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Summary

  1. Man found guilty of frying pan murder
  2. Man, 70, accused of Inverness murder
  3. Inquiry after woman raped in park
  4. Apology over brain damage case delay
  5. UKIP wants 30p tax rate in Scotland
  6. Inverness-born PC missing in London
  7. Californian snake found in cutlery drawer

Live Reporting

By Jo Perry and Katherine Sutherland

All times stated are UK

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Live updates have finished for today.

Join us again at 08:00 tomorrow.

Traffic: Collision on A720 in lane two at Calder causing delays

Army sergeant found not guilty of murder over 'machete attack'

John Norwood, 38, is accused of "hunting" for his victim, Lance Sergeant James Warnock, for several hours at their barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire, before attacking him with a machete, almost slicing his arm off.   

Norwood
PA

The jury at Winchester Crown Court took eight hours to come to the verdict.

They are still considering their verdicts for an alternative charge of wounding with intent and a third charge of attempted wounding with intent.

Video: North Sea construction work done in Singapore

BBC Scotland's Kevin Keane reports

Work has started on platforms to exploit the biggest gas discovery in the North Sea for more than a decade.

But the construction work for the £4.5bn Culzean project is being carried out in Singapore - even though tax breaks from the UK government have made it economically viable. 

Work has begun on the £4.5bn Maersk Oil gas project

Catholic monk found guilty of a catalogue of abuse

Michael Murphy, 82, was known as Brother Benedict at St Joseph's List D residential school in Tranent. 

Irish-born Murphy denied a string of charges against him during his trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

BBC
BBC
Edinburgh High Court

A jury convicted him of 15 charges of assault and indecent assault involving eight boys over the decade up to 1981.

Murphy was acquitted of a further two charges on Thursday.

Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Glasgow condemn statement by man accused of murdering Asad Shah

They are also calling on other Muslum leaders to publicly condemn it.

Abdul Ghaffar Abid, the Ahmadiyya community president, said Ahmaddiyas do not disrespect the Prophet, they follow the Prophet.

They are urging the government and law enforcement agencies to take all possible steps to root out all forms of religious hatred, intolerance and sectarianism.

Traffic: Queues build after collision on the M8 closes two lanes between junctions 18 and 19 westbound

From our political reporter: A strong theme emerges in today's Holyrood campaign photocalls

Radio election debate: Be in the audience for Highlands hustings

Do you want to be in the audience of a special programme putting politicians under the spotlight?

BBC Scotland is hosting TV and radio debates ahead of the Holyrood election on 5 May. 

mic
BBC

On 27 April, a hustings radio debate will be held at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness, in the Inverness and Nairn Constituency.

The panel of politicians for the evening will comprise of the SNP's Fergus Ewing, Labour's David Stewart, the Liberal Democrat's Carolyn Caddic, Edward Mountain for the Conservatives and John Finnie representing the Scottish Greens.

In pictures: the Holyrood election campaign trail continues

Patrick Harvie was in Hamilton whilst Nicola Sturgeon paid a visit to Maryhill in Glasgow.

Kezia Dugdale was at a credit union in Renfrewshire,and Ruth Davidson kept up yesterday's culinary theme with a trip to a sweet shop in Edinburgh

Willie Rennie was photographed with a fish eagle in Fife and UKIP launched their manifesto.

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Seventy-year-old man in court charged with murder of woman in Inverness

The body of Elizabeth Mackay, or Muir, was discovered at her home in the city's Hilton area on Thursday last week.

Elizabeth MacKay
Police Scotland

Michael Taylor, also from Inverness, appeared in private at Inverness Sheriff Court before Sheriff Margaret Neilson accused of killing the 60-year-old.

During the brief court appearance, Taylor made no plea or declaration and was remanded into custody. He is due to appear in court again on 15 April.

Jury find Nikola Zhulev guilty of murdering Perthshire jeweller in unanimous verdict

Pizza chef Zhulev, 31, killed Alan Gardner at his home near Perth last April. 

He had hit Mr Gardner over the head with a metal frying pan.

Brides Facebook backlash after wedding venue outburst goes viral

Watch: Full forecast for Scotland with Anne Lunden

A mixture of showers and dry spells for the rest of the day before showers largely fade away overnight.

A mixture of bright spells and showers for the rest of the day.

Light showers return in the east on Friday with rain creeping in from the west in the evening.

From Traffic Scotland - M8 accident cleared

McGhee worried Motherwell will miss out on top six place unless they take points from Celtic

BBC Sport Scotland

St Johnstone, Dundee and Partick Thistle can all leapfrog Motherwell on the final weekend before the split.

Motherwell have surged up the table, winning five league matches in a row
SNS

A draw at Fir Park in the lunchtime kick-off would lift the fourth-placed side out of range of the latter two.

"I think if we don't take anything on Saturday, we're in trouble," said McGhee.

Twenty-one-year-old man charged over vandalism of 20 vehicles in one night

Police said the man was reported to the procurator fiscal after the cars were targeted in the Anderson Avenue and Hilton Drive areas of Aberdeen last Friday.

