Presiding Officer,

“These are the changes we are making now. I can’t and will not rule out the need to make more – nationally or locally – in the weeks to come.

“Suppressing the virus and getting R below 1 again is essential and we will act in a way that can achieve that.

“Indeed, we intend to publish soon an overall strategic approach to escalation in areas with particularly high rates of  transmission.

“However, I am acutely aware that the restrictions I have announced today will not be welcome.

“But it is our judgment they are absolutely essential.

“Inevitably, some will think they go too far and others will think they don’t go far enough.

“But we have tried to get the balance as right as possible – and to act urgently and in a substantial and preventative way now to try to get the situation under control quickly.

“We judge that this will give us the best chance of avoiding tougher or longer lasting measures later.

“But I know that doesn’t make this any easier.

“Many people, me included, will find not being able to have family and friends in our own homes really difficult – especially as the weather gets colder.

“But today’s measures – although tough – are not a lockdown. They are carefully targeted at key sources of transmission. And we believe they can make a significant difference, while keeping our schools, public services and as many businesses as possible open.

“However the success of these measures depends on all of us.

“The decisions that we all make as individuals in the weeks ahead, will determine whether they work, and how quickly they can be lifted.

“That fact isn’t just a reminder of the responsibilities we all owe to each other – it is also a reminder that we are not powerless against this virus.

“None of us can guarantee that we won’t get it, or pass it on. But we can all make choices that significantly reduce our own risk, and help keep our communities safer.

“So please, make those choices. Stick with this.

“Please don’t meet people in their homes or your home – because that is where the virus often spreads.

“Limit how often you meet up with people in public places – and abide by the rules in force there.

“Work from home if you can.

“Follow the advice on self-isolation if you have symptoms, test positive, or are a contact of someone with the virus.

“Download the Protect Scotland app.

“And when you do meet other people, remember FACTS at all times.

“Face coverings

“Avoid crowded places.

“Clean your hands and surfaces.

“Keep a two metre distance from other households.

“And self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.

“Keeping to all these rules isn’t easy – but they remain the best way for all of us to protect ourselves, each other, the NHS and ultimately save lives.

“Presiding Officer,

“All of this is incredibly tough – and six months on, it only gets tougher.

“But we should never forget that humanity has come through even bigger challenges than this one – and it did so without the benefits of modern technology that allow us to stay connected while physically apart.

“And though it doesn’t feel like this now, this pandemic will pass.

“It won’t last forever and one day, hopefully soon, we will be looking back on it, not living through it.

“So though we are all struggling with this – and believe me, we are all struggling – let’s pull together.

“Let’s keep going, try to keep smiling, keep hoping and keep looking out for each other. Be strong, be kind and let’s continue to act out of love and solidarity.

“I will never be able to thank all of you enough for the sacrifices you have made so far. And I am sorry to have to ask for more.

“But if we stick with it – and if we stick together – I do know we will get through this.”


First coronavirus vaccines rolled out in Scotland from Tuesday

People will be required to take two doses of the vaccine, between three and four weeks apart.

STV News

The first vaccines against coronavirus will be administered in Scotland on Tuesday, should the Scottish Government receive the jabs as soon as is expected.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said at the daily briefing on Wednesday: “You can perhaps understand why I probably smiled more in the last few minutes than you have seen me do in several months.”

People will be required to take two doses of the vaccine and these will likely be offered 21 to 28 days apart.

It means it could take until early in the new year to complete the first vaccine courses for any individual.

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Sturgeon added: “There is no doubt that being able to have this degree of confidence that we can start a vaccination programme next week is absolutely fantastic news.

“We will of course start by vaccinating the people who will be vaccinating everyone else as you would expect, and we will then follow the independent advice we’ve received from the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation.

“They have recommended prioritising those with the greatest clinical need, including older residents in care homes, health and social care workers, and those aged over 80.

“These groups will therefore be the first people that we will seek to vaccinate.”

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Sturgeon, who confirmed another 38 people with coronavirus have died in Scotland, said a vaccine meant there was cause for “real hope” now.

The announcement comes after the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech was approved in the UK. The jab has been shown in studies to be 95% effective and works in all age groups.

