Edinburgh-born Louise Linton, who has previously worked alongside Holywood legends Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Christopher Walken, will co-star with the DJ in new movie Intruder.
The film, billed as a cross between Alfred Hitchcock and Paranormal Activity and shot in Portland, America, sees Louise star as a young woman tormented in her house over a stormy weekend by an unknown intruder.
Moby – whose real name is Richard Melville Hall – is set to play a foreboding music teacher instructing the woman – a member of Portland Philharmonic Orchestra – in the cello.
A source close to the set said Moby requested his scenes be filmed in Los Angeles, where he lives – which resulted in the film’s crew frantically trying to sort travel arrangements for filming equipment to be taken from Portland to California.
But the demand did little to sour his relationship with his fellow co-star.
Louise described Moby as a “pleasure to work with” and the two have reportedly become close friends since filming.
Louise Linton is a former pupil of Fettes College in Edinburgh and has been marked as a rising talent in Holywood.
The actress is set to star in movie legend Warren Beatty’s much anticipated but as yet untitled $27m biopic of American business tycoon Howard Hughes, set for release next year.
And the 25-year-old has brains as well as beauty – with degrees in law and journalism already under her belt.
She is also the first Ambassador for major Scottish charity The Erskine Trust, which helps Scottish Veterans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Moby shot to fame after his fifth studio album, Play, took the charts by storm in 1999.
The album has since achieved platinum status in more than 20 countries and the musician has gone on to sell over 20 million albums worldwide.
Intruder is written and directed by Travis Zariwny and is due out in the autumn.]]>
The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) revealed “communication errors” and “miscalculation of release date” were just some of the reasons given for the criminals being released early.
A Freedom of information request revealed since 2011, 19 prisoners have mistakenly been released from nine different prisons across Scotland.
Politicians branded the figures “utterly unacceptable” and demanded “strict safeguards” are put in place to prevent it from happening again.
The SPS admitted calculating the correct release date can be “complicated.”
Scottish Conservative Justice spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell MSP said: “One incident is bad enough and utterly unacceptable.
“It makes the prison service appear amateurish.
“Public protection is of the utmost importance and mistaken releases place that at risk.
“Action must be taken to place strict safeguards in place that will prevent these mistakes from happening at all.”
The highest number of prisoners that were released by mistake, were from Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow with seven criminals liberated.
The second highest was HMP Kilmarnock, a high security prison, which saw three prisoners released since 2011.
In 2006 inmate Michael Cameron, who was on remand facing a rape charge, was battered to death in the prison by a fellow inmate.
The £65m Polmont young offenders institute, near Falkirk and HMP Edinburgh both had two prisoners released by mistake.
Cornton Vale, which houses female offenders, Low Moss and the new £140m super prison HMP Grampian have all had one prisoner freed due to admin errors.
The SPS said that after every mistaken release, the error was discussed at a Warrant Administration Group meeting.
The establishment was then “tasked to put procedures in place to ensure that every possible safeguard is put in place to prevent a repeat of a breakdown in produce.”
However since the beginning of this year, two prisoners have been released due to bungling errors.
2012 saw the highest number of prisoners mistakenly liberated, with 12 that year roaming free.
Both 2011 and 2013 saw the release of three prisoners back into the general population when they should have been behind bars.
The SPS gave details of every “cause of liberation in error” for each prisoner.
Communication error was cited four times and miscalculation of release date resulted in four prisoners being released.
Others included failure to check warrant properly, administrative error, misunderstanding over terms of warrant and terms of bail misunderstood.
Scottish Liberal Democrats Justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSP said: “These figures suggest multiple prisoners have been released in error over multiple years for exactly the same reasons.
“This would suggest that the lessons which the Scottish Prison Service should have learned have not sunk in yet.
“Where mistakes are made, action is required to ensure that they are not repeated. That is a straightforward principle which seems to have been lost here.”
Amanda Everitt, chair-women for Mother Against Murder and Aggression said: “Errors of this nature should simply not be happening.
“It causes unnecessary distress to the victims of crime.
“Where an error does occur mistakes should be identified and lessons learned which should ensure that we do not continue to see the same mistakes time and again.
“We hope that victims were notified of these errors and respect and consideration was shown for any impact that they will have felt.”
A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said: “The decision to release a prisoner often involves more than one agency.
“It can be a complicated calculation where there are multiple short sentences and in some cases multiple warrants.
“In 2013/14 there were 27,000 releases from prison compared to 3 releases in error for the same period, so these errors represent a very small proportion.
