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Fall-out between former good friends in Muir of Ord led to one being arrested for threats, Highland court told

By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Gary Aitken heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Sheriff Gary Aitken heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.

A falling out between neighbours and former good friends led to one of the men appearing at Inverness Sheriff Court and admitting a charge of threatening or abusive behaviour.

Allan MacDonald (58) of Broomhill Road, Muir of Ord, was due to stand trial on two similar charges on Wednesday but when one charge was dropped after negotiation with the prosecution, he pleaded guilty to the other and admitted shouting swearing and uttering threats of violence while on bail.

Fiscal depute Karen Poke told the court that MacDonald's across the road neighbour Craig Gillespie was in his garden about 8pm on an evening in August when MacDonald began shouting at him including yelling: "You're dead!"

She said Mr Gillespie retreated inside his home, but MacDonald continued shouting, swearing and uttering threats towards Mr Gillespie's address while hanging out of a window.

Police were called and when arrested MacDonald told officers: "He stitched me up. I was saying goodbye to my neighbours who were moving out."

Defence solicitor Marc Dickson said that MacDonald was a builder to trade but could no longer work at that job for medical reasons.

The background was that MacDonald had lived at his address for 13 years without trouble, but there was "a fall-out" with Mr Gillespie, something MacDonald regretted since they were good friends prior to that.

MacDonald was trying to obtain a house exchange preferably in a rural location, said Mr Dickson, adding that his client was now subject to electronic bail tagging.

"He wants to put this matter behind him and move on as best he can," said Mr Dickson.

Sheriff Gary Aitken told MacDonald: "I hope your house transfer works out for you," adding that he would "draw a line under this matter" with a fine of £560, reduced from £700 because of the guilty plea.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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