Around 800,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to be available in the UK next week, with Scotland getting a population share.

The Scottish Government is currently planning its distribution of the vaccine, which needs to be stored at very low temperatures.

Calls have already been made for the government to appoint a vaccine minister to oversee the process and ensure delivery is “quick and effective”.

Ian Murray MP, shadow Scottish secretary, said: “The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine will be one of the largest organisational challenges our country has ever faced, and we must be prepared for that.

“The news of the approval of the vaccine is incredibly encouraging, and will be met with delight by people across the globe.

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“With the UK approving the vaccine ahead of other countries, the rollout here will be the first in the world. It is critical that it is done safely and as quickly as possible to help save lives.”

Murray claimed the “shambolic rollout” of the flu vaccine this winter did not inspire confidence among Scots and said “the government must do all that it can to ensure the Covid-19 vaccine does not face the same issues.”

Scottish Conservative Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson urged the First Minister to “provide answers” to questions MSPs have regarding the rollout of the vaccine.

She said: “The public needs to hear answers from the First Minister and the plans have to be scrutinised fully by parliament to avoid any pitfalls, such as the postcode lottery that occurred with the flu jab rollout this year.

“The first vaccine will be delivered in less than a week, so it’s deeply disappointing to reject an urgent statement when this is plainly urgent.

“For everyone out there wondering when their elderly relatives in care homes will get the vaccine, nothing is more important, and the government needs to start treating it with the urgency it deserves.”

More on:

Covid-19 vaccine: Who will get it, when and how?

Who will get the vaccine, when will they get it and how will it be distributed.

Getty Images via Getty Images

The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK. But what does this mean for people being vaccinated?

What’s in the pipeline for the UK?
The Government has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with 10 million due in the UK by the end of the year.
Patients need two doses, meaning not enough shots have been secured for the entire UK population.

How will a vaccine be rolled out?
Work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure that NHS staff are ready to start delivering jabs to the most vulnerable, as well as health and care workers, as a priority.

The NHS Nightingale Hospitals have also been earmarked as sites for mass vaccination clinics – among other uses.

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In addition, NHS leaders have said there will be “roving teams” deployed to vaccinate care home residents and workers.

Based on the current information, the vaccines being developed require two doses per patient, with a 21 to 28 day gap between doses.

New regulations allowing more healthcare workers to administer flu and potential Covid-19 vaccines have also been introduced by the Government.

Who is top of the list to get a coronavirus vaccine?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has examined data on who suffers the worst outcomes from coronavirus and who is at highest risk of death.But in the trials for a Covid-19 vaccine, things look slightly different. A process which usually takes years has been condensed to months.

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While the early design and development stages look similar, the clinical trial phases overlap, instead of taking place sequentially.


And pharmaceutical firms have begun manufacturing before final approval has been granted – taking on the risk that they may be forced to scrap their work. The new way of working means that regulators around the world can start to look at scientific data earlier than they traditionally would do


Its interim guidance says the order of priority should be:

  1. Older adults in a care home and care home workers
  2. All those who are 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers
  3. All those who are 75 years of age and over
  4. All those who are 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals, excluding pregnant women and those under 18 years of age
  5. All those who are 65 years of age and over
  6. Adults aged 18 to 65 years in an at-risk group
  7. All those aged 60 and over
  8. All those aged 55 and over
  9. All those aged 50 and over

Aren’t there other vaccines?
Yes, recent data from the Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Moderna vaccine trials suggests their candidates also have high efficacy.

Oxford data indicates the vaccine has 62% efficacy when one full dose is given followed by another full dose, but when people were given a half dose followed by a full dose at least a month later, its efficacy rose to 90%.

The combined analysis from both dosing regimes resulted in an average efficacy of 70.4%.

Final results from the trials of Moderna’s vaccine suggest it has 94.1% efficacy, and 100% efficacy against severe Covid-19.

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Nobody who was vaccinated with the vaccine known as mRNA-1273 developed severe coronavirus.

Which jab is best?
The early contenders all have high efficacy rates, but researchers say it is difficult to make direct comparisons because it is not yet known exactly what everyone is measuring in the trials.