“All releases in error are referred to the police and all cases are also internally reviewed.”
In 2007 a fraudster was wrongfully handed his liberty – he spent 111 days as a free man from Saughton Prison in Edinburgh before being hauled back in.
In 2008 a violent lag was gifted 23 days of freedom after being released from HMP Kilmarnock.
A year later and a sex offender locked up in Barlinnie in Glasgow was spent four days on the outside.
Earlier this month blundering jail staff freed the wrong prisoner because he had the same surname as an inmate due for release.
Anthony Douglas walked out and had a 24-hour taste of freedom before being returned to HMP Hewell, Worcestershire, England.]]>
The Hebridean island of Coll is due to get mobile signal this year with construction under way on the island’s first mobile phone mast.
It is hoped that the 50ft phone mast, which will allow reception on the island, will be of huge benefit to the 200 residents and will also help emergency services, including the local GP.
The £165,000 project is being funded by a partnership between community-run organisation Development Coll, the Scottish Government and Vodafone.
It is part of the Scottish Government’s Demonstrating Digital Programme, which will also test the model of community ownership of a mobile mast in a location not previously seen as ‘commercially viable’ by mobile operators.
Lavina Maclean-Bristol, chairwoman of Development Coll said: “This is an exciting new development for Coll, and Development Coll is very grateful to the Scottish Government for choosing us to pioneer mobile services throughout the island.”
Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said: “The mobile phone service will make a huge difference to the community, businesses and tourists on the Isle of Coll, as well as for critical emergency services on the island such as the local GP and fire and rescue. This is one of a number of projects that the Scottish Government has developed, in conjunction with local partners, as part of our Demonstrating Digital programme, which aims to test new technologies and business models, accelerating our ambition to be a world-class digital nation by 2020.
Fergal Kelly, chief technology officer of Vodaphone UK, said: “Delivering mobile infrastructure to hard-to-reach rural areas is extremely difficult.
“We have been able to bring mobile coverage to the island by working in partnership with the Scottish Government and Development Coll.
“This means people and businesses on the island will be able to benefit from the huge social and economic benefits that having mobile coverage and access to the internet can bring.”
Earlier this year it was revealed that certain areas of Scotland had the worst mobile phone reception in the UK.
While cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen had near complete coverage, areas in the Highlands and Perthshire having just 30% coverage.]]>
Water vole numbers have plunged by 90% across Scotland since the 1990s.
Overgrazing by the country’s booming sheep population has been partly blamed for the steep fall.
Conservation group Tay Landscape Partnership fears they may have died out altogether.
They are calling on Perthshire residents to join the hunt for the rodent.
Catriona Davies, the access and biodiversity officer for the partnership, said: “There used to be lots of water voles in our area but their numbers have declined so dramatically some people don’t think there are any left here at all.
“However, there have always been tantalising reports of remnant populations hidden away in quiet corners of our waterways.
“This survey is a fantastic opportunity to test these rumours and find out if these endearing wee animals could make a comeback.”
But water voles, which are around 4-8in long and brown in colour, are notoriously difficult to spot.
Those seeking them should listen out for the distinctive “plop” sound made when they dive underwater to avoid being seen.
Other tell-tale signs to look out for include the small, neat holes they make along riverbanks as they tunnel their way into the ground.
The water vole’s short, hairy tail, plump body and blunt nose make it easily distinguishable from the brown rat.
If water voles have survived in the area, the partnership can take steps to improve the environment in a bid to boost numbers.
Grazing sheep can damage areas near to river banks. The accidental introduction of the American mink – which preys on the rodent – to British waterways has also been blamed.
The water vole, which famously appeared in Kenneth Graham’s classic children’s novel Wind in the Willows as Mr Ratty, is a protected animal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Harming water voles can land culprits with a fine of up to £5000 as well as up to six months in prison.]]>
The actor, pictured with make-up cuts and bruises on his face, is currently filming ‘Miles Ahead’ with US legend Don Cheadle, in which he plays a Rolling Stone journalist.
The picture was tweeted by the film makers, who joked: “You should see the other guy.”
The film focuses on the life of jazz icon Miles Davis and is set in 1970s New York.
Referring to the actor’s fake injuries, the filmmakers joked: “You should see the other guy.”
One concerned fan tweeted: “Ewan, you look thin! Is it for the character or you really just lost some weight? Awww.”
Some fans also made jokes about the star’s new shoulder-length hair cut, especially grown for the role.
Fahim Ahad tweeted: “Return of the Jedi mullet.”
