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Man stabbed with a broken bottle

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was attacked with a broken bottle at a music festival in Kirkudbright on Saturday night.

His injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

Police would like to speak to anyone who attended the festival who may have witnessed the incident or who saw anyone leaving the area in a hurry.

– Police Scotland spokesman

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Man arrested in connection with south-west Scotland shooting

A 51-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a shooting incident in south west Scotland.

It follows reports that a shotgun was being fired close to members of the public at Carrick Shore near Kirkcudbright on Sunday (21st July).

The man has been released on bail and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

Nobody was hurt in the incident.

MP's anger as Christine Grahame votes to close Border courts

Tweeddale MP David Mundell has expressed his disappointment and anger that SNP MSPs have pushed through plans that will close Peebles Sheriff Court.

Tweeddale member Christine Grahame, the Justice committee convener, was one of the MSP's who backed the closure plans.

"Peebles and its court have been let down by their local MSP. I am deeply disappointed that Christine Grahame wasn’t able to stand up to her SNP whips and make sure that the MSPs got their say.

"Local people have been badly let down by democracy and I am quite certain that local justice will suffer as a consequence of this decision.

“The SNP members today had a chance to stand up for their communities, but instead took the cowardly way out to ensure they didn’t upset Alex Salmond.

"This is a damaging decision, and one that we will soon see is a mistake."

– Tweeddale MP David Mundell

Borders MSP defends court closures

A local MSP has defended a decision to close a number of sheriff courts in Scotland, including Peebles and Duns, saying she "could not argue" against the arguments put forward by Scotland's most senior judge, Lord Gill to support their closure.

SNP MSP Christine Grahame says the closures do not mean users of the justice system in the Borders will receive a poorer service.

She said:

In the Lord Gill’s view the current network of sheriff courts is not fit for purpose and I could not argue against his sensible testimony to the committee. After all throughout his distinguished legal career Lord Gill has worked his way up from grass roots level and knows the system inside out. It was the intellectual case rather than the financial one which won the day.

– Christine Grahame MSP, Midlothian South Tweeddale & Lauderdale

Courts closures a "damaging decision" says Borders MSP

“The SNP members today had a chance to stand up for their communities, but instead took the cowardly way out to ensure they didn’t upset Alex Salmond.

“This is a damaging decision, and one that we will soon see is a mistake.

“Courts already over-burdened with work will have to take on even more cases, and that will risk lengthy delays to sensitive and significant cases.

“Witnesses and victims who find themselves involved in the justice system through no fault of their own will also be inconvenienced by longer and more awkward journeys.

“This decision proves the Scottish Government isn’t serious about crime, and is yet more evidence of its soft-touch agenda.”

– John Lamont MSP, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire

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Jim Hume MSP condemns court closures

Jim Hume MSP with a small sample of the letters of objection from constituents Credit: Scottish Parliament

Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, has condemned the decision by SNP members of the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee not to close Peebles and Duns Sheriff Courts.

Mr Hume received 400 signatures in one week on his petition against the closures.

Mr Hume said:

“Today was the last chance to save Peebles and Duns courts, but SNP members on the committee have ignored the massive public opposition to these fundamental changes to our justice system.”

Local sheriff courts await decision

Campaigners protesting last month Credit: ITV News Border

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee will vote today on plans to close local courts across Scotland.

The sheriff courts in Peebles, Duns and Kirkudbright are all under threat after Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill backed Scottish Court Service recommendations.

Opposition leaders have written an open letter to the Justice Committee, asking its members to support a motion to annul the proposals and 'stand up for local services, jobs, businesses and proper access to justice'.

The SNP holds a majority on the Justice Committee, with five MSPs to four from opposition parties.

Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court could close

Councillors in Kirkcudbright will discuss proposals which could see the closure of the town's Sheriff Court.

The Scottish Court Service has provided a consultation paper, suggesting that the court business could be transferred to Dumfries.

The paper points out that during the past year, Kirkcudbright Court had just 118 criminal cases and 282 civil cases.

It's also highlighted the fact that there's no disabled access to the courtrooms, due to their position on the first floor.

People have expressed concerns over the increased expense it would cost them to travel through to Dumfries, and also the negative effect it may have on local law firms.

The outcome of the councillors' meeting will be presented to the region's policy committee at the beginning of next month.

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