How many doses has the UK secured?
The UK has secured access to 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, which is almost enough for most of the population.
It also belatedly struck a deals for seven million doses of the jab on offer from Moderna in the US.

The deals cover four different classes: adenoviral vaccines, mRNA vaccines, inactivated whole virus vaccines and protein adjuvant vaccines.
The UK has secured access to:

100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine

60 million doses of the Novavax vaccine

Some 30 million doses from Janssen

40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – the first agreement the firms signed with any government

60 million doses of a vaccine being developed by Valneva

60 million doses of protein adjuvant vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur

Seven million doses of the jab on offer from Moderna in the US.

What do they cost?

Pfizer/BioNTech is making its vaccine available not-for-profit.

According to reports, the Moderna vaccine could cost about 38 dollars (£28) per dose and the Pfizer candidate could cost around 20 dollars (£15).

Researchers suggest the Oxford vaccine could be relatively cheap to produce, with some reports indicating it could be about £3 per dose.

AstraZeneca said it will not sell it for a profit, so it can be available to all countries.

However, the details of the deals made by the UK Government have not been made public.

How do we know the vaccines are safe?
Researchers reported their trials do not suggest any significant safety concerns.


Dad killed after being hit with wheelie bin during fight

Ryan Barrie died after being struck with the bin during an altercation on March 1.

STV News
Death: Man guilty of killing father by throwing wheelie bin.

A father was killed after a man threw a wheelie bin at him during a street fight.

Stephen Robbins got into “a heated exchange” with Ryan Barrie which escalated into violence and ended with the victim hitting his head off a wooden fence beam after he was struck with the bin.

Robbins, 34, left the scene of the attack in Benvie Gardens, Dundee, and Mr Barrie, 39, was found bleeding in bushes at a garden.

He was helped into a house but complained that his head was really sore before he fell asleep and was later found to have stopped breathing.

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A post mortem established he suffered an acute subdural haemorrhage, with blood collecting between the skull and brain surface leading to increased pressure in the skull.

Advocate depute Leanne Cross told the High Court in Edinburgh: “The acute subdural haemorrhage is likely to have been caused by the deceased falling and striking his head on the wooden beam.”

Robbins was originally charged with murdering Mr Barrie on March 1 this year, but on Wednesday, the Crown accepted his guilty plea to the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Robbins admitted assaulting and killing the victim at Benvie Gardens by pushing him on the body, punching him on the head and body causing him to fall to the ground, seizing his clothing and punching him on the head and striking him with the bin whereby he fell and struck his head.

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Ms Cross said that Robbins had been at a bar in Dundee and was making his way home about 1am. She added: “He was intoxicated and generally noisy.”

Mr Barrie, who had also been drinking the previous evening, got out of bed and went to a bedroom window.

The prosecutor said: “He entered a heated exchange with the accused. They were shouting at each other for several minutes. It is not known exactly what was shouted but they seemed to be challenging each other.”

Mr Barrie went into the street to confront Robbins ignoring repeated advice to stay indoors. He walked towards Robbins who pushed him on the shoulders with both hands.

The advocate depute said: “The deceased stumbled back a bit and both men started throwing punches at each other.”

Robbins punched Mr Barrie on the head and body and as the older man started to walk away he pushed him into a bush in a front garden. He got on top of Mr Barrie and gripped his top and punched him to the head. 

The prosecutor said: “The deceased didn’t fight back during this part of the incident and was heard to say to the accused ‘What are you punching us for? I’m no wanting to fight you.’ “.

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Robbins got off him and walked away and Mr Barrie tried to get up and was halfway to his feet when an empty blue wheelie bin was thrown at him.

Ms Cross said: “The wheelie bin landed on the deceased’s back. It caused him to fall forward and hit his head off a wooden beam which was part of a low fixed dividing fence.”

Mr Barrie was helped back into the house where he was residing at the time and attempts were made to persuade him to go to hospital, but he did not want to go.

He was later found to have ceased breathing and an ambulance was called and CPR attempted before paramedics arrived to take over treatment, but to no avail.