Hilton Road
Google
Police said 20 vehicles in Hilton Road (pictured) and Anderson Avenue were vandalised

Jordan Blyth from Police Scotland said: "Significant inconvenience and distress has been caused to the owners of the vehicles and inquiries are ongoing."

Police have urged anyone with information about the vandalism to come forward.

Police investigating if two robberies on elderly men on same night in Glasgow are linked

An 86-year-old man was taken to hospital with facial injuries after three men forced their way into his flat in Garturk Street in the Govanhill area and stole coins worth a two-figure amount.

Garturk Street in Govanhill
Google
The 86-year-old man was attacked in Garturk Street in Govanhill

The incident happened at about 22:45 on Wednesday and the man remains in hospital in a stable condition.

Earlier that evening, a 73-year-old was walking on Belleisle Street in Govanhill when he was grabbed by a man who pushed him to the ground and ran off with his wallet containing a small sum of cash.

Police said the men responsible have all been described as being of eastern European appearance.

Apology to brain damaged girl's parents who sued NHS for £10.5m

Jacqueline and Andrew MacLeod claimed staff at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness acted negligently when delivering their daughter Rowan in June 1999.

A judge heard their case in 2012 but did not issue his opinion until 2014, at which point he dismissed their claim for compensation. 

Raigmore
BBC

Mr and Mrs MacLeod alleged that Rowan, who has cerebral palsy, was not properly monitored during her birth and suffered brain damage as a consequence of this.  

Appeal judges Lord Brodie, Lady Dorrian and Lord Drummond Young have now ruled his decision correct but said it was not delivered "within a reasonable time".

Traffic: Accident closes all lanes on A92 in both directions near Kirkcaldy

In pictures: Police Scotland's newest recruit is a German Shepherd puppy called Bodie

The 9kg ball of fur was sent to Aberdeen by the Metropolitan Police, in London.

He has already learned to 'sit' and eventually will take to the streets with officers to combat crime in the Granite City.

pup
Police Scotland
pup
Police Scotland
Pup
Police Scotland

Police Constable Steve Warden said: “It's a very important role. Animals provide an extremely beneficial and worthwhile service keeping people safe and fighting crime.

“He will be integrated into the police family slowly, but in terms of training we can start now.

“The more intensive stuff will start once he turns nine months and ideally we will have him up and running by 15 months and potentially on the street and pounding the beat.”

Family of missing Jason Gates 'increasingly anxious' as they issue fresh appeal for information

Mr Gates, 39, from the Hampshire area of England, has been missing since 17 March.

He was seen in Aviemore and then near Drumnadrochit at Loch Ness.  Searches have involved police, the RNLI and coastguard.

Jason Gates
Police Scotland

The family thanked all of those who were helping to look for their son.

A statement read: “It’s been over three weeks since we’ve heard from Jason and we are increasingly anxious. 

"We'd also like to appeal to Jason directly: if you can see this message, please make contact so we know you’re OK. 

"We just want you to be safe and to be reunited as a family."

Police car park appeal after armed robbers target security guards during cash transfer at bank

Police said a five-figure sum of money was stolen during the raid at Santander on West Princes Street in Helensburgh in the early hours of yesterday.

Santander, Helensburgh
Google

The suspects are described as being of medium height, medium build and were wearing blue overalls and masks at the time of the incident.

Det Insp Douglas Wilson said: "We understand now that there were a number of people in the public car park in Sinclair Street around the time of the incident, which is just off West Princes Street where the attack took place.

"I would like to appeal to those people who were in the area between midnight and 01:00 as they may have information which could assist with our inquiries."

From BBC political correspondent

Police probe after girl, 12, approached by man in car who offered her a lift

The incident happened at Brae Road in Gourdon, Aberdeenshire, at about 16:40 on 6 April.

Police said the man approached the girl, asking if she was OK and needed a lift.

Brae road
Google
Brae road

She declined and the vehicle drove off before stopping again. The man then got out of the vehicle and walked into Brae View, looking around him, before getting back into the car and driving off.

A police spokeswoman said:  "At this time there is nothing to suggest that anything untoward has happened here.

"However, we would like to trace the man who was driving the car so we can rule that out."

Man who slashed neighbour's neck after he complained about loud music is jailed

Thomas McIntyre, who's 42, attacked 27-year-old James Gunn with a knife at the doorway of his flat in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, on 4 October 2014.

He denied carrying out the attack but was convicted of attempted murder after being identified by five witnesses.

Mr Gunn required a number of stitches including one to repair an artery in the attack, which happened after he asked McIntyre to turn the music down because it was keeping his child awake.

McIntyre was jailed for eight years.

Scotland enjoy a jump of five places in the Fifa world rankings

Despite failing to qualify for the Euro 2016 Championships in France, Scotland moved up the rankings to 40th place.

Scotland drew with Poland at Hampden
SNS

Qualifiers Northern Ireland moved up to 26th place, their best ever placing.

Wales slumped seven places to 24th in the latest list, England fell one spot to 10th, and the Republic of Ireland dropped two positions to 31st.

Argentina moved ahead of Belgium to top the rankings, with Chile, Colombia and Germany completing the top five.