Miles Ahead stars Don Cheadle – who also directs the film – as Miles Davis and McGregor as music journalist Dave Brill.]]>
A full-scale search was launched in January when the three-year-old was reported missing from his home in the Drylaw area of Edinburgh.
The initial search lasted two days with hundreds of police officers, firefighters and volunteers scouring the capital in hope of finding Mikaeel.
Police Scotland have now revealed that so far £202,438 has been spent on the search and investigation into the youngster’s tragic death.
Resources were pulled in from across the country when Mikaeel was reported missing on January 16 with the police also having to work with interpreters.
Thousands of volunteers took to the the streets of Edinburgh searching for Mikaeel, before police recovered his body from woodland in Kirkcaldy, Fife.
Overtime equated for much of Police Scotland’s cost totalling £193,760.
A further £2,048 was spent on vehicle and travel costs, while £1,836 was spent on “securing properties.”
Other costs included £1,870 on Mountain Rescue, and £1,408 was spent on interpreter fees, stationary and CCTV.
On the first day of searching there were 237 “searchers” involved in the hunt for Mikaeel, as well as six specialist dog handlers and four mounted officers.
On the second, there were 244 searchers deployed to various areas to search for the youngster with six specialist dog handlers and eight mounted officers.
Mountain Rescue volunteers were also involved in the search with 25 on the first day and 60 on the following.
Following the initial two days of searching, Operational Support Unit searchers took part in various “crime scene searches” over four days.
An inspector from the College of Policing was asked to review the Search enquiry as the National Missing Person Search Adviser.
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “The enquiry into the disappearance of Mikaeel Kular was a significant undertaking and involved numerous agencies, community groups and the wider public.
“Throughout the enquiry significant police resources were deployed but these were augmented by other experts and public volunteers.
“No articulation of cost can possibly begin to capture the extent of the work that was carried out to search for and find Mikaeel. Nor can it ever capture the human impact of the subsequent enquiry.”
Mikaeel’s mother, Rosdeep Adekoya, is due to appear at the Edinburgh High Court this Friday, to make her second public appearance.
She is charged with murdering her son and attempting to defeat the ends of justice by falsely telling police that he had gone missing through the night.
It is claimed she assaulted him over four days between January 12 and 15 and that her actions caused his body to strike against a hard object and that she inflicted blunt force injuries to his face and body.
Staff at Scottish Borders Council were deemed responsible for more than a third of the smashes, resulting in payouts of more than £270,000 over the period.
The dreadful accident rate at Scottish Borders Council between 2011 – 2013 has led bosses to fit most bin lorries with cameras.
The council confirmed that 210 of the accidents were caused by its workers and that £272,925 had been paid in insurance claims.
Last year alone, it forked out £99,334 after employees were found responsible for 69 of the 197 crashes.
The accident rate means more than half of the council’s vehicles were pranged during the 12-month period.
A council spokesman said: “The paid figure is a gross cost and a percentage is recovered via the council’s insurer.
“The council has in place an ‘Accident Reduction Scheme’ which has seen the majority of refuse vehicles fitted with cameras and has helped to reduce the number of incidents where the council was at fault.
“There has also been a 20% decrease in repeat incidents in the last financial year.”
Asked if the offending employees had been disciplined, the spokesman said: “The Accident Reduction Scheme does not look to take disciplinary action against drivers unless there has been serious misconduct.
“Instead, the cause of the incident is identified and future risk is reduced by training or changes to the vehicle or operational area.”]]>
Out of 118 “potential” accounts identified by bosses two-thirds were removed from the popular site following investigations by officials.
Despite measures taken by the Scottish Prison Service to limit access to the internet and social media sites, some inmates are finding ways to get online.
In some cases, prisoners have used social media to boast about their life inside – and event to taunt their victims.
The sheer number of cases suggests prison bosses are still struggling to control the number of mobiles getting into prisons.
The worst prison in Scotland was HMP Shotts, where 21 Facebook accounts were shut down out of 27 that were investigated.
Aberdeen had 14 pages out of 15 identified removed from the site.
HMP Perth removed six Facebook profiles out of a possible 11, while HMP Barlinnie closed three.
In Edinburgh Prison there were six accounts closed out of a potential nine and in both HMP Dumfries and Polmont a further six were shut in both out of a possible eight profiles.
HMP Lowmoss removed four profiles from Facebook after investigating the possibility of six.
It is believed that many of the accounts were being run by prisoners who had been able to sneak in phones, or in some cases were having their profiles operated by friends or family outside prison.
Killer David Gilroy, from Edinburgh, still has a Facebook page, despite the crackdown.