The court heard that police had intelligence that Robbins, who has previous convictions for assault, was responsible and a calling card was left at his address.

Later on March 1 he contacted detectives and said somebody had shouted at him and he saw a male who came up to him and punched him once.

He said he then punched the man twice and pushed him into a bush. 

The prosecutor said Robbins was “upset during the call” and said he would hand himself in, but arrangements were made to pick him up at his father’s address.

He was arrested and during the journey to the police station he said he had only punched the deceased twice and couldn’t believe what was happening. He later stated that he threw the wheelie bin at the victim to get away.

Defence counsel Mark Stewart QC told the court that it appeared to be “a tragic combination of events”.

The court heard that Mr Barrie is survived by his former partner, son, brother and sister.

Sentence was deferred on Robbins, who is in Perth prison, for the preparation of a background report.     

The judge, Lady Scott, adjourned the case until January 6 at the High Court in Glasgow.


Bomb squad called to WW2 mine found in Firth of Clyde

Bomb disposal experts tackled a mine containing 350kg of explosives at Ettrick Bay on the Isle of Bute.

Royal Navy

A controlled explosion has been carried out on a Second World War mine found in the Firth of Clyde containing 350kg of explosives.

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts, from the Northern Diving Group (NDG) based at HM Naval Base Clyde, were deployed after the suspected mine was discovered by a crew on a marine research boat near Wemyss Bay on Tuesday morning.

Seven crew members were evacuated by Troon Lifeboat and Rothesay Coastguard Rescue Team, while the vessel – with the suspected ordnance onboard – was sailed to Ettrick Bay on the Isle of Bute to meet with Northern Diving Group.

The item, which was described as being in “pristine” condition, was confirmed as being a Second World War German submarine-laid mine. 

The German WW2 mine found in the Firth of Clyde
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The NDG team coordinated the lowering of the ordnance to the seabed off Ettrick Beach and carried-out a controlled explosion to dispose of the mine on Wednesday morning.

Lieutenant Commander Mark Shaw, Commanding Officer of NDG, said: “The mine was trawled in the vicinity of Isla Craig, a small island in the Firth of Clyde. Considering it had been in the water for around 80 years, its condition was remarkable.”

“Items of this size are relatively uncommon, however, NDG are approaching 100 call-outs this year supporting civil authorities with all types of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), ranging from mines and torpedoes to hand grenades and improvised devices. 

“On average, across the UK, Royal Navy Clearance Divers are tasked once a day for EOD assistance.

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“This highlights the remaining presence of historic ordnance. Even small items can be unstable and present an explosive hazard; carrying-out a controlled explosion is the only safe way of dealing with them and neutralising the hazard.”


Man struck by car driven at him in deliberate attack

The 35-year-old was hit by the white Ford Fiesta in daylight last Wednesday.

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Police: Investigation into attack in Kelvin Gardens, Hamilton.

A man has been struck by a car, which was driven at him deliberately in South Lanarkshire.

The 35-year-old was hit by the white Ford Fiesta around 12.45pm on Wednesday, November 25, in Kelvin Gardens, Hamilton.

Two men, dressed in black and wearing balaclavas, then got out of the car and tried to attack him, before driving off in the direction of Udston Road.

The vehicle, registration SD11 THV, was later traced burn out on North South Road, Cleland, around 2.50pm on the same day.

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There were no serious injuries but police have appealed for information as they hunt the suspects.

Detective inspector Susie Cairns said: “We are appealing to members of the public who may have information that could assist with our investigation.

“This incident took place in the middle of the day and I would ask if you were in the area or noticed anyone acting suspicious that you get in contact with police.

“I would also ask if you saw the vehicle described being driven erratically on the day of the incident that you get in touch with officers. “

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Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101.


Boat company fined after woman crushed in life-changing crash

The 45-year-old passenger had to be put into an induced coma and has suffered permanent damage to her eyesight.

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Crash: A woman was seriously injured when the two boats collided.

A boat tours company has been fined £12,000 following a crash that left a woman with life-changing injuries.

The 45-year-old passenger had to be put into an induced coma after she was crushed between two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) when they collided on the Firth of Forth during a high-speed manoeuvre.