Watch: Chair used by JK Rowling to write Harry Potter sells for £278,000 at auction in New York

A chair used by JK Rowling to write the first two Harry Potter novels, in her Edinburgh flat, has been sold at auction for £278,000.

A chair used by JK Rowling sells at auction for £278,000.

Judge orders in-depth risk assessment on rapist who attacked property manager

Keith Stevenson, 39, was convicted of raping the woman at his home in Gorebridge, Midlothian, in March last year.

High court
BBC
The High Court in Edinburgh, where Stevenson was found guilty in March 2016

The court had heard how the victim had pretended to be pregnant to try to stop the assault.

Stevenson was due to be sentenced on Thursday at the High Court in Glasgow. 

However, judge Lord Kinclaven ruled that more information was needed about the danger posed by Stevenson to the public. He will now be sentenced in June.

Manager Alan Stubbs says Hibernian's win over Livingston 'a step in right direction"

Hibs had gathered just one point from a possible 15 prior to the 2-1 victory to fall third in the Championship.

Hibs came from behind to beat Livingston on Tuesday
SNS

"It looks like we are coming back into form again," Stubbs told BBC Scotland.

"You always have belief when you have good players because you know it's just a matter of time before they turn it around."

Investigation after report of 37-year old woman raped in popular Glasgow park

Police said the woman was subjected to a serious sexual assault in Queen's Park, near the Shawlands area of the city, at about 23:00 on 30 March.

A section of the park has been sealed off while officers investigate.

Queen's Park Glasgow
Google

Police have appealed for anyone who was in the park late on 30 March and who saw anyone acting suspiciously to get in touch.

Appeal after 'terrified' Edinburgh woman finds Californian kingsnake in cutlery drawer

The woman, who lives in a flat in Lindsay Road in Leith, found the 2ft-long snake curled up with the knives and forks as she was about to have her dinner.

Animal Rescue Officer Fiona Thorburn said: "As she has a phobia of snakes, she called her friend for help to contain him, only to discover that he had disappeared from the drawer.

cutlery drawer and snake
Scottish SPCA

“Thankfully they managed to locate him in a cupboard elsewhere in the kitchen before he sneaked away.

“Zak is quite large for an escapee and it’s usually smaller snakes that can squeeze through pipework in flats.

“However, all snakes can be really good escape artists so there’s every chance Zak has an owner nearby who is looking for him.”

The snake, named Zak by rescue staff, is being cared for at the Scottish SPCA’s Balerno Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre.

Three men charged with hare coursing and banned from East Lothian countryside

Three men have been charged with hare coursing near Gifford in East Lothian.

Police jacket generic
BBC

The men, aged 23, 26 and 31, were arrested yesterday and as part of their bail conditions banned from returning to the countryside in East Lothian.

Police Scotland condemned hare coursing as a "barbaric practice" and warned that anyone involved in it would be "robustly dealt with".

Pals to recreate adventure journey described in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped

Alan Rankin and Willie Gibson will sail 500 miles and walk another 260 miles across Scotland to raise money for charity.

They will set sail from South Queensferry on 22 May and hope to land on the rocky island of Erraid near Mull before walking back to Edinburgh.

BBC
BBC

In the novel, published in 1886 and set amidst some of the key events of 18th Century Scotland, hero David Balfour is taken from his home and smuggled around the coast in a bid to deprive him of his fortune.

The pair expect to make the journey in 18 days with all proceeds raised going to Parkinson’s UK, Ocean Youth Trust Scotland and Stevenson Adventures.

From BBC Scotland's political correspondent - Nigel Farage in Scotland

Privately-run care home criticised for second time after visit by inspectors

The Care Inspectorate served a formal Improvement Notice on Drumpellier Lodge care home, a service for older people in Bargeddie, Glasgow.

Drumpellier Lodge Care Home
Google

They told managers to produce personal care plans for each resident as well as urging them to provide "suitable and meaningful" activities for those in the home.

The notice also called for access to outdoor space and events for residents.

It follows criticism of the home, run by Clancare Limited, in April 2014.

Hearts players hit by illness which postponed Tuesday's Inverness match are now fit

The players, who were struck by a bout of gastroenteritis that led to the postponement of Tuesday's match in Inverness, have reported for training and are ready for their match with Aberdeen on Friday.

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Pregnant woman taken to hospital after a five-car crash on the M80 motorway

The accident happened on the northbound carriageway, between J3 and J4, in Glasgow at about 06:50. 

Traffic Scotland
Traffic Scotland

Police said no-one was seriously injured and the woman was taken to hospital as a precaution.

The crash resulted in one lane being blocked but has now been cleared and the carriageway is running as normal.

Work starts on new platform to exploit biggest discovery of North Sea oil and gas in a decade

The Culzean project is so huge it was given the go-ahead when the oil price was close to its lowest.

Production is expected to be up and running by 2019
Maersk

The development is expected to provide about 5% of Britain's gas needs by 2019.  

However, much of the work for the £3.2bn project is being carried out in Singapore because it required technology which is currently unavailable in the UK.

BBC Scotland weather: Temperatures could dip below freezing tonight