Gilroy was convicted of killing his former lover Suzanne Pilley, 38, in 2010 after she was reported missing by her parents,
Despite Gilroy being sentenced to life in 2012, the body of Ms Pilley, also from Edinburgh, has never been found.
Gilroy is currently in Shotts – the worst prison for Facebook abuse.
The privacy settings on the page mean it is impossible to see what, if anything, has been posted. But among Gilroy’s five “friends” are his children.
It was also revealed last year that murderer Scott Nesbitt was using Facebook to brag about using cannabis in his jail cell.
Nesbitt, who is serving life for the brutal killing of Morgan Proctor, was trying to cover his tracks by using the alias Follow Rfc Rangers.
In 2008 Nesbitt killed Mr Proctor by slashing him across the face with a Samurai sword, slicing through major blood vessels and nearly severing his jaw.
Writing on his Facebook from behind bars he said: “Chillin skining a doobwa. Aww Cany wack it happy day days peace out.”
Last year Michael McIness, 23, who was jailed for attempted murder taunted police by posting pictures of himself on drunken nights out with friends while he was on the run from prison.
McIness, who was jailed for six years in 2010 after leaving Kevin McNee brain damaged after repeatedly stamping on his head, failed to return to Castle Huntly prison, near Dundee, after a home visit.
Rather than going into hiding McIness used Facebook to boast about his drunken parties and night club visits.
His friends were clearly amused by his posts, one writing: “You’re the hide and seek champion lol.”
At the time, Amanda McNee, sister of his victim posted on his page and said: “You f****** animal.”
Earlier this year it was revealed that the Scottish Prison Service was trialing new technology which would make it impossible to use a mobile phone from inside prison.
Signals would be blocked meaning there would be no internet access as well as meaning calls and texts could not be received or sent.
Amanda Everitt, Chairwoman for Mothers Against Murder and Aggression said: “Everything that can be done should be done to prohibit the use of social networking sites by prisoners serving custodial sentences. It completely re-traumatises victims if they stumble upon the convicted murderer of their loved one having a great old time on Facebook.
“Most of this access seems to be via the use of mobile phones which offenders are not meant to have access to.
“Simply installing phone jammers would stop this abuse outright, and there is no excuse not to install them in all prisons. Public protection and impact this has on victims alone is enough to warrant immediate action on this.”
Scottish Conservative justice spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell MSP said: “Prison is a place for learning and rehabilitation.
“But I find it difficult to see what role Facebook can play in this.
“The internet can be a force both for good and bad and I have serious reservations about how the prison service intends to monitor Facebook usage.”
It was claimed last weekend the murderer behind the notorious “pizza box killing,” Brian Sim was using his Facebook account to flirt with women.
Sim, who was sentenced to life in prison for brutally stamping a man to death in Glasgow, was using the popular social media site from his cell at Shotts Prison, with his profile picture even showing him in his prison poloshirt.
It is thought he was accessing the site through a mobile phone smuggled into the prison.
Earlier this year, the Facebook account for Rosdeep Adekoya, who has been charged with murdering her four-year-old son, Mikaeel, was removed after the SPS were alerted that it had reappeared online.
A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: “SPS makes use of all legal powers to address the problem of mobile phones in prison as well as the development of intelligence.
“In most cases, the discovery of phones in prisons is down to the professionalism of staff.”
The corporation has outsourced facilities management to a West Midlands-based firm which has to approve the movement of blinds 307 miles away at BBC Scotland’s HQ in Glasgow.
An exasperated insider said the “centralised help desk” in Redditch, Worcestershire, calls back and allocates the job to a Scottish member of staff.
The BBC – which takes £3.7bn a year from licence fee payers – has been under heavy fire in recent years for its treatment of Scottish news and other programming.
But staff at BBC Scotland’s imposing glass headquarters next to the Clyde are frustrated that basic decisions about building control are being taken in England.
The building has electronically-controlled blinds to manage the amount of sunlight getting in.
An insider said: “There is a number you have to phone to open or shut the blinds.
“You have to phone this number in England.
“If you want to take a partition away in a green room – you have to phone the number in England.
“They then phone staff in Scotland who actually carry out the action.
“It’s a total bureaucracy – it’s ridiculous.”
Professor John Robertson, who specializes in Media Politics at the University of the West of Scotland, slammed the system.
“It must be pretty frustrating for people who work there. It just seems ludicrous.
“This means that the management of the building is being run from outside the country – and that strikes me as strange.
“BBC Scotland as a whole is far less autonomous than it needs to be to do its job properly.
