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Pensioner guilty of meat cleaver threat

AN enraged pensioner has been found guilty of threatening his neighbour with a meat cleaver in a row about an apple tree.

James White, 80, of Stirling, a retired colliery deputy, told Stirling Sheriff Court that in September last year, after getting fed up that his neighbour, John Dempsey, had not gardened in 10 years, he took his meat cleaver out and began hacking away at Mr Dempsey's apple tree.

While White was chopping away at the tree, Mr Dempsey, who sufferers from neck and back complications follow a car crash, spotted him and went down to see what was going on.

But as Mr Dempsey approached White, the angry pensioner grabbed him by the neck and pushed him against the wall, told him he wasn't doing his "job" in the garden, and waived a meat cleaver above his head, saying "I will assault you."

Mr Dempsey said:"The bush didn't need work, the landlord and the council were happy with my garden."

He called the police, who took statements from the pair, where White originally denied having the meat cleaver.

Sheriff Wyllie Robertson found White guilty of one charge of assault, before deferring for a social work report.

He said: "The accused did not tell the truth to the police in the first interview and I'm satisfied he is not telling the truth today."

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