The woman, who was travelling with her husband and two young children, suffered two broken collar bones, five broken ribs, a punctured lung, and lacerations and bruising to her back and torso.

The internal injuries she sustained also resulted in permanent damage to her eyesight, according to a Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report.

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The incident happened on July 19, 2016, between Anstruther and the Isle of May.

The sister vessels, Osprey and Osprey II, had attempted to carry out a synchronised “power turn” manoeuvre, but instead collided.

The woman, who was seated on an inflatable tube on Osprey II, was crushed between the boat’s helm and Osprey’s bow.

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Accident: The two boats were attempting to carry out a ‘power turn’.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a number of recommendations after an investigation into the incident identified failings in risk assessment, safety briefings and passage planning as factors in the collision.

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Owner and operator Isle of May Boat Trips Ltd immediately took the step of banning passengers and crew from sitting on the inflatable tubes.

At Dundee Sheriff Court on Wednesday, Isle of May Boat Trips Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching section 100 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, relating to the unsafe operation of a vessel and was fined £12,000.

Following the court case, Neil Cunningham, head of the regulatory compliance investigations team at the MCA, said: “This collision was avoidable and sadly led to a passenger suffering life-changing injuries. 

“Owners and operators of vessels intending to include an exhilarating element to their trips are reminded to follow the available advice and guidance at all times, such as can be found in the High Speed Passenger Vessel (HSPV) Voluntary Code of Practice.”


New-build flats required to have sprinklers from March

New flats, social homes and shared residential buildings will have to install fire sprinklers under new rules.

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New flats, social homes and shared residential buildings will have to install fire sprinklers.

New flats, social homes and shared residential buildings will have to install fire sprinklers from March next year.

The rules come after a member’s Bill from Scottish Labour MSP David Stewart was agreed at the Scottish Parliament in 2018.

Created in response to the Grenfell Tower disaster in London, the Bill proposed a number of changes to fire safety regulations, some of which have already been implemented.

The Scottish Government has now confirmed that from next year all new flats, social housing and “shared multi-occupied residential buildings” will be required to have automatic fire suppression systems.

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This will apply to all developments when the building warrant is applied for on or after March 1 2021.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “I am very grateful to David Stewart MSP for his work on bringing this important issue forward and gaining cross-Parliament support.

“The increased requirements for automatic fire suppression systems will further improve fire safety for thousands of new homes each year.

“These systems have been proven to save lives and it is right that we now make these changes.

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“We will continue to work closely with housing providers to make sure there is wide awareness of what is required ahead of the new regulations coming into effect.”

Mr Stewart said: “I’m delighted this is coming in before I retire as an MSP at next year’s election – what better than a life-saving ‘present’ at Christmas?”

“Fire sprinklers have been proven time and time again to be effective in the fight against fire and I know that this move will save lives.”

He added: “There has always been strong backing for these plans from the public, the industry and other MSPs, especially in the light of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

“I would still like retro-fitting sprinklers in older properties to be considered, and although that is my longer term hope I understand the problems this would pose.”

Assistant chief fire officer Stuart Stevens said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service welcomes the amended regulations and the increased provision of automatic fire suppression systems.

“This provision is a significant step forward in fire safety and will increase the safety of our communities, residents and firefighters.”


Brain haemorrhage MP back on her feet after months of rehab

SNP MP Amy Callaghan underwent emergency brain surgery after collapsing at home in June.

STV News

By Kathryn Samson and Jack Thomson

Doctors told SNP MP Amy Callaghan’s family there was an “imminent risk to life” as she was raced to hospital for emergency brain surgery. 

The politician collapsed at home in June after suffering a brain haemorrhage but managed to call herself an ambulance, before her partner returned and found her.

The 28-year-old, who represents East Dunbartonshire, embarked on a four-month recovery at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, having to learn to walk again and eventually returning home in October. 

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Remembering the night she was taken to hospital, Callaghan told STV News: “I was in the bathroom and suddenly lost all movement and feeling in my left-hand side, in my arm and in my leg, and collapsed on the floor.

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Amy Callaghan: MP was elected at the 2019 general election.

