A north-east fish and chip van owner has been ordered to be of good behaviour after he hurled racist abuse at a neighbour.
Entrepreneur Ronald Watt called the man a “f****** Nazi” and told him to go back to Germany, Banff Sheriff Court heard.
The 55-year-old, who launched The Salty Chip roaming van this summer, admitted hurling insults at his New Byth neighbour.
Fiscal depute Kirsty Martin said that the incident happened outside Watt’s home at 11.20am on April 23 this year.
She said his victim first noted that Watt had “parked poorly” outside his home and on drawing level with his vehicle was met with a barrage of abuse.
Hurled racist slurs
The fiscal said: “He heard a male voice shouting and stopped his car and saw the accused standing in his own garden gesticulating at him.
“He said to the complainer ‘you German Nazi b******’ and ‘f*** off back to Germany you b******.’
“This caused the complainer fear or alarm so he began to drive away from the property.”
The man didn’t contact police at the time but the incident came to light after Watt contacted officers himself to inform them of issues he had with the neighbour.
His victim, in turn, made officers aware of what Watt had said to him.
After being cautioned and charged, Watt told police: “That wording is not right. I never said that. I would like a fair chance to defend myself and give my side of things.”
Watt pled guilty to one charge of racially aggravated threatening or abusive behaviour.
The court was told Watt and his victim had “drawn a line under things” and he “simply wishes to move on”.
‘That type of vocabulary is not my way to speak to people’
A letter from Watt’s solicitor was shown to Sheriff Robert McDonald but Watt chose to speak for himself in court.
He said: “We had been good friends before this … it was a storm in a teacup.
“We agreed to shake hands immediately and agreed not to talk about the past.”
The former oil industry worker insisted he wouldn’t ordinarily say such things, adding: “That type of vocabulary is not my way to speak to people … even in anger.
“That’s why I was surprised when it came out.”
Six months to prove animosity is over
Sheriff McDonald told him: “I have seen what has been said in the letter put before the court. I understand the background here.
“You appear before me as a first offender with no previous convictions and I understand both from yourself and from the Crown that you and this gentleman seem to have sorted yourselves out.”
He ordered Watt, of Old School Road, New Byth, to be of good behaviour for six months and deferred sentence until April 2023.
“This gives you time to see that there’s not going to be another outbreak of animosity between you,” the sheriff added.
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