“It’s all part of the bigger problem within the BBC – it’s symptomatic of a wider issue.
“The people who run BBC Scotland identify the BBC as a British institution – there is a deeply ingrained unionism.”
“This is part of the wider process of the centralization of resources and capital in England.”
An SNP spokesman said they would create a new public service broadcaster, “initially based on the staff and assets of BBC Scotland”, in the event of a Yes vote on independence.
“Crucially the Scottish Broadcasting Service would develop services to reflect the broad interests, values and outlook of the people of Scotland,” said the spokesman.
Critics argue Scotland needs its own Six O’Clock News to adequately cover national issues post devolution.
In May staff at the corporation submitted more than 130 anonymous reviews to the Glassdoor website criticising the BBC as “bureaucratic” and “Orwellian”.
And last year Scottish comedy legend Greg Hemphill slammed the organisation for its decision to drop his new sitcom Blue Haven after the pilot was made.
The star wrote: “BBC gives Scotland enough money to make one sitcom annually.
“They’d give us more, but they have to pay Danny Dyer to be in Eastenders.”
The row was the latest in a series of clashes between Hemphill and the BBC.
In 2011 he called BBC television chiefs “arseholes” after they refused to show his comedy sketch show Burnistoun south of the border.
Celebrated Scots writer and creator of Rab C. Nesbitt, Ian Pattison, also condemned the decision making process of BBC Scotland as “labyrinthine”.
A BBC spokesman said they outsource facilities management “to one provider for the whole of the UK as part of its strategy of getting best value for licence fee payers and investing as much as possible into programme making”.
He added: “Under this system, staff can call one centralised service centre, which is available 24 hours a day. Any works are then allocated to local teams.”]]>
The male bird and its mate, originally from Newcastle, have taken over Craiglockhart Pond, Edinburgh, and are rearing cygnets.
The Geordie swan flies across the pond and attempts to pick off any straggling kayakers.
The bird is becoming so aggressive the local council has decided on safety grounds to ban kayaking sessions on the pond until further notice.
The move has thrown parents’ summer holiday plans into turmoil and cost the council almost £6,000 in lost bookings.
The ornamental pond, which opened in 1878, is in one of the city’s most upmarket districts and has been used for boating – without incident – for decades.
The previous pair of swans both died last year after raising several sets of cygnets over 20 years and happily sharing the water with kayakers.
Kayaking coach Magnus Lyon said the new pair of swans were young and examination of their tags showed they originated 120 miles south in Newcastle.
He said: “There has been a pair of swans on the pond since well before I was there – and I‘ve been doing classes on the pond for about 10 years or so.
“Before we would get along and I would brief the kids and we would leave them alone and they would leave us alone.”
He added: “But the new pair are much more aggressive.
“The male is building confidence in himself and has just become more and more aggressive.”
“Usually he picks out stragglers, anyone who is falling behind in the group.
“I have to bunch the kids up and put myself between them. He was getting bolder and I just thought this is something that should not be continuing.
“At the end of the day we do this for kids to have fun – to pass on a deep rooted fear of water or wildfowl is not something we want to do.”
Magnus said alternative sites for the kayaking classes were being looked into.
Euan Laing, 13, from Edinburgh, was one of scores of youngsters looking forward to taking to the water during his summer holiday.
He said: “I did it last year and it was great fun. The swans were no bother. It’s a shame because I was really looking forward to it. But I guess they have to keep kids safe.”
Colin Seddon, Scottish SPCA Wildlife Centre manager, said: “In this case it appears the birds are either defending a nest site, their young or their breeding territory.
“They will see the kayakers as potential predators and will be trying to keep them away.
“Usually swans will only act in this manner during the breeding season, in which case the best advice would be to steer clear of the area they are defending.”
A spokeswoman for Edinburgh Leisure confirmed: “We have had the same swans in the pond for over 20 years, however recently we received a new breeding pair.
“The male swan is very territorial and is being very protective over his cygnets.
“We have taken the decision to cancel the kayaking holiday camps as our main concern is the risk this could have on our holiday camp participants.
“The swan had been lashing out at our coach who has run these caps for years and he was concerned about the reaction of the swan.
“We have lost £5,168 of income due to this cancellation however we feel the income is irrelevant over the health and safety of our participants.”
Swans are known to be territorial animals and can often go to extreme measures to protect their young.
In April, a swan at Warwick University was accused of racism after students alleged it was targeting ethnic minorities.
The 4ft tall bird reportedly singled out and behaved aggressively towards foreign students as they crossed a footbridge close to its nest.]]>