“When I regained consciousness, I had a piercing headache like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, the worst pain ever. 

“Fortunately I had my phone in my pocket and managed to phone myself an ambulance and then my partner came home and found me.”

Asked how concerned NHS medics were when she got to hospital, Callaghan said: “The phrase they used to my family was ‘there was an imminent risk to life’. That’s quite scary.

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“That’s the first time I’ve said it out loud, I think. Scarier for my family, at that point I wasn’t aware of how serious it was.”

Callaghan, who unseated then-Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson in the 2019 general election, underwent intensive rehabilitation from two life-saving surgeries. 

She said: “You want to skip to the last stage, don’t you. Everyone goes into a rehab unit saying they’re desperate to walk again, but before you learn to walk, you need to learn to sit. I couldn’t sit up straight. 

“You need to learn to stand and then you work on your balance and then they let you loose with a zimmer frame to try walking again, so that was quite an intense process, but in typical Glaswegian fashion we used humour to get ourselves through it.

“On a Friday in rehab we would play different songs to have a more upbeat gym session. We would play songs like ‘I’m still standing’ or ‘I’m alive’ just to keep ourselves going and motivated.”

Callaghan, who previously battled skin cancer, said she has learned to treat scars from surgeries as “marks of courage and strength”. 

“I think I’d always hidden behind my hair because of the scar on my face,” she said. “I’d used it as a shield to stop myself from being exposed to the world.

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“So I’d always worried about scars. It’d always been an issue for me since my teenage years.

‘I always knew that I had the strength and the courage and the determination from being unwell previously to see myself through this.’

Amy Callaghan MP

“So waking up to having another one on my head was just devastating to me, but I’ve come to terms with it and I’ve realised now that these scars are what saved me and they are my marks of courage, my marks of strength and I’m not going to hide them any more.”

While her recovery has not been without “dark times”, she knew she would be able to push on. 

Callaghan said: “I didn’t ever let myself get to the place where I thought I wasn’t going to make it through. 

“I always knew that I had the strength and the courage and the determination from being unwell previously to see myself through this, but of course there were some very dark times that my family experienced and went through as well, so I do sometimes see how happy they are to have me here and that just means that wee bit extra. 

“Having Christmas together will be a really lovely time for us all, extra special this year, as it will be for everyone I’m sure coming through this terrible year.”


Lennon: ‘Celtic don’t sack managers for the sake of it’

The Celtic boss says he's grateful for support he received after the cup defeat to Ross County.

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Neil Lennon has admitted that he “could understand” if Celtic had decided to remove him from his position as manager but says the club doesn’t make that call “for the sake of it”.

Lennon’s future has been in doubt as the team have produced a number of disappointing results recently, culminating in a 2-0 home defeat to Ross County that saw them knocked out of the League Cup.

The defeat brought protests at Celtic Park with fans demanding Lennon’s removal, and angry scenes that have led to police and club investigations.

Lennon is preparing his side for their next match and will be in the dugout when Celtic face Milan in the Europa League on Thursday but was asked if he felt his time in the job was up in the wake of Sunday’s cup exit.

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“Not in my heart of hearts but I could understand if that would have been the case, yes,” he said.

“I am very grateful (for the backing). They are not a board that sack managers for the sake of it.

“We have had great success, we are going through a tough time but they don’t leave you out in the lurch.”

The manager revealed that he had received letters of support from fans, as well as similar messages from his fellow managers. On the demonstrations outside the club on Sunday, he said: “We are disappointed, we are hurt.

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“I understand the frustrations of the supporters because ultimately we are not in a great run at the minute.

“But it serves no purpose, particularly for the players.”

Lennon said that the reaction to the defeat “shook” some players but said that as a group they were working to turn their form around.

“I am old enough to take criticism and abuse – some of it is justified, some over the top,” he said. “That is the role of the manager and that is the responsibility you have to bear.

“The players are definitely determined to turn things around.

“They are hungry. They have felt the wrath of the supporters, if you want to call it that. It surprised some of them, it shook a few of them up.

“But they want to put things right for them and the club and themselves as well. We have to find that little extra zest and zing.”


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