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Black Isle neighbour dispute escalated when axe was produced, Highland court hears

By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Sara Matheson heard the case in Inverness.
Sheriff Sara Matheson heard the case in Inverness.

A Black Isle neighbour dispute ended in bloodshed when one man took an axe and struck the other on the arm.

But 51-year-old Philip Gallagher, of Ormonde Terrace, Avoch, who caused a small cut on the man who lived next door, escaped a jail sentence.

He had appeared for sentence at Inverness Sheriff Court after a background report had been prepared.

His solicitor, Rory Gowans, told Sheriff Sara Matheson that his client endured "constant torment from his neighbours for close on two years and he took it too far.

"He had been trying to do the proper thing by going through the proper channels like the council. He was outside cutting kindling, there was an exchange and a comment made by his neighbour and it caused him to snap.

"He accepts that he shouldn't have let it get to him."

Fiscal depute Robert Weir had previously told Sheriff Matheson: "It was about 7.15pm on January 26 this year when the occupants [next door] went outside to move a bin and have a cigarette.

"The accused was also outside and a verbal altercation ensued. Then he went into his house and came out with an axe. He was swinging it around and it struck his neighbour's arm.

"The axe was wrestled from the accused and police were called," Mr Weir added.

He was placed under a year of social work